Two of the people I know actually read this blog on a regular basis are aware that I play World of Warcraft. And one of them requested I write about getting Epic Flight form, so here we go.
My main character is a druid, which is great because they’re about the craziest and most flexible character classes in the game. They can be DPS casters with a (Moonkin), they can be healing casters (Tree), they can be DPS melee (Cat), or they can be DSP tanking (Bear/Dire Bear.) In Moonkin and Tree forms (and non-shifted, of course) they have mana and spells. In Cat form, they have Energy like a rogue. In Bear form, they have Rage like a warrior. So druids are really like Mages, Priests, Rogues and Warriors in one class. And the really amazing part is that they’re good at it! Druids specced and equipped for healing can give Paladins or Priests a run for their money. Druids specced and equipped for tanking are practically as good as Protection-specced warriors. Druids specced and equipped for cat-form or DPS casting… well, they’re just ok.
In addition to the above listed shapeshifts, Druids have a bunch of others that are handy in other situations. There’s one that allows you to run at almost-mount speeds (Travel), one that lets you breathe underwater and swim 50% faster (Aquatic), and of course in the Outlands there’s a form to fly (Flight.) This comes to why I’m writing this extremely geeky blog post.
Normal non-Druid characters have to ride a flying mount, but Druids actually transform into a flying mount. This has several advantages:
- There’s no “cast time,” so you can switch to Flight form any time you’re not in combat. This is extremely handy when you accidentally step off a cliff that’s just a little bit too tall: Druids can switch form in mid-air and “catch” themselves.
- Since Druids become the bird, instead of riding the bird, they can still perform all the regular Druid things. For instance, Sacora can skin animals as a little bird. (I guess the bird holds the knife in its beak?) Also, she can harvest herbs. (Maybe the bird does it with its little claws? I dunno.) While doing these, the Druid doesn’t need to shift out of bird form, so when you’re done harvesting or skinning you can just fly away.
- When upgraded, Flight form is the fastest thing in the game. (More on this below.)
Sacora, my Druid, has Herbalism as a profession, which means I spend a decent amount of time driving her to herbs in the game to harvest them and sell for gold. The faster you can move in the game, the more herbs you can collect and the more gold you can earn. Now, druids already have an advantage in that they can harvest herbs without shifting out of Flight, but to really get the herbing going, you need to buy the fast flying mount skill.
It costs 5000 gold.
After several months of saving (then giving up on saving and spending, then saving again) and one large loan, I finally had enough gold to purchase the fast flying mount skill and a gryphon mount to go with it. Now we’re in business: with this skill and a fast flying mount, you actually move the same speed or faster than the game’s taxis. (Whether it’s faster or not depends on the specific route, but it’s always at least the same speed.)
This isn’t the ultimate, though. Druids have a Flight form, but they also have an Epic Flight form. With this you get all the speed of the fast flying mounts, plus a 10% speed bonus, plus all of the abilities that come with the normal Flight form. Including the herb harvesting ability. Cool.
The quest chain for this requires that you’ve first purchased the fast flying mount skill. It begins with a Druid trainer in Moonglade, as so many Druid-related quests do. (Just in case Druids weren’t cool enough before, they also have their own area on the map which is nothing but Druid-related quests and services.) So I head there and start questing on the Epic Flight form chain. With my friend’s help, we slam through about half the quests one evening, and I start on the rest in the morning. I do two or three myself, and then recruit some guildies to help with the last few more difficult bosses. Everything’s going good, and I’m actually having a lot of fun playing WOW for the first time in a long while.
Then I come to the last quest. This quest involves going into a dungeon set to Heroic difficulty, summoning a boss, and then killing him. You get Epic Flight form, and the rest of the party gets the miniscule chance (less than 2%) of finding, then bickering over, one of the rarest and coolest-looking mounts in the game. The problem is that to enter the Heroic dungeon, you first have to have the key for it. And to get the key, you first need to build up rep with the faction that holds it. And thusly the questing comes to a dead stop.
That last quest entry might as well have read, “spend five or six hours killing Arakkoa for feathers, turning them in groups of 30 for rep. Try not to die from boredom.” Sure, there are other ways to get rep, but I’d already done all of the quests for this faction so that wasn’t an option, and doing dungeon runs with a group of random people in the game is never any fun and probably would have taken longer to boot.
Listen to me, Blizzard: Video games are supposed to be fun. Grinding for rep is not fun.
So that put a damper on the incredibly fast pace we had been completing this long quest chain up to the point. And of course, I learned my lesson that if I’m having a lot of fun playing WOW, it’s probably only because I haven’t gotten to the part in whatever it is I’m doing where it becomes an utter snore-fest. But the good news is that we managed to get in the dungeon with a mostly-guild group, we managed to down the boss and get me my Epic Flying form (and the super-rare mount didn’t drop), and I added a couple new people to my friends list, including another Druid who actually knows a hell of a lot more about playing the class than I do. So it all turned out alright.
And now Sacora’s got purple feathers, some earrings or something, and I’m faster than anything else in the game. Rock.
P.S. I apologize for writing 1100+ words about WOW. I can’t guarantee it won’t happen again. Also, yes, I apparently do requests.