At some point, as proto-humans, we stopped being hunters and gatherers and started planting things so we could stay in our same cozy houses every night.
Now apply this principle to the decision not to give us flying.
Previously, I needed flight primarily for picking flowers. No flowers mean no potions, no potions mean no raiding. I would spend hours swooping around enjoying the scenery and grabbing all the herbs I could. Remember when you’d be swooping down on a flower and some assface druid swooped faster and didn’t even have to shapeshift? Yeah, those were the days.
In Cata we could fly from the start… well unless I’m forgetting things. And I did the quests with flying and was happy for it. This is one of my favorite screenies:
In WOD, I have not been out herbing once because WOD is no longer based on a society of hunter and gatherers. We’ve been evolved, whether we like it or not. Anything I want, I grow myself in my stupid garrison. While at first it was convenient, later we realized it was just a monstrous chore. Instead of circling and swooping, I’m poking from planter to planter on a tiny little plot of land, sending out my idiots, and putting in work orders. A chore that was formerly at least marginally fun is reduced to garrison tending or, out in the world, the hack and slash of the leveling process to fight your way to your resources.
The devs talk about the world being vast and full of danger – and I never see it because it is too time consuming to gather flowers on foot. And you don’t get a sense of vastness when you’re toe to toe with monsterface on the way to a flower. It narrows perspective instead of broadening it.
You can’t roll back the clock and revert the game – it has to move forward. But settlers are boring and are most certainly not the adventurers that hunters and gatherers are.