Developer Blizzard sees the pet battle system for World of Warcraft as one of the core elements of the game and will work to develop it after the launch of the new Mists of Pandaria expansion for the MMO, making them a staple of all the game areas.
Ion Hazzikostas, who is a lead designer working on encounters, has told VG247 that, “It applies to every single zone in the world from Elwynn Forest through the Dread Wastes has actual pets that you can battle and acquire to extend your collection. There’s also a pet trainer quest line that sees your character training pets across all of the continents and using their pet’s skills to overcome battles.”
John Lagrave, who is a lead game producer, added, “The pet battle system isn’t just this wild thing that we’re going to abandon after its implemented. It’s something we’ve put a lot of time into, we have lots of cool ideas for it. There was so much stuff we didn’t put into it for Pandaria.”
Hazzikostas says that Blizzard
initially only wanted to create a limited number of pets, a couple of dozen, but then it saw that test audiences were interested in collecting them and in bragging about them to other players and decided to create many more.
The company is also happy to see gamers farm for hours in order to get a particular pet and establishing emotional connections with some of them.
The pet battle system seems to be inspired by the mechanics of Pokemon and Blizzard sees it as a way of attracting new players to its venerable MMO.
World of Warcraft is still the biggest subscription-powered MMO in the world, despite the fact that it has been steadily losing subscribers for some time.
The Mists of Pandaria expansion arrives on September 25.