Tuesday, May 26, 2015

You can take the sky from me...


      But I am not in any way obligated to like it. This post isn't all about flying, but it's a lot about flying. Feel free not to read the rest of it if you've read enough on that topic, I wouldn't blame you at all. 
     I remember back when I first started playing this game, one of the things that first sold me on it was the realization that if I leveled high enough my character could FLY! Not only that, but they could acquire and ride actual dragons. Sold! Many of the things I might have looked forward to while leveling were maybe not all they were cracked up to be or exactly what I imagined but I never felt that way about flying. I could fly. I could fly up to the tops of mountains and land in trees and explore every little nook and cranny of an area to see what was there. I could take dramatic screenshots of my character on dragonback against the sky.
     Of the many things I loved and probably took for granted the most in World of Warcraft it was that when you get to a certain level... you can fly. You have to shell out gold every expansion, you have to hit the new level cap, but when you do you get your wings. I've -never- had a problem with waiting to level cap for flying. Heck I liked leveling on the ground because it made the wings an added incentive at the end. I was never one of the people who felt like my alts should get flying before max. I was willing to make the journey there on the ground every time before I got to spread my wings.
     So I'm heartbroken to think that's not coming back, that I'll never get to fly around Spires of Arak like I fantasized about from the moment I saw the zone for the first time. I won't get to have that moment I had in Pandaria when I hit max level and flew to every peak in the Jade Forest to see the top. Because apparently that makes me not take the time to appreciate the world the designers have made. I could argue that, but I won't. Because even though flying feels like a sort of catalyst and turning point it's not what has me feeling so sad and miserable and wistful. It's just the thing that's finally made what was bugging me click into place in my head so I can understand it.

     This isn't a quitting post. Not yet. But it is a 'thinking harder about quitting than I ever thought I would' post. And it's not even just because of the flying. Silvermoon City has no flying and though I have always dreamed about flying up to the spires and balconies and exploring them I accept that it doesn't and I love it anyway. Maybe it's partly because of how the whole situation was handled. I don't need to go over how we were so indirectly given the news. But I'd like to mention that as of this morning this ad was still on the front page:
     I didn't buy the mount, that's a whole other kettle of somewhat related fish, but I feel bad for the people that did maybe thinking that ad implied it was going to fly in Draenor at any point in the future. 'Cause you know, there it is... flying in Draenor.
     No what my problem comes down to is that I don't feel like this is at all the same game it was. Not because things have changed. I'm used to the changes between expansions in how to play, but when I compare what's actually there in the game now to what was there in Mists, and even in Cataclysm, well the answer is that it doesn't feel like much. This Blizzard isn't the one that made Silvermoon. It's not even the one that made Pandaria, and honestly illogical as it is the decisions lately make me feel almost as though they are deliberately trying to kill the game for some reason. I can't imagine any reason why they'd do that, but time and time again I realize that is what it feels like to me. 
     And that's why for the first time ever I'm feeling like I might need a break or something. I love this game. I love the people I play with in it, but right now I have no love or trust for the people who are making it. Every time I log on now I feel a little rush of sadness that I never felt before. And so I'm tempted to walk away because I don't want to watch them break it. If flying can be taken out regardless of what it's likely to do to the sub numbers, maybe all those other things I love in the game and have taken for granted can go next. Maybe one day Silvermoon won't be there either.

     In my opinion there were a lot of ways they could have compromised on the flying. If they want to be sure people do the jumping puzzles as they intended, put in an achieve for doing them all before flying is added, tie them to flying even. Or better yet put in the achieve and rather than making flying tied to that... or a boring gold sink like it always has been make a quest chain to get it back. A quest chain that takes you on the ground in every zone, a chain that ties it into the lore of Draenor and is maybe even just a little bit challenging at the end. Make it so when you get it back you've -earned- it.
     Make it so alts need to do it even, then not only do you give people back their flying, but you have them out in the world exploring it to get it. On the ground. And what's more you'd have added some lore behind something that's never made any sense... and  you'd have given all those level 100s something to do besides stare at the garrison walls.
     I'm not leaving over this, but I'm switching to paying with tokens for a bit, even though I'd intended to keep up a real money payment plan. I'll be spreading my wings to try some other games out. I'll still be on for raiding and for some of my garrison chores, and most of all for my friends (the ones that are still playing) but I am abandoning my alt leveling projects and some other things until I figure out what I really want to do or until I stop feeling sad when I log on.


  1. I never thought I would but I've been looking for a more permanent home too. Flying for me was no different than say, pet battles. I'd login and think, I feel like exploring today. Nowadays I just login send out mission and log off. For someone who doesn't raid there really is no engaging level 100 content.

    But I think what saddened me was their handling of the whole thing. Maybe they've been fooling me all these years because I used to believe that they cared about the game and their customers. Now I don't. I feel just like I've listened to another politician's double talk. It's about cutting costs not "immersion." I am sad with you.

    1. That's exactly it. Flying and exploring was a joy to me. It was a thing to do in itself, rather than a means to an end some days it -was- the end. There is no engaging level 100 content other than raiding. On days I don't raid I just end up logging off and all my non-raiding real life friends have already unsubbed. There just really isn't anything there.

      I used to think they loved the game and their customers too. I'd been starting to wonder more and more as the expansion progressed, but this situation and their handling of it is what confirmed it in my feelings. So I'm heartbroken, because I -do- still love this game. But I hope we can both find another good home.

    2. I know, since I don't raid there is nothing to do except go to old raids and try to get ... flying mounts.

      I unsubbed for the first time ever since 2006 and I was shocked by how depressing it is but I can't think of any other way to protest.

      And yes, exactly. I don't know if I have been kidding myself but I did believe they cared about their customers, I sure don't now.

    3. It depresses me that I'm even thinking about it, but thank you so much for coming by and making me feel just a little better. I thought maybe I was overreacting and it's good to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

  2. It's really quite sad the way the flying announcement has played out. While for me it's not enough to unsub over, I can certainly understand the feelings of those who it can be. I'm just keeping every bone in my body crossed that the powers that be will realise how far this is pushing players away and reverse their decision.
    I never realised that the mystic runesaber is flying in Draenor, that's definitely a bit of mixed messages/false advertising. I have no issue with flying mounts being sold but in light of this announcement I would have hoped they change the background to an older zone where you can fly still and maybe retweek high end achs that give flying mounts to a new and snazzy ground mount model instead.

    1. It's definitely not just flying that's the issue for me. It's just kind of the icing on the cake of a feeling that's been building for a while about this whole expansion. I've been finding myself more and more dissatisfied as it's progressed and for me, honestly, it's just the thing that finally made me realize exactly what was making me feel that way. Yes, the flying upsets me a lot, but by itself it's not the thing that's making me think of unsubbing. What bothers me is the feeling I have about this whole expansion which is that Blizzard doesn't care what they're doing with this game any more. It honestly feels like they're not even trying. Or that they're trying to drive away subs. There have been so many decisions that boggle my mind. Flying is just the latest one. The way they handled the whole announcement makes it worse. And I honestly feel like I love this game too much to want to sit and watch what they're doing to it. The whole situation bothers me and it saddens me too. I keep hoping they'll realize the mistakes they've made and fix a few of the glaring problems. But until they do I'd rather someone willing to shell out the real money paid for my sub. So I'll be using gold...and not signing in nearly as often.