There aren't many mounts available from WoW's annual holidays, but they're a pretty interesting example of how Blizzard's changed content through the years in an attempt to make things -- words fail me -- less annoying.
Three of WoW's annual holidays will cough up rides, and your chances of getting them -- with the benefit of the "goody bag" system implemented in patch 3.3.3 -- are much better than they used to be. Long-time players will remember the hell of farming holiday bosses with a bevy of guild alts in order to maximize the number of boss kills per day for all the mains who wanted special drops. Sometimes you got lucky. Sometimes you were everyone else.
- Combining The Ambassador and Mountain O' Mounts
- Mountain O' Mounts in Outland
- Mountain O' Mounts in Northrend
- Mountain O' Mounts in 5-man dungeons
- Mountain O' Mounts in raids
- Mountain O' Mounts from achievements
- Mountain O' Mounts from PVP
- Mountain O' Mounts from professions
There was also a non-epic version of the Brewfest Ram available once upon a distant time (the regular ol' Brewfest Ram, see above), but you'd have to have been around for the pre-2008 version of the holiday to have access to it. Brewfest mounts were once purchasable with the holiday's tickets, but in 2008, Blizzard moved to the drop system off the holiday's boss, Coren Direbrew -- and thus began the troubles of many a mount-hunting player.
Brewfest and Hallow's Eve (below) were particular irritations under the old system of farming holiday mounts, unless you had a warlock in your group with an enormous number of soul shards. Blackrock Depths isn't the most convenient dungeon to reach if you have to walk to it, and this is all the more true for Horde players who were traveling from the festival area outside Orgrimmar. If you had a lot of people who wanted the good drops off Coren, you usually spent an awful lot of time sitting around waiting for peoples' alts to make the very long trip out to the dungeon. And even if you had a warlock, the number of summons available to the group were finite, because the player couldn't Drain Soul any additional shards off the low-level mobs in the dungeon.
Fortunately for us, that's no longer true. Both of the following mounts can be randomly found in the Keg-Shaped Treasure Chest you'll get after your first kill of Coren Direbrew every day during Brewfest.
- Swift Brewfest Ram A really attractive version of the dwarf's racial mount but, as you might expect, considerably less compelling to Alliance players who can already buy rams. For Horde players, it was a pretty sweet deal, particularly for tauren who could only ride a very limited set of mounts anyway.
- Great Brewfest Kodo An equally attractive version of the tauren's racial mount, although the Kodo is arguably the more striking of the two. From a distance, it can be difficult to tell the difference between this and the Black War Kodo.
The evil horsey was introduced as a Hallow's End drop in 2008, which forced Alliance players to make the long trek on multiple alts to Scarlet Monastery the same way that Horde players had made the lengthy trip to Blackrock Depths. However, it was arguably worth it for a reason that the Brewfest mounts haven't enjoyed: The Horseman's mount was, I think, the first permanent mount ever to scale automatically with riding skill. You're in Azeroth and have Journeyman Riding? Poof, it's an epic mount. You're in Outland and have Expert Riding? Congrats! It's a flying mount! It was even possible for low-level characters to get the horse as long as you had four generous guildies and the ability to stumble out to the Scarlet Monastery graveyard, although the reliance on the Dungeon Finder these days makes that impossible now.
For a time, there was a rather interesting coding quirk that made it possible to stay on the horse while on vehicles, leading to a rash of Horseman's mounts perched on top of mammoths and Wintergrasp siege vehicles in the first few months of Wrath. If I recall correctly, this was the result of another coding quirk that was then unique to the horse: It had to grant one of two auras -- the run speed aura for ground mounts and the flying aura for flying mounts -- and vehicles didn't recognize the latter. This was also the reason that you had to dismount and remount if summoned or ported between the Northrend/Outland and Azerothian continents.
These days, you'll find this as a random drop from the Loot-Filled Pumpkin, which you'll get with your first kill of the Headless Horseman every day during Hallow's End.
- The Horseman's Reins A seriously badass-looking ride and one of the few horse-type mounts to which the Horde has access.
This holiday hasn't had any mounts associated with it until 2010, when the holiday as a whole was overhauled. The previous incarnation of Love Is In the Air left much to be desired (ha!), but players were more enthusiastic about the revamped version which did not require them to spend hours hoping for the right drops from candy bags. However, the painful RNG element of the pre-2010 holiday appears to have migrated to the drop rate of the Big Love Rocket.
While a player doing the Brewfest and Hallow's End groups every day has a pretty good chance of getting the ram, kodo, and horse, don't bank on having the same shot at the rocket. The 2010 incarnation reportedly had a 0.002% drop rate (before the Dungeon Finder system for holidays was implemented). The 2011 incarnation was almost certainly better, but not to the point of actually being any good. Wowhead reports it as a 0.16% drop, but at best that's just a guess.
- Big Love Rocket To quote Alucard179 in the Wowhead thread: "It's big, it's pink, it's full of love, it's between your legs." Yes, Blizzard. Ahem, cough. If you're one amazingly lucky bastard, you'll find this contained in the Heart-Shaped Box dropping on your first kill of the Crown Chemical Company apothecaries in Shadowfang Keep each day during the holiday.
Working on achievements? The Overachiever is here to help! Count on us for advice on Azeroth's holidays and special events, including new achievements, how to get 310% flight speed with achievement mounts, and Cataclysm reputation factions and achievements.