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No Flying in Warlords of Draenor Until 6.1

by - 5 years ago


It took some time, but we’ve finally gotten confirmation that flying will be disallowed in the World of Warcraft expansion Warlords of Draenor until patch 6.1. Bashiok, the harbinger of bad (or good, depending on your point of view) news had this to say:


There’s a lot of discussion about flying/not-flying and I’d like to try to sum things up and maybe realign the discussion a bit. Some of the other threads are near-cap, some have really gone down tangents, so I’m just picking this one to throw a reply into. Apologies to the other threads.

We intend to disallow flying while leveling from 90 to 100, and have flying become available again in the first major patch for Warlords of Draenor.

No flying while leveling has been the case during Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Mists of Pandaria. We allowed flying during Cataclysm because as those zones were mixed-in with the 1-60 world it just would have been really jarring to dismount you as you fly into Hyjal, etc. but we would have disallowed it for Catalcysm zones as well if there was a reasonable solution there.

Flying trivializes combat. A lot of people like to say we’re trying to force world PvP, or that we just really want people to look at the pretty trees we made, but those really aren’t the reasons that drive this same decision we’ve made every expansion. Flying allows you to escape or enter combat at-will. There’s a reason why flying isn’t allowed in dungeons and raids, or battlegrounds and arenas, and that’s because it would trivialize the core mechanic of the game in those areas – combat. For much the same reason it trivializes how content is approached in the outdoor world based on the simple fact that you can lift off and set down wherever you like.

So that’s the main reason. But sure there are a lot of other problems it can cause for content design such as zones having to get a lot bigger because flying mounts can travel so quickly (and thus making ground travel in them take much longer), it reduces the impact of elevation within zones, it completely removes the ability for us to pace or present content in any structured way, and in general removes our ability to determine how and when players approach a situation, see a vista or location, or charge into/out-of a combat situation. It just greatly reduces any gameplay we want to create by allowing infinite choice in how content is approached to best suit a player’s intention to (usually) avoid that content.

I totally sympathize with people’s desire to do that, they want to be efficient and have it be their choice, but we have to balance our intent to create a game against creating a sandbox where anything goes. There’s a happy medium there somewhere, but flying mounts in most cases just do too much to undermine too many of our core intentions with the game world, the basis of the game: combat, or guiding players through a game experience, and for those reasons we have continually chosen (when we could) to disallow flying mounts in the ‘current’ outdoor content. In the past that’s meant only while leveling, but in our experiences with the Isle of Thunder and Timeless Isle we feel like we can extend that for a bit longer in the new content, and have it be kind of a big deal again once you’re able to earn flying in the first big content patch, and in the meantime putting focus on flight paths as well as having some more interesting travel options for players to use.

Thus far, the news has been met with strong opinions from both camps. Some claim that, given the direction World of Warcraft has gone in with both Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria, flying should be available as early as possible. Others believe that, when forced to ground level, players have the chance to truly appreciate the world. We’re curious as to what you think, though. Will this decision at all factor in when it comes time to pick up Warlords of Draenor?

Robert Wing


10 responses to “No Flying in Warlords of Draenor Until 6.1”

  1. lorenkeiz says:

    remove the fly mounts from the game please… let me come back in vanilla once again, please. please 🙁 fly mounts = one ot the worst choise in wow.

    • Eric Currin says:

      while I agree I actually miss exploring with my ground mount, there are some perks with flying that I would be really reluctant to give up. I actually wish they would change the flying mounts a bit though, so that they had more functionality and flavor than just not being on the ground.

      One option might be to make flight have an exhaustion bar that takes a bit of time to recharge so that it is not just a way to fly wherever and skip content so easily. then different mounts – like the harder to achieve mounts or at least the other than basic bought mounts – could have different stamina bars, thus making collecting a new mount more interesting than just a different skin for what your character sits on. Just a thought and certain not the only option.

      • Rune says:

        I feel that adding restrictions like fatigue just add unneeded complexities to the game that would have been done away with at this point in the overall scheme (and at that point it should pertain to all mounts and not just focusing on flight)

  2. Jimmy Blocksom says:

    Definitely ok with this, not being on a flying mount makes you feel much more connected to the world at large, you have to play a bit more carefully, and no more people coming out of the sky to gank you.

  3. Eric Currin says:

    I noticed I had quite a bit more fun with the leveling process when flying was not available. in cata, flying felt like it sort of cheapened the experience. sure, it means not leveling quite as fast, but it also means I can appreciate when I get my flight back. I rather like the idea that they are talking about alternative travel options (such as the tram system or boats) as well, which is something that has really been undervalued since flying became the normal travel method in the “main world”. Certainly a plus by my way of thinking.

    • lopes91 says:

      I doubt new players even know how to go from Stormwing to Ironforge without heartstoning back to Shrine and entering the portal.

  4. darkedone02 says:

    Sadly, I enjoy flying in the game because it helps me gather crafting resources faster and allows me to get to dungeons and faster, also helps me to places and not always being attacked by mobs and dismounted half the time and have to face against this annoying mob. Without flying, racing against each other for crafting materials is going to be terrible, having to dodge though annoying mobs to get to that resources and watch as someone got the upper hand and grabbed the ore while you are fighting the mob that is surrounding it… it’s pathetic, it’s a pet peeve.

    • lopes91 says:

      You do realize thats exactly why they disable it right? You buy a game for the purpose of playing it. With every aspect included. If they wanted you to just dash though content they would make an npc to make you full 100 and geared up. They want to provide a game experience for the players. Thus meaning you sometimes have to deal with certain aspects of the game that are unfair, like rushing a ore mine before someone else’s.if players just want to get down and enchance themselves further and faster thats ok. but the same gaming experiene is gonna be felt by every player and then everyone will choose their own paths of playstyle.

  5. Rune says:

    While I’ll be honest I do not like the way they are approaching gating flying by completely blocking progress towards getting it for an extended period (and I am fine with it being a quest chain towards it though), I think they need to find ways to make ground mounts more desirable for the meantime for those who prefer flight rather than outright locking it and making it tense on all three sides of this debate. At least they are attempting alternative method beyond flight paths, but since no details on it were given and how effective they would be in comparison it’s all up in the air for me as far as that.

  6. Gillettestevens says:

    Totally agree with this.