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Among the many exciting changes to World of Warcraft incoming with the 3.2 patch (including new Druid forms) is a complete restructuring of the mount system in the game. No longer will players have to travel the world of Azeroth at walking speed until level 30. After the new patch, players will be mounting up sooner than ever, with the basic riding skill now available at level 20.
Players will also be mounting up more quickly, as the summoning time of all WoW mounts will be reduced from 3 seconds to 1.5 seconds, making quicker escapes possible.
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Apprentice Riding Skill
The Apprentice Riding skill (skill level 75) will now be available to players once they reach level 20. When they reach level 20, players will receive mail directing them to the riding trainer for their particular faction. The training cost has been reduced to 4 gold, and mounts will be available for just a gold apiece, before faction discounts.
These basic mounts increase movement speed by 60%. These mounts were not available until level 40 when the game launched and they were subsequently made available to level 30s.
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Journeyman Riding Skill
Upon reaching level 40, players will once again receive mail directing them to their faction’s riding trainer. Formerly available at level 60, the Journeyman Riding skill (skill level 150) will be trainable for 50 gold. Journeyman training allows players to ride mounts that increase movement speed by 100% (Vanilla WoW-era “Epic" mounts), which will be available for 10 gold each.
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Expert Riding Skill
Making mounts available to players at level 20 represents a significant yet minor change in the way people will play through the lower levels. Allowing flying mounts at level 60 will completely revolutionize the way people play through Outland.
Yes, players will now be able to train the Expert Riding skill (skill level 225) at level 60. Trainers will be available in Thrallmar and Honor Hold, and the training will cost 600 gold (before faction discounts). Normal flying mounts have also received a speed boost, providing a 150% speed boost versus the 60% they originally granted. Flying mounts will now cost 50 gold.
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Artisan Riding Skill
The Artisan Riding Skill (skill level 300) is the only rank to not receive a major overhaul with the patch. Epic flying mounts will still grant a 280% speed boost and require level 70. Artisan training will still cost 5,000 gold, but faction discounts will now apply. Epic flyers will now cost 100 gold apiece.
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Druid, Shaman, and Hunter Travel Power Changes
As a result of the mount changes, Druid travel forms are being slightly revamped as well. Travel form will now be trainable at level 16, and basic flight form will now be available at level 60, with an increased movement speed bonus of 150%.
Shaman Ghost Wolf form and the Hunter ability Aspect of the Cheetah will also now be available at level 16.
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Sorry, No Refunds
Blizzard has repeatedly stated on the forums that no refunds will be available for players who have recently paid full price for either mounts or mount training. Considering 3.2 is probably at least a month away, I don’t necessarily recommend waiting to purchase your skills, though these changes are coming at something of an inopportune time, as my Druid is approaching 80 and I’m already tired of flying around at 60% speed.
So, veteran players, what do you think of these new changes? Do you think it’s fair that you had to trudge around on foot until level 40 back in the vanilla WoW days and now new players will be able to mount up at 20?
I think the changes are good, I just probably won’t benefit from them that much. I admire Blizzard’s willingness to continually change up the game to entice new players, but how much is too much? It’s easier than ever to reach max level and see all that the game has to offer, but is this a good thing? Let us know in the comments section.