As I’m not in the Alpha and I cannot directly interface with the devs, I’ll do so here.
This seems like a pointless nerf. Not only is this an extremely unnecessary change, but a lot of the reasons cited are contradictory explicitly throughout the history of the game. The fact that it’s even on a 5 minute cooldown is a bit staggering, considering it’s supposed to emulate dragon riding, we can place it’s value the same as a standard mount.
Worgens don’t have a cooldown for their racial, so what gives? Because it’s a new feature that alters the way you fly? Plus, citing your reasons as follows;
The result is that Dracthyr have a drastic efficiency advantage over characters of other races when doing non-Dragon Isles content, whether that’s Chromie Time quests, clearing old raids for transmog, pet battling, etc. (Source)
Who cares? This is all extremely low-end content, that no one is competitive about, and only serves as filler content in between more end-game tasks, or for players who don’t have interest in it at all. On top of that, where is the distinction between Vulpera’s Racial, being able to place a Hearthstone literally anywhere on the map, and that isn’t deemed a “drastic efficiency advantage”, but this is? If I really wanted to, I could roll 10+ Vulperas, park them at a spot where I’m farming primarily each week, and I can hearth right to that farming spot, and go elsewhere after I’m done. How is that not OP, but Dracthyr soar, something that is already on a 5 minute cooldown, which is the only “mount” in the game that has a cooldown, and only begins when you land, is deemed as OP?
You can’t track pets reliably while you’re soaring, you are going far too fast to reliably render in everything as you are flying by it, so typically you use it to go long distances in a short time window. Not to mention, what is this arbitrary point about pet battles? If we really cared about that, then why is “Super Squirt Day” still even a thing? You can level your pets from Level 1 to 25 in two battles. Why are we drawing the line at a tertiary racial that has virtually no impact on anyone but the user?
Sure, you’d have a leg to stand on if you could use Soar while in dungeons, but you can’t, for very obvious reasons. Plus, they already have a nerfed version of Dragon Riding to begin with - so why are we dog piling on a race that actually has something interesting about it? Especially when it affects literally nobody except the user. Sure, you could say it would effect how frequently auctions are placed because Dracthyrs are moving across the map so fast, but even then, the rate at which they travel is irrelevant because it’s about how quickly you can AOE farm for the valuable transmogs to place on the AH. Mages, DHs and Hunters are probably still the best transmog farmers if we want to get into that argument. Also - the Transmog Market is super sparse to begin with, so let’s also not pretend that this is going to affect those markets at all, if anything, it’s a good thing because that helps remove gold from the economy that is already extremely inflated with WoW Token gold.
And that’s entirely ignoring the “efficiency” argument. Did we forget that you can use the Goblin Jump back during Kil’jaeden progression? Something that almost trivialized an entire mechanic of the entire fight? To a lesser extent, what about Humans getting 10% additional experience? How about when Dwarves were mandatory on certain bosses pre-nerf because they would cleanse almost every single debuff in the game, particularly in Classic WoW? What about being a Worgen in the Maw prior to the mount patch?
There are only two real reasons for nerfing Soar that I could come up with, either for Daily/World Quests, which I can partially understand, however - everyone will have access to it on the Dragon Isles, so if anything, Dracthyr are at a disadvantage already, or because of Warden falsely flagging people for cheating. For those of you unfamiliar with Warden, it is World of Warcraft’s internal anti-cheat system.
Doing any of this content is not “huge swaths” of the game. There may be a lot of it, but this is not where people invest their time for a majority of subs, and you have ways to track this yourselves, so even you know this isn’t true. There’s going to be a peak of players questing in batches, at the beginning of an expansion, in patches that unlock or add new content, and then at the end of an expansion at pre-patch where the cycle starts all over again. People may have sparing interest in pet battles whenever that gets new content, whether it be a new pet, new pet-battle dungeon or something else, and Chromie Time is sort of a one-and-done thing.
I’m not writing this to bash Blizzard or talk down to them, I’m trying to make it a point that the reasons that were used as to why they are nerfing this Racial are observably false, and as I intend on re-rolling to Evoker next expansion, one of the highlights for me is Soar and the new Dragon Riding system, simply because it seems like a great feature that should’ve been added a long time ago, and I want to experience it, just like everybody else in a way that’s fun. Nerfing the racial by 30% doesn’t do that and only serves to hurt the end-user by arbitrarily limiting their already limited version of the system to begin with.