Besides writing, I like to play video games. I've been playing for years and consider myself fairly skilled.
Time-Lost Proto-Drake Guide
The Time-Lost Proto-Drake (TLPD) was introduced in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion of World of Warcraft as a level 80 rare spawn in Northrend. He flies around the zone of Storm Peaks in predetermined routes and is a recolor of the standard Proto-Drake model. Being a rare mount collector, I knew I had to camp him!
He is on a rare spawn timer, which basically means that he will not always be around for you to kill. It took me about 1,500 hours (over two years) before I finally was able to kill him and loot his mount.
If you would rather watch a video, please scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find my video guide.
What He Drops
- Reins of the Time-Lost Proto-Drake: The mount.
- Time-Forward Talisman: A level 76 necklace.
- Abandoned Adventurer's Satchel: A bag that contains random goods from Northrend such as gold, cloth, and Crystallized Life.
In order to be successful at catching the TLPD, you should know what is in store. For those of you unfamiliar with camping rare spawns, "camping" refers to players who wait for a rare spawn to appear so they can kill or tame it. Some rare spawns will re-appear only a few minutes to an hour after they died last. Other rare spawns may not re-appear for many hours or days.
TLPD is a rare spawn that typically only spawns every few hours. I will go over his spawn times later, but you should be prepared to spend quite a bit of time waiting for him to spawn if you intend on camping alone.
Changes to Group Loot for Rare Spawns
With some of the recent changes to the game, it has become possible to camp rare spawns in a group, saving you a bit of time. Mount collectors will form small groups to sit at each spawn point and then gather together once the rare has spawned. So, when you are ready to start your hunt, be sure to check out the LFG tool and search for a group that is currently camping the TLPD.
If you or your party is out of range when the rare dies, you will not be able to get your loot, so be careful!
How to Pass the Time While Camping
- Read a book.
- Watch Netflix.
- Play minigames (Addons on "Curse" have minigames that you can install to play while in-game).
In Wrath of the Lich King, the TLPD was on a six-hour or longer spawn timer. So, when he dies, it would take a minimum of six hours for him to spawn again. In Cataclysm, Blizzard made the wait time much shorter. He can now spawn as quickly as 30 minutes after his, or Vyragosa's, death.
Vyragosa: TLPD's Counterpart
Vyragosa is a rare blue drake that shares a spawn with the TLPD. This means that when it is time for one of the dragons to spawn, there's a big chance that Vyragosa spawns and a small chance that it'll be the TLPD. Be sure to always kill Vyragosa, because your prey cannot spawn if Vyragosa is alive.
NPCscan is an add-on that used to alert you when a rare mob was within targeting distance, whether or not you have even attempted to target the mob. It made it extremely useful to just be tabbed out, or AFK while camping—but still get an alert when the TLPD was nearby.
However, Blizzard has changed the way that mobs are cached in the game. This means that NPCscan and SilverDragon will only alert you if your mouse hovers over the rare.
This essentially means that the only way to gain benefit from NPCscan is to make sure your mouse is constantly hovering on the exact spot that the TLPD will be located when he spawns.
Alternative to NPCscan
Make a macro and spam it while camping. You want it to target the rare and then have it cast a spell to pull. Typically you would want it to be an instant cast spell.
Please note that if you are camping in a group, you do not want the spell to kill the drake since you will want to wait on your team members to get in range before it dies. I would recommend putting taunt in your macro to pull without dealing damage.
/cast (Insert instant cast spell here)
Spawn Points and Patrol Routes
The screenshots above and below show detailed pictures of the spawn paths and patrol routes.
When TLPD spawns, if he is not killed right away, he will begin flying along his predetermined route. There are four different places in Storm Peaks from which he can spawn, meaning there are four different routes he can take.
After he spawns he will randomly choose whether he goes clockwise on his route, or counter clockwise.
1. Frozen Lake Spawn Point
2. Waterfall Spawn Point
3. Brunnhildar Spawn Point
4. Ulduar Spawn Point
"Stacking" refers to when a player stands on a spawn point that was previously occupied by another player. This player typically plans on stealing the kill away from the person who was at the spot first.
With Cross-Realm Zones, this is sometimes unavoidable, as there are so many players camping at any given time. Usually, you will try to group up with these people, but since now only five people can loot the mount, you may still run into stackers from outside your group.
For example, if I were to go to a spawn point and a couple of hours later another player comes along to sit next to me and not move, they are stacking. This player is most likely going to try to take the kill away from me.
Fighting the TLPD (Finally)
The fight itself is very easy. Time-Lost Proto-Drake doesn’t have very much health at all, and unless you are level 80, you are probably going to one-shot him.
He flies moderately high in the air, so you may have to try and lure him to the ground to attack him. Some players use Snowfall Lager; however, I never got around to using it because I play a priest and could just levitate myself.
You won’t have to worry about any of this if you catch him on his spawn point, though, where you can very easily attack him while he's still grounded.
© 2012 Melissa Carlsen
Wupp on December 03, 2018:
Don't use Class trials, Blizzard nerfed that.. Learned it myself the hard way!
Suzanne Sheffield from Mid-Atlantic on October 05, 2017:
Ugh. Gave up trying a long time ago!
Ivory on September 10, 2017:
Thanks for the info! Was very useful!
Rhi on August 15, 2017:
Hi! This was super handy thank you! Got my TLPD a few days ago =]
Isaacr on February 10, 2017:
I just want to clarify with some of the new loot system changes if you are in a party of 5 and you kill Time-Lost and everyone is near you everyone does indeed can get the mount i just wanted to throw that out there.
Matthew on July 11, 2016:
102 days, 4-6 hours every night, and counting. a dozen Vyragosas, no TLPDs...
Paul on July 08, 2016:
I just wanted to post and say your guide was very informative. I started camping seriously 4 nights ago and have camped pretty dedicated most days while doing other stuff on monitor. I got the drake at waterfall and was lucky to snag it as it spawned basically. I managed to do this on Nightfall battlegroup which is a hugely populated CRZ so there is hope. The main issue was there was ALWAYS someone on each spot, usually Horde and Alliance. I was in full PvP gear which made it easier to swat away annoying Horde and let me be. I used a very similar strategy of waiting on the spawn locations and timings. Saw 1 TLPD spawn at Ulduar early on week, and confirmed Vyra kills, 3 myself that spawned. Best thing is to make nice with the other faction mates camping and see whos on each time you are. They were helpful in reported missed timings, etc, when i took sleep breaks
Yong Kuan Leong from Singapore on June 07, 2016:
With the movie, I think a lot of players would be revisiting the game, and grinding for these rare achievements. :)
Darathnu on June 03, 2016:
Hi! I just wanted to thank you for your awesome guide. I fell in love with this mount before I stopped playing in Cata, but recently re-activated my account and decided to actually try to get it. Your information has been invaluable, and I am currently sitting on my chosen spawn point and praying for a miracle.... ;)
I'll let you know if I get him.
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on May 20, 2016:
I didn't think your tone was challenging, atleast not in a bad way. You just want to make sure you have the correct information and I was doing the same thing during my camping and researching. :)
I wish you luck on your hunt. It's extremely rewarding. :)
Matthew on May 20, 2016:
Thanks very much - I hope my tone wasn't challenging, I was honestly just curious where the data comes from in general.
I've been mount gathering for a while and WoWhead seems to be right on every time, but in this case I am going with your info. Especially on a mount like this or Aeonaxx, though, it's such a time investment I wanted to at least ask.
I actually have two addons for rares, one is the NPCscan overlay and I think (not sure) the other one is Wholly or Grail (same author, installed together). One uses skulls for spawn points, the other uses colored dots and paths for rares. Given my reading in forums usually implies Blizzard gives out no information on things like this I've always been curious where the info comes from.
I appreciate your answer, am grateful for this resource, and will be using your other articles to help with these last few toughies I have like Aeonaxx and Poseidus.
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on May 19, 2016:
Thanks for the comment. I can guarantee you that the spots in my guide are correct. This information was gathered from literally camping out there myself and seeing him spawn in those locations. (I believe the only spawn location I haven't seen him spawn from is the Brunnhildar spawn point, but I've seen videos)
I also collaborate with another camper who has put forth hundreds and hundreds of hours just helping OTHER people get this mount, not only just himself.
I'm looking at wow head right now and I see what you mean about the 6 points. These are incorrect for spawn locations. You may see TLPD in those areas since he flies around, but he doesn't spawn there.
I'm not sure what addon you use, I would have to have it myself to explain that one.
But yes, these locations in my guide are confirmed, I just don't have pictures or videos of them on the spawn location. Sorry.
Hope that helps!
Matthew on May 19, 2016:
Hey! This is awesome, thank you - BUT I have to ask...
My addons show 6 spawn points for TLPD, 4 of which are in different locations than yours...
WoWhead shows 6 locations, 5 of which are different than yours and 5 of which are different than my addon's...
So where does this data come from and how do we know which to trust?
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on April 07, 2016:
Oh yay! Grats! :D
I hope you enjoy!
If you don't have aoenaxx, I have a video guide for him too. It's not as updated as this guide and I think I even mention npcsan, but the info on spawns, timers and other information should all be the same.
Www.youtube.com/Akarabwr - I'm on my phone right now so I don't have a direct link, sorry lol.
Grats again and good luck if you still have more to camp!
Cody on April 07, 2016:
Happy days I finally got my TLPD!!!
Cody on April 07, 2016:
Thank you for getting back to me!
Yeah was mainly looking for any further info (not necessarily Blizzard as I know they don't provide any detailed info such as this) to corroborate spawn times as there is very little recent stuff (WoD-era) and who knows how often Blizzard change things behind the scenes.
I'll definitely take a look at that website you linked and add it to the list of things to keep re-reading to keep me motivated haha!
Another Vyra spawned today. Still only seen the one TLDP...This is the second stint I've had at trying to get this mount (other was during WotLK and got burnt out lol)...almost a month down of logging in every night already this time! ... wish me luck.
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on April 03, 2016:
Hi Cody! Thank you for your comment. :)
I just want to make sure I understand your question correctly. When you are asking for a reference, do you mean: Official word from Blizzard stating that the spawn time can be as soon as half an hour?
If so - no I do not. The only reference I have is personal experience and collaboration with other verified mount hunters, such as Ponderance.
Remember that the Time Lost Proto Drake can spawn any time Vyragosa spawns. So if you see her at 1:00 and kill her, and then see her again at 1:45 - that means that both of those spawns could have been TLPD and therefore, his spawn rate could have been 45 minutes. But keep in mind that it doesn't mean you will ALWAYS see a spawn every 45 minutes. It's all RNG - you might not see a spawn of either Vyragosa or TLPD for hours and hours. But statistically you shouldn't have to wait more than a few hours for a spawn (Otherwise - You've simply missed a spawn due to it spawning somewhere else and someone killing them before you got a chance to notice).
This is a website by Ponderance that has some more details and facts:
Hope that makes sense/answers your question! If not, let me know and I'll try to help more!
Cody on April 02, 2016:
Hi and thank you for your write up on this!
I have been farming for this guy for ages now and have only seen him once after another player announced he killed it in /1 chat.
However, I have killed Vyra almost 6 times now :S
Do you have any references for the spawns times you mention currently (half an hour spawn since Cata)?
Please and thank you
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on March 14, 2016:
Grats on the kill! I'm glad I helped. :) If you plan on hunting more rare mounts, good luck on those!
nickygunz on March 14, 2016:
Just got my kill. Took about 3 days. I stayed at the Bor's Breath spawn point the entire time. She spawned 6 hours after a Vyragosa kill. Thanks for your guide. It was very helpful.
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on October 27, 2015:
It's not completely useless for farmers. Think of it like this: if you are on a mid to high population server, or a connected realm, the chances of him actually making it far away from his spawn point is pretty low because there is usually always someone lurking about. So, if you hover your mouse over the spawn location and then walk away, that atleast gives you a chance to get up and do something for a few minutes.
I'm not saying this is ideal by any means. And it sucks, yes. But at this moment i really don't have any other suggestions, I'm sorry. Any other ideas i have would just involve the targeting macro and using a program like auto hot key, which goes against terms of service so i don't recommend it.
But if i come across anything that'll help, and doesn't break ToS, I'll update this post further.
Jessica on October 25, 2015:
Npcscan does work, but for farmers, it is useless. I can't tab out and watch a movie, I can't do the dishes, I can't do anything. I have to sit there and stare at the screen. The alert going off after I have already click on him is useless. The information on spawn points and stuff like that still helps a bunch, so your videos aren't useless, in fact, they are informative. I just wish there was a new guide that helped us without using npcscan.
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on October 24, 2015:
To be honest, I haven't even updated this article in a while so I still had old NPCscan information in here. I've updated it now though. NPCscan works, but just not in the same way it used to. You have to hover over or target the rare itself.
Jessica on October 24, 2015:
Npcscan doesn't work outside WoD anymore.
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on May 17, 2015:
Naxader, you have 30 minutes after a spawn. In WotLK it was 6 hours but in cata they removed that. I've seen spawns as short as 30 minutes. But keep in mind that you still may experience hours before another spawn. Good luck!
Naxader on May 17, 2015:
I have question , when vyra spawn how much i must wait until another spawn of tlpd/vyra come another 6 hours ?
Melissa Carlsen (author) from Arkansas on March 19, 2015:
Thank you guys very much! :)
Amanda from Michigan on March 19, 2015:
What a great guide! Thanks for posting.
Atrameya on August 15, 2014:
The best guide I´ve read about TLPD. Clear and simple. Thank you to share it. Greeting from Spain. Sorry my horrible english.
Pukanini on June 27, 2014:
Thanks for the tips. I wish that Vyragosa would at least drop a pet...Tired of seeing that helm. Yes I kill it every time to make TLPD spawn faster. I'm camping at the waterfall...The sweet spot at the lake usually has a tonne of people at it. People stack on me all the time, even though I've been sitting there for 6 plus hours daily.
Hazmodan on April 28, 2013:
Thank you very much for all of this! i've been camping it for a while now, i really appreciate what you wrote, really useful infos!