Friday, May 13, 2016

How Quickly Will We Consume Legion Pet Battle Content?

UPDATE: The Family Familiar achievements are now flagged as account-wide.

IF the World Quests remain NOT account-wide, this means the more max level characters you have the sooner you can complete the related achievements. A certain Master Trainer is up? Hop onto your various max level toons and use a different pet-family team on each.


Dissecting how long it will take to complete upcoming Pet Battle challenges/goals in Legion, with thoughts/opinions on account-wide vs. not towards the end.

Battle on the Broken Isles
  • Complete 30 Pet Battle World Quests (37 total possible quests)
  • Rewards the Pocket Pet Portal (on use item that increases Pet Journal cap to 1500)

The absolute earliest we can complete this achievement and increase our Pet Journal cap is 10 days after reaching level 110. Realistically it will probably take 10+ days.

Each day there are 3 Pet Battle World Quests available to complete. With VERY GOOD RNG, each of the quests that first pop up during those first 10 days at max level will be different and not repeats.

Testing has shown that repeats are possible and likely. However, the achievement only requires 30 quests out of a total of 37, so initially all of the quests you come across should be unique. But you never know. Sometimes RNG can be kind and sometimes not.

Side note: Account-wide or not doesn't really matter for this achievement. World Quests are set to be static region-wide, so any quest you complete on your main will be the same quest available to any alts that you have.

Family Familiar
  • Defeat 12 Tamers (15 total possible) using a team of pets from the same pet family
  • 10 different pet families
  • Meta-achievement rewards a new pet, Nightmare Treant

The earliest we can complete this quest is more random than the other one. This is because again, RNG can be unkind.

There are a total of 15 possible "master" Tamers, but that's a little less than half of the total number of possible Pet Battle World Quests. It's more than likely that you'll come across a few days where a master Tamer simply isn't up at all.

On top of that, because you can only battle a Tamer once per lockout you'll need certain quests to pop up multiple times in order to defeat the master Tamers using a team of pets from a different family. For example, defeat Nightwatcher Merayl using only Flying pets one day, and then a team comprised of only Beast pets two days later when her quest reappears.

Thankfully we don't need to defeat all 15 master Tamers 10 times each; we can choose the 12 we want to battle for each of the 10 pet families. Going up against X Tamer is too tough for a Mech team? You can always wait for Y Tamer, but that's leaving it a little up to chance because it's random when a different Tamer will show up.

So we'll need 120 battles total to complete this achievement and collect the new pet, but it's entirely up to the randomness of World Quests that will determine when we're able to accomplish this.

It should be noted that it's still not settled if these quests will be account-wide or not. Developer Jeremy Feasel notes that they currently are not account-wide (so we can complete them on different max level characters), but this is subject to change.

Account-wide quests
Best case scenario: at least 1 master Tamer each day, we'll complete this challenge in ~120 days (4 months).

Absolute best case scenario: 3 master Tamers each day, we'll complete this challenge in ~40 days (a little over 1 month).

Not account-wide quests
Completion time will depend on how many characters you have.

If you have 10 toons, you could check off one Tamer for each of the 10 pet families each day. This would cut down completion time drastically.

But you also have to factor in leveling time for each character, since these quests can only be accessed at max level.

How much time we'll have to invest into Family Familiar is still a bit up in the air. We'll have to wait and see.

Currently, I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to account-wide vs. not account-wide for Pet Battle World Quests.

Account-wide quests would limit our ability to complete the challenges, so it would extend gameplay to the fullest for both of the achievements.

But any alts we level up would miss out on rewards and Pet Battle content in general. Other than the World Quests, the only other pet-related stuff to do is old(er) content, battle wild pets, and collect the new pets.

That would also mean those with full Pet Journals will have to patiently wait out the full 10 days (or more) for a cap increase. A full journal may result in the inability/desire to collect, cutting down pet content for some even further.

Non-account-wide quests would open things up and give us the ability to complete these achievements quickly or as slowly as we please. It would all depend on how much time you want to take to level multiple characters.

The downside is that it might make it a bit mandatory to level up more than one toon. No one likes to feel behind, so that may add pressure to some collectors to speed up the process by adding more toons to their work force. Some may not have the time to do that even if they wanted to.

But it seems like alts are more common place nowadays, so perhaps it won't be as bad.

Conclusion is, I don't know right now. There are pros and cons to both sides.

I don't mind having to patiently wait, and I kind of like the idea of a long-term investment with these achievements and quests.

But I also see the benefit of having non-account-wide quests. It would give us just more pet STUFF to do (even if it's the exact same stuff repeated for each toon), and earning/collecting pets faster is always a plus.

I guess I'll wait to hear more from the community before forming a firm opinion.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Trainer Fame - A New Currency/Challenge Idea

I briefly mentioned this on Twitter but thought I'd expand on the idea here on my blog. Trainer Fame, a new currency and challenge.

Pet Charms are fine and all, as is any type of similar currency, but it doesn't necessarily add anything to Pet Battles. It's just a grind to collect as many as you can to spend at the vendors. There's also stagnation - the only thing that really changes from expansion to expansion is where the Pet Charms come from.

So what if there was a new form of currency? One that adds gameplay value and transitions well into each expansion?

Trainer Fame. The currency you never knew existed (because it doesn't) but you have to have. Something to consider for a future, future expansion.

What is Trainer Fame?
Think of it as something akin to PVP Honor points. It's not an item that goes into your bags; you simply have it on your character and NPCs recognize this. It's "fame" after all, right?

How would you earn it?
Here's the fun part! Fame would not be a static (or random) amount. How much you earn depends on how well you do in a PVE Trainer battle. The quicker you defeat the opponent, the more Fame you earn.

If you defeat a Trainer in 10 rounds, you'll earn 5 Fame. Defeat him/her in 5 rounds and you'll get a whopping 10 Fame. Just as an example. Values can be tweaked, of course.

The goal is to defeat Trainers in as few rounds as possible. Show off your prowess as a Pet Battler, earn notoriety, and then use it to buy awesome pet stuff!

Not only would it give us currency to strive for, it adds a challenge to each PVE encounter. And it continues to add that challenge to newer and even older content. Pet theorycrafters and battlers would constantly be refining teams to get wins with the fewest possible rounds.

Even once a "perfect" strategy has been created and readily accepted by the community, it wouldn't be the go-to strat forever. New pets are always being added, which can greatly impact strats and teams. 'X new pet cuts down my rounds by 3. I can earn a few more Fame points!'

Other mechanics could be added to this currency system as well. Just off the top of my head... ranks? Um, sure. Earn enough Fame and get promoted to the next Pet Trainer Rank. Perhaps certain items will require certain ranks: 'This item requires 50 Fame and Pet Trainer Rank 2' or something like that.

Fun interactions with pet-related NPCs depending on your Fame and/or Rank could also be interesting.

The Drawbacks
The downsides to the idea of Trainer Fame...

I could see newer/casual battlers feeling left out, as they may not earn a lot of Fame in the beginning due to their smaller pet roster or lack of Pet Battles insight. But more Fame would come as they progress and gradually learn the mechanics. There's room for growth.

There was an argument that once a strategy was created, it would spread around like a virus and nothing would change. Everyone would simply look up teams to use and any type of possible challenge would cease to exist. While that's true, it's also true now. Strats are easy to look up.

The difference is that there's no incentive to change anything or try to put together something better right now. Currently, if the community creates an acceptable team composition for a specific fight, that's it. It's done. Everyone can look it up and use it. We move onto the next one.

But with Fame, there's incentive to KEEP refining strategies. We all want to earn more, and with a dynamic currency like Fame there's a real possibility of being able to. So some will continue testing new ideas and trying out different teams, all to get the best possible outcome for the highest reward yield.

Plus the ever-changing battlefield of pets would give players a reason to continue experimenting with teams and strategies. Fame would give us a reason to keep going, and new pets would give us the means to do so.

Would it make content feel mandatory since some players will want to min/max their earnings? If there's the potential to earn/collect a reward, players will want to do it right? That's always a big concern, and if yes, perhaps Fame could be limited to only current content. Something along the lines of, 'Defeating older Trainers is so yesterday's news. But I hear there are some new Trainers that are looking to prove themselves...'

How would we transition from Pet Charms to Trainer Fame? One way would be to redeem them at a pet vendor. Or if there's an internal tracker that keeps track of how many charms your account has earned, perhaps the appropriate amount of Fame could simply be awarded to you at the start.

Right now I just don't see that many downsides to this idea. The pros seem to outweigh the cons. Am I missing anything? It's possible that I'm just too biased.

Anyway, this is merely one idea out many great ideas for Pet Battles. Something to catalog for consideration in the future. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Magic Pet Mirror Updates In Legion

Exciting news from Legion least it's exciting to me hehe. ;)

The Magic Pet Mirror might be getting some updates in the expansion! I say "might" because all of this could change; nothing is set in stone.

Currently on live servers the Magic Pet Mirror costume disappears when you do ANYTHING other than emote. Need to hearth? Say bye-bye to your buff. Summon a different pet? Nope, can't do that. Cast a spell? Sorry, can't do that without losing the costume either.

But good news everybody! In Legion you can do all of that and more! *throws confetti* :D

After doing some testing, it looks like the following will work with the Magic Pet Mirror:
  • most player spells can be cast
  • logging in and out
  • shapeshifting
  • summoning another pet
  • mounting (will temporarily remove the costume, but you retain the buff and regain the costume after dismounting)

Entering combat will still remove the costume.

Most player abilities can be used, but there seem to be a few that will yank you out of pet-form. Shadow Priest Psychic Scream for example. There are probably others that still don't work with the mirror buff, but I haven't been able to test everything.

A few fun combinations:
- Druids retain the costume while shapeshifting (minus travel form)
- Fishing while a pet
- Paladin bubbles + pet costume
- Hunter Feign Death + pet costume (it's a bit sad-looking though...)
- Priest Levitate + pet costume

Magic Pet Mirror + Mage Mirror Image causes your images to turn into whatever pet you copied. If you enter combat, you lose the costume, but your images don't!

Monk using Zen Pilgrimage while a pet

There are so many more awesome combos, I'm sure, but since I don't have time to try them all out we'll just have to wait and see what creative things players come up with once Legion goes live. ;)

And just for fun, rogue kitty! When claws just don't cut it anymore hehe.
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Perks N Peeves by Quintessence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.