Friday, August 17, 2012

Recent Updates, Consilidated

Do you like lists? I like lists. I especially love consolidated information in a list! So here's a giant list of the latest updates and changes for Pet Battles and collecting. :D
"We are getting down to the wire guys! Just wanted to give everyone a few updates on some system wide changes. Some of this info might have already been posted but I think it's useful to have it all in one place.

- We have made a game wide pass on pets that are obstructed. You should see MUCH less of these errors now. We will continue to remove these as we find them.

- We have dramatically reduced the XP required to level for pets after level 10.

- Catching any pet level 15 or under retains its current level.

- Catching a level 16-20 pet will lose 1 level.

- Catching a level 21-25 pet will lose 2 levels.

- Players are vulnerable to PVP while in a pet battle on PVP servers. We have added a buff that will reduce the amount of damage taken once you are broken out of battle by 50% for 3 seconds. PVE players are only affected if they are flagged or in an area that forces flagging. In addition, the exact pet you were fighting will respawn.

- A 3m cool-up is activated on login for the Revive Battle Pets spell. The same cool-up is applied to Stable Masters.

- The bandage drop rate from Battle Pet Tamer quests has been increased significantly.

- The number of pet bandages dropped has been doubled.

- The stack limit on pet bandages has been increased to 10.

- We have reduced the cooldown on Revive Battle Pets to 8m.

- The pet battle combat log has been moved to it's own chat tab.

- All pet battle tamer quests are account-wide. Both the dailys and the one-shots.

- We have removed the pet swap on pets dying in everything except PVP.

- The matchmaking system has been adjusted to favor battles with opponents of similar levels over queuing speed.

- When a pet battle queue pops, you will now have the option to accept or decline.

- Players will once again be able to engage in pet battles while in the pet battle queue.

- You can have up to x3 of any pet except for uniques. The pets in the following categories are unique: Achievements, Pet Store, Guild and Promotional. Note that TCG pets are not unique and will be tradeable.

- Pets caught through pet battles will not be tradeable. Note that many pets are still tradeable. (well over 150)

- Day one migration from Cataclysm has been changed. You will now get all of your extra pets directly in the journal (rather than pet crates in your bags/mail) These pets will be allowed to exceed the 500 total/3x per pet limits for this one time event. Note that unique pets will be merged into one.

- Release now works on any pet as long as you have more than one of that pet.

- Release will continue to work at all times on pets caught though battle.

- A number of pre-existing pets were upgrade to rare quality.
Again, a big thanks to everyone who has been helping us out with feedback on the beta. Your help is immensely appreciated!" - Mumper
Some thoughts and comments on a few of these updates after the break!

World PVP
It looks like the world PVP aspect is going to remain unchanged for the time being. While I don't necessarily approve entirely, I'm glad that PVE servers won't be forced into PVP just by engaging in Pet Battles.

We'll see how well the 50% damage reduction goes over on live servers with avid PVP'ers, but part of me feels like there will be a lot of disagreement over whether or not this is a fair advantage or disadvantage.

As for me, I plan on utilizing the account-wide pet collection feature, and doing much of my battling and capturing of wild pets on a PVE server. I'm even leveling a character just for this task lol. Although I won't be completely immune to harassment, griefing or PVP, all of those things will be less likely and will hopefully have a lower chance of occurring.

Is this considered cheating or working around the system? I don't know. All I know is that I'd like to be able to participate in pet battles and collect companions more on my terms and at my own pace rather than other people's. If this means resorting to using another toon on a different server, then so be it. :P

It's good to see that TCG pets will not be considered unique and players with more than one of the same companion on their accounts won't lose them after the collection merger. Players that spent real life money on these pets will certainly get their money's worth!

This also gives players who can't or won't spend RL currency on the loot cards an opportunity to finally acquire a TCG pet. Whether if it's for gold, a companion swap, or a gift, being able to trade the TCG pets benefits so many.

We may see more of these loot card companions wandering around the in-game world once duplicates become tradeable, but I don't think they'll be downright common.

Hopefully I'll find a sweet deal in-game for one of the rarer TCG pets after MoP's released! I can dream, hm? XD

Trading Wild Pets
So unfortunately, it looks like trading wild pets is still something that developers won't be supporting for the time being. This is pretty disappointing news, especially since the RNG factor of quality and color variation would have worked well with the whole trading and selling aspect.

I'm still not a supporter or fan of not being able to trade captured companions. It still doesn't address the main concern which was that players could potentially capture max level pets and sell them to other players, which would then allow people to bypass and skip all the content, thereby breaking the minigame very early on. From what I understand, it's still possible to sell a max leveled vendor pet (for example), so that means it would still be possible for people to avoid having to level companions on their own.

For now, I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. I'm still hopeful that the whole trading wild pets situation will change while preserving how the minigame is intended to be played.

I'm relieved that we'll be able to release pets if we have duplicates! Even if we can't cage and trade/sell some of these companions, being able to clear up extra pets and freeing more slots in the Pet Journal is a welcome feature.

I was pretty worried that I would end up with a bajillion quest reward pets and be left with very little room for anything else.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the quested companions, but unless I can have more than one pet out at a time, what am I realistically going to do with 10 Creepy Crates lol? I suppose I could attempt to take over Azeroth with an army of companion pets that have the ability to eat everything, but I have a feeling that that would be frowned upon. :P

Pet Quality
This is a definite plus. Upgrading some existing pets to rare quality will give players more (buffed) options when starting out in Pet Battles. Not only that, but already having rare quality companions ready for use upon starting out will make easing into the minigame a little less of a hassle. Plus having that "rare" tag and slight stat boost is just psychologically reassuring in general.

The only thing I wonder is if this list is what the final list of upgraded quality pets will be. Or will there be changes prior to MoP? I guess I'll just have to double check the list just before beta gets taken down.

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