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Columns: Are Mounts Important?

By Michael Bitton on January 12, 2011

Are Mounts Important?

Bioware has said that in addition to the fourth pillar of storyline players can expect Star Wars: The Old Republic to feature all the major trappings of a contemporary MMORPG, but one thing we’ve not heard much about is whether or not the game will feature mounts in any shape or form.


While video featuring players mounted on speederbikes has been shown in the past, there isn’t anything concrete as of yet as to the role of vehicles in the game. We do know that as far as space travel goes players will be able to use their ships to fly from planet-to-planet using a KotOR/Mass Effect style galaxy map, but what about when we actually get there?

Mounts and vehicles get a lot of screen time in the Star Wars films, whether it be Luke’s Taun-Taun on Hoth, Luke’s T-47 Airspeeder , or the various creatures that both main and peripheral characters (such as the Stormtroopers on Dewbacks or Obi-Wan on the Varactyl) have been seen riding around on.

Looking at precedent, Star Wars Galaxies featured both mounts and vehicles, albeit not at launch, and to be honest there was both a positive and negative to that fact. Initially, players had to run everywhere, which was certainly inconvenient, and with the introduction of creature mounts players could get around a bit faster, but I actually felt the introduction of vehicle mounts actually took a bit from the game. The game world had a lot of mystique and danger and being able to traverse so much of it fairly hassle free (though I had a good deal of swoops blow up in my time) kind of took away from that. I am a bit concerned from that perspective, as I do love to explore.

Going back to World of Warcraft, one of the contemporary MMOs that Bioware is sure to lift many lessons and features from in order to remain competitive, mounts are uniquely important to that game, almost to the same level, if not to the same level, as chasing the latest and greatest gear. World of Warcraft features a whole host of mounts both flying and grounded with varying levels of rarity and players spend a great deal of effort and coin collecting them.

Taking the importance of mounts in contemporary MMOs into account along with the precedent of SWG having them and their prevalence in the films themselves Bioware would be remiss not to include mounts in Star Wars: The Old Republic. As I mentioned earlier, I am a bit concerned about the prevalence of mounts in the game from an exploration perspective as I am hoping the game offers a lot in the way of exploration and I don’t want to be zipping around so fast that I don’t get a chance or have an incentive to take it all in, but at the same time I’d love to do some racing with other players and acquire unique or rare vehicles to ride around on. I’d even love to see “flying mounts” make an appearance; perhaps airspeeders on Hoth would be appropriate?

What are your thoughts on the importance of mounts in Star Wars: The Old Republic? What sort of mounts or vehicles would you like to see in the game, if any? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined as the site's Community Manager.