The next expansion for Guild Wars 2, Path of Fire, will introduce Mounts in the world, and we're hosting an early exclusive developer diary where ArenaNet chats about the game and how they're planning to make Guild Wars 2 Mounts different from how they work in other MMOs - where they're pretty much just the ability to move a little faster and look cool while doing it. You can find the video here or embedded below.
ArenaNet first and foremost want to make it clear that Mounts in the game have a gameplay purpose and are not just for going a bit faster. Indeed, players questioned whether Mounts were needed at all due to the game's Fast Travel options, and they certainly weren't really missed since the game launched in 2012. Why five years later did ArenaNet decide they were needed? The team's Joel Helmich explains:
"Even with waypoints, movement speed out of combat still has a lot of value when going from place to place, and players have to weigh that value against the other tools that they might bring instead. Putting this speed on something outside of skills and traits means that a player can focus on making a build optimized for their combat needs, without needing to worry about how it performs in between fights. Mounts are familiar, iconic, and visually appealing, making them a strong choice for such a travel mechanism."
Each Mount, whether it's a Rabbit or a Raptor, will have a unique way of movement, and have a unique way of getting around too. The entire game of Path of Fire in fact will be built around these Mounts and their specific movements, such as the High Jump for the giant rabbit Springer.
Roy Cronacher of ArenaNet: "A lot of work went into planning each mount’s movement ability when designing the mounts before we had created many of the systems that we needed to bring mounts to life. We wanted each mount to feel unique and to tackle a different type of exploration, so we tried to make sure they stood out on their own. We identified different terrain types or obstacles we wanted to overcome, then planned a movement ability to overcome that terrain, and then designed a creature that would make sense with that movement ability."
Most importantly for us of course is that each Mount will have its own personality, so we're certain to bond with our little horse substitutes. Heck, we bonded with Roach in The Witcher 3 and his only personality trait was getting stuck everywhere and not doing what we told him to. He didn't even have a cute twitching nose like the Springer. Roy Cronacher explains:
"A lot of work went into bringing out the personality of each mount. We wanted each mount to feel like your companion rather than just something you happened to be riding. The idle animations was one area where we identified that this could really stand out. Each mount has its own unique idle animations that help their personality show through. For example, the springer will rub its face with its paws much like a cat cleaning its face to play up its cuteness. Our animators did a fantastic job bringing mounts to life. "
The full Developer Diary is below. Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire will be out September 22.