The Scrying Pool: Mounts

After last week's outcry for mounts, The Scrying Pool looks at how they could be implemented in Guild Wars 2.

Welcome back to the second article in ZAM's weekly Guild Wars 2 column: The Scrying Pool. If you missed the first article you can still find it here. You can read about the mysterious Sylvari and what stories could come to pass.

In the first article I said that I have no insider information, a statement that I want to make clear during these first few articles, and that nothing here is destined to come to Guild Wars 2. Also mentioned is that this column will be taking a “What If” look at lore and story, as in the first article, but also at game mechanics which is what this article will focus on.

Last week ArenaNet released January's content patch teaser page. As with all of the teaser pages so far, a new concept art was released related to the new content. The story behind the Flame & Frost series is a group Charr and Norn refugees displaced by some unknown disaster in the north. As such the concept art depicts a large group of people along with horses and pack animals laden with belongings leaving their homes in a convoy.

This concept art caught the eye of some of the community who starting crying that this was proof that mounts were coming to Guild Wars 2. In the foreground you can see a horse and Norn which players thought was concept depicting a mounted Norn. ArenaNet developers and community managers took to the forums to quash these rumors of mounts.

If there are no plans for mounts, why is there a mounted Norn in the concept art? Some wrote that ArenaNet is trying to keep mounts secret and others claimed artist's interpretation, but further inspection of the concept art revealed that the Norn isn't even mounted. The only piece of evidence to mounts coming to Guild Wars 2 isn't actually evidence at all.

 With the only evidence gone and ArenaNet stating that no mounts are planned, will we ever see mounts in Tyria? Well no, probably not. But could there be a place for mounts in Guild Wars 2? Maybe, but it wouldn't be your typical mount system.

Most games that have mounts either launched with them already implemented or were designed with the plan that mounts would be added post-launch. Guild Wars 2 did not have mounts in at launch and there are still no plans to add them five months after launch.

This does not rule out mounts, but since none of the zones and mob densities was set up to allow for mounts it could lead to problems both mechanically and from a game play perspective. Sure events and mob density can be adjusted (with a good chunk of man-hours), but changing entire map terrain just to allow mounts is a lot of work. Some of you may be thinking that the maps wouldn't need to change, but imagine trying to ride a mount through the rocky terrain in Lornar's Pass.

To give an example, World of Warcraft added flying mounts with the Burning Crusade expansion. There is a distinct difference in the size of the maps between Vanilla and BC to accommodate this new flying transportation, a size which has carried over to every each expansion since. It wasn't until Cataclysm changed Vanilla that players were able to fly through those zones. The Vanilla maps were not designed for flying mounts so they were originally kept out of those zones.

Some of you may be getting where I'm going with this. If World of Warcraft could design the new expansion maps to accommodate flying mounts, why couldn't Guild Wars 2 do the same with some expansion down the road?

They could, but then players would probably complain how the Vanilla maps can't have mounts and try to convince the devs to allow them there. That would just bring this full circle to the problems of adding mounts to the current maps. So adding the ability to use mounts to every new zone would not be ideal, but what if there were only certain maps that would allow mounts?

The Game Plan -->

« Previous 1 2 3

Comments

Post Comment
I've thought of "transformations"...
# Jan 30 2013 at 3:26 PM Rating: Good
I'm not saying I think Anet should add mounts, or wanting to have the average discussion that most people seem to be concerned with (less community, gold sink, etc etc), but if they did want to add a "speed boost" at a higher rate, maybe attached to some of the useless transformations that you can buy from npc's (Jotun, Fire Elemental), since they have no use in costume brawling.

Then the gold sink would still be in place because they are temporary (until you leave, or need to enter combat).

Edited, Jan 30th 2013 3:33pm by Dyadem
____________________________
Things I sometimes play...

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"I want to be a unicorn!"
"Awww, why's that?"........
"So I can stab people with my face."
Mounts in GW2
# Jan 30 2013 at 2:08 PM Rating: Decent
Avatar
38 posts
I have had this discussion with a group of friends who I played with in Guild Wars and now in Guild Wars 2. While I can see a place for mounts in Guild Wars 2 I don't think they are necessary and I just can't see mounts in Guild Wars happening, it just doesn't match my vision of the story. When I envision the heroes of Guild Wars I don't see them chasing enemies through the battlefield on horseback but more fighting through waves of enemies on foot, the long hard and cold journey.

To play along with the spirit of the column: I really like your idea's with rented mounts though I'm not entirely sure how those would work. If mounts were added I would want them to feel alive and part of the world. I like the idea of the horse following you, like in Elder Scrolls, then when you get in a fight it gets scared and runs away and comes back when you are done fighting. That system would take a lot of work and seems fairly unlikely to happen, if mounts were added I imagine they'd simply be an item you activate, rather than your character appearing on a magical pony puffed up in-front of you I think it would be cool if your character whistled and the horse rode out of the sunset.

Not sure about your concept with mini-pets becoming mounts though. Good article, was easy reading.

Edited, Jan 30th 2013 3:25pm by Crainey
Mounts in GW2
# Jan 30 2013 at 3:54 PM Rating: Decent
Avatar
6 posts
Crainey wrote:
While I can see a place for mounts in Guild Wars 2 I don't think they are necessary and I just can't see mounts in Guild Wars happening...

I really like your idea's with rented mounts though I'm not entirely sure how those would work. If mounts were added I would want them to feel alive and part of the world. I like the idea of the horse following you, like in Elder Scrolls, then when you get in a fight it gets scared and runs away and comes back when you are done fighting. That system would take a lot of work and seems fairly unlikely to happen.

Not sure about your concept with mini-pets becoming mounts though.

I don't see traditional mounts happening in Guild Wars 2 either. In Guild Wars 1 there was an area called the Desolation which players could pass through except by 'riding' these Junundu wurms. These wurms were only in the Desolation areas and you had to go to click on specific points in a map to summon them (commonly at the entrances and a few other places within the map). My mount system would work similar, except instead of clicking on a point for a free ride you talk to an NPC for a cheap rented mount.

When you talk to the NPC you might have the dialogue option to rent a camel in the Crystal Desert areas that I mentioned. That would be the default dialogue option. As with mini-pets it wouldn't be all mini-pets (riding Rytlock would be a little weird), but maybe the mini Devourer could be a mount. If you talk to the NPC while that mini-pet is in your inventory you would get the default rent camel option as well as the hidden option to Rent a Devourer. You could also look at it as "I bought this mount and got a miniature version of it to show off" instead of buying a mini-pet that turns into a mount.

As for the horse running away taking a lot of work and unlikely to happen, I don't doubt that it would take work but we already have AI set up for Ranger pets and Necromancer minions. I would think that it would be able to piggy back on those systems and just require some additional coding for how the mount AI would function. Would still take work, but wouldn't be creating an entirely new system for the mount's AI.
Post Comment

Free account required to post

You must log in or create an account to post messages.