With the recent announcement that you will no longer need cloud serpent riding to mount cloud serpents and the previously mentioned fact that there would be no flying in warlords, at least at the beginning and possibly longer, I've decided it was time again to talk a little about mounts., cloud serpents in particular this time.
I am not going to delve into the no flying thing as that will easily be a post all on its own but I would like to offer my opinion about the change to cloud serpent riding. I don't like it. Not at all.
I see no reason to remove the need for cloud serpent riding and I believe it is a huge mistake and completely unneeded for blizzard to remove it. I even have three, what I believe, very good reasons why it should not be removed.
Why Cloud Serpent Riding Should Not Be Removed:
It was a very easy grind. Even on your first character without the reputation gain boost it only took a week to get cloud serpent riding. Less if you wanted to hunt eggs, which this late in the expansion should be easier to find, even if I have never seen one of them personally.
A guild mate hit 90 a few months ago and had cloud serpents at exalted within 3 hours of going ding. It is not like it is a hard grind worthy of change because it was so brutal.
Even if getting cloud serpent riding was easy, quick, and actually not all that bad in terms of dailies added to the fact it came with a nice little story of watching your serpent grow, it was earned. Easy yes, but earned.
What is this obsession with removing things from the game that actually require you to "do something" to get them? In a way I could see, maybe even understand, if they moved the heroic only mount to normal, to let more people get it, because that is something that needed an upper level of skill from yourself and of course 9 or 24 other people as well. But that is something that is completely limited. Limited by your own skill, limited by your luck to get into a group that can do it, limited by the ability of those 9 or 24 other people. So maybe, just maybe, being you need to depend on others to get it, I can see loosening the requirements to get it. But something that is easily attained, and done so solo, they should never ever in a million years loosen the requirements to get it.
Cloud serpent riding, for as quick and easy as it was to get, was earned. Why remove something that is easy to get? Are people really that lazy? If so, excuse my language, fuck 'em. If you can not be bothered to do dailies, quick and easy ones a that, to get the riding skill for something you really want then guess what, you do not really want it and you sure as hell do not deserve it.
The story the quests tell was fun and interesting, it was a different type of riding, a different type of mount, something no one had ever seen before. Don't you think at least some training should be needed to ride this wild looking noble beasts? Just look at them fly, they are not exactly what I would call a sooth ride.
Lets not forget that giving it to people gives people one less reason to return later. I know blizzard really likes to make things and completely forget they exist, but for the players having something to go back for does feel kind of special. It gives you reasons to visit an old area and gives the area some life.
I am sure anyone that ever did the netherwing grind will remember going there every day to do it. Or if they did it later, in wrath, cata or mists, they will tell you about going back there every day to do their dailies. Old stuff is content, old stuff can remain content, old stuff that people want to get keeps them playing and lets admit it, not much old content lives on to be something people want to go back and do so why remove something that people might actually want to go back and do.
Even if it is only one week of dailies that is one week that someone is going back to do something, that is one week they are playing, that is one week of more content for them to do, that is one week of story that they can experience, that is one more week they are getting connected to the lore that is the reason we are allowed to ride these beasts.
Removing the need for the cloud serpent riding is removing the lore, the history, and content that people will always come back to do if they wanted to get that type of riding. And like I said before, it is not like it is something that is hard or something that needs a group. You can do it and experience it on your own, whenever you want to. 10 days in a row, or 1 day a month for 10 months. Removing the need for cloud serpent riding is removing content effectively, and removing all the lore as to why we can ride them.
Okay, let the flaming begin because I said it. Cloud serpents are ugly. Anything, even something as simple as a week long grind that can limit the number of people riding around on these abominations is actually a good thing.
They are too big, they are too ugly, and they move in a way that can, and has, gotten more than a few people sea sick. With the change come warlords where they said that all flying mounts would be allowed to used on ground, that is reason enough to make sure no one can get these things. I would not be adverse if they limited cloud serpent riding to pandaria only, or if they changed the grind to be three months of dailies if you wanted to use them. Anything that can limit these things would be a nice plus to the game.
Big mounts, and the people that ride them and love to sit on quest givers, mail boxes, and other points of interest we might need to interact with are obnoxious, and these things just turn the volume up to eleven on the scale of being obnoxious.
Why would blizzard want to change something that would give people more ability to grief others? Once again it shows that the people at blizzard do not play this game. Every day we see them do something that shows a complete and total ignorance of their own game.
These mounts should be limited to the air, not be allowed to be used as ground mounts, and they should keep their gate, even if it is a super easy gate. Just think logically for a moment. The lazy person that can not do dailies for a week to get the right to ride it is more likely to be the type of person that will use the mount to grief others with it. Don't you think keeping it out of their hands would be a good thing for the game? If they really want to be jerks and grief people with a mount, at least make them earn it. Like I said, it is not a hard grind, not at all.
How Cloud Serpent Riding Should Have Been Changed:
1) Flying Only
As mentioned, these are one of the types of mounts that should remain flying only because of their huge size. They are the worst offender of all offenders when it comes to blocking things you might need to interact with. It is bad enough that they are huge, but they are long, so even if you are not being like the guy that parks his mammoth on the mailbox, you can still effectively block people because your long ass mount is blocking something without your knowledge.
Without a shadow of a doubt this type of mount should never be allowed to used on the ground. There are dozens of flying mounts that are reasonably sized, relatively attractive, and they can not be used as ground mounts, why allow these things to be used as such. If I can not "walk" around on ashes, there is no reason anyone should be allowed to walk around on one of these monstrosities.
2) Account Bound:
Even with a quick and easy grind I can see the desire to not do it again. I did it on 7 characters I believe. Two jewelcrafters, to get the patterns, my main because my main gets everything to exalted, and four other characters. None of them did I actually do it for the ability to ride the mount but because they are super quick and easy dailies so they are quick and easy valor and lesser coins which is how most of my characters got their reputation with them.
But beside the fact I got a bunch of characters to exalted, and it was easy, and most where done even before the reputation boost I could get for alts, I can understand the desire not to have to do it again. Quick and easy or not, many people would love to get something like that on one character and have it shared with all and I agree.
Once you opened cloud serpent riding on one character all your characters should have it. There is no need to remove it, just make it shared. Anyone that can not spend one week doing some dailies to ride a mount is super lazy and does not deserve to ride one. It is really that simple. It is a game, play it. If you do not want to play it, don't. But, I can see it getting annoying having to do it over and over again on all your alts, so sharing it once done on one character does make sense. How did blizzard not even think of this option and just go straight to the give it to everyone option? They really do not make a great deal of sense most of the time.
What do you think about the changes to the cloud serpent riding?