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?

12 thoughts on “Mount Up Sooner, Race Through the Outlands

  1. Morane

    The paladin mount is already available from the paladin trainer. Though it requires that you purchase Journeyman riding first.

    Interestingly enough though, being able to fly directly to the quest objective and bypass the mobs that are guarding will have a side effect on leveling. Because when you do that you’ll be missing out on all the XP for killing the trash. so you’ll actually need to do slightly more quests and probably see some areas of Outlands you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

    I’ve seen this effect on my rogue where in many cases I could stealth past the mobs to get what I need. She wound up at around level 37 stuck for quests she could do. I had to take her someplace my shaman, who had to kill everything in sight, never saw – Stranglethorn Vale.

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  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Ah, it has been nearly 18 months since we did the pally/warlock epic mount quests.

    Interesting to see how many additional quests you’ll have to do if you can avoid most of the trash.

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  3. rcurrie

    Ah, whatever happened to the good old days of grinding to 40 just to spend every cent you had earned on your 60% mount + training. Wasn’t it something like 25G to train and 100G for the mount? And the epic land mounts where 650G? I sure wish my classic WoW memory was better.

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  4. smakendahed

    There is an achievement for getting the Pally mount by questing under “Feats of Strength” called “Charger”. If you look at that you can see they did the quest for it.

    But yeah, it would be nice to have something a little different looking if it was quested. Ah well.

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  5. syncaine

    It always seems odd to me that Blizzard ‘fix’ for their population problems is to speed-rush everyone to the cap, basically killing all that great content they created previously. I wonder if completely new players notice how fast they are leveling, or how easy everything is for them until they hit the cap? Is literally trivializing a bunch of BC quests by giving flying mounts the direction a new player would want to go in?

    Even if Bliz only redesigned or expanded one zone per patch (assuming they come faster than one every 6 months), would that not give at least SOME people an excuse to create an alt and see that new content, therefor giving life to the previous zones as those alts went through?

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  6. Green Armadillo

    One of the big failings of the old world content (20-58, excluding the revamped Dustwallow) is that quest hub progression tends to involve much more travel. Followup quests are more likely to be separated by multiple levels (i.e., you do a level-appropriate quest and get a followup that cons red to you), and quest objectives are often geographically quite distant from the questgiver.

    Increased player speed, combined with the (now-live) reduced Hearthstone cooldown and easier access to Shattrath, is technically a treatment for the symptom rather than the disease. A true “cure” would require a complete revamp of quest camps and objectives, with the addition of more quest chains where players need to gain levels before embarking on the next stage of a quest. This would be a time-intensive endeavour.

    By contrast, changing the level requirements for mounts is a matter of adjusting a few numbers in the database (any level 100% ground mounts that manage to sneak through the PTR’s with an obsolete “requires level 60” tag aside). Moreover, the change reduces the time to level entirely by removal of meaningless travel downtime, rather than by causing players to miss more and more content (a consequence of further exp curve tweaks). I don’t see any major downside to these changes, so the potential upside doesn’t need to be huge for them to be worthwhile.

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  7. Dorgol

    As an amusing side-thought…

    People who make DKs on non-main servers will be at a disadvantage for the first time EVER. Without a higher level character providing them gold, DKs will be ground-bound for quite sometime.

    I think I’ll run an expiriment on this. See how much gold I can earn as my DK levels his mining.

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  8. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @smakendahed – I had forgotten that achievement. I noticed it a while back. That I got an achievement for the effort is almost enough for me to be happy.

    @Green Armadillo – I agree, in the 20-58 game having mounts sooner is really all upside. I am just interested to see how early flying mounts will change the Outlands.

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  9. We Fly Spitfires

    What I can’t really understand is why they are increasing the mount speed and lowering the level restrictions yet aren’t touching the flight speed of griffons. I don’t actually have a problem travel around on foot at lower levels but I utterly hate the 10min flight between say Un Goro Crater and Felwood. They could do a lot worse than half the flight times in the original content areas.

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  10. Pingback: WoW: It’s A Small, Small World « Bio Break

  11. *vlad*

    It is probably the case (anecdotal evidence ftw) that most low level characters these days are alts.
    We’ve been there and done it before, so spending hours running from one end of Azeroth to the other and back is a big borefest. I’m all for mounts being available at lower levels.

    Completeing my Warlock mount quest at lv 60 in Vanilla WoW was one of the greatest WoW moments for me, and now you just go to the trainer and click on the spell to get it, but times change; that quest is no longer relevent. Maybe we should have something similar for lv 80 – a Warlock/Pally flying epic mount only available through some ridiculously hard quest chain, just like the original one was.
    That would be fun!

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  12. smakendahed

    That’s a really good point, WFS, they should increase the flight point speeds though not to the extent where it makes having a flying mount (near) pointless.

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