Saturday, August 20, 2016

Color a Battle Pet!

Just wanted to share something fun that collectors might appreciate.

I recently stumbled upon an artist that creates battle pet coloring pages (how did I not discover this sooner?!). They're ADORABLE and so well drawn.

If you need some inspiration on what/how to color, here are a couple of wonderfully finished pages from others in the WoW community.

I haven't printed any out and tried coloring yet, but if I find time in the near future you can bet my colored pencils and markers are going to get a work out hehe.

How amazing would it be if all pets were eventually featured? Well, maybe not *all* pets since some share models. But just the unique ones? ^^;

This artist also has a Patreon page, so maybe support so we can see more battle pet coloring pages? :3

I can't wait for more :D

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thoughts On 7.0.3 Menagerie Daily Stealth-Change

I've largely been quiet about the elephant in the room in 7.0.3, but a point was recently made that really resonated with me.

Let's talk about the stealth nerf to the Menagerie daily, shall we?

The Menagerie daily is now account-wide as of the pre-expansion patch. This includes all dailies handed out by the Menagerie NPC (regardless of building level or faction).

With all that's been going on since 7.0.3 dropped (updating the WarcraftPets database, managing my own characters with the talent and spec changes, transmog stuff, etc.), I haven't commented much on the stealth change to the Menagerie daily.

Initially, everyone speculated that being unable to pick up and complete the daily on more than one character was a bug since there was absolutely NO mention in the released patch notes about changes to the daily other than reduced Pet Charm rewards. (Patch notes have since been edited to include the additional daily change.)

It was later revealed on a secondary patch notes page that the daily becoming account-wide was indeed intended. This underhanded ninja nerf is what upset the Pet Battle community more than anything, nevermind the actual change. It was unexpected, initially unannounced, and seemingly uncalled for.

Many can understand why the double nerf (reduced Pet Charm rewards PLUS account-wide Menagerie daily change) was implemented -- the garrison was just too strong. Those with multiple characters reaped what could be considered an excessive amount of rewards over the span of WoD, and these changes were made primarily to dissuade players from camping their garrisons in Legion. I strongly believe that the target audience for these nerfs are veterans of not just the game, but also veteran Pet Battlers with multiple characters.

One thing Blizzard didn't consider, however, is how this would affect newer players and those just starting to hop into Pet Battles. This double whammy impacts their impression of Pet Battles the most.

Most veterans will have stockpiled enough Pet Charms to last for quite a while in Legion, so it's really no skin off their backs. Veterans largely remember what it was like leveling, grinding, and progressing without the luxury of Pet Charms -- it's nothing new for them, it's not a culture-shock.

But noobies, who may have joined later and rely on Pet Charms to level pets and participate in Pet Battles, will now struggle to earn Pet Charms to purchase bandages, pet food, and battlestones until Legion drops. Even in Legion, prior to level 110 there isn't much content for battlers to collect Pet Charms. Going from 100 to 0 can be a huge shock, especially for those who have never known any other style of gameplay other than 'use charms to progress'.

On top of this, many are upset at the fact that their multiple Menageries across multiple characters are now a wasted investment. An account-wide daily means that any building constructed will be largely unusable once you've completed and turned in the daily on your first character for the day. Yes, you can still purchase items and heal at the Menagerie, but I think a large draw for dumping gold into building the lot for many players was the daily, dropped pets, and the Pet Charms. Not so much the vendor.

All of this has caused a stir in the community. An unpleasant stir.

I definitely agree that this should have been handled better. If they had intended to hand out this double nerf from the get-go, it should have been announced prior to 7.0.3 going live so collectors could have a chance to adjust and prepare accordingly. Suddenly logging in to find an unannounced change is completely jarring and it's only understandable that players would have a negative knee-jerk reaction to the unexpected change.

Despite my silence on this topic, it does bother me that the account-wide status of the Menagerie daily went unannounced, and we had to find out about it through some player sleuthing (the change was finally officially noted in a SECOND patch notes page, not the one initially released) rather than a Blizzard representative addressing our questions and concerns.

I'm also bothered by the fact that throughout all of this, there was ZERO compromise on the matter. Just flat nerfs. Yes, I can understand why the changes had to happen, but I don't agree that there was nothing to be done to offset the negative.

This comment is what really sparked my desire to express my 2 cents. It struck me as the perfect compromise that COULD HAVE been included - it would have been the perfect time for it - but wasn't.

A baked in reduced cooldown on the pet revive/heal as a reward would have been a great way to help balance the changes in 7.0.3. With the removal of garrison perks, many other bonuses were baked into gameplay but for some reason the Pet Battle one (reduced revive/heal cooldown while in Draenor) was left out.

I think adding a cooldown reduction (in general, not just for Draenor) as part of a 'you built the Menagerie and upgraded to level 3!' achievement would be a wonderful positive in what has been perceived as an overwhelmingly negative patch for pet battlers/collectors. Would it erase the whole Menagerie daily debacle? No. But it would be a wonderful peace-making gesture.

Overall, I'm going to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt about all of this. Do I think there was malicious intent? No. Do I think there were oversights and poor communication? Yes. Do I agree with all of the changes? No, not really BUT I can understand why they were necessary adjustments to the game, and have largely accepted them.

Some may not be able to overlook this matter or take it as lightly, and it could turn them off from Pet Battling completely...or for at least a while. (It's hard to say no to cute and cuddly pets...)

So an additional change to give players some kind of compensation for investing in a max level Menagerie (often on multiple characters) would go a long way. The best one that I've seen suggested is definitely the reduced cooldown of the pet revive/heal, for all zones and not exclusively Draenor.

Just my thoughts on this matter. Better late than never, right?
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