I mentioned that I would dedicate an entire post to the topic of pet battles, but after reading a blue post response to pet battles... I just feel compelled to say this here and now. Maybe I'm just having a knee-jerk reaction, and with time I'll see a clearer and more logical side to this, but right now I just can't hold back my frustration and irritation.
"It's about giving people options in the game to play it how they want to." - ZarhymI find this statement and the whole concept of pet battles contradictory. I'll explain why in a moment.
"...you're actually getting a use out of the pets you've collected over the years, in order to progress them in a fun mini-game, unlock countless more pets, and just generally give your character a new depth of style and flavor." - ZarhymNote the bold portion of this statement.
Alright, so pet collectors. What do collectors desire? Namely classical pet collectors who really have no interest in putting their pets in battles. To acquire as many companions as they can, right? To complete their collection by adding to it all the pets that are currently available. What if there are pets that are available but ONLY if you participate in pet battling...?
Now, this pet battling feature is supposed to be "optional" yes? But in the end is it really? Especially for classic collectors?
Because pet battling will "unlock countless more pets", collectors are pretty much pressured into partaking in this new feature or they will not even have access to specific pets. Not even getting a chance at new and unique companions would be devastating for a classic collector, but what CHOICE will they have?
It's either participate, or get left out and left behind from my understanding.
I hope I'm making sense here. In the end, I really DON'T see this feature as being optional if you are a diehard pet collector. At least it's not optional if you want access to the new companions. And if you understand collecting, naturally you'd understand that not having access to ANY companion for whatever reason is simply devastating. Sometimes to the point where some players quit completely.
I have yet to hear of any other route or option that classic collectors may take to acquire the same pets that pet battlers will have access to, unless they get involved with the battles themselves. Perhaps this could be resolved if a secondary pet grouping was created specifically for just battle pets. In other words: one group would be standard companion pets while another group would be pets used purely in battles. That way classic collectors may not feel as pressured or forced into participating just to gain access to the "countless more pets".
I understand that many pet collectors will have no problem taking up pet battling and a large portion will even enjoy it. Then again there are those who aren't as excited or eager about this feature. What of them? They can either half-heartedly take up pet battling just to gain access to specific companions, or don't participate and be locked out from completing their collection to its fullest potential. The latter may seem like an easy choice, but it's actually very disheartening. Many collectors have spent years and a lot of time/energy/money on their collections, and suddenly they must give it all up or continue on knowing it will never truly be complete? How is this an option that anyone would want to take?
It would be like telling a pro-athlete that they can't play in that one last game that would complete their season unless they do XYZ. What choice does the pro-athlete have at that point? Throw their season and career out the window or fall in line and do XYZ (despite their lack of interest/desire in XYZ)? It's ultimately up to each individual to decide, but in the end many will simply feel they "have to" in order to keep up and to continue on. Can you honestly tell me that XYZ is still optional in this situation?
It may be "optional" purely by definition of the word, but when it comes down to the bottom line, the pro-athlete doesn't have a choice. Not if they want to keep their job. The same can be said for pet collectors; if they want access and they want to be able to continue striving to complete their collection, they MUST participate.
This whole "it's optional" concept really frustrates me because it really isn't optional for many collectors, and I really wish this idea would stop being thrown around so carelessly. Unless Blizzard has some other feature/system up their sleeves that they haven't announced yet, I can't agree with the statement that pet battling will be optional for collectors. From my point of view, it's not optional if you don't want a large, gaping hole in your collection. And that just doesn't sit well with me.
Just to make it clear, it's not the whole idea of pet battling that I have issue with right now. I'm still willing to hear Blizzard out and wait to find out more details and information about this new feature.
What DOES bother me is how Blizzard is presenting the pet battles. They claim it will be simply be an optional addition to the pet collecting gameplay when in reality, to a collector, it's NOT optional. To use the idea that it will be an easy choice to participate in or not to participate in to promote the feature is unfair to all collectors and rather shady on Blizzard's part in my opinion.