HOW TO UNLOCK FLYING MOUNTS IN 9.1
Flying mounts are a prominent luxury feature in World of Warcraft. They look impressive, reveal excellent views, and help get around the map with greater convenience and speed. However, obtaining the right to use them in most parts of the game world can take a fair amount of time and effort. For the last few expansions, unlocking flight in the new areas required achievements such as Battle for Azeroth Pathfinder, which in turn called for reputation farming, exploration, and taking part in various activities. Those achievements typically became available a few months after the expansion’s launch.
While keeping the delayed rollout, Shadowlands has taken a different approach to unlock flight once it is available. Starting with the 9.1 patch, players will get to experience controlled flight within most of the afterlife zones as a reward for playing through the early chapters of the extended story campaign. Thanks to both developers and testers, we already know what this process will involve and the specific benefits it will provide.
Instead of being tied to an achievement, obtaining flight now requires you to obtain a single item. However, there is still a fair amount of work involved if you’re just starting out:
- Unlock the Chains of Domination Campaign by finishing the old questline in Torghast, Tower of the Damned and defeating Sire Denathrius on any difficulty level (alts on accounts that already did this can skip by picking the right dialogue options when speaking to Highlord Bolvar Fordragon at the beginning of the Torghast story);
- Play through the first two chapters of the new campaign: Battle of Ardenweald and Maw Walkers;
- Reach 44 Renown with your Covenant by completing weekly quests and the new assaults in the Maw. That will allow you to embark on the third chapter: The Last Sigil;
- Complete all the quests in the chapter, which involves fighting the Mawsworn in the new Korthia zone and making contact with the Primus, a friendly NPC.
After talking to the Primus at the conclusion of that chapter, your character will receive Memories of Sunless Skies, an item that grants account-wide flying mount access in the Shadowlands. Note that all future characters on that account will not get the item, only obtaining the other rewards: Gold and an Emblem of Renown. However, they will still be able to use flying mounts once they have Expert Riding.
The freedom of flight in the Shadowlands comes with important constraints. You can only use it in the four Covenant home zones. The hub city of Oribos, the Maw, and the newly-added Korthia zone are off-limits, at least for now. Although you would also unlock the ability to ride all mounts in the Maw along the way, flying mounts in the zone will be grounded. Also, it is impossible to fly straight from one eligible zone to another – you will have to dismount and travel there normally using a flight path before remounting. The developers claim that it would take around half an hour to fly across the void that exists between them, making such an option impractical to implement.
Riding skills – which also influence the speed of flying mounts – have been reworked when the expansion first came out. The intermediate Artisan Riding skill rank has been removed (although the heroes who already had it have retained it). Other skills had their requirements adjusted in line with the changes to the character levels:
|Skill Rank Name||Speed Modifier||Level Required||Training Cost|
|Apprentice Riding||60%||10||10 Silver|
|Journeyman Riding||100%||20||50 Gold|
|Expert Riding||150%||30||250 Gold|
|Master Riding||310%||40||5,000 Gold|
While the skills have been effectively reset, characters who had already obtained the Expert Riding rank in the earlier version will still be able to fly even before reaching the minimal necessary level. However, they will need to acquire it and earlier ranks again in order to obtain the Master upgrade. Note that Druids also require Expert Riding to fly in the new areas while in a flight-capable form. You can learn those skills from Flight Trainers at any hubs, with the standard faction discounts applying to the costs.
On top of allowing the flying mounts from previous content to stretch their wings, at last, the 9.1 update also includes eight new flight options connected to the afterlife’s factions. Each Covenant offers two aesthetically appropriate mounts with three different color schemes each. The basic type may be acquired at no cost upon reaching 45 Renown, whereas the advanced one could be bought from the faction quartermaster for 7,500 Reservoir Anima after getting to 70 Renown. These mounts should be accessible for all characters on that account provided they share the same Covenant
|Source||Renown||Mount Name||Official Description|
|Kyrian Covenant||45||Elysian Aquilon||“With anima once again flowing to the Eternal Forge in Bastion, the plans for the aquilon centurion could be crafted once more.”|
|Kyrian Covenant||70||Ascendant’s Aquilon||“The aquilon can rapidly transport aspirants, stewards, and even ascended to a location. Hey, sometimes your wings get tired.”|
|Necrolord Covenant||45||Maldraxxian Corpsefly||“Corpseflies were once found throughout Maldraxxus, but many died out in the absence of anima. With anima flowing once again, they swarm.”|
|Necrolord Covenant||70||Regal Corpsefly||“Only the forces of Maldraxxus would call a corpsefly "Regal."|
|Night Fae Covenant||45||Ardenweald Wilderling||“As anima flows to the distant wealds of Ardenweald once more, the wilderlings awaken and cautiously emerge from their canopy burrows.”|
|Night Fae Covenant||70||Autumnal Wilderling||“The wilderlings are benevolent, magical creatures of Ardenweald, and are drawn to souls that are strong and pure.”|
|Venthyr Covenant||45||Sinfall Gravewing||“With anima once again flowing in Sinfall, the Stonewright has been able to infuse these Stoneborn, making them valuable allies in the battles to come.”|
|Venthyr Covenant||70||Obsidian Gravewing||“In the darkened skies of Revendreth, you cannot see these creatures coming until it is too late.”|
The 9.1 update is currently still in the Public Test Realm. However, it seems unlikely that the process of unlocking flight will change substantially at this late stage of development. Although its requirements may inconvenience those who were hoping to change Covenants by forcing them to earn enough Renown again, they still seem more accessible for the average player than the Pathfinder method. Also, despite being limited to the four zones, the account-wide unlock would still be very helpful, especially when powerleveling alts. It will be interesting to see if the next expansion will revert to achievement requirements or find some way to imitate this method of unlocking.