Tag Archives: Mounts

Blizzard Wants to Lock You In with a Flying Rat

A different sort of Room 101.

With Tuesday’s post about the Visions of N’Zoth update for Battle for Azeroth, there was a short bit of discussion as to what else Blizz might do to keep people subscribed between now and the launch of the Shadowlands expansion.  I suggested that they might do another “free mount with a six month subscription” offer.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when less that 48 hours later Blizzard announced a “free mount with a six month subscription” offer.

Welcome Squeakers

The deal itself is the same as the usual 6 month subscription deal, which averages out to $12.99 a month in the US, saving you a bit over the usual $14.99 when you pay by the month.  You just get a free mount, which is a $25 value, because that is what Blizzard charges for mounts and the fans have established that they will pay that much.

Now with free rat

I don’t think you can get Squeakers on his own, but why would you want to? [Edit: Yes you can, though it is tough to find on the web site.]  And certainly Blizz wants to keep you on the books until the 9.0 patch and the warm up to Shadowlands.  And this will no doubt play well in Asia where the lunar new year is approaching, and with it the year of the rat.

The mount and subscription deal is a limited time offer.  You have until February 23rd to take advantage of this deal.  If you bought it on the  last day that would get you into August on your subscription, when I suspect we will see the Shadowlands expansion launch.

Of course, the mount does not apply to WoW Classic, where I have been spending my time, so I am not particularly interested.  I already have enough mounts in WoW retail and, due to the last six month deal mis-firing, I am still subscribed out until June anyway.

A WoW Mount Every Six Months Now?

A new pattern seems to be emerging.  Blizzard has hit on a new idea to keep people subscribed.  And it only requires the art department to churn out a couple new mounts a year.

Back at the end of September last year Blizz announced that if you opted in for a six month term on your subscription, you would get the Dreadwake mount.

Last week, just about nine months down the line from the last offer, Blizzard announced that if you again opted in for a six month subscription you would get the Sylverian Dreamer mount.

Another mount if you’ll just subscribe

Fortunately, if you are already on a recurring six month subscription plan you get the mount for basically carrying on with it.  I went to check the details to see if they were requiring you to commit to an additional six months on top of what you already had lined up.  The 9 month gap made me suspicious that they wanted to get people committed deep into 2020.

But no, if you already have a six month recurring plan setup, you’re covered… though, I did notice that the account management UI will let you buy in another six months of subscription time in advance.  So maybe Blizz is playing the confusion card a bit.

For the rest of us who subscribe in shorter increments, we have to press the button for a six month buy to get the mount.

If you’re somebody who has to have all the mounts, you’ll probably go for it.  Blizz sells mounts like this for $25 in its shop.  In fact, you can buy this exact mount in the shop for $25, if you don’t care to commit.  But there is lots to do in Azeroth for the rest of the year.  The Rise of Azshara update is just out and in under two months WoW Classic will go live.  If you want the mount you might as well subscribe rather than pay for it straight up.  Blizzard wins either way, so you should opt for the best deal for you.

I’ve fallen off the mount collecting idea myself.  Unlike battle pets, where having a deep bench is a requirement to do things like the Celestial Tournament or the pet battle dungeons, you can only ride one mount at a time.  And when I can fly, my main still uses the Silver Covenant Hippogryph which he earned in the Argent Tournament back during Wrath of the Lich King.

No Trove of Mounts for You Today!

I have not been playing as much Rift Prime this month as I might have.  Other things have been taking up my game time like the fun in the north in EVE Online.

Still, being the completionist nut that I am, I have been logging in just about every day to collect my daily reward, mostly because on the 21st day you get a mount.  This morning was day 21… I missed a day somewhere… so I logged on to get my mount.  Damn straight!

The last box is the best box

I clicked on the claim button and… nothing happened.  Which was odd, because there is usually something that comes up in the chat window and the ability to claim goes away.  So I clicked it again and still nothing.  On the third click I noticed that an error was coming up in small red text above the rewards window indicating that my inventory was full.

Trying not to notice the alignment…

Well, dopey me, my bags were full, no wonder I couldn’t collected the mount.

Only my bags were not full.  There was ample space in my bags.  So I started tinkering around with inventory, selling a couple of items to see if maybe a little more space would help.  I checked my bank, which also had free space, just in case that somehow counted.  I looked at the mounts tab to see if there was some restriction there.  I dismounted from my own mount, just in case there was some flag that wouldn’t let you collect a mount if you were mounted.  Stranger things have happened.

But nothing helped.  Meanwhile the game, as it is wont to do, was continuing the remind me that I had a daily reward to collect, blinking a button and putting a special little icon up on the mini-map.

Yes, I know…

So I went to Google to see if this was a known issue, but there was nothing related.  So I headed to the forums.  At the top of the bug reports section I found somebody saying that they were having the same issue.  There is always a moment of relief that it isn’t just me having a problem.  A response to the report was given, consisting of a link to a post in the Rift Prime Vigil General Discussion forum.  There I found that the ability to claim the trove of mounts had been turned off.


The Daily Calendar reward “Trove of Mounts” has a bad loot table and has been temporarily disabled.

The Trove will be fixed and unlocked in the next patch. No CS ticket is needed.

The box was giving out duplicate mounts (something it should NOT do) or no mounts at all. Any player that managed to collect their Trove in the hour it was available will be given a replacement Trove of Mounts after the patch goes out. Again, no CS ticket is needed.

Our apologies – I know many of you were very much looking forward to your next mount

So the ability to claim was… well, it wasn’t really turned off.  I guess making the test for inventory space always return that it was full was the most expedient way to disable the feature, but it is a bit of a pisser to spend 30 minutes screwing around trying to figure out the issue, when the problem is that I might not get a mount, or maybe a dupe.

Anyway, we’ll see if they can fix this before the month is out.  But the UI keeps reminding me that I have a reward to collect.

The Race to a Mount on Trakanon

While WoW Legion is clearly in my future, there is still some time to get there, and with my Daybreak All Access still active for a bit I thought I would look into that whole mount thing on the new Race to Trakanon server they put up last week.  All I had to do was get to level 10, right?

Not a bad mount compared to many in EQII

Just 10 levels, how hard could it be?

I have never been that big on mounts in EverQuest II for some reason.  I have 150+ mounts in WoW… I know this because I got the achievement for hitting 150 a few mounts back… but in EQII I might have… maybe six… maybe ten on the outside… different mounts spread across all of my characters.

It isn’t that there aren’t plenty of mounts in EQII, it is more a matter of them being pretty damn ugly.  There are a lot of really ugly mounts in the game.

Ice Wolf on Ice

There is something not right with that ice wolf

And when they aren’t just plain ugly, they are generally just horrible things I wouldn’t be caught dead riding.

The setup to a "frog in a blender" joke

Rage inducing mount…

There is just something about the aesthetics and design of mounts in EQII that rubs me the wrong way.  I actively collect mounts in almost every MMORPG.  I have a fair number in LOTRO and a bunch sitting around in Rift should I ever return, but in EQII I stick to the most plain, most horse-like looking horse I can find and generally go no further.

Speed - We Haz It!

Plain mounts for me and my friends

But this Race to Trakanon mount didn’t look too bad in the pictures and, better still, once you earned it you would get it for all of your characters.  That is another thing I am a bit mixed on with mounts.  I have grown used to having access to all my mounts account-wide in WoW (aside from certain exceptions) so earning/buying a mount for only a single character feels a bit off for me.

So off I went.

The first thing I had to do was delete a character, as I was out of character slots.  That wasn’t too hard, as I had rolled up a bunch of characters for the Stormhold server.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to play on the server, but if you made a character in the first couple of weeks you got a free bag, and bag space is always a thing on new characters, so I rolled up every potential character I might play just to get the bags.  I still had some level 2, never really played options, so deleting them wasn’t a big deal.

Slots freed, it was time to make a new character.

It has been a while since I created a new character in EQII and they now have a big, shiny server type selection option. highlighting the various flavors on offer.  My target was the event server.

Free players... keep left

Free players… keep left

From there, I had to figure out what would suit me best in my goal to just get to level 10.

I went with a human berserker.  Human, because why not… no size issues, no oddness in looks… and berserker because that is just my go-to class for EQII.  They wear plate armor and hit things hard until they die.  All very simple.

As it so happened, the human they handed me looked vaguely like Boris Johnson, or maybe his son, so I didn’t change any of the appearance options, I just chose the name “Boris” and ran with it.  I chose the Qeynos side of the world and off I went to the Isle of Refuge, where I played for about 20 minutes, then logged off.

This turned out to be a wise move, at least when viewed through the prism of my achieving the simple goal of getting to level 10.  I didn’t come back until the next day, after which I had accrued enough rest experience to last through to my goal.  That meant I would level up twice as fast as I would have had I just tried to plow through after character creation.

I did the run through the Isle of Refuge, though the current version of it seems a bit… off.  I see things or mobs and I wonder where some old quest or another has gone off to since the old days.  I might have missed a quest starter drop or two along the way, or my memory might simply be faulty.  It has been a long time since the Frostfang Sea replace the Isle of Refuge.

Running through that got me to level 7, at which point I spoke to the captain of the ship that brought me there and was teleported off to the Frostfang Sea to continue along my way.

I probably should have just opted for that earlier if efficiency was my goal.  I think the Frostfang Sea starter area is better organized and moves you along more quickly for the most part, though it does have more than its share running back and forth for each new quest.

I crossed over the water on the raft to the first quest hub on the mainland.

A little more ramshackle than the old raft

Roll stock footage of Frostfang Sea raft

I ran through the quests there and moved along to the second quest hub where, only a few quests in, I hit the magic moment a level 10 was mine.

Level 10 yet again

Level 10 yet again

That gave me the reward I was looking for.

Here is your mount!

Here is your mount!

The Sunbrite Clothwork Pegasus was mine.  I just had to figure out how to get it.

Usually items that show up like that as a reward drop into your inventory.  I looked there, but did not see it.  So I thought perhaps it might already appear in my mount options, but it wasn’t there either.  In thinking about it for a moment, I decided that, in order to be available to all characters, including those made down the road, the mount probably had to be accessible via the /claim option, and sure enough there it was.

Pegasus found, I was able to claim it for Boris who was able to join the other level 10+ characters in the zone riding around on their new mount.

Boris on the new mount

Boris on the new mount

For me, this might be one of the better looking “goofy” mounts that Daybreak has added to the game.  As I said above, there is a lot of ugly going on there in my opinion.  I rode it around for a bit, spreading its wings for a glide now and again.

New mount, wings spread

New mount, wings spread

I am not sure it will replace the plain horse for an every day mount, though I say that as somebody who, after playing the game off and on since launch, still doesn’t have a character high enough level to use a flying mount yet.  For ground travel it seems a bit much.  Maybe some day I will actually fly and have a use for a mount with wings.

Anyway, I have it around should that day come, and it wasn’t all that hard to obtain.  Others have been after it as well:

Of course, now there is the WoW 7.0 patch to focus on, plus the big space move that is coming up, so this could be my last moment in Norrath for a while.

Nether Ray Mounts Obtained

I think I started working on Burning Crusade factions at some point after we had mostly wrapped up Wrath of the Lich King but before I had beaten the Argent Tournament to death.  It was a transitional age, where achievements were still somewhat new, mounts no longer took up bag slots, and collecting one of each seemed to be encouraged.  The hunt for mounts began.

The first stop for me was Nagrand.  I do not really remember why at this point… it might have been to harvest netherweave for Ula… but I wanted to get the Talbuk mounts that the Kurenai will sell you when you hit exalted.  The Kurenai faction grind is pretty manageable, something I was reminded of with my latest look into Nagrand.  Slaughtering ogres for netherweave also gets you war beads that you can turn in for a faction bump, plus every ogre is worth a few points of faction with the Kureani.  I was on a talbuk mount in no time… just about five years back. (See, this is why I blog, because I’d never remember when I did this otherwise.)

Talbuk in the Snow

Talbuk in the Snow

That also got me to the 10 mount achievement and made me think about getting more mounts.

From there I went on to the Argent Tournament.  That was the easiest way to get to exalted with the alliance city factions and there were a number of special mounts to be had, including my long time favorite, the Silver Covenant Hippogryph.  I spend a lot of time on dailies at the Argent Tournament and in other parts of Northrend.  I even made the chopper.  Eventually Northrend began to peter out and I looked back to Outland for more mounts.  I even made a start with the Netherwing and the Sha’tari Skyguard, but by the time I was working on those Cataclysm was just around the corner.

And after Cataclysm, well… there was the long break from World of Warcraft.

My daughter an I returned to Azeroth last summer, and with the Warlords of Draenor announcement, the full instance group team was back in the game and working our way through the content by basically picking up where we left off with our group in Wrath of the Lich King.  A return to form and good times.

And I got myself invested back in the game and started doing all the little side activities, including hunting for mounts again.  That got me back to Outland again where, after some fumbling about, I was finally able to pick up where I left off and finish the Netherwing faction and pick up the netherdrake mounts.

Down at Crazy Barthamus' Netherdrake Dealership

Down at Crazy Barthamus’ Netherdrake Dealership

And once I finished that I turned my eye to the Sha’tari Skyguard and their nether ray mounts.  I started in on that and then… stopped.  I went looking for other things to do.  I started on the quest for the Loremaster achievement.  It wasn’t that the faction grind for the Skyguard was difficult.  It is actually pretty doable, as you are not as dependent on daily quests as with the Netherwing and if you can buckle down and just hang around Skettis for a day, you can plow through it.  (Earl did that.  He is an iron man on grinds.)  I just had other things I wanted to do.

Eventually though, as the summer passed, I started looking at where I stood and what I wanted to get done before Warlords of Draenor launched… or even before the 6.0 patch dropped… and saw the Sha’tari Skyguard sitting at revered on my faction list and said, “Time to wrap this up!”  So I headed out to Skettis in the corner of Terokkar Forest and buckled down to work through the 10K faction I was shy of exalted.

Skettis, where the bird people are

Skettis, where the bird people are

And while progress seemed like it should be slow… you get a big 12 faction points for popping Arakoaa… but with the little quests and the drops you can turn in adding up, it ended up going by pretty quickly.  And it is a pretty good low attention task, so you can listen to a podcast or an audio book while you work through it.  So, before long I hit the mark, made it to exalted, and the achievement was mine.


Two achievements down with that, as it was also my 35th exalted, which is about 34 more than I would have told you I expected to get back in vanilla WoW.  And then, of course, I had to go buy the five nether ray mounts (bumping my mount total to 138), the nether ray fry pet, and the tabard that are all unlocked with exalted status.  I think the red nether ray is my favorite.  It stands out amongst pack.

Red Nether Ray

Red Nether Ray

Another item to check off my list.  And this might even count as a Bragtoberfest item as well… I think.  It is an achievement and all.

And now, with the 6.0 patch looming, I am wondering what I should work on next.  At some point I want to get a set of battle pets up to level 25 so I can finish up catching all the ones in the wild.  I am past the 250 mark for pets caught, but my top three pets are only level 21 at this point and I haven’t even started on Northrend, Cataclysm, or Pandaria, and it might be nice to wrap up there before all the new zones roll in with Warlords of Draenor.


A Lust for Living Steel

As I noted back in December, coming back to Azeroth after a long stretch away has left me with an embarrassment of options when it comes to what to do.

One of those was trade skills.  Once I got Vikund to level 90 I went about getting his chosen professions, Engineering, up to 600.

Engineering is a strange profession, one of those aspects of WoW that probably seemed like an interesting idea at some point, but which took quite a while to really come into its own.  In the end, engineering gives you some benefits… you get an engineers-only auction house broker in Panderia… and some interesting little gadgets… the wormhole generator, and the required parachute to accompany it, was fun… but I am not sure that it is a “must have” profession for anybody.

Getting to 600 went well enough… there is so much ghost iron in Pandaria that Potshot was wondering why they bother to build things out of bamboo… and I even got the drop for the final batch of engineering recipes, Chief Engineer Jard’s Journal, as I was finishing off the some quests in the Kun-Lai Summit.

Those recipes gave me yet another goal to pursue, another mount.  In this case, it was the Sky Golem.  I will go quite a ways out of my way for another mount, and this one seemed especially silly.  And the recipe seemed simple enough.  I just needed 30 units each of two items.

Sky Golem parts...

Sky Golem parts…

That screen shot shows me having 41 of Jard’s Peculiar Energy Source and 30 Living Steel.  But when I started I had none of each, so it was time to figure out how to get there.

The energy sources were simple enough.  Engineers can make them.  They only require 10 ghost iron bars to make, and as noted above, ghost iron is pretty common in Pandaria.  The only hitch was that it was a “once per day” recipe that generated a soulbound item.  I would be at least 30 days getting there.

And then there was the Living Steel.

Engineers cannot make Living Steel.  That is the domain of alchemists.  But alchemists can’t really use it once they make it, so it is like any other raw material in that it can be bought and sold at the auction house.  So my first option was to just buy 30 bars of Living Steel on the market.

On our server, Eldre’Thalas, Living Steel tends to hover at around 400 gold per bar, so that would require at least 12,000 gold, maybe more if the price wandered up, as it tends to at times.

That was not an insurmountable price.  In the age of Panderia, where there is a plethora of daily quests that will give you 20 gold in reward, you can rack up some gold pretty quickly.  Add in the auction house and gold is there if you want to put in the effort.

The problem is that I have trouble dedicating myself to accruing gold, and the gold I was earning was earmarked for other items.  All of those Pandaria factions have mounts for sale when you hit exalted, and I wanted them.

So it was time to look for an alchemist.

Potshot turned out to have an alchemist in the form of his instance group character Skronk.  He managed to level up alchemy to 600 pretty quickly and soon I started feeding him resources to produce Living Steel.  An alchemist needs six bars of Trillium, which comes from a rare harvest node in Pandaria (if I see two in one day, I feel blessed), but which you can also grow on your farm, if you have chosen to indulge in farming.

A farmer's life is full of toil...

A farmer’s life is full of toil…

Of course I have a farm.  And every day I plant my 16 snakeroot seeds, which in theory should yield me 4 Trillium bars.  Trillium is difficult in that it comes in black and white and you need two of each to make a single bar, and the farm (or nodes) toss the two types out at random.  So to make up the difference I had to buy some of the correct ore to cover imbalance and shortfalls.  Trillium bars can also be created from 10 ghost iron bars, so I sent a bunch of those to Skronk early on to cover daily shorts.

So we started off.  But then Earl got his level 90 alt up to 600 in blacksmithing, and guess who what other profession needs Living Steel.  Earl deferred his Living Steel requests until I finished the Sky Golem… like many of us, he is a sucker for mounts and will no doubt be working on one when his engineer gets to 600… but I could see a serious Living Steel bottleneck approaching for our little guild.

So I cast my eye upon my alts to see who might take up alchemy as well.

As I mentioned before, I have parallel druids on our server, Alioto and Selirus.  Don’t ask why.  I am not sure I could explain it.  They are both night elves who went with restoration for much of their careers (Alioto swapped to feral when he became my entry for the instance group) and who picked up herbalism and inscription for professions.

Alioto was further along with inscription, so I decided to drop inscription on Selirus and pick up alchemy.  Fortunately, herbalism is a must for both, and he was far enough along there to be set.  I just had to get him from 1 to 600 in the profession.  And I started off doing it the hard way.  I went to WoW Professions, looked at their 1-600 alchemy guide, and started harvesting.

Potentially I could have just bought the supplies on the market, but low to mid-level herbs can be surprisingly expensive and I had still wanted to spend gold on mounts and not raw materials.  So I set myself a goal of boosting alchemy between 25 and 50 skill points a night to keep the whole thing from becoming a soul sucking grind, and stuck to it. (Actually exceeded it most nights, but just didn’t do it in one giant grind.)

I also worked a bit on leveling Selirus as well, since he was level 78 and you need to be at least level 80 to train into the Zen Master (525 to 600) range of alchemy.

That went well enough and after a week Selirus had passed into the Cataclysm recipe range and harvesting was becoming a bit more challenging as was just getting exactly the right herbs.  But it was a Saturday night, when the market is usually stuffed and prices tend to dip to their lowest, so I decided to splurge.  I spent approximately 1,000 gold and bought all the herbs needed to get Selirus to 600.  That was about how much he had made from the auction house by selling his creations and excess herbage, so it was something of a wash.  And along the way he learned the recipe for Living Steel.  The guild now has two level 600 alchemists, doubling our potential Living Steel production.

So I was able to stuff Selirus with yet more ghost iron to hurry along my Sky Golem project by a few days.  Another mount obtained.

The Sky Golem

The Sky Golem

The mount itself is another in the line of silly engineering mounts.  It looks crazy, makes the usual array of odd noises, and swerves all over the sky as you fly along, doing the occasional barrel roll.  The prime benefit it bestows is that it does not require you to dismount to harvest herbs, allowing non-duids to enjoy the benefit that druids have long had in that regard with their flight form.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t help me much.   All of my herbalists are druids already.  But I am happy enough to have yet another mount.

Making Friends with the Netherwing

Several of us in the guild have been working on various reputation tasks with factions from past expansions.  The objective has generally been mounts.

This has meant quite a bit of stomping around in older instances to earn rep or to get specific mount drops, like the Bronze Drake.

Skronk, myself, and Earl on various mounts

Skronk, myself, and Earl on various mounts

This is, of course, part of the reason that Blizzard’s outlook on this sort of thing… and their plans for “The Squish”… were of interest to me this past weekend.  I was wondering if we might need to hurry things along or if things would remain as they were post-squish.  For now it looks like old instance venturing will remain the same. (Which makes me wonder about the necessity of “The Squish,”  since, to me at least, we are just talking about numbers.  Once you get used to doing, say, 50K DPS (or 30K or 90K or whatever), it seems pretty normal.)

Anyway, we’ve all been running off in various directions.  Earl did a quick grind for the Cenarion Expedition to get their War Hippogryph, shown in the picture above. (Next to my Silver Covenant Hippogryph, which I earned at the Argent Tournament back in WotLK.)  Skronk and Ula were off after exalted reputation with the Wyrmcrest Accord to get their drake mount.

I went in a third direction, back (again) to Outland in pursuit of the Netherwing Drake mounts.

I won’t detail the whole process of getting there.  There is a good write up over at WoW Pro that goes into all the details if you want to do this (and which I only found AFTER I had finished the whole thing and started writing this post).

This was one of those medium term objectives that I can be pretty good at where, after the initial quest line, you have to log in every day and spend about 30-45 minutes running a series of daily quests.  A reasonable objective for the holiday season, and one helped along by the fact that we had hit level 12 with the guild, which gives members a 10% boost to faction rewards for quests and such.  Between that, and the Netherwing Egg wildcard, I was able to finish in 11 days, which the guide puts the process at 15 days.

Of course, there was a problem.  There is always a problem.

I started the initial quest line with Vikund way back in the WotLK days and then apparently dropped it before I finished it, leaving me unable to jump into the daily quest segment.  Furthermore, I couldn’t figure out where I had left off.  I eventually got out my level 86 hunter, Tistann, to check if the initial quest giver, Mordenai, was still there.  He was.  So I followed the initial quest line through with Tistann (it doesn’t take long) and then retraced his steps with Vikund until I finally found where I had left off.

Once I got there, I was off to the races and I eventually managed to become exalted with the Netherwing, complete with backported achievement for the whole thing.


Ta daa!  Another faction grind complete and a few more mounts in my collection.

The interesting thing about this whole run was how different it felt compared to similar faction quests I have been plugging away at in Pandaria.  If the latter represent the “state of the art” for Blizz, whatever that might mean, then the Netherwing are… strangely primitive.

The quest mechanisms themselves are fine.  These were the very early days of the whole daily quest idea, and Blizz seemed to think it was just fine to make you do exactly the same thing day after day.  No variety.

I am going to guess that they were not sure that many people would even buy into the whole daily quest thing.  Granted, you need artisan level flying to even get this quest line, which was a pricey option back in the day.  But still, the dailies are such that if two people are trying to do them at the same time, you will notice, and three or more people will have a serious impact on your ability to get them done in a reasonable time.

But the thing that struck me every day was the somewhat schizophrenic nature of the quests.  The idea is to get exalted with the Netherwing.  The initial quest line gives you a buff that disguises you as an Dragonmaw Orc, and your mount as a Netherwing drake, so you can infiltrate the orcs who are breeding them for their use.

If I understood the initial quest line correctly, the Netherwing are not happy about this. Neltharaku gives you lecture about it, Karynaku is chained up in the Dragonmaw Fortress and you have to free him.  It seems like you’re going to go in there and help the Netherwing stick it to the Dragonmaw.

And then you start doing the dailies and you find yourself hurting the Dragonmaw at times and helping them out at others.  My favorite bizarro world pair of quests are the ones where, with one quest, you are poisoning Dragonmaw peons to stop them from working, while with a second quest you are beating idle or disgruntled peons (with the Booterang) to get them back to work.

So every day I was out there interdicting their supplies and poisoning their peons while also killing their enemies, punishing their slackers, and helping them with their whole mining effort.  And the whole thing ends up on an even stranger note.  Finally, when you get to exalted, Illidan… or a shadow form of him… shows up, sees right through your disguise, and just before they do you in, you are rescues by a Netherwing dragon.

Carried off on the back of the Netherwing

Carried off on the back of the Netherwing

The dragon takes you… slowly… off to Shattrath where you get to finish up the whole quest line.  This includes picking ONE Netherdrake to add to your collection of mounts.

Down at Crazy Barthamus' Netherdrake Dealership

Down at Crazy Barthamus’ Netherdrake Dealership

So you’re done, right?  One Netherdrake is all you get?  The guide I linked above seems to end on that note.  But what about all the other models.  Can you buy them?  They seem to be all lined up like they were for sale or something, right?

No.  Barthamus ain’t selling.

However, if you fly all the way back to the Dragonmaw base camp, where your orc illusion will still activate and where they will have all conveniently forgotten about what just happened between you and Illidan, you will be able to hit up Drake Dealer Hurlunk in the middle of the camp and buy the other five Netherdrake models.

Drake Dealer Hurlunk

Drake Dealer Hurlunk

This was actually the bit I knew about in advance, and one of the reasons I chose run down this faction quest.  Six excellent looking mounts waiting at the end were reason enough.  And the fact that they were only 200 gold each… which is laughably cheap in the age of Pandaria… sealed the deal.

So I am quite happy having spent my time on this.  My favorite out of the bunch right now is the Veridian Netherdrake, by virtue of being the “different” color scheme out of the bunch.  Plus I rarely ever see that model out and about.  Though, with so many mounts in the game you could say that about many of the older models.

Veridian in the Vale

Veridian in the Vale

But I have to imagine that some designer at Blizzard is mildly embarrassed at how odd or rough the whole Netherwing faction quest line and dailies look in 2014.  Or maybe not.  Daily quests were a new-ish thing in WoW.  Mounts took up bag space.  And the fast flying skill was and expensive thing for most players.  It was a different time.

The Instance Group… Under the Sea

Under the sea,
Under the sea,
There’ll be no accusations,
Just friendly crustaceans,
Under the sea!

Homer Simpson, Homer Badman episode

Unless you go to Vashj’ir, in which case the crustaceans and often pretty hostile, along with the sharks and the sea goblins and the naga.

Did you know that the naga are, in fact, mutated highborn elves?  True story.

Anyway, we were headed back to Vashj’ir, the zone under the sea.

Flying in to Vashj'ir

Flying in to Vashj’ir

We finished up Wrath of the Lich King last week and dipped our collective toes into Cataclysm.  Our plan is to see some of the overland (or under water) content, find whatever dungeon there is along the way, and basically avoid using tools like Dungeon Finder to speed things along.

Not that the Dungeon Finder isn’t a fine thing.  It removes almost all the pain of forming a PUG so you can get straight to hating the rest of your group in the shortest possible time.  But for us, travel is part of the adventure.

And, for the second week running, all of us were together and online.  The group was:

  • Earlthecat – Level 81 Human Warrior Tank
  • Skronk – Level 81 Dwarf Priest Healing
  • Bungholio – Level 81 Gnome Warlock DPS
  • Alioto – Level 81 Night Elf Druid DPS
  • Ula – Level 82 Gnome Mage DPS

We got ourselves back into Vashj’ir.  I took the bird to the island flight point and jumped in the water.  Others found the portal in Stormwind and came via that route.  Somehow we all managed to get in same general area, which sounds easy but which can be surprisingly difficult in an under water environment where everybody isn’t necessarily on the same horizontal plane.  Up and down are a factor.

More after the cut because I run off at the keyboard as usual.

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Armored White War Tiger – Rift Steals Another Page from the Blizzard Playbook

Mounts are where the money is at, right?

Blizzard has been selling sparkle ponies in World of Warcraft for a couple of years now.  The initial queue to buy one was 140,000 transactions deep.  Multiply that by $25.

SOE says that mounts make up the biggest chunk of their cash shop purchases in EverQuest II, which is why they offer… um… such a variety.  Lord of the Rings Online will sell you mounts of many colors for Turbine Points, and they keep cranking out new ones, so they must be moving.  In F2P, if it sells, you start making more.

So if you are looking for another revenue stream, mounts seem like a pretty safe way to go.

And so Rift is now offering up an Armored White War Tiger mount at a special opening price for subscribers. (Who else would want it?)


We’re offering this special Armored White War Tiger to all active RIFT account holders at a special introductory price.

Cold. Unforgiving. The frozen wastelands of Telara can be a deadly place. Stride across the icy tundra atop this fearsome and powerful Armored White War Tiger. Opponents will quake in fear as your mount swiftly covers huge distances, slicing into all attackers with its deadly claws and armored blades. Strong and relentless, this fierce tiger will carry you through your adventures wherever you go in Telara!

Be the envy of your friends as you race into battle on your new mount. This is a limited time offer so act now.

Purchase of this item entitles you to one Armored White Tiger on each character on your RIFT Account.

Your Armored White War Tiger will match the speed of your fastest mount, or grant you 60% run speed if you don’t have another mount.

Trion has offered up mounts in Rift as part of collector’s editions and other special packs.  That is where I got my two headed turtle mount.   But I believe this is the first time they have offered up a mount all by itself.

No word on how limited the time is on the offer, nor what the regular price will be.  At least they are going with the same model as Blizzard where buying the mount gets you a White Tiger on every character associated with your account.

Run Tiger, Run!

I do wonder what all that stuff is hanging out over its butt.  I guess I will have to wait until I see one in-game.  I imaging there will be a few hanging out in Meridian by tonight.  You just have to head to the Trion Worlds account management page to pick one up.

I imagine that this tiger will more than pay for itself… from Trion’s perspective.

Will you be buying one?

A New Least Favorite Mount

The flying carpet has long been my least favorite mount in EverQuest II.  I have disliked it since it showed up as part of the Desert of Flames expansion nearly 6 years ago.

While I was not very enthusiastic about the whole “Arabian Nights” theme of the expansion, at least the desert and the city of Maj’Dul stayed put.  I could sit in Qeynos or wherever and ignore the whole thing if I so desired.

But the flying carpets, they ended up everywhere.  A rare novelty at first, they soon seemed to reproduce beyond all reason.  Their eventual ubiquity and theme breaking nature kept the embers of my grudge against them going for years.  I still groan when I see something like this, which is all too often:

Horrible Fantasy Mash Up!

This picture should be hung up as a warning.

First we have a dwarf, in his pajamas I think, wearing something like a coolie hat, on a flying carpet, in the frozen city of New Halas.  And then, just to cap it off, there is a half-dressed woman riding a unicorn in the background.  The full effect of this scene could only be increased if it were painted on black velvet… or on the side of a van with custom rims.

And that the flying carpet has remained the subject of my ire for so long is actually quite remarkable when you have seen some of the truly ugly mounts SOE sells in the Station Cash Marketplace.  There are mounts in there that I would be embarrassed to ever ride in public.

But those eyesores remain rare, while I still run into flying carpets quite frequently.

However, a different mount has begun to annoy me more that the flying carpets.  It is both equally ubiquitous and an serious eyesore to boot.

The mount of which I speak is the gnomish hover-disk things with the propellers.

Frog on a Blender

These make the flying carpets look good. (And nice fae on a dinosaur in the background, yet another picture/warning comb I think.)

I mean, the flying carpet just explains its existence with magic.  Speed, hovering, the inability to fly more than a foot off the ground, all aspects of the magic that makes them go.

The hover disk thing… and I really do not know what they are officially called… explains itself through gnomish technology.  I guess the hover is then some sort of repulser field or gravity polarization or some such.  Fine, go see Arthur Clarke’s third law for that one.

But then there are the propellers on the back, which imply that they are the source or propulsion.  Only they move at a constant and relatively slow speed.  It just makes the whole thing look goofy, not to mention raising the question, “If you can press against gravity to lift, why can you press against it to move forward?”

And they just look like crap in my opinion, which is probably the key item for me.

So a new “worst mount in EQ2” for me.

But maybe I will see less of them.  One of the reasons to upgrade to some of the awful mounts in the game is to get a faster run speed.  However, SOE recently chose to change that, and now all ground mounts move at the same speed, giving a 130% speed boost over base character run speed.

Which is freaking fast, given that before this an expensive mount from the Marketplace used to provide an unmatched 65% speed boost.  Everything is now twice as fast, which seems like a pretty random change to more than just me it seems.

The idea seems to be to make the key difference in mounts appearance rather than run speed, which is really odd, since EQ2 has a mount appearance slot.  You can equip one mount and then have it look like another. (So those flying disk people want to look like that on purpose!)

Anyway, maybe this will lead to fewer ugly mounts out and about.  Of course ugly is subjective.  I am sure there are people out there who love their flying disk.

But for now you first quest mount is as fast on the ground as anything you can buy.

Speed - We Haz It!

Of course there are now new leaping, gliding, and flying mounts with which to contend.  I haven’t even started to form an opinion on that.