Seri sez: Mount changes coming!

June 11, 2009

A horse. (You were expecting something witty?)The news is spreading like wildfire through the WoW community: The level requirements for mounts are changing again. In the “next major content patch”, according to CM Zarhym, not only will the basic land riding level requirement be lowered to 20 (from 30), the “epic” land riding skill will be lowered to 40 (from 60). Basic flight? 60 (from 70, or 68 for Druids).

This, in and of itself, is pretty mind-boggling. But wait, there’s more! The cost of riding training and mounts are also changing! How much can you expect to pay for entry level riding and a mount on your level 20 alt?

Are you sitting down?


Yes, that’s right… 4g for training and 1g for the mount. Journeyman riding (aka “epic” riding) at level 40 will cost 50g and 10g for a mount.

Yes, that’s right… you will soon be able to buy “epic” riding for less than the cost of the original riding skill in vanilla WoW.

What was that sound? Oh, don’t mind that… it’s just a collective groan from millions of players that worked their asses off to grind out 80g for their riding training by level 40… and that wouldn’t even get you a mount! I don’t even want to think about the countless hours I spent cobbling together funds for “epic” riding on multiple characters. 500g was a lot of cash back when you had to compete with CGFs for every resource node or profitable-to-farm mob in the game. But we did it. Why? Because the level 40 mounts were slow as hell, that’s why. At least the next generation still has to put up with Gimpy the one-hoof-in-the-glue-factory pony for 20 levels too. Granted, those 20 levels will go a lot faster with the experience changes implemented to expedite leveling. (Argh!)

Don’t get me wrong… I think making riding more accessible is probably the right thing for Blizzard to do. They have to make leveling easier for folks, but I can’t help but reminisce about the good old days when men were men and sheep were scared. Honestly, these new kids don’t know how good they’ve got it. Back when I was a noob (yes, I was a noob at one point), you had to slog through crocodile-infested swamps picking herbs (or <insert your gathering skill here>) until your fingers bled, then haul them back to town (on foot, uphill both ways) to sell for a measly pittance on the Auction House. Heck, I’m not even sure if we had flight points back then.

Man, those were the days.

But I digress. The winds of change are blowing and we’re all standing downwind.

Speaking of drafts… flight training. I mentioned the level reduction, right? There’s more. Although the cost is remaining the same, they are making flight trainers available in Hellfire Peninsula rather than (or in addition to) Shadowmoon Valley. (I can’t imagine why, the thought of level 60 characters riding out to SMV to pick up their flight training is rather entertaining.) This means that players will be able to reduce their flight training costs through reputation! Of course, a brand new 60 stepping through the Dark Portal isn’t going to have a lot of rep with Honor Hold/Thrallmar, but by the time they get ready to train “epic” flight (which is still 5000g, btw) they probably will.

Entry level flight speed is also changing from 60% to 100%, which I think is a shame. Really, everyone should have the experience of riding a flappy something or other across Hellfire Peninsula at a ponderous blimp-like pace. I still remember buying epic flight on my farming character before a character I actually played regularly just to make farming a little less likely to grind my teeth into dust. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a game designer. Of course, if I had been I probably wouldn’t have made it so tedious to begin with… as it is, I’m only stricken now with the urge to inflict past suffering on others. It’s only fair.

But I’m not bitter or anything.

What do you think about the upcoming changes?


  1. When I first read the link from Pike on Twitter, I thought it was a joke. ‘SURELY Blizz would not bump down riding to level 20 so soon after it was bumped down to 30. *reads thread* Wait, they did?!’

    While reading the post, I surely raised my eyebrows, but you’re right – it had to be done. The game needs to be more accessible, even though I think back to the days when all the new players had it so easy. Ah well… at least I’ll be able to tell the “uphill both ways” type stories to a wider variety of players! (Should they, for goodness knows what reason, ever have occasion for me to tell them.)

    I’ll not complain about it though – my alts will be very happy. I might raise my eyebrows at the decision and still sigh when I see a normal mob which used to be elite, but I’ll be riding my pony 10 levels sooner than I might today.

  2. My alts dance and rejoice! But I wish this change to come with a refund of all the extra gold we paid in the past.

    Or, at least give us an achievement… 🙂

  3. I like the change, and think its a good way to allow toons to gain levels and move through content quickly. The 1-60 wow experience is good, but as a player with several high-ish toons the faster I get through it the better.

  4. Well, honestly the only change I wanted is the 5k gold cost for the flying mount. The other mounts I couldn’t care less because despite their cost now I buy those anyways for the alts I play. Mounts going to 20… Looks like my druid will be leveling faster then huh… 😛

  5. This change is because there are no low-level players looking for groups. At least leveling on your own will be faster now.

  6. I’m of the same opinion as SuicidalPriest. I like the changes (heck, anything to make my alt-leveling experience easier is a welcome change), but I really do wish they’d knock down the 5K cost of epic flying a bit. That’s still a difficult sum for me to come up with for my alts (poor Lyriani is still flying around Northrend at a snore-worthy snail’s pace with her cold weather flying).

    Reading this, I had to stop and wax nostalgic over the effort it took to raise the gold for the epic riding skill back when WoW first launched. I remember farming the dragon cave in Wintergrasp for hours every night, for weeks in order to do so. Ahhh, good memories. ^^

    I expect they’ll lower the cost of epic flying as well at some point (here’s to hoping).

    • You mean Winterspring. 😉

      We were actually all going off on that in raid last night “Man, I remember farming up a epic ground mount back before they did the XP->gold conversion. God, that was a lot of farming! (up hill, through the snow, both ways)”

      • D’oh! Yes I totally meant Winterspring. ;D It sure was a lot of work, but then again, back then it felt like a real accomplishment when you finally scored that epic mount.

  7. I am not a big fan of Blizzard’s ‘move through it faster’ solution to the problem of the old world not being an enjoyable gaming experience by today’s standards.

    By devaluing levels 1-70, Blizz has focused the player base on the end game, and now they are having trouble producing content fast enough to keep people interested.

    These new mount changes will only exacerbate the problem for Blizz.

    /sheds tear for all the content that just became even more irrelevant.


  8. Well, I keep hearing rumors that the next expansion is going to breathe some life back into the old Azeroth content, but this seems like it tramples on that idea, doesn’t it? Why develop for something that the players are going to be through so quickly?

  9. Vess, people who want to see the content still can. I started an alt on an RP server… I enjoy low content as much as I did on my first char in Wow now. The character itself is more fun than before, even.

    It’s all about how you wish to play but I admitt low level content on my PvP server is quite boring. If you’re lucky, you’ll bump into 1 or 2 players after an hour of playing. You’re twice as lucky if it isn’t an Alliance char ganking you. You’re 10 more lucky if it’s a char of comparable level…
    You’re 20 times more lucky if that player actually wants to teamup with you 🙂
    I cannot measure the amount of luck you require for that player not to stalk you with “omg, gief gold plx” or “come here! help me!”.

    This change may not solve the problem, but at least I’ll spend less time in this problem zone.

  10. Honestly, I just started a new toon on another server for the other faction so I could enjoy the lower level stuff and kind of reminisce on how we used to run to all our quests. I don’t think they should change the level reqs, the gold reqs are a bit ridiculous though, esp for the epic flyer. Even with the LK dailies it’s ridiculous grinding.

  11. I think it’s much needed. I’ve been leveling a druid, and am fast approaching lvl 68, at which he will be able to quest for flight form. Also at which level he will be able to go to Northrend where he won’t be able to fly for 9 more lvls after having just learned how. The only surprising thing, for me, about this change, is that it took developers so long to realize that people are getting flight just as they move into a zone where it’s worthless right away.

  12. My lvl. 80 Lock is gallumphing away on a stoopid slow griffin while trying to get enuf gold together to purchase an epic. He’s taking a looong break because he’s exhausted and now I’m playing my DK again.

    If they’re going to change the req’s for regular mounts, they should change them for epics too! Even lowering the price by a grand or so would help a lot.

  13. Cost reductions were a necessary consequence of the corresponding XP reductions; characters level through so much faster now (especially if you’re getting any rest xp) that unless you’re exceptionally studious about playing Auction Tycoon, there’s no way you can actually afford your mounts at-level without another character on the server to pay for them. Since the epic land mount hasn’t been a “prestige” thing since vanilla, its cost stopped being reasonable and started being punitive to people rolling unsupported characters.

    I am a little (pleasantly) surprised by the change in level requirements. While it somewhat devalues things like Travel Form and Ghost Wolf, it also makes rolling a character WITHOUT one of those abilities less of a cause for regret. While it will make those levels go “faster,” what it will mostly do is make them “less annoying and frustrating.” I’m a little surprised that they knocked flight down to 60, though, given the whole Cold Weather Flying thing. On the other hand so much of Outland is so poorly designed that I can’t really say new players are missing much by not being dazed off their mounts by a million freaking animals living on what is supposed to be a doomed world yet somehow has a stable population density several times larger than that of Azeroth.

    While I’ll admit that I’ve never really understood the whole “everyone should have to do the unpleasant things I did” bit, I will confess that one of my fondest memories in the game is helping Jov & Tars get their epic land kitties on their elves back in prehistoric times when you shelled out 1000g just for the mount and didn’t need training. But really that moment wouldn’t have been any less fun if it’d been for an epic flyer or a darkmoon deck or the like 🙂

    (PS: 80g was originally the price for the mount, 20g for the training. More expensive training wasn’t implemented til much, much later, when they added the epic riding training and made the mounts cheap so the collectors could afford to have multiple mounts 😉 /oldandcrotchety)

  14. You know I was just thinking, Blizzard should fix this whole flying mount deal at level 70. At level 68 you automatically hop on to Northrend where that fabulous flying mount you can buy in two levels becomes utterly useless. Now I am freed to actually make use a flying mount to quest in Outla… SON OF A . . . !!!!

    I’m level 71 and just blew 1,000g for a stupid flying mount I cant even use where I am questing! (piss me off)

    Good info though.

  15. @ Lepiste Basic flight form for druids isn’t a quest, and never was. You just train it. Epic flight form is a quest at 70 after buying the epic flight training, but the form can also be bought from a trainer now without ever doing the quest.

  16. Basic riding changing from 30 to 20 is excellent. They were the most painful levels IMHO.

    The other changes… well.. perhaps unnecessary.

  17. Well, at least the new alt I created on a different server, with a different faction will actually be able to buy her mount herself, since I can’t shunt any g to her…. 🙂

  18. […] This is significant to my time-constrained play, and I’m greatly in favor of other speed-enhancing efforts that Blizzard has rolled out (or will roll out).  I don’t like forced time sinks, […]

  19. My current baby alts will benefit. However, I bought 2 epic ground mounts when it was the mount that was pricey not the training, and another 3 during BC. And I managed to fund 4 epic fliers and their training at full price, 5 regular fliers and mounts. Plus countless lowbie MyFirstMounts. It doesn’t seem necessary. But w/e.

    The portal directly to the Dark Portal tho does chafe and seem like unnecessary baby steps/hand holding. It sort of ruins the whole experience if you just pop up to the steps like it’s a free trip to Disneyland.

  20. Well… It’ll be nice for the new alts… Although I have to say, I’ve been leveling my shaman recently, with my partner’s warrior, and we’ve been having a lot of fun reliving old content. Azeroth ain’t so bad if you have someone to keep you company. =)

  21. that is great for lower levels but man, I saved up forEVER for my epic flying skill. Can I get a refund!

  22. I am a BC kiddie I guess, and while I don’t feel as much pain as some of you old school people do it still somewhat BS. However, we can all grind alts a lot quicker now. I just hope this is not a slippery slope of making the game just too easy and killing it.

  23. I am *so* happy for this change – my altitis is being catered to! Joy!

    Woe to my guildies and such, though, who may wind up having a harder time finding me. >.>

  24. Personally, I don’t think the leveling process needs to be made faster. I think changing the mount speeds is a cop-out on what they really need to be doing with the leveling process, which is improving it. What happened to the content patches like 2.3 and the changes to Dustwallow? We need more of that, not faster mounts and less time spent in the world.

    I mean, it’s great that they want everyone to experience the raids and end-game, but that’s what, six hours of gameplay a week? Then what do we do for the rest of the play time we have? Farm?

    In summary, I’d rather take a year to get from 1 to 80 and enjoy the process, than be pushed through the content so that I can run the same raids multiple times each week.

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