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WoWMay 7, 2020 6:00 pm CT

This is when you’ll unlock each rank riding skills in Shadowlands — including flight

One of the biggest questions that arose when Blizzard announced the leveling squish in Shadowlands was “How is flying going to work?” And now that the Shadowlands alpha is out, we finally have an answer.

On the live Battle for Azeroth servers you’ll unlock flying when you hit level 60, halfway through your leveling experience. It looks like we’ll be getting flying roughly halfway through the experience again in Shadowlands. As it stands right now on the alpha you unlock your first mount and the riding skill to go with it at level 10, and flying is unlocked at level 30.

Here are the details:

  • Apprentice Riding — Slow ground speed at level 10
    • 9 Silver 50 Copper
  • Journeyman Riding — Fast ground speed at level 20
    • 47 Gold 50 Silver
  • Expert Riding —  Normal flying speed at level 30
    • 237 Gold 50 Silver
  • Artisan Riding — Fastest flying speed at level 40
    • 4750 Gold

Most notably there are no longer three ranks of riding skills for flying. Now when you buy Artisan Riding you’ll get the maximum speed of 310%. That’s a huge weight off of your pocket book. Paying for Artisan flying isn’t something that a new player would be in any position to do right away though. On live servers, there is a possibility that if you’ve been questing and picking up every item that monsters drop, you might be able to afford Artisan Riding by the time you’ve reached the required level 70. Unless there are major shifts in how the early economy works it’s just not feasible for a player who doesn’t already have max level characters bankrolling them to get their speedy flight by level 40.

There are still some giant unanswered questions here involving how Chromie Time will work with flying. Chromie Time is the new leveling system that will let you choose any expansion to play your character in for levels 10-50. If you really miss leveling in those old expansions you can! But Battle for Azeroth is still using the Pathfinder system for earning flying in Kul Tiras and Zandalar — and we expect Shadowlands will have a similar system. If you choose to level through Battle and don’t already have the Pathfinder achievement for it, you won’t be able to fly — even after reaching level 30.

There’s also a potential problem with the Cataclysm leveling experience. Cataclysm zones were designed to allow flying right as you got into the content. Not being able to fly until you’ve reached level 30 might cause some issues there. Except if you choose to level in Vash’jir, for some reason we still can’t fly there.

Chromie Time leveling hasn’t been enabled on the alpha yet, so I don’t know how long it will take you to level from 10 to 30 in those expansions. Getting my first 10 levels in the new Exile’s Reach starting area took me about an hour and a half. So even if we doubled that time or even tripled it for the next twenty levels you won’t be without flying for very long.

Blizzard has also loosened the restrictions on flying in past expansions to go along with this. Shadowlands will be removing the Pathfinder Requirements for Warlords of Draenor and Legion. Letting anyone with Expert Riding unlocked to take to the skies.  Finally, players will be able to enjoy the feeling of soaring through the air on the wings of a fantastical beast — no matter when they started playing.

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