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Moonwell Dancers

4. Do you have a license for that?

In this part of 'Fun with the Minimap' we take a look at how fast we walk, run, ride, and fly. The length scale we developed previously in part three can be used to help figure this out. To get started we first have to find a suitable ‘speedway’ to carry out a set of time trials. After looking around a bit, I decided to use the dock at Auberdine for measuring speed in Azeroth.

As discussed earlier in part three, the Auberdine dock is approximately 373 yards long (0.212 miles). We can determine our speed by dividing this dock length by the time it takes to move from one end of the dock to the other. The main assumption I’ll make here is that time in Azeroth and the Outlands passes at the same rate as it does in real life.

To proceed, I used a stopwatch to measure the time it took to traverse the length of the dock with variety of locomotive techniques starting with walking, then running, and then using level 40 and 60 mounts with and with out a riding crop. I’ve tabulated the results below,

ActionTime (sec)Speed (mph)Ratio/Running
Walking152.55152.5536%
Running54.3814.04100%
Running w/gem50.4250.42108%
Lvl 40 Mount33.8422.57161%
Lvl 40 Mount w/crop 30.7624.83177%
Lvl 60 Mount27.1128.17201%
Lvl 60 Mount w/crop 24.5831.07221%

The first column lists the various ways I got from one end of the dock to the other. The second column is the time it took to move the length of the dock averaged over four to five measurements. The third column is the speed in units of ‘Miles per Hour’ given by the length of the Auberdine dock in miles divided by the time it took to traverse the dock in hours (divide the number of seconds by 3600 to get hours). The last column lists the ratios of the speeds in the third column to the speed of running, expressed as a percentage.

Looking at the first entry in the table, we see that it takes 152.55 seconds to walk 373 yards from one end of the Auberdine dock to the other. We therefore walk at a speed of 5.01 Mph which corresponds to 36% of our running speed. When we run the length of the dock, it takes 54.38 seconds and we are moving at 14.04 Mph. For comparison, a sprinter running 100 meters with a near world record time of 10 seconds is moving at an average speed of just over 22 Mph. A world record marathon pace is just over 12 Mph. So we are moving right along as we run around in Azeroth and the Outland. I currently have a meta-gem in my hat (its a swift starfire diamond) that provides a ‘minor run speed increase’ as a bonus. So I donned my cap and went for another run. As listed in the table above, this minor increase in run speed is about 8% compared to running without the gem. The meta-gem had no effect on walk or mount speeds.

The level 40 mount was next, and with no crop, it took 33.84 seconds to run the length of the dock at a speed of 22.57 Mph. As listed in the 4th column of the table above, this is 161% of our running speed and very close to the 60% increase in speed compared to running as discussed on the www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/basics/mounts page. I then used a riding crop with my level 40 mount and increased my speed to 24.83 Mph. This agrees with the 10% increase over the level 40 mount speed as mentioned in the crop tool tip info. The crop had no effect on the walking or running speeds. Next was a level 60 mount with no crop and the speed was 28.17 Mph and close to the 100% increase in speed over running as expected. For my last speed measurement in Azeroth, I used a riding crop with my level 60 mount and increased my speed to 31.07 Mph. Just like the level 40 results, this is a 10% increase over the level 60 mount speed.

After estimating the various speeds at which we walk, run, and ride in Azeroth, I ported to the Outlands to see how fast our flying mounts go. To measure the speed of flying mounts in the Outland, I first had to find a suitable flight path. The path had to be defined well enough so that I didn’t need to make an excessive number of corrections to my heading. Also, the path had to be traversed with as little change in altitude as possible. Frequent changes in heading will increase the path length, and changes in altitude will cause the actual path to be longer than its projection onto the minimap. After a bit of exploring, I finally settled on the flight path shown below,

The path is 0.872 miles long, starts out at Telaar, passes directly over the peak of Oshu’gun, and ends at the peak indicated by the left arrow shown in the figure above. The main advantage of this path was that I could just barely see the peak I was headed to from my starting point in Telaar (I’m not sure if this is relevant, but I have my graphics set to one notch below the highest ‘Terrain distance’ setting in the ‘video options’ control panel). This way, I could hover over Telaar at altitude, set my heading, and fly along almost an exactly straight and horizontal trajectory. I then used a stopwatch to measure the time it took to traverse the length of my aerial ‘speedway’ while riding normal and epic birds with and without a crop. I’ve tabulated the results below,

ActionTime (sec)Speed (mph)Ratio/Running
Normal Bird140.022.4160%
Normal Bird w/crop127.124.7176%
Epic Bird58.9553.2379%
Epic Bird w/crop53.6558.5417%

Just like the table for the Azeroth results, the first column lists method of locomotion, the second column is the time it took, the third column is the speed in units of ‘Miles per Hour’, and the last column compares the measured speed with running.

Looking at the first entry, we see that a Normal bird took 140.0 seconds to fly the entire length of the ‘speedway’ at a speed of 22.4 Mph. With a crop the normal bird speed is increased to 24.7 Mph. Here we see that with and without a crop, the normal bird flies at essentially the same speed that a level 40 mount runs with and without a crop. Next was an epic bird with no crop and the measured speed was 53.2 Mph, nearly the expected 280% increase in speed over running. I then used a riding crop with my epic bird and this increased my speed by 10% up to 58.5 Mph. So, while we don't need a license to fly around the Outland, we are moving quite rapidly.