One of the main Dragonflight novelties Dragonriding system looks like one of the most outstanding casual features among all the last expansions. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Dragonriding, its abilities, talents, customization, etc.
Dragonriding (also known as Dragongliding among a lot of WoW players) is a major new addition introduced in the World of Warcraft’s ninth expansion Dragonflight. It’s a mechanic that largely changes players’ experience introducing a new momentum and gravity-based type of flight that requires time and attention to master.
New Dragonriders will get to find, train and befriend special drakes of the Dragon Isles and explore the vast spaces of the continent.
In this section we will list some basic information you might want to know about Dragonriding in general:
- You will be able to hop on your drake on the first day of the Dragonflight expansion, in the first Dragon Isles zone – the Waking Shores.
- Drakes aren’t only good for flying, they can also be used as standard ground mounts.
- You can only use Dragon Isles drakes for Dragonriding. No floating alpacas or even gargoyles, sadly.
- You can only ride the drakes within the Dragon Isles continent.
- There are five different drakes you can get in the Dragon Isles, one per zone.
Speaking of which.
Dragonriding Drake Types
There are currently five types of drakes you will find in the Dragon Isles:
- Highland Drake
- Renewed Proto-Drake
- Windborne Velocidrake
- Cliffside Wylderdrake
- Winding Slitherdrake
The drakes are all highly customizable. Among the things you can customize are:
- Horns: forms, color, and style;
- Scales: type, color;
- Patterns on the skin;
- Body parts: legs, tail, back, throat;
- Head: nose, chin, mouth, brow, ears, eyes;
- Armor: body and head armor, its color, etc.
In order to change a drake’s appearance you will need to unlock the features first (unlocked features are account-wide). You can do it by:
- completing quests
- exploring the location
- getting achievements
- Drakewatcher Manuscripts, etc.
After unlocking a feature, you can head to a Rostrum of Transformation – and transform a drake to your heart’s content.
Okay, mounts are fine, but what will Dragonriding work if you’re already a Dracthyr Evoker?
Dragonriding with a Dracthyr Evoker
For the Dracthyr, Dragonriding still works, but it’s not exactly the same. Blizzard made it clear that they wanted the Dracthyr player experience to not be identical to Dragonriders’, so there are a few differences.
- The Dracthyr can use Dragonriding mechanics, their flight is also momentum and gravity-based;
- The Dracthyr can begin their flight from anywhere, using their Soar racial ability;
- Soar also unlocks two abilities: Surge Forward and Skyward Ascent. Surge Forward allows you to flop forward a short distance, gaining speed. Skyward Ascent allows you to flop upward, gaining speed at the cost of some momentum;
- Soar cools down when you land;
- Soar works without the Vigor system or Dragonriding skills;
- While Dragonriders collect Dragon Glyphs to progress their Dragonriding traits, the Dracthyr use the Glyphs to boost their Soar ability and decrease its cooldown time;
- Even though the Dracthyr start off with slower speeds than mounts, collecting Glyphs will allow them to increase the fly speed and catch updrafts as drakes do;
- The speed increase and shorter cooldowns will only work on the Dragon Isles.
Dragonriding Abilities and Leveling
Here we’ve collected currently known information about the basic abilities and traits you will unlock as you progress and level up your drake.
Let’s be honest, at the very beginning, Dragonriding isn’t necessarily breathtaking. But as you progress you will unlock new abilities and navigate the skies with more power, stamina, and grace.
For that, you will first need to find Dragon Glyphs (currently 48 of them in total) throughout the zones of the Dragon Isles. Not all of them lay in the open and ready for taking, so be prepared for a fair bit of exploration.
For each Glyph you will get achievement, meaning that the Glyphs you’ve so meticulously collected are account-wide and you won’t have to repeat the same fascinating process with your other characters.
Base Dragonriding Abilities
You will unlock basic abilities as you complete Dragonriding quests. The abilities work by consuming Vigor. It has a special bar that will appear when you mount your drake, along with another bar with your Dragonriding abilities.
Currently, drakes have a maximum of 3 Vigor. It regenerates while you’re on the ground, at the speed of 1 Vigor every 30 seconds. You don’t have to be mounted for it to regenerate.
The Thrill of the Skies ability will also allow you to regenerate 1 Vigor every 15 seconds when you fly at high speed.
Here is the current list of abilities:
|Dragonriding Basics||Surge Forward and Skyward Ascent abilities are unlocked.|
|Vigor||Vigor is consumed by Dragonriding. You can restore it by resting on the ground (mounted or dismounted) at the speed of 1 Vigor every 30 seconds, or while flying at high speeds.|
|Lift Off||Mount a drake and double jump to launch upward and start gliding forward.|
|Thrill of the Skies||Dragonriding at high speeds regenerates 1 Vigor every 15 seconds.|
|Winds of the Isles||You can now use gale winds to redirect your flight and propel you in the direction of the gale.|
|Whirling Surge||Spiral forward a great distance, increasing speed.|
|Bronze Timelock||Mark a waypoint on your positional timeline and use Bronze Rewind to rewind to this location.|
These traits are unlocked as you collect Dragon Glyphs:
|1. Drake and Rider Training||Increase your Vigor to 4.|
|2. Dynamic Stretching||While grounded, your Vigor will regenerate at a faster pace (1 Vigor / 25 sec).|
|3. Thrill Chaser||Thrill of the Skies gives 1 Vigor every 10 sec.|
|4. Ohn’ahra’s Gusts||Surge Forward helps you evade obstacles (Scalechillers, Scalechargers, and others) during trials and races.|
|5. Dragonrider’s Initiative or Dragonrider’s Compassion||Dragonrider’s Initiative: if you land at medium or high speed, you will deal damage to enemies with a shockwave, according to your number of stacks split among them. It will also disorient them for 3 sec. If you land at a low speed, you will not get this effect.
Dragonrider’s Compassion: when you ride your drake in the air, you get up to 10 stacks of Dragonrider’s Compassion. As you dismount, you get a shield (1% of your health) and a 1% movement speed increase per stack (for 30 sec).
|6. Dragonriding Learner||Increase your Vigor to 5.|
|7. Dragonrider’s Cultivation or Dragonrider’s Hunt||Dragonrider’s Cultivation: increase your Vigor recharge rate by gathering herbs or minerals (10% for 10 sec).
Dragonrider’s Hunt: kill an enemy to increase your Vigor recharge rate (10% for 2 sec). The effect works one time every 10 sec.
|8. Restorative Travels||While on the ground, regenerate your Vigor faster (1 Vigor / 20 sec).|
|9. Airborne Tumbling||Whirling Surge helps you evade Wingshredders and dismounts airborne enemies.|
|10. Beyond Infinity||Increase your Vigor to 6.|
|11. Yearning for the Sky||While on the ground, regenerate your Vigor faster (1 Vigor / 15 sec).|
|12. At Home Aloft||Thrill of the Skies gives 1 Vigor every 5 sec.|
All the traits and abilities mentioned above you will need for mastering the specific type of, for lack of a better word, flying introduced in Dragonflight. It’s not the same as a normal flight and will require some getting used to.
Below we will highlight its little quirks and specifics.
- Dragonriding mounts aren’t the same as normal flying mounts. They are separate;
- You can ride your drakes normally on the ground. If you want to fly, double press the spacebar or fall off a cliff;
- Flying here is momentum-based. It will feel more like gliding or floating – at least, at first. The more you upgrade your drake, the closer to a normal flight it will get;
- Because of the momentum mechanic, you won’t be able to stop mid-air or point your drake to the destination and go grab a coffee while it’s doing its thing. You will have to keep the momentum going;
- You gain momentum when you fly down at an angle. To create and maintain it, you can try flying down quickly and then flying up with momentum to propel you onward. Using an additional Vigor point will also help you fly upward;
- If you run out of momentum completely, you will descend and land. Luckily, you don’t get any fall damage from landing this way;
- However, you’ll need to wait until at least one point of your Vigor is restored. Vigor is regenerated while you’re on the ground.
Flying around and mastering the unwieldy mechanic can be fun by itself, but there are also other ways to practice and show off your skills.
If you fancy a challenge, you can join a Dragonriding race. For that, find an NPC Bronze Timekeeper to guide you into one.
If you are sure of your Dragonriding skills, you can put them to the test by keeping high speeds, maneuvering through twists and turns, and taking advantage of gale winds. You’ll have to keep track of the allotted time and clear checkpoints in order to extend it. In the end, you’ll get a rating based on your performance.
With the introduction of Dragonriding and, consequently, lengthy flights, the world had to transform for the player.
Ion Hazzikostas, game director, said that the Azure Span is the largest zone in the history of World of Warcraft. Other Dragon Isles zones are pretty spacy as well. There are lots of places you don’t really need for any quests, but players argue that massive lands make the world feel alive, not just a place packed with quests.
The vast spaces were designed with the new mechanic of Dragonriding in mind. What’s the point of building up Vigor in your fancy new drake if you have nowhere to spread your wings, right? Brian Holinka, the game designer, says this:
“We’ve tried to make spaces that are bigger that really take advantage of that and make it a lot more fun. So for the time being, players will be having a good time in the Dragon Isles on their dragons and seeing it in a whole new, different perspective.”
Currently, Blizzard claims that Dragonriding will only exist within the Dragonflight expansion.
Whether you’re excited or skeptical about the Dragonriding mechanic, it’s definitely worth a try. So hop on your drake and good luck with your adventures!