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Breakfast Topic: Is world travel too easy, too restrictive, or just right?


When was the last time your max-level character needed a flightmaster? How about a boat or zeppelin? For that matter, when was the last time you breadcrumbed hearth points from inn to inn across a zone you were leveling in? Unless you've been playing WoW more than a handful of years, it's unlikely you've done any of these things with regularity. We hearth and port and click and "cloak" our way around Azeroth with an ease undreamed of in WoW's earliest days. We set our hearthstones at places (like Dalaran) that appeal to our hearts, because getting back into the action is just a few clicks away.

Perhaps you view travel as a tiresome chore, a unnecessary roadblock to the game's real content. For me, travel is an inseparable aspect of the game world. Without a need to respect distance and time, the sheer size and scope of a game world become irrelevant, making the sweeping vistas of Azeroth feel smaller, easily mastered, even trivial. To those of us who relish the feeling of "living in" a game world, the dilating effects of lengthy travel hold value. Trivializing them leaves us feeling compressed in a smaller world with foreshortened horizons.

Yet facility of movement fuels our ravenous appetite for content. We zip to our reputation bases, zoom to the city for pre-raid repairs and banking, and zap back to whatever we were doing when the group wraps up for the night. With such a variety of places and spaces, how could we truly feel constrained, anyway? It's about economy of time and cutting straight to the content, right?

In today's era of accessibility, it seems inevitable that travel must become curtailed. Even as I miss the feeling of distance and momentous journeys, I consider that what we have now might represent the most likely balance. Like me, do you mournfully salute the drooping, irrelevant flightmasters and innkeepers before turning to port jauntily home to a city in the clouds? Have we achieved a reasonable balance, or do you think we haven't come far enough, that limitations on movement and resources such as auction house locations hold back what should be completely fluid entry to any point of play?

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