Postcards from WoW, Part 7

By Shamus Posted Monday Nov 29, 2010

Filed under: Pictures 133 comments

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.


lol dummy

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.

Deep breath.

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.

(This is where I would have a screenshot if I hadn’t been too busy to take one. Even if I had taken one, it would have been of the empty landscape in front of me and not the waves of guys behind me. Just close your eyes and picture me being chased by, say, ten thousand undead. That’s pretty much 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.

ur retarted

Yeah, I guess I am.


From The Archives:

133 thoughts on “Postcards from WoW, Part 7

  1. Zukhramm says:

    100 gold for a portal is insane and it would probably not be hard to find one to do it for one gold at most.

    Unless they’ve formed a teleportation-cartell to make some money off of all people stuck in Dalaran and Shattrath.

    1. Trix says:

      The rune costs like 20s, so it shouldn’t really cost more than 5g for a port (anything more is a ripoff).

      I’ve even seen several people on my realm offering free ports around, but that may well be an anomaly.

      1. glassdirigible says:

        It’s less of an anomaly thank you might think, some people respond well to politeness.

        Also, should anyone else find themselves in a similar situation to Shamus, doing a /who for mages and politely whispering ones in capital cities (starting with the one you’re in) can save you loads of time.

        Also, Shamus, flying mounts are level 60 now. Not that would’ve helped you, just remember to pick it up when you hit 60. It will help speed up leveling.

    2. Lots and lots of mages have been putting up free portal collections and broadcasting it on trade to allow people to evacuate Dalaran.

      there's a teleport to Crystal Woods below in one of the buildings, ground floor. Look for portal teacher, click blue triangle.” — and get free experience for quest related to same.

      BTW, you must have gotten some decent experience at your level from the explore/discover experience on the ride out. Did not realize you could leave that zone on foot.

    3. Ah, chatted with some other mages, the 100 gold is the standard “fee” quoted to get people not to bother you. No one is charging that intending to find a taker. The real charges are quite less.

  2. Septyn says:

    Even though it was aggravating, it sounds like you had an adventure. I don’t have that much in WoW these days. I’m sending a bunch of envy waves your way now.

    1. Jarenth says:

      I second the first sentence of this notion.

      Your adventure reminds me of the time I had to run trough the Arathi Highlands to get components for my Succubus quest. As a level 20. And while I don’t remember exactly what level that zone was or is, I do remember running away in abject terror every time one of the zone’s giant velociraptors decided to cross the road.

      Still, nice scenery.

  3. Daimbert says:

    On a not quite unrelated note … did you miss linking to the latest Shamus Plays this week?

    1. Jake says:

      There isn’t one. Josh’s computer died, and he has to fix it.

      1. krellen says:

        Shamus Plays isn’t the same thing as Spoiler Warning. There was a Shamus Plays, but Shamus didn’t link it. Thom provided a link down at the bottom of the comments.

  4. Gahazakul says:

    As a side not, if it were me I would have qued up for a dungeon of my level. When the dungeon popped up simply die and then rez at the spirit healer of the zone the dungeon was in.

    1. Ben says:

      I’m guessing this has been fixed in the same way he couldn’t just run the whole way as a ghost any more? It was a little strange that it ever worked. For example, I managed to accidentally get to Dun Morough as a level 25 Tauren this way :D

      One way that would have worked would have been to send yourself a refer-a-friend invite, create a dummy trial account Level 1 character, which would have had the ability to summon any of the characters on your main account that are below level 60.

      This is also a handy way to get your alts around. You log in on your main, fly to the place you are trying to get your alt, summon your throwaway level 1 trial account toon, who then summons your alt.

      1. Zukhramm says:

        But if you’re in an instance, you’ll ressurect in the same place your ghost spawns in, no need to run anywere as a ghost.

        1. Ben says:

          Yeah, it’s possible it still works. I realized after I posted that it is a different situation. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they removed the ability to rez at the spirit healer after an instance death anyway, since they also moved all the graveyards to be much closer to instance entrances.

          1. Nope, I rezzed after dying to move my location once already.

  5. Dr Kwang says:

    In case you have anyone else stranded there (or anyone reading this is staring at it in horror), I understand the convenience portal to get to the Caverns of Time is still there. That’s at the top of the stairs in the big tower in the western corner of Dalaran, and will take you to southern Tanaris. I’ll admit climbing up a really long staircase and ending up in a desert makes for less of a blog post. :)

    1. Alastair says:

      That’s how I got out when I was too impatient to wait for a mage in my guild to log on. According to a friend, they’ve also altered the Dalaran flight point so that it connects directly to the flight points of the port towns, although I haven’t actually checked this (and I guess it wouldn’t help if you didn’t have those flight points).

  6. Polecat says:

    The “naked” comment is actually helpful in an odd way. If you’re doing runs like you are, unworn equipment takes no durability damage, thus saving you a pricey repair bill. This technique was used by many a lowbie trying to cut through a high level zone. It doesn’t work for graveyard hopping tho. The damage from the graveyard rez affects all items on your person (which means if you plan to use that method, it’s a good idea to throw all your stuff in the bank first).

    Also you went to the further port. There’s _2_ ports, one in the Southeast, and one in the Southwest. The latter is actually closer and better marked, but would still require going through that first chokepoint you ran into (the one going into Dragonblight). But from there, you can hit a road that takes you into the Borean Tundra and onwards to the port. However the scenery isn’t as pretty, the Tundra is kinda plain compared to Grizzly Hills and the Holwing Fjord.

  7. Ener says:

    Not that it matters much now, but Borean Tundra also have a port town, and I believe it is marginally closer than howling fjord

  8. Hal says:

    First things first:

    Following that, I think the going rate for mage portals is usually 5g, which I would think you’d have available. I don’t know what it’s like on your server, but there’s always at least one mage advertising portal services in trade chat, which you can access from Dalaran.

    Not that that leads to comically epic adventures you can write about. Just saying.

    Shamus, make sure you play Blizzard’s “Plants vs. Zombies” mini-game out in Hillsbrad Foothills. It’s pretty fun, and you get a Singing Sunflower mini-pet for your troubles.

    1. MintSkittle says:

      Has inflation really hit WoW that hard? That’s five times what the going rate was when I played way back when.

      1. Hal says:

        Well, when you hit lvl 80, max-lvl quests will net you 7 to 13 gold, so even the most casual of players will have a few hundred gold sitting around, assuming they’re not spending it on whatever.

        1. krellen says:

          I doubt “the most casual of players” have level 80 characters.

          1. Khizan says:

            If you put in any effort at all into leveling one character, you’ll have a level 80 character pretty easily, especially with the new changes that came in with the Shattering last week.

            1. krellen says:

              You seem to have an odd definition of “casual”.

              1. Richard says:

                Hitting 80 really isn’t very time consuming at all, krellen. There’s a LOT of very casual players that reach that point.

                1. krellen says:

                  Shamus hasn’t. “The most casual of players” is a statement that implies that no one actively playing the game lacks a level 80 character. This is simply not true. Lots of people lack level 80 characters, and among them are those that still actively play the game. They may play very infrequently, or juggle dozens of characters. Point in fact, “the most casual of players” is not going to be dedicating a lot of time to a single character, and thus likely will not have a character at the level cap.

                  People make the same mistake in City of Heroes, assuming most players have a character at level cap, when statistics posted by the developers have shown their data-mining to reveal that a majority of players actually don’t have a character at the level cap.

                2. MintSkittle says:

                  I’m actually with krellen on this. I played pretty heavily for about a year, and I never leveled a character passed mid-forties. Then again, I suffered some serious alt-itis.

                3. Christine says:

                  I’ve been playing 2 years and don’t have a level 80 player. It depends on what your goals are when you play and how many mains/alts you play.

        2. Hal says:

          Yikes, I did not realize I would cause such controversy.

          Okay, let’s try it like this:

          When I started my first character, a paladin, I completed the old paladin mount quest. That quest runs 300g to finish at level 60.

          So, it’s entirely possible to have that kind of money, even on a non-maxxed character.

          When/If you end up in Outland, quests start netting you 1-5g each. So, even if you don’t have hundreds of gold sitting around, paying 5g for a portal is still feasible.

    2. thebigJ_A says:

      I don’t have a level 80, and I’m the definition of the “most casual” player. I played the trial, didn’t like it but payed for a month because several friends were playing, then cancelled sub. I think I was in my teens, level-wise.

  9. DancePuppets says:

    Wow! Great job Shamus! I’d forgotten about those who’d ported their lower level characters to Dalaran, I usually end up levelling in zones on a single continent for a while so I never bothered to go there at lower levels, plus I couldn’t be bothered paying the fees. I know on the day after the patch there were loads of level 80s complaining that they couldn’t get out of Dalaran, which I found hilarious as for them the trek is nothing and just requires a simple flight out. It looks like Blizzard has done it to convince people to buy Cataclysm as without the portals zapping from Somewhere on the Eastern Kingdoms to Darnassus (as an example) takes a while (unless you’re a mage… Damn them) so your going to want to be able to fly, to be able to fly in Azeroth you have to buy Cataclysm, yay for horrible business practices! Also, I agree the landscapes in Northrend are beautiful (as is some of the music), I love Grizzly Hills.

    1. Trix says:

      The main reason is to bring the faction “hubs” back to the old world, since all the Cata content will be happening there (as has all the new quests). This way you’ll see everyone hanging around in IF/SW or Org/TB like in Vanilla, which should liven things up a bit.

      Plus, I think they wanted mages to actually have a reason to use other portals besides the Dalaran one.

  10. DancePuppets says:

    Oh and Shamus, what do you think of the talent changes? Or have you not been massively affected by them?

  11. Richard says:

    There’s actually another way to get out of Northrend.

    Use the random dungeon finder to do a dungeon, then die. Then, instead of running back to the dungeon to recover your body, spirit rez at the graveyard. This will make it so that you’re actually there as a live person, instead of getting warped back to wherever you were before you teleported into the dungeon.

    This is also very unintuitive, of course, but at least it only costs you a repair bill instead of the 3-5 gold for a portal.

    And, one last thing: the reason that they removed the portals from Dalaran and Shattrath was so that people wouldn’t spend all of their time in cities from the previous expansion, to avoid the lag hug that those cities became, and so that people could enjoy the new scenery on the redesigned continents.

    Of course, many players, myself included, are really irked by this. I always have the graphics turned all the way down, so there’s not much for me to admire, and there’s no reason that they couldn’t have added portals to the old capital cities, as well.

    1. jdhays says:

      I don’t think that will work. Using the random dungeon finder will put you in a group and then port you into an instance. That instance could be on any server. Once you leave the group, you should be ported back to where you were when you accepted the invite. So, for instance, if I rez’ed outside of Blackrock Mountain, the minute I left the group I would be ported back to Dalaran.

      1. Zukhramm says:

        I hate that. Did an instance through the dungeon finder, completet it. “Great, let’s go hand in the ques… BAM!” suddenly, I’m back at the other side of the world.

      2. Moriarty says:

        nah, as long as you’re outside of the instance you stay where you are after leaving the group. Even if this weren’t the case, staying in group until everyone else leaves works too.

        1. Richard says:

          It doesn’t work if you walk out of the instance, no.

          But if you talk to the spirit healer in the graveyard and resurrect there, taking the 10-minute instant-rez penalty, you’ll stay there.

    2. Dys says:

      Unless your repair bill is higher than the portal charge :P

      1. Richard says:

        Right, but that’s highly unlikely at lower levels.

  12. Jarenth says:

    I must say, I really like your friend’s commentary in this post. Will we be hearing more from this insightful indivual in the future?

    1. Mari says:

      If you like his WoW commentary, you’ll love his helpful chatter across Xbox live…

      1. Michael says:

        Oh, dammit, Mari. Now I can’t UNHEAR it.

        Shamus’ friend was a dopey sort of “Ed” voice, from Ed, Edd, and Eddy, at first. Now that I’ve read your comment, he’s transformed into some sort of 8 year old.

        1. Mari says:

          Sadly, I hear him as a testosterone-riddled 20-something who occasionally yells “ghey!” for no apparent reason. I like Ed better. Wish I could turn it into that.

          1. Michael says:

            You and me both.

            Do you think Ed’ll come back if we start a petition?

        2. Jarenth says:

          Funnily enough, I can only hear it as Ed now.

          So thank you. My life is now infinitely improved.

  13. Alastair says:

    I never though as a druid that my ability to teleport to Moonglade would ever be at all useful. Suddenly, it is a shortcut to Darnassus (just a short flight away for druids), and thus Stormwind (by boat)!

    The truly annoying place to get in and out of now is Outland, since the only access is now the dark portal.

    1. lazlo says:

      I was thinking the same thing today, but I noticed that *next to* the dark portal is a mage portal to Stormwind. So it’s not the same as flying to Shatt and porting to wherever, but it’s pretty similar.

      As I understand it, they felt like everyone was primarily heading back to the capital cities for auctions and class training, so they put auctioneers and class trainers in Shatt and Dal, which I think is a bonus. So now as you’re leveling, you just keep your hearth in whatever area you’re leveling in. The lack of portals does kind of suck, but once everyone’s used to it it’ll only be mildly annoying.

      My hunter just hit 68, and when I went to Northrend he already had flight points in both ports and in Dal. Don’t know if that’s a level-specific thing like the flight point to Quel Dalar, or if it’s a change they added since Shamus’s adventure.

      And lastly, mages on my server (Nordrassil) are apparently much nicer. Normal tips for a portal are in the 2-5G range, and after the patch there were a couple that just sat in the portal room of Dal and gave out portals for free to whoever needed ’em.

    2. Kale says:

      I would use that teleport all the time to get to Darnassus back when I didn’t know there was a druid trainer in Stormwind.

      Also, is that maon/moan typo just before the first official forum flavor an accident or a warning of what is to come?

    3. Witteafval says:

      The truly annoying place to get in and out of now is Outland, since the only access is now the dark portal.

      There’s still the portal in Shattrath to Quel’danas, which will then allow you to fly to wherever else in Eastern Kingdoms that has a flight point. And Dalaran still has the Caverns of Time portal, which I have used since then.

      And my wife, who plays a mage, confirms that 5 gold is about the most one could reasonably ask as a tip for a portal; if I recall, the items they consume to create one costs 15 silver each.

      Of course, I think a better solution would have been to put portal hubs to everywhere in all the capital cities, not just the expansion “sanctuary” cities. Even though I know how to get around, riding flight points or going under my own power adds up to useless travel time I could be better spending doing something productive.

      1. Trix says:

        Part of the reason for that “useless” travel time is to give a sense of scale. You can’t help but think the world is big when you have to fly significant distances over it to get around.

        This is also a possible reason for the portal change.

    4. glassdirigible says:

      But you have to guess which boat. There are no signs, and the local NPCs won’t tell you.
      I always read the patch notes and I still have no idea how to get there easily from Darnassus.

    5. RTBones says:

      Funny…I had the same thought reading this post. Of course, I also don’t ever remember hearing anyone ask for 100 gold for a port, either. Usually, my biggest complaint about getting anywhere by boat was the lack of signage to tell me which boat to get on. Might just be me, though.

  14. Amnestic says:

    I’m a little shocked no mage would offer you a portal for a reasonable price. Considering how often you’ll find high levels milling around cities doing nothing, you can generally get a friendly mage to make one for the cost of reagents plus a little interest (which will top out at 5g *max*). Still expensive for a 57, but a lot better than 100g.

  15. Ming says:

    I think the comments can be summed up as “Shamus does things the hard way.”

  16. Dev Null says:

    It is gorgeous, isn’t it?

    I did something similar when LK first came out, and Dalaraan didn’t have teleporters yet. I actually think the tense little bout of tag across the continent back to a lowbie zone was some of the most fun I’ve had in WoW in a long time…

  17. Meredith says:

    This is exactly the sort of thing I would do. Hell, I do this in real life — make everything extra difficult only to find some easy solution five minutes later.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if all those “lol, ur dum, fly” type idiots would take two extra seconds to explain that you can actually fly out now because they added/changed the flight points or whatever. Why go to the effort of responding just to be rude? It makes no sense. Sidebar: I played LOTRO for a while when it went free and was amazed to end up in a kin that was super nice and helpful to new players and got mad when I called my questions stupid. It was lovely and made me rethink my long-held opinion of online gaming.

    1. Aldowyn says:

      LotRO’s community is really good, for some reason. I think it has to do with the fact that most of the people there are LotR fans, and the game has a distinct atmosphere that’s just… I dunno, nicer than WoW.

      It’s weird playing an MMO where 90% of the names are really good and I still haven’t seen someone be rude, pretty much at all.

      1. Meredith says:

        I had someone be rude in an instance once. It was one of the reasons I haven’t been back for a month. But overall, yes, it’s a very nice community.

    2. Yes, the flight points were given to everyone, too bad he did not walk to the flight master and check ;)

      I’m wondering if there is any other solution that I’m missing (use the portal to the surface, use the portal to caverns of time, die in an instance and rez at the graveyard, and use the flight master)? I’ve got a character who wants to do the dailies in Dalaran and in Stormwind (the new fishing and cooking dailies automatically generate leveling up points, +1 or +2 to skill).

      1. Oops, I missed “all hearthstones reset” too. So, check your hearthstone, it will send you to your racial capital should have been on the list.

      2. Alastair says:

        The other solution to getting out of Dalaran is get two people in Stormwind to summon you to the Stockades summoning stone.

  18. psivamp says:

    I only played WoW for a few months in Nuke school, but this post is hilarious.

    1. (LK) says:

      I want to believe that the phrase “Nuke school” means something infinitely cooler than it probably does.

  19. Nyaz says:

    Not trying to be “that guy”, but… you know there’s another ship you can jump on to the southwest which is slightly less far away? (in Borean Tundra, somewhere in the lower-southeast-ish-corner).

    That way you would’ve only had to traverse Dragonblight (although through the crazy tunnel of doom, but still) and some of Borean Tundra.

    Ah well, what’s done is done.

  20. drow says:

    that sounds suspiciously like a bunch of D&D games i was in back in high school. your old DM might be a blizzard developer if…

  21. Meatloaf says:

    This reminds me of one time way back in pre-Burning Crusade when I decided to try to make it out of Moonglade – the Druid haven place – by walking. At around level 16. I ran into stuff at least 20 levels higher than me. It was quite something. I didn’t make it, but the place was just so pretty and atmospheric, and trying to creep by and not aggro the one-hit-kill monstrosities around me was so great.

    Dang it now I want to play WoW again just to see the new world and run around and see things. I never got past level 55 or so. Lots of stuff left to explore.

    1. Falco Rusticula says:

      If you were trying to get out through the Furbolg tunnel, they’re actually around level 55.

      Surprisingly, I have often run into low-level druids who know that they have to get to Moonglade…and then COMPLETEly miss the shiny new teleport spell, so they decide to get there the long way…through Felwood. I usually wind up shooting monsters off them while explaining how to find the spellbook.

  22. Valaqil says:

    Wow. That… that really sucks. I mean, it seems like you had an interesting adventure, but what a horrible way to re-start that character. And 100g for a portal? What madness is this? I remember 2g, 5 max.

    My one and only character is a Druid. I haven’t played since before WOTLK, so I have no idea where I am, but I’m planning on activating the free week if I still can. I’m quite glad to be able to warp to Moonglade, but I’m even happier that Druids can stealth. Even though it was slow-going at times, I used to explore by shifting to cat and sneaking around the map.

    Depending on what the new patch entails, I may re-start for a single month and see what Cataclysm changed. I doubt I’ll go for the new expansions, though.

    1. Ian says:

      The going rate for a portal really depends on the server, not to mention the availability of a mage.

      On my main realm, Turalyon, both the Horde and Alliance factions have healthy populations and, all things considered, it’s a reasonably friendly realm, at least on the Horde side (“friendly” is a relative term, of course — friendlier than most, at any rate). I was able to easily get a portal from anywhere to anywhere within ten seconds of posting a “WTB port” on trade. I don’t recall seeing any mages even asking for gold, but I tipped them generously, especially if they came to me.

      On my alt in Andorhal, things aren’t so cheery. My priest had to take the flight point to the Fjord/Tundra to get go Undercity/Orgrimmar, then travel out from there. Unless a mage is advertising in trade or general, good luck actually finding one.

      1. Valaqil says:

        I understand that it varies with the server population and who actually _composes_ that population, but anything more than 5 would just be too much. I played on a low-population PvP server. Finding a mage could be difficult at times, but the cost of a rune is only a handful of silver. If one is in the area, a couple of gold easily pays for the reagent and some pocket change. People get silly ideas about what something is “worth” in online gaming.

        1. Ian says:

          Honestly, I think 5 is too low unless the mage is specifically advertising portals or is a stones throw away from you. Considering how quickly that same mage can raise money by doing dailies, running dungeons, and auctioning, I think that they really should be compensated accordingly. Not only that, but they’re saving me considerable time. I don’t think that tipping a mage 10-20g is unreasonable at all.

          1. thebigJ_A says:

            Ah, but that’s what a “tip” is, isn’t it? You giving what you think the service was worth, and what you can afford.

  23. HeroOfHyla says:

    Reminds me of my first trip to Selbina in FFXI. It’s the main area for leveling from 10-20ish, but getting there was an impossible feat for someone in the level range. A friend and I were escorted by a level 75 white mage who had to keep reviving us whenever a goblin decided it was a bad mood. The worst part was that they detected and aggro’d on healing (different enemies have different senses), so we couldn’t stop and rest. After the long hike, we had to take a boat ride that was nearly fatal, and then finally we got to Selbina. I wound up trapped there for about 10 levels, because I was too low level to make the run back to Windurst.

  24. Zagzag says:

    Stop talking about WoW! I need to not start playing it until my exams are over!
    Seriously thought all my friends play the game, and I have heard so much about it that I can talk fairly knowledgeably about most parts of the game to the point that most people don’t believe that I’ve never played it before. I’m just as involved in speculation and discussing patches as anyone else.

  25. BarGamer says:

    Before, I had a small, remaining bit of guilt about quitting WoW way back when, but this just clinched it. With so much money, you think they’d just program the teleport alcoves for 1-way only.

    You never heard of these kind of expansion shenanigans in Guild Wars.

    1. Mari says:

      That’s because ArenaNet loves all their players. Except for me. They hate me personally for reasons that I can’t fathom. OK, not really. It just feels that way because I’m stuck trying (and failing) to Ascend. Yeah, I know. They don’t hate me, I just suck at the game. Life would be much better if I would accept that and stop wanting to play it.

      1. Andy says:

        That’s because you’re not breaking the mechanics properly, and exploiting the weaknesses of the AI. Back in my day, all the guides for Ascension said something to the effect of “For a Ranger, pack your skill bar with long-casting-time useless traps. While your doppelganger is busy casting said traps because all it does is spam bar skills, shoot it. Win!” GW is all about finding a mechanic to exploit and going to town.

      2. Jarenth says:

        Ah, so that’s your secret weakness!

        I’m fairly certain I don’t even know what ‘to Ascend’ means, even though I played a little bit of Guild Wars every now and then.

        1. Mari says:

          LOL Yes, I admit it. I fail at Guild Wars. Which, as Andy kindly pointed out, is apparently quite sad because nobody else seems to get stuck where I’m stuck (for the record, though, I’m in the three missions leading up to the the one to which Andy refers and can’t beat two of them) and basically all the FAQs/strategy guides/people of the interwebz who play Guild Wars are almost as helpful as Shamus’ friend above(though vastly more literate, thank heavens).

          1. Andy says:

            It’s not sad. A lot of the stuff is really hard, if you don’t have someone showing you the way, or in true Guild Wars fashion, being paid to do it for you. Relying on the Prophecies henchmen is a recipe for failure and frustration. I’d forgotten the pain of that stuff… If you don’t think they hate you, just WAIT for Thunderhead Keep. Which you have to do…. Better to break continuity and do Nightfall to pick up the heroes, they’re infinitely more useful for going back and doing the rough stuff in Proph. (see, again with useless advice. I’m sorry!) (i loved Guild Wars so much… So many happy/frustrating memories)

    2. Ming says:

      The portals WERE one-way. Stopping people from going from Dalaran to the capital cities was the entire point of removing the portals.

  26. LB says:

    The exploration of the pretty landscapes is all the interest I have ever had in World of Warcraft.
    Having to work for that long to get mounts and flight just sounds awful.

    By the way, why is this being posted in Game Reviews when the last Postcards from WoW were posted under Pictures? Took me a minute to find the oldies.

  27. Conlaen says:

    Shamus, you’d have been a lot better off asking your readers here. For one, you’d have known that it’s definately not 100g to get a teleport. And you could have spared a drop down out of Dalaran, as there is actually a teleportation stone that leads to another one below the city (the ‘normal’ way to get up there). And it would probably have been easier to take the other port. But you did get to take the much more scenic route at least :)

  28. Ian says:

    With regard to your map woes, I recommend using an addon like Mapster. In addition to adding a few useful features to the map screen, it allows you to remove the fog of war.

    I haven’t used it yet, but I’ve heard good things about it and plan to use it myself until the post-Shattering release of Carbonite gets a bit more mature.

  29. Adamantyr says:

    I’m not sorry the portals are gone, since they made both Shattrath and Dalaran massive lag zones, but it also seems that they decided to revert things back to the way they were pre-BC with mages actually needed to do portals. Since they’ve improved travel time in Azeroth considerably with way more flight points and more direct ships to given locations, I suppose it’s all right. Ultima Online is a great example of over-use of teleportation to the point that nobody walks ANYWHERE.

    That being said, I play mages for my main, and a gold piece is more than sufficient to get a portal out of me. Heck, if someone really wants to be a skinflint and just hand me the portal rune or 20s, I’d probably oblige, as long as they’re not being rude.

    100g is ridiculous. I wonder if you’d handed him the money if he’d have just laughed and walked away. Given that Blizzard GM’s take hours to respond, filing for fraud is almost pointless. (Lesson is, tip AFTER the portal’s been opened.)

    1. KMJX says:

      “Since they've improved travel time in Azeroth considerably”

      You mean like flying from Dun Modr in the Wetlands to Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands will take you on a scenic flight all the way to the Refuge Point in the Arathi Highlands for about thrice the distance you would have traveled on the road, and almost four times the direct line of flight?

      Or how flying from Emerald Sanctuary in the Felwood to the Forest Song in Ashenwale will take you in the opposite direction to Talonbranch Glade (Felwood) and then touring over Astranaar (Ashnvale)first?

      I really hate taking the “bus” when i want to do something somewhere. If i’m just fooling around, browsing the ‘nets and doing stuff in the meantime i don’t mind having some extra “free” time, but when i need to get from A to B i don’t like having a detour to C and D in the very opposite direction first.

      Luckilly, i wont have to put up with it anymore in about a week…
      /rant end

  30. The Evil One says:

    You know, I hate to say this after you’ve already gone through that harrowing adventure, but did you check your Hearthstone? All my characters except the Death Knight had their Hearthstones reset to their race’s capital city. Exodar might have been a three second casting time away.

    1. Shamus says:


      I didn’t check. I think I’ll just pretend it was still Dalaran and forget all about it.

    2. Richard says:

      He all but explicitly says his hearth was set to Dalaran in the post, unfortunately.

      1. Shamus says:

        For clarity: I assumed it was, since that’s where it had been set last time I played. I really didn’t look.

    3. Mephane says:

      I think only those who had their hearthstones set in areas affected by the cataclysm. For example, I bound my characters’ hearthstones in Stormwind, but as that got a major overhaul, all their hearthstones were reset to their respective native capital city. Luckily, I also logged out in Stormwind, and found them logged in at the graveyard right in front of the city gates. ;)

      Anyway, love the story, Shamus. It’s exactly these things that make open world games really fantastic. I remember spending the beginning of the “Burning Crusade” add-on gathering piles of the new ore and metal types and using it to improve my engineering skill. While everyone was busy levelling non-stop, I had only reached level 62, but possessed enough raw material to easily raise my profession skill without buying any of the totally overpriced stuff in the auction house. And then it became known that there was a bug prevent the extra-rare khorium mining nodes not to spawn for some weeks. At that point, I probably held half the total amount of khorium on the entire server. I know there are people who heavily exploited this, khorium prices exploded, but I don’t like this attitude of many people to exploit any chance to get as much money out of their fellow players as possible… sigh.

      Oh wait, this wasn’t meant to become a rant, heh. Ok, let’s turn this comment around. And now for something completely different…

    4. Witteafval says:

      My toons who had their hearthstones set in Dalaran still had them there after the shattering. Everyone else had their stones reset to their capitals.

  31. Thom (talzaroff) says:

    For all those wondering where the link went: here it is, the link to this week’s Shamus Plays…

  32. Varewulf says:

    I am a mage, and I tend to charge 10g or 0g depending on my mood of the day. ^^; People usually pay happily, but if they were lower level like Shamus here I’d probably just give them a portal.

  33. The_Zoobler says:

    Aww right when the Shattering comes out and the level 1-58 experience is better than anything else in the game up to this point, you saddle up on your 57 and head out to do boring old Burning Crusade. Hopefully you have some lower alts going lol

    1. Aldowyn says:

      like… maybe… a newbie human Warlock by the name of Norman? :D

      1. The_Zoobler says:

        Oh hey! TRUE!

        Norman rocks too lol poor innocent soul

  34. Vekni says:

    Yep, Grizzly Hills/Howling Fjord are my favorite zones to just be in. They’re gorgeous, natural, well shaped, uh….wait, what was I talking about?

    Ohyeah. Level up to Northrend, it has some of the best green lush zones-aside from those two, there’s Sholazar Basin which is beautiful too, though it requires a trip through The Boring Tundra (or “We had a few ideas for places but none of the meshed, so we crammed them all in this one zone”).

    Definitely should have ported EVERYONE to near their racial home city. Couldashouldawoulda…

  35. EmmEnnEff says:

    The short reason for the portal changes in Dalaran, was that Blizzard did not want people to use a city that was 1 expansion old as the “Social centre/Trade Hub.”

    I don’t know who charges 100g for portals, but it never takes me more then a minute or two of /trade to get a 10g portal.

    As for people walking off with tip money, I have never had that happen in the game. Sure, it may take some time for a GM to reimburse you for the fraud, but it will happen – and the threat of it keeps people honest.

  36. Aldowyn says:

    Wow, nice fail Shamus. At least it was entertaining! Looking forward to the next Shamus Plays – I assume it will deal with Cataclysm?

    Oh, and a question: Why, oh WHY is Dalaran in Northrend? … wait a second, why does Dalaran even EXIST? I’m pretty sure Archimonde just wiped it out in RoC… (Just checked. After digging through half a page of WoW stuff, this is confirmed)… how the heck did that happen?

    On a side note: LotRO is awesome. The Old Forest and Barrow Downs were delightfully creepy.

    1. Christine says:

      It wasn’t destroyed. Dalaran used to be a big purple dome in Silverpine Forest that players could not access. Then it was teleported by the mages to Northrend. The place in Silverpine looks destroyed because they took out the chunk of land it was sitting on.

    2. Amnestic says:

      It wasn’t entirely destroyed I guess. After Archimonde did his little smashy smashy sand castle playtime, they wrapped the ruins in a big purple dome of protective energy, cutting themselves off from the world while they rebuilt their city. After it was done, they teleported to Northrend because…shut up, that’s why. Probably something to do with either Arthas, Ulduar or the dragons. Or because Rhonin is a huge Gary Stu and they wanted something flashy for him.

      Urgh. Hate Rhonin.

      1. Veloxyll says:

        Rhonin – His life isn’t worth living.

    3. krellen says:

      Chris Metzen has a history of forgetting things that happened in earlier Warcraft titles. Despite the fact that he’s been the Warcraft lore-guy since the beginning, apparently the only lore that’s “real” is WoW’s.

  37. Mark says:

    A grand adventure! This is the sort of thing I miss in modern RPGs.

  38. neminem says:

    Seriously… if you couldn’t find a mage within a minute of requesting one’s services in /1 or /2, your server is depressingly underpopulated. There’ve been mages advertising ports on my server pretty much constantly since the minute the patch hit. Sometimes there are price wars. Sometimes one mage, fed up at the price wars, will advertise that he’s porting people for free, no tips accepted (that mage has, at times, been me ;)).

    Actually, someone *did* once advertise in trade that he was offering ports for 100g, a few days ago. He was then made fun of a lot.

    In other news, this change made me just that much happier that I decided I was going to make my mage alt into my new main, for Cataclysm. Yay for being part of the solution (giving people ports) instead of part of the problem (needing to pester people for ports).

  39. Christine says:

    Southshore was destroyed too but they didn’t move my toon. I logged into total devastation. Thanks, Blizz.

    First, they broke my paladin.

    Then they broke the world.

  40. Shawn says:

    That doesn’t look like a problem, it looks like an adventure.

    But then, exploration and running around were my favorite part of the game. I did a run from the Night Elf lands to Stormwind at level 1 back before we had the boat.

  41. Greetz says:

    To my knowledge you could have joined a LFG queue with the dungeon finder tool. Die. And then ressurrect at a graveyard. Im not aware if they have changed this.

  42. Stormcaller says:

    to all those saying he could have used the purple crystal to teleport to the ground, unless it has been changed, you could not do the quest to attune to that item until level 74. (and the quest started (for horde at least) in DragonBlight… Angmars Hammer?? i forget)

  43. Simplex says:

    I guess I’m not making a breakthrough discovery here, but it was actually written in the patch notes that the teleports will be replaced with class trainers. Lucky Shamus did not read the patch notes – otherwise he would not have this adventure ;)a

  44. Not the Face says:

    So one thing I note about this story is that lack of research has screwed you more times then you realize.
    Not knowing about the removal of Dalaran portals ahead of time indicates a lack of guild/other people warning you and/or seeing the notes ahead of time yourself. Following WoWinsider alone has saved me more headaches of this type then I can count. Also a friendly mage wouldn’t have charged you an absurd mark up for a Portal. But whatever, it happens.

    The real thing you didn’t know was the Walrus Man boat paths. Their main city is in Dragonblight at the south of the zone on the shore. From there you can take a boat to their village in Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord. All these villages have flight points that link to each other. They also directly connect to the main entrance flight points at Valgarde and Valiance Keep.

    Thus all you needed to do was run south to Tuskar town. Take a boat and then the flight point out.

    Further Borean Tundra is also an entrance to Northrend via SW Harbor.

    Granted I can see an argument you shouldn’t have to do this kind of research in this game. However, you did place yourself in a high level area to take advantage of a feature of the game. Hell I’d have told you to use Shattrah until you hit 70 due to less population density and easy access to portals. (which may be gone, but the run out would have been a bit more obvious.)

    In any event if we knew each other in game and I was told of your plight. I could have easily solved the worse of it in a few seconds. If I had a mage I could have solved all of it.

    Fat lot of good it does you now though. Hope the better structure of the leveling zones makes up for this hassle. (Don’t need to travel halfway around the world to get to 40+)

    1. Shamus says:

      I dunno about “lack of research”. I googled. First three pages were forum threads, which contained the usual thoughtless dismissal. I stopped searching because it looked like there wasn’t an answer.

      1. Not the Face says:

        Fair enough. It’s not like this kind of thing is as well documented as “this is how you play your 80”.

        It’s hard gauging information you take for granted.

        I hope I don’t come off as pompous…I probably come off as pompous. Sigh.

        1. Dys says:

          Can’t help thinking that advising someone with no active flight paths to find a flight path might not be so helpful.

          1. Not the Face says:

            He said he had the howling fjord FP which means he only needs to hit a linked FP. The Tuskar village in Howling Fjord links directly to it.

            At least I think he did. In any event it shortens the run by a great deal.

            1. Now it links directly to both ports, even if you have not been to them (which was an interesting surprise for me to discover).

  45. Not the Face says:

    Ah an additional note of things you just didn’t know.

    Dalaran is accessible and can be left without a flying mount. And that’s without making a crater using your face. Originally flying mounts where level 77/78? and the place was supposed to be accessed by non-mages at 74! Further there are zone starter quests from there starting at level 76! (Sholazar Basin)

    The trick is there is a rune of teleportation. It is inside the building in the center 4 of Dalaran, closest to the Flight Point platform. Click it and teleport to a shielded couple of npcs surrounding another such device that ports you back up!

    I’m not 100% on if there was a minimum level to access the “down” button, but I know there was one to access the “Up” button.

    In any event I am rather confident that you could have avoided that corpse run in any case.

    Mind I don’t really subscribe to the “Lrn2Play Nub” or “It’s blizzard’s fault” school of thoughts. Rather I think you should have asked around or done some google searching.

    1. Not the Face says:

      Can’t edit. Just to add.
      I’d need to run a live test of being teleported to Dalaran at 1 to really see. There’s one comment from Mtrais saying “crystal can be used at any level I think :o

      I used it at 57 I think”.
      So I *think* you can use it without the quest. But the quest requires level 68 so I’m uncertain.

  46. Steve C says:

    Shamus if you are ever in a position like that again, this is where you can abuse your semi-celebrity status and use your blog to ask for help. We could have given you lots of options. From the portal to Tanaris in Dalaran, to alternate routes, to dungeon finder tricks, to asking a lowbee to summon you from the stone at Stockade, to someone saying “I’ll just log onto my mage and port you.”

    Normally all of that is where a guild would have helped you out. Both in info and favors. But it sounds like you had fun and got a good post out of it. I suggest checking your hearthstone and hearthing to Dalaran if it’s still set there. Then taking the long painful way to the other connecting dock to Stormwind on the west side. For adventure!

  47. Dys says:

    Once again I find myself wishing I could invite you over to Quel’Thalas.
    We have a large, very friendly guild who’ll almost always be willing to help out. You could have gotten a ride in a Mechano-Hog. Would have been much more pleasant than trying to travel alone.

    Unfortunately it’s an EU server, so unless you wanted serious lag and complicated proxy issues, I guess it can’t be done.

    Find yourself some good people, not everyone in WoW is an arse.
    At least, not in the EU.

    Oh, and get yourself a parachute! :)
    Engineering only at that level I suppose, which is again unfortunate.

  48. Mike C says:

    The day of the shattering, our guild had mages in Dalaran setting up free ports to any city. It was a good PR move for our guild, and several other mages on our server have taken up the Dalaran Evacuation cause and offer their own free portals out.

  49. Spluckor says:

    As I see there are a wall of comments I’m not sure if anyone has posted this yet.

    There is actually a portal to Azeroth in Dalaran still. It’s in the Violet Citadel and takes you to the Caverns of Time in Tanaris. I still keep my hearth set in Dal and use that portal to get to old world whenever I need to.

  50. Neko says:

    While there were indeed a few other ways you could have used, I think taking the scenic (and adventurous) route is what I would have done.

  51. The entire story is really a story about:

    (a) the natural assumption that a game company broke things without thought and

    (b) how you feel when you discover that they did not.

    One thing Blizzard has going for them is that they often cover issues like this in a number of ways so that you can find multiple solutions. Getting trapped is a very rare occurrence — and a tell to a GM will get you help if it happens.

  52. PBNJSandwedge says:

    Shamus! Your WoW posts are so funny! They make me /facepalm, even though it’s really not your fault. I thought you had a guild that could help you out and answer questions? Get a new one–there ARE nice people in WoW.

    You also could have gone to Borean Tundra, btw, which I’m pretty sure is closer to Dala, and it brings you directly to Stormwind instead of Menethil Harbor.

  53. Drejer says:

    I laughed when I saw how to close to the ice crown he was.

  54. Arquinsiel says:

    This is the kind of madcap adventure that WoW *should* be about. If it were like this I’d consider signing up again a bit more strongly.

  55. Kat says:

    My mage hooked up with another guild who were organising evacuations from Dalaran. We coordinated about a dozen mages to provide almost round-the-clock portals in the portal room for about a fortnight after the patch hit.

    Some mages initially flamed us for ruining their business, but a lot of them joined up and helped out in the end.

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