To Fly or Not to Fly... that is the question

General Discussion
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Ok, I’m coming in a little late on this one, because I’ve been hoping that a blue post would make me feel better. That did not happen. Instead I got Bashiok’s post in a now filled topic. I went away and thought about it, and now I had to copy and paste Bashiok’s entire post so I could reply to it. I even put it into word, cause really, there’s a lot of it, and I have a LOT to say about it. Because it would not let me quote, Bashiok is in Bold.

Now I do want to be clear. I have NOTHING against Bashiok, nor am I attacking him personally, as a person or as a player.

So anyone else looking to make this a “bash the blue” post, please don’t, this post is to explain some things to Bliz via Bashiok’s post that they seem to be completely missing about some of us players and the unintended consequences I have a huge problem with not being acknowledged or addressed, NOT to give Bashiok a hard time for doing his job.

This is extremely long, and I’ve cut it up to hopefully make it a little better, but there is no tldr, sorry.

This probably should have been kept to the original thread, but caution to thee, wind, I say! (I say that.)

So everyone has seen various posts and comments around the World Wide Web about flying not being allowed in Draenor, why, and what that means. It'd probably be helpful to try to sum up some of those things, and potentially help build a foundation for anyone's discussions on the topic going forward. If everyone has the same info then it just helps conversations glide along, as you can expect everyone else knows what you know! Knowledge Parity! (Knarity?)

I just want to point out here that this portion of this post points to another huge problem that Blizzard should perhaps address. There would not be rumors flying if Blizzard would be forthcoming with actual information. They have grown far too fond of the statements “when it’s done” “soon” and “we’ll see”.

In the beginning it was kinda cute, and while we players were frustrated, it felt like you were refusing to push forward at the cost of the game. Now, with so much stripped down to bare minimum, and more and more being taken away from us seemingly every time we sit at our computers to play, it just sounds condescending.

I personally hope that it is not Blizzard’s intention to sound that way to us, and I really do try to take it all with a grain of salt. You guys are busy, I know. And we players complain about a lot of things, I know that too. But you did CHOOSE to be a game company, and surely after all these years at least some of your people have learned to pull the important information out of all these complaints and ignore the parts that are of no help to you as game designers?
05/04/2014 03:15 AMPosted by Charishc
“when it’s done” “soon” and “we’ll see”

People still play half-life 2 and these are the answers they've been getting for almost 10 years now.
05/04/2014 03:18 AMPosted by Knallvar
People still play half-life 2

It's an amazing game, even by today's standarts
It's an amazing game, even by today's standards

I agree wholeheartedly, it was not a bash on Half-life or Valve
Anyway, it's important to first dissuade concerns that we're looking to slow down the game (I've recently posted about this in another thread, but it bears repeating). We're going to be making sure flight paths and other forms of travel are quick and efficient, with a goal of getting you to the places you want to go. The flight paths in Draenor are not going to be loop-de-loop sightseeing tours, and we're going to be looking to our beta testers to let us know if any are less than tip-top.

Our goal is not to make travel time consuming or painful, and with players on ground mounts we know we'll have to do more to try to ensure people can get to where they want to go quickly... BUT being able to lift off and fly over content compromises many of our goals in how the game world is approached, how it's played, how it's consumed, and how the content is designed to account for those factors.

Here is the huge problem with these two paragraphs, at least as they read to me, and please feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken, the second paragraphs absolutely contradicts the first. You aren’t tying to slow us down, but you are trying to control every aspect of how we interact with the game, which means you must be trying to control our speed. Since you are specifically taking away the most direct way for us to reach things AND the fastest mounts in the game, does that not distinctly point out that you are in fact trying to slow us down?

And, while I know it will cause an uproar in some places, I just have say this…. It is not Blizzard’s job to decide how the game world is approached, played, or consumed.

I think this is a large part of the problem for the past few expansions between Blizzard and the players. You guys want to control how we play, but there are MILLIONS of us, guys. Shoot, the three players in my house do not play the same game when we all play WoW, and we have so many play styles in our tiny little guild, it is something staggering to think we have all lasted in this game so long.

I, personally, chase mounts, pets and achievements. This means a lot of running around all over the place doing silly things. It also means that I level toons for no other reason than to hit 85, 90 for pandas and delete them, to get that 8th bank tab. I’ve also been know to fly in circles for hours just gathering ore or herbs simply because it’s quite and mind numbing, when I really need to just relax, or when I’m grinding gold for that cool new mount. Got my yak baby!

My man on the other hand could care less about pets, and only half heartedly chases mounts, and HATES leveling, but lord have mercy get out of the way on raid night! This man can’t even get his own drinks our of the fridge that is a few feet away, and has ACTUALLY requested that I go pee for him so he doesn’t slow down the raid. Yeah....I tried.... didn’t work.

My son on the third hand is such a random player, there is no telling what he is up to at any point in time. He’s a miner… no he’s a raider… no he’s a mount hunter… no he’s a leveler… no he’s a pokemon master… no he’s…. yeah… I’m dizzy too… oh wait, he’s just going to jump around the mailbox outside the auction house for a couple of hours. Why, why you ask? Good question, no clue, but it amuses him and keeps him from doing all kinds of silly things like drugs and booze and lord only knows what else, so I’m good with it.

Blizzard, you are game designers. You are supposed to design stuff with the players you want to keep sending you money in mind. That means you need to look at how we play and design around that, not design the game and then tell us how to play, which like it or not, is exactly what you are trying to do, and Bashiok has just told us so in no uncertain terms in this post.
As an example, let us consider a quest to assassinate an enemy leader. From the ground you approach a fort with guards at the gate. You charge and are able to dispatch them and sneak in a side hallway. You methodically take out packs of roaming sentries, and some of them shout at you as they run toward you. You notice they're in the middle of practicing dark and forbidden magics, and you take a moment to disrupt their ritual. Dashing into the main courtyard you spot your target, sneaking and fighting your way to him--and with a forceful slash--the fort's captain is vanquished, and as guards are alerted you fight your way out, glorious and triumphant in your success.

Alternatively, from a flying mount, you fly over the gate, see some guy whose name is highlighted, land on top of him, kill him, and then fly away.

Nice example. And you are right, for the first few times you kill that enemy leader, your way is more fun. The 5th? The 10th? How about people like me, who is willing to run that quest however many times it takes to get that 8th tab guild achievement? It’s not fun anymore, it’s an annoying chore that we grind though anyway because our goal says we have to.

Here’s the real kicker though, it may be annoying, but I don’t actually mind doing it, I’m that kind of player. Its gotta be done for me to get what I want, so I do it. I might grumble, I might even swear if I ever see that enemy leader again I’ll never play another MMO-RPG again, but I still do it. Again and again and again.
Want to know what I DO mind?

When the enemy leader has his butt parked on an ore node, which means some level whatever has just killed EVERYTHING in sight getting to the ore, or worse just aggro’d it all on his run back out, and dumps it all on top of me, the lowbie, and I get to run back from the graveyard, only to find the stupid enemy leader is dead anyway and I have to stand around waiting because the next level whatever just killed him just to get the herb that wasn’t too far from the ore node.

Oh, and let’s not forget the players that are ALREADY standing around waiting for the enemy leader because of CRZ.

Or those jerks that seem to think their whole job in the game is causing other players grief by tagging themselves pvp and aoeing all the way around the enemy leader, ensuring not only that he is dead before you can tag him, but that you probably tag yourself by mistake and die, too.

Yeah, that is SO great the 10th time in a row. And thanks to your lovely new single line questing, I can’t do anything about it, cause I HAVE to do this quest in order to open up the ability to continue.

Another thing not taken into account with your example, is that you CAN’T quest at level with a flying mount. You guys made sure of that with every expansion except Cata, which was a mistake no matter WHAT part of it you look at, so I don’t count it anyway. The only way your example counts is for achievements or annoyance AFTER you have leveled through the content anyway.

In either of those cases, your max level toon isn’t going to sneak and slowly work their way through at any rate, they are gonna charge in, gather up whatever feels like following them to the enemy leader, then aoe it all to hell and back. So… even without flight… a max level that could use flight in any other expansion that matters, is not following your example.

So, I’ll be super generous here and say it’s great the first five times you run this quest, you have 7 million accounts, each with 50 possible toons, that is a potential of 350 million kills, and only about 10% of which can be counted as “fun”, and does not account at all for those that level toons and delete them for whatever reason.

And we haven’t even BEGUN to discuss the what if of the enemy leader being a DAILY. You want me to do this EVERY SINGLE DAY for weeks, months, or years on end… and think it is fun each and every time? Really?
Being efficient is great, being clever is great, and using your cleverness to be efficient is great, but how many of us have done the Tillers dailies up on the cliffside where the Hozen are, and waited for packs to pass by before setting down right where you're supposed to, use whatever thingamabob you're supposed to, and then lift off ASAP hoping-hoping-hoping nothing aggros? How many of us have become furious when we actually have to fight something!? Is that clever gameplay? Is that being good at playing the game, or is it using a mechanic to avoid having to play it? Is that what the game should be, and what our expectations should be as gamers playing it?

This, as with your last example, is very short sighted and does not take into account other systems that your game REQUIRES to get ahead in the game.

That Hozen quest is a daily, luckily it is one of the new rotating dailies, so if you are lucky you do not get it every single day, but it is still a daily. It is part of a rep grind. You are not going to kill those monkeys ONCE per toon and be done with it. You are going to kill them over and over and over… and over.

Just HOW many times is it supposed to be fun to kill those monkeys?

I hope everyone can agree, regardless of personal opinion toward flight vs. non-flight, that flying fundamentally alters how content is approached in a world where the gameplay exists wholly on the ground.

We can agree that flying fundamentally alters how content is appraoched…. AFTER we have already leveled through the content in the first place.

Once again, you are completely disregarding the difference between leveling through content and max level play. They are completely separate and totally different things.

So far as I have seen, no one that is upset about flight is upset because they have to level to max first. We are however VERY upset with the idea that we will have to kill the same mobs over and over and over again because there happens to be an herb or ore amongst them.

Nothing I have seen tells me that Herbing or Mining have changed so drastically that we will not have to gather for ourselves, is this incorrect? Just this one point alone, not including pet hunting, mount hunting, rare item hunting, or any of the other million reasons max level players would be killing low level stuff, is enough to put us in an uproar no matter if we are max level players or leveling players.

This really is a big deal, for us as the max level player who just wants to get our mats to make our raid potions and gear and get back to playing the game, and for the poor lowbies that now have to wait to do their quests because we could not fly in, get our herb, and get out of their way.
In Draenor we're designing max-level content, portions of zones or zones in their entirety that will be dedicated to max-level gameplay-and not just the top of a cliffside, or some dailies in the Vale. There's a harsh change in how the game plays between leveling, and when you hit max level. Hitting 100 and instantly switching everything you do to raiding or Arenas is pretty abrupt, and we want to try to keep that questing experience available at max level with something more robust than daily quests. We don't think having all of that content inside buildings, or constantly challenged by sky cannons, or with magical no-flying smoke, or within some kind of dismount bubble is the most straightforward or best solution to the ultimate issue in that World of Warcraft is not a flight sim, and that's just not what the content of the game is about. Even at level 100 there will be no small portions of the game world intended to provide relevant content even to max-level players. These zones may even unlock over the course of the expansion, or the content in them will progress in story and scope throughout content patches. Content has to be designed with the expectation that there either is or is not flight, and approaching ground-level content from the ground offers more compelling game play. Raids, dungeons, and PvP continue to disallow flying for this same reason.

Why is it that you are so ready to discount all kinds of methods to disallow flight where flight causes problems, but are more than happy to completely stripped a much loved feature from your players?

No, WoW is not a flight sim, you got me there. But WoW absolutely IS filled with grinds.

Nowhere in this game thus far can you show me where there is not SOME SORT of grind that is required to progress in the game in one ay or another.

Mining, Herbing, Skinning, all grinds required by someone in order for someone else to achieve in all of the other professions.

All those other professions must be gotten to the level required so that you can have the max level raid potions, elixirs, enchantments, leg armors, etc… more grinds.

Rare drop recipes, pets, mounts, and gear… more grinds.

Reputations that must be gotten to exalted in order to get the cool mounts, pets, or must have raid gear or recipe… more grinds.

Can you tell me that you are removing ALL grinds from the game? That we players will not need to return to the same spots over and over and over again for any reason at all in the game?

If you could promise this to me, and I mean the kind of promise where Blizzard has to give up something, like, years of free play and free expansions of the same quality as they are producing now and every single mount and pet in the game (also free), I’ll happily give up flight at max level from this expansion forward.

If you can not tell me that there will be no grinds, that every step of the way in every possible thing will be in fresh new content, then you are going to have to accept that I am not going to be happy with giving up flight and having to kill every little thing to get to that one spot I need to get to in order to do my grind.
Your leveling players are not going to be happy to find all their mobs dead all the time either.

Why is it so unfathomable to you to make changes to your game mindset, rather than trying to force seven million people to only do what YOU think is right? What is wrong with magical no flying smoke? It works just fine in Wrath, Cata and Pandaland. We grumble, but we deal because the REST of our grinds are not bogged down by the same restriction.

So you want no flying for certain max level stuff. Ok. I’ll give you that, and I’ll give it to you WITHOUT taking it away from the entire rest of the map and all the other grinds.

Here is what you do… ready?

You make that area no flight, period, or even better from a players perspective, no flight until completed.
There. I’m happy. I get flight at max for all the grinds, but you get your no flight for certain max level stuff, so you should be happy too.

AND, here is the juicy part for you, YOU get to decide what “completed” is!

Is it a quest chain of epic proportions that must be completed by every toon? Or is it perhaps like the AQ dungeons, where the entire server must participate and accomplish in order to unlock flight for that little section of max level play? Ohhhh… maybe it is the most hellish rep grind ever, where the only way you can get the rep is to create 40 man group and kill a rare that never shows up in the same place twice in a row and only appears once a day?

There are a million and one ways to restrict players without actually stripping them of a loved and NEEDED ability. You can make it hard, REAL hard, you can include gold sinks, you have an entire game that includes at least ONE thing that every single player HATES doing that can be absolutely required to unlock flight on that little bit of land.

Give us a path, even the most complex, hard, and annoying path, and we will follow it. We might grumble, but we will still follow it. Or we will CHOOSE to live without flight in that area.

Just taking away the choice solves nothing, and kills your reputation with players.
It's also important to think about not just what the content is, but how it's experienced. Not everyone that plays the game cares how quests and outdoor content are experienced, of course. Some may find it unnecessary; they don't feel it adds anything to their experience. Others play through it fairly quickly, enjoy it, but don't particularly want to put much thought into why. Some may begrudgingly trudge through the content just so they can get to the part of the game they do want to play, and any other number of situations and preferences.

I'm sure some of you see the fortress example with the flying mount and see nothing wrong, if that's how someone wants to play the game they should be allowed to. But a game is largely defined by its limitations, and the rules within which you must find or create a solution. We're not trying to create a slow and laborious game (hopefully people actually enjoy the content!), or expect people will be yelling "YIIIPPPEEEEE!" while fighting a mob that aggroed when they tried to pick an herb, but there's a big difference between a slow and laborious game and the expectation of instant gratification-not to mention the somewhat nebulous intention of creating and maintaining an engaging and immersive game world. World of Warcraft is a persistent online roleplaying game, and as much as we let players choose how they improve their characters within the world; leveling through dungeons, or PvP, or questing; choosing to do Arenas, or raids, or both; we're still always wanting to create a holistic experience that supports all of these things. That doesn't mean we think it's a good idea to force people to read all their quest text, or stare at and appreciate the pretty new models, or anything like that, but it's not unreasonable to see that combat and content exist on the ground, understand that, embrace that, and make decisions to support it.

Sigh. I’m sorry, but I can not even begin to understand how any of these statements can be made with a straight face.

You are, once more, completely disregarding the difference between LEVELING and MAX LEVEL. Again, I agree with no flight while leveling, so we are not talking about the FIRST trip through all that pretty content.

We are discussion the 10th, or 100th, or 1000th.

We are also discussing max levels completely clearing out areas because they can not fly in, get what they want, and leave, thus forcing at level characters to stand around in rage and frustration because they can’t complete their quests while max levels are killing everything to get through this area to the one they actually want to be in.

We are discussing how short sighted and unplanned it is to expect those that like to level to just get over it so that you can force max level players to kill all their quest mobs to get to an herb or a mine or a rep mob.

That is what is going to happen. It happens RIGHT NOW, in a more limited way, in both Blood elf land AND Goat Land, despite the fact that it does not NEED to, there are plenty of other places to mine and herb low level stuff, places you can fly even, but they are all so full with CRZ grinders that it is easier to go to these no flight areas, kill everything in sight, and grind out low level stuff in peace. No one else wants to be there because there is no flight.

I got so angry at all my mobs being dead on my last Dranai, I left at level 6 or 7 instead of finishing the map like I had planned. Luckily I had somewhere to go, someplace where the grinders could fly in, get what they wanted, and leave my mobs alone for the most part.

How you can think that making this happenstance the norm for the entire game from this point on is going to make the game more enjoyable is absolutely beyond my comprehension.
In summary: It's important to us that we integrate max-level questing into the expansion more thoroughly than designated daily locations on mountain tops, or only have the option of releasing new max level content in magically appearing islands where flight has different rules because reasons.

You have many more options that you are refusing to acknowledge… see above. There is no need for magic islands if you don’t want them, though I kinda like them I must say. Simply come up with some part of the storyline that restricts flight in that area, and restrict it. Pretend this is an RPG and include it in the story line for why this area is no flight when the rest of the map is. We can work with that.

Shoot, we can work with “because we said so” in those limited areas, if it keeps us from having to ground mount our grinds in the rest of the game once we have leveled through the area.

Hey, there is a thought I didn’t mention above. You could even make it so that you had to do a certain number of quests on every single map AND be max for each toon before that map unlocks flight, you could even make it NOT include those max level areas you are so worried about. That way you can tie up all kinds of maps for unknown periods of time.

See, I’m coming up with quite a few ways to keep people on the ground for awhile without completely ruining everything for the end game grinds and later date levelers, I’m sure the people that brought us Kara and AQ can come up with a few too.

We also know that being able to approach content that's on the ground from up in the air compromises much of what creates the game world, how it's played, and how it's consumed.

Sorry, this one is just wrong. Flight only changes how the world is consumed if you have flight from the beginning of the expansion. If not, then every single toon will consume the content on the ground the first time.

Flight at max level does NOT change content consumption for that toon in areas they have already leveled through. It can however irreparably damage that consumption for the set of toons coming through after there are already max level toons starting their grinds, and makes the innumerable grinds completely unbearable for the max level.

The game experience is fundamentally altered when you can lift off and set down wherever you want.

Just because something is altered, does not mean it’s bad.

Again, if you ensure every toon is required to ground mount their way through the map, they will initially consume the content the way you want. What is altered is how LATER toons get to consume that content.

If you require max level toons to ground mount through low level areas to do their grinds, you are in fact altering the original intent of the content because you ruin the ground game for anyone that did not rush to max level, is leveling an alt, or only just discovered the game by filling their maps with dead quest mobs that are meaningless to the person that killed them but essential to the questers, they were just in the path between point A and point B.

And lastly, that we're not intending to slow anyone down, and we're going to make sure that players can get where they want to go efficiently through more direct flight points, and potentially alternate travel methods.

Direct flight points do not address anything I’ve mentioned, though I must say this will be a nice change. Any chance that the old maps will get this much over due upgrade?

You MIGHT have an argument to get me to give up max level flight with “potentially alternate travel methods”.


Tell me more. Explain to me how these alternate methods are going to keep me from running through mobs in the many grinds of the game. Will it teleport me from node to node? Can I magically appear in the area where my rep grind mobs are without having to kill a hundred mobs that are meaningless to me and interrupting low level questing?

If not, then this does not address the real issue either. I’d still like to hear about it, I’m all about new cool things to try out, but it does not change that I might need to visit the same spot hundreds or thousands of times for grinds, and having to run through every single mob between the closest flight point and where I actually needs to be is game altering, and not in a positive way.

None of this is new philosophy; it's something we've maintained since Burning Crusade when flight was introduced, but it has evolved over the years, and I expect it to continue to be-like everything we do-an iterative process. And hopefully this has been at least marginally informative.

It was much more than marginally informative, however it was unfortunately not overly helpful.

We already knew most of this, they are standard arguments that do not in any way address the fundamental issues we players were having in the first place, at least me, and from what I’ve read everywhere I can find text on this issue, the majority of everyone up in arms over the no flight suggestion.
Our issues are NOT about the first time a toon goes through the content. We may grumble about the sudden no flight after months or years of flying around on our toons, but within ten or fifteen minutes we are off questing and not worrying about it because we know it will come later.

Our issue is what happens AFTER that toon has leveled through the map, been there done that, and is now returning to the same areas over and over and over again for the various grinds in order to achieve our personal game goals.

How many times do you expect us to kill things that we do not need to kill in order to get the thing we do need? At what point in the 3 or 4 YEARS of an expansion do you realize that a toon revisits the same areas HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of times in order to do what you request of them in order to get that thing they want, that you have offered them as a carrot to do so?

This is the problem that flying at max level fixes. It keeps us from just not bothering, from giving u p, from finally just not playing at all, because we CAN skip all the meaningless trash to get to what is already a time consuming grind. We CHOOSE to do those grinds because we want the goodie at the end of the grind and we can skip all the garbage between us and the grind that gets us that cool little thing we want.

I’m positive that I will not be doing many of those grinds if I have to grind my way TO the grind. That sort of constant meaningless struggle is more than I am willing to deal with. So I will probably do what I did in Cata, which is do only what I HAD to in order to reach max and max out my professions, then retreat into old content to work on achievements and grinds and leveling for the guild, and hope that you learn a lesson in the next expansion.

Cata was completely wasted on me, and your decisions made it that way. By the time you did anything to try and fix your erroneous decisions in that expansion, you had already lost me as far as that content was concerned. I hate it, the very thought of it annoys me, and to this day, I do only what I absolutely MUST in order to get through it when I’m leveling characters for my guilds achievements.

Was that your intent for my consumption of content? To grit my teeth, get through it as fast as possible, then completely ignore it for YEARS to come? To make me hate your content so much that my achievement toon is sitting there staring at the “do all the quests” achievements, and I just can not bring myself to do it?

That is what happens when you force changes you KNOW are going to be a problem for large numbers of your players, guys. At least I stuck around, I decided to have faith that the next one would make it better.

Am I going to leave this time? Probably not. But please remember to consider just how many subscriptions you lost in Cata over those “we know better than you players” choices that you were later forced to change just to stem the bleeding.
My goodness you're a typy fellow
05/04/2014 03:45 AMPosted by Miravella
My goodness you're a typy fellow

Anything worth reading in there?
That was quite possibly the most worthwhile thing I've read on an mmo forum all year.

I entirely agree with the op, and further, tip my hat to her for not merely nailing a lot of great points, but taking a nailgun after the points' entire family as well.

Splendid posts.
This lady knows how to sell potatoes.
I thought Dailies aren't a thing in WoD?
will there be rares in WoD just like MoP

cause farming them on foot is going to suck >.>
05/04/2014 06:22 AMPosted by Lmalo
will there be rares in WoD just like MoP

cause farming them on foot is going to suck >.>

Rares and treasures. We can have them out in the world and trivializes them later if people are determined to not gather them to flying.

Or they all go in caves and temples and then listen we listen about how too many mobs are in the way.

05/04/2014 06:24 AMPosted by Zakath
This is a well thought out post and points out things that we "pro flyers" have been saying since this was brought up after blizzcon.... Unfortunately this post is bound to get deleted like many of the rest of the pro flight posts do.

They want us to keep these things to one post but they either lock, delete or do not extend the post limit in hopes this will go away... Now if you wrote a "RAH RAH Blizzard RAH RAH CLAPCLAPCLAP" post about how much you love the game and how blizzard can never go wrong with their decisions.....

Good post though OP... I hope it stays around like the "what was your favourite april fools day joke" did.

They all need to be deleted. Nothing useful comes out of any of them, positive or negative.
To fly or not to fly isn't really the question. It is more like this :

"No flying" -blizzard

Which is a statement.
They all need to be deleted. Nothing useful comes out of any of them, positive or negative.

No they do not.

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