How can World of Warcraft improve ground mounts?
There’s only one item I’m picking up from the July Trading Post and that’s the shiny green Felcrystal Scorpion mount. As much as I desire it, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever bother using it. Ditto the Swift Shorestrider from Amazon Prime Gaming — sure it’s nice to get a mount previously only available from the Trading Card Game, but it’s still grounded. Flightless mounts have always had to struggle for attention against their airborne cousins, but with Dragonriding making its way to other zones (as well as to other flying mounts) the disparity is going to become even more pronounced. So what can be done to make them worthwhile?
The first thing that should be done is to increase the maximum speed when grounded. Ground mounts don’t need to be at 310% right when a character reaches level 20, but perhaps increase by 50% every 10 levels so that by the time you’re level 60 you’re traveling at 300% speed. This will make travel in lower-level zones without flying (especially the racial starter zones for Blood Elves and Draenei) more palatable to players. It’ll also make travel in new zones that where characters are grounded a lot less painful.
Another feature they should add is automatic dismount protection (except when flagged for PVP, of course). One of the advantages of flying is that you can hop from location to location without worrying about any mobs on your tail. Sure tanks don’t care and leatherworkers will hate to lose a source of income, but it’s one of those aspects of ground travel that makes you hate it. Plus it’ll free up a slot for water-walking again.
Finally, they should consider some other special action or ability that flying mounts would not have access to. Perhaps node harvesting without dismounting? While that risks angering Druids, they’ll still have the ability to harvest while flying. Another possibility is instantaneous mounting — sorry Druids, I don’t mean to steal all your class benefits, but again this wouldn’t impact the benefit with flight form.
Or perhaps the best idea is to steal one from Diablo 4 — give the character a class-based special attack they use upon dismounting. It shouldn’t be too overpowered, but wouldn’t it be cool if a Warrior performed a Thunderclap or a Hunter put down an Explosive Trap when they get off their mount? It would go a long way towards reducing grumbling from the players when grounded.
What do you think? Should ground mounts be given more features in order to make them more appealing? Or do you think nothing can be done to compete with the ease of flight?
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