Friday, May 23, 2014

Flying in Warlords

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.

21 comments:

  1. Pros: I thought flying at max level was a pretty good design choice. In pandaland, it allowed them to use a zone for levelling, and for max level content. Like the valley of four winds, which had the hozen area you couldn't get to without flying. I thought that was really smart? why gimp themselves.

    I realize this is really really silly of me, but I loved going fishing for the tiger gourami in the pools in north east kun lai. It was gorgeous, and I never saw anyone else, and it just felt so cool to be up in that environment. I'll miss that. Though to be honest I haven't bothered fishing anything since I got Nomi back in 5.0. Still, it was nice and pretty for a while.

    I definitely only gather on druids. With the sky golem, I suppose other classes could, but that's so big and clunky... And generally I'll be watching something in another monitor while I do it. I don't want to pay attention while gathering herbs or ore.

    Though, I'm dropping engineering on my main here as soon as we officially are done with SoO, and picking up skinning. And I suppose it won't make skinning much different, since we've got to kill the mobs anyway.

    I'm afraid we've missed the point on gathering, however. Even with our current gardens, a player can keem themselves in more herbs than they could ever use. At my highest point, I was doing three gardens with herbs and one with ore, and that was plenty to keep two raiding toons in pots and flasks, as well as keep all my characters swimming in gems. I'm sure it'll be even easier to get the mats with garisons.

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    1. Also, I forgot about warbringers. Farming warbringers just wouldn't be an option without flying. I'll spend 15 minutes checking all the spawn points ever once in a while. I certainly will not spend 2 hours. What people will do instead is camp. If someone walks their ass all the way to a spawn point and it's not there, they're not walking back. they're gonna sit there. And if another person does as well, then they'll just have to fight over who has the faster reaction time when it spawns.

      This is not great game design.

      As for exploring, I kind of feel like the point of quests should be to do a bit of exploring. That said, I despise quests that the only point of is to walk for half an hour to deliver something with no other relevant content in the zone. But still, well designed quests should take you through a zone, and let you see the content the devs created. If that's on of their goals, then it's over by the time we hit max level.

      The hackers is a good point to. On my server a lot, not a majority by any means, but a lot of people were flying at 85 the day mists came out because of an easy hack. I imagine we'll see a significant rise in the popularity of those types of hacks.

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    2. That design where even lower areas had higher level content was great. It allowed them to make every zone useful at max level. To bad they only really used it to its full extent in the hozen area. Perhaps if they had used it in every zone to a greater extent they would understand the value of flying from a game play and content perspective instead of just thinking of it as flying.

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  2. Gathering:
    I've gathered on foot... it's a P.I.T.A.
    +1 vote for flying

    Exploration:
    I've gotten most of my explorer achievs on foot... it's a P.I.T.A.
    +1 vote for flying

    Travel:
    Flight paths are for when you need to go AFK for 5-30 minutes...
    +1 vote for flying

    Rare hunting:
    It's already bad enough with CRZ and combined realms...
    +1 vote for flying

    World PvP:
    I play on PvE servers because I don't want to get ganked...
    +1 vote for flying

    Get people out in the world:
    People already stand around in major cities queued for instances... it'll be even worse if travel is inconvenient.
    +1 vote for flying

    Wasting Time:
    Uhh... no, thanks.
    +1 vote for flying

    So final tally...
    Yep, flying wins.

    OK, Blizzard, the people have spoken, now go fix it!

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    1. You seem to be firmly on the side of flying. lol

      You also seem to be the majority of the player base I have seen speaking up on it. There seem to be two really active sides. The side, like yours, that can say why they want flying and the side that will insult you for wanting it.

      Like I said, I will go with whatever they do but would prefer flying. I have yet to hear even one remotely close to decent reason for there not to be flying.

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  3. I'm fine with no flying the first time through the content, but after that, I think that they should enable flying for alts. The whole excuse about skipping content is BS. I want to get to the real content, not slug it out with endless trash mobs to run a quest the 11th time through it. As much as Blizzard refuses to acknowledge it, the whole no flying thing is really just a time sink to stretch out content. Not exactly a way to make the game fun.

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    1. I think no flying while leveling is a great idea. Absolutely. You really get a feel for the world by getting to see a lot of it.

      It is just meant as a time sink, no other reason. I am sure of it.

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  4. You clearly thought a lot about this, but I think some of your arguments are a bit one-sided.

    The one I disagree with the most is that uncovering all parts of the map is somehow the same thing as exploring, because it's really not. When you fly over the world, it's basically a 2D painting with no real features - it may look pretty, but it's all the same to you because it's all irrelevant to your progress.

    I remember back in Wrath I levelled an alt on another server so I couldn't send her the book to learn how to fly in Northrend right away. It was a real eye-opener. Areas I had flown over dozens of times but never done before while ground-bound were full of things like cliffs, rivers, bridges - things I'd never really taken notice of before because I didn't have to. I even discovered a whole system of caves I didn't even know existed before... because, you know, flying. That's what they mean when they say that no flying will encourage exploration. Instead of flying over it once and going "aha" without even looking at anything but your map before moving on, you'll actually get to experience the environment.

    And I think your rare argument misses the other side of the coin: with travel being more of a hassle, rares will be more likely to be up. In Pandaria, anyone can just happen to fly over a rare and land for a minute to gank it, but being ground-bound you'd have to actually go out of your way to get to that guy on top of the cliff, so there'll be much fewer people doing it. The reason they die so quickly on the Timeless Isle has nothing to do with flying or no flying, but with a large population being concentrated onto a really small space. Spread people out all over the world and things will be different.

    I also find your summary a bit sad. The idea behind making travel more of a thing is to make travel itself a piece of content, because instead of flying through the aether undisturbed, you'd instead have to deal with the world around you and might find yourself getting distracted. I understand why that might not be everyone's cup of tea, especially if they have limited time to play, but I find it a bit sad that even the idea of engaging with the world around you and letting yourself get diverted from your goals isn't anything but "wasting time" to you.

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    1. It is not one sided but I understand why it would seem so. The reason it seems that way is there are countless good reasons for flying and very few good ones for no flying. It is hard to present an even case when it is not an even comparison. To over use a term, comparing flying to no flying is like comparing apples to oranges. The act of flying completely changes the game into something else, something more.

      I too remember wrath leveling with no flying and I loved it. Did I forget that when an alt did it and I could fly? Nope, because I do not have that bad of a memory.

      Just because I loved it the first time through doesn't mean I want to do it every time. Say you walk up on a waterfall and you take a good look at it and the sun shines just right at it and you take a screen shot because it is that amazing. Is seeing it another time on another character going to be that special? Nope, it never will be that special again. Once you have experienced something you can not experience it again with the same joy and wonder and amazement as you did when you first saw it. That is a fact, that is how the human mind works, you can only experience a first time once.

      I think mists had it right. No flying until max level. Even no flying for alts until max level. However, at this point in the expansion with a stale raid that is not really all that interesting and perhaps so many people running it on so many alts in so many different difficulties, it might be time to let alts have flying just to give some people something to do.

      I've leveled 18 90s this expansion, 17 up and one I used my instant 90 on from level 60. But that means 17 of them have been through the content. I have seen everything there is to see on foot. Quite honestly, by the 2nd one I had seen everything. By the 3rd one I had refined my leveling process to the exact quest hubs I would do for maximum effectiveness. Trust me when I say this, I did not get any enjoyment out of the world I saw while leveling by the 3rd time through. It was just a means to an end. The enjoyment was the first time experiencing it and the second time taking it slower to catch the bits I might have missed.

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    2. I thought of the rare argument from that standpoint, I really did. But I do not think it would work as well as you think it would. You would have people like me that would just run up and kill them. Just like I do on TI. I do not announce it, I do not wait for people, I see a rare, I kill the rare, I move on. With such a wide open space the odds of having people do that would increase because they would not want to announce it and then have people say "wait for me" and they are (for example) at the bottom of jade forest when you are at the top. Will people really wait 15 minutes for someone to get there on foot? And even if they do, will I wait 15 minutes for them? Nope, if someone calls it out and I am close I am going to go there and I am going to kill it. There will not be more up, if anything it might be the same amount as with flying, just fewer people able to share them because no one will want to wait 15 minutes. I know there is no way in hell I would.

      Also, they die so quick on TI not because it is packed. Go to a dead server, I play on one that is the lowest of low, and some are still dead in less than 10 seconds. It is not because the place is packed, it is because they have so little life any half way geared character that blows cooldowns can kill 90% of them in less than 30 seconds so if you have even remotely "okay" gear they are not going to last 10 seconds.

      Now, imagine them scaled for a level 90 to kill and that same half way geared character, heck, lets even say an ungreared only in quest greens level 100 goes to kill it. How long do you think it is going to last? Do you think anyone is going to wait on others to come?

      Travel had never been and never will be "part of compelling game play". It is a necessary evil at best.

      I remember the days of grinding cernaion circle rep killing for the twilight texts. Darnassas was my home (don't ask me why) and every day I would get home from work, get on a flight path to sitilus and then go take a shower, get something to eat and come back and still not have landed there. I would grind mobs over and over for the day and then hearth home to Darn (yes I should have just stayed there) to do the same thing the next day.

      Sure, I know better now, but what exactly was compelling game play about that flight? Or any flight in the game? Please, tell me how traveling is fun? It is only a waste of time.

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    3. Oh, forgot one thing I wanted to add.

      If you want to walk, even if there is flying you still can. But if you want to fly, you can't.

      That is how flying wins. Flying does not change the fact you can still experience the game on foot.

      Also, something Del mentioned in the first reply.

      Flying offers so much more as far as game design goes. Like the hozen quest area in the valley. By having fling you can have the level 90 content in a level 90 zone AND have level 100 content in the level 90 zone.

      It just opens so many more doors for the game.

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  5. Sure, I know better now, but what exactly was compelling game play about that flight? Or any flight in the game?

    Hehe, but that's exactly my point! Flying is boring. :P

    And I agree that the first time you experience something isn't something you're ever going to repeat the same way again, but that doesn't mean that you'll only ever want to skip it completely afterwards. Well, I wouldn't anyway. That waterfall is still pretty the fifth time, even if it's not quite the same. Saying "you can still walk if you want to" is a bit of a cop-out as well because it's only true if I only ever play on my own. Nobody is going to wait on me riding on the ground while everybody else is flying. You might as well say "you can go play another game" - which - to be fair - I have, and I don't miss flying one bit. Personal preference I guess.

    I remember liking flying back in BC because there was some gameplay to it. Since it was very slow at launch, it wasn't actually worth flying at all times and you had to decide. There were also "obstacles" in the air, such as the Monstrous Kaliri or the cannons that shot you down if you got too close. But ever since Wrath it's effectively just become a way of not-quite-teleporting you from point A to B.

    All that said, I actually agree with your main point that taking something away that people have got used to is not going to go down well. I may not enjoy a world where everyone flies, but I've also quit and I'm not going to come back and fall in love with the game again just because of that one change. A lot of current players who do love flying are going to be pissed off on the other hand. You'd think that Blizzard would have learned their lessons with the dungeons in Cata. Sure, I thought the harder heroics were cool, but it didn't exactly lead to masses of players who loved hard 5-mans resubscribing. It did lead to people quitting however because they loved the easy runs and hated the change.

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    1. This was obviously meant to be a reply to your comments above. Threading fail on my part.

      I think the point I'm trying to make at the end of it all is that for all the arguments you list in your post, they all more or less come down to "I'm used to having the ability to fly right now and I don't want it to be different". This is a fair argument! But some people keep talking about flying like nothing could ever work without it and that is what I disagree with.

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    2. I do believe that everything does seem to fall back into the "don't take away what we have" category. I mean, if we never had flying to begin with we would not even be having this conversation.

      I also believe that even if we never had flying that many of these points would still be solid points to bring up as a reason why we should have flying.

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  6. @Shintar

    I disagree that flying is boring. I get what you are saying about how when you are riding you notice a lot of details that you don't notice when flying over, and I agree, but there's another side to this as well: some of the most beautiful vistas I saw were from air. I wouldn't have seen them if I were on the ground.

    I will also say that flying is fun on its own. Some dev once said that there is a test that he does in every game as soon as he starts playing - can his character jump or not? He presses space and tries to jump, because jumping is fun and it feels very natural to be able to do it in modern games. Well, flying is the same for me. I loved it when they added flying in TBC and love it to this day. It's fun on its own.

    I suppose there are people who love flying and people who are meh about it or hate it. However, if we take flying away, the former guys won't be able to play like they want to, and if we leave flying in, everyone will be able to play like they want to. So why not leave it in? I am sure we all heard this argument for leaving flying in before, but, well, it is true.

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  7. OT: Grumpy, I know you are a hunter, but I thought you had a char of every class. If you haven't already done so, I suggest you look at changes to boomkins. They are getting revamped for real. Do you think changing a spec this much is good or bad, and if you think that's good, would you like them to do the same for hunters?

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    1. Yes I have one of each class. I have not attempted boomkin in a long time. If I ever did I would have to get that glyph that makes you look normal, not like an owlkin. I think that is the reason I refuse to play one more than anything else. I might give it a try in warlords.

      Change can be good. Look at locks, they used to be a nightmare and now they are more fun. As for hunters getting a huge change, we have already gone through that recently with the change to focus. As for change in how we are played, I would hope they never completely change it, but some rotational changes are always nice. As long as they do not include a ton of luck based things. I want a rotation that is all math not whoever gets lucky with procs does best, which is kind of how every DPS spec is right now.

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  8. You expressed my thoughts very well. Perhaps no-flight will lengthen some tasks for the guy who usually camps in Orgrimmar. For me, who is always in the world pet battling, doing archaeology, or finding rares or the new treasures-those things don't sound as thrilling if it takes so long to get from place to place or I get bogged down in "bad" archaeology spots full of mobs.

    For my small child, who does nothing but explore, it's an utter deal-breaker. He doesn't want the expansion if it means they will take flying from him.

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    1. Archaeology will be a complete and total nightmare without flying. Flying is the only thing that makes it bearable. I would do it while in queue for a dungeon. How is that going to work on foot, travel forever to get to one dig site then another pops up on the complete other side of the world and you have to keep going back and forth across the whole world due to bad luck with dig placement.

      Oh dear god no. I didn't even think of that one specifically. You are 110% right.

      Heck, your small child is smarter than most of the adults if they would quit it faster than we would. At least he knows what he wants.

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  9. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    I am very much in favor of flight in the game. Honestly, I think I would have enjoyed the game much more flying from level 60 on everywhere. The business of being forced to the ground until level cap has always been annoying to me. So yes, the notion of no flight until 6.1 or maybe not at all after level 90 is a very bad decision to me. I also don't expect that decision to last much more than a couple of weeks after release of WoD. How the masses are going to receive the notion that all their flying mounts are useless for flight in the current content will be the key and I think that reception will be less favorable that Blizz expects.

    You have to remember that people will hit 60, get flight in Outland and the old world, then reacquire it upon hitting Northrend and have it last until level 85, at which point Flight will effectively disappear. Yes, flying can be reacquired for the Pandaria zones...just as you leave them and won't be there to fly anyway. Followed by 10 more levels with no flight and no real likelihood of acquiring it anytime soon.

    So, I really don't think Blizzard has any idea of the shitstorm that they are going to wind up enduring over the lack of flight when it becomes a reality that slowly sinks into the general WoW population.

    The rational they provide is that it is easier to provide immersive content when flight is disallowed. The example of a toon sneaking into a castle, killing and sneaking his/her way to the target as opposed to swooping in, killing the one target and then swooping off was flat silly and oh so easily rewritten. First off, why was the target outside in a castle with lots of rooms. What happened to guards who watch for a known approach, i.e. by air? No, the Blizz developers are being unimaginative in the way quests are designed is what is happening. Flight exists both in the game world and in the real world.

    If flight causes designers problems in the game world, then just maybe they should look to how similar problems were handled in the real world. The military has been working on vertical envelopment almost as long as modern flight has existed.

    Flight does not detract from game play but rather enhances it and if planned for from the start, is certainly something that can be built into the quest system.

    All told, I will buy one copy of WoD for sure, despite the lack of flight because I intend to make it to level 100 on at least one toon. If flight is continuing to be gone after that, then I suspect I will be gone too.

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    1. I don't rightfully understand the "taking more time" is fun argument which is really the only argument for a life with no flying. Things take longer to do. Guess they are trying to lengthen the life of the expansion because it really is not going to include much otherwise.

      They HAD some flight obstacles in MoP like those birds over at half hill. Remember at the start of the expansion when they would attack people and/or dismount them. It was awesome, it was fun, and that is exactly what flying needed. Blizzard caved to the people crying on the forums and they no longer attack. That is blizzard problem, they change things that do not need to be changed sometimes like that, and change things that shouldn't be changed others times, like flying.

      Blizzard should have just said, then avoid the birds, fly closer to the ground, or use a ground mount. But nope, they removed it.

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