I WAS going to go over the logs from Thursday, publicly analyse my performance in Highmaul and look at where I’m going right, and where I am going wrong, but you know what?
I’m not going to just yet. Soon.
Instead, let’s talk about a seemingly innocuous topic, suddenly thrust into the spotlight.
Polygon published an article yesterday about 6 things to know about WoW’s new zone, Tanaan Jungle, including chat with Ion Hazzikostas, aka Watcher. It made points that most of us knew already (we’ve been there before! Gul’dan is NAUGHTY. There will be THINGS TO DO), but all that got ignored. It also mentioned that 6.2 may well not be the end of Warlords, that there’s more story to come, but that also got largely ignored. No, the major focus of EVERYBODY has been point number 4.
THERE’S STILL NO FLYING IN TANAAN JUNGLE … AND THERE PROBABLY WON’T BE IN ANY NEW ZONES OR EXPANSIONS
But why? WHY? WWWWHHHHYYYYY?
Well, Ion goes to explain;
Having looked at how flying has played out in the old world in the last couple of expansions, we realized that while we were doing it out of this ingrained habit after we introduced flying in The Burning Crusade, it actually detracted from gameplay in a whole lot of ways. While there was certainly convenience in being able to completely explore the world in three dimensions, that also came at the expense of gameplay like targeted exploration, like trying to figure out what’s in that cave on top of a hill and how do I get up there.
So, basically they want to introduce a sense of exploration in the game, reintroduce a sense of danger, make the game world feel bigger, rather than have you soar over it, fly directly to your objectives, land, do, fly off again.
At this point, we feel that outdoor gameplay in World of Warcraft is ultimately better without flying. We’re not going to be reintroducing the ability to fly in Draenor, and that’s kind of where we’re at going forward.
So, this has divided people, it seems. There are those who agree; they feel that the lack of flying in Warlords has proved successful! The world feels bigger again, there’s no trivialising of leveling content by the aforementioned “fly over, land, fly off” tactics of quest completion. There are some who feel that it’s not a lack of flight that’s damaging the game, but the whole “MUST STAY IN THE GARRISON” mindset, or a lack of any real story progression at 100 outside of the weekly Garrison missions. We’ve been going for 6 months with no story outside of what we got through levelling, the Garrison plotline, and the 2 raids, that’s a more important thing to focus on.
There are those, however, that disagree. They feel that being able to fly, even if just at max level (a la Wrath or Mists), is something they’ll really miss. It breaks their immersion, to go from “you can have this!” to “NO. NO MORE” It may also particularly gall them to see this:
A mount that a LOT of these people just dropped £17 on. A mount that can FLY… so long as you’re not in current content. A mount that’s advertised above as flying in Shadowmoon Valley, where you CAN’T FLY.
The people who don’t mind no flying and the people who are upset about this development are both fine. They have every right to feel how they feel. I would feel pretty pissed off if I had dropped money on a mount that can-fly-but-can’t-fly too, knowing that you can’t use it to its full purpose in this (and potentially future!) expansions.
What is NOT okay is the apparent GLEE some people are taking in the unhappiness of the latter crowd. The people who seem genuinely pleased that people are quitting the game over this. We should be UPSET that people are leaving. These are your friends, your guildies, or potential raiders. These are the randoms you may have been grouped with in LFR gone, or the healer/tank that’d FINALLY fill that LFD group so you can get your legendary items.
What’s NOT okay is accusing the former crowd of being big ol’ brown-nosers. Just because they don’t take umbrage with this, doesn’t mean they don’t have other, more pressing (to them) concerns. It doesn’t mean they kiss the ass of the developers, but that, to them, the flying debate is pretty low down in the echelon of issues they may or may not have.
Have your opinion. Like flying, hate flying, it’s fine.
Other people will have their opinions too, and that’s also fine.
Don’t be a dick to them because their opinions differ from yours.
Don’t laugh at them because they feel let down by Blizzard. For all you know, it could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, rather than just this.
Don’t accuse them of being stuck up Blizzard’s ass because they don’t have a problem with it. They may have other concerns and issues they have a greater focus on (like the state of Demonology Warlocks in 6.2, or the LONG IGNORED plight of Rain of Fire!).
Just… don’t be a dick.