Let’s talk about mounts in video games, because Diablo IV‘s horses bum me out.
From horses to dragons to oversized beds that move around as if on wheels, mounts can be just about anything in MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV. Not only are they something of a status symbol, as they’re usually hard-earned during challenging boss battles and unforgiving grinds, but they’re also necessary tools to get from place to place. Me? I like a fashionable mount that lessens my travel time and helps me get to far-away lands. That said, if the mount seriously stinks, it can really impact my gameplay.
Like many gamers as of late, I’ve been playing the heck out of Diablo IV, Blizzard’s action role-playing game. From the spooky music to the memorable characters (I’m a massive Deckard Cain fan), the latest installment reminds me of Diablo II, which was one of my favorite games as a kid. While I love the boss fights and the Gothic environment, I have one particular gripe to get off my chest: The horse mount is massively frustrating and feels, at best, like an afterthought. It irritates me to no end.
Are you looking for more bold takes on video games? If so, check out this PCWorld writer’s love-hate relationship with Overwatch.
Chill out already!
Mounts are meant to make traversing Diablo IV‘s world of Sanctuary easier, especially when traveling long distances. Sure, I use the waypoints (a teleport system that brings you directly to a city or camp site) whenever I can, but I still need a horse to get me to the doors of a dungeon. The horse mount is unwieldy and I hate it. When you first jump onto the mount, the animal launches you into a full-on run. Maybe this is useful when you’re trying to escape a mob of monsters, but it’s annoying when you’re grouping up with friends in a safe zone and the horse is determined to launch you into another dimension.
This is a minor nitpick, sure, but why does the horse have to go so hard?
Bushes are the biggest obstacle
My horse mount frequently gets stuck on bushes and trees. Is it funny? Yeah, it is. Is it aggravating? Absolutely.
Like I mentioned earlier, mounts are generally designed to make traveling easier. Well, that’s not the case with my not-so-trusty steed in Diablo IV. Sometimes I end up ditching my horse mount and just legging it across Sanctuary to meet up with my friends. I find that I’d rather run to my destination than to ride the horse and constantly get stuck on various objects. Using the mount on the roads isn’t horrible, but when you venture into the lush jungle areas of the game, then you’re in for a real barrel of laughs (sarcasm).
It gets spooked by monsters
Look, I get that horses get spooked in real life, but can we suspend reality for a bit? The horse will get scared and throw you off when it’s around too many monsters. There’s a blue bar above your skills that indicates how scared your mount is. If the bar fills up, boom, you’re kissing dirt. It’s frustrating, especially when you’re trying to run past mobs of monsters to get to your destination. There’s nothing quite like your horse depositing you in the middle of a violent mob. Sometimes I just don’t have the time or desire to deal with ravenous werewolves and other hellish creatures. Sometimes I just want to pass them by and get to where I’m going.
It has an 8 second cool down
You know what’s worse than your horse throwing you into a throng of angry demons? Waiting an eternity to get back on it. The mount has an eight second cool down, during which you’re nothing but a punching bag for that massive crowd of monsters. Eight seconds may not seem like a long time to most people, but when you’re fighting off a bunch of monsters that are out for your blood, it feels like forever. I’ve died so many times because I couldn’t immediately summon my horse and make a quick escape. Again, I find it easier to gang up on the mobs with friends or run past them using my dash and dodge abilities.
The barding is the only saving grace
It’s no secret that the horse mount ignites a maddening fury within me. I’ve made that abundantly clear. The only thing I like about the horse mount are the barding options you can equip it with. It’s basically armor for horses and it’s super rad. I mean, who doesn’t love a dramatic costume change?
You can either pay real money dollars for the horse armor (don’t even get me started on microtransactions) or you can grind away and hope that it drops somewhere in a dungeon. The armor options are cool, but they’re just cosmetics, so they have zero impact on the horse’s speed or skill. The horse still sucks to use, sure, but at least you can beautify it.