Let’s talk about Pet Collars

How many of you wish you had a oil-stained wolf like the one above? Or maybe a boar that’s on fire? Or maybe one of those Icepaw Bears with glowing frosty paws? Tames such as this were only possible though some “clever use of game mechanics” (aka glitching) and they were all eventually fixed by Blizzard. They did let those hunters who tamed them keep their pets, but taming in such obscure, glitchy ways was obviously not their intention.

Pets that have additional effects or props attached to them almost always lose them upon taming. There are some exceptions, like Gib, but for the most part anything not part of the original model is lost. There’s a good reason for this. The way I understand it, these effects are applied with a hidden aura (buff) and whenever you tame something it is intentionally stripped of every single aura it has. This is so hunters can’t tame a pet while it has a damage buff active or some other game-breaking buff. The downside is we can’t tame pets with these unique effects.

A while ago there was mention by Dave Maldonado on Twitter that they were going to look into making these appearance auras be attached to the pet even after a tame, but nothing ever really came of it. Muffinus stirred the pot recently when he responded to this tweet:

Hunter pet dress-up items? Sounds like a perfect opportunity to add this sort of functionality to the game. The first time I ever saw the hunter pet collar idea brought up was an old post by Frostheim at the WHU. His idea centered around making it a piece of gear with stats on it that you slot into your pet, but what I’m proposing is that pet collars become the new way we can customize the appearance of our pets. You want an oil-stained wolf? Why not an oil-stained tallstrider or devilsaur?


Screenshots courtesy of Wowhead

Collar Ideas

Xota on the Petopia forums created a nice compilation of various visual effects that could possible be applied to our pets. Drawing from that, here are some pet collar ideas.

  • Oil-Stained Collar — Applies the Oil-Stained Wolf effect to your pet.
  • Chained Collar — This one’s an actual collar. A big ol’ chain collar on your pet. Obviously would have to be restricted to certain families. As seen on Kung Din.
  • Fiery Collar — A flaming pet! A perfect companion to the Challenge Mode armor! As seen on Armored Battleboar and Felscale Crawler.
  • Sha-Infested Collar — Desaturates the pet and adds the black sha glowy things. As seen on Sha-Infested Prowler.
  • Butterfly Collar — As seen on Fern Feeder Moth.
  • Icepaw Collar — Frosty feet. As seen on Icepaw Bears and Icehorn.
  • Stone Collar — Makes the pet look like it’s using a Kang’s Bindstone.
  • Bloodthirsty Collar — Makes your pet extra ferocious, with blood dripping from its mouth like the Savagery weapon enchant.
  • Bladed Collar — Your pet now holds a large blade in its jaws. OK so this one may be going too far, but it would be cool.
  • Natural Camouflage Collar — Your pet now has the floating leaves effect as seen on the Blackrock Hunters.

The above examples only scratch the surface of what’s out there. You can check out this post on Petopia that maintains a list of all the beasts with special visual effects.

How would it work?

Well, one idea is to collect them by taming the pets that already have that particular effect applied. By doing so you could unlock the collar for use on your other pets. Perhaps with something as simple as a dropdown menu on the pet’s paper doll window to select which collar you want to use.

Another idea would be for the collar to be the end reward of a “hunter green fire” quest, and you would swap the various effect out with that somehow.

As for a more technical explanation on how these effects work, I’ll leave that up to SpiritBinder from the Petopia forums (also known as @Dravenor on Twitter). It explains how many of these effects can be applied to various pet families.

Pet Effects

1. This area on all pets can vary, though they are already set on all pet models in game as they already glow when they gain certain buffs such as bloodlust/heroism, Kalecgos’ Presence. This is normally set to claws and paws (Like Icepaw Bears) but on models like carrion birds, it’s set to their wings (Like Fire Rocs) or other places, It can appear where ever it is set in the database to that model type.

2. This is the allover effect, such as Duskstalkers, Mutant War Hounds and the Oil Stained Wolf/Hawk. Effects that change entire models colour/transparency, eg. turns green from a poison, or purple from curses, etc.

3. This effect normally sits in the core of the model, the center or heart. This is the same location/effect that the void wolves show, Felscale Crawlers, Fluttering Moths and when you used to be able to use the cremation torch on pets for the fire effect.

4. This one is a Location based effect that emanate from underneath, sits below the model. Examples are the Sha effects on the Sha-haunted cranes and Black Bengal Goats, the Angered Arakkoa Protector and Nozdormu’s Presence.

5. This one I’m not 100% sure about, I assumed it was the same as number 3, but in pets such as Tainted Black Bear, Nightstalker and Screecher, it’s pretty clear that it’s showing around the mouth/head so I’ll also include it.

6. Again as mentioned, there are a large variant of these, from swords, to Grain Bags and Mining Picks, etc. They vary a lot and are almost limitless possibilities, but with that said would also take a lot of time and work to try and implement over all tameable beasts.

Closing Thoughts

This is not something I would expect to happen any time soon, but it’s an interesting idea. Assuming it’s not a massive technical hurdle for Blizzard, maybe we’ll see some kind of pet visual customization in the future. In the meantime there’s plenty of fun new pet stuff to enjoy in Warlords!

Just for fun though, what kind of visual effects would you like to customize your pets with?


8 thoughts on “Let’s talk about Pet Collars”

  1. I’ve always liked this idea, and you present some good ideas about theoretical implementation. Sadly, I doubt Blizz will even consider this for a long long time if ever. It’s a shame though that those disgusting little foo foo pugs get visual enhancements, but a true working dps pet gets nothing!

    1. Fairly sure those pug hats are also the product of Muffinus, the one who brought up this topic in the first place (could be wrong on that, but I know he likes posting pictures of pugs with funny hats). I agree it’s not something that will happen any time soon, but you never know. This guy did give us the Gara thing after all. He likes hunters. 🙂

  2. Collar of Nature: Makes your pet appear as a druid in animal form. Only affects cats, bears, birds of prey and stags. Color and race of the animal form are chosen randomly.

    If only…

  3. As much as I’d like this — I’ve been using a polar bear who originally had the icepaw effect on him since my main pet since 2004 — pugs are available to all characters of all classes (eventually — those random dungeon queues add up). Hunter stuff, by necessity, only impacts a smaller number of characters and players.

    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was actually a pretty minor bit of tech on their end: The aura value on hunter pets is set to zero, but it’s obviously just a matter of setting the values to different numbers and figuring out some way to allow players to access that info.

  4. Location 6 effects are the least likely, since it would be so much work to set for each tameable model. Only gorillas, monkeys, crabs, scorpids, and maybe raptors have anything like “hands” to grab weapons or beer bottles or dynamite or whatever. For spider eggs, it’d probably just be easier to add tameable spider-infested beasts for some that already have diseased skins.

    Blizzard could also apply some of these to other classes’ pets as well, but they already get weapon enchant glows (and warlocks can even have some of their demons equip particular weapons). Oil-stain your voidwalker for even more voidiness. Butterflies on a ghoul would make it surreally creepy. Make your water elemental frost-fire themed with a fiery collar.

  5. That’s a great idea. I really could slap myself everytime I look at my gray wolf formerly known as oil-stained wolf ’cause I accidentally summoned it once in an arena match and lost it’s black coat… 🙁

    Still got that diseased bear with it’s purple glow, a burning boar and a ghost boar.

    Collecting new stuff is always a great idea. Give us more content! 🙂

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