Nowadays the ability to freely roam the skies of World of Warcraft instead of going through fixed paths from one flymaster to another is considered the standard and it is difficult to imagine the game without it. But that was not always the case.
The flying system was first introduced all the way back in The Burning Crusade expansion. Today one simply cannot imagine how cool it was back then, the only unpleasant thing was the price you had to pay for a flying mount. So, yes, this was a huge step forward for the game, and today it seems that we are about to see another.
Today the Dragon Riding System, introduced with the Dragonflight expansion for our beloved game, is way more enjoyable (especially at first) than free flying was after The Burning Crusade release. This adds so much fun to the game! But why Dragon Riding is so cool? You will get your answer in our Dragon Riding System Preview, so read on to learn exactly what it is all about!
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What is Dragon Riding
Let us start our Dragon Riding Guide from the basics. Dragon Riding is a new flying system, only available in the Dragon Isles. Unlike traditional flying mounts, Dragon Riding offers players a completely new experience, with the main feature of this system being taking in consideration things like gravity, momentum, and speed. But aside from that there are other cool features:
- Previously unseen level of customization for your dragon. With thousands of possible cosmetics combinations you can make practically anything you want with your dragon.
- Huge Talent Tree which can significantly affect your gameplay. More about it later.
- Speed! Yes, you will be able to fly much faster than with the traditional flying system and, boy, that feels awesome. Flying in WoW has never been so quick, intense, and fun.
- With Dragon Riding system activities like flying from one quest giver to another, resource farming, or roaming the skies looking for an enemy player to fight will finally be enjoyable. This adds a new level of gameplay and makes the game as a whole much more fun and exciting.
Dragon Riding Essentials
So, in a nutshell, Dragon Riding feels like kind of a game within a game. The rules are simple but they are much more than you had to take into consideration with the traditional flying system. Dragon Riding mounts can also be used as regular ground mounts, but you will enter the mod after hitting the spacebar twice or after falling off a cliff.
The flying process in the Dragon Isles goes like this:
- Overall, the Dragon Riding mechanic should feel familiar for everyone who enjoyed games like War Thunder or World of Warplanes - you will need to trade speed for altitude, only your dragon does not have an engine like a plane does, so you cannot go higher and higher indefinitely. If you fly downwards you will gain speed (the steeper the angle, the more speed you will gain) and if you want to move higher, you will quickly lose speed until you stop dead midair and start to slowly descend until hitting the ground (with no fall damage, of course).
- You can fly relatively horizontally without much of a speed penalty, but that also cannot last forever, so you will need to fly down more than you fly up. Or use special abilities.
- And here is where the interesting part begins. Once you mount your dragon you will see a special action bar with blue spheres which are called Vigor. There is also a vertical meter on each sphere which will recharge one Vigor point once it is full.
- Note that this meter will start filling up only when you are not flying or flying with high enough speed (indicated by blue glow around your character). In this case you will get the Thrill of the Skies effect, which will regenerate your Vigor bar as if your dragon is resting on the ground.
- You will need Vigor to use various Dragon Riding abilities including (but not limited to):
- Surge Forward - Quickly move forward and gain speed. Costs 1 Vigor;
- Skyward Ascent - Powerful leap upwards. Gives you plenty of altitude at a cost of some momentum. Costs 1 Vigor;
- Whirling Surge - Spiral forward a great distance and gain significant speed. Costs 3 Vigor.
- Also remember that unlike the traditional flying mounts, you cannot just hover in place midair and go AFK, you will need to constantly move to gain speed and momentum. This makes flying in the Dragon Isles much more fun and intense, but also requires more attention from the player. BLOG20
Dragon Riding Talents Tree
Of course, such a complex and well-developed system as Dragon Riding cannot come without a separate talent tree. Dragon Riding talents will help you improve maneuverability of your dragon, make you stay midair longer, and regenerate Vigor more quickly.
You will make yourself familiar with Dragon Riding talents quite early on in your journey through the Dragon Isles - the introduction questline can be found in Waking Shores. It will guide you to Lithragosa, the Dragon Riding trainer, at the Skytop Observatory, who will help you make your first steps in mastering the skies of the Dragon Isles.
The Dragon Riding talent tree is divided in 9 rows, with few choices, however. The talent tree is mostly a straight line, where you collect everything, with several minor variations here and there.
The interesting part about it is that this whole thing is purely exploratory, meaning that you do not have to do special quests, gain a level or anything like that in order to get Dragon Riding talents. Instead, all you must do is fly across the Dragon Isles and collect shiny gold “coins”, called Dragon Glyphs, with a symbol resembling a dragon face on them.
These Dragon Glyphs are scattered all across the continent with about a 5 minutes respawn timer. You can find them in hard-to-reach locations like mountain peaks, at the top of tall towers and so on. So, you will need to gain at least some experience on how to ride your dragon before you start collecting them.
Here are a few tips about how to collect Dragon Glyphs a bit more effectively:
- There are 48 Dragon Glyphs scattered across the Dragon Isles (see related picture);
- You do not have to make it to the Glyph you are trying to get in one attempt. Nothing stops you from gradually climbing up, landing from time to time to recharge your Vigor;
- All Dragon Glyphs are located high above the ground, so you can try to fly straight from one Dragon Glyph to another using that height and your Thrill of the Skies to regenerate Vigor.
- Note that you can apply Dragon Riding talents anywhere, so the more Dragon Glyphs you collect, the easier it will be to fly your way to more of them.
- You will hardly miss a nearby Dragon Glyph, because of the Dragon Glyph Resonance effect, which will indicate that you are close to one of the Dragon Riding talents tokens;
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All this collecting in different places across the game world is more like a Genshin Impact kind of thing, but it is pretty fun and we are really glad the developers decided to add something like that in the game.
In the table below you will find a detailed description of every Dragon Riding talent with some tips that will be useful for you when you start exploring the new continent.
|Row 1||1 Dragon Glyph||Take to the Skies - Increase your Vigor to 4. Also provides a bonus to the maximum flying speed, increasing it to 830% in the Dragon Isles.||Not much to say here. Just helps you fly faster, higher, and longer.|
|Row 2||3 Dragon Glyphs||Redirection - Increase the effectiveness of Surge Forward while moving at low speed by up to 125%. This effect decreases as your speed gets higher.||Quite a useful talent, which can help you out when you are about to lose all your momentum by giving you a significant speed boost with the cost of just one Vigor.|
|3 Dragon Glyphs||Dynamic Stretching - Vigor regeneration is accelerated to 1 Vigor every 25 seconds while on the ground. The cooldown of Soar is decreased by 40 seconds while in the Dragon Isles.||Allows you to regenerate Vigor much quicker, which will help to reach some distant or hard-to-get places, especially early on. However, once you get more talent in the tree this will be less useful.|
|3 Dragon Glyphs||Thrill Chaser - Thrill of the Skies now generates 1 Vigor per 10 seconds.||Absolutely vital talent, allowing you to cover huge distances with incredible speed.|
|Row 3||3 Dragon Glyphs||Ohn'ahra's Gusts - Using Surge Forward will help you evade various obstacles encountered in time trials and races (Scalechillers, Scalechargers, e.t.c).||Useful if you are into Dragon Riding races and trials. Has no effect on your everyday flying.|
|Row 4 - Here you will have to select one talent.||3 Dragon Glyphs||Dragonrider's Initiative - Gain up to 10 of Dragonrider's Initiative while flying at medium or high speed. Upon landing each stack creates a shockwave, dealing 418 damage per stack and splitting this damage among all enemies in the area of effect, also disorienting them for 3 seconds. Low-speed landing has no Dragonrider's Initiative effect.||May be useful for AoE mob grinding, especially for melee classes. Helps you crash into a crowd of enemies, dealing some initial damage. However the damage is not significant and if you play as a, say, mage you would be much better off with the second talent in this row.|
|3 Dragon Glyphs||Dragonrider's Compassion - While flying above the Dragon Isles you will gain up to 10 Dragonrider’s Compassion stacks. Upon dismounting, every stack will give you a shield worth 1% of your maximum health and a 1% movement speed bonus for 30 seconds.||This is a more versatile option for both melee and range classes. What could be better than a strong shield and convenient movement speed buff when you are attacking a big group of enemies?|
|Row 5||4 Dragon Glyphs||Restorative Travels - Aceletates Vigor regeneration to 1 Vigor every 20 seconds while on the ground. Soar's cooldown is also decreased by 40 seconds while in the Dragon Isles.||Another talent which helps you regenerate your Vigor faster.|
|Row 6||4 Dragon Glyphs||Airborne Tumbling - Using Whirling Surge will evade Wingshredders and dismounts airborne enemy players.||Quite a cool ability to make enemy players’ life a bit more interesting. You will love it.|
|Row 7||4 Dragon Glyphs||Dragon Riding Learner - Your Vigor is increased to 5.||This will simply make your life easier.|
|Row 8 - Here you will have to select one talent.||5 Dragon Glyphs||Dragonrider's Cultivation - Gathering, Herbalism, or Mining resources increases your Vigor recharge rate by 10% for 10 seconds.||Must have for more efficient farming in Dragon Isles.|
|5 Dragon Glyphs||Dragonrider's Hunt - Increases your Vigor regeneration speed by 10% for 3 seconds. Works only once every 10 seconds.||Also quite a useful talent if you are not into farming. Will increase your questing speed.|
|Row 9||5 Dragon Glyphs||Beyond Infinity - Your Vigor is increased to 6.||With this talent you will have the maximum available amount of Vigor.|
|5 Dragon Glyphs||Yearning for the Sky - Your Vigor regeneration speed is increased to 1 Vigor every 15 seconds. Soar's cooldown is decreased by 40 seconds while in the Dragon Isles.||This is the last upgrade to your Vigor regeneration speed.|
|5 Dragon Glyphs||At Home Aloft - Thrill of the Skies now generates 1 Vigor per 5 seconds.||Another vital talent, allowing you to cover even bigger distances with incredible speed.|
Dragon Glyphs Locations
Below you will find exact locations of all Dragon Glyphs in the Dragon Isles:
A few words about Customization
Aside from being a huge step forward in terms of mounts customization (considering that there was not such a thing before the Dragonflight release), the Dragon Riding customization system is a logical development of an already existing character customization system.
The interface you use to make your dragon unique is very similar to your character customization screen. So the system is simple, but it offers a huge variety of options, significantly changing how your dragon will look and feels.
You will have a pool of different dragon types, all of which can be of different dragonflights:
- Windborne Velocidrakes;
- Highland Drakes;
- Cliffside Wylderdrakes.
The range of things you can change is also quite respectful, though we will not list them all here to not make this article too long:
- Every body part from head and horns to tail;
- Pieces of armor and their color;
- Scales pattern and color;
- Eyes color and pupils type.
New customization items are learn via special items, like, for example, Highland Drake: Black Scales, which is a Wrathion or Sabellion reputations' reward. All customization variants are, of course, account wide. You can get those from quests in the Dragon Isles, loot from rare enemies, receive as a reputation reward, or find in dungeons. You will not get many customization options right away, once you reach max level, and it will be quite time-consuming to get really rare ones.
Another interesting suggestion is that this customization system will likely completely change how reward-mounts will work in WoW Dragonflight. For example, there is the new Gladiator Mount.
Just look at the picture and you will notice that the drake itself is practically nothing to be proud of. Which cannot be said about the armor. Sure, you can use it on any Dragonflight mount you like, which makes this unique PVE reward ten times cooler than it was before the newest expansion.
Of course, the same mechanic will definitely be implemented to, say, raid mounts, future Keystone Master mounts (because the Season One mount is a ground beast), and so on. Does that not make the game even more rewarding?
Another very cool and exciting feature is Dragon Racing. In this fast-paced activity you can either race with other players or complete difficult routes trying to beat the clock. Sounds simple, but it is not, especially if you want to complete the race on Gold.
Anyway, while some may like such mini-games and others may not, let us dive into it to see what it is all about.
The Basics of Dragon Racing
Well, first you need to locate a Dragon Race. Which is easy. Just keep an eye on your minimap for a small finishing flag icon. It indicates the location of the Bronze Timekeeper. Often you can find him near a settlement with a fly path.
Speak with the Bronze Timekeeper and after you are automatically moved to a starting point, he will start a 3 seconds countdown. Or, of it is a race with other players, you will have to wait untill more players registeret to the race, after wich you will automatically teleport to the starting point. Your Vigor will be fully recharged during the countdown, so do not worry about that.
The objective of any Dragon Race is simple: you need to pass every checkpoint in the area (indicated by a big yellow ring), following the blue arrow. Note that you will only have 9 seconds to reach the next checkpoint, so you better stick to the route.
Another important thing to keep in mind are small whirlwinds located on your course or slightly off it. As you can probably guess these are your speed boosters, so, if you want to get a high score you should do your best to not to miss them. Some trials will also have obstacles, which will slow you down quite a bit and ruin your perfect completion, so keep an eye on them. Below you will find a table with all obstacles and boosters explained:
|Yellow Checkpoint Ring||These chekpoint are mandatory to go through, otherwise you will instantly fail the race. Each Yellow Ring will give you pluc 15 seconds on your race timer. If you have less than 5 seconds remaining to go through a checkpoint you will also recieve the Countdown debuff.|
|Green Checkpoint Ring||Green Checkpoint Rings will follow each Yellow Checkpoint and are served as an indication on where you should fly next.|
|Wind Gale||These boosts will give you a significant speed boost, very similar to the effect of the Surge Forward ability.|
|Vigor Orb||This boost will instantly give you 1 Vigor, allowing you to use your Dragon Riding abilities.|
|Stun Orb||As the name implies, this obstacle will apply the Zapped debuff, which will stun you for 2 second and remove all flight momentum you currently have. Note that the Ohn'ahra's Gusts Dragon Riding talent will allow you to freely fly through such obstacles for 1 second after using the Surge Forward ability.|
|Slow Orb||These obstacles are summoned by elementals on the ground and move up and down, crossing your path. If you hit one of these you will receive the Flames debuff, which will slow you down for 2 seconds. Note that the Ohn'ahra's Gusts Dragon Riding talent will allow you to freely fly through such obstacles for 1 second after using the Surge Forward ability.|
Normal and Advanced Dragon Races
There are two types of Dragon Races: Normal and Advanced.
- Normal races you gain speed boost quite often, and it will be comparably easy to keep your speed up and complete the trial. Also, there will be fewer obstacles (if not none at all).
- In Advanced Dragon Races you will get a Vigor boost instead of just a bonus to your current momentum. This means you will need to decide how to best utilize your Vigor to make it in time. You will also see a lot more obstacles on your way through the race. All this, of course, makes Advanced challenges way harder than in Normal Dragon Races.
This all sounds pretty straightforward, but you will need all your Dragon Riding skills to complete these time trials more or less efficiently, thus earning corresponding achievements. Speaking about which, there are three types of them:
And, again, you will need to be REALLY good at Dragon Riding to get those Gold achievements in Advanced races.
Dragon Races Locations
Dragon Races are available all across the Dragon Isles, below you will find maps with exact locations of every Dragon Race.
We highly recommend you at least try out Dragon Racing even if you are not into this kind of gameplay. The skills you will master in these challenges will be useful in your journeys through the Dragon Isles.
Considering all the above mentioned, one can safely say that there are A LOT of new features to unlock, cool mechanics to master, and fun moments to enjoy. Who knows, maybe you will actually enjoy flying from one activity to another more than the activities themselves.
Sure, you will need some time to get used to this new system, but once you do, no doubt you will absolutely hate the old flying mechanic. It will feel incredibly lame and boring. Just imagine, that once you came to the old world from the Dragon Isles your fast, intense, and fun Dragon Riding is replaced with… practically nothing. The same also goes for the ghost form you get into when you die - you will have to find your body mounting an old-style flying mount, which makes death in the game incredibly undesirable.
That is just strange, and we really hope that the new flying system at some point will be available in the whole game.
And there is a very good chance that it will, because this feels even more strange when you see an Evoker practically “dragon riding” across the Stormwind or Orgrimmar using his race-specific abilities, which means that the mechanic itself is already usable in the rest of the WoW game world.
So, we hope that after reading this article, Dragon Riding is more clear. Keep an eye on our future guides and articles (not only about World of Warcraft, by the way) to learn even more useful data about how the game works and thus getting ahead of other players!
Can you ride dragons in World of Warcraft?
Sure. Dragon mounts were present in the game for many years already. But they have never been that cool to ride on!
What is dragon riding in wow?
This is a new flying system added to the game as part of the Dragonflight expansion. It features a much more complex and exciting flying mechanic than it ever was in the game’s history.
Does Wow Dragonflight have a release date?
World of Warcraft Dragonflight will be released on 28 November 2022.
Can Dracthyr use dragon riding?
Yes, they can. Moreso, they can utilize a limited Dragon Riding-like flying as their race ability. It cannot, of course, replace the new flying system in any way, but will certainly be nice to have in, for example, open world PvP situations.
Do I need to buy Shadowlands to play Dragonflight?
No. The content of all previous expansions, including Shadowlands, is now in the base version of the game. So, you will only need an active subscription to play all WoW content released before Dragonflight.
Will Legendaries work in Dragonflight?
Sadly, no. After the release of the new expansion your Shadowlands legendary items will only work on Shadowlands zones. Namely:
- The Maw;
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