World of Warcraft will remove Pathfinder requirements for Draenor and Broken Isles flight in Shadowlands

    
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It's all riding rats.

So if you’ve just managed to gain your Draenor Pathfinder achievement last week, this news might come at an inopportune time, but it’s officially announced in the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands alpha that flying in Draenor and the Broken Isles will not require earning those achievements any longer. Instead, you’ll be able to unlock flight there at level 30, just like the other zones. You know, the same way people had basically wanted flight to work in those zones when the expansions were new.

On the bright side, there’s no word about Battle for Azeroth’s Pathfinder achievement being deprecated, so that may still be required for leveling through Kul Tiras or Zandalar. Looking back, there’s no reason for that statement to start with “on the bright side.” Regardless, at least two of the areas in the game will be freed from that rather arbitrary restriction when the next expansion goes live, and at least you’ll be able to choose to bypass Battle for Azeroth if you’d like.

Source: Official Site via Wowhead; thanks to Threespeed for the tip!
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DatGeek4real

They should’ve just removed the achievement requirements for flying, period. It was a stupid move to add achievement requirements that only benefit the hardcore players to begin with.

When they first introduced it, it ruined it for a lot of people. Ok, so i get why. They wanted people to explore the new areas by foot or on a mount, but they should’ve made the flying skill for each of the previous x expansions a short but difficult quest chain rather than having us do an insane achievement grind that really only hardcore players could ever appreciate.

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Lucky Jinx

Oh thank g.. Blizzard. This makes me happy.

I skipped Draenor and Legion completely, so this is good stuff. I would like to see the pathfinder achievement eased up a little though. It’s a crapton of grinding just to get flying unlocked. I did the BfA achievements, and it wasn’t fun, not even a little. Pathfinder part 2 was particularly mind-numbing. Perhaps just make it where completing the campaign chain unlocks flying and that’s it?

agemyth 😩
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agemyth 😩

If they insist on gating it behind enough content that it should feel like you know the land in and out before you fly over it all, it would be an improvement to do something like you suggest. A lot of people still wouldn’t be happy I think because “completing” the campaign of Shadowlands would probably mean having to wait until the last 9.X content update when the final endgame zones and stuff are added. That would mean all the people that jump in when expansions are new will probably have lost interest in subscribing by the time flying is added.

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Leiloni

Draenor is the only one I don’t have so this is great.

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Ironwu

As usual, the WoW suits have again missed the mark.

I will simply no longer play, or pay, for the ‘opportunity’ to waste my life and time doing reputation grinds.

It just is not the sort of ‘content’ that I find fun or acceptable anymore.

So, WoW suits, you keep your reputation grinds in place in order to stretch out the wasteland of WoW. And I will keep my gaming dollars going to somewhere else!

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Dug From The Earth

Should remove it from BFA too. The pathfinder bs was always such a bad design mechanic.

Sure, make people stay grounded the first time through. Make them complete the main quest lines for each new zone before they can unlock it account wide.

Throwing in additional time gates, rep grinding, and random grinding, is just dumb and pointless.

To keep that same mechanic around in the NEXT expansion, for old content, is even more ridiculous.

Here is the the messed up nonsensical part.

Much of the level revamp, new starting experience, etc etc is all designed to give NEW players a better experience through the game first time through.

Right now, new players can get flying at 60, and fly in content from 60 to about 90. Sure, they get cut off from flying at 90, but at least they got to have fun with it from 60-90. With the new mechanics in place, new players are forced to level up in ONLY BFA, which means even though they can get flying at 30, they cant use it at all as they quest. Thats not a very good or appealing experience for a brand new player.

Existing players, who play an alt from the start, will simply avoid BFA like the plague, unless they already smashed their heads against the grind wall and unlocked it.

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athiev

Frankly, flying is fun. Because WoW is for fun, I think flying should be turned on for questing from day 1. Recent WoW zones are typically prettier from the air, and the content “skipped” by flying tends to be another bad habit in WoW: scads of boring, time-wasting trash mobs.

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Dug From The Earth

it is a good progression achievement… something you get via leveling, and earning the cash to purchase it. It works hand in hand in earning both xp and gold.

Handing it out at level 1 would be like handing out a max level character in a sense. Would it break anything? Absolutely not. But it would remove some of the elements from the gameplay that people actually play these games for… the progression and advancement.

Locking it behind other poorly thought out timegates and grinds, however, is just asinine and poorly thought out game decisions. A classic example of the few thinking they know better than the majority.

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Bruno Brito

Flying should be a epic questline for sure. An account bound one, but a relatively time consuming one.

Make it epic.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

That’s nice, I’ll finally be able to fly in those zones, I haven’t flown in any expansion since these dumb achievements for flying went into place.

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bobfish

BfA’s two Pathfinder achievements are horrible, its such an unnecessary grind. I can’t appreciate not wanting players to fly past the world they’ve made, but people only run it once, because after that they will use the flight paths. And they could’ve just locked it behind the story line for each of the areas.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Stop making sense.

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athiev

Counterpoint: the BfA zones look better and are more fun to quest in when flying is on. Even making people stick to the ground on the first run just arbitrarily made the leveling experience worse.

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jealouspirate

counter-counterpoint: In my opinion leveling through the zones both looks better and is more fun without flying. It also provides a better, more interactive, and thoughtful gameplay experience.

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Kross Vilalobos

counter-counter-counterpoint: Why not just let everyone who wants to fly in the zone unlock it by normal means and not through a atrocious time gated rep and quest and you can just stay on the ground not altering your experience from the one you like and they can fly getting the experience they want.

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jealouspirate

Well, given that we’re headed into our 4th expansion with a Pathfinder achievement to unlock flying, I’m not sure what unlocking it by “normal means” is anymore. But anyway, the reasons why are complicated. In my opinion:

1) Zones, and the content in them, is designed around how you can travel through the zone. You can see this very clearly if you compare a zone designed to never have flying (ie Timeless Isle) with a zone designed to require flying (ie Icecrown). The distance between places, vertical & horizontal scale, pacing of play, mob density, tree density, and many other factors are all affected by how we’re expected to traverse the zone.

2) The question of efficiency. The gaming culture, and WoW community, are very concerned with playing “the meta”. People will will follow the fastest or “best” way of doing things even if it isn’t the most fun. So if you tell players “yeah, you can either do this zone on the ground or do it with flying in half the time”, guess what people are going to choose? Even if it’s not as good of an experience.

3) Progression & Mastery. Not only is working towards Pathfinder a long term progression goal, spending time in the zones allows you to get a sense of mastery over them. Nazjatar is a great example of this. At first, I found it extremely confusing and difficult. Mobs hit hard and are dense, I didn’t know where anything was, the vertical scale made it harder to get around. However, the more I played the more I learned about the zone. I learned where everything was, I learned the shortcuts to places. I actually used my class’ full kit of utility & travel abilities to get around. By the time I unlock flying I barely needed it anymore because I had gotten so good at getting around. That is a real form of progression and mastery over an area, just like how you learn the best way through dungeons or raids over time. Flying isn’t gameplay. Flying is the opposite of gameplay.

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Kross Vilalobos

1)How would you explain BFA and Draenor and the loads of vertical travel and poor horizontal travel and mobs in your way all the time including elites. To me the pacing is ass (off the top of my head one of the main offenders for me Zuldrazar.)

2) Of course people will pick flying because it is what they want to do. Like how alot of people who are against flying want to not use flying (or force people to not fly) but thats the difference. Meta or not options are always good. If there is a meta to be had alot of people will take that option, flying or not that applies to alot almost everything in a mmorpg.

3)I disagree you say you learned about the zone and utilized your knowledge, but at the end you are still using flying which defeats the purpose which you believe pathfinder is there for. Pathfinder to you lets you master a zone and all the routes and densities to traverse it easier with time. Pathfinder to me feels like a huge roadblock designed to “fluff” content to make the expansion look bigger than it is. I’m not learning anything; I know what my class does and what it can and can’t do to traverse tedium. I’m not 100% against pathfinder but the requirements again are stupid to me mostly because they are time gated and tedious. Not everyone has the time to wait for more world quest after they are completed. Not everyone can log in every day to complete the “limited” dailies for a tedious rep requirement. Not everyone is able to sit for hours on end waiting for a assault to appear so they won’t be left behind.

As a person who did unlock flying and all the allied races I would 100% welcome giving people a option that doesn’t require them to go through the tedium I went through. The whole time unlocking these things people where already flying (I came in late) so I always had to wait for the bosses to respawn or world bosses to respawn or daily elites to respawn because people already killed them by flying to them before I got there. It’s a bad and tedious system that just frustrates people.

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Kherova

This stupid restriction on flying was the main reason I quit the game three years ago. I will come back once flying unlocks at max lvl automatically. Which means probably never.

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Utakata

…mostly because of Blizz’s love/hate relationship with flying ingame. It would almost be comical in a /popcorn sense if it didn’t piss off and divide so many players pointlessly. /sigh

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Dug From The Earth

panda did it best imo. You had to get to max level and get far enough in the story to be at the location where you could unlock it at 70.

Id even be fine if “finishing the main story and being max level” were the requirements

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Dug From The Earth

er… not 70.. whatever the max level was in panda.

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Bruno Brito

90.

Or, they could bite the bullet and design flying zones, which they have in the past.

Blizzard’s laziness never ceases to amaze me.

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Dug From The Earth

id rather not have a zone be completely specific to one travel mode.

Make a normal zone.. add elements to it that can only be accessed via flying. Win win.

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Bruno Brito

The flying zones aren’t designed only with flying in mind. But all of them have flying aspects. Icecrown and Storm Peaks for instance.

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jealouspirate

It’s impossible to do Icecrown or Storm Peaks without flying.

It’s a complicated issue. Blizzard has designed zones with flying in mind before – not just those Wrath zones, but all of Cata’s zones as well. The zones of Cataclysm are HUGE and mostly empty for this reason. People think flying saves time, but the reason those zones were much longer was to stretch out travel time with flight.

It’s hard to make flight interesting, because the reason most players specifically like flight because it’s braindead easy and convenient. In the 8.3 zones Blizzard tried to add an element of danger/thought to flight by including these flying monsters you had to avoid and people hated it because they couldn’t just alt-tab out while autorunning.

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Kross Vilalobos

In Icecrown there are no areas you MUST fly to to complete a quest. However in StormPeaks at Ulduar there is, but to fix that all they have to do is add a teleporter or taxi to the fp thats up there. Not that hard to fix honestly.

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jealouspirate

There are absolutely lots of quests in Icecrown that require flying. One of the main quest hubs in the zone is located on an airship flying around the zone.

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Bruno Brito

I liked it for the tp idea, but Icecrown has several quest zones you NEED flying. You can’t access Jotunheim without flying. The Scarlet quest node and the Scarlet Harbor both require flying. The gnomish DK quest chain requires flying. Going across the Elite areas are an exercise in frustration if you can’t fly, specially in the Conflagration ( if i well recall the name ).

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Bruno Brito

A lot of those issues don’t happen in Icecrown or Stormpeaks, because the zones aren’t linear.

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Kherova

agree

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Angel

If you’re playing when the content is current, Pathfinder really isn’t an issue. But it does become a grind for those who come to the game after to fact. Personally I don’t have a problem with them being removed.

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Dug From The Earth

That really depends.

The new mecha gnome content was one giant grindfest that was horribly timegated.

Finding the activities to unlock to be dreadfully boring and frustrating IS an issue.

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Ironwu

I cannot agree with you on this, Angel.

The final set of rep on that little mecha island in BFA was/is just atrocious. Mainly because the daily rep quests are so few, the respawn on the targets is so long, and the targets are heavily contested and farmed.

I have never been so angry at developers and I quit the game rather than finish even a single character to the end.

For me, it was the final straw in a haystack of bad design decision.

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jealouspirate

The Rustbolt Resistance rep requirement is one of the easiest in the whole game. Certainly far easier than the Nazjatar one.

The vast majority of rep in Mechagon comes from the single daily WQ, giving 850 rep I think? Doing that quest takes about 5 – 15 minutes, tops. Do that every day and ignore everything else. You’ll get to revered relatively quickly. That’s what I did.

It’s time-gated in the sense that it will take a few weeks of doing this, but because of how fast the quest is it’s actually very fast in terms of time played.

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Fang GWJ

Seems good on the surface but shitty in reality.
Namely that they did not include removing the BFA pathfinder requirement because from everything they’ve said, they intend players to level to 50 in BFA.

I guess it is even further reason for me to level in the other expansions :)
I was already planning on leveling alliance toons in vanilla zones and horde ones most likely I’ll test out how Draenor fairs.