Edit Feb 09: Sadly, it looks like the ability to ghetto hearth will be going away in Patch 3.1. Instead of being transported to your hearth inn, you’ll simply be kicked out of the instance to the nearest graveyard. However, to make up for this, hearthstones are being changed to a 30 minute cooldown. RIP ghetto hearth!
I thought that everyone knew about this little trick, but I ran into a number of people this weekend that weren’t aware of it, so I wanted to give it a mention.
Pretty much everyone nowadays has their Hearthstone set to Shattrath, or somewhere else in the Outlands. So what are you to do when you’re in Azeroth and you want to head back to the Outlands, but your stone is on cooldown? Your options are: 1) wait for your stone to cooldown, 2) fly out to the Blasted Lands and go through the Dark Portal, or 3) use the Ghetto Hearth.
The Ghetto Hearth takes advantage of a game mechanic that kicks you out of an instance if you are not part of the group that “owns” that instance. You might have noticed this before – if you run a dungeon, and then leave the group while you’re still in the instance, it will boot you from the instance to your hearth city.
So, to use the Ghetto Hearth to your advantage, here’s what you do. First off, you need to be near, but not inside, an instance. Party up with someone (anyone at all will do) and then hop into the instance. Once you’re in, give party leader to the other person, and then leave the group. Stay in the instance, and in a few seconds you’ll get a message saying you’re not part of the group for that instance, and you’ll get kicked out to your hearth city in about one minute.
Pretty nifty, huh? Most people will know what you mean when you ask for a Ghetto Hearth. If they don’t, then it’s pretty easy to explain and it doesn’t require any real help on their part anyways. One thing to make sure of is that you don’t enter the instance before you make the group. If you go in first, then the instance will be set to you (instead of your party) and it won’t kick you out once you leave. If you forget and go in first though, just leave, reform the party, and then hop back inside.
Major Cities and the Closest Instance
Orgrimmar – RFC
Thunder Bluff – RFC
Undercity – SM
Silvermoon City – SM
Ironforge – Stockades (or possibly Gnomer)
Stormwind – Stockades
Darnassus – BFD
The Exodar – BFD