The next World of WarCraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, is going to put a whole new spin on how we collect, use and interact with our companion pets.
No longer will they be mere vanity items that we simply display for show, or summon just for bragging rights… pretty soon they will be part of a new WoW meta game…
The Pet Battle System
The Pet Battle System is going to allow players to collect and customize pets for pet vs pet combat! This new Pet Battle System will be available to characters of all classes and levels.
The upcoming Pet Battle System will work with nearly all existing pets, and in addition, there are going to be loads of new pets that will be added in the expansion!
On top of the hundreds of WoW pets currently available to players, there is going to be a new type of pet introduced in Mists of Pandaria… Wild Pets. These Wild Pets will be located throughout the world, and each will possess randomized stats and abilities. Players will use their existing pets to engage in battle with these Wild Pets. After beating a Wild Pet, you will then be able to collect the pet and add it to your Pet Journal.
Due to the Wild Pets being ‘like a box o' chocolates', players will probably have to tame several Wild Pets before they find the one they want. For example, if you're building a team that's in need of a tank type of pet, then you may have to collect dozens of Wild Pets before you happen upon the one that's got the beefed up tanking stats.
Wild Pets will also have an exciting spawning component. There will be certain types of Wild Pets that will only spawn under certain conditions, e.g., at night, while it's snowing, during the summer, etc…, or a combination thereof.
There is going to be an abundance of Wild Pets that will exist throughout the game – with many, many more being added as future patches are introduced. Mists of Pandaria is going to present us with a staggering amount of pets available for collecting. It's estimated that there will be roughly 100 Wild Pets introduced in the game when Mists of Pandaria is released.
Mists of Pandaria will introduce a new interface feature called the Pet Journal. The Pet Journal will allow players to manage pet collections, customize pets, formulate teams, as well as research other pets and abilities that can be added to the Battle Pet arsenal.
Here's a sneak preview of the WoW Battle Pet Journal… (Click on the images to enlarge)
Overview of the Pet Journal
The Pet Journal is a tool for managing pet collections. Players will use the Pet Journal to inventory their current pets, customize their pets and form Pet Battle teams.
Clicking a pet in the list view on the left will display the pet's stats, abilities and model – in a detailed view on the right. The detail pane will also include other tabs for looking up the pet's lore, as well as the location where it can be found within the world (if applicable).
Players will also be able to use their Pet Journal to look up information about pets they don't have, including the new Wild Pets being added in Mists of Pandaria, as well as information about Master Trainers and Master Abilities.
In Mists of Pandaria, all pets will be Bind on Account, meaning you'll have access to all of your collected pets, across all of your characters! If you work really hard on leveling and building your Tiny Crimson Whelpling pet while on your 90 Warrior, but then later decide that you'd like to spend some time playing your level 7 Rogue… no worries… your Rogue will be able to use your Whelpling pet as well, even if they're on another server! Also, the pet will retain all of its leveled experience, stats and trained abilities.
In addition, pets will also be tradable. Say for example, you've spent a lot of time and effort leveling and customizing a pet, but now it no longer suits your team's needs -or- maybe you just need some gold… No problem. You can either trade the pet to a friend, guildie, other player, etc… or even put it on the auction house to cash in on some much needed gold!
Pets will gain stats and unlock new abilities as they level. When your pets win battles they gain experience — the experience they gain is what levels them up. Hence, a player with a good win percentage who's quite active within the Pet Battle System will level a pet much quicker than player who is less competitive.
As pets level, ability slots will unlock. Pets can know a maximum of 6 abilities, and they have a level cap of 25. Pet ‘builds' can contain up to 6 abilities, but you may only use 3 of them during Pet Battles.
Players will be able to re-talent their pet's abilities, but only outside of battle.
Players will be able to level multiple pets at once. Pet teams should be comprised of same-level pets.
Players will form Pet Battle Teams by selecting a pet in their Pet Journal list, then dragging it over to the Team Page to the right. It's that easy!
The Pet Battle System is going to be a turn-based form of PvP combat, very much slowed-down from the WoW PvP system that we're used to. As such, it will be more of a thinking person's style of PvP play – with a calmer and simpler approach.
Players will form teams of 3 pets which they will put in battle against various NPC ‘Wild Pets' that they will encounter throughout the world, or vs friends and other players in pet-based PvP combat. The PvP Pet Combat System will have its own queue and matchmaking system much like the current arena system available to players.
Blizzard is looking to implement a very interactive form of game play for the Pet Battle System. Players will not only be controlling their pets during the battles, but they will also be visible on-screen in the pet combat UI. It's also expected that the players will emote depending upon what's happening in the match!
Anonymous PvP Pet Combat
PvP pet battles are intended to be a fun and casual event. To keep the atmosphere less intense, Blizzard intends to keep the player's identities hidden. In addition, players will not be able to directly interact with each other during pet battles. PvP pet battles will feel somewhat like an NPC encounter – only the NPC will be very smart and less predictable. 😉
In the New Pet Battle System, Everyone is a Winner!
Losses will not be tracked – only wins will be recorded in the PvP Pet Battle System. Blizzard is trying hard to make pet battles a very fun and accessible new mini-game, with a much less competitive and more light-hearted vibe than that of regular PvP.
Battle Pet Customization
The Pet Battle System will offer plenty of customization options available to players, including:
- Names – Players will be able to name their companion pets. Pet names will be visible during battle. How cool is that?!
- Skills – Pets will be able to learn a maximum of 6 abilities, but can only utilize 3 of them in battle. Players will have a lot of control over perfecting their pet builds.
- Items – It's likely that pets will be given item slots, giving them the ability to equip gear! These items will probably be ‘Battle-Pet-only' items, and would be equipped to further modify certain pet stats. It' also been mentioned that the ‘Battle Pet Gear' may be open for enhancements such as gems.
- Teams – Players will form teams of 3 pets – composed with customized pets from their collection. The pets will have varied stats and abilities, plus players will have to choose which 3 of their pets' 6 abilities they will use in combat. The possibilites for ‘team customization' will be nearly limitless.
Master Trainers and Master Abilities
Master Pet Trainers will be located throughout Azeroth – each one possessing a unique ability that can be trained and then taught to your pets. In order to learn a Master Ability, a player must seek out and defeat a Master Trainer. After defeat, the Master Trainer will then grant their unique ability to the player that's bested them.
Master Trainers can be located via the Pet Journal. In this example, we can see that a player is researching a certain ‘Master Chang' who is located in Tanaris. If the player should seek out and defeat Master Chang, then he will be granted the Texas Chili Bomb ability, which he will then be able to train to his pet(s).
The Master Trainer and Master Ability component is a really fun game mechanic that will be added in an effort to get players out into the world – encouraging them to go out immerse themselves in the competitive Pet Battle System circuit.
Level With Your Pets
In Mists of Pandaria, the Pet Battle System will give the same type of experience gains as professions currently do. Your little companions will not only be around to keep you company, but they will also award you experience when they win Pet Battles!
Pet Battles on the iPhone?
Among the flood of updates concerning the Pet Battle System and Mists of Pandaria in general, was a mention of possibly having this new ‘pet meta game' be available as a mobile device App. Blizzard has been actively pursuing a broader platform base for their games and they feel that the Pet Battle System would lend itself well to iPhone game play.
A mobile App for the Pet Battle System is simply a glimmer in the eyes of the Blizzard devs, but yea… that would be amazing if they made it happen.
More Pet Battle System Information on the Way…
I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into just one of the many exciting pieces of content that will be added in World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria. As more news is leaked and announcements are made, I will be sure to post updated Pet Battle System information here on the site.