Unlocking flying in Shadowlands is just a few weeks away. In patch 9.1 you'll be able to further your renown with your covenant and soar the skies.
Many players will be pleased to hear that this time around, flying will not require a long pathfinder grind. Instead, it requires a bit more of the covenant activities you were already doing in patch 9.0. Additionally, flying in the Shadowlands comes much earlier on than in other expansions, happening just after the first tier. This is a welcome change as it will make daily chores such as world quests much quicker and more efficient.
Moreover, if you’re not already, make sure you catch up your renown to the current cap of 40. Doing this will allow you to immediately start working on the new campaign as soon as patch 9.1 goes live.
Unlike the previous pathfinder grinds that required multiple patches of achievements, it's much simpler this time around.
Players will first need to progress their covenant renown through the first 40 levels present in 9.0. Chains of Domination brings with it several new storyline chapters for each of the four covenants. Unlocking flying in the Shadowlands requires players to progress to renown level 44. With this, the 12th chapter of the covenant campaign will unlock titled ‘The Last Sigil’.
During this chapter, players will receive a quest that will award a consumable item called ‘Memories of Sunless Skies’. This item will unlock the purchase of flying in the shadowlands for all characters on the account. It is unknown at this time how much the riding skill will cost or if it just unlocks for free if you already have flight elsewhere.
Doing all of the required content for flying will take about 2 weeks after the patch goes live. The new renown system seems to follow the current ~2 renown per week model. With this in mind, renown 44 will be available after the first reset following the first week of patch 9.1.
Similar to pathfinder achievements in previous expansions, upon unlocking flying in Shadowlands you will unlock a unique mount. There are four different ones to collect and each one belongs to a different covenant. Much like the anima conductor mounts for each, these appear to only be usable by members of their respective covenant.
Unlocking these special mounts requires reaching renown level 45. If the new levels follow a 2 per week model, this will be available the third week of the patch.
Kyrian will receive the Elysian Aquilon mount. This mount resembles a mechanical gryphon of sorts.
Night Fae will receive a Wilderling mount. This mount appears to be loosely based on the Japanese pipe fox and is a wolf-serpent hybrid.
Necrolords will receive the corpse fly mount. This mount is quite literally a giant colorful fly and it is quite menacing.
Finally, Venthyr will receive the awakened stoneborn.This mount resembles a giant hulking gargoyle with bright red tipped wings.
Each of these mounts were teased at BlizzConline earlier this year. When they debuted on screen, they were shown with 3 different tints. It’s unknown which will be the base tint received for renown 45. Additionally, the other two tints remain a mystery at the current time. It’s quite possible they will be obtained through either furthering renown or purchasing off a vendor.
Unfortunately, in Shadowlands, flying is a bit different from previous expansions. This means you won’t be able to fly from zone to zone on your own mount. Instead, you will have to continue using Oribos as a central hub. Because of this, if you haven’t already, it would be beneficial to keep your hearthstone set in either Oribos or your Covenant Sanctum; provided you have the travel network ranked up all the way.
Additionally, flying is not possible in Oribos either. Players will remain grounded while visiting the Shadowlands capitol for the foreseeable future. At least this still gives players a chance to show off their super cool ground mounts!
Furthermore, flying is not permitted while traversing the maw, either. Players will be able to ride all of their mounts within the maw come 9.1, however, they will remain grounded. With this in mind, most of the 9.1 content takes place in a new area within the maw. All of this will have to be seen from the ground for the time being.
It is unknown what the future holds for traversing the Shadowlands or if any new zones will allow flying at all. Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised in the upcoming patches!