Mounts are a necessity in WoW. The boost in speed afforded by mounts not only enables you to level faster (reduced travel times), it also makes your character that much more fun to play. And this has been true for all levels of mounts, from the first skeletal horse I had at level 40, to the epic flying windrider I recently bought.
The main issue at hand, then, is the cost of riding these beasts. Even the most extravagant spender should be able to save enough money by level 70 (from quest rewards, if not anything else) to buy up to the non-epic flying mount). Thus, today's post will focus on the cost and value of the next 'level' mount - the epic flying windrider.
First off, the flying mount makes certain quests where you have to bomb targets while being chased by birds and/or enemy bombs very easy as you can easily outfly the dangers. However, with a latency of around 16000 ms (strange things were happening yesterday), by the time the bomb is launched 16 seconds later after you issued the command, you can be too far away from the target resulting in 'too far away' messages. But then again, who plays with 16000 latency?!! I too had to stop after 20 minutes of madness.
Second, having the 300 riding skill (mastering the ways of flying) opens up an entire series of daily quests with the Netherwing faction offering the possibility of a lot of gold (over time, enough to compensate for the cost of the mount) and a Netherdrake mount once you reach exalted. We're talking freaking ethereal dragons, man.
Third, it looks badass. And being faster than the flight paths has its own charm, and over time, saves more gold than you'd imagine.
However, all this comes with a price tag of 5000g. To someone who has not played WoW since the advent of BC, this might seem like an exorbitant amount, and indeed it is, but nothing quite like what it meant pre-BC. Just by completing quests after hitting 70, I easily accumulated around 2500g, and the rest took 2 months of not-so-dedicated farming. Hardcore farmers in my guild got their epic mounts within a week, and by the next, started loaning out gold to help others get their mounts.
Ok, so you are a good farmer, or you were just fortuitous with rare Bind of Equip drops that you then sold to other players for heaps of gold. Here's the bottom line on why you should then spend all that gold on the epic flier, instead of better gear and/or enchants. Because once you have the epic flier, you will make gold at an even faster rate, that you can then spend on those luxuries without having a slightest nagging feeling at the back of your mind that you should save up for a mount instead.