It’s All Just TOO Difficult!

Pope here. Today Blizzard announced major changes to the mount structure. Most notable amongst the changes is that flying mounts will now be accessed at level 60. Normal flying will be 150% speed instead of 60% like it has been since flying mounts were launched. Wow.

What’s more: Blizzard is now including a portal from SW and Orgrimmar to the Stair of Destiny (aka the Dark Portal). As the folks over at point out, it will certainly reduce “downtime” for traveling back to the major cities to train after leveling.

Yes, that’s right. Downtime. Because it just took far too long to get to Shat, take your preferred portal to the city of your choice, then activate your hearthstone to get back to Outland. Of course, if you’re a Death Knight, you don’t even have to go to Shat, you can simply conjure your Death Gate and you’re back in the loving arms of Mograine and the rest of Death Knightdom.

What really makes me chuckle about this though is that they feel the need to speed up leveling through the use of flying mounts. Back in the winter, I leveled my Death Knight up to 65 before setting WoW down to focus on school. Last Thursday I picked him back up and started leveling again. I was out of Outland on Saturday night. I dinged 70 on Monday evening. I didn’t play all day each day or anything like that. I simply did the chains of quests that I received, skipping any instance quests and things that would take me horribly off course. All of that without a flying mount. In about three days.

Oh but really, that was too slow. We need to speed things up! Let’s give players flying mounts at 60, and up the speed on them. Forget all the work that Blizzard put into the zones, the detail that they added to it. Let’s let them navigate above the fray, pop down on the one mob they need to kill, then take back to the skies. Maybe Blizzard is more embarrassed about the Burning Crusade content than I thought.

On the other hand, at least players will be able to fly around before hitting level 78. It’s too bad my Death Knight missed out on that.

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I need to figure out how to have it show who the author is at the beginning so you don’t always have to reintroduce yourself when you write =) I’m not so good at wordpress theme editing – I’ll try not to break things!

    I followed this story at a couple sources and the comments were of two camps:


    I am of the second camp (as most who read here probably know) as I don’t enjoy leveling. It is the barrier/timeblock grind to get to the real WoW game (for me – not for all). So I welcome this with open arms. Wide open.

    There are so many quests in WoW where the travel time itself takes longer than completing the quest task. I think it is terrible design, and this “fixes” it a little bit.

    Last step to truly fix it is to have flying mounts finally work in Azeroth. I’m not letting go of that torch. (Estimated time? 2013 by my best guess!)

  2. Oh, as for the portals – they aren’t needed. What IS needed, is trainers and AH’s in whatever the core main city is per expansion. Shatt should already have that, so people don’t have to go back to the capital cities at all. Just another time sink veiled under a “we don’t want to marginalize old world capital cities” – bah, you have marginalized the rest of the old world, cities shouldn’t be excluded from that!

  3. The best way around ALL of this: Give all classes the mage’s ability to port to all the major cities. Time sink minimalized.

    I think it’s a bit silly to add flying mounts from a “speed up leveling” perspective, though. I did FIVE levels in about ten hours worth of gameplay all told, I’d say. It was ridiculously fast. So much so that after one level, I decided to round out the chain of quests that I was working on before going back to train… Once I actually got around to porting Archerus, I was halfway through the next level.

    That said, I don’t mind it all that much. It’s good for them to allow flying in Outland so that players get to experience it prior to Northrend.

    I don’t think they’ll ever introduce flying mounts to the old world. They would have to do a massive review of the textures. There are so many “flavor” spots that don’t really exist in the game. For example: IF Airport. I hopped my way up the ledge once and got up there, only to find that half of the buildings had no substance to them. There are spots like that all over the place that they’d have to go back and recode. I don’t see them doing that.

  4. I loathe forced time sinks. I like optional sinks. Travel is usually a forced time sink, so giving ways to speed it up makes me happy.

    Atlantica Online has a good system, especially if you buy a Teleport License.

    Still, doing this to the old Vanilla world is smart. It might not add much to the “Burning Crusade” and beyond, but for newbies coming up through Vanilla WoW, minimizing the stupid time sinks is very welcome.

    Oh, and for those who want “significant travel”, it’s still possible to walk. 😉 Options, people, options.

  5. Personally, I think mounts should come at level 10, or somewhere close to there… whenever you get to “your” capital city.

    And flying mounts definitely need to work in old world!

  6. @Tesh: That is a good clarification. Sometimes I don’t mind the zen like grind of repeated killing and looting monsters. It’s a nice option to have if I feel like it. Options are good. Forced Bad.

    @Hez: It has, and always will drive me nuts. There is just no in game logic for it at all (even the Northrend de-icing part). You have mounts with wings, you have sky, you should be able to fly. When you can’t explain it in game by any logicial means, it just makes it even sillier.

  7. @Chris: Actually, there IS a logical reason why they don’t want you to be able to fly… It just doesn’t make sense from a lore perspective. The devs put lots of hard work into the little details of Azeroth, Outland, and Northrend, and they want users to see and appreciate those details. And while it’s true that there are those adventurers that relish the opportunity to go exploring for themselves and discover things the “old fashioned” way, how many really actually would if they had a fast flying mount to cart them around?

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