Blizzard has started to realize that travel (as in real life) can be boring in the game. On the Public Test Realm
(PTR), they have put a few new ideas to good use when forcing players to travel long distances to get to new content.
I copied my character to the PVE test server (once it started working again
), and began a flight to Quel'Danas
from Ironforge. First off, I already had the flight path, which was refreshing to start with. The odd thing is that upon reaching the gates of Ironforge, the bird rocketed straight up vertically which panicked me a little until I realized that it was on purpose. All the sudden, welcome to a loading screen appeared. I was dropped on the far side of the Ghostlands
gate and continued my flight all the way north to the new content at Quel'Danas. This shaved off several minutes flying time and provided an easy way to bridge an old flight path to a new one easily. A flight path spanning from the original content to the content now in the expansion (technically a patch is both and neither) is the type of crossover innovation I knew Blizzard was capable of doing.
Another new idea is to provide a quest reward to transport you to Shattrath, Darnarian's Scroll of Teleportation
from the new quest Know Your Ley Lines
. This is as opposed to the hearthstone you get. This item only has a 20 second cool down, so at least the outbound trip from Quel'Danas to Shat will be quick and painless.
Blizzard is adding some creative ideas to help travel become a bit easier especially for those who have run around the world and picked up every last flight path during the course of their rise to 70, and now are tired of flying everywhere.
Now what I wonder is how travel to and from the floating city of Dalaran
will work, not to mention other destinations, once it has blasted off from Hillsbrad and begun to hover over Northrend. Perhaps travel will be done in much the same way. This isn't all that new, since boats already use a very similar mechanism from Darkshore to Azuremyst Isle. I imagine things will get even trickier to manage with 2 expansions up and running, from a technical perspective for Blizz, so it is nice to know that they are thinking ahead on how we will get there, get back, and generally move about the world we love. Nice to know indeed.
Filed under: Patches, Blizzard, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King