Zen and the Art of Flying in Pandaria

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you long to return.        -Leonardo da Vinci

As you probably know by now, Mists of Pandaria is amazing. The beauty of this expansion is that you can do whatever you please, however you please. There is no right way or wrong way. There’s just your way.

Having said that, there are two schools of thought when it comes to leveling in MMOs: (1) Take your time and drink in all the sights, smell the roses, play with the butterflies and other hippie things; and (2) Get to level cap fast as you can to unlock all the goodies and get to the high-level dungeons and raids.

Nowhere is the argument for the first approach more compelling than it is in MoP: this is a beautiful new place, with so many things to do. If you roll a pandaren, then you’ve got a whole other zone, the Wandering Isle, to explore.

On the other hand, there are equally compelling reasons to want to ding level 90 fast: Scenarios, the new raids (so far only Mogu’shan Vaults is accessible), a bunch of new dungeons (Gate of the Setting Sun, Siege of Niuzao Temple, Scarlet Halls, Scarlet Monastery, Scholomance), access to Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and flight.

Yes, boys and girls, it’s taken me 197 words to get to the point, but here it is: you can only fly in Pandaria when you reach level cap. And that, by itself, is reason enough to hit the starting gate running and not pause for breath till you get to level 90, and have the power of flight!

Cue R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly:

How exactly can you achieve flight? Why, Young Grasshopper, through the Wisdom of the Four Winds, of course! It’s a spell that lets players use flying mounts in Pandaria. Head on to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and look for your flight master at the Shrine of the Two Moons (for Horde) or the Shrine of the Seven Stars (for Alliance). The spell will set you back 2,500 WoW gold. (It might seem a lot, but when you think about it, flight cost 5k gold back in BC.)

And if you’re gonna do the flying thing, you should do it well, right? Here are a couple more spells to help you get the most out of flying:

-Artisan Riding, available at level 70, gives players 300 skill in Riding. Now you can take to the skies at 280% speed! Costs 5,000 gold, and can be bought at a discount based on reputation.

-Master Riding, accessible at level 80, lets players fly at maximum speed, a whopping 310%. Similar to Artisan Riding, costs 5,000 gold, subject to reputation discounts.

So yeah, this is an argument for leveling as fast as you can. You can always go back and smell the roses later.

Wisdom of the Four Winds: 2,500 gold. Master Riding: 5k gold. The freedom and joy of flight: priceless.