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 1060 Comments
  1. artem123's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryme View Post
    Shitstorm incoming, everyone take cover!
    Same people are going to say Peace im quitting
    cause i need to fly to be able to raid guys, this is bad
  1. PacGamer's Avatar
    So the special gift for testing the app is a code for something I already had access to? I assume I won't be getting another code, and that's fine I guess, but are you sure that's the gift the meant? (Does it come with a gift receipt? )
  1. Celeclop's Avatar
    YES! This is a major deal maker for me! I usually take a break once an expansion comes out for a few patches but I'll be playing the first day it comes out this time. Thank you Blizzard, best idea you've had in a long while ^-^
  1. DrMcNinja's Avatar
    First of all: Yay

    Second: I hope they get so much positive feedback when this is released, that they will be all "Guys, let's just scrap flying for this expansion"
  1. mmoc1d6d8fe61c's Avatar
    AWESOME times to !!! i used the beta AND i love the 6.1 promise <3 lotta love to blizzard
  1. Soulrender's Avatar
    Thank God. Ive been playing since Vanilla and I can honestly say flying mounts have somewhat diminished immersion in this game. The ONLY continent where flying compliments the immersion is Outland simply because of the landscape.
  1. Kalmakk's Avatar
    I'm extremely happy with the decision to delay flying mounts. I've felt ever since beyond BC, that they were a VERY bad addition to the game. Cool at first, but its become more and more evident just how atmosphere and immersion breaking they are for the game; A game entirely based on ground combat. It just feels weird and cheating to fly over everything that was painstakingly designed to be seen from the ground.

    Glad they're doing this. Anyone who believes otherwise, fine, we'll see you after the patch.
  1. Eggowaffles's Avatar
    Good. Fuck flying.
  1. Dontrike's Avatar
    Doesn't matter to me if I can't move some of my flying mounts, mainly because a lot of them you can use as ground mounts anyways. I look forward to this little change of pace.
  1. Mr. Smith's Avatar
    I'm certainly going to enjoy the no-flying until all of the crying makes Blizzard renege on it.

    Assuming that it even happens at all.
  1. Sledfang's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Abstieg View Post
    So they want leveling to go faster but they want to slow you down during it.

    Perfect logic.
    Because in most expansions flying made initial leveling much faster.

    Perfect Logic.
  1. Maoli's Avatar
    I kinda hope subs drop a lot.... I'd love to get rid of all the people that think this is a big deal.
  1. NMX-'s Avatar
    @maoli, srsly.
  1. Jekyll's Avatar
    I don't mind. It just mean I would only purchase the game after the first major patch comes out. no biggie
  1. Shudder's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sokanons View Post
    People are WAY too privileged in this game. Those saying they're going to quit won't actually quit over something this trivial.
    Just because it's trivial to you doesn't mean it's trivial to others. Opinions, you learned something today! And yes, I'm a customer, so I'm priviledged or entitiled or whatever you want to call it. See there is this thing where if you're a customer of something and you are no longer satisfied you don't actually have to keep buying or using that product. You can actually stop! Another awesome thing you learned today. Often, there are alternatives to said product. Like other games, other hobbies, maybe I could even go outside!

    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.
    No new class, no new race. Only 3 new dungeons to level with. BC had like 14 dungeons to level with, and they're going on about how they hired a bunch of people and have more people working on this game now than they ever have. Sure doesn't look like it. We're being charged money for a glorified patch. It seems like they always try to piss people off as much as they can at the start of the expansion then spend the rest of it reverting and doing interviews where they talk about how they regret it.
  1. mmoc01719f4bf8's Avatar
    Give beta key D:
  1. mstock66's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shudder View Post
    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.
    sure you will.. see you at launch. they've done it every expansion except cata... and you are still here.
  1. deathonabun's Avatar
    I hope 6.1 doesn't take very long. I hate flight paths.

    EDIT: Blizzard really just needs to make no-fly servers for all the masochists.
  1. Myrandron's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by eillas View Post
    who is forcing you to not use a ground mount?
    My brain wanting me to get stuff done... It's very convincing.
  1. Azrile's Avatar
    I think I have the solution to solve both problems.

    Just add lvl 100 angry birds flying all over the place.

    that said, I agree completely with Blizzard on this one. Timeless Island and Isle of Thunder were so much better because of no flying.

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