Thursday, June 11, 2009

Even More WoW Travel Streamlining

In a followup story to my last post, Blizzard is rolling out even more travel updates in patch 3.2.

Horde will get a Zeppelin from Ogrimmar to Thunder Bluff. This will be very helpful once in the life of each new Horde character to save the run across the Barrens to unlock the flight path. However, unless this Zeppelin arrives and departs more frequently than the current models, I'm not sure if it would be worth using for regular travel. The current flight path does not take that long compared to the wait if you just miss a Zeppelin. I stand prepared to retract this statement if the new Zeppelin is some sort of super rocket turbo-charged monster that covers the ground in a fraction of the time at some insane speed, rather than the current "wait five minutes to zone to the other city" model.

They are also taking the cosmetic portals at the Dark Portal, supposedly allowing access for NPC troops from Stormwind and Ogrimmar into Outland, and making them 2-way and usable. This is a small but welcome change for the Alliance (saves a few minutes in flight and a brief ride across the Blasted Lands), and a massive improvement for any Horde who don't have a mage with the Stonard portal handy.

Finally, they will be adding a flight path from the Dark Portal directly to Shattrath. This strikes me as another once-per-character addition, especially since characters can get 150% speed flying mounts at level 60.

The question that interests me is whether the new portals (and/or the Dark Portal) will still require level 58. Unless it's changed since the Wrath beta, you need a mage portal or a summons to send a low level character to Shattrath so you can bind your hearthstone there and have quick access (recently reduced to a 30 minute cooldown, see a trend here?) to the four major cities of your faction. If you can now portal from SW to the Portal and then fly straight on through, binding your hearthstone will be a snap. The only real downside would be if some legitimate newbie got lost and ended up in Outland, charging into the infinite horde of level 70 demons beseiging the portal at level 7 and deciding that the game sucks. You'd imagine that this would be a relatively rare case, since TBC is still an additional purchase onto the base game, but it could happen.

5 comments:

Yeebo said...

If I were trying an MMO out, found a dark portal in my capital city, stuck my head in and got teleported to Hell and Massacred by Giant Demons...I would be absolutely thrilled.

That would be a way cooler newbie death story than "I punched a vendor in the face and he killed me" or "I fell off of a walkway in a tree city."

Vndead said...

"The only real downside would be if some legitimate newbie got lost and ended up in Outland, charging into the infinite horde of level 70 demons beseiging the portal at level 7 and deciding that the game sucks."

if they can run to the portal, they know enough about NPC levels vs their levels.

I don't see what you are saying here. There's no down side. It's just another piece of land, there shouldn't be a level restriction.

Anonymous said...

I have seen 2 lowbies in outlands well out of place. A level 37 druid in travel form Heading past ramparts with a train of mobs.He got 1 shot, and a level 50 warrior n Shattrath asking how to reach HFP so he could use the trainers and kept dieing.

Ngita

Anonymous said...

It's really curious to see how drastically WOW has changed. I remember back in the day, it seemed the Devs refused to increase flight points and methods of travel, almost as if they wanted players to take a longer period of time running through the world (which would make sense).

The latest changes seem to be in line with the general changes that have recently taken place. I.e. attempting to make specific parts of the end-game more accessible, and allow players to fly through the "old" content.

justin said...

"If I were trying an MMO out, found a dark portal in my capital city, stuck my head in and got teleported to Hell and Massacred by Giant Demons...I would be absolutely thrilled."

heh heh.....reminds me of the first time I was in Hellfire and I discovered the Fel Reaver. Or rather, he discovered me.