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Breakfast Topic: Reining in the ease of collecting mounts


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Mounts are everywhere -- rightfully so, as they're an absolute necessity. These furry, feathery, leathery or mechanical steeds practically fall from the sky. You can get them from in-game vendors, out-of-game vendors, random drops, timed heroic runs, fishing, trading cards and even just having a bunch of mounts. With so many ways to get them, it's easy to forget how hard they were to get just a few scant years ago.

My first character at level cap was my much-missed warlock. As if slinging curses, ordering around demons and sipping the tears of my enemies weren't enough, I was treated to one of the best climaxes to a quest chain in game. The sheer wildness of trying to keep everything working while simultaneously fending off droves of enemies, culminating in a fantastic boss fight, is something everyone should experience. True, the quests leading up to the final showdown were annoying and expensive, but they were worth it in the end.

However, Blizzard has gone out of their way to make mounts very easy to get. Paladins and warlocks no longer have to go on an epic adventure for their noble or demonic steeds; they simply have to talk to their trainers. The minimum level to get the first mount has been dropped from 40 to 30 to 20, while epic mounts are now under the rumps of those much lower than level 60. Even flying mounts are now available almost as soon as you step into the Outland.

So I've been pondering: Does the huge variety, abundance and awesomeness of mounts these days make up for the ease of obtaining them? Or do you think it was better when you had to walk for a much longer time and scrounge up much more gold (when gold was hard to get)? Are new players missing out on something special by not having to triumph over waves of demons to get their new demon, or are they simply bypassing an unnecessary annoyance to get to the real meat of the game?

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