Misty Thicket is the major newbie zone for Rivervale (with a smaller one existing in Kithicor). It is also an area that the halflings have staked out to protect their city from the dangers of the Runnyeye goblins to their west. The ancient walls of the halflings stretch across this zone, cutting it into two distinct halves.
This has to be one of the safest zones that exists in the game. There is one simple reason for this, the wall. It divides the zone into two distinct areas, the newbie area to the east and the higher level area to the west. Because of this division, the newbie area has no random high level monsters wandering around to attack an adventurer. The area to the west is also relatively safe because the guards are very close by.
There are two spots in the newbie area that are dangerous if you wander near them, however, which are the ruins placed very close to the city. The rats and skeletons within the ruins are highly aggressive and will attack in packs.
About the only other large danger in this zone is a goblin wizard named Mooto, who is significantly more powerful than others of his kind and aggressive.
The biggest benefit is explained above, this zone is very safe. Many people call it the best newbie zone in the game (myself included). There is good hunting here, a fair number of quests for the halflings to engage in. Many halflings stay within this zone for their entire time as a newbie and up until around 10th level, when they start to spread out, although I think this is excessive, it is possible.
The other perk is that you can buy and sell goods without having to zone, which is a plus.
Travelling To and From Misty Thicket
To the east lies the halfling city of Rivervale. The path leads the way through to the break in the wall, which is heavily guarded by the halflings. Past this, the camps of the Runnyeye goblins litter the countryside. On the western edge lies the entrance to the home of the Runnyeye band of goblins.
Nostalgia from 1999-2003 EQ Atlas Web Site