Dev Journal Mounts
When a peasant militia sets off for a fight, they’re stuck with sandals and shoes. When a hero of Neverwinter challenges an orc warband, though, she’s riding a giant armored spider. With the next Beta Weekend not too far away, we’d like to showcase what makes mounts so good in Neverwinter: all the ways to get them, some development stories, and a sneak peek at our mount plans.

The Basics & Getting Mounts

The mounts of Neverwinter are speed and status symbols combined, and we’re drawing on D&D lore for all kinds of spectacular mounts.

When Neverwinter launches, mounts are going to be one of the key midgame rewards, and we’re tentatively planning special mounts for dedicated PvPers and Foundry authors. When you hit Level 20, you’ll unlock the ability to get mounts. (Make sure to save up gold from quests, though, as mounts aren’t cheap.)

At high levels, zones are larger, so you’ll be riding to locations and hopping off for combat. These zones are every bit as epic as we could make them, so having a mount will save a ton of time in Icespire Peak and Mount Hotenow.

You’ll be able to get several mounts just with gold, but you can also pick up some mounts through the Founder’s Packs and the C-Store. We’re hoping to get horses, bears and wolves in the C-Store. Remember that you’ll be able to get C-Store currency with Astral Diamonds from events, so keep an eye on the in-game calendar.

It’s important to note that mounts are not limited by race or class. As long as your character’s unlocked a mount, you can use it. This might end up looking a little incongruous (say, the spider mount being ridden by a bite-sized halfling), but we want players to have the flexibility to define their own characters.

Dev Journal Mounts

Dev’s-Eye View:

Mounts are a genre staple, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to program – especially for halflings. Because of the height difference, halflings sunk partway into the horse’s back, so they looked like centaurs. We eventually modified the animations to account for this, but it was a running joke for a while.

Speaking of running, before we had mounts or mount animations, you’d still get the speed bonus, but the mount was invisible. For a while there, every adventurer was a sprinter.

Looking Ahead:

Right now, the best way to get a snazzy mount is through the Founder’s Packs, both a warhorse and an armored spider, but there are going to be other ways as well: We’re looking at mounts as a major reward. If everything goes well, we’d like to have them in the Invocation system (rewards for staying online), PvP system, and even the user-driven Foundry system.

We’d love to have it so that if your quest in the Foundry is cool enough, you’ll get a mount. Star Trek Online has done Foundry spotlights, and the creativity we’re already seeing in Neverwinter’s Foundry is spectacular. We’d like to encourage that with mount rewards.

Speaking of which, yes, you can use mounts in Foundry maps. Foundry authors can tag maps as interior or exterior, so we’ll probably see some quests designed around chases or other mount-centric excitement.

We’ve also got a few mounts we’re hoping to have as PvP rewards, including bears and a Howler – dig through your D&D Monster Manual to see what those look like. These plans are all still tentative, so stay tuned for exact details.

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Read the original Developer Journal here!