Do You Remember a Time When…
Thirteen years. That is how long I have consistently played World of Warcraft. I remember the days of Vanilla when mounts were highly coveted and rare finds. Back then characters couldn’t start riding until they reach level 40, and then they had to buy the mounts and training separately. To have a mount, especially an Epic one, was a status symbol that few players were able to afford.
Man, have times changed.
Fourteen years and seven expansions later, mounts are as common as murlocs. Obtaining a mount now simply requires back-grinding dungeons and raids until you are lucky enough to stumble across one. Mounts are the new “vanity collections” of World of Warcraft, and they will be going through a game-changing alteration. Coming in Patch 8.2 players will be able to equip mounts with gear.
The Mount Equipment System
Details concerning Patch 8.2 were released earlier on Thursday and it looks as if this patch is going to be massive in scale. New dungeons and raids, and even a new zone were announced. Changes in gear, specifically the Heart of Azeroth, were discussed as well. All of these announcements were expected, but it was the news of the new mount equipment system that caught the eyes of the players.
Simply put, this system will allow for one piece of specialized gear to be equipped to an individual mount of your choosing. According to WoWHead, the system will unlock when you have at least one level 100 character on your account. After that, players can use the system starting at level 20 when they are trained in riding. Each mount in your collection will have one gear slot which can be filled with gear called Mount Equipment. As of now, only three pieces of equipment have been announced, but more is surely on its way.
- Saddlechute: Equip in your mount equipment slot to install an emergency parachute that will deploy when dismounted high in the air.
- Inflatable Mount Shoes: Equip in your mount equipment slot to allow you to walk across the water while mounted. Any damage will cancel the effect.
- Comfortable Rider’s Barding: Equip in your mount equipment slot to prevent you from being dazed while mounted.
Such mounts, like the Waterstrider, will have their water-walking effects eliminated in this patch. Blizzard has assured players that those who have such mounts will receive complimentary Inflatable Mount Shoes when the patch hits.
This Could Change the Way We Play WoW
After thinking about it, I have come to the conclusion that the addition of mount equipment can fundamentally change the way player experience WoW. For one, mounts have always been passive accessories that give players very little tactical advantage. Most mounts are used for quick transportation and can not interact with other players in a tangible way, aside from providing vendors. With that said, mount equipment has the potential to change all of that.
The three revealed pieces of equipment are quite passive in nature but do allow for some tactical advantages. For example, the Comfortable Rider’s Barding and Saddlechute can eliminate the danger of being knocked off one’s mount while running through combat. Who is to say that, in the near future, mounts won’t be equipped with offensive items and weaponry. That is all too possible with the mount equipment system. Soon players will be able to do more on mounts than they have ever been able to do, and that could bring the potential for “mounted warfare” in WoW. Are we ready for that?
Only Time Will Tell
Perhaps Blizzard is on to something. World of Warcraft has altered its gameplay experience in the past, and chances are that it will continue to do so. Maybe mounts are the next evolution of gameplay in the series. Really, only time will tell.
Though I have not covered them in this article, more features and mounts will be added in Patch 8.2. You can learn more about these additions by clicking the link here.
Does this theory have merit? Do you think that mount equipment will possibly bring mounts to the forefront of the WoW experience? Let us know in the comments below.