How Blizzard could bring back Hunter pet loyalty

Hunter pets back in vanilla were convoluted by today’s standards. You couldnt’ simply tame a pet and use it. You had to worry about several things:

  1. Pets did not level up to your level. If you were level 60 and tamed a level 10 pet, you would have to manually level them up. Very slowly, since they weren’t able to do any tanking for you when they’d get killed in a few hits.
  2. Pets had 6 loyalty levels, which also had to be leveled up. The more loyal they were, the easier it was to keep them happy.
  3. Pet Happiness had to be kept up by feeding your pet regularly, if you didn’t keep your pet happy they would do less damage. If they stayed unhappy for too long, they would permanently abandon you.

In today’s WoW this simply wouldn’t fly, but there was something good buried under all that. Hunters tended to pick a single pet and stick with it (helped that we could only have 2 other pets in the stable at the time). Rak’shiri was my main pet through a good part of vanilla. Your pet was your best buddy because you worked so hard to get them there. Not like today where it’s almost become a collection mini-game.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy collecting pets, but I still think something was lost from the spirit of the class. Pets feel more disposable than ever.

It got me wondering if there was a way to bring back the idea of a hunter bonding with their pet, without all of the baggage that made it not fun.


Why Pet Loyalty?

Let me be clear: I do not want the old system back as it was. Leveling up your pet to make them usable, or having to keep stacks of vendor food in your bags and worry about their Happiness buff dropping off in the middle of a boss fight would be awful.

Loyalty, on the other hand, could be done in such a way that it simply rewards you for using the same pet for an extended period of time. I’m not proposing that you need to grind out your pet’s loyalty in order for them to become usable. I think their base loyalty level should be exactly what they are today. There shouldn’t be a gameplay or power punishment for choosing to not participate. It should all be cosmetic.

Hunters want their pet to stand out from the crowd, and at this point the only real way to do that is to hunt for one of the few ultra rare pets (mostly from Northrend). Any time you see a hunter with one of those pets you know they care a great deal about their hunter. Why else would they camp for days or more just to have a special looking pet with no real combat advantages?

What if there were other ways to make them special? Why can’t you make your plain old brown bear pet, that you started with at level 1, just as special? Why does a bear have to be Arcturis to be special?

I think you should be able to look at someone’s pet and immediately know that it’s one of their favorites, and not just another copy.

Unlike other classes which have pets, hunters are the only class that — from a lore perspective — share a bond with their pets. They aren’t summoned demonic or elemental servants. We name them. Why not emphasize this fact a little more?


How could it work?

I’m not sure if it would need to be 6 levels again. I think 3-4 levels could be enough, but the perks I’m about to present could easily be spread out over any number of levels.

Pet loyalty could work like it did before: XP based, only with more options for gaining this XP. Whatever system the Barracks bodyguard leveling uses could probably be re-purposed.

For starters, each pet would need its own loyalty level. That’s the whole point! Identify your hunter with the pets you choose to make loyal.

Gaining Loyalty

  • Very small amounts of loyalty gained for simply having your pet at your side.
  • Loyalty gained from killing level-appropriate mobs.
  • Loyalty gained from killing level-appropriate players.
  • Greater loyalty gained from killing level-appropriate dungeon and raid bosses.
  • Loyalty does not decay and is never lost.

Rank 1: Submissive

  • The base Loyalty level that every pet starts with. Your pets would be exactly the same as they are today. There should be no downside if you choose not to participate.

Rank 2: Dependable

  • Time to level: A week of natural play, or about a day or grinding with the same pet.
  • Your pet now has a title: Annatar <Companion of Bendak> (just an example) instead of <Bendak’s Pet>.
  • Your pet can be assigned a gender (simple drop down menu on the pet interface) to use for emotes.
  • Your pet will now use emotes. These would have to be visible only to the hunter in order to prevent clogging up raid chat and whatnot. Here are some examples:
    • “Annatar wags her tail.”
    • “Annatar wants to play.”
    • “Annatar wants to be scratched behind the ear!”
    • Your pet randomly kills a nearby critter, followed by “Annatar brought you a present!”
  • Your pet will respond to your emotes (like Dog from the Pandaria farm).
  • Pet Emotes can be disabled in chat window settings if you don’t want to see them, just as if you were to filter out any other channel (or as a toggle somewhere in the pet spellbook).

Rank 3: Faithful

  • Time to level (from rank 1): 2 weeks of natural play, or a couple of days of grinding with the same pet.
  • You can now choose what buff your pet brings, including any stat buff or blood lust/battle rez/damage reduction shield. It could use an interface identical to the Lone Wolf buff selection, but found inside your pet’s spellbook.
    • This would replace your pet’s existing family buff, so no extra buff advantage. Defaults to the pet’s original family buff.
    • Exotic pets would simply have a “buff 1” and “buff 2” selector to maintain their extra buff advantage, allowing you to choose a combination of any 2 buffs.
    • This only replaces your pet’s actual buff(s), any unique family abilities like Spirit Mend or Prowl would stay.

Rank 4: Best Friend

  • Time to level (from rank 1): About a month of natural play, or several days of grinding with the same pet.
  • Feat of Strength reward (no achievement points, unfair to other classes)
  • Your pet has a new title: Annatar <Bendak’s Best Friend> (just as an example).
  • Your pet now has an option of displaying one of several cosmetic effects, using the same slide-out interface as the buffs. Some examples:


I did my best to only suggest things using existing game interfaces or effects. All of these things could work. It still requires developer time — perhaps too much for a single class — but there’s no harm in brainstorming fun ideas.  🙂

There might be some concern about pet families becoming pointless when you can just choose the buff they bring, but the extra buffs hunters bring are already irrelevant in most raids. Most (all?) specs bring 2 buffs to the table now. I can’t remember the last time I had to use a specific pet for a buff, so why not just let us pick one for our solo or dungeon purposes? Is there really any harm in a Turtle bringing a Mastery buff? I don’t think so.

As for the cosmetic effects, this kind of thing has been desired by hunters for a long time. Why do you think we went to such drastic measures to glitch tame pets like the Oil Stained Wolf? There are plenty of cosmetic effects in the game that can work on literally any model.

The important thing is for there to be no actual gameplay advantage, and for it to be completely optional. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I bet most hunters would love a way to customize their pets. I don’t think anything like this is in the cards any time soon, but it’s fun to think about.

What do you think?


52 thoughts on “How Blizzard could bring back Hunter pet loyalty”

  1. My worg i used all during patch 3.3 i released into the wild. Still keep my bear i tamed leveling through dragonblight as one of the 5 (sometimes 4) with me to this day. Just in case. I even have a macro with RP to call her out.

    She’s tanked raid trash in Cataclysm for me, so I have good reason to keep her handy!

  2. I really like these ideas. I agree that the original pet levelling was not fun as it was way too slow, in fact I actually stopped playing my hunter as I wanted to use my original first pet and being a tank he got too far behind in levels. I spend a fair while in Theramore killing murlocs before finally throwing in the towel.
    So being able to insta level and even change the name (as mine had no capital level, doh) was a huge welcome change for me.
    However I’m sure lots of hunters would welcome a title for their pet and the chance to earn a more customed look so they could stay faithful to their first buddies 🙂

    1. “Loyalty does not decay and is never lost.”

      I don’t agree with this as it takes away from the whole loyalty idea. If you stable your pet it should start to lose loyalty and any of the suggested levels/perks.

  3. Something should surely be done. As a Lone Wolf Marksman, I only use a pet in my soloing MM spec — and that’s the bear I tamed the first day the game went live, Mangeclaw.

    During MoP, I would switch him to Ferocity in instances and use him to DPS, but now, he stays Ferocity all the time, since that’s the only role I need him for.

    My seven and a half year old is amazed I have a Warcraft pet older than he is, although he always used to demand I’d bring my bear (named “Frostmaw”) out on the rare occasions I’d have another out.

  4. “You can now choose what buff your pet brings, including any stat buff or blood lust/battle rez/damage reduction shield. It could use an interface identical to the Lone Wolf buff selection, but found inside your pet’s spellbook.”

    You just made it mandatory. I like the idea of loyalty. I am not crazy about the pet being at your side at all times. I am one of the players that tries to make sure their pet does not get in the way/annoy others, so I dismiss mine when I go in the bank or AH.
    I think you have some good ideas, but anything that gives you a slight advantage, you know full well will be required. I do like the flexibility of being able to pick buffs but not sure I would roll that into the loyalty thing. I definitely like the cosmetic stuff.

    1. Not sure I’d agree on the mandatory bit. It would save you from a trip to the stables if one of your 5+ buffs on your active pet list didn’t cover what you needed, that’s the only real advantage I see. My main point was to prevent someone from being penalized for using the pet they like the most, just because it doesn’t have the buff they want/need.

      1. Challenge modes: My current group is missing Multistrike and Haste. I put it up to a group vote as to which buff I bring; there are no pets that bring both. I play BM, so if your idea existed, I’d be able to pull out my trusty Gondria pet and boom, double buff + heal, instead of my Sporebat or Dragonhawk providing only a single buff and no heal. It now becomes mandatory that I level up my pet loyalty ASAP. (not that I wouldn’t if it were available, but there you are).

        For raiders, it’d be largely optional (sometimes in a smallish group you have to provide a buff), but for people doing a certain type of content (and according to MMOchamp today, not a lot of us are doing CMs), it wouldn’t be.

        NOT knocking your idea, I think it’s awesome! But I think the double buffs provided by exotic pets, since they’re somewhat inconsistent and only come in very specific pairs of buffs when there are two, would need to be rethought in some way.

  5. Absolutely, I am digging these ideas Bendak. I have Loque, but I prefer my plain ol’ Bengal tiger Aubie. Whom I tamed in Shalozzar while camping Loque for days on end. That’s how we became so close :()

  6. If you wanted to keep pet families relevant still, just make it so that you cant use a buff that you dont have on a pet in your stable. That way you still need to go out and get a pet in that family if you want the buff. Overall all though I really like these ideas. I would also like some kind of benefit to tracking down rare pets like Broken Tooth, maybe give them a completely unique skin since we know they wont ever get unique abilities again. Also they need to stop making so many of the rare pets BM only (eg the endless variety of Spirit Beast skins out there), the other two specs would like to have some rare pets also.

    1. I actually prefer the spirit beast pets to have a unique skin. It honestly made me really sad to see the lightning wolf become a normal skin when i camped for days to get Skoll. Taking away the unique skin takes away the rare quality of the pet and makes it so the only good thing from camping for days for the ultra rares like loque only good for the heal they give. Making the exotic pets available to all spec is also a little redundant. By making all the spec able to catch exotic you take away one of the fundamental abilities of a Bm hunter (exotic beast training) and take away one of the main reasons to roll bm.

  7. I’ve always wanted cosmetic armor for pets. Something that you can achieve through loyalty. Just like gear you can only get via reputation with factions – you can have certain cosmetic gear that is available the more loyalty you achieve. I’ve always thought that the ability to customize the Barding on your Chocobo in FFXIV was a great idea and it helps Hunters distinguish their pets from others. It’s always great to see other Hunters with the same pet but EVERY other Hunter … with the same pet takes away from the initial value of it. Seeing 5 Loque’nahaks certainly destroys its rarity and appeal. But what if each Hunter’s pet was individualistic in this way where you saw that each pet carried with it a different story that the Hunter can convey – a narrative that they like to express through the customization of armor. Imagine standing next to a Hunter with the same pet — but dressed completely different. Adds to the layer of individuality we currently have with Xmogs.

  8. Very nice idea!
    Not being a real buff it does not interfere with the gameplay at all , but on the other side makes it clear that pets are somethings special to us.
    What I would love to see, even may be for an hypothetical rank 5, is to have you pet on your side while using mounts that allow you to carry another player. Wouldn’t be awesome having you pet sitting near you while running around with your Mechano-Hog?
    P.S.: yes I know, this imply developing time, but… 🙂

  9. “You can now choose what buff your pet brings, including any stat buff or blood lust/battle rez/damage reduction shield.” I like the idea behind it, that you use your one favorite pet all of the time. However, I have an issue with it taking away part of one of the Hunter talents (Lone-Wolf). It also forces people to HAVE to level up their pets, if they want to use multiple. Not that it takes too long, but giving all buffs to hunters imo is unfair to other classes. You can already have five pets with you for five different buffs, not everything at once. If we were to have pet loyalty tiers, it would need to be all cosmetic and have no effect on gameplay, otherwise I could not stand behind it.

    In a previous comment you replied with: “Not sure I’d agree on the mandatory bit. It would save you from a trip to the stables…”

    I do not see an issue with this at the moment. Maybe I am blinded by my own examples and cannot see the struggle others are having, but 5 hunter pets has always been WAYYY more than enough. Wolf/Cat, Core Hound, Sporebat, [Insert PVP pet here], then another pet of your choosing. Not too often have I had to go outside those pets, maybe for a ravager buff or spider (for pvp, used a lot back in Tol Barad).

    I do see a counter-argument to what I have been saying previously – the point is to play your FAVORITE pet, what if it does not have a good buff to bring for the group or personal play (Which I think might be part of the idea behind you suggesting not needing to go back to stables for other pet buffs/being able to have them all on one pet)? My response to this would be maybe our current summoned pet could choose to use any ability, but only if that ability is on one of the other pets you have with you. That way there isn’t the advantage to having all buffs, and it is the same idea as having 5 pets with you previously – to choose the buff you need.

    I would like to say that despite my stance, I cannot lie – the laziness inside makes me deeply wish I could have all hunter buffs at once for one pet, as then there would be no need to dismiss pet and change. It would make it easier/less time consuming/confusing, especially for newer players. However, when does the game become too convenient or of ease? Honestly, I do have a problem with -enjoying- difficulty, as it then forces players to choose how they want to play, be different – whether that is about class abilities/play style or the different type of buff they choose to bring to help benefit the team.

    1. Thanks for the well thought-out comment. Yeah, the reason I didn’t see it as a big deal to swap buffs in the field is because the precedent was set with Lone Wolf. To be honest I never looked at that as a perk of the talent, just a necessity. But I see what you’re saying.

      Only being able to swap to a buff that you have in your active pet list is pretty complex (not just to the user, but I imagine on the programming side as well), so I don’t see that happening. If you can cover 5 (or more) buffs anyway, I don’t see much harm in giving you access to the other 3 (the final one you already have with Trueshot Aura).

      The way I look at it is: are you having a problem with getting the buffs you want today? Probably not. So if you wanted, you could pretend such a system didn’t exist and it wouldn’t change a thing. I only want it to be a perk to facilitate a lost/forgotten aspect of the class: picking a pet — or a couple of pets — and sticking with them (for roleplaying/lore reasons).

      1. Maybe instead of using the word “Buff” I should use “Special Ability,” as every pet only gets one – some pets bring buffs for the group, some bring none. If we were to allow any and all pets t have each buff, would that mean non-buff special abilities would need to be given as well? Bringing in a pet I mentioned previously – Spider. Their special ability is the web spray; not a buff. There are way more than 8 special abilities/buffs that would need to be available.

        I do agree on your point about the active pet list being complex, but not sure how else I could see it as being ‘fair’.

    2. Personally, I’ve never understood the Lone Wolf talent, and have absolutely zero sympathy for hunters who want it or will ever complain about it being potentially subpar. We play hunters, for 10 years it has been a pet class, if you don’t want a pet, don’t play a hunter, period.
      With that said, why should those hunters who choose to play with a pet, as the class was intended from the start, and provide any party buff with that one pet take away from Lone Wolf? Isn’t Lone Wolf actually taking away from the actual original idea of a hunter by allowing it to bring any party buff without a pet? IMHO, I feel this actually levels the playing field for all hunters, those who take Lone Wolf and those of us who like using a pet. It allows all 3 specs, no matter which talent selected, to bring any party buff with or without a pet, like Lone Wolf currently allows. Hunters already have all party buffs as it stands. Either use Lone Wolf or swap out various pets, so there’s nothing unfair about it, it’s how it currently is in game.
      As an avid pet collector who has many unique skins for pets, I find it very annoying that I can never actually use any of those pets because they don’t bring the right party buff or have a party buff that is never in short supply, so the sad little pet just sits in my stable forever never being used. This system would allow for that, and who cares that it takes away from Lone Wolf’s ability to swap out any party buff at will. The point of Lone Wolf is to play without a pet, not make you a special little party buff snowflake. All 3 specs, no matter the talent selected, would be on even footing with this system as I see it. In no way would it be mandatory either, because if you choose to not level your pets loyalty you don’t have to, you would just have to swap out pets like we currently do and visit your stable more often. The only advantage you gain is flexibility, and maybe a minute or 2 of time saved at the start of a raid going back to a stable master. I see it strictly as cosmetic, even with bringing any party buff. It just allows the hunter to choose which skin basically they would like to have out at the time since we can bring whatever party buff we want already, why shouldn’t we be able to also bring any pet skin we want if we put a little effort forward with it too?
      Just as Bendak stated, all this does is save us a trip to the stables for those who use pets, for those of you who use Lone Wolf you basically already have this functionality, and quite frankly I find it frustrating that getting rid of your pet actually makes you more useful at times because of being able to swap buffs at a whim like that. To me it is counter to what the class is at it’s core, which is a pet class. I hate when someone has to leave in our raid occasionally for some RL issue and we lose a party buff and I get forced to swap to Lone Wolf so I can provide a specific buff I didn’t anticipate prior to raid time when I stocked my active stable with pets. I have to play my class in a way that, quite frankly, isn’t fun to me because Lone Wolf has, IMO, a much greater advantage than hunters using a pet have with allowing the ability to swap party buffs at will.
      If I decide to spend the time and level my pets loyalty, then when a situation like this happens I could just swap my active pets party buff and done. Just like a hunter using Lone Wolf would have done as well. In no way does this change the way the game is currently played, it just removes the stable visit, which on Draenor is a huge pain since there are not many stable masters to begin with. You don’t even get one in your garrison unless you take the stables building either. This system would solve a seriously poorly planned distribution of stable masters at the same time too.

      As far as BM goes with allowing them to swap out both buffs as someone stated above. I’m not 100% on a solution for that, maybe just have it only able to swap out 1 party buff and make one of them static. Or have BM pets bring 1 party buff and 1 ability, there by voiding the ability to double dip buffs at your whim, and eliminating the mandatory nature of it for CM’s. Most pet abilities aren’t even useable in instances anyway, I believe, so it could solve that issue too possibly.

      Either way, I very much approve of this idea…and I think Blizz should, make it so!

      1. Some of us have wanted to play an archer or rifleman for 10 years, and been forced to drag a pet along with us. Lone Wolf finally made the solo ranger playstyle possible, and gave the buff swapping to compensate for not having a pet buff. The primary benefit of the talent is the bonus damage. I would not be opposed to this idea, as it benefits other Hunters, and harms me not at all.

        However, in (rated) PvP, it is important to know what abilities your enemy may use. For this reason, I would not support a full selection of pet abilities. I think any pet should be able to provide any of the 8 major raid buffs (not including Attack Power, as Hunters bring Trueshot Aura natively), but other abilities should remain family-specific.

        Want your Wolf to bring Multistrike, Crit, Haste, Mastery? Ok. But if you want Bloodlust or Combat Rez, bring a Nether Ray or Moth.

  10. Brilliant. I really like the idea of loyalty to our pets being displayed.
    I think, since we are brain storming, that we still have “feed pet” in our list of hunterly things. It still has the animation and all, maybe we could have a drop down menu from that spell on how we might trigger the visuals (flames, water, ghosty).
    Our pets are amazing, I love having the water strider allowing walking on water while on my chopper and taking a friend across the bay. There are so many improvements — I think you should submit this to Blizzard and get a pay check!

  11. I love this! Hunter is my favorite class to play, hands down, but this would make it so much better. I love using my Moonstalker. Had her since the start. I deleted an Orc hunter to roll a Belf when BC came out, so back before they just gave us a pet. So long as you don’t count the pets you tame/release for the taming quest, I’ve always had my Moonstalker. I did a naked run out to Darkshore so he would be the first pet I ever tamed. I would love to be able to have him as my main pet all the time and not have to switch out once in a while.

  12. I like the idea. Turning a horrific system into something cosmetic, fun, and class-related sounds great. Warlocks got fel fire. Why cant we improve our pets?

    Sorry. Had a flashback of every time my pet went from happy to ok during a boss fight. So much lost dps.

    Perhaps instead of resurrecting a hated, broken system, we try for “all buffs for all pets”? I switch pets in 5-mans (not needed, I know, but whatever), and I have run specific pets when our raid is low on peeps. Id love to have my beloved Snarlsalot out all the time, multistrike up instead of stamina.

  13. I started 3 months after launch. At lvl 10, my NElf hunter tamed a Darnassian tiger and named her Sekhemet. I still have that hunter and he still has and hunts with his Sekhemet. I appreciate everything you said and love the idea. I’m surprised you didn’t mention having to tame other pets to learn their special ability so you could teach it to your pet. Pets were an involvement back in vanilla, but they had to be since hunters really had to have them under control in group efforts. We needed to know our pets inside and out, when to turn them lose and when to hold them back.
    I hope someone in Blizz reads this and was a hunter in the beginning so that this great idea can come under advisement.

  14. Love this idea so much. Doesn’t have to be anything amazing, love the idea of x _ “x’s best friend” or any one of the dozens of toy ability visuals. Literally makes zero difference in game if my pet has visible path of frost etc, but it’d mean a lot to know that it’s earned it

  15. Love this idea!

    I have two pets I use, one spirit beast when bm and one normal one when I’m sv. I hate having to swap them out and I’d much prefer to stick with one pet. I have collected certain pets for their buffs but for me, I prefer having a pet that has meant something to me/looks amazing and really don’t appreciate swapping it out for something that took two seconds to find and tame just so my raid has that missing buff.
    I had to roll through SoO with an ugly sporebat and tbh I didn’t care less if he lived or died. If my dragonhawk gets killed, the whole raid knows about it, I’m that attached to ‘RaidWiper’…

    Although I wasn’t around for vanilla I do still have the pet I was given at the beginning. He’s not pretty but I’ve kept him as he was with me at the start of my amazing journey 🙂
    I’m pretty sure some classes aren’t aware of how much we Hunters love our pets!

  16. I really like these ideas. Especially being able to earn cosmetic changes for our pets. How about pet armor? Blizzard has done this plenty of times with mounts. Galakras is just a protodrake with armor applied. What if there were three levels of pet armor: the first would be something simple like a spiky collar and the last would be full plate with bolted on tusks, etc. It would have to work like a title which you can chose to display or not if you prefer that your pet remain unchanged.

    What I really want though is to give my Devilsaur a sweater, straw hat and pipe. You can dress up your pug, why not your Devilsaur?

  17. I would LOVE this! I would love it even more if there were something along the lines of armor models (like the wrathguard equipping the swords or mount armor). I really love the trails idea.

  18. The max level of loyalty should allow your pet to be ridden as a mount, at least for pet families that have mount animations.

  19. Some nice ideas. I’m still running around with my first ever tame, could never
    level without my trusty black bear Puffy.

  20. I love these ideas. I also miss the way it was many years ago with pets. I liked how you had to teach them a higher level “bite” etc too by finding a pet that had that level, and then either keeping it or getting rid of it and then teaching it to your pet.
    I think the effects idea is really great, especially since we already do not get any enchant/illusion effects on our bow/guns/crossbows. I think cosmetic armour could be cool too, even as a proc a bit like the druids get it.

  21. Interesting! But I just don’t know if I want to go back to that model at all. I remember it well, I forget his real name but I had that white lion for the LONGEST time… and I got in major trouble from our class leader when he found out I didn’t max my pets abilities levels yet by training one that had it…. anywho, we had a lot of stuff to maintain back then! Pet happiness and loyalty, literately throwing gold at the boss for every attack we did… don’t know if I want any form of it back heh

  22. Sadly the “choose Buff” Options will never make it. Cuz PvP. All these Whines on how the Hunter is OP cause he can buff himself with this and that and even Heal himself with a darn Pet, i can hear it from here, even if its only on Paper in Eye of the Beast. There will be always a large Group of Haters. A Main Point why there is not much love for Classes to be unique. Sadly this is the bigger Chunk of the WoW Community 🙁

  23. Well I like most of the ideas, I like the cosmetic changes, and the title, and someone suggested perhaps armor for higher levels of loyality. Maybe it could use a system like Neverwinter Online followers that upgrade their armor appearance when they upgrade in level.

    So a level 1 loyality pet is base standard, level 2, would have minor amounts of armor, level 3 would get even more, until level 4 when they are armored and have defensive elements such as spikes.

    As for the buffs, for exotic pets, I don’t think allowing the choice of both buffs is a good idea, I think exotic pets should be designated a primary buff which can’t be changed, but allow you to change the secondary buff. This would keep it fair between Beast Mastery and the other specs as they would only be able to choose one buff.

    I am not sure specialised abilities such as battle rez, bloodlust etc.. should be selectable either, I think leaving these in the perview of set families makes the choice of which pet to bond to more relivent. For example you could bond with a core hound and get Multistrike and Bloodlust plus a second buff of your choosing, or should you choose a Quillen for Critical Strike, battle rez and a second buff of your chosing. Technically both pets could supply both Multistrike and Critical Strike combo, but one would have battle rez while the other would have bloodlust.

    I also agree with the one poster that said, loyality should degrade with non usage, but by that I think when not an active pet in the 5 call pet slots, so only degrade when in the stables. Degradation should be slower then gaining loyality, for example if it takes 1 week to level from level 1 loyality to level 2 loyality by the pet being by yourside but not performing any actions, such as never entering combat, then it should take 2 weeks or perhaps 3 weeks of the pet being in the stables to go from level 2 loyality to level 1 loyality.

  24. i would absolutely love being able to customize my pet! Hunter is my main class, and i have two fully leveled, but the pets all being the same has bummed me out. I love collecting things in game, rare pets included, I’ve camped loque for about 4 years on and off on one toon tell i found him. its just a bummer that the rares i do find are exactly like the normal ones. I’m done ranting, but i would love being able to level up loyalty on my pet even though it doesn’t have a real game advantage, the title would be pretty great and the emotes are cute.

  25. Your ideas are amazing, Bendak. The one adage I would make is what another commenter said — when you stable your pets, they begin to lose loyalty.

    The other ideas like visual enhancements with higher ranks are also amazing (although I imagine the upgradable armor would be a pipe dream, given Blizzard’s scarce developer art resources), but titles, some cosmetic upgrades (pets like wolves getting reskinned versions of existing armored pets in the wild), even changes in size (your pets getting permanently larger the higher loyalty level they have), and then for certain pets mountable versions of those pets or perma-cosmetic toy buffs for pets which make sense (magical creatures, demonic creatures, and so on).

    The system is already in place with bodyguards, and everything else in already in-game (nothing new being done, just some skin recolors which can be done simply enough). The only hard part about developing this idea is someone on the developer team getting excited enough about it and spending a few weeks going through the pet models and making various modifications, and then another couple of weeks to set up the loyalty system. That’s the only drawback is that the amount of work might be considered unimportant when put next to other tasks, especially since hunters got a lot of love in Warlords of Draenor with the Lone Wolf spec and spirit beast quest.

  26. I was just thinking the other day that it would be nice if a pet could interact more with the hunter. If you /pet they could physically respond in some way (roll on its back, for example). I’d like to see more than just constantly standing idle next to you. Love the play dead glyph. Would be cool if the hunter went AFK to have the pet respond in some way as well. Just some additional thoughts. Love the post ☺

  27. I can only say that this is a brilliant idea, and that I will pitch this on the official EU forums (I will, of course, refer to this article and to Bendak as the – to the best of my knowledge – source of this idea). Just in the hope that some Blizz official might catch the post and have his or her interest sparked…

    I hadn’t thought about it in a while, but as a hunter who also happened to be around from day 1 of Vanilla, reading about how the pet mini-game used to be (the pet loyalty, leveling, diet managing, etc.) brought back a lot of feelings, all good ones. I know it was a chore, and honestly I don’t recall whether it aggrevated me back then or no, but it ALSO brought me a sense of joy and pride over my pet as well as making them seem so much more meaningful to me.

    Unfortunately today if it’s not the rarest of spirit beasts, it simple seems pointless. Even if it’s skin is cool. So I whole-heartedly support the idea of bringing the hunters of Azeroth closer to their pets, one way or another 🙂

  28. Please someone could just post this link in the appropiate forums? (I’m in EU and the appropiate people don’t look too much over the suggestions posted there)

    I fins this ideas just…beautifull.

  29. I do like the idea, though I am new to the game(well only joined in wrath) I realised as time went by My real life comes first. If I have to be away for work for weeks in the end and have no access to wow well, there goes all the effort and the thrill of chasing down rare pets. If you log on to wow every day, it’s a great idea of bringing back the loyalty and lvling idea but for a lot of people we need to look at reality and longevity of the idea. I don’t mind the cosmetic changes or even doing quests to open up ability to choose buffs or special abilities for your chosen pets. It should make chasing down those pets again more exciting and be able to make certain pets to have certain abilities relevant to you.

    I am not being a negative person but we have to look at what is relevant now not how good it felt back ‘good old days’

  30. I really, really love this idea. As a dedicated WoW player since Wrath (and envious spectator of friends and family before that), I think it meshes really well with the current game mechanics. Selectable special abilities are honestly debatable in my opinion; I could go either way on that. The biggest draw for me is the cosmetics, especially stuff like the pet emotes. Hunter has always been and will always be my favorite class, and having a pet is a huge aspect of that for me. I tamed my beloved Nightsaber Stalker at level 10, named him Tsumori, and he hasn’t left Kyncia’s side since. I’ve honestly tried replacing him with “better” or “rarer” creatures as my level rose, but I just couldn’t do it in the end. Tsumori is Kyncia’s partner, and he used to be her “Best Friend” too (in my mind, he still is!).

    I was really quite sad to see the interactivity between player and pet basically disappear. I’m fully willing to admit that they were a pain to manage, but I honestly would prefer the return of the old loyalty/happiness system to what there is now, which is pretty much nothing. I want my pet to respond when I treat him a certain way. I want him to react positively when I take care of him, and negatively when I neglect him. I used to feel genuine remorse when I accidentally let Tsumori die; now I can spam my revival spell with no consequences, in-game or otherwise. I want to feel like I really have a living being beside me, who I can bond with as a partner (and who also needs to be fed every once in a while), not just a minion that follows me around because it’s programmed to.

    Your system doesn’t give me all of that, of course, but I’m willing to accept that I’m the minority in terms of wanting realistic interactivity with a pack of pixels on a screen. I can scale back my expectations and be more than happy with something like this, something entirely cosmetic that doesn’t really affect how my pet behaves in-game but still provides me with the illusion that he does. To be honest, I think the emotes are my favorite feature out of all of the ones listed. I was the kind of player that would go through the trouble of /praising or /petting my companion after he made a particularly tough kill or saved me from a mob. Having some kind of pet emote to react to that (“Tsumori purrs contentedly”; “Tsumori blinks at you appreciatively”; “Tsumori seems to want more praise!”; etc.) would honestly be enough to keep me playing this game for a long time.

    I’m going to take this a step further: What if there were a different set of cosmetic features/bonuses/interactions for players that didn’t want to bond with one single pet, like me, but wanted to switch between several different ones? There could be a “familial” or “pack” aspect to that style that the one-on-one time with a single pet wouldn’t provide. Maybe certain (but very minor) buffs could be applied to a strong bond with one pet versus a collective bond with several pets. I’m still brainstorming ways for this to work as far as game mechanics go, but conceptually, I think it would be really neat.

    But as far as your current system goes, I think it’s safe to say I’m all for it. Get on it, Blizzard!

  31. !!!
    I love this. A lot. I really missed the loyalty and the taming-quests-for-newbies. It bring back a little spirit of the class, I think.

  32. I reread this today, and feel just as strongly as I did the first read- IT’S A GREAT IDEA! Now how do we get Blizzard to listen?

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