Thursday, March 23, 2017

Patch 7.2: Developer Q&A and Patch Release Date

There was a Dev Q&A today that answered some player questions regarding Patch 7.2. You can find the VoD and transcripts either on Wowhead or MMO-Champion.

Here are details related to the new pets in 7.2. The patch is set to be released March 28.

  • Unlocking class mounts (and therefore DK/Monk class pets) in Patch 7.2 will take 11 weeks (of campaign), plus exalted w/Armies of Legionfall.
  • Earliest for flying is ~2 weeks into 7.2. (Pathfinder 2 is required for class mount quest)
  • Not all classes will have class pets (that match their mount and/or in general...?)
  • Future Pet Battle Dungeon(s) depend on player feedback and participation. If both are positive and high, there will likely be more dungeons in the future.

I'm absolutely shocked that 7.2 is less than a week away. I would have preferred a bit more heads up, but ahhh. New pets are on the way!

Things to do to prep for patch next week:
- Level DK/Monk/Rogue. Grind AP on DK/Monk to reach weapon level 35 (all 3 weapons for DK), and complete class campaign on Rogue.

- Have at least 3 max level pets for Pet Battle Dungeon (normal-mode), and 15 max level pets for challenge-mode.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Road to 7.2 Class Pets: Personal Experience and Insights

   

I wanted to share my experiences with leveling and preparing a character for the upcoming class pets, so I'll be breaking down the process into sections with some personal insights. Note that this is all based purely on my own testing or observations; other players' experiences may vary.

TLDR; The entire adventure isn't a short one, and shouldn't be seen as something to quickly grind through. I think this is very much meant to be a long-term goal, much like the Argent Tournament pets took weeks to months of dailies (for some collectors, even crossing into multiple expansions).

It's a slow-going task, but it's absolutely doable. These pets will not be removed and they will be waiting for you. Don't let the length of time discourage you from these pets! (Not enjoying the class playstyle is an entirely other matter though...)

Disclaimer: Although though my personal opinion is that collecting the 7.2 class pets is a lengthy task yet doable, I would still advocate a different way for collecting these pets. Even if it's just a slight change. I still think there are some collectors who will feel discouraged and/or left out. That being said, I accept whatever decision Blizzard makes regarding these pets.

Here's a break down with my opinions and commentary to help explain my point of view. Walls-of-text, ahoy!

For a preview of the requirements for Patch 7.2 class pets, see here.

Pre-7.2 Content:

Friday, March 3, 2017

Developer Response Regarding 7.2 Class Pets

There's been an official response from Muffinus (developer Jeremy Feasel) regarding the 7.2 class pets.

Hi everyone! Thanks for your feedback, wanted to drop in a few updates/notes.

In the next build, you'll see that the required currency for each bonus item has dropped from 10000 to 1000 Order Hall Resources. We agree that the "hard part" of getting the bonus items should be maxing out your artifact, not the grind afterwards.

In 7.2, we want these bonuses to feel like a badge of honor for players that have unlocked the final ability on their empowered artifact. For some time they'll be pretty exclusive, and this is intentional. It makes sense for the Blood Death Knight, with their bloody mount, to also have the Bloodbrood Whelpling, showing off their dedication to their specialization.

It's also important to note that we also have no plans to remove these items in the future, and we will re-evaluate their acquisition in a post-artifact world. If you don't want to go for them right now, don't worry, you won't be permanently missing out on anything.

I hope this assuages some of your concerns. As always, we're looking forward to your continued feedback!

Although this isn't the compromise I had in mind, it's far better than nothing and silence. I would have much preferred the removal of the Power Ascended requirement for each of the upcoming class pets, but that seems integral to the experience that Blizzard wants us to have.

Going from 10k resources to 1k is still a notable concession, and will mean a little less grinding on a (possibly alt) toon.

It should also be noted that the Artifact Knowledge research is being bumped up to AK 50. Main characters with max AK can purchase and send alts a tome that will automatically increase the alt's AK to 45. This will hopefully make the AP grind for alts significantly quicker/less painful.

I look at it as encouragement to make progress on my main first and foremost so that my alts can get a significant boost later.

Of course, this doesn't address all issues revolving around these pets, and some collectors will still inevitably be/feel left out.

However, the most interesting part of the developer statement is that they will be taking a second look and reassessing how these pets will be collected post-Legion. This could mean a wide range of things for all types of collectors/players, but we don't know for sure yet.

It's possible that changes made in the future will enable a much larger audience to obtain class pets and toys. Even those that initially felt like it was hopeless to even attempt collecting these pets may see the end of the tunnel.

Re-evaluation is also good news because it will hopefully mean alts will be able to smoothly transition on into new expansion content once they've hit 110 post-Legion, but without missing out on class rewards. It would be awkward if, for example, my Mage needs to hang around on the Broken Isles well past level 110 just to collect enough AP to earn Power Ascended.

Hopefully the re-evaluation ensures that this doesn't have to be the case.

But on that same note, I'm hoping we won't have another situation where the class pets are "moved" to another source. An example of this poor design choice is the Thundering Serpent Hatchling, which was removed as a vendor item from guild vendors that completed MoP Challenge Mode achievements. It eventually ended up on the BMAH as a random drop from a box that also had a random chance of popping up for sale.

If the class pets follow suit post-Legion, it would not make for very interesting or compelling gameplay. Going from a guaranteed source (that requires some time and effort) to a completely random chance seems almost like taking a step back instead of moving forward.

All of this is yet to be seen though. We just don't know what developers are brainstorming for these pets.

I can definitely understand that some collectors will still oppose these new class pets. And understandably so. The reduction in price doesn't necessarily address the different play-styles or players that may not fit in this exclusive box that they've created for each class.

There are still collectors who do not have the time to dedicate to an alt, and may barely even have time to keep up on a main character. There are collectors that cannot bring themselves to play a certain class, maybe because they absolutely dislike the play-style or lore, or simply don't want to take time away from their main. There are MANY different types of collectors, and there will still be opposition to these 7.2 class pets from some of those players.

We have to keep in mind that Blizzard is at the very least considering all of the feedback they've been getting. If you have constructive criticisms about these pets, let developers know in a logical and respectful manner. Perhaps the feedback won't have an immediate impact, but who knows what will happen in the long run. I give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt that they will indeed make good on their word and re-evaluate how these pets are collected in the future.

I just hope that they take into consideration a good portion of the community that feel hopeless and helpless in this situation. And I hope that it won't be too late for said collectors.

Overall, I am personally very glad to hear from Blizzard on this matter. The compromise is smaller than I envisioned, but it's still something. I'm more reassured by the fact that they plan on re-evaluating these class pets as time goes on, and I can only hope that this will also mean more pet collectors than not will have a chance at these pets in the future.

In the meantime, I can only encourage other collectors to see these class pets as a long-term project. Hold onto hope that they are not truly out of reach, and persist through these less favorable times. It may seem unreasonable and impossible now, but there's a chance that things could change for the better.

I've used "hope" and "hopefully" a lot in this post, but that's because that's all I can offer those that still feel discouraged. It's probably not enough to keep everyone collecting and invested in pets, though. And it's heartbreaking, but I understand.

I think Liopleurodonic put it best: "...it's a lot easier to stay motivated when completion is an attainable goal."

I completely agree and encourage Blizzard to keep this in mind going forward.
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