Although the description was left out of the last set of patch notes, Blizzard’s Drysc posted the following to the forums:
There will be effectively two riding skill levels, apprentice and journeyman. The cost for the riding skill will be significantly higher than it previously was, however this is offset by a drastically lower cost for the actual mount.
For current players with mounts there will be a seamless transition to the new system. You will continue to have your mount; you will continue to be able to use it, etc. What this change does for players who don’t yet have a mount or an epic mount is take the emphasis off of the mount itself, and put it on the riding skill. This helps give players access to more variety without requiring a large monetary investment if they, for instance, just want to pick a different colored horse.
Also, Blizzard’s Hortus posted the following:
Faction Mounts have racial restrictions on them, so even if you managed to get hold of a mount from the other faction (say through the Booty Bay auction house) you would still not be able to use it.
The legendary mount [presented to the Champion who completes the Ahn'Qiraj Sceptre questline] will require 150 riding skill. Players who currently have the mount will be given 150 skill when 1.12.1 goes live. Yes I have tested this.
After 1.12.1 goes live there will only be one riding skill that will work with all mounts. The skill currently has 2 ranks Apprentice(75) and Journeyman(150).
Apprentice(75) skill will be required for all superior(blue) level 40 mounts, the Rank 11 PVP mounts and the superior(blue) AQ40 mounts.
Journeyman(150) skill will be required for all epic(purple) level 60 mounts, the AV faction reward mounts and the epic dropped mounts (Deathcharger, Raptor etc.).
Warlocks and Paladins who complete their mount quests will be given Apprentice(75) and
Journeyman(150) upon completion of the quests.
All mounts will be bind on pickup and have a level requirement.
Purchasing a non-racial mount will require exalted reputation with that faction.
When the patch goes live the following changes will take place:
Characters who have a mount in their inventory(backpack or bank) will be granted the skill level necessary to use it. Apprentice Riding Skill requires level 40 Journeyman Riding Skill requires level 60
Players with the Rank 11 PVP mounts will be granted Journeyman(150) skill.
Players with Riding skill but no mount will be granted Apprentice(75) skill.
Paladins and Warlocks who have already completed their level 40 and level 60 mount quests will be granted Apprentice(75) and Journeyman(150) respectively.
Mounts in the mail or on the auction house at the time 1.12.1 goes live will not grant skill to anyone, so I would suggest making sure you have mounts in your inventory or the bank.
So this means no one-time sneaky way to get a Worg mount as Alliance, and that the overall cost of a mount will not change for a player who doesn’t have one yet. Since mounts are now BoP, though, you will not be able to have a guildmate buy a mount with discounts and trade it to you. This also puts an end to folks selling mounts for cash (using their PvP and faction discounts to buy mounts at 20% off and selling them for 15% off). This is probably less important now that the main cost will be in the skill. This does mean that guilds that used to provide mounts for new L40s will have to rethink how they do this (since now you have to hand over 90g and hope it gets spent on the skill).
Our reports from the test realms currently show the following (remember that everything is subject to change until the moment the patch goes live):
- Apprentice Riding Skill (Riding 75) costs 90g, requires L40 to learn, and allows riding L40 mounts (including the Warlock and Paladin mounts), the superior quality Ahn’Qiraji bug mounts, the Wintersaber Frostsaber, and the Rank 11 PvP war steeds.
- Journeyman Riding Skill (Riding 150) costs 900g, requires L60 to learn, and allows riding L60 mounts (including the Warlock and Paladin mounts), the rare dropped mounts (including the Black Qiraji mount), and the Alterac Valley exalted mounts.
- Riding skill can be trained at any of the previous riding trainers.
- Base prices of the standard faction mounts have dropped to 10g for the L40 mount and 100g for the L60 mount. You need to be Exalted with a faction other than your own to purchase their mounts. All mounts are now Bind on Pickup (previously, they were Bind on Use).
- Base prices of the PvP Rank 11 mount and the Alterac Valley Exalted mounts are 10g.
Previously, the base cost of a mount was 20g for the (mount-specific) riding skill and 80g for the L40 mount. Upgrading to an Elite mount used to cost 1000g. Under the new system, the base cost of a mount remains the same – 90g for the riding skill, 10g for the mount, with the upgrade costing 900g for the skill, 100g for the mount. The Alterac mounts are now 88g more expensive (previously, 800g base, now 910g base or 640g and 728g fully discounted) but still represent a discount over regular faction mounts which are 800g fully discounted.
It’s unclear at this point how this will affect Rank 11 mounts – it is possible that Rank 11 PvPers will be able to ride any of the Black War Steeds, including those of the other factions. Stay tuned on this one. We transferred a character with Rank 11 and racial (non-epic) mounts that he couldn’t ride; on the Test Realms, he was able to use all of them (they required skill “UNKNOWN (75)”).
The net effect is that purchasing multiple mounts is now cheaper. For cross-faction mounts, you will still need to reach Exalted with the other faction to purchase the mount, but will now only need to spend an additional 10 or 100g to get your mount. In particular, getting the Wintersaber or Ravasaur mounts no longer require getting Exalted with another faction to learn the riding skill (okay, Horde still doesn’t have Ravasaurs yet, but keep hoping!). It’s theorized that this change was necessary to implement the flying mounts (and possibly other L70 mounts) in the expansion. For characters who have reached L40 but not yet purchased their mounts, you may have a unique opportunity to save money. Train your riding skill now for 20g and wait until the patch to purchase your mount. Admittedly, there aren’t a lot of characters who will be affected by this savings, but it’s a nice windfall for the few of you who can take advantage of this. Others with money to gamble on this one-time loophole, you could purchase the other mounts of your team and, after the patch, be able to ride the mounts without having to get Exalted with each faction (note that you still would not be able to upgrade those mounts without getting to Exalted). Please remember that this is all speculative; proceed at your own risk.