Oh boy. New stuff added to Legion Alpha? Yes.
New pet: Zoom, new baby falcosauros model, a new Trainer: Amalia and her team of corgi pets: Foof, Lil' Sizzle, Stumpers (tribute to @gloriaboboria). Plus datamined toys for our companions: Flaming Hoop, Leather Pet Bed, Leather Pet Leash.
But the biggest and most shocking addition is the ability to upgrade your current pets to epic quality with an Immaculate Battlestone.
Currently these new battlestones drop from a new bag sold in Breanni's shop in Dalaran. Each bag costs 200 Pet Charms and drops at least one family-specific epic stone.
The price, I hope, is not final. With over 700 pets in-game and at 200 charms per stone, it would cost over ~140,000 Pet Charms to upgrade all pets to epic. Yikes. Plus with the randomness of the bag, what a headache it will be trying to get that last Humanoid stone but all you get is Undead.
Someone needs to do the math and figure out how many charms a player would have had they continuously done all of the WoD dailies that reward Pet Charms since the beginning of the expansion. Would it even be close to 140,000?
It's not set in stone (hah) yet that these battlestones will get released or that we'll be able to upgrade/collect epic pets. All of this is still undergoing testing and feedback will help developers determine the best course of action. Maybe new content will be in the form of epic pets, maybe it won't. We'll have to wait and see.
That said, I have fairly strong feelings of...well, panic when it comes to the possibility of having to upgrade all of my pets to epic. Be it for stat increase or cosmetic purposes, there's a swell of anxiety that I can't suppress.
Many of the arguments of why epic pets should not be collectible have already been stated in the official feedback thread, and more eloquently than I could ever compose. So I'll just leave it at that.
Honestly, I'm exhausted from thinking/agonizing over this topic and reading through concerns and arguments for and against epic upgrades.
I'm not for the idea, no. But if they add it I will most likely be undergoing the grind because I simply love my companions and want them to be the best that they can be. Will I complain? Probably. Will I enjoy it? It's hard to say for sure, but probably not.
Getting all of my pets to rare was a tough grind but satisfying at the end. Epic pets would devalue that "end" and while it would give me a new goal/task, it wouldn't feel as rewarding simply because it feels tacked on for the sake of tacking it on.
Anyway, developers are keeping an eye on feedback and it's been proven that they do listen/take into consideration our concerns and thoughts. So keep leaving constructive criticism for them. Keep it mature and nontoxic -- it makes it easier to take us seriously when there's a civil conversation happening. Let's maintain our awesome community, even if we may not always agree with one another. :)