Anyway, with the sciency bit behind us, I wanted to pick up on one of the hotly discussed topics from our own Cataclysm class change forum post -- that of flying mounts for warlocks. Ok, so it wasn't mentioned in the forum post, but that's kinda the point. Its absence was a glaring hole, bigger than the space where a mage's sense of humor used to be. It was picked up later in the thread with the following:
Zarhym - Cataclysm Class Preview - Warlock
Flying mounts and female Metamorphosis forms are great ideas and something we've had on the wish list for a long time. We can only create so many new creatures during a single expansion, and getting one of these might mean fewer new creatures in outdoor worlds or dungeons. It's just a trade-off and sometimes you have to make hard calls. We'll keep them on the list though.
For me, this is pretty telling. What we have here is a clear acceptance that providing locks with flying mounts is both "a great idea" and "on the developer's wish list." The only argument against is that of resources. This is pretty much the last obstacle to something being put into the game. As a company, Blizzard needs to invest time and effort in areas that will yield the greatest return. Frankly, that comes down to appreciation, so if warlocks want it enough and will appreciate it enough, then it makes the game that much better to encourage more people to play the game. "Yeah I play WoW
. I play a warlock. It's sooo cool I can't wait 'til I get my demonic flying mount; it looks really badass." "Hey, that does sound cool; I'll start playing right now."
The big problem seems to be what form this badass flying mount should take. As you might have guessed from the title image, I have been playing around with some ideas and wanted to go through them with you.Winged steeds
are one way to go. In the image, I've just re-colored the model of Invincible
(Arthas' mount) to get some kind of feel. This seems the natural progression for the warlock mounts, continuing on from the Felsteed
and the Dreadsteed
. The winged horse model is pretty new to the game but is obviously something that can be re-skinned, as demonstrated with the purchasable Celestial Steed
. The similarities between the two examples in game at the moment are clear (the armor, for example). Change the color a bit (and a bit better than I did), add a few flames and spikes and you're away. Doesn't seem a load of work to be done.The wings from Malefic Raiment
are also another option that are often put forward. I group this one up with any "sprout wings from the warlock" solution and are a basic flight-form variant similar to that of the druids (who have been doing this sort of thing since The Burning Crusade
). Though it is undeniably cool to think of growing demon wings out of your back, I found the Malefic coloring to be to rainbow-like for my blood. Also, it was a model that was only designed to display once; there doesn't seem to be modeling for flapping in flight. If it were to work, I believe it would need a new wing form designed from scratch. I like it but think it's asking too much. Being carried by a doomguard
is a silly idea I floated but while it might be a little daft and demeaning, I actually like it and think it wouldn't be too hard to model -- though having the mount above the character may well not be desirable from a mechanics perspective.
is probably the simplest answer. It's already a form that warlocks can talent into for combat and has the flight modeling all done (though unused). It does open the debate about having a female version once again. I'm afraid I'm not behind this one. If I channel the form of a demon, then I expect to take that demon's form, and while there are female demon forms, this one isn't. Not that I would want to dissuade the development of a female meta; I just don't think that just because there are calls for it, we should let that stand in the way of further use of the metamorphosis as a flight form for warlocks.
My preference would be for growing bat-like wings but understand that would be a load of work. I'd like to know what you would like to see or think is most appropriate. So here's a poll just for that. You'll notice there's a mage trap, so we can simply discount their votes afterwards.
Blood Pact is a weekly column detailing DoTs, demons and all the dastardly deeds done by warlocks. If you're curious about what's new with locks since the last patch, check out WoW.com's guide to patch 3.3 or find out what's upcoming in Cataclysm from the BlizzCon 2009: Class Discussion Panel.