Paeroka’s Ponderings: Mounts in MMOs

Rift_Blue Surfboard Mount

Paeroka's Ponderings featured image for columnThis post isn’t about whether MMOs should have mounts or not. I love them and even Guild Wars 2 found a way to implement them in a meaningful way. However, what I’m wondering is if I’m the only one who loves collecting mounts but then only uses one or two of them most of the time?

I realized that when I got a Tarken Lifter from the daily login rewards in Rift last month. I really love these mounts as they remind me of the Magus in Warhammer Online with their living Discs of Tzeentch. I even placed one in my dimension, because I really like the look of them! However, I never use any other mount than my black Budgie, Vox, that I got from a cross-promotion with Trove. It’s not just cute, it also keeps its height steasy. Some other mounts move onto their hindlegs or do some other idle animations which push my camera up and down. Hello there, simulation sickness.

It’s similar in Elder Scrolls Online. I squeal whenever I can get my hands on a new mount, like the camel. In this game, however, I use one specific mount for each character. My argonian has her Guar mount, because I think it fits visually and Guar originate from the Argonians’ homeland. The other mounts, like horses, a wolf or even a camel, are cool, but I don’t like the look of her on these mounts. My necromancer, on the other hand, has a leopard mount with a leopard cub as non-combat pet. The combination is too adorable. Apparently, I’m not the only one who likes matching mounts and pets.

As I mentioned, mounts have a meaning and a purpose in Guild Wars 2. If I want to reach the top of the mountain, I will not use the raptor mount as that one can jump far ahead, but not upwards. The springer mount can do that, though. Maybe the newer mounts are more versatile, but I don’t own them, so my choice is between these two when I want to travel somewhere. The point is, mounts are not purely cosmetic and I choose the mount I need to use, not the one I want to use.

Lord of the Rings Online is another semi-special case. But I don’t think it’s for the worse: While Rift has been adding more and more silly mounts (like a hovering surfboard), LotRO sticks to the lore as closely as possible. You get goats, horses (for humans and elves) and ponies (if you’re a dwarf or hobbit). But even then, the mounts have different colours and decorations on them. I still have my favourites that I always choose for certain characters. Unless I’m in Mines of Moria, where I have to use a goat, I am using the Cremello Pony.

I guess World of Warcraft, being the oldest of the MMOs I’m playing, also has the most mounts. My account only has 75 unlocked. But that’s still… 75! My undead priest always has her brewfast ram with her that I got years ago and my draenei mage has only used her dragon mount ever since she first got it. My current main, my undead warlock, has the regular green wind rider (it fits her skin colour!). But with so many mounts to choose from, why do I limit myself to only a couple of them? And, more importantly, why do I still want to collect more mounts? I don’t even have the “collect them all”-urge, but more is still always better, right?

I regularly have rants and ramblings in my mind, but never really know if I should post them, so “Paeroka’s Ponderings” is where I will try to give these rants a place. Sometimes they will make sense, sometimes they won’t.

7 Comments

  1. My other of priority in terms of collections in MMORPGs tend to be furniture, pets, mounts and in a very far, last place outfits. But yeah, when it comes to mounts I have the same problem. I will get as many mounts as I can but only use one or two that are cooler. And I don’t have any collection urge either!

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    1. Some tiny urge has to be there, though, or we really wouldn’t bother at all. :p I don’t care about pets in Rift, by the way, because I find almost all of them ugly.

      In Rift, I drown in dimension items, so I’m not actively collecting them. I have a ton of chests with more items unopened. The really special ones are rare, of course. But still, the sheer amount of dimension items in general makes me completely ignore them. :p

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      1. True that!

        Minions, the vanity pets of Final Fantasy XIV, are what I currently collect. They tend to be either cool or cute and have some amusing animations and descriptions. Some of the most notable NPCs have minions that look like them too and I always keep the one that looks like my favorite NPC around.

        In Everquest 2 I had special storage for all the seasonal or monthly furniture. Most of it were building blogs (squares, cubes and so on) that had certain textures that couldn’t be crafted. Since I used those a lot and buying them form other players would cost a fortune I’d try to stock up on them every month. Same deal with seasonal items.

        In Final Fantasy XIV I try to get all the seasonal items I can. But since my crafting isn’t on a level I feel I can decorate yet I haven’t really gone crazy on the collecting part. Hopefully I won’t either because storing those will be trickier than it was in EQ2….

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        1. Well, Rift has these: https://nerdybookahs.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/rift-carnival-companion-picture-gallery/ – I think there’s a definite lack of colour here. I’ve never felt the urge to go and collect pets in Rift. My favourite is a simple little duck, Ducklar, which I won during one of the official Twitch streams. :D

          Building blocks are stackable, thankfully, so one of my alts has her bank filled with them. Then I have one huge empty dimension (no buildings etc. in there) which I’m using as storage, but I’ve realized that it’s easier to just store the boxes that contain all these items. It’s a bit silly to be keeping all of that stuff anyway, as it’s not worth much at all most of the time. The seasonal ones are more expensive, but it depends on what it is. Only very very few items can be crafted. – And this talk here about furniture etc. reminds me that I still have a corner of my dimension that I want to either finish or erase if I don’t like the idea enough in the end. ;)

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          1. Yeah, those pets in Rifts aren’t all that cool looking… So I’d probably not go out of my way to collect them either.

            Hm. I don’t remember if we could stack building blocks in Everquest 2…. I am thinking we couldn’t. That is why I had to resort to storing it in other places.

            The building blocks from the monthly city festivals had nicer textures and were extremely popular. Plus each month it was a different city with a different texture on the building block. They were also a bit grindy to get. So if you didn’t get enough during a given month you might have to wait another 6 months to get more or pay a high price for it on the market. That is why pretty much every decorator tried to get as much as they could every month. With events it was worse since if you didn’t get it when the event was around then you had to wait another whole year for them or again buy it off the market.

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  2. I think collections, in general, are a retention mechanic for MMOs. I’m actually glad that most of the mounts in ESO are cash shop – it keeps me from spending silly amounts of time hunting them. I do have each character using the mount that feels most appropriate for them, but really, when I only had two horses to choose from, it really didn’t have a negative effect on my desire to play.

    In World of Warcraft – where I currently don’t have an active sub – I have almost 200 mounts, and I have a handful in a random mount button on my main. I’d say that, across my entire account, I use less than a dozen mounts. But the anniversary event where a Deathwing mount will be obtainable is likely to lure me back (and while I’m there? I’m going to get me a BEE!).

    It’s rare that a collectible of any sort is going to make me spend real money, but I have learned that OH GOODNESS will I waste my time. My artifact-hunting spider mount from RIFT says hey.

    (I don’t even like spiders, SMH)

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    1. I like getting them from seasonal events. That’s where most of my mounts in Lotro come from, I think. I don’t so much like having to do achievements or stuff like that. So I don’t have the spider in Rift.

      I’m a bit disappointed that most of the mounts in ESO come from the shop. I would really love to have options in the game to get some. But I agree, it also doesn’t have to be a huge (time) effort to get such mounts. Just spending some time playing the game and having fun should be enough. I did the Yulefest in Lotro when it returned in the beginning of summer and even though I only did the dailies two or three times, I could get the mount I had wanted. That’s what I think is a very reasonable amount of time. :p

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