Sunday, October 16, 2011

Creative Juices

While browsing through the companion spell and item IDs on Wowhead, I was reminded of a few datamined pets that still haven't found their place in Azeroth. A few of them are all set with both spell and item IDs, but either because they're for GMs only or developers haven't found a good time/place to fit them in, they're still not available.

So I started to think, if I were to add these pets into the game, in what way would I make them obtainable? My options would be the traditional ways in which most items are made available: quest reward, random drop, vendor, or achievement reward. And then the sub-variation of each, such as random drop can either be world, zone, or specific mob drop.

Since I'm not a huge fan of RNG (but in small doses I don't mind it much), if I were a developer I think I would implement these MIA pets either as quest rewards or from a vendor.

Some of the most memorable quests that I've completed in-game revolve around pets. The lore and story really help to make a companion more of a personal gain and mean that much more. A pet that's a once in a toon's lifetime reward after a long journey can hold so much sentimental value if the player can connect with the quest chain well enough.

If I were to place a pet on a vendor, it would have to be done according to my specific specifications. :P For a holiday pet, the currency used wouldn't be too tedious or time-consuming to get. For an all year 'round vendor companion, I would add a small prerequisite such as a quest chain, a minimal amount of reputation, or maybe even a hidden vendor!

In the end, though, my ideal way would be to make it available as a reward after a wonderful, interactive, heartfelt storyline. It wouldn't be too long or too short, and it wouldn't involve too many repetitive and boring tasks. Oh, and depending on the pet and the story behind the quest chain, I wouldn't mind following the model of splitting up the chain (like in the Lashtail Hatchling's case) so that you can start it at a lower level, but have to "grow up" and wait until you're higher level to complete it and finally receive your pet.

Of course this is all easier said than done, and I'm sure I'd run into a lot of problems or even writers' block if I were to actually try and create a way to obtain a new pet. But sometimes it's fun to just imagine and think "what if" yenno? :)

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