Sunday, May 8, 2011

More Thoughts On CtA

as a fellow officer of my guild once said, "the dead horse, stop beating it."

except the call to arms satchel of exotic mysteries is something that i just can't seem to let go of. perhaps it's because it's so new? or maybe it's due to the mind boggling lack of... sense... in which the companions were placed into the loot bag.

i mean, compare them with the mounts where mainly rare dungeon mounts were added (plus the addition of two extra non-five-man mounts). pets? a whole host of them from nearly all categories were piled into the satchel of exotic mysteries, and it's something i'm still having trouble wrapping my head around.

the discussion around what companions to add to the reward bag really feels as though it went down like this:

'vendor pets, let's add those'; fair enough.
then, 'rare world drops too'; uh, ok.
and then, 'reputation rewards as well'; right... getting a little excited there, yea?
'how about reputation rewards PLUS the ones that require special currency!'
until eventually, 'let's just throw in at least a few from all categories, excluding any of the pets no longer available, holiday and the tcg pets, and petstore companions.'

i'm not saying that i know for a fact that that was the process used in deciding which pets to place on the CtA loot table, but it sure feels that way.

don't get me wrong in my criticisms. i agree with some of the pets that were added to the CtA satchel (such as the rare world/zone drops and the faction favored common vendor pets), but others make me scratch my head. for example, yesterday, i received my first pet from the reward bag and it turned out to be the durotar scorpion.

personally, it felt somewhat wrong to just loot it from a bag like that. i remember when the argent tournament companions first came out (which, relatively speaking, wasn't all that long ago), i had to find a horde partner to trade these reputation earned pets with. it took some coordination and time, but it was well worth the effort. i underwent the reputation and currency grind, yet this only added to the meaning behind these pets.

can newer players say these pets they've casually picked up from the CtA reward hold the same sentimental value? or are their companions more about the numbers now? it's true that sentimental value is different for each individual, but in general, looting a randomly generated item from a bag normally does not fall under the "special memories" category.

maybe that's what is actually bothering me, that in the long run pet collecting will lose its original design and form and turn into yet another number grind to see who can get the highest and the most. with this slop of pets thrown into the satchel, it feels as though blizzard is only encouraging an achievement point driven collecting style, and putting less emphasis on what used to be a personal and meaningful "hobby" and/or style of gameplay.

then again, blizzard has also thoughtfully implemented a few very touching and emotion driven questlines for pets recently as well. does it balance out the CtA satchel loot table? it's hard to say right now.

in the end that's what is needed, though. balance, consistency and compromise. change does happen and is something we have to live with, but it will not always be welcome or accepted. if blizzard intends for some radical changes, they will need to ease into them and maintain a consistent balance and/or compromise with the major parties and communities present.

something else that needs to be considered when dealing with change is, 'who could be negatively affected by this?' if the answer is no one, and it turns out to just be an inconvenience for some, blizzard has no reason to not implement it. they need to remember to see things from a pet collector point of view though, new and old collectors.

i sincerely doubt blizzard will be removing any of the companions that are currently on the CtA loot table, and if anything, more pets will be added in the future. will i agree with all the companions placed in the satchel? probably not. but i think this is just another one of those things that i will have to learn to live with.


  1. I think we, as pet collectors, have to kind of "get over" this. I really don't like they people are getting pets they never had to grind for, or had to gain rep for.

    But what can we do? I think pet collecting has gone downhill since they made them a spell rather than an item. I remember having my bags and bank so full of pets that I had to delete gear as I got new stuff. I had no gear saved at all. if I got a new piece, the old was deleted. Then they added the achievements, which made even MORE people compete for the same pets I was looking for.

  2. Personally, I'm happy about the current design (even if I didn't get any pets yet). To be honest, I'm lazy. I don't feel like doing the Tournament dailies even for the Alliance pets for myself, let alone for more Alliance pets to trade for Horde ones. If I can get them for "free" from the satchel, I will be a very happy druid.

  3. @pandy: yea. the game is heading in a much more relaxed style and direction compared to previous expansions. it worries me to a degree. but if i ultimately can't agree with the changes, then i guess that will just mean i've outlived my time in WoW. we'll see though. change and acceptance of change can only come with time and patience.

    @Jen: i'm sure there are quite a few players (old and new) who feel the same way, and it seems as though the decisions made regarding companions and pet collecting are steadily being made and implemented with this type of player mindset in mind.

  4. This is bad for the game. Blizzard better wake up and realize people don't like this. Their subscription numbers fell by over half a million this quarter alone; I think people are tired of what they're doing.

    Obviously this isn't the direct cause, but I feel the "relaxed and lazy" manner of some portions of the game really turn people off. It seems that unless you like raiding, the game will present you with no challenges and no immersion for the single player experience at all. I haven't dwelt much on this particular bag of disaster, as any time Blizzard makes a bag drop of some sort it's a disaster, but it's sad that they've done this.

    Much like the failure to recolor 3 new pets in the last 6 months, something they never even did when they made less money and had a smaller team of developers in Vanilla WoW. This is just another awful and lazy step to the general awful and laziness we've seen lately.

  5. @Harval: personally, the whole call to arms feature feels like a very hastily put together bandaid for a much larger issue; tanking and healing being roles that most don't want to commit to (leading to "unreasonable" queue times, which led to the implementation of CtA to begin with and so on).

    i really can't say for sure if i view this move by blizzard as well as the carbon copies of recent pets as laziness or just a lack of time/resources. whatever the reason, it worries me and i'm concerned about the game's direction as well as pet collecting.


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