Svein Erik "Sharum" Jenset, Lead BCC Designer at Funcom Oslo AS, gave his point of view about players concerns with the Mount System in Age of Conan.
Greetings fellow Hyborian Adventurers!
There has been a lot of activity lately, both on these boards and in-game, due to the way Mounts are currently performing in Age of Conan. While there has been little-to-none official feedback on the subject so far, I am happy to finally be a part of this community and able to shed some light on what I perceive as the most pressing concerns.
1) Mounting up doesn't increase my speed at all!
Without going into complex and, quite possibly, boring details it's worth mentioning that we've tracked down the bug that caused this, and that it has been fixed internally. Basically what happens is that, when you mount up, your new movement-speed isn't being read correctly; resulting in your speed being exactly the same regardless of whether or not you are mounted. Unfortunately I can't promise an exact date when the fix to this issue will be applied on the Live servers, but I can offer you a functional work-around; after having mounted up simply draw, or sheathe, your weapon. By doing this the game will once again attempt to read your movement-speed, and it will be applied correctly.
2) My Horse is too slow (even after the work-around)
If this is one of your concerns, you will be happy to know that I am personally feeding our stock of proud hyborian steeds some extra vitamins this week; which should result in an overall speed increase for all types of Horses. The increase won't, by any means, be massive; but it should go a long way towards making these mounts more useful and desired.
3) My Rhino/Mammoth is too slow
Yes, they are both very slow creatures in-game. I know that this has been, and most likely will continue to be, a topic that is being discussed to great length; but a decision was made shortly after new year that, for the sake of balancing things out, we needed them both to have the same movement-speed. The War Mammoth is still slightly harder to kill, and the Killer Rhino is still a bit easier to maneuver, but when it comes to moving forward they will both run at the same speed. With that being said, I am happy to say that they're also being fed vitamins, albeit a smaller dose than the horses, and will as a consequence move slightly faster.
4) My Rhino/Mammoth is useless outside of certain scenarios
If, by useless, you mean ineffective in PvE combat scenarios or as traveling mounts, then yes; you are indeed correct. These mounts were, from the start, designed to be a fearsome weapon in siege warfare and not something you would climb to the top of just to either ride from A to B or slaughter a group of unsuspecting picts. When it comes to their usability in siege warfare we would like to put off any further balancing until guilds around the world have started par-taking in this activity on a more or less regular basis. Tweaking something "just right" is never easy, and making something "overpowered" is equally bad to making something "nerfed".
5) I need to purchase Basic Riding in order to get my Mammoths/Rhinos special abilities
If you don't plan on purchasing Basic Riding for any other purposes, I would advise you to save your money. You were meant to get these skills automatically when claiming your pre-order mount, and just as intended this will be the case once the respective bug-fix goes Live. Consequently, players whom have purchased Basic Riding already will have to do another /claim after the patch introducing these changes in order to get the respective abilities back on their Ability page; and players who aren't meant to have access to these skills (i.e. players without pre-order mounts) will find them removed from their Ability page.
Allow me to end this, my very first post on the official forums, by saying that I am thrilled to see the amount of feedback coming in already, and that I try to read through as much of it every day as my free time allows. I might not always reply, even in the future, but I do my best to listen to what the players say and take it with me into our design meetings as suggestions for what to implement something new or how to implement something already existing. Naturally, I cannot accommodate every wish of every player, but I will at least endeavor to make the community feel that it is being listened to.
Thank you all for reading!
And a small update about the "dismount bug" :
I'm happy to say that we have, finally, tracked down the bug that caused mounted players to be forcibly dismounted more frequently than intended. We've also tweaked the system slightly to make it scale better with the level difference between you (the mounted player) and whatever is attempting to dismount you.
Please note that the values we're currently working with are based on our calculations, and that they are subject to change at a later time should we see the need to do so in order to preserve game balance and overall good gameplay.
Hoping to see you all riding around in Hyboria soon!