So, it’s no secret that I play World of Warcraft. The first patch for Mists of Pandaria was released yesterday and I could easily go into huge diatribes on how neat it is. But I won’t.
Instead I want to tell you about something else, a different obsession that I am proud to admit. Making small pets (and orphans?!) fight to the death!
Ok, so Wow-kemon isn’t perfect to any extent, but I found it a pleasant distraction from the usual MMO grind. It feels separate but not just shoehorned in like a lot of people would expect it to be. Let’s talk turkey for a moment here.
The reason why I like this battle-pet system is because it remains simplistic. This is not the Pokemon MMO after all. This is a simplified facsimile. Strength and weaknesses, when regarding types, is kept refreshingly basic in that it only determines how much damage you take. This means your type dictates what moves you take extra / less damage from. There is also a uniform ability that every battle pet gets for being that type.
When you bring a pet to the table, you simply need to know what moves will ruin its day. It helps to know the extra effects, but they are in the tool tips for people with goldfish like memory. The lack of type scaling also makes bad matchups seem less dire.
In Pokemon it was less beneficial to have something have moves that didn’t match its type because a move used by the same type would get a 50% power boost for having the type match. Also there were dual type Pokemon that potentially left you vulnerable to taking 4x as much damage against certain types. This ends up feeling a lot like the ‘simplicity’ of Cat Druid DPS.
It helps that the catching and training can be done on any character. It’s pretty amusing that your battle pet can be higher level than you are.
I am not, however, telling anyone to run out and get a Mists of Pandaria account for the first coming of the Pokemon MMO. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it was Nintendo itself that green lighted Blizzard to add battle pets… It has happened before.
This may be the first step of Nintendo’s indoctrination of the world. They might have used this clever facsimile to see how much interest a PokeMMO would garner.
As far as the actual fighting goes, it’s pretty vanilla. Turn based, simple interface, and responsive. There is a forfeit option that works at all times and other wow events get priority over the battles. If you’re in a dungeon que it just yanks you out of the fight with no hesitation. Assuming you click the “Enter Dungeon” button. Speaking of ques, it keeps up the blizzard tradition of fair and unbiased ques.
It’s a diversion. You can que to play against someone else with your current team. Its completely anonymous and it’s better for it. However it reminds me that an entire game based on this would be very, very, shallow without mind numbing complexity of variables that Pokemon has. Even then a world full of people completely obsessed with catching and enslaving beasts is the very definition of shallow and need to be taken with a grain of salt.
At least with battle pets they are all of comparable size.
Til’ next time!