Mount speeds and reward systems
How you travel in the game is something that’s been constantly tweaked. There’s the paying taxi mounts that take you, in a roundabout on the rails flying way, across the world to locations you’ve visited at least once by foot. There’s the 60% mount you learn at level 40 30 20 and your epic ground mount of 100% speed that used to be the reward for endgame vanilla players is now available at 40. Blizzard seem to want as many people as possible to experience the joys of zipping around on the back of your species mount. Then, these days, it’s possible to start flying when you enter Outlands (as opposed to the reward for finishing it). The slower mount is 150% in the air and 60% on the ground, a flip around of the previous cumbersome model (of 60% all round, making it still more practical at the time to run around Outland unless you actually needed to fly over/round something.) The epic form is 100% ground speed increase, 280% air speed increase. These can be bought and flown for a reasonable amount of Gold.
280% mounts have hundreds of different models. There’s Gryphons for the Alliance, Wyverns for the Horde. There’s Dragons, Drakes, Proto Drakes, Nether drakes, Nether Rays, Flying Horses, Mechanical heads, Flying Carpets, a helicopter, rockets, undead Gryphons, Hippogryphs, and the beautiful Dragonhawks.
However, the greater rewards in the game, and the only upgrade to these, is the 310% mount. There’s a fair few Proto Drakes connected to raid achievements in Northrend. There’s the Legendary mounts from Ulduar and Tempest keep, a head and a pheonix. There’s the two Frostbrood Vanquishers from the ICC achievements. Also, there are Nether Drakes and Frostwyrm mounts, available from being the best of the best in arena. There’s only one exception to these high requirement 310% mounts, that I can think of. For completing the Long strange trip achievement for doing the world events, you receive a Violet proto drake that flies at 310%.
As you can see from the little box on the top right, I own the 100 mounts Dragonhawk. It’s something I worked on for a very long time, needing me to work slowly through PvP gathering of tokens, the entirety of the argent tournament, a fair few old world reps, and a massive amount of gold. By comparison, I’ve just done the world events as they’ve come round, often completing them on the first day or two that they’re out. I feel that the 100 Mounts achievement took about 5 times the effort than the Long strange trip. All I have to do now is take an orphan and give King Ymiron a smack, and I’ll have a 310% mount. Some people may argue that the world events are harder to do, because of RNG, time spent, etc. I still feel like my 100 mounts was more difficult, especially since I had to rely on RNG and time spent there with mounts like the Rivendare charger (40 something runs and no drop) the Green proto drake (73 eggs opened, 34 tickbirds and a whole lot of yolk) and the AQ40 mounts (previous to having my awesome organising things friend it was impossible to get an old world run where stuff wasn’t ninjad). I feel like I’ve really earnt my Dragonhawk, and enjoy flying her around the world. But she remains 280%, and come May when I complete children’s week and get my Violet, I’ll be travelling on that. I prefer the looks of my Dragonhawk, but speed and efficiency comes above looks and style for me. I’d ride a flying Mechanostrider if it was faster than my Dragonhawk.
Whilst I agree that the Long strange trip should have a reward, I don’t think it should be a mount. I think it should be something like another epic tabard, perhaps the ability to create your own Title (having earned so many weird ones.) I don’t think the idea of it ties in with a mount at all, much less a 310% one. It’s not that tough. It’s no more difficult than a couple of days worth of extra dailies at different points in the year, which most people do anyway.
Something I heard a while back was that once you obtain a 310% mount, the rest of your mounts will upgrade to that speed. I haven’t seen this implemented yet, but this would solve the problems in my eyes. I’d certainly love to combine the speed of the 310% with my hard earnt Dragonhawk.
In the next expansion, aquatic mounts seem to be confirmed. There is going to be one underwater zone in the expansion. They made a big fuss of Northrend’s amazing underwater quests, and that didn’t really happen. I feel like this might be a bit of a gimmick run, but I wont argue with more swimming mounts. Even though I do have the Sea turtle, I wouldn’t mind zipping through the water after that annoying time you fall off the bridge or the boat and need to swim back to land. Flying will still be a massive part of the game, because it will be available everywhere. They need to get their act together on the speed averages concept. We’ll be able to fly all round, over, and under Azeroth. And that, in my opinion, is hotter than a ERP between blood elves. You’ll want to do it at maximum capacity, because Azeroth is BIG.
PS. I was just forcibly reminded that the lovely Ms Elsen has a fantastic in depth guide on getting your 100 mounts achievement, written way after I actually achieved it. Hopefully it’ll get you what you need!