Monday, September 28, 2009

Flying Mounts For All?

When I bought flying mount training for my Tauren last week, I was puzzled that the trainer only wanted 200G. I had previously been to the trainer, seen that it cost 600G (which was more than I had), and went off to earn the money by mining and herbing while working on Darkspear troll quest rep for another project.

Apparently, I've been the beneficiary of an undocumented change from patch 3.2.2; the cost has been slashed to 225G, and they also placed it on Ogrimmar rep, allowing me an additional faction discount.

The change was needed to meet the goal of the mount changes - flying mounts for everyone at level 60. In fairness, I might have been able to afford the original price had I not spent all of the character's money on epic ground mount training back before they nerfed that price to the ground, but 600G (plus another 45 for the mount) was a pretty steep mountain for a newbie to climb.

That said, I wonder whether this goal was a good idea. It's one thing to accelerate leveling for alts of experienced players, who can buy the heirloom book to allow their alts cold weather flying as they start Northrend (financing all of this through their levle 80 mains). It's something else to hand the ability to fly to new players who have not seen Outland before and will have flight taken away from them when they reach the latest expansion. (I can only imagine that Blizzard will reduce or eliminate the cost for Cold Weather flying when Cataclysm hits.)

The fact is that flight breaks a large number of quests, even in Outland (which was supposedly designed with flight in mind). That's why they didn't enable flight when players first hit Outland, and why they took it away at the start of Northrend. Post 77 Wrath was, for many players, their first experience having flight while leveling. Going back may not go over well.

One of numerous quest mobs you can fly right up to on your new flying mount.


Klepsacovic said...

For extra-broken: Try playing a druid. All those quest items at the top of tree houses, I can fly right up to and pick up, from the air, with no aggro at all.

What's my main Again? said...

My baby cow druid might have to supply my DK with the gold to get flying. My DK is sitting at around 60 gold or so? Where as my 30 druid is sitting on 300.

My druid isn't going to have anything to spend money on till 77 :(

moranin said...

Wow, score one for the lazy player!
I've been spending my MMO time in Champions of late, and have found the disparity between leveling a character with any of the flight-based powers vs. leveling with ground powers quite striking. In WoW there was always that slight sense of loss when my mage had to revert to steering around trees and whatnot, but at least it has the benefit of everyone at a given level accessing content the same way - in Champions it is more of a "oh hai down there, I betcha you regret taking super speed eight levels ago!"
While it is wonderful for the "play a game whilst watching a movie and reading a magazine" style of player, it does forever spoil the tolerance for having to reach quest goals on foot.

CreepTheProphet said...

I'm thinking it'll be hard to go back to riding, but at least with Crusader Aura it'll be tolerable.

I'm not looking forward to saving up for the 1,000g just for the privileged of flying my scrubby flyer in Northrend.

Anonymous said...

Seems we are thinking along similar lines today...

There is no question it's great, but geeez does it make it easy

A Flying Mount is a Cheat Code

DeftyJames said...

Well, this was the way I played the game the first time around. I rode, then I flew, then I rode, then flew. Did I care for it? No. But that's the way it was.

I really think the bigger issue this time is the inequality it inspires. Before when you were leveling in Borean Tundra *everyone* rode. Now there is a two tiered system where alts have an advantage over newbies.

I'm taking advantage of it. But I admit that I find it distasteful.

Beltayn said...

It definitely makes an already easy game, easier... and I have to say I'm not a fan of the decision.

What the 'lazy' players out there don't get, is that what actually makes the game fun for them is achieving something. It's what releases the chemicals in our brains that make the whole thing cool and fun.

Breezing through the game on top of a flying mount is a pretty hollow victory, yet players for some reason will still feel it's the best thing since cheese.

That leaves me with the choice.. either I can be the only idiot slogging my way through mobs on my ground mount, or I can join them.