Thursday, January 23, 2014

Brainstorming New Pets For the Lunar Festival

The Lunar Festival is currently underway in-game, but unfortunately there aren't any new pets to be had this year. It's understandable since developers have their hands full making the next expansion. Still, I can't help but feel a little disappointed that there's nothing new to collect. It does give me some solace contemplating the possible future pets that could be implemented, though.

One new pet for the Lunar Festival that I wouldn't mind seeing, and I've mentioned it before, is a miniature Omen. We already have the Core Hound Pup and Chrominius, but Omen has a slightly different model that includes proper looking dog/wolf heads. On top of that, a mini-Omen would likely be a different family-type, maybe beast or magic with a mix of abilities between the two. It would fit well with the in-game event and give players a fresh goal to strive for.

The biggest question is whether or not it would be a drop from Omen himself, or a quest reward for killing the demigod. As much as I hate to admit this, since I'm not a fan of RNG dropped pets, it would probably make more sense if a "spawn of Omen" came from the boss (personal player loot please!) after defeating it. Or perhaps wild spawns could appear after Omen is sent back into his deep sleep. Cute little, non-hostile, docile versions that are echoes of Omen when he wasn't all demonic and angry. :P

Mini-Omen is merely one idea for an update to next year's Lunar Festival. Perculia Tweeted a Wowhead comment that mentioned a great idea, pets that match each year's corresponding chinese zodiac animal.

So for example, this year is the year of the horse, so a pony would have been appropriate as the obtainable pet for this year's festival. Past tense. The festival's already here so it's too late to release a new pet. Come next year the zodiac animals will be the goat. :(

The downside to this idea, though, is that we already have many of the animals in the zodiac. We're missing a proper horse/pony/foal and rooster, but the rest are pretty much already represented in the game. That may mean we would only be getting reskins of existing pets, since creating an entirely new model for the 12 zodiac animals would likely rank low on Blizzard's priority list. Reskins aren't a bad thing, and I welcome any pet into my army of companions. There are some players who are against re-using existing models and simply slapping a new coat of paint on it, though.

Another thing to consider is how would we obtain each pet? Quest reward? Drop? Vendor? Would each one only be available during their corresponding year? If the answer is yes to the last question, I'll have to laugh. The animals of the chinese zodiac cover 12 years, and who knows if we'll be playing this game for that long. There are ways around that of course (offering more than one pet per year is an example), but it makes me smile to think that Blizzard would be willing to keep the game going for 12+ years just so collectors could get their fix lol. :P

Anyway, I'm definitely hoping for something new next year, after things have calmed down and there's more time to update the in-game holidays. There are many possible pets that could be added to not just this event but other events as well. Some holidays feel long overdue for a revamp or another pet addition. Hopefully the absence of new pets or things to collect isn't due to a lack of developer interest, but because of a lack of time to create and implement fun ideas.

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