WoW Dragonflight: Dracthyr folk ability receives nerf, fans are disappointed

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While the WoW Dragonflight alpha is in full swing, the developers are busy working on various buffs and nerfs for the various new skills that are finding their way into the online role-playing game with the expansion. One of these skills is the Dracthyr folk ability called “Sailing”, which the WoW team has now given a whopping nerf: The maximum speed at which players can move by sailing has been reduced by 30 percent.

Blizzard: “Mitigation is necessary for the game to function in the long term”

Once the next alpha build appears, the skill’s maximum speed will be reduced from around 930 percent to 640 percent. However, the maximum flight speed for dragons on the Dragon Islands remains unchanged. The developers justify the nerf in a blue post as follows:

In the Dragon Isles, all characters of all races have the same requirements in terms of their ability to traverse the terrain, because everyone can summon a Dragon Isles dragon. However, this is not the case in other areas of the game where flying mounts are the primary mode of transportation. In the Eastern Kingdoms, Sailing is more than twice as fast as Epic Flying at 410 percent speed. This results in Dracthyr having a huge efficiency advantage over other races when playing non-Dragon Isles content, whether that be Chromie Time quests, farming transmog in legacy raids, battle pet battles, or other things.

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Sailing is an important part of the Dracthyr identity. We knew from the beginning of the design process that the Dracthyr had to be able to fly in some form [….]. However, Sailing is also a racial ability, and it was never our intention to use it to create such a large improvement in efficiency or performance over other races. These two goals are in conflict: we want to make sailing fun and fulfill the fantasy of a flying creature, but not give a race an inordinately large advantage in the game.

What we found in playtests is that changing the speed doesn’t take away from the fun of the movement mechanics. That engaging controls, momentum-maintaining gameplay and challenge of navigating around obstacles are still there […]. So Dracthyr can partake in the dynamic, immersive locomotion of dragon riding, but are unable to dash across half the continent in half the time of other characters. [….] Because sailing is an evergreen feature of the Dracthyr, we felt that reducing top speed from long-term was necessary for the game to work.”

Tl;dr: The developers believe that sailing at 930 percent speed gives the Dracthyr an unfair advantage over other races in legacy content. A reduction is intended to maintain the fun of the ability, but at the same time provide an appropriate balance for activities in the level phase and in the endgame.

Community teases: Blizzard has once again killed the fun

The fans, meanwhile, are not very enthusiastic about the change. On wow (buy now ) head, negative comments are piling up and many players are frustrated and say that the folk ability in the alpha was probably too much fun, which is why the developers decided on the nerf – the meme “fun detected” says hello. The discussion on reddit is somewhat more differentiated, but here too most users are disappointed with the decision and express their lack of understanding.

A fan put it in a nutshell with his post, by writing:
Instead of nerfing the Dracthyr racial, how about just making dragon riding available to everyone in all areas with the same restrictions? This also means that nobody feels compelled to play Dracthyr […]. But instead of making it fun for everyone, now it’s going to be fun for nobody – standard development concept at Blizzard.

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