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))

  • Klifford von Undersn

    Yes, flying does break my immersion. However, on my 3rd, 4th, 5th alt., I am done with immersion and just want to get shit done.

  • Toypop

    Simple solution. 
    Award double rep, coins and VP if you complete the quests without taking off. When the NPC gives you the quest she asks you if you want to leave your mount in their care whilst you undertake your dangerous duties. If you answer “yes” you get a buff which stays with you unless you take off on a flying mount in which case it disappears.If you return with the buff still present and hand in the quest you get double the rewards.That way the vocal minority who want to inflict their boring play preference on everyone else are still motivated to run around on the ground. The time-limited players can still fly around for a shorter play session albeit that they will have to run the quests for more days/weeks.Sadly Blizzard will listen to the vocal minority. E.g. 3 people out of 10 million QQ’d about an “empty world” on the WoW forums (because they wanted to gank level 20’s with their 85’s) and now the entire population has dailies inflicted upon them…

  • Dularr

    Considering at least one of the new zone is a PvP zone, I assumed flying would not be allowed.

  • SpikeB

    I was going to go on about how flying takes away from the questing experience however letting alts do it might be another thing.I just love Toypop’s response to this.  I think that is a great idea and I hope he/she did not have their tinfoil hat on so Blizz can read their mind and make it “there own”. 

  • Toypop

    This is embarrassing…. but I just looked up Tin Foil Hat on Wikipedia. I had no idea why they always did that on Legendary but I do now! I just thought it was some weird American thing! Ah well, sheltered life….

  • geektacular

    I think they implemented it fine in WOTLK: Make the first toon you level walk, so you get the entire experience. Then, once you hit max, allow them to grant the ability to fly to your alts. I understand the objections to flying right off the bat, and I really don’t mind being on the ground for my first toon’s experience. However, for alts, most people just want to get them leveled up. They’ve already seen everything, and even if they’re running, I bet they are not paying any attention to the scenery this time. The first time, it’s new and fresh…you want to look at everything when you run by, but even though you’re forcing my alt to run around, it doesn’t mean I really am paying attention to things that I’m running past. This philosophy also discounts that fact that many pieces of art look more amazing and more epic from the air. They can always force non-flying situations by placing quest puzzles inside of a building, etc., but otherwise, they’ve already created a player mentality of frog-hopping during quests…so just let us do it, Blizz!

  • Shadowtalis

    Immersion isn’t something you can force.

    Especially in a game that, by its very nature, revolves around endlessly repeating the same tasks over and over and over.

    You can’t fight this. Not when the quests are generally mindless kill/fetch variations. It’s human nature to get bored with things no matter how well designed and immersive you want it to be. After the second or third time, the brain goes on autopilot and anything that takes away the mobility is only wasting your time.

    They had the right idea in wrath. Make the player walk for that first experience only.

  • Jacob

    I’m ok with not flying in the new zone, I did the dailies at the Isle meany years ago, for once I hit 70 till Wrath came out, while it may stink when you want to get some were quick, but I’m ok with that. Besides its a relatively small Isle.

    Side note: If it was the size of a expansion zone, then I would take the route that it would basically suck and would want to fly. The leveling first then being able to fly is fine with me.

  • tawnos42

    Problem with no flying is that they never really compensate for the fact that you can’t fly and design the quests as though you could.  Having to plow through mobs without being able to bypass them is all well and good as long as the quest objectives are reasonably set up to do so without having to slog through a ridiculous number of mobs.

  • 7BitBrian

    Personally I wish flying mounts had never been introduced into the game. I try to play without them, only when I have to use one because it is impossible to walk to this area do I actually do so. I enjoy the game, and more importantly leveling in the game, much more this way.

  • Bush Swanson, The American Dre

    I think flying is good. just wish i could fly underwater… XD

    • Luke Malcolm

      You techincally can, but its really slow

  • rhastia

    I think that flying does diminish a lot of game content, particularly questing. However, I can’t deny that it’s really useful, almost required, when you have daily quest hubs scattered all over the continent.

    The impact that no-fly zones will have on the new areas is really dependent on the size of those areas and how easily they are to navigate. Something like Townlong Steppes (barring the Shado Pan daily islands) is easily traversed via ground mounts without much problem. On the other hand, the topography of Jade Forest is just plain obnoxious when trying to get from point A to point B by ground.

    My solution would be to add a cooldown to flying mounts. Nothing big, perhaps 10 minutes. So, after you dismount, you have 10 mins before you can fly again. This would prevent people from using flying mounts willy-nilly for objective hopping during quests, and would return them to their original intended purpose of long-distance transportation.

    Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind seeing a flying cooldown added everywhere, not just in the new zones. If nothing else, it would give me a good reason to use my armada of ground mounts on occasion.

  • MiZTiiX

    I really have a good idea about how to solve flying mount issues which i haven’t heard anyone else mention. What about:
    Flying mounts need to be ACTIVATED, by going to a flightmaster. This will give you a metaphroical token which will allow you to use any flying mount in your inventory Once. Once you dismount you will need to reactive the ability to fly. Make FM’s more frequent in the world for convience, but ultimatley i think this would be the best solution in balancing flying mounts with convience and immersion etc. This idea would need to be tweaked further though in order to be satisfying to as many players a possible

    • David Grimm

      That is a marvelous idea. If they did this, I might even come back to WOW.

    • Luke Malcolm

      Even if its a good idea, it would hurt the game more than help it. Its like Arenas they’re many things I wish they would change to them, but they never will cause its just a part of the game now.

  • Eric

    Personally not a big fan of no-fly zones. I absolutely hated not being able to fly until level 90 and then you see all these people flying circles around you.