I grew up in the great American West — Utah, Arizona, California. Zones like Mulgore and the Barrens remind me of different areas of the states where I grew up, the places I call home. My [maternal] grandparents live in the Red Rock country of southern Utah, near places like Moab, the Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park. I came to love their stark, arid beauty. Zones like Durotar, the Badlands, and Thousand Needles, which are clearly inspired by that part of the real world, evoke the same feelings of awe, wonder, and, yes, love in me. These places “feel like home”, if such a thing can be said about locations that only exist within a video game. This feeling of being “at home” in Horde zones is certainly part of why I enjoy being Horde.
Stonetalon Mountains and the Thistleshrub Valley sub-region of Tanaris also remind me of the landscapes of Utah and Arizona. Thus, most of central Kalimdor is, in one way or another, like the part of the world that is “home” to me. Somewhat surprisingly, I also found a reminder of home in Pandaria’s Townlong Steppes —
— these bushes irresistably remind me of the sagebrush that covers the valleys of Utah and Arizona.