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Ready to mount up?

David North Posted:
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Guild Wars 2 isn’t always serious.  There are plenty of ways for players to goof off with  large collections of minis, or throwing food at others while wearing a costume!  Players have even spent a lot of time mastering the instruments, playing songs for the digital world to hear!  Players have done all of these things, even while wearing Charr plush backpacks!  Ya, the game has some pretty silly things, but why do so many people get mad when you mention adding mounts to the gem store? 

The wind rushing through your hair, and the world whizzing by is an awesome feeling!  It’s even better when you’re speeding around on a heavily armored mount.   Other games use mounts to give players a speed boost, but the current design in Guild Wars 2 allows players to boost their own speed with skills and traits.  So why have mounts? To look awesome while traveling of course!

This warf from the original Guild Wars has the right idea!

If you play PvE and go around exploring the land, you’re going to run around a lot.  Even though you can boost your speed, it does get a bit boring just watching your character run.  It doesn’t make exploring feel like an epic journey.  Now imagine your character on a moa, or even a dolyak!  Don’t add a speed boost, just add the visual effect of your character riding one of these creatures.  It would be a lot more fun than just watching your character run, right?  That’s really all I would want mounts to do in this game.  I like forcing players to boost their speed themselves.  I just want my character to look awesome when I’m traveling around.  

This is a strangely a touchy topic.  On one hand you have players that like the idea, and on the other you have players that go full nerd rage if you simply put “mount” and “Guild Wars 2” in the same sentence.  Why all the hate from the same people using tonics to look like candy corn golems$  

Mounts are very common in other MMOs, which is something Guild Wars 2 is not like at all.  That’s  why we all play Guild Wars 2 in the first place.  Some fear that mounts would become the new and only source of a speed buff, thus taking away some of the uniqueness of the game.  If they were strictly cosmetic, then there’s nothing to worry about.

Now let’s cover animation.  Tyria is an insanely beautiful game world, with different levels,and varieties, of terrain.  When the world was designed, they only had to worry about the running animations of the characters, which are all pretty much the same.  Add a mount to the equation, and you might run into some issues.  The only solution to this is time.  They would have to put in plenty of time and effort to make the animations of the mounts fit well with the different types of terrain.  But hey, even the current running animations look weird on some parts of the world.  Just run on the side of a mountain, and you’ll see what I mean.

There are a handful of players that say  mounts just don’t make sense,and they’re not part of the lore.   Mounts have actually made appearances in Guild Wars.  Enemies have been on mounts, and they’ve also been depicted in statues in the environments.  The idea of someone riding an animal isn’t new to Tyria, it just hasn’t become a larger part of the game because players didn’t have that ability. 

The Necrid Horseman was one of my favorite enemies visually from the original series.

The game already let’s us perform silly dances moves, deform our bodies so we look like bobble heads, or even summon llamas to dance on corpses.  Mounts really wouldn’t be the craziest thing the gem store has offered.  As long as it’s just enhancing a character’s running animation, and not messing with the character’s actual speed, I feel that the addition to mounts could actually be really positive.  Seriously, I would pay money to ride around Tyria on a sweet mount.  Well, that or let me buy one with all this karma I have.

What do you think about adding mounts to Guild Wars 2?  Tell us in the comments below.

David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com.  David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them!  If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.

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David North