In the real world, we don’t have magic. We have technology. We can’t fly by muttering “levitate”, but we can move 700 people across four oceans with little difficulty. We can’t instantly communicate using magic orbs, but we can via the internet.
In a world with magic, magic itself replaces technology. We don’t have huge airplanes, but we do have the ability to near-instantly teleport to other planets.
For example, instant communication. In our universe, we use things like skype, MSN, or e-mail to communicate near instantly with each other.
This technology exists in WoW, too, and all of us have used this device to it’s fullest extent.
An invention created by a high elf mage during the Third War, the Communications Hub Arcane Teleprompter (or CHAT) is essentially a small, highly configurable box that allows it’s user to instantly communicate with anyone else who has a similar box.
It allows people to communicate in any conceivable way, either by completely private and secure one on one conversations, or private channels between selected groups. It also allows commanders to immediately send critical messages to all of their underlings, and only their underlings.
Though there remains a small issue where a user can become absent-minded, and send a message in the wrong channel, the device is nearly perfect.
It can be configured nearly any way it’s user desires, with multiple third party addons available. It can be used to allow one’s animal companion limited communication, and it can even be used to contact Greater Mortals!
Sadly, language translation modules are very rare. Also in short supply are spell checking addons.
Being a purveyor of the arcane arts, I feel it is my duty to enumerate on the many ways that arcane magics have made our day to day lives easier and more convenient.
The bakeries of Stormwind, for instance, have been using arcane powers to fuel their fires for years now.
All those bonfires in Orgrimmar? Ever wonder why the wood never needs to be replaced? That wood is just for show; the local Arcane University uses first-year mages to keep those fires going.
Wood is a resource, after all, why use it when some mana can get the job done faster and more efficiently?
So when a fellow caster wonders about toilets, I am merely fulfilling my role as an educator when I describe to you the process.
Teleportation is a fantastic technology, filling a much needed transportation role. Transport routes in Azeroth are very small, relying heavily on seagoing ships and slow moving zeppelins. There exists only a single train.
While portals may not, for instance, be capable of moving the tonnes of goods in and out of a city required to keep it running, it does fill the much maligned niche of small scale transportation.
How did you think the mail gets delivered?
The traditional postal service died out in the Third War, when the strongest proponent of the traditional mail service was sort of obliterated by Arthas. (Though you can still see a few postman attempting to make their deliveries in the husk of Stratholme.)
You didn’t really think that piece of armor you bought off the Auction House just magically appeared in the mail box, did you? Ok, well, technically it did, but still! It’s perfectly scientific!
Portal technology is an interesting one, in that the entry point is irrelevant, only the exit point matters.
A portal can be opened anywhere, anytime. It can be positioned anywhere, independent of leylines and the like.
However, the exit point is an entirely different matter. Exit points require very careful positioning, and no exit point can be created without precise measuring and absolute pinpoint accuracy.
If that accuracy isn’t there… well… let’s just say that when a body tries to apparate over two leagues of ground simultaneously, it becomes a cloud of red mist and horrifically warped organs.
There’s a damn good reason why it’s frowned upon for mages to use portal magic when drunk, though the spells for capital city portals are usually designed to be idiot proof.
Haven’t you ever wondered why there are limited mail boxes? Haven’t you ever wondered why Orgrimmar has only two of them, whereas Silvermoon has dozens?
Leylines, people! Exit points must be positioned on one, or that “apparate over a square league” thing happens.
Orgrimmar doesn’t have a lot of them, so the possible positions for mailboxes are limited. Silvermoon, by comparison, is riddled with the things, so they’re everywhere. Dalaran is the same; crisscrossed with so many of the things, it’s a wonder the city hasn’t become self-aware yet.
Anyway, where was I?
Oh yes, toilets.
You see, the modern Azeroth washroom is very simply constructed. A toilet portal (called a torpal) can be opened literally anywhere.
A particularly ingenious gnome mage actually invented a small device that can open a torpal without a mage even having to be present. Though sales were slow at first, (he couldn’t understand why, with a family friendly name like Super Happy Instant Toilet) after shortening the name to simply “Instant Toilet” sales skyrocketed.
(If you have any questions or issues about waste disposal, just contact your local IT department.)
So where’s the exit point?
Well… they don’t call it the Swamp of Sorrows for nothing.