About that flying thing

Let’s face it – this is all anyone is talking about right now.

I’ve read quite a few posts/forums/tweets about the lack of flying in Draenor and the possibility that there won’t be flying in future expansions either, and to be quite honest I’m absolutely sick and tired of hearing about it. But what I’m more sick of is those who are very vocal about their dislike of this decision throwing tantrums on twitter or on the Blizz forums and claiming they speak for the player base. Let me make this perfectly clear – YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME. That’s not to say that I agree with no more flying – what I’m saying is that when people jump up and down on the forums and make statements such as those below, I don’t want to be lumped in the same group as them. The voices are loud, and many of them are childish beyond belief. They might as well be saying “I’m going to hold my breath until you give me some candy”.

“You NEED to take down flying mounts from your cash store.
You NEED to reimburse EVERYONE who ever bought a flying mount from the cash store.
Or you need to realize this is not a legally wise decision.

“…

I will be un subscribing after I finish this post. resubscribing is contingent on putting flight back in or getting a full refund on all things flight related.”

“This is a great way to make sure you lose another 2 million customers. Good job Blizz, since noone else can kill WoW, you’re going to do it for them!…”

Honestly I’m starting to wonder if Watcher was bribed by a rival company to kill WoW, each and every single of his decisions seems to go on that direction.”

“No player outside of a PvP realm thinks flying after you’ve already hit 100 is a bad thing, or breaks content. And you could just disable it on PvP servers if you wanted to.
Thanks Blizz, way to disappoint 7 million customers.

“Creativity and ingenuity at Blizzard has officially died.“ 

“Blizzard, you are nothing more than a sleazy, greedy, lazy, cowardly and uninspired shell of your former selves. Kudos to you I guess, for managing to string along your paying customers for as long as you did in regards to flying though. Gotta keep making those dollars right?“ 

Charming.

Is removing flight really worth quitting the game over?

No. It’s not. There is not one single person who could stand up and say “the only thing that I like to do in game is fly”. Because if that’s true, you are playing the wrong game. Yes, flying is super fun and interesting and the mounts are awesome. But that’s not the only thing this game is about. This is an MMO – you have internet dragons to kill and bad guys to round up and fishes to catch. There are other people to enjoy this game with- there’s PVP and pets to battle and quests to do and raids and dungeons and exploring and stuff. So much to do. If the only thing you like in this whole game is to fly, and have no other reason to play the game than to log on and fly around, then maybe this game is not for you. Seriously. (Don’t get me wrong – I love going out for a flight to explore a bit, but it’s not the only thing to do in game).

What you won’t do if flight comes back

A lot of posts on that thread went on about how much more they would do in the game if flying was there, and blame the feeling of being “trapped” in garrison on the lack of flight. What a load of bollocks. The only thing in game that is negatively impacted by the lack of flight is archaeology (and I agree – it’s a right pain in the ass doing that without flight!). But everything else – fishing, exploring, doing the daily pet battle trainers, Apexis dailies etc. – you don’t need flight for those.

But Blizzard lied!

Hmm not quite. They didn’t actually say definitely that flight would be in later in the expansion – they said they expected it to. Don’t get me wrong – I expected flight to be back too, and was looking forward to seeing my new Cindermane Charger  spread her wings in Draenor, but they didn’t promise it. I think a larger part of the issue of no more flying is how the players found out about the decision.

It was a shitty way to find out about it

This I agree with 100%. A lot of people were looking forward to flying coming back, and were waiting to see it in each iteration of the 6.2 patch notes. They have been very vocal about flying since WoD was announced to not include it. Blizzard knew these people felt the way they did, and that there were quite a lot of them. So to find out in a casual interview with some magazine or whatever is a slap in the face. I completely agree with this. The way this has been handled does feel like Blizzard haven’t recognised just how much people wanting flying back in the game, or that they are ignorant to the impact of players finding out important information (to them) via a second hand source. It’s like being broken up with by having your (now) ex’s friend pass you note to say you’ve been dumped. You feel like shit, and that’s fair enough.

Are you for it, or against it?

There are plenty of arguments for and against flying. With flight in the game, you get to explore new places in the game you may not have found before (I know this happened to me a couple of times in MoP). Flying also feels like a reward for getting to max level. Not getting the ability to literally lord over players lower than you makes you feel like a “lowbie” and to a degree diminishes the sense of accomplished for reach max level.

Also, some of us have worked super hard to earn a number of flying mounts in the game. Seeing them waddle around on the ground is terribly sad.

At the same time, without flight, the world is more immersive. The environment around you matters – if there are loads of trees around you (for example) they are going to affect how you view and experience the world around you, because you feel closed in. It has an affect on your experience. When you have flight, you just go up and over them to get where you need without actually engaging with the world around you. You’re missing the experience.

Not having flying also means that pvp servers are going to feel more like pvp servers. With flight it’s far too easy to AFK and not engage with the enemy faction at all. If you’re grounded, you can’t hide – you need to stand your ground and defend yourself…. which is the point of a pvp server.

We have had flying in game for quite some time now. I’ve only ever played the game with flight in it, and don’t know a time before we had the ability to ride on dragons across the world. My concern is how they can make this change in the story of the game. What logical reason is there for our characters to not be able to fly?

Suggestions to improve the game if flying doesn’t come back

  • Allow flight paths to use your own mounts so that you can actually see and use your flying mounts in game
  • Have some new unique ground mounts – not just reskins, please.
  • Stop giving flying mounts as rewards for achievements.
  • Half a suggestion – allow flying mounts to at least be grounded in flight form, and not have them waddling about the place (they really do look ridiculous).
  • Add more flight paths. Or have NPCs that are visited often (such as pet battle trainers) closer to flight paths.
  • Make archaeology easier to do without flying. Having to run around mountains multiple times for one dig is not in any way shape or form enjoyable.

Suggestions on how to bring back flying in the game but still make it immersive etc.

  • Have more indoor content (underground?) where flying mounts can’t be used (but ground mounts can if it’s a large space). This will allow for the puzzles and the immersion etc. but will still allow people to fly when they’re outside.
  • Have no flying in levelling zones- phase parts of the zones if that’s easiest. My biggest gripe with flying is the max level players that sit there and camp low level players who are trying to level up. It’s petty and downright frustrating and makes it feel like someone else’s enjoyment of the game is more important than my enjoyment of the game. Finding a way to deal with this would be most helpful.
  • Develop an expansion that makes flying compulsory. I imagine a twisting nether style area where there is little ground and we need to fly from piece of rock to piece of rock to quest/interact with the world- something like Vashj’ir but in the air.

They are just some thoughts off the top of my head.

So what do I actually think about no flying?

Honestly, I’m not for or against flight in the game. I honestly don’t care. I absolutely LOVE flying, and I will be glad to have future expansions where I can fly. But if it doesn’t come back, it doesn’t come back, and I’m ok with that. Because I know that if Blizzard were to make such a massive decision as to remove flying from the game, they would need to make some pretty significant changes to the world and the way we experience it for people to stay on board.

What I’m not ok with is the behaviour of people at the moment who are acting like toddlers and having them claim to speak for all players. They do not. you are entitled to your feelings, yes, but please do not presume to think that everyone else is having those same feelings. Take a step back and reflect on why you are feeling the way you are and articulate that.

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