Being landlocked for the majority of the expansion (until reaching level 77), allowed for zones to be tailored for ground mount only quests and a mix of ground and flight-only accessible areas. In patch 3.2, max level players could enable flight for their alts. Being able to fly on alts right away (well, after getting your main to max) was such a wonderful thing. Gone was the drudgery of slogging through the same mobs to reach quest or running cross country to get flight points. Leveling time was reduced, and allowed altaholics like me to be able to swap in another character as a main if the raid composition needed it. It also dropped the initial flying in Burning Crusade down to level 60, another quality of life plus for leveling through outdated content.
Cataclysm expanded on this by dropping the requirement for purchasing a tome for alts and allowing them to just train at 68. The addition of old world flying from the start just made sense to those of us that loved flying. Then came MoP, and everything changed...
In a move back to the original Burning Crusade model, nobody could fly until reaching max level. What a slap in the face. Here we are, at the end of the expansion, with no flying for under-90 alts and an uncertain future in the new expansion. I have 14 level 90 characters. After the first few, leveling gets boring. Tedious. Fun-sucking. The five characters I'm currently leveling in Pandaland are following the same path now:
- Arrive at Pandaria, do the canned quests
- Run down to the Jinyu area and get any needed gear upgrades and the flightpoint
- Fly back to the starting area and run to Halfhill
- Work on the farm and LFD until 87
- Run to the Temple and get the quest to open up the valley
- Run to and through the valley, make a home at the temple, talk to factions to open up rep
- Fly back to the farm and LFD until 90