Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top 10...Ground Mounts

Ah, the poor old ground mounts. There was a time when you'd look around you and see players sitting atop all sorts of different ground mounts in cities like Orgrimmar and Dalaran.

With the introduction of Azeroth flying in Cataclysm, however, they're a rare sight these days. The only place you might even get a glimpse of them are in Tol Barad or the Molten Front, and even there players like to strut about on their flying mounts that can't fly.

So here is my tribute to the top 10 all-time best ground mounts in WoW. Note that this is only picked from mounts that I personally own (I own 106 so it's a pretty large pool). Obviously the coolest ground mount in the game is something ultra rare, like the Black Quraji Battle mount or something, but since I don't own it nor do I even have a chance of ever owning it (and neither do 99.9999% of players), it doesn't count!

10. Black War Mammoth

Probably best known for blocking mailboxes right next to the auction house, the black war mammoth (and its recolored mammoth cousins) have been a long-time favorite of tauren, whose mounts scale with their size. As for me I just like that they have the most ridiculous jumping animation. Can mammoths even jump?

9. Brown/Tan Riding Camel

The grey one isn't included because it's super rare! Not that it looks much different from its brown/tan siblings. It's got a pretty goofy running animation and a choppy gait, but when you look at that loveable, lazy face, you gotta admit it's kind of cute.

8. Sea Turtle

Ok, it's rare, but it's certainly not THAT rare. I've seen plenty of people riding around on this thing...scratch that, no one really rides the sea turtle for real because they move about as fast as you can run. I, however, HAVE seen a bunch of people sitting around together on the sea turtle mount pressing the space bar over and over because the jump animation is hilarious - the turtle hides inside its shell!

7. Swift Razzashi Raptor

Ok, another rare one, but I've seen many people actually riding around on this. Probably because it's been available (albeit as a rare drop) since vanilla wow, lots of people have successfully farmed this once-rare raptor. I believe it's the only raptor alliance can have, so I imagine it's even more popular on that side. For me, it dropped on the very first time I went into ZG (when I was level 80, mind you) so it's not as much of a novelty. But still pretty cool! I call him Razzy.

6. The Mechano-Hog

Ah, the Hog. The ultimate driving machine, made only by the most skillfull engineers on Azeroth. It bounces up and down, it makes a wicked VROOMMM sound, it's even got a sidecar for your friend (very handy for your pocket healer in a BG). It used to be a lot rarer back in Wrath due to the high cost, but with gold inflation these days, many more people are sporting the hog.

5. Swift Brewfest Kodo

Random drop from the special brewfest event boss. I got one and didn't think much of it, but apparently it's more of a rarity then I thought. I'm not a huge fan of the animation (it looks like a lumbering rhino on speed), but I do love the ornate armor design. He reminds me of Brutusk, the kodo from that epic quest chain in Ashenvale.

4. Argent Warhorse

Horses are too boring, you say? I beg to differ. This magnificent stallion, decked out in plate armor cost me 100 champion's seals. Do you know how long it takes to grind that? Well, only about a week but still, I did the boring dailies everyday for a whole week just to get this. Sadly, trolls look rather silly in it so I don't use it much. But definitely one of the sweetest looking horses in the game.

3. Frostwolf Howler

I call this fella Snow White. Isn't he a beauty, with that glistening white coat, graceful gait, vicious fangs and...glowing purple eyes? It used to be much tougher to get and you had to grind Alterac Valley for days to get the rep requirement for this wolf, but more recently you can just buy it with honor points. Makes for a great screenshot when you're on one of these bad boys in the middle of Winterspring.

2. Cobalt War Talbuk

When I saw someone riding one of these for the first time, I knew I just had to have one. Such majesty radiating from a glorious animal! Has a very unique animation too, kind of like a horse but more lithe and gazelle-like. It comes in several colors but the cobalt one is my favorite. Requires exalted with the Mag'Har, so it does require some effort to get, but well worth the 8-9 hours I spent killing ogres.

1. And finally...the mount that is dearest to my heart:

The Venomhide Ravasaur!

You might look at this fella and say, "well now that's just a plain old raptor. It doesn't even have any fancy armor on it!". Well, sir, you clearly play alliance, because if you knew what it took to acquire this raptor, you'd realize why someone would be so attached to it.

It requires 20 days of work to get this. You first find a raptor egg, then you obtain the hatchling, and each day you feed it its favorite food (when you feed it the little guy jumps up and gulps up the food you throw, it's adorable, I assure you). After 20 days you will have yourself a nice little raptor to ride around on. So basically, you raise it from when it first hatches, you bond with it and care for it until the day it grows up and becomes your mount! Think of Black Beauty, or My Friend Flicka, or something along those lines.

He's not just your mount, he's your loyal pet and companion! If you've ever looked deeply into the eyes of a freshly-hatched baby raptor, you'd understand. Sometimes you just know when it's true love. Sniffle.

So that's it for my top ten! Someday I'll get around to my top ten flying mounts. Yes, I know Ashes of Al'ar is the coolest flying mount ever, but he won't be on the list!

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