Today in game was only ever going to be about one thing:
When you break it down, grinding for a mount can be defined in a number of ways. I logged in every day for a week to do the Darkmoon Pet battle quests, without fail, over several months. I stocked up on the Ticket Quest items that drop from dungeons. There was a devotion to gameplay (and maintaining a sub) that kept my money directed at ActiBlizz. What’s the difference between this and grinding rep with an Emissary via World Quests for the chance of a mount at a regular interval?
One is a given, the other is not.
I’m not going to lie: the days of having hours on end to just play without consequence are long gone for me, and I’m a better person for it. I could organise a bunch of Legacy runs for mounts I’m not missing, every week without fail, but frankly RNG has now cured me of the desire to keep hitting my head against the same, largely intractable wall. It wasn’t the mounts that did this either: it is the other Legacy items that are wrapped around achievements. Pets, transmog, recipes… once upon a time, when the collecting bug was what held me to Azeroth, I felt an obligation to keep working, trying to fill the gaps in my collections. This current AP perma-grind has cured me, plus losing my best friend who finally worked out what a waste of time this existence can be if all you ever do is just keep going back to the start and repeating the same grind.
Now, I pretty much demand a reward at the end or I won’t do the work.
Before someone plays the Entitlement Joker here, please note the following: I no longer play competitively, or indeed at any level of group participation unless forced to by quests. This is not about gifting me great gear or the ability to pwn someone in a Battleground. All I’m after is a reasonably flexible system which (like the grind to exalted with both factions on Argus) rewards me with a mount once I’ve done the work. That’s the key: no, you don’t reward something coz I got lucky and just turned up. I WORK FOR IT AND IT IS MINE. Then you don’t get the dreadful situation where you could farm somewhere and end up with a second mount that you don’t need and can’t give to someone who does. The only way you receive items is a) if you need them and b) when you work for them.
Of course, time-gated items are the bane of many people’s existence, which is a source of continuing amazement, considering the means by which this game has been constructed since inception. When I think back to the items I have worked for like this over the years, I now wish I’d not complained so vociferously about the difficulty curves. I regret complaining that it was hard work, and needed to be easier. In a straight race, where I sit now, I’ll happy take the time to chip away at an objective than ever hope I get lucky with a computer /roll. I’ve had my fill of being beholden to luck.
If I can’t do it myself, it isn’t going to happen.