Friday, January 25, 2013

5.2 PTR - New Mechanics First Impressions

I decided to play around on the PTR today. The Isle of Thunder (formally known as The Lightning Isle but it is still referred to that in the Pet Journal) is open for exploring and pet battling.

There are four new wild pets available in this new zone.

The first three seem to be more common than the new frog, but rest assured the Swamp Croaker doesn't seem exceedingly rare like the Minfernal or other "rares".

Changes to Pet Battles
The new mechanics for battles are currently in place on the PTR, but may still be buggy and need some work. All part of the testing process. :)

Here's a summary of what I've found so far:
- Forfeit penalty is 10% damage to your active pet team. This might be bugged at the moment, since only the pet in slot 3 was taking consistent health reduction.

- Forfeiting will not despawn the wild pet, and it will respawn with the same team, same qualities, and same breed. I'm not sure about color/skins, but it's likely those will be the same as well.

- Killing the first pet and then forfeiting will not cause the other two to respawn on their own. The entire pet team will simply cease to exist if the first one is killed and you forfeit the match.

- Currently forfeiting a Tamer match WILL inflict the damage penalty onto your team. Hopefully this is temporary and Tamer battles will be excluded from this new mechanic.
I'm getting a somewhat clearer picture of how Pet Battles will be post-patch 5.2, but there's still time to iron out and refine a few things.

There's not a whole lot of agreement in the pet community whether or not the forfeit penalty is truly necessary. Some say yes, as it enforces intended gameplay, while others say no as it only adds a hindrance and many won't change how they play just because of a small factor like this. In other words: an unnecessary and overly punishing addition to Pet Battles.

Another thing to note is the respawning after forfeit feature is great and all, but it's somewhat misleading when paired with the concept that any pet you defeat in battle will never respawn.

This can lead some to believe that if you forfeit a wild battle after defeating the first two pets, the last one will respawn on its own or with a new team. So far this hasn't been the case. It might change in the future, but I'm not sure how likely that will be.

Last but not least, and this has been a major concern of mine, is the forfeit penalty affecting Tamer battles. If this is not temporary, and goes live, this will make many many collectors and battlers very upset.

It's no secret that you can forfeit a Tamer battle to get just the "right" line up, or switch out pets to get the right team. This doesn't necessarily ensure a win, but it does help. It prevents you from essentially losing a turn, simply because you need to switch to a different pet for a bigger advantage against the current Tamer pet on the battlefield.

With this new penalty, and if it's applied to Tamer battles, I don't think it will stop people from using the aforementioned method, but it will be quite annoying for many. Who knows, it might be so irritating that it may discourage some from Pet Battling altogether.

Well, we'll see. The PTR is still open so there's time for changes and updates (hopefully). More testing and feedback will help developers come to the fairest compromise between "fun" and intended gameplay.

EDIT: Mumper mentioned on Twitter that the forfeit penalty on Tamer battles is likely to stay but they'll continue to monitor the PTR.

This is disappointing news, but hopefully there's still a chance that this could change.


  1. I'm looking forward to getting these, esp the first and third ones. But the new frog models look great too.

    1. @Cymre: I can't wait to capture these new pets too :D I'm really glad that they decided to update the frog, the bucktooth flapper, and baby crocolisk models for these new pets.

  2. Oh, I need a grouchy electrified flapper. I do.

    I do NOT need a forfeit penalty on tamer battles.

    1. @Anonymous: Hopefully the forfeit penalty won't apply to the Tamer battles.


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