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Posts with tag flight

The rise and fall of features in World of Warcraft

I've been playing World of Warcraft since its inception. As a result, I'm as likely to view the game through the lens of my experiences as any player. One of the reasons I'm so thoroughly anti-nostalgia is because I'm actually incredibly nostalgic. If I don't stop myself, if I don't actively make an effort not to, I'll drown in falling down the well of this is how it was and just spend hours annoying the crap out of people who started playing after me. In one guild, I remember doing exactly this - I would spend all raid reminiscing with the other old hands (there were like four of us) and driving the newer raiders crazy comparing fights to raids from BWL to Blackwing Descent. Remember - every fight can be compared to Omnotron. Every fight.

One of the ways this shows up is when any new feature is introduced to the game. As a writer for the site, I always try and stay objective about a new feature, and often, I come to love them - I'm a huge fan of transmogrification, for example, and when they announced reforging a few years back I knew immediately it was going to become a mandatory and huge part of gear strategy. But the fact is this - on an emotional level I hate every single new feature as soon as I hear about it, because they're not my World of Warcraft - it takes an effort on my part to be open minded and I don't often succeed.

As an example - I've written multiple posts essentially defending the decision to remove flight for a while in Warlords' 90 to 100 zones and leave it out. But the fact is, flight was introduced back in The Burning Crusade and I've gotten used to it. I understand and I support the decision from a design perspective. But emotionally? Emotionally I have flying mounts and I want to fly on them. I just plain like being able to shortcut all the things on the ground, even while I get why the design doesn't support it. This divide between what's new and most probably better for the game and my own desires while playing the game isn't limited to wanting flight, either.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

WoW Archivist: Flight

Sparkle Pony
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Flying is second nature to WoW players. We've been doing it for almost eight years now. Sure, we've adventured in a few flightless places, like the Isle of Thunder, the Isle of Giants, and the Timeless Isle. Even The Burning Crusade, where flying originated, had a no-fly zone on the Isle of Quel'Danas. (What is it with these isles anyway?) But almost always, since 2006, we've flown. And we always expected to, for the vast majority of our in-game time.

Now, because of Blizzard's impassioned arguments against flight on Draenor, flying is suddenly controversial. If you look back, you can see why: flying has changed the game like no other feature before or since. Let's start where it all began, however, with classic WoW's humble flight paths.

They used to be cool

I'm about to express something that you may not believe. Once upon a time, flight paths were cool. Yep, I said it. Before flying mounts, when you couldn't even get a ground mount until level 40 and epic ground mounts were just a dream for most due to the steep cost, in that early version of the game where you spent most of your travel time walking or riding at the pace of a Throne of Thunder gastropod, flight paths were cool.

Not only did they get you around the continent at the fastest possible speed, they gave you a cinematic view of Azeroth from the skies. It was the only time you could get that view from above. The first time most classic WoW players rode a gryphon or wyvern from A to B, we loved it.

No other MMO at the time had anything like it. We felt like masters of the world -- at least, when we could afford to take the trip. Most players were broke in the early days, and using flight paths too liberally often meant forgoing buying a new skill when you leveled. Taking a flight path was an indulgence, a treat, instead of the annoying hassle we see them as today.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Bashiok on the lack of flight in Warlords of Draenor

Ever since the first round of Warlords of Draenor interviews, the idea of flight being disabled indefinitely in the expansion has been floating around. Very little information on that concept has come out since then. Will it be like previous expansions, where you get flight back at max level? Will it come back in the first content patch? Will it ever come back? We still don't have the answers to that, but community manager Bashiok took to the forums yesterday (in addition to what he said earlier this month) to provide more insight into the developers' thought process. Some highlights:
  • The developers will try to ensure flight paths are more direct, not scenic loops
  • Being able to lift off and fly over all content compromises gameplay
  • There will be max-level questing content, not just daily quest hubs
  • The developers are not attempting to make the game laborious, but rather create a world that engages the player
You can read Bashiok's full post below and I've received my personal take on it until after the blue post.

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Flying in Draenor must be destroyed

Recently, Alex Afrasiabi did an interview wherein he talked about the status of flight on Draenor when Warlords of Draenor launches. Specifically, that the idea of the players not being able to fly even at max level when the expansion comes out is a test of how players react to a flightless expansion, and if it seems successful, it's possible they may not introduce it at all. That from the moment we arrive on Draenor at level 90 to the time we finally leave it to take our adventures elsewhere, we will not fly anywhere on the new continent.

I think this is a marvelous idea.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Warlords of Draenor

Did flying mounts ruin Azeroth?

Image
The question of whether flying mounts may have ruined Azeroth is a hard question for me to even posit, because I love flying mounts. I love being able to fly right over things that annoy me, drop right in on quest objectives and soar right out again. I loved that we could finally fly in Azeroth when Cataclysm shipped, and I was absolutely in favor of being able to use my flying mount to skip over stuff I disliked when questing and leveling up.

But it's worth considering: Did that convenience that I so love come at too high a cost? Did being able to fly over obstacles keep me from appreciating how much detail went into the zones? Did it ruin world exploration, something that a lot of players got a lot of enjoyment out of for a great deal of vanilla WoW's run? Did incorporating flying mounts into Azeroth, in addition to forcing a complete redesign of the world, also end up stripping out interesting and cool places you had to really work at to find and visit? Let's discuss the pros and cons.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Breakfast Topic: Has flight ruined the adventure?

I have very strong opinions about video games. Even when I love a game with all of my heart (like WoW), I still enjoy discussing the little things I think could have been handled differently and arguing them with absolute brutality. Matthew Rossi and I spend hours debating game design every day. Every single day.

My latest pet topic is flying mounts in World of Warcraft. Personally, I think flying mounts removed most of the feeling of adventure, danger, and discovery in WoW. Once you're able to jump on your first flying mount, the dangers of the world are no longer an issue. You no don't have to stop for a moment to figure out how to scale rough terrain. The world doesn't hold secrets from you anymore, unless they're hidden indoors or underground -- you can merely mount up and fly to anything in the world. If you wanted to, you could fly from one end of Twilight Highlands to the other and see everything the landscape has to offer with no effort whatsoever.

It doesn't matter how intimidating and oppressive Blizzard's artists and designers make the terrain of a zone. It's a distant, fleeting threat. You can essentially remove yourself from the world with the click of a button. Fly high enough into the sky, and you can close yourself off from all of Azeroth. I don't hate flying mounts; I actually quite enjoy riding a bone dragon. I just think that there was a lot lost in the process of integrating flight.

I would like to take this topic to you, dear readers. Do you think flying mounts have taken the adventure and discovery out of Warcraft? If so, how do you think it could be fixed? Do you like things just as they are?
Has flight ruined the adventure?
Yes3287 (16.2%)
No9975 (49.2%)
It hasn't ruined it, but it could be handled better7001 (34.6%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Worgen druid flight form video from Wowhead


Well, what do you know! We figured that worgen and troll druids would just get recolors of existing druid flight forms, but it looks like we were wrong. The latest Cataclysm beta patch added a brand new Swift Flight Form model for worgen druids, so it's safe to assume that trolls will have one soon as well.

I'm liking the Gilnean flag on the back of the form, as well as the serrated beak and big feathery mane. Wonder what kinds of touches the troll form will get? Guess we'll have to wait and see! And hey, maybe this means we'll see new moonkin forms too. A dog can dream.

Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

The Queue: The one with the fashion-forward warlock

Welcome to your daily dose of The Queue. With Mike Sacco quite literally powerless, his precious Queue was left unguarded and captured by Fox Van Allen. All members of the Van Allen faction shall enjoy a 5 percent buff to damage and experience for the 24-hour duration, and Spirit Shards may now be collected.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have returned to host The Queue once more. I know you've missed me. You're probably saying to yourself, "Oh man, I wish Fox could do The Queue every day of the week, four times a day!"

This, of course, would be folly. You can indeed have too much of a good thing.

Remember when Who Wants to be a Millionaire first aired on TV? It was on maybe once a week. And then it got so popular that they started adding extra shows. Turn on your TV on Wednesday and -- boom -- there was Regis. Turn it on Thursday -- Regis. Friday -- Regis. Sunday -- Regis. Sooner or later, you couldn't even take a trip to the mens' room without seeing Regis Philbin staring back at you from the urinal, asking you who the father of quantum physics was.

It's Niels Bohr, OK?! Niels freakin' Bohr. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm trying to go to the bathroom here. Man.

Sharvis asked:

How has trade chat been since the last patch? Now that you can't spam in it, it seems slower-paced to me at least.

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Filed under: The Queue

Significant changes to Northrend flying mounts discovered on the Patch 3.2 PTR [Updated]


A little surprise on the Patch 3.2 PTR was discovered this evening. The Cold Weather Flying training, which previously had to be purchased for each character that wanted to fly in Northrend is now available as a Bind on Account book purchasable at the exotic mounts vendor in Dalaran.

The Use text is a little odd in that it notes the "tome is consumed when read." To me that means that the book is only a one use thing, which is a departure from current BoA items. And why have a level 68 requirement on this and not the normal Cold Weather Flying training? If you're 68 you're likely to be able to get to Dalaran anyways these days.

But wait Did you see it? You might have missed it.

It shows level 68 being the required level, not level 77.

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Filed under: News items

The Queue: To fly or not to fly


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Starting this week, we have a little change coming to The Queue. Adam Holisky and I will be tag-teaming the column, taking turns writing it each day. Today is me, Alex. Tomorrow is Adam. The day after is me. The day after that is him. I think you get the picture. It'll let both of us do a lot more work on the site as a whole, while still keeping The Queue fresh and awesome. I think it'll work out well!

Ezzy
asked...

Did they remove the ability to buy Ruby Shades from Haris Pilton? I camped them for a while and the never spawned.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mounts, Death Knight, The Queue

An artistic look at the Alliance Northrend flight points


When Jackhammer of EU Frostwhisper first sent us this Alliance Northrend flight point gallery, I kind of shrugged it off. Flight points are the most traveled places in the game, by definition. Why would we be interested in something we see all the time. You take pictures on vacation, not at home. But after looking through it, I was struck by just how well-crafted these places are. From the Fizzcrank Airstrip to the heights of Icecrown, there's a lot of beauty to be found in these places as well, and not just on the back of a griffon.

It's a nice gallery, and it gives you a nice hint of just how varied Northrend is -- there are fires burning and flightmasters giving rides all over the continent, and by browsing through the pictures, you get a good look at what kinds of crevices the Alliance have inserted themselves into in Northrend. And if nothing else, it's some nice art to look through on a Saturday afternoon.

Filed under: Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Screenshots, Galleries

Breakfast Topic: I can't show off my flying mount in Dalaran


So I had a pretty lucky run in the heroics last Friday night. In particular, I ran heroic Culling of Stratholme for the first time. Not only did we handily beat the Infinite Corruptor with a few moments to spare on the timer, but I won the roll on the Bronze Drake, much to some of my more veteran group mates' chagrins.

I've been having a lot of fun with my buddy. It's pretty cool riding around the skies of Northrend and Outland on such a classic-feeling WoW mount, especially since I've been a fan of the bronze flight since helping them do some bug extermination back in the day. One thing does bother me a bit, though: It's pretty tough to show this dude off.

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Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics, Mounts

The Queue: I believe I can fly


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

So I made an oopsie yesterday. A rookie mistake! I referenced a picture that I used in The Queue a couple of days ago, and also showed off a picture of the character it may have been referencing. Only I used the same file name for both, so the original picture turned into the second picture. I'm pretty pro, I know. It's been fixed though, so if you want to see what the heck I'm talking about, check out Sunday's edition and then yesterday's edition and you will understand! Now, on with the show.

Tim asked...

I heard that there are new DK only facial features coming in the next patch. Will existing DK's get a chance to redo their toons or does Blizzard actually expect us to cough up $15?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, The Queue

The Queue: Death Knights in the arena and other things


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft.

Hey, welcome back! How was your Thanksgiving, my American pals? Did you sit around and laugh at Europeans like I did? You did? Great! High five! No, I'm just kidding, I love all of you equally. My Thanksgiving was pretty good! Well, as good as Thanksgiving can be when nobody feels like cooking so you buy a pound of sliced turkey and drop it in a pot of warm canned gravy, toss some of it on bread, and have a can of jellied cranberry sauce on the side. It's not good unless you can still see the can ripples in it. Mmm. Can ripples. Delicious.

Right, right, the Q&A! Let's start with Rasman's question...

I was just thinking about Death Knights and PvP and realized, Casters are really going to be hurting in the areas now if they match up agianst a DK. Death Knights don't care about your casting bar because they can just yank you in or go Vader on you because you forgot his cookies, and choke you for the Silence. Matter of fact, if they get you close, they really have 3 or 4 ways to interupt those casts, if you include the stun from an Unholy DK's Ghoul, that is. Am I just stammering on and not knowing what I'm talking about, or are Death Knights going to make this upcoming Arena season VERY Melee heavy?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Arena, The Queue

Breakfast Topic: The long run


I was, once again, leveling an alternate character. Since I already have three level 70s that I regularly play, I'm no longer fascinated by new bits of scenery. True I haven't seen it all, and I love the screenshots from Around Azeroth. I'm just really bored with the run from place to place.

As I was running across Ashenvale from Splintertree Post to Zoram Strand I began thinking about the marathon runs to pick up a new flight point. I came to the conclusion that my least favorite run is from Gadgetzan in Tanaris to Marshal's Refuge in Un'Goro Crater. It's just too long and unexciting. I know that I will have to make that run with every character I level. It always feels good to get there, just remember to pick up the flight point.

What's your least favorite run?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Leveling, Alts

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