Path of Fire introduced mounts to the world of Tyria, a request which players called for even as far back as the first release of the legacy edition of Guild Wars 2. Years later, we finally have a slew of new mounts and modes of transportation, but as ArenaNet continues to add new ways to traverse the world, we as players have to stop and ask ourselves, do we really need MORE mounts?
When it comes to traveling around Tyria, ArenaNet originally made it quite simple with strategic waypoints strewn about for the simple purpose of teleporting where you needed to go. In Heart of Thorns, they added onto this, by implementing masteries related to gliding, and mushroom jumping, that essentially enabled players to achieve movement feats that were unattainable before. When mounts arrived with Path of Fire, we finally had a mode of transportation, and transitively, a new set of challenges, that would further define how players would interact with the world.
Unfortunately, as time went on though, Mounts have been added as a way to accentuate gameplay, in ways that seem mostly unnecessary. A great example of this is the Warclaw mount. For those who may not know what the Warclaw mount is, it’s essentially a large horned lion-like creature that is only earned through a WvW achievement set. For the most part, the Warclaw is only really useful in WvW, but it essentially functions the same as a Raptor mount. While an outside observer would look at the Warclaw and understand that, WvW players need their own shinies and special achievements, the mount itself really serves very little purpose.
The ability to use a Warclaw is only the beginning, you then have to increase your WvW rank so that you can get all the cool bells and whistles that the Warclaw is capable of. Unfortunately, these aren’t mastery ranks though, these are specifically WvW ranks. This compartmentalizes the Warclaw to WvW usage only, as you lose all of those upgrades if you attempt to use the Warclaw in a PvE setting. Not so coincidentally, you can’t use any other mounts in WvW, which is somewhat silly, considering that the mastery system is fairly well built to handle upgrading your mounts and characters to unlock your desired goals.
With each new mount, we see similar things happen, and usage overlap. The Skyscale could have been a fantastic addition, but the cost of ownership was quite high, and the usage was a mixture of a Rabbit and Griffon mount, similar to both, but better than neither. It’s slow, runs out of energy fairly quickly, and isn’t much better in helping players get around, but it’s one main draw is that it’s elitist and cool looking. Still, would the Skyscale even be necessary if ArenaNet opted to revamp mounts in the mastery system instead of pushing players to obtain new circumstantial mounts?
Should ArenaNet have opened up a mastery line that gave the Griffon the ability to hover? Should the Warclaw have earnable traits that would give it benefits in both PvE and WvW, or perhaps the Raptor should have a trait to allow its use in WvW? There are nearly endless possibilities with the mounts that we have access to right now, and they all coincide very well with the mastery system that ArenaNet has in place. With new skins added that change the appearance of our current beloved mounts, I am seeing less of a reason for new mounts to rear their shiny new haunches, and more of a reason to put more work in fulfilling skillsets for the beloved mounts that we currently have. Where do you stand on the issue? Should ArenaNet really be pursuing additional mounts, or should they evolve our current mounts to a higher potential?