lately, blizzard seems to be hopping onto the collecting bandwagon. be it pets, mounts, tabards, etc, there just seems to be more activity in these "hobby" areas of gameplay as of late. maybe blizzard is feeling pressure from the higher-ups to cash in on this potential cash-cow, or perhaps they genuinely wish to recognize the smaller sub-community of players found within the larger and more prominent PVP, PVE and RP groups. or i could just be reading way too far into things (like i sometimes tend to do).
what prompted me to contemplate this, though, is not only is there more love being shown for collectors in the way of official features, additions, incentives, and improvements, but i'm noticing more and more players take on the challenge of collecting. specifically vanity pets because well.. that's where most of my attention falls lol.
people who previously didn't collect have started up and those who only did so casually are now taking it a little more seriously. most of them are aiming for the newest achievement pets, nuts and the celestial dragon, but i don't blame them. these two pets really kick ass.
i'm pretty happy to see more players take an interest in companion collecting, as well as blizzard providing an incentive and an avenue for collectors to express and go about this style of gameplay.
the downside to all of this though (and yes, i do feel like there is a possible downside) is that some players may come to expect an incentive every single time blizzard addresses and implements something concerning vanity pets. even old-school serious collectors may lose sight of what collecting is to them and start tunneling in on only the statistics, the rewards, and the e-peen aspect.
to each their own, but i'd like to think that the collecting community mentality is more than just hoarding things so you can turn to the player next to you and say "LOOK AT ME, I'M SO COOL BECAUSE I HAVE MORE THAN YOU." my hope is that there's more maturity in collecting than that because of the type of personality it takes to be a serious collector. i think the determination, patience, understanding and persistence gives collectors a wider and broader and more contemplative sense of mind.
i also mentioned my concern that some may feel entitled to rewards for every little companion pet related feat in the near-future. with the sudden attachment of not one, not two, but THREE new pet collecting achievement tiers that award a pet each, it's easy to get swept away with all of the shiny new loot.
a comment on a forum thread from the official wow site pretty much sums up my overall thoughts on the new achievement pets. for every new tier achievement, will there be more and louder outcries for a reward? when has collecting pets been more about the rewards than the path to reach the achievement? do the individual companions not matter anymore and are they simply going to turn into a number?
in the end i'm thankful and glad blizzard is opening the doors and possibilities for collectors. bandwagon or not, every community wants to be acknowledged and given the ability and means to play in the way they choose. i do have my concerns about the longevity, stability and evolution of the collecting community though. i've seen what can happen when a group of people of similar mind/interest grows extremely large and becomes somewhat unmanageable (that isn't to say ALL of the PVE and PVP communities are out of control and vitriol, but it does appear that blizzard is struggling a bit to maintain a friendly and open community environment these days), and i'd hate to see pet collectors undergo that same path. some may agree with me on this one while others may not, so to each their own.
whatever happens, happens. i'll continue to collect pets for my own reasons which may or may not be the same as the player next to me. i just hope that the bandwagon party blizzard is taking part in doesn't turn and bite everyone in the butt, though.