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.