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WOW to get mounts at level 30?

Plus more patch and trading card news.

The patch notes for World of Warcraft test servers indicate that the level requirement for mounts is to be lowered from 40 to 30.

It may sound like a trivial detail, but WOW players will understand that gaining access to the travel speed boost ten levels earlier will make a huge difference to the experience of levelling a character in the game, and will be very welcome.

"Mounts at 30?! Yes, it's true: Apprentice Riding and mounts are now available at level 30. Training costs 35 gold," read the notes, indicating that the cost of the riding skill - previously 90 gold for training, and 10 gold for a mount - has also been slashed.

Otherwise, patch 2.4.3 offers few major changes on the test servers, beyond the usual brace of adjustments to class balance, and some concessions towards easing the difficulty of the recently-added Magister's Terrace dungeon.

Naturally, these changes are currently for test only and are not guaranteed to make it into the next patch for real, but we'd be very surprised if they didn't, the level 30 mounts especially. Patch 2.4.3 will go live in early July.

Also supported by the patch - and released just before it, on July 1 - is the next expansion for Upper Deck Entertainment's WOW trading card game: The Hunt for Illidan. Three new cards with codes for in-game loot will appear: one allows you to leave glowing green footprints wherever you walk, another lets you create a mirrorball for instant disco action, and the third lets you summon an ethereal trader who'll follow you around, awarding you currency for every monster you kill which can then be exchanged with him for exclusive items.