Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pet Breeding Postponed - I Ain't Even Mad

There has been a lot of speculation on pet breeding, a feature that was vaguely mentioned at BlizzCon of last year. It was never fully and properly announced as an official addition to the upcoming expansion, so anything and everything "known" about it is still very much up in the air. Nothing has been set in stone as far as we know.

This was made even more apparent when Mumper recently Tweeted the following:
"We decided against pet breeding for the 6.0 launch. Mainly balance and content concerns."
Does this mean the idea is scrapped completely? It doesn't seem that way, but we'll have to wait and see. There's no mention of completely abandoning pet breeding, and as Doobjanka comments, the postponing of the feature may only be intended for the general 6.0 launch (pre-expac and post-expac launch).

It would make sense to hold off on such a potentially game-changing mechanic until the first major patch of the expansion, just so everyone can settle in first and see where things stand in terms of gameplay and balancing. Even then, it's possible that pet breeding may be pushed back even further to round out the "end game" for Pet Battles in WoD.

All of this is, of course, just my own interpretation. We won't know anything until Blizzard announces their plans. Things could change after any type of announcement too.

Some collectors and battlers may be disappointed or frustrated with the lack of updates and concrete information on breeding, and this latest mention of postponing its release could be quite upsetting for those looking forward to it. It's understandable as it was the big selling point of WoD for pet enthusiasts, and without pet breeding, it's looking like the expansion will only have more of the same (so far). Garrisons will likely be the new time-sink, but I'm sure many were looking forward to a feature that was aimed specifically for Pet Battles.

One thing that we need to keep in mind, though, is pet breeding was never officially announced. Things change and perhaps the idea that was initially presented needed to be re-addressed before being fully implemented and released.

It's a good thing (I hope). This may mean developers are slowly weeding out issues and problems with the original idea and creating something even better. It also gives the community more time to present concerns and feedback on the idea. Although without knowing much of the details, all we can do is brainstorm and speculate.

My hope is that with the aid of our community and more time, pet breeding will be a well-thought out and fully functional feature. I'd much rather they get it right (and take more time to do so), rather than pushing it too early (with all issues and bugs still attached).

Personally, I was never completely sold on the feature to begin with. I'm not a pet battler at heart, so the concept of creating pets with ideal breeds wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I don't ignore pet breeds entirely, and I do take note for certain pets, but it's not something that I'll painstakingly devote myself to in order to conjure up the "perfect pet". To me, breeding for the sake of creating the ideal breed/type of pet sounds as though it would cause more problems in the community and general WoW community than anything else. That isn't to say I wouldn't take part, I totally would, but I probably wouldn't invest all of my time into it like I would with collecting pets.

However, pet breeding for the sake of creating vanity pets (new/different skins, animations, etc.) would be something that I'm highly interested in. If there's a new color of rabbit out there, I'd love to add it to my collection. From my understanding of it, though, it doesn't sound like that's the direction they are looking to go. If it is, it would probably cause less balancing headaches since it wouldn't be an integral part of Pet Battles gameplay. Vanity is vanity and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So I guess you could say I'm half-heartedly interested in pet breeding (if and when it ever makes it into the game and depending on what breeding is all about), but at the moment I'm not heartbroken or anything over the postponing of the feature. As with all things pet-related, it would only be natural for me to feel disappointed if they announce that the idea is scrapped completely, but that's a bridge we'll have to cross when we get to it.

We can only remain hopeful that they're working on making it amazing and solving any concerns/issues that have already popped up regarding breeding. That's the optimist in me. The realist knows that things can and will change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. So long as these changes don't blindside us and Blizzard is open and sincere (and we keep an open mind), I think we'll be ok.

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