I was never a big mount collector in MMOs, the way I am/was for gear or companion pets in the past. There was a time in WoW when I belonged to the top pet collectors on my realm, long before Pokémon became a thing in WoW. I remember when Blizzard started adding more and more of everything, halfway through TBC everyone was farming Stratholme, Zul’Gurub and Kharazan for mounts and then the whole protodrake-this and that trend kicked off, the rest is history. Today, players own literally hundreds of mounts and pets in WoW.
Very early into the mount mania, I was put off by the sheer amount of often sameish or else ludicrous mount design that bugged me for its silliness. Giant chicken and fetish polar bears are funny for a split second before they become eyesores. I realize, I am a conservative when it comes to picking my own transport companions though; I like horses, adored my horse in LOTRO for its realistic riding feel and sound effects. When it’s not a horse, I’ll most likely choose something that feels either natural to theme and setting or at least part of an established race (or else device) from fantasy fiction. So my favourite mounts are generally –
- Wildcats / Lions
- Gryphons / Eagles
- Magic/Mechanical devices
Oh and I don’t enjoy switching mounts frequently, either. You know those randomization macros for mounts and pets in MMOs? Yeah, don’t like them! Makes me feel as if I was a zoo-keeper rather than adventurer. Where am I keeping all those animals, Hermione’s bottomless handbag?
That’s not to say I don’t understand the collector’s drive, I do! I’ll check out whatever mounts come my way, sometimes I’ll even get a goofy one (usually for seasonal events) as long as it’s either free/cheap or easy to acquire. I won’t spend any cash on all the mounts however and I certainly wouldn’t grind any, unless the game forced me to. Still, no matter how many I own, I end up using the same one or two most of the time. I like thinking of my mount as companion, the way they are named in FFXIV. When MMOs give you a naming option for your mounts or pets, that’s a big plus in my book. Oh and taming your own mount, what ever happened to that feature?
Speaking of which, I currently own about 15 mounts in FFXIV, most of which were given to me as quest rewards or else as subscription deals. FFXIV doesn’t come with an awful lot of serious horse options, so I actually acquired Odin’s steed via the cash shop, which was money well spent. I also like my Chocobo because it belongs to Final Fantasy the same way mogs do. They are treated respectably in FFXIV with tons of cosmetic options similar to LOTRO’s horses. And the dragon mounts from the current expansion are just fantastic, I’d happily trade 20 different WoW protodrakes for my Midgardsormr and Twintania!
There are plenty of ludicrous, huge and nasty looking mounts in FFXIV too, in case you were wondering. Some of them are mind-bogglingly large and one or two, like the Bomb Palanquin, make me laugh whenever I see them. Yet somehow they still feel more natural within the Final Fantasy setting, maybe because this franchise has always had its frivolous, bizarre moments. Either way, I’m sticking to my horses and dragons – I am boring that way.