I'm not sure if this color-changing mechanic is intended or not. Or if it's a side-effect of the transition from the glossy skin to this upgraded model/gold skin.
One thing that has me concerned is that if it stays a color-changer (both as a summoned battle pet and during an encounter), how will collectors know if the wild Mountain Cottontail they're facing is the shiny version? They simply can't tell until they've captured it and checked the Pet Journal for the gold skin.
Hopefully this will get fixed prior to the pre-expansion patch, and the shiny gold skin will stick to the cottontail both in battles and outside of them.
I don't know why I didn't think to check on the updated pet models when the pre-expansion patch launched on the PTR. But they're in!
New models for quite a few battle pets; sorry if I miss any:
Keep in mind that these are simply updated models for already existing pets. Most of the Legion pets have their own new looks.
With these model updates, there was one pet in particular I was concerned about. When the new rabbit model was first discovered we all knew that it could greatly impact the infamous "shiny" Mountain Cottontail. I was anxiously waiting for the character/data copy function to become available so that I could import and check my own cottontail (I have the glossy-skin version on live).
Well I'm happy to report that after importing my collection and checking the PTR tonight, the Pet Journal has been updated with an actual SHINY Mountain Cottontail! (pictured above)
LOOK AT HOW GOLD AND SHINY IT IS OMG. (Anyone else feel like it's about to eat their soul.... *stares very intently at its red eyes*)
However, not all is well and good with this pet. Unfortunately when you summon it out, it doesn't retain its new skin. Instead it uses a generic white bunny look. Needless to say, I was so disappointed and heartbroken.
I'm hoping extra hard that the developers have a bit of time to grant this one-of-a-kind bunny its special skin before the pre-expansion patch is released. It's a pet that holds a unique spot in my collection (and I'm sure many other collectors' collections), and it took time and dedication to acquire it (I spent hours searching for it). It would be devastating to see it fall to the level of every other rabbit/bunny critter.
Other than this one hiccup though, I'm really looking forward to seeing the new and improved (and FLUFFIER) pets coming prior to Legion's release! :D