Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok headed to the forums to put paid to some rumors about whether or not flying mounts would be permitted in the new  zones coming with Patch 5.2, Isle of the Thunder King and Isle of Giants.

Debate has raged on the use of flying mounts in Mists of Pandaria’s new zones, with some asserting that players should be able to fly from the very second they enter the new continent, and others arguing that flying ruins the experience of discovering the new zone, and makes the questing far too straightforward. Bashiok has placed Blizzard’s ball firmly in the court of those who believe flying in Pandaria is perhaps not all it’s cracked up to be, by posting that the new areas added in patch 5.2 will not permit flying at all. Ever.

We pretty firmly believe the questing experience is just wholly better when you can’t lift off and set down wherever you like, frog leaping from quest objective to quest objective. Certainly we’ve supported that with no flying for the leveling content of Wrath and Mists, and only after you hit level cap can you obtain the ability to fly. The new zone coming in patch 5.2 is not unlike the Isle of Quel’Danas in a few ways, and one of them is that there’s no flying. That helps us achieve that desire for progressive questing, it’s good for supporting world PvP, as well as lets us make really difficult outdoor encounters, like Oondasta – who is OG Kazzak in difficulty – that you can’t just drop on top of from the sky.

I can’t imagine flying mounts ever going away, they’re a big part of the game at this point, but certainly they can take a break when it makes sense and we can present content in a more intimate way from time to time.

What do you think about this? Personally I have mixed opinions on this, I agree that preventing flying makes the world and questing more engaging and interesting, but it’s so inconvenient when you want to get somewhere in a hurry!

What do you think? Does flying reduce immersion? Or does it make no difference? Are you pleased or displeased by this decision?

(Image by 吕伟瑜 (lwywei))