Monday, October 24, 2011

Breakdown of Blizzcon 2011 Announcements

I'm back at home and I've finally managed to catch up on stuff that needed attending to. Now it's time to take a closer look at all the new info that was shared at Blizzcon 2011!

The biggest thing of course is pet battles, but I'm going to save that for a post of its very own. It's a huge topic that I could probably go on for pages and pages about, so I'll save that for later.

First and foremost: According to Doobjanka's post on the WarcraftPets Facebook, the revamped Darkmoon Faire will NOT be reputation based.

"Exalted rep get[s] no benefits towards the new pets."

This is exciting news for me since I still have yet to hit exalted with the faire! I hope that those who have already reached exalted with the DMF get something awesome from the faire upon its 4.3 release, though. It's quite a feat to stick it out and grind through it. I don't think I'm even halfway and I'm exhausted!

There are other things that I have questions, comments, and thoughts about though. All of it after the break.

Account-wide Vanity Pets
This is something that really tickles my curiosity.

1.) Does "account-wide" refer to or one license of WoW? Personally, I'm guessing it means one WoW account. Blizzard would probably lose money if they allowed all pets to be bound (and they're still a business and need to make a profit, yadda yadda).

2.) Does this new account-wide system apply to ALL current and future vanity pets? If so, then perhaps $10 for a single-use Guardian Cub won't be so bad after all. It would then be accessible by all your characters, and pretty much fall into line with the other PetStore companions. If this is the case, then I'd probably be nudged off my fence and into the pro-Guardian Cub Club.

3.) How will the vanity pets be accessed once they're account-wide? Will we have to mail each pet to all of our characters to learn, or will they be mailed to us? I'm hoping there will be a more convenient way such as a personal vanity pet stable that all of your toons can access. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be 100% against logging onto each character, opening up my mail, taking out each pet, and then learning all (182 x_x) of them. It's just... well, that seems really inconvenient. Especially if I decided to start a new character. I can imagine my toon just standing at the mailbox upon creation for a good 10 minutes, listening to that *briiing* noise over and over again as I learn each spell. :P

4.) Does account-wide also mean cross-faction? So if I have both horde and alliance toons on a server, and each have their faction-specific companions, will my horde toon have access to my alliance pets and vice versa? That would be pretty interesting if so! It would definitely mean that I'd need to start up a horde character on my server just so I could collect all the horde-side companions lol.

Customizable Vanity Pets
If Blizzard decides to scrap the pet battle feature, I hope that they keep this new goodie for MoP at the VERY LEAST! The ability to rename and customize vanity pets is something that many collectors have been asking for for years now. Even if it's just something small such as being able to put a unique looking collar or badge on a pet, I think many collectors will be satisfied.

1.) Should Blizzard keep the pet battle feature and implement the ability to rename a companion, will pets that are in your battling team only be renamable? Or will all pets be allowed to receive a personal nickname?

2.) Naming restrictions? I'm guessing that it will be similar to the hunter pet naming restrictions. Ahh, so many silly and creative names are going to pop up that I'm going to have to turn on the "show companion name/tag" option in my interface.

3.) Will there be a customization feature for all companions or just the ones that battle/have battling capabilities? While I would love to be able to dress my pets up with collars, bells, and whistles or give them a unique item to hold in their hand, that would mean a lot of animation and design changes for EVERY pet. That's well over 150 companions that will need to be updated. I can't imagine Blizzard having the time and energy to adjust SO MANY current and future pets to be customizable.

Tradable Vanity Pets
Ok, I have to admit I'm a bit confused and unsure about this one. "Most pets will become tradable" was the exact phrase used during the Blizzcon presentation. The idea that you can't trade every single pet makes sense to me, since there are quite a few very rare and unique pets that are no longer available and some players spent a lot of hard earned time/money to acquire. Being able to simply give/sell those away... it doesn't seem right.

Then again, trading a companion doesn't exactly seem right to me either. I know it's part of the whole Pokemon theme, but the current companions that we have have been exclusively ours for the longest time. To suddenly just give them up... perhaps it's just me that can't fathom that. I can accept and understand that the new MoP pets will probably be tradable since they will likely be more geared towards the PokeWoW system, though.

I don't know, but something about the idea of trading a companion pet away just doesn't sit well with me. I'll have to contemplate it some more.

5-man Challenge Rewards
This announcement wasn't talked about as much during Blizzcon, I think mainly because it's not a new feature. Achievement rewards such as mounts, titles, and pets are standard these days, so a pet being awarded upon completing a challenge isn't something people will be buzzing about. That is... until something goes wrong or becomes undesirable, right?

My biggest concern with this is the difficulty level of these dungeon challenges. Will they require a set group to complete or will pugs be able to do it? I foresee much-a-QQ about the challenges being too hard/easy for some, and therefore the rewards are inaccessible/inadequate/etc.

It was also mentioned that Blizzard might implement different rewards for different levels of completion. So say you finish a run in 10 minutes, you would receive X pet, but if you complete the same run but in 7 minutes, you then receive Z pet. Does this mean players will be able to repeat the same challenge over and over again to try for better rewards? Or will you be locked out once you've completed a dungeon challenge once?

There are so many questions and concerns about the next WoW expansion that many have temporarily forgotten about the upcoming 4.3 patch. Don't forget there are new pets just over the horizon! So while I'm anxious and eager to learn more about how Blizzard will handle the future of pets and pet collecting, it's back to hunting down more information on the 4.3 companions for me. C'mon DMF... show yourself on the PTR already! :P

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