The only pet that matters is the one you can sell. Discuss.

You can expect an update on my Pet Battling Adventures later today, but I’m going to start this morning with what I think is going to be a more significant development. I’m pretty certain I’ve thrown around the much-overused ‘game-changer’ phrase in relation to this new mini game. I’ve heard it referred to as a profession in certain circles over the last week and I’m beginning to realise that description is more apt than I first grasped. The potential to make a living via this medium is potentially limitless. This could be a full-time job ^^

I am already seeing reports of pet sales on the increase in the game as it stands, presumably as people start realising the nature of the battling beast. However pets on Live right now are vastly different animals to the ones used for battling. The key is two-fold, and involves both numbers and colours.

You can capture up to three of the same pet. This is significant.

There are a number of key factors to consider in the process of pet capture:

  • As you can see from the screenie, you can hold up to three copies of the same pet. 
  • A wild pet, when captured, will be assigned a random rarity value (which is illustrated with the colour of the box around the pet portrait)
  • A wild pet will retain the level which it was captured with

What does a rarity value bring to a pet?

So, with a different colour comes more possibilities…

As you can hold three copies of the same animal, any battler would be worth their while fighting multiples of the same potential addition, to keep the one with the best quality for levelling. That could leave an awful lot of ‘spares’ for AH sale. What also needs to be considered is whether, once the system goes live, there will two ‘types’ of pets in the game world: the ones that you can only obtain via Pet Battling and the 200 plus pets that existed before the concept was introduced. Some of those inside the system we know are excluded from trading, but many aren’t.

The key issues to consider therefore are:

  • Rarity value of Wild Pets
  • Rarity value of ‘existing’ pets
  • Level of pet itself
  • Significantly, an attractive combination of the above

This may have a direct bearing on those people actively stockpiling pets for resale once the game goes ‘live’, especially as Blizzard have confirmed that any multiples of pets you may have on alts will be ‘refunded’ to you once Pandaria appears, and will be deposited in your bags or left in your mailbox. What is as yet unclear (because my pet battles do not allow me to use any pets other than the ones I have collected via battling or I had waiting for me via the mailbox) is what level/rarity all the other existing pets will have once you begin the game live. It would be logical to assume everyone will start at level one in a personal collection, but what will happen to pets that are still BoE? Will they have a level assigned to them? Could there be a distinction between pet types and will rarity be reflected in the BoE population?

Certainly the Argent Tournament pets, for instance, which are blue quality as of Live, should logically retain their colour (and by definition faster levelling abilities) come Pandaria. Suddenly the Hyacinth Wing Macaw (the only Epic pet drop so far in game) could garner significant additional value… but I’m betting it would be worth so much more when maximum levelled by a judicious trainer before being placed on the AH, and suddenly a new possibility presents itself. You don’t want to sell ‘raw’ pets on the AH any more: you will want to train them first before they are caged and put up for auction, because after the chaos of the first few months dies down the real value will be in the time you take to make a simple pet worth something far more. An investment in time will genuinely pay dividends for those collecting the coins.

If, like me, you are one of the people stockpiling pets for sale come Pandaria, it might be time to consider an addition of a new alt to your family: not one who’ll gather or make items via Professions, but one who’s sole job is to train. With achievements and pet levels working across an entire Battle.net account it might well be the moment to give a dedicated character the task of managing this new (potential) income stream. Sadly I doubt you’ll be able to name them Ash… though Ketchum was available on my server and is now taken… :D

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