Friday, April 16, 2010

Balancing Act

the whole lil' xt commotion makes me wonder how blizzard will address the growing concern that only money will get the "better" pets. again, better, best, etc. is all relative. in general when i say "better pet" i mean in terms of how rare it is (fairly rare, not quite TCG rare but not vendor common), how unique it is (something original instead of a recycled version of an existing companion), and the quality of the pet (interacts with a wide range of emotes or other items and is graphically well-done).

for those who didn't or can't buy Lil' XT and other Blizzard PetStore items, what would be an in-game equivalent of paying $10 for a "well-made", "super cool", "better" FREE non-combat companion? a new pet-rewarded quest? farmed companions? vendored ones? specific instance drops? something else that no one has thought of yet?

paying $10, in my eyes, for a pet would almost be the same as receiving a pet as a reward for doing a semi-epic quest chain like the sprite darter questline or the mechanical chicken chain. these pets took a little research and i had to go off the beaten path in order to start and finish. in the end it was worth it though.

the quest would make the pet rare/unique for a while, or at least until news of it spread via word of mouth. but being a long chain, it would create an adventure which would add to the companion's charm and quality.

i mean, provided that the pet is actually worth the time and effort to do the entire quest. going out of my way for another vanilla-style cat that does absolutely nothing and is colored the same as say the siamese cat would not be considered the equivalent of paying $10 in my book. the pet would need to be new and fresh and not a recycled version of an already existing in-game companion.

and of course, keeping in mind with the generalized "better" definition, the new quest pet would have to be more interactive in order to be on par with a PetStore companion. more pixels are nice too.

i enjoy all the pets that blizzard has released thus far. the newer ones may have more more detail, but this cannot replace the sentimental value of the older pets who may not be as interactive or shiny. this is why i make it a point to include all pets, old and new at random, in my weekly review of each non-combat companion.

even so, i would still like to see blizzard take steps to find balance with the sale of virtual goods and the availability of "free" virtual goods of similar excellence.
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