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
    I've been waiting months for a hearthstone beta; so I'm really excited about this news; but worried about this desktop app beta testing, is it enough to have been using it for the last month or so, or was there more that had to be done?

    Also is this US only or EU also?

    Also (please don't ban me) if anyone from EU gets a spare Hearthstone beta they don't need and want to be an awesome person.... please feel free to PM it me
  1. Triggers's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Abstieg View Post
    I'm going to love leveling my alts through the same tedious experience every time with no way to speed it up.
    You can't fly until 90 as it is in Pandaria anyway. It won't change leveling at all.
  1. fcc's Avatar
    Well not getting the expansion till 6.1!
  1. Olee's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rebecca191 View Post
    Guess I won't be playing until the patch if ever. Stupid move and an absolute deal breaker for me.
    Your the worst kind of wow player that the developers have to dumb down and cater to. It's half their fault tho they have been catering to spoiled players like you for so long that when u hear that you have to use a ground mount and actually EXPLORE the world they created you go nuts. This game was a much bigger place before flying mounts and i love when they do this it brings me back to when this game felt like a big expansive world. Not one you can just fly over in 5 minutes.
  1. Littleraven's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtside View Post
    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.
    ^this. and im sorry but if they really do, lack of flying mounts isnt the sole reason. its them LOOKING for a reason to.

    OT: i think this is awesome. i love my flying mounts but honestly, seeing the world from the ground for a while will be a welcome change. i actually loved pre cataclysm azeroth being ground only.
  1. Solomodex's Avatar
    Well, that sucks. Alot...

    Why can't these people that feels like flying mounts "ruin everything" just use ground mounts then? Nothing is stopping you.
  1. Grum88's Avatar
    Doesn't really bother me tbh
  1. Balgair's Avatar
    Quite happy about the no flying - I don't dislike flying as such; it's cool being able to go and explore unreachable spots, but most of the time, it just diminishes the feel of a zone. For example Dread Wastes is super scary when you're level 89, picking your way around crowds of mantid to get around. At 90, it's just meh, fly over everything, maybe have to take out 1-2 mobs to reach your objective, fly off. Sure, I'd be disappointed to never be able to fly, as I love exploring from a height, but spending a while on the ground first is the best of both worlds.

    As for the Hearthstone beta key, uh, thanks? I've only been playing it for a month already. Awesome gift for the folk who weren't in already but, yeah, slightly underwhelming for me, oh well, maybe one of my friends will fancy a go!
  1. Tackhisis's Avatar
    It's their loss.
  1. torterra275's Avatar
    Listening to the vocal minority I see?

    Let's see what happened in Cata.
  1. Lockula's Avatar
    For the beta invite so what do I have to do? I've been "testing" the desktop app for a few months with nothing in my email or on bnet account site.

    Then for the no flying until 6.1 is annoying. For the not flying till max level is okay in my mind, but being unable to have some convenience with flying at max level just sucks.
  1. ShockASU's Avatar
    So, I downloaded the desktop beta 2 months ago? So, I'm assuming, that counts me as a tester?
  1. Aldrahan's Avatar
    As they clearly said, flying whilst leveling has only been in from the beginning in ONE expansion before this. Are do we all feel so entitled from Cata? Which people hear seem to share the opinion was the worst expansion? Oh god, we can't skip all that content and have to actually play the game in a way that isn't just mindlessly flying from A to B. God save us all. But in all honesty I like this... well can't really call it a change... announcement? For all you that call it a 'dealbreaker', really? You're going to have everything depend on that? That seems a little shortsighted. And they even said they're making leveling easier, and faster, so there isn't really a problem there. I could see it being a little irritating once we reach max level, but Blizzard have probably thought that through and we'll see what they do. I'd wait to see the game in beta before I start discussing 'dealbreakers'.
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mstock66 View Post
    sure you will.. see you at launch. they've done it every expansion except cata... and you are still here.
    Pretty sure this is the first time. But maybe you went through a portal into another universe where they waited till the first patch to give flying for every expansion except cata.
  1. Abstieg's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aldrahan View Post
    As they clearly said, flying whilst leveling has only been in from the beginning in ONE expansion before this. Are do we all feel so entitled from Cata? Which people hear seem to share the opinion was the worst expansion? Oh god, we can't skip all that content and have to actually play the game in a way that isn't just mindlessly flying from A to B. God save us all. But in all honesty I like this... well can't really call it a change... announcement? For all you that call it a 'dealbreaker', really? You're going to have everything depend on that? That seems a little shortsighted. And they even said they're making leveling easier, and faster, so there isn't really a problem there. I could see it being a little irritating once we reach max level, but Blizzard have probably thought that through and we'll see what they do. I'd wait to see the game in beta before I start discussing 'dealbreakers'.
    Is it so hard to allow it at max level, and for alts? Wrath did it and it was just fine.
  1. Gamespud's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mstock66 View Post
    sure you will.. see you at launch. they've done it every expansion except cata... and you are still here.
    Actually they havnt... they have denied flying until max level before with all other expansions but never blocked any flying even at max level until the first major patch... the argument for during leveling I can agree with and have no problem waiting until I am max level but once you are there is no excuse for them to block flying. If you really hate flying mounts that much you can always use this magical thing called a ground mount... Seriously I agree with deathonabun they need to make no-fly servers.That would keep the whiners happy and most people will be happy to fly again at max level. (besides spires of arak sounds like its designed with vertical elements in mind how the fuck do we appreciate a zone like that without flying?)
  1. AeneasBK's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ShockASU View Post
    So, I downloaded the desktop beta 2 months ago? So, I'm assuming, that counts me as a tester?
    I'm in the same boat, I hope someone can point us in the direction of an answer; I was about to go to bed but a sniff of a beta and I'm completely hyper again
  1. Vishy's Avatar
    Good, im glad there is no flying until 6.1 . It ruins immersion from the game, and makes ground mounts absolutely worthless. People have become so demanding on what they think they "deserve" and what they actually should get.

    "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."

    This comment above is ridiculous, You were fine when flying didnt exist, and for a couple months you'll LIVE. So much undeserved bitching by entitled children who think they deserve everything handed to them. You'll still play, quitcherbitchin' and deal with it.
  1. Gamespud's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aldrahan View Post
    As they clearly said, flying whilst leveling has only been in from the beginning in ONE expansion before this. Are do we all feel so entitled from Cata? Which people hear seem to share the opinion was the worst expansion? Oh god, we can't skip all that content and have to actually play the game in a way that isn't just mindlessly flying from A to B. God save us all. But in all honesty I like this... well can't really call it a change... announcement? For all you that call it a 'dealbreaker', really? You're going to have everything depend on that? That seems a little shortsighted. And they even said they're making leveling easier, and faster, so there isn't really a problem there. I could see it being a little irritating once we reach max level, but Blizzard have probably thought that through and we'll see what they do. I'd wait to see the game in beta before I start discussing 'dealbreakers'.
    I don't think many here are complaining about no flying until max level that's fine that's normal. What we hate is that even at max level we will have to wait several months to be able to fly because a few people cried that they don't like flying but are too lazy to keep themselves from flying anyways...
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Olee View Post
    Your the worst kind of wow player that the developers have to dumb down and cater to. It's half their fault tho they have been catering to spoiled players like you for so long that when u hear that you have to use a ground mount and actually EXPLORE the world they created you go nuts. This game was a much bigger place before flying mounts and i love when they do this it brings me back to when this game felt like a big expansive world. Not one you can just fly over in 5 minutes.
    Forcing you to use a ground mount isn't going to force people to explore. They'll just use flight paths and go take a dump. You always had the option if you want to run around on a ground mount and be Magellan. It's always amusing to me watching fanboys defend the removal of options. This is just a stupid way to force people to pvp. Considering the majority of people play on pve servers this is just stupid.

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