My Issues with the Alliance Gunship Skyfire

For those of you who have missed this so far (or play the stinkin’ horde) the is currently an Alliance gunship flying above and off to the side of Stormwind Harbor (I feel like spelling that “Harbour” but I guess since it’s in-game like that I have to spell it the American way).

The Skyfire flying over Stormwind Harbor

That ship is, apparently (I don’t really follow these things), the Skyfire. Here’s my issue, I’ll show you the clip first and see if you see what I see:

The video is a bit laggy for some reason but it should portray the problems.

First, the smaller propellers on the top of the units providing thrust for the ship, spin the wrong way. The larger blades at the bottom are spinning clockwise, while blades at the top are spinning counter-clockwise. Now that’s not to huge an issue, I suppose there’s no reason they’d have to spin the same way, but the damn blades are spinning against the shaft! The actual shaft which connects both propellers is spinning for clockwise, and the top set of fins are apparently attached right to the shaft but spinning the other way. I’ll ignore the fact that there’s apparently nothing spinning them and chalk it up to magic.

Here’s another issue, take a look in the control room:

The Skyfire control room

See something odd? Yea, two steering wheels (I’m sure those aren’t the technical names,  but I’m too lazy to figure out what they are called). Now this isn’t unheard of, I mean heck airplanes have to steering wheels, but generally the Skyfire and it’s sister ships are more designed after a galley that flies as opposed to anything in the skies today.

So oh well I think, maybe they need two people steering because they haven’t invented power steering yet. That sounds reasonable right? Well wait a moment…

The Skyfire

See what I see? That’s right, nothing. There’s apparently nothing to steer the ship, no giant tiller or whatever the equivalent would be, so what are those wheels in the control room attached too?

Now on it’s own the lack of a tiller isn’t unusual, I mean theoretically they could be using those turbines on the side to steer with thrust vectoring or what have you (i.e. they apply more power on the right side than the left to turn towards the left).

But then, what are the wheels in the control room for? See, doesn’t make much sense.

Another thing, the life boats.

The Skyfire's lifeboats

Okay first of all assuming those things actually work and are safe and will gently fly you down to the surface below, that thing is tiny. I mean seriously, how many people could it hold, like 2 people? Maybe 4 if they’re all Gnomes? There’s no way you could fit the Skyfire’s crew on there. I guess they’re banking on a few heroes (i.e. the characters we play) to be on board to help save them if they have to abandon ship, but even then that doesn’t sound very safe does it? I mean this is a war ship, those guns aren’t just for show that thing is meant to fight.

Speaking of which, lets look at the armaments on the Skyfire.

The Skyfire's armaments

Not bad, looks like it could pack quite a punch. Assuming there’s a gun behind each one of those hatches (we can’t enter the actual insides of the Skyfire unlike the Skybreaker) the Skyfire has 9 guns on the broadside, plus the double barrel turret which looks like it can be rotated fully to aid in the assault.

Again, this goes with the theory that they simply retrofitted a galley or something to make it fly as it seems to follow the idea of pulling along side your enemy more or less and blasting the crap out of them before they can do too much damage to you. Meanwhile, if you want to engage an enemy that is in front of you there is only the two turrets which can engage the enemy until you can bring one of side of the ship around to bear on the target.

Which brings another point, look again a few screenshots up where I showed the back of the ship. Notice something else? Yup, no defence. There’s perhaps a 70 degree area behind the ship where your only defence would be to stick some riflemen or something on that platform on the back. But it gets worse.

The Skyfire aerial

The Skyfire's underside

See what I see? Again absolutely no protecting either above the ship or below, though at least if the attack game from above again you could place some ranged on the deck at least. Again this, along with the obvious appearance, goes with the idea that these airships are simply ships from their navy they rigged to fly. I mean you don’t have to worry about aerial assault generally in a naval battle in the era these ships apparently are from. Also there appears to be only one submarine in the World of Warcraft, so I guess submerged threats weren’t an issue either (they could always carry depth charges I guess).

One last thing: those helicopters flying around acting as an escort, are those really going to be effective? I mean all the Horde would have to do would be get some fighter planes (if they have plans in the game I don’t see why you couldn’t have some equipped with guns or bombs) come in high, take out the Skyfire, and be away before those dinky escorts the Skyfire has can react.

Ya I know it’s just a game, but things like this bug me.

About the author

Eric Dekker

Gamer. Student. Nerd. Author of The Golden Crusade. Find him on + and Twitter.