Thursday, February 2, 2017

First Thoughts On Class-Specific (Order Hall) Pets

Patch 7.2 is introducing what seems to be new class-specific pets from the Monk, Death Knight, and Rogue Order Halls. Similar to other Order Hall pets, they're BoP and not cageable.

This news has caused some concern and anger within the collecting community. We'll have to level even more characters if we want access to class-specific pets? Will all classes have a collectible battle pet from the Order Hall?

In regards to the last question - I speculate that yes, in time, ALL classes will eventually have an Order Hall pet. Some may have more than just one (Druids and Death Knights, for example), while others will share the same pet with another class (Demon Hunter and Warlocks).

I know some are hoping that these class-specific pets will stop with the new additions in 7.2, but I think that would be unfair to classes that have yet to receive an Order Hall pet (Hunters, Mages, Paladins, Priests, and Warriors are still lacking a class-specific battle pet).

If it truly is Blizzard's intention to release a battle pet(s) for each class, collectors have a daunting task in front of them should they desire to collect them all.

Locking pets behind a certain level on a certain class is a huge concern for some collectors. There are players that don't want to play more than a few classes, while others simply don't have the time to level up additional characters.

Since it's unlikely that Blizzard will back down from adding class-specific pets, I think consideration of these players and some compromise is in order. Here are some suggestions on how Blizzard can implement future class-specific pets. One or two or all ideas could be applied to a class pet.

(To be clear, I am prepared to level as many characters as I need to in order to collect each class-specific pet. However, I can ABSOLUTELY empathize with those that are unhappy with these pets. I also agree that it's a huge undertaking and completely overwhelming for those attempting to collect them all.)

1. Don't lock the pets behind a high player level, Order Hall talent, or additional RNG.
The best example for a compromise between multiple class-specific pets and player progress is the Shaman pet, Snowfang.

Players only need to reach level 100, complete the introductory quests to unlock the Shaman Order Hall, and then battle Snowfang the NPC.

Collectors get to experience a new/different class (and class hall), while not having to overexert themselves in order to collect a pet. They can level up, unlock the Order Hall, collect the pet, and then move on. Or, should they find that they enjoy the class, continue playing/leveling that character.

This method of collecting still requires effort and ensures the player experiences the class, but it does not lock a collector into a character for an undetermined amount of time, unlike the following pets.

The less favorable examples of obtaining class-specific pets are the Druid, Warlock and Demon Hunter companions. Not only does collecting these pets rely on at least player level 105, but it also requires a certain Order Hall level/talent AND RNG. All of these things compounded will only cause frustration for those playing certain classes just to collect the pets.

2. Have certain classes "share" the same pet.
Similar to the Warlock and Demon Hunter pet, there are some classes that could probably share the same class-specific pet. Priests and Paladins come to mind for a shared companion. This would give players the option to seek out the pet through one or the other. It would mean one less character to level, which would be a blessing for those that are not alt-aholics.

3. Make the class-specific pets cageable at the start of the next expansion.
Players will automatically want to participate in the new shiny content of the next expansion. Leaving the class-specific pets locked behind Order Halls is fine, but that will also mean players that want to collect the pets will need to extend their stay in the Broken Isles, rather than heading off into newer content.

If the class-specific pets become cageable at the start of the next expansion, both collectors that may not want to level alternate characters and those that play the classes but have zero interest in collecting the pets will have a chance to benefit. Everyone will be able to jump into new content without feeling as though they're missing out on anything. It would mean more are able to enjoy and appreciate these special companions.

I have to admit that this change would be somewhat controversial. The class-specific pets are indeed special - they are (relatively) unique to each class and the fact that they are BoP and not cageable only adds that uniqueness. It can be argued that by removing these two aspects, it also removes each pets' value/rarity.

But WoW is an ever-changing game and environment. It evolves and so must we. It doesn't happen often, but there have been a few times where aspects of certain pets has changed. And although it's subjective, I don't think the value of those pets has been altered to the point where they're completely unwanted. The majority of collectors will desire all pets, regardless of changes.

Side note, there was an interesting user comment regarding the "uniqueness" of the Order Hall pets. I hadn't even considered that some might feel these pets AREN'T unique and/or do not add anything to the class fantasy. If many collectors feel this way, there's not much reason to keep these pets BoP and not cageable since they'll simply be another item on a collecting-check list.

Blizzard has shown that they are leaning more and more toward implementing pets obtainable only through specific activities (Order Hall and PVP pets, just to name two). However, they're running the risk of alienating the very players that would even have an interest in these companions. This is why compromise is absolutely necessary. It's not the BEST situation for collectors, time and effort may still be required, but it lessens the otherwise overwhelming task.

There are many other ideas on how to make class pets more collector-friendly, not just the ones listed above.

I can only hope Blizzard takes into consideration the varying types of collectors/players, and implements future class-specific pets with compromises.


  1. I like class-themed pets, but I hate class specific pets. I much prefer that they be cageable and not locked behind RNG, so that those who don't want to collect them can sell them to those who do but do not wish to level another character.

    Frankly the PVP pets being faction-specific is also a really poor decision, but in theory you only have to do it twice. I do worry about what will happen to those in the next expansion though, as I am sure the PVP Prestige will get completely wiped if nothing else.

  2. I agree in theory that class pets are not good for the greater collecting community (I have or will have max level each class so I'll be OK). However, I dislike PVP with a passion so I don't see how one can be separated without the other. Personally I think the pets should be cageable (like raid pets). Achievement pets (like Lagan after the hotfix shouldn't be cageable, and just checked and see Zoom is fixed to). I think making the cageable next expansion is the best idea.

    And for the PVP pets, it's a pity you can't pick a reward as I would take the pets first levels and then look at the mounts. As it is I'll never get the higher level PVP pets - I'll get the level 1 ones only because I'll have the expansion to get that much honour)

    I've kept my extras (but that's me, I've another Invincible in my bank) just because.

    What I want is some great PVP or PVE thing that requires pets and see how much they complain about having to do things they dislike for a must have item for them. Really hope they go ahead with a artifact skin gained via pets)

  3. I'm that kind of person who attempts to understand every point, what often may seem like I were a dirty opportunist; I'd like to return to more personal concerns now.

    Personally, I don't want to create toons just for a pet, but eventually, perhaps one day I'd like to figure out all classes anyway. However, I need to have an idea for a character, what takes time. It might be that I'd never have one for a specific class. And it isn't just lacking "a" pet what seems concerning, but lacking "the" pet that is a part of a specific "set".

    On the other hand, if one decides to bite the bullet and just grind it, I can provide a counterweight example: Remte herself was created when I wanted to help out some people with a Noblegarden achievement. And as one can see, that didn't stop me from giving her some personality and finally liking her.

    From the points shown in this blog note, I think that the first one hits the nail; when I was doing Molten Front, not the dailies were a problem, nor the first garrison ever, it was that stupid Zen'Vorka's Cache!

    Now, going inductively, what about a general idea of such restricted content? After all, most of mounts, toys and appearances are not tradeable. And as it has been said, this is why the devs might start reapplying it to pets.
    One thing that concerns me, and I've seen it also on the EU forum: these things are purely cosmetic, while pets are used in battles that now not only serve as a side minigame, but provide WQs and custom acquisitions.
    Another one is that several limitations and challenges lose their point when there exist ways to circumvent them, what can be seen constantly when one checks trade chat or premade groups of a high/medium populated realm. And regarding the class halls, it gets particularly interesting (no cynism intended).


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