Mounts Maelstrom

March 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg, PvE | 17 Comments
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I'm on a beetle and I'm going fast and I've got a canthan-themed gossamer head band.

I’m on a beetle and I’m going fast and I’ve got a canthan-themed gossamer head band.

I think there are a lot of assumptions when it comes to Guild Wars 2 and mounts.

For instance people assume there isn’t a need for mounts in Guild Wars 2 because there are waypoints. Apparently that is the studio line on the subject as well.

I say, if we ever did do them, we would need to find something really creative and very uniquely Guild Wars 2 to make them fit in the game, cause they don’t really make sense in the world – travel is so easy, it doesn’t really fit. – Colin Johanson

If travel is so easy, why do I use weapon and utility speed buffs on every single one of my characters? If there isn’t a need, why do I consistently and constantly use these skills in every aspect of the game? In concept Guild Wars 2 doesn’t need mounts, but I have to point out the reality of the situation is far different. Everyone has these skills on their bar. Everyone.

Another argument goes that there isn’t a basis for mounts in the lore.

As an avid Guild Wars player I can tell you that dwarves rode Dolyaks and other beasts. Concept art showed humans riding giant beetles. We raced roller beetles. Oh and yeah, we rode inside the stomachs of giant Junundu worms as though they were some kind of, oh I don’t know, riding animal.

Of course that’s only if I’m going by the original game. I’m not forgetting that Guild Wars 2 is 250 years later and there is some indication that things have changed. We have motorcycle gangs (which incidentally give out one of the few free town clothes (why isn’t there more of that?) pieces, a bandana) and helicopters and tanks and blimps and submarines and supply crates that fall from orbit.

Some people think that mounts would be abused.

Well I would say that in the majority of games mounts disappear when you enter combat, can’t be used inside instances, have cooldowns, activation bars, and numerous measures are taken to ensure they aren’t abused. I suppose some games have mounts that go quite fast, but I’m not looking for a mount that would go any faster than swiftness at 33%. In fact I’d say it probably wouldn’t make any sense at all to introduce a mount that went any faster.

With a new speed option some people assume that people would feel obligated to buy a mount from the cash shop.

I can’t think of a single situation in other games where having a mount was anything other than an obligation to my own sense of convenience. However, I admit freeing up a skill slot would be a good motivator to buying a mount from the cash shop for some.

I also don’t assume that there wouldn’t be free alternative ways to get a mount. Through gameplay, through buying gems with gold, through tokens or laurels or other rewards.

Realistically speaking though, let’s just say they were cash shop only items. Am I effected by people who feel obligated to buy bank space? Am I effected by people who feel obligated to use magic find boosters, or other cash shop items? No, of course not, because that’s a subjective need. Objectively, as long as mounts don’t provide a speed boost that’s faster than swiftness, there is no obligation. It frees up a single skill slot. That’s not exactly OP considering I can switch out speed skills quickly and often.

Admittedly this does create a problem in World versus World. In PvE a min/maxers own sense of obligation does not bother me. The peer pressure of a WvW scenario however might be a little overbearing. I do know that when I’m in WvW I use speed buffs just as much as I do in PvE, which is to say, a lot. An eighth of my skills are devoted to just getting around.

I don’t think devs intended for speed skills to have a permanent home on 100% of skill bars in both PvE and WvW. Or hell, maybe they did, I don’t know.

Another concern might be that professions with too few speed buff options might have their own reasons for wanting a consistent boost from a mount.

I hear a lot of grief from mesmers about not having an appropriate utility speed buff of any kind. Rightfully so. I’d add that rangers, thieves, and necros have it sweet compared to other professions that have to twist and jive just to get a similar amount of speed.

I think, generally speaking, this is its own issue. Speed buffs are not fairly distributed amongst the professions. I’d definitely like to see this fixed whether or not mounts are ever introduced.

If mounts were introduced from the cash shop, it would absolutely have to be fixed.

That being said I think the kerfluffle over the lack of speed skills shows just how integral speed skills are in the game, how commonly they’re used, and how introducing a single out of combat speed boost might free us up to have more diverse skill bars.

But to be honest all of the above is a moot point to me.

People assume mounts are about speed, but I think you’re missing the point if all you see in mounts is a redundant speed boost.

Sometimes mounts are about prestige. Super hard to get or a rare drop, mount that thing up and take it for a spin through town to impress the local server population. No different than showing off your legendary. It’s the last Sky Bison in existence, eat your heart out.

Sometimes mounts are about having a nice pet. Okay sure, it isn’t cool when your 500 pound feathered riding lizard tries to cuddle up in your lap but he does get lonely.

Sometimes mounts are a trusty companion. Remember that time when you were trapped in a well and your mount went to town to get help and ended up going on a drinking binge with BattleCat? Good times.

Sometimes mounts are something pretty to look at. Not in the New Zealand sense of finding sheep pretty to look at but in the more adorable emergency kitten sense.

Sometimes mounts are a prized possession. Something you worked hard for, farmed for, or maybe it was a gift from a friend, a guildmate, a loved one.

Sometimes mounts are just wicked awesome cool stuff that I can spend money on to help fund Arenanet. Because you know, I wouldn’t mind supporting Arenanet in the slightest if they had more stuff I wanted. Let’s face it, Arenanet would make bank on this.

That being said, would I buy a mount if it didn’t have a speed boost? I guess that’s the big conundrum. Well I don’t own a Riding Broom if that answers your question.



  1. My main (Warrior) uses a build specifically because it does combine a couple of skills, and traits related increased buff duration and reduced cooldowns, to enable perma-Swiftness. 🙂

    • That’s another point, some people are gearing their traits to contribute to their swiftness from their skills. Warrior and elementalists have to do this a lot. Not something I think players should have to do.

  2. I’ll just say “seconded” and leave it at that.

    • Good to know some people agree with me.

  3. Heh at the studio line. They’ve also said something along the lines of not wanting to make Guild Wars 3 but wanting the game to evolve and change. So that doesn’t actually say to me “no mounts ever”

    I’d like to see mounts be about combat. More hotbar abilities and more weapons are high on my list of stuff I’d like to see, and I think mounted combat offers a way to turn many, if not all, existing weapons into a new set of skills.

    Ground combat, underwater combat, mounted combat — different places and times for it. Perhaps. Or something.

    • Mounted combat isn’t something I’m completely interested in but perhaps I should have mentioned it. It is an option I’m sure a lot of people would be interested in and I think with environmental weapons Guild Wars 2 is actually quite suited to implement mounted combat.

  4. Mounts as you described them are are speedboosts with skin. That is pretty worthless and what Colin said makes sense in this context.

    And frankly, speedboosts makes a lot of difference – complete area in 2 hours or in 1:30 type of difference. While it always masks as convenicence, easy speed boosts always significantly increase amount of stuff you can do in gameplay session.

    I can’t say I am enchanted with notion.

    • A lot of cash shop items are skins and most players keep a speed boost on their skill bar anyway. So personally I don’t think it makes a big difference. Frankly, skins in GW2 are an important part of the game. I’m all for more skins.

    • The problem with your assertion is saying that because mounts are just “speedboosts with skin”, which is correct of course, then mounts are worthless. Well, different weapons are just five abilities with a skin, and they aren’t worthless, because the skins are not why they are useful, the abilities are.

      Mounts are useful because the speedboosts are useful, as pointed out on the OP. The fact that players are trading of utility skills like the Elixir I keep constantly on my Engineer, traits such as the increased speed when on Air Attunement I use on my Elementalist, and even weapons like the Focus I keep for quick switch on my Mesmer just because of the speed buff, that fact tells you that speedboosts are not worthless, they are very important to players and they are willing to be less efficient in combat just to have it.

      Even considering that, skins are also not worthless either, since players care a lot about how they look, spending weeks doing dungeons just to have a specific look for their weapons or armor. Players like, and value mounts because it’s a very visible achievement. No matter if you’re the kind of person that just like seeing a cool looking character yourself, or if you like to show off to others, looking good matters and it’s worth a lot.

  5. I do not want Mount as speed-buff. I mean, you already have a speed buff out of combat when you hide your weapons.
    Do I love going faster ? Yes ! But why using mount for this ? If Arena Net thinks we are not going fast enough, they could simply increase our base or Out-Of-Combat speed !

    On the opposite side, I am totally in for having mount in GW2 for show or gameplay – but without speed buff.
    Imagine, in every map there is ONE horse station where you can borrow horses – the borrowing is only available after completing a task that is too hard for not down-level players. With this mount, you have access to a new set of abilities, BUT you cannot heal – neither automatic heal – your mount. The goal is to stay alive and mounted as long as possible.
    You can even create a new Explorer achievement : complete all map on a mount.

    In every mount discussion, we should separate the speed buff and the mount by itself. If you do not want a mount without speed buff, you are not wanting a mount but a speed buff 😉

    • The players, in my opinion the majority of players, think we aren’t moving fast enough. Thats why everyone uses speed buffs. If everyone is already using speed buffs, what possible difference would it make to have a cool mount?

  6. One of the things I enjoy is I can choose how I get around. I can use speed boosts or I can take waypopints depending on what I am doing. For WvWvW, PvP, combat and initial exploration of an area I’ll use speed boosts but this is for localized traveling as distance is the main limiter. If I need to get to the other side of the map or another region I can choose waypoints. My only limits with waypoints are I can only use the ones I’ve discovered and do I want to pay the cost to use it. I suppose I’d have to include way-gates as a third form of boosted travel, especially using the Mists to get to Lion’s Arch. I just don’t see me changing my travelling habits if I had a mount.

    However, I think it would be unique if mounts offered skills like costume brawl outfits offer. They could be combat skills so players could joust eachother (now there is something) or special animations or maybe just offer some utility like more baggage space. Also, we should be able to customize the mounts colors; however, I fear we might start seeing more bright pink dolyaks then we desire. If ANet sold something like this in the gem store they would make a killing.

    • I agree, I enjoy having lots of different ways of getting around. So why not another? They could make a lot of money without impacting the game in a negative way.

      • How fast is fast enough for you Hunter? I get the feeling you want to zip around the map like lightening, and be done with it.

        I get the feeling that you aren’t engaging with anything you just want your map completion? Why faster?

        I’d go the other way around, masses of these maps while they look good are empty. Giving you no reason to stick around, and making you bored with where you are currently.

        • Well you’re getting the wrong feeling.

  7. I think you made one of the points against mounts hidden in your thought that they may want you to use up a skill slot specifically for speed boosts. This may be their way of regulating the rest of the skills, if a Ranger had another utility available to them (rather than slotting a speed skill) wouldn’t they (theoretically) be more powerful than before? I know it’s still player’s choice but if everyone expects you to have a speed skill equipped aren’t you more likely to slot one in order to keep up? Just a thought!

    • If that is the case they definitely should have done a better job distributing the speed skills fairly amongst the classes, something I don’t think they did. Aside from that it just doesn’t seem like that would be the sort of thing Arenanet wants, for everyone to have a very specific certain type of skill on their bar. Certainly doesn’t follow from the GW1 philosophy on skills and I don’t think it fits with GW2 either.

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