Okay, I need to do some more work on my WoW series, so it’s time to get back into the game again. I should check up on my main character and see where I left off. And this is where I discover I have a Serious Problem. This problem leads me to Google, which leads me to forum threads. I think the behavior of WoW forum posters is well-known, but in case you’ve missed that particular aspect of internet culture, I will add some of that flavor to this post.
The problem is this: Dalaran is the major end-game city. From there, you can teleport to any of the other racial cities in the game. The common wisdom among players was to have a high-level character teleport you to Dalaran, which you could then set as your home. You could then use your hearthstone to jump back to Dalaran at any time, and from there teleport to the city of your choice. It was a great time-saver.
But this weekend I logged in to find this:
The teleport alcoves are empty. Gone. I have no idea why they were removed, although I guess it was to deny lowbies like me this sort of mobility? Or maybe this was to generate more business for the Mages that charged for teleports. Whatever. Can’t moan over every little change to the game. Except…
How the hell am I supposed to leave Dalaran, now?
lol stupid noob, why didnt u leave dal when they annunced it weeks ago?
Yeah. See, not all players watch the upcoming patch notes and follow the forums. Some of us just play the game. I had no idea until after the patch.
so? u got thare somehow? go home the same way herp derp
I was brought here by a friend. He’s not playing these days.
just fly out this isnt rocket sceince
I don’t have any flight points connected to this one.
just pay a mage 2 make u a port for 100g. duh.
A hundred gold? My level 57 hunter is my main. That’s a big chunk of all the money I’ve earned so far, just to escape this city. This is crazy. How do people even GET here? There aren’t any gates.
thats what the sewer is for just leave the city.
The only way in or out of the city is through the sewer? I’m sure that makes sense if you read the wiki or do the quests to get here, but that’s not really something you can expect people to intuit. But fine. Let’s check out the sewers…
Okay. Kind of confusing. I hope I don’t end up needing to fight some level 65 sewer rats. Blizzard would totally do that, too.
Okay, I see a side tunnel leading away from the rest. It’s not really marked as an exit, and there’s been nothing to indicate this is how to leave the city, but I’ll see where this…
Ah. I see now. The city is in the air. So by “leave the city” people mean, “use your level 70 flying mount to leave the city.” Which I won’t have for another 13 levels. Unfortunately, I have no way of gaining levels while stuck here. This character is unable to progress until I get her someplace level-appropriate. Well, there’s only one way out of here now…
Editor’s note: Motion lines added to demonstrate the EXTREME nature of my plummet.
Well, I guess that went about as well as expected. One corpse-run later…
Now, I’m actually lucky. On a whim, I visited this continent a few months ago, so I know where the port city is. Otherwise, I would have no way of knowing which way to go from here. I know the port is far, far to the south-east. I don’t know how to get there, and I don’t even know if it’s possible, but at least I have a goal. I need to cross half of this continent when I’m about 22 levels below everything around me.
Really, Blizzard should not have made it possible for this to happen. I have another character who was standing in Auberdine pre-patch, and he was sent back to his home city when the patch hit. (The patch destroyed the city utterly.) The same could have been done for all under-65 characters in Dalaran. I don’t mind these sorts of adventures of my own volition, and I might have even done this run if I hadn’t been trapped. But being stuck doing one with no way out is less than optimal.
just do a grave run and quite whining
What our friend is suggesting is that I die, appear as a spirit, then hike my spirit to another graveyard closer to my goal, log out, then back in, and resurrect myself at the more distant graveyard. Sadly, this no longer works as of the most recent patch. The only way out of here is to hike my mortal body over this landscape, or pay the ruinous toll. Paying the toll might actually be slower. Dalaran used to be jam-packed with people, but the city is quite empty now. Most players are leveling fresh alts or off exploring the new world. And I really don’t feel like spamming chat for half an hour, begging someone to get me out of here. That’s even more tedious than what I’m about to do…
The Good: This place is crazy beautiful.
The Bad: The WoW artists have not given up their infatuation with EXTREME VERTICAL MOUNTAINS all over the place. This continent, like the others, is basically a maze. This wouldn’t be a problem if I already knew which way to go.
I manage to attract a monster. I get away, barely. That was actually informative. Now I know these guys hit me for about 40% of my health. I can take two hits without worry, but the third hit will kill.
Now, should I head south into Dragonblight, or east in Zul’Drak? Hm. Dragonblight feels slightly easier. Or at least closer. With any luck, that zone might be a level 60’s area, which would make it a lot easier to traverse.
No such luck. The pass is a choke point with a level ?? monster patrolling. There’s no way I could pass that guy without getting tagged at least twice. And if there is even one more monster around the corner, I could end up doing several corpse-runs to get through. Ugh. Zul’Drak it is.
The entrance to Zul’Drak is not much better…
I stray too close to some undead thing. I run from him and pick up another one. And so on. Pretty soon I have several chasing me. And beyond them is some gargantuan epic super elite boss named Hope Ender. Great. I manage to retreat without getting tagged. Thank goodness for fast mounts.
ur such a newb I could solo these guys
Despite the crazy odds, I actually feel better about this path than Dragonblight. The blind corner of the Dragonblight pass makes me nervous. I don’t want to be trying to run and figure out which way to go. Here I may have more dudes chasing me, but at least I can plan my route ahead of time. I’ve learned I can outrun these undead, and I know I won’t hit a dead end.
Let’s do it.
I squeeze through, then have another close call, then die, then sacrifice my pet to escape, then find a corner to hide and recover. Dangit, this would be a lot easier if I wasn’t running through this rat-maze of walls and mountains.
thats what the map is for
You mean this map?
Pretty hard to “use” a blank map. Still, I manage to blunder through and make it to the Grizzly Hills.
This makes me want to level up really fast so I can come back here and enjoy this place properly. Man, this is gorgeous.
From here on things get a bit easier. The monsters are still so far above me that I can’t even see their level. But there’s a clear road, lots of light, a longer view distance, and fewer monsters.
Man the streetlights sure are fancy in this vast untamed wilderness!
The path is long, and it winds about quite a bit, but my compass keeps me on the right road. I have a close shave when I get jumped by something (an Orc, I think) that knocks me off my mount and stuns me. Once again I sic my pet turtle on him, activate my turtle’s defensive ability, and stagger slowly away in sheer terror. Solomon manages to last for a while. These mobs must be closer to my level.
I get away before Solomon dies, which means I just need to whistle for him and he re-appears at my side. Man, I love this character class.
I think I’m getting close. I seem to be high up, on a plateau. Now I need to find a way down to the coast.
Yes! There’s the ship home. (Upper left corner.) Let’s get down there and leave this madhouse of suffering behind.
Now to gain a few levels, and head for Outland.
Doh. Just read a tweet from someone, “There’s a teleport to Crystal Woods below in one of the buildings, ground floor. Look for portal teacher, click blue triangle.”
Ah. So I jumped to my death for nothing.
Yeah, I guess I am.
The Best of 2011
My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2011.
A horrible, railroading, stupid, contrived, and painfully ill-conceived roleplaying campaign. All in good fun.
Secret of Good Secrets
Sometimes in-game secrets are fun and sometimes they're lame. Here's why.
A programming project where I set out to make a Minecraft-style world so I can experiment with Octree data.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.