Apprentice Riding (Skill 75)Despite some people decrying the so-called "decline" of WoW due to the fact that it's become more tailored to casuals and a lot easier and quicker to level, I believe that only the most selfish, thoughtless and self-absorbed individuals would think that making the leveling process easier is a bad thing. Because let's face it, these mount changes will make the whole 1-70 leveling process A LOT easier. Why not 1-80? Because I'm assuming at 70 you will be hitting Northrend and you will continue to be restricted from flying until 77. Um... yeah... our old-time favorite Cold Weather Flying is still going strong. That's to be expected though. Northrend is still part of the current expansion and I'm confident that Cold Weather Flying will be eliminated or at least its required level reduced in a future expansion. In addition, I'm sure that they'll speed up experience gain from 70-80 just like they did for 20-60 and then 60-70.
Journeyman Riding (Skill 150)
- 60% land mount speed
- Requires level 20
- Cost: 4 gold
- Mount cost: 1 gold
- Mail will be sent to players at level 20 guiding them to the riding trainer
- 100% land mount speed
- Requires level 40
- Cost: 50 gold
- Mount cost: 10 gold
- Mail will be sent to players at level 40 guiding them back to the riding trainer
Expert Riding (Skill 225)
- 150% flying mount speed; 60% land mount speed
- Requires level 60
- Cost: 600 gold (faction discounts now apply)
- Mount Cost: 50 gold
- Can now be learned in Honor Hold (Alliance) or Thrallmar (Horde)
Artisan Riding (Skill 300)
- 280% flying mount speed; 100% land mount speed
- Requires level 70
- Cost: 5,000 gold (faction discounts now apply)
- Mount Cost: 100 gold
The change that I'm most excited about and the most important one in my opinion is that we can now fly in Outland from level 60! Not only that but the "slow" flying mounts are now faster than the epic ground mount, at 150% speed! How awesome is that? I'm guessing that leveling times will fall by up to 20-30% thanks to this change.
Getting to 60 and Outland is now even quicker due to being able to use the 100% epic mount at level 40 (woot!) and the regular 60% mount at level 20. There doesn't seem to be such a great distance between 20 and 30 but the truth is, I'm really tired of walking the vast distances within and between zones at that level. Quests in classic WoW aren't that well spaced out and many of them require you to move between several zones, sometimes even between continents, in order to complete them.
Of course, these aren't the only changes. Druid flight forms as well as other classes' specific travel abilities have had their levels lowered accordingly.
DruidIn addition, it is now easier than ever to afford that first mount at level 20 and the epic one at 40. The flying mounts still bear the same prices but I don't think now's the time to lower them. Even though the 5000G mount is a bit expensive, if you read this blog and others like it you will realize that it's definitely not impossible to own one. Besides there's a real sense of accomplishment once you've raised all that gold.
- Travel Form: Requires level 16
- Flight Form: Requires level 60 (150% flight speed)
- Swift Flight Form: Requires level 70
- Aspect of the Cheetah: Requires level 16
- Ghost Wolf: Requires level 16
I can really see that Blizzard is listening to players and they are trying to make the game less boring and focused more on the fun things than on irritating mechanics that don't have much purpose save for the fact that they were inherited from Classic WoW. I'm not saying that travel should disappear completely, to be replaced perhaps by instant teleports. However, there are many things that can make the whole process of traveling less onerous.
One other thing that I like is the new portals from Stormwind and Orgrimmar to the Dark Portal. Not only that but it seems there will be a new flight path taking players from the Dark Portal to Shattrath.
Also, brought to you by Azeroth's greatest users of magic, are all new portals coming to Stormwind and Orgrimmar. These portals will transport players directly to the Stair of Destiny at the Dark Portal. Travel is just so much more convenient when it's instantaneous! Players will then find that a new connecting flight path exists at the Stair of Destiny allowing players new to Outland easy and direct access to the city of Shattrath.That's a very nice touch and I think more such portals to important areas should exist. Some of them could become active after a long chain quest or other such activity. I don't think anyone wants instant gratification either. There should definitely exist a bit of difficulty in getting to the point where your travels are more convenient.
In all, I'm looking forward to these changes with great anticipation. They will certainly allow my alts to level much quicker and less painfully. Barrens anyone? The new mount changes are a continuation of Blizzard's recent policy of polishing the game such that it becomes more attractive to both new players and existing players and their alts. I am certain this trend will continue in future patches and expansions. Will the game become so easy to the point that it feels trivial? Don't count on it. The World of Warcraft is continuing to expand and is now much bigger than it used to be a few years ago. Travel through the world is definitely not something that needs to be arduous and painful.
To those who still think these new changes will trivialize gameplay, I suggest you don your vinyl suit and decline riding a mount until you feel gratified, whether it be level 30-40 or even 80. For the rest of us, having choices is a wonderful thing.