Yesterday Ghostcrawler popped up to explain how the pet system is changing in Mists of Pandaria. You can see his post here.
- Every pet has 3 specs: Ferocity, Tenacity and Cunning. These work much like class specs, with a similar UI.
- Pets come with the spec you’d expect (Ferocity for kitties) but you can change it. If you want a tanking cat or a DPS crab, you can. If you have a favorite pet, you can just always use that one and swap the spec around.
- I hope to see A LOT of DPS crabs.
- Each spec comes with 2-3 active and 2-3 passive abilities. We took a careful look at what pet talents most hunters were taking and tried to take the best of those. Things like Roar of Sacrifice, Last Stand and Heart of the Phoenix made the cut.
- We didn’t think we were getting a ton of gameplay out of the pet talents on live — players interacted with them even less than the class talents — and we didn’t think pets needed the full tiered system like the Mists talent implementation, so we decided the best way to offer pet customization is to let hunters choose their pet mostly because of how it looks (and its one special ability) and not from its role.
This is pretty much what we expected to happen. You can now make any pet be any spec. That means Cat tanks, DPS Turtles, and so on. Personally I would have preferred that they expanded the current system by given our pets a talent system similar to the revamped ones they did for classes, but this will do.
If you raid, and all of your buffs are covered, you now have the option to bring whatever pet you want and not have to sacrifice and ounce of DPS. The exotic pets as Beast Mastery only is still in place, only now you can take that Spirit Beast on your extreme soloing adventures.
Overall this is a positive change to the pet system. It should be noted that this is not fully implemented yet in the beta. For example you can’t change your pets spec yet, and I suspect pet abilities have not been finalized yet either.