…And I just made a fresh batch of popcorn. LOL.
I think of this 1118-page thread on MMO-Champion (at the time I finished this sentance!) on the subject of Draenor being a no-fly zone. That link takes you to the very first post, dated close to the time the expansion was first announced. The expansion was released 7 months later in November. Everyone knew going in that the expansion would launch with no flying for the first time since the base game launched 10 years ago. As a reminder, Flying was introduced in Burning Crusade as a novelty but it was 100% optional and was strictly in Outland. You also needed to be level 70 to train flying when it was current but the level requirement was lowered to 60 when the next expansion was released.
In Wrath of the Lich King, Flying was necessary at level 77 due to the back-and-forth nature of some of most of the quests in Storm Peaks and Icecrown. You could train Cold Weather Flying at level 77 for a cool 1000G when it was current. Again, Flying was restricted to Northrend. If you couldn’t afford it, you could rent a Gryphon or Wyvern from K3 in Storm Peaks. Mid-expansion, Tome of Cold Weather Flying was introduced so that you could teach your alts to fly at level 68. At the end of the expansion, Cold Weather Flying’s level was reduced to 68 (the required level to begin questing on Northrend), allowing players to fly on Northrend as soon as they hit level 68.
Cataclysm is when I like to say the Pro-Flying crowd felt entitled to being able to fly everywhere: When Blizz redid the 1-60 Questing Experience, they did something different and added 3 of the areas revealed by the Cataclysm–Hyjal, Uldum and Twilight Highlands–to the world map. Because of this, Archeology and Deepholm (another Cataclysm Questing Zone), Flying was enabled for Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms once you hit level 60 for a cool 400G (200G if Exalted with Stormwind/Orgrimmar). What the Pro-Flying Crowd didn’t realize is they got flying ok EK/Kalimdor as an after effect. The obvious drawback being while it made traveling across EK and Kalimdor way easier and more convenient, it also trivialized traveling by land.
Which brings me to Mists of Pandaria. Like with TBC and WotLK, you needed to reach the level cap before you could flying on Pandaria. In fact, you still need to reach level 85 to train Wisdom of the Four Winds (2500G). The only places you still can’t fly regardless due to gameplay mechanics are the Isle of Thunder and Timeless Isle. Considering there was alot of debate over allowing flying at all…yeah, be lucky you can fly on Pandaria at all.
That said, I don’t find not being able to fly on WoD to be an inconvenience. Unlike all these people who threatened to unsub if Blizz didn’t allow flying in WoD at all–hence why I made popcorn just so you know–I know it doesn’t change the fact that if I want to fly, I can just got to a place where I CAN fly. The questing experience was purposely done to eliminate the remote need to fly on Draenor. That said, there are almost as many Flight Paths on Draenor as there are on the Eastern Kingdoms or Kalimdor. There are also various fast travel methods Blizzard implemented in exchange for making Draenor a no-fly zone.
Having said that, I did resub earlier this month in preparation for Patch 6.2. I plan to stick around through June and then that’s it. As I said to some old friends I made playing WoW, I’m at the point where I can walk away from Azeroth and not look back. I’ve sold WoW Tokens and now own every Heirloom, almost all upgraded to 100. This means all of my current and future chars can level fast and hard all day every day!