[WoW] Flying into Cheat Mode

Blizzard has responded well to the outcry of the previous developer decision to ban flying from the latest expansion. They’ve decided to give [back?] flying as part of the open world end game.  Once unlocked on one character with collecting treasures, working on faction reputations, doing all the Draenor things, etc., all other characters get access without all the hoops.

I think one commentator in the official Blizzard post nails it, and gets downvoted heavily for the wisdom. The top comment says “this is reasonable”, and then the response from the one is that ‘if you’ve already done everything in Draenor, what reason is there for flying’.

I find the solution a fairly good compromise. Yet comment hits the implication that a big opportunity was missed for flying. Flying in Draenor is a band-aid solution. It’s like being given a post-content cheat code.

Cheat codes can be a lot of fun. Going around with impunity and glee taking down whatever silly challenge stands in the way. Sometimes cheat codes just smooth the way, like getting infinite ammo as opposed to sheer iddqd. However, smoothing or breaking the content, they are called cheat codes for a reason. They are not intended gameplay.

That’s how Blizzard’s solution feels to me. Flying in Draenor was not intended. They have not designed any flying content for Draenor. But, when a player has basically mastered all of Draenor’s flightless content then they can fly. Jump through all the intended gameplay hoops? Fine, you can cheat and do whatever.

I am honestly surprised that in Draenor’s conception, they didn’t design for this flying mastery and then go another 10 yards creating content requiring flying. Don’t just create a cheat code that apparently you really didn’t want to give. Put flying back in to the game design of things.


5 thoughts on “[WoW] Flying into Cheat Mode”

  1. It’s an interesting question. Ghostcrawler talked during the outcry about how they tried to make flying a thing in Northrend, at least during the Wrath beta, and found it completely unworkable.

    From what I recall, they were trying to make flying combat a thing at that time, as a part of the big PVP zone. When that didn’t work out, in what I would call typical Blizz fashion, they threw the baby out with the bathwater. That metaphor means they discarded everything to do with flying as impractical without significant development time spent, as opposed to merely giving up on flying combat, which would have seemed like the more relevant takeaway.

    Some of GC’s more interesting comments are found at the bottom of http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/4937-Patch-6-2-Infernal-Direwolf-Darkmoon-Faire-Races-Blue-Tweets-DLC-492

    One of the passages that I find most meaningful, most Blizz, if you will, is the following: “OTOH I don’t put much stock into the argument that clever quest and level design can make flight as challenging as ground. The combat wasn’t designed with 3d space in mind. They could build all that, or they could focus all that attention elsewhere. I kinda think orcs firing nets constantly and every quest objective inside a cave would get tiring quickly.”

    In my head at least, there is no one with any clout at Blizz who believes there is anything else to try, when it comes to flying.

    1. Thanks! This is excellent stuff. I wonder though if they had just made like flying only accessible areas scattered around the sub-regions to return, or smaller bits. It is one thing to create a whole new combat system (see LOTRO’s mounted combat for example), but it’s another thing just to add a touch here and there.

  2. Two things:

    I agree with you that Blizzard never intended people to fly in Draenor (but gave no in-world reason why it would be impossible – I already learnt to fly in Outland ages ago).

    Blizzard always give in to the whiners in the forums, which is why so much whining happens there: it gets results. But their solution makes absolutely no in-world sense. What has collecting 100 treasures got to do with my flying skills?

    More on that here: http://casualnoob.blogspot.com/2015/06/fear-of-flying.html

    1. Deleted your other comment and found this one in the WP spam trash. Always feel free to make a link free comment to get me or Zubon on notice to plumb the depths of WP’s zealous anti-spam measures.

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