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All you need to know about account-wide mounts (so far)

Anne Stickney

Am I excited about Mists of Pandaria? Oh heck yes, I am! Of course, this is mostly from playing through the story so far. It's been pretty amazing and has just enough twists that I'm chomping at the bit for Blizzard to open the next zone or two. But I was even more excited when I saw that account-wide mounts had been implemented last week -- and for good reason. I'm a collector, and I've got over a hundred mounts on my main character. But my alts are woefully short on the mount front.

With account-wide mounts, all those cool mounts I ride around on with my main will be available to all my alts too. And while I may waffle back and forth on account-wide achievements and whether I'll like them, I'm definitely behind letting all of my characters ride all of the cool things I've farmed up over time. But there is a catch here -- just because we're seeing this feature on the beta doesn't mean it will make it to live. And if it does make it to live, it may look a little different than it does right now.

And right now? Things are just a little weird in spots.

Apple Cider Mage has written up a pretty comprehensive list of what's excepted and what's included in the account-wide mounts program on the beta so far. Included are some things I wasn't sure about myself. Mounts that come from items -- more specifically, Tarecgosa -- are not included on the list. Neither are faction-specific rewards, vendor mounts such as racial mounts, or the Winterspring Frostsaber and its counterpart, the Venomhide Ravasaur.

In addition to that list, I can add from personal experience that while profession-based mounts like the Turbo-Charged Flying Machine show up on other character's lists, your character still has to have the required profession skill to use the item. So while I could see the Flying Machine on my druid scribe, I couldn't actually use it; clicking it brought up a message stating that I could not use the item.

As Apple Cider pointed out, right now the mounts seem to be showing up server by server. When they first reared their head, they showed up on multiple servers, but that seems to have been either a bug, or it's been fixed.

Speaking of bugs, there are bugs aplenty with the system at the moment. Players with worgen characters are reportedly able to use Running Wild on non-worgen characters; you can pretty much assume that will be removed by live.

In addition, sometimes characters have mounts -- and sometimes, upon logging in, they find all of their mounts are gone. This is a bug, and while there's no real fix to it, I've found that all you need to do is convince the game that yes, you do have mounts on a character. The best way to do this is to copy the character whose mounts you'd like to the beta server. You aren't going to actually do anything with them on the beta server; they're simply there to hold your "Yes, I do have mounts" status.

Log in on that character, and use a mount -- any mount will do. Make sure that you log out while you are mounted. When you're going to play on the beta, log in to that character first, just to remind the game that the mounts are there. Don't dismount; just log back out again after checking your mount list and making sure all mounts are listed. Then swap back to whatever character you're currently leveling. This will work a good chunk of the time, but there are still points where it's buggy -- and that's because this is the beta.

And speaking of being on the beta, there are certain things we do know and certain things we don't know from the beta servers.
  • Do rare mounts show up on all characters? Yes -- as long as they aren't faction-specific. You won't be able to ride Alliance mounts on your Horde characters or vice versa. Faction mounts have always been restricted to faction-only status; since the profession mounts are still under their restrictions, I think we can safely assume the faction-restricted mounts will be, as well.
  • Do TCG mounts show up? Yes. If you're lucky enough to have a Spectral Tiger, you'll see it on all your characters.
  • What about mounts that have been removed from the game? My characters are all able to ride around on the original Amani War Bear as well as the Swift Zhevra from the original Recruit-A-Friend program. I think it's safe to say that even if you can't get something in game anymore, if you got it once, it's yours on all the characters you play.
  • Will the Violet Proto-Drake give me fast flying on all my characters? Currently, yes -- but you have to actually use the Violet Proto-Drake on your character before it will acknowledge the fast flying. Likely this is because learning the mount is what triggers the auto-upgrade to flight speed on live. Will this behavior make it to live servers? We don't know for sure.
  • Are account-wide mounts account-wide or account-wide? We don't know -- and we can't find that out. When your account is flagged for the Mists of Pandaria beta, it's flagged via your email address. You can copy characters over from any game account you have under that account. However, when you do so, you're essentially copying over to a new account specifically created for the beta servers. There isn't any switching between different WoW licensed accounts on the beta. It's all under the same thing. So we've got no way to test this at all.
  • What about class-specific mounts? At the moment, characters can ride class-specific mounts. So if you have a warlock with a Dreadsteed, your druid can ride that Dreadsteed around too. I don't expect this situation to make it to live servers like this -- I suspect we'll see things changed to react the same way that profession-specific mounts work. You'll see the mount in your list, but you won't be able to ride it unless you're a warlock.
Right now, the account-wide mount feature seems to be very much a work in progress. It's not exactly behaving properly, and some things (such as the above-mentioned Running Wild and class-specific mounts bugs) aren't restricted at all. I'm pretty sure that when this feature does go live, it will likely have limitations in effect, though the depths of those limitations are totally unknown at this point.

There is one thing we can be absolutely certain of, however: When this feature is ready for release and officially announced, there will likely be some sort of official post from Blizzard explaining the ins and outs of how it works. Until then, we can enjoy riding around the beta, watch for more developments with the feature, and wait to see how it all pans out.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

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