Travel is always a hot button issue. Long have been the debates between convenience and seeing, or making people see, the world. What is a waste of time and what builds character and all that.
And opinion has changed on it over time.
For example, in WoW, you used to have to go and find flight points on foot (or on a mount) before you could use them.
Later, Blizzard decided to open up any flight point at your level or below without having to visit them.
Then, more recently, Blizz changed their mind and now you have to go find them again.
Clearly not a settled issue.
But what about the more dangerous methods of travel? What about stuff that can get you killed?
A friend of mine who is back playing WoW sent me a pic of his new favorite toy in the game, the Last Relic of Argus.
It will send you to one of a list of locations. His first try sent him to the bottom of the Golakka Hot Springs in Un’Goro Crater. He set it off and walked away from the computer, only to find himself drowning upon his return. Always good for a laugh.
That reminded me of the engineering device from the Wrath of the Lich King era, the Northrend Wormhole Generator that would put you in some pretty odd places when it was working right. And when it wasn’t, you would end up high in the sky and hoping you remembered to attached the flexweave underlay to your cloak so you could deploy it as a parachute.
And then we moved on to the old days of TorilMUD and the spell planeshift.
Some of them were clearly dangerous locations. The astral plane was always good for a wipe. Somebody might wander into the wrong room and elicit this zone wide shout indicating things have gone horribly wrong.
Juiblex shouts ‘You will pay for attacking me mortal worms! Denizens of Darkness, Come and Feast upon Thanti!
And the plane of Fire could also be bad news. Just for openers it was, as the name implies, on fire. You needed a powerful fire protection object just to survive long enough to worry about who lived there. And even if you did have such an item, the dread Moritheil might get you killed before you got back to the City of Brass or other destinations.
Other planes were more benign. There was a plane of smoke where nothing was aggro. You needed protection from gas to stay there for long, and you had to be flying to move around. But it wasn’t a big deal.
The ironic twist in the whole planeshift spell was that the most dangerous place to shift to was the prime material plane, which was basically the world where we all were most of the time anyway.
The thing was that, while shifting to the other planes was sort of random, there were limited locations that allowed it, and none were at the big mobs that I recall, shifting to prime could stick you in any room that allowed teleport. And there were a lot of dangerous rooms which fit that bill.
At one point, when I was last “done” with the game, I used to take my level 50 druid and play what I called “the corpse game.”
I would pile on a bunch of coins and maybe some good gear and then planeshift between smoke and prime until I landed in a room with something I couldn’t solo and died. Then people would have to find my corpse in order to claim the loot.
I think the most times it took me to die was 10 shifts to prime, which given the number of possible rooms, says something. And I did it enough times to fall back to level 47, losing a quarter of a level of exp with each death.
So what other dangerous travel methods or devices have there been in MMOs?