Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Strategies of Fun for the Frequent Flyer

So the portals are currently gone for everyone but mages. I’m one of those who applaud this. Admittedly my main happens to be a mage, but I’ve got alts so I know what it’s like to travel without magical devices.

If you ask me, I think it’s about time that we looked around in the stunningly beautiful world that Blizzard has made for us, rather than just running from one theme park attraction to the next without even throwing a glance to the sides. Journeys help to give the game a better rhythm, where periods of intense action are contrasted with slower paced activities.

Player complaints
Most reactions I’ve seen to it have been fairly negative. While I think many players agree about the reasons for removing the portals, they can’t refrain from complaining about the consequences.

And can you really blame them? The portal hubs in Shattrath and Dalaran have been around for years, making us accustomed to instant travelling around the world.

Some players are so upset that they’re taking action. The other day I read a post by a blogger who cancelled her subscription out of rage and frustration over something she considered just a waste of time: “I don’t like being forced into sightseeing and I hate being forced into waiting without even an option of doing something else in game”.

I’m not going to link to the blog in question, because it’s very small and there’s no need to point fingers or help trolls to find their way to it. She never asked for that kind of attention.

Instead I’m going to give a helping hand for the frustrated blogger and other frequent flyers in need of something meaningful to do while on a gryphon. The idea with this guide is to find out what kind of player you are and spend your time accordingly.

Hereby I present you the Pink Pigtail Inn List of Suggested Strategies of Fun to get more out of your travelling time:
1. The Blogger
Grab the opportunity to tab out and throw down a few ideas for future posts, comment on other blogs or to work on the growing pile of unread blogposts in your feedreader! It’s better to do it while travelling than to wait until you’ve stopped playing for the night and you’re too tired anyway.

2. The Explorer
There's a reason why Blizzard wants us to travel! Have you really noticed all the changes to the world? Use your camera options, zoom in and out, look around and don't forget to take some screenshots while you're at it. Notice all those hidden places you've never been to and make sure you remember to go back to them on a ground mount for a closer look.

3. The Family Guy
This is the moment when you can make up and show your family that you you're not chained to your computer. Even if you assume that you’ve already you’re your share of the household work, helped the kids with their schoolwork and kissed them goodnight properly, there’s surely something more you could do to give them your attention. Make that phone call you've postponed too long. Pat your dog. Or give your loved one a kiss, who knows what else it might lead to? If this means that you'll miss out the arrival at your destination because you were afk or even disconnected for low activity - well, you probably had a good reason.

4. The Entertained
If you're main reason for playing WoW is to be constantly entertained you might want to play another game while you're on a bird. Try one of those addon miniature games that are around. Or multitask with something you have on another platform. Or in case of emergency: feed your tamagotchi. Whatever keeps you happy.

5. The Gourmet
The gourmet won't miss a chance to make a raid to the kitchen and grab a snack. If you need suggestions for what to do, go ahead and check out the comment section of my post about the perfect raid snack. You'll find a recipe for a three-minute chocolate cake, which you'll easily put together during one of the longer flight trips. For journeys by boat or zeppelin I recommend you to stick to something simpler; they're rather quick compared to what they used to be (the turtle tour in Northrend the exception).

6. The Health Seeker
OK, you're facing the consequences of being too much of a gourmet? Had a little too many of those perfect raid snacks? Let's turn it around then. Make a habit out of doing push-ups and sit-ups whenever you travel. Count how many you can do and compete with yourself or your guildies. Or try to beat the gryphon! If you give up before you arrive at the destination, the vehicle has won. If you could make a few more after arriving, you’re the winner.

7. The Organizer
Are your bags in perfect order? If you're the kind of player who likes a tidy desk, they probably are, but in the world of a true organizer there's always something more to do. Adjust the settings in your bag addon to sort your stuff even smarter. Cleanse your action bars from old garbage, such as quest items you've returned to the quest giver long time ago. If you feel rich and your bags are too full to be practical - toss away a few gray useless items. (I won't tell on you.) Or open some clams, now that Blizzard has made the effort to let you do that mounted. If you really can't find anything more to organize, offer to help to clean up in your old, messy guild forum.

8. The Philosopher
The philosopher doesn't see the travelling as something bad; rather the opposite. Life isn't about arriving at the destination; it's about enjoying the journey, right? All day long our minds are constantly occupied with a stream of activities. Rather than trying to productive in a conventional sense, the philosopher will let the journey be a protected enclave in time when he lets go of everything. Enjoy a few minutes of complete relaxation. Observe how the thoughts come and pass by like the landscape below your mount. Listen to your breathing and feel your heartbeat. Arrive energized and relaxed (or possibly asleep).

9. The Researcher
Researchers come in a wide variety. The Number Cruncher will use this moment to polish his personal spread sheet or give his two cents in the latest EJ discussion. The Last-Minute Researcher will browse TankSpot in a futile last-minute effort to cover the fact that he hasn't prepared for the instance he has signed up for. The Materialist Researcher will drool over Atlas Loot and think about how to obtain them. Whatever sort you are - take pride in the fact that you're doing your research while playing WoW in your free time rather than while pretending to do something useful at your job. ;)

10. The Social
If you're like me and find it a little bit difficult to chat with people at the same time as you're actually playing the game, you know, killing stuff - the moments of travel will come to your rescue! Now you can finally show your guild that you're not this strange creepy guy who just logs in and out and never speaks! Scroll back and catch up on the guild chat and add something of your own. If you're known as "that quiet" guy you might want to take it a little careful to begin with or they'll think your account has been hijacked. By all means, go through your friends list. Is there someone you'd like to catch up with? Go ahead and do so, but remember to check out the location of your friend before you whisper them. There's a time and place for everything and if he or she's in a raid instance they might not appreciate your attention.

Further ideas
I've presented a few examples of player types and ideas on what they can do during their journeys. Which strategy do you use? Or maybe you have some further suggestions on how to spend your time on a flight or a boat? Feel free to share with the readers of PPI!


Crowqueen said...

Thanks for this. A breath of fresh air.

I didn't use them much - my computer can't really handle Dalaran much and I always preferred to fly anyway (as you say, gives me a chance to step away from the computer as I was crippled by migraine over the summer and gave up WoW almost completely until it calmed down).

I don't blame people with only a short time to play for being upset about this (for a month or two as I said I only logged on every so often to do a single dungeon before I ended up feeling too ill to continue) but the angry backbiting back and forward (lazy! hey Blizz I want my money back! qq! troll! etc) does make us look a bit foolish as a community. It's a game. Lighten up.

Blizz had their reasons, and it's not as if it will matter greatly in a week anyway. What replaces it (AH and trainers in both cities) is much more use anyway.

Anonymous said...

I applaud your outlook. I personally switch between the gourmand, exercise, and internet reading; depending on which needs the most attention.

Shintar said...

Nice post. :)

I have to admit I haven't even really noticed the removal of the portals. My 80s are still sitting in Dalaran so they have easy access to places in Northrend that I still frequent (such as ICC), and if they need anything, banks, trainers and an auction house are right there in the city.

Likewise, once I go back to the old world to level to 85 I won't have any regular business in Northrend anymore either.

Green Armadillo said...

The fact that alt+tabbing out of the game to work on your blog is the first suggestion you came up with pretty much sums up the case for why this is a bad change.

Syl said...

Ideally i would wanna alt-tab, but my game keeps crashing if I do that during flying atm. =/

so chatting it is, or indeed going off to grab a drink or huggle the better half a little (he doesn't have the same travel downtimes as me tho' while gaming, so sometimes its bad timing apparently, pfff!).

I'm probably one of those bothered the least by no portals, i love traveling in MMOs - you discover a lot more that way =)

Redbeard said...

My only complaint about the lack of ports is the sudden overabundance of flight points. I'm sure this is done to a) speed up leveling, and b) allow lowbies to compete with those with flying capability, but boy is it annoying opening up your Flight Master's map to see more dots/periods than English grammarian convention.

Dyre42 said...

Losing the portals wasn't a big deal to me. I mainly used them to hop to Darnassus to hit the AH (its much quieter there and the auctioneers are usually alive). Although I'd say my main isn't very happy with it since he's used to spending the night at "home" rather than some inn in a Human city.

Ophelie said...

I loved this post!

At first I was really annoyed by the portal removals. Not to the point where I'd think of canceling my account, but still annoyed.

Then, as I was flying from Tanaris to Darnassus, I realized that I missed those long flights. I missed having my Sudoku book nearby, I missed being able to plan laundry and kitchen runs into my adventuring.

Besides, whenever I'm not raiding, I spend most of my game time alt-tabbed out reading blogs anyway. Now long flights give me a dedicated time for blog reading. I get a problem similar to Syl's (my game doesn't crash, but I do disconnect whenever I alt tab out on a flight), but I'm usually arrived at my destination when I log back in, so I don't mind.

Klepsacovic said...

"The fact that alt+tabbing out of the game to work on your blog is the first suggestion you came up with pretty much sums up the case for why this is a bad change."

Think of it as forced socialization.

Grookshank said...

In the last days I have seen more of the world than I did in the last year - and I like it. There is nothing bad in having some convenience in travelling, but the portal hubs were a bit too much of it.

Whenever I am on a long flight I make a compromise between The Gourmet and The Health Seeker and go outside for a smoke :)

havelock1982 said...

Hi Larisa,

I read your post today and have to admit I do noit like you´re attitue towards other players in this case.

Alt-tabbing while flying currently crashes the wow-client from time to time, so it´s not an option.

Organizing Bags is fine, but changing your equippment while flying is currently no longer possible.
Paladins and Death Knights can change their pressence/Aura, but this is one click that can be don while mounted in teh targetzone.

Kissing the kid for goodnight:
As a father myself, I can vow to never play unless the babgirls is sound asleep and the dishes are done, I can attest to several parents ingame that would tell you the same. There will be no wow in my house unless it´s free time.

Flghtpaths have been changed to touristmode, flying to shimmering dephts will bring you close to it and all the way to gadgetzan and back agin, making an already long flight nearly 4 minutes longer.

People are complaining about being shoehorned to waste time instead of exploring (you won´t get explorer on flightmastergriffins/wyverns), I miss your compassion towards those in this post.

I chose to see the revamped zoneswith lowbies first, as to get the feeling firsthand and 80s later, for completion and flightpaths.

I´d rather see the world than being carried through wasting my precious time.

Best regards H

Helistar said...

I'm with the complainers, and agree with some of the posters: when you say that alt-tab is a solution, you're missing the point of those who don't like fast travel. Which is simply stated:

"If I wanted to do something else, I would not be logging into WoW."

Yes, the world is beautiful, and the first (and second) time you fly around you'll love the sight. After 50? You hate it.

But what I hate most is that AGAIN Blizzard is forcing down the throat of everyone the "single hub" approach. In Azeroth we have four capital cities, but thanks to this approach the entire population is sitting at Stormlagwind. With portals connecting the four capitals and dailies spread out across the cities we'd have a more uniform population distribution.

Not to mention that as a Night Elf, I'd like to actually be able to stay in Darnassus (even if the layout is shit) without necessairly being cut out of anything (dailies, crafts, ...).

Perdissa said...

I am trying to think what I usually do in cities, and I think it really comes down to just banking, AH and chilling. The way questing work these days, I don't foresee a huge need to constantly fly around the world like the old travel-the-continent vanilla quests.

So.... people are just going to hang out in Org/SW/IF a lot more. Portals will be missed, but not nearly as much as people are thinking.

My mage recently hit 80. I'm thinking of parking her in Dalaran to provide free ports to cities once in a while, or open ports where the old ports used to be. Reagents are cheap and I don't need the tips.

B_Dragon said...

Personally, I think of the Shatt and Dal portals as a convenience rather than a necessity. Back in BC, I had an old comp to play WoW with, and I faced very much the same issue as Crowqueen - Shatt was Lag Central, and I'm prone to numerous DCs when trying to navigate the city. It frustrated me so much that I had to create a guilded bank alt just to transfer stuff to AH and between toons.

It was not until late in BC that I got the comp that can handle Shatt, and started using the portals. Even then, during Wrath, Dal would get so bogged down that my FPS crawled at a measly 5 fps at times.

I improvised a lot to compensate for that - I thought out proper placements for hearths, I grabbed the Argent Tourney tabard for the free teleport to Northrend instead of binding my hearth to Dal, I place bank alts at certain cities to minimize journeys to old world etc.

So I guess I won't inconvenienced much by the portals' removal.

- Aenur of Hydraxis

P/S:- Looking at your post, I'd say I'm the Philosopher =)

Nils said...

Nice post, but I don't think it manages to get to the roots of the problem.

At some point developers need to make up their mind about what is fun and what player should do to have fun. Having options is not always fun. In fact, options are ruled out by rules that make up most of a game.

I guess that is too abstract to be understood, but then, I have written exrensively about that on my blog :)

Leah said...

Green Armadillo summed it up nicely.

the game that you frequently tab out of is not a particularly immersive game.

moreover, it just occured to me why the whole "the game is telling you to take a break and get up, stretch,get a snack etc" thing makes me bristle so much.

I'm a functioning adult. the game is rated T and whatever else teens are, they are perfectly capable of feeling hunger or need to go to the bathroom and act on it as needed without being prompted. yet WoW is treating players like recalcitrant children, as if we are incapable of making that choice on our own?

I traveled. I have a character with an explorer title and I've poked into nooks and crannies that are not even necessary for the achievement. because I chose to. because it was interesting to me.

sightseeing that's forced is like giving a student a great book to read and making it a subject of a quiz. no matter how amazing the book is, no matter how much they enjoy reading in general, they are not going to like it as much as if they had picked it up on their own and weren't going to be tested on it.

lastly and this is something that's absolutely killing me, but there's this assumption that all people are sick and tired of northrend and outland, that there's absolutely nothing there, but quickly skipping through levels on their way to 85.

portals in the end are a relatively small issue. but the way both developers and the community react to anyone daring to say anything unfavorable about the change, including making suggestions that will keep faction cities as capitols and yet bring the uninteractive travel between continents back to its former convenience...

fall in and like it, or gtfo.

most people have seen more of the world that they have seen in years not because of portal removal but because the entire world was changed and they wanted to see the changes. if the portals had stayed in some for, they would have STILL gone out and looked.

P.S. I was going to let this topic go, but I suppose I can bang my head against this wall one last time.

Bronte said...

Sometimes I wonder if you can take over Overly Positive, and claim your stake to the site, overthrowing frank in a bloodless coup.

Seriously though, this is fantastic. I particularly like the Health Seeker. I am not fat by any stretch of the imagination, but I have gotten lazy, and this would be a great way to burn some extra calories while remaining comparatively more active.

Anonymous said...

I admit it, I missed having flight paths. I even used the Norhrend flight paths to get to raids.

That is when I do laundry, toss a few dishes in the dishwasher, grab a drink, or do some in-game housekeeping (respond to calendar invites, sort my bags into what gets sold, mailed, and crafted.)

I leveled as a jewelcrafter and miner, most of my crafting was done on a boat on my way to the Exodar.

And for those of you that are upset... there are portals in SW and Ogrimar to at least one of the new zones. I predict that this will only be an issue for you for another 8 days.

Anonymous said...


Fuubaar said...

I find it interesting that people are so upset that they are now being "Forced" to waste time on a flight because it disrupts their "Immersion".

And traveling back to old places that are irrelivent to your character just so that you can take an imaginary portal to a city wasn't before? I could say that those portals "forced" people to use them and "forced" people to set their hearth there even if they didn't really enjoy it.

Your character has several ways of cutting time. Some are obvious and others are put into the game to make your lives easier.

For instance: If you enjoy Darnasus more than Stormwind, by all means set your hearth there. Oh, but you need to get to Stormwind for the dailies? Well, lucky for you, you can either ask a mage to port you or you can take a boat that takes you straight there. Both of these takes the exact same amount of time it would take for you to hearth to Dalaran or Shatt & run to the portal and you're not being "forced" to waste time.

Heck, if you need to get back to Dalaran for that raid and are found in SW? You have TONS of options.
-Mage Port
-Boat ride
-Dalaran Ring that takes you straight there
-Argent Tournament Tabard that takes you to Ice Crown
-Have a Warlock summon you
-Use the Summon stones outside of the instance

The only thing that people should be upset about was that with those portals, you had fewer options than you do now.

Be creative folks!

<3 Your Friendly Neighborhood Fuubaar

Lytstep said...

Also something that seems to be missed is that there are a lot more griffen/bats around two or three per area at least in the vanilla wow areas. I really like the one about exercising I have a stationary bike that I should be useing more often

Anonymous said...

I love flight time! I've always enjoyed the views, even when I'm taking the same flight for the hundredth time. But I really appreciate the few minutes to knit, crochet or spin on whatever project I'm working on that day.

Thanks for your post, Miss Mediocre. Well-crafted, as always.

msp said...

Nothing encourages exploration and travel like 20 minutes of quality AFK time. One way. Don't take me wrong - I love exploring, but I also like be able to get places quickly if need be. Satisfying my burning desire to go get stuck on geometry in some far away land shouldn't require thorough planning. In my last gaming session I spent 10 minutes getting from Dal to Outland to poke around in some old dungeons, just to turn around in Shatt and spent another 20 minutes on a taxi to help a friend near SM. Oh joy!

Alt+tabbing and doing something else while the game is wasting a significant portion of my play session is not an acceptable solution. Same goes for slapping grown adults with a mandatory time out every time we set foot outside a city. I hope this gets better come Cataclysm, but for now I'll stick to sitting around in IF.

SpiritusRex said...

Lemme get this straight. People are complaining that taking a flight path instead of a portal ruins their immersion? Hmm, really? I can see a lot more "reality" for RP immersion in travel time, rather than having portals which instantly send me across time and space. Once again, it seems that the "go go go" generation is speaking up.
Don't like not having portals and want to go-go-go all the time? Well, I've got an easy fix for ya...roll a mage. Otherwise, suck it up and deal with it.

/sigh somebody's always whining about something

Nice post, Larissa. I find myself in more than one of your categories, often right after one another. Most notably, the Gourmet, quickly followed by a "Oh, crap, I ate how many of those?", morphing into an Exerciser.

Tesh said...

I think removal of the portals was a bad idea, but then, I'm the sort that just goes and explores on my own most of the time anyway. It's just that I'd rather have the option of using them if I'm in a rush, even if I usually take the long way around because I love to explore.

Anonymous said...

I really don't mind having to actually travel from place to place. My one pet peeve though is that they need to up the frequency of the boats. I find the wait is too long for them to arrive. Otherwise, I agree - it's a time to see the world and also to distract yourself with something else.

Fuubaar said...

@ msp

"In my last gaming session I spent 10 minutes getting from Dal to Outland to poke around in some old dungeons, just to turn around in Shatt and spent another 20 minutes on a taxi to help a friend near SM."

Ok, quick fix to what took you "20 minutes"

Set your hearthstone to either SW or Org. There is a portal in these cities that takes you straight to the dark portal enterance. BAM! You're in outlands. Once there, you can fly yourself or take a FP depending on where you wanted to go.

Oh, you wanted to go to Scarlet Monestary from Outlands? Hearth back to your main city. SW= FP to Chillwind pass or Anderhol Org= how ever you get to Undercity.

Going outside of the major cities still takes time regardless of having a Portal hub.

Blizzard made it super simple to travel around to the major cities now via boat, FP, or Tram. Perhaps what we all really need to do is plan out the best route to get to places before we head out.

<3 Fuu

Anonymous said...

I have always enjoyed using the flight paths. For me, they are a great time to make UI tweaks. I just open up my addon menus and try out different configurations. Sometimes, if the flight is long enough, I can have a brand new UI when I reach my destination. =)

Leah said...

hearthstone =/= place I spend most of my time at. I was never someone who sat in Dalaran for long periods of time. all the travel "options" that people are mentioning were in a game before, we had one of the options removed.

portals to new zones (which for some reason are fine and dandy and welcome to all, nothing wrong with convenient travel to new stuff, eh) will not lead you to outland or northrend. they might make traveling to different continent cities slightly less annoying then it is now, but you still won't have as much of a choice as you sued to when you could essentially travel between the cities directly.

hopping into a magical portal and coming out on the other side in a world I want to explore is perfectly immersive to me. we ARE after all exploring the magical world. Sitting at the top of the zeppelin tower, doing nothing because if you blink and miss it, you are stuck waiting again and then stepping away from the game, while you wait for your long flight path to finish? don't you see how it breaks up the flow of the game?

first time you see the new areas - its epic. 10th time you see them "oh that's nice" 50th time you are stuck seeing them, you are not even trying to watch anymore. Not to mention inability to jump off the taxi to explore something interesting you saw on that one time you actually stayed at your computer?

I have traveled on my own power instead of taking a taxi before when I wanted to enjoy the journey. portals never forced me to take them. I don't know about other people, but just having something in front of me, doesn't mean I will always use it over anything else, even if I would prefer to use something else. I liked having an option of just getting to my destination quickly when I didn't feel like traveling.

lastly - Northrend and outland content are still there. they will be there in 7 days still and some people actually came back to them for other reasons the leveling, and people might want to participate in Northrend contend as well as new stuff all in the same gaming session. I know, weirdos, right? >_> the options that people have right now are ridiculously biased. tabard that takes a minimum of 27 days to get, or a ring that only has one use at this point, and costs more then all riding/flying skills combined

I don't know why I'm still dwelling on this honestly. no wait, I know because this is what truly made me as angry as it did - people absolutely refusing to see the opposing point from our perspective. refusing to accept that things that don't bother them might be bothering us and that its acceptable to be bothered by different things. people refusing g to see that we what our damn choices back.

Leah said...

P.S. maybe the issue is that some people enjoy being multitaskers?

not everyone does.

If I'm going to work out, I set aside an hour and all I do in that hour is concentrate on my workout. I never could understand people who spent half their gym time chatting. it breaks up the concentration, it ruins the flow of your workout

when I'm cooking - I'm in it the whole way.

if I'm reading a book - I'm in it for the long haul, I cannot just read half a chapter and then set it aside. I read when I travel in real life, but generally on trips that take half an hour or more.

if I'm playing a game - I'm playing THAT game. the only reason I alt tab is to look up a hint on some spot that I'm stuck on and cannot figure out my own solution.

some of us don't want to multitask. we like to focus on one task at the time.

msp said...

@ Fuu

It's not that I can't figure out how to get places anymore. It's that the opportunity cost of doing something spontaneous and fun - like going off the beaten path to explore a mountain range in Winterspring - is simply too high. A tiny miscalculation or a small change of plans, HS on cooldown for example (as in my situation with Dal -> Shatt -> SM) could cost me a good half of my game session. Some travel times approach the duration of dungeon deserter debuff that's used as a punishment tool. Funny, isn't it.

By the way, as Leah noted, Cataclysm will not address this problem specifically, but at least Old World <-> Northrend commute will not be as much of a concern. This is why I wish they'd found in a way to keep the city portals around until Cataclysm goes live.

Larísa said...

: Actually the travelling is far more convenient than it used to be before the portals came up. After all the boats are infinitely much quicker. And there are all those new fp:s. This adds a lot of convenience! Remember how it was when you quested in north STV and had to go the BB to deliver a q? That kind of forced travel back and forward on a road you've seen dozens of times was FAR more annoying than a quick boat tour if you ask me.

But people forget so quickly. Once you've become used to a certain shortcut in the game you hold to it tightly I figure.

: Wow, you exercise! That's impressive! I haven't yet come around to do it myself, it was just a suggestion. But now that you say it I might try :)

@Shintar: I think like you that we might have less reason to travel that way than we may imagine. After all the questlines aren't going back and forward all over the world like they used to...

@Green Armadillo: I put my suggestions in alphabetic order since it was the best I could come up with. Some of them suit the alt-tabbing kind of players, others are for in-game enjoyment.
Most of all they're intended to be lighthearted though, not to be taken too seriously.

@Syl: Game crashes are a bit annoying. But you don't seem to be too bad off anyway. Chatting or huggles or enjoying the view are all good ways to spend your time.

: well, there's nothing that forces you to pick them all is there? I must say that those fp:s is a very pleasant surprise for levelling. I've got a little gnome priest at 11 and I already enjoy them immensly.

@Dyre42: Awww... nowhere's like home is there? I suppose we'll have to get used to sleep out in the field for a while while levelling until the portals are up again.

@Ophelie: Yeah, actually the downtime fits in very well to me. It helps me to take breaks I otherwise probably wouldn't come around to do.

: Hehe... is it the outside aspect of it that makes you think smoking has a component of health?

: Well, this post wasn't intended to bash certain players and I regret if you red it that way. It was meant to be lighthearted and slightly entertaining, but maybe I missed the goal. Humor is difficult. Then again: there is a nugget of seriousness in it in the manner that I try to deal with issues that players might have with the increased travel time in a somewhat constructive way. That's my normal way: rather than raging over things I can't affect, I try to change things that are within my power. Going around being annoyed will only make you miserable.

Then again: sometimes you WANT to feel miserable and other times you might fail to take it cool since you're human. I don't argue about that. People are entitled to have views. I'm a little bit surprised though that you think I have attitude problems. I think I was fairly mild and understanding considering the rage expressed for instance in the posts by the blogger I referred to.

: I haven't yet seen the Stormwind lag so I'll leave to cataclysm before I make the verdict on that. However I think they HAVE learned something; after all they're not making horde and allies share the same main city hubs. That should reduce the problems with half of it.

: Yeah, I think the complaints will calm down once we're busy levelling again and as portals are coming up again.

: Aye. I had forgotten about it but Dalaran was really a nightmare on my old comp. I bound my stone to Underbelly to not freeze the game entirely.

@Nils: But where does the idea that we're supposed to have FUN all the time come from? Actually I thought that you were pretty much with Wolfshead on this? Hm... I figure I should reread your blog more closely;)

Larísa said...

@Leah: I can see that you're very angry and upset about this, but I'm not sure if I deserve all this rage. I don't think this post was particularly aggressive in its tone. I was rather trying to be slightly entertaining and optimistic, pointing at things you might do to enjoy your travel time a little more.

I hear what you're saying, but I don't agree about that this is such a huge issue. After all it's not the travelling between the major cities that take the most time - boats are much quicker these days than they used to be. But again: you're entitled to not like this change. Like I am entitled to think it's an OK and even understandable change. Let's agree on that we're disagreeing. Peace.

@Bronte: I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Overly Positive. I hope it's a compliment?
I think I'll try to turn into a health seeker myself. It's about time!

: Agreed. Even if I have a 310 mount I put my char on a paid trip so I can grab a snack, have a bio break, whatever... It's well worth a couple of gold in flight fees.

@Fuubar: Agreed. Maybe someone should make a post to remind us of all the options there are? I think we're a bit locked up to portals in our mindsets (especially me having a mage ;))

@Lytstep: Well the bats/gryphons will shorten our ground mount time but also increase the mounted time since we can fly all the way I reckon. So there's surely room for a few more push-ups, with isn't necessarily a bad thing.

: Thank you. Just a small remark: I'm Larísa and not Miss Mediocre, who I believe is another blogger.

@Msp: I suppose we'll have to go back to slightly better planning as we're levelling. But is that necessarily an entirely bad thing. In one way it's a little meta-game per se.

: I'm more of a Gourmet than an Exerciser atm, but I've got to change that. A pendulum movement between the categories is probably best.

And yes, the instant portal taking everywhere makes the world pretty redundant. Together with the instant portals to everything from BGs to dungeons they make wow more into a bunch of losely connected seperate games than to a real (unreal) world.

@Tesh: I think it's fine as a temporary solution but I'm not against bringing them back when the next expansion has aged a bit.

: I agree about the timetable for the boats. The only advice I can give on this is that you get a fishing pole. If you're alliance that will say...

: UI tweaks sounds as a great occupation for the Organizer.

Anonymous said...

If you really want "convenient travel" and no "forced waiting", roll a mage with engineering (teleports plus wormholes). You'll start to see Dalaran portals as slow and inconvenient. Instead of pining for them, you'll wish you could instantly port yourself wherever you please.

Having experienced this, playing other alts is much more relaxed. There's no way they're going to travel at warp speed so it's easier to smell the roses or wait for a boat (whatever happened to fishing on the docks?).

Leah said...

Larissa, I'm not angry at you specifically, I'm just angry at the whole attitude of "patting on the head and its not a big deal and you must be lazy and spoiled if you don't like it and why are you still interested in traveling between northrend, outland and old world anyways etc"

its become a big deal because of that.

you were actually one of the most reasonable people commenting on the subject, but coming from reading all the other responses, including some of those in your very own post.....

I feel like I'm swimming against the tide.

and maybe its a strange issue to take a stand on, but I guess I just got fed up trying to conform.

Pascal said...

"Here are ways to occupy yourself while the time you wanted to do the things you enjoy in the game is being wasted on a time-sink"

I recently found myself in a situation where World of Warcraft was filled with those types of situations. It was as if these enforced constraints had me spending more time reading a book while logged in than actually playing.

So, I did much the same as the blogger you speak of. I cancelled my subscription, went back on a 10 day trial of Warhammer Online.

Much more fun as I get to decide where I spend my time in-game; not the developers.

Pascal said...

@leah: "some of us don't want to multitask. we like to focus on one task at the time."

And in some cases we don't have much choice. With two small kids and a maybe an hour a day to play, wasting half of that time looking at the pretty scenery for the 50th time doesn't really make for an enjoyable gaming experience.

And yes, you CAN play an MMO, level to 80 and even do ICC with only a few hours a week. It takes a long time, but at least portals allowed you to cut on travel time and pack more playing into your available time.

Rather than waiting and doing the other things you were trying to get away from :)

Perdissa said...

Just to chip in again on this topic. I see a lot of people equating the lack of portals with exploring. In my mind, these are 2 very different things.

To put it in perspective.. If I'm in a foreign country, I tend to want to look in the nooks and crannys, to just walk down the street and experience the pulse of the place.

On the other hand, if I'm trying to get to work, and someone tells me the expressways are all going to be shut down, I'm going to be plenty upset.

Leah said...

@ Pascal, I completely understand, and actually I think most of the people here would.

I have switched guilds several times, despite liking most people in them and keeping in touch even after the switch for what boils down to one reason. they refuse to respect each other's time.

here's the situation that I'm sure is very familiar to pretty much anyone who has ever played an MMO, not just WoW either. you decide that you want to raid steadily. you join a group who's schedule meshes with yours, you set aside the those few hours to raid uninterrupted. you show up on time, with flasks and food, your gear repaired ready to roll and kill some virtual dragons.

except couple of people outright didn't show up without warning and even once replacements were found, you find yourself sitting inside the instance for a while...the once you finally kill one boss, you sit inside the instance some more because someone decided that they needed to go afk for 15 minutes (and we're not talking crying baby or something of that nature either), or someone needs to enchant and gem their upgrade right this minutes, so they make everyone else wait while they hearth to their city of choice, made especially lovely when there's no warlock in your group, so people actually need to zone out of the instance to summon them back.

its not fun is it? in the beginning you might be tolerant for things like that, then you start making excuses of how real life is > then WoW (and that actually being true makes you feel guilty at being annoyed at someone being completely disrespectful of YOUR real life, by cutting into your game time). but eventually, you cannot stand it anymore and either stop raiding all together or find a group of people that realize that your game time might be limited and that no, you won't be able to stay up past the raid time and finish off the instance, just because they couldn't be arsed to log in when they promised or give any sort of notice of them being late.

so why is it NOT OK when other players do it to you, and yet when developers do it to you, its fine and dandy? and why do people not see the correlation?

Leah said...

@ perdissa.

and they didn't just shut down freeways temporarily because repairs need to be done or there was an accident or something.

they just decided that there's plenty of side streets for you to take and really, you don't need freeways to get to work anymore, you have like 5 different routs using the side streets and never mind that it means you have to get up half an hour earlier each day, just to make it to work on time.

Nils said...


I absolutely do think that players should have fun as often as possible and as much as possible.

That having said: Fun is not an inherent property of an isolated activity. Consequently, chaining 'fun' activities does not work for a game developer.

One strategy that does work is to make use of the anticipation of fun that is fun in itself.

Tam said...

I think this is a charming post, and I really enjoyed it.

*However* I do largely agree with people who are upset over the removal of the portals, not because I care specifically about the portals but because I care about player choice. And ultimately I dislike mechanisms imposed on games by designers with the implicit intention of "forcing" players to be more appreciative of their environment. Yes, I know they did a bunch of work on the old world for Cata and I know they want us to see it but that's our choice. And if we want to ignore it and not give a damn that's a valid choice too.

And equally I don't think it does come down to "not giving a damn" - it comes down to sometimes needing to get somewhere efficiently.

I guess I should stop ranting and blog :)

Larísa said...

@Tam: I agree! Why are you hanging around here? Get going and blog about it!

About the imposing mechanisms on the players; isn't that what game design is all about? You set up a bunch of rules that limits the world, like natural laws. And those rules will steer the player in a certain direction, giving the game experience you intended to give.
Of course the limits are less forceful than for instance in a movie; it's a world where you can move around and have way more of free choice than you have if you're merely watching something through. But in the end; it is a piece of artistic work and making up the rules is an essential part of it. Perhaps?

You have to excuse me; I feel like I'm in deep water here; I'm no deep game-design-thinker like Tobold, Psychochild, Wolfshead or Nils. Just a simple bartender scratching her head, trying to figure out the invisible mechanisms.

Nils said...

Don't fulfill any gender prejudices, Larísa :)

You are quite capable of discussing game development and I would love to read about it.

Redbeard said...


True, but I'm fighting a rearguard action against needing bifocals, and while the utility is great, my eyes are complaining.

Ixobelle said...

chalk me down firmly entrenched in #3