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Archive for November 20th, 2009

Further Ruminations on WoW Petgate 2009: We’re All Obsessive Collective Huntards

Pokemon is 13 years old.  (Does that make you feel old?)

I think it’s a fair guess to say that the Collector gene is strong in the Pokemon generation of gamers, largely spurred by that pesky Pokedex.  “Gotta catch ’em all”, after all.

As Spinks rightly notes, why isn’t this capitalized on in WoW?  There’s Petopia for Hunters and their collections, and WarcraftPets for everyone with noncombat pets.  There is obviously interest in these little critters, so much so that Blizzard has monetized it directly.

Guild Wars has the Zaishen Menagerie where Rangers can show off the critters they have gathered.  It’s not unprecedented to have this sort of place to show off a collection in a very visual way.

Why isn’t there something like this in WoW?  You’re either stuck with a third party site (WarcraftPets is awesome, but not incorporated in-game), five Hunter stalls, or one paltry minipet you can have out at one time.  It just seems like a missed opportunity for those who collect in order to show their collection.  (And the absence of such a function is one reason why it just doesn’t add up that pets are all about showing off, at least from a dev perspective.)

Maybe it’s on the list… right after player housing.

Disclosure:  My “main” in WoW is indeed a Hunter.  (My other main is a Druid, conveniently able to personally change into critters…)  I love the ability to go out in the wild world and train some beastie and make it part of my character’s approach to the game.  If there were a collector function in-game to track which critters I’ve tamed (even after I’ve let them go), it would scratch my Achiever and Explorer itches in equal measure, and I’d be a happy Nesingwary understudy.  I don’t particularly need the ability to show that checklist off to someone else, but as long as it’s being tracked, why not make it public for those who do want to show off?

So when I say “we’re all Huntards”, I use the term not as a pejorative, but rather, pulling an Aikido on The Man’s epithet as the anarchistic player that I am, thumbing my nose at those who would have the temerity to suggest that I’m “doing it wrong”.  And really, are we not all hunters of some sort in the game anyway?  We hunt Epics, Achievements, reputation dings or maybe just moments of transcendental fun.  Whatever it is, if we’re not looking for something in the game, or hunting to get something out of our time with it, why bother playing?

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