Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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Gráinne
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Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Post by Gráinne » February 11th, 2019, 6:01 pm

what could the devs do with the dungeon format to make it live longer and be more engaging?

Rewards:

We've had random pet drops in WC, and deterministic currency rewards in DM and Gnomer. I certainly vastly prefer the deterministic currency rewards.

Wailing Caverns: 4 pets. Duration: indeterminate.
Deadmines: 4 pets. Duration: 6 weeks.
Gnomeregan: 4 pets and a schematic. Duration: 7 weeks.

They seem to have settled on 4 pets as the total reward from a dungeon.

Compare with the great Celestial Tournament. That also rewarded 4 pets, over 10 weeks, but those four were iconic, and felt weightier. The CT pets were also not cageable, which added to their value to a battler. I think dungeon pets earned deterministically should not be cageable, and random drops should. Perhaps in each dungeon one should be random but cageable, with ~10%-20% drop rate, and all others earned by currency?

Considering how many random filler pets drop from unrelated content like Islands, I feel they certainly have room to increase the number of pets rewarded from relevant battling content. I'd go out to 8-10 pets and 10-12 weeks.
How could they achieve this? A chance at random extra currency? An extra currency unit if you do a trick-shot of some kind like with a Family?

Environment:

I loved the environment of the Celestial Tournament. It felt like a perfect lazy summer Sunday afternoon. No rush. All the tamers visible, and you could choose which to visit first. The tamers were old friends; we had a connection with them.

Dungeons, not so much.

There is nothing in "moving through the dungeon" that appeals to me, and I have no idea how they could make it appealing.

Most dungeons were designed as dank, unfriendly, threatening places. Not where I want to do pet battles. I associate pet battles with flying freely in the sunlight around Outland or Hyjal, not cooped and herded through some underground hole. Not many dungeons offer any opportunity for a pleasant, airy environment. We have no comfort, no freedom, no familiar faces - no faces at all, really. So I don't know how they can improve - by my taste - on this.

Difficulty:

Difficulty is hard. :) Hard for the devs, I mean.

I found every dungeon quite fun - once, when I went in blind. After that, it was just a grind. Strats, accumulated at Xu-Fu's, spoil any challenge or sense of progression even for beginners who don't look at what their pets actually do. Levelling pets is so fast and easy now that anyone can gear up to smash a dungeon in days. It's hard to counter that effect. Any ideas?

Affixes have been suggested many times as a way to vary the experience and create a potential Mythic difficulty.

How would you design the next pet dungeon?

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Icculusx
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Re: Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Post by Icculusx » February 12th, 2019, 12:07 pm

the devs use an algorithm to determine how engaged their content is.
They can take an old dungeon with no work and drop some NPCs into it to get some people to visit it and pump those zones numbers up, that is the goal.

Of course we would all rather completely new zones, but content is content.
I would be happy with one of these rehashed dungeons every few weeks ;)

but to give a suggestion to your question i have an answer that will please "almost" everyone.
the box at the end of Gnomeregan that you get after you got all the pets has a nice chunk of Coins in it.

they should provide us a huge time sink to use those coins and make them valuable again.
I would suggest the never to be obtained (blizzcon/collectors edition etc) type pets to have a vendor selling them for 5000? 100000? coins..

at least it is a carrot to chase.

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Re: Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Post by Lolfixheal » February 12th, 2019, 12:53 pm

All content in WoW is designed on locking players into active on-going subscription so they keep getting their revenue. That is why we see weekly based stuff, events. Daily grinds for vendor rewards. Stuff going over many with time-gate such as pet dungeons.

I'm torn between Gnomeregan being boring as it was so easy, but at the same time such content doesn't speak to me, so honestly I want it over with quickly, so therefor I'm glad it was easy.

They could keep their darn subgate, but cut amount of fights, and make them harder if that results in same %time spent. It is really outdragging just going through the same boring scenario like a tunnel really week in, out. I agree with your sentiments regarding Celestial Tournament, that was more interesting, also challenging and didn't have the boring element of walking through an old classic dungeon. What story are they trying to tell/sell anyway with these pet dungeons? There is a shady character who is up to no good? starting to make trouble in the neighbourhood? ok I'll stop.

Dungeons don't work for me, it is boring, they would have to make RNG events happen, have story telling or quests, or options. Not this open-mouth-chew repetetiveness.

I have already suggested a more oldschool Celestial Tournament to Blizzard. To match this expansions theme, it would be the Isle of Loas. A little remote island (shrouded by magic!) where the Avatars of the Loas themselves have battled each other for near-eternity to prove themselves the better Loa. Imagine an arena styled enviroment, palm trees, not thick jungle, peaceful animals, beachshore and in the middle this stone foundation of an arena. Around the edges do you see all 11-12-13-14-15 Loas (lost track lol), each represented as big Avatars, with their symbol carved into the stone.. each naturally a tamer.. and each.. naturally with a unique mini Loa of themselves. Similar to CT in a way.

However the fights should be quite harder, some RNG elements to it (different order of attacks possible etc). Defeating them weekly should give a currency which you can spend on the Loa pets, but you can only buy the Loa-pet if you defeated the respective tamer. One tamer defeated gives 1 currency, and you don't have to do all weekly, you can go partially, perhaps due to the fact you're not strong enough, or missing a key pet for the fight still. Should be accessible for both newer players and veteran, so some of these tamers would naturally be abit easier, some abit harder. How much a pet is going to cost, Blizzard can decide vs their subgate ideas. Defeating all the tamers weekly could give a small + % bonus currency as well just for "job well done".

The possibility for achievements are good as well. You would want to have a challenge-mode without healing as per usual rewarding a pet or a shirt, tabard, title, mount? Could be nice with something else than a pet for once, I wouldn't mind. Individual achievements for all Loa tamers defeated, one for all. One for getting all the mini Loa pets collected (long task, few months i rekcon! if we assume ~ 1 pet a week best case scenario*). And why not toss in hard achievements like family Loa battler, that should end up being the toughest challenge yet and like I said, reward a cool mount after alot of time+work tossed into it?

Of course with an isle, would be nice with a introduction questchain you would have to do to attune yourself, possible you might have had to show the Loas your worth by completing one or more existing BFA pet achievements (such as all the regular tamers). That would pan into a story of how the Loas have been watching your pet battling skills, and they want to invite you to their secret Isle of the Loas, to see if you're up to the task, but not after the questchain showing your worth, not everyone just casually gets an invite. Or the story could be build on you championing 1 Loa at a time, having to humilate the other Loas by defeating them in the name of the Loa you chose to champion, thus unlocking their Mini-Loa pet for purchase later on. All these Loas with time to spend, and bickering among themselves, not being able to decide who is the better Loa. YOU are their champion, a tool they use after seeing your battle prowness to act as their champion to mock the other Loas for bragging rights.

The vendors would naturally be tortollans, being both old, wise, travellers, neutral and somehow found this mystified Island with an accidental scroll cast, and now they are stuck there, can't find way back home, so they have parked their behinds watching the Loas battle against each other for centuries to no avail, a long stalemate. I imagine one or two umbrellas, some chairs, refreshments, the usual. While we're at it, lets toss in a single rare spawn around the Island as well, first one to click gets reward (Kodo style). Just something for the downtime in between battles or the random run-in "wait, whats that!?".

In this big arena, you will see the mini Loa pets often run in and start fighting each other, 1v1, 3v3, 2v2, cross, FFA, just to fill up the arena with spectacle with RNG showcasing. Really sell that idea of the Loas trying to defeat each other in pet battling. Adds to the vibe and scenery as well, instead of one big arena with nothing going on inside of it, dull sight.

Only your fantasy sets limitations here... this is just me spitballing ideas.

* each tamer could give 1 Loa coin, a pet would cost 15, with 13? Loas, the weekly quest could give you a +3 if you do all. Something along those lines.

- awesome setting
- cool questchain
- good story
- loveable characters
- cool unique pets
- replayability
- achievements
- rare stuff
- long lasting (few months)

Compared to a boring 6 week cookie-cutter fest of Gnomeregan over and over, this kind of content I'm so wet for. I can see myself one evening or night just alt-tabbing whilst chillaxing on the Island, perhaps I'm camping the rare, perhaps I'm looking up new strategy for that Loa tamer that I still can't beat, or taking a break between some of the many achievements.

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Re: Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Post by Gilneas » February 12th, 2019, 8:31 pm

I don’t think they need to make any changes to the pet dungeon format. They’ve hit upon a good formula at this point. Especially in terms of the time it takes to get through it all for the primary rewards. It shouldn’t be and doesn’t need to be open ended. Taking 6-8 weeks and then only needing to do it again if you feel like it for pure enjoyment of the activity is more than fine.

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Re: Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Post by Kiotay » February 13th, 2019, 8:47 am

One issue with the Pet Dungeon format is the account-wide weekly lockout. Since you physically have to go there why not let it be requeueable for sacks of pet currency (20-40 per run). Combined with the aforementioned unobtainable rewards at ridiculous amounts and you have a grind that many would partake in.

Just a thought,
Kiotay

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Gráinne
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Re: Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Post by Gráinne » February 13th, 2019, 7:37 pm

Icculusx, I don't think there is any environment at all specifically created for pet battles. Everywhere we battle is some place already created for something else. CT re-used the Celestial square in Timeless. PvP re-uses spots in zones. The nearest I can think to any space created for pet battles is the floating platform for the Dalaran pet battle. That seems fine to me, by the way; I'm not sure how creating new spaces when there already so many to choose from is necessary.

I would like an opportunity to earn unobtainable pets, but it would have to be at a staggering investment of time or consistency, and that could feel like a cruel grind.

Lolfixheal, my alternative to dungeons would be a monthly quest. A dozen sinister tamers are Up To No Good! Each has designed its own mini-pet champion. Breanni has discovered the location of one of them. You go there, and battle the first champion. The battles should be hard - legendary pets with Epic or very solid Blue backups. The backup pets change every day. Having defeated the first, he gives you the location of the next, and each one in turn, until you have defeated all 12, and then you can choose to capture one of their own pets for your collection. It spreads out the effort, gives you plenty of time, and occupies a year to collect all 12. I still like that idea. :)

However, the devs have chosen Dungeons, so I'm limiting my thoughts to that format.

Kiotay, the thought of infinitely repeatable dungeons scares me shellless. :D Maybe if they did an M+ analogue, with affixes and increasing difficulty ... but I'd hate to feel obliged to grind WC 10 times a day. :o

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Re: Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Post by Kiotay » February 14th, 2019, 2:02 pm

Even with bad layout like Wailing Caverns I'd do it to speed up collection process. Besides... unless they start doing seasonal rewards (which would be cool) there is no reason to feel like you have to complete it in a week or even a month. Pet rewards are long term goals which I'm fine with. Not so fine with seeing no progress or only weekly progress. Kind of like Artifact Power... I'll get it eventually but I'm not grinding it out. However, if I'd rather run it ten times on one lazy Sunday instead of every week for two and a half months... I should be able to.

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Re: Now that Gnomeregan is over ...

Post by Talmar » February 15th, 2019, 9:39 am

I'd love to see a "What a long strange pet trip it's been" kind of achievement. Add a new holiday themed pet battle to each holiday. Require the achievement to have all of them completed with a max level team of every family type similar to all the family battle achievements.

Have some kind of outstanding, super rare, totally unique pet reward for it.

Instead of plowing through some massive 144'ish pet battles like we get with pet tamers in new xpacs we'd have to do 10 battles each holiday. It's spread out over a year. Complete each individual holiday achievement could award cosmetic items for our pets.

You could even add a vendor to this with a special holiday pet currency, a holiday pet charm if you will. The overall achievement gives you the pet, rare, free of charge. However, there could be a vendor with really really special items that cost 8 Holiday Pet Charms (current number of Holidays I'm my memory serves). Off the top of my head:

1 box of family ultra battle stones (raise one of every pet family to max level)
1 toy - turn your corgi into a mount

just some thoughts

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