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Posts with tag travel

WoW Rookie: Of hearth and home

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Looky, Mom, we're all original: we didn't call this post "Home is where the hearth is" (but only because that title was already taken). And speaking of being trite, hearthstones may seem like a rather mundane matter -- not exactly high-value gaming strategy, eh? -- yet seasoned players manage to accumulate a little hearthing savvy that makes life in Azeroth (and the Outland and Northrend) a little more convenient.

Hearthstones link you to an inn in a location of your choosing, allowing you to transport ("hearth") back there once every 30 minutes. Prior to Patch 3.1, when you could only use your hearthstone once per hour, choosing where to bind and how to most efficiently order your errands and quests called for more than an insignificant amount of thought. The lower cooldown time today makes planning simpler, but there are still a few points worth knowing to help tune up your efficiency and dial down your travel time.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

The Queue: Soul man


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW.com's daily Q&A column where the WoW.com team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

Yesterday Alex featured Cab Calloway blasting out Minnie the Moocher, a song that while was around for a long time was truly made epic by his performance with the Blues Brothers. And this lets me tie in perfectly to wish my brother Logan a happy graduation from high school next week. Logan and many of his friends were in their jazz band, and he often dressed up as the Blues Brothers when appropriate. And in lieu of that, today's reading music is the Blues Brothers' "Soul Man" performance from the 1978 SNL season. The good old days. 5 years before I was born.

Hokiebuddy asked...

"With the revamp of the bear and cat forms for Druids will there be any more Druid revamps in design such as the travel, swimming, or flying forms? Also will this spill over into other races and classes i.e. Warlock and Paladin mounts, Warlock minions, Shadow Priest shadow form, etc..."

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Filed under: The Queue

Traveling in patch 3.1

Patch 3.1 will be changing how we all get around. Travel is usually a bit of a touchy subject, but there are some huge improvements on the way.

If you love Kirin'Tor bling, you'll be happy to note that their transportation rings are getting an upgrade. Should you purchase one, you get a free teleport to Dalaran once every hour.

The Hearthstone that you've carried with you since you day one, unless you deleted it and had to bribe an Innkeeper for a new one, is changing radically. The cooldown is being reduced from one hour to half an hour. This was done partially to appease the whining over nerf to ghetto hearthing.

Ghetto Hearthing is/was the process of dropping your group while in a dungeon and waiting one minute for a free hearth, provided your hearthstone was on a cooldown. In 3.1, you will no longer be able to do this. Fortunately, you can still use the method to get yourself out of a dungeon.

Ghetto hearthing will be less of a hearth and more of a shifting of your virtual person to the nearest graveyard, alive and well. This will stop people from doing things like entering Ragefire Chasm while grouped, dropping, and getting a free hearth.

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Filed under: Items, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums, Battlegrounds

Wrath 101: Flight paths in Zul'Drak


Continuing on from Grizzly Hills, we come a bit north to Zul'Drak, a zone that's apparently one giant troll city. I'm a big fan; some people don't seem to love it much, but presumably everyone needs to know how to get around, so let's get into the flight paths. All the hubs in Zul'Drak are neutral (generally Argent Crusade-aligned), meaning there's just one list for both Horde and Alliance.
  1. Light's Breach is where you typically start in ZD. Danica Saint at 32,75 handles the air traffic there.
  2. Ebon Breach is the starting point for what is (in my opinion) one of the best questlines in the zone. The flight master there is Baneflight, at 14,74. See what they did there? Baneflight? I assume that's hilarious if you're a ghoul or something.
  3. Argent Stand is one of the two major hubs in the zone. Gurric is the flight master, at 42,65.
  4. Maaka (60,57) provides flights from Zim'Torga, which features a delicious Blessing of Kings-bot and some good questing.
  5. Rafae is at the small camp near Gundrak (71,23), providing easy access to that instance (which I haven't run more than once, still).

We're starting to get into zones where you're more and more likely to have your own flying mount, but I will press on through Sholazar, Storm Peaks, and Icecrown in the days ahead. Stay tuned! Previously posted: Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, and Dragonblight (Horde/Alliance); Grizzly Hills.

Arthas awaits, and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for to help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.

Filed under: Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath 101: How to get to Dalaran


Dalaran, as we all know by now, is Wrath's equivalent of Shattrath. It's a neutral city with portals back to every other major city (each faction's four capitals plus Shattrath), it has profession trainers and a bank (but no class trainers besides Mage and no auction house), and we'll probably be spending a lot of time in it once we all hit 80. It floats above Crystalsong Forest in central Northrend. But how do you get there?

Mages can teleport there at level 71, and give portals there at 74. So that's one option. Similarly, you can get a Warlock to summon you, if they can find players around to help. Players also get quests to go there legitimately and get attuned to use the crystal that teleports you up and down at level 74, but who wants to wait that long?

Enter the Battleground summon. This is how I and almost everyone I know got to Dalaran the first time, and it goes like this:

  1. Find someone in Dalaran ("/who Dalaran" is helpful for this) and ask politely if they are willing to group with you and queue the group for a battleground.
  2. When you get into the battleground, /afk out (or play it through).
  3. Poof! You're in Dalaran.

This works at any level, for any character (although you do need to ensure the person queueing you is in the same battleground level bracket as you; thanks to Faeries Wear Boots for pointing this out). Once there you can set your hearthstone at any of several inns for quick return, and there is a flight point at Krasus' Landing - if you grab a flight point or two in Dragonblight for connections (Mo'aki Harbor being the easiest), you should then be able to fly to Dalaran from most flight points in Northrend.


Arthas awaits and so do your questions. Find the answers you've been looking for that will help you with your journey into Northrend and to level 80 with Wrath 101.

Filed under: Tips, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: Noob moments

I've been playing WoW, and writing for WoW Insider, for quite a while now. So it came as something of a surprise to me to learn that I could hearth, after a fashion, when my hearthstone was on cooldown. You see, on a post of mine a couple of weeks ago, someone introduced me to the concept of "ghetto hearthing": get in a group with any random person, zone into an instance, and drop group. 60 seconds or so later, you're automatically teleported back to your hearth point.

The beauty of this is that Stormwind and Orgrimmar both have instances in them, so it provides very easy travel from those cities back to Outland, for those trips to respec or check the AH. Anyway, when I finally understood that I could hearth back from Stormwind any time just by popping into the Stockade, I felt like a big noob for having waited out all those cooldowns for the past year or two.

Have you had any big noob moments recently?

Filed under: Tricks, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Those little annoyances

So like Alex, I figure I probably have a few more alts than your average player. I have 3 level 70s, 3 more characters above level 60, and a few more at various levels of play. I even started a new shaman just this past week, just because I decided I had a really cool character concept for a female Orc shaman.

Anyhow, I've been playing the shaman quite a bit, and I've actually not been twinking her at all, enjoying the challenge of starting a character from scratch and making sure I still have my mojo despite getting all fat and sassy from all that easy daily money from Sunwell Isle. WoW's done a pretty decent job of keeping the lower level game easy enough for characters, but there's a couple things I've noticed while playing that still feel like they need some work. If I could highlight one, it would be the complete lack of Shaman trainers in Lordaeron.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Making money, Alts

WoW Insider's Guide to the Mounts of the World of Warcraft


WoW Insider has put together the ultimate guide to every mount in the World of Warcraft. From the first Pinto you'll get as a budding Human Mage, to the rare epic flying mount the Ashes of Al'ar, we cover every mount available to every race, faction, and class in-game.

A Warcraft mount holds a special spot in all of our inventories. It allows us to travel Azeroth, Outlands, and soon Northrend in blazing speeds rivaling those of the mighty Alliance Gryphons. Many people have names for their mounts and become uniquely attached to them. Others make it a point to try to get every mount available to them, often spending years collecting the necessary reputation with each faction.

And who doesn't like to go even faster on the fastest mount? For the speed demon in all of us there are several enchantments and trinkets that make our rides travel faster than before.

Check out WoW Insider's Guide to the Mount of the World of Warcraft for every mount in the game. And don't forget to check back whenever there is a new content patch - as the World of Warcraft grows, so will this guide.

Filed under: Guides, Mounts

Breakfast Topic: The long run


I was, once again, leveling an alternate character. Since I already have three level 70s that I regularly play, I'm no longer fascinated by new bits of scenery. True I haven't seen it all, and I love the screenshots from Around Azeroth. I'm just really bored with the run from place to place.

As I was running across Ashenvale from Splintertree Post to Zoram Strand I began thinking about the marathon runs to pick up a new flight point. I came to the conclusion that my least favorite run is from Gadgetzan in Tanaris to Marshal's Refuge in Un'Goro Crater. It's just too long and unexciting. I know that I will have to make that run with every character I level. It always feels good to get there, just remember to pick up the flight point.

What's your least favorite run?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Alts

Patch 2.4 has better ways to go

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

39 days until BlizzCon


It's coming up fast. Pretty soon we will all be standing in that huge line wrapping around the Anaheim convention center, buzzing with excitement. The tickets for this year's BlizzCon sold out in only three days, and if you missed your chance, well be sure to enter the WoW Insider ticket giveaway.

We now know a little more about the event than we did ten days ago. For instance, we know that Blizzard will have a playable Starcraft II demo on the convention floor. If the multiplayer is as enjoyable as it was in the original game, I'm going to need to wear some extra comfy shoes to stand in the line to sit down with the game. Blizzard also announced that Video Games Live will be performing selections from the game's soundtrack. And then there's the infamous Murloc Suit. Need I say more? It's going to be a hell of a time.

How do you plan on getting to BlizzCon this year? I've seen some requests for carpools from various points toward Southern Cali, and honestly, I think I will be hitting the road myself in order to arrive in a timely fashion. But maybe the car isn't your thing. Will you instead fly, or perhaps Amtrak it to the convention center? I know from personal experience there's a shuttle from the Anaheim train station near A's stadium to Disney and back, so that might be an option. What is your chosen means of transport to BlizzCon?

Filed under: Events, BlizzCon

I have portals, I know things


The other day I was helping a guildie with their mage as they reached 20. Thus began the long journey to collect teleportation training from around Azeroth. Something he said along the way stuck with me though. He mentioned that he hardly sees people asking for portals to Darnassus now. I thought about it, and would have to agree. I seem to sell as many ports to Darnassus as I sell to the Exodar. The cities are so closely linked, it's fairly easy to hop on a boat and be anywhere on Kalimdor that you need to be.

Why then the great level difference in the training? The portal to Darnassus still remains a spell you can train in at level 50, while the portal to the Exodar is a level 40 spell. This goes for the teleport spells as well, since the level for Darnassus is 30, while all the others are available at level 20. So in essence, all that bouncing around the continent starts ten levels sooner. I imagine that initially the portal to Darnassus was level 50 because it represents a greater magical achievement. You are now transporting a group across the ocean. Does the Exodar require less skill to use? You are still transporting people across the Great Sea. Wouldn't it in fact require more skill, seeing as how we have had a longer history with the Night Elves than we have with the Draenei? I am thinking that the developers might want to take a look at the level requirements for the portals. The initial level requirements seemed to support the lore. The training, as it stands currently, does not.

A possible explanation is that Night Elves shun arcane magic. However, they do accept the portal trainer within their city, so this argument doesn't seem to work for me. If they let that first mage in there to create the portals in the first place, why would it be more difficult for other mages to do so? Is there some sort of other explanation that I'm missing as to why there is such a level discrepancy with both the teleport and the portal spells to Darnassus?

Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Home is where your hearthstone is

Travelling in WoW can be helped or hindered by the casual application of a hearthstone. Hearthing can be a quick way to get out of an instance or cave, a shortcut across continents or even a handy thing to do before logging off.

Sometimes, though, it's annoying rather than useful. I've acted hastily and hearthed from Un'Goro Crater to Stormwind a couple of times -- the repeat journey isn't something to be casually undertaken. Fortunately, several classes -- as well as engineers -- have tricks to help with travel, from the Shaman's Astral Recall to the Druid's Teleport: Moonglade.

Where is your hearthstone set? Have you found an efficient way of getting around that relies on these travel tricks to work? My druid is parked in Stormwind, as Moonglade gives her access to Kalimdor, although the flight from Moonglade to Gadgetzan or Silithus is still a long one. On some of my lower characters, I've forgotten to set the hearthstone at all -- I managed to run a level 10 dwarf to Darkshore, but left the hearthstone near Anvilmar. Oops!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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