Monday, December 20, 2010

New Travel Philosophy For Cataclysm

Late in the Cataclysm beta, players were less than pleased to hear that Blizzard abruptly removed the portals previous found in the previous expansion capitols of Shattrath and Dalaran. With the game moving back to the original world, it no longer made sense to have those cities serve as the main player travel hubs.

At the time, Blizzard claimed that players lacked the context to understand the decision, as there was the two week period prior to the expansion in which the portals were gone while everything players actually wanted to do remained in Northrend.  Having spent more time in the world of Cataclysm, both at low levels and on my two level 80+ characters, I understand what Blizzard was getting at. 

With the new, more linear format present continuously through leveling, most parts of the world are now areas that players visit once and never return to.  It's still more convenient to be a class that can teleport to a class trainer (Mages, Druids, and Death Knights) and then use their hearthstone for the return trip, but that's a moot point if you don't have to make the return trip at all because you finished that part of the zone you were in. 

(To make it even easier, the new zones of Cataclysm can all be accessed via portals in Stormwind/Ogrimmar, and guild reward items can grant players additional teleports to those cities if you really don't want to set your hearthstones there.) 

As someone who plays a mage, I still think that the difference between mages and everyone else is a bit too large.  Even so, this only really matters between level 30 (when you start questing 2+ flight path hops away from your capitol city) and level 60 (when you gain flying mounts and move to expansion content, which now has its own class trainers).  With questlines that span multiple zones for no good reason largely removed from the game, long travel times are primarily reserved for world events and archeologists.  Even I don't see much to complain about there. 

3 comments:

Mark said...

It's even easier when you use the deepholm potion. Instant cast every 60 seconds and it puts you very near the portal to your capital city.

Leah said...

the biggest issue that people had and still have is that if for whatever reason you do not adhere to the "stay on this road and don't you dare to deviate from it" philosophy and do wish to travel between old world, northrend and outland on regular basis - your travel is not long and inconvenient. people are still in a stage of exploring one time use new content, but once its gone? you might want to go back to the old, but now, you no longer have free, convenient options for it. buy a tabard that takes weeks to earn (and in a meantime, you have to take a long way there, or pay a mage), or the ring that costs as much as all riding skills and at this point, has no other use for it.

it doesn't affect the majority I suppose which is why the minority that's still inconvenienced is ignored. Funnily enough, adding extra affordable (that's pretty important - imagine if you have alts - each one of them needs to grind out the current option, its not account wide, unlike now defunct portal), faster travel options for those who still travel between expansions would in no way change the gameplay of those that don't, but what do I know :/

Bronte said...

I don't get what all the fuss is about. You have 310% speed mounts, and the new (old) world is fascinating to explore from up on high-above.