yep, 80 XP from carrying today's menagerie fight on the PTR (the Carroteye one). pic.twitter.com/JTKgAP9Rq1— Ms Lio (@liopleurodonic) February 21, 2015
In 6.1 the experience gained from doing the Menagerie battles will be nerfed to the ground. Just how nerfed? Currently defeating the beloved bird team, Jahan, Samm, Archimedes, can yield experience in the thousands for your pet (with Safari Hat and/or treats). Come next week's patch, that number will drop down to 80. THAT nerfed.
Why the sudden nerf? The Menagerie battles are being tuned down in general next patch. The official 6.1 PTR patch notes state, "Reduced the difficulty of quests to unlock the Menagerie, elite pet challenges, and pet battle daily quests." Apparently this also includes how much experience each battle yields.
For those that depend on the Menagerie battles to level their pets, this is devastating news.
Not all of the Menagerie battles are worthwhile for leveling, and there are only 7 teams that people really focus on. But the draw to this type of power-leveling, however inconsistent it might be, you don't have to go anywhere and you can continue to battle for as much or as little as you like without any ramifications.
Menagerie leveling is extremely efficient if you think about it. Zero travel time and a vendor that sells bonus experience treats who doubles as a pet healer right next to you? Yea, for those that consider efficiency fun (fun is subjective) or more important than "fun", the Menagerie is your best friend on certain days.
I haven't taken part in Menagerie power-leveling, since I never felt the need to. The majority of my pets are level 25 and the leveling stones I get each day are enough to level the few pets that need it. Still, I can understand the frustration of those that partake in Menagerie power-leveling. Even if this practice wasn't intended, and Blizzard is merely correcting and oversight, it's still taking away something from players. That never feels very good.
Is a straight nerf warranted? Very likely, yes. Being able to power-level in such a way pretty much trivializes Pet Battles in WoD in general. I highly doubt that it was intended, as they have a reward for going out and battling Draenor pets (the Menagerie battles don't count towards the monument). They WANT us to go out and explore/travel outside of the garrison to complete our pet levels and battles.
Ok, so Blizzard needed to implement a correction to an unintended feature. But to this extent? 80 experience, really? It's undeniably overkill.
Rather than straight nerfing the overall experience earned from Menagerie battles, couldn't Blizzard have implemented other mechanics instead? In fact, @gloriaboboria made a good point on Twitter regarding a different approach Blizzard could have taken.
@liopleurodonic If they wanted to nerf it they should have given it a diminishing return on exp the more you fought it in a day.— Foxy 2.0 (@gloriaboboria) February 21, 2015
I wholeheartedly agree that this would have been a great method to prevent players from abusing the Menagerie battles. Sure, they may still spend a few battles standing around to earn a decent amount of pet experience. But after those few it won't be worthwhile anymore and they will (hopefully) move on to other encounters that reward more experience. It's a compromise where both sides would essentially win.
It doesn't look like Blizzard really wants to compromise on this one, though. The patch is near, and with little time left players are just going to have to bite the bullet and say goodbye to Menagerie power-leveling.
But maybe not all is lost. Testing on the PTR revealed that not all Menagerie battles were nerfed. Specifically one encounter, Squirt's team of Deebs, Tyri, and Puzzle. Battling this team on the PTR with a level 1 carry rewarded 2393 experience (with a Safari Hat). What gives?
The Squirt encounter is unique as it's the only "trainer" battle in the Menagerie rotation. All of the other battles either require you to click on a wooden post to start it or on an individual "boss" pet. Squirt is pretty much like every other standard trainer out in the world, so it would only make sense that defeating her rewards a substantial chunk of experience in the same way defeating a normal trainer does.
Keep in mind that this could just be another oversight and Squirt's team could also get a whack on the head with the nerf-bat just before the patch is released. If it is intended then this means players will have at least one Menagerie battle to look forward to each week. Perhaps this is Blizzard's way of compromising.
Well, we'll have to wait and see what happens post-6.1 patch. Even if there's a glimmer of hope, ultimately it will be a fairly disappointing change for many.