One of the questions we frequently receive from readers is “Should I purchase a Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth?” This mount, unlike other passenger mounts, comes with two vendors that can be ‘kicked off’ to make room for two friends and is usable anywhere you could normally operate a riding mount. At a cost of 20,000 gold it is the single most expensive vendor-sold item in the game. So… is it worth it?
To start off with, here are a few answers to frequently asked questions regarding the ride:
- Requires level 60 and a riding skill of 150 to use.
- The riding speed of the mount is the same as any level 60/riding skill 150 ground mount.
- Passengers can be any level.
- It is possible, with Kirin Tor reputation, to purchase the mount at a discount.
- At a Kirin Tor exhaulted, the mount costs 16,000 gold.
- Yes, vendors sell repairs, reagents and ammo.
- No, you don’t get a ‘cut’ of the fees paid to vendors.
- Vendors/riding slots are accessible to any member of your party or raid.
- Vendors disappear upon dismount.
- As of patch 3.1, you WILL take damage when falling from heights while riding this mount.
- Casting, looting and similar activities will automatically dismount the rider and passengers.
There are a few ways to look at whether or not to buy the mount. Many people consider the mount a vanity item and see no use for it beyond bragging rights and enhanced mailbox blocking by griefers. In a sense they are correct, as this item is a gold sink almost by the very definition of the term. Blizzard creates items like this to remove money from the game and stave economic irregularity. That said, it is a bit unfair to consider this a straight vanity item in that ‘vanity’ implies there is no real use for the item.
The utility comes in the form of the two vendors that ride along. As regular farmers can attest, being able to clear your bags of unwanted items at any point is an invaluable benefit. Unless you’re an engineer, there really is no way to clear your bags of junk while farming or questing unless you go back to town. In this way it is similar to investing in larger bags (more bag space = more time spent out farming). We also like using the mount to get people where you want them. Get Wintergrasp raiders to come along to desired locations instead of wandering around aimlessly by convincing them to use your mount or perhaps get several people to use these mounts when attacking a rival capitol city and insure that no one gets lost on the way to the throne room. Or, here’s another cool use: get three people the world explore achievement at the same time.
Since we mentioned questing we should also add that the ideal time to get this mount, were you to use it as a way to save time while leveling up, would be to pick it up as soon as you hit level 60. You would then have 20 levels (or more after additional expansion packs) where you would not have to go back to quest hubs to empty bags or repair gear. On the other hand, the closer towards level 80 that you are when you purchase the mount than the cheaper the price of the mount becomes since the price decreases with increased Kirin Tor reputation. It’s a shame that the Kirin Tor don’t credit you with reputation from the previous times you’ve given them a hand.
Our stance tends to be that it is absolutely worth the purchase if you can afford it. You’ll have increased raid utility by offering on-site repairs, almost endless bag space for questing and farming and the ability to more easily drag low-level friends through zones while boosting or escorting. However, if 20,000 or even 16,000 seems to you like an almost impossible amount of gold to get, don’t do it. There are better ways to spend your gold. But if you’re making say 2-5k gold weekly you can look at this as something that will take you 4-10 weeks to pay back. Put another way, this item has a much more practical purpose than an in-game motorcycle or similar mammoths even if it is more expensive. Our only regret is that the mammoth is character and not account bound. At these prices it is preposterous to think that you’d want to purchase more than one of them.
Be aware, however, that once you buy this mount you will become sort of like that real-life friend with a van- the guy that everybody calls when they need help moving to a new home or transporting heavy equipment, the guy that is always the designated driver. You’ll be whispered from time to time by strangers asking for rides and raid leaders will ask you to put up your mount outside the instance for the group after a few wipes.
So the best answer to if you should buy one yourself depends on your own circumstance. If you can afford it and it will help you quest or farm faster, sure- go ahead and buy it. If you’re broke and don’t yet have some of the other expensive things in the game that you’d like (such as epic flight speed) then no, you shouldn’t buy it.