World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands Pathfinder To Be Based Off Of Covenant Renown Rather Than Tedious Reputation Grinds

World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands Pathfinder To Be Based Off Of Covenant Renown Rather Than Tedious Reputation Grinds
Credit: World of Warcraft

For the last few expansions of World of Warcraft, players have needed to grind out a massive Pathfinder achievement in order to unlock the ability to fly in the newest content. Beginning in Warlords of Draenor, this mechanic continued through Legion and Battle for Azeroth, and is now confirmed for Shadowlands.

Pathfinder is generally a two-part achievement, with the second part granting the ability to fly while also requiring the first part. Players are tasked with reaching a high level of reputation with the majority of the factions in an expansion, as well as a myriad of other requirements.

While their trouble allows them to fly, many players have spoken out against the gating behind the Pathfinder achievements. While the first part is generally rather easy – requiring exploration and questlines, for the most part – both parts typically include a hefty reputation grind.

These grinds are often extremely menial and are usually fulfilled by doing a selection of unengaging world quests that grant reputation by 50-150 increments at a time. Worst of all, they’re often gated so that players can only receive a certain amount of reputation a day.

Needless to say, this is far from a popular mechanic. While Pathfinder is an optional task, the desire to unlock flying makes it nearly mandatory, especially given how difficult ground travel can be at times.

While Pathfinder will be returning, Blizzard is going to be changing up the way in which players unlock the achievement. Though it still won’t be available at launch, as some might expect, the achievement will be tied to Covenant Renown instead of reputation.

“You won’t be able to fly when Shadowlands is released; we think it’s super important that you experience the world as intended, that you meet everything on it and go through the quests… really take it all in from the ground,” executive producer John Hight said in an interview with HazelnuttyGames.

“But then we realize that as you get further along in the expansion, you’ve revisited zones, that you like the convenience of being able to fly to areas, and so we did hear feedback from players about how Pathfinder worked in BfA, and complaints about the rep grind they had to do to achieve it.”

It’s perfectly understandable that Blizzard prefers to force players to the ground at the start of an expansion rather than allowing them to fly over the massive world that was built at the ground level. That said, the ability to travel through the air has been a key feature since Burning Crusade, so removing it entirely would likely cause riots.

With the ability tied to Renown, it’ll be much easier for players to unlock Pathfinder. As players go through the Shadowlands, their Renown will already be increasing, helping to eliminate the massive grind at the end of the content that Pathfinder once forced.