Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Best Buy Developer Q&A - Pet Stuff Only

I don't know how, but I totally missed out on the Best Buy Developer Q&A. Thank goodness for news sites like MMO-Champion and Wowhead, though. :)

There were some interesting and awesome pet-related Q's and A's! I'll just copy and paste what's on WarcraftPets since it's a bit late. :P If you want to read the full version of the Q&A, you can check it out here.
- The Baby Shark will eventually be added into the game!

- There won't be a realm first for Pet Battles since it's intended to be more of a casual mini-game.

- Tooltips for wild pets, caged companions, and pets sold on the AH will be updated in patch 5.1.0. The new tooltip will display if you own said pet and if so, how many. Should you already have 3 of that pet, the tooltip text will turn red.

- Mini-pets might drop from raid bosses in the future, but the context in which one drops needs to fit with the content.
First and foremost... BABY SHARK! I know I'm not the only one who's been waiting for this kick ass pet ever since it was discovered in the WotLK beta. Unfortunately, it was removed prior to the expansion release. But now it might finally become available to collect! I wonder if it will chase around other aquatic companions. ;)

Realm First
Realm first for Pet Battles would be tricky to implement, so I'm glad developers decided against it. What would be the quantifying value for "realm first Pet Battler" anyway? Leveling one pet up to 25 first? Raising an entire team of 3 to level cap? Collecting all the new wild pets? Completing all of the Tamer quests first?

Since there are a lot of aspects to Pet Battles and pet collecting, it's difficult to pinpoint what specifically defines both activities.

There have been quite a few requests to bring back the "Already Known" message on pet tooltips. Without it, it's somewhat of a hassle to determine whether or not you already have a certain pet in your collection. I mean, there are a lot of companions to keep track of now!

Mumper further explained on Twitter how the updated tooltip would function in patch 5.1.0. Sounds like just the thing Pet Collectors were looking for and then some. :)

This should help alleviate the problem of being caught mid-battle with a wild pet and discovering that you already own 3 of that pet. (You can't release pets mid-battle)

Raid Dropped Pets
Ok. This is where I stop smiling and start to look anxious. The response to the raid boss dropped question was in no way a guarantee, but the fact that it's even being considered has me somewhat worried.

I've discussed my views on PVE vs. pet collecting in the past, and obviously developers don't see it the way I do. Fair enough. I definitely agree with developers when they say that the pet and the content have to match well. Not only that, though, I hope they keep in mind that raiding is a different beast than collecting, and not all pet collectors are interested in tackling and taming that beast. (Yet all raiders wouldn't object to obtaining a free vanity pet from a raid boss.)

One thing to keep in mind is that the example that was mentioned in the question during the Q&A was the Vampiric Batling off of Prince Tenris Mirkblood. This NPC was a temporary boss in Karazhan during the pre-WotLK event. The pet that dropped had a 100% droprate AND there was one for every raid member that participated in the fight.

This information is important, because it's unlikely that companions will work in the same fashion as the Vampiric Batling if they are added to a raid boss' loot table. I dare say that the main reason some people think so fondly of pets dropping off of raid bosses is because of past experience with the one pet from Karazhan.

My take on companions dropping off of raid bosses is that it will not be a walk in the park and everyone wins situation.

Unless the pet can be acquired in the same way as the Vampiric Batling (unlikely?), there will be ONE randomly dropped companion off of a raid boss. Depending on whether you raid with a 10 or 25 man group, there will still be X number of other players to compete against for the pet.

Since it's a vanity item and doesn't affect raid progression in the slightest, who's to say which person truly "deserves" it? The avid pet collector that only shows up every other week for raid? The extremely skilled player that shows up 100% of the time but doesn't have much of an interest for the pet (yet wouldn't pass up the offer)?

I implore developers to look at it from a pet collector point of view, a raider point of view, and a guild officer/leader point of view. There will be a burden on the pet collectors to get into a raid for said pet (especially for those that are un-guilded and don't really have an interest in raiding), potential bitterness between raiders competing for that one companion, and stress for officers and leaders who have to ultimately decide who gets it. This might not always be the case for every single person and guild, but it's a likely scenario.

If anything, I hope that any pets dropped from a raid boss have a high enough droprate so that any potential drama can be squashed, and even pet collectors that aren't raiders have a fair shot at it.

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Perks N Peeves by Quintessence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.