No flying in Draenor – there’s a dev interview about it so check it out.

Let’s briefly look at the reasons from lead designer Ion Hazzikostas from the perspective of “What they say” and What they mean.”

What they say:

“it actually detracted from gameplay in a whole lot of ways”

What they mean:

Flying circumvents all the “slow down” mechanics we have put in the game and since we’ve implemented more F2P-type gating flying had to go.

What they say:

“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”

What they mean:

Flying circumvents content gating.

What they say:

“It made the world feel in many ways much smaller”

What they mean:

This is just a made up excuse because flying speed still involves significant travel time from Point A to Point B.  Insta-portals make the world “smaller” (less than 10 second travel time) but interestingly enough, these are still found in the game.  This “standard” excuse is a smoke screen.

What they say:

“The world feels larger, feels more dangerous”

What they mean:

Flying circumvents other “slow down” mechanics in the game like putting Archaeology dig sites in the middle of Elite mobs, and getting dazed and knocked off your mount by mobs 20 levels lower than you are.  We know it’s really not “dangerous” but it is just bloody annoying.

What they say:

“But as they played the expansion and watched others play it, they discovered that they liked the game better without flying”

What they mean:

Again, this is made up nonsense.  It’s my own theory that flying in Draenor would have simply added to the development cost, so taking out flying allowed “fudging” of mesh.  We’ve already heard about that when Old World flying was put in for Cataclysm.  For example, the Stormwind Keep was essentially a “cardboard cutout.”

Less mesh mean less expense.  “Playing” and “watching others play it” probably means “can we get away with not finishing this mesh?”

Anyone who has every worked with 3D objects will know what I’m talking about.

What they say:

“Hazziokostas confirms that this direction includes future expansions,  though he doesn’t discount the possibility of adding flight options in to specific expansion ideas or zones that would benefit from it.”

What they mean:

Yeah, we’ll hold the carrot on the stick for customers by letting them think that maybe all those flying mounts they bought in the Cash Shop MIGHT be used in a future expansion someday.

You want flying?  Sure, maybe you’ll get a “Flying Zone” but be prepared to open your wallets to get it.  Tome of Flying for $49.99 anyone?

What they say:

“He also promises that Blizzard will continue working to improve its network of taxi flight paths in the game to prevent any major frustration from this change”

What they mean:

Improving taxi paths is much, much cheaper than flying.   Also interesting is that he admits there is “major frustration” although I’m guessing saying it was unintentional.

Yeah, they know all the “no flying” arguments are crap.

I just wish they would stop insulting our intelligence with “immersion” and platitudes for not having flying.

Ion Hazzikostas also didn’t address the question of why Blizzard is still selling flying mounts in the Cash Shop if we can only use them in “old” expansions.

I mean really – we spend a lot of $$$ for new expansions, the Cash Shop mounts aren’t cheap, so we can’t even enjoy the $$$ mounts in the current expansion we just spend a bunch of money on?

The Real Reasons for No Flying in Draenor and Future Expansions

1.  Cutting development costs

2.  Monetizing flying at some point.

That’s it.

The rest is pure baloney.

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