100 Mounts and Counting
I don’t actually have the 100 mount achievement yet, but the only thing standing between me and that blue dragonhawk is a few more days of grinding out faction currency and a little luck. I’m 4 mounts away, and three are on their way in the next few days. I thought I would share my strategy for mount collecting.
First, let’s establish a few things.
One: Mount collecting requires a metric shitload of reputation grinding. If you abhor reputation grinding in all its various forms, give up now. Save yourself the headache and be content with the few mounts you have.
Two: Mount collecting requires money. It’s certainly possible to amass 100 mounts without blowing 100,000 gold on all the expensive ones, but you cannot reach 100 without forking over the dough. If you’re perpetually poor or stingy, resign yourself to mountlessness (that a word?).
Three: Mount collecting requires time. Lots. And lots. Of. Time. I dont mean “grinding away for seven hours a day” time. I mean the “I spent three years working for all these mounts” time. Don’t expect 100 mounts to just plop into your lap overnight. Be ready for the long haul, which may span several expansions.
Four: You need epic flying. You cannot reach 100 mounts without it. Pony up the 5,000 gold and buy it, or you’ll sit below your 100 mark forever.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s take a look at my specific set up, here.
First, I have been working towards 100 mounts since the Burning Crusade expansion. I had no intention of ever reaching 100. It was the type of achievement that I saw and laughed, because…yeah, right. I’d never reach it. I got to 50 fairly easily and then sorta forgot about it until Wrath, at which point I started really paying attention to what mounts I had and which I could easily pick up. So it’s taken me a very long time to get 96 mounts, and even these next four will take time.
Second, I am an achievement whore. I would sell my soul for achievement points. Gaining access to 100 mounts via faction reputations was easy as pie, since I was already farming towards exalted anyway. I don’t believe that the average person has 40 exalted reputations. I have been pushing for exalted with every faction I set my eyes on since TBC. It’s not a new development. I’ve had access to a lot of mounts from the start.
Finally, I have a lot of disposable income. Purchasing a mammoth for 8,000 gold is really no problem. I expect that it would be for the average player.
Now let’s get in to the meat of this little guide thing: actually collecting mounts.
I want to be clear that I don’t intend to cover every mount available and how to get it and blah blah blah. This is a generic guide. If you want specifics, WoWinsider has a great series of articles up detailing the process.
Collecting 100 mounts is no small feat. Like I said above, it requires you to reputation grind with many different factions, which brings us to my first tip.
You can start rep grinding with your faction’s home races the second you start running dungeons at level 15. If you’re aiming for 100 mounts in the future (or even 50), you will do yourself a huge favor if you buy a rep tabard and proudly wear it in every dungeon you visit. Because you don’t need to be exalted with your own faction to purchase your race’s mounts, I advise you to grab another faction’s tabard and champion them until exalted. Then, buy another tabard and start over with another faction. You can reach exalted with all of your home cities before you hit 80.
Don’t be picky. If you’re the kind of person who won’t buy a mount or mini pet because you don’t like how it looks, you have no business collecting 100. Buy everything available to you. At 2 gold a pop, level 20 mounts are a cheap and easy way to pad your numbers. Level 40 mounts are more expensive, but necessary to reach your goal. Once you hit exalted with a home faction, hit up the mount vendor and clean them out.
Focus on the Major Factions
Don’t waste your time with factions that sell one or two mounts. Focus on the big ticket factions – the ones that sell six or seven or more. Once you’ve cleaned out your home city vendors, start looking for other factions that sell a lot of mounts. You’ll get more bang for your buck, so to speak, when you hit exalted. These factions include: Netherwing, Kurenai/Mag’har, Sha’tari Skyguard…you get the picture. Focus on where you can get a lot of mounts with one reputation.
Fill in the Gaps
After you’ve exhausted your reputation rewards with the factions listed above, start looking for one-off factions that offer one or two mounts for your trouble. There are a lot of them. The Ramkahen, Oracles (requires revered, not exalted), Cenarion Expedition, Sons of Hodir, Wyrmrest Accord…these and more offer a mount or two at exalted (or revered) reputation. It’s a lot of work for one mount, but if you aren’t willing to work you won’t reach 100 anyway.
Some professions can craft mounts, too. If you’re an engineer, a tailor, or an alchemist, consider gathering the mats for your own unique mount, free of charge. Archaeology also has two mounts available if you’re willing to spend the time picking up fossils and Tol’vir fragments.
I know, I know. I’m sick of the Argent Tournament too. I’m bored to death with it, but you cannot deny that it is the single biggest mount dispenser in all of Azeroth. If you have never been there before, it will take some time to slog through the beginning quest lines and start earning champion’s seals. But, if you followed my advice and got exalted with all your home factions before this point, you’re in for a real treat. You can purchase tournament mounts from each faction for 400 gold and 5 champion’s seals. Not bad for a little effort. The tournament also boasts an entirely different set of faction mounts, each for 100 seals, and two different hippogryphs for 150 seals a piece. Then there is the Quel’dori steed and the paladin-exclusive mounts…just hit up the tournament. You can net over 10 seals a day once you get the right quests, and you can nab a few more from doing the 5-man instance right there in the tournament grounds. Don’t pass it up, is all I’m saying.
If you’re even moderately able to tolerate PvP, then hit up the battlegrounds. 2,000 honor points will grab you a PvP mount of your choice – there’s one for each of your home factions, no reputation required. That’s another 5 mounts for minimal effort. Battlegrounds require time, but not necessarily skill, to rake in the points. If you’re really ambitious, gather a raid and off your opposing faction’s leaders for another war mount.
Hit up Vendors
There are vendors that sell mounts. Novel concept. They cost a fair amount of gold but require no reputation (unless you want the standard discount from being exalted). Mel Francis in Dalaran will sell you several high priced steeds if you are willing to make the trek out to her and part with the dough. Don’t forget about the standard flying mounts for your faction, either. They can be purchased from your run of the mill flying mount vendor located in your faction’s capital (Stormwind or Orgrimmar). That’s another 6 or 7 mounts.
Go Get the Seahorse
Go quest in Vashj’ir for ten minutes and get the seahorse mount. It’s free, requires no reputation grind, looks cool, and counts towards your achievement total. Go do it.
Don’t Farm Rare Drops
This sounds counter intuitive to the whole “grab any mount you can” mantra, but I should elaborate. Rare drops are called rare for a reason. Most have a drop rate of about 1%. Your likelihood of actually seeing a rare drop mount is nil. It has a 1% chance to drop when you kill its corresponding boss. Most of these bosses are located in heroic dungeons. Most of these dungeons are soloable now, but some are not. Provided you are in a group and that 1% mount drops, you are rolling against 4 other people. You have a 1% chance to see the mount drop, and an 80% chance to see someone else walk away with it. If you’re trying to farm a raid boss drop, your chance is lower due to the larger number of people needed to down the boss. Do you see where I’m going with this? This brings me to my next little segment of this guide thing.
Farming Rare Mounts!
But I just told you not to. WHAT THE HELL. Let me explain. If you head out into the world with the idea in your little pinhead that you will farm a mount for a few days and then magically it will drop and all will be well in the world, you’re setting yourself up for failure and heartache. That doesn’t mean you can’t go killing bosses in the correct dungeon, but dont go looking for that mount. Don’t zone in thinking that it will drop this time. Or the next time. It won’t. And every time it doesn’t, you will sink further and further into psychosis until someone finds you in the corner of your bedroom in the fetal position murmuring about Skadi and Anzu and eating spiders and feces from the floor. Don’t go there. Take a few of my mount farming tips instead.
Empty Your Bags
Heading into a dungeon expecting the mount to drop is foolhardy, but heading in prepared to suck every ounce of gold from that dungeon is pure genius. Empty out your bags and loot everything you kill. Even low level cloth will sell decently on the auction house, so don’t pass up a chance to make a few 100 gold per run.
Don’t Think About the Mount
It bears repeating: if every time you zone in to a dungeon, you think to yourself , “This time it will drop!”, you’re going to go crazy. Put it from your mind and focus on something else. If the mount does drop, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If it doesn’t, you wont start pulling out your hair and speaking in tongues.
Do something else with your mind while you run dungeons for mounts. Turn on the TV or listen to music or drag your laptop over to the exercise bike or something. Distraction goes a long way in keeping your from feeling the grind, which will make running Stratholme for the one hundredth time more bearable.
If at all possible, solo the dungeon in question. This may not be feasible for your class/spec, depending on which dungeon you’re running (Heroic Pinnacle from Wrath may give you trouble, but Heroic Burning Crusade dungeons should not). Soloing a dungeon gives you the advantage of winning the mount if it drops, rather than having to farm one hundred times to see it drop, then split the chance to win. Even 50% is too low if you just spent an entire week killing things nonstop.
Don’t Fall for Falacy
It goes something like this: “Boss A has a 1% chance to drop Mount B. That means, if I kill Boss A 100 times, I will have a 100% chance to get the mount!” No. NO. If you find yourself leaning towards this logic, smack yourself thoroughly. Odds do not work like this. Rather, they work like this: “Boss A has a 1% chance to drop Mount B. That means, if I kill Boss A 100 times…I will have a 1% chance of seeing Mount B each time.” Yeah. This ties back in to the “don’t go in expecting to see the mount drop” idea. It doesn’t matter how many times you kill Boss A. Your chance of seeing Mount B drop remains the same each time. It does not increase each time you kill the boss.
Have a Backup Plan
Don’t rely on rare drops to fill in your gaps on the way to 100 mounts. The drop chance is just too low. If you’re willing to put in the time to farm a rare mount, you should be willing to put in the time to farm reputation with the factions that award multiple mounts. In the end rare mounts are nice little treats that pop up once in a blue moon, but they’re not going to fill in the last 30 spots on your way to 100.
Avoid Burn Out
If you find yourself getting bored or frustrated or angry, stop. It’s not worth burning out on WoW just for one mount you won’t likely see.
Thus concludes my overview of the 100 mount achievement. I leave you with a link to a great site that I use to track my collection and browse available mounts: Warcraft Mounts. This site is maintained by the same person who upkeeps Petopia, so you know it’s going to be thorough. Some of the info is a bit outdated, but each mount page links to its WoWhead counterpart, so the right info is available regardless if you just click through. You can create an account and track your collection, which is helpful especially once you get down to needing only a few mounts to finish your achievement.