So, Blizzard seems to have committed fully to no moe flight, at least not in the Warlords of Draenor expansion.The forums have exploded, and many tears are already being shed and many more will follow I’m sure. But is it really a bad thing?
There are of course many benefits to flight, we can fly direct from point A to point B is the most obvious one and with the magicl mystery tour that some flight paths take that really is a good thing. Then of course there is the fact that we can quest faster, why bother wading in through armies of mobs when we can drop into the exact spot highlighted on WoWHead and get exactly to the objective? It makes sense faster questing = faster levelling = WIN!
Also farming herbs and ores is very efficient whiel flying. The amounts you can farm per hour are dramatically higher than you can even on the fastest of ground mounts.
Other arguments for flying include:
- it expands the world as points of interest can be hidden away in places that are hard to reach;
- it gives us more content;
- it provides for more variety in mounts;
- it is better for short WoW sessions;
- archaeology will suck;
- it gives better game performance as there are less people consuming your FPS;
While all these are valid points some are stretching things, although not as far as the most bizarre point I’ve read from the pro-flying brigade; that Blizzard are doing this to save development costs as they won’t need to develop in all directions.
My personal view is that it is actually a good thing overall. Sure I’ll miss it but I’ll cope because of the benefits that I hope it will bring.
The main benefit is that it will fill the world back up, I remember WoW as an MMO, outside of the majorr cities, it doesn’t feel like a multi-player game. Because, the first few weeks of the expansion aside, you go out to a quest hub and you’re likely the only one there. Now I always assumed that this was because people had levelled up and no longer went there. But thinking about it, early in every expansion nobody can fly.
It will also make questing feel immersive, Bashiok got it summed up best when he said:
Questing like this also gives you XP and the chance of loot drops that cn be sold earning you a few extra gold that you can then spend on your taxi rides! If Blizzard design the quests right you’ll end up with multiple quests that you complete along the way to killing the end goal target. In Bashiok’s example above, you could have the enemy leader is your primary quest and you have 3 side quests to kill 10 minions, collect 10 rifles and steal some invasion plans along the way. But we do have to hope they do that.
I also believe that we make more friends when we see others around, again I had put this down to moer people playing early in the expansionbut it is because you’re more likely to group up to kill quest mobs rather than fight over them.
This re-poulation is good for more reason though, it allows guilds to grow and it prevents ne people falling into the trap of believing they are playing a solo game. Could it produce better players overall? Maybe not but it just might make everyone frendlier and less likely to break Wheaton’s Law
Some also argue that flying has killed world PvP, again while it has not helped world PvP, I think killed may be a bit of an exaggeration as half the servers are PvE and many PvP servers have ridiculous faction imbalances that they too may as well be considered PvE realms.
Blizzard are promising not to create crazy flight points and more importantly to add more flight points and both these points are essential to make life easy in Warlords without flight. The biggest irony? Our first visit to Draenor was the expansion that gave us flight and the Reins of the Raven Lord mount (which didn’t fly) and our reward for purchasing the Collector’s Edition of the expansion that sees us return to Draenor is Reins of the Dread Raven, a a revised version of the original, that does fly. Go figure!