Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

This is an old topic, but I only just now spotted it so it’s new to me! I think it’s an interesting one, because depending on where you live in the world your answer could be vastly different from someone else’s. The topic is:

“What in WoW reminds you of home?”

And I would have to say that Westfall, in all its dried up glory, reminds me very much of home.


I come from California’s San Joaquin Valley, which is one of the richest agricultural valleys on earth and certainly in the United States. Our warm climate and fertile soil allow us to produce a massive amount of fruits and vegetables. Locally, our biggest crop is grapes (and wine!). My alma mater is famous internationally for its enology program and I have only to cross the street from my apartment to trade the city for a vineyard. We’re spoiled here because we can produce almost anything within this valley. No need to import fruits and vegetables: you can buy almost anything at a local farm stand or grocery store. And the price of produce is delightfully low…

…at least, that’s how things used to be. Like Westfall, the San Joaquin Valley has fallen on hard times. First we got hit by the recession, which was bad enough. Now we’re being withered away by a record breaking drought that is turning valuable farm land into fallow ground. People are losing their jobs and their livelihoods as farms and groves alike dry up and die.

Thankfully we haven't been hit by one of these yet.

Thankfully we haven’t been hit by one of these yet.

My commute to work used to take me through about a mile of orange groves. Now, it’s about a mile of dirt indistinguishable from any other mile of dirt in the county.

Westfall's crops are actually doing better than ours!

Westfall’s crops are actually doing better than ours!

In the winter time we usually get enough rain fall to turn the foothills a beautiful green. From about November through May the hills outside of town are wonderfully lush. But as soon as the rain stops and the heat begins, they turn a boring yellow-brown, just like the rolling hills of Westfall.

This is literally all the fresh water I could find in Westfall, and it's still more water than the Valley has.

This is literally all the fresh water I could find in Westfall, and it’s still more water than the Valley has.

There’s social and political unrest as people struggle with losing their jobs, their income, and their farms. Sound familiar? That describes Westfall, too.

And don’t even get me started on the homeless issue. My county is one of the poorest in the state (and also one of the largest) and our homeless population could overrun Stormwind city, if somehow they all got into the game. There are dozens of homeless folk in Westfall right now, beating down the defenses at Sentinel Hill, desperate for food and shelter. It’s almost shockingly familiar.

If this is what Sentinel Hill's politicians consider a "homeless problem", then they would faint if they came to my city.

If this is what Sentinel Hill’s politicians consider a “homeless problem”, then they would faint if they came to my city.

Unlike Westfall, the Valley isn’t adjacent to the sea. I’d be willing to bet that because it’s coastal, Westfall doesn’t experience the temperature spikes that the Valley does. It has been well over 100 degrees here for two months. Westfall, I imagine, is probably a bit more comfortable in 80+ degree weather.

Just to add to the splendor that is the Valley right now, a couple of massive wildfires have been raging just to the north of where I live. The smoke in the air is really no more pollution than we’re already breathing in (valleys in general tend to trap air pollution, making the air quality plummet, and with no rain or storms to wash it all away, the air in my town is more smog than O2). Due to the smoke, our sunsets literally look like this:

It's pretty, but bad for your lungs nonetheless.

It’s pretty, but bad for your lungs nonetheless.

So we have dry farmland overrun by the destitute, joblessness and homelessness abundant, and lots of rolling golden hills useful to nobody. Yep, sounds like home to me.

Here’s a photo (courtesy of the Fresno Bee) of a lake about 20+ minutes from where I live. It used to be a huge recreational spot, but this is all that’s left of it, and it’s almost entirely unusable. You can see towards the top of the photo where the water line used to be. Due to the drought, the lake has been emptied to provide water to other, more necessary things. The foothills in the background are pretty standard for the area: dull golden brown, dry as hell, dotted with a few oaks and not much else. Looks a lot like a real life Westfall, doesn’t it?


About Sylvestris

Gamer, nerd, book worm, baker.

Posted on August 20, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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