Is Master Riding worth it?

I'd really like to know how many people have bothered to purchase the Master Riding skill since it became available from the trainer - or rather, how many of those that could afford to buy it have bothered, because most likely there is still a fair chunk of the player base that doesn't have enough spare cash lying around to get it either way.

I'm a bit torn about it myself. I have enough money to buy it for all of my level eighties if I wanted to, but I'm not sure whether it's actually worth it. I've just never seen another riding skill that does so little while costing so much.

I still remember buying my first ever land mount back in Vanilla, at level forty. I had to borrow a couple of gold from a friend because I didn't have enough money, but boy, was it ever worth it. Up until then I had trudged up and down the whole length of Stranglethorn Vale on foot so many times; it was awful. Being able to speed up my progress by sixty percent all of a sudden felt amazing. These days basic riding is much cheaper and you can get it at level twenty, but if you've ever levelled in the Barrens you'll still appreciate the difference it makes.

Then came epic riding on land. Again, I first got this in Vanilla back when it was still expensive and required you to save up for quite a while. But again, it was so worth it. The first time I rode my Swift Stormsaber around Darnassus, I kept running into pillars and walls everywhere because OMG it was going so fast that I couldn't steer properly (or at least that's how it felt at first). Again this experience has been downgraded somewhat since then, since the ultimate goal is now to be able to fly, but it's still noticeable that your mount goes considerably faster after you upgrade.

When I first bought the basic flying skill in Outland, I actually ended up having second thoughts about it shortly afterwards. This was back when basic fliers only went at the same speed as normal ground mounts, so I got onto my gryphon in Blade's Edge (where I had hit seventy for the first time), flew around a bit... and then went back to my land mount to continue my questing, because the flier was so much slower. Still, at least it meant that I could get to certain places that were only accessible by flying if I wanted to. Plus, Blizzard has fixed the speed issue since then so even normal flight goes faster than your ground mount at least.

Epic flying... oh yeah. I couldn't afford this for quite a while either, but after I watched a friend who had it zoom around Terokkar Forest I was so amazed by the sheer speed of it that I decided that I had to have it too and started saving up. Best flying skill ever - I always make sure that my alts can get it as soon as they hit seventy these days.

But this new flying skill... it costs as much as epic flying but only increases your flight speed by ten percent or something, relatively speaking. My priest got it automatically from her rusted protodrake, but I can't say that it feels like she's flying any faster than my alts. I suppose it would be noticeable if I was in a straight race with someone who has the upgraded skill, but when does that ever happen?

I guess I'll wait until Cataclysm to see whether there's anything else that's new and expensive that I'd rather spend my gold on, but I'm curious how other people have approached this.


  1. Back when the two choices were 60% or 280%, the epic was totally necessary. It just didn't compare. But the jump between 280 to 310? Not a gamebreaker for most things.

    I mean, I really enjoy having 310% but I think 280 does the job unless you are a serious gatherer. I notice the difference Crusader Aura makes more than the jump from 280 to 310.

  2. These days for my alts I don't bother with epic flying (since normal flying is fairly okay now), but for my main I definitely have it. (And actually for the majority of my alts, it's only recently that I've decided it's 5000g not really worth spending unless it's a gathering alt.)

    I'm definitely not spending 5000g to upgrade anyone's mount with 30% faster flying, it just doesn't seem very noticable. I'll get it on my main in a few weeks anyway (as soon as I finish the Christmas events for the Meta achievement - would have been sooner, but I was slacking last year.. shame on me!), and I'm just not willing to spend that kind of gold on a smallish upgrade for alts.

  3. I recently bought the epic flight for my last 80 who didn't have it (the hunter), and having enough money for the 310% on 6 players I'm not going to spend the money. As noted it's not necessary since the difference is not so big. 60% fly was a pain, but even with the buff to 150% I still feel 280% is needed (specially if you're going to spend a lot of time grinding ore/herbs). 310% would sure help a bit, but not much, and at that price is not worth.
    If gold was pouring out of my ears I wouldn't hesitate to get it for all my chars, but I prefer to save the money so I can invest it in training my chars in Cata and get their professions up.

  4. I noticed it when flying beside someone else. Otherwise, I never noticed any difference. Maybe it's only purpose was for you to overtake your pals while flying.

  5. Great article! Well written :)

  6. I won't buy it until I have an overwhelming abundance of gold. 310% increase means you travel at 410% of normal speed vs 380% of the regular epic flying. (410-380)/380 = 30/380 which is a 7.89% speed increase. I'll fly with +280% for now until I have money to waste or until blizz increases the speed (although I've heard that the reason the speed isn't any higher is possibly a bandwith issue where the server would have problems sending the client information fast enough, i.e. you'd fly past nodes without even seeing them on your radar).

  7. I should probably note that my stance in this article has become a bit outdated. Mind you, master riding still only offers a small speed increase for a large amount of money, but seeing how considerably Cataclysm has increased inflation yet again, even five thousand gold doesn't seem like that much anymore. I'd rather spend it on a permanent speed increase, even if it's small, than on a random mount that I'll never use or a piece of BoE gear that I'll be able to replace in a couple of months.

  8. I would agree with Shintar, been in cata today's now, yes I'm late but I've went from around 2k gold to about 4.5k gold in 2 days and that's just from questing and grinding random dungeons. i have endless amounts of quests left. So i tend to think it will be worth it in the long run, if you like getting achievements and doing all the quest's plus running randoms 4k gold as of now seems like chump change.