Thursday, October 26, 2017

Future 'Glory' Raid Achievement Pets: No Thanks

Yesterday I finally completed Glory of the Tomb Raider with my guild and collected Micronax!

Micronax + Magic Pet Mirror + Pepe

Normally I don't go for raid achievements, but I had to make an exception for a pet lol. My guild generally doesn't focus on raid achievements either, but they were kind enough to help out and a handful of them completed the full achievement/got the pet too. Big thank you to all those that took part and helped out. :)

I would say it took about 3-4 weeks of maybe 1 night a week (2-4 hours each) on Normal to complete the entire thing. Some nights we knocked out more than a few, while other nights we were only able to complete 1 or 2. Yesterday was dedicated to the very last one, Dark Souls, quite possibly the toughest of the bunch.

Micronax flies alongside you and has an interaction with nearby critters - it will shoot a fel-fireball at them. I love battle pets that have an interactivity! :3

The adventure of collecting this pet, however... I was and still am less than enthusiastic about it. Relieved that I've completed it, yes. But I wouldn't say that being relieved equates to enjoying the journey, yenno?

After undergoing the experience, I still stand by my opinion that "Glory" type raid achievements shouldn't award battle pets. Pets are such a niche part of the game, not as widely desirable as a mount or a title, that tacking on a pet reward just puts extra strain on collectors and possibly even guildmates/friends.

I can't tell you how troublesome it was just trying to get guildmates on for attempts at X achievement or coordinating schedules. We're an average guild and largely casual in this expansion, so our dedicated raid nights are spent on just clearing current content. Achievement runs usually do not qualify as content for official raid nights.

On top of that, the interest was as you would expect from a group that mostly doesn't concern themselves with achievements, much less battle pets. I could see Glory being easier in a guild that's heavily achievement-oriented, but for a casual guild like mine, it's tougher to drum up the motivation and momentum for it. For those that don't run with a guild or consistent group of friends, I completely understand why they would feel discouraged about collecting Micronax. (Should note that there ARE groups out there willing to help out collectors earn their own spaceship pet though.)

Would there have been more interest had Glory of ToS rewarded a mount? My past experiences with my guild say yes. Not all are achievement-hunters but nearly all wouldn't turn down a shiny new mount, heh.

I admit I'm completely biased in my preference for no future raid achievement pet rewards. However, it should be noted I'm not against ALL raid pets.

I'm ok with pets that drop from raid bosses, as that doesn't require much other than being present for a boss kill and RNG rolling in your favor. Or, in the case of BoE or cageable pets, getting lucky and snagging one off the AH for a decent price. With enough time, raids turn into legacy raids and become solo-able, essentially turning current content raid dropped pets into RWL-type pets. And we've had PLENTY of experience with RWL pets. ;P

Raid achievement pets, however, normally require a group to complete X mechanics. Further down the road you might not need 10 people, but I could see more than a few of these achievement still requiring a group of at least 2-5.

I think the best example of a solid way to implement raid pets is the Dream Whelpling. It has a unique spawn mechanic where you need to defeat the last boss of the Emerald Nightmare raid, and then little green whelplings pop up as wild pets you can capture.

It's a fantastic idea that's relatively balanced and interesting. It passively incorporates group effort/participation with collecting, removes a lot of the RNG, and really fits in with the overall environment/atmosphere of the raid. As far as I remember, you don't even really need to be there to complete the raid, just find someone with the lockout (the whelplings respawn).

But if they wanted to make a wild pet that only spawns after defeating a raid boss even more exclusive, perhaps add a required buff that you can only obtain if you were present (dead or alive) for the boss kill. Boom. There you go, a more exclusive raid pet! :P

Anyway, I'm glad I collected Micronax while it's still considered current content. I honestly didn't think it would happen until an expansion or two down the line. Would I advocate future raid pets to be obtained in the same fashion? No. I think there are better, more balanced, and more interesting ways to add battle pets into raid content. Just my two cents!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

UPDATE: A hotfix was released so battlers can once again use both treats simultaneously. Yay for stacking battle pet experience buffs!
@WarcraftDevs: "We've just applied a hotfix that should make it possible for you to again feed your pet both a hot dog and a hamburger, as nature intended."

A changed was noticed yesterday regarding pet treats.

Normally, battlers can use one Lesser Pet Treat with one Pet Treat for an additional experience boost. However, as of yesterday afternoon this is no longer the case. The treats do not stack at all (and there's been one report of the buff being removed from the character completely upon logging out and back in).

Because treat stacking (just one 25% + one 50% though) has been around since MoP, many wondered if this change was just a bug.

It turns out that someone discovered a way to stack the 50% treat all the way up to 1000% and then published this exploit online. (Won't name who or the site, as I don't want to promote it - if you're that curious, it's not that hard to find.) While one treat stacked with one other type was tolerated by developers, stacking so high was undeniably excessive and understandably worrying. So it would seem this nerf was a quick way to stomp out that particular unintended usage of treats.

This is a disheartening blow to battlers, especially during this Pet Battle Bonus Event week. Squirt will be making an appearance for NA on October 16th and many were looking forward to leveling lots of pets. Don't get me wrong, the Squirt method of pet leveling is still completely viable, but the experience gain won't be as lucrative as it would have been with one 25% treat stacked with one 50% treat. It just feels bad; it took but one person to ruin it for everyone else. :(

Another thing that I found notable that came up during the treat discussion - Lesser Pet Treats are now much less desirable and usable since they no longer stack with the better ones. I mean, if you can only have one experience boost buff, why choose the lower one when a higher one is available?

The Lesser treats drop pretty regularly from the Zookeeper shoulder enchant, which is great for newer battlers who have little to no access to the better treats. But for those that stocked up Lesser treats for the sole purpose of combining with the 50% one, perhaps an exchange rate at the pet vendor should be put into place. Hand in a few 25% treats for one 50% treat, so yenno, all of those Lesser ones don't just go to waste.

This bandaid fix for the exploit was extremely unexpected and sudden - it's unfortunate and feels rather unfair for those that were not exploiting and simply using a mechanic that has been around for as long as two types of treats have been in-game. Hopefully we see a better solution soon and battlers will be able to use both treats simultaneously again. Or something else is introduced as compromise.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Giving Away Extra/Duplicate Battle Pets

My bank alt is positively overflowing with extra/duplicate battle pets, so what else can I do but to find good homes for these little ones?

I'm offering some FREE battle pets to collectors. No gold/trade necessary.

See this page for a list of all pets available, and instructions on how to request. Some limitations may apply. Prefer to give away these pets to those that will keep them over selling/trading them.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Help me find warm and welcoming families for all of these pets!
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Perks N Peeves by Quintessence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.