Sunday, March 11, 2012

Guardian Cub Revisited

It's been about 4 months since the Guardian Cub was released in the official Blizzard PetStore. This pet was the first of its kind, being a single-use, tradable vanity pet (after a 24 hour CD) that's purchasable for either RL currency or in-game gold.

So was the implementation of this type of companion a hit or a miss? Well it's hard to say since I don't have any hard numbers or access to Blizzard's data, but over the span of the past 4 months I've noticed a large decline in not only the number of Guardian Cubs up for sale on the AH but also a decline in price. This leads me to believe that players are buying the cub (with RL money) and keeping it for themselves and/or most don't see much point in investing in them.

I don't know what the RL money to gold conversion rate is these days, but back when this pet was first released $10 (the price of the Guardian Cub) could buy you about 7k gold. The pets were going for about 10k originally, but now I rarely see the cub being sold for more than 5k on the AH.

At the moment I'm thinking the Guardian Cub was a neat idea but a miss overall. It's a good way to help empower individual players by giving them the choice between paying RL money vs. in-game currency as well as "buying gold legally", but in the end I don't think it was worth the resources to implement. And I'm sure it took more time to implement (compared to the other PetStore pets) due to its unique CD, single-use, and tradable status. Not to mention it's super adorable and has a one-of-a-kind model. :P

We'll see though. If Blizzard sees the release and sale of this type of pet a success I'm sure we'll see more vanity pets with a similar CD, tradable, single-use features in the future.


  1. While the amount of Guardian Cubs on my server had dropped to max 3 on the AH, the price has gone up. I got lucky and got mine for 6k or so during peak times. Nowadays it's between 8k and 12k.

    Personally I think it was a wrong move by Blizz, pet should have been given an option of BOP account wide or BoE for AH usage.

    1. @Maru: For the price I paid ($10 just like the other PetStore pets) I really would have preferred the cub as a BoP account wide pet so all my toons could have received one. I still think the cub should have been cheaper (say $5-7 instead) as a single-use BoU companion. That's just my take on the whole thing, though.

      But I AM happy for those who get a chance at a cute PetStore pet since they have an option to buy it in-game rather than paying RL money for it. They may not have had the opportunity otherwise.

  2. On my 2 servers you see them less, but the price is higher. I made sure to pick up a couple when they were new, because I figured that was the only time the AH would be flooded and the price would be lower (they were around 4000 but now they're usually 6000). Sometimes there are none on the AH at all. I think people are concerned there won't be enough demand if they picked one up to sell, or maybe they just forgot about them because they aren't new. Overall I think Blizz made some good money on this and I love the flexibility, being able to get a cash pet for gold. It's kind of academic, though, if pets are all account wide in MoP along with the other pet changes we're supposed to be seeing, I have no idea what that pet market will be like.

    1. @Lysi: I agree that giving players options is definitely a good thing (all things in moderation of course).

      But since it's a single-use pet, the RL price should have been lowered a bit? Or maybe I'm just spoiled because I can get all the other $10 pets on my alts. :P

      Good point! The market could go either way; jump up due to the higher demand on pets or fall due to less characters needing to buy companions. People are probably holding back and waiting to see the outcome of what "account wide" means, before investing in more pets.


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