Of All the Things to Complain About, Portals?

Mages are making a killing right now selling portals. Some are doing it for free or for tips thus keeping the cost of transportation low on my Ner’zhul. Usually about 5 – 10g will get you anywhere.

What’s really annoying me right now is the player base that’s complaining about the lack of portals in the sanctuary cities. Some have publically threatened to quit the game and cancel their subscriptions over it. Makes me wonder if that’s the same population base that feels entitled to get gear and achievements without actually doing anything.

Hands up

Remember when mounts were expensive, not the training?
Remember when the first mount wasn’t obtainable until level 40?
Remember when using taxis were considerably longer?
Remember when you had to manually select each destination whenever you got to the next flight point? (Yes, they were unconnected back then)

My point is, traveling is really easy now compared to where it’s been over the past six years (holy crap, six years?). In less then 2 weeks, we gain the ability to fly ANYWHERE we want in the game (exception, Vash’jir, where we can swim on a sea pony).

I believe class trainers and auction house capabilities have been added to help facilitate the levelling process in those expansion zones. But I don’t know, the old world just became the new world and if a player really wants to quit the game over lack of portals, who am I to stop them? Less competition for mobs and drops anyway.

TANGENT: Six years?!

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. Remember how to get from Stormwind to Darnassus before Stormwind built the docks?

  2. Old-man “WELL BACK IN MY DAY” cane-waving is not a defensible reason for removing convenience and time-savings from a game. Sorry.

  3. Personally I don’t mind setting my hearth in Stormwind. The changes are great. I spent a good hour last night just riding around checking everything out. With all the new flight paths and boats, it’s not all that big a deal to travel. And it gives me a chance to go afk for a bit.

  4. Remember flying from UC to Booty Bay! (of course that was before I know I could take a boat from Ratchet to Booty Bay.)

  5. I’m certainly not going to cancel my sub over it. That said, travel is not really that fun so I would rather use a portal that have to run to a boat/zepp/tram and or take a taxi. My general rule for playing video games is that if I would want to watch TV while I play, than the game is not engrossing enough to bother playing it (<–why I won't fish anymore).

    The lack of portals in cataclysm means that I spend more game-time doing something un-fun, more time tabbing away to do things that ARE engaging, because the video game I was using to entertain myself insists on being intermittently non-interactive.

    Barely missing a boat or zeppelin or the tram is so f@#^ing frustrating that it doesn't surprise me that people are raging about it. The fact that it used to be worse is cold comfort when you are standing on the dock watching the boat pull away without you

    I'd give pretty good odds that portals to the capitols will appear in SW and Org in 4.1 if not earlier. In the meantime, I guess I can tab out to wowhead or something during the dull moments.

    • Yes, it sucks when you’re 2 steps away from missing a boat, tram or zepplin. I know, I get that sense of exasperation to.

      The point I wanted to make is that there are other things in the game worth quitting over. It’s a minor inconvenience. So what? There’s so much other stuff to be awed about. It irritates me that we’re about to get all this new stuff, and the ability to fly around in the old world (at the very least, level 60 since that’s when we can get flying mounts). It’s unfortunate that some people feel it’s worth quitting over.

  6. I have to agree with Rilgon. This is a game. Making it MORE difficult to get around is not the best. Yes, I remember saving for level after level to get my mount at 40. I remember borrowing the money for epic riding.

    But, then things got better. They made the game a bit easier to use. In Asheron’s Call, you had 2 bind points. One to the high-level area, and one to the northern city that had all the portals.

    In EQ, you bound to the hub location. These games pre-date WoW and had hubs.

    Yes, I remember the broken, PoS flight paths and issues that WoW had 6 years ago. Thank GOD they have been fixed.

  7. I agree with Matticus. The portals in Dalaran and Shattrath don’t make sense for Cataclysm, as the action is going to be focused in the Old World.

    None of the flighpaths are overly long anymore, and if I can’t sit in guild chat for a minute or two while I fly to wherever I’m going, then I get up and get a drink or something.

    And if you really can’t wait, hit up a mage and give up a little bit of gold.

  8. I was nodding my head through all of those. SIX years… really?? Jeez. And I wasn’t even a gamer before I started playing WoW. Oh how times have changed since then!

  9. I remember the old days when the AV ram mount (or the Horde equivalent, I guess) were the cheapest epic mounts around at 540g, available only at level 60.

    I remember unconnected flight points.

    The lowering of the mounts to 20/40 instead of 40/60 (and the lowered cost) along with the connected flight points are quality of life changes.

    Removing the portals that we’ve relied on for four years is a pain, but I’m okay with that since, as you noted, we’ll be able to fly around the old world in two weeks.

    310% speed flying FTW! And Crusader Aura doesn’t hurt, either. 😉

  10. Calm down everyone. There will be portals to new zones in SW, if I recall correctly.

    What do city portals get you?

    1. When you’re below level 60, it is nice to set your hearth in a Sanctuary so when a quest sends you from northern Eastern Kingdoms to southern Kalimdor, you can make the trip much more quickly.

    2. So you can get back to a capital city, put stuff up on the AH and access your class trainer, then quickly hearth to –

    3. Quickly get back to questing in Northrend/Outland after you’ve done your business in said capital city.

    BUT:

    1. There aren’t any quests that will send you hither and yonder, from zone to zone, spending more time on a gryphon/bat than actually questing anymore. Almost all the new quests are completable inside their zone. So there’s really no point to portals for #1.

    2. There’s always a capital city that’s just a gryphon/bat handler away. Training happens less frequently now, because you don’t need to train new ranks of various abilities and the abilities themselves are spaced out over several levels. Dungeons are also just a click away. The AH/Bank will still be helpful, but you have early access to bags even if you don’t have an 80 so you can go longer without visiting your bank.

    3. Shat/Dal now have AHs/class trainers, so once you’re in Outland/Northrend, there’s *no reason* to ever go back to Azeroth until you hit level 80.

    You don’t need portals.

    • This, this and this. Felade took the words right out of my mouth. Leveling is a breeze now, literally. 1-20 in a matter of a couple of hours. Yes the Thanksgiving quests are annoying right now, but I’m sure Blizz knows that.

  11. Several mages on my server are also doing the free/tips-welcome portal service. Kudos to them.

    As for whiners, well, whiners will be whiners.

  12. I actually welcome this change to coming back “Home” to the Old/New world. I remember waiting for our guild raids hanging out in Orgrimmar, or just herbing about. (Because really, was there EVER enough dreamfoil??)

    It’s really not as big of a deal as people seem to be making it out to be. We’re NOT going to be hanging out in Dalaran in a few weeks and people will get over it. Maybe they shoulda waited til the Xpac was in everyone’s hands and leveling in the new zones before doing it though; cause thats the only reason I can see it being a huge issue for now.

  13. talking amongst my guildies, the general issue seems to be the time to travel from the new hub zone to the location of the raids. this is especially the case since my guild is still actively raiding wotlk content. miss the zep? it’s at least 15mins until you can be zoning in to the raid instance.
    additionally, while they’ve tried to fill the gaps with trainers etc, there’s a few things that have been missed. I know i used a few choice words when I discovered Dalaran still had no vendor that traded honour for gems.

  14. I actually rarely ever used the Dalarn portals. (Heck, I even sometimes find myself flying to Menethil when I want to go to Darnassus, old habits and all.) Primarily because I had loading issues in Dalaran, it would often take more than ten minutes from my landing in Dalaran before the portals would even show up, so it’s faster to go the long way.

    And I remember everything you listed there. I remember thanking God when they put in the linked flightpaths. And I remember having to borrow gold from friends to afford my mount at level 40. Travelling is so much better now, I definitely don’t miss the portals.

  15. What the portal QQers need to realize is that in two weeks they aren’t going to need a portal hub. Because Org and Stormwind (or ironforge?) will be the main hub of trade and no one will need to go back to Dalaran or Shattrath.

    In addition, WoW might be just a game, but it also falls within a genre: the RPG. The idea is that you are playing the role of a character WITHIN A WORLD. Anyone notice that while leveling on alts you rarely see anyone? That’s because there is no incentive to ever leave a capital or sanctuary. You can queue BGs, dungeons, and get summoned and ported around everywhere. Part of the reason world pvp died at the end of Vanilla? While there are a number of contributing factors it is a safe bet that sanctuary hub cities with portals was one of the big ones. Instant teleportation to whatever specific thing you want to do right then and there takes the ‘world’ out of ‘World of Warcraft’.

  16. Granted, things were tougher “back in my day” (ah, the joys of rolling new alts around Lunar Festival to get as many FPs as possible and attain 5 levels just through discoveries, but I digress).

    The fact remains that there is a lot of content in Outlands and Northrend that people will need for achievements. Plus, Blizz put a boatload of development efforts into those areas. it doesn’t make sense to make it as difficult as possible to get to those areas. It will be a repeat of TBC, where all of Vanilla content was blown off.

    My suggestion on the forums was to create ONE portal to Shatt/Dal linked to SW or Org. The portals would be level keyed (this is already done for the Outlands portal) and activated by a toon upon reaching Shatt or Dal via other methods, so people can’t bypass HFP or HF/BT when leveling.

    From a Lore perspective, neither Outlands nor Northrend are “secure” so the faction leaders are going to want to maintain a connection between themselves and the principle Cities. Does anyone honestly think that Dalaran is going “mission accomplished!”? If so, why aren’t they porting their city back to Azeroth? And I am sure that the Draeni and Orcs are going to want an easier means to reconnect with their kin…and what about the Cenarian Expedition, or the Alliance forces that might want to return home? From a Lore perspective, it makes sense to have a single portal to at least one city per main faction.

    This reinforces SW/Org as the new hub cities and just adds a little more convenience for the achievement hunters.

  17. /signed

    On Shadowsong EU a group of 10 assorted mages gathered in Dalaran and all last night where giving away FREE portals to anyone stranded in Dalaran because of the change.

    Blizz have spent an age and a hell of a lot of resource giving us a new pretty world and the portals going will give more opportunity for people to see these awesome changes.

    Personally I welcome the change as it means that when commuting between destinations I can get off my backside and grab a drink/bio or maybe do some minor household chore without “missing out” on some in game action.

    If the players threatening to quit we’ll all be in for an improved playing experience, inspite of the loss of portals as I am sure the QQ brigade is the same for most of whining in games and on forums.

  18. I have little sympathy for those who are having a hard time getting to their raids on time. Log out in front of your scheduled raid.

    Also, why don’t you have a Crusader tabard? Or at least enough people in the raid who have them and can get to the stone and summon the rest of the raid?

    Or at least a mage?

  19. Hard for me to get too worked up about it… I guess there is really no reason not to have them, people want to play how they want to play, but I like raiding way too much to quit over it. We level for a couple weeks and then don’t really use portals. If we can fly in the old world, who cares?

  20. I don’t get the fuss either. My hearth was somehow reset to Teldrassi on 4.0.3a. (My main is a night elf). I’m going to leave it there since Darnassus has banks, class trainers, AH. What else do you need? It’s not like you even need to hop on the taxi for 5man or BG anymore is it? For a quick hop back to Dalaran, I have the ring and the Argent tabard.

  21. Outlands and Northrend are newplayer/alt lvling zones now. we don’t need to hang in dal.
    The focus has changed.

    In Blizzard I trust.
    Their main goal is to make the Game more fun so they can make more $ so they can plow that back into R&D to make more $ and further enhance our game experience plus attracting new players and keeping the aristos (vanilla hardcore cores) reasonably happy.
    Its recursive.

  22. I don’t see the problem at all. I’ve been able to get around just fine without paying for a portal. On the one hand I could just enjoy the scenery while flying to a boat/zep hub in Northrend – it’s not like I’ve been looking at those zones much for the past year.

    On the other hand I could (and have been) just whip out my Dimensional Ripper – Everlook and take a cheap taxi to Org. Wait, you mean you’re NOT an Engineer?

  23. What most people don’t seem to realize is that once at L85 with all the new portals opened it’ll be easier to travel around than ever before with the only exception of getting to Northerend. At least for Horde the portals to new zones are far better distributed over the world than they used to be.

    For leveling things got even easier. There are all class and profession trainers, AH and other goodies in both shat and dalran. Beats the hell out of having to jump between old world and those places as was needed earlier.

  24. Spoiled welfare wrath babies.

    Go farm a resist set, or potions, just to get your blues, least of all maybe an epic after hours of raiding with 40 people. Or getting attuned.. oh god the list goes on.

    Or being totally stoked you could afford epic riding eventually at 60, to speed all of this up, only to drop what was it 5k?+ for regular slow flying at 70.

    Wrath of the loot king, and late tbc welfare ruint the playerbase, once made up of high end players from EQ…

  25. “Spoiled welfare wrath babies.”

    meh, there have always been lazy playahs. Blizz maintains a balancing act between keeping the skillarchs hooked and attracting new playahs.
    i dont see what all the fuss is about.
    on Dec 7 just switch your hearth to SW.
    no big whup.

  26. @kzinrett you deserve to be shot “playah”

    oh god… feck it… you should be wiping to freya shouldn’t you?

    sigh… “saftey dance??” “but mah raid haz probz bro, not all da peepz can mov wit da fire” “wtf”

    /sigh

    • Be nice Smeedsc :P.

    • no need for nice.
      im mostly unbreakable (sometimes).
      im stating facts.
      blizz is optimizing on their business model. that is why bosses get harder and leveling gets easier.
      keep the skillarchs hooked and lure in new playahs.
      in a way…the oldskool vanilla 40man/25man aristocracy is the engine that runs the Game….beta testing expacs, debugging PTR and forum input.
      Whinage about the good old days is the price the rest of us pay for your exquisite l33tness.
      /makes respectful obeiance

  27. six years! oh my gosh

    I never paid a mage for a portal, and I ain’t starting now. spending time on travelling is something that make me feel that I play in a world (yeah, role player and all that)

  28. how would you know what’s worth quitting the game over for every single person? something that might not bother you all that much, can both other people a great deal. remember real ID? but its different you say, our privacy was involved! when it comes to convenient travel that we used to have and don’t have anymore, to me its people blatantly telling me that my time is worthless and deserves no respect.

    In fact, I’ve been told everything and called most everything for daring to say that removal of convenient travel between expansion was a bad idea.

    what anti portal refuse to accept is that we are not looking for return of Dalaran as a hub. we just want our ease of travel between Dalaran, shattrath and capital cities back, the one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

    I have a giant bruise on my forehead from beating my head against this wall over and over and and over and this bruise is why I personally unsubscribed.

    don’t patronize me and tell me that I’m playing the game wrong but still being interested in 2 expansion, and yet disliking pointless uninteractive time sinks that we used to be able to avoid for 4 years with no issues. you are all happy about new zone portals aren’t you, you hypocrites. and the rest of us can suck it up?

    • ring to get to dalaran – 6k gold, more expensive then all the riding skills but 310 combined

      argent tabard – 27 days of dailies and either having to fly/zep back and forth or giving up on new content to stay in northrend. and even if you already have your crusader title, starting from scratch – its what, 100 seals to buy.

      yes, some people don’t have those.

      all the while new content gets portals for free.

    • leah: Alas, new portals only get unlocked once you do a significant amount of the content, last I remembered. There were direct passages to Vashjir and Hyjal early on. But the ones to Deepholm, Uldum and Twilight Highlands required players needing to do a few quest chains.

    • leah: I would not know what’s worth quitting for every single person out there. I’ve got my own perspectives and opinions on what’s silly and what isn’t. This convenient travel adds a few minutes. On my alts, I view it as an excuse to get up and stretch my legs as I taxi fly from Dalaran to Borean Tundra, or pop open a browser and catch up on some Reddit. It all depends on whether you are a glass half full or glass half empty. Everyone plays this game to have fun because it offers something to them. I just find it really skeptical that the leveling experience, questing experience, friends made, stories read and all that stuff this game has for players simply gets thrown out the window because you need to work just a little bit harder to get from one continent to the other.

      If all that is worth quitting over because of portals, then maybe this game wasn’t worth picking up to begin with.

      Same thing with blogs. If even one post renders a blog worth unsubscribing, well, sorry for not adhering to your perspective or viewpoint.

    • leah….dont make the game into work. if the loss of portals harms gameplay, Blizz will rework it and change the systems magic.
      i havent played that long, but i do know one thing.
      Life isnt fair, but blizzard tries to be.

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