Druid Flight Form – The MOST OPest Thing Ever Done! EVAR!!

July 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Posted in General | 15 Comments
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Flight form

Marked Readers -

Blizzard hit a home run with Druid Flight Form.  No, I take that back, they hit a freaking grand slam.  No, I take THAT back.  They hit a freaking grand slam down 3 with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth of Game 7 of the World Series. 

Against the Yankees. 

Every class has their own thing that makes them unique – the thing that makes them ‘OP’ in the eyes of anyone who doesn’t play that class.  Pally’s with their bubble, hunters with their pets, etc.  But Druid flight form (DFF) is the perfect blend of uniqueness and OPness without skewing core gameplay.  DFF won’t win you any duels or let you slack in Uludar or let you complete 3-man group quests alone.  What DFF does do is make the rest of the game – the travel, the farming, you know, the boring stuff, that much easier to handle.  For example, I was Jacking Some Lumber yesterday and as always after I clicked on the axe to chop down the tree, I popped into DFF before the tree spirit spawned and could attack.  As I flew on to the next tree, I saw someone else – a non-druid – chop a tree down and then have to spend the 10 seconds needed to kill the spirit.  By that time, I had chopped down another tree and was flying away from the spirit.  Thats when I knew I had to list

THE TEN BEST THINGS ABOUT DRUID FLIGHT FORM

  1. Its instant cast.  This is the key to many of the other items below, but it deserves it’s own mention.  Right at #1.  I still chuckle after the group I kill Chillmaw with heads south to the Citadel.  I just pop into DFF and fly away while the other saps have to wait 3 seconds to jump on their mount.  Love that headstart!
  2. Harder to be dismount (impossible?).  I don’t know if I’ve ever been dismounted while in DFF, though I won’t say that for sure.  It’s possible that it’s happened while flying over Honor Hold or some other puke ally town.  What I do know is that it’s much harder to knock me back into human  (cow?) form than if I were riding some drake or something.  And if I am dismounted?  Well, that’s fine because I can
  3. Cast while falling – yes, this goes back to the instant cast bit at the top of the list, but this is vitally important.  Ever accidentally fallen out of Naxx’s summoning chamber?  or the citadel?  Or even done it intentionally?  Anyway, that ‘Up Up and Away’ feeling is tough to beat.  Jumping off a random cliff, falling out of sight (and mind), then come soaring back up.  That’s pretty cool.  Also, this leads to
  4. Gravity Chicken!  Yes, other classes can play this – priests, mages and maybe pallys, but ours are the most noticable.  How do you play?  Well, we used to gather in Shatt’s Terrace of Light, fly up out the middle spire as high as you could, then pop into boomkin form and free fall.  The last druid to pop into DFF (without going splat) wins.  I made a lot of gold (and paid a lot of repair bills) playing Gravity Chicken.
  5. Flight at 68 – Its only 2 levels, I know.  And since folks head to Northrend at 68, it may not have as much impact these days, but back in Outland days, this was a HUGE headstart on the other classes.  You have access to everything that requires flight, of course, but you also get a jump on farming which helps you make gold and boost your professions.  And speaking of farming –
  6. Farming! – I can’t imaging farming without being a druid.  Well, I can imagine it because I’ve done it, but I hate it.  You have to dismount for each node, then it takes 3 seconds to re-mount then you have to dismount again.  In addition to the time lost, it’s just a choppy visual to switch constantly from being on a big drake (or other mount) to standing on the ground (possibly with a pet of some sort).  Druids cannot mine while in DFF, but they can (or could, has this been changed?) pick flowers.  But even when mining, the visual is better than with other classes because the image size isn’t changed as much.  And on a practical level, having that 3 second head start to the next node can’t be underestimated. 
  7. No other flying mount needed – ever – I don’t have the netherwing drake.  I don’t care that my guild didn’t do the Naxx or Uludar hard modes in time to get whatever drakes they’re handing out.  I don’t feel compelled to take up engineering for the copter.  That entire line of achievements holds zero appeal to me.  Why?  Because I’ve already got the best flying mount in the game. 
  8. Best looking druid form – While this may be debatable once the new druid forms are implemented in 3.2, right now, and for as long as it has existed, DFF has been, hands down, the best looking form available to druids.  Say what you want about their dance, boomkins look like a hay bale with sticks. 
    Hay bale or Boomkin - you decide

    Hay bale or Boomkin - you decide

    We don’t even need to mention bear and cat form, and the tree of life, while a great form if you’re looking for an old-ladyish looking mascot, still reminds me of a bunch of asparagus. 

  9. Jacking some lumber - And all quests like it.  Just hit n’ go (btw, hit your DFF button with ~0.5 seconds left in the chop and you’re golden.  You’ll be in combat for a second, but will leave combat as you fly away). 
  10. Awesome quest line - Just as with getting flight 2 levels early, this doesn’t have much impact today.  3.1 removed the requirement to do this quest line, which I can understand.  But that doesn’t take away from the sheer coolness of this chain.  It was just long enough to get you involved, but not so long it was tedious.  It was hard, but not impossible.  You had to use all of your skills – tank, melee, caster, healer. 

So there you have it.  My ode to the Druid Flight Form.  Kudos, Blizzard developers and thank you for a good job well done.  

What about you, Marked Readers?  Anything about DFF that makes you incredibly happy to be a druid (and to laugh at anyone who isn’t?)

15 Comments »

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  1. Ha, I finally posted Noze :) I told you I would! Couple comments I’d like to make.
    My favorite thing to do with this is quests like jacking lumber, the one sword quest to gather flowers for the lady comes to mind. Also, when you turn off SFF while moving, you go forward at epic mount speed. Regular flyers don’t do that, but you shouldn’t get off of those while your moving anyway. I play gravity chicken with myself just by falling towards my destination, but I’m scared to go too close most of the time.
    The thing I DON’T like though is the whole “outside” thing. (wait, there’s somthing bad about it?) It seems like when you walk out of a building, it takes 2-3 seconds to realize you’re outside so I lose the headstart alot. I mean, normal people can’t fly inside anyway so why the extra factor? Or does this just happen to me? >_< oh, and I don't think herbs de-form you, but I've only tried it on the winter hyacinths for the sword quest since my herbing is low… And this is the goofy warlock btw :D

  2. No, I get that “you’re not outside even though you are” bit too and it is irritating. Though I think normal folks get that as well. At least we get to spam the button while we keep running, though!

    I will admit my ignorance though, what is SFF?

    • Swift Flight Form :D

  3. Ahhh, so your SFF is my DFF. OK. Yes, I pop out regularly to get to the ground quicker (and pop back into DFF to ensure a soft landing).

    I do that most often going from the citadel quests to the lumber quest. After I clear the mountain barrier between IC and CSF, I pop out and arc down into the trees I need to cut down.

  4. It’s even better if you are a Night Elf. Shadowmeld + SFF is the best way to escaping anything you don’t wanna face. It’s saved me a lot of times!

  5. I love to jump right as I press my DFF button. I have no idea why I started doing it, but it just seems right- and now I can’t possibly conceive pressing flight form and THEN jump up into the air. I must be free from the get go to soar! I’ve noticed I’m not alone in this, and every time I see a druid jump then shape into DFF I chuckle.

    I also love to make the bird graceful in its flight; no choppy turns or rapid changes in height. This was especially important when flying into Shattrath. A straight line was needed, obviously, but I used to do a small circling motion down to ground level. I also tended to fly really high, and then shape out, fall to the ground, and shape back in when I was closing on the ground. I loved that! Doesn’t work too well in Dalaran though. :(

  6. psst, don’t tell them about the lumber quest… Also, Cemila, ixnay on the ootinglay while yingflay! I still (like to) believe the devs haven’t noticed yet :P

  7. I started playing WoW in April or May. I made a Paladin, and he’s at 80 now (recruit-a-friend is a great thing). My alt is a level 54 Mage. My OTHER alt is a level 24(?) Druid. Over the past couple weeks, I am beginning to regret NOT having made the Druid in place of the Paladin. He’s only 24, and I love him the most so far. I already began realizing some of the perks you’ve mentioned here, and after reading your list, I want to play as the druid even more. As soon as I got cat form, I’ve already been extremely versatile in low level 5-mans. For example, I was playing as healer (granted, while feral specced) but was still able to do my job fairly well. It turned out that every so often, another feral druid (in the group) and I could switch whenever we felt like it. He was healing, so switched to DPS. I could be off-base here, but it almost seems like a group of 5 druids could do most of the 5 level instances. Healer, tank, melee DPS, and caster.

    And yes, instant cast for “mount” forms is simply freakin amazing. Druids rule.

    P.S. A couple more things to add to your list: 1) Druids can also CC and escape. (Ent. Roots and Nature’s Grasp.) 2) Pre-3.2, being able to run at 21% speed is an ENORMOUS perk for druids. (I’m not sure when Hunter’s get their speed bonus, but even with theirs, they get stunned when they’re attacked. We just stay in that form when we’re attacked, AND shred face. Awesome.)

    • Wow, I realized I made some typing mistake in there.

      I meant 5-man instances, not 5 level.

      I also meant being able to run at 130% AT level 21.

  8. “Jack some lumber”… seriously?

    How can you still call yourself a Druid? Chopping down a tree! From Crystal Song Forest of all places!
    Then you kill the angry spirit whose home you just destroyed!

    I don’t RP, but still… so wrong!

    Yeah, yeah, It’s just a video-game. Just following orders, right?
    Pfft.

  9. @ Tullamoredew
    First, great screen name, though I’m more of a Jamesons guy myself.

    I’m rarely affected by quests, though I do understand why others would. I never even thought of Jack some Lumber as against the druidic code. It may be, but I’ll still take my 13g!

    The only quests I don’t like are from the Foresaken. I’ve never been able to level an undead toon mainly because I don’t like their quests. Venomspite just gives me the creeps as well.

    @ Kevin –
    Not off base at all. I leveled feral and did all 3 roles regularly. In fact I probably healed more often than I tanked! I was able to keep this up all the way to 70. As long as you build the needed gear sets, it’s definately doable. I’d imagine it’s the similar with Pally’s. But you’re right, Druids are better ;)

  10. @ Elowhyn
    I think you’re right, everyone jumps as they transform. It gives me that ‘Up UP AND AWAY’ feeling and makes me feel all super hero-y.

    @ Xtal –
    That may be true, but I’d trade no shadowmeld for not being a NELF anyday O.o

    • Haha. It is true. I picked up a similar habit when playing City of Heroes. Whenever I would fly I would jump as I cast it. I still do it now with my flying mounts, though sometimes I am a bit early and cancel my cast. ^^;

  11. I was going to roll a druid next anyway, but this just made me way more excited about it. AWESOME.

  12. hi. great article!


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