(AKA Dalalag and previously Shattlag)
Ok as I mentioned in my in the works post I have been working on a graph with the travel available in WoW. Well I have the first version done. I am sure I am missing some links but the graph is already so large it is hard to take in all at once. I have added a link to the image below. The original size is over 10K pixels wide and about 1400 tall. Hence the hard part of looking at it all at once. The graph was generated using Gvedit. I will upload my latest file that was used to generate this graph. If anyone else wants to play with it and maybe make it look nicer, more power to you. I have already spent many hours compiling everything into this graph for this post and I am going to let it lie for a bit.
So there are a few things that immediately jump out from this graph when you look at it and can start to see some of the details.
The first being that over time as Blizzard has created content they have made the quest hubs better connected with everything else. I.E. there are many more flight points and there are more connections between each flight point as time has progressed. As I mentioned in the in the works post my resource for the flight path information was out of date. Some I had to guess from memory and others I put in because it would make sense for there to be a path between them. I admit there may be missing paths and extra paths that I placed. When I was searching for a good resource for the flight path information I found out there were not any that were up to date.
Another trend that was started in tBC and continued in WotLK and actually taken to the next level were the plethora of Neutral quest hubs and flight points. This is one of the key reason I believe that the hubs are so well connected. What this also says is that when ever new content is added to Azeroth it will most likely be in the form of a neutral quest hub or flight point so that both factions benefit from the addition. One of the things that surprised me even thought I have leveled to 46 on the horde and 80 multiple times on the Alliance was that the Horde seems to be better connected on average than the alliance when looking at Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. Kalimdor makes sense but what you get in Eastern Kingdoms are 2 clusters of Horde flight points that are connected by a Zeplin which makes them better connected North – South than the Alliance. This may be why it always felt painful leveling Alliance in the 25-45 range. Add to the fact that there is no quick transportation between North and South in Kalimdor for either factions and it is a real pain for both in those levels with a slight advantage to the horde in Hub -> Quest travel time. Remember this would be on average and not looking at the max and mins. I am not even beginning to look at the actual travel times just inferring from the connectivity of the graph.
Now with the changes to mounts coming in the next patch travel times on the whole will be decreasing somewhat once you actually get to where your closest flight point is. So from the graph it shows that over time Blizzard has become much more aware of travel times and that we pay to play this game not sit and watch our characters travel on a taxi or waiting for the boat. We still do a lot of this but the percentage of time is going down slightly. Now one improvement that would be nice to flight points would be an option for 2 different modes of travel. We slect our destination and then get a second option of normal or swift. The swift could be 2-10 times more expensive but we get the zone transistion screen similar to when you are in Iron Forge and want to go to the Isle of Quel’Danas. Most people would not want to do it if only going 1 flight point away hell it would most likely not be worth it, you might save 5 seconds. However if you were in Howling Fjord and wanted to go to Borean Tundra it would rock. Yes we have a 30 minute cool down on hearth stone so you could cut the time in half hearthing to Dalalag but then you hit lag hell.
Speaking of Dalalag or previously Shattlag when discussing this with friends while questing and or running dungeons they brought up a solution from other MMOs which I really think needs to be considered for WoW. Currently Dalaran and Shattrath have 1 way portals to the capitol cities. That is what needs changed. Because if you set your “home” as either of those cities you can jump to any of the capitols in a minute or 2. Then when you want to get back to question you hearth back to the city. This is actually ass backwards. What we should have is either 2 way transportation between Dalaran and the Capitol cities or have 1 way transportation in the opposite direction. This will let player to then set their hearth in a Capitol and then go to Dalran quickly rather than the other way around. Additionally there needs to be portals between each of the capitol cities. Hell make them keyed or level restricted if you want but at the very least for Level 60+ there should be no reason not to have this available. I mean yes it would make “For the Horde” and “For the Alliance” a lot harder as people would be able to swarm in defence much faster but really the benifits far out weigh that complication.
Well this is enough for now I will create a part 2 if I wish to continue on the subject. I am interested in seeing what others think.
I also forgot to add that another feature I would like to see added with the Goblins in Azeroth both Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms, and the consortium in Outlands would be some sort of boat/zeplin transportation system between their locations.
Booty Bay / Gadgetzan / Everlook Zeplins
Portal Between Nagrand and Netherstorm at the camp in the south east and the stormspire respectivly.
Additionally a Portal between Gadgetzan, Area 52 and the K3 would be cool as well. With the neutral factions there are many interesting things that could be done to create a seperate travel network outside of the normal Horde/Alliance oriented travel. This has started to be predominant in WotLK with all of the neutral flight points.
After chatting wtih Lissanna I will be adding additional graphs over the next few days. They will be subsets of the big one with a few minor changes to hopefully help with readability. The first one that is almost ready is Alliance and Neutral Eastern Kingdom Travel points. I may also add a very simple one where all of the extra flight points are removed between nodes that are connected in at least one direction via a portal and or boat like transportation.