Mount up! On the Subject of Random Mount Addons (pt 1)
This is a multipart post.
- Part 1 – Intro, criteria, and the benchmark
- Part 2 – BeStride, Choose Mount, Easy Rider, and gmMounts
- Part 3 – GoGoMount, IntelliMount, KuiMount, LiteMount
- Part 4 – Mandrill Mount, MountMe, MountsJournal, Mount Journal Enhanced
- Part 5 – Conclusions
When Blizzard introduced the mount journal, they also added the ability to summon a mount randomly from your favorites. The downside is that it was very rudimentary, with no intelligence, and it was global to all of your alts, so you couldn’t personalize per-alt.
Ergo, near and dear to my heart is the addon GupPet. This addon provides robust per-character summoning options, far superior to the unenhanced experience.
Still, GupPet has started to get long in the tooth and support has been sporadic at best. With increasing anxiety, I started looking around for alternatives.
I am happy to report that there are many alternatives out there. I thought you might appreciate the fruits of my labor. So, over several posts, I’ll report the results of this investigation for your edification. At the end, I’ll sum up and provide any recommendations I may have.
To be considered in this review, the addon had to be self-contained and updated no later than July 2018 (which is when GupPet was last updated, and roughly when BfA went live on the PTR). It had to have support for random mount summoning – battlepet features are not the primary consideration.
Here are the factors that I am grading on. Scale of 0 to 5, with 0 indicating no support for the feature at all, and -1 indicating that the feature is there but broken.
- Mount Features
- Journal Integration – does the addon use or modify the native pet journal, or roll its own?
- Random Mount – does the addon support summoning random mounts, and how well? This is basically the party piece of these addons. If they don’t serve this up well, the rest is irrelevant.
- Favorites – can you specify lists for which mounts to consider, and how well?
- Zone-based favorites – does the addon let you set up favorites for specific zones?
- 3D Model Preview – do you get a 3D preview of a mount when considering it?
- Auto-add new mounts – when you collect a new mount, is it automatically enabled?
- Zone Types – If you’re in an area where aquatic mounts are supported, does the addon figure it out? How about flying or ground? How well does it pick up the odd zones such as warfronts or expeditions?
- General Features
- Uses Blizzard configuration interface – considered more desirable than rolling your own by some.
- Minimap – does it support a minimap icon of some sort?
- Data Broker – does it support the Data Broker standard for plugins such as FuBar or ChocolateBar?
- UI Errors – does it cause UI errors?
- Slash Command – can you invoke the addon with a slash command?
- Action buttons – does the addon supply its own action buttons?
- Keybinds – can you bind addon features to keystrokes?
- Profiles – Does it support per character profiles?
I’ll start with GupPet as it is more or less the standard that the others are being measured against, and once you see all of them, you’ll understand why.
I’ve been using GUPPet since Cataclysm, at least. On occasion it has stopped working, but for the most part the author(s) have kept it up to date. It’s clear at this point, however, that the support is minimal at best, and I haven’t seen interaction from the author(s) since July 2018.
This addon eschews the Mount Journal for its own interface, which is for the most part pretty good. Hovering over a mount in the list brings up a 3D model that is okay but sometimes a little janky. During Legion, class mounts would cause UI errors if they were from the wrong class. This was corrected with the current version.
The addon does not use the Blizzard “Interface” configuration. Well, it’s PRESENT, but it’s just a button that opens the real UI, so I don’t feel that that counts.
Selecting a mount in the mount list is a checkbox – there’s no way to designate that the mount is only for use in specific environments, but rather the addon tries to figure that out for you.
The addon offers the ability to specify specific favorites for specific zones, but it’s broken. Trying to configure favorites for a specific zone causes a UI error. Fortunately this doesn’t cause any fatal crashes, but it does render that feature useless.
Favorites are per-character; this is invisible to the user. Unfortunately that also means you can’t copy favorite lists from one alt to the other.
The addon offers its own action buttons (which are skinnable using the Masque addon), slash commands, and keybinds via the Blizzard keybind interface. You cannot add the action buttons to your button bars, but you can add macro buttons that call the slash commands.
The addon offers a minimap icon which you can disable, but no Data Broker interface.
Class / race -specific support is provided in most cases – but some are missing, such as Sprint for Rogues and Roll for Monks. Each supported ability can be disabled in the options window.
- Priest – Levitate while falling or moving
- Mage – Feather Fall while falling
- Hunter – Aspect of the Cheetah when moving.
- Shaman – Ghost Wolf if moving
- Druid – Travel Form. It’s complicated, but basically you get the form that is appropriate for where you are, or Cheetah if you’re indoors. Druid travel form can replace other mounts in most circumstances.
- Worgen – Running Wild
Random mount support is very good. The addon figures out what mount to summon based on where you are and your favorites for the environment. The list of favorites is subcategorized into three environments as a list of aquatic, land, and flying mounts (with a sub-category for vendor / special mounts). One button controls the whole process – just hit the auto-mount button, and the addon figures it out for you. In a no-fly zone? You get a designated ground mount. Underwater? Aquatic mount. If you have the ‘specials’ enabled for ground mounts, they can appear as well.
The problem of course is that flying mounts appear in the ground mount list, so you have to be careful not to enable them on the ‘ground’ tab or you’ll be waddling around on a grounded dragon. It’s sad looking.
The only caveat here is that the addon doesn’t ‘get’ warfronts (not talking about the patrol mode ones, which allow flying, but the 20-man scenarios, which don’t). I created a patch to fix this (see: https://bitbucket.org/grimmlabs/guppet/src/master/) but neither author has responded to my submissions so go get it if you use this addon 🙂
One feature that this addon offers over the others is that it also offers support for companion (aka battle pet) randomized summoning as well. You can exclude whole location categories (city, outside, arena, party, raid, and battleground), allow only in cities, and instigate a “pet of the day” mode in which one randomly selected pet is used for the entire day, regardless. The companion tab shows all battle pets you have “learned” and you can select all, none, or specific pets for summoning on a random-ish schedule, based on your configuration options. It’s pretty inclusive.
Overall, this is still my favorite random mount addon, despite some shortcomings. It’s the standard that other mount addons will be rated against.