What’s a mount worth? No, not the simple in-game currency or lengths one must go to in order to obtain them. If you had to buy the mount with the money in your pocket, how high would you be willing to go? The most I’ve ever spent on a mount is 150 USD, but that was a Mottled Drake for Mrs. Amateur and it was a Christmas present. Worth every penny. Would I spend it on myself? Not a chance. There isn’t a mount in the game that I would spend that much money for. But a cup of coffee? That’s a reasonable price.
So as you might have guessed, the Swift Spectral Tiger cost me a whole dollar. The in-game shop (remember, not Blizzard) sells donation points for cash. The lowest rate is 10 points for two dollars. While I opted for a higher package, that doesn’t change the fact that for those 10 points I could get the spectral kitty. Well, actually, it was half-price at the time. So indeed I spent a dollar for one of the nicest mounts in the game. Normally you would be looking at between 1.5k-2k for the same mount. I’m sorry, but I’d rather pay my mortgage than have a shiny ride in a digital world.
Now the argument can be made the price is warranted because it’s so rare. Well, every day the TCG rewards become more and more rare. Eventually, they’re going to be gone. Or at least the current means of obtaining them will be. Should they be gone forever? Some mounts I think should. Not the TCG ones, but the ones that required a true Feat of Strength to accomplish and obtain. Instead, I see no reason Blizzard couldn’t offer many of these in their own shop. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be the rarest of the rare. You could put the Cenarion Hippogryph in there, for example, for those who don’t want to grind the reputation but still want the mount.
“But JD, then the mounts become more prominent and lose their uniqueness and awe.”
Not necessarily. More people would have access to them, but not everyone is going to buy them. And you can still only be on one mount at a time. So even if someone buys 10 different mounts, they’ll not all be out at the same time. Heck, since I picked up the Spectral mount a couple of weeks ago I’ve only seen one other person riding it. In a game that charges nothing to play, the window for it to be more common is certainly there. Imagine what would happen on a server where you have to pay your monthly fee on top of buying mounts. I don’t think you would have a massive influx of any mount in particular, but instead a few more of each would start popping up and that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Having said that, Blizzard doesn’t give things away. I can’t see any mount in the game being sold in the shop for 1-2 dollars. If they sold basic mounts for 5 dollars and harder to obtain for 10, I still think that would be high. But then I also don’t think they would list them that low. Either way, people still wouldn’t be pushed to run out and buy whatever they want. The tipping point isn’t quite high enough. Now, were Blizzard to suddenly go against a decade plus business plan and reduce the monthly fee then it might change. But that’s not ever going to happen. And neither is getting a mount for a dollar.