April 26, 2014

No Flying Zone!

I've heard so many different rumors since the announcement of Warlords of Draenor - flying, no flying until the first patch, and no flying at all. While I'm sure none of this is set in stone, the decision now seems to be no flying mounts in Draenor at all. I will be pulling a few Blue Post quotes from this thread and other discussions linked in the OP on the official World of Warcraft forums.

No Fly Zone!

The first concern Bashiok seemed to address was the ganking issues on PvP servers. My first thought was, "why play on a PvP server if you're mad about getting ganked?", but then I realized, some people do like that level of WPvP you get on a PvP server, but this becomes a nuisance when a person trying to level up is repeatedly killed by a max level character over, and over, and over... you see where I'm going. Anyway, the blue post replied:

"... A few changes coming in Warlords are going to help you out, we hope. First, a new expansion means lots of new people leveling, and without flying mounts you'll finally be able to approach people face-to-face instead of having to drop on them from above. No more feeling forced to gank people unceremoniously by swooping down on lower-level players from a vantage they themselves don't have access to. ..."

Completely understandable. The next piece I will post involves questing.

"... Our goal is not to make travel time consuming or painful, and with players on ground mounts we know we'll have to do more to try to ensure people can get to where they want to go quickly… BUT being able to lift off and fly over content compromises many of our goals in how the game world is approached, how it's played, how it's consumed, and how the content is designed to account for those factors. ..."

 I do have to agree with this one. The questing experience is very much shortened/cheapened with flying mounts. You can skip over most of the mobs, kill the quest objective guy, then fly back and turn in the quest. There is a good example on the forum post, but I'm not going to link that here. While there are some of us who love to quest, there are some people who absolutely don't. They want to fly through it as fast as possible to get to max level then work on other things. I'm just wondering how many of those people who are complaining about no flying sit in the city, waiting for their queue to pop, while alt+tabbed out of WoW.

Last night I asked my followers on Twitter what were their opinions on the "no flying policy". The feedback I received was completely split. Some hated the decision, some didn't care at all, some showed a little bit of concern, but hoped that meant blizzard could put resources to improving other things. I still am not really sure what I feel on the matter, and I didn't really express my opinions about it yet, so I will use this to do so.

I am not a Vanilla player, but I started in Burning Crusades. I leveled 1-70 on my mage with no flying. I remember the moment I hit Hellfire Peninsula I died... a ton. I also remember spending countless hours at level 70 trying to wall climb in Winterspring to get to Hyjal and the Dancing Troll Village. Exploration was and still is my favorite part of the game. While I can now easily fly to any place I could ever want to explore, exploration felt a bit more special back then. I remember spending close to an hour swimming around Silithus to get to the little abandoned Tauren Camp. It's no longer there anymore, but the cave is, and now it's inhabited by a dragon.

Old Tauren camp south of Silithus in BC
Having no flying wasn't terrible, and it really didn't bother me to level up in Pandaria without it either. I actually enjoyed it, payed more attention to the gorgeous scenery, and loved finding hidden shrines with little lootable treasures everywhere. I'm hoping that I will be able to find some hidden places like that in Draenor.

That being said, I think I would eventually like flying in the game, maybe in the first patch like they originally said. Most people will probably have their mains and favorite alt leveled up by then, and would have experienced most of the questing content. If flying is never added, I think I will be alright. I might have to change my play style around a bit when herbing or mining, but I think things will work out. I'm not getting upset over something so minor in a video game... plus I get a chance to use some of my favorite ground mounts again. That's always a good thing. It's too soon for me to say that I hate it or love it. I think I will reserve my judgement for Beta and when the game is released.

Once again, I want to thank everyone who talked with me last night about it. You guys rock, and if you have any other comments about it, feel free to add them below. Please remember to be respectful since everyone has different opinions on the matter. Now go and enjoy your weekend both in and out of Azeroth! /kiss


  1. "I also remember spending countless hours at level 70 trying to wall climb in Winterspring to get to Hyjal and the Dancing Troll Village"

    I remember doing that as well! That was always fun to do.

    As much as I enjoy flying from one place to the other, it really did take away from the wonder of the world of Azeroth. There's no adventure anymore, only objectives.

    I don't mind not being able to fly.


    Oh yes, there is a but. What to do with all those flying mounts they've created? Add the fact that the game introduced flying in the first place. You can't give players something and expect them to be pleased when you take it away, and not even give a confirmation whether it is permanent or not.

    PS: Ganking will happen with or without flying. See: Timeless Isle on a PVP server.

    1. Agreed. I think people are upset more at the fact that they aren't sure yet if they will ever add flying. I can't blame them, and it's quite annoying to see the blue posters dance around the subject instead of just being honest.

      Then add in all the store mounts that people love to use, especially the newest one - Iron Skyreaver:

      "Bred for war by brutal Iron Horde beastmasters and girded for battle in black steel and smoldering flame" = Cannot fly in Draenor so useless as a war weapon! :P

  2. I notice that I will often just run from one place to another when I notice other players will mount up to do the same. And when I was in early beta, it was a lot of fun to climb up to the top of Neverest.

    I do mount up to avoid as many fights as I can, as my character tries to avoid unnecessary violence. Guess I'll be using stealthed Camouflage more in WoD.

    I just hope mob density/difficulty is less than what I've been seeing on the three MoP Isles.

    1. I'm extremely excited about exploring the world. In fact, I think I remember them saying at Blizzcon they will be adding lots of little "off the path" places to find. Hopefully they stay true to that.

      One problem I had with MoP is after the first few weeks of the expansion, the re-spawn rates on the mobs are usually still set really high, and it makes it difficult to quest when the mob you just killed almost instantly re-spawns. Also like you said, I hope them amount of mobs an area is taken into account that we can't fly. No one wants to kill 50 mobs to get to the quest objective! :)