If you ask me, I think it’s about time that we looked around in the stunningly beautiful world that Blizzard has made for us, rather than just running from one theme park attraction to the next without even throwing a glance to the sides. Journeys help to give the game a better rhythm, where periods of intense action are contrasted with slower paced activities.
Most reactions I’ve seen to it have been fairly negative. While I think many players agree about the reasons for removing the portals, they can’t refrain from complaining about the consequences.
And can you really blame them? The portal hubs in Shattrath and Dalaran have been around for years, making us accustomed to instant travelling around the world.
Some players are so upset that they’re taking action. The other day I read a post by a blogger who cancelled her subscription out of rage and frustration over something she considered just a waste of time: “I don’t like being forced into sightseeing and I hate being forced into waiting without even an option of doing something else in game”.
I’m not going to link to the blog in question, because it’s very small and there’s no need to point fingers or help trolls to find their way to it. She never asked for that kind of attention.
Instead I’m going to give a helping hand for the frustrated blogger and other frequent flyers in need of something meaningful to do while on a gryphon. The idea with this guide is to find out what kind of player you are and spend your time accordingly.
Hereby I present you the Pink Pigtail Inn List of Suggested Strategies of Fun to get more out of your travelling time:
Grab the opportunity to tab out and throw down a few ideas for future posts, comment on other blogs or to work on the growing pile of unread blogposts in your feedreader! It’s better to do it while travelling than to wait until you’ve stopped playing for the night and you’re too tired anyway.
2. The Explorer
There's a reason why Blizzard wants us to travel! Have you really noticed all the changes to the world? Use your camera options, zoom in and out, look around and don't forget to take some screenshots while you're at it. Notice all those hidden places you've never been to and make sure you remember to go back to them on a ground mount for a closer look.
3. The Family Guy
This is the moment when you can make up and show your family that you you're not chained to your computer. Even if you assume that you’ve already you’re your share of the household work, helped the kids with their schoolwork and kissed them goodnight properly, there’s surely something more you could do to give them your attention. Make that phone call you've postponed too long. Pat your dog. Or give your loved one a kiss, who knows what else it might lead to? If this means that you'll miss out the arrival at your destination because you were afk or even disconnected for low activity - well, you probably had a good reason.
4. The Entertained
If you're main reason for playing WoW is to be constantly entertained you might want to play another game while you're on a bird. Try one of those addon miniature games that are around. Or multitask with something you have on another platform. Or in case of emergency: feed your tamagotchi. Whatever keeps you happy.
5. The Gourmet
The gourmet won't miss a chance to make a raid to the kitchen and grab a snack. If you need suggestions for what to do, go ahead and check out the comment section of my post about the perfect raid snack. You'll find a recipe for a three-minute chocolate cake, which you'll easily put together during one of the longer flight trips. For journeys by boat or zeppelin I recommend you to stick to something simpler; they're rather quick compared to what they used to be (the turtle tour in Northrend the exception).
6. The Health Seeker
OK, you're facing the consequences of being too much of a gourmet? Had a little too many of those perfect raid snacks? Let's turn it around then. Make a habit out of doing push-ups and sit-ups whenever you travel. Count how many you can do and compete with yourself or your guildies. Or try to beat the gryphon! If you give up before you arrive at the destination, the vehicle has won. If you could make a few more after arriving, you’re the winner.
7. The Organizer
Are your bags in perfect order? If you're the kind of player who likes a tidy desk, they probably are, but in the world of a true organizer there's always something more to do. Adjust the settings in your bag addon to sort your stuff even smarter. Cleanse your action bars from old garbage, such as quest items you've returned to the quest giver long time ago. If you feel rich and your bags are too full to be practical - toss away a few gray useless items. (I won't tell on you.) Or open some clams, now that Blizzard has made the effort to let you do that mounted. If you really can't find anything more to organize, offer to help to clean up in your old, messy guild forum.
8. The Philosopher
The philosopher doesn't see the travelling as something bad; rather the opposite. Life isn't about arriving at the destination; it's about enjoying the journey, right? All day long our minds are constantly occupied with a stream of activities. Rather than trying to productive in a conventional sense, the philosopher will let the journey be a protected enclave in time when he lets go of everything. Enjoy a few minutes of complete relaxation. Observe how the thoughts come and pass by like the landscape below your mount. Listen to your breathing and feel your heartbeat. Arrive energized and relaxed (or possibly asleep).
9. The Researcher
Researchers come in a wide variety. The Number Cruncher will use this moment to polish his personal spread sheet or give his two cents in the latest EJ discussion. The Last-Minute Researcher will browse TankSpot in a futile last-minute effort to cover the fact that he hasn't prepared for the instance he has signed up for. The Materialist Researcher will drool over Atlas Loot and think about how to obtain them. Whatever sort you are - take pride in the fact that you're doing your research while playing WoW in your free time rather than while pretending to do something useful at your job. ;)
10. The Social
If you're like me and find it a little bit difficult to chat with people at the same time as you're actually playing the game, you know, killing stuff - the moments of travel will come to your rescue! Now you can finally show your guild that you're not this strange creepy guy who just logs in and out and never speaks! Scroll back and catch up on the guild chat and add something of your own. If you're known as "that quiet" guy you might want to take it a little careful to begin with or they'll think your account has been hijacked. By all means, go through your friends list. Is there someone you'd like to catch up with? Go ahead and do so, but remember to check out the location of your friend before you whisper them. There's a time and place for everything and if he or she's in a raid instance they might not appreciate your attention.
I've presented a few examples of player types and ideas on what they can do during their journeys. Which strategy do you use? Or maybe you have some further suggestions on how to spend your time on a flight or a boat? Feel free to share with the readers of PPI!