A starting area is usually a neutral zone or a town without immediate threats designed for new players arriving.
Suggested features:
A.Guiding NPC that explains mechanics of the game, optional with tutorial quests.
B.Access to easily farmed low-level monsters/objects, such as a rats so player may practice combat/gathering skills.
C.No PvP or anything complex. Starting area showcases basic mechanics and provides basic lore/quests glimpse. For more the player has to travel.
D.Low-resource design, reduced animations/particles to handle large crowds.