Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More Beta Pet Battles Updates

Things seem to be slowing down or wrapping up in terms of beta news lately, but developers haven't forgotten about Pet Battles or companions! Here are the latest updates and changes.
"The only pets that are flagged as unique are in the categories listed below. This can of course change at any time, but this is what we are looking at for MoP release currently.

Achievement Pets
Blizzard Pet Store Pets
Promotional Pets
Guild Pets

Everything else will be allowed up to 3x of the same pet."

- source
I wonder if the TCG pets fall under the "Promotional Pets" category. It would be a real downer if they were since some players paid RL money to have multiple TCG companions on multiple toons. Unlike the Blizzard PetStore redeemable pets, the TCG ones are only mailed to one toon per code redemption. It would just be wrong if all those companions were squished into one when people paid for more than a single loot card.

While the devs have covered duplicate pets, what about the issue of having duplicates that you CAN'T GET RID OF? That might sound like blasphemy right, because I mean, you can never have too many companions eh? Well, if they plan on keeping the cap of 500 total pets (including duplicates) in your Pet Journal, most aren't going to want to keep those duplicate pets around. Yet last I checked, you can't cage or release some of them, which means clogged up pet slots. :\

Specifically quest reward companions. It seems punishing to have to skip over a quest on an alt just to avoid picking up the pet and accidentally adding it to your journal. But unless you can choose to remove any of duplicates and give them away/sell/vendor them, there's really no point in having more than one quest reward pet in your account-wide collection.

Hopefully they fix this or address it in the near future. Perhaps some sort of option at the Stable Master to help you "let go" of some duplicate pets that you wouldn't otherwise be able to remove from your journal? I don't know lol.
"We will be adding more diversity as we progress through the patches, it's something we know about it. You have to remember that most of the critters in the world were animals. We added as many new pets as we could without disrupting the general feel of the world. There is a unique pet in almost every zone in the game now. We took care to try and make these pets fit in the different family's. (undead, dragonkin, aquatic, elemental etc.)

This is just the beginning, we will be supporting the system with new updates every single patch."
- source
I'm really glad that they plan on continuing to update and add to Pet Battles as time goes on. The minigame seems to have the potential for limitless features.

My biggest concern is replay-ability and whether or not it will become tedious and too "grindy" after leveling up your first few pet teams.

Adding more content when most players can't even get past max level for 2 teams is just asking for trouble. Rather than adding, perhaps changing, relocating, etc. might be more acceptable. I wouldn't mind seeing more than just critter, beast, and aquatic pets at low levels. Plus it seems like all the "cool" or interesting family types are the less encountered ones.
"A few updates:

- The bandage drop rate from Battle Pet Tamer quests has been increased significantly.
- The number of bandages dropped has been doubled.
- The stack limit has been increased to 10.
- We have reduced the cooldown on Revive Battle Pets to 8m.

We will be watching the cooldown feedback at this new value but we think that combined with the bandage drop rates, most players will be happy with the results. The increased chance at bandages are a great way to supplement any extra healing you may need while the heal is on cooldown."
- source
Last but not least, an update to the healing and revive spell cooldown!

It's not a complete removal of the cooldown like many players have been requesting, but I think it's a pretty sweet compromise. 10 minutes to 8 minutes might not seem like much of a reduction, but it really does make a difference.

Plus with the increased stacking and hopefully higher droprate of the Battle Pet Bandages, Pet Battle gameplay should be a lot smoother and the flow will hopefully be less clunky.

The next question is will this heal/revive cooldown still be tolerable after your first three pets reach max level and you start to level up a second team? Or at that point will it just be too much of a monotonous hassle?

Again, one of my biggest worries is a tiresome and seemingly endless grind, and if it will put off players after a while. Anything to curve Pet Battles from turning into what feels like a chore is welcome. Except coming up with a mechanic that fits in and doesn't break the system might be a challenge.

Guess we'll just have to see where this road takes us!

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