The first piece of drama I ever experienced in Warcraft was over a mount. Someone offered to lend me money to buy my first Epic ground mount and then I changed my mind about what I wanted to do with the gold before eventually sending it all back because I realised that borrowing money’s never a good idea. In the end it also made me realise the people I was playing with weren’t a group I wanted to stick with anyway, and I re-rolled with my husband a few days later on a new server. The rest, as they say, is history.
The first targeted backlash on my Blog came as a result of a ‘letter’ I wrote to Greatfather Winter, suggesting people who’d block the Ironforge mailbox with mounts were simply showing off their ‘status symbols’ and perhaps needed to review their in-game decisions. As time has gone on not much has changed: mounts remain an important means of showing other players how lucky, committed or skilled you are. It’s taken a week and a bit to answer Mr Feasel’s tweet and decide that the mount I’ve always wanted is the one nobody else owns, and how I don’t want to farm it or hope it drops. It is high time I was allowed to make it on my own.
It almost happened, back in Draenor, where my wolf harness produced via Leatherworking gave a glimpse of what might be possible, were the makers of this game prepared to stop thinking about RTS and a lack of customisation. The detail on this harness is EXACTLY the level I’d demand from a mount, but if it looks the same as every other LW craft, there’s no point. Give me the chance to colour that saddle, add an extra roll to the back or a different harness and I swear I’d do every stage of a LW quest including the ones in raids and dungeons. I don’t give a flying fuck over hidden weapon appearances, but introduce true customisation? Then this game changes on a basic level, and I can take the existing mounts I have and style my outfit to match the bridle. Transmog for horses, and dragons and moose, if you will, without the need to farm the RNG, if you please.
Provide a crafting currency that I earn from skinning. I can then swap that for the raw materials I need to ‘make’ the elements required to transmog my mounts. No restrictions, no ‘farm this 1000’ times because what you’re doing is allowing players to make their own choices on how stuff looks. I’ll make items to customise certain types of mounts, and if I want to make my mechanical mount look better? I’ll go to the AH and buy summat an Engineer made. Tailors will specialise in blankets and bedrolls. Blacksmiths will create bridles and bits, Scribes can make dyes to colour. It is hardly rocket science, and will give professions the much needed shot in the arm required to create a true, immersive and inter-profession marketplace. Really, how hard could it be?
Mounts are big business or else we’d not have a Class-specific one being offered in 7.2. I continue to farm for them not because of looks but purely and simply down to numbers. I’m 30 short of the next achievement level, after all. Having collected my Moose in the week I have now grasped that this is no longer about matching pets to mounts, or yearning over a particular skin any more. My tastes do not mesh with those designing the game, and so I am here to make up numbers, and that means caring less and less about the carrot of rewards and striving more over the aspects of game play that I can directly control for myself. That means grinding for Artifact Appearances is a waste of time, and I’d far rather just mog my gun into something else.
If I could do that with my mount appearance too? The possibilities would be endless…