It's an interesting change, definitely, and I'm glad to see it, but... is it really the right one to make, or even a good one at that?
Sure, when a person is levitating, they don't walk on air, but at the same time, when someone's falling (even if falling "slowly"), their arms should move, or play with a Rubix Cube at least, or something...
Effectively, it's going from "normal" animations (which, admittedly, didn't make much sense) to "one" "animation" (which makes just as much sense). I want to both smile because of this change and facepalm... at the same time.
So yeah, I'm kind of torn about this, and that's because I feel it also brings to light some of Blizzard's recent, less-than-savory ("bad"?), production philosophies -- most notably, "CUT CORNERS WHEREVER WE CAN!!!!" This practically flies in the face of one of Blizzard's own core values -- their commitment to quality (so-called "Blizzard polish") -- and that makes me a sad panda.
Granted it is a small/minor detail, and they never had to worry about such things in their past games, but when you get so up close and personal in a world and its environments, well... the devil is in the details, as they say.
To me, if something is worth doing, it's worth doing right and thoroughly. Don't finish polishing that fucker until you can see your competitors in its reflection. Hell, details are important; details are what brings a world to life (I'm constantly reminded of seeing that gnome walking around Dalaran at dusk, lighting all the torches).
But then again, I guess the decision to gloss over details like proper levitation or gliding animations is just a reflection of the game's community/base. e.g., "Don't worry about it; they won't care..."
But if that's the case, why make the change in the first place..? o.O
Pardon the rant. I didn't initially set out to write one...