The Daily Grind: How do you pick a mount in MMOs?

In some games, like Guild Wars 2, there’s more going on with mounts than just “run faster.” Frequently, you’ll have more important choices to make. Playing Final Fantasy XIV means that you sometimes will choose your mount based on its cosmetic abilities, there are abilities present for mounts in Neverwinter… you get the idea. And yet in many of these games, you still probably have a mount (or mount skin) that is distinctly yours, the one you use most frequently.

So how do you pick a mount in MMOs? Do you go for the one that was the hardest to get? The one that best suits the character riding it? The old standby that just feels like it’s closest to your personal aesthetic? The mount that takes up the least space? The mount that takes up the most space? Or just whatever mount gets randomly selected from your expansive collection, assuming you have an expansive collection?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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44 Comments on "The Daily Grind: How do you pick a mount in MMOs?"

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Alex Malone

Does it serve it’s purpose? This is generally about speed / endurance / life. Can the mount get me where I want to go, or will I get knocked off a lot, or fall behind my friends?

After that, it’s all about aesthetics.

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Zen Dadaist

I get as many mounts as possible, but when it comes to a particular favoured mount for any given character, it’s all about the look and feel of the thing meshing with the character and its concept. This is tempered by mechanical reality however. A good looking mount that’s half the speed of another less-good looking one will only be brought up while lounging around in a hub. When it’s business time, the mount with the most useful mechanics is what comes out (I do still try to pick one to suit the character!)

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Melissa McDonald

Speed is extremely important if there are different ones out there. Cosmetics matter a lot too. I would always pick a proper horse over a fantasy creature.

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mysecretid

Honestly, I gotta think it looks cool. That’s about it.

I guess I’m shallow. Ha! :-)

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Kherova

In WoW it was always the Paladin class mount (which I got way back from that huge quest chain) when I traveled on the ground. For flying the Timeless Protodrake. Guess I prefer those that were hardest to get.

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rafael12104

How do I pick a mount? Well it depends on how it’s offered, if I have to raise it, feed it, pick it off the shelf, etc.

But in general, I’ll take them all. I collect them, so about the only line I won’t cross to get a new mount these days is if it came out of a LOOT BOX.

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Ken from Chicago

Big cats (because Cats Rule)
Horses (I love the clip clop of horseshoes on the ground)
or
Starships (it’s a STAR TREK ONLINE’s “mount” & housing, that can move FTL)

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Utakata

If they’re a good match for the pigtails. <3

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Gooty

There’s 3 things I consider:
1. Is it annoying or pleasant to listen to, if it makes any noise at all? I love the sharp sounds of hooves on cobblestone. Motorcycles? Not so much.

2. Is it too large or is the animation not pleasing? I prefer medium/small mounts and dont enjoy that camera height shift when you get on/off a huge mount.

3. Does it match my character’s look?

4. How hard did I work for it? I collect mounts in a few games, so I do cash shop for them sometimes, but I’d prefer to ride something I earned in game. I just realized how silly that is.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

Now you choose your ikran. This you must feel inside. If he also chooses you, move quick, like I showed. You will have one chance, Jake.

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Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Ok, i want every MMO to have this penguin mount .. like NOW! :-D

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rafael12104

Love that mount. Most people don’t know but,

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adri

I unfortunately had to realize that animations of a particular mount is important as well. If you chose a mount with “wiggle” animations that shakes your camera by every hop up and down you will end up with motion sickness … or at least with annoyance.
Thus is like mounts that more or less just slide/glide/float with no ups and downs in their animations (animations in relation to camera movement)

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yoh_sl

Honestly, I kind of hate mounts.
It often feels like the game is either built around them, so normally you run like malaise without them, and the game usually expect you to pay out the ass for them.
Or the inverse, where they serve no real purpose and are disposable fluff.
That and horses, I fucking hate horses.

I think it’s something best done sparingly, where travel and distance matter.
Which in our world of instant teleportation travel, is becoming increasingly rare.

shazanti
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shazanti

While I can’t say that I hate horses, I agree with kind of hating mounts. I’d rather have a boosted run speed than an object I have to (perhaps) summon, mount, dismount every time I do damn near any other action, mount again, ad infinitum. Sure, it might not make sense that I do x activity while mounted, but there’s ‘making sense’ and there’s ‘being mighty inconvenienced’ and I’d rather just be slower and not use a mount than be irritated because of the mount’s drawbacks.

Given no inconveniences, I’ll weigh the qualities of: utility (does any given mount have something I need at the moment), mount size (I dislike large characters much less large mounts, in general), mount price (I will never pay exorbitant prices for a mount), mount speed (if it’s not boosted enough, I’d rather run), and after I weigh those, it’s down to aesthetics (whatever isn’t too aesthetically atrocious (if I find none of them appealing in general) and/or I find the most aesthetically pleasing paired with my character).

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yoh_sl

The only time I find mounts valid, is when they have a purpose beyond a mere speed boosts. Such as mounted combat, or when traveling on foot is quite dangerous.
If it’s just a speed boost, it may as well just be a character ability, as they tend to be more gratifying then some dumb animal.

I want my mount to be a companion, not just a mechanic. Sadly that really doesn’t happen in MMOS.

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cerement

The GW2 method – pay for the privilege of the game picking a mount for me – it might even be close to the one I want …

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Ken from Chicago

There’s a sorting hat for mounts?!?

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MesaSage

Whatever costs most in the cash shop.

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drgreenhoe

Main deciding factor… size. I can not be on a mount that takes up the entire screen with a itty bitty character that I can not see. Same with moving through areas where the mount size restricts your movement either physically or visually. After that it has to be speed. Speed is addicting.

what-4
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what-4

Other than WoW Iv not cared about mounts much. In Wow, I choose Invincible. Been my favorite mount in that game since the moment I saw it.

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Schmidt.Capela

A rough approximation of my criteria:

– Does any mount bring mechanics that make travel more fun? For example, while not exactly mounts, in DC Universe Online I tend to stick to the Acrobat travel power because it makes crossing the city more fun, at least for me.

– Is one of the mounts faster? If all mounts play the same but one mount is faster I will use it, even if I hate how it looks. It’s why in WoW, before all mounts were made to be the same speed, I was using one of those 310% protodrakes that were ugly as sin.

– Lastly, appearance. I will choose, from all mounts in the fastest tier, the one whose aesthetics please me the most. Which means I will typically choose steampunk-looking things if available; my WoW mounts of choice, after all mounts were made to be the same speed, were the Flying Machine, the Mechanostrider (both in the standard versions, as I find the epic versions uglier), and the Mechano-Hog.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Aesthetics are really important. Unless you’ve got nothing else. Remember the free founder mount for Rift? Yeah, the Tartagon. That was hilarious at launch, when the roads were crammed with turtles.

I don’t care for overly large mounts. WoW is the worst offender, with it’s ginormouse mounts. Three or four of those at an NPC or quest object and it disappears. I have dragons and whatnot in my stable, but I never ride them unless I’m doing a long distance flight because obscuring someone else’s game world is piggy.

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Veldan

Hah, thanks for the flashback to 2011. Those turtle zergs were something. I loved when there was a big zone event and the main roads turned into turtle highways.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

Usually I prefer to stick with shanks’s pony. I’m not a big fan of mounts, although I have to confess that I loved my Vespa in SWL.

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mistressbrazen

I’m not really into multiple mounts. When they started introducing them in TSW I didn’t think much of it, maybe because the first one was some big muscle motorcycle. But when the stealth hover board came out, I did buy that. Some mounts arrived for free. I would take them out and ride them once. My favorites mounts were the stealth hover board, the mini scouter (the yellow bee colored one), and that death horse that came out one Halloween. It was basically bones and flames. I loved that horse. It looked fantastic as you rode it and the riding and idle animations were excellent. Hm, I guess that means for me, it was aesthetics and the sense that it was…more real than not, if that makes sense.

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Pandalulz

I like mounts that look like I’m actually riding them. I kind of hate mounts like the FFXIV Behemoth or WoW Panda turtles where it looks like my character is sitting on a toilet strapped to something. Although, my Lala barely hanging on to the Ahriman is pretty darn funny.

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Robert Mann

Usually the one that’s fastest, because MMOs like to do that. If I have multiple, whichever one suits my personal tastes the best that I have. I won’t grind a ton for something though, and especially won’t do things I don’t like to get one. I may buy one from a store IF the game deals with store stuff nicely and doesn’t try to run one of the many foul practices instead. Only, however, if I want to support the game development and nothing else seems like a nice fit for me at the time.

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thickenergy

Whatever I get for free or that comes with something else I purchase. Like the white horse that comes with the Imperial Edition of ESO. Most game worlds are so small and/or have so many fast travel options these days that I’d rather just spend that money on character cosmetics, premium, or whatever. I’m usually not in any hurry to get somewhere anyway.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

I’ll include both mounts and vehicles here. For me, function comes first: Can multiple people ride it? What’s it attack like? Does it have multiple turrets or bear-swipe? Do I have enough people to make it worthwhile? Does it grant a special ability I may need for puzzles or pvp?

Then aesthetics: Is it a bear? Can I customize its appearance? Does it come in dark colors? Is it rare? How bear-like can I make it appear?

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NeoWolf

Pick????? What is this Pick thing? No No No.. I get ALL the mounts, there is NO picking :)

bereman99
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bereman99

Two things that I really look for:

1) Does the aesthetic of the mount fit the character’s job/class/race to some degree. Headless Horseman’s mount for a Warlock or Death Knight? Check. Boreas (the pony that drops from Shiva in FFXIV) for a Black Mage? Sure. A Ninja riding a unicorn? Not so much.

2) The movement of the mount itself. Certain animation speeds and types end up really distracting me and on one occasion gave me a headache. If the animation ends up bouncy and fast to a specific degree or higher (even just a little bit less than that amount and I’m fine with it), I won’t use it – stuff like the smaller Yak mount in WoW, or the Raptor mount from the same game on smaller races.

CapnLan
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CapnLan

I don’t. At least not anymore. I used to love mounts and bred many Chocobos in FFXI. That was until games started selling them for $30 a pop in their shops. I open up the cash shops these days and die a little inside when I see those prices. I could do like $5 but $30? Nah. Now I just take whatever brown horse they give me at the beginning and just use that.

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thalendor

There’s a few factors, starting with the utilitarian and ending with the purely cosmetic.
1) First, does the mount have some particular utility I need at the moment? This is mostly in relation to something like GW2, but if I need the high jump capability, then Springer it is.
2) Secondly, the fastest mount available that satisfies #1.
3) Next, I prefer smaller mounts. I don’t like things that take up too much screen space and doubly so if it has a larger hitbox that makes it difficult to get through smaller spaces.
4) Finally, whatever mount I like the look of or feel like displaying at the moment.

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rafterman

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of mounts, especially flying mounts. I’ll use them because games are designed around them, but I’d rather they didn’t exist. I tend to choose whatever doesn’t look awful and doesn’t cover up half of my screen, so obviously, especially in games like WoW, my choices are limited.

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traja

Pure utility. So in WoW I exclusively use waterstriders for ground mounts because they can walk on water. For flying mounts I only use the shredder if my character is a herbalist because you can gather herbs without dismounting. If there is no clear utility then I tend to use the smallest nice looking mount because small mounts are more practical than big mounts.

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Caelium

1a) The look of the mount, I tend to go for narrower / sleeker mounts. Horses or something from the big cat family fit this bill. That being said..
1b) If I am trying for a certain concept with the look / idea of my character then that has an impact too.

Others have mentioned this as well so I will add my ‘plus one’ to no cash shop mounts!
Shout out to Hirku for the Hoverboard mention, the hoverboard mounts I’ve tried in Wildstar are super awesome!

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Hirku

I like a mount that’s compact, unobtrusive, and true to the character. Bonus points if it has a useful function other than speed. The Orochi Stealth Hoverboard from TSW is my favorite mount of all time. I’d bring it into other games if I could.

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Armsbend

Either the most sparkles or the one that was personally the hardest for me to achieve using in game mechanics. Not cash shop. Cash shop is a mark of shame. It’s like riding on the back of defeat.

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Paul

“It’s like riding on the back of defeat.” pretty much sums it up :)

pepperzine
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pepperzine

Cash shops have largely ruined mounts for me in games. I used to pick the ones that had a mix of the highest speed and looked the most unique, which used to involve having to complete in-game objectives. Now I feel like the most unique looking mounts tend to be sold for money in cash shops (or even worse, hidden away in RNG lockboxes) instead of being earned, and you can just use your credit card to get a high speed mount as well.

At this point, I don’t care any longer. Whatever mount I can earn in-game and has a decent speed is what I’ll go with. Shame, I used to love collecting mounts. I’m no longer impressed by other players who are riding something that looks awesome as more times than not when I google how to get it I find out it was bought (or had the alternative option of being bought instead of earned) with real life money.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

In WoW, since most mounts are cosmetics, i prefer small ones, horses and Gryphons, i don’t like flashy big mounts, i dismount around NPCs for that reason, also since i love elephants, i love Elekk mounts from Draenor.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

run speed aside, usually aesthetics and tactical considerations. i prefer low profiles on my mounts and i dislike overly large mounts in general. wow’s directions with extremely large mounts i find utterly obnoxious and my last mount in cata to purchase was the simple and cheap flying carpet as opposed to the mega wing span with long tails and necks and large heads common sight in orgrimar.

in gtao handling is a top consideration on top of aesthetic. and while there’s armoured vehicles as well i tend to eschew them or use them for other reasons than their firepower and toughness. i just want a car that feels good to drive and looks ill.

in destiny 2 right now i’m swapping between two aesthetically pleasing exotic mounts but i would go over that consideration if i got another with quick summoning time as the summoning method in the gamereally throws me off constantly.

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Pandalulz

Jumping off of things and quick summoning my Sparrow became such a part of the way I play.

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