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I can't tell myself, but does anyone know if it's faster to fly yourself than using a flying route? Consider the speeds of the mounts as well as the straight-line path that you take as opposed to the scenic route the npc's do.

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Using a flight point is equivalent to a 333% speed mount, slightly faster than even Master Riding. But that speed is negated by the use of the scenic routes you mentioned.

So, if you have Master Riding and you can take a direct, as-the-crow-flies path, it'll almost always be faster to do it yourself. If you only have Artisan Flying, it'll only be faster if the flight path is really roundabout. If you only have Expert Riding, you might as well use your ground mount, as even it's faster.

It's a good thing to note that there are still mount speed increasing effects in the game, which can affect the choice between doing it yourself and taking the flight path:

None of these effects stack with anything else (i.e. you can't combine Crusader Aura with any of the others, even Pursuit of Justice), but they are multiplicative. So, if you have Crusader Aura and Master Riding, you wind up with the equivalent of a 392% speed mount; 17% faster than the flight path.

And to clarify, the formula for calculating movement speed is:

(100 + Mount Speed) * (1 + Mount Speed Effect / 100) - 100

So, with Crusader Aura and Master Riding:

(100 + 310) * (1 + 20 / 100) - 100
410 * 1.2 - 100
392%
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except that in some cases a straight line may require you to fly up considerably higher than the scenic route, adding distance not seen on the map. too, the scenic route requires no interaction so it is the perfect time to get some food or use the bathroom. –  Xantec Dec 19 '10 at 14:53
    
What mounted movement speed boosters are still available? I know that the riding crop etc. were removed, but what about crusader aura? (Not to mention Pallys/hunters have abilities for another 15% mounted movement speed) –  Raven Dreamer Dec 19 '10 at 17:40
    
@Raven Death Knights get On a Pale Horse (Frost talent, 2/2 = +20%), Paladins still get Crusader Aura (+20%, 40 yd range) and Pursuit of Justice (Ret talent, 2/2 = +15%), and Hunters can get Pathfinding (Beast mastery talent, 2/2 = +10%). Finally, level 3 guilds get the Mount Up perk, which increases all guild member's speed by 10%. None of these effects stack with anything else (not even Crusader Aura + Pursuit of Justice: if you have both, you only get +20%). –  user3389 Dec 19 '10 at 19:59
    
@Raven (con't): Movement speed increasing effects are multiplicative though (i.e., Crusader Aura + Master Riding = 392% speed), so it's not a bad deal at all. Also, the old movement speed items are still in the game, but Blizzard's changed them to be mostly useless (Carrot on a Stick is now single-use, Skybreaker Whip stops working after level 70). –  user3389 Dec 19 '10 at 19:59
    
@Mark -- The link you provided showing 333% speed takes me to a page suggesting the actual value is 433%. Which is correct, or is there terminology confusion between the two? –  Raven Dreamer Dec 19 '10 at 20:16
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Flight paths are only slightly faster than a 280% mount. If a flight path takes to many unnecessary turns, it can actually be faster to fly with a mount than taking the route. See the WoWWiki article (Flight_path) for more information.

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WoWWiki is out of date. Flight paths got a speed upgrade in Cataclysm. –  user3389 Dec 19 '10 at 12:21
    
Sorry, I'm not used to Cataclysm, and it wasn't mentioned above so I didn't take any updates it would have added into account. –  GunnarJ Dec 19 '10 at 12:25
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The monkeyspeed mod calculates your ground-plane-relative speed using coordinates, and shows the flight paths as 433% (relative to the max mount speed at 410%). Using a direct route, the mounted speed is almost certainly faster for most routes, although it appears that the flight paths always move at 433% horizontal speed, no matter what elevation changes they are making. Player mounts will end up moving significantly slower horizontally during significant elevation changes. So, the flight paths might be somewhat faster for routes requiring a big elevation change - assuming they don't take too scenic a path. Although, I suspect that it's not a big enough difference to matter much. That is, unless you need to make a sandwich while you fly :)

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