The Problem With Hearthstones

There’s one thing I’m hoping for in WoW’s Mists of Pandaria, almost more than any other feature, and it’s this: I hope that when we’re dumped, shipwrecked and dripping, on the shores of Pandaria, we’re stuck there. Without a hearthstone.

Hearthstones are just a huge problem for developers trying to instil a range of emotions in their players, notably negative ones. It’s very hard to make a player fear for his character’s future, worry about being able to escape from captivity, or simply just feel isolated, when with a click of a button we can be back in Stormwind. It’s like having a personal teleporter to Cheers.

Why am I ranting about this now? Because Killed in a Smiling Accident’s Melmoth has been running through what sounds like it could be powerful, involving content in LoTRO – if it wasn’t for that damn Milestone

“Betrayed and turned over to the orcs of the White Hand, we find our captive heroine transported to deep within the fiery orc-infested dungeons of Isengard. Will she survive the hardships of the dungeons? Can she rescue her fellow captives? Will she find a way to break her bonds and return to the surface to warn the advancing Rohirrim? Find out in this week’s exciting episode of A Warden’s Adventuuuuuuuures in Duuuuuuuuuunland!

“Orright ya filfth, we’re gonna get ya t’working, hard, until that pretty white elf flesh is all flll… uh?! Burr… where’d they go?”

[Back at the Prancing Pony in Bree]

“So you just used your milestone teleport?”

“Well it was just sitting there and off its cooldown, seemed almost rude not to.”

“Huh. Another pastry?””

Melmoth’s on fine comic form today – this is a “don’t read while drinking” post. He starts with the problem above, and considers its ramifications, running right down to the logical conclusion – which I won’t spoiler…

Great writing, and it makes a great point. Check it out!

Would you like to be stranded by MMOs sometimes?