Tyrael’s Charger – what the new WoW mount looks like, where to get it, and who exactly Tyrael is

In amongst the excitement at Blizzcon 2011 this year, one announcement hasn’t gotten as much attention as we might have expected – there’s a new flying mount available to buy for World of Warcraft. Tyrael’s Charger is an angelic, winged horse, and it can be yours for –

Wait, what?

Yep, that’s right. The only way to get the Horse With Wings currently is to buy an annual subscription to World of Warcraft.

The Charger

Youtube Video:

(from MMO Champion)

The Charger is, fairly obviously, a successor to the Celestial Steed, aka the Sparklepony. So far, all we have of it is this one image, from which the most distinctive aspect are its angel wings. We don’t know yet, but I’d guess that they will ripple rather than flap, as Tyrael’s wings do in Diablo.

Less obviously, you can see the horse also has a glowing angelic mane (for art nerds, both the wings and the mane are produced with an additive texture – the same trick WoW uses in many other places to create glowing swords and ghosts, and the Sparklepony itself). Unless there have been some artistic liberties taken with the picture, it’s also pretty damn big – the night elf on its back looks about the same size as she would on a dragon mount, not a normal horse.

Beyond that, we’ve got the standard Blizzard “Holy” gold armour, unsprisingly given its presumed angelic origins. The horse itself is pretty heavy-set – we’re looking at a warhorse here, not something nimble and light.

Personally, I’m not nearly convinced by it as a mount – the wings are attractive, but the rest of it feels too much like a Paladin steed with some fancy dress wings tacked on. However, that may all change when we see more of it – if handled right, it could have an unstoppable feel, and be a great mount for any character in the priest/paladin line.

I can’t see it ever fitting a Rogue, though!

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How to get the flying horse

Currently, there’s only one way to get Tyrael’s Charger – by buying an annual subscription to WoW, which will also get you a free copy of Diablo III and access to the Mists of Pandaria beta.

When do you get the Charger? As soon as Patch 4.3 drops, it’ll turn up in your mail. You’ll get it for all characters at the same time.

It’s expensive, but is it a good deal? Well, that very much depends on how sure you are that you’re going to be playing WoW in the next year (and, of course, if you’re interested in Diablo). This seems like a pretty impressive offer for Blizzard to make, and is leading to some speculation that there might be a reason they expect a lot of people to unsubscribe in the next year, beyond the looming shadow of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Will Sparklepony 2.0 ever be available another way? Probably, but likely not for a while. Blizzard are pushing the Annual Offer hard, and are likely to keep it up for a while. I’d expect Tyrael’s Charger to become available in the Blizzard store after Diablo III’s launch, but not before.

So what’s the backstory to Tyrael’s Charger?

Oddly, this mount has nothing to do with WoW at all. Instead, it’s a reference to the Archangel Tyrael in the Diablo lore – presumably to tie in with the Diablo III ramp-up that’s happening now.

In the Diablo universe, Tyrael essentially represents the side of good opposed to the evil of Diablo. He’s an Archangel who leads the Heavenly Host, and appears to you as the player character in the final act of Diablo II, giving you the quest to defeat Diablo himself. You can see him in action at 0:35 in this video – it’s pretty easy to see where the Steed got its wings.

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    Tyrael in Diablo II
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This isn’t Tyrael’s first appearance in WoW – rather undignifiedly for an Archangel, he also made an appearance as a minipet a couple of years ago, Mini Tyrael.

His role in Diablo III is unknown at the moment, but it’s speculated that he’ll play a major role, possibly as a fallen angel opposing the rest of the Angelic Council.

All of this leaves just one piece of missing information about Tyrael’s steed – why would someone who can fly need a horse?

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Easy mounts to get in WoW

Where would Gandalf be without Shadowfax? Where would Don Quixote be without Rocinante? Where would Shrek be without Donkey? Whatever type of hero you want to play, one thing’s for sure: you’ll need a suitably heroic steed. To help you along, here’s our list of easy mounts to get in WoW.

Once your World of Warcraft character hits level 20, you’ll be able to learn the Apprentice Riding skill, which sounds rather unpleasant for the poor apprentice, but is actually just the skill you need to be able to ride at all. Once you’ve trained that skill, you’ll be able to obtain and ride a mount. As well as making you travel faster, mounts come in a wide variety of types, colors and sizes. Some of the more exotic mounts require you to be either very lucky, very persistant, or – most often – both in order to aquire them, but there are some basic mounts which are easy to get hold of.

Racial mounts

By far the easiest mounts to get hold of are those provided by your own race. For Horde characters, these will be Wolves for Orcs, Kodos for Tauren, Raptors for Trolls, Skeletal Horses for Undead, Hawkstriders for Blood Elves, and Trikes for Goblins. For Alliance characters, the choices are Elekk for Draenei, Rams for Dwarves, Mechanostriders for Gnomes, Horses for Humans, and Sabers for Night Elves. Worgen have no racial mount – instead they just get down on all fours and run!

You’ll automatically be able to buy the mounts for your own race, but you can obtain the mounts for other races of your faction once you hit Exalted reputation with that race. The exception to this is the Worgen Running Wild ability, which only Worgen characters can learn.

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Class mounts

Depending on your class, you may have another easy way to get a mount: your class mount. Not every class has a mount, but those that do usually learn the ability automatically and for free at level 20. Warlocks will learn to summon a Felsteed. Paladins will also automatically gain a mount – the exact nature of which will depend on the paladin’s race.

If you’re playing a druid or a shaman, you won’t have access to any class specific mounts, but you will be able to transform yourself into a form with faster movement – a cat for a druid, and a ghost wolf for a shaman.

Easy quest mounts

While the aquisition of most mounts will require some effort, there are a few which are easier than others. If you’re looking for an ususual mount that won’t require too much work to obtain, try one of these:

Venomhide Ravasaur

Available to Horde characters only, this rideable raptor is a reward from a series of daily quests given out by Mor’vek in Un’Goro crater. You’ll need to be of a high enough level to wander around Un’Goro crater without being instantly eaten, but the quests are easy. It’ll take you 20 days in total to get your mount.

Brown Riding Camel and Tan Riding Camel

Once you’re Exalted with the Ramkahen faction in Uldum, you’ll be able to buy these mounts from Blacksmith Abasi.

Armored Brown Bear

There are several mounts which can be bought for cold, hard cash, but this is among the cheapest. At 800g, it’ll still leave your pockets lighter, but if you want to ride an armored bear into battle like Lyra Belacqua, visit Mei Francis in Dalaran.

Talbuks

Getting to Exalted reputation with the Kurenai or Mag’har in Outland can be a bit of a grind, but you’ll get access to eight different talbuk mounts if you do so, which makes it worth considering.

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