The cost of waypoints is too damn high. I’m level sixty on one of my characters and it feels like I need to start walking everywhere or face a loss of wealth so major that it feels like we’re being taxed in the Middle Ages. That’s not to say it isn’t fair for us to pay a little for travel, but at the same time it becomes a big hindrance to enjoyment at higher levels. The cost to go somewhere is fine, but the cost to return to a major city is what gets you.
Of course, you can go to the Mists, travel through the gate, and reach Lion’s Arch, tag a free waypoint, and head to the city that you wish to go to but that seems unnecessary. Why don’t we just make travel to any major capital city free? That just removes all the extra loading, walking, and loading in order to avoid the couple of silver that you end up paying. Especially since traveling anywhere at the lower levels is totally manageable and affordable, but the higher you get the more it costs. That would just make the gameplay smooth from start to finish.
Now, let’s go one step further before the huge World of Warcraft like problem cements itself in stone. Right now, everyone is converging on Lion’s Arch. First, it’s free to travel to through the Mists. Second, it has gates to all of the other major cities (which you’ll take before heading to a waypoint to save money). Third, it’s the meeting place for finding groups. Let’s go ahead and nip this in the bud and bring a global chat to all major cities.
That’d make it where players could pick and choose which city they wish to conduct business in without having to all pile into a city that is constantly full. You could choose to go to Divinity’s Reach and watch the festivities or go to Hoelbrak and stare at snow while you’re looking for a group. Right now the queue is pretty long during primetime to even get to your world’s copy of Lion’s Arch. So this would alleviate that problem.
You’re wondering about the WoW reference. Well, at the start there was no global chat and travel was costly and expensive. So everyone converged to Orgrimmar and Ironforge. Hilariously enough, Stormwind did not have auctioneers for fear that everyone would just use that city and avoid the others. The joke is that they just piled into Ironforge. As time passed, these cities became lag fests and remain mostly that way as Blizzard took too long to entice players to use other cities – not to mention the travel times.
So I think we should lower the cost of travel first by removing the cost to waypoint into a major city and then entice players to use all of the cities, not just Lion’s Arch. That way we can pick and choose where to do our business when we’re done with adventuring and the sting of waypoints cost a lot less (or is less cumbersome to travel).
Ravious over at Kill Ten Rats has a great new article up today that addresses the lower concurrency of players we’re seeing in-game now that some time has passed since launch. In many ways this is indeed a positive thing since mid-level content now feels properly epic when it’s not being zerged down in a matter of seconds by an angry Tyrian mob. As Ravious points out, however, there is also a potential downside to having too many quiet places in-game:
“The sticky part for ArenaNet is that they have already committed a large number of resources to all these quiet zones. Are they going to continue to give reason to re-explore these zones, or will they become silent speed bumps as alts and new players pass through on their way to Orr or the cold north? I am pretty sure we’ll get good stuff with the Halloween celebration and new zones/expansions are pretty much expected further down the road, but I hope ArenaNet can share what their goals are with regard to the current content sooner.”
Be sure to head over to Kill Ten Rats to read the full article: Quiet Places
Have you ever noticed that the waypoint icon used in-game on maps and elsewhere is a diamond shape, yet the waypoint itself is actually more of a hexagon within a triangle?
The moral of the story: The Branded Devourers found in the northern part of Blazeridge Steppes can be an excellent source of Crystal Shards!