I am absolutely DYING to try out collecting/battling wild pets. All the previews we've been given thus far on the beta are definitely welcome teasers, but I still feel like I'm missing a huge chunk of the larger picture. And it's driving me nuts!
I have a feeling I've written about this before, or at least posts along the same line. So I'll just be shoving the majority of it behind a break and move on. :P
There are so many questions running around in my head about wild pets. Will all of them be collectible or will only some of them be, while the rest will simply be fodder to help level our companions? How will battling them work out in the open world, especially on a PVP realm? What level will they join your Pet Journal as (not all critters are level 1)? Are there any restrictions to which pets can go up against a wild pet? And on that same note, will a higher level pet have any advantages over a lower level wild pet?
Those are just the main questions off the top of my head! There are so many more unknowns and things I'd love to test out.
One of my biggest concerns is the actual encounter with a wild pet. Will going into battle with a wild pet remove you, your pet, and your target wild critter into a separate phase where you can focus on just the pet battle? Or will you remain in the open world where anyone can come by and bug you?
This worries me quite a bit, because depending on how this is implemented I can foresee quite a bit of griefing going on. Not only from PVP, but also from players of the same faction.
How heartbreaking would it be if after attempting to collecting a wild critter and failing multiple times, you finally weaken it almost enough to capture it... but then someone comes along and kills your target either intentionally or unintentionally?
I'm sure many hunters have had this experience at least a few times, and can attest to how frustrating it is. So then why should a pet collector gain any immunity or "special treatment" if a hunter has to suffer through the potential griefing?
The main difference is that a hunter pet is used to help enhance one's character, while a vanity/wild pet doesn't aid your character's stats, combat, or anything else for that matter. A hunter being interrupted during the taming of a target beast is along the lines of a trial in PVE/PVP. A pet collector being interrupted during the collecting of a vanity pet is more like stealing candy from a child. Why would anyone do it other than "because they can" or they "felt like it"?
In terms of the gameplay, lore and RP, it's not as if allowing a pet collector to collect a pet will somehow turn around and bite you in the butt (figuratively and literally). They will simply have another critter. While compared to a hunter taming a pet, which would then result in that hunter gaining more abilities/attacks, some of which could be used against you.
But I think I'm getting somewhat sidetracked.
As things are right now, players could simply kill all critters in an area just to grief and annoy others attempting to collect a particular wild pet. Granted, it wouldn't be possible to cut off a collector from ALL wild pets, especially since many critters seem to be very numerous and spawn in multiple zones. There are those few that only seem to pop up in specific areas, though. It wouldn't be that hard to camp a specific spawn area of a wild pet just to make sure no one has a chance at it.
And then there's the PVP... but that's pretty self-explanatory, yea? Just about to defeat a critter, and then oops. You're dead. But you couldn't do anything about it because you were in the "pet combat" phase, yet still attackable in the open world. (Since this hasn't been implemented yet, I'm only guessing that this is how it will work. Perhaps players won't be attackable while in a pet battle phase?)
Blizzard has mentioned that they want Pet Battles to be a lighthearted fun activity, so I hope they maintain that mentality with some mechanics in place to prevent griefing and other frustrations that would likely turn off collectors. All pet collectors love the challenge of collecting, but not all collectors enjoy PVP or being hassled when trying to go about their own business. It's something I hope Blizzard acknowledges and takes into deep consideration when implementing wild pet collecting.