Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Competitive Collecting - Does Not Want

Is it just me or has collecting become more competitive these days? More and more I'm hearing and reading about players vying for biggest pet collection with the rarest pets. Have I missed something, because last I checked I didn't get into collecting to compete with anyone.

Or maybe it's always been this way, but with the announcement of Pet Battles players are being more vocal about it. Is this the evolution of pet collecting? The next generation of collectors are just more number oriented than content driven, and the days of non-competitive collecting are over. Is that it?

I can't speak for anyone else, but this bothers me to an extent, and it makes me wonder if this was bound to happen or if the idea of Pet Battles caused the collecting community to veer more in rat race direction.

I'm not very competitive by nature. Sure, a little push now and then is healthy and helps especially with those moments where you feel like you're hitting a wall. But in general, I never started collecting to match someone else or be able to say "Look at me, I have the most. I'm the best!"

I've always viewed the activity of companion collecting as an individual one, and something people did because they genuinely enjoyed the mini-pets and the company they provide. Is this an outdated point of view? Am I going to turn into one of those "get off mah lawn" types if I don't jump onto the bandwagon and start actively competing with my fellow collectors for that number one spot? I really don't know.

I'd rather not, though. Have to compete, I mean. Then again it's kind of hard not to recognize that you're in a rat race when there are others constantly reminding you that you're one of the rats. It's tiring to be honest. The feeling of "MUST COLLECT TO MAINTAIN POSITION" isn't one that I'm fond of, and if I can, I'd like to avoid it. I collect for me, not for anyone else.

There are already so many other activities and competitive styles of gameplay in the game, like PVE progression and PVP. Pet collecting is/was my escape and break from the constant comparison to others.

Yet with the way things are going, I worry that pet collecting will turn into just that. A competition where everyone's focusing on the numbers rather than the pets themselves. Pet Battles definitely won't help in that area, since it sounds like a feature that will be highly competitive with ladders, rankings, levels, and so on.

It's easy to say, "Well if you don't want to feel like you have to compete, avoid it altogether." I'd like to be able to continue collecting without alienating my fellow collectors completely, but is that possible? Perhaps I'll simply have to find the minority within the minority, as it does seem like the mentality of non-competitive collecting is becoming a thing of the past now.

We'll see, though. Maybe Pet Battles won't make it into the expansion or it will be such a let down that collectors that started collecting just for the sake of the new feature will lose interest and the status quo will shift again. Or perhaps Pet Battles has nothing to do with it, and it's merely the vocal minority that's catching my attention and the majority still maintain the point of view that it's not a competition.

Or maybe this is all in my head and I'm just reading too far into things. Wouldn't be the first time. :P


  1. I agree! I like having a lot of pets because I have a lot of pets, not because I have the most... there's a couple people on my server that I can never hope to top anyways (and I don't think anyone newer to collecting could possibly top Bindar, anyways). These types of people are the ones that would push for pets to become rare or taken out, etc, as long as they have it, to be special snowflakes. Not so much a fan of that attitude, but I think you're right- I bet pet battles won't live up to what they want and they'll eventually leave :) Or at least I hope so.

  2. While I collect pets because I simply love them, some even serving as a mascotte (Alliance balloon is mandatory for any healer in our raidteam), maintaining a top5 rank on my realm does give it a nice touch. But to collect it just for having the biggest collection? Heavens no.

    Having a companion following you around is simply lovely, even using the addon Livestock for my pet and mount needs. Even in other MMO I tend to be an avid pet collector. However, I have seen guildies boast about their new pets/mounts, only to forget about them in less than 2 weeks. It's quite saddening to see really :(

  3. @Saberella: I don't think I'd want them to leave the pet collecting community entirely. IMO, It'd be better if they simply enjoyed the pets for what they are and not the glory/fame they might bring. But to each their own, and maybe I'm just too old fashioned. :P

  4. Ever since they introduced Achievements, people who didnt give a toss about pet collecting now aim to do it. Pet battles is only going to make it worse, and I am not looking forward to this at all. BOO HISS.

  5. I agree with Pandy, this is all about achievements...

  6. @Maru: A little bit of competition makes fun and interesting. A lot of competition and outright rivalry, not so much (at least for me). I just wonder how much of the collecting community has accepted competitive collecting (or will) after the announcement of Pet Battles.

    @pandy & Cleophis: I agree. Achievements definitely changed the nature of pet collecting and the game in general. Before, the only thing we could use to boast and show off were the pets themselves. Now there are achievements to link to and rewards to flaunt around. I know Blizzard devs think that they're helping/making the game rewarding for older players and encouraging gameplay, and they are to some extent, but at the same time they're just turning it all into a "compare you to me and me to you" environment.

  7. One of my favourite parts about pet collecting is helping others expand their collection, or discussing pets. One of my happiest moments was when one of the top collectors on my realm asked if they could put an alt in my guild to get til tarecgosa as their guild may not get it - I made a nice new friend and helped a fellow pet collector out! For friends birthdays I normally have a pet from the AT or something hidden away, or even a raptor, or something cute. I do like to try to collect as many pets as possible so I can have lots of choise of what to select and because they are all just so cute!

    I'm really hoping the pet battle system will turn out like the dance studio: that it wont happen. I know alot of people are looking forward to it, but the part about training pets from the wild or leveling them up, and fighting them, kinda makes me uneasy. I love pet collecting as it is, and I might love it when it's out, but for now I keep asking why they are trying to fix something that isnt broken. :(

  8. @Lynara: I'm still on the fence about Pet Battles. Part of me wants to try it out and thinks it might give collecting more attention (good or bad, idk), yet another part hopes that it doesn't make it into the game.

    I don't think Blizzard's trying fix pet collecting exactly, but maybe expand on it? The more attention a certain style of gameplay gets from the WoW community as a whole, the more resources Blizzard will throw at it. If Pet Battles can bring about a positive change (not just to the game but within the pet collecting community too) where pet collecting is seen as more than just a hobby, and developers acknowledge that more vanity pet features should be added, then I'll gladly go along with it.

    It could go over very well... or very badly. But then again that's the risk they're taking (and we'll have to suffer the consequences either way x_x).


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