Well, not really birds, those thunderhead hippogryphs (or as I thought of them: Blue Lightning Death(tm))
So hate, and Death(tm), and rock giants, and angry furbolgs, and ridiculously strong deer, and angry Naga, and and and...
Let's see, that's...1 for 7. That means Azshara is scoring a 14% on my scorecard. Last I checked that isn't passing.
Honestly, Rasaiel and I were out there for a hunter quest she picked up at level 50 (we're leveling way too fast it seems...more on that later) and both remembered quite quickly why we hated the zone so much. Blizzard did a great job in creating a "boonies, middle of nowhere, ends of civilization" type area with Azshara, because you fly into the area about 10 seconds from the border to Ashenvale, and that's your ONLY CONTACT WITH CIVILIZATION, for miii~les and miles.
...of painful dragons, and hippogryphs, and elementals, and giants, and naga, and insurance salesmen, and the kids in the shopping mall that whine at parents who have long since tuned it out, and cell-phone hawkers, and tupperware parties. Yes, they're all evil.
If I were to make some kind of "top ten things I learned from Azshara," I think the first 2 would be nice comments on the herbs and scenery ("oo, perpetual autumn!"), and 3-10 would all be "run! get away! fly in to take a picture and then flee!!!"
On Leveling (and dungeons)
The one thing that's stood out to Rasa and I this time around is just how fast we're flying through the levels. Granted, we have an awesome 2-person makeup working, it's let us handle plenty of dungeon runs at or close-to our level, and up to 5 par-level nonelites at a time. But we both distinctly remember our last play-through taking much longer (even without the 2.3 experience change) and focusing on a lot more dungeon play. I think I've only picked up one dungeon loot item so far, and that was a ring off of Thermaplugg back in Gnomer. With simple AH greens we've been flying along just fine, and with 60 coming up I think we're really starting to see the changes that BC has brought.
Last time around, 60 was it. When you landed at 60 you started gearing for the big and bad, so the 40's was when you started gathering your blues early. ZF and Mara, Sunken Temple, BRD, and so on. At least... that's how we rolled.
This time, knowing that at 58 you can hop through the door to a magical world of epic-level quest rewards that take 10 minutes to accomplish...it kind of makes you ask "what's the point?". Why gather up a team of 5 and bust our humps on Sunken Temple and Black Rock
Which, again, makes us both pine for the earlier days, when we learned just how easy BRD became on it's 17th run, when we'd charge in with our 3 closest WoW buddies and grind the arena event, when DM was a near nightly run for a while...the full effect of the new 60+ quest rewards is definitely striking us. I just hope the BC endgame areas are as full of level-cap non-raid fun as the old world was. Things we'll miss:
-Rasa's old hunter would team with a mage friend and clear Scholomance for the challenge.
-Druid teams stealthing to the spider boss in LBRS for our purple boots of awesome.
-Knowing how to weave through the first chamber of dwarves in BRD to reach the arena with no combat.
-Teaching novices how to lava-hop to the Molten Core attunement stone, as well as how to weave and wall-walk to the DM library.
-"I have no idea what to do until the raid starts, wanna run Inner Mara?" *Waterfall dive!*
-Getting mind controlled in Strat by the Banshee boss, or killing the squishies accidentally with DoT's when they got MC'ed.
-Never being able to complete the timed Strat challenge for the Tier0.5 set.
I think the thought that there wasn't more world to go find, that this was where all the biggest challenges were, put a lot more focus on the instances at the top. With the shift that BC has made, I wonder if Outland will be a pretty sparse place come WotLK, save those grinding up to 68.