But it turns out that the experience reduction was a bandaid until an exploit involving Erris and Kura can be properly addressed and fixed in a future patch. Bashiok provided an explanation on the official forums:
"There was an exploit where you could leave the fight at the last possible moment, receive the quest XP, but not complete the quest, and it was being used to great effect by those that were aware of the bug. As it's technically an exploit it's not something we generally add to our hotfix notes. Fixing the core issue isn't possible until a client patch, and so in the meantime we lowered the reward substantially. With the fix in an upcoming patch we'll raise the XP reward back up again too."Some have criticized Blizzard for punishing everyone instead of only punishing those that utilized the exploit. While it is an extreme change, I'd like to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt that it will indeed only be temporary until a proper fix is in place.
I don't see this as a punishment for anyone. It sounds as if the exploit is still possible and won't be fixed until a client patch, which could take time to create, test and release. So it makes sense that Blizzard would temporarily push the pause button on the Erris and Kura experience rewards; it would be irresponsible to let an exploit run rampant otherwise.
Should those that made use of the exploit be punished? Personally, I don't care all that much. Leveling pets isn't exactly difficult these days, and someone power leveling their pets in no way affects me or my collection. Everyone has their own personal moral compass, so I'll leave it at that. :)
I have to admit that I'm not all that confident that a fix will be implemented and the experience levels will return to normal though. There are never any guarantees when it comes to this game, but I do trust that Blizzard developers do try their best to follow through with their intentions/goals. So if they say that they will fix the exploit and bring back the experience reward in a future patch, I'd like to think that they will do everything in their power to make that happen. But who knows what obstacles they may run into or other issues they may not be able to overcome.
All in all, I'm hopeful but at the same time I'm preparing for the bad news down the road.
Don't get me wrong, I'd love for Erris and Kura to reward a significant amount of pet experience again, as that one battle got my OH to start leveling a few of his pets here and there. It's convenient and simple, and on top of the experience you earn from the battle, you also receive more levels via the three battlestones reward. Because of these things, he didn't mind doing one pet battle each day, which I applaud him for since he's typically not into Pet Battles lol. If this one trainer can spark his interest in pets even just a little, it's a win in my book!
For his sake and others that enjoy the no-fuss battle, I do hope things return to normal in the near future.