Some Improvements for Playing with Portals

Apple Cider asks a portal trainer about portals.

Come on, how the heck do I get to Shrine of Seven Stars?

When I was writing another installment of my mage leveling guide today, I noticed something I had come across the night prior on my new level 20 mage – mages now get all their relevant city teleports at level 17. At the time, I didn’t realize this though. The system for mages of all levels to learn relevant teleport and portal spells is still very unintuitive. I believe that there is a reason why it happened and I hope to suggest some things to fix this, however.

With Patch 5.0, Blizzard significantly revamped the leveling and talent system so that when anyone is leveling up, they no longer have to visit a trainer to acquire new spells. This is great; it means you’re not constantly running back to a city and tracking down a trainer for your next spell. You can just pull it out of your spellbook and stick it on your bars. Mages had it slightly easier as we could, after a while, just teleport to our trainers. Everyone else was fucked though.

At level 17, all mages learn the base Teleport spell as well as the Portal spell at level 42. These two spells were designed recently to be icons that are a fly-out menu of every Teleport/Portal spell you have learned, making it easier for mages to pick an appropriate spell and keep your UI uncluttered. When you gain Teleport/Portal, you are given one free “out in the wild” teleport or portal spell to your “home” city (based on race). While leveling my Pandaren, I noticed she was given Orgrimmar. I figured I’d get other teleport spells at a later time. When checking the spells list on Wowhead, I noticed that every single city is listed as being learned at level 17. In order to learn all the cities available to you prior to level 60, you have to visit a Portal trainer.

This becomes somewhat of a problem to newer players (or even veteran players like myself) because it is not indicated anywhere that you can learn all the appropriate cities at level 17, or that to do so, you have to visit a Portal trainer.  Also, what city you learn for free is based on your race, so if you’re a Draenei, for instance, your free teleport is Exodar. This is great if you are still questing in that area, but most players I know skedaddle to Eastern Kingdoms by that point. Most cities are slightly more well-connected now but giving a mage a teleport spell to a city that isn’t central to their activities with no indication of where to get the other cities from isn’t very helpful. Sure, I eventually figured it out with the help of Wowhead, but what about someone who is new? Portal trainers aren’t listed on a guard’s gossip option, nor are they even standardized in terms of location when a mage teleports in.

This isn’t even limited to low-level mages either – it’s not immediately evident where to get new portals as you change expansions. I hit level 90 on my mage and it took me a while to find Larimaine here in Stormwind to learn my portal to Shrine of the Seven Stars. There’s no portal trainer in the faction capitals in Pandaria (despite having a portal room), unlike in Shattrath or Dalaran.

I believe that several things that could be changed if we want make this system better for everyone involved:

  1. Indicate in both the level ding pop-up and a mage’s spell book (similar to Riding skills) that there are additional teleport/portal spells available from a Portal Trainer.
  2. Standardize portal trainers in ALL cities, in similar locations. Some are near the Blasted Lands portal, some aren’t. Some are near portals to Stormwind/Orgrimmar in later content, some aren’t.
  3. Standardize a faction teleport – this directs all players to the faction capital. Make that portal trainer prominently standing when a mage teleports there to learn the other spells.
  4. Use a pop-up quest or tip to “teach” players where to go or who to talk to. Similar to the Dalaran quest about how to use the teleport stone at level 72, this might be an alternative method to teach newbies as to where to go.
  5. Give guards a gossip option for where a portal trainer in cities is located.

Hopefully if Blizzard makes some of these changes, it could lead to some nice quality of life changes for my fellow mages who are learning the teleportation arts. For any other issues with portals, please consult our handbook.


I posted a version of this up in the Mage forums (for lack of a better place) so if you want to go discuss there or gives a thumbs up!



Pilgrim’s Bounty is a Mage’s Bounty

Apple Cider casts a portal in front of a Pilgrim's Bounty table.

Pilgrim’s Bounty is one of the most interesting holidays in-game; there’s no mount, no fun vanity items but as an Insane reputation grinder, I’ve always appreciated that reputation buff. However I’m not here to share my pointless farming with you, I’m here how to make you mages some gold. And want to know how?


Now  you’re thinking with portals! Little known secret, people will pay out the butt for portals during this holiday. Last two years I’ve made an easy 500G a day just from doing a couple things:

1.) Stand in one city near the cooking fire and accept whispers to portal someone to another city for tips or whatever your amount.

2.) Offer the “complete” package – an all-inclusive tour of all the cities, making all stops for people who need to go to all four for cooking dailies.

3.) /Yelling or /Saying your offer to portal people places.

Don’t let other mages undercut you. Just announce your service and watch the offers come in. Don’t accept this “but all portals should be free” nonsense. Relying on the goodness of your heart is for Christmas and people who don’t like swimming in their own bank vault of sweet, sweet portal gold. There’s a market here and it only comes around on holidays. People want a portal, and you’ll give it to them. What’s so bad about charging for it? It costs you money for the rune, no less. Why not put a little markup in there?

For those of you with mage alts, the required level to do this is 42, when you get all your city portals. Don’t worry about being low-level; people will thrust money in your face if your name is blue. And participation is as little or as much as you want to make it – do you want to spend 8 hours hanging around a cooking fire, /yelling your lungs out, portalling tons of people? Then you can do that. Do you want to just take people around as you do your own dailies? That’s cool too.

It’s a win-win situation here people. Just don’t undercut me.