In a post tonight, Nimox talks to players about how pets work in WoW, including the changes in WoW’s history, primarily aimed at Hunters.
Pets’ identities are important, as is the fact that they are unique. These are two objectives that are in a way opposed to each other. Turtles are necessarily an armored and robust creature. Cats are often agile and graceful creatures. Foxes are generally smart and cunning. Although the pets are not designed according to reality, it is necessary that the pet families are different. There are many families in all three categories, and things are probably not quite balanced when it comes to abilities. Could it be better? Most likely. Would it be better if these were exactly the same and just looked different? Maybe. Is the turtle you are up against a tough turtle or secretly a turtle with deadly wounds? At the moment we know the answer.
Hati, from Artifact Beast Mastery, was a unique situation. Many players choose a particular pet sheet type for the character used. Artifacts had a lot of visual alignment. Introducing another pet with a distinct wolf appearance to all Beast Mastery Hunters for the entire expansion was not something the developers wanted, hence the Essence Swap as a solution. The ‘other pet’ feature was kept with the Animal Companion talent, so you can select this via your barn.
With regard to Animal Companion, there is a known issue where this talent reduces the damage to all your pets and other summoned devices instead of only reducing the damage to your other pet. Animal Companion will be maintained and this issue will be fixed so that other abilities that summon pets no longer create bad synergies. No details regarding the arrival of this change.
The difficulty of using Resurrect Pet and Dismiss Pet is a deliberate change and the developers are not planning any adjustments at this time. For a while, the solution for parts of the game was to tame 5 pets, do some things where your pet would die, drop it and summon another pet again and then tame 5 pets later. Dismissing a pet was instantaneous and this ability now has a 3 second cast. Your pets are not meant to be disposable items, at least for hunters – Warlocks and Death Knights have certain mechanics they steal from their pets, but it matches their identities. You need to worry about the pets you use and worry about keeping them alive.
Developers are always looking to improve the trails for players and pets and make things smarter and easier to use. This is an ongoing process for the game as a whole. The team discusses pet issues during meetings where players are teleported or forced to move around a lot. Developers play classes with pets and understand these frustrating elements. There is no simple solution, players move in very complicated ways, use a lot of tools to do it, and the team does not want pets to seem to float or teleport all the time.
Pets are an important part of the identity of hunters, wizards and knights of death (and magicians). The team wants to improve these, add new ones and do cool things for them and their respective classes.