Alright, I know some of you don’t give a crap about class fantasy. That’s fine, but this post probably doesn’t concern you. This post concerns the Hunters like me who camp rare pets for days on end and agonize over the naming of their pets. I’m not going to be talking about mechanics or numbers here, I’m going to talk about what I think is wrong with Beast Mastery on a more aesthetic level.
I like the gameplay direction Beast Mastery is headed from a fantasy perspective. Summoning pets as a rotational ability? Awesome. Permanent second pet? Double awesome. Here’s the problem: Summoning pets alone is not why I like playing this type of Hunter. I like summoning my own pets, the ones I spent hours, days, weeks, months, or even years acquiring. Not just random beasts from the wild.
We’re all familiar with Dire Beast. It summons a beast appropriate to the zone you’re in when you cast it. I never thought much of it because it was a talent on a longer cooldown. In Legion, you are using this ability every 10 seconds or less. You see these pets constantly, especially since Dire Beasts now spawn beside you and charge into the target.
I get that Blizzard’s intention is for the Hunter to call on the aid of wild beasts wherever they are, but I have 4 extra and perfectly fine pets already on me. Why can’t there be an option for Dire Beast to randomly pick from one of my 4 other active pets? Then I can assemble a team of my favorites, and literally all 5 of them can see action.
Having one of my own pets temporarily help me is way cooler than a random cat or monkey I have no attachment to whatsoever. I’m sure some people like the random “from the wild” aspect, so that’s why all it needs is a glyph. Something like this:
Glyph of the Stable Master: Your Dire Beast ability now calls upon one of your unused active pets.
Please, Blizzard! I’m begging you here!
Update (Feb 17)
Blizzard has responded to the community’s Dire Beast feedback. They are adding a glyph in a future alpha patch to let us use our own pets for Dire Beast! Celestalon responded to a post in the forums to announce it:
Since Beast Mastery has been unlocked, this has been the strongest point of feedback, and we’ve heard you, loud and clear.
Coming soon will be a glyph that makes Dire Beast summon your stabled pets, instead of random area-themed beasts. We’re also considering a talent that replaces Dire Beast with a new shot, and are interested in feedback and ideas on that concept.
Great news! It doesn’t address all of the concerns but it addresses a big one for me. Thanks for listening, Blizzard.
Stampede has changed in Legion. Now it summons random beasts that charge forward and hit anything in their path, and it only lasts about 10 seconds. I suspect part of the reason for this change is to reduce melee clutter in raids. Having 5 pets per Hunter for 40 seconds at a time (plus now more with Hati and Dire Beasts) could get out of hand.
Fine, I’ll accept that. I’ll even say I think this new Stampede looks pretty cool in action. Also, because of the way it works with spawning several waves of beasts, it probably wouldn’t make much sense to use our other active pets since that would mean our pets are teleporting back before every wave.
There is another option though: Have Stampede pull pets from our STABLE, not our active pet list. How cool would that be? Then we get to see even more of our pets in action. This is the type of thing that screams Beast Mastery to me. Being able to use all of the pets I’ve collected over the years. Finally, a reason to stable 50 pets. A new Stampede every time.
Since Stampede is a 3 minute cooldown, I am less concerned about it than I am of Dire Beast. If Stampede stays fully random, I’m not going to be too broken up over it (there’s at least other talents). But I still think pulling beasts from our stable would make this talent about 50x more awesome.
Hati is a tough one. Once you play the Titanstrike artifact quest, you’ll realize there’s a reason why it’s Hati specifically. Hati is part of the gun itself, not really a pet you’ve tamed. It’s a neat idea, but there are a few problems I see with it:
- Hati uses an 8-year-old model and texture. It looks pretty dated for a new and shiny artifact. Even a lightning version of a Draenor wolf model would be better IMO.
- Will it look weird having every single BM Hunter with the same pet?
- Some Hunters don’t like wolves, and they will be forced to use one for an entire expansion if they want to keep playing BM.
I’m one of the few who like this particular brand of wolf, my main issue being the dated visuals that really stand out against modern character models and modern pet models. We’re talking about a model that some artist made back in 2007/2008 before WOTLK was released. Back when WoW had stricter system requirements.
- Option 1: Deal with it. Hati is an important part of the Titanstrike lore and we won’t be making a new model for her.
- Option 2: Use a more modern wolf model, or make a new model for Hati (this could still happen since we’re so early in development).
- Option 3: Have a different Hati beast form for every style of the artifact. This way, you could at least swap to different artifact look and have Hati take on the form of another beast. For example, have one as a cat, one as a bird, etc. Don’t like that particular artifact model? At least you can transmog over it.
- Option 4: Let Hati take on the form of one of our own pets. After all, it’s just Hati’s spirit inhabiting Titanstrike, so taking on another physical form isn’t completely out of the question. Maybe add a ghost or electrical effect to sell it better?
At the very least, I hope the dated looking graphics for Hati are addressed. Better would be customization options, even if they were limited (like option 3). Option 4 is more complicated because there are no glyphs for an artifact, only abilities. So there would have to be some kind of interface to enable this or select a pet to use in Hati’s place.
I would feel a lot better with the change to Dire Beast alone, but I hope Blizzard considers all of these points. I spent a decade building up my current pet collection. If Beast Mastery is going to be using more pets, let it be my pets.
Addendum: Just to clarify, your main pet is NOT changing. It can still be anything you want. A few people got the wrong idea from my post. The reason I am making such a big deal is because these secondary pets get nearly as much screen time as your main pet. They are huge parts of the spec in Legion. I feel like Blizzard has forgotten that we are beast tamers. We should be using the pets we have tamed and bonded with, not temporary and disposable beasts.