This is an ancient suggestion in that we came up with it back in 2012, posted it to the WOW Community forums, in fact. The trolls loved it because it fed their need to shoot something, anything, down. There were thoughtful suggestions and comments, but I learned something. If you have a suggestion, as much as Blizzard would like it to be posted to the forum, that's the worse place you can go with it. Use the "Suggestion Box" and leave a brief comment there. As much work as we put into this suggestion to have the forum trolls rip it to shreds was a let down. I decided, however, to resurrect the idea for readers of this blog and have reproduced, this time with illustrations, our idea. I have also updated, where necessary.
Ladies and gentlemen, I propose to you, the guild blimp.
Building this will require a lot of materials and the combined efforts of the entire guild. As we envision this, it is a time and gold sink, and requires materials across a wide variety of expansions. Plus, we have involved all the professions to make this, truly, a guild-wide effort.
First of all, all the patterns for the blimp are available from a vendor by the blimp dock in or outside of, major cities. Silvermoon and Exodar currently do not have flying so they will not have a blimp dock. In Draenor, only blimps currently in service can be used and they fly only from a garrison to Stormshield or Warspear. This means that you can't build a blimp in Draenor, but you will have access to it. Once flying is allowed in Draenor, the blimps may be used elsewhere, but, as of this writing, I'm unsure where.
Patterns will be pricey. I think in the neighborhood of 1,000 gold and up. I envision a cost akin to the Alliance and Horde choppers or the yak, so 100,000 to 120,000 gold to fully create, assuming you didn't have guild members farming the materials. Bigger guilds, which can devote alts to farming, would be at an advantage to make this first, but I see it being obtainable for all guilds with effort. The actual pieces for the balloon are made by NPCs in the base of the balloon towers. Some things can be turned in in increments. Some cannot. Thank goodness stuff stacks to 200 now. When we envisioned this, whomever turned in the balloon mats needed to have a LOT of bag space. Probably goblins would be the vendors, maybe gnomes, with a variety of races as workmen.
#1 - The Balloon
This requires the services of tailors, herbalists, alchemists and transcriptionists. The balloon is made by an NPC and all materials for making it must be turned in at once. The balloon is made of cured cloth. Any kind of cloth can be cured. It takes 250 cured bolts to make the balloon canvas and each bolt of cured cloth takes 50 bolts of regular cloth to make. (Finally, another use for all...that...netherweave.)
To cure a bolt of cloth you need 20 fish oil, 20 flasks of oil and 20 deeprock salt.
Of course you'll want your guild colors on the balloon or you get a standard gray color. You could also make the balloon any color you wanted really as long as you turned in the right quantity of materials. Herbalists will need to pick herbs in quantity. 1000 of any herb in the primary color of your tabard is required. Inscriptionists will need to learn "Make Balloon Ink" from their trainer. It will be a nominal cost, just like learning to make any ink. Herbs must be in stacks of 20. Any excess is not milled. You get the standard number of ink pots from this many herbs.
Alchemists will need to learn "Make Balloon Dye". They will take the pots of ink and transmute them into dye. In the end, you'll have 4 buckets of balloon dye from 1000 herbs.
Secondary colors to make the guild icon are available from any general goods vendor. Blizzard would have to add some colors to the ones you can get because there is no "cream" color for our icon. You need 20 bottles of dye for your icon color. We could get away with yellow for our icon.
You'll need to get a copy of your icon because, obviously, if left up to goblins, you get some red bird-like thing painted on the side of your blimp. An actual "design" of your icon is available from the tabard vendor for 1000 gold. If you don't care, this is optional and you can have the goblins slap a random icon on the side of your blimp in a random color for 1000 gold or you can leave it blank.
Okay, the balloon is done. Moving on.
#2 - The boat.
You'll need to gather lumber and ore and this part requires the services of blacksmiths, jewelcrafters, alchemists and engineers. You'll need to have your guild engineers fashion the rudder, the engine, and the propellers. All sorts of gears and sprockets and spanners and bolts of various ores and tubing and engineering tools will be needed to make these items. The miners will be kept busy for it takes 1000 pieces of each ore to make the items needed. 250 fel iron bolts need 1000 ore. Three steel propellers need 3000 steel bars. Currently, you may be able to pass up the copper you see flying over the starter zones. To make your blimp, you probably won't ever pass any node up again.
Blacksmiths will make the boat. It's going to take 3000 pieces of lumber for the boat itself. Lumber mills throughout the world will be able to produce the lumber necessary. For instance, if you head to the PvP lumber mill in Grizzly Hills, any NPC killed will have between 1 and 4 pieces of lumber on them. Stacks of 200 pieces are turned into "boat pieces" by blacksmiths.
Blacksmiths will forge the trim visible above. It will take 500 pieces of ore to be smelted into strips for the trim and it take 5 strips to make the trim. The boat pieces and the trim strips are turned in with the cured cloth and dye when the blimp is made.
Jewelcrafters will make the helm and the optional figurehead for the bow. The helm takes 500 of a gem in your guild's colors. So, in the case of Spectacular Death, we would need to get 500 of one kind of green gems. You can't mix and match as you can with herbs. It has to be one color of gem. You can opt to have a different color helm but you'll need to gather 500 of whatever color gem you'd like. Once you have your gems, a jewelcrafter learns "Make helm" which is turned into the goblin with your other materials.
Optional would be the figurehead on the bow. These would come in a variety of styles and price ranges. The cheapest to make would be green gem quality. You think that might be an eagle on the front of your blimp's boat. It could also be the representation of a sparrow that's been run over by a chopper. You're not quite sure. The most expensive will be the transmuted diamond figures, with exquisite cut features and, is that a sparkle. There will be 5 from which to choose. All figures need 500 CUT gems of the same quality. Alchemists will transmute the 500 gems into one mega-gem which is turned in with your materials.
We're not finished yet.
Up to now, the leatherworkers have been standing around giggling that everyone else is working while all they have to do is reap the rewards of a guild endeavor. It's time to put them to work.
#3 - Ropes
You need to hold the boat onto the blimp somehow and that's by pulleys and ropes. Plus, you need some accouterments on the inside. Originally, we had tailors making the ropes, but we opted to move that task to leatherworkers. A blimp takes 100 feet of rope which takes 1000 leather strips which come from 250 pieces of leather. The leather has to be all one kind to make a strip. This is the only piece that can be done in increments. Once you have 250 strips, you can turn it in for 25 feet of rope.
Each boat can carry 6 hammocks. Leatherworkers need 500 pieces of leather to make one hammock. As with the rope, each hammock must be crafted from the same kind of leather.
Finally, you'll need to store Goblin Rocket Fuel to make the blimp go. For each barrel, you get an hour's flying time. If you happen to be in the blimp when your fuel runs out and you don't have another barrel on you, well, you better hope you're not very high in the air.
So, you've done all this and you have all your materials in the guild bank so everyone can see them. You gather up all your stuff and 20,000 gold and head to the manufacturer. He'll look through everything and tell you if you're missing anything and then it takes 24 hours to make your blimp. What's next?
Well, you need to learn how to pilot the danged thing and bring it in for docking. This would be a mini scenario which costs 5,000 gold to complete. The guild leader or their designated officer, would be the first to learn to fly the blimp. Once they have successfully completed flight training and the guild has created a blimp, anyone else can queue up for the flying scenario and get your pilot's license. Only the person who will fly the blimp initially will get the letter stating the blimp is ready. You head to the dock and talk to the flight master on the tower. He summons your blimp.
Blimps would only be accessible via the dock. As this is mass transportation, a minimum of 5 people are needed to use the blimp. Guild members fly free while non guild members pay 50 silver to ride. These do not go fast. If you've ever ridden the blimp from Thunder Bluff to Orgrimmar, that is their speed.
Blimps can and will have things go wrong with them and require maintenance. Depending upon how many hours your guild uses the blimp, the guild leader will get a letter in the mail stating that maintenance is due on the blimp. This has to be paid at the blimp dock before the blimp can be flown. This would be no less than 250 gold and is deducted straight from the guild bank or payable up front.
If you don't fly high enough, you can crash into trees or mountains. If you decide to fly over the other faction's cities, you can be shot out of the air.
There would be achievements for this. Among those proposed are:
- building a blimp
- getting a pilot's license
- successfully piloting the blimp between ports
- logging 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 hours of flight time; both as a pilot and as a rider
- flying the blimp between major cities
- survive a crash landing
- fly over a major city of the opposing faction and not be shot down
- defend your blimp from a certain number of wind riders
- shoot down an enemy blimp
- board and destroy an enemy blimp
I'm certain there are many others that could come from blimps.
There are issues with the idea. First and foremost is the amount of lag this would produce when you have a lot of blimps flying over Stormwind, for example. Plus, if you aren't able to fend off wind riders, would those of us minding our business in Stormwind suddenly have horde dropping from the sky? How would this interfere with the event when someone gets the legendary staff? In Stormwind's case, blimps could be constrained to the dock area. In Ironforge, they would be on the airstrip, which would necessitate changing the quest line that's up there. Blimps could be kept to the outer edge of Undercity where, currently, nothing but NPC's roam. Thunder Bluff is tailor made for blimps. Orgrimmar used to have a blimp tower in front of it where Brewfest is currently held. It wouldn't be hard to attach a tower to the front ramparts and make that part of Orgrimmar air space.
Shattrach would need towers. As it's neutral space, one tower could be sufficient for both factions. I'm not sure which towns would get towers. There's a lot of vertical space in Outlands and it would be easy to collide with mountains. "Impaled by Blade's Edge" could be an achievement.
Dalaran has a porthole which starts in the sewer. A blimp dock could utilize this hole. The other option is to have people at the landing toss rope ladders over the side of Dalaran and you'd have to click on those to climb up. You could bring your guild's blimp alongside either ship in Icecrown, resulting in an attack of the opposite faction's air ship. Icecrown Citadel and Ulduar could, easily, have places to moor an airship. And just think how easy it would be to find Bastion of Twilight and Throne of the Four Winds. Pick up your blimp at the nearest town and fly it and your party to those raids.
Pandaria could have mooring locations on the wall, one in Tian Monastery, one at Lion's Landing and Domination Point and joint ones at Temple of the White Tiger and Mogu'shan Palace. The key is to make them infrequent but accessible and to put the towers in places that make the most "sense". It doesn't make sense to have a tower outside the Heart of Fear raid, but it might make sense to have a tower at the Temple of the Ox. Again, Silvermoon and Exodar do not have flying so blimps would not be allowed there.
It would take work on Blizzard's part to implement this idea. I'm sure there are other concerns, besides lag in major cities, which would need to be addressed. Still, I think this could be awesome for guilds. As long as flying in someone else's blimp didn't cost a ridiculous amount, not every guild would opt to have one. I know my guild would dedicate nights to amassing the resources so we could sail off into the sunset in our very own blimp.