The Future of Pet Battles: Outlook Hazy

The Future of Pet Battles: Outlook Hazy

A few days after Blizzcon, I made an excruciatingly detailed WarcraftPets forum post about everything that had been said about battle pets in Draenor on the Blizzcon stage, on podcasts, and on Mumper’s Twitter timeline.

About five minutes after I posted that I thought, what the shit am I doing, I should just make a blog about WoW and gaming and stuff where I can talk about pet battles all day long, so here I am.

I’m not going to copy/paste everything over there–a lot of it is pretty dry stuff–but I’ll hit the highlights & back everything up with a source. (If I forget to link a source, just go back to that forum post.)

First: The pet level cap in Warlords will remain 25. That means you won’t have to grind out 5 more levels on each of your max-level pets, it will keep Northrend-through-Pandaria pet battle PvE content relevant, and new and returning players won’t have too high of a barrier to entry to pet battling. We will see new wild pets, new learnable pets, and plenty of new tamer battles!

All right, let’s talk about some actual surprises: Have you heard about the garrisons we’re going to get to build in Draenor? Pretty cool, right? Well, one of the buildings in the garrison is going to be a pet stable!

We don’t know a ton of details about the mechanics of the garrison yet, but we know it’s going to be part player housing, part RTS minigame, and you’ll be able to collect & level humanoid followers of various rarities. We also know it’s going to be well-integrated into the storyline of Warlords, and that we’ll get to start building it when we’re level 90!

At the pet stable, we will be able to choose a certain number of pets who will be able to frolic in the open world. We can invite our friends in to see our garrison (by being a party leader) and although I won’t be able to show off all 414 of my little friends, I’ll be able to pick the coolest & most interesting ones. Or put together some kind of RP theme around the different holidays Or maybe I’ll just display all the moths? I . . . I really love moths, guys. They are seriously OP.

There will also be a tamer we can battle in the pet stable and . . . pet breeding? Now: the design of how pet breeding will work in its specifics is still really up in the air and a lot WILL change before and during beta. And also, nobody understands what the current design is based on what Mumper’s tweeted so far:

So . . . who even knows. Early days yet. I looked at those and thought, you start with two pets of the same family but different species and breeds. You leave with two pets, still with different species but now with the same breed. But most other members of the community think the opposite: That we will forever be farming for high-level pets of our desired breed as fodder for our deranged program. But what we DO know is that:

  1. We will probably finally be able to add Epic pets to our journal & boost our WarcraftPets scores, and
  2. We will also finally be able to have a little more control over what stats a pet has.

I do have a few concerns about breeding–I’m worried about the impact of epic pets on PvP, and I’m worried that pet breeding won’t reward the kind of collecting many of us have been doing in Mists. Just to stay on the safe side, I think I’ll be catching every blue-quality pet I come across in the wild from now on!

And now for something no one is talking about: I’d like to bring in a blue post by Crithto from this May about proposed changes to 5.4 pet battles that never made it into the game. To me at least, these seemed more like expansion-level changes than patch ones (and I believe I said as much in the thread):

We’re looking to make further Pet Battles adjustments in a future patch (potentially 5.4), and your valuable feedback is needed!

Currently, in an Elemental vs. Mechanical matchup, Elementals gain both an attack bonus versus Mechanicals as well as a defensive bonus against Mechanical abilities. In order to help even the playing field a bit, we were mulling over some potential changes to damage types, and the families they would be weak against.

Here are some initial ideas that are being kicked around:

  • Mechanical abilities would deal less damage versus Critter (instead of Elemental)
  • Elemental abilities would deal less damage versus Dragonkin (instead of Critter)
  • Flying abilities would deal less damage versus Elemental (instead of Dragonkin)

And here is a second set of ideas we’re considering:

  • Undead abilities would deal less damage versus Elemental (instead of Aquatic)
  • Mechanical abilities would deal less damage versus Aquatic (instead of Elemental)

Your thoughts on these potential changes would be really helpful, so please take a moment to reply below and let us know what you think.

I do think we’ll finally see this issue addressed in Warlords–I know a lot of players will be distressed that this will shake up the teams we use for content that’s “on farm” but I believe that Elementals’ double strength against Mechanical was a design mistake from the beginning that should never have made it out of beta. Personally, I probably won’t be running the Celestial Tournament (where comps are tightest) after I’ve gotten all four pets out of it, and since pet battles are basically a puzzle game to me, it’ll be interesting to have to “solve” my carry strategies all over again. I’m confident that the new pets we’ll see in the new expansion will have interesting new movesets that can slide into any “hard counter” gaps that might be created by these type of changes.

Shoutout to the fabulous Alludra, who inspired me to get serious about pet collecting way back at level 85, and her co-host Ben on Battle Pets! Thanks for the shoutout on Episode 35, guys. 🙂


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