Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thoughts: Uniqueness and Exclusivity of Pets

Recently, Quintessence made a blog post about two pets in patch 6.2 - a new moth and a new firefly that have spawning mechanics similar to the Unborn Val'kyr.  This post, however, related more to RNG, effort, and the willingness to participate.  After thinking for a while, I thought of another thing that matters to pet collectors: how they look vs how hard they are to obtain.

Not all collectors are the same.  Some are quite casual, collecting only pets they think look cool (which is perfectly fine!), while others collect everything they can.  Some pet collectors only care about pet battling, so they only pick pets with good stats and moves.  There are some in-between who collect everything that's easy to obtain.  However, all devoted collectors take notice of how cool or unique a new pet is.

The thing that made the Unborn Val'kyr so desirable was the fact that it was unique...well, it did share the animations with Mini Tyrael, but it was a new skin nonetheless, and the only Val'kyr pet available at all.  Collectors far and wide searched (and still search) for the pet because it looked cool, and had cool/unique moves for pet battles.  Why they would decide to add something like a moth that has the same moves as other moths with an Unborn Valk-style spawning mechanic is beyond me.

The thing I look for the most is how cool a pet looks.  That's the deciding factor on which character I'll use it on, or if I'll use it at all.  Demonic pets are always used by my Worgen Warlock, and I'm very happy to see a new mini demon when they add them.  The Sister of Temptation was perfect for him - a succubus, which we've never had as a battle pet?  Perfect!  Imps, infernals/abyssals, Willy, and other demons are great, because each one has a unique look, unique moves, and matches my warlock.  I will be especially happy to go out and try for those, regardless of RNG.

Other pets that are recolors of already rare pets are welcome as well.  I like both the Personal World Destroyer and the Pocket Reaver because there are only two of them, each with their own distinct colors and move sets.  The carps from Pandaria were also welcome since we don't have many fish pets, and they were nice recolors of two fish we could obtain earlier in the expansion.  However, with the carps, the thing that made me put off getting those for a while was their RNG...but I still put in the effort to get them for their looks.  The new wolf pups (FelCinder, and Nether) are welcome, because they are canines (which people always want) and because they have more unique looks.

I have to question Blizzard's decision to add moths and fireflies when we already have tons of other moths and fireflies.  It doesn't matter how they are recolored, because in the end they're just moths and fireflies to people.  Even the Imperial Moth tends to get forgotten by players, because even though it has a unique model, it has the same abilities as almost all other moths.

I don't think Blizzard should spend the time making brand new models (moves, skins, and animations) just for pets every patch (similar to Pierre or the Crawling Claw), but I do feel they should add in pets with unique looks of models they have already added in.  We don't have a pet like Omen (though other pets share his animations), which would be a great wild pet during the Lunar Festival.  The Manticron Cube would be a perfect pet from Magtheridon's Lair.  A Mantid Swarmborn from Shek'zeer or Mantid Archaeology would be perfect.

What frustrates me most is when they have other perfect models, or they add in models, and they don't use them for pets at all.  Do we have a Felhound Pup?  Nope.  Oh, they added a new Felstalker to Tanaan, maybe that'll be a pet?  Nope.  What about a new Imp from Tanaan or perhaps a Fel Imp?  Not a chance.  Dwarven Golems would be a great addition anywhere, perhaps from a Dark Iron quest!  But, no such luck.  Yet, they decide to add in moths and fireflies with rare spawns anywhere on Draenor except the new area.  Added on top of that is the new legendary pet supplies, where only one pet is not a simple recolor of easily obtainable pets - the Nightmare Bell  It makes me question if I'll continue being a hardcore (well, fairly hardcore) pet collector, because I'll definitely pass on those two pets until absolutely no one is trying for them in a future expansion.

Obviously, people will take the easiest path, but people will try for something cool, even if it's harder to obtain.  Had the moth and firefly been anything I listed above, and had the Fel-Touched Pet Supplies contained more than a couple spores and a hippo baby, I would have been much more excited.  I feel like I've been lied to when the "Fel" supplies contain no "fel" creatures.  Besides, we're all still waiting on the other Podling pets (AutumnalSassy, and Kelp), as well as the Gronnlings (Runtish and Dwarf).  This expansion is also the perfect time to introduce a baby Rylak and a new baby Fey Dragon - especially since Pixiebell already is exactly that, and it was hinted at before release.

"You’re probably wondering if there are any creatures on Draenor that won’t bite your head off. Try heading over to the Shimmering Mor. This enchanted forest glade is home to wild faerie dragons. Awww, they’re just so cute! No, you can’t take one home . . . oh, who are we kidding? You’ll probably find an egg or some-such to raise eventually."

Yeah, haven't gotten anything like that.  But, you know, we can look forward to moths, fireflies, and spores!