Posted by Donny Rokk
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.