i was thinking about RNG and when it's fun for collectors and when it's not. much of this post stems from my sentiment that blizzard is failing to see how hard collectors are willing to work for their companions, and instead is putting us through the hassle and pains of suffering through RNG with only a short amount of time to obtain a pet.
in some cases RNG can be fun or at the very least an interesting aspect of the collecting business. for example: grinding on mobs and wondering when that special item will drop. will it be on the next kill? how about the next one? maybe just one more! or if you just happen to feel going out and trying your luck and surprise, a new friend for you. for situations like these, RNG is pretty acceptable. while your chances and drop rates may vary from high to low, persistence and determination make it guaranteed that you will receive it eventually and in your time. the collector is in control here.
under different circumstances, RNG is more of a stress factor/pain than it is an enjoyable factor of the game. seasonal pets for example. the big word here being "seasonal"; available only for a limited amount of time each year. since there's only a small window to obtain any companions for the holiday, there's a lot of pressure to get the pet as quickly as possible. however with RNG AND a time limit standing in the way, even the most persistent, dedicated and determined collector may be screwed out of their ultimate goal. the collector has no control here.
don't forget that not only are collectors battling RNG, the ticking clock, but there is also the risk of the companion that they are seeking being removed (either permanently or temporarily) from the event altogether (as evident this year with the scorchling pet). with this looming possibility, who wouldn't want to receive the item ASAP? why run the risk and "take your time", only to find that next year the pet won't even be available? all of this makes collecting, a normally fun activity, less than enjoyable.
keep in mind that i'm mainly referring to the companions that are rare drops from either loot bags or bosses (especially with the seasonal boss changes). holiday pets that are sold from vendors, bind on use, quested for, or that are found from multiple sources are more guaranteed and fall under the acceptable RNG category in my book. while there is still a time factor, the availability is much higher due to the more "farmable" nature of the pets. just spend some extra time and energy collecting items or waiting patiently for the quest/item, and there is a pretty high chance that you will obtain it under your terms.
so what's the resolution? perhaps there isn't one since blizzard insists that RNG plus a limited availability is "fun" and necessary to keep items rare for collectors. yes, the stress of getting a pet within a short time frame and having it entirely out of our control whether or not the roll of dice will be in our favor is very fun!
ok, so maybe sarcasm is uncalled for. but the amount of time and effort and hell, even money, that most companion collectors are willing to shell out should be acknowledge and rewarded rather than punished. those who do have the means to "farm" a holiday pet should have the opportunity to.
the new dungeon system is great for those who do not have the friends/guild members to assist in their goals and to help prevent "ninja-ing". RNG is also a good factor and shouldn't be removed entirely, but the ability to remain in some control shouldn't be removed either. especially for the dedicated and determined. it only puts unwanted/needed stress and pressure on those who desire it much, much more than the average person.