As with everyone, I'm going to start with the things that I see as bad. There are definitely some negatives here, so it's important that we take a serious look at them and understand how they may affect people in the future. Here are the main things that I see as wrong with it.
- It's absolutely terrible for your public relations, Blizz. Come on guys, I'm just an amateur when it comes to public relations and I see that it's bad for you. You said that you were going to give us the ability to fly again, and now you're not giving that to us. It's no wonder that you're losing subscribers. Yes, there are people (like me, which you'll see below) that really couldn't care less, but I believe I'm in the minority here, and there are a lot of people that are going to be saying "screw this" when it comes to Blizzard products in the future.
- It makes some questing a little more difficult. Okay, I admit, I'm one of those types who loved to go out there and just do my thing when it came to questing. There are lots of opportunities out there for you to just drop in, take care of the quest, and get right back out. I play druids for that very reason. They make questing a heck of a lot easier in all aspects, but especially after you get flying form. Some people who just want to zip through leveling will definitely be unhappy.
- I have a crapton of flying mounts, what the hell am I supposed to do with them now? This
- It makes the game a lot more challenging than it has been recently. There are a lot of people who talk about how Blizzard is "dumbing the game down" with LFR and such. But think about the challenge that it brings to the table when you aren't able to swoop in and do quests, especially at max level. Think about how much more skill you need to be able to solo things and run around. The Timeless Isle was a pain at times, absolutely, but it definitely upped the feeling of danger that you've been missing when it comes to solo content.
- It is making Blizzard get their butts in gear when it comes to making leveling and transportation easier. We finally have heirlooms that take us up to max level. We have all sorts of bonuses when it comes to XP. The flight points are a lot easier for you to deal with and they are more direct. Now Blizz, please go back and fix the Old World flight points so that I don't have to fly in circles to get wherever I'm trying to go.
- We may get more creative ground mounts? Maybe? I hope? Okay, I will admit, I totally bought a carry when it came to getting my wolf at the end of MoP. I wasn't on the regular raiding team, they didn't make Flex part of every level of raiding yet, and I wanted that wolf because Alliance had no wolf mount yet. And I love wolves. That being said, WoW went all Oprah on wolves this expansion - I have to have at least 4 or 5 of them now. If I'd known that, I would have never bought that carry (granted, I have lots of gold now, so it doesn't really matter, but still). By only offering ground mounts from now on, hopefully they'll get a bit more creative when it comes to designing them.
- It allows for more player to player interaction. Think about it. How many players do you actually run into when you're out and about and flying around? I believe that I don't run into anyone. But, when I'm running around on the ground, I have opportunities to go and help people who are killing things, or group up with someone to make a task easier. Granted, some people will use this to troll others, but they were doing it with flying mounts too, so there's no real changing that at all.
So, as you can see, I'm actually fine with the changes that are going on here. Little irritated about all the flying mounts I have, but otherwise fine with it. Is it going to make things really different? Absolutely - I'm a Wrath kid, and I've had access to flying the entire time that I've been playing the game. But, I'm someone that is able to adapt incredibly easily to things. Do I think that Blizzard should put flying back in? 100% Yes. It's hurting the subscriber base and a lot of people are incredibly happy about it. But I'm someone that will be sticking around, even if they never put flying in again.
Addendum: Whelp, guess they're putting flying back into Draenor and other games. I wrote this article before the announcement with the intent of publishing today. That being said, see what Blizzard says here. I think that this is a happy medium - it makes people earn their flying, while at the same time giving them the full ground experience. Kudos, Blizz!