Time to Windmill.

A quick update to my previous take on Old Man Murray’s deeply splendid Time to Crate review system for FPS games.

I happened to notice the windmill in the background of this screenshot from the post earlier today, and I was quickly reminded of the splendid windmills found near the start of the introductory area for the humans in Warhammer Online. Then I started to fancy that I saw a windmill somewhere in Guild Wars’ pre-searing Ascalon. And wasn’t there one or more in World of Warcraft’s Westfall? For certain I know there were windmills in Lord of the Rings Online.

A very quick search on Google shows windmills in Vanguard and Guild Wars 2 too.

So, Time to Windmill, then. Find out how quickly you can reach the first windmill in your MMO of choice from a starter area. Time it as a simple on-foot run by a high level character (who can then avoid most mobstacles, depending on where the nearest windmill is located). Use travel points only to cross between areas where travelling on foot is impossible. I think the method outlined is fairer than the time a new character takes to level their way to a windmill, as that would be too dependent on a player’s skill/knowledge in levelling.

My current theory is that every fantasy MMO has a windmill somewhere. See if you can find yours.

10 thoughts on “Time to Windmill.

  1. Van Hemlock

    I’m going to have to check Korthos Viallge in DDO now, but you may well be on to something here…

  2. Melmoth Post author

    DDO, of course!

    I’m pretty sure you’re correct. Either that or there should be a corollary: ‘Even if there isn’t a windmill in your fantasy MMO of choice, you’ll think you saw one somewhere’.

  3. bhagpuss

    There are two famous windmill locations in Everquest: the three windmills in Steamfont from the original 1999 launch and The Windmill in Lake of Ill Omen from the first expansion. The Steamfont windmills are still present 50 years later in EQ2 but I can’t recall if there’s still one in LOIO.

    I think you’re right that most MMOs have windmills. I just did a google image search on “Windmills MMO” and there are hundreds of examples. It’s not a just an old-school trend, either; there are images for MMOs have that haven’t launched yet, like Otherlands and for an iPhone MMO, Celtic Heroes.

    Long may the sails turn.

  4. Zoso

    World of Tanks, about 10 seconds on Fisherman’s Bay from the south base:

    And 30-odd seconds (in a fast tank from the north base) on Malinovka:

  5. Tesh

    I’m pretty sure that STO has some windmills on farming planets… but I don’t have the time to go double check. Yes, I’m lazy and busy… an interesting combination.

  6. Melmoth Post author

    @Rockets: Space windmills! Man, those things get everywhere.

    @bhagpuss: I imagine Everquest included just about every fantasy staple ever invented at one point or another. Splendid example of windmill evolution, from EQ1 to EQ2, though!

    @pjharvey: Eh heh heh! \m/

    @Zoso: Looks like KiaSA’s award winning hat news reporter has branched out into investigative windmill journalism. Top work, sir!

    @Tesh: The sort of combination that leads to windmills being shoved into a landscape, I imagine.

    Perhaps there’s something intrinsically universal about windmills which means they’re always loved by people.

    Maybe that’s their plan, and before too long they will awaken from their dormancy and strike.

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