Its a disputed place and either people love it or people love to hate on the little village hidden in Elwyn forest.
But here is what I think.
All MMORPGs that has released since WoW came out, that did not have a Goldshire, has struggled a lot.
Why you may ask... (Before you proceed to the usual "Goldshire is hell, Goldshire should be purged, never go Goldshire, Goldshire is full of scum")
At the end of MoP I quit raiding and for the first time I could finally try and figure out, what I wanted to do with my time online in WoW and find a server with an active living community, regardless of a servers raiding guilds.
The server I was on at first in MoP had died, just like so many other servers I have been on through my time in WoW and every time they died, I knew it was time to move on. Next to raiding I was a trader, enjoying to make gold, but with low pop servers, trading was an extreme Esport game, trying to make gold in a wasteland with nobody to buy anything.
So I went to a RP server and came across Goldshire.
What a living place that was. A bit like stepping into a school yard. The lol crowd was the most vocal, along with the intellectuals that was sorting world political issues arguing like only intelligent Rpers can do in their own half arrogant way, cause we all know there is nobody brighter than the current person speaking like a born politician.
Inside the inn, girls would dance on tables and dwarfs would run around and ask draenais to sniff their feet.. eerh hoves.
Outside dualling, people on pretty mounts, Gladiators and endgame raiders in impressive gear and lvl 60s running around asking lvl 10s to dual.
Naked gnome beggars running from player to player asking for gold, since they were obviously homeless, people showing off their rarest or most fun toys and so much more.
Living breathing place.
Now I know Goldshire has a certain reputation and I think it is wise to not go into the cellar, weird things happen down there, if not for real, then people will make sure to make it weird.
But be that as it may.
Goldshire is these days pretty much the last living breathing place in WoW, where a lot of people are gathering in one place.
In Vanilla we had something similar for a brief while in the shape of Ironforge, but when AH was added in SW and dualling was moved outside the city quarters, IF pretty much died out.
In WOTLK Dala was ok decent active for awhile, but in Cata SW was pretty great with flying mounts everywhere.
But nothing like Goldshire, which is the place just as much for people with weird fetishes as it is a place for intellectual discussions.
After a day with hard raiding or extreme achi hunting, it was a nice place to just sit down and watch the life on the server come together.
And now due to servers dying everywhere, the goldshire on a RP server is also the place for people to give WoW a last chance before the final exit.
Living on dead servers will, for most people, lead to the final walkaway from the game, but those few who finds people in Goldshire, will often move server to a RP server, despite it might not be their playstyle at all and they commonly stay there permanently.
Now what I have noticed is that all new MMORPGs that has released since WoW came out, have a poor city layout design.
They lack that little village in the forest, that is easy to get to from near and far at all lvls, and my guess is, when people cant find a place to just sit down and take a break, watching others chitchat, dance, laugh, scream, shout, dual and have fun, then the game gives no room for people to just casually get to know each other in a more relaxed situation.
And yes I am well aware that Goldshire is known as the erp place, but from observing the place, I find it is so much more than that. It is a place for everybody, PvEers, PvPers and RPers alike, who just enjoy being social. Erp being basically invisible. if people deliberately read some Draenais addon RP profiles, they will probably find horrors, but without the addon, there is plenty of room to just hang out with the majority of people, who are not engaged or interested in those activities.
Other games forget how important it is to have such a city or village that brings people together. Ironforge was destroyed in Vanilla, which I think was a big mistake, but at the same time a very important clue, that cities are very vulnerable to changes.
So therefore, all games should have its own Ironforge as it was at first or a Goldshire.
Cities like that keeps games alive, and the servers with cities like that will be the last to die out.
I cant tell if Developers deliberately tries to avoid making a place like those for people to meet or if it is something they dont think about, but I will believe that if developers would make room for that kind of meeting place for everyone, they have a far greater chance at longterm succes.
Is there a question in here, you might wonder?
Well tecnically not perse, we can always agree or disagree.
What I would just like is to just give it some thought, consider what a busy city in a game means to the health of a community and the longterm effect these busy places have overall.
When I log into a new game, the first place I try to locate is always a busy city, a place to mingle, get in touch with people, learn a few tricks about the game. See a bit of humor.
When I cant find a city or place such as that, record has shown, I dont actually hang around in those games for long.