Visiting class halls is a minor inconvenience and that’s great
Early on in the Legion alpha, players accessed their class halls via a teleport ability found in their spellbook. No matter where you were in the game world, you would cast that spell, appear in your class hall, then cast it again to return right back where you were — much like a Death Knight’s Death Gate. The vast majority of those class hall spells have since been removed, replaced with physical, stationary portals in Dalaran. When the switch happened, I was one of the people whining about it. Why remove such convenience? Why make it harder to visit such an important location? Why? Why?
Since then, I’ve not only come to terms with the decision — I’ve come to agree with it. The ever-so-slight inconvenience of traveling to a class hall has made the class halls themselves less inconvenient.
In Warlords of Draenor, I actually enjoyed garrisons for the opening stretch of the expansion — except the frequency with which I traveled back there during the leveling process. With a garrison-specific hearthstone on a 20 minute cooldown, I couldn’t help but return to my garrison for every little thing. A 30-minute mission finished? Better hearth back and send my followers on a new one. Oh, a work order is complete? If I don’t hearth back and start a new one, I might miss out. The ease with which I could return to my garrison encouraged my poor behavior — I could go back, so I did. I interrupted my own gameplay over and over again for no real gain; the things I hearthed back for were all things I could’ve done later, after I’d finished whatever quests I was doing.
In the Legion alpha, that situation is playing out quite differently. First, there are no 30-minute follower missions. Yes, there are follower missions. However, seeing a mission with a duration below 3 hours is a rarity. That by itself helps — there’s really no impetus to go back to your class hall over and over again over a play session. But there are other reasons you might want to return to your class hall — and the slight inconvenience has made me consider whether or not I need to do that right now.
Take artifact traits, for example. While doing world quests on my level 110 warlock, my goal was to acquire enough Artifact Power to unlock another trait in my artifact. After completing one or two world quests, I achieved my goal — I unlocked a point to spend on a trait. If I had a short-cooldown hearthstone directly to my class hall, I would have used it. If I had a teleport spell which took me directly to my class hall, then brought me right back where I was, I would have used it. Instead, I had my regular hearthstone to Dalaran — which I might want to use later — and then I’d need to hoof it to the portal, spend my artifact power, portal back to Dalaran, and grab a flight back to where I really wanted to be.
The difference wasn’t huge. At worst, it would add a few minutes more to the task. It isn’t as if the class portals are ridiculously out of the way — they’re in Dalaran! But the minor inconvenience made me consider whether I really needed to spend that point now, or if it could wait until I’d done all of the quests which interested me. Was it worth interrupting what I was doing? Was it worth leaving the zone I was still questing in?
Nah. It could wait. That point isn’t going anywhere. I can spend it when I’m done.
Yes, the loss of the teleport means class halls are slightly less convenient than they used to be. But so far, that inconvenience actually means the class hall doesn’t intrude upon my gameplay — it isn’t nagging me to come back, come back, start another mission.
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