Yesterday I took one of my alts out for a spin. Its a level 90 ret paladin in a mix of Timeless Isle gear and level 85 quest rewards. I never play him. He was leveled to 90 without even leaving Jade Forest, by running instances and scenarios.
He is my engineering character, so I needed to go out and kill things to get the world drop recipe for the daily engineering cooldown. This involved me actually killing things by myself for the first time since I was level 85.
I quickly found that I had no memory of how to play the character. I didn’t recall what any of the buttons did. I figured out about four or five through trial and error. I was able to take on a single level 90-91 foe in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. If I accidentally pulled two, then I was in trouble. I really, really sucked. I must have died 6 times just fighting random mogu in the northern Vale.
So, I flew.
I hopped on my flying mount and hovered around. I would drop in when I could find a single mob. I’d fight it, loot it, then hop back on my mount. If I saw a mining node in the middle of a mogu camp, I’d wait until the mogu had pathed away, drop down, mine the node and zip back into the sky.
This is not new. Its been the way of things at the level cap since flying mounts were introduced. People like it.
I’d claim that it is terrible game design.
They put those mining nodes behind the mogu camps for a reason. The idea is that they are not easy to get to. They are guarded. Let me be clear – if I had to fight my way to them I would not have been able to. I am currently awful on my ret paladin. Therefore, the flying mount is simply letting me – the completely unskilled paladin – bypass the game mechanics to get the mining node.
I can’t tell who is complaining more about this- the “elitists” or the “casuals” (as vague as those terms are). Elitists could fight their way through the mogu to the mining node with ease. The lack of flying would just be a time sink for them. The casuals don’t want to be bothered fighting. They want their mining node with a minimum of hassle.
I don’t think either of these is a particularly compelling argument, and they both smack of entitlement.
The main complaint seems to boil down to the concept that questing and running around are no longer part of the game at the level cap. Once you hit the level cap, all of the things that you used to deal with are now an inconvenience. You should be above all of that – literally – by flying over it.
Look at the Dread Wastes. That was a complete zone that was essentially designed to be played at the level cap. Most of us dinged 90 either in Townlong Steppes or in the first few quests in Dread Wastes. Then, we’d play through the rest of the zone to get pre-raid gear, or for reputation. I point this out to reinforce that Blizzard does create non-raid content for players at the level cap, and flying above it would negate that content.
I’m hoping that we find in WoD that there are vast amounts of things to do other than raid once we hit level 100. If that is the case, then keeping us grounded is the right thing to do. Let us play through that content the way it was intended by the developers. If it takes an extra month before we can fly, then so be it. We’ll have plenty of time in Draenor left once we get our wings.