Right after BlizzCon, Jeremy “Muffinus” Feasel tweeted that there were hints “somewhere on the internet” about a new Hunter pet family revealed at BlizzCon. Many Hunters, including myself, looked for this hint but couldn’t find anything. I was pretty sure I had watched all of the BlizzCon interviews and read most of the articles, but I was wrong. Cernunnos over at Petopia finally found it. It was buried away in a video interview done by BlizzPro that hasn’t had many views up until now.
The relevant part is at the 12-minute mark. The new family isn’t given a name, but producer Michael Bybee revealed that once Hunters unlock their class mount in patch 7.2, they’ll also unlock the ability to tame “beasts with wings” such as gryphons.
That’s all the info we’ve got, but I think it’s safe to assume that if it includes gryphons it will also include hippogryphs. Maybe wyverns, too? Pterrordax’s are also winged beasts, but they’re not feathered, so I’m not sure about those. One could also speculate that whatever species the Hunter mount represents could also be a new type of flying beast in 7.2 or later. This family probably won’t be exotic since Survival and Marksmanship will want to take advantage of this as well.
Currently there is only one gryphon skin used for wild beasts, and it’s the old vanilla model. Back in Mists of Pandaria they added new gryphon models, but never used them anywhere besides mounts, so maybe they’ll add those in somewhere? There’s also several colors of gryphon in the game files that aren’t used anywhere yet, including a spectral one. For hippogryphs, there’s quite a few in the game already, including new ones added in Legion. Wain at Petopia has a gallery of all the potential gryphons and hippogryhs here.
New families are exciting, but I hope Blizzard is going to do something about the inconsistency with Hunter pet special abilities sometime soon. We still have about half of the families with nothing at all, including really cool families like Mechanicals. I’m sure this new winged beast family could be given something cool. Perhaps another family that gives blood lust because they flap their wings so hard it speeds up everyone’s casting? 😛