My Pet ProjectOctober 24, 2011
I’ll be completely frank here. I am totally weirded out by this:
And bear in mind I say this first as a diehard, hopelessly addicted, unreasonably compulsive vanity pet collector; and second as a once-upon-a-time fan of Pokemon.
Because let’s face it, as other astute spectators have already observed — this is PokeWoW. The more I read about World of Warcraft’s recently announced pet battle system — a pet index with which players can look up information about their pets’ skills and stats, venturing into the world to capture new pets, battles with other players’ pets or pets they encounter in the “wild”, battles with NPC “Masters”, leveling their pets and equipping them with new abilities and special items to benefit them in battle, etc. etc. etc. — the more it harkens me back to my pre-adolescent days with my Game Boy Color and copy of Pokemon Blue.
Those were good times. I still have a soft spot in my heart for Pokemon.
But I’m still weirded out by this.
Try as I might, I can’t put my finger on why. Given my history, I should be over the moon excited, and I’m fond of new distractions, after all. When Mists of Pandaria comes out, and I inevitably go back to World of Warcraft for my standard post-expansion two-to-three-months stint, I’ll probably jump right into the new pet battle system, play the heck out of it, and love every minute. And yet, as I admit this, a part of my identity as a pet addict/collector has just died a little inside.
You have to understand, back when I was still playing WoW and deep in the grips of my pet obsession, you’d be hard-pressed to get me on the gear treadmill grinding emblems for, say, a new epic chest piece. But whisper the magic words (“There’s a new vanity pet…”) and I would be in that dungeon day and night if I had to, gladly repeating it 500 times if it meant a chance at adding a new adorable little creature to my collection. For a new vanity pet, I would travel to the ends of Azeroth. I would spend untold amounts of gold. I would do heroics with a thousand crappy PuGs. I would PvP in the Eye of the Storm naked.
And I did all this…just because. I’ve always been attracted to the little frivolities in my MMOs and enjoyed collecting pets more than I liked getting epic loot. I never had a reason to collect pets, and never really needed one. They served absolutely no purpose than simply following me around and looking cute, and I was perfectly fine with that. It was pointless fun, but in its pointlessness it must have meant something to me.
With WoW:MoP things will change, as with the new battle system there will now be a “reason” tacked on to pet collecting. I predict the new feature will be wildly popular, and like I said, despite my current lackadaisical attitude, I’m sure when I actually get my hands on it I’ll probably love it. I suppose too, that even though I haven’t been back in WoW for a while, I can be glad I amassed a respectable arsenal of pets before I left. But one thing is certain, and that is I’ll never approach pet collecting in WoW the same way again.