Thursday, August 20, 2015

Flying is coming but...

Last night while reading Grumpy's post about being let down I saw a comment that the flying patch was announced for September 1st.  There wasn't further detail in the comment so I wasn't sure if it was true.  So a quick bop over to Blizzard Watch and yup, patch 6.2.2 is planned for September 1st and will have flying in it.

And then I did something else.

It's not that I'm not happy flying is finally coming.  Or is it?  It will have been nearly 10 months since Warlords of Draenor came out and we've been grounded in current content since then.  How long has it been since "weeks, not months"?

Maybe this is just too early and others are writing up their thoughts in slower, more considered manner, but I haven't seen one celebratory post yet.  Hell, mine isn't celebratory.  Again, I'm happy it is finally here, but it just feels so anti-climatic.  Not "quite too little, too late" but, just lacking in any reason to be excited.

Perhaps all of the energy has been sucked up by talking about Legion.  Or the people that have the Pathfinder achievement are tired of waiting and those still working on it feel discouraged. Or that Blizzard is rolling it out but it's no more important to them than the racial bonus changes.

I feel like I won something that I wanted but in all the effort to get it, all the redtape or pointless barriers in my way, the joy of finally getting it has been tainted and some of the appeal has been tarnished.

Maybe all of the terrible PR bumbling and the toxic divisions it created have made things less enjoyable.

Or maybe I didn't get enough sleep.  :)


  1. I believe it feels so anti climatic because it is so long over due.

    It should have been included at launch, but it was not.

    They said they would see what people wanted, and even if the community wanted flying by a very large representation, they did not add it.

    Then they said they would add it in 6.1.

    6.1 came and went with nothing, not even them saying they were postponing it.

    The continued to say they would see what people wanted, and they overwhelmingly wanted flight, but they did nothing.

    Then they said they decided to not release flight at all.

    Then they lost a boat load of subs.

    Then they said they changed their mind and flying would be added.

    People expected it in 6.2, but they said 6.2.x.

    Then 6.2.1 came on beta, was labeled a release candidate so we expected it soon.

    Then 6.2.2 came on beta and 6.2.1 was never released, and people wondered where is flying.

    Then they posted a guide on how to get flight and announced an 8 hour down time so people figured it would come now.

    The 8 hour down time came and went and nothing.

    So it is hard to be excited about getting something that we have been excited to get so many times already and been let down each and every single time.

    Am I happy we are getting flight? Yes, very.

    Do I really care any more? No, not at all.

    That is why I can not be excited about it. They killed all the excitement that it could have had by teasing us all expansion long about giving us something that should have been included at launch.

    So we should not be excited. Relieved maybe, but not excited. How can you be excited about something being added to the game 10 months late that they teased us with for so long?

    1. "Am I happy we are getting flight? Yes, very.

      Do I really care any more? No, not at all."

      Your summary is good, but this bit here is pretty much the sad situation. Okay, maybe it isn't that I don't care but maybe it's just that "it's about time" feeling. I'm not even relieved. I think that's why I'm rambling on this (as opposed to my usual concise statements) - I can't find the right words.

      I want flying. I've wanted flying. I'm happy that I'll be able to fly in Draenor. I guess it's just that I don't really want to be in Draenor. When I'm there I'll be happy to fly. I'm just not sure I'll be happy to be there.

      I hope that I will. I hope that flying will make Draenor more fun.

  2. "I guess it's just that I don't really want to be in Draenor."

    I think this is the key point. Yes the constant, here it is, here it isn't, here it is, here it isn't back and forth has stolen the vast majority of joy from getting flying. However, perhaps some are like myself in this, where would I fly to? Where could I possibly want to go? Early in the expansion, I would have been overjoyed to explore corners, go farm mobs or skin or do something out in the world. Its too late, way too late. I hate this expansion, I hate this world, I hate the systems that govern it, and see absolutely nothing to do that could be entertaining or productive use of my time with or without flying.

    In MoP, I could farm Alani stones, farm the zandalari scouts and warbringers, work the farm, go on a world boss tour, go fishing, herb, skin, go dragon racing, or dino farming for bones. That is maybe 20 seconds of thinking about why I would want to get on my dragons back and fly forth.

    Even after 10 minutes I can't think of a single thing I want to do in Draenor (with or without flight). Farm ogres for waystones? Why? Farm elites for the barn which doesn't produce anything of significant value anymore, especially having done it already for months on 4 toons. World boss tour? why?? The desire to kill the world bosses is next to nothing when using the group finder which accesses all of our battlegroup? North American realms? And for worthless loot that T2 outgears and with enough RNG you can customize? Seriously, what else? I don't do archeology (I don't hate myself that much). I just don't see any point. The flying that we craved was to do things, and having nothing to do means, Flight just feels like a lead balloon.

    1. I really wonder how much of my dislike of Draenor is directly due to the environment and how much is the RNG/Flying-No Flying Debacle/Anti-Alt stance/etc. I was never very enamored of the RP-lore concept of this expansion and I was already done with Orcs before we got here. So that didn't help. But would I have found Draenor tolerable if the rest of the issues weren't so bad?

      And is the best thing I can say about Draenor is that I might have found it tolerable?

    2. I think its a confluence of events, a perfect storm of forces all colliding in WoD. The further migration to RNG everything, lack of depth to any non-raiding max level content, the disjointed story telling, the emphasis on grinding particularly absent meaning behind the grind or complexity to the grind, poor communication, poor game design for world bosses difficulty and reward, over reliance followers/shipyard mini-game and its evolution to far worse rewards, for much higher risk and time commitment and overly tediousness in lieu of real complexity (getting equipment for ships), the blandification of professions with an increase in tedious reliance on daily CDs.

      Take any one or a couple of these things, we have already managed and were patient with them in other expansions, but there was enough depth and complexity to other parts of the game that you could really invest in. There was plenty that was repeatable entertaining content (If zandalari didn't do it, maybe the farm did, if that didn't maybe the storylines in the daily quests did it, and if not that, perhaps valor farming by steamrolling mop dungeons, and on and on)

      I know when I've tried to play, I dig for a little depth and find WoD's soil is about half an inch thick, hard and gravelly, and has no room for any digging, because its exactly as it seems: Shallow barely hidden time sinks with no context and lackluster rewards. And I think your rambling on this topic, lack of precision in your thinking, is the result of understanding the complex currents that led to this perfect storm and its just hard to organize so many interconnected causes.

  3. The thing that I cannot forgive Blizz for is that they have managed to suck all the fun out almost every aspect of the game. Flying should have been an exciting, exhilarating perk given at WoD launch or upon leveling, or even in the first patch, but instead we have had to go through months of debate and downright tantrums to get it. Most people even those who love flying, will feel no soaring exhilaration when it finally comes, only a sense of relief.

    Same thing with gear -- getting a piece of gear used to be fun, but Blizz has seen to it that it now is almost always disappointing, and the grind you have to go through to get the gear you need is so awful that when you do get it, it is not fun and exciting, it is just a relief that the grind for that piece is over.

    Game designers are supposed to be in the business of creating fun, not stomping on it. Sadly, someone needs to explain that to Blizz.

    1. The gear thing really struck me the other night. I got a trinket that was the same as one as I already had except for one thing: the one I had previously had Leech on it and the new one had a gem slot. Now, awesome, upgrade with a gem slot, that's going to be better number wise I'm sure.

      But part of me really likes the idea of Leech and that it might be fun to have. So I'm looking at my good luck of getting a trinket with a gem slot but I'm not as excited about it because I like my fun thing. And there I am - fun on one hand, best stats/upgrade on the other.

  4. "Anti-climactic" is a good way to describe my feeling, too. I'm sure I'll make a "yay I can fly now!" post when flying actually goes live. For now, my feeling is mostly relief and "it's about time". My anticipation of being able to fly is definitely muted because of the whole kerfluffle about the matter -- and it's also definitely been distracted by speculating about what I will want to do or will be able to do in Legion.

    I'll be glad to have flying for Archaology, mostly. Also for leveling alts, I must confess. I will probably still fight my way TO quest objectives, but when I've attained them? Up and over on the flying mount to get back to the hub to turn them in. I already killed all that stuff on the way in, I shouldn't have to kill it again on the way out.

    1. I'm looking forward to flying on my alts as I level too. I often do what you do as well - fight to the objective but then fly out. But then I also just fly and land and enjoy. So I do think it will make leveling more enjoyable. Probably not faster overall though.

  5. I've recently noted that after only a month into the first major patch of the expansion, people seemed to be in 'end of expansion' mindset, wanting to wrap up unfinished things in Draenor and speculating on Legion. That seems insane when you consider we might not get anything until Feb/March next year, and highlights the failure by Blizz.

    If it weren't the last patch, there might be something to look forward to flying for, and the entire outlook changes (at least for me). Instead, it will be a small quality of life improvement, easing chores like archaeology achievement completion.

    I just don't think this year long expansion lifecycle idea has enough in it to excite and motivate players.

    In a lot of people's minds, denying us flying was primarily a Blizzard management decision, with a relatively easy "weeks" amount of effort to enable it, has turned into "months" of effort that has arrived too late, and therefore seems wasted. People have already packed their bags.

    1. The "end of expansion" mindset does seem to have settled in even more. I know Grumpy mentioned it a while ago as did others but I wasn't there yet. I'm starting to think I am now.

      Quality of life improvements are great, but when they feel like the only thing you are adding, that isn't enough.

      And I think your last paragraph is dead on.

  6. There is a definitely correlation between demanding flying and wanting to get on with Archaeology isn't there? I include myself in there! :-)

    I plan to carry on playing WoW, but outside of HFC raiding and archaeology I won't be in Draenor at all. Even at my modest consumption of content I'm done with it.

    I'll be levelling up my first Healer (a dwarf priest I've already rolled); looking for the Vial of Sands design; getting rep with all the Pandaren and Alliance factions on my Human mage. I love stuff like that, it'll be nice to have time for it. It'll feel like a game again, not a second job.

    I will definitely have a fly around Draenor, and I'll use both my Raven mounts and my Soaring Skyterror. I hope it's at least cathartic if not joyful - it will at least be progress.

    The flying debacle stopped being about the flying mechanism itself, and has become a symptom of how Blizzard is in utter disarray about how it views, treats, and communicates with its customers. They need to change their culture and attitude towards us before the game can improve, regardless of which release of xpac we're in. Please Blizzard: take your time, communicate clearly, and deliver what you promise. Not too much to ask I trust?

    1. Even when I'm questing and the Archaeology is overlapping my quest or bonus quest area, I don't always do the Archaeology digs. Sometimes it is worth it but other times it just is pointless. I'm looking forward to flying making that better.

      Best of luck on the Vial of Sands! Still looking myself :) I think I have enough gold to just buy it out right but it takes me a long time to make gold and when I can make something for myself I prefer to make it.

      You are completely right about flying being less about flying and more about how Blizzard is doing. Especially the relationship with the customers, at least from my end.

      Whenever there are conversations like this on any blog, I always wonder if Blizzard actually reads them and talks about them. I know mine isn't big enough to draw their attention, but surely there are some well known bloggers and the conversations happen there. I just wonder if they listen or if they get defensive and argue or if they just never hear it.