Daily Archives: June 15, 2009

Mount Up Sooner, Race Through the Outlands

You’re not leveling fast enough.

Okay, maybe you are, but it appears that some of us are not.

That seems to be a plausible explanation for some of Blizzard’s plans for the upcoming 3.2 patch.

Specifically, I mean the changes to mounts and travel reported over at WoW.com and discussed on various blogs.

Mount availability:

  • 60% land mount at level 20, 4 gold to train, 1 gold for the mount
  • 100% land mount at level 40, 50 gold to train, 10 gold for the mount
  • 150% flying mount (boosted from 60%) at level 60, 600 gold to train, 50 gold for the mount
  • 280% flying mount at level 70, 5000 gold to train, 100 gold for the mount

And, with the 3.2 patch, faction discounts will apply to all purchases.  Previously flying mounts and the skills for them had no faction discount option.

In addition, other travel related skills, like druid travel forms, will be aligned with the above changes.  I haven’t seen what they are going to do about Pally and Warlock mounts, which are only available via quests that take a couple of trips to Scholomance, plus some other running about, to accomplish.  But I imagine those mounts will move to the NPC dispenser model.  It would be nice if you could tell the difference, if you could see who got their mount the old fashioned way and who used the newer model, but I doubt we’ll get that.

And finally, according to WoW.com, on the list of travel bennies planned for the 3.2 patch, they are going to put a portal in Stormwind and Orgrimmar to haul your epic mounted backsides straight to the Stair of Destiny in the Outlands, thus removing your need to travel to the Blasted Lands and walk through the portal the old fashioned way.

From the stairs you will be able to fly directly to either Honor Hold or Thrallmar then train for and purchase your level 60 flying mount.

All of this seems to be generally aimed at getting people around faster to get them leveled up and into the current content, and specifically to get people through the Outlands as fast as possible.

Seriously, short of lowering the experience curve again, what is going to move you along quicker than being able to fly directly to your quest objective, avoiding the yard trash, and then straight back to the quest giver?

On the other hand, I don’t see anything drastically wrong with these changes.  Certainly my daughter was cheering at the idea of getting a faster mount at level 40.  And I have my own pile of level 40-ish characters who will probably get the speed boost.

And, for a first mount, level 20 isn’t a bad plan.  It would certainly make that haul from Auberdine to Desolace, or even that first run across the Wetlands for the flight point, much more bearable.

As for flying, despite the fact that this will take the challenge out of a lot of quests, it will close a huge and annoying gap in flying progressions.  Currently, you work you way to level 70, get your flying mount, then move on to Northrend where you have to wait another 7 levels before you can use it.  At least now you’ll get to experience flying, one of the more liberating methods of travel an MMO can offer, for 10 full levels.  And if you’re like me, you won’t accumulate enough cash to buy that epic flying mount until you’re almost able to use it in Northrend.

I will be interested to see what this change really does to the Outlands.  On my server, the Burning Crusades zones are pretty sparsely populated, at least for WoW.  Will this change encourage more alts?  Will the Outlands get busier for a time?