This is the full Mountain O' Mounts series, if you're just joining us:
We've been visiting and revisiting this series on and off since March 2011, so there are a few updates and corrections to the articles above that I'd like to make here for the benefit of players beginning this achievement now. There have also been mounts datamined that subsequently failed to appear in the game. Hmm.
New, forgotten, and missing mount sources
Worgen are getting two new horses in patch 4.3, which should balance the number of mounts available to both the Alliance and Horde.
I accidentally omitted the Cenarion War Hippogryph from our Outland guide. It's available only to players who are exalted with the Cenarion Expedition and will run you 1,600 gold. This was the first-ever hippogryph available as a player mount and, on an interesting historical note, had been datamined alongside a set of four other hippogryph colors in the months preceding patch 2.3. Observant players will note that two of the other colors have since become available to players. Canny players are already saving toward the purchase of the other two.
Since Call to Arms was implemented, players in more-needed roles queuing through the Dungeon Finder (usually tanks and healers) occasionally find mounts in the Satchel of Exotic Mysteries awarded after a run. The mounts in question are 5-man drops or else faction "drops" like the Reins of the White Polar Bear. This was (very) briefly addressed in our 5-man dungeon article, but the system hadn't yet gone live and no one was too sure what to expect.
Patch 4.2 and the Firelands raid have made four additional mounts available to players, but our article on Cataclysm mounts was written before we had access to anything other than datamined information. Players receive the Flameward Hippogryph upon completion of The Molten Front Offensive. Glory of the Firelands Raider awards the Corrupted Egg of Millagazor, the purple Fire Hawk. Alysrazor rarely drops the Flametalon of Alysrazor, a flaming version of the Raven Lord. Ragnaros very rarely drops the Smoldering Egg of Millagazor, the yellow Fire Hawk and pretty much the coolest mount that has ever hit the game (ever) and is thus guaranteed to not drop for me (ever). Unknown right now is what happened to the two other colors (purple and green) of the Alysrazor mount, and the Green Fire Hawk that was also datamined and then never appeared on live servers. Stay tuned, folks. They're likely to turn up eventually.
As commenters on the Cataclysm article above pointed out, I'd overlooked the Reins of Poseidus, a 100% drop off a rare spawn mob called (what else?) Poseidus in the southeastern zones of Vashj'ir. It turns out that Poseidus was added to the game in patch 4.1 and is now just as maddening to get as his counterparts in Uldum and Deepholm, the Grey Riding Camel and the Phosphorescent Stone Drake.
The Vicious Gladiator's Twilight Drake was given to Gladiator-ranked players after the ninth Arena season ended, so we figure on seeing more twilight (or possibly stone drake) gladiator mounts as the expansion advances.
So how much is this going to cost me?
Mountain O' Mounts isn't a cheap achievement, although it'd probably be more accurate to say that it isn't a cheap achievement past a certain point
. While you can minimize your personal contribution by focusing on drops and anything that won't cost you gold, it's impossible to get to 100 mounts without shelling out some cash along the way.
I think the following categories are broadly accurate for anyone interested in doing Mountain O' Mounts as cheaply as possible:
Free (or available for a non-gold currency) mounts Dark Riding Talbuk, Dark War Talbuk, the first Netherwing drake obtained, Reins of the Wooly Mammoth, Reins of the White Polar Bear, the Time-Lost Proto-Drake, all 5-man dungeon and Call to Arms mounts (assuming you have access to the latter), all raid drops, all achievement mounts (with the exception of any costs you may accrue on your way to the 50 and 100 mount achievements), all PVP mounts, the Fossilized Raptor and Ultramarine Qiraji Battle Tank from archaeology, the completely mythical Sea Turtle from fishing, all holiday drops, the mounts available from new Cataclysm zones and achievements, the Argent Charger for paladins and the Argent Warhorse for everyone, the "epic" Argent Tournament and Silver Covenant/Sunreaver mounts available for 100-150 Champion's Seals, and any Pet Shop or Trading Card Game mount that you receive as gifts.
Nominal cost If you don't realistically have a shot at the Green Proto-Drake through Call to Arms, the Mysterious Egg can be purchased from the Oracles quartermaster for 3 gold a pop every three days. The Flying Machine and Flying Carpet for engineers and tailors respectively should only cost you a bit of silver if you have their other materials on hand. The non-epic faction mounts will run you less than a gold each, and their epic versions will cost you 8 gold each.
Shut up and take my money I started listing everything else here, only to realize that it'd probably be less time-consuming for everyone involved just to say "everything else." Once you've exhausted your options from the free and nominal cost categories, expect to pay somewhere in the region of 400 gold and five Seals for Argent Tournament mounts like the Swift Burgundy Wolf, 800 gold for the Reins of the Ice Mammoth, and 1,600 gold for the Cenarion War Hippogryph, etc. In other words, the mounts that don't fit into the free or nominal categories aren't crippling expenses given the inflation of the modern game, but they'll run you a decent chunk of change. That said, they'll feel cheap compared to ...
Holy mother of God The Reins of the Grand Ice Mammoth, Traveler's Tundra Mammoth, the Mekgineer's Chopper/Mechano-Hog, and the most arse-puckering expense of the modern game, the Vial of the Sands. They will cost you an arm, a leg, any other spare limbs you may have floating around, your first-born child, and probably a few ampoules of plasma.
Something that should be obvious fairly quickly is that so-called "free" mounts usually have a lot of luck or a lot of work associated with them. Unless you have an endless amount of free time and some exceptionally tolerant guildies who are willing to let you snap up rare raid drops, you should not bank on exhausting all of the options that won't cost you gold.
As you work your way up the expense ladder, most mounts will cost you less in time and more in money, so it can be argued that your time is ultimately better spent on gold-making
than pursuing individual, cheaper mounts. However, that's up to you.
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.