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Time-Lost Proto-Drake is an extremely rare monster which occasionally appears among the mountains of The Storm Peaks. It is especially sought after because it has a 98% chance of dropping when killed. Because of its rarity, many players may hunt it for weeks before they even see it at all, much less kill it themselves.
The drake is out of reach of ground attacks for most of its flights, and must usually be pulled while on a flying mount or in flight form.
Known Flight Routes, Spawn Locations and Patterns
The spawn spot coordinates are:[31, 69]
Each spawn spot can spawn either Time-Lost Proto-Drake or Vyragosa. The routes can differ slightly from time to time but remain relatively the same. Most add-ons only show the most common path taken.
Any time Time-Lost Proto-Drake or Vyragosa spawns it can go either Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise on all four paths. However, each path has a direction it usually goes. The spawn overlooking Frozen Lake usually goes clockwise. The spawn overlooking the large Waterfall tends to go counter-clockwise. The spawn from Brunnhildar tends to go counter-clockwise and the spawn from Ulduar Ravine tends to travel counter-clockwise. But again, all have been observed sometimes traveling opposite the norm.
The only spawn time related information you can count on is that after Vyragosa or Time-Lost Proto-Drake are killed, neither will spawn for 45 Minutes. Now spawn windows have shrunk to the point, it should just be expected it can spawn any time. It used to be 6-22+ but since The Shattering the no-spawn windows have gotten a lot smaller.
This all depends on how fast rares are being killed across Northrend. There has been extensive studying and experimenting done on this. Every time a team was camping all four spawn spots with a secondary team scouring Northrend killing every rare they could find, the times shifted more towards every 4-10 hours as opposed to the more normal 12-16 hours.
There is no discernible pattern involving how many minutes before or after the hour or what hour of the day it will "usually" spawn from. None of the spawn spots are more active than any of the others. It's all random.
Connection with Vyragosa
Time-Lost Proto-Drake appears to share spawn points, flight routes, and possibly spawn timers with , another rare spawn monster in Storm Peaks. The current speculation is that Time-Lost Proto-Drake is a "rare spawn" of Vyragosa; that is, whenever Vyragosa would normally spawn, there is a small chance that Time-Lost Proto-Drake will spawn instead in her place. Because the two creatures share the same spawn points and paths, Vyragosa sightings can be used as a good way to identify potential Time-Lost Proto-Drake flight routes.
This drake, along with Aeonaxx, is the only known rare spawn of a rare spawn.
Time-Lost Proto-Drake is not a challenging fight, and should be easily soloable by all classes. However, having some on hand is highly recommended. Since it often flies out of reach of most attacks, this will allow you to attack it in the air to initiate combat, and then use the lager to avoid falling to your death after you dismount.
Popular farming/camping strategies include:
- Picking a direct spawn spot and camping it. While it is currently still popular to pick a route-central, multi-path crossing, that is not necessarily the most logical place to sit. When sitting at one of these you have no idea who is at, near or passing by any of the four spawn spots. Thus, for all you know 4/4 of the known spawn spots are camped and usually you can't even see them from the popular multi-path camp spots. Yet, if you pick a spawn spot such as Frozen Lake's that can see Ulduar Ravine and Waterfall's flight path, you are guaranteed a 1/4 chance of directly tagging a spawn plus the chance of seeing one en route. The further you are away from the spawn spot(s), the further down your chances drop.
- Flying around, checking spawn points and trying to follow flight paths. Some consider this strategy to be inferior to camping a spawn point, as no matter how good your path may be, you don't know which of the four it can spawn from and you don't know which direction it went. It is entirely possible even four people can be out flying around and just miss it by a few yards out of sight. As the paragraph previous to this states, the further you are from a spawn spot, the more your chances fall. Conversely, the more you move around the more likely you are to miss it for any variety of reasons.
- With the event of Cataclysm, and a lot fewer people camping or questing in Storm Peaks, there is a lower chance of all the spawn points being camped at any particular time, and also a lower chance of someone finding him on patrol. A hybrid "camp/patrol" approach of camping a single spawn point (while doing something else like watching TV or "working from home") and going on patrol every once in a while, flying between all the spawn points while following the documented flight paths, is likely to work better than constantly camping a single spawn point. If you do decide to go on patrol, it is suggested that you fly along every flight path in both a clockwise and counterclockwise direction. An addon like NPCscan Overlay. This addon can be generally helpful in-game for this strategy, if you don't want to tab out to refresh your memory with more accurate maps. You just need to be aware that chances still fall the further you are away from exact spawn points.
- With the addition of Cross-realm zones in Mists of Pandaria, There are even more people found camping in Storm Peaks. This means that finding the Time Lost Proto Drake alive will be even more difficult.
If you are truly interested in obtaining this very rare mount, be prepared to invest a lot of time camping Storm Peaks. The creature's name is apt; anyone who puts in the time to hunt for it will surely have quite a bit of "time lost" for their efforts. Be patient.
See Rare mob for information on addons and other means of making rare mob locating easier.
- Despite being a rare creature, the Time-Lost Proto-Drake is not on the list of creatures needed for the achievement, probably due to its extreme rarity.