My take on why Guild Wars 2 won’t have mounts

Another topic that sparked with discussions around the interpipes (and, please, note that I said “won’t” and not “shouldn’t”).

As far as we know, Guild Wars 2 won’t have mounts initially. I say initially ’cause Jeff Grubb mentioned that, if there is player interest, they may rethink it.

But any discussion about mounts can go heated pretty fast. People claiming GW2 is not WoW, people claiming you have fast travel and why you need mounts, people pointing that you could collect them… The arguments go on and on.

Just to clear something: I don’t think mounts have space in the current set of Guild Wars 2. But this is partially my personal view of the game design and part is my experience with other MMOs. Let me start with the second point, which I think is what fears most people who are following GW2 development for this long:

In other MMOs, there are mounts that you can purchase with gold/tokens and there are mounts that can only be obtained by completing some long quest/achievement or with luck when you kill some boss — which some people usually attribute to the “Random Number God” (which is actually “Random Number Generator”). It usually revolves around going every day or week to kill the same boss ’cause it has a (low) probability of dropping that mount. And that’s the part that I really don’t like.

(As personal opinion, I’d like to tear the balls of the kid who got the 1% mount in some 25 man raid in WoW ’cause he would pose in some city, floating around doing nothing, just to show how big his e-peen is. That’s something GW2 really doesn’t need.)

But let’s take the RNG out and say that ArenaNet puts all mounts available to buy with karma, the currency for completing dynamic events. So it’s not a matter of luck anymore: You play the game, you help people around the world and that let you buy a special mount.

And that bring us to the first problem I listed: design.

So you have fast travel: A set of portals around the world, which let you teleport to them whenever you want, like in Star Trek (except that you must have a proper gate to land instead of being able to jump to wherever you want).

Another thing I’d like to bring about design is the read mail while out of a city: Out of combat, you’ll click on your mail and instead of a window popping in from of you, a little dove will come from the sky and deliver the letter to you. How freaking cool is that?

In a world like that, how will you make mounts appear? Will they simply pop up right next to you (or between your legs)? If you can do that with some animal, why can’t they set teleporters to everywhere? They could use some tricks like making your mount appear out of your field of view and then it comes to you but how would that work for other players? You’re running around and, out of the blue, a horse appears from nowhere (going towards someone in front of you)? Does that make sense in a world where not even mail simply appears in front of you?

Again, ArenaNet didn’t rolled out mounts completely, and they pointed they will consider it if players show interested in it. There is some interest floating around already and, obviously, we don’t know how good the fast travel teleports are or if we really need mounts to reach some events quickly, so anyone saying “this game totally needs mounts” or “fuck mounts, we don’t need them” is jumping into conclusions. We all should just wait for the game to come out to have a better feeling of “need”/”don’t need”.

Till then, I’ll think we still don’t need mounts (by the points I shown above) but, as ArenaNet, I’m open to change opinion once the game is out.