World Of Warcraft: Dragonflight – Complete Guide To Dragonriding

Quick Links

  • Unlocking Dragonriding
  • How It Works
  • Abilities
  • Talent Tree
  • Dragon Races

For as long as anyone can remember, World of Warcraft has always featured static flying. It’s a simple system, allowing you to leisurely glide through the air and hover wherever you desire. This system, and the flying mounts that accompany it, have been staples of the game since it was introduced.

However, Blizzard has taken a step in a bold, new direction with the latest expansion, Dragonflight. It features a brand-new system called dragonriding, along with its own talent tree, and it comes with its own set of unique challenges and obstacles. Here’s everything you need to know about how to fly in the Dragon Isles.

Unlocking Dragonriding

While there are no Pathfinder achievements to see here, dragonriding will not be available to you as soon as you land in the Dragon Isles. First, you have to quest and progress the story up until you meet with Queen Alexstrasza in the Ruby Lifeshrine in the first zone, The Waking Shores.

Upon talking with the Queen of Dragons, the campaign will split into two questlines. One continues the story of The Waking Shores, while the other, simply named "Dragonriding," will allow you to obtain your very first drake mount and unlock dragonriding. Once you've obtained your mount from this first quest, you'll progress through a host of smaller quests to teach you about the system, akin to learning how to Soar as a Dracthyr in The Forbidden Reach.

Name of Quest

Description

How to Glide with Your Dragon

Fly through a number of gold rings to get a handle on how your dragon flies through the air.

How to Dive with Your Dragon

Dive downward through a number of gold rings to see how your dragon picks up speed.

How to Use Momentum with Your Dragon

Dive downward with your dragon to pick up speed, then angle upward to use your momentum to reach the gold rings.

From there, the questline will bring you to the Skytop Observatory, where you can find further information on Dragon Glyphs, the talent tree, and the Rostrum of Transformation, where you can customize your own dragons.

Though you’ll be limited to a red Renewed Proto-Drake mount at the beginning, you’ll earn up to three more dragon mounts, with those being the Windborne Velocidrake, the Highland Drake, and the Cliffside Wylderdrake. These can be earned by completing the storyline in the Ohn'ahran Plains, the Azure Span, and Thaldraszus, respectively.

How It Works

Unlike the old static flying, which allowed you to have absolute control over your movement, dragonriding is much more dynamic. It mixes physics into the system, introducing real-life elements like pitch and momentum to make you think more about how you fly around. In addition, it removes the ability to hover in the air.

The system is also limited to a resource called vigor, which you spend to use your dragonriding abilities, like lifting off or going faster. Vigor regenerates over time on the ground or at maximum speed in the air, and although you’re limited to three points of vigor at first, you can increase this through the accompanying talent tree.

To some, dragonriding could seem like a setback from static flying. However, the new system makes up for this by allowing you to increase your speed up to 830 percent, more than twice as fast as static flying’s 310 percent increase.

Abilities

Name of SkillDescription of SkillCost of SkillHow to Unlock
Skyward AscentYour dragon flaps its wings, propelling itself higher upward and increasing its speed.One VigorThis skill is given to you as soon as you unlock dragonriding.
Surge ForwardYour dragon flaps its wings, propelling itself further forward and increasing its speed.One VigorThis skill is given to you as soon as you unlock dragonriding.
Whirling SurgeYour dragon surges forward in a spiral, greatly increasing speed.Three VigorThis skill is unlocked through the achievement “An Azure Ally.”
Bronze TimelockCast this to mark your position, and recast it again to return to the same location.N/AThis skill is unlocked through the achievement “A Cliffside Companion.”

The most useful ability available to you is Skyward Ascent, which is used to take off from the ground and keep yourself in the air by gaining even greater heights. Meanwhile, Surge Forward is useful for climbing to max speed if your dragon is traveling horizontally. Both of these are unlocked automatically, giving you the basic tools you need to learn dragonriding.

Whirling Surge and Bronze Timelock are both situational abilities, unlocked at the same time as the Highland Drake and the Cliffside Wylderdrake, respectively. While you may not use them during every flight like the other two, they’re both very useful in world PvP.

Talent Tree

Name of Skill

Description of Skill

Cost to Unlock

Take to the Skies

Vigor capacity is increased to four.

One Dragon Glyph

Redirection

At low speeds, Surge Forward's effectivity is increased to 125 percent, with diminishing returns as you reach higher speeds.

Three Dragon Glyphs

Dynamic Stretching

While on the ground, vigor regeneration is increased to one point restored every 25 seconds.

Three Dragon Glyphs

Thrill Chaser

At maximum speed, vigor regeneration is increased to one point restored every ten seconds.

Three Dragon Glyphs

Ohn'ahra's Gusts

Surge Forward is able to evade projectiles that aim to ground you, such as Scalechillers or Scalechargers, along with certain obstacles in dragon races.

Three Dragon Glyphs

Dragonrider's Initiative OR Dragonrider's Compassion

Gain stacks while dragonriding at middle speed or above, and spend those stacks upon landing at those same speeds to create a damaging shockwave. Low speeds cancels this effect.


OR


Gain stacks while dragonriding, then spend those stacks when you dismount for a temporary absorb shield for 1 percent of your health per stack and gain 1 percent movement speed per stack.

Three Dragon Glyphs

Restorative Travels

While on the ground, vigor regeneration is increased to one point restored every 20 seconds.

Four Dragon Glyphs

Airborne Tumbling

Whirling Surge can dismount airbone enemy players, as well as grounding projectiles like Wingshredders.

Four Dragon Glyphs

Dragonriding Learner

Vigor capacity is increased to five.

Four Dragon Glyphs

Dragonrider's Cultivation OR Dragonrider's Hunt

Gathering resources for professions, such as herbs or mining nodes, will increase Vigor regeneration by 10 percent for ten seconds.


OR


Defeating an enemy will increase Vigor regeneration by 10% for three seconds, although this cannot occur more than once every ten seconds.

Five Dragon Glyphs

Beyond Infinity

Vigor capacity is increased to six.

Five Dragon Glyphs

Yearning for the Sky

While on the ground, vigor regeneration is increased to one point restored every 15 seconds.

Five Dragon Glyphs

At Home Aloft

At maximum speed, vigor regeneration is increased to one point every five seconds.

Five Dragon Glyphs

As you fly around the Dragon Isles and explore new areas, you’ll come across floating tokens called Dragon Glyphs. You can use these to unlock new passive abilities and upgrade existing ones via the new dragonriding talent tree.

This system should be familiar to long-time players, as it’s reminiscent of artifact weapon trees or the Heart of Azeroth’s system. However, unlike those examples, Dragon Glyphs are account-bound, which means that for every one that you collect, you can also spend it on your other characters.

The talents themselves are self-explanatory, sporting such upgrades like increasing your vigor capacity to six or allowing your vigor to regenerate faster. However, there are a couple notable choices where you may pick one talent over another.

  • The first choice is between Dragonrider’s Initiative or Dragonrider’s Compassion, either creating a damaging shockwave when you land or giving you a temporary absorb shield, respectively.
  • The second choice is between Dragonrider’s Cultivation or Dragonrider’s Hunt, either boosting your vigor regeneration through gathering herbs and minerals or defeating an enemy, respectively.

Dragonrider’s Cultivation is key if you soar around to gather resources for professions, but if you’re questing or PvPing, taking Dragonrider’s Hunt may be preferable.

Dragon Races

Finally, there’s one last dragonriding activity to consider. You can partake in optional obstacle courses around each of the four zones which require you to fly through a series of gold rings against a timer. You may earn bronze if you complete the course casually, but if you want the silver or gold achievements, you’ll have to push your dragon to its limits.

After you’ve completed all of the dragon races, you may go back and request advanced courses, which can be surprisingly difficult. These consist of the same tracks from before, but their time requirements are tighter and there are more obstacles thrown in your way.

While it is optional to do these races, completionists may be attracted to the rewards, which are often more customization options for your drakes. While scale colors are limited to reputation grinds, you can expect to pick up a few new hairstyles and armor colors for reaching the upper echelon of the elusive gold times.

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