ESO Store Will Include Mounts

ESO Cash ShopIn a recent ZAM Network interview Game Director of Elder Scrolls Online, Matt Firor, confirmed that ESO Store is going to provide various different services to players – including mounts. There’s going to be two items in the shop provided at launch: a Palomino-colored entry-level horse, and the ability to upgrade your game to Imperial Edition, which gives you access to the White horse and the ability to play as as Imperial, to name a few perks.

Zenimax is walking on thin ice here in my opinion. Mounts are a pretty standard item of any in game cash shop, you could argue. You could also reason that the Imperial race, which is a reward for only those who purchase the Imperial Edition of the game, is just fluff. On the other hand, one could say that paying money to get a mount is nothing short of paying to win. Where does Zenimax draw the line?

In a Destructoid and interview in 2013, Matt Firor talked about subscription fees and cash shop in the following way:

“You pay once per month after the first 30 days and the entire game is available to you.”

“The Elder Scrolls games are all about allowing the player to go where they want, be who they want, and do what they want. We feel that putting pay gates between the player and content at any point in game ruins that feeling of freedom, and just having one small monthly fee for 100% access to the game fits the IP.”

“There won’t be anything like ‘bonus points’ but we’ll have a shop to buy kinda fun stuff and services too, like name changes and things like that. But it’s not part of the core game, anything in the core game is included in the subscription price.”

“Plus, players will appreciate not having to worry about being “monetized” in the middle of playing the game…”

Well, we are already past that 100% access to the game. If you don’t buy the Imperial Edition, you will not be able to play as an Imperial. Period. A huge incentive of playing as an Imperial is the ability to change the appearance of your armor to Imperial Style. This is largely fluff – but we are also talking about a race here, with its own dedicated skill line in ESO. The general consensus is that the Imperial racials are alright for a melee type, but are not overpowered. Still – locking an entire race behind paygates does leave a bad taste in mouth.

Firor mentioned “fun stuff and services”, which is now confirmed to also include mounts. Even if we are talking about an entry-level mount, you can’t argue that it will not give you an advantage over players who do not have one. You’ll be able to get from A to B faster, and you’ll be more efficient. Currently mounts in ESO cost a LOT of gold, 17,5k to be precise. Getting your mount the “normal” way is going to hurt a starting player’s economy for sure.

Personally I do feel a bit uneasy about these news. I don’t mind being able to buy mounts from cash shop, as long as the mounts are on level with those you can get by playing the game. To me that still classifies as “fun stuff”. If the cash shop offered mounts with increased movement speed, however, things would be very different.

I sincerely hope that the direction Zenimax has set here doesn’t turn the wrong way any further. As long as the cash shop doesn’t include inventory space, special buffs, experience boosts and items comparable to them, I’m happy.

  • Incognita

    This makes sense from a business stand point. The extra cash flow from “vanity” items is a really common addition to mmo’s. Once we all level up this will have little to no effect on anyone. I imagine a “starter” pony will be added eventually to even things out but who knows. As long as they don’t go the way of wow and offer 0-80 leveling I’m fine with it.

  • Oh, definitely – the whole point of the cash shop is to make money, and the ESO shop is no different in that respect. This is all good.

    I do see mounts as vanity items, but at the same time I think this case is slightly different because of the timing. Anyone thinking of playing Elder Scrolls Online will be tempted to buy a mount with real money because, in the beta at least, there have been no level requirements to use mounts. Pumping out some extra cash into the game to get the mount early on will be beneficial, unless you pre ordered the Imperial Edition (guilty as charged), in which case you have already paid some “extra” anyway. It’s not a huge benefit, but a benefit nonetheless.

    In general I’m absolutely fine with having mounts and other fun, fluff stuff in the cash shop.

  • Ed McCain

    Cash shops are certainly a part of the MMO scene, but I agree, any semblence of pay gate items, content or buff devalues any game. For mounts in ESO…in my participation in the final beta last weekend, mounted players weren’t moving all that much faster than my on foot character, at least from quest objectives. I largely saw the same character names following the same progress path at about the same route, mounted or running! I did purchase the available Imperial horse for one gold to test it out, by found more enjoyment getting around on foot: frankly, there were so many things to interact with, NPCs to talk to and materials to gather, the constant mount/dismount/remount made no sense. I suppose as a character gets some levels and needs to travers more of the world, mounts would make sense, but early levels really don’t (at least for me).

  • Nick Newlin

    This matches my experience. I don’t think having a mount confers much advantage, at least not until it is leveled a bit and that will take everybody time and gold. I was actually outrunning mounted players on foot last weekend. Even at higher levels I think the wayshrine system eliminates a lot of the speed value. I plan on leveling my mount as a pack horse first when the game comes out as that seems to provide more of an advantage at lower levels than speed. Each 10 points in mount space will cost more than the first couple backpack upgrades though, and about a week to purchase with the 20 hour delay.

  • At least the Imperial Horse was too slow when not sprinting. I’m not really sure if the sprint thing is even necessary for mounts (no such thing in SW:TOR for example and it works great that way). There also were those weird dismount moments which were rather frustrating.

    As long as the store mounts are just visual fluff, I don’t really have anything against this but I hate anything that is P2W.

  • pacoflaco

    “As long as the cash shop doesn’t include inventory space, special buffs, experience boosts and items comparable to them…”

    A horse gives you access to inventory space and in an indirect way experience boost (by allowing you to get to and complete quests faster.

  • This is true. What I was really trying to say with “inventory space” was external bag space only obtainable through the cash shop. Same goes with experience boosts. I agree that a horse will give you an indirect experience boost, but what if the shop featured an item, which gave you a +100% experience boost for 6 hours?

    That’s the type of pay to win I don’t want to see.

  • Guest

    You do realize, of course, that since absolutely everyone in-game will know you by your @accountname, a name change will not hide you after you are a jerk to the community, rob a guild vault, or do virtually anything else that typically preceeds the “need” for a name change, right?

  • Stormbow

    Those will come much later, when the game is full-blown F2P.

  • Stormbow

    It’s also important to note that mounted combat is not possible, and you can’t target an enemy, activate an ability, and be auto-dismounted for the effort to actually join the combat. You have to manually dismount (or cast a heal spell, per Restoration staff, for example).

  • Stormbow

    Keep in mind: Since absolutely everyone in-game will know you by your @accountname, a name change will not hide you after you are a jerk to the community, rob a guild vault, or do virtually anything else that typically preceeds the “need” for a name change.

  • Nick Newlin

    I don’t think a horse allows you to complete quests faster. If it does, it’s really negligible at low levels, and by higher levels you should be able to afford a mount with in game gold. As far as inventory space goes, the cash horse comes with 0 and you have to buy the space with in game gold. The mount inventory space is much more expensive than backpack upgrades at low levels and not really the best option.

  • pacoflaco

    The key here is that you used real world cash to have access to more space that you will get earlier than those who dont spend the cash. Bottom line is it is an advantage. The fact that you can buy singular slots may not be cost effective but it gives you access to something that others your level will not have access to. 250g per additional inventory space is cheaper than the second or 3rd bag space upgrade so at level 10 there actually is a discernible difference.

    Same with the mount getting on the mount and being able to run without using your stamina for stamina based classes is an advantage.

  • Philip Alexander Rådefalk

    your starter bag and banks spaces are buffed now and the starter cost of later bags are more expensive as a cost of it, witch makes bag spaces less of an issu and the cost actualy makes the horse a valid option. but if you want to eliminate that you can just make 1 or 2 of your 30 guilds that you can have (combined from 6 chars) as chared guilds whit your friends whit 1000 spaces each whitch is about 100 spaces for each person and its free. so 2 guilds are 200 free spaces (or 3 000 whit all guilds:P) and 200 free spaces are awesome. make sure that you have specific things that are yours so ppl always know what stuff belongs to who. like you have all runes and cloth mats in one guild and all wood, alchemy and food mats in another and put rest in each chars personall bank. long post…

  • Philip Alexander Rådefalk

    0-90. so instant max level right now…

  • Incognita

    Haven’t played in a couple years- Why even have leveling at all anymore? Just create a character and start raiding.

  • Nick Newlin

    It will cost 2,500 gold to get 10 slots on the horse, and it will take about a week. By then your character will be likely have leveled enough that all of this starting advantage nonsense is irrelevant. Therefore it isn’t a starting advantage.

  • Mounts are useful in Cyrodiil and when you need to traverse a long field to reach a new area you will use mounts.

  • My major concern is the game eventually going F2P, which will make me feel like I was robbed, since I paid to have the full content with the imperial edition…

  • From what I saw all the horses were the same. The cash shop or the imp edt, just lets you get it at level 1 and start feeding it as soon as you get 250 gold. I guess I am not bothered by the option since it is cheap and available to everyone. We are not talking about some crazy monocle, but the option to buy the horse with real money instead of sinking every last cent from 20 levels into a horse that does not go much faster than foot travel, and when you add in the mount time it is slower over medium distance. I’m trying to figure out how anyone is hurt other than the slippery slope…

  • tzimisx

    I really dont care about the fact that they are selling mounts on their cash shop.But now i understand why the mount costs 17400 gold, which is an absurd amount of gold for a starter mount,since i reached lvl 20 in the beta and only had 9k gold (without spending a dime).Its the standard free to play method of “spend a large amount of time or five dollars”.
    No cash shop: spending 17k gold for a mount makes you feel rewarded for your efforts.
    Cash shop: spending 17k gold for a mount makes you feel punished and dumb.

    And for the people that say “everyone does it – its not an advantage-its not that much faster”, in other mmos they basically sell new skins for your mount in the cash shop, they do not sell the riding skill.Zenimax is selling the actual ability to travel faster.

  • First hearing of this…

    Buff or no buff, millions of people are paying 415 a month, what the hell do they need a cash shop for?