With all the hubbub about flight I figured I might as well do a little self evaluation on the things in game that ground only mounts could bring us more of. Admittedly as a pro flyer myself I would rather just land on something than jump to pick it up because, hey, that is why flight was added, as a quality of life improvement so we did not have to do those tedious tasks. However it seems with the possible shift in design we might see a lot more things, such as jumping games, added to the game.
There are other things that will change with no flying in warcraft any longer, but this is the first topic I will tackle as it seems to be the most obvious "addition" to the game with the subtraction of flying.
Do you like the jumping games?
Remember this is only my opinion on the matter and might hold true for some but surely not all.
I was on the beta for warlords when Nagrand was first opened up. It was bugged out for alliance and I could not complete the entry quest so instead of questing, as I couldn't, I decided to do some treasure hunting. Myself, along with another person, went around the area and tried to find all the goodies and figure out how to get to them.
This, of course, was before there were any guides or videos or addons or for that matter anyone else that had done them that I could ask. Most people that ran into my friend and I in nagrand asked us for help because we set the pace for finding treasures.
I must admit it was a hell of a lot of fun trying to find all the treasures. It was like one giant world sized puzzle. Each time we found a new glider it was a moment of excitement. If there is a glider here, it must lead to something. Lets find it. We took the gilders in every direction imaginable while looking for what might be a treasure and then ran back. Something that now might seem wasteful, but then, was pretty fun actually.
We spent a long time looking for goodies, figuring out how to get to the goodies, and running back and forth to gliders. Not to mention a bit of mountain climbing and lots and lots of jumping along the way.
I loved it, I really did. It was a hell of a lot of fun to find stuff and I freely admit it was even more exciting to know most of the ones that we were able to get I was not only the first person to find it, but the first person to get it. When I managed to get one of them, that was easily seen, that no one else had been able to get someone spoke out in general that someone finally got it. It was kind of fun as people from all over the zone started to run to it and asked me how I did it.
On the beta having to find them myself (or more accurately, with my friend) and figure out how to get to them on our own the jumping puzzles were very fun. Still not something really great, content wise, because it only took us a total of 6 hours to find everything and figure out how to get to it. So even at its hardest level, with no addons and no help, jumping puzzles seemed like a waste of time for them to spend development time on from a play time standpoint at least. I am sure the development time put into finding these things and the paths to them could have been better spent making some kind of repeatable content instead of a one off thing. But I really loved doing it.
I do have one funny story about that day to share before I move on. There is one where you take a glider and land in a tree to get some garrison resources. I had the worst time trying to land in that tree. I missed it 7 times. Twice I had landed on it, but in an odd spot, and when I attempted to move to a position where I could loot the treasure I fell. Oh poo.
Good thing my friend was with me. He landed up there and was waiting for me. So after those failed attempts I gave up and asked him to revive me when I died. Dying however became a little bit of an issue as the only thing around there were talbuks and they are not exactly what you would call strong. It took them well over a minute beating on me to kill me. But he revived me and I did manage to get it.
The funny part is when I went there on live, I was telling everyone I would miss it because I have never been able to land on it. And I managed to get it on the first try. How messed up is that? When I was expecting to miss, I made it, when I was expecting to make it, I missed.
Now, on to live.
When warlords was released I was 100 on day one. I did not go after the treasures in nagrand immediately, I figured I would wait so I could bring a bunch of people from the guild there to show them how to get them all. Instead I fished that first day and got nat pagle right away, which was kind of cool.
That Saturday I took an expedition out there to show them where all the treasures where. I think it was 9 of us in total at the time. We jumped, we glided, we revived people who died on purpose, we got all the treasures in quick time, I would say no more than 2 hours, probably closer to 1 and a half.
It all just felt like busy work as I had done it before. To some of the people with me, namely two, it was frustrating beyond belief. They hated every minute of it. Even with addons like handy notes (which is a must have addon) and me showing them the way, they still hated every second of it. One of those two gave up half way through and said they had no interest in going back there until they add flying. He never has either and now it looks like he never will.
It was sort of fun for me being I was showing a bunch of people the way, but it was one of those "I did all this already and now it is just annoying" things. That is and will always be a problem with doing one time only things like this on the beta or PTR. I still did them anyway to help the others and because I like getting all the achievements on my main, but I really did not enjoy doing it again.
On my alts I never even touched them. Even the ones that were desperately in need of garrison resources when they first hit 100. No way in hell was I doing that crap again. It was not fun, it was not exciting, and it sure as hell was not something that once you did it you would ever want to do it again. Not a single one of my alts has gotten even one treasure that required jumping in some sort of special way or a gilder. Even if I was well experienced and knew were they all were. No thank you. Not fun.
So looking at it from a live perspective, it was not so bad when doing it with a group. It was made amazingly easier (if I had not already known) with addons like handy notes and it was a one time thing, as in once you did it, it was done. Meaning there was really no desire to get used to doing it because you would need to do it each week. So from a live perspective, it was a complete waste of time. A one time only filler.
I don't like the jumping puzzles on live. I did like them on the beta. The problem here is that everyone, myself included, will use whatever resources they can get their hands on. Namely things like handy notes and wowhead for advice. This means the main thing I loved about it on beta, the finding it myself and figuring it out myself, was completely removed from the live game.
You can not blame blizzard for this, you can only blame human nature for wanting to use said resources to make it easier. Nothing wrong with that. We are always told to think smarter not harder. And using those available tools is thinking smarter.
Even if you were to hinder yourself and create a situation like I had on the beta where you do not download any addons for it and do not look up hints online at sites like wowhead, once you do find them all and figure out how to get to them the replay value of doing it again is greatly diminished.
I do completely understand that there are people that do dig this type of stuff. I did the first time around as well, but over all this is not exactly where I would like to see the developers time spent. Sure it gives us something to do on our ground mounts but I really do not care for it.
Not to mention, your mileage might vary, but I have a devil of a time jumping on some races. Night elves, humans, undead, orcs and blood elves I seem to do just fine on, but small ones like a gnome, dwarf or goblin or large ones like a dreanei or tauren I really have a hard time with it. I am sure someone that mains one of those races would have no issues, but as I am used to the night elf size only the races of very similar sizes do I seem to handle the jumping games with well.
I think the jumping games would have been better if there were more valuable items to get from them. Lets face it, every piece of gear you get from them is junk and even the ones that do offer garrison resources offer such a small amount you have to question if it was even worth the effort.
I also think they would have been better if there were repeatable ones that you could do weekly. Nothing really complex, just a simple jump one that anyone can do to get a small weekly cache of garrison resources once a week. It would also counter the number one complain about have about content this expansion, too much one and done stuff, like treasures, and not enough repeatable content.
Furthermore I also think if they did not require running all over the world to get back to a glider half a continent away it would have been more enjoyable. Nothing feels worse than missing a landing point and then having to first find your way back to the glider than the time it takes to get there which is much more if you can not find your way back to it. No thank you. Heck, I knew exactly how to get back to them and I still say it took way to much running around to get to them.
Lastly I think the difficulty and number of them should have been less, even more so being it is not like it was real content intended to last as it is a one time only thing, why make it annoying having to jump all over the world to get to them. Think the timeless island ones. A couple on the top of hills, a few tight rope walking ones and the bigger repeatable one that just required some simple pillar jumping that was no problem even on my gnome which I suck at jumping games with.
Over all I would have to say I really do not like them, even if I did enjoy them the first time through. The things you can find in the world can be made a hell of a lot better than they were this expansion. However even if they were made them better I am still not convinced they will ever be something that warrants content worth keeping us grounded for.
Do you like jumping games?