Blizzcon 2011: Pet Battle System is ‘a Perfect Fit’ for World of Warcraft
When I got a chance to sit down with Dave Kosak, lead quest designer for the game, I asked him about pet battles and whether they were cribbed from Nintendo’s incredibly popular turn-based
cockfighting animal battle sim. Kosak pointed out that Pokemon isn’t the only game that uses the Pokemon formula, but more than that, he said pet battles are a good fit for WoW.
“There’s a whole genre of turn-based pet battle systems out there, so the real inspiration for that is players wanted to do more with their pets, and a major theme of this expansion is we just wanted more content for all types of players,” Kosak said. “We really like the idea that that’s the kind of content you can participate in at any level. Like, if you’re not a raider, this is something you can do. We also like the idea that it gets you all around the world. We have this huge, gorgeous, cool world to explore, so we love the idea of you finding all these nooks and crannies exploring it and finding thesse cool pets.”
Players have been asking for ways to utilize their non-combat pets for a while, which exist in WoW more for vanity than for any practical purpose. This gives players a reason to care about their pets, beyond just simple bragging rights.
It also gives more players a way to engage with the game without having to be a hardcore, die-hard WoW head.
“The turn based combat system is very casual friendly, and that helps us out a lot,” Kosak explained. “It gives players who aren’t hardcore a really cool way to interact with the game. Travel the world, collect really interesting things — the collection is really fun, it’s a really interesting mechanic — and then fight the pets in a relatively low-stress turn-based kind of system. And the strategery is all about finding the right combination of pets and the right combination of abilities. So that’s a lot of fun, I think. It’s going to be a lot of fun for a lot of people.
“It just fits into this open world so well. It’s a perfect fit.”
Yeah, fair enough. It does seem like having something to do with all those pets, especially if it gets you out and exploring and seeing new content in the WoW world, is a good idea.
What do you guys think? Is pet battling too kiddy and Nintendo for your taste, or are you finally glad to have something to do with all those pets following you around?
Follow Hornshaw on Twitter: @philhornshaw.