While the droprates are lower now, hopefully that won't discourage pet collectors (especially newer ones) from going out and searching for that elusive pet to add to their collection. Keep up the good hunt everyone!
Thankfully, the few pets that were changed are still BoU so should a player choose to not spend the time and energy killing misc mobs in a zone, they could always simply save up gold and wait for that pet to pop up on the AH instead. Options. Me likey.
After undergoing this tedious task of calculating the current droprates for the pets that became zone-wide drops, I had a discussion with a guildmate about which would be a more effective and attractive system: the current holiday loot bag system (100% dependent on RNG, plus other factors which a player has NO control over) or the zone-wide dropped companions (with their low droprates and also a highly dependent RNG factor).
Obviously, I'm pretty biased but I took the time to hear out my guildie who explained that the low droprate numbers and sheer size of any given zone would be pretty discouraging. I definitely understand and empathize when it comes to the new droprates (1 in 10,000 for one or two pets). If I were a pet collector new to the scene, that number would be very daunting.
This is how pet collecting has always been, even in vanilla. There are the easier pets to obtain and then there are the companions that you just have to wonder... how in the hell did I manage to get that one?! I remember back in the day when the lowest droprate was 1 in 5,000.
That being said, even though there's often grumbling over the low droprate from us pet collectors, there's a lot less resistance to the zone-wide dropped pet system than the RNG holiday loot bag system. You have to wonder why that's so.
In the defense of the zone-wide dropped pets, I mentioned that unlike the RNG holiday loot system, a zone-wide pet drop just FEELS rewarding. Nevermind that a player can choose when/if they want to farm for it, or that it's out there just waiting to be looted 365 days of the year. These pets take quite a bit of time and energy, yet the end result is highly gratifying.
Why is that, though? Why doesn't the once per day, for two weeks out of the year, RNG based, holiday loot system not generate that same satisfaction?
I think it has to do with the psychology behind it all. On the one hand, you have to seriously put some effort and work into farming for one type of companion, while on the other hand you simply have to log in for 5-10 minutes, kill one boss and then collect your bag. One scenario presents a situation where the reward outweighs the unknown and the grinding. In the RNG holiday system, the reward more often than not doesn't. Coupled with the other pro-collector factors (the OPTION to farm, the 100% availability, etc.), a zone-wide dropped pet just FEELS like adequate compensation, whereas the holiday loot bag doesn't present any at all (then again it doesn't require the effort either).
However, it's the effort, determination, and persistence that essentially MAKES pet collecting. It makes the RNG tolerable and even a somewhat fun challenge. Back in the day, I saw 1 in 5,000 as a test to my dedication to my collection. Could I do it? Would it drop from the next kill? How far would I be willing to go for that cute little critter that I could call my own?
Most collectors will agree that the mentality behind collecting appears to be misunderstood by many people including Blizzard developers. Drrum eloquently sums it up in this post she made on the WarcraftPets Forums.
"Most of us don't even really mind the rng, as long as we have unlimited access to farm."After my long discussion with my guildmate about the zone-wide dropped companions vs the RNG holiday loot bag, the pros and cons of both systems, and which would be the lesser evil, my friend saw my point of view and agreed (to my surprise!) that when it came to the two, the low droprate system would be preferable over the holiday loot bag. It's not just the loot that's desirable, the road that must be walked upon to reach the end destination also plays a large part of collecting.
Not everyone will agree and Blizzard can't very well please everyone, but I definitely think that with more open and constructive discussions everyone could re-examine pet collecting, what it means, the mentality behind it, the end goal, and ultimately find a better solution to making a pet "rare" and implementing a more balanced loot system.
In the meantime though, one RNG system, while it seems to work in one form, will not always work in another. That needs to be addressed first and foremost.