UPDATE: WowProgress updated their ranking system to not count duplicate pets.
Disclaimer: The following thoughts are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Warcraftpets or anyone else. To each their own.
How ironic. MMO-Champion featured the Pet Score rankings on Wowprogress. I recently found out about this new feature too. My thoughts are less than shiny.
The rankings on Wowprogress.com are based on the quality and level of pets that you own. Rare max level pets will obviously give you a higher ranking. You can view the list by overall or by realm.
So what's not to like about this ranking system? Simple: It seems like it's really easy to game.
It's not clear, but it appears as though the score only looks at quality and level, and not unique pets owned. Technically, you could just capture all rare Pandaria wild pets and gain ranks this way. It doesn't matter which pets, as long as they're rare and high level. You could fill your collection with duplicates and it would still count.
If this is true, and this ranking system is so easy to cheese and exploit, I really can't say that I think very highly of it. It's not that hard to collect all rare Pandaria companions, especially if the same pet count more than once for your overall score.
It would totally be possible to clear out your Pet Journal, save for a few max level rare quality pets, and then capture ONLY Pandaria companions. This would boost up your pet score significantly since you would only have rares and high level pets in your collection. Doesn't this seem a little ridiculous to anyone else but me?
Are the rankings even accurate? MMO-Champion mentions that "top ranked players are nearing 20 rare level 25 pets!" but I know more than a few people not on that "top ranked" list that have over 20 level 25 rare quality companions. This just doesn't make sense to me.
What exactly qualifies as an accurate pet score anyway? SHOULD duplicate rares count towards your total? Who's to determine this and why should they have the last say? Pet collections are mainly a personal affair, how can that be quantified for the general public?
Another reason I'm not for these rankings is because this mini-game was meant to be noncompetitive. This was Blizzard's reasoning for making PVP Pet Battle anonymous, only showing how many battles you've won, and not having official win/lose rankings themselves.
I'm pretty biased when it comes to this since I'm not competitive in the slightest. Yea, if I really don't care, then why mention this ranking system at all?
My issue is how will it change the pet collecting community? What will happen to the reasoning behind collecting? Rather than collecting for fun and for personal pleasure, will this style of gameplay turn into a peeing contest?
Another part of me is bothered by the fact that with these rankings, part of me is going to feel obligated to "hold my own". Pride is only a natural emotion for humans, and I'm not an exception. When someone comes up to me and asks why I'm not number one, it does affect me.
Don't get me wrong, I don't collect companions to be "number one", but when others project their ideas of what collecting is or should be onto me, it's not always easy to ignore.
Anyway, for those seeking a ranking system, enjoy. But remember that it's probably not entirely accurate since it's currently possible to cheese to raise your pet score.
I guess what I'll take away from this is that people will always find a way to turn something innocent into a contest. Most people love rivalry, but I'm just not part of that group.
Could a Pet Battle ranking system be viable? Yes. But it would have to be more refined than this, and remove the ability to game the system imo.
A good solution would be to make the score only include the highest level and quality of each unique pet. Duplicates wouldn't count, but at the same time if you have more than one of a companion, your "best" one would count towards your score. I think this system would be fair and much more acceptable.
In the end, collect for your own reasons, not the status quo or because of anyone else's idea of why you should collect. That's what I've always believed in, and this philosophy is what I'll continue to follow.