There are many reasons we can guess about what has been the delay with warlords, and I know I did not post about the first five but those are actually quite obvious. So I will start at reason number six which was just announced.
They are moving the horde and alliance hubs from their places in the starting zones to points near ashran. Now I am not in beta so I can not see exactly how they are moving them, but unless they move the actual cities there, which I know they will not do because you can not exactly move karabor because it is not some generic city but a city with a history of being exactly where it is, all the art work put into making these places into hubs to begin with is now wasted time. If they just happen to turn into quest hubs we spend a little time in and then move along to forget about they would not need the amazing level of detail blizzard is well known for including in their hub cities of the past like the shrines, dalaran or shat, which essentially means any of that extra time spent on them was wasted art assignments.
So no only did they spend time developing the art for these two cities, one for the horde and one for the alliance, that is now all wasted time, they need to develop two new cities at the level of hub design late in the development process wasting even more time. I am sure they will steal a lot from the cities they already made as that would be the smart thing to do, but it is still all just wasted time.
While I am against the idea of moving our hubs for the reasons of time we all must realize that in a way this is a good move for the expansion and this is where the hub cities should have been to begin with but blizzard, if anything, has shown throughout history they are not a very forward thinking company.
It would have been nice to have my horde hub city close to my horde garrison and my alliance hub city close to my alliance garrison but if they make a way, as in a portal, for us to get from our city to our garrison and back then where our garrison is really should not matter much. This remains to be seen. Don't count on blizzard to do the right thing here, they want us to spend a lot of time traveling, it is how they intend to make their content last longer and why they are removing flight.
As for why this is a good change I will play devils advocate here.
Putting our hub cities close to the new world PvP zone means both hub cities are close to each other and close to the PvP zone. This is a good thing because as it was there were no two places in the world we could have been further away from each other than the horde and alliance main cities were. Personally I would not have even minded a single city once again like shat or dal.
Also, they figure and quite possibly rightfully so, that more people will join in ashran if the hub cities were closer to it and we did not need to fly, or make that not fly, all the way across the world to get to it if we wanted to participate like we would if the hub cities remained where they current were.
However, and this is bad news for the people that are hoping flying will be added in 6.1, this is also a sign that they are very seriously considering not adding flying at all. Because they know that people would have hated the travel to and from the new world PvP zone they had to move the hub cities closer. So having the hub cities right there on the border means there is one less reason people can say they wish there was the ability to fly. This will be a real shot to the heart of the people that were holding out hope that flying would be added to warlords sooner or later. Sorry to break it to you, but this move is a huge sign pointing to the fact they are thinking of not adding it at all.
In the end I just have one question for blizzard.
Why put in all this effort, and give the alliance some moment of excitement thinking we would spend an entire expansion as what becomes the black temple being our home, and then move it like that?
This has to be a blow to the alliance player base that constantly gets shit on to begin with and it has to be an even bigger blow to the development process time wise. Could you have not just put portals in the new cities that were far away from the PvP zone that took you there and then ones there that took you back to try and get more interest in the zone instead of moving the hubs there? Just let the alliance have their one moment in the sun in a beautiful city with a storied history.
I understand the change blizzard, I even support the reasoning behind the change, I just do not understand why it was not handled a better way but I guess I should have known better because blizzards track record is really spotty when it comes to things like this.
What do you think?
Are you going to miss (even if most of us never saw them in use) those beautiful cities in frostfire and shadowmoon that were originally intended to be our homes that they spent so much time on, or will you just forget about it and stay in whatever hub they give us and not even think about why some huge city is so well done and so under used?
As an alliance player, how do you feel about the only decent thing the alliance has received in the last 5 years, talabor, being taken away before we even get a chance to see it?
As a pro flier, how do you feel that this could quite possibly be another sign pointing toward an expansion where we never see flying?