Hello Ability Powered gamers! I wanted to talk to you today about an article that was released and has the Warcraft community up in arms. According to an article by Polygon, Warcraft Lead Designer Ion Hazzikostas announced that Blizzard will not be allowing flying in this expansion and in future expansions moving forward. Naturally this comes as a shock after and being repeatedly reassured by Blizzard staff that while flying would not be permitted at the beginning of the expansion, it would be added at a later patch.
The news today seems to have the community angry for many are reasons. Some are angry because selling us flying mounts in the store yet not allowing us to use them in current content seems like a slap in the face. Some are pointing out that while no flying at the beginning of the expansion was a great idea to let users to feel like they are on an adventure, later in the expansion people have enjoyed their adventure on their main character and now it’s time to that them level up their alts in less of a time consuming manner. Some people are just downright mad that Blizzard told them one thing and are now making announcements through interviews that contradict what we were told in the beginning. There are many interesting points being made against Blizzards No Fly Zone bombshell, but here at Ability Powered I have to ask myself what does it mean to my community of Ability Powered gamers? There are two specific points I would like to bring up about the no fly decision and why I’m against it.
First off I would like to start with the obvious: flying is quicker. Yes, I know I’m kind of being captain obvious with this point but let me elaborate. When I am going from point A to point B, I am always trying to do it with as little effort as possible. I try to go to the flight paths closest to my destination. The less clicking and the less mouse movement I am required to do to reach the destination means less fatigue I will have just from traveling. The less energy I use to actually get to where I need to be means more time I can spend comfortably playing the game. A perfect example of how being limited to ground mounts is only adding extra clicking, is the weekly traveling I make to attend raids.
Both raid instances Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry have very winding/mob infested roads used to get you between the closest flight point and the raid instance. These paths also are riddled with hostile mobs which often give chase as you’re trying to pass by. Before a raid, or in any other activity in Azeroth, being chased down winding long paths is completely unnecessary and something I don’t need to deal with before raid time. While I know there are summoning stones that my guild can use to get me there, what happens later when this content is something players can solo? If flying were available I could simply gain altitude and click on the horizon to make one straight line to my destination in only about three clicks.
The second point, and to me the most important, is that by not allowing us to fly at any point in the expansion it is excluding players who rely on the Move Pad UI from ever completing all the goals Warlords of Draenor has to offer. While you guys know I am pretty positive toward Blizzard for having alternate ways to complete some of the jumping puzzles they added this expansion, not everything is easily accessible. There are some treasures that I literally spent hours trying to find a solution around jumping mechanics to gain access to. I was told by a developer, well reminded by developer I should say, that finding treasures and completing jumping puzzles is an area of Warcraft that is completely optional. This can be said about almost any part of the game though.
While I would hope that any part of Warcraft game play would be accessible to every member of Azeroth, including those who rely on the move pad, I wasn’t concerned or offended that in the current content there were some things that remained difficult or impossible to pull off easily. The reason I wasn’t was because of the promise that flying was coming. All the treasure hidden atop walls and in treetops that I was unable to find an easy way to reach would be obtainable someday. When flying was allowed I knew I would be able to easily use my flying mounts two land on platforms I previously needed to jump to. This would have given an opportunity to complete “optional” content.
When the expansion was just released I did enjoy the immersion being created when I would mount up and begin questing. Now when I travel it’s because I’m heading to areas I have already visited multiple times. I have seen the zones from the ground, I have been immersed in the adventure, and I have had months to find solutions to jumping puzzles the developers added to the game. Now it is time to give us wings and let us choose whether or not we use them to enjoy the world however we decide we want to. Only allow flying to accounts to have already reached level 100 on another toon if you would like to ensure that a player’s first experience in the current content is one of sword drawn adventure. Keep in mind that allowing flying in Draenor doesn’t mean everyone is required to use it, players who enjoy being grounded can always continue doing so.
By excluding flying forever in the expansion, I feel as though players who were patiently waiting to be able to complete previously unreachable goals (i.e. Finding all treasures) are being let down by a company who promised it was coming. I also feel like always having players travel long winding enemy infested paths is not going to make them feel like it is an epic adventure, but instead feel like they’re being given busy work to keep them occupied instead of letting them be time and energy efficient. But don’t take my word for it, this is a very hot button issue currently within the warcraft community. What are your thoughts about the no fly zone? Let me know in the comments below and make sure to post all of your concerns on the blizzard forums in a respectful manner to let the developers know if no flying is affecting your game play and enjoyment of the game.