Because I Got High (Mountain)

After dipping my toes in over the weekend, I decided to get my hooves wet. Saintvache was off to Legion Dalaran as I decided if I couldn’t have a Zandalari, I could at least get a Highmountain Tauren into the fold. Plus, it gave me a chance to do some leveling, which…wow. Such an improved experience. I’ll elaborate on a later date but I definitely approve. Saintvache is now 47, and that’s just from doing the main Highmountain story and a couple of bonus objectives that happened to be where I was questing anyway.

It didn’t take too long to complete that main story and set up the meeting between Baine and Mayla. I was in for a bit of a surprise as I never looked up how any of the alliances worked. I figured I would fly back to Orgrimmar and it would be a simple case of “hey, thanks for all your help. You proved the Horde is good. We’re in, ok?” Needless to say that is not what happened at all. I really enjoyed the story that lead to them officially joining the Horde. Though I can only imagine what it was like to have to do that chain without a flying mount. Dear Illidan it was like a classic WoW questline – all over the damn place.

In the end, though, it all worked out. The most difficult thing was getting back to Orgrimmar because everyone is logged in for Shadowlands.

See? Just a few people. I actually had to go to Pandaria and use the shrine portal to get back. Then I was able to scoot off and get my new mount and more importantly unlock some new friends. It didn’t take long for one to fall into the fold.

Not a fan of her default armor, but we’ll get that fixed eventually.

Do I Look Like A Warrior?

“Oi. You. Yeah, you. I think we be needin’ ta have a little chat.”

What’s wrong Klondike?

“Look at me, and tell me if you REALLY need ta ask.”


Two heirlooms, and some reasonably level-relevant gear. What’s the problem?

“I look like a fookin’ rainbow yacked on me!!!”

Well, to be fair, unless you’re in heirlooms head to toe…that’s kind of bound to happen. Since you’re only level 50, there is only so much to work with. Trust me, once you grow a bit more, you’ll have more options than you know what to do with.

“Really? Because th’ Orc is over 100 and he looks like shite.” 

Are you really using an undead orc to try to win this argument?

“Eh. Erm. Perhaps not. But there’s still the matter of me transportation to sort out.”

*sigh* And what might the problem be?


“What might the problem be? Do I look like some mobile shanty of knick knacks to you? Because this bloody thing sure tells everyone ELSE that. All I’m missing is some pretty hat…wait don’t get any ideas.”

I’m not that cruel. But I think I found a mount that will put things in perspective for you.


“I hate you so much right now.”

See? The other one wasn’t so bad now was it?

“…breathe in….breathe out….breathe in…breathe…ARE YOU OFF YOUR BLOODY ROCKER?!?!?”

Nah, just messing with you.

“Notice I’m not amused.”

No, but I sure am. Listen, all kidding aside what about the Spectral Kitty?

“Other than the word ‘kitty’ is a bit unfitting of a warrior, that one in the barn’s for some of th’ others ta be ridin’.”

Hrm. But you’re not against the idea of a feline mount. One sec…

Ta da!


“Now we’re talkin’ lad. Why’d you have ta be so bloody difficult?”

Well, it was me or the gnome.


Top 10 Land Mounts: Pre-8.0 Version

It’s been almost three years to the day since I talked about favourite mounts in any way and needless to say there’s been a few new ones since then. Obviously we’ll be getting more this summer when the new expansion hits. But for now, here are my personal favourite land mounts.

**all images property of**


10. Black War Bear (This one makes the list not because of anything special in terms of appearance. This one is pure nostalgia for me as I can remember on US-Runetotem I was among the earliest people to gain the mount. It was an awesome experience raiding each Horde city to get the For The Alliance! achievement. Now I don’t know if you could even do it. Between cross-realms and a general lack of interest the odds are probably against you. I’d love to hear a story about someone recently doing it though just to prove me wrong.

09. Giant Coldsnout Normally the boars don’t really do much for me. Obviously for this one to be on the list, the opposite is clearly happening here. Based on this, and Soundwaive’s current transmog I’m starting to wonder if I’m just biased towards the colour scheme. Still, can’t argue with the appeal of this one. If you want to obtain it you need some patience as it’s one of the four mounts that can drop via Garrison invasions.

08. Spectral Wolf I like most of the wolf skins in the game, but this one stands out the most, just ahead of (honestly) the natural white/grey ones. Compared to some mounts in the game, it’s still relatively easy to obtain. Take your Horde toon out to Tol Barad and earn Exalted with Hellscream’s Reach. Then it’s just 165 Tol Barad Commendations.

07. Swift Spectral Tiger You knew it had to be here. Perhaps you might have even expected it higher on the list? Not only does it’s rarity put it high on people’s wishlist, but this cat is a thing of beauty. I often stop to admire mine when I’m riding around.

06. Kor’kron Annihilator When it comes to the faction guild mounts, the Golden King of the Alliance is fitting and looks alright. But when it comes to just plain badass, the armored scorpion of the Horde is just so much more jaw-dropping.  As you might guess, you need to be Exalted with your guild. Then it’s 1,350 gold. Which at this point doesn’t take long to get.

05. Black Stallion It probably shouldn’t rank this high, and probably doesn’t make anyone else’s top 10 but that’s fine. This was my very first mount in the game. Back then, you needed to be 40 to get your first mount. Well, by the time I hit 40 my Night Elf wasn’t Exalted yet and I was too stubborn to get anything else. Finally at level 44 she was in good with the humans. I think that’s why it’ll always rank high in my heart. It was well earned.

04. Arcadian War Turtle I would love to give you some grandiose reason why this one makes the list but it’s actually pretty simple: It’s basically Deathwing the Turtle. Yup, simple as that. You need 150 Curious Coins to buy this mount, and there’s a 1-in-6 chance the vendor even has it for sale.

03. Swift Zulian Tiger I tried farming this for a long time before it was removed with the revamp of Zul’Gurub during Cataclysm. Unfortunately that didn’t work out so well. But let’s be honest, it’s friggin’ Battlecat. There doesn’t need to be anything more than that.

02. Brewfest Kodo (The Kodo are one of my favourite mount types in the game. There’s just something about them lumbering along in a non-dump truck kind of way (**cough** Elekk **cough**). Not only does this one have the best colour scheme, but it’s the only one available to Alliance players. Obviously it’s obtainable only during Brewfest. It’s a random drop from fighting Direbrew via the Dungeon Finder.

01. Wild Dreamrunner & Lucid Nightmare Brand new courtesy of Patch 7.2, These Unicorns look amazing.  I liked these horses when first encountering them while leveling up in Val’Sharah. The idea of them becoming a mount never occurred to me, but now that’s exactly the case. They’re of course not that easy to get. You need to earn 10,000 rep with The Dreamweavers, over and above Exalted, to get a Cache. Then there’s a chance the mount is in there. Still, very worth it. Of course, if the skin isn’t to your liking, there is also the Lucid Nightmare, and some data-mining suggests there are other skins in the game. Perhaps we’ll have to wait for something post-8.0 to reveal them.

So that’s my list. Feel free to agree or disagree with my choices, but as always I would love to hear the thoughts of others. I know some will ask about the Jeweled Panthers, though. They would be number one on this list if not for the fact they can fly.

Worth The Cup Of Coffee


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.

Through The Eyes Of A Child

The boy’s first mount. And proud dad right there…in female form. Eh, details.

It goes without saying, over time we become more and more accustomed to things. And the more accustomed we become, the more we take it for granted. In some cases, it could just be that the luster has worn off. World of Warcraft is coming up on its 18th anniversary this year. As a player, I’ve been off and on (mostly the latter) for 15 years. In that time I’ve seen five expansions come, and lost track of how many times I’ve done a lot of the non-end game content.

Sometimes, there are still things that surprise me. Looks Like A Tauren Pirate To Me would certainly be one of them. I only recently came across the quest as normally I don’t do too much leveling around Booty Bay. Alas, the point is after all this time I forget what it felt like when the game was new to me. The trepidation when I made the trek from Thelsamar to Menethil Harbor. Heck, the first time I stumbled into Deadwind Pass. The music alone was enough to make me take a u-turn. Didn’t hurt that I was in my 20’s at the time…and a Holy Priest.

The reason for the reflection is I’ve recently gotten the opportunity to experience many of these things and others again, through my son. Coming up on 8 years old he now has his own (monitored) account on the same server as mom and dad. We recently watched the Warcraft movie (more on that in a future post), and him seeing the movie details in the game made him giddy. The giant grin as he exclaimed “I can’t believe I’m in Stormwind!” was contagious. I couldn’t help but be happy. Then I helped him track down his first mount (and explained “back in my day you had to be level 40”), and he couldn’t wait to tell his mother as soon as he saw her.

Every step he takes is a reminder of what I once had the chance to experience. But it’s being done so at a much younger age than when I went through, and that makes it even more special. There’s an innocence and a lack of expectations that comes with it. I get to watch him take it all in, make some of the same mistakes I did, and learn as he goes. Now if I could just convince him that Awesomedude is not the best idea for a character name. But then again, I have a Gnome named Junkshot so perhaps I should keep my mouth shut.