It would be better to first decide what kind of buildings or other points of interest are in the city and then to think about the city layout. And to decide this we have to decide about the primary function of the town. Dabes original concept is the following:
When the city is supposed to be the starting point for newbies then it should not be too big and should not have too many facilities that are not targeted at newbies and not too many travel opportunitys to avoid confusing them.THE TRADE CITY is my proposition for a new starting location. This place can be designed to contain the basic resources to begin one's journey. This means that the surrounding areas will be geared mostly for characters of lower levels. Visually, I do not have a lot imagined for this place. It should be fairly modern for the setting; no castle or royalty in this city. It will probably contain an academy of pretty decent size. What is most important is the city's roots as a trading post. The heart of the city should still be a large open market, perhaps with booths, stands.. and even some people with wares spread out on rugs. Stone streets might be a nice touch.
But when it is supposed to be a trading hub where players from all over the game world meet to trade all kinds of rare stuff the town needs a lot of key facilities and it should be possible to reach other key locations from it quickly (could be provided easily by using the port) to attract people.
You see: These two functions are mutually exclusive.
We could design this city as a newbie start location, but then we would waste a lot of its potential. It is the most urbane and also the most central area in the current concept of the Argaes continent. This makes it the perfect trading center.
So I would suggest that we use it as a trading hub and not as a newbie start location. A better starting point would be a remote and well-arranged village with few shops that sells only stuff newbies need and some tutorial NPCs that teach players the basics of the game.
This pulsating trade center could be the second station in the life of young adventurers where they gets a first impression of everything the world has to offer after they learned the basics to understand all this. After learning the gameplay basics in a simpler environment they could be sent there by the basic tutorial NPCs to learn advanced topics from advanced tutorial NPCs and then be provided with a lot of different traveling opportunitys to explore the world on their own.