I’ve noted before that I love flying in World of Warcraft. So much so that threats to flight bother me more than the bugaboo of the week, the apparently shark-allied Pandaran pandas.
Just to make my quirky heavy Explorer position a bit clearer, it’s instructive to look at how I’ve spent my time since acquiring Cold Weather Flight, which allowed my Tauren Druid to fly pretty much anywhere in the overworld.
95% of my play time since then has been in the air.
I take a lot of screenshots. Let’s call it an occupational hazard, working on art in the game industry as I do. I like to see what’s out there. I think I have about 8,000 screenshots of WoW over about 1 year of play total (spread out over almost 5 years).
Then again, I also take a lot of photos in the real world. My children call them “daddy dork” photos, where I take shots purely for texture or lighting reference. I’ve taken about 400 real world photos this month (I love digital cameras), and half of them have been “daddy dork” photos. Someday I’ll collect them all and offer them on CD or something like Mayang does.
I’ve not played much since I ran out of game time in March (F2P/Starter Thumpin experiment aside, of course), but recently, Blizzard offered me 14 free days to come look around. They really wanted me to look at the new Firelands content.
So naturally, I tried to get the best screenshots of Gilneas that I could.
Y’see, I ran into this excellent “Gilneas Time Capsule” article a while back, and I wanted to get some shots of the place with a character who can fly. Worgen can get the best shots of Duskhaven (since it is destroyed as you progress through the area, and Horde characters never see it intact), but not from the air. I love to get aerial shots to really get a sense of the scope of the cities and world features of the game. There are also some things and views that you’ll just never get from the ground.
I’m taking advantage of some quirks of the phasing system in WoW. There’s this dramatic story of the Forsaken invasion of Gilneas that drives low level Forsaken and Worgen questing, but it’s told in phases with the world changing here and there as you progress. If you ignore the Forsaken Front quests, and just fly into the city itself, the city is completely empty (and so is pretty much anything past the Greymane Wall). It’s pretty much a ghost town, so you can get great shots of the terrain and town. Oddly enough, you can even fly into Greymane Manor and take some high angle shots of the interior.
So I’ve been exploring Gilneas. I’m still deciding where else I want to get shots of while I still have access. There’s a world out there, I want to see it.
…and yes, I’d totally do the same thing in real life if I could fly (OK, and if I had the time). I’d take a camera and fill up a few memory cards every few days.