Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Azeroth from the air

I've just had this thought about flying in Azeroth. We all know that flying in the old continents will finally be made possible in Cataclysm. That's awesome and all, until I start wondering whether they will allow us to fly around the capital cities (Stowmwind, Orgrimmar, etc) or whether there will be a flying restriction as we currently have in Dalaran.

The flying restriction in Dalaran was implemented for 2 major reasons:

1) To prevent performance and lag issues with so many players riding their flying mounts and zipping about at high speed
2) To force people to admire the city from ground level. Yes, we all love Dalaran, it's a wonderful magical city but still...

Here's why I think the same restrictions shouldn't apply to the old capital cities.

1) The realm population will automatically be halved because the two factions won't have to share the same city. In addition, some people will prefer one capital (such as Stormwind), while others will prefer another (such as Ironforge), while still others will prefer a very low population capital (such as Darnassus). So once again, the total faction population will be sub-divided between all the faction capitals. Everybody will be spread out, meaning less performance issues.

Of course, it could be argued that cities such as Ironforge are laggy enough as it is, even now, but much more so when flying mounts are introduced. I'm not sure that should be the norm. For one thing, I've never experienced lag in Ironforge, unless it's something that affects the entire realm. Dalaran, in comparison, has some very bad lag days. For another, most capitals will be redesigned anyway, meaning that Blizzard could optimize them in a big way for flying. On top of that, the capital cities are much larger and spread out than Dalaran, which will help even more with performance issues.

2) The sightseeing aspect won't apply any more and I don't think Blizzard should force people to see the capitals from ground level because we all have had our fill of them. Hell, we've ridden the streets of these capitals back and forth for almost 6 years now. I'm pretty sure I would like to get the chance to see them from the air for once.

So far Blizzard hasn't been clear if they will allow flying in the old world capitals. I truly hope they do, for the reasons outlined above. In addition, I hope they enable flight in Dalaran because once more it will become a ghost city like Shattrath so there shouldn't be any more performance issues and besides we've all had our fill of it too. Well, maybe it won't be quite a ghost town. Some people will still have their Kirin Tor rings.


Lereth said...

One potential problem could be the size of the mounts, and that a few could take up half the street in Stormwind.

Elkagorasa said...

Of course, like with Wrath, you'll probably have to wait for level 85, when you can purchase magnetic field disruptors for your flying mounts (or something else to sink a good portion of your gold into, just to fly).


Whosmymain said...

From what I understand, reason 2 has nothing to do with seeing the city and everything to do with seeing people in the city.

If you limit people to ground level, instead of having people all over the place, it makes the population seem significant.

Darth Solo said...

@Lereth ah but not quite. Since we can fly anywhere in the capitals we are no longer limited to the streets. We can hang above the canals or the towers or the walls or wherever.

@Elkagorasa that would really blow. I really hope they don't stoop down to that cheap trick again. I mean cmon... it's ridiculous. I want to be able to enjoy my flying mount while leveling, dammit! Or at least give me the option of purchasing a BoA tome with my first level 85 so I can send it to my alts to enable them to fly. I could almost forgive that.

@Whosmymain I believe Blizzard's intention was for people to admire the architecture from ground level. I could be mistaken. And yes, it does make the city seem more populated if everybody is limited to 2 dimensions as opposed to 3.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that "classic" Azeroth is going to be resculpted, so the cities may also get a make-over.

Darth Solo said...

Exactly what I was saying. They can now make the cities more "flying-friendly".