What Wow Gets Wrong with Dragon Mounts

World of Warcraft has been accused of copying Guild Wars 2 mounts for the upcoming Dragonflight expansion. Let’s review Guild Wars 2 mounts for those who don’t know. Mounts were added to Guild Wars 2 in Path of Fire. Before that travel was limited to Teleporting to Waypoints, and Gliding. There were some other things like mushrooms and lava tubes in some limited zones.

Guild Wars 2 Mounts

There are a few mounts in Guild Wars 2 and they each have their special abilities that are increased with Masteries in the game. All mounts and mount skins are account wide in GW2, just like Wow.

Guild Wars 2 Mounts

  • Raptor – jumps long distances.
  • Springer – Jumps high.
  • Skimmer – hovers over water and dangerous terrain and later swims.
  • Jackal – moves fast and teleports through Sand portals.
  • Griffon -flies with limited stamina but does not hover, and later swoops.
  • Roller Beetle – moves very fast over the ground, but is difficult to control at high speed.
  • Warclaw – Ground mount for PVP and WVW zones. Special masteries for PVP areas.
  • Skyscale – Limited stamina mount that flies, hovers forever, and later climbs walls to a limited extent.
  • Siege Turtle – Two person mount with a cannon and sort of a limited Jump capability. Added with End of Dragons expansion.

There are two ways to easily get a mount when you start a new account and do not have an level 80 character, as long as you own the Path of Fire expansion. You can get a Carry through the first Story episode of Path of Fire to get a Raptor. Or you can play some WVW. World vs World can be accessed as early as level 31 on paid accounts. Once you have any of the mounts, Alt characters on the account have access to them from level 1 for FREE. No riding or flight license to buy on Alts.

Each mount has it’s use and complex game mechanics all over the world where they are used. Once you get any of the mounts they can be used anywhere, except, only Warclaw can be used in PVP / WVW. Warclaw works in the PVE world too.

World of Warcraft Dragon Mounts

After watching the World of Warcraft preview and listening to some of the analysis, I gather the following about the upcoming Wow Dragonflight Expansion.

Wow is adding Dragon Mounts to the new expansion only. You get a dragon mount much earlier in the expansion than you can use your flying mount in the new zones. There are ways to level up your Dragon mount in the expansion – like GW2 Masteries. The video footage of dragon mounts have been compared to Skyscale and Griffon from GW2. Just to be clear, in GW2, Griffon swoops and Skyscales hover. Skyscales cannot swoop.

The question has been asked whether Wow Dragon mounts will work in other parts of the game and whether they replace flying mounts in the game.

The answers to these questions is NO. Although there was some hedging around whether Dragon mounts would eventually work in the rest of Wow zones.

Dragon mounts, even when fully trained do not replace flying mounts and there is a path to learn to fly with the current mounts in Dragonflight zones. Dragon mounts have limited “Stamina” and so have to land frequently. This is very much like Griffon and Skyscale mounts in GW2. But unlike current Wow flying mounts which hover or fly forever.

Borrowed Power?

So there has been a new term coined for what Wow has been doing for a few expansions now. “Borrowed Power”. This refers to a feature that only works during the time that you are in a zone of that expansion and is useless once the next expansion comes out rather than permanently expanding the capabilities of your character or account in the world.

While Wow Devs have made much regarding not doing Borrowed Power in the Dragonflight expansion, it seems to me that this is exactly what Dragon Flight is. Only useful in Dragonflight zones, not the whole world. Not an upgrade to existing flying mounts, but it’s own, less useful thing.

And my opinion is that Wow did not copy Griffon / Skyscale. But maybe they just saw some video and copied that. I don’t think anyone at Blizzard has played GW2, gotten these mounts and played long enough to really understand their mechanics, strengths or limitations. I don’t think it is Blizzard’s graphics engine that is limiting Dragon Mounts, but Blizzard Dev’s imagination. IMHO, Wow would have been better if Blizzard had really understood and ripped off GW2 mounts. They didn’t.

Wow Dragon mounts seem like a Borrowed Power Gimmick rather than a new feature in the game.