PTR Brewfest includes summoned barmaid pets, rams and kodos segregated by faction

Daniel Whitcomb
D. Whitcomb|06.24.08

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PTR Brewfest includes summoned barmaid pets, rams and kodos segregated by faction

You may remember that we announced that a Brewfest Kodo was hidden in the WoTLK Alpha files some time ago. With patch 2.4.3, the Kodo did in fact get into this year's Brewfest. The Brewfest is currently open for testing on the PTR, and you can see the Kodos for yourselves - but only on the Horde side.

That's right. Blizzard has added the Kodo mount, but not in the way many of us had hoped. The Ram mount is now available for purchase only on the Alliance side, and the Kodo mount only on the Horde side. Kisirani has confirmed that this is intended. She says that they came to this decision only after much deliberation, but it's likely staying, although she'll listen to constructive criticism. As you can imagine, this has not been well received.

I myself am most definitely on the side of those who think this wasn't the best move Blizzard could have made. At best, it's closing the barn door after the proverbial horse (or ram in this case) has escaped. To my mind, this move has uncomfortable paralells to the Ghost Wolf pet fiasco.

The fact that a cross faction mount was now incredibly simple to get for the Horde, with no reciprocal reward given to the Alliance chafed people the wrong way, especially when it was followed with an announcement that the Horde would get easy access to yet another mount with an Alliance-only skin, the Cenarion War Hippogryph. However, Kisirani seemed to suggest that the Alliance's waiting would pay off next year if they had patience. That was inferred by many to mean that they would get some kind of cross faction mount or other reward to make up for the ram come the next Brewfest. Many people banked on it. While the inferred promise wasn't as blantant as in the case of the Ghost Wolf, it was at least there.

The real problem with the ram last brewfest, however, was not that it was a cross faction mount as much as that it was exceedingly simple to get: You just did a week or two of dailies, and you could expect to get yourself a ram. It was also the first level 40 cross faction mount. This was unprecedented. Before, if you wanted a cross-faction mount, you had to reign yourself to killing certain bosses hundreds of times in hopes of seeing a very rare drop.

The Alliance, though, are not the only people to get let down by this. There's quite a few Horde who have been looking forward to getting a Brewfest Ram all year as well. They may have switched characters over the year, or didn't have a chance to get the ram, or decided to spend their tickets on goggles or clothes instead. All of sudden, they're now lamenting that they didn't get the grind done last year -- poor Zach is one of them.

If the Horde already have the mounts, and they're only available for such a short time window, what's the harm anyway? Kodo and rams probably won't lose their faction uniqueness just because a few people were able to grind them out in a 2 week window. I'd understand if you didn't want to implement them at all, but now that you have implemented them, it's only fair to level the playing field for the Alliance by giving them kodos, and for any Horde who weren't in a position to grind a ram last year by giving them rams.

Some people have another concern: If the Brewfest mounts aren't very unique, what's the point of grinding them? If you want a kodo as Horde or a ram as Alliance, it's no longer that big of a deal to grind to exalted with Thunder Bluff or Ironforge, and you don't have to stuff all the grinding into a small period of about half a month, either. Sure, the Brewfest mounts look slightly different, but the differences on the Kodo look a bit gaudy, and the differences on the Ram loo too subtle to justify the grind, as far as I'm concerned.

On the good news side, there are one or two other new tricks to the Brewfest this year. Apparently there are items that temporarily change your mount into a Brewfest Kodo or Ram (similar to Fresh Holly for Winterveil), and there's a new holiday boss in Blackrock Depths, Coren Direbrew. Rumor has it that he drops a trinket named the Brightbrew Charm that summons a barmaid. If this is true, that almost makes up for the loss of a Kodo. Almost.

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