Perfect World International: Mounts
The developers of Perfect World International have provided us with this developer journal highlighting mounts in their MMORPG.
The sun is slowly setting as you return to town. Returning from an epic journey your inventory is packed to the brim. Wearing only the most elite equipment, your armor seemingly changes color as the sun falls past the horizon. As you make your way into the town square, head begin to turn. Players stop what they're doing and look in your general direction. Some players pretend to ignore you and seemingly go about their business; but you know on the other side of their monitor, the user is maneuvering their mouse, pivoting their camera controls to follow you.
What has suddenly sparked everyone's interest? What has garnered the attention of the town square? It's not your immaculate equipment, it's not your "phat lewts" taken from various monsters and dungeons. What is it? ....it's your mount.
Mounts have become an integral component of MMORPGs over the past several years. The story of the mount has been a process of evolutionary change. The mounts that were initially introduced into MMOs served the same function as early automobiles; they allowed the user to travel to their destination in fashion that was faster and more convenient than running or walking. Like the many automobiles of today, the MMORPG mounts have evolved into stylized yet functional accessories that their owners tote for bragging rights.
For the many users of Perfect World International, mounts come in a variety of flavors and styles. The two major categories of mounts are those that fly the skies and those that traverse the earth. We'll start our topic by discussing the ground mounts.
PWI's ground mounts can be broken down into three basic categories: basic mounts, seasonal mounts, and limited-edition mounts.
Basic mounts often take on the likeness of many animals. Pictured below are two examples of some basic mounts. The mount picture on the left is the Kirin. The Kirin is a mythical, chimerical creature in Eastern lore that is said to bring good luck. It is said that the Kirin will bring its rider much fortune, success, and fame. The second mount pictured on the right is a Polar Bear. While Polar Bears of the real world are bound to the arctic regions sipping their favorite colas, PWI's Polar Bears are of a different breed, tirelessly transporting their owners through any climate that comes their way. Both of these mounts are extremely popular, stylish, and reflect upon the individual nature of the user.
Another example of ground mounts are seasonal mounts, which are released in tandem with special events that take place within Perfect World International. One example is the Chromatic Reindeer. This mount is usually released in conjunction with the yearly Christmas Event. The spirit of the winter holidays is represented in the Reindeer's cheerful color and design. Another seasonal mount is the Lucky Pig, which is commonly used in China during the annual New Year's Celebrations. Welcome in the New Year with a pig that would put both Wilbur and Babe to shame.
The last category of ground mounts is limited edition mounts. These are mounts that are available for brief amounts of time. These are the Ferrari's or Bentley's of Perfect World International. While they possess no distinct functional advantage over regular mounts, they exist as status symbols for players within the game. Both of the example mounts below have not yet been released in Perfect World International but will come in due time.
Ground mounts, while incredibly useful, are primarily useful as modes of transportation. Flying mounts while able to achieve the same task have one added value: the ability to engage in combat while mounted.
Flying mounts are divided according to race. Each race within Perfect World International has a distinct method of airborne transportation. The Untamed ride upon magnificent beasts, the Humans surf on giant swords, and the Winged Elves...well, they have wings.
The story of the Untamed is that they evolved from a group of beasts that desired to be like the gods. Still in tune with nature, they tame giant beasts of the environment to fly upon. These giant companions come in many different shapes and forms. Two examples below are the Dragonfly and the Cloud Chaser. These flying mount radiate extravagant effects, such as flaming wings and intricate graphics and capture the eye and imagination of many onlookers.
The Humans in Perfect World International soar through the skies on gigantic blades. These swords are often accompanied by lavish particle effects and awe-inspiring glows. Choose the blade that best fits your persona. Mix and match your gear with color pigments to get an impressive visual combination of player and blade. And for those of you those that like to dual-wield, hop on the sword while dual-wielding to technically tri-wield!
Finally we come to the Winged Elves. The Winged Elves are a magical race that originates from Plume City. All Winged Elves are blessed with the gift of flight starting at birth. The wings that one starts with are simple, angel-like wings that serve the simple purpose of taking one to the heavens. As a Winged Elf progresses through the game, they can attain a variety of wings such as the mystical Hexawings and Bathwings, both which are pictured below.
The mounts of Perfect World International are very much like the modes of transportation seen in the world today. They complement a user's taste for individuality while at the same time fulfilling their transportation needs. Some players will obtain a mount because of their "need for speed"; others will attain it because of a "want to flaunt"; and still others will simply do so to "commemorate and celebrate". Whatever the reason, anyone can step into Perfect World International and easily find a mount that catches their eye and fits their character's lifestyle.