Fore thought of Flying

So I was noticing on MMO Champion a few days ago that there was some
changes to flying in the recently applied 3.2.2 patch. After the 3.1
patch brought us the spectacular changes to speed and costs of pretty
much every level of riding(yes, I count fast flight, cause it still had
a discounted rate by rep), the 3.2 patch followed up by blah. Now the
3.2.2 patch that just hit made even more changes to the way mounting
and riding work in World of Warcraft. The cost of slow riding was
slashed more, originally being 800g, then slashed to 600g in 3.2, and
now it is a mere 225g! That is dirt cheap even for the single toon
player that is just hitting 60.

This, though, got me thinking to the future. What will Cataclysm flying
cost us? What would it be called? Will they make us pay at all? These
questions and more will be my theories for this post. First, the cost.
Let’s look at all of the riding costs. slow riding is now 5g to learn,
fast riding is 95g, slow bird is now 225g, and fast bird is 5000g. Cold
Weather Flying is 1,000g. The first two are relics of the Pre expansion
game, while the latter two are the first big upgrades to riding after
almost 3 years of game life. Slow flying had been buffed a bit, going
from 800g to 225g, and 60% to 150% so that now you can fly 1.5 times
faster, and for almost 25% of the original price. Sadly, fast flying is
still the high price and same speed as it’s been since it’s inception
in patch 3.1.

Cold weather Flying, the much hated 1,000g restriction that came in
with Wrath of the Lich King which was a costly barrier to flying on
one’s normal flying mount, which many people paid more than 5,000 gold
to train and use. While there was a loaner mount available for use in
some zones, this was incredibly slow and acted as merely a way to
access the more remote regions if you had no other means to buy the
cold weather skill. The price has also not changed, though they did
introduce a Tome of Cold Weather flying, a Bind on Account single use
heirloom for those who are already 80, and have alts who wish to fly at
68 in Northrend.

Now to that we have the history, let us theorize the possible cost of
flying in Azeroth once the cataclysm is upon us. First, I am sure there
will be some cost. I don’t think they will ruin their track record of
giving us players money sinks for the ample gold they make available in
game by giving us free flying in Azeroth. It just doesn’t compute. As
for the cost, I think it will be in the area of 500-1500 gold, based on
their outlook on it. If they realize there si 5 less levels, and thus
less as we go money making possibilities, they might go low.

If they think of it from the view that we could easily hit max level
much faster and therefore be making max level gold for quest xp, they
could increase it to the high side. I doubt it would balloon over 2,000
gold though, as that comes far too close to the pain of max level
flying costs. I do think it will be unrestricted by level other than
‘you get it when you get flying’, as they are doing all they can these
days to make flying more accessible, from changing the level you get to
fly to 60, making the tome of cold weather flying, and lowering the
cost of the slow flight riding skill.

As for the name, and any possible restrictions, I think the name is up
in the air. Worldwide Flying? Warm Air Flying? Azeroth Flight? I don’t
know, but no doubt it will have some linguistically friendly name. I do
think that Azeroth flight will be available to anyone at level 60 or
better, simply due to the far reaches of the different zones in
Cataclysm. It makes no sense to restrict it to only top level, because the quest zones are all over. Perhaps 80s, but even then it isn’t very logical, not when the entire world is being redesigned, in part to allow it. No, I think it will be at 60, when we get our first flight abilities. Am I right? I’ll let you know in July.

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