Not particularly, no. The very first (or maybe second) quest in Vashj'ir gives you the ability to breathe underwater in that zone and also run like a maniac on the ocean floor. Not too much later, you earn an underwater seahorse mount that goes at epic flight speeds. Vashj'ir supplies you with better than the sea turtle, for sure.
Is there a lore reason that undead ride undead horses?
Sure. Their living horses died.
Is it still possible to get the Tripping the Rifts achievements, or is that portion of the Cataclysm warm-up over?
I picked it up on one of my alts Friday night after phase 3 of the Cataclysm prelude kicked in. As of Sunday night as I write this, it is still possible to get that achievement. That might change if phase 4 kicks in today (Monday), but I think it's going to stick around until the expansion launches.
Will Gilneas City have an auction house? It seems like it would be a cool place to hang out.
No. Gilneas City, as a hub, does not exist. Once you've quested through it as a worgen, that's all there is. You get shunted out and there is no going back in any meaningful way. It is not being added as a capital city or anything of that sort. The Alliance is still just Stormwind, Ironforge, Darnassus and Exodar.
I'd like to know the origins of the names Ziebart and Sacco, actually. How to pronounce them properly, too. I'll be gutted if I've been saying them wrong in my head all this time.
Ziebart is a German name and the Americanized pronunciation is Zee-bart. I have no idea how it was pronounced before the name came overseas. I haven't looked into it that much. I'm far more interested in my mother's maiden name and have researched that much more. I was actually going to get my name legally changed to that one before I became Mr. Published Blogger/Editor/Author/Journalist. Losing name cred sucks.
I don't know as much about Mike's name, but I know Sacco is an Italian surname pronounced sock-o.
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