WoD Travel Time – Metro’s Fact and Opinion.

travel

By this late into the cycle, it should come as no surprise to any of you that travel in general will change in WoD with the lack of Flying mounts at max level. Whether or not this is a good or bad thing isn’t going to be something we discuss in this article, but its removal does carry very real implications along with it.

In the video shown below, you will see just how tangible this issue is, and despite significant but miniscule change, it can certainly be said that the time will add up over the length of an entire expansion (or perhaps patch if flying is reintroduced.)

In the video, you will have seen me time exact travel from the Horde Garrison to both of the first tier raids for WoD and compare it to similar from MoP. The function of this is to demonstrate a point, backed up by the math that is in the description. As you can see:

Highmaul Flight path: 1.22
Ride Afterwards: 1.19
Total: 2.41

Foundry Flight Path: 2.13
Ride Aftwards: 1.30
Total: 3.43

MSV Direct Flight: 1.20

HoF Direct Flight: 1.42

 

Based on what we all learned in statistics, those differences are indeed significant by definition. In fact, I was quite surprised to find that traveling to MSV took less then a minute and a half. When I look at it that way, it really makes the continent of Pandaria feel small. Even to Heart of Fear, we see a very brief travel time.

Now here comes the fun part. Let’s discuss what these times mean and could mean, and how I feel about it all.

Significance?

There are two schools of thought that should be validated here. travel

The first one would be that of an individual who feels any increase in travel time makes this whole thing unattractive. They would argue that the extra 1-2 minutes spent on any sort of travel, especially to raids, builds up far too quickly and slows the game down immeasurably. This type of person is typically one that claims they have precious few hours to play the game, and the fact that flying’s removal has cut down on their fun makes it a viable grounds for reintroduction above all other points.

The second one would be that of an individual who recognizes the significant increase in travel time, but also can admit how much time the actually play the game and how little travel happens or matters to them. Unlike the former individual, they don’t claim their “hours” to be precious, and realize that the time in the game is all the same. Its likely these people can also recognize the fact that most of the game is spent in dungeons for multiple hours, where as the travel to them takes multiple minutes.

Let’s explore the notion a with a greater width:

We raid 8 hours a week, 2 days a week. Highmaul is our first target. Our players will spend 2.41 minutes getting to the instance, and 4 hours in the raid.
4 hours = 14400 seconds
2.41 minutes = 161 seconds.

161/14400 = 1.1 percent NOT SIGNIFICANT.

That’s the way METRO looks at it. I recognize the fact that travel is much longer then it used to be, but its still TWO minutes. The places I am traveling to, even if I’m just collecting lumber or ore, I am spending a lot more time in. Eventually, it adds up, but considering I can still get to the raid on time if I show up 3 minutes early makes this less of an issue on this account.

Circumvention?

Everyone knows that WoW has slowly become a game within a game, where people try to use every tool at their disposal to beat the system. I don’t regard this as an opinion, frankly.

travel

Ornithopter from the Thran building? ez

What’s important to take out of this is that there is a way to entirely circumvent travel, all contained within the garrison. Previously, the Goblin Workshop seemed to contain the supreme method, but after seeing it was possible to reach beyond highmaul in the same amount of time as it takes to go through the portals, they may have removed the item. Not 100 percent sure, but it appears its gone.

Either way, the new flavor of the month for travel officiants is going to be Spirit Lodge for Horde, or Mage Tower for Alliance. The power the building contains even just at level 2 is unfathomable.

The building grants you a portal to any zone of your choosing, as well as a default one to Ashran that everyone gets. At level 2, you select a second zone for a second portal. The brilliant part of this is their location. Not even sure where the ones in the alternate zones are, but for Goregrond and Nagrand, they are ridiculously close to the raid entrance! The nagrand portal is so close, it took me less than 30 seconds to load in and travel into Highmaul. How nuts is that!

How Should This Be Addressed?

So here is the final answer. What should be done? Well once again, I feel there can be two legitimate schools of thought.

The first being that flight paths are the major issue and travel has simply changed. If you’ll recall the math we displayed previously,

Highmaul Flight path: 1.22
Ride Afterwards: 1.19
Total: 2.41

MSV Direct Flight: 1.20

In these numbers, we come to realize that the sheer time on the flight path was longer then the entirety of the flight to MSV. Alongside this, you notice the raid afterwards is nearly just as long. The logical explanation of this is that the world is just considerably larger. We go on to compare that in the video to

Hof Flight path: 1.25
Ride Afterwards: 1.00
Total: 2.25

This illustration demonstrates that the world really isn’t that much larger, its just that flying on a mount is ridiculously faster. Thus the claim that the game has changed. A person who displays this school of thought would also agree it could be fixed by simply sheering up Flight Paths. If they are cut in half, then the time is much closer to relevant.

The second school of though, is simply to get good bro. Use the portals, problem solved. People will complain about “Mandatory” garrison content, but I just don’t understand that argument. Its a feature in a video game. If you want to travel fast, you can. If not, you can take 2 minutes instead of 30 seconds.

But ya, that’s pretty much the long and short of it. In the end, I would be satisfied with more brief flight paths, but feel that the portals are just going to be my go-to solution. Despite flying being removed, these things actually make travel even more faceroll then it was previous. ;)

travel

Try using this button?

Flying, Garrisons & WoD News. 13 March 2014.

woddington

Today marks the release of more information via social media, that Warlords of Draenor will NOT be using flight throughout the world of Draenor at launch, and has not been confirmed to be used at level 100, despite the likelihood obviously that it would be. Alex Afrasiabi, lead world designer for World of Warcraft at Blizzard Entertainment go’s on to say that perhaps players would perhaps learn to enjoy the world without flying, and that they are waiting to see how players react to this limitation.

Personally I would say that I’d have to agree with the idea that the world we play in each expansion would benefit more from players having to explore more, allowing for much of the hard work that go’s unseen in the world more noticeable. If you look at fellow writer; Samkos recent post about Easter eggs in World of Warcraft, it could be argued that many of those aspects of the game would be more seen if flying did not exist in Azeroth. That being said, I would have to then counter that by saying flying is purely a convenience tool, and allows for players who have their daily routines in game to do that content easier and less laborious than it would be without. Either way, it’s interesting to see the approach to flying they are taking with Warlords of Draenor, and I share the curiosity of Mr Afrasiabi on how people will react.

Other information today, also through social media was that the starting event leading up to Warlords of Draenor’s release will be set in and around the Dark Portal in Blasted Lands. It has been said that the initial quests and events will take 40-45 minutes and will feature the player defending the world from invading Iron Horde through the Dark Portal. The event will see players attempt to shut down the portal itself, presumably leading to the events where Garrosh steps through the portal. Alex Afrasiabi is keen to emphasise the realisation of how bad the Iron Horde are, and mentions that we will see how important it is for us to address the problem immediately, or encounter a full invasion comparable to the first war.

Yesterday saw the launch of Hearthstone, and indeed the Hearthsteed mount (which you can read the article further to learn how to get your own). Speculation on what came to the original red version of the same mount was answered by Blizzard Employee; Corey Stockton, who confirmed that the model will infact be used in the future and that they have plans for it’s implementation. This comes as players wondered if the original designs were faction specific colour variants, only now it seems that this could be a future reward for WoW from Hearthstone. The release of Hearthstone itself did not avoid the usual issues with a new launch release, and some players reported difficulty redeeming their mounts in game. Blizzard addressed this by asking players to log out of their accounts and back in, which seems to be a fix for the issue.

garrison

Finally we got more information, or rather confirmation on the possible scale of Garrisons; the player housing / instanced area in Warlords of Draenor from Jeremy Feasel, an employee of Blizzard who works on Garrisons, pet battles, the Timeless Isle and more features of the game. Upon joining he shared this screenshot, which features the Alliance player buildings present in the Garrison feature. The screenshot itself supplies the realisation on both scale and progressive features unlocked through achievements and progress in the game. The fountain in the centre for example, that would be built over time and presumably from a reward, achievement, or time related unlock process. What can be said is that personally I think the whole thing looks fantastic. The implementation of this feature alone to World of Warcraft will bring more addictive and enjoyable elements for players to be involved with outside of raiding or pvp. The original scale of the buildings I saw at an early stage of last years Blizzcon were tiny in comparison to what can only be a more progressed and advanced Garrison. This is fundamentally one of the most anticipated implementation for WoW, and with many other games doing it arguably less well planned than they could of, it will be interesting to see how this affects daily WoW life.

With WoD just around the corner now, and Beta invites expected very shortly, be sure to bookmark WoW.Stratics today, the only place you need to be for everything