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Pet Battle Philosophies in Battle for Azeroth

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In addition to Pet Battle changes posted yesterday, Muffinus recently discussed Battle Pet philosophies in Battle for Azeroth.

  • They like adding new pets with powerful abilities to the game and generally "retire" pets that have seen many days of spotlight (similar to moving some cards to Wild in Hearthstone) in order to keep the meta fresh.
  • No plans to increase the level cap or rarity of pets in Battle for Azeroth.
  • Players with the largest collection of Battle Pets will gain an advantage over players that have collected fewer pets.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard (Source)

We’d like to take a moment to discuss Battle Pet philosophies as they pertain to current nerfs, future buffs, and Master Trainers.

We like adding new Battle Pets in expansion packs with powerful abilities. Along with this, we generally “retire” pets that have seen many days of spotlight in both PvP and PvE. Recently you have seen this with the Bone Serpent and friends. 

By doing so, we hope to keep both the PvE and PvP meta-games fresh, interesting, and involving player-driven strategies. We don’t intend to increase the level cap or rarity of pets, so this approach allows us to update both past and future content, unlocking new strategies for players that intend to collect them all. It’s analogous to Hearthstone moving some cards to Wild – it allows for the new expansion, and its abilities, to shine, without an ever-increasing power level for all pets that ultimately becomes unsustainable.

Ultimately, this empowers the player that has the largest collection – and this is what Pet Battles is all about. If you have a large stable, you will find that previously-underpowered things bubble up to the surface when other things sink, and your ability to collect them all will ultimately best allow you to weather the storm of change.

If you find that any older content becomes very difficult as a result of these changes, we’d like to hear from you – new combos should allow you to overcome older challenges, but we have a LOT of Trainers in WoW, so you never know when one may surprise you (or us).
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Interesting about retiring pets. I think it's a much better thing for the pvp aspect of it rather than the pve, particularly when it comes to content such as the dungeons and Timeless Isle challenge considering how much filler there is in terms of subpar and average pets that offer virtually nothing over the tried and tested teams and combinations to get you through the demanding fights that still require a good bit of luck to get through the RNG, especially when they've already nerfed notable key pets and abilities and even certain types (Undead being a major one) 

I have over 600 pets, and there's about 50 of those that I consider versatile and strong enough to keep in my active teams. Every expansion adds more trash to fill achievement and timesinks with a couple of achievement, drop or special requirement or profession pets that become meta because of course, and those are the pets that everyone goes for from the collectors to people who do it for fun. There is no real advantage here because the meta generally becomes stale very quickly and then stagnates until the next addition of rare and strong pets and new abilities that almost always overshadow the old pets, which is exactly what they say they like adding. 

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I think it would be nice if you were able to customise your pets a little bit, in terms of their combat ability. For example, alocating a few stat points by yourself, or giving them a piece of equipment. Or perhaps just a bigger movepool. That could help to make a larger amount of pets viable.

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But the thing is that there are much better games that revolve around pets, because the games revolve around pets. In those cases, it's not a side project slapped in there just for fun, it's the core concept of that game. WoW is not such a game.


The same goes for the PvP aspect of WoW, there are much better games out there that revolve around PvP because it's their core concept. In WoW, it took many years (And I mean, many) before they decided that PvP needed a separate talent system and have skills behave differently than they do in PvE.


The main reason why pet battles are interesting for people is because the system borrows from the world of WoW. You can find them all over the place and that makes exploring more fun as well as doing old content (Boss drops) that you may perhaps never have done otherwise. When it comes down to combat mechanics and story (I mean, it's pretty much nonexistent for the pet battle aspect in WoW) I refer back to my first paragraph.


And I am not saying they should make it better or scrap the feature or anything like that. Expecting or demanding that this side-project will reach pokemon-level quality is however very optimistic. PvP has been part of WoW for almost 14 years now and hasn't gotten close to games where PvP is the main focus. That's fine, WoW shines on other aspects.

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I don't see the need to retire pets, doesn't that defeat the purpose of collecting them? As the game continues to grow and have further expansions it does mean that there will be more and more pets to collect yet, but then there is something to say about having a vast number of them, you have a pet for any occasion, class and transmog outfit!

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1 hour ago, Nihilatos said:

I don't see the need to retire pets, doesn't that defeat the purpose of collecting them? As the game continues to grow and have further expansions it does mean that there will be more and more pets to collect yet, but then there is something to say about having a vast number of them, you have a pet for any occasion, class and transmog outfit!

Based on the context (the mention of Bone Serpent) the use of the word 'retire' is code for nerf not make unavailable. You can still get yourself a Bone Serpent easily enough from your garrison (bit random, but it will happen) or the AH for cheap, it's just no-where near as good as it use to be (it really really needed to be nerfed).

I don't really have too much of a problem with them nerfing/buffing some pets and abilities as it does get a bit boring to use the same teams over and over again.

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