| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (50)

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 8:31AM Lethality said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
There should be no fast travel within the same "planet" (for lack of a better condition).

Having travel time really adds a sense of place, which adds to the sense of immersion for the player wether they realize it or not.

Now, traveling extreme distances (as humans would relate to them) could have some form of fast travel, but you should still have to get on a "vehicle" and begin and end the journey.. the middle part could be staged.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 9:36AM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
All games should have fast travel like in Oblivion or Guild Wars. Once you have discovered a location, you should be able to click on it to instantly travel there. Seeing the areas the first time is nice, but after that, screw it.

I quit playing LOTRO because of the slow travel. I was spending 75% of my time getting somewhere and 25% playing -- even with their slow "fast travel" options.

Give us a choice. For the people with nothing better to do, let them walk everywhere. Let everyone else play the game and not sit there staring at the screen for 20 minutes while your avatar makes the same long trip for the 200th time.

Reply

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 1:35PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Stardran I guess never played Morrowind. Haha. Honestly, there was something about that game that made it better than Oblivion, and it was the slow travel times. Fast travel like Oblivion makes no sense, and it made it feel to much like a game, and less like a real world. I don't care if there's an equivalent quickness of travel in the game, but have it make sense with the lore - click and travel is the worst idea I can think of, at least as far as MMO's are concerned.

To be honest I'm having a little of the same problem with Aion. I'm not sure it makes sense that I can't fly everywhere. Sure, I get the lore aspect - less whatever it is that allows flight - but it really feels too much like talking a system mechanic into the lore, instead of having it actually fit with the lore. *Shrug* still love the game, but wish i could fly. Esp in the main city. Geez. >.>
Reply

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 2:43PM Flicktion said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Hahaha, slow travel times is NOT what made Morrowind better than Oblivion in any aspect. You still get the same sense of adventure since you have the find the place to begin with. I hate slow travel times and couldn't agree more with Stardran.

I don't want to spend more time getting there than time I spend there.
Reply

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 6:30PM Lethality said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
You guys that are against real travel just don't get it. MMOs are supposed to be a world, not a "level" in a platformer you just rush your way thru.

By having travel times, it most definitely creates a sense of being in a real place. WoW does it absolutely perfectly. Lotro is an example of doing it wrong, as is Warhammer.

Let me also say this - you don't get to know the lay of the land when you teleport. It was bad enough in Wow when they introduced flying mounts... but you just lose all of your knowledge of nooks and crannies in a game. In vanilla WoW, most people could reference something like "by the big boulder by that lake in the Plaguelands". Now? Who knows... no one knows Netherstrom like that, or Storm Peaks.

So instant travel would remove the immersion in the game, wether you know it or not.

Reply

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 8:41AM Itoao said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I, for one think fast travel should only be implemented very carefully. I used to play SWG from the start. When it launched there was only the shuttles and starports. Essentially public transport to main hubs(starports) then smaller central locations. Then they introduced mounts where were relatively slow but still allowed faster movement. Then speeders were introduced. This seemed to make the game word that was huge, get alot smaller. Then they reduced wait times on shuttles and starports. It just seemed to take away from the large feel of the game in my opinion.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 8:45AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I don't want to spend first one hour to organize a team and then three hours waiting for all to get there. I prefer GW's travelling system because when I sit down to play a game I expect to do just that - play it - and not watch my character autorunning somewhere.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 9:05AM Wisdomandlore said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I go back and forth about how I feel about it. It can add to the sense of realism and scale of the world, and it can also impede grouping and siphon time. I remember in FFXI it could take 30m to an hour just to get to a leveling spot. However, in a game like LOTRO now, you can basically skip from town to town and never see the world.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 9:07AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Having to run huge differences is a pain and leads to boredom (and danger at low levels). I think mounts are essential and making them too expensive/at too high a level is a mistake. Some people have time to spend 30 minutes running somewhere in a game, I frankly don't. Give people the choice and then all games can be accounted for.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 9:22AM Minofan said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'm a big fan of fast travel - regular travel has its place in adventure and exploration, but getting from hub (town, outpost, etc.) to hub - and wilderness back to hub - should be instantaneous.

Travel times were more acceptable years ago when other systems hadn't be pioneered, but now it is simply a sign that the developers in question place no premium upon their customers' time - which is shoddy customer service plain & simple in my book.

At this point in my life, I won't play an MMO with travel time (not questing, not exploration, just boring empty A-to-B travel) as a 'feature.'

- - -

Btw I've never bought the counter-arguments either: if some folks like to slow travel and believe it enriches the gameplay experience then of course they're free to do so, how on Earth does that translate that other paying customers should be denied the option of fast travel?

Players who abhor slow travel aren't going to be wandering the wilderness looking for PUGs and RP sessions without fast travel, they're just going to be steering an autorunning character boredly - or simply not playing at all.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 9:56AM agitatedandroid said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think the greater issue isn't that slow travel just makes getting to the "fun" part take too long, it's that the journey is so completely boring in the first place.

As another commenter said, travel in LOTRO is an interminable chore. I'm certain this is why I only really enjoy playing Hunters and Wardens. Even with their speedier foot travel it still takes hours to get anywhere and while the landscape may be lovely once you've seen it the first time that's all you really needed.

The greater issue is that the primary reason for having fast travel is to skip over those content areas that offer you zero benefit. The hub system is growing stale for me.

Using WoW as an example, you go from hub to hub with insane travel times between. Newer players may not realize what a hideous chore the Barrens once were. It becomes even more boring when you're level 20 and still having to run through level 10 content areas. The only saving grace was relatively flat terrain for an AFK run. How many times have you seen an avatar, in any game, running in place against a mountain or wall because the player went to the fridge?

I want a feeling of a grandly sized world to play in, sure, but if I must go through whole continents it would be nice if there was something there for me to do. By the time you're level 50 in WoW there are few places to go in Old Azeroth that offer a quest or even a mob challenge but to get there you have to travel through four or five zones where every quest would be grey if you hadn't already completed it and every mob dies from mere reactive damage.

It's not really travel. It's an exercise of the "w" key.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 12:54PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Chris, your comment has inspired me....

First off, when I first read your post, despite havingt PLAYED LOTRO since just after launch, I thought "Hunters and Wardens" was an MMO I hadn't heard of!

I was picturing playing as a trapper, or a big-game hunter, which would make the whole "open world" issue moot, since that would be where your stuff would be to hunt!

About your comment on the "hub", why not take instancing a step further? Have MOST areas in the game scaled, similar to phasing/instancing principles, so that if I am level 10, and you are level 30, the enemies are scaled appropriately for BOTH of us in the same level. For groups/fellowships, the enemies are at the highest level player's level for everyone.

Programming-wise it's an easy thing to accomplish, you just have the enemy act as a trigger for a combat resolution that's tied to *YOU*. For example, I am level 50, you are level ten, and an enemy is fighting you, then switches to me. It hits you as a level ten, it hits me as a level 50, and vice versa.

Reply

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 9:56AM Tumorseal said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
While my playtime is limited, I think it depends on the game.

Fallen Eath should NOT have fast travel. The point of the game is struggle.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 9:57AM SgtBaker said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Keep your fast traveling fingers out of my EVE!

The movement is part of the game and the tactics, I can understand it in context of a standard-fantasy-mmo with level restricted areas, but it makes no sense in a sandbox game.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 9:57AM kasapina said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Slow travel and exploration don't have to go hand in hand. I think the way WoW does it is the right one (except for mage portals) - sure, you can go from A to B quickly, paying for a gryphon (or whatever the racial transport is) or using a mount, but you do get to see the landscape in the process, even if at a glance. Teleporting from one town to another however - I don't think that is a good idea.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 10:10AM Gaugamela said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
For me it depends on how its done. I believe a game should incorporate some fast travel measures but it should always have a persistent world and mounts for people to walk around in that world if they want to.
Just introduce some waystones to teleport people to a dungeon (a la WoW) or a class with a teleport option, allow players to jump in scenarios/BGs and out without having to leave the place they are questing in (a la WAR). But, some more lengthy travel options could be included for players to get a sense of the world.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 10:31AM Aganazer said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Bring us... the UO rune marking system! I loved that there was a market for those. It was fast travel, customizable, but didn't hinder exploration. In fact, it encouraged exploration so that you could mark a rune at whatever cool place you found.

As an alternative, bring us 'Loyd's Beacon' from M&M. It was essentially the same thing, but you can only ever have one spot 'marked' for you to recall to.

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 7:04PM Anatidae said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
UO was interesting, because from the start everywhere was someplace you could explore. A new character might have to flee a lot, but in the skill world you could wander and feel somewhat "safe". This lead to the fact that walking around in UO was interesting.

A newbie in WoW is trapped in an area - or an older character has to pass through content too weak for them to be engaged. Travel is annoying then. But, if the entire world of WoW was all level 80 content and you just started at level 80 with progression being unlocking some abilities, skill trees, etc.. then the would might be less boring to travel through.

Also, the sandbox nature of UO made it interesting to see what was out there. I would sometimes just walk the world to see what communities would crop up. With PKers (player killers) this was a dangerous prospect too!

The rune system was great - and even BETTER (but more annoying) when you had to drop your rune on the ground to use it. The dropping the rune was fun because it means that traveling with Recall was a single ticket trip. Also, back then you could mark just about anything - even some static world items. I actually managed to get the Britian forge to hold a mark to my favorite mining spot. I bet no one in the game bothered to cast recall on that forge, not that I saw. As the first Grandmaster smith on my server, I always waited to see if another aspiring smith would show up with my mark (I mined on that big ice island in that huge cage near the entrance to some dungeon). If someone would have appeared while I was online, I would have made them my apprentance and helped them to GM smith in record time.

Interesting how a more creative travel mechanic + an open world design lead to a micro game for me and potentially for someone else. I really wish someone would develop another big sandbox game that ISNT about PvP (sure, have PvP). Most sandbox worlds are just about combat. They lack the cool things like marking runes, summoning creatures, building communities (not a keep to be sieged, but player taverns and such).

Wow, that is a digression. Interesting forms of fast travel = WIN. Interesting forms of fast travel that involve a group of players to accomplish (like WoW summoning needing more than 1 player) = Bigger WIN.
Reply

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 10:35AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It really depends on the type of game I'd say. Instant traveling works well in Guild Wars but can really hurt the immersion of a seamless world.

When playing WoW I often get the impression of hanging around in an animated lobby called dalaran waiting for a game session to join with is the dungeon I get teleported to. I sometimes wonder why there are even roads in the world.

Also if you have any sort of mediveal trade simulation it can really destroy your gameplay.

That beeing said the time spend traveling should not exceed the time spend to do other things and developers could spend more effort in making traveling less boring (i cann remember it was far from boring in certain pvp-areas for example).

Posted: Sep 26th 2009 10:45AM PlasticSpork said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
City of Heroes pretty much ruined me for traveling in other games. Super jump is so much fun that I want it all the time in all games.

Featured Stories

WoW Archivist: A Glyphmas story

Posted on Dec 21st 2014 12:00PM

One Shots: Top 10 best player screenshots of 2014

Posted on Dec 21st 2014 10:00AM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW