Tuesday, October 21, 2008

[Druid]The death of the Swift Flight Form quest

From WoWInsider come the latest patch notes for 3.0.3. And they make me...a bit sad. Not a ton of changes for ferals; berserk fixes the mangle cooldown issue, growl has a cooldown of 8 seconds and survival instincts is off the GCD. That's all fine and good.

But this bothers me.

The Swift Flight Form is now available on the trainer at level 71, requiring 300 riding skill, and Flight Form learned.

It means, practically, no new druids will bother with the epic flight questline. They'll just train their flight form at 68 and then get some money and train it again at 71. No heroic Sethekk halls, no dodging bombs through a river, no trekking across half of Outlands trying to get random NPCs to notice you.

I realize that new druids coming up aren't likely to get honored with LC so they can do the Sethekk halls questline, much less find 4 other people willing to run old, annoying content. But taking away the entire thing, basically? That's pretty sad.

They're also doing a similar thing for paladin and warlock mounts. Sigh.

I guess one can do these quests if they're so inclined, and that's good. Having more choices is great. But I liked the notion that you could get something special for your class, but only if you worked a bit at it. It's not like druids couldn't get an epic flying mount if they didn't want to do the quest (same with paladins and warlocks and their epic ground mounts).

It just feels like one more piece of why playing a druid is special got thrown out.

ETA: Just so everyone's clear, the quest is NOT going away. You can do the quest at 70 if you so choose. You are being given a choice here. Instead of having to do the quest, you can simply wait until level 71.

I'm not lamenting the loss of the questline, as it'll stay around. I'm lamenting that so few druids will do it.


idahoe said...

I agree. This is easily the best quest-line I have come across in the game. One of the only quest lines that acually feels like a "quest." C'mon Blizz, don't axe one of the few great things left that define the classes from each other.

Karthis said...

Awwww - that sucks. It was a very well done quest, IMO, and I had a lot of fun with it. Honored with any faction is trivial if you level up through questing, so I really don't think that could be a legitimate reason to cut it either.

Kalon said...

Hey Idahoe, Karthis -

I updated the post. Just so there's no ambiguity, the quest isn't going away. Just the motivation for doing it, since you can just train the form at 71. Still sucks and I still think it removes something of what defines the class, but at least there's the option to do it if you want to.

Anonymous said...

Awwww Im a bit sad too, I loved that quest and it was such a thrill to complete it. I still love my flight form and I've had it for 9 months now :) It was the end of the druid story line, and it was a beautiful ending.

Still, that was because I had nothing better to do at 70. With Northrend looming, who in their right mind (we're talking new druids here) is gonna want to pause for a couple of days to do a long complex quest line for all the reasons you mention, when other players are rushing ahead to the new content. Makes perfect sense to me why they did this.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but what about the trinkets from the quest line?

Kalon said...

Hey, Rusco -

To my knowledge the trinkets aren't going away. They did nerf the charm of swift flight and not make it improve speed any more, but as far as I know the Idol of the Raven Goddess is unchanged - and because of raidwide auras, it's actually better than ever. I did some back of the envelope math, and as long as you can affect 9 other players the idol wins out in raid dps at level 80.

So there's a reason to do the questline.

Hana said...

I have a second druid I level on and off on a different server (my get away from it all alt if you will) and one of the things I was concerned about was how in the world would I ever do my Swift Flight Form seeing as how no one will be running heroic Sethekk by the time she gets up to 70 (if ever).

I'll definitely run the quest chain again up until the actual dungeon run itself, but I'm a little relieved that I won't have to do the instance itself. I imagine people will still do occasional fun runs for the raven mount, so finishing the quest chain will happen at some point or another. It's just that getting the flight form won't be tied to it anymore.

Captain The First said...

I rather look forward to the questline since I didn't have the chance to try my hands at it. My droodle is now a happy lvl 67 so he has a ways to go but still if there's no other reason to do the quest then do it for the loremaster achievment :P

Copey said...

So, if they nerf the trinket, do we get a speed increase from a riding crop then?

Kalon said...

Hey, Corey -

nope, Riding Crop doesn't work either - and it got nerfed so that it doesn't work over level 70 anyway.

Basically it's just a flat nerf for now. Keep the trinket around though, as blizzard has said that they want to turn it into some kind of enchant or buff to the form directly.

Hana - I think that it would've been easier than you think, especially as WotLK hits. People don't hate doing old-world content, especially when there's a chance at an ultra-rare mount. And doing lvl 70 instances (even heroic ones) at 80 would be pretty trivial. It wasn't hard to find people to go to Dire Maul as a lock, and it wasn't hard to find a person or two to go to Strat as a paladin. I can't imagine it being that hard to find folks to do Sethekk. But hey, at least you have the option, right?

Captain the first - really, truly, do the quest. It's one of the longest questlines I've ever done, but it's really fun and interesting. It's right up there with Hero of the Maghar in terms of awesomeness.

Copey said...

Oh the woes of a leather worker. So, the riding crop business I was planning on opening on top of the org bank is now a bad idea. First they said that the crop would bind to a specific mount or something. Panic set in until I realized not only would I need several more crops, but so would everybody out there and I do have the recipe. So I wasn’t too bummed about that.

Now you can’t use a crop until 69, and can’t use it past 70, which means that new people will never bother since it’s not worth it for two levels, and people that only have one now won’t bother getting more, because what’s the point if you can’t use it after 70.

So…any idea about what, if anything is going to replace it as a speed enchant?

Kalon said...

Sorry, Copey - I screwed up your name. :(

I've not seen any addition for LW that is similar to the riding crop. Right now the big moneymaker would be the leatherworking leg enchants, similar to TBC. There's really nothing else of note to make for people that they're reliably going to need again and again. Leatherworking was a fairly poor money maker before, but after this it's downright horrible. The flip side of that is that LW is currently the best profession for a min-maxxing feral tank, so at least they've got that going for 'em.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kalon! Wow, teh internets are a small world. I completely randomly came across your blog (well, not too randomly since there's a few WoW blogs I read). Anyhow, this is an ex-coworker who left for Amazon, just to let you know who I am without outing either of us ;)

I wish I had known you played when I was there, think of all the time we could have wasted, hehe!

hoofnmouf said...

Hmm just finished leveling my first druid to 70 and trained flight so I could go start this. Hopefully I can find some people willing to help with the end although now I am thinking I should do something more constructive with the time this close to Wrath. Still it always seemed like a rite of passage and I was looking forward to it.

Azgaroth said...

Thanks for the good discussion here. I just ponied up the 5K for the artisan skill and am starting the quest chain. I'm concerned that I'll ever finish it though... I still think it's worth something, to me anyway, to get the epic form the "real" way so I'll give it my best shot.

Anonymous said...

I've done the paladin epic charger quest. I'm glad I did, but I just came back at 70 and soloed it after getting too frustrated finding people for Strat & Scholo. Yes, there are still groups that run them, but I never had any of them be very sucessful. I suspect the better players and those leveling alts simply move on to outlands and skip the old 60 dungeons.

I would have rather see them just nerf the 3 mount quests to be soloable, but I guess just making them trainable is ok.

Anonymous said...

Here is the official riding crop for Wrath. don't pay attention to what the tooltip says in game now. http://www.wowwiki.com/Riding_Crop_(WotLK)

Shawn said...

Umm, the idol is going be crap at 80. 20 crit rating is going to be jack at 80, you'll probably get higher dps out of whatever other idols they have adding to your own damage rather than this.

Kalon said...

Anonymous (well, the last one) - the Riding Crop enchantments were not actually put into the Wrath game. That was something they talked about doing, but it never showed up. So far it still hasn't.

Shawn, thanks for coming by. It really depends on how many other raid members will benefit from the crit. 20 crit rating at level 80 is only .5% or so crit rating, but think of it this way - before, the .9% crit rating it provided was good enough if it was doing it for 5 members in your party (you + 4 others). As I said in the article, as long as it's a useful crit bonus for 10 or so raiders, it's going to be competitive. Is it going to beat 203 extra damage on shreds? It will if that .5% crit rating gives 203 damage every 2 seconds or so (shreds aren't done every 1.5 seconds). Or about 100 DPS. If you have 10 people who can benefit from this in your raid that means the .5% crit has to be giving each one about 10DPS each - so the question is are there ten raiders who get about 20 DPS per percentage of crit. That's shockingly easy for rogues, ferals and hunters.

So it's still pretty good. Just not that great for personal dps.

Epicurias said...

Just thought i would quickly chime in here. Ive only been playing less than 6 months, and Druid is my only char above lvl 40.

As a lvl 70, my first priority was getting the riding skill will the sole purpose of getting the Swift Flight Form from the Quest chain because i had been waiting nearly 6 months to do it.


I find it a real shame that they now find the need to literally give it away, rewarding yet more farmers and money grabbers with items and skills that should only be available to people willing to work for them.

On a sub-note, whats the point in buying it at 71, when you cant use it in northrend til 77, might as well just buy it at 77

DeftyJames said...

I wanted to post here too. I fully intend to do the epic quest line. I just dinged 70 moments ago. Rather than seeing it as something that is being taken away, I see it as something that enhances the game. People are no longer forced to do it, they are now doing it because the want to. Doing the quest line will be special to me because I want to do it, not a burden because the game forces me too.