Call to Action – Pets

Blizzard game designer Jeremy Feasel a.k.a @Muffinus wants to hear from you on what you thought about the rare tames in Mists of Pandaria and what you would like to see in Warlords of Draenor. I strongly encourage you to hop on Twitter and let him know what you think.

I recently wrote about how I would change taming. That was a fun exercise in outlining some unrealistic but cool ways to change taming in general. This time I want to look at some more practical things that could happen to make rare tames more engaging in Warlords of Draenor, and maybe indulge in one more wacky idea.

The taming challenges in Cataclysm were a great success. Some were easier than others, but the feedback on them was generally positive.

In Mists of Pandaria we were given some great challenges in the Spirit Beasts, and a new tactic in tracking pets via following their footprints. While that was cool, it was a bit too easy, and once you figured it out, they were easy to track and tame. Direhorns introduced another mechanic where we had to loot a tome before we could tame one. With all this in mind what could happen in Warlords of Draenor?

One thing I think all Hunters agree on is that rare pets should be Hunter only. The tracking mechanic was great because only Hunters could see and find them. There was no chance of griefing from other players.

Another thing that has to happen is the rare pets need to look unique. Loque’Nahak and Sambas are perfect examples of how a rare pet should look. Both have unique skins, stand out and are easily recognizable. There’s no blue, or purple versions of them running around. If there is an alternate version of the skin, then it too should come from a rare pet. Gondria and Magria are examples of this done right, whereas Patrannache is an example of a rare pet done wrong.

Patrannache was one of the MoP tames. He was the hardest of the tracking ones to find because he had the smallest footprints and the longest patrol path. You felt good after finding him; that was until the Timeless Isle introduced the Brilliant Windfeathers. They have the same pink look, are level 90, and easy to tame. Boo.

Rare pets also need to be rare. The standard way to achieve rarity in pets is to give them long spawn timers and force players to either get lucky or resort to camping a spawn point. I think Blizzard is likely done with this type of mechanic for pets as it’s not fun or compelling and can lead to bad player collision.

Assuming that we’re done seeing the Loque’Nahak type mechanics how else could this be achieved? One option is to have us actually kill a pet and then loot an egg. We put the egg in the stable and in a couple of days it becomes our pet. That pet could have a couple of looks, one which is extremely rare.

They could also do something similar to Alani who drops the Reins of the Thundering Ruby Cloudserpent. Hunters would have to spend days or perhaps months, collecting rare drops to combine into a special bait needed to tame the beast. I don’t think this would be particularly fun, but it could help to keep something rare.

One other idea that would be cool is to give Hunters and epic quest chain to tame a beast. Something along the lines of the Warlock Green Fire quest. Perhaps it could start by looting a journal that you had to return to its rightful owner. The owner of course would be Hemet Nesingwary.

From there Hunters would embark on a neat adventure to tame one of Draenor’s most exotic and elusive beats. While this could be loads of fun, every Hunter would likely complete it, and I don’t know how rare that pet would be.

Bendak at Eyes of the Beast wrote some good ideas for what he’d like to see. I encourage you to check that out and respond to @Muffinus.

Good Hunting!

5 comments

  1. I loved the taming challenges on the Molten Front, and Deth’tilac is still my favourite rare tame in the game. I’d like to see a return to this kind of taming. I was personally disappointed by the “taming challenges” in MoP ones, as I think rares like those on the Molten Front were a much better test of a Hunter’s ability.

    Some kind of Green Fire equivalent for Hunters would be very nice. A unique pet could be the reward, perhaps one you can customise the buffs/debuffs in the same way Warlocks can toggle the Green Fire effect by visiting an NPC. BM Hunters could have access to 2 buffs/debuffs including exotic abilities, whilst MM and SV can choose one. So a BM Hunter could have a version of this pet yhsy can provide sunder armor and crit, but if they wanted to switch these they’d have to go and speak to some NPC or interact with an object or something similar.

    1. I think a quest to find a pet would be a lot of fun. I like the idea of extra abilities for BM. Maybe it could just automatically update if you change specs.

  2. I agree that rare pets should have unique looks and their unique looks should stay unique (which sadly is not the case today).

    In a way the unique pet looks are hunter specific taming achievements, and like raid achievement mounts once the “challenge” is gone (e.g. the raid tier is no longer current) they should become unobtainable (or the challenge should be replaced by an equal challenge).

    I’m fine with the pandaria spirit beasts being easier to tame at level 100, but you shouldn’t be able to ignore their abilities and failing to interrupt an ability should still mean you fail. Similarly, at level 100 we should still be required to track pandaria rares and use flares and hunter’s mark. Their looks shouldn’t become easily obtainable on the timeless isle.

    I wonder why Muffinus didn’t ask this on the WoW forums btw, you would think that Blizzards own forum would/should be their no.1 place to communicate with their customers instead of making a twitter-account mandatory to give feedback.

    1. I don’t know why he chose twitter. I only saw this because someone tweeted me. Otherwise I might have missed it completely.

      I think unique looks for rares is must. They do it sometimes, but not with any consistency.

      To be honest if really want something to be rare then hit has to be available for a limited time only, and then removed from the game.

      I think of the Hyrda and Oozes that were briefly tameable in WotLK. If you have one of those, you truly have unique and rare pet.

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