Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quest For Your Wild Pet Idea

After searching for about 8-9 hours for the Unborn Val'kyr yesterday and coming up empty handed, I went to sleep feeling very unsatisfied. When I woke up, though, I had an idea brewing. I have no idea where it came from, but it seems interesting enough.

My biggest concerns with how we're supposed to acquire the Unborn Val'kyr is the high amount of RNG involved that spans an entire continent. In addition, you really aren't doing anything productive since flying around or waiting at a spot doesn't exactly benefit you in any way as a pet collector or battler. It's as if a pirate handed you a treasure map but instead of marking possible locations, he just scribbled across the top: "I BURIED MY TREASURE SOMEWHERE". So you just have to drive back and forth in that area, wasting gas, and hope you stumble across it.

But how can a wild pet be implemented to avoid the heavy RNG and lack of player participation? It's "wild" for a reason right?

My idea consists of a few aspects:
- Questing
- Chance of drop (because some RNG is necessary)
- Battling
- Knowledge of strong/weak families
I haven't completely ironed out all the details, but here's a quick example. I'm not claiming this to be viable or a good idea; it's just something that I thought was interesting and wouldn't mind exploring further.

Let's say you're out battling wild pets and you happen to defeat a Mechanical one. It drops a unique item that turns out to be a quest item. You accept the quest and it directs you to a "rare and exotic creatures" NPC.

The NPC is thrilled that you've found the item, because guess what? It belongs to a rare Beast type creature that somehow got away from him. It could be a collar, part of the pet's favorite toy, or anything identifiable to that specific pet. The Mech pet you defeated must have come across the Beast creature, had a scrap with it and won. (Because Mechs are strong against Beast, yea?)

The NPC goes on to say that he needs your help to find his lost creature, but thinks it must be scared after losing a fight to the Mechanical pet. In order to draw it out, you need to defeat X number of wild pets that are weak to the Beast. "Collecting weak pheromones" or something. Using the pheromones would create an item to draw his lost animal out so you can capture it.

So you're off on a quest to defeat X number of wild Critters (because Critters are weak against Beasts). After doing this, you return and he creates the lure for you. He tells you of the creature's favorite hiding spot (or original natural habitat or something), so you need to go there and set up the trap.

Once you spawn the Beast, you must engage in battle with it before capturing it. Since you summoned it, only you may battle and capture it.

You capture it and return to the NPC. But instead of returning it to him, he tells you how grateful he is for your help and that he just acquired a new Beast pet and doesn't have room for the you caught anymore. In the end, you keep what you catch!

What you catch comes in a random breed and quality. Perhaps you could complete the quest multiple times in hopes for a specific breed/quality? I don't know. Haven't really thought about the details.

The good things about this type of gameplay is that it still involves RNG (X chance to drop the item that starts the quest chain), it involves actually battling and doing something that will benefit collecting/battling, and it's not just a "gimmee" as you have to go out in the world and work on getting a wild pet to spawn.

On top of that, it would be easy to implement a pet for each family type AND add more pets to this system in the future. Mr./Ms. "rare and exotic creatures" NPC could "lose" rare pets all the time and ask for your help indefinitely. :P

Anyway, just a thought. I haven't brainstormed loopholes, possible ways to exploit it or difficulties that players may run into yet, so it's not an idea that's complete. Just something I woke up with in my head.

One thing to think about: Would the pet in this scenario still be considered a "wild pet"? Or would it be more of a quest pet? With random quality/breed and the requirement to battle and capture it, it could qualify as wild (maybe?), but then again you have to use a quest item to summon it. Hm, not sure.

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