Garish mounts

Massively has a discussion post about garish mounts and whether players should be able to hide them or have an option to filter them to be more lore appropriate. Many MMORPGs do go all out with a huge variety of mounts, they along with companion pets are a popular thing to collect. Everquest 2, as mentioned in the article, has a pretty zany selection of mounts – including giant bunnies, big dragons, clouds and more. Although the crafting area in New Halas can be a bit choked with a bizarre zoo of rideable creatures, I do not count this as being particularly out of character in Norrath.

EQ2 embraces fantastical mounts

World of Warcraft has its fair share of out-there mounts as well and most of them I have no issue with. I’ve become less bothered by the steampunk elements in the game but when they first introduced a full-on motorcycle I was pretty annoyed for a time. Cartoonish Gnome-tinkered gyrocopters and the like are one thing, but an actual bike that looks like something rather closer to a real world, modern vehicle, that somehow felt like a step too far. Perhaps it wasn’t the design of the mount that annoyed me so much as the plethora of bunny-hopping motorcycles making constant revving noises in major cities that irked me? That’s something that isn’t mentioned in the article or discussion – the option to mute other players’ mounts…

Erm, trying to take a photo here…

Oversized mounts are another aspect to this issue in WoW, stacks of mammoths or dragons on top of bank NPCs, vendors or quest givers can be a problem if it’s possible to block others from clicking on said NPC. It’s also quite a pain to get city-based screenshots without some monster mount photo-bombing the frame. I’ve even seen rather oversized mounts in SWTOR, some of the speeders are large enough to cause busy areas of the Fleet to look like a pile-up of crashed vehicles.

At least one MMORPG takes its lore seriously enough to strictly restrict the available mounts, Lord of the Rings Online, where horses and the odd goat are all you can ride. I can’t think of any other game that is this restrictive but there may be others. I’m happy enough to ride around Middle Earth on one horse or another, I can’t imagine having drakes or wurms as mount options in this game.

A goat in Bree-town!?



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5 Responses to Garish mounts

  1. Shintar says:

    Interesting subject! As you say, SWTOR has some increasingly crazy mounts (and outfits), but I tend to not mind them too much because Star Wars has always had a weird and outlandish side… just think of the cantina scene in the first film. So I tend to think of the strange creatures I see on the fleet sometimes as similar to the denizens of Mos Eisley. 😛

    I do remember finding some of the mounts in WoW vaguely bothersome after a while but had to think about why because it’s never just been about the size. The first cash shop mount struck me as incredibly distracting because it felt like such a foreign object: Why is everyone riding this weird sparkle pony all of a sudden, where did it come from and what is it even supposed to be? More than anything though I think that just like with gear levels (where “epic” became the new normal after a while), mounts suffered from the inflation of trying to make everyone feel special. In Vanilla dragons were dangerous creatures out in the world and the larger ones were raid bosses. The first time you got to ride a dragon in late Burning Crusade (if you reached exalted with the Netherwing) it felt like a privilege, and these dragons were still very different from the ones in Azeroth. Nowadays players ride fifteen different kinds of dragons before breakfast and it just feels like no creature is above being someone’s mount anymore.

    That said, looking at the Massively OP discussion, I think I tend to side with those who say that there isn’t much point in trying to preserve immersion by selectively hiding these things, because if a developer has no interest in maintaining a consistent tone for their game, it will likely show in more parts of it than just in people’s mounts.

  2. pkudude99 says:

    Rift has a rather insane variety of mounts, as does FFXIV. Flying rocket tortoise, anyone?

    FFXIV gets around this by not allowing mounts in the cities. Of course, that huge honking male Roegadyn can still get in the way, but at least his fat moogle balloon mount won’t be in the way….

  3. voidfeathers says:

    Oh man the flashback to those times when I played WoW and someone with a mammoth would always try to sit on top of a mailbox. Haven’t seen anyone doing that in SWTOR though there are a few HUGE speeders in the game.

  4. I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, it would be nice to see more unified player aesthetics, and I’m not necessarily a fan of the really over the top mounts, but I do like to have some flair in my steeds. In a fantasy setting, you might as well have fantastical mounts. I guess I like a happy medium between “it’s a horse” and “it’s a mecha-zombie dragon that sneezes lava and farts rainbows.”

    Good examples of mounts I like would be WoW’s Flameward Hippogryph or Grove Warden. They’re flashy… but not too flashy.

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