Thursday, September 20, 2007

Top Gun

Recently, I had started my rep grind for the Netherwing faction. Most people go through this rep grind to hit exalted to get the Netherdrake flying mount but I couldn't really care less about that mount. I find the Netherdrake mount to be too big and much prefer the aesthetics of the smaller epic gryphon mount. My real purpose for the Netherwing faction grind is to get the Commander's Badge which is a nice, relatively easy and inexpensive stamina trinket to get.
I had heard the daily quests to for the Netherwing rep were very annoying but after Wichita had done the grind he assured me that I'd only have to go through the annoyance until I passed Friendly and then I'd have a variety of quests to choose from and I could skip the annoying ones. In fact, the ones that he told me he found annoying are ones that haven't presented such issues for me. The most annoying one for me has been the herbalism one because I keep getting jumped by those giant Dragonmaw Ascendants and I just can't get away from them. I try to look out for them but they seem to be spawning on my screen just as they aggro me.

Anyway, besides the daily quests you can get during your Netherwing rep grind there are those one time quests that you get that help you through your rep grind. For Netherwing, when you hit Honored, there is a quest chain where you race 6 npcs through the air, one at a time and should you defeat each one, you'll get gold and increasingly more rep as rewards. I should clarify something here: these aren't actually "races" and you don't actually try to "beat" the npc. Instead, for the quests, your objective is to not fall behind the npc while he flies ahead of you and shoots stuff at you that could knock you off your flying mount (non-druids, sorry for your deaths). Should you manage to stay "in range" of the npc and follow him all the way around some invisible course he flies, then you'll have "defeated" him.
The quests can be fun and you start out with against an older orc who doesn't try too much and shoots straight at you while you're flying around behind him. He's pretty easy to keep up with and it's pretty easy to dodge his shots. Things get trickier as you defeat an npc and "move up" the totem pole. When you get to the fourth defender you actually face Wing Commander Ichman. Yes, THE Wing Commander Ichman from Alterac Valley and if you read the quest script, it's actually a little funny as you read how he took off out of Alterac Valley because of all the whining (which sounds a lot like the whining Alliance do in AV) and came here to race.
Should you defeat Ichman, you move on to Wing Commander Mulverick, who is also from AV and also has quest text that reads of how he left AV due to all the whining (Horde whining this time) and came to Netherwing to compete in the races.

By the way, in case you didn't get it, Ichman and Mulverick are Blizzard's references to Top Gun's Iceman and Maverick. Some people have gotten stuck at Ichman or Mulverick as each of them have a nasty attack that can be tricky and they fly some tricky routes with doubling back on you. I actually lost Ichman a couple of times, trying to dodge his attacks and keep up with him but at least he never shot me down. All in all though, I didn't have any big trouble with any of the guys up to and including Mulverick. I had to redo the quests a couple of times here and there if I lost sight of the npc but that was about it.

Once you defeat Mulverick, you face the last guy who is Captain Skyshatter. I beg you, think in a British mindset on the name Skyshatter and you'll know how I feel about this guy. I must have attempted this quest thirty times! Skyshatter doesn't have any fancy pants attacks. He uses a meteor shower attack that has meteors fly at you from a location behind him. This wouldn't normally be that difficult if some of these meteors weren't invisible! Well maybe there is an issue with rendering on my system but a lot of times I got knocked out of the sky for no apparent reason. The worse part of all of this is that Skyshatter flies faster than you AND has a shorter range within which you must stay! If you're like me and you don't already have a riding crop, you haven't completed your epic flight form quest and received the trinket, and you don't have Crusader's Aura, this is a very, very difficult quest. Everytime I managed to not get knocked out of the air and stay with him, Skyshatter would hit a straight-away and leave me behind.
If you have yet to do this quest, I highly recommend either equipping your riding crop (if you have one) or trying to get a pally to help you by grouping and flying with you so you can get the speed boost. In the end, I had attempted this so many times that I knew half the route he takes by heart. The best advice I have if you are like me and have no speed increase boosts is to learn his route and then just fly it, making sure to cut corners where you know he'll turn and just stay ahead of him enough that you don't get out of range as much as you can. Once I managed to get ahead of him and stay in range, when he did his straight-away runs he never got too far ahead of me before he hit a corner and I could cut it and get ahead of him again. And once I beat him to the middle of the island run and kept with him I was home free. See, after that he likes to occassionally stop and do 360 degree spins and that allows me to catch up if I'm behind. People tend to get freaked out by this but I just stayed well to his right and above him and watched as he aimlessly shot meteors at no one in particular. After that I kept with him and got back to the runway and finishd the quest. (Note, both Wing Commanders and the Captain like to to a last ditch attack just before they land on the runway, so don't stay right behind them when landing).

With the quest completed, I got the nice 1k rep reward and Skybreaker Whip, which is ironically a trinket that increases mount speed by 10%. I could have used this for the race but if I had it (or the Riding Crop) I wouldn't really have a use for it as a reward, now would I?


Wichita said...

Congrats. I had alot of fun doing the 'races' and for me Mulverick was the hardest one.

As for the actual netherwing quests, I don't have a gathering profession so those ascendants never really posed a problem for me. I just hated the fel gland one :)

Krawl said...

i have not yet done these races but I just may now. i love increasing my mount speed...280% is just too slow these days!