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Flying High

Okay, so it didn’t quite happen the way I planned.

I logged on with my DK Rokkthor. He was Human, so bonus to rep. Also, he had Pathfinder Part One on lock. All he had to do was get the rep for Part Two, and cue Aladdin’s “Whole New World” (don’t you dare close your eyes.) Easy enough.

So I did my Broken Shore dailies, collected my Broken Shore rep tokens from my Order Hall, and did some math. I was still a few thousand rep away. Darkmoon Faire was coming up, so that would be a nice 10% rep bonus. That would be a good week. But what about this week? I had a day off, so what was I going to do with it?

The OCD completionist in me looked at my quest log and cringed. I had what looked like Class quests to do. They’d been there so long I forgot what they were for. I had the time, so I decided to finish them up. Turns out there was some unseen benefits to finishing the quests. Things like another follower. And a boatload of flight-appropriate rep.

Suddenly, boom. Rokkthor was in the air. Just like that.

So that’s fun. Oh yeah, and in other news…

 

Thanks to Denxce (@angxeladenxce on Twitter) I got a ticket to Blizzcon 2017! BLIZZCON 2017!

#BLIZZCON2017

Five Reasons Flying in Draenor is Sexy

Rokk_Flight

Not a single mention of the Mile High Club. Promise.

 

Love it or hate it, flying in Draenor is a thing now. How about that.

Now I can’t speak for anyone else. I can barely speak for myself, since my brain feels like it’s slapped together with rusty wire and spoiled fruit, yet I still realize that this is a fucking video game and not the cure for anything, therefore my emotional investment is not as strong as many others out there.

So for sure relax with all the angst about flying, or not flying. Get a grip.

I was in the “take it or leave it” camp before flying went live. Not having flight wasn’t keeping me from playing or anything like that. But that didn’t stop me from getting the Draenor Pathfinding achievement though. Mostly because doing it gave me something to do, a sense of accomplishment, and a butt-ugly mount that has yet to see the light of day. All in all, I just wasn’t as enamored with flying as many others seemed to be. I didn’t feel like I needed to have it.

That right there is a prime example of that “rusty wire and spoiled fruit” part of my brain, trying to do something silly like think. Because now that I’ve tried it, my vote goes to hells yes to flying.

When I log into WoW, that RL clock keeps ticking away. Don’t get it twisted – I’m not logging into a video game to stand around with my thumb up my ass. No, when it’s time to get my WoW on I’m doing it with a goal in mind, and I want to get things done like five minutes ago. Flying has kicked up my efficiency several notches.

Unfortunately, I’ve barely managed to get more than a few hours of air time in during the past week. But I’ll be honest – the criticisms that flying made things easier was right on the money. Things like…

 

#5. It’s Now Easier To Play In Dirty Holes

Remember Archaeology? Of course you don’t. Nobody does. It’s the profession that so few people bothered with, Blizzard had to stick a quest NPC out in the middle of nowhere just to let you learn the ability so you could loot a few treasures in Spires of Arak. But did you know it’s also good for other things – like pets, mounts, or some sweet transmog items? It’s true! Really! Stop looking at me like that!

Before WoD flight, leveling Archaeology was a huge pain in the ass. Getting from dig site to dig site was a special kind of abuse, and it took foreeeeeever to get it done. Flight and Archaeology have always gone hand in hand, and now that flying is available in Draenor there’s going to be plenty of people taking things in hand.

 

#4. You Can Be a Big, Raging Dick (If You Want To)

To quote the great philosopher, Uncle Benjamin Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It’s totes easy to abuse great power like the ability to fly, especially when there’s so few people who actually have it. Those who have it should use that ability for Good.

“Good” being subjective of course.

I’ve got a hunter that I have decided to level to 100. As soon as she reached 90 she was flying around Draenor, gathering treasures and garrison resources and picking up a nice chunk of experience in the process. At thirty thousand xp a pop, it was definitely worth her while to snag every one of those things that she can get her hands on.

But there came a moral dilemma. It happened when she was soaring through the sky, hoping to scoop up a bundle of garrison resources. It was just lying there on the ground, and she closed on it like a mighty eagle swooping down on a helpless rabbit or other cute yet delicious morsel, like a Twinkie. Just before she could sink her talons into her Twinkie-like prey, some dude riding a big boar started closing in at a full-on waddle, trying to get there first.

Please. That’s a race you’re going to lose ten times out of ten, son. They call it air superiority for a reason. Also, nice pig there jack.

But there it was – that moment of moral reflection. She could stop right there in mid-air and fly away, easily picking up other treasures in the zone that this guy would probably never be able to reach. Was it really that important to deny Boar Boy a few garrison resources and a fistload of xp, just because she was on the faster mount?

Damn rights it was.

She landed, looted, and lifted off before Bubba could bring his hairy pig mount to a full stop. I’m sure he wept as she flew away. As the ground fell away beneath her, she laughed and shook her fist at the heavens in celebration of her victory. In my mind she did, anyway. I gave a little fist pump from behind my keyboard, which startled my dog.

I’m not the best person sometimes.

 

#3.  I Can Totally Get Wood So Fast

When you’ve cranked out as many level-capped alts as I have, as fast as I tend to do, being starved for garrison resources is an unfortunate – and fairly common – side effect. Getting the Lumber Mill set up in the garrison is a great way to solve that particular issue. Normally what I’d do is get the Lumber Mill, and level it up as high as I could afford to with whatever gold I had on hand. I’d then make my way up to the northern tip of Gorgrond and grab the nearest flight path to the Laughing Skull village. That spot was the best place to pick up lumber – plenty of spawn points for Timber, and in such a dense area that it was quick to gather them up. A quick cross-realm hop, rinse and repeat.

Before flying, that is.

Nagrand has trees all over the damn place. With flying, I was able to take obscene advantage of that. In the same amount of time I’d spent in Laughing Skullville, I could pick up a couple hundred pieces of wood by flying around Nagrand without having to cross-realm hop for more spawns. It’s also a much better alternative for Alliance alts, since they would have to dodge the Laughing Skull tribesmen in Gorgrond while chopping down their trees.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

 

#2. Questing? More like Crushing AM I RITE!

One of my side projects has been to get the “Master Relic Hunter” achievement (aka the achievement that gets you Harrison Jones) on one of my Alliance alts. It can be a beast to do these quests at times, especially the one that sends an Alliance character all the way to the far side of Frostfire Ridge. Even the better quests in the achievement will start you out in the middle of nowhere. The chain of quests that follow drag you all over the hairy ass crack of the countryside. This also has a tendency to roll you through as many mobs as possible, which according to Blizzard is supposed to be “experiencing the content”.

Nine of my eleven level capped characters have Harrison Jones in their garrison. I’m therefore all sorts of good as far as experiencing these quests again. Flying made it so much quicker and easier to jump from point to point that I didn’t even feel my blood pressure start to peak as my alt picked up parchments and avoided packs of fast-spawning birds (If Deathwing could shat his guts out on Skettis, that would be great).

 

#1. Taking Leveling To A Whole New Level

Like I said, my current project is a Hunter that I’m taking to 100. She was at 86 when I decided to resume her leveling, and dinged 90 after a couple of hours of questing in Pandaria. Deciding I’d rather drop a brick on my man-marbles than go through the Tanaan intro questline again, I took my girl to the Isle of Thunder and pulled off “the shortcut” one more time.

Getting her garrison started was a breeze. Getting her to 91 was even breezier. With heirloom gear and rested xp, she was getting roughly 30,000 xp per garrison resource/treasure that she looted. With flying, she could easily take a victory lap around the zone and pick up all the goodies on the ground. After making one lap around Frostfire Ridge and completing the three bonus objectives (at 100,000 xp each) she was almost at level 92 in maybe 30 minutes. It’ll be interesting to see just how much faster she’ll level with flying (spoiler – she’s going to be leveling much faster).

 

 

Anyone out there have their own Draenor flight love stories? I’d love to hear them. Drop ‘em in the comments below, if you’re so inclined, or if they’re of the shorter variety (140 char kind of short) tweet ‘em to  @RokkTalk and let me know how flying is making things better in your world.

 

Draenor Pathfinder Achievement

Triple ding baby!

Triple ding baby!

Well the daily “Assault on the Pit” took its sweet-ass time in getting here. But it did. And now, I have an account full of people who will be flying around Draenor.

Oh wait, no they won’t. Most of them will stay right where they are – in their garrison, running missions, making gold. I do have a few alts on the go, but only one of them are in Draenor – and he’s already at level 95. He could easily be 100 by the time patch 6.2.1 goes live.

It’s hard to say what kind of influence flying will have on my game time. It’ll probably help with gathering lumber, for those toons that have the lumber mill and are somewhat resource starved. But as far as going out sightseeing, I’ve got better things to do with my time.

No regrets in getting the meta though. I improve my gear through apexis crystals, finished every zone, saw some cool quests, and ended up with this… thing.

Soaring Skyterror? Uh...

Soaring Skyterror? Uh…

For sure this atrocity won’t see the light of day again after this picture was taken.

Flying in Warlords of Draenor

Flying in Warlords of Draenor has been a touchy subject. By touchy I mean players have been sobbing like Old Granny Smith at a wedding. When it was first announced that there would be no flying, people acted like this had never happened before in the history of World of Warcraft. People tend to forget that this happens every expansion. The expansion goes live, people are forced to leg out their quests, and by the first major update patch there is an opportunity to get flying once again.

As reported by Qelric, Bashiok has somewhat addressed this and replies with an ETA of Patch 6.1 before flying becomes available.

Personally I think some of those characters out there could use the road work. Starting to look a little soft there folks. Too many mana cakes, not enough exercise. Get busy people!

Cataclysm – For All The Wrong Reasons

Well it’s official – Blizzard has announced their new expansion. But I don’t think they chose the right title. I think a more accurate name would be something like “Cash-aclysm” or “Cat-Alt-clism”.

“Cash-aclysm” comes from the fact that they increased the race/class matrix to be more all-emcompassing.

This change simply encourages those people who want to do the upcoming “Paid Faction Change” to do so, by giving them more options, lore be damned. I don’t care about lore myself, but I’m pretty sure the Night Elf Mage kinda goes against that sort of thing. Blood Elf Warrior? Really?

So for all you Hunters who want to switch to Alliance, you can pull out your wolf pet and be a wolf-man yourself! All you Pallies that didn’t want to be a froofy Blood Elf, well saddle up with a slab of Tauren awesomeness! Just give Blizzard your monies and you have more selection of cute or crass, whatever floats your boat.

Now for the “Cat-Alt-clysm” name, I think that one has some legs. First, most of the changes coming in this expansion encourages people to play alts. They introduce two new races, with phased starter zones like the DK’s starter zones. A nice gimmick, mentioned in their FAQ:

Yes, we are creating all-new level 1 to 15 starting zones for both races. Players will start their adventures with the worgen in Gilneas, which was sealed off behind the Greymane Wall. Goblin players will start on the Isle of Kezan and then head to the Lost Isles in the South Seas before joining the mainland. Each starting experience will be presented in a fashion similar to the death knight starting area in Wrath of the Lich King, and these starting zones will make extensive use of our new phased-terrain technology.

Next, the revamp the 1-60 zones. Why, when they’ve spent so much time and effort to get people to blitz through that content in the past to reach the level cap? Again, from their FAQ:

As we developed new content and expansions, we learned a lot of techniques to provide players with a better game experience–but the majority of the new content we were creating was for high-level characters only. We felt we could apply the lessons of Outland and Northrend to improve the gameplay experience while leveling in the original two continents. Imagine revisiting a familiar zone like Darkshore only to find Auberdine destroyed by the cataclysm–and then discovering entirely new towns and quests in other parts of the zone.

Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms are central to World of Warcraft lore, and we want those areas to remain an important part of the game, not just a place to train or auction. Our goal is to make questing, leveling, and the overall story more fun for new, returning, and existing players. By redesigning areas of the original continents and introducing new content that matches or exceeds the quality of Wrath of the Lich King, we can revitalize the nostalgia and coolness of Azeroth.

So they want you to make alts. They introduce the new races, hook you with the gimmicked phasing intro, then show you all the pretty new zones they’ve made. Know what would help the leveling process even more? Flying.

Yes. While the original Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor weren’t designed for flying mounts, we’re redesigning the continents with flying mounts in mind. However, we’re still determining whether there will be any restrictions on where you will be able to fly, at what level flying will become available, or whether you’ll need to do anything to unlock it. We’ll share more details about this in the future.

Changing flying levels again? Guess if it helped getting those DK’s through the Outlands, it’ll help the new number of Alts that will be starting out in the old leveling zones.

Now granted, many of these changes will affect players whether they get the expansion or not – old content changes will happen regardless. Buying the expansion unlocks the new races, new zones, and new level cap. Doesn’t seem like all that much, does it? In fact, given all the changes that will be happening game-wide, the expansion itself only provides what seems like a fraction of the new content that is coming.

Rest assured, whether you buy the expansion or not, one thing will be certain: you will be a victim of the upcoming CatALTclysm whether you like it or not.