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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.