Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4.1 Call to Arms - Pet Incentives

blizzard is releasing another new feature in patch 4.1: call to arms.

what it is: basically a bribe for players to take on the tanking/healer role in random lvl 85 heroic dungeons to help cut down on DPS queue times. the reward for being eligible may include a vanity pet.
"To be eligible for the additional rewards you must solo queue for a random level-85 Heroic in the role that is currently being Called to Arms, and complete the dungeon by killing the final boss."
the pets that players have a chance of receiving include the razzashi hatchling, cockatiel, and tiny sporebat, but there may be others. rare 5 man mounts will may also drop from the call to arms reward.

to sum up this new system:
- the random dungeon finder will list which role is currently least represented for each day (likely either tanks or healers).
- any player that takes on the role that is least represented in a lvl 85 random heroic and kills the final boss will be awarded a goodie bag.
- this bag will contain gold, gems, and has a chance of dropping a vanity pet/mount.
- there is currently no limit on how many times a player can qualify for the goodie bag.
at the moment i have mixed feelings about this new feature.

while i appreciate blizzard's attempt at making tanking and healing roles less unappealing, this may only mean those who are not qualified or ready for these vital positions will be tossing their lot into the pile for the sake of getting a vanity item. it could lead to a lot of frustration for everyone.

another possible downside is that older collectors may feel that this devalues the rarer companions dropped from the goodie bag. it's always hard to hear that something you've worked so hard for suddenly become "easily" obtainable. of course, "easily obtainable" is relative and we would have to see what the drop rates are like as well as the full list of possible pets from the goodie bag.

note that this sentiment isn't shared by the entire collecting community, and i'm sure there will be many who will be grateful for another method of grinding/farming for a pet other than the usual or standard way. not to mention some will be killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. gearing up and experiencing heroic five-mans, with a small chance of receiving a vanity pet? at least a few players, if not more, will definitely appreciate that.

however, the biggest issue that i'm mulling over is that DPS who are collectors will pretty much be left out of qualifying for the additional rewards and a chance at a mini-pet since it's VERY rare for the DPS position to be "least represented" in the random dungeon finder. so unless they take on a tanking or healing role, they may never see those additional rewards.

while this won't really affect hybrid DPS who can switch, what of the pure DPS? does this mean they will have to switch to an alt that is capable of tanking and/or healing to have a chance at a pet?

also, because some of these companions are bind on pick up, the same issue with the holiday pets may come up; players receiving the vanity pet (sometimes multiple times) on a character that is not their main collector. this can be pretty irritating since collections are not shared account-wide.

pets like the tiny sporebat require a certain reputation to be able to purchase if obtaining it in the normal fashion. if receiving it through the Call to Arms system, does that mean players can forgo the reputation grind? or will players need to earn a certain reputation to be able to learn the item after looting it? these are issues that i hope blizzard will find a way to address in the least damaging way (to the collecting community).

this new feature has the potential to help a lot of people in the PVE community (or cause a lot of headache). i'll have to wait and see what type of impact it makes on the collecting community, though. for now, all i can say is that i'm not quite sure what to make of it yet, and it's a somewhat risky move on blizzard's part.


  1. When I first heard about this I thought it sounded pretty cool but after reading into the details I think it is a pretty crappy and unfair move by Blizz. It excludes DPS, lowers the value of tank/healing flasks for alchemists and devalues items that people have put a ton of time into farming. Also as you stated, there are just going to be a ton of under geared tanks or hybrids that are not spec'd or geared for tanking/healing trying to get goodies.

  2. @Rhapture: i'd like to see if this new feature actually helps queue times. in the end, if it doesn't accomplish this goal, it will be wasted time on blizzard's part and a huge pain for both the PVE community and collecting community. plus it's a lot harder to retract an idea than publish it.

    i really hope they don't add new (and bind on pick up) pets that are only obtainable through the Call to Arms system. that would definitely anger a ton of people, especially pure DPS classes.


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