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Posts with tag swift-flight-form

WoW Archivist: The quest for swift flight

Swift Flight Form
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

With all the controversy over flying in Draenor (and lack of it until patch 6.1), flight is a major topic in the WoW community these days. Veteran players remember a time when taking to the skies was merely a dream -- one that The Burning Crusade made real, at least in Outland. Along with flying mounts, Blizzard decided that druids should receive new shapeshifting forms that allowed flight.

The forms came in two speeds: the base Flight Form and the Swift Flight Form. Rather than making the latter a trainable skill, Blizzard instead provided druids with one of the longest and most epic class-specific quest lines of all time: the Swift Flight Form chain. Seventeen quests long, the chain made a versatile shapeshifter out of you whether you wanted to be or not.

Like many others, the SFF chain became a casualty of the Shattering and can no longer be completed. It is well worth revisiting, however, so let's let fly!

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

WoW Archivist: Patch 2.1, The Black Temple

Illidan
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

Blizzard ruined my intro. I was going to talk about how appropriate it was that patch 5.1 included a scenario for warlocks that took them to the Black Temple. Then they pushed it to 5.2. So fine. I'll just fall back to something generic.

In terms of sheer content and changes, patch 2.1 was truly massive -- one of WoW's biggest patches of all time. It arrived in May 2007, five months into The Burning Crusade. Let's dive in!

Illidan shouts at us in person

We were ready, if not perhaps entirely prepared. After an ad campaign and a trailer that prominently featured Illidan, many players expressed disappointment that WoW's first expansion didn't launch with the Black Temple raid. In retrospect, those concerns seem silly today. If anything, the Black Temple released too early in the expansion, forcing Blizzard to add the ultradifficult Sunwell Plateau raid to fill the gap between expansions.

The Black Temple was an enormous raid, and one of the game's most beloved. No matter where you went, everything was big and scary. In some areas, even clearing the trash felt epic. Nine bosses populated a vast indoor/outdoor instance. Many of them are still remembered fondly. Supremus and Reliquary of Souls were highly memorable encounters, the latter partly due its unforgiving awareness checks. Teron Gorefiend and Illidan were major lore figures able to be vanquished in WoW for the first time.

BT wasn't the only raid that 2.1 introduced, however.

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Filed under: WoW Archivist

Patch 4.3.2: Hurrah! Druid flight form physics fixed

It's really the littlest (and on occasion, the dumbest) things that often make this game so much fun. Druids have long been used to abusing flight form for the purpose of dropping it and falling in a graceful arc over mountainsides or hills. Why? Because it was there. Because flying bears abusing the momentum from dropping a 451% speed form are funny. Because nobody else could do it without dying.

But when patch 4.3 hit, we were disappointed to discover that this marvelous little trick was no longer possible. No matter the angle in flight form, you'd drop straight down as soon as you'd left it, which resulted in an unexpected death for yours truly flying over the border to Un'Goro on an archaeology run. You never really appreciate the laws of physics until they're not there anymore.

But no longer! As of patch 4.3.2, the momentum after leaving flight form is back. Bears are once again able to soar majestically over mountainsides, and I am able to free fall over the Un'Goro rim without going splat on the border. Thank you, Blizzard!

Filed under: Druid, Humor

The OverAchiever: Mountain O' Mounts in 5-man dungeons

Every Thursday, The Overachiever shows you how to work toward those sweet achievement points. This week, we continue our Mountain o' Mounts grind by beating the crap out of various bosses in the hopes that they'll barf up some transportation.

This week's article addresses the mounts you can find in 5-man content, of which there are quite a few. However, please note that I haven't included special holiday mounts like the Headless Horseman's mount or the Big Love Rocket. Even though they technically drop from 5-man content, they're only available under special circumstances, so they'll pop up in a later guide.

As a note to anyone following the Mountain o' Mounts series, I'll be preempting it for two weeks to run full guides on the Noblegarden and Children's Week 2011 holidays, which begin on April 24 and May 1 respectively. We'll return to Mountain o' Mounts on May 5.

Also read: Combining The Ambassador and Mountain O' Mounts, Mountain O' Mounts in Outland, and Mountain O' Mounts in Northrend.

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

Worgen druid flight form video from Wowhead


Well, what do you know! We figured that worgen and troll druids would just get recolors of existing druid flight forms, but it looks like we were wrong. The latest Cataclysm beta patch added a brand new Swift Flight Form model for worgen druids, so it's safe to assume that trolls will have one soon as well.

I'm liking the Gilnean flag on the back of the form, as well as the serrated beak and big feathery mane. Wonder what kinds of touches the troll form will get? Guess we'll have to wait and see! And hey, maybe this means we'll see new moonkin forms too. A dog can dream.

Filed under: Cataclysm, Worgen

The OverAchiever: The 25 most entertaining achievements, part 2

Every so often I get tired of the self-seriousness that infests some of (OK, most of) the other work I do here and get the urge to write something purely for fun. After our series on evil achievements and the relentless misery of School of Hard Knocks, I'd like to spend some time on achievements that are nothing but an absolute joy from beginning to end.

This week we continue our series on World of Warcraft's most entertaining achievements. Again, this isn't really a list of WoW's "best" achievements -- I think the term's too vague to be of any real use -- but I wanted to spotlight some of Blizzard's funniest, most compelling and most thought-provoking work. This is what we've done so far:

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The OverAchiever: Pure win

Every so often I get tired of the self-seriousness that infests some of (OK, most of) the other work I do here, and get the urge to write something purely for fun. After our series on evil achievements and the relentless misery of School of Hard Knocks, I'd like to spend some time on achievements that are nothing but an absolute joy from beginning to end.

The following is an entirely arbitrary set of five achievements that I personally believe are a hoot. Eventually, I'd like to expand this in the same fashion as the evil achievements series, and I'd welcome any comments or suggestions on your own favorites. Namely, what makes certain achievements fun? Is there any achievement you've made a point of getting on each of your characters?

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Filed under: Achievements, The Overachiever

The OverAchiever: What Feats of Strength can you get now?

One of the easier ways to distinguish an older character from a reroll or alt is the presence (or absence) of a Feat of Strength. Feats of Strength, remnants of "the past glories of Azeroth," are among the most difficult achievements to get, and that's when they're even possible at all. Most, like the presence of an old-school PvP title, one of the original 100% mounts, or the Vengeful Nether Drake, are impossible to get these days, and are a sign that the person who has them is an experienced player. But with a little luck and a lot of elbow grease, even a new player can accrue some of these supposedly "past" glories.

I started playing WoW shortly after Burning Crusade launched and didn't expect to have a shot at most Feats, but a surprising number of them are still available. After getting The Fifth Element recently and being surprised to discover that: a). It's a Feat, and b). The original quest isn't even in the game anymore (man, I'm glad I'm such a quest packrat), I started nosing around the list of Feats to see what else a player could do even if they're new to the game. Moreover, there are two achievements you can get right now that will become Feats in 3.3, so let's get cracking.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, The Overachiever

Shifting Perspectives: Leveling 51-60



Every week, Shifting Perspectives examines issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we haul ourselves to Outland and are shocked to discover that +spellpower sometimes comes on leather.


The above video is the result of an idle question I was asked recently by a friend: "So how much damage would you guys do in caster form meleeing?" I started to answer and then realized I had no idea. The notion of actually hitting something with a weapon is utterly foreign to the class. We have claws and a can of celestial pain for that nonsense if provoked, but still, the question was pretty interesting, particularly because after seeing Prinnygod's comment from last week I started to wonder about all the different ways you could level as a Druid if you deliberately avoided Cat and Moonkin. Sure, you'd be a gibbering wreck at the level cap, but that's beside the point. Blizzard once had a talent called Weapon Balance in the Balance tree that improved our melee damage with weapons by 10% -- they were expecting us to hit things. I wondered how that would have worked out if Druid talent trees had never been overhauled.

So I took my main to the mobs outside the Argent Tournament and smacked stuff while running a stopwatch. What you'll see here is a level 79 Frostbrood Whelp with 12,600 health which took me 34.4 seconds to kill, with two global cooldowns devoted to casting a Rejuvenation and then a Lifebloom. I'm currently on a Feral (Bear) spec and thus wearing gear that does help one's melee damage, mind you, but that still works out to a godawful 366.28 DPS. The moral of our little story can be found at the end of the video. Master of Arms is going to be a real trip.

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Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, Leveling, Guides, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Class travel skills changing in patch 3.2


They're reading my mind! Just an hour or two ago I was thinking to myself, "if I can get a mount at level 20 in patch 3.2, what's the point of all those level 20+ speed-increasing skills?" Zarhym has solved my conundrum: they're all going to be reduced to level 16!

This includes Druid Travel Form (was level 30), Hunter Aspect of the Cheetah (or as I like to call it, Aspect of the Cheater; was level 20), and Shaman Ghost Wolf (was also level 20). Also in this post, the skull confirmed that class-specific mounts will come at the same levels as generic mounts will: Paladin and Warlock ground mounts at 20 for normal and 40 for epic, Druid Flight Form (now enhanced to 150% speed, like the other normal-speed flying mounts) at level 60, and Swift Flight Form at level 70.

So the days when Ghost Wolf or Travel Form was all you had to go faster for 20 levels may be over, but at least it will be useful for four. There has been a lot of debate back and forth about these changes, but for my money, if they're not going to let us start alts at high levels, this is the next best thing: making leveling much less painful.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Shaman, Patches, Leveling, Mounts

Shifting Perspectives: Let my kitties go!


Every Tuesday/Wednesday/some sort of day occurring midweek, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week Allison Robert yanks John Patricelli's column again, hoping to make good on a threat previously made concerning her "dissatisfaction" with Tauren cat form. And by dissatisfaction she might mean something else.

I'll level with you; we have a huge Druid post in the pipeline that's going to round up the changes to the class in Wrath, new talents, new skills, new everything, and frankly I'm sick to death about reading or writing anything having to do with the expansion. So, just to buck the overwhelming trend that threatens to drive us all to the nuthouse, I'm going to turn to a topic that's plagued Druids for a while.

By this I mean the perennial form issue, something that my Druid colleagues on the blog have previously termed the Same Old Animal Posterior, or SOAP. But it's one that we've been given reason to believe will change in...Wrath. Well, that didn't last long. You'll note that David's article was written in October 2007, more than a year ago, but the same thing could have been posted in 2006 as well. Druid forms haven't changed since launch*, and while they were never really at the cutting edge of Blizzard's art direction as a result**, they look more and more shabby in relation to the higher-polygon models and landscapes. As everything around you gets better and better -- more evocative lighting, more intricate details, fantastic animation -- it's hard not to feel a strange sense of displacement as you shift into a 2004 form within a 2008 game.

But at long last we may see Druid form customization, an overhaul to the default forms themselves, or possibly (hopefully?) both.

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Filed under: Night Elves, Tauren, Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Features, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King

Druid changes in patch 3.0.3


Patch 3.0.3 is here, and it's almost certainly the last patch before Wrath is released next Thursday. Unlike the other eight classes, we've gotten all our talent points refunded, which makes this a good opportunity to switch up your spec if you want to, maybe to whatever you'll be leveling with in Wrath. This isn't really because we got huge changes so much as it is because two of our talents were reduced in the number of ranks [edited for correctness]:
  • Earth and Moon is now 3 ranks for 4/9/13% increased spell damage taken, and increases your spell damage by 1/2/3% (old: 5 ranks for 3/5/8/10/13% increased damage taken from Arcane, Fire, Frost, Nature and Shadow, and increases your spell damage by 1/2/3/4/5%)
  • Moonfury is now 3 ranks for 3/6/10% benefit (was 5 ranks for 2/4/6/8/10%)
Hard to make a change like that without refunding talent points. Further Balance changes:
  • Eclipse's buff duration was raised to 15 seconds and its bonuses doubled, but the cooldown raised from 30 to 40 seconds. Overall a buff to what I still think is an inspired talent. (Although some of this seems to have already been live in 3.0.2? Boomkin, help me out.)
  • Apparently Moonkin were getting way too much mana back from Hurricane, so Moonkin form now only gives mana back from single-target spells.

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Filed under: Druid, Patches, Talents

Quested mounts and forms to be trainable in Patch 3.0.3


According to the Patch 3.0.3 patch notes, the Druid Swift Flight Form, Paladin Charger, and Warlock Dreadsteed spells will soon become trainable. Before you all celebrate (or throw out invectives...), it should be noted that these spells will only become available at a level above the minimum required level to obtain the mounts or form and will require the appropriate riding skill. Swift Flight Form will be trainable at Level 71 and require Artisan or 300 Riding skill, while both the Charger and Dreadsteed will become available at Level 61 and require Journeyman or 150 Riding skill.

This means that players will still need to pony up for the cash required to train for the riding skill, which means an affordable 480-600 Gold for the land mounts and a not-quite-as-affordable 5,000 Gold for the epic flying skill. If you would like to get the satisfaction of doing some of the coolest quest lines in the game, you can check out the Dreadsteed guide on WoWwiki and our guides for the Paladin Charger for both the Alliance and the Horde. If you've got that 5,000 to plunk down -- which our very own Dan O'Halloran has been penny-pinching to avoid -- you can check out the epic flight form, too. And why not? You might even get a shot at getting one of the coolest ground mounts ever. If anything, doing the quest will grant you the mount a whopping one full level ahead of everyone else!

Filed under: Patches, News items, Mounts

Ask a Beta Tester: Dalaran coins, environment effects, and AoE tanking


I ran into two common questions last night on the Dalaran coin post, so I thought I'd start off by answering those here. I apologize if we haven't yet gotten to everyone's questions; most of them, like Gurluas' question concerning The Missing Diplomat and the high elves in Northrend, we're just not 100% sure of the answer to yet, but I'll keep trying.

Keyra asks...

Just curious...the gold coins all have "Use: Throw this coin back into the Dalaran fountain", yet I've seen people commenting (as well as the author) that they'll carry the coin in their packs. What happens when/if you throw the coin back in?

When you toss a gold coin back into the fountain, you gain the "Lucky" buff for 2 minutes, increasing your chance to fish up any and all coins from the fountain (rather than fishing hooks or goldfish). You don't have to toss them back in if you don't want to, in which case they'll just occupy a bag slot like anything else, or you can sell them to a vendor (not for much). But most people throw the coin/s back in because fishing the coin up is enough to give you the Achievement for getting it. Particular coins would be carried solely for personal or sentimental reasons, i.e. I can definitely appreciate the irony and RP value of grimly hunting Arthas down like a dog while carrying a symbol of Sylvanas' wasted hopes.

Rexigar asks...

Question though, do we have to keep the coins for the achievement or does it count when we throw it back in?

It counts as of the moment you've fished it up. No matter what you do with it afterwards, the Achievement's yours. The same mechanic is true of everything else; once the game "knows" you've done something and an Achievement's gained, nothing can take it away.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Fishing, Blacksmithing, Analysis / Opinion, Economy, Expansions, Features, Factions, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Birds of prey: Is Druid epic flight form OP in PvP


I was sitting at dinner with a buddy of mine (I'll call him Zebulon), excited about the prospects of being one of WoW Insider's newest bloggers. He suggested that I should write a post on why Druid's Swift Flight Form is "OP." I thought he was just whining, so in my least empathic voice I said, "QQ more nub, you knew what you signed up for on a PvP server."

As it turns out Zebulon had a run-in with a shifter who really knew how to use his class abilities. As he was flying back from Skettis daily questing high above Terorkkar Forest, Zebulon, who was playing a Rogue, was ambushed by a Druid in Swift Flight Form. The attacker flew above him and shifted into caster form. The Druid cast Insect Swarm and began spamming Moonfire as he dropped toward the ground. The altitude permitted the Druid to break combat and return to flight form. Because of the speed boost from epic flight form the Druid was able to make another pass. Damaged, dotted, and desperate, Zebulon searched for a safe body of water to drop into. The plan was to dismount into the water, Cloak of Shadows, and then Vanish from the attacker. No luck- HK for the Druid.

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Filed under: Druid, Rogue, PvP, Classes, Mounts

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