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Regional FlagPet battles and development timeSource
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Niente
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#1 - 2011/10/25 04:05:00 AM
This may have been brought up repeatedly but, frankly, I think that the developers need to hear if there is a serious problem with this, and I believe there is.

Pet battles.

Blizzard has, time and time again, told us about their limited dev resources. How yes, they have a pretty big team, but there is only so much work that can be done, and only so many resources that they can allocate. Personally, I think they must construct additional pylons (yes, token lighten-the-mood statement) but that's me. However, they also reveal the "Pet Battle" system at Blizzcon.

Pet battles? Why? Who wanted this?

I understand the Pandaren. I hate them, I don't want them in the game, but I understand them, and I understand that a lot of people want them. Fine. But who wanted a Pokemon rip off in WoW? Where was the gigantic outcry from the fanbase that we needed our vanity pets to battle each other for no apparent reason? Who screamed for trainers located in the far corners of the world that you had to go defeat so you could take over their gym...er...learn from them? Anyone?

This expansion is going to be divisive. I think looking around at the official forums and various fansite forums it's pretty easy to see that. What people are missing in the "Pro-Panda vs Anti-Panda" rant threads is where development time that could be used to further *World of Warcraft* is getting lost, and one place it's squarely being lost is the Pet Battle system.

Assuming the pics from Blizzcon are just Photoshop mockups, then I'd beg/urge/demand/grovel for the devs to please, please, please let this "feature" die. Don't waste a single man-minute of programming or art or even thought time on it from this day forward. If the system is already mostly done, coded, etc...then it is a sad waste of time, and there is no way that any player who cares about this game can believe the devs when they say "we just don't have the resources to do all this cool stuff, sorry." Even if a single person worked on this system (which we know isn't possible, as it has art assets, programming, terrain, quest mechanics, battle mechanics, etc) it'd be a waste of time. That person could have worked on improving the PvP experience for players who want to kill each other, or designing new and exciting raid content zones or stories or assets, or enhancing the leveling experience pre- and post-expansion.

Now, of course, people are going to say "all you're doing is whining, what would you *want* them to do with this development time, smartypants?" Well, I can think of a few things offhand...

Abyssal Maw: It didn't "fit the story", but we somehow got Thrall jaunting all over creation being angryThrall and maudlinThrall and...kinda drowningThrall. You guys have story writers for a reason, make it work.
Rogue Vanish: This is still broken I think.
Heroic Leap: Same deal.
Dance Studio: Yes, I think it's a frivolous waste of time, too, but you had originally slated that for BC...3 expansions ago. Finish it?
Cross-Realm mail: Databases don't like to talk? Dev time for fixing that!
Bolvar: He's no longer on fire, but he's still sitting up there...doing...something...maybe some insights into that? Why didn't he do anything when Deathwing came back? He knew (through the Scourge) that it happened, he didn't want to unleash the fury?
Various terrain exploits: You've stated they exist, devote dev time to them?

Those are just a smattering of things that could have time devoted toward them, and I tried to span art/terrain assets, raw programming, and story progression so we could get all the major chunks into one thought process.

Now, I realize that this thread, if anyone even reads it, is likely going to devolve into flaming, trolling, insinuations that I'm just whining or complaining or should just shut up and deal or quit or any number of other, non-useful responses. I'd appreciate if we could keep it civil. The purpose of this thread, honestly, is to show Blizzard that people need to be able to trust them when they say they don't have the time to deal with real issues that currently exist, instead of bringing out ripoffs of other franchises (this isn't even an homage, it's a ripoff).

Thanks for reading.

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#73 - 2011/10/25 07:36:00 AM
I appreciate the time you put into creating your post, Niente. That said, I think the way you open your assertions with the third question here is problematic:

Pet battles? Why? Who wanted this?

We do add features to the game often based on concepts players have expressed interest in. But in order to dedicate ourselves to making epic games, we also need to spend a lot of time and resources anticipating what gamers of all walks of life will find fun. That's how all of our games thus far have been created. While our design decisions for any game will always be met with mixed reactions, we couldn't be respected in our industry if our approach to game design is always reactive.

You made it clear you don't like the idea of pet battles. It seems there's a decent chance you won't enjoy them when the system's released either, though there's no sense in conceding that absolutely before you try it -- no matter how convinced you are you'll hate it. But, as was said multiple times by Game Director Tom Chilton at BlizzCon, we want more content systems and forms of progression in the game so our extremely diverse playerbase has a lot of choices over what to spend time doing for fun, accomplishment, socializing, a challenge, etc.

I guarantee you a lot of players are really going to love this feature. It's going to be an engaging mini-game that actually has quite a bit of depth and progression, just not in the traditional sense of increasing your character's power. That shouldn't always have to be a driving factor in our content. As the OG players have said countless time before, Southshore and Tarren Mill world PvP battles didn't become popular because there was a tangible reward incentive. The majority of World of Warcraft systems and content, particularly at level 85, are currently directed at enhancing a character's power. While that won't fully change, we want to continue creating new avenues to make that happen as well, such as is the case with adding a third, more accessible raid tier with the Raid Finder, or adding PvE Scenarios to facilitate the quick formation of smaller groups to take on a series of event-driven quests.

But Pet Battles and Dungeon Challenges are very different. With one, you're actually getting a use out of the pets you've collected over the years, in order to progress them in a fun mini-game, unlock countless more pets, and just generally give your character a new depth of style and flavor. Similarly, Dungeon Challenges are difficult 5-player dungeons which really allow you to push your skills and PvE small group coordination to the limits. They'll scale, so the better you do, the better you're rewarded and ranked. That gives your character a new measurement of PvE progression prowess and bragging rights. Plus, you can earn exclusive set designs which are purely aesthetic -- to be used with Transmogrification -- which, again, give your character a new depth of style and flavor.

It's about giving people options in the game to play it how they want to. We have a lot of people playing, so with almost seven years of World of Warcraft on the market, we want to continue innovating features we believe people will enjoy experiencing in this game. And a hell of a lot of thought, discussion, debate, and iteration at Blizzard goes into this stuff, mind you. :)

To address your overarching point a little bit, the way various development resources are expended on creating features for the game is extremely complicated and very unique to each project. That can't be explained in a way that will be fully understood by the community at all times, in all situations. While I understand your point is that no resources should be spent on pet battles, you're really not in a place to make a well-referenced argument about what features in development are taking time away from others you feel are more pertinent.

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#84 - 2011/10/25 07:54:00 AM
I'm still waiting on my dance studio.

Blizzard you guys need to learn priorities big time. Money is on the line here. You drop the ball with this xpac and you can kiss your playerbase goodbye.

In an argument where you call pet battles a waste of time, I find the first statement here to be very provocative. That's what you feel should take priority over pet battles, else we lose the playerbase?

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#87 - 2011/10/25 07:56:00 AM
10/25/2011 12:49 AMPosted by Gnewton
So how do you guys feel about the idea that pet battles are basically an endorsement of dogfighting and cockfighting?

Is a human killing a tauren our endorsement of bullfighting?

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#92 - 2011/10/25 07:59:00 AM
10/25/2011 12:49 AMPosted by Taveria
Why didn't you do player housing instead then Zar? It would offer players something else to do at max level, an alternate way to progress and another way to play the game. All the things you are hoping to accomplish with the pet battle system. Unlike the pet battle system however players have been asking for housing for years.

Player housing, like the dance studio, are nowhere near the ballpark of pet battles in terms of development time. This goes back to the final point I made in my original post. You can't just put a huge list of features on an equal timeline and decide which to throw out.

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#100 - 2011/10/25 08:07:00 AM
10/25/2011 01:01 AMPosted by Sorreal
For instance, how 'bout that update to the old races you people keep promising?

Again, it's something we've already said we're intent on doing. Will it impact various development teams in an extremely different way and require way more resources? Absolutely. You're talking about a project resting almost solely on the art team, which is always busy developing new art for each patch and expansion. Pet battles rely more heavily on the UI team, as well as the other systems designers and programmers. And those resources aren't at all comparable with each project.

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#105 - 2011/10/25 08:08:00 AM
10/25/2011 01:03 AMPosted by Sünde
If you wish to go the whole socialism route aka pet battling, and whatever else is later designed.

O.o