Tags: Druid Flight Form, Mark of the Wild, Top Ten List, World of Warcraft
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
- 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!
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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 –
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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).
- 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?)