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

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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. banadona's Avatar
    Great idea. IMO they should remove flying altogether. It ruins the immersion and makes the world seem too small.
  1. Abstieg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eats Compost View Post
    Making flying dangerous with a dismount threat is not the same as what they're going for. If Blizzard wants you to encounter some specific obstacle or event on the ground, flying is still undermining that, even with aerial risks. They don't just want to make the world dangerous, they also want to add structure to their content; the ability to jump from place to place and avoid everything in between (including land barriers) is what damages that, regardless of how dangerous flying actually is. This is without even considering how they'd plan to make a flying threat in large, open areas.

    As I said, they already do it with the Heart of the Aspects and, unless I'm mistaken, the bat. They both fly on the ground rather than run, and yet, they can be used as ground-only mounts. It's not a new concept to Blizzard.
    A lot of flying mounts are usable in ground-only places, but it's pretty stupid to have a drake you can never fly on.
  1. Lanesia's Avatar
    Flying mounts was probably the worst feature to ever be put into WoW and I am glad it won't be available for some time.
  1. Eurytos's Avatar
    almost every mount that you pay money for can be used as a ground mount too, qq more
  1. Eats Compost's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by a_geek_tragedy View Post
    This. 100 percent, absolutely this. I think back to those early months of MoP and doing all those daily grinds and I think about how close I was to quitting this game (and most likely would have, if I didn't have such a great raid group). If we're in a situation in WoD where we have even three rep grinds to do at the outset of the expansion to gear up for raid content, and I have to criss-cross the content on taxi mounts, or try to finish the daily quests on my ground mount until they drop patch 6.1, I may very well quit. I don't got time for that shit: I'm here to raid with my friends, not experience the mandatory narrative that Blizz insists I should experience.
    Given that the Timeless Isle is the new model for "daily" zones (and that one of the points about WoD was that there will be almost no daily quests), this may be less of an issue. No more checklist to complete every day.
  1. cptaylor38's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by happoman View Post
    Then the same people who threaten to quit over flying right now is gonna cry even harder that they can't safely skip everything.

    They are the modern generation of WoW players, wanting everything fast, easily and safely. There's actual danger in the SAVAGE lands of Draenor? Whodathunk?

    If things went their way, we'd be teleporting everywhere instantly withough cooldown.


    These aren't riveting combat mechanics. A copy and pasted mob beats on you with a sword or staff. I've done this for 90 levels. I will be level 100 and forced to feel like I'm level 10 again. Talk about time travel!
  1. Gamespud's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    Just read this on the official forums. Good point.

    "If players just try to avoid the content, doesn't that make you wonder whether the content is actually any good? This is a game, right? You know, entertainment? If they need to force it down our throats it makes me wonder what we're paying for."
    I like this quote. This is a good quote.
  1. Blitzo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Feefel View Post


    YES
    THANK YOU BASED BLIZZARD
    This gif is so mesmerizing
  1. Soeroah's Avatar
    I don't think they want to remove flying entirely, they know it helps players as content becomes older. They just want a grace period of a couple of months at the beginning of the expansion.

    I don't really see a problem with that to be honest. Everyone gets a turn, people who don't want flying get to see a more populated world, and people who want flying are going to get it after a while. It's still more time with flying than without, but I'm sure most people who want no flying are happy with this system.

    Personally I like flying, but I also like being restricted to the ground, so this seems like a great idea.
  1. Eats Compost's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Abstieg View Post
    A lot of flying mounts as usuable in ground-only places, but it's pretty stupid to have a drake you can never fly on.
    That's not really a very good argument for the whole flying/no flying thing. Armored and bladed mounts never fight, either. Aesthetics don't necessitate function.
  1. Lanesia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cptaylor38 View Post
    .


    Exactly. The reasoning is that they've made very little content this expansion and they want to prolong it as much as possible. If you don't want to get ganked join pve server. Immersion is relative to the player. My immersion comes from flying around new territories and getting a better view and the artwork of the game. This is ridiculous. Flying has never been mandatory and I have a full time job and 15 credit hours or more each semester. This travel time will do nothing but make the game feel like a chore. Absolutely hysterical.
    I always love posts like this. People with no information whatsoever making blanket statements like they are fact. How do you know how much content has been created? If they had a new race or class would that be content? I don't even see how that would be content. It's just another way to play through the exact same content as everyone else. They already stated their reasons on why they are doing it. Now we should all feel sad because this guy has a busy life.. because nobody else has that type of life either.

    Hey if you don't like it don't play until the patch that brings it back - it's that simple.
  1. Rioo's Avatar
    Flying mounts fit certain zones, like Netherstorm and Storm Peaks, really well and adds a lot to the zones. But overall I think it was a mistake to add them to the game, and Blizzard have themselves said or at least hinted of feeling the same. This decision is really good. Running around with only ground mounts adds so much to the immersion of the game.
  1. Abstieg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eats Compost View Post
    That's not really a very good argument for the whole flying/no flying thing. Armored and bladed mounts never fight, either. Aesthetics don't necessitate function.
    I'd hardly say riding on the back of a dragon a matter of aesthetics.
  1. happoman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by xskarma View Post
    Urgh. Hate this, seriously hope they reconsider.

    This isn't about my mounts, nor my ability to fly all the time. Restrict me from flying while I level, restrict my from flying in certain zones that you want to be experienced in certain ways. I'm fine with that, encourage it even.

    What I hate about this is the fact I'll be without flying mounts while NOT in specific areas, while traveling around (which we will be doing a LOT those first few weeks) from the different areas I need to be in for reputation with factions and where I need to be to pick up profession materials and where I need to be to use a bank/AH/Other city comforts. I'll need to do this by FLYING (!!) on a flightpath, with nothing else to do but go AFK and do something on another screen, completely ignoring the landscape I would have been paying attention to if I were actually using my own flying mount.

    And not just that. It's a time issue too.

    Go back in your mind to Mists 5.0 and forget the fact some areas are in accessible without a flying mount (mainly Tillers) and now imagine a typical day in those first few weeks, and doing Tillers, and Golden Lotus and Klaxxi dailies and now try to imagine that all that running around in Valley of the 4 winds, and Vale of Eternal Blossoms and Dread Wastes that you did was done on a ground mount exclusively. How much longer do you think that would have taken? I routinely had to go from 1 end of those zones to the other. It would have significantly added to the time I spent doing those things. And yes, they could get around some of that extra time spent by putting some well placed flight paths in the zone, but wouldn't that just completely defeat the purpose of not having a flying mount, if I'm going to be spending my time flying across the zone all the time anyway?

    So from my point of view all this no-flying will accomplish is that I'll be spending more time AFK while on flight paths and I'll spend large amounts of my time traveling instead of getting productive things done, meaning my possibly limited playing time just got sucked up by travel time, instead of playing time.

    (And I'll cut in on any nonsense about traveling being just as much part of the fun and the experience, cause it rarely is. There's a reason you are trying to get somewhere, being held up from that goal by random encounters just means I'm not getting done what I set out to do. That's a waste of time, even if it looks lovely while I am being held up, and I get a deep appreciation for all the mobs I aggro.)
    a) Gryphons are as fast as flying mounts and in some cases faster. You won't lose much of your "precious" time.

    b) 90% people do afk while flying right now. it's called autorun

    c) What kind of productive work can you actually do while afking on a flying mount?
  1. JainaIsAMan's Avatar
    Oh? I get to trade another beta key for something? Sweet.
  1. Abstieg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Rioo View Post
    Flying mounts fit certain zones, like Netherstorm and Storm Peaks, really well and adds a lot to the zones. But overall I think it was a mistake to add them to the game, and Blizzard have themselves said or at least hinted of feeling the same. This decision is really good. Running around with only ground mounts adds so much to the immersion of the game.
    I love how immersion is the new buzz word these days.
  1. Gamespud's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Soeroah View Post
    I don't think they want to remove flying entirely, they know it helps players as content becomes older. They just want a grace period of a couple of months at the beginning of the expansion.

    I don't really see a problem with that to be honest. Everyone gets a turn, people who don't want flying get to see a more populated world, and people who want flying are going to get it after a while. It's still more time with flying than without, but I'm sure most people who want no flying are happy with this system.

    Personally I like flying, but I also like being restricted to the ground, so this seems like a great idea.
    Problem is removing flying adds nothing to the game as people will still want to avoid their content. Everything can be que'ed from in capital cities anyways so whats the point of forcing ground mounts at max level. And if people really wanted to use their ground mounts so badly they would have in the past. There is nothing stopping anyone from literally doing this themselves right now in MoP... so they already have their turn. Why postpone mine? Btw watch as within a month all those people who are praising no flying revoke what they say and start complaining because they have to run on the ground. Theres a reason they don't do it now. And its not because its mandatory...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Abstieg View Post
    I love how immersion is the new buzz word these days.
    Yup cause I hate when flying ruins my immersion of playing a fluffy panda with a hammer that's bigger than my arm...
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by banadona View Post
    Great idea. IMO they should remove flying altogether. It ruins the immersion and makes the world seem too small.
    Says the guy who uses flying mounts. Why didn't you delete all your flying mounts and use ground mounts? What was stopping you? Why do you want to force something on us when you yourself didn't even do it?
  1. happoman's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by cptaylor38 View Post
    These aren't riveting combat mechanics. A copy and pasted mob beats on you with a sword or staff. I've done this for 90 levels. I will be level 100 and forced to feel like I'm level 10 again. Talk about time travel!
    You've tried the expansion already? Cool! Talk about time travel!

    Have you even visited timeless isle? Fought the mobs there?

    And if you hate combat that much, maybe its time to quit or reroll?
  1. Eats Compost's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    Just read this on the official forums. Good point.

    "If players just try to avoid the content, doesn't that make you wonder whether the content is actually any good? This is a game, right? You know, entertainment? If they need to force it down our throats it makes me wonder what we're paying for."
    People are always going to take the shortest route in regards to reward-driven content. "More convenient" doesn't always mean "better for the game" or, in some cases, "more fun", and flying over something doesn't mean that what they flew over is trashy.

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