Recently on the Cataclysm Beta, the vendors which will sell you items based on your Guild Standing were introduced. The items they sold were things like Pets, Mounts, Recipes and Heirlooms, along with a few Not-Yet-Implemented items with form and function unknown. Blizzard have since come back to this (after players complained the the Dark Phoenix flying mount was a too greater reward to be just ‘handed out to all who could sign a guild charter’) with this:
The guild rewards you guys are seeing in game are not hooked up yet. Guild rewards have 3 requirements that must be be met before you can use them. First and foremost, they must be unlocked via a guild achievement. Let’s just say, that for example, you need to complete the new guild achievement “We are Legendary” in order to unlock the Dark Phoenix. That achievement requires the guild to gain access to all 6 legendary weapons currently available in the game. (note that all guild achievements start on Cataclysm launch, so anything you have now will not matter, it must be done with your guild after launch)
So they are going to be tough to obtain. I was more drawn to the idea of the Lion ground mount (for us Alliance folk, the Horde receive a Thunder Lizard) because I think there’s great potential there for customization. This is a mount that, as stated above, you are going to have to work hard for and unlock. It shouldn’t just be some faceless, uninteresting… well, let’s start at the start.
Blizzard don’t tend to make new internal Skeletons for creatures if they can avoid it. Ever wondered why P3 Professor Putricide moves in exactly the same way as the level 28-30 Boglords in Ashenvale? Same internal model, different skin. Similarly, there is already the generic ‘Cat’ skeleton ingame. It’s used for everything from Prowlers in the Barrens to Druid Cat form to the Night Elves racial mount. Different skins, same animated skeleton. We can assume they will do the same for Lions. It might look something like this, as a mount.
I know, I know. It gets better. I assume they will be keeping some form of armour plating, and of course, the model will be done much higher polygon than my example (which is from the Lion model in the Barrens, same since Vanilla.) However, you can assume it’ll look like a better version of that, at least. Now, I think that we have a lot of ‘standard’ mounts in this game. Out of all the choices of Nightsabers in the game, for example, you get choices of colour, but basically the same model. If we’re locked into this ‘it has to be the same model you just get to choose between recolours’ line of thinking, then they need to add in the Guild factor. We’ve ground hard for this mount, maybe up to Revered or Exalted or completed some impressive Guild achievement to unlock this on the vendors. It needs to represent our guild. Here is the logo for my Guild:
This is what appears on our Tabards, and on the Armory, and in the Banner across the top of our Guild Bank. There are two different ways I’d like to see this incorperated into the mount. The first would be relatively easy. Blizzard designs Lion mount in a Sandy Yellow colour as most Lions are, and gives it armour etc. It also has a blank zone across its back, in the same way a Guild Tabard is blank if you are unguilded, that will autofill with your guild logo when you ride it, like so:
That should be easy to program. They have half of it done already. It would look fairly good, and it would make sense. But personally, I’d like to see them go even further. Design the whole mount with zones in which the logo will pop up, and allow the base skin colour of the mount to be the same colour as the ‘background’ colour of your tabard. For example, on our design, the background is Black, and the logo is gold. Our tiger would have black fur with the logo on the shoulder and the haunches:
That would be my personal favourite design. It makes the mount far more unique, and it would certainly make people think twice about their tabard design (A bright pink Lion with a white bunny rabbit on it’s haunches is unlikely to strike as much fear into the enemy as my example above.) What I really don’t want them to do, and I haven’t even done a picture incase they’re reading this right now, is to just make it a standard mount that doesn’t change in any way, with one of those stupid flag poles stuck in its back. You know the really obtrusive type you get in arena? Yeah. Don’t do that Blizzard.
We’ll see in a few months what they do with this. Please make me happy Blizzard!