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General Articles: Mounting Interest

By Deborah Dietrich on October 28, 2008

Mounting Interest

Wrath of the Lich King is bringing a boon to those who collect mounts. With the expansion, mounts will be stored a new Pet tab on your character and will not take up bag space. Now you have space for an infinite number of mounts and that is a good thing, as there will be an impressive reward for collecting 50 mounts when WotLK goes live, your own albino netherdrake!

But first a little history; mounts did not start out as collectibles. Back in the olden days of original World of Warcraft, one could not achieve a mount till level 40 (now down to 30) and while the gold cost may seem trivial now, I remember working for some time after I hit 40 to try and save enough gold to buy my riding skill and a mount. Once you had your pouch of gold, you went to the mount vendor of your racial faction and purchased the allotted beast from a limited selection of colors. That color choice was your only choice.

You do not have to have any level of reputation to purchase the mounts of your own racial faction. Undead's racial affiliation is Undercity. Their racial mount is the skeletal horse. An undead can purchase a skeletal horse, regardless of his or her reputation with Undercity.

Blizzard soon realized there was an interest in owning mounts from other factions and opened up the possibility of attaining the right to buy the mounts of differing factions. If one obtained an exalted reputation with a differing racial faction from one's own, he or she would be able to purchase the mounts associated with that group. For example, humans are part of the Stormwind faction and ride horses. In order to buy a ram, the dwarves racial mount; a human would need to be exalted with the Ironforge faction. Exalted reputation could be achieved by completing the quests associated with a faction, but this was exceedingly tedious. So, Blizzard introduced cloth donations as an additional means of accruing the desired reputation points. Every city associated with a racial faction will have a NPC who takes cloth donations in exchange for reputation points. It used to be quite the status symbol, back in the day, to ride around town on the mount of a differing racial faction.

Of course the most desirable mounts were those from rare drops or gained through difficult quest lines: the Winterspring Frostsaber (Alliance only) or the Deathcharger from Baron Rivendare for example. Realizing there was high interest in obtaining different or unusual mounts, Blizzard has added an escalating number of mounts to the game.

World of Warcraft Screenshot

So how does one go about obtaining their albino netherdrake? One must earn the achievement, Leading the Cavalry, by collecting fifty different mounts. Fifty does seem like a lot of mounts, but take comfort in the fact that the number was originally a whopping 75! The key to getting a large variety of mounts is faction reputation.

Start farming cloth, mostly runecloth to turn in for reputation with the four races that make up your faction, Horde or Alliance. The cloth donations begin with 60 wool, then 60 silk, 60 mageweave and lastly 60 runecloth. Once the "60" quests are behind you, you can start turning in stacks of 20 runecloth as a repeatable quest. Each of the 60 cloth turn-ins garner 150 reputation points. Each stack of 20 runecloth receives 50 points in reputation. I'm already seeing runecloth featured in the Trade channel, from folks looking to buy and those looking to sell.

You will find the Cloth Quartermasters in every major city. The easiest way to find the quartermaster is to ask a guard to direct you to the profession trainer for tailoring. You will find the cloth quartermaster is in the same location. The only exception is the Trolls and Gnomes, who do not have their own cities. The quartermaster for the Trolls can be found in Orgrimmar in the Valley of Spirits. The quartermaster for the Gnomes is located in Tinkertown, within Ironforge, but please note, only gnomes and dwarves can ride the mechanostriders of this faction.

Taurens should be aware that their large size bars them from riding the skeletal horses of the Undercity, the raptors of the Darkspear Trolls, or the hawkstriders of Silvermoon. It is pointless for them to raise faction with these groups, as they will be unable to obtain these mounts. Blizzard has indicated there will be no different standard for Taurens on this achievement, but WotLK is still in beta and subject to change.

Other factions who allow mount purchase at exalted are The Mag'har (H) and the Kiurenai (A) in Nagrand, the Netherwing of Shadowmoon Valley and the Sha'tari Skyguard at Terokkar and Blades Edge. Faction for these groups can be obtained through repeatable quests. Those with exalted Cenarion Expedition reputation can purchase a Cenarion War Hippogryph for 1600 gold.

Differing groups have some advantages in the race to 50. Engineers can make mechanical rides. Tailors will be able to make a variety of flying carpets when Wrath of the Lich King is released. Paladins, Warlocks and Deathknights have their summoned mounts. Those who PvP are able to purchase or achieve special mounts through the PvP reward system.

There will be a number of new mounts in Wrath of the Lich King. These will come in the form of a variety of bear and wooly mammoth mounts. There are reports from the PTR of a Traveler's Tundra Mammoth which can carry three riders and comes with its own vendors for repair, resupply and selling all that vendor dross that accrues in one's packs. It comes with a hefty price tag, however, currently reported to be 15,000 gold.

World of Warcraft Screenshot

If one wishes to simply purchase a mount for real life cash, there are a number of mounts, which can be obtained from World of Warcraft trading cards. A quick check on Ebay will usually find loot cards for sale that can be exchanged for in-game items. Be forewarned that items like the Spectral Tiger loot card can go for exceptionally high prices.

There are seven rare drops from bosses: the Deathcharger from Stratholme, the Swift Zulian Tiger and the Swift Razzashi Raptor from Zul'Gurub, the Fiery Warhorse from Karazhan, the Raven Lord from heroic Sethekk, the Swift White Hawkstrider from heroic Magister' Terrace and the Ashes of Alar from Tempest Keep. Congratulations to you if you managed to score one of these.

There are also mounts obtained through seasonal events like Brewfest. There are reports of a new mount that will drop with this year's Hallow's End event. There is a Zhevra mount that comes through the Recruit a Friend promotion. This year attendees to BlizzCon will be eligible to receive a special promotional bear mount.

If you hurry, you might even still be able to get an Amani War Bear. But time is running out. This mount comes from beating the timer to the fourth chest in Zul'Aman. It will not be available once the next update goes live. The clock is ticking on this one and may be behind us by the time this article is published.

There are a number of different colored Qiraj Resonating Crystal mounts, which are only usable in AQ 40. It is doubtful these will count toward the 50 mount achievement for Leading the Cavalry.

So mount up all you collectors of the various rides of Azeroth. Start farming that rune cloth and working up faction. Wrath of the Lich King releases on November 13 and I'm sure you'll want to be the first one in the neighborhood to be sporting around on that big white netherdrake. Albino is where it's at!!

World of Warcraft Screenshot