Background: My girlfriend is terrified of spiders. So much so that she cringes and closes her eyes whenever there are spiders on my screen, even if I'm not fighting them. I'm now introducing her to World of Warcraft.

I'm looking for a progression from level 1 through to level 85 that avoids spiders. We have both created Blood Elves and have reached level 12 without encountering any. I plan on moving to Azshara next, avoiding Ghostlands which is full of them.

I'm happy to jump around from continent to continent if needs be.

For the purposes of this question, you can assume that the Nerubians are not "spiders" but if you can come up with a path that avoids them as well, that would earn you extra credit. I have still yet to convince her that they are different and since they have eight legs and spin webs it might be tricky.

We will probably not be doing many, if any dungeons but a list of ones to avoid would be nice.

I'm familiar with the Horde progression through new Azeroth question but it doesn't suit my particular needs.

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    Pretty awesome that you care enough about her feelings to put his kind of effort into helping her level without spiders. – Ender Jul 6 '12 at 21:15
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    Your question is both commendable and hilarious. – Alex Jul 6 '12 at 22:40
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    If you go to Silithus, you're gonna have a bad time. – Brant Jul 6 '12 at 22:58
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    I dunno if this is possible in WoW, but people in FFXI used to .datmod Diremites to use the model from fluffy bunnies to avoid this problem. – Shinrai Jul 7 '12 at 0:24
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    Rather than attempt an answer that doesn't really provide what you've asked, I'll leave a comment. I think you should be looking at ways to fix your GF's issue of seeing spiders in a game. You can only conquer fears by acknowledging them and confronting them. If you bypass them she will never get over her spider fear. – Jared Jul 9 '12 at 21:13

Okay, I spent some time checking Wowhead and thinking back to my experiences, and I think I have a non-PvP, mostly non-"dungeon grind" progression path you can use.

I've also added a citation where I've been able to confirm with Wowhead the zone is spider-free: (c) for spider-based critters and (b) for spider-based beasts.

1-60: Azeroth Proper

From levels 1–10 do Eversong woods as you've done (b, c). And you're right to go to Azshara from 11–20 (b, c).

For 20–25, you can't escape spiders: every zone for the level range (Ashenvale, Duskwood, Hillsbrad, and Wetlands) has tons of them. I'd try to milk Azshara as long as you can, then move to Northern Stranglethorn shortly thereafter. If that doesn't cover it, you'll have to do one of the two dungeons—both spider free—for this level range:

  • Gnomeregan (b, c)
  • Scarlet Monastery (b, c)

If you do go the dungeon route, use the Dungeon Finder tool: getting to Gnomergran as a horde is a bit difficult, and a trip to Scarlet Monestary will require going through Tirisfal Glades, which does have spiders.

Northern Stranglethorn is the only zone in the 25-30 level range that doesn't have spider-based beasts, but it has spider-based critters all over the place. (b, c). If the critters are a problem, you'll have to do a dungeon again. Your only option in this case is Maraudon (b, c).

For 30–35, Southern Barrens is spider free (b, c). Like Northern Stranglethorn, the Cape of Stranglethorn is free of spider beasts, but not spider critters (b, c). Desolace is okay if you stick to the mainland, but an island off-shore has spider critters (b, c). Avoid the Hinterlands like the plague, though.

For 35–40, Feralas is the best bet (b, c). Dustwallow Marsh is infested, and Western Plaguelands has a nest of them to the north. Keep in mind Feralas has Silithids to the south, however.

Choose Thousand Needles (b, c) from 40–45 (more Silithids at the south end of what was once the Shimmering Flats though), then either Felwood or the Badlands for 45–50. I'd personally opt Badlands as there's less green stuff that could be mistaken for a creepy-crawly.

For 50–55 it's Un'Goro crater (b, c). You'd think Winterspring would be a sure thing with all the snow, but Blizzard had to go and create snow spiders. Like Feralas and Thousand Needles, there's a Silithid infestation towards the south if that isn't your bag.

Rounding up the old world from 55–60, it's a bit of difficult one. Blasted Lands has spiders, but your alternative is Silithus. Silithus. You can start the Outlands at level 58, so do that. From 55-57, either finish up Un'Goro or do another dungeon: Blackrock Spire (b, c) is your only spider-free option for this range.

60–70: Outlands

Avoid Terokkar Forest and Blade's Edge Mountains at all costs: they're swarming with spiders. Otherwise, you can follow normal progression:

  • From 58–61, do Hellfire Peninsula (b, c).
  • Then sashay over to Zangarmarsh from 61–64 (b, c).
  • From there, go to Nagrand for 64–67 (b, c).
  • Finish up with the Netherstorm (b, c) or Shadowmoon Valley (b, c) from 67-70, or just head straight to Northrend at 68.

70-80: Northrend

In Northrend, you should be mostly okay as long as you stay away from the dungeons, which have spiders in them (especially the Nexus, Naxxramas, and Azjol Nerub).

  • From 70–72, choose Borean Tundra (b, c). Howling Fjord is infested to the north.
  • From 72-75, go for Grizzly Hills (b, c). Dragonblight has the Nerubians, and Zul'Drak has cobwebs everywhere on account of all the undead.
  • From 75-78, head to Sholazar Basin (b, c).
  • From 78-80, skip Icecrown as it has some spiders and instead focus on Storm Peaks (b, c). The hit you see for the Storm Peaks is just a rare spider that appears in the mountains that separate the zone from Zul Drak: you won't run into it in normal questing.

80-85: Cataclysm

If you want to avoid spiders, Cataclysm is not a nice. Only two zones—Mount Hyjal and Vashj'ir—are spider free, making it next to impossible to get to 85 without dungeon crawling. So, I'd suggest doing

  • Stretching out the Storm Peaks as long as you can
  • Mount Hyjal (b, c) and Vashj'ir (b, c) from 80-83
  • Any of the dungeons (they're all spider-free from what I've seen) until 85

85-90: Mists of Pandaria

For Mists of Pandaria, you're directly in bad luck: Jade forest has spiders when doing the jade serpent questline and right after reaching Dawns Blossom, now, you normally reach level 86 around the time you're ready to transition to Dawn's Blossom from the Hozen part.

After that, you need to ride manually from the Hozen place to Valley of the 4 winds. You will start to encounter spiders during the Halfhill quests, so once you reach that, you can head over to the Krasarang wilds quests. there are no spiders during the quests themselves, but there is a whole bunch of them at the far east end. there are no spiders during the hidden master questline.

Kun'lai summit and townlong steppes are mostly safe. Don't even think about Dread Wastes: you need to deal with them during the very first 2 quests. However, there's a tall wall next to the spider nests. In theory, you can ask your girlfriend to place her character on top of the walls, send her to another room, kill the spiders yourself, skin them (to get rid of their corpses) and then let her quickly enter the area. there are critter spiders, but not much you can do about those except polymorph them with the crittermorph glyph.

I could link you the relevant WoWhead pages. However, early on, there was a bug where certain spiders would get evade bugged and follow people to other zones. these spiders show up all over those zones, but aren't actually there (they're in an optional dailies area in the max level zone), just polluting the data and making it unreliable.

90-100: Draenor

Draenor fortunately only has a limited amount of spiders. However, unfortunately some of them are in Frostfire Ridge, the starting zone for Horde. There are 2 major areas to avoid: the cave to the north of Wor'Gol, and the eastern ridge of the canyon to the east of the Horde garrison. Neither of these quests are required to complete the zone.

Gorgrond is close to spider free, with only one bonus objective having spiders.

Talador is again mostly spider free, with the only spiders being located in a small quest hub to the southeast of auchindoun.

Spires of Arak had no spider NPCs, and neither does Nagrand. Tanaan Jungle has some spiders to the north of the Horde base, and some in a cave that only houses a couple of rares and treasures.

100-110: Broken Isles

There are some fel spiders in Faronaar, but you won't need to do anything with them unless you're a Paladin. Apart from that, there are some fel spider critters in the eastern area of Aszuna, but that quest is optional.

There are some spiders during a sidequest in Highmountain that's again optional.

There are some spiders in Suramar in some of the caves, and if you want to complete the Suramar Nightfallen questline, you'll have to face at least some of them.

Apart from that, there are a couple of spiders that don't have a location listed on Wowhead. These are from the Tangleweb breed and I can't remember where they can be found.

  • 13
    I bow to your research power. MMO level designers seem to have replaced crates with spiders. – Fadeway Jul 6 '12 at 22:56
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    Could've sworn there were spiders in Terrokar... – LessPop_MoreFizz Jul 6 '12 at 23:19
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    In short, WoW has a LOT of spiders. Even Dragon Soul has Nerubian adds. – KOVIKO Jul 7 '12 at 1:25
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    I do not know the post-cataclysm Wetlands very well and I cannot check them out atm. But there used to be a spider infested cave near the exit to Loch Modan, the dwarven area. If there are still spiders in there, it needs to be avoided. – Juergen Hartelt Jul 7 '12 at 15:04
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    Arathi Highlands has spiders. Also, do not under any circumstances do the undead quests in Silverpine/Hillsbrad. As someone who isn't afraid of spiders, those quests freaked me out. Those half-dead bears with the eggs... shudder – Ben Jul 9 '12 at 13:19

There are two possible answers that immediately spring to mind:

1: Focusing on PvP

In focusing on PvP to level up, spiders should be a fairly uncommon sight, although they do seem to be popular pets for hunters.

I've never personally leveled up a character using solely PvP, so I'm not entirely sure how the speed of it relates to the usual speed of leveling up, but I do believe it compares at least comparably.

2: Focusing on random dungeons

There are, at least insofar as I can recall, no spider-oriented dungeons, and pulling random dungeons on repeat is a good way to earn XP, as being in a random group increases XP gained.

Again, hunter pets might be a problem, but to the best of my recollection, they are more of a PvP-pet, so there should be limits to how often they are encountered.

Edit: As mentioned in the comments, there are a few dungeons with spider-bosses, and I guess you could classify Azjol-nerub as somewhat spider-oriented.

In the general case, however, most dungeons tend to stick with a theme wrt. to NPCs that inhabit them, raid dungeons excepted, and most are pretty humanoid-heavy.

If you want a more quest-driven leveling up while seeing a lot of Azeroth, it's probably easier enumerating areas you don't want to go into:

Spiders feature prominently in the climes where one would legitimately expect them to turn up:

Dark and scary forests.

Duskwood is among the worst offenders, but there's a fair few spiders in the Plaguelands as well.

Dustwallow Marsh is also rather spider-ridden, and parts of Stonetalon Mountains are as well.

For a Horde character, the progression through The Barrens, and simply going south through Thousand Needles, Tanaris, and Un'Goro Crater should provide a fairly Spider-free progression up to about level 50 or so. After that, Winterspring should provide a suitably spider-free existence leading to level 60.

Once you get to 60, however, your choices are somewhat limited, but fortunately, there is little in the way of spiders in Hellfire Peninsula, after which a normal progression through the Burning Crusade content, avoiding Terrokar Forest in particular, should give a quick level up to 68-70, at which point you can go to Northrend.

Starting in Howling Fjord and working your way through Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills should pave the way for a quick jaunt through Scholazar Basin, which is basically Un'Goro 2.0, and largely (entirely?) spider-free, focusing on big game.

Going then into the Cataclysm content, I can't really remember any particular spider infestations, but where there are undead, there are generally nerubians.

Still, Uldum and Vashj'ir are probably the least spideriffic of the lot.

On a completely unrelated note, and as has been pointed out in the comments, perhaps using PvP and framing the enemy hunters and their pets in an immersion therapy type thing could be helpful going forwards, but that' s really neither here nor there, I suppose.

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    There are several dungeons with Spider bosses, including, but not limited to Azjol Nerub. – LessPop_MoreFizz Jul 6 '12 at 21:51
  • Some hunters take spiders in PvP specifically because some people will react badly to them and either try to run or focus on killing the spider first. – IllusiveBrian Mar 20 '17 at 17:53

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