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Posts with tag flying

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

Warlords of Draenor: Flight path reassurance

Community Manager Bashiok has posted on the official forums in an attempt to calm players' fears about the enforced dependence on flight-paths that will come with Warlords of Draenor.

Bashiok
We're going to be making sure flight paths and other forms of travel are quick and efficient, with a goal of getting you to the places you want to go. Flight paths in the past have always been "the scenic route", lazily listing from side to side and around waterfalls to the intended oohs-and-aahs of the transportee. The flight paths in Draenor are not going to be loop-de-loop sightseeing tours, and we're going to be looking to our beta testers to let us know if any are less than tip-top.

The key to his point here is the directness. Especially in Mists, flight paths were gratuitously looping and indirect. The Horde shrine from the PvP vendor, for example, does a series of completely arbitrary tours around the shrine before actually landing. Hopefully this will not be the case in Warlords.

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Filed under: 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

Warlords of Draenor: Gameplanet interviews Alex Afrasiabi

Gaming news website Gameplanet has posted an interview with Creative Director Alex Afrasiabi featuring a detailed discussion about the next expansion for World of Warcraft. Along with discussing the development of Garrosh Hellscream, Afrasiabi dropped some interesting new tidbits we hadn't heard before. Ner'zhul will be allied with the Iron Horde, but only for, as stated in the interview, a short time. In addition, garrisons are shaping up to be a massive, interactive experience -- and sound much more expansive and interesting than the farms introduced in Mists of Pandaria.

And if that weren't enough, there's some new details on the introduction to the expansion itself. The Iron Horde is trying to push through the Dark Portal into Azeroth, and players are immediately thrown into a frenetic 45-minute gameplay experience in which they are immediately confronted by thousands of Iron Horde. Afrasiabi states that players will, in that moment, realize where the orcs that have been streaming through the Dark Portal in the weeks leading up to the expansion's release have been coming from. It looks like we'll have our return of pre-expansion events -- something that was sorely missed leading into Mists of Pandaria.

But the most interesting part of the interview involves the discussion of flight on Draenor.

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Filed under: News items, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Breakfast Topic: Why can't we fly?

If you're the right level -- and have the appropriate riding training -- you can fly in most parts of World of Warcraft. For those who are accustomed to flying, venturing into one of the areas you can't fly feels a lot like having weights attached to your feet, as even the grandest flying mount will can't quite manage to get airbound. And, really, it's an embarrassment when, believing you can fly, you leap off a ledge to find you can't. It's even more embarrassing when you die of fall damage because of it.

The places you can't fly are few and far between -- at this point the only no-fly zones are mostly forgotten bits and pieces of Burning Crusade content, like The Exodar, Silvermoon City, and the daily hub Isle of Quel'Danas. These aren't exactly well-traversed areas -- probably one reason they haven't been updated -- but traveling through them they stand out like sore thumbs from the rest of the game world and you've got to wonder why they haven't been.

So for today's discussion topic, readers, tell us: do you think we should be able to fly throughout the game? Or do you like these hidden, ground-based areas?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Bashiok on flying mount delay in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Flying mount
There's already been a flurry of opinions expressed on the reveal that Blizzard does not plan to allow flying in Draenor until patch 6.1 -- a bit of a departure from previous expansions, where flying was allowed at max level (except for Cataclysm). Several threads in the WoW forums have already thoroughly explored player feelings on the topic, and Bashiok took it upon himself to jump into one to give a more detailed insight into Blizzard's logic in making this decisions.

Specifically, this issue is one of control; the players' versus the game designers'. Bashiok points out that once a player can fly, they control every aspect of how they engage with the ground, which is where the majority of content, and in particular, combat, is located. While it's natural for players to want that kind of engagement to be done on their agency, Blizzard's designers also work hard to present content in a certain way, and once a player can fly, all their design and presentation becomes meaningless. It's not an easy balance to strike, and Blizzard is always weighing the different design choices against each other.

The post is an interesting look into the thought processes that go into these kinds of decisions, and you can read it in full after the break.

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Filed under: News items

Mists of Pandaria Beta: What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been no longer rewards Master Riding

Mists of Pandaria Beta What a Long, Strange, Trip It's Been no longer rewards Master Riding
For players who have traversed the perils of Azeroth's holidays and emerged triumphant, a new beta build released today may put a damper on your spirits. The achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been will no longer award the Master Riding skill, which means that the account-bound mount will no longer automatically grant your alts the skill.

The holiday achievement What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been has been around since Wrath of the Lich King, before Master Riding was even a skill. The Violet Proto-Drake that was given as a reward from the meta was a 310% speed mount, something that was only offered through winning PvP seasons or through rare drops off extremely difficult end bosses in raids.

When the Master Riding skill was introduced in Cataclysm, players wondered what this meant for the future of the Violet Proto-Drake. After some deliberation, it was announced that the Violet Proto-Drake would automatically grant Master Riding skill. This was all well and good in Cataclysm, but with Mists and the account-wide mount system, it meant that anyone who had completed the holiday meta could get off scot-free on any and all alts as far as paying the costs of Master Riding went.

Apparently this didn't sit well, so the achievement has been adjusted. Whether or not it will remain adjusted by the time Mists goes live is up in the air. However, for those who have completed the achievement, the good news is that you'll be able to ride your Proto-Drake on any character you have. The bad news is, you'll still have to fork over the gold for extra speed on any alts that have not already learned the skill from the holiday meta in live.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: Level 90 flying and where to get it

Mists of Pandaria Beta Level 90 flying and where to get it
Level 90 has been unlocked on the Mists of Pandaria beta servers, which means that beta testers can now reap the rewards of being max level -- specifically, flying! Flying is a trained ability obtained in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, one of the last zones you'll visit on your leveling journey. The Vale of Eternal Blossoms houses two large shrines, mini-cities of sorts. There's one for Alliance and one for Horde. Each city flanks the impressively gorgeous Mogu'shan Palace and includes a host of vendors, stable masters, and trainers of every variety. This is where you'll want to head when you're ready to take to Pandaria's skies.

Horde players are taking up residence in the Shrine of Two Moons, while Alliance players are just across the valley in the Shrine of Seven Stars. Each shrine houses a Skydancer who will teach level 90 players the art of flying in Pandaria for 2,500 gold. Considering that flying in early The Burning Crusade set you back a whopping 5,000 gold, this is pretty cheap in comparison. Remember, though, as with all beta content, the price is not set in stone until Mists of Pandaria is released.

Having spent most of five levels happily exploring Pandaria, I can't wait to finally see it from the skies.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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: I believe I can fly

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Many things are eagerly anticipated with the release of Cataclysm: guild achievements, level 85, Deathwing. Little has been discussed about flying mounts in all of Azeroth. It is just a snippet in the trailer, but I do remember its getting a huge cheer. Gone will be the days of flying into Southshore and then riding (I mean, really -- once we can fly, who is going to ride?) north to battle the Abominable Greench. You'll fly -- and yes, I know, Alliance won't be using Southshore, but that's a different topic. We will be flying up and out of Stormwind, heading south into Searing Gorge to Blackrock Mountain and a new instance with Nefarian, and we will be using our own mounts. Can't get that one piece of ore on the side of a hill? Fly up and get it. Need to help a low-level guild member outside Jintha'Alor? Fly there from Aerie Peak or Revantusk Village. You'll be able to scout where those nasty Devilsaurs are in Un'Goro without getting stomped on (not that it matters to a level 85).

So once you can fly anywhere in Azeroth, where are you going first? If you are Alliance, I would wager 85% of you are going to the airport above Ironforge. There is a gryphon master at the north end of that area. He always waves when you fly over on your way to Menethil. I'm thinking that will become an active flight point, but I suspect most of you will fly up there on your own, simply because now you can. A few of you will probably go to the fishing hut above Stormwind.

Me? That's not the first place I'm going. I have long wanted to get to one particular spot on the map. I've tried getting there a few times, particularly during the Lunar Festival because there's an elder near this spot. The gryphon flies over it and I so desperately want to get off, right there. No, I'm not telling.

Where are you going to go first? Anyplace in particular, or do you think you will just hop on your flying mount and savor the wind in your face as you fly anywhere?

Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions for articles via Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!



Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

WoW Patch 3.2.2 lowers cost of flying


Even as inflation and worldwide recession jacks up transportation fares, it seems that Blizzard is bucking the trend and continuing to drive training costs for mounts even lower. Blizzard poster Mumper -- a blue so new to posting that even Zarhym was caught off-guard -- confirms on the forums that the costs to train for flying have been reduced significantly in Patch 3.2.2. Expert Riding is now available for a the ridiculously low price of 225 Gold, down from the 600 Gold price slash of Patch 3.2 (it was originally a whopping 800 Gold)! But wait, there's more! Faction discounts apply, too, but instead of Thrallmar and Honor Hold, which Level 60 players are unlikely to have any substantial standing with, these have been changed to Orgrimmar and Stormwind reputations, respectively.

Mumper (gotta love that name) explains that it was unreasonable to expect fresh Level 60 players to have even 600 Gold. He says that Blizzard wants more players to be flying around at Level 60, and the changes should make it easier for even new players to zoom around the Outland in fancy (and faster) flying mounts. It's good news that Blizzard is being very considerate of the playing community and its economic needs in these harsh times. Now if only we could get discounts off those paid services...
DoTs! More DoTs! Fifty DKP minus!

Onyxia returns! The Brood Mother has been revitalized as a 10 and 25 person raid, so you'll need to be sure you know everything that's coming at you. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2.2 will make sure you're set for Nefarian's nasty daughter as well as other cool changes.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion

World of Warcraft Patch 3.2 Mounts Guide


WoW.com has covered patch 3.2 extensively. Everything from the surprising changes to flying mounts, to the latest and greatest loot, and all the changes in between. In our patch 3.2 class, raiding, and PvP guides we take a look at exactly what changes and how the changes will affect your playing.

Patch 3.2 is here, and there is a whole herd of mount changes stampeding into your stables. Here's a quick rundown of just what's changed about all the things you ride in patch 3.2, from updates to when you can buy mounts and for how much, new tweaks to old mounts like the Ulduar Proto-drakes and the TCG items, and brand new mounts like the hippogryphs from the Argent Tournament and the long-awaited Ravasaur.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Leveling, NPCs, Mounts

Breakfast Topic: On alts and patch planning


Patch 3.2 is looking more and more solid. There are still some bugs with the bosses in the Argent Coliseum, but those are being worked out and appear to be more of a technical thing than a design flaw. This leads us to think that patch 3.2 will be dropping relatively soon.

So with that said, I've been wondering lately about my alts. In particular the four left between 60 and 70 who are sitting in Outland not doing anything in particular. I know that if I drop the gold on them and let them fly around I'll have much more incentive to play them through to 80, and perhaps even find a new class that I love (truth be told, I'm finding my 63 rogue quite a bit of fun to play lately).

As I'm thinking of finishing my army of level 80 alts, I have to plan a little bit. Why should I level right now if within the next couple weeks I'm going to be able to fly around and do it all much faster? Wouldn't my time be better spent playing Fallout 3 working on WoW.com projects?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

Need flying mounts? Mei Francis has you covered

Patch 3.1.2 brought it with the usual slew of undocumented changes, but here's one that appears to have flown under the radar for a while -- Mei Francis, Dalaran's exotic mount vendor, now sells basic Outland flying mounts (read: gryphons and wyverns) at both regular and epic speeds. This is great news for, well, anybody who doesn't want to go to Outland! I know that when my shaman hit 77 and I bought all of my flying skills, it was a pain to have to go to Shadowmoon Valley to buy my mount, so I can certainly appreciate the change.

Of course, there are even more mount changes in store -- a 150% speed flyer at 60, for example -- so this is obviously part of the devs' mission to streamline the leveling and traveling process for players of all levels. A welcome and unexpected change for quality of leveling life -- that's what I like to see.

Filed under: Mounts

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