… looking at the
Sparkle Pony Celestial Steed and trying to decide if I’m trying to talk myself into or out of buying one.
I commented on Anea’s post on the subject that the account wide and adjusting to character riding skills properties of the Celestial Steed are very attractive — not needing to buy a flying mount ever again is a “Sign me up!” feature. But as I thought on it later, I wasn’t so sure that I would ever get one.
To the extent that my characters even have personalities/stories/RP, I like to use mounts that are a good fit for them. Anna’s In-Character questions about mounts and pets provide me with a good jumping off point for talking about it:
What kind of mounts (and pets!) do your characters choose for themselves? Why?
Are there any mounts or pets that your characters would NEVER seek out, keep, or use?
If there was a particularly relevant Blizzard store pet or mount, would you pay for it for your character?
And, for those of you who got the Celestial Steed, do you have an in character story to go with it?
Kamalia is my mount collector, but the only mounts she actually uses are her swift kodos (she has every currently available kodo except the Brewfest one), her drakes, her swift windriders, and her hippogryphs. I have three random cast mount macros: one for the swift kodos so that they all get ridden, one for drakes, and one for windriders and hippogryphs for when I want a smaller-sized flying mount. Kodos are my favorite Horde mount, and if you hadn’t noticed already, I’m incredibly partisan toward Thunder Bluff and the Tauren in general. I would love to have a blue drake and a blue proto-drake (the only color of the proto-drake model that I like enough to want to have), but I’m not diligent enough to run H Oculus and H UP every day until I get them.
My other characters just have their racial and class mounts. Knowing that I will buy and use the racial land mounts for all my future characters is a point against getting the Celestial Steed. My characters would only ever use it for a flying mount… and then it might not get used much, either. Whichever Alliance character ends up being the one to get to max level will be buying a gryphon — probably one of each color, in fact — because I think the gryphon model is really cool and I’m sad that as Horde I can’t use it. Hordeside, I love the windrider for everyone, and the characters who have professions that can make flying mounts will certainly be doing so.
Ketura the hunter, who is an engineer, will be building a Flying Machine while she is in Outland. In the meantime, she wants a proper Tawny Windrider.
Ketura would also like to get a raptor land mount from the Darkspear Trolls someday — she’s the crazy, somewhat reckless, thrill-seeking one out of my Tauren, and she finds kodos just a little boring. “A kodo is a minivan,” she says, “I want a brightly colored raptor racecar!”
Kaelinda the mage is the only character who actually wants the Celestial Steed. As a master of the Arcane, it is only right that she should have such an obviously arcane-powered mount. However, when she gets her tailoring leveled up in Northrend, she’ll be making herself a Flying Carpet, and after that the Sparkle Pony will probably stay in the stable.
Kay also wants to be the character to get the Swift Zhevra, if and when I ever get a successful RAF. She thinks it would fit her snazzy, razzle-dazzle wizard style. Kay and Kamalia argue occasionally about the possibility of a Zhevra. Kamalia wants it because someday she would like to get to 50 mounts and win an Albino Drake for her collection, whereas Kay contends that she should get it because she would actually use it. Kay opines that she, a slender blood elf girl, looks much better on a horse than a hulking Tauren woman does. And she’s envious of Kira and Neia, who got horse mounts as part of their class training.
Kalaneia the warlock would love to have The Horseman’s Reins as a flying mount, but she is still a long way from max level, and then I’d have to remember to do the Headless Horseman via the Dungeon Finder every day until I got it. She would probably rather have the Sparkle Pony than a windrider in the meantime, though.
more generally speaking
When it comes to racial ground mounts, I choose closely matching colors of slow mount and fast mount whenever I can. I like to think that the fast mount is, in fact, the same animal as the slow mount, and has grown in strength and power along with its mistress.
With my Blood Elves, I’ve endeavored to choose the color of Hawkstrider that I think best fits each character’s class. The mage has the purple and swift purple hawkstriders, because of the purple Dalaran wizard aesthetic. The hunter has the blue and swift green hawkstriders, for camouflage in the forest. The rogue has the black hawkstrider, for sneaking about at night and in the shadows. The warlock and paladin both have red hawkstriders, for different reasons — warlock for being aggressive and vicious, paladin for red-and-gold Silvermoon patriotism. The priest has a blue hawkstrider because I associate “blue” with some of the same things that come to mind when I play free-association with “priest” — heaven, purity, holiness, etc. The warrior, come Cataclysm, will probably end up with a red hawkstrider for blood and battle.
The death knight is a more interesting case. As soon as she got out of the DK starting area, she bought herself a hawkstrider so she wouldn’t have to ride that awful Acherus Deathcharger… but she chose a black one because none of the brighter colors felt right to her anymore. Eventually she bought a swift pink hawkstrider, and some days it is a vigorous rejection of being a death knight and some days it is an ironic acceptance of it: look at the bearer of death and destruction riding a pretty pink chocobo. By the time she bought a windrider, she had come to terms with her not-quite-living state a little better, and chose a blue one because it looks cold, like her heart. She recently started using her Deathcharger again; during Love is in the Air and Noblegarden, she found that she just couldn’t bear the cuteness and the sap, and when she began questing around Warsong Hold, the pink hawkstrider felt insufficiently aggressive for her anger against the Scourge.
My Tauren death knight has a similar story — immediately out of the DK starting area she bought a kodo because she hated the Deathcharger and thought she looked ridiculous riding it. She chose a swift white kodo because she liked the contrast of the black knight on a white steed image she would make. Kregga has accepted her ruined state with a little more grace than Katelaira did, and chose a blue windrider because she felt it suited her frosty new self. She also saved up her coins to purchase a Skeletal Gryphon — OOC, I couldn’t resist the awesome of that model; IC it fit Kregga’s personality better than Kat’s — and will be using both flying mounts on a random cast macro. Like Kate, Kregga became overwhelmed by the saccharine nature of Love is in the Air and Noblegarden and resorted to using her Deathcharger to express her disgust at those holidays.
Once I get Kelilla the Gnome Mage up to 20, a Night Elf will be my next Alliance/SAN character. I plan to play a hunter because I like the idea of RPing that my mount and my combat pet are the same animal — I’ll tame a cat that looks similar to the Night Elf riding sabercats. Orcs and Trolls can also tame the same kind of beast as their racial mount (wolves and raptors, respectively) but somehow with Orcs and Trolls I always seem to gravitate towards playing a Shaman, no matter how much I think or talk about playing other classes.
I dislike Undercity, so other than Kamalia, who is only getting them for the mount collecting achievements, the only character to get Skeletal Horses will be my Forsaken.
switching from mounts to pets
Kamalia collected enough little creatures to get the 25 pets achievement, but doesn’t want a stinky skunk, and therefore hasn’t bothered actively collecting pets past the 25-count mark. She passively collects pets by being my designated pet collector — by which I mean that she is the only one of my characters to have actually learned all the account-bound pets I’ve earned. She only remembers to bring her pets out during raid downtime when other people are also playing with their pets.
Kaelinda is the only other character who cares about having pets. She is a witch, therefore she has witchy pets — all the cats that are relatively easy to obtain, plus an Enchanted Broom from the Argent Tournament. She also has the “Blood Elf racial pets” — an ordinary Mana Wyrmling (from the dealer in Netherstorm) and a Dragonhawk Hatchling or two. Come to think of it, the Onyxian Whelpling would be a good pet for her… and for Kalaneia, too. I should have them learn it.
And Ketura is my designated Pirate, so she has a parrot.
All my other characters have not yet expressed any desire for pets. My characters who happened to find a Spring Rabbit’s Foot in an egg during Noblegarden learned the pet, because what else was there to do with it?
on a brief tangent
The prizes for the 2009 Kirina’s Closet Halloween Costume Contest were WoWTGC Loot cards. I ended up with three of them *blush* and I definitely took a little bit of RP into account when deciding how to assign them. The Path of Cenarius went to my druid, Kerisa. The Path of Illidan went to my warlock, Kalaneia. And the Papa Hummel’s Old-Fashioned Pet Biscuit went to Kamalia, because she’s the one who collects pets.
and now back to the nominal topic
For the most part, the pets available in the Blizzard Store just haven’t appealed to me. Or at any rate, they haven’t appealed to me enough for me to actually want to spend money on them. At first I thought I might want to buy the Pandaren Monk, but I couldn’t quite justify the expense and then I observed one in-game a few times and was quite annoyed by its sound effects. I’m kind of creeped out by the idea of Lil K.T. — this is a pet that I’d never get. I’m amused by Lil XT, but not enough to buy one for myself. I’m content to watch other people’s Lil XTs. I ought to get an Authenticator — but I don’t particularly want the Core Hound Pup pet that comes with it. I like the Gryphon Hatchling plushie better than the in-game pet. The Windrider Cub, though — I’ve asked Bear Tank Husband to get me one for Christmas this year. I’d probably assign the in-game pet to Kamalia, since she’s my default pet collector, or perhaps to one of my hunters. I can see Ketura or Katelyra capturing, raising, and training a Windrider Cub to be her flying mount.
Of all the things available in the Blizzard Store, the Windrider Cub and the Celestial Steed are the only ones that I might actually buy. I’ve spent money gladly for name changes and server transfers, but I’m finding it harder to convince myself that it’s worth paying for a pet, or a mount, when I really don’t care all that much about having lots of special pets and mounts.
And so I haven’t bought the Windrider Cub or the Celestial Steed… yet.