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The Daily Grind: Does instant travel trivialize MMO worlds?


Among hardcore MMO fans, there's a theory that instant-travel is a bad thing. If you can just click a map or teleport somewhere instantly, they say, you lose your sense of place in the world along with your appreciation for the setting. Everything feels close together when you didn't have to meander there by foot, and sooner or later, you won't bother exploring at all.

But the opposite's been true for me in practice. I've done far more exploring in (and have a much deeper nostalgia for the landmasses of) titles like Ultima Online and Guild Wars, which boast Recall spells and map travel, respectively, than I have in less-travel-friendly titles, and I'm guessing it's because the ability to get to strange and out-of-the-way places quickly means you'll actually go there by choice -- because you can. If it takes me two hours to walk to that cool oasis hidden away in a secret corner of your map, I'm probably not going to bother going at all.

What do you think -- does instant travel trivialize the MMO world experience?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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