Recently a new alpha build went active, and was thus datamined by the usual sources. I don’t know whether there was anything of note, however, because everyone decided to zero in on one particular point instead.
Naturally, this change, one that wouldn’t see the light of day until SEPTEMBER, caused massive outrage, because that’s all the internet is good for nowadays. An innocuous change that could be seen as an experiment, that made the usual people foam at the mouth in pure, unfettered rage, demanding the immediate reversal of this TRAVESTY, and probably hollering about the demise of the game, and how the developers just don’t “get it,” because of course they know absolutely nothing.
Water walking is not a new concept. A number of classes have abilities that allow them to walk on water, or otherwise bypass water more effectively:
- Death Knights have Path of Frost, which grants water walking.
- Druids have a form that lets them swim faster.
- Hunters can tame pets that give a water walking buff.
- MAGES CANNOT BECAUSE MAGES SUCK #Warlock4Life
- Monks can Flying Serpent Kick across the top of water, and glyph Roll to allow them to roll over water. Then they have to wait for those to come off cooldown, but it’s not like it takes forever.
- PALADINS GET NOTHING #TheLightLetsYouDrown
- Priests can Levitate. They move slow, sure, but they can do it.
- Rogues can glyph Sprint to allow water walking.
- Shamans have a spell called Water Walking that does, oh, I forget, what does it do again?
- Warlocks are the best. We get Unending Breath, which allows us to breathe underwater and swim 20% faster if glyphed, and we have a glyph that allows us to ride our class mounts over the surface of water, thus meaning everyone eats our dust.
- WARRIORS HAVE SUPER DROWNING SKILLS #NoPathAvailable
And even Mages, Paladins and Warriors can just buy or make potions that let them tromp all over the waters. What’s the big deal?
EDIT: There’s even more!
So why the change? Well the devs actually say why in a later forum post:
There’s hundreds of beautiful mounts, and everyone rides the same ugly bug because it’s the mechanically superior one. I tell you, I completely get this. I have three mount buttons on my bars:
- The vendor mammoth. I sell shit/repair, then dismount.
- The Favourite Mounts button, which summons a random flying mount I selected.
- The Water Strider, for when I can’t fly and there’s icky water everywhere.
We couldn’t fly in Draenor for a long time, and I don’t think I saw anybody ride anything OTHER than the strider, bar the Warlocks who all took the mount glyph. It’ll be the same in Legion now they’ve COMPLETELY reversed the change. I think the expansion restriction was a good thing. Have the Pandaria one work in Pandaria and prior expansions, the Draenor one work in Draenor, then a new Legion version work in Legion areas. Have this theoretical Legion Strider in a rep quartermaster’s inventory, so you can only get it at max level once you’ve hit Revered (not even Exalted, how nice am I?).
Why? Because when you’re running over the water, you’re potentially missing stuff, and trivialising the experience. Just like there’s no sense of scale or danger if you can just fly over everything off the bat, there’s also no sense of scale or danger if you can run on the water around everything. Have your first journey to level 110 be one where you actually take the time to see/do everything, then have your subsequent levelling experiences be the fast ones where you skip over water and fly over damn near everything.
But no, you don’t want that.
You want your levelling content to be easy and fast, so you can get to level 110 and then complain there’s nothing to do. You want to take the path of least resistance because actually using your combat abilities to fight things just takes too much damn time, maaaaaan. You want a flat, linear path to max level, without stupid things like hills and mountains and water getting in the way of you. You want to fly over the world and not see it, and failing that go around it on your water strider.
Well congratulations, you got your wish. You raged and wailed and whined until they gave in. Again.
You’re setting a dangerous precedent, here.
I mean, I detailed above how you can get around the rules! Abilities! Potions! Use them! Run on the surface of the water if you want! There’s nothing to be outraged about because water walking as a concept isn’t going away! But I suppose making potions costs gold, or takes time to farm ingredients, and who can be bothered to do that?