Daily Archives: December 14, 2022

First Flight in Northrend

Irondam, my Death Knight, was getting towards the end of the quests in Grizzly Hill when he ticked over to level 77, the magic moment when flight becomes available in Wrath of the Lich King.

The classic comes to classic

That makes Wrath different from Burning Crusade, and was probably a self-conscious move by Blizzard when they realized that, having given everybody flight as an option at the end of TBC they were taking it away the moment we stepped into Northrend.

This is, of course, and issue that Blizz would wrestle with in every subsequent expansion up until the current Dragonflight, where they just said, “screw it, everybody flies all the time after the intro” and then found ways to make flying a thing you needed to unlock attributes for to make it all you wanted it to be.

The problems are multiple, starting with the fact that once you give people something they really hate it when you take it away.  That fights with the fact that if you make ground based content and give people flying, then they just fly past all possible obstacles, speed running through the content until they finish it, after which they will complain about there not being enough content.

But those were all arguments for the future when Wrath was out, because in Wrath Blizz decided to split the baby and give players flying part of the way through the expansion, and included along the way content that required that ability.   And it you have content built around flying, that is better, right?

(Maybe.  I don’t like swimming content because of the problem of moving in three dimensions, so you can clearly do flying content that would be as bad as that.)

Anyway, I did not come here to rehash old complaints, but to talk about flying in Northrend right now.  And once Irondam hit 77 I got him straight back to Dalaran in order to pick up the cold weather flying skill.  That runs 1,000 gold.

Cold Weather Flying

But, as it turns out, Irondam is the most wealthy of my characters.  It turns out having only had to pay a pittance for riding and flying skills after the Wrath Classic pre-patch, he has been able to simply accumulate wealth.  It also helps that in running his gathering skills… I have him doing mining and herbalism… he not only didn’t have to blow a ton of gold on a useless crafting skill, but was able to sell quite a bit of what he harvested to people who were prepared to blow a ton of gold on useless crafting skills.

And, with flying now an option, finishing up Grizzly Hills became a tad bit easier.

The main problem I had was finding the final 20 or so quests I needed for the achievement, which happened to be locked behind a quest I had missed at one point.  That meant retracing my steps quite a bit.  It turned out to be a quest where you are a passenger on a horse and worgen are chasing you… because they were just on the NPC list until Cataclysm.

They’re on our tail

That done I was able to wrap up the quests I needed.  I actually didn’t remember much of Grizzly Hills… there were some odd quests in there for sure.

The bunny escort quest

It was a bit less epic than Dragonblight… and included some of the Blizzard staples that seem to be required for any expansion.

Outhouse fart jokes? Blizzard?

Anyway, I was able to wrap things up, and all the more quickly due to being able to fly.  Achievement earned.

Grizzly Hills quest achievement

Then it was off to Sholizar Basin next.

Into the Basin on a flying mount

Sholazar Basin went by very quickly.  I think I did it in three sittings, ending up at level 78 at the far end after having earned the achievement.

Sholazar Basin Quest Achievement

This was a bit odd because, in my brain, Sholazar was a long bit of work.  I remember having to run up and down the zone multiple times.  But when you can fly… well, as noted above, you can bypass all the obstructions on the ground.

After that I was considering going to Zul’drak.  I had been sent over there and picked up the flight point as part of a quest back in Dragonblight.  However, when I arrived there I realized that the quests were already pretty low level for me.  I should have gone there from Grizzly Hills first, then to Sholazar Basin.  But, whatever.  I was already well into 78, I started thinking that maybe getting to level cap with Irondam ought to be my next goal.  So I changed directions and headed for the Storm Peaks.

On the glide path into K3

Because, if I get to level cap I can then buy cold weather flying for my low level alts and my druid can be one of those obnoxious level 70s dropping in to harvest herbs in while the plebs are still walking.

And it seems that Blizz wants to help my on my way to level cap.  Yesterday saw the return of Joyous Journeys, the 50% XP buff that they had up during the Wrath pre-patch.  I am not sure what that portends.  I was happy enough wandering through the expansion at the current pace.  Sure, I can turn the buff off… and I will for Wilhelm so he doesn’t get too far ahead of the group doing Kaluak dailies… but Irondam can get there and then all his quest rewards will have extra gold rather than xp, and I’ll need that if I am ever going to get epic flying.