A Short Thought: Are Pet Battles A Gift For Gankers?

by on July 31, 2012

If you’re planning on completing your pet collection in Mists of Pandaria without full Gladiator gear, as the meme goes, you’re going to have a bad time.

Blizzard seem to have made a rather curious choice with Pet Battles. In order to catch them all, so to speak, you’ll have to travel the world. Currently, this appears to include contested zones, where you’re flagged for PvP if you enter, even on a PvE realm – and Blizzard have confirmed this is deliberate and intentional. Cymre of Bubbles of Mischief wrote about this curious choice a couple of days ago -

“I was annoyed to find what almost appeared to be random flagging on a PVE server if you were just working on Pet Battles. I thought this was a bug since you would be flagged flying into Mulgore, for example, but I’ve since read that it’s an intentional feature. ”

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression so far is that the demographic who are likely to be enthusiastic about Pet Battles and the demographic who are enthusiastic about World PvP are, shall we say, not identical. I’ve heard enthusiasm for Pet Battles from more casual players, from achievement hunters, and even from peoples’ children. It doesn’t look like a minigame that’s meant to require PvP expertise. Pet Battles seem to be targeted at – and recieving the most enthusiasm from – the more gentle, less hardcore side of WoW’s playerbase.

Whom, if they want to complete their pet collection, are going to be required to go out into Azeroth, get themselves flagged for PvP (as I’m assuming that different pets spawn in each zone), and stand very still operating a completely different minigame.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the Pet Collection feature, coupled with PvP flagging, is basically sending a lot of people with no particular interest in or skill at PvP out to be slaughtered by gankers? Obviously, it’ll be worst on PvP servers (where I would imagine pet collection will be somewhere between deeply irritating and completely impossible), but even on PvE servers it seems the design is explicitly intended to send people who aren’t prepared for PvP into PvP-flagging zones. And then have them stand still with their backs turned.

I can’t see this one ending well…

What do you think? Have I misunderstood something?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Haylel July 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm

The flagging for pvp is being caused by the cross-server low population area merging on beta, unless you’re actually wandering right into the enemy factions cities.
either way, aren’t pet battles phased? i think/thought they were. if they’re not currently, i’m sure they will be sometime soon.


Hugh Hancock July 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm

From having read around on this, my impression is 1) Pet battles are not phased, and Blizzard have no intention of making them phased, and 2) If you go into a Contested zone to collect pets, you’ll still be flagged.


Hugh Hancock July 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm

From the blue post linked in Cymre’s article:

“The fact that players are vulnerable to PvP attacks while in a pet battle is intentional. ”

” (This rule effects PVE servers as well but only in contested areas.)”


Haylel July 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Nah you’re right, pretty much all of that is accurate after I went and tested it for 30 seconds.

I still think they flagging for PvP is being caused by the cross-server stuff on beta. PvE server pet battles should still be safe unless you run into other faction’s city or flag yourself intentionally, PvP servers will probably be full of pet battle ganking though.

This seems like something they will backpeddle on and add phasing at some point. I forsee a lot of forum posts about not being able to do any of the pet battles on pvp servers, and the fact that a mechanic that causes loss of control of your character for this long wasn’t introduced until now is a valid defense against any sort of “well you should’ve rolled on a PvE server” retorts.


Cymre August 1, 2012 at 2:21 am

To a degree they are phased, but only to you and your immediate vicinity for the actual battle space. After some further discussion, it may be explained like this:

Part of the confusion about this comes from the Cross Realm Zones feature that they are implementing. In beta we’re on a PvE server, but we are “cross realmed” with the PvP server. So sometimes we’ll cross into a new zone and suddenly be flagged for PvP because, if there is low population on the PvE server zone, it puts us in the PvP server zone. This makes the population of gankers in certain zones much higher depending on what kind of server you end up on. This shouldn’t happen when MoP goes live because PvE servers will only be crossed with PvE servers.

So there is hope for the huge player base who chose PVE servers for a reason and those who just want to enjoy some harmless fun.

Thanks for the feature Hugh, sometimes, it’s just nice to vent :P


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