Within my WoW to-do list there’s always been these big projects which are not necessarily complex or hard to complete, but require some time and persistence. Reputation grinds, archaeology, epic weapons from the past, pet battles. One of them is Exploration.
I like maps. If I would suddenly travel back in time to my teens and had to choose a new career opportunity – well, one of the opportunities would be something related to maps. It’s one of my hobbies. In my multiple travels I like to acquire all the possible maps – I research Google maps of the place I’m going to, I always have a map app at my iphone, and I’m buying some paper ones when I’m there.
Whar I’ve always hated in WoW are blank spaces in maps. If I’m questing in a zone, I’m trying to unveil its map in full – and not just the places I’m sent to by quest-givers. If there’s one single blank spot left, I would go and open it deliberately. But obviously you can’t be in every zone while leveling.
I have completed world explorer with my main in the first months of playing WoW – even before Pandaria. But thanks to my map
obsession hobby, I always knew that when I login with any toon, any alt, he/she must have all maps opened and ready. It was a big, long play project which came to an end yesterday. I’ve completed this or that zones deliberately from time to time with my toons when he/she felt like travelling, but anyways it required deliberate sessions of map-opening of vast spaces.
The whole trip isn’t that hard, really. Smaller continents like Outland, Northrend, Pandaria or Draenor would each take you an hour or less to complete in full. Depending on how much of the map you’ve opened while questing.
The bigger continents, EK and Kalimdor, are 2-3 hours trip or so. The worst parts are Blood Elf and Draenei starting zones which STILL don’t let you fly. It’s been… 10 years when they cannot draw Silvermoon and Exodar rooftop textures for us to see them? Oh well. Anyways, you have to ride on the ground through 4 zones in the list.
You have obligatory dangerous parts for factions there. To open a piece of Ammen Vale where Draenei start with a Horde toon, you have to die 3-4 times, pushing your way through 105 elite guards and resurrecting as far as the ghost leash allows. Silvermoon is more forgiving for Alliance toons. You just ride into the gate, make a circle of honor around it, and have four guards running after you. I always imagine the music from Benny Hill show when doing that :) With a bit of luck, they won’t dismount you, and there won’t be high level Horde players to kick your ass while you’re frantically escaping to the golden wilds. Well, Silvermoon normally is the least populated city, located in the ass of the world with no attraction points for high levels. Still Kellers, my Human Mage, chose the worst time to go there – there was a Midsummer fireworks party, so she was ganked like 4 times by a horde of Hordies before she was let to go :)
Now all my toons are grand explorers, they have all the continents on their maps, and the big project is closed. One more thing ready for Legion & Broken Isles!