For those of you who have never done any quests in Shadowmoon Valley, Netherwing Ledge specifically, when you become Honored with the Netherwing faction, you are given a quest line to race various flight masters around the ledge. If you do not get outrun, or dismounted by their nefarious anti-you missiles, you complete the quest and can move up to the next flyer. There are six opponents, each getting progressively more difficult until you reach the two that make most questers pull their hair out; Wing Commander Mulverk (of Alterac Valley fame) and Captain Skyshatter.
I can’t remember having so much fun on a quest before. There were quest lines in Northrend I loved doing because they were interesting story-wise (Drakuru in Zul’Drak, Brunhildnar and Sons of Hodir, the Coldara chain) but there were never quests that were fun to “DO.” It was always “go here, kill that, maybe bring back some loot.” This time, I was forced to put my weapons away and play tag basically. Oh sure, I was more than a little miffed I couldn’t throw trash from my bags to try and dismount them too, but I loved the avoidance-in-3D minigame aspect of it. I literally couldn’t stop myself from smiling while avoiding Mulverk’s lighting bolts and if I wasn’t dead-set on grinding Netherwing to exalted as fast as possible, I would have abandoned the quest and kept racing him forever. It was a fantastic mix of challenge and fun.
I recognize that for some people these quests have been incredibly frustrating and difficult to complete. These were designed back for lv70 content so if you are 80 doing them, NO speed-increasing trinkets work, so you’re already a little bit at a disadvantage. Never mind the quest requires epic flying so you’ve got to drop 5k gold to even get in the door. I cheat a little bit, I’m a Paladin, so I come complete with my own 20% speed increase. Now it is also possible for some people to attempt these quests on 310% speed violet proto drakes (or, if you’re awesome, 310% gladiator / raiding drakes).
I never thought Mulverk was that difficult, though I did fail the quest once or twice, but he was the most fun to race. Maybe it was just that his anti-me lightning bolts were the most fun to avoid, I’m not sure. I beat him in 2 attempts and legitimately thought about abandoning the quest to keep doing it, but I though; well maybe they will be repeatable once I finish the quest chain, or, at least, the next guy will be fun too. WRONG! Captain Skyshatter is a cheater. I’m sure I’m not alone in my sentiments. I still had fun because it was a game of WoW-Dodgeball-where-I-don’t-get-to-throw-back, but there is something about him that I hate. Maybe it is that his meteors are more difficult to predict than all the other rider’s missiles. Maybe it’s because he’s an ass and does so many stop-starts and stops-in-fires that you can easily lose track of him thus failing the quest from a distance perspective. I failed to beat him something like 20 times. I didn’t start getting mad about it till the 15+ times. I never got mad when he dismounted me with a meteor, I got mad when it decided that he “outran” me. Bullshit! I was on a 336% flyer (yay crusader aura), he did not outrun me. I’m not sure if it was the meteors that made this race less fun for me, or what it was, but Mulverk was more fun to race. Eventually I was able to beat him and I earned the spiffy achievement “Skyshattered” and the inevitable disappointment of having my fears confirmed, the quests are not repeatable, not even for fun.
In Hellfire Peninsula, the first bombing mission type quest you ever do is repeatable. It gives no XP, Gold, or rep, but you can do it however many times you want. I see no reason why these unique and fun races should not be repeatable for no reward other than the fun of doing them. Now I’m forced to get my other 80 Paladin over to the Netherwing Ledge, grind to honored, then keep abandoning these quests. Maybe they won’t be as fun the second time around. I hope they will be. Meanwhile, I have made a post to the Blizzard forums asking that these quests be repeatable. I have very little anticipation of the success of this petition, and even if it is successful, will have the lowest possible coding priority despite the seemingly simple steps required to make it possible; but I’ll never know unless I try. 🙂
I joked to people that some of these races felt like what a Mimiron Phase 5 might feel like, or Flame Leviathan 4-towers when you don’t get to shoot back… and are flying. My favorite aspect of tanking has always been high mobility fights, so perhaps that is why I enjoyed these very-high mobility quests as much as I did (though I’m not particularly fond of Kael’thas phase 2 in Magister’s Terrace, go figure…)

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