Jan 28, 2012

Expansions and Mounts

Recently we've had some exciting updates about our beloved game, with the most exciting being the beta "weekend events" that will be happening in March and April along with a confirmed 2012 release date.
While Guild Wars 2 is drawing global attention and anticipation for its breath taking artwork, dynamic events, combat system and free to play business model, there is still one fairly large missing component that has been swept under the rug - mounts - and I'd like to propose a solution.


I can understand ArenaNet's reasons for leaving mounts out thus far. Firstly, they are unnecessary for traveling because players can fast travel via their map. Secondly, they have spent a lot of time creating beautiful landscapes and dynamic event content that could easily be passed by a player trotting through at a faster pace than someone on foot.

But mounts are still awesome, and I always get uber excited when I find them in any game. So naturally, it is hard for me to accept that a game of this caliber won't have them. My hope is that ArenaNet will take on the task of reinventing them in a way that compliments the world they've so beautifully crafted, and include them in expansions.

After pondering the issues that traditional mounts would pose, I have come up with what I believe is a simple yet profound and reasonable solution.

Make mounts an additional weapon set.

For those newbies that are unfamiliar with weapon sets you can read about them on the wiki. Here is how mounts would functions:
  • Gives you access to 5 new weapon skills depending on the profession and type of mount.
  • Can not die, all damage is treated as normal and is directed to the player.
  • (Optional mechanic) Give mounts a slight speed boost of 5-10% but lock the last 5 skill slots.
The optional mechanic would make mounts function more like a form, but still a balanced trade off. I believe. There are many variations and parts and pieces that could be added to this idea, but I won't go into those now, I just wanted to toss the idea out there in its base form.

How great would it be to actually be able to interact with your horse, bear, moa or shark and have completely unique skills like Hind Leg Kick, Maul, Screech or Fin Swipe?

And in a perfect world they would have customizable fur color and patterns as well as decorative (and dye-able) armor. I'd be more than willing to purchase sweet armor for my mount through the ingame store if that's what it came down to - JUST GET THEM IN THE GAME! :D

UPDATE

After getting some split feedback on Guild Wars 2 Guru I wanted to expand on this concept and where it rooted from. First off, I am not proposing mounts to be for traveling at all, but for combat.

Now lets look at expansions in general, we know that ArenaNet will have expansions, not campaigns. Reason being, they don't want to waste time recreating starter areas and tutorials. With that in mind, I strongly, and sadly, don't see how it will be possible to get any new playable professions or races.

If that is true, then what will expansions include? Other then more content (getting into Cantha and Elona), one idea is that they introduce new weapons. New weapons will give players something more to master and look forward to, and they require no new redundant tutorial content on ArenaNet's part.
What I am proposing is to not only add new weapons, but just make them in the form of a mount. In no way does this change or alter what is existing.

14 comments:

  1. Personally, I can take-or-leave mounts in GW2; however, I've also thought about how they could do it and having them as a weapon set makes the most sense. I wouldn't have the skills go by mount + profession as you suggest because that would be 40 new skills per mount (potentially) and that's an awful lot to add and balance. Skills per pet (regardless of profession) could be workable. This would still take a lot of work because of the animations that would be required. But yeah, the proposal you outlined above would work. I think that skills 6 through 10 would have to be locked because of animation nightmare.
    As far as the speed boost goes, what they could do is unlock skill 6 and make it a mount-only Heal skill that has a passive effect of "grants Swiftness boon" but can be activated for a "Leap out of combat and Heal XXX points, lose Swiftness for 5 sec cooldown". Call the skill something like "Escape". That way the player gets a speed boost for being mounted and still has a heal, but the heal comes at the expense of the speed boost.

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  2. There are definitely a lot of variations of this idea that could be discussed in greater detail, but for the sake of space I kept it short.

    The reason I suggested they have custom skills based on profession is because I honestly don't think we will get any new playable professions or races in future expansions, and if that is true then I think it would be perfectly acceptable for them to put time into creating 40+ skills for new weapons and/or mounts.

    And the only change I would make to your second suggestion would be to change it from the heal button to the dodge button.

    Great thoughts!

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  3. My answer.

    No No No No No NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MOUNTS...

    However, I like what you proposed, but I simply do not like mounts.

    I've been stigmatized [by the mounts in other mmo's]

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  4. It's an interesting way to view the mounts. Instead of an entirely new weapon set, it could be more interesting to have them as an "additional 3 skills" similar to the guardian's auras or the ranger's pet. Depending on what type of mount you had, it could be combat skills, movement skills, or support skills. This wouldn't pose as much of a balance issue and would give players more choice of how to use the additional skills tactically without having too weapon sets. There could even be a mini-trait system to customize your pets.

    Don't forget the benefit of having pets as extra inventory space!

    edit: reposted as a comment rather than a reply.

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  5. mount could be a mechanic for a specific area, like cannons and other siege weapons

    when you go into Divinity's Reach fo exemple, you have to go through the "portal" located at the city gate or use the fast travel system of Asura Gate. Would not be possible to fly over the city wall, so we never have flying mounts, unless it be in a specific area where it can be useful, if you exchange this area, the mount disappears affter loading screen.

    all areas of the game are split and have their entrances/exits, would not be possible to fly over a mountain, this mountain is probably a 2D artwork, then you would have to fly to the passage of one area to another, which would be strange...

    combat with mounts would be awesome, but belonging to player is not necessary

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  6. Your idea is really cool but I don't think it needs to be this complicated. I think they should add mounts as more of a companion than a viable form of transportation. Something to collect and not as something you need. No speed boost at all, you just ride them at normal run speed and they look pretty.

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  7. You know, to some extent your idea has already been implemented in the game. Look up Hazmat suit on the gw2 wiki.

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  8. Some of them in GW2guru are just fanboys. I don't know any other way to describe them. Oh! XYZ mmo has mounts and hence its bad for GW2. Oh mounts are bad for the immersion of the game, but yet, waypoints are good. Some even didn't bother to see what you have proposed in terms of speed boost and blatantly say mounts will destroy the immersion of the world Anet have built.

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  9. They already have something similar to this idea currently in the game. It is called a Hazmat suit, an Asura creation which could be considered a "mount" which gives you different skills for combat. This type of mount, however, is only available in certain areas and cost karma. We also have utility skills which change your form and give new skills. The developers could easily expand on this to allow certain mounts to be used anywhere. However, they should take up a skill slot, or alternatively, a weapon slot, ie:
    New Weapon, Lance: a warrior with a lance receives a horse-like mount with jousting-like abilities.
    *Cannot dodge while mounted
    Personally, I think players should not be penalized for not choosing mounts. It should be another option for those who prefer the play-style.
    http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Hazmat_Suit

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  11. In order to keep more control over their content, mounts could be made as enviroment weapons, so only certain areas or encounters would spawn them, and they could act the same way as the above mentioned.

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