Breakfast Topic: Has flight ruined the adventure?

I have very strong opinions about video games. Even when I love a game with all of my heart (like WoW), I still enjoy discussing the little things I think could have been handled differently and arguing them with absolute brutality. Matthew Rossi and I spend hours debating game design every day. Every single day.

My latest pet topic is flying mounts in World of Warcraft. Personally, I think flying mounts removed most of the feeling of adventure, danger, and discovery in WoW. Once you're able to jump on your first flying mount, the dangers of the world are no longer an issue. You no don't have to stop for a moment to figure out how to scale rough terrain. The world doesn't hold secrets from you anymore, unless they're hidden indoors or underground -- you can merely mount up and fly to anything in the world. If you wanted to, you could fly from one end of Twilight Highlands to the other and see everything the landscape has to offer with no effort whatsoever.

It doesn't matter how intimidating and oppressive Blizzard's artists and designers make the terrain of a zone. It's a distant, fleeting threat. You can essentially remove yourself from the world with the click of a button. Fly high enough into the sky, and you can close yourself off from all of Azeroth. I don't hate flying mounts; I actually quite enjoy riding a bone dragon. I just think that there was a lot lost in the process of integrating flight.

I would like to take this topic to you, dear readers. Do you think flying mounts have taken the adventure and discovery out of Warcraft? If so, how do you think it could be fixed? Do you like things just as they are?