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Plainsrunning was an ability that was only available to tauren players. Originally, the tauren did not have a mount, so when a tauren player reached level 40, they spoke to Saern Priderunner on the Hunter Rise of Thunder Bluff or Samantha Swifthoof in Stranglethorn Vale. The Plainsrunning ability itself was an aura with similar limitations to the mounts, but operated slightly differently. Plainsrunning was removed before the game went live and kodos became the tauren racial mounts.
It would take 10 seconds of running before the skill would kick in and its maximum speed was as fast as a mount. The tauren would get a new version of the skill when they reached level 60; this skill's maximum speed was equal to an "epic" mount.
The skill was removed due to the following problems:
- Mounts were a three second cast time, and lasted until dazed. Players normally do not dismount upon standing still; see below.
- It took the full ten seconds to gain the speed every time, and the speed would dissipate every time the player was hit.
- If the player stopped moving, the buff would go away and it would take ten seconds to reapply it.
- Those limitations were designed to make sure tauren wouldn't run circles around others in PvP, but they clearly showed to be far inferior to a normal mount and nearly impossible to balance.
- It would sometimes kick in at the worst possible moment, causing unwanted body pulls.
The idea of a racial mount speed abiliy was revisted with the worgen racial , albeit much more successfully.