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. Dzudzadzo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruak View Post
    One could only wish you'd figure out the difference between one person not flying and the whole world not flying. From a gameplay experience point of view. Brains is hard, yo...
    MMO experience requires more than just one person. This is not a single player game. Stop treating it as if it is one.
  1. randprin's Avatar
    why do I (and most of those i talk to) think flying around the world is good?
    1. you only do what you want to do, i want to go on a gathering spree, or an exploration run, i want to hunt for rares or pet combats. i can do so without having to fight immense amount of mobs to do it.
    2. if you've been "forced" into a pvp server (due to friends choices, server population, or simple chance), flying allows you to elect to do most of your activities in relative peace (not to mention if you have to go afk, god forbid, you can do so without coming back to a corpse run 99% of the time)
    3. if you want to go help a friend, do a world boss, or even get to a raid instance in progress (let's assume the warlock is either not there or forgot where his summon spell button is) flying allows you to do so in an efficient manner.
    4. if you're on the aforementioned pvp server and somehow ended on the "wrong" side population wise, flying actually allows you to enjoy the game without being constantly harassed by the opposite faction.

    the decision to ground players in the hopes of this creating a meaningful combat experience is questionable at best. 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. while this won't be as bad (you don't have to run to the dungeons anymore) i expect social world experience (gathering people for world bosses, farming resources, and coming to help people with quests) to decline following that decision (ganking in pvp servers however would be up, i can def see gank groups running about to pray on questers and resource farmers in pvp servers, not to mention training, griefing and other unsavory types of behaviors)
  1. Zoldor's Avatar
    Not being able to fly till max isn't a problem. The part about waiting till 6.1 is that it is an arbitrary time based gating system. They are trying to re-achieve a nostalgic feeling, but it won't happen. Quest chain or gold doesn't matter its the same thing in the long run, will be nice not to have to pay for a skill I've acquired...6 different ways/times. (Normal, Fast, Epic, Cold, Old, Mists). Its the wasted gate system of making us wait and then just giving it to us again after we wait a couple months.

    PvP realm I get the desire to bring back world PvP. This won't do it, you might get a few extra ganks, but most people are going to ignore you in whatever fashion and just keep questing. I do understand the perspective and desire of PvP players to not have flying mounts. Its the most valid want and the only one with a logical reason backing it up.

    The desire to force players to do dynamic events and make the world scarier/more dangerous. This is a BS myth, played since Vanilla, ya know what we did when we saw monsters we didn't get scared, we didn't dismount or stop running and fight them, we just kept riding/running unless they had a quest reward. This will not achieve what Blizz wants. All this does is bring back the reason for flying mounts in the first place, the amount of time wasted on Travel. Which brings in the next point.

    You are confusing epic with large. The world was not more epic because I road around on the ground, it just feels bigger and adds a shit load of travel time to your life. Yes, FP are nice, but we aren't always going to a place that has a flight path. So I get to FP to another location and then run passed a bunch of mobs in zigzag patterns to get to a destination to then have to return to somewhere. I have as many memories of this game feeling epic/large/beautiful with a ground mount and with a flying mount. I've risen up from the ground on my Wyvern and gasped at the awe and beauty of the size of the world. Been able to see all the places on their grand scale as a fly over and admired. Took awe at the beautiful skyscape as I've passed by. Just as much as I enjoyed the minor detail of running around. I never felt the world was less epic or majestic because I could fly. If anything it made me appreciate the scale of the game.

    Making me wait to acquire the skill isn't going to bring back the magic of the moment of when I first got flying. It hasn't any other time that I've re-acquired the skill and all its felt like is "ahh getting back something I already had." You can't get back the feeling of a first kiss and ya can't get back the feeling of first flying in the game. Recapturing a feeling is really difficult and the idea of recapturing the ability to fly feeling in this game is a lost cause, especially when you've done it 6 times already.

    TLDR; Is this a deal breaker nope. Does it piss me off nope. Do I think its unnecessary and a waste of time, yep. Do I think Blizz reasons make sense, nope just hopeless attempts to re-create passed experience.

    Didn't even mention the annoyance to gathering mats for raids. Lord the pain of running around on the ground trying to gather mats efficiently. Ya, I get to kill a wolf for 10x time in 3 attacks and get a sweet wolf bone and tattered pelt.
  1. mystblade's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by JMWolf View Post
    I don't understand I have had the Battle.Net Beta Client installed and I have not received a Hearthstone beta key at all!?!?
    It was for the closed invite only battle.net beta not what you can dl now, this is open beta
  1. zharkos's Avatar
    Been waiting on my key for awhile blizzard... I downloaded the desktop app the minute it was announced D:
  1. staticflare's Avatar
    This is some of the best news blizzard has released in years. Flying is one of the main fucking reasons this game has become such an indoor snore fest and why 70% of players camp in stormwind/org waiting for their que to pop. Flying is a travesty in this game and I'm glad blizzard is recognizing their mistake.
  1. Drusin's Avatar
    lolol It's going to be available in 6.1 but you want to make it an accomplishment? If I know when I am getting something without a question I don't really see that as me accomplishing anything. Flying or no flying doesn't matter really, just a different mount I will autorun towards a tomtom marker on.
  1. asphyx5's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zoldor View Post
    Not being able to fly till max isn't a problem. The part about waiting till 6.1 is that it is an arbitrary time based gating system. They are trying to re-achieve a nostalgic feeling, but it won't happen. Quest chain or gold doesn't matter its the same thing in the long run, will be nice not to have to pay for a skill I've acquired...6 different ways/times. (Normal, Fast, Epic, Cold, Old, Mists). Its the wasted gate system of making us wait and then just giving it to us again after we wait a couple months.

    PvP realm I get the desire to bring back world PvP. This won't do it, you might get a few extra ganks, but most people are going to ignore you in whatever fashion and just keep questing. I do understand the perspective and desire of PvP players to not have flying mounts. Its the most valid want and the only one with a logical reason backing it up.

    The desire to force players to do dynamic events and make the world scarier/more dangerous. This is a BS myth, played since Vanilla, ya know what we did when we saw monsters we didn't get scared, we didn't dismount or stop running and fight them, we just kept riding/running unless they had a quest reward. This will not achieve what Blizz wants. All this does is bring back the reason for flying mounts in the first place, the amount of time wasted on Travel. Which brings in the next point.

    You are confusing epic with large. The world was not more epic because I road around on the ground, it just feels bigger and adds a shit load of travel time to your life. Yes, FP are nice, but we aren't always going to a place that has a flight path. So I get to FP to another location and then run passed a bunch of mobs in zigzag patterns to get to a destination to then have to return to somewhere. I have as many memories of this game feeling epic/large/beautiful with a ground mount and with a flying mount. I've risen up from the ground on my Wyvern and gasped at the awe and beauty of the size of the world. Been able to see all the places on their grand scale as a fly over and admired. Took awe at the beautiful skyscape as I've passed by. Just as much as I enjoyed the minor detail of running around. I never felt the world was less epic or majestic because I could fly. If anything it made me appreciate the scale of the game.

    Making me wait to acquire the skill isn't going to bring back the magic of the moment of when I first got flying. It hasn't any other time that I've re-acquired the skill and all its felt like is "ahh getting back something I already had." You can't get back the feeling of a first kiss and ya can't get back the feeling of first flying in the game. Recapturing a feeling is really difficult and the idea of recapturing the ability to fly feeling in this game is a lost cause, especially when you've done it 6 times already.

    TLDR; Is this a deal breaker nope. Does it piss me off nope. Do I think its unnecessary and a waste of time, yep. Do I think Blizz reasons make sense, nope just hopeless attempts to re-create passed experience.

    Didn't even mention the annoyance to gathering mats for raids. Lord the pain of running around on the ground trying to gather mats efficiently. Ya, I get to kill a wolf for 10x time in 3 attacks and get a sweet wolf bone and tattered pelt.
    Just want to say i applause to you, 100% agree what you said this isn't 2007 anymore this is 2014.
  1. Mondzo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by zharkos View Post
    Been waiting on my key for awhile blizzard... I downloaded the desktop app the minute it was announced D:
    It was for the closed beta.
  1. Aca87's Avatar
    Anyone who tested B net app got HS beta key? Im still w8ing and nothing.
  1. Tackhisis's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Dracbane View Post
    Isle of Thunder and Timeless Isle are both max level content without flying mounts and that didnt kill anyone....personally both were far more enjoyable without flying mounts.
    They are both filler shit. If the whole expansion is becoming mob grinding filler shit it is a time to quit.
  1. Xilurm's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Tackhisis View Post
    They are both filler shit. If the whole expansion is becoming mob grinding filler shit it is a time to quit.
    Oh, because you care oh so much about the story.

    Hint: We're definitely not going to kill Sargeras in WoW. So you can just quit right now.
  1. Tackhisis's Avatar
    What do those grindfests have to do with story? They are just fillers/timesinks.
  1. Garrikk's Avatar
    Flying makes the game easy and that's the only reason people are upset.
    Y'all want vanilla but Blizz tries to cater to your wants everyone gets pissed off.
    This is the best feature so far announced for WoD.
  1. Coronius's Avatar
    So many convenience babies here crying over game suddenly becoming difficult when they can't just fly over and skip everything. MMORPG's are partially about immersion and exploring. If you're that uninterested in wandering through the game world, maybe WoW isn't for you. Just saying.

    I think this is great news, and I'm really looking forward to see how it turns out.
  1. vandam's Avatar
    MMORPG's are partially about immersion and exploring.
    Cause I will be sooo imersed or exploring while unsubscribed.
  1. timshuku's Avatar
    Anyone received the BETA invitation for Hearthstone?
  1. SalcN's Avatar
    In addition, closed-beta invitees who download and use the app during the closed-beta period will receive something cool from Blizzard and the Battle.net team in thanks.

    .... How did we get from "something cool" to a beta key that many people (me included) already has?
  1. timshuku's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SalcN View Post
    In addition, closed-beta invitees who download and use the app during the closed-beta period will receive something cool from Blizzard and the Battle.net team in thanks.

    .... How did we get from "something cool" to a beta key that many people (me included) already has?
    I don't have and i really want to have...that`s why i am asking IF anyone from EU got beta key for that beta testing of Battle.net App.
  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.

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