Monday, February 29, 2016

Epic Pets Not Coming In Legion

Developers have listened to our feedback and we now have an official response.
Hi everyone!

First and foremost, thank you very much for testing pet battles in the Legion Alpha. We’ve heard your concerns and have decided not to move forward with epic pet battle stones in Legion.

To explain a bit about how we arrived at this point--

When designing rewards for the new battle pet features in Legion and the revamped pet store in Dalaran, we considered epic stones a potential direction to go. Some players are nearing the cap of max-level, all-rare pet teams, and we wanted to see if this space would satisfy their needs for a long-term future level of investment.

You have correctly identified a few of the issues that come up with this feature:
New players now have a harder time catching up (though we could mitigate this by speeding up the early leveling process).
Players with 600+ rare pets that felt as if they were nearing completion of their pet journal are back to having 600+ pets to level.
Power Creep – older content is now easier, future content is harder for new players entering pet battles.

One of the things we like about pet battles is that much of the early content stays relevant through all of the expansions. Similarly, the collection aspect of battle pets works well when it’s wider (more pets to collect, more variety in abilities) rather than taller (more levels). Both of these are very good reasons to avoid adding epic pet stones.

This direction also pushes us to create content that tests max-level-pet-battlers in a way that is not purely numbers, but use of abilities, use of specific pets, and memorization of enemy strategies. The Celestial Tournament was a good example of pet battle content that rewarded a varied and filled pet stable. We have some exciting things in mind for future battles versus tamers!

It’s worth noting that this feature was not intended to replace any gameplay content. We’re working on all sorts of pet battle updates that we’d like to make in future patches.

Thanks again for all of your feedback. We really appreciate your great ideas and discussion!
Keep in mind that although epic pets aren't going to be in THIS upcoming expansion (Legion), it's always a possibility in a future expansion. Perhaps the idea needs more time to be reworked and then properly introduced so that it doesn't hugely impact the current status quo. Maybe there will be an even better epic pet system waiting for us in the expansions after Legion. There's always room for ideas, and developers have proved that they do take our feedback into consideration.

While I feel relieved that epic pets won't be included in Legion (in the manner that they were introduced to us on Alpha -- battlestone upgrades), I'm a little sad to see a new Pet Battle feature get scrapped. Just a teeny-bit heh. But my hope is that devs will come up with a better way for us to collect epic pets, if they feel they absolutely must add it to the game.

And in the meantime, I can't wait to see the Pet Battle content in Legion. We've only had just a taste of what's to come.

Anyway, lots of love and appreciation for the Pet Battle community. Being able to have a mature and civil conversation about a topic, regardless of differing opinions, is what allows developers to take our thoughts and concerns seriously.

Lots of love and appreciate for Blizzard Devs too! They don't have to hear us out, yet they do. We may not always have to agree with their decisions, but it's reassuring to know that they do take feedback into consideration and that all voices are heard.

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