For the better part of six months, there has been on and off discussion regarding the status of flying in Draenor. The developers have said from the onset that it won’t exist out of the gate. No, not in the sense that you had to learn it once you were level capped such as was the case in previous expansions. We’re talking no flying PERIOD. Patch 6.1 was the initial consensus as to when your characters could start learning to fly in the past dimension. A longshot now is the idea we might never be able to fly there…then?….Draenor.
I honestly don’t see Blizzard doing this, even if I want them to. The developers have several examples where they implement something and the player base cries foul so loud they backtrack. Making a no-fly expansion would cause a huge uproar, plain and simple. They can handle having to get to the level cap before they’re rewarded with such a luxury and they’ve been conditioned to receive that ever since the Burning Crusade. I’m not going to argue the majority on this one, even if I would love to go an expansion without flight.
For quite some time now I have pondered whether World of Warcraft should ever have implemented old world flying. The harvester in me says it’s a handy feature and going in a straight line to certain destinations is so much easier…but that was also before there were 2.000 flight paths. Yes, I can certainly admit there are benefits to the feature. At the same time, though, Azeroth feels so much smaller now. The ability to fly anywhere and everywhere on your own just downscaled the magnitude of the world. Even the scope of Pandaria changed dramatically the moment I was able to purchase flying.
Now I know what you’re going to say. You don’t have to purchase the flying if you don’t want it. This is quite true and until sitting down to write this post, I hadn’t even considered it. I have some toons that can’t fly in Northrend because they didn’t spend enough time there, so the grand scale of it should have occurred to me. So yes, individuals do have that choice and the wish of the few should not outweigh the wish of the many. But sit with me for a moment and realistically discuss with me the negatives of an expansion without free roaming flight.
- Takes longer to reach instance entrances. Most of the 90-100 is going to involve LFG dungeoning far more than walking in through the front door. When it comes to raiding, once two are there the summoning can begin.
- Takes longer to farm materials. For certain folks, this will be understandable as rare mats are needed for things such as Alchemy or Blacksmithing. But other than that, the problem is…?
- Unseen beauty. A number of people enjoy flying over the zones and just taking in the beauty. You’ll most definitely lose that scale of beauty, but you’ll still see the artistic efforts that were used to create such a lush land.
Are there really any more than that? Truthfully? These were the only three that I could think of and to be fair two of them are only negative because we’re so accustomed to the “now” principal in that we don’t want to wait for anything as a society. In World of Warcraft it’s even worse because for the most part we don’t have to work hard for very much anymore. Not at the level of basic necessities needed to play the game. Raiding, PvP, or personal goals can dramatically change the scope of difficulty but for just playing the basics of the game much is almost handed to you from the moment you step foot in Azeroth.
But I’m strolling off into an unnecessary tangent. Quite frankly, I will be incredibly surprised if there’s no flying in Draenor, ever. Even holding off on it for a while is refreshing and yet surprising. It keeps the scope larger and the fear slightly higher. There’s not always going to be a safe way in and a safe way out. I personally like these things. As I said earlier, I have been contemplating flying in the old world and whether that change was for the better. While I abuse it as much as the next person for its strengths, I think it was a mistake…even if it didn’t happen until the third expansion. So if Blizzard wants to wait a patch or two into Warlords before we’re allowed to fly in Draenor, they definitely get a thumbs up from me.