Saturday, January 28, 2012

Triumph of the Plain-er Horse

Telaran riding school requires that you stick your right elbow out to the side just so.
Having hit level 50 in Rift, I was finally eligible to snag the top 110% speed mount.  By virtue of the "digital collector's edition" (which is suspiciously like a microtransaction), every character on my account gets a 60% mount for free the moment they can access a mailbox.  There is a boost to 90% available for 35 Plat at level 30 (I think it may have been higher at some point?) but I decided to set my sights on the 125 Plat for the maximum mount speed. 

This was actually the first time in recent memory that I actually went farming for the purpose of collecting gold/plat.  Stacks of crafting materials from most harvesting nodes in Shimmersand sell for something between 3-10 Plat on Byrial Guardian side, so this was not especially painful.  While I don't think I have really done this since about 2007 (the first epic flying mount in WoW, launch era LOTRO), I didn't really mind it.  If anything, having a "primary" goal of traveling the zone to harvest more cash actually made it easier for me to convince myself that I might as well finish the quests that require killing the mobs guarding my loot.  This is something that has gotten lost in more recent MMO's, where it feels like I usually have all the cash I need as I need it. 

Since I haven't capped out any endgame factions yet, my two choices were the weird two-tailed lion-cat thing that Guardians can get in Sanctum, or a horse from the scholar faction that I apparently capped through world events the week the game launched.  I decided to go with the plain-er option because my CE turtle mount and the raptor mount I got from a world event both scale to the speed of my fastest mount for when I want to look more exotic.  On the plus side, I now have three separate appearances for my top riding speed.  On the down side, most faction mounts are set to cost the full 125 plat if I ever reach the required faction level.  Perhaps I will eventually be awash in plat, but for the moment this approach (which World of Warcraft fixed with riding skill back in 2006) would seem to discourage additional mount purchases.

Anyway, I'm now free to roam Telara at a noticeably faster speed.  This impacts travel times for everything - quests and especially zone events - in a way that makes me wonder if someone (myself or Trion) made a mistake in designing this in such a way that I was hobbling around at the lower speed until now.  Now that I have the upgrade, getting such a large boost in one shot is rewarding, but this was definitely something that was harming my enjoyment of the game up through this point.

Telaran Riding Tip: Lean to one side or the other so you can see around the giant thing on your horse's head.


Bhagpuss said...

I think I have the fastest on all my level 50s now (not sure without checking) but for a very long time I had the 90 speed mount on one of my max level characters and I could barely tell any difference. It certainly didn't give me any problems in keeping up with the pack during zone invasions.

I do remember both Mrs Bhagpuss and I being quite disappointed by how little we noticed the increase from the 90 speed mount (which you did used to need to be Level 40 to ride) considering how expensive the 110 was.

As for the faction vendors, they can go whistle. I just finished a post on my own blog about mounts, as it happens, so I have been thinking about them a lot today. I realized that even when one of my characters has a fairly wide choice of things to ride he'll pretty much end up riding the same one most of the time unless there's a functional difference. I do like to collect them but not if it's going to cost me a significant amount of in-game money.

I really like the basic Rift mounts anyway. The two-tailed lion is one of my favorite mounts in any MMO I've played and I'm very fond of the big Yak thing too. I looked at a lot of the faction mounts and I can't offhand remember seeing a single one that I preferred to the standard ones. The turtle and spider are both execrable. I'd walk rather than ride either of those!

Magson said...

Really? I love my spider!

I also want one of those zombie-gorilla looking things from Stillmoor, but CBA to grind out the faction and 125 plat for one.

As it is, only my Guardian cleric is going faster than 60% becuz I spend my plat on gear not mounts, and with the "new" crafted epics costing approx 60 plat (more or less depending on the piece, of course) for the materials. . . yeah, keeps my plat low. Doesn't help that I haven't logged into Rift since mid-December either :-(

Ferrel said...

Beyond harvesting, if you do the Ember Isle daily quests you get bags of money (literally).

Random fact: The "scale mounts" are not actually on par with the bought mounts. You are less likely to be dismounted from a bought (Steadfast) mount than a scaling one.

kaozz said...

Very cool mount, gratz! That game has some really fantastic mounts, I was drooling over a few last time I logged in.