Pets are, without a doubt, the primary reason I play a hunter. I think Blizzard has been pretty good to us over the years, putting a lot of development time and effort into something that serves only a single class. We have 45 pet families and, if you count all the different skins and color swaps, about 600 pets to choose from. Every expansion brings dozens of new pets to tame, and they continue to give us attention like the recent bump to 50 stable slots.
At least one developer over at Blizzard has their thumb on the pulse of hunters. But, like any WoW player, I will never be completely satisfied. I’m always wondering what they can do next to improve the best class in WoW. Stables, as a system, have remained more or less unchanged since launch. With the announcement of Garrisons in Warlords of Draenor, I think there’s a pretty great opportunity to give hunters the pet stable they deserve.
Expectations vs. Reality
Look, I have no illusions here. I’m not writing this because I expect Blizzard to follow through, or even read this post for that matter. I am just writing it for fun. Ever since garrisons were announced this has been in the back of my head, so now it’s time to get it down.
I also want to mention that in some of the garrison screenshots we’ve seen a building called a Pet Stable. However, as far as we know this is a building for battle pets. It has been mentioned there will be a battle pet trainer available at this building, and you will also have the ability to display chosen battle pets around said building. What I’m talking about here is a hunter only building, so chances are low something like this would ever be considered. But what if?
The header image for this article is something along the lines of what I was thinking of. That is just a screenshot from Elwynn Forest with a few hunter pets photoshopped in. Just having your pets visible in your garrison would go a long way to making it feel customized and unique.
Maybe you could choose a half-dozen pets which hang around your stable, and perhaps a few more which actually patrol around your entire garrison. Maybe it’s random so every time you come back to your garrison there are new pets wandering around.
As you upgrade the hunter stable, more pets become visible, along with an extra stable master who can be seen walking around, feeding the pets and doing whatever else needs doing.
There has to be a reason to use this building in your garrison beyond aesthetics if it’s taking up one of your precious land plots. Here are some possible bonuses:
- More stable slots. We already have a lot, but plenty of hunters have filled these up. If you are able to improve your stable in a particular way, maybe this is the bonus the big collector chooses.
- Rename your pets at the stable without a Certificate of Ownership.
- Mobile Stable Master. Calls one of your stable hands to your side, allowing you access to your stable out in the field. Obviously with a long cooldown.
- Buff customization. Are you always stuck with providing spell haste for your raid? Sick of the sporebat? What if you could make any pet bring that buff?
Followers and their missions are going to be a big part of garrisons. Even if a building dedicated to hunters could never be a reality, I still think these would be cool followers elsewhere.
Follower 1 – The Hunter’s Apprentice
Your apprentice is sent out on missions to find the pets you simply don’t have time to find while you’re out fighting the Iron Horde and dealing with more pressing matters in Draenor.
You can send your apprentice to any zone in the game. Their mission is to simply bring you back a pet from that zone. There is a chance that they will bring you back a rare spawn from that same zone, and as this follower levels up, the chance of them bringing back a rare pet increases with each level. Having a hard time finding King Krush? Keep sending your apprentice to Sholazar Basin and maybe you’ll get lucky.
However, this new beast still must be bonded to its true master. Your apprentice has merely subdued the beast and managed to bring it back alive for your inspection. Should you want to tame the beast your apprentice has returned with, you will simply tame it like you normally would. The beast will be waiting for your in a predetermined spot when the mission completes. Or maybe it could be combined with Darkbrew’s “taming arena” idea.
The Apprentice is not there to replace traditional pet taming, but merely to supplement it as a bonus for choosing this building.
Follower 2 – The Pack
The Pack is a pack of wolves sent out on missions to hunt for their master. For the sake of simplicity, “The Pack” levels up as a single entity like any other garrison follower would. Depending on the mission, they could bring back either meat or fish for cooking, perhaps with a smaller chance at bringing back other items.
Another mission type for The Pack could be bounties. Send them out to kill a particular rare monster in the world and bring back the spoils.
Before you say this would be overpowered because it gives an advantage to hunters only, remember that the number of building plots is limited. Hunters would be giving up one of their plots which could potentially be used for another important building.
A more complicated take on this idea would be to allow the hunter to choose 5 of their own pets for the pack, and while out on missions these pets would be unavailable for use. I was just trying to keep it simple!
The Hunter Zoo
This whole thing reminds me of an older post at the WHU about a “hunter zoo” idea. This was back when we could only tame 25 pets, and the idea was we could place pets in our “zoo” instead of outright abandoning them so they could be retrieved later. This could totally be another benefit of the garrison hunter stable.
I’m pretty jazzed for garrisons regardless, but if Blizzard were to add some little perk for hunters pets I would be a very happy hunter. At a bare minimum, just having our pets wandering the roads and grasses of our garrisons would go a long way to making the place feel like home.
Is all this too much to ask or hope for? Probably. But a hunter can dream.