On Wings of Nether

Some grinds are worth every minute

I finally got my Netherwing Drake, a thing of great beauty and the most gorgeous mount in the game. It may not have the heft of the Protodrakes, or the scarcity of the Icebound Frostbrood Vanquishers (though they too look amazing), but it has such grace, elegance, and presence.

My approach was pretty bog standard: do all the one-off rep quests as they came up, obviously, and then just rotate through all the dailies. I got to Honored pretty quickly, had a break, and then worked through to Exalted. There was nearly always one or two others grinding away, which was fun to see. It’s nothing on the pain of the (pre-nerf) Hodir grind – no infuriating timesink design like the Spy Hunter wolf/dwarf quest – though you were sent back and forth over Shadowmoon Valley a few times too many, and as far afield as far West Nagrand.

One thing that really helped was being on a US timezone server – I’d be jumping on at 8-9PM Sydney time, which translates to 1-2AM US. Due to the low population at that time, there were usually plenty of stray Netherwing Eggs to be found, which is a bonus 250 rep per egg. It was always a thrill spotting one smoking away. There’s a great “Netherwing Loop” YouTube video by wowangel showing a route to follow for all the known egg spawn points. I found eggs in most of the marked locations over the course of the grind, as well as a fair few in the mines, so it’s an accurate map.

Some of the quests are pretty fun – in particular the Drake racing sequence, which gets progressively harder as you beat each racer. And throwing an old boot at lazy peons was fun for a while, though having to do 20 got tired pretty quickly.

The cleverest thing Blizzard did was to replace your standard flyer with a Drake whenever you are in the Netherwing zone. It means every time you go there you think “oh yes, I need to have this”, and the crushing disappointment of flipping back to your Swift Wind Rider when you re-enter normal space drives you on toward the Exalted goal.

I can’t even imagine how painful it would have been to do this at level 70, when you’d actually have to fight the mobs instead of facerolling through them.

But the reward speaks for itself.

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