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Blizzard will allow flying mounts in Draenor (with a catch)

Many World of Warcraft players were irked when Blizzard initially announced that they would not be able to use their flying mounts in the latest expansion’s new areas of Draenor. Always attentive to their fans, Blizzard has announced a compromise: once players have sufficiently explored Draenor’s zones and met a number of requirements, they will unlock a meta-achievement called Draenor Pathfinder that enables flight for all level 90+ characters associated with their account.

According to Blizzard, players will be able to earn the achievement after Patch 6.2 by doing the following: “exploring Draenor’s zones, collecting 100 treasures in Draenor, completing the Draenor Loremaster and Securing Draenor achievements, and raising the three new Tanaan Jungle reputations to Revered.” Following a small follow-up patch (6.2.x), you will then be able to take to the sky in Draenor, even if you didn’t already have an aerial mount of your own, since the achievement will also reward you with a rylak mount, “the Soaring Skyterror,” a two-headed dragon native to the Orcish motherland of Draenor.

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The initial decision to limit flight in Draenor was rooted in a conviction that exploring the World of Warcraft on foot is one of its central pleasures. Flying overhead in a new area might lead players to miss out on memorable moments of discovery. It’s been ages since I dabbled in WoW, but I agree wholeheartedly that one of the most fun parts of the game was exploring its massive and beautifully-designed landscapes.

Blizzard also didn’t want to deny players the ability “to enjoy their hard-earned flying mounts,” so this seems like an entirely serviceable compromise. The post describes this system as “a general blueprint going forward for content to come.” Players will explore new areas by foot initially, in order to first experience them the way that the designers intended, and then afterwards they will be rewarded with faster travel and a whole new perspective.

So worry not! You’re only grounded in Draenor for a little while — just believe.