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This morning, I’m quite likely to upset a particular subset of players. In my defence, you’ve been raging for a while: this is a sore subject I’m not here to intentionally poke, its just an opinion. You know, those horribly subjectively personal things people have and others object to. See that screenshot up there? I took it on a flying mount whist farming Classic content. It looks a great deal better than any ground shot I’ll have ever taken, that much is abundantly obvious. However, it doesn’t mean that flying is important. What this last few days has taught me, moving around Azeroth, is that I don’t just get on my flying mount of choice and straight line from A to B, far from it. Still, after all this time, I’ll take scheduled flight points wherever possible. 

I’d rather be on the ground because so much stuff gets missed if you don’t.

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Plaguelands is a brilliant example of how being airborne removes so much depth and interest from the game play experience. This is a lovely shot, but only on the ground do you get the sense of claustrophobic terror that the Undead plague not only causes on the land, but both nature and inhabitants. The argument for flying in this case is simple: you don’t want to have to ride through all this shit to get to your destination. The thing is, you should. Yup, even when the content is over a decade old, there’s still stuff you’ll pick up that was originally missed. Trust me from someone who’s been there and knows this is the truth.

The counter to that of course is that if it’s not relevant to you, then being able to skip it becomes pretty much essential. What I’d like to see, and am hoping may actually happen now Blizzard are hotfixing the 1-100 experience, is that Blizzard gives enough incentives on the ground to stop people spamming trade for a two man mount ride to the zone of their choice. Once upon a time that would have meant chests and rares, but now only one of those exists consistently but on fairly archaic spawn timers. I’d like to see incentives increased, perhaps with links to classic Azerothian reps, in the style of chests in Legion. For instance, instead of a chest full of cheese and random greens? Gimme a token to swap for Alliance rep, or maybe to swap for a set of Transmog armour from the ‘Classic’ period. Then, up the rare spawn timers and make THEM drop tokens you can swap for gear, but with no other value, as is the case in Tanaan.

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Encouraging people to use scheduled transport isn’t just about making the destination points accessible. It’s allowing players to change their minds, or perhaps decide that there’s too much to be missed on the ground to begin with. The problem undoubtedly then becomes that it won’t matter how many incentives you wave, some simply look to avoid conflict at all costs. However many times I might state this isn’t actually playing properly, someone will state nobody has right to dictate their terms of engagement. Yes, that’s absolutely right. If you want to do this, nobody can stop you. It doesn’t matter that you’re disrespecting the Developers plans. It ceases to be relevant that at least some of the point of this game is to try and make to work outside the auspices of your own comfort zone.

No, you’re already writing your dismissive rebuttal and stopped listening at the phrase ‘flying is not important.’ It’s okay, I’m not trying to convert you people any more, you’re good to just carry on with your way of thinking. For everybody else who’s actually read this far? Classic never had flying. Hundreds of thousands of players migrated to Private Servers where flying was a complete non-issue, and consider this the ‘golden age’ of Warcraft. Maybe the point of staying on the ground is that you have to play a certain way, and that is actually what matters most. Being given less choice won’t necessarily make a game restrictive, but will force you as a player to think more. If that’s something that excites you?

Perhaps its time you intentionally spent more time on the ground.

3 thoughts on “Classic :: Magic Fly

  1. Pingback: Mini-Projects in WoW – Coffee Cakes and Crits

  2. Love the ideas that old-world content could actually have reasons to go back and revisit it again. Making us want to explore the area to find rares, or treasure boxes. How about random events, that could happen inside the game/lore that would draw players to the area. Bring the idea of ‘scenarios’ back from the dead were we could all be phased into helping Light’s Hope Chapel fight waves of trash or maybe a world boss that is only visible while riding amongst the mushrooms of plaguewood, NPC “There are so many people on ground kicking up the contaminated dust it’s going to cause ___ boss to appear.”

    As you eluded to, i like to take my own mount for ease. Flying on a taxi you are forced to ride it until you reach your predetermined destination. More than once, I’ve read my quest log and had that ‘oh!’ moment and had to fly back. Forgot the quest item, or took the wrong flight destination, etc.. Self-flying gives me the one advantage of stopping flight, and turning around. I’d like more realistic options. These ‘mounts’ are smart enough to know where I want to go and how to get there. How about mounts that allow you to change their destination mid-flight (go back home), or drop you off some place else? Not just the ‘next flight stop’ as with current model, that’s usually one-two stops away (in Panda and more so in Warlords).

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