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Blue Posts: Water Strider Changes Reverted!

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Both the forums and Reddit exploded in outrage when the blues announced that changes were to be made to the Water Strider mounts in Legion. Check out the latest developments and what's planned for them in the next Alpha build.

 

For those of you that are unaware, the first changes to the Water Striders went out in one of the recent Legion Alpha builds. Blizzard had decided to remove the ability to walk on water for these two mounts outside of Pandaria, for the ability_mount_waterstridermount.jpgReins of the Azure Water Strider, and Draenor, for the ability_mount_waterstridermount.jpgReins of the Crimson Water Strider.
 
The community responded with sheer rage, with both Reddit and the forums blowing up with countless posts about the changes. After this outburst, @Watcher posted on the US forums stating that they were going to change their plans once again and allow players to use the mounts in all pre-Legion zones.
 

Blizzard Icon Watcher on Water Striders


Thanks for the feedback, and I apologize for alarm caused by a seemingly random change. What you see in our weekly Alpha builds is a snapshot of thinking that is often actively evolving, including experiments that we’re about to discard, or solutions to problems that are overly crude just because it’s our first iteration and we simply haven’t come up with anything better yet. 
 
I’d like to shed some light on our thought process in exploring this change. No, we’re not trying to stamp out fun, or destroy the value of hard-won rewards arbitrarily. The concern that drives this process is that mounts are primarily cosmetic choices, and are one of the most visible ways of showing off an aesthetic you enjoy, or an achievement of which you are proud. But water-walking makes Water Striders mechanically superior to other ground mounts in a way that risks removing a feeling of choice. Even if you want to show off that Invincible that you finally managed to farm up, or your Grove Warden, you may end up feeling foolish for using anything other than the Water Strider in areas where you can’t fly, just because it offers that mechanical advantage. 
 
Our initial change was aimed at letting people feel more free to choose the mount that they felt looked coolest, whether in new content or while leveling alts. But as we’ve clearly heard from your feedback, removing the water-walking functionality from pre-existing content feels like we’re taking away something that you have worked hard to earn, and that cost outweighs any benefit from potentially broadened cosmetic options.
 
So, in the next Alpha build, we’re restoring the ability of Water Striders to walk on water in all pre-Legion content (Azeroth, Outland, Northrend, etc.). The restriction on the mounts’ water-walking ability will now only apply to the Broken Isles and future content beyond that.
 
(source)

 

Players were happy to get a response, but they were still rather outraged about the changes. The community believed Blizzard wanted to treat water walking as they treated flying, unlocking it later in the expansion, but there is still the point of items and spells that can do exactly the same thing.
 
After another day of feedback, Watcher responded with another post stating that all changes were to be reverted and the Striders were to work as they do now, even in the Broken Isles.
 

Blizzard Icon Watcher on Water Striders Pt. 2


After further discussion, we will be reverting these changes entirely, and Water Striders’ water-walking will not be restricted by location. 
 
As noted in my earlier post in the thread, the genesis of this change was an observation that the Water Strider was being used disproportionately frequently, which led to a genuine concern on our part that the mechanical advantage of water-walking was stomping on the cosmetic choice of a player’s favorite mount. This is different from other utility mounts like the Traveler’s Mammoth or Expedition Yak, which are rarely used for any prolonged period of time or as a default mount; those are summoned specifically for the use of their vendors and then dismissed.
 
We don’t have any concern with water-walking as a concept, and the various player abilities and consumables that provide it are a great source of convenience. We’re not trying to make travel less convenient, or restrict player freedom. We observed what seemed like a potential problem, explored some solutions, and clearly the cure has proven worse than the disease. Thank you for your feedback.
 
(source)

 

It looks like Blizzard really are listening to the feedback they are receiving and I am truly happy to see so. Let's hope they keep it up for the rest of the Alpha/Beta.

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Are we allowed to call this #stridergate yet?

 

Personally I would have welcomed the changes - but like everything you can't please everyone.

 

What I would like is for Blizzard to have perhaps open discussions on topics like this rather than players finding out and the community getting over excited about things that are obviously open to change.

 

Gauging the community before just putting it into a build would cause less "drama" and help Blizzard save "face" so to speak.

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Wait....Blizz actually listened to feedback? Wow.

 

Also, lol at #stridergate.

 

Not having a water strider, I didn't have any skin in this fight, but I don't see how water walking could be a relevant enough mechanic in their map design to really matter. I'd rather them use the precedent of a mount with slight enhancements and roll out a series of them. 

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Are we allowed to call this #stridergate yet?

 

Personally I would have welcomed the changes - but like everything you can't please everyone.

 

What I would like is for Blizzard to have perhaps open discussions on topics like this rather than players finding out and the community getting over excited about things that are obviously open to change.

 

Gauging the community before just putting it into a build would cause less "drama" and help Blizzard save "face" so to speak.

 

That's one of the things that people get angry about with the Blizzard polls. They think they should use the polls to have discussions like this, rather than blindly implementing stuff.

 

Wait....Blizz actually listened to feedback? Wow.

 

Also, lol at #stridergate.

 

Not having a water strider, I didn't have any skin in this fight, but I don't see how water walking could be a relevant enough mechanic in their map design to really matter. I'd rather them use the precedent of a mount with slight enhancements and roll out a series of them. 

 

Fingers crossed that they listen to us about class changes too. Legion could actually be something seriously special if they keep it up with the whole listening thing.

 

People were basically using it to bypass zone restrictions by running out and around the invisible walls. Blizz also think that people are forced to use the water striders. Can't say I've ever felt that tbh, I always use my normal mount and swap when I need it.

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Well that seems like a poor use of invisible walls then, that should be fixable on a case-by-case basis without limiting the mounts.

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