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?