Blizzard has surprised us yet again with more changes for companion pets in 4.1, and these changes are BIG!
Do you remember the old loyalty system for tamed hunter pets? Pets that were cared for gained loyalty and those that were neglected eventually abandoned their masters. Well, if you've been craving a reward system for offering love and affection to your vanity pets, it's finally here! This new system is sure to distinguish the hardcore pet enthusiasts from the casual.
How Companions Earn Loyalty
Unlike Hunter pets that required a steady diet of specific foods and constant companionship, companions earn loyalty a little differently. To max out the loyalty for each of your companions, you can use emotes like /hug and /pet, as well as pet supplies — finally a good use for those Happy Pet Snacks!
We're still testing the numbers on the PTR, but so far it looks like pets earn more loyalty from pet snacks and playing fetch than from simple emotes. Play fetch or groom your companion and you'll nearly max out its loyalty. In comparison, you'd have to perform several different emotes to earn the same amount of loyalty. And with diminishing returns on said emotes, this can be a bit tedious.
The Companion Loyalty UI
The new UI shows your companions' loyalty levels under the companions tab of your spellbook. Each companion now shows a loyalty bar beneath its name. When you select a pet, you can see its loyalty level as a percentage.
Your currently summoned companion loses a full bar of loyalty after roughly an hour of play. But giving it a /hug or a /love emote every few minutes will keep it in the green.
Unsummoned companions lose loyalty too, but at a much slower rate. It may take 8-10 hours before a companion drops into the red. But it's important to keep track of all of your companions and max out their loyalty levels whenever you have a chance. For those of you with larger collections, this could take a while.
Be Kind to Your Companions, Or Else...
So what happens when a pet's loyalty level drops to zero? I decided to test this out on my Moonkin Hatchling. No matter how attention-deprived it got, I simply ignored it and went about my usual business. Much like the neglected hunter pets of yore, when my Moonkin's loyalty level dropped to zero, I received the following message:
Your Moonkin Hatchling has run away. You have unlearned Moonkin Hatchling.
I immediately checked my spellbook.
Yep — it was gone.
I know some of you will be disappointed by this change. But there is a bright side: You can enjoy the process of farming and collecting your pets all over again! And next time, you'll probably take much better care of them too.
Loyalty Emotes and Pet Accessories
To prepare for 4.1, we've begun compiling a list of emotes and pet accessories that boost companion loyalty. If you don't want to lose any of your beloved pets, make sure you study this list well!
List of Loyalty Emotes and Pet Accessories »