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WoWNov 19, 2020 6:00 pm CT

How (and when) we’ll get flying in WoW Shadowlands

Flying! It’s something that’s always on players’ minds when a new expansion comes out. We always want to know how and when we’ll be able to soar through the skies on our many varieties of Dragons and other flying beasties. In an interview with Hazelnutty, Warcraft Executive Producer John Hight confirmed that Shadowlands would have another Pathfinder achievement to complete, so we’re in for another achievement run to get flying this expansion.

This isn’t the biggest surprise honestly. Blizzard has used some form of a Pathfinder achievement for the last three expansions. However, we’ve been told that the Shadowlands Pathfinder won’t have a reputation requirement. Instead, it’ll be tied to your Renown with your Covenant.

This could be a great change! The reputation grinds for Pathfinding have not been players’ most favorite things in the past. Especially when you get down to the very last one, when getting the final few points necessary can feel like it takes forever. Especially once you start seeing other players flying around and you’re still stuck walking everywhere. Tying flying to Renown could tone down the rep grind — and Blizzard’s talked about having some kind of catch up mechanics for Renown. So if you’re someone who took a bunch of time off you won’t be as far behind as you would’ve been if you needed to get your reputations up.

On the downside, though, we don’t know what will happen if you change your Covenant at all. Since your Renown will be reset when you choose your new Covenant, even with a catch-up system that’s still erasing any progress you’d made towards flying with that character. Ideally, the achievement would track how many points of Renown you’ve earned, rather than a certain threshold within any given Covenant.

When we will be able to fly in Shadowlands?

The other big question is when we’ll unlock flying. It was roughly a full year between Battle for Azeroth launching and being able to complete the Pathfinder Part 2 with the release of patch 8.2, which feels like a super long time to be landlocked. Back in Legion, it was roughly nine months, or just long enough to get really tired of hearing “An illusion, what are you hiding!” every time you went to Suramar.

In an interview with Wowhead, Ion Hazzikostas said that the current plan is to unlock flying in the first major content patch. In Battle there were only four months between the launch and the first major content patch — so we could be flying through the Shadowlands as early as March of next year! This is great news considering that in the same interview he confirmed that there won’t be an upgraded Flight Master’s Whistle coming in Shadowlands. I’ll know that I’ll be itching to take to the skies again by then, especially watching all of those Kyrians flying around with their glorious wings.

I like the Pathfinder systems that we’ve been getting so far, for the most part. Completing the first part but still having to wait months to get the second part doesn’t feel great. I’d love it if each Pathfinder achievement opened flying for the zones that were in its patch. So any new area that was added alongside the second part would require the second part for flying, but you’d still be able to zip around the launch content when you weren’t tackling the new stuff.

We’ll know more as we get closer to the launch of Shadowlands. Until then all we can do is stare at the beautiful skies above Ardenweald and sigh longingly.

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