Monday, November 11, 2013

Fast Travel in MMOs

My least favorite convenience item that exists in games is "fast travel." I'm probably in the minority of MMO gamers with that statement. The pro argument for fast travel is you spend less time getting to where you want to be and more time doing things at that place. The problem I have with fast travel is it just makes the virtual world you're in shrink.

WoW is a perfect example of world shrinking. Back when I played during vanilla, getting from point A to point B was often difficult. Some of my favorite moments in that game were me deciding to go through zones that were a much higher level than me and having to dodge mobs. I would be in my 30s and run from Tirisfal Glades to Hillsbrad Foothills by way of Western Plaguelands, or going from Arathi to the Badlands. The dungeon/raid finder and getting mounts earlier and flying mounts have really made the world seem a lot smaller. I remember on my first 60, I didn't have quite enough gold to buy an epic mount and my guild leader gave me the difference (300 gold, not an insignificant sum in those days.) I bought it in Brill and ran down the road to the bulwark and back and I felt so fast.

The world of EVE feels a lot bigger nowadays than WoW and I'm fine with that. I like that there are a couple elements of fast travel but they're either not open to everyone (jump bridges) or they're not really reliable methods of travel (wormholes.) I'm glad autopilot forces people two slowboat those last few kilometers. I would be fine with they removed autopilot from the game, although I'm sure there are some gate campers out there who wouldn't be fine with that. I also like that there is no shared bank and inventory management is a key part of the game. If you want something from Jita, you have to go to Jita and get it. It can be annoying if you need to go pew pew something but you don't have a particular mod, but that's part of the game.

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