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Of course it’s cosmetic!

April 19, 2010

The Celestial Steed, aka Algalon Pony, the Star-Spangled Horse, the Pegasus Constellation, the Exquisite Ethereal Equine, the Quadrupedal Particle Effect-Based Terror of Old Video Cards.

For those not informed, it’s a bind to account mount that scales with your riding skill that you can buy at the Blizzard Store. If you have 75 riding, it’s going to be slow, if you have 300 riding, it’s going to fly and be really fast. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? It is, but still…

A lot of people are yelling all sorts of things about it. It’s apparently either ruining the game (I’ve heard that one before somewhere) or a complete waste of money.


We can safely dismiss the “OMG, it’s ruining the game!” argument upfront. Gamers say that about every single change to their favorite games. And even if something eventually ruins their game, no one will ever agree on what exactly caused the ruination.

The point I find the most interesting is the one calling this a “waste of money”. Because it’s so true. The Celestial Steed is basically a fancy in-game model with a 25 dollar tag attached to it.

Utterly cosmetic, and that’s the entire point of it!

Blizzard is staying true to their ideal of not selling anything that would give players a real advantage over the others. Pets, mounts, TCG loot rewards (if they ever add that), they are all cosmetic changes, nothing that will help that Rogue gank me even faster, or that will allow me to eat another hit from Big Bad Boss of the Week before I’m flattened like a pancake.

It’s just like the Violet Proto-Drake from What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been: a lot of work (or money, which should simply be quantified work) for nothing but a very flashy graphic. Just like Titles: work for nothing but a few pixels that won’t increase your DPS, your survivability or your healing throughput. Or achievements. Or non-combat pets. Or the rare Winterspring/Un’goro mounts. Or the Choppa. Or… the list goes on and on.

This game is full of useless time/money sinks, stuff you buy simply for the sake of having it and showing it off. Just because this one costs actual money instead of 40 hours, it’s no reason to go around yelling about it. If you work at all, you’ll have earned way more than 25 dollars in the time it takes for you finish most rare achievements or to get a title or two.

It’s all a matter of taste. Do you want to pay for some extra content that won’t help you at all but might make you happy for a few minutes? Go ahead, the store is right there for you. Do you feel your money is better spent somewhere else? Suit yourself, you’re bound to see every new item on the Store in every corner of Dalaran, so you’re not missing out on anything anyway.

I’ll never get that thing, mostly because I don’t have the money for it, and the horse graphic didn’t impress me. But I’m not bashing people for getting it. If they like it, more power to them. I avoid Dalaran like the plague, so I don’t even need to look at it.

My bet? 90% of those horses will be forgotten in their owners’ mounts tabs by the end of May. Just give it some time.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lazaros of Llane permalink
    April 21, 2010 15:45

    I agree on the graphic, or, personally, the animation. The way some things move or are moved in the game drive me batty. The Celestial Steed’s front legs, while flying, look either out of joint or broken. Immediately puts me off.

    Somewhat like a large model character on a dragon mount when it shakes its head: Stiff, and just deal breaking. (This is why my Draenei is still on a gryphon.)

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