This has been a really hot topic for a long time now. I was reading about it when I took a break for a couple of months and I've been wanting to give my take on the situation since I came back to posting but I kept shying away from it. It is not that I was at a loss of words over it because it is rare that I am ever at a loss for words. If anything I have not written about it because for a much as I am like everyone else and have my own opinions I really do not have one on this subject. I might lean one way because I think it is the right way, but I really do not have a true opinion on it. How can I give my opinion on something when I really do not have one?
If I wanted to go to the simplest level and was asked if I think they should keep flying I would say yes. I am a big believer that you do not give someone something and then once they grow to like it, expect it, and it becomes part of their standard everyday life you take it away. It is just wrong. I like the idea of leveling on the ground and then getting flying at max level.
I have said a few times in the comments that I would like to see it stay that way. I would not be adverse to flying even needing some sort of grind once you reach max level. Something quick and simple like the cloud serpent flying would be nice and something where when you unlock it on one character then all characters have flying when at max level. As much as I love to grind things because I am weird that way, I really do despise having to do it over and over and would even more so for something like flying which I believe I would want every character to have.
But all that aside, those are just opinion on how I would like to see flying implemented. It does not address the hot button topic at hand and that is what do I think about no flying in warlords at the start of the expansion and possibly the entire expansion.
I really do not have an opinion on it. I would like to have flying, but I can not rightfully say not having it would be a bad thing. There are good and bad points to it and I guess that is what I am going to discuss. In the end however, my opinion will lead itself to believe that there should be flying if for no other reason than what I mentioned before. You can not give someone something and then take it away for no good reason.
Gathering Without Flying:
Of the many things that will be effected by flying this will probably be the one that most people find most annoying. But you need to remember, not everyone gathers. A friend of mine back in cataclysm had a great line after he asked me what I was doing in TB. I said I was fishing up some eel for my food. He said, you should do your fishing where I fish. I asked, where is that. He said, the auction house. I found it humorous.
There are some people that go out there and get the stuff and others that just stand around and buy it. It is what makes gathering an option for making money. For every person that is willing to put the effort into it there are probably 10 that would skip the effort if the price was right.
Depending on how you look at it, no flying is going to really hurt gathering and help gathering. In turn, it will have a huge effect on the economy and no matter which side you are on, the side that sees it as hurting gathering or helping gathering, the effects on the economy will be huge for you.
How will it hurt gathering? Many people gather while just flying around chatting. I know many people, and have done so myself, that would fly around and only stop at the nodes where I knew there would be no fights. It is not because I did not want to get into a battle because it would be hard. I can one shot many mobs now and two shot the ones I can not one shot. It is just that I can not be bothered with stopping to fight. I just want to pick my herbs or mine my ore and move along because I am out gathering and not out grinding mobs.
Without flying mounts we would not be able to just pick and choose the nodes we go for. We would have to run around and get them and even if there will be some routes we can find with little or no interference it will only be a matter of time before everyone and their mother is looking to farm that one route as well because no one wants to waste their time fighting mobs when they are out collecting ore to prospect, or make belt buckles out of or what have you.
This will mean when you see an herb it will no longer be land and pick, it will be fight your way to it, pick it, fight your way back out. Sure, while leveling that is part of the fun and quite honestly it is a good thing. You are leveling, you need that experience, so fighting your way to things has its benefits but once you reach max level you just want to get what you want to get and those mobs become nothing more than an annoyance. An unavoidable annoyance.
So because you will have to hoof it to gather things you will be gathering fewer per hour than you are used to, and you will be stuck wasting more time fighting than picking or mining. It is only a matter of time before you just say, screw it, I will do my fishing at the auction house, to steal a line from my friend, because it is just not worth the time invested to go gathering any longer. This will mean fewer available items for sale at the auction house.
How will he help gathering? Well, it will help those that help themselves. This is actually one of the few things I am looking forward to about no flying. If you make the effort to go out and gather you might be getting fewer items per hour but with everyone getting fewer items per hour and even more people giving up on gathering completely because it has become a huge annoyance, you will be able to sell those things you gathered for a fortune compared to what you might have been used to selling them for.
So basically the people that are willing to spend all day online and deal with the frustration and annoyance of gathering will be making gold hand over fist, they would be clear winners. If they can keep up with the general annoyance that is gathering now and most players would not be able to because they do not remember the days of gathering on foot and having to grind your life away and they would not like it. Will they really be willing to accept that? I don't know about them, but I am looking forward to being one of the people making lots of gold because people will not want to gather without flying.
So who wins at gathering without flight? That is a solid question. It is not really the people that will go out and gather still. Sure they will make more gold but they will have to invest a lot more time into making it and time is money. It is not the people that will do the gathering at the auction house because they will have to pay a lot more.
So is there really a winner? There most definitely is a winner. Bot users, hack users and item selling websites. Bot users will not care if they get less, they are still getting something that now sells at a higher price and they are not really wasting any time doing it because it is an unattended bot doing the work.
Hackers using wall climbing hacks and flying hacks will now have less people that can find them and see them as there isn't a sky full of people that can see them. I mean, who looks up most of the time, so you will never know if someone is flying above you. They can use their hacks to gather faster and with the increased prices they can sell their ill gotten booty for higher prices with a decreased chance of being reported.
And the last but not least winners are those web sites that sell items in game will now be able to increase their prices. Where they might have only been able to sell gems for pennies because everyone could get them easy enough they will now be able to sell them for dollars which greatly increases their profit margin and gives them even more reason to send more people out there. The harder to get items and/or higher cost items on the auction house would also push the players to look for alternatives which might end up having them go to sites like that to buy their items with dollars in the real world inside of gold in the gaming world.
While it might be easy to say the verdict on this one is no flying is bad for gathering I can't help but be a selfish elf and somehow love the idea that I could very well be the only person out there gathering and selling herbs at 1000 gold a stack. See, this is why I said I can not really take a side. While I think no flying here is bad over all, I do really love that I can make a lot of gold because I am not one of the lazy masses that play the game. So I am at a toss up here.
Then again, there is another way I can look at it too which would turn no flying for gathering into a very very bad thing. If I were in a lazy mood and the prices were insane on the auction house, I would go to one of those item buying places online in a heartbeat. I would not think a second about it. Blizzard wanted me to buy from them, at least as I see it. If they wanted me out there getting it myself, they would have not added hurdles to do so. Blizzard wants you buying your items.
Exploration Without Flying:
Lets be honest here. How many of you have had "explore valley of the four winds" or any of the other explore achievements without even trying while just flying around? When I hit 90 on my main I went around looking for all the areas on purpose just to get the achievement but so many of my alts have gotten explore achievements by accident. Even at that, finding them accidentally, that happens rarely because I travel the same routes all the time most of the time.
Why is that? Because I am going somewhere to do something and the fastest way to get there is a direct line. I do not explore, most people don't. We go where we are going to because that is where we want to be. However, while flying we sometimes get side tracked, because we can. We see an herb or ore, we see something out of the corner of our eyes that looks interesting and we want to take a look, we see a rare, a quest marker in an area we thought we did all the quests. But over all, we fly from point A to point B.
Even if that might be the case flying gives people the option to explore. It gives me the option to take a wrong turn and check something out because they know that they are flying, nothing is really going to disrupt them or put them behind on where they are going, in effect they control their own time. Raid does not start for another 10 minutes, let me go check to see if that rare is up. Can't do that on a flight path can you?
Flying allows you to see the world, in encourages you to see the world. Ground mounts... not so much. If you are on your way to the raid you really do not want to be getting side tracked. Who is to say that you will not end up in the middle of a lot of battles. You will take the road because you are less likely to be slowed down that way. Or you will just become one of "those" people that never make their own way to the raid and always seen a summon. Newsflash. If you are not in front of the raid at least 5 minutes before hand I don't consider you ready to raid. Just my opinion of course.
Or you will just take flight paths. Slow, ineffective, boring, time wasting, take me all over the world when you could have just went from point A to point B flight paths. If there is going to be no flying in warlords I am fine with it, as long as they fix those fucking stupid flight paths. I am going from here to there, why the hell are you flying me to the top of the continent before you go down, when you could have just gone down and had me there in 30 seconds instead of 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
Blizzard thinks that we will explore more on foot. Blizzard is wrong. You are less likely to go out of your way to see what is in the upper left hand corner of the map if you have to fight the entire way there to see it and the entire way back. But if you can just fly there, hover over it, see it, and then move on, you will be more likely to see it. Just another case of the people at blizzard do not actually play this game.
It is going to be less likely that people will see achievements like "explore valley of the four winds" pop up because there will be no real incentive to explore, unless you are achievement hunting. When everything takes longer to get to they will stick the main paths and flight paths to get too and from where they need to go to. Because it will take them so much longer to get anywhere and do anything, they will have less time to actually explore.
Lets not even forget that you are much more likely to see the world while "looking" at things while fling than you are while "fighting" your way through it every step of the way.
As far as seeing the world goes, I think having flying wins this one hands down. There is not one good thing about hoofing it when it comes to exploration. Not even close.
Travel Without Flying:
I've touched on this many times in many places including here in other headers so I will keep this short and sweet.
Flight in warcraft using the taxi system is like brushing your teeth with a chainsaw. It will get the job done getting the plaque off, but it is really not a good idea.
The taxi system needs an upgrade if they intend it to be our main source of getting around in the world. No more of those go up two zones and across to go back down two zones and then back across to get to a flight path you could have just went down one zone to get to but because you did not have a flight path in between the two it had to bring you all over the entire world.
Smart flight. Taxis should send people in a direct line from the one they are taking off from to the one they are going to. No more should we ever see "no connecting path" because, lets be honest here, I do not need a connecting path. I am not going to that connecting path that I do not see, so why the hell would I need it?
Smart flight paths and maybe even faster taxis with a few more flight masters scattered around to make it more user friendly and not having a flying mount would soon be forgotten. But as long as having a flying mount remains the only way to get from point A to point B without having to be forced to take the scenic route to see point C, D, E, F and G first taxis will never be an option for the intelligent player and will be frustrating beyond believe with no flying when we have no option other than to be ineffective in our game play.
Quality, and quick, flight paths and taxis could go a long way in easing the pain of no flying for a great many players. Read that line there blizzard, read it once, twice, as many times as you need to until it sinks in.
Rare Hunting Parties:
Hoofing it is really going to take away a lot of the excitement in the game in terms of rare hunting. It is bad enough everything dies on the small timeless island before you get a chance to even react and that is just one small collected area, not an entire world.
How often has the gander appeared on screen, you broke to move toward it instantly, and it was dead before you got there? Happens to me on a daily basis. Now imagine those same mobs tuned for a level 90 in the starting area, when we are level 100. Do you think you will ever get to it unless you are standing on top of it when it spawns? I think not. Timeless island was fun, on a small scale, but it had problems with mobs dying too fast. Now try that on a world wide scale with those same mobs being scaled for much lower levels and consider how long they will live? Blizzard is making a HUGE mistake turning all of warlords into one large timeless island and I hope it jumps up and bites them and then kicks them in the balls, hard.
I remember when the warbringers were first added to the game. I came home from work that day, dragged a couple of guild mates into a group and told them to follow me. All the warbringers were dead, but I saw some of the groups hunting them. Using something called a brain and the flying ability in game I was able to get us into the loop the others were doing and end up tagging every single warbringer as it spawned. Yeap, there were a few groups farming and we ended up taking them all over and over and we farmed all night. It was great fun, and it is something we would have never been able to do without flying.
What about seeing that spirit beast you know your buddy wanted. Hey, its up. On my way. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. What is taking you so long. Well I was far away, I had to get to a flight point and that took me on the scenic route all around the world and now I am running there. Should be there in a few. 10 minutes later, 20 over all. Hey, I thought you said the spirit beast was up. It was, someone must have gotten it, I feel asleep waiting for you, sorry. Welcome to a world without flying while hunting to get those rare tames. What exactly is fun about that when it took someone 20 minutes to get there. If they could have just mounted and took a direct line there it would have taken them 3 minutes.
Sorry, but when it comes to rare hunting it seems like no flying just seems like an artificial way to make us spend more time in game by making us waste more time doing nothing but traveling in game in the hopes we will get to a rare spawn that will most definitely be gone because it took us so long to get there which then turns back to, why even try.
PvP With No Flight:
People keep saying flying killed world PvP. I say that no real reward other than the fun of doing it is what killed world PvP. Flying might have hurt it, sure, but it helped just as much as it hurt it. If I call out that I am being attacked everyone mounts up and comes to help me. But if it is going to take them forever to get there, guess what is going to happen? I am going to die a horrible lonely death.
The fact there are so many more interesting things to do in the world puts PvP at the bottom of the list and that is what killed world PvP, not flying. Flying has helped as much as it hurt. See a notice something is under attack you have two options, go help or stay doing what you are doing. Depending on where it is you make our choice, and having the ability to fly there to get into the battle faster is a huge plus. If I see "xxx is under attack" and I do not have flying, I just go about my day, if I see "xxx is under attack" and I do have flying I immediately mount up and see what is going on and if I think I can help.
The people that think no flying in warlords will help world PvP are delusional and I would love to know what drugs they are on because they are being mean and not sharing. Sure, it might increase world PvP in the sense that people that do not feel like fighting right now can not get away. But people are not really going to be all that happy that they can not get away. Sooner or later they might just quit because they keep getting involved in a war when all they wanted to do with pick some flowers. Yeah yeah yeah, PvP happens on a PvP server. Doesn't mean you always want to fight. Sometimes you just want to get to the inn because you are logging off for the night.
Will It Get People Out More?:
That is a fantastic question and one we can only speculate on. I mean more than the other topics I have mentioned because this is a double edged sword. The people that did not go out in the world when they could fly are surely not going to go out when they can't, why would they. So it will not change that at all. What it does effect are those that already went out in the world to begin with.
So I answered that question, people will not, repeat, no get out more. But what is that I smell, is it a hint of vanilla in the air? The people that do decide to go out will be the ones that already did and they will, or might, experience a world they are not used to. If they will keep going out might be a better question.
Lets say I wanted to make some flasks for tonight's raid I would mount up, fly to the area that has the herbs I am in need of and start picking. I would land on herbs that required no fighting and in 20 or 25 minutes I would have enough for tonight's flasks and potions and be ready to raid. Now lets look at the same thing with no flying. Traveling there would take longer as I could not mount up and go directly there. I would need to take a flight path and I already mentioned how horrible those things are with their scenic take you all over the world view. Then I would need to get to that area which very well could include fighting. Even if the fighting is easy it does take time and before you know it 20 or 25 minutes have past and I have still not picked my first herb.
Once there I start picking, fighting, picking fighting, running around looking for herbs, picking and fighting again. To get the 100 herbs I needed to stock up for the nights raiding we see the time passing 1 hour, maybe 2 hours. Little did we realize but instead of doing my dailies, some pet battles, maybe a dungeon or two and a raid in raid finder, I spent the entire time I had before raid time picking herbs and did nothing else at all. How exactly is that fun? How long before I too decide that I want to do my dailies, do a dungeon and maybe an LFR instead of wasting time picking herbs for the raid.
How long will it be before people start saying it takes to long to go out and do things when you can not get directly to where you want to do those things? Will that in turn mean at some point people will go out less? How many people are like me and like to grind? How many people would actually get a small smile on their face when they think about how old school this feels? And how many, even if they like the old school feel, will keep liking it after the novelty ran off and instead of it being a flashback to what we think of as better times with rose tinted glasses wore off and we see things are they truly are, a waste of time, will we still be happy to do it?
The real question we need to ask ourselves when talking about flying in warlords does not have anything to do with flying at all. So do not ask yourself do you think there should be flying when you hit 100, ask yourselves...
Do You Think Wasting Time Is Content?:
And that is the real question of flying vs no flying. It is more about wasting time vs not wasting time. If you think taking 2 hours to do something it has taken you 30 minutes to do for the last 5 years is compelling content, then you are in the no flying school but if you would rather it take you 30 minutes to do something it took you 30 minutes to do for the last 5 years you are in the flying school.
As I said, I don't care either way, I will adapt, I always do and I am an old school style of player so while I might rather flying I can live without it. There would even be some real benefit to me because of no flying. More gathering because there will be less competition. More gold to be made because I am not one of the lazy masses. Maybe even more rares because people will not want to go traveling all over to try to get to them. So I can live with it. I can even learn to love it with no flying. But I would rather have flying. So I am torn and will not really give my opinion because I can go either way.
But I will say this one thing in closing. There is nothing I hate more than wasting time and that is really what the question is. So if you asked me the question I just posed and not the flying question, I would have an answer for you. I do not think wasting time is content and I would rather not waste my time. Waste too much time and people will start thinking of it as wasting time playing the game to begin with and just stop playing. They will move on to a game where they can do things instead of sitting on a taxi.