MMO-Champion - Warlords of Draenor - Flying Delayed Until First Major Patch, Hearthstone Beta Keys
Update: Added a new response to some feedback.

Patch 5.4.2 PTR - Build 17585

Warlords of Draenor - Flying Delayed Until First Major Patch
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
There's a lot of discussion about flying/not-flying and I'd like to try to sum things up and maybe realign the discussion a bit. Some of the other threads are near-cap, some have really gone down tangents, so I'm just picking this one to throw a reply into. Apologies to the other threads.

We intend to disallow flying while leveling from 90 to 100, and have flying become available again in the first major patch for Warlords of Draenor. No flying while leveling has been the case during Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Mists of Pandaria. We allowed flying during Cataclysm because as those zones were mixed-in with the 1-60 world it just would have been really jarring to dismount you as you fly into Hyjal, etc. but we would have disallowed it for Catalcysm zones as well if there was a reasonable solution there.

Flying trivializes combat. A lot of people like to say we're trying to force world PvP, or that we just really want people to look at the pretty trees we made, but those really aren't the reasons that drive this same decision we've made every expansion. Flying allows you to escape or enter combat at-will. There's a reason why flying isn't allowed in dungeons and raids, or battlegrounds and arenas, and that's because it would trivialize the core mechanic of the game in those areas - combat. For much the same reason it trivializes how content is approached in the outdoor world based on the simple fact that you can lift off and set down wherever you like.

So that's the main reason. But sure there are a lot of other problems it can cause for content design such as zones having to get a lot bigger because flying mounts can travel so quickly (and thus making ground travel in them take much longer), it reduces the impact of elevation within zones, it completely removes the ability for us to pace or present content in any structured way, and in general removes our ability to determine how and when players approach a situation, see a vista or location, or charge into/out-of a combat situation. It just greatly reduces any gameplay we want to create by allowing infinite choice in how content is approached to best suit a player's intention to (usually) avoid that content.

I totally sympathize with people's desire to do that, they want to be efficient and have it be their choice, but we have to balance our intent to create a game against creating a sandbox where anything goes. There's a happy medium there somewhere, but flying mounts in most cases just do too much to undermine too many of our core intentions with the game world, the basis of the game: combat, or guiding players through a game experience, and for those reasons we have continually chosen (when we could) to disallow flying mounts in the 'current' outdoor content. In the past that's meant only while leveling, but in our experiences with the Isle of Thunder and Timeless Isle we feel like we can extend that for a bit longer in the new content, and have it be kind of a big deal again once you're able to earn flying in the first big content patch, and in the meantime putting focus on flight paths as well as having some more interesting travel options for players to use.

Update: So a couple things I wanted to bring up in addition to what I posted earlier. The first was that we're of course refining our questing experience, you may have heard a bit about it from BlizzCon, and that expands to max level content as well. In Mists of Pandaria there was quite a bit of outdoor content at max level, but it was almost entirely in the form of dailies. From BlizzCon we shared we're looking to provide something quite a bit more story driven like the 5.1 Operation Shieldwall/Dominance Offensive with some of the exploration lessons we learned from the Timeless Isle, and that extends to the max level experience as well. We want the transition at max level not to be questing and story to a harsh "now you do dailies", but something that's more natural and feels a lot like the leveling experience just at max level for better reward. And so that goes back to all of the reasons I gave before about how flight interrupts some of the core mechanics we think present the best leveling and questing experience, and I thought it'd be good to point out that it'll also play a big role at max level due to our questing refinements.

The second thing is we really like when flying feels like a reward and something you've earned for each new expansion or area. It's such a powerful ability and we look back at BC (at least for epic riding) or Wrath and those were really big keystone achievements for us as players (mainly because they had some pretty huge gold costs on them...). Regardless of the unlock method though it was one of the bigger moments when you unlocked flying, took to the skies, and were able to see the world from an entirely different vantage because for most of us it wasn't easily attainable. Our plan has been to recapture some of that but make it a bit cooler, and while we don't have specifics just yet, it'll be something more involved than just paying gold; something that further emphasizes how powerful flight is. Unlocking it won't just be level 100 on the day 6.1 comes out with some gold, but something you'll be working toward over the course of the initial expansion release, and 6.1 will introduce the final steps to complete it. Think of something like a mini Legendary cloak quest. It's such a enormous power to be able to fly we really want it to be more of a key moment when you unlock it, and something that feels like an accomplishment more than just shelling out some gold like we've had in the past.

Anyway, I felt like those two things were worth spelling out.

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This article was originally published in forum thread: Warlords of Draenor - Flying Delayed Until First Major Patch, Hearthstone Beta Keys started by chaud View original post
Comments 1064 Comments
  1. AeneasBK's Avatar
    Good reasoning, in my opinion

    Edit: WaitWHAT? Hearthstne beta?? For me??

    This next hour is going to be the longest wait of my life. It did not help to find my first email in my inbox was from Blizzard, but advertising recruit-a-friend Q_Q
  1. rebecca191's Avatar
    Guess I won't be playing until the patch if ever. Stupid move and an absolute deal breaker for me.
  1. Rosary's Avatar
    I'm already in the Hearthstone beta (IT'S SO FUN) - does that mean I can give my extra key to a friend?
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    I'll be passing on the expansion then. Lack of content and not allowing people to use mounts they EARNED or PAID FOR is just fucking ridiculous.
  1. cidic's Avatar
    The hearthstone beta key is stupid. I know a lot of people that got into the beta (myself included) that were in the Desktop app closed beta as well. What are we going to do with a second beta key when the game is going out of closed beta in like a month?
  1. Abstieg's Avatar
    So they want leveling to go faster but they want to slow you down during it.

    Perfect logic.
  1. andersmattson1's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    I'll be passing on the expansion then. Lack of content and not allowing people to use mounts they EARNED or PAID FOR is just fucking ridiculous.
    Well you could just fly in every other zone besides Draenor they aren't taking that away from you.
  1. Epicleptic's Avatar
    Personally looking forward to the expansion and Draenor's power to keep my Gryphon lethargic. Beyond the obvious PvP side to it I can see it being a nice experience as a whole - will enjoy exploring and getting that sense of danger from the wilderness in general! If it doesn't work out well, it doesn't work out well, nothing really to complain about beyond "Dead... again."
  1. oraz4000's Avatar
    Do they want people to actually play their next expansion? feels like they wanna drive ppl away by removing choice.
  1. Myrandron's Avatar
    I gotta say I actually think I'm gonna love the no flying until the first patch hits. Sure it will be a bit inconvenient but it will make me love and appreciate the world and the work they put into making the world all the more so than I would just appreciating the trees, tall mountains and borders between the zones from atop my flying mount.
  1. Wolfsaiyan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by oraz4000 View Post
    Do they want people to actually play their next expansion? feels like they wanna drive ppl away by removing choice.
    flying whilst leveling felt manditory before though, it takes away from the experience, I for one was glad in MoP we didnt have flying until max level, delaying it to 6.1 however instead of just max level limitation, is more controversal, depends on how they build the world, I shall wait and see and complain IF it pisses me off once I hit max level and really want flying (like I did with alts in MoP) to get dailies done faster - then again, they've said no dailies so eh
  1. Rupture91's Avatar
    See you at launch... or matter of fact please don't come back.
  1. Ryme's Avatar
    Shitstorm incoming, everyone take cover!
  1. Accident's Avatar
    I'm very much a fan of the no flying decision. Frankly I'd prefer it delayed longer. The world felt small and trivial from on high.
  1. Cinnamohn's Avatar
    I have a bad feeling Draenor is going to be one gigantic Timeless Isle..
  1. Skeebz's Avatar
    As a big mount collector, I can see this from both sides.

    The logic for not allowing flying is sound. It really enables you to bypass most things and trivializes any obstacles in the world. However, I can understand the frustration from the players who are against it. It's no fun not being able to use your favorite mounts that you've worked for and are proud of. It's a complicated situation.

    My advice to anyone who's throwing their hands up and saying "I'm quitting! GG Blizzard!" is to wait. The expansion isn't even in closed beta yet. There's plenty of time for things to change. Nothing is set in stone until the expansion goes live.
  1. eillas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Myrandron View Post
    I gotta say I actually think I'm gonna love the no flying until the first patch hits. Sure it will be a bit inconvenient but it will make me love and appreciate the world and the work they put into making the world all the more so than I would just appreciating the trees, tall mountains and borders between the zones from atop my flying mount.
    who is forcing you to not use a ground mount?
  1. Abstieg's Avatar
    I'm going to love leveling my alts through the same tedious experience every time with no way to speed it up.
  1. sokanons's Avatar
    People are WAY too privileged in this game. Those saying they're going to quit won't actually quit over something this trivial.
  1. dirtside's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    I'll be passing on the expansion then. Lack of content and not allowing people to use mounts they EARNED or PAID FOR is just fucking ridiculous.
    The ability to use flying mounts doesn't entitle you to use them anywhere you want at any time. Do you think they should be usable in raids, dungeons, and battlegrounds? Aside from delaying max-level flying until the first major content patch—in Mists, this was exactly 2 months after launch, and there's no reason to think it won't be similar for 6.1—this is exactly the same as things have been for every expansion to date.

    Also, "lack of content"? Are you serious? I guess if you thought MoP had a lack of content... in which case, we're not even speaking the same language, and there's nothing to discuss.

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