World of Warcraft's adding dragonriding to old world content ahead of schedule

A gnome looks over a ledger with spectacles on, while her dragonriding companion leans in, in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight.
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Way back in May, there was some hubbub in the World of Warcraft community when dataminers found a dynamic flight buff in the game files, which suggested that the game's dragonriding system—a feature which replaced flight paths full stop during my bouts of playing Dragonflight—would be coming to the old world.

Unfortunately, save for a few racing events, that didn't materialise. It's likely that dynamic flight, which would ideally let you use dragonriding-style movement with stuff like druid forms, won't be coming to the game before The War Within. The good news? Players'll get the next best thing far sooner than expected.

As announced on the game's official website, the next patch Seeds of Renewal will add dragonriding to "all old-world continents wherever flying is available." In theory, that means you'll be able to zip around places like Outlands and Northrend astride your draconic steed.

But ah, the dragon claw curls—as stated on the PTR notes: "we are restricting the speed of dragonriding outside of the Dragon Isles in order to not make travel times on old world contents trivially short. We believe 80% dragonriding speed will strike a balance between giving players exciting and engaging traversal, while still preserving a sense of immersion."

While that might have some players reaching for their pitchforks, I want to point out that 80% speed is still incredibly fast. Standard flight clocks in at 310% of your normal movement speed, whereas dragonriding can hit 830% with the right handling. 

So, some quick maths. 80% of 830% is 664%. That makes old-world dragonriding more than twice as quick. It'll arguably be hard to notice the difference, especially since the zones in the Dragon Isles are huge. It's around two thirds the size of Kalimdor, sure, but Kalmindor has about 21 zones. The Dragon Isles has six, if you count The Forbidden Reach and Zaralek Cavern. It's all far more spread out. 

On the other hand, if the difference between max speeds isn't that much anyway, you could argue it was pointless to bother nerfing it. Letting players zip around the old world isn't going to have much impact if most players are levelling in the Dragon Isles, anyway. Still, this is welcome news—dragonriding is easily the best addition to WoW in a while, and its evergreen status is heartening. Ashes of Renewal should arrive on the PTR later this week.

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.