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 1065 Comments
  1. klieren's Avatar
    From where do you guys have the information about closed beta invitation for beta client users? no blizzard employees said anything at all.
  1. Korchinks's Avatar
    Keep the costs of flight learning at a more reasonable rate, not like 1g, but not like it was at launch of wrath or epic flying for TBC either. Not flying during the levelling experience does seem a bit 2004, but that's not to say it's a bad thing.

    Maybe speed up ground mounts as a good interim option?
  1. Gnairk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by randprin View Post
    any vanilla player will tell you their least favorite thing about the game at that time was the awful amount of traveling required to do most of everything, from gathering materials for raid consumables to going to dungeons
    Hell no, that's a crappy generalisation, I never had a problem with that and I doubt I'm alone.
  1. Feddian's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnairk View Post
    Hell no, that's a crappy generalisation, I never had a problem with that and I doubt I'm alone.
    Agreed, traveling was never a problem. I even had to walk from Darnassus to Stormwind just to play with my friends. Took me hours as a lvl 6 who had no idea where what is in the world.
  1. Phlogiston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by klieren View Post
    From where do you guys have the information about closed beta invitation for beta client users? no blizzard employees said anything at all.
    From the email they sent us with the beta invite code telling us it was from participating in the closed UI beta.
  1. wrynil's Avatar
    Good blizzard. Flying have killed the out door world in WoW. Abstieg stop your whining in every fucking thread you enters.
  1. DiGG's Avatar
    Back in BC when flight was first introduced, we had to be max level (70) to *earn* it. In WotLK, flight would unlock at level 76... in Pandaria it was max level again (90). I don't see why it would be such a drag to use the SAME thing we experienced before! Would have been cool to maybe get flight before max level, but it certainly is not the end of the world.
  1. Plaguerott's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post
    From the email they sent us with the beta invite code telling us it was from participating in the closed UI beta.
    Been testing the desktop app since it came out, still no email yet :P
  1. Koshka's Avatar
    Hmmm... I had the beta for the launcher for a long time and I have not gotten a beta key for Hearthstone. Maybe it is limited to only some people who tested the launcher?
  1. Plaguerott's Avatar
    Hoping they just had a lot of people testing the launcher and are sending invites in waves over a few days, not all at once.
  1. Nerfarien's Avatar
    I downloaded it an used ever since it was possible to. Nothing. Ah well, I guess more waiting then...
  1. Deadskinmask's Avatar
    I've been using the app since I got the email from Blizzard, no problems ever. But still no key
  1. gothook's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadskinmask View Post
    I've been using the app since I got the email from Blizzard, no problems ever. But still no key
    Same here.....
  1. Wujong's Avatar
    so its coming out in waves i guess? still haven't gotten mine and i've been using the beta thing since it was released. friend of mine is begging me for the key and won't leave me alone haha xD
  1. Jackhead's Avatar
    For those waiting for a Hearthstone key from using the beta launcher app, this is what I just discovered

    Please note that the closed beta test of the Battle.net desktop app ended on August 14th, so only players that helped us to test the Battle.net desktop app before August 14th will qualify for the reward
  1. Spirthealer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post
    From the email they sent us with the beta invite code telling us it was from participating in the closed UI beta.
    Your getting hearthstone beta not wows next X-pack beta.
  1. winyaan's Avatar
    What about only making mounts obtained from Draenor useabel out there? would make sence our other mounts didn't come on our sucide mission :P
  1. Suprm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by klieren View Post
    From where do you guys have the information about closed beta invitation for beta client users? no blizzard employees said anything at all.
    Iv yet to receive anything...
  1. Drewbabyy18's Avatar
    Does anyone have an extra Hearthstone Beta Key? I haven't recieved one on my account and still looking to play that game. It looks amazing!! If you have an extra, please PM me Thanks!!

    OP: I think no flying until 6.1 is amazing. You will have to explore the world and ride to your destination which can be dangerous if you're on a PVP server.. I feel like because of this World PVP is gonna grow much much more as well as world event interactions. Should be amazing
  1. Divine Path's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Killyox View Post
    That's something they already explained. Won't bother repeating them. You should analyze it if you don't understand it well enough to comapre rogue's vanish to being able to fly away.
    Their explanation was very underwhelming. It didn't address the fact that one cannot mount if you are already in combat; you can skip combat with a mount but you cannot escape it once it begins. Similarly, rogue/druid's stealth cannot be cast while in combat but CAN be used to skip combat. A rogue's vanish and a hunter's feign death CAN be used to escape combat and therefore, their existence in the game seems to challenge Blizzard's given reason for disallowing flying mounts.

    It's pretty obvious to anyone with a functioning brain that this change has nothing to do with "combat".

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