It’s a given to fly. The next step. The 3rd title.

He couldve tuned in, tuned in
But he tuned out
A bad time, nothing could save him
Alone in a corridor, waiting, locked out
He got up outta there, ran for hundreds of miles
He made it to the ocean, had a smoke in a tree
The wind rose up, set him down on his knee

A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
Delivered him wings, hey, look at me now
Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
Oh, power, oh

-Pearl Jam, Given to Fly

Wait, the title of my post is “It’s a given to fly.”

Yes, another new post about how Blizzard is giving away the farm.  I know they’re dumbing down content that is previous to the current expansion, but now they’re contemplating dumbing down the current content.

That’s right, dumbing down all of it’s content, before a next expansion is even announced.

The recent announcement that’s gotten my feather’s ruffled?  Flight in Northrend, for anyone level 68+, provided you have a level 80 character on your account buy them the Cold Weather Flying book to do so.  (And seriously, do a “/who 1-80” sometime and the vast majority of players are level 80 nowadays anyway.

Here’s the Blue post to the effect. Scroll down to post 18.

If you follow the logical footsteps leading from this one, given where we’ve been coming from, soon they’ll be announcing books you can buy that grant the reader the level of book buyer.  I.e. your level 80 character buys a book in Dalaran, and then mails the book to any low level characters of his.  A level 12 Druid alt say.  The Druid alt reads the book and is given level 80.  You just buy the books you want to elevate any characters you want.  See?  It’s your choice, and nobody is making you do this.  If you want to skip all intervening content, and jump right into raiding with your guild in Ulduar, that’s your option, and no complaining.

Voila!  Four-five years later WoW has become Guild Wars with instant max-level characters.

Nothing I’ve seen would suggest Blizzard would not do this, and do this soon.  They appear to be running scared, otherwise why are they giving the farm away in this fashion?  What’s on the horizon that’s got them panicked?  Runes of Magic?  Wizard 101?  The new “Free to Play!!! (but keep the credit card handy, because we’ve got drugs for you too!)” MMO’s coming out?  Is that the trend?  The iPhone generation wants all life delivered as an app?  Inject the experience straight to the brain?  Virtual Heroin and that good old “You win!” feeling?  Bury those conservative thoughts out back in a coffin, we’ve got a new world to live in now.

With these moves I’d not at all be surprised the next expansion will be the last.  Perhaps they’ve realized they’re out of ideas.  That the Emerald Dream isn’t enough for a full expansion of it’s own.  Offer Maelstrom/Emerald Dream together, give the masses another 20 levels to knock out in a few days (You owe it to your raiding guild, afterall), and then have folks posed to jump ship to their next MMORPG.

But you know what?  If the next MMORPG is going to be as Hello Kitty: Fantasy Island as this WoW has become, is becoming, are they going to be able to maintain their all important numbers?  If I can simply buy the ability to scroll the “Game Over” credits on screen at will, what’s the point?

Remember the good old days?  When we walked up hill, in the snow, both ways, to raid in Molten Core?  I did that on a PvP server.  A younger PvP server that was given an influx of way better geared enemy faction players from an older pvp server (where Paladins were the original Death Knights).

I put in my time.  I didn’t need the content dumbed down for me to succeed.  I didn’t need it dumbed down for my alts.  I still don’t.  I don’t need it mailed to me in my mailbox.

And, why yes, I do have the options to make it as tough on myself as I want, so why do I care that it’s being handed out like candy to others?  Part of being in a MMO is the other people.  Even if I don’t interact with them directly, I know we occupy the same world, and, most importantly, we’re abiding by the same rules and limits.  This way I can relate the hard work I put into my characters by comparing them with others around me.  But if those others around you are given Government bailouts, to have today what you planned on working real hard on getting tomorrow, it’s kind of unfair, and it makes my hard work pointless.

Maybe a third title for everyone that takes the easy ways out.  This 3rd title won’t be user selectable.  It will always show.  It will read, below the name and guild name, “I took the bailout.”  Let the hard workers earn the right NOT to be so branded.


About Kinless

Gamer. Engineer. Lived lots of places.
This entry was posted in Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to It’s a given to fly. The next step. The 3rd title.

  1. Dorgol says:

    “And seriously, do a “/who 1-80″ sometime and the vast majority of players are level 80 nowadays anyway.”

    You basically killed your own argument there, in my opinion. If the “vast majority” of players are already level 80, changing the flying mount options for ALTS is not “dumbing down” the game.

    The majority of people don’t want to repeat the leveling game. So allowing alts the option of descreasing that time is a good move.

    Not to mention the fact that allowing players to fly earlier in NO WAY dumbs down the game. It requires the exact same amount of thought to kill 10 Vyrkul wether you get to the mobs by flying or by riding your wolf.

  2. Kinless says:

    So the entire “game” boils down to doing the 1-80 grind once, because Blizzard won’t let you start at 80, then let all your alts get to 80 as blazingly fast as possible? In other words: If you aren’t 80, you’re only trying to become 80. What happened to the story lines prior to Northrend? Somebody has already suggested somewhere that they simply remove Azeroth and Outlands content. Why burden the servers with NPC’s standing around waiting to hand out quests to folks who will never show up again? Clear the places out, let bored 80s/90/s/100s visit them like tourists. (Like they don’t already do that.)

    And if you remember your questing experience before 77 and after 77 you can’t tell me it’s not way easier. Yes, things were set up differently for quests intended for level 77 characters with flying mounts. But to have your first steps in Northrend be those of your flying mount? It wasn’t set up for that. It’s going to be way easier.

  3. Dorgol says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the leveling game. I have 3 80s, a 74, and a 71. My main has the Loremaster title because I just plain enjoy questing. That said, I’m likely going to bring my warrior to my main server so I can get him flying now (71) instead of later. Just because something is easier* doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

    The majority of people, though, DON’T want to repeat the quests. They don’t care about the lore behind what they are doing. Leveling is just a wall between where they start and where they want to be. The game for most people begins at 80 – either for Raiding or PvP / Arena.

    No one can blame Blizzard for making changes that will keep people playing. And this change WILL keep people playing, as they won’t feel that frustration of being ground-bound after 2+ years of flying in TBC and 77+.

    *Easier being a relative term. We are talking about WoW questing afterall. Quests are NOT hard unless the player MAKES them hard by either doing quests above their level, or soloing quests designed for a group. Flying sooner makes the quests no more difficult, just faster.

  4. I played Guild Wars for 2 years before playing WoW and every time I see someone say “get a max level character instantly!” drive me nuts. Yes you can create a level 20 character… that can ONLY PVP!!!! Thats it, thats all you can do with your instant level 20 character. That is way different then getting a PvE character to level 20 instantly… though in reality I could get to level 20 in a days time on Guild Wars.

    Leveling is a grind… the end game is a grind… the whole game is designed to be a grind. Yes there are pretty things to look at on the way but that doesn’t make 1-80 any less grindy. At the max level PvP and raiding breathe life into the game.

    Other games have a steeper leveling curve… and then no endgame and people don’t play them. WoW is an endgame focused MMO. Heck i’ve done howling Fjord and borean Tundra 9 times now! You know what would make those zones more interesting to my lock when she gets there? Being able to fly. Otherwise I’m doing the same boring quests that i’ve done 9 times before. Where exactly is the challenge or difficulty in that?

    • Anonymous says:

      They designed Northrend to be a non-flying zone for starting 70s, so they can experience the newness of the expansion. Once you hit 80, that newness disappears and the ban on flying should as well.

  5. Kinless says:

    Nothing is new to any subsequent character you may have, if that were what mattered.

    Then why not match every characters level with ones highest level character then? I.e. your account is given the level, and each character in that account is that level.

    All your characters are simply the highest you’ve managed to achieve on any one of them. If you’ve got one level 80 character, you should therefore have 50 level 80 characters (the maximum characters you’re allowed per account).

    Is this what the average Joeloldotzu wants? (Our culture today would suggest it is.)

    How about a RMT transaction, Blizzard selling, that lets you simply buy level 80 for your account. Leveling up is a grind. What a waste. All that – RUNNING – around gets old. Delete it. Then you just pay to have all your characters, whatever race, class, faction, you can imagine, all be level 80. Your starting zone can be the Dalaran inn.

    Why not just allow level 80 characters straight out of the box? Winners know to take the level 80 and do the easy-peasy Northrend raids and gear up. The only game worth playing is the level 80 raiding content, and/or the PvP, no? Levels 1-79 are the trash that needs to be cleared before you access the boss, and only the boss, and the phat loot he drops, matters.

    Faster and faster will have to become instant at some point to please the at least one person, and it seems Blizzard is intent on pleasing even the one player out their with the craziest ideas now.

    I’m throwing all this out as crazy ideas. Who knows what announcements we’ll see next. Maybe one of my ideas? Crazy as it may be, they’re no strangers to crazy anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      I personally don’t find “Oh, I leveled from 70-80!” as that much of an achievement. I don’t think you deserve a title for doing it. Everyone here has done it. It’s a game, it’s supposed to be fun. Guess what? Most of us don’t have fun grinding the third and fourth time. So yes, let’s make it a bit easier. I’m all for it. It’s not handing it out, because theres still a significant time sink in making an 80 alt. But it doesn’t need to be difficult, unfun, and annoying. It really doesn’t.

      If you want something to show all your “hard work”, I suggest you go earn a real title (Twilight title, or gladiator maybe?). I sure don’t think you deserve one (or a lack of one) for leveling to 80. I’ve done it several times, its getting old.

      • Anonymous says:

        And I apologize if that was worded as hostile, it wasn’t meant to be. Everyone is welcome to their opinion – and honestly, I just leveled my first 80 alliance to play with some friends and don’t plan on having any more alts – so they can make it impossible to level or hand the things out, it won’t change my gameplay experience any ;).

  6. Lets say they do all that you say Kinless…. does it matter? Does it actually change or affect the game in anyway? I know you like to level… so short of them removing that entirely… I don’t see how this would affect that. I’m not saying that Blizzard should give 80’s out of the box… but what difference would it really make? How would it change the way you play the game?

    If you don’t want a mount at level 20 and want to run on foot then go for it! Don’t buy your mount till 40! and when you do delete all the extra gold cost from your inventory. You can do the same thing at level 60 with your epic ground mount then run around outlands till level 70! Don’t buy a tome with your level 80, and run around on foot through northrend.

    I don’t see them changing the way you enjoy playing the game. It can make it faster… or you can make it take longer.

    These changes don’t affect me much because they don’t change how I play the game. I still get to level my 34 lock just like I leveled every other toon it just may be a tad faster. I don’t want an instant 80 because I enjoy leveling… I also enjoy getting them to the endgame.

  7. Zaph says:

    Personnally I don’t understand the “I had to do it, why shouldn’t they?” viewpoint. My game is my game. I think the disturbing point here is, as others have eluded to, is “Is this the beginning of the end of an awesome MMO?”

  8. Kinless says:

    That was the crux of it. They appear to be doing a lot of shark jumping. They can’t unload the cookie jar fast enough.

    Don’t get me wrong. My level 60 Rogue is now parked in Shadowmoon Valley, near the Engineer Trainer. Once 3.2 hits he’ll purchase the recipe for the engineering flying mount, and hopefully I’ve gotten enough materials together to be flying in that contraption very shortly thereafter. I too am excited about a lot of the stuff coming up. (I mean, what players with Warriors aren’t looking forward to the next nerf in the face?)

    Everyone says the same old stuff is boring the 3rd or 4th time. I totally agree. I can say that my first trips to 70 involved a lot of time in both Shadowmoon Valley and Netherstorm, and all the zones before. My 2nd trips through we split it up, and we got to go to Northrend skipping one or the other. My 72 Paladin never set foot in Nagrand. He went to Shadowmoon Valley only to learn flying. (Our Deathknights are leveling up in Nagrand and SMV for their time through.) And doing the same quests with a Mage, Rogue, Paladin, and Hunter are rather different experiences. It’s the same stuff, done very differently each time. Surely nobody would level the same class and faction through the same content. Not the normal person.

    If they, Blizzard that is, were interested in developing the world of Azeroth, they’d be developing alternatives to Stranglethorn Vale. They’d have created Gnome and Troll starter areas of their own. But they aren’t so inclined. They aren’t interested in developing the world anymore. What we got appears to be all there will be. Just harder and harder places added with each expansion. (Magically, a new continent appears on the map! And, naturally, you’ll need to be max level to start there, and you’ll be the new max level once you’re done there.) They appear only interested in the next step, and the next. Never mind what came before. Some wag suggested they simply delete it.

    They’ve built rail tracks. Don’t stray too far off them and they’ll wind up at the terminus station, the end-game-raid-du-jour. I don’t want to see WoW devolve into a Boss Killing game. You raiders are screaming for exactly more of this. Tougher boss with better loot to fight tougher boss with better loot to fight tougher boss with better loot to fight… Oh, add some tricks like the safety dance, and vehicles, and 30,000 damage to everyone in the raid, just to keep the healers on their toes.

    If future content is only a means to get you into future end-game raiding, this game isn’t going to have the appeal it once did.

    Hey, I know I’m in the blogging minority. I’m probably the only WoW blogger that’s never set foot in Uldar. So most readers here, who are probably bloggers themselves, are undoubtedly thrilled to do what they enjoy and raid, and face it, gear up, more characters. Nothing else matters but express trains into Uldar. I get that. It’s not the original WoW we all fell in love with in 2004 however. Aldrassil wasn’t overrun with people pushing single-mindedly to get into raid instances which didn’t even exist yet. The experience, and the expectations, are radically different then from now.

    Some of the 3.2 changes serve to speed us through content, not offer us more of it. (More characters at the level cap means more characters chewing the same old burger.)

  9. Artorin says:

    Blizzard wants to add content into the top tier and expand the character progression can you blame them? They are offering casual content in dailies and 5 man dungeons in the next expansion and while that may not be enough for you, the question is what is? I don’t understand why you, on one hand, praise the old world and the way things world with leveling, then right after, want them to create a new zone so you don’t have to do the same thing.

    New players have a more streamlined progression due to the mount changes and increase in expereince gained. Adding a new content zone doesn’t help much except to say “hey look at this!” Which they can do at the endgame with slightly more sucess.

    Take the changes to dustwallow marsh. They completely revamped the zone as far as quests go. It had new mechanics and fun quests… the first few times you did them. After that it just became another zone with the same repeatitive quests you have allways done. Blizzard can spend the time and resources into old world zones… but in the end it would be something that people experience once or twice and then abandon for the faster version.

    These changes may help a handfull of people reroll alts but new players won’t know the difference. To a new player… well its all new. With the speed of leveling now a new player can easily start 2 characters and never complete the same quest twice while leveling to 80. That to me sounds like the game has a pretty good amount of diversity allready. You are just viewing the game from the perspective of someone who has been around forever. You remember what the game was like before any of the expansions… most players now, never saw that game, myself included.

    Unfortunately you can’t add the sense of exploration or wonder to a game that you have played for 4 years. Blizzard adds content to progress your endgame character because that is what the majority of people want.

  10. Drazmor says:

    The whole point of Blizzard not letting everyone fly as soon as they entered WotLK was that they had put a hell of a lot of work into it and didn’t want players skipping over it. Now you’ve got an 80, you’ve already seen thoe content, why should you have to experience it again?

    Now they’d be dumbing down the content if they just flat out said “Everybody can fly at lvl 68!!”

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