Horses in Modern DAoC

This guide focuses mainly on where to get horses and saddles/ horse armor.  A lot of the information currently available on the web is out of date, and I haven't seen all of this information in one place anywhere else.  You can find pictures of all the mounts available in game on the official website , though the the information on what champion levels are needed to equip different sets of horse armor is currently wrong.  Etaew has a good general guide to horse mechanics that's definitely worth reading.

To use a mount enter "/mount" to open your mount panel, move the horse you want to use from your inventory to the "active" slot of the mount panel, then drag the mount icon from the panel to one of your quickbar slots.  There are two general classes of horse:

Standard horses can be used at level ten or higher, grant a 135% runspeed bonus (roughly the same speed as sprinting), can't use saddles or other accessories, and can't be used in the frontiers.

Advanced horses can only be used by characters level 45 or higher, grant a 154% runspeed bonus, can be equipped with saddles, barding and saddlebags, and can be used in the frontiers. 

Standard Horses

You get one for free just doing the starter quest series.  This mount is also available from a short quest that starts with the Royal Stablemaster in your realm's capital city.  Etaew has a good walkthough of this quest. You will also have an opportunity to get a horse with a slightly more interesting realm specific appearance from a quest later on.  A quest will give you a choice as to whether or not to desecrate a tomb or relic.  If you choose to desecrate it, you can give the item you dig up to the quest giver for one platinum and a nasty debuff that lasts about ten minutes.  If you decide to honor the past, instead you'll get a standard horse with a new appearance.  This horse can also be sold to merchants for roughly 600 gold when you are done with it.

The Lethantis Horse, a standard mount available to Albion
chracters from one of the new player quests.  Different mounts are
available to hibernian and midgaurd characters.

Advanced Horses 

Most of these can't be used until level 50 and require champion levels to use, though the Chestnut horse can be used by characters that are level 45 or higher.  The chestnut horse is sold by the Quartermaster's Aide in the Kings Throne Room in your capital city.  Generally I wait until I'm level 50 and buy this horse on my way to get the free set of epic gear from the king.

An Earth Steed with Hibernian Mystic Heavy Armor

Champion level 1-5 mounts

A wide variety of advanced horses are sold by the Quartermaster in the King's Throne Room.  Each has a champion level requirement to use. The quartermaster will only allow you to buy mounts you qualify for.  The most exotic and expensive mounts (Epic Mounts) cost 15 p.  The quartermaster sells you a voucher that you take to the Royal Stablemaster in your capital city, who can be found in the Stables (they are marked on the in-game city map).  With the voucher in your inventory, talk to the stablemaster to start a quest for your advanced mount.  The quests vary by realm and the horse you are trying to get.  All the ones I've done are pretty straightforward, though sometimes you will need to spend a fair amount to time wandering around an area looking for a specific mob you need kill.  Finish the quest to get your new mount.  Most Epic mounts can be used by characters of champion level five or higher.

A Gemstone Horse with Hibernian Heavy Sinister Armor
Champion level 6+ mounts

Finally, there are a some horses and Epic mounts (i.e., the gemstone, arboreal, kelpie and clockwork horses) with higher champion level requirements.  These horses and vouchers for high level Epic mount quests are sold by Grand Merchant Codius (alb),  Grand Merchant Adanor (hib), or Grand Merchant Rogert (mid).  This NPC hangs in in the Kings Throne Room in the same room as the king.

Saddles and Horse Armor

Saddles and horse armor are both equipped in the armor slot of your mount panel.  They grant an additional 54% runspeed bonus, for a total 208% runspeed bonus.  They are only available from player crafters.  Generally on the standard servers if you go to the housing area you can find heroic saddles for sale for 1p or less on the housing market.  On Gaheris I was very rarely able to find heroic saddles for sale, and resorted to crafting them myself.

All saddles and horse armor provide the exact same runspeed bonus, so if all you care about is function grab a Chestnut Horse and a Heroic Saddle and call it a day.  However, there are a wide variety of saddle and armor styles available, the appearance of which varies by realm.  You can see pictures  of all the Albion horse armors, Hibernian horse armors and Midgard horse armors on the official website. 

The levels at which various saddles and armor can be used was changed a few years ago, and for some reason broadsword never bothered to update their website.  The current champion level requirements are as follows:

Saddle / Armor               Champion Level Required
Heroic Saddle                  Champion Level 0 (still need to be level 50)
Heroic Light Armor         Champion Level 1
Heroic Medium Armor    Champion Level 3
Heroic Heavy Armor       Champion Level 5
Sinister Saddle                 Champion Level 1
Sinister Light Armor        Champion Level 2
Sinister Medium Armor   Champion Level 4
Sinister Heavy Armor      Champion Level 6
Mystic Saddle                  Champion Level 2
Mystic Light Armor         Champion Level 3
Mystic Medium Armor    Champion Level 5
Mystic Heavy Armor       Champion Level 7

Between the different styles of armor and all the horses you can choose from, that's a heck of a lot of variety in the look of your mount.  It's also worth noting that any armor you have equipped on your horse stays on your horse if you pull it out of the mount panel.  To move armor from one horse to another, first pull the armor out of the mount panel and then swap horses.

On Crafting Saddles

To craft saddles and horse armor you need to get metalworking up to at least 1000.*  All of the armor and saddle recipes will become available when you do. If you are on Gaheris you can also makes horse armor in the style of any realm you like.  To switch to the crafting recipes of a particular realm use the command "/craft albion", "/craft hibernia" or "/craft midgard."  One oddity is that different realms use different metals.  To make albion and midgard horse armor you'll need arcanium metal bars (sold by merchants in Camelot and Jordenheim), to make hibernian recipes you'll need arcanite metal bars (sold by merchants in Tir na Nog).  To get all those saddles to your alts you will also want a house with a vault.  I set up a cheap house on Gaheris with a vault along with crafting material merchants and a forge.   

*It's possible get metalworking up to 1000 for less than 5 plat, but that's a topic for another guide. 

A Nightmare Steed with a Heroic Saddle
Other Mount Stuff 

Mithril Mounts

You can buy dragon mounts using mithril, a currency that can only be purchased with real world money.  I don't own any of these mounts, but assume they are functionally identically to other advanced mounts.

Saddle Bags and Barding

Saddle bags provide additional storage.  More bags can be used as you rise in champion levels, up to a total of four, which gives you 16 extra storage slots. I have yet to run out of bank space on any of my characters, so I haven't bothered with saddle bags.  Barding provides no functional benefits, it's strictly for appearance.  However, it can be dyed with cloth dye and comes in a wide variety of styles.

This guide is current as of December 2017, DAOC v 1.124C.  


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