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Big Changes Coming to Pet Battles
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Big Changes Coming to Pet Battles
2019-11-16 02:17:18
PET NEWS - BY DRAGONSAFTERDARK
Earlier, there was a blue post on the Visions of N'Zoth & Pet Battle forums regarding some changes we'll be seeing in 8.3 and beyond. The EU link can be found here.

From Kaivax:

Hello pet battlers!

We’ve seen some discussion around pet battle changes coming in Visions of N’Zoth, and we’d like to discuss those, as well as changes we currently have planned for a future content update.

The Weather Outside is Fight-ful

Weather effects have always been intended to slightly change the rules of pet battles. Sandstorm is great against pets that do weaker attacks, Sunlight is great for healing abilities, and Cleansing Rain is great for aquatic abilities. However, Mudslide and Blizzard both fell by the wayside in terms of being impactful or rule-changing outcomes. So in Visions of N’Zoth, both of these weather effects are being updated with new added effects in addition to their existing effects:

  • Blizzard

Now also increases all elemental ability damage by 25%.

  • Mudslide

Now also increases all critical damage dealt by 25%.

To be really clear about the Mudslide change: Critical strikes usually hit for 150% of normal damage. Mudslide will now increase that to 175% of normal damage.

We’ve also been thinking for a while that we should add a new weather type to the game, so Visions of N’Zoth will also introduce a new weather type: Toxic Fumes. This deals Dragonkin damage to the current enemy pet and applies the Toxic Fumes weather effect.

  • Toxic Fumes

Increases the duration of all hostile damage over time effects by 1 round.

All pets are considered Poisoned while Toxic Fumes is active.


Max No More

In Visions of N’Zoth, all of the new outdoor pet battle World Quests in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossoms will scale their level to match the highest level pet currently slotted on your team, instead of always being a level 25 enemy pet. This will also be the case for Nazjatar and Mechagon – all of the pet battle World Quests there are being updated. You can check them all out with a team of three level 1 pets!


Stat Changes

In Visions of N’Zoth, we’re also changing how percent-damage reduction abilities stack with each other. Currently, if you’re fighting a pet like Unit 17 in Mechagon (a Boss pet that passively takes 50% less damage), and Unit 17 uses Crouch, Unit 17 becomes immune to damage because the two 50% damage reduction effects are added to each other. In Visions of N’Zoth, the plan is to cap damage reduction at -75%. Using Unit 17 as an example, while Crouch is active, it will take 75% reduced damage instead of 100% reduced damage. This will smooth out the challenge with some enemy bosses.

Please note that abilities like Dodge or Deflection will continue to avoid all damage. Those will not be impacted by this change.


What the Future Holds

In a future update, we’re targeting a number of balance changes we want to make, which will amount to lowering the effectiveness of some pets and strategies. Again, these changes will not be happening in Visions of N’Zoth, but we wanted to give you ample warning time that changes are coming. While we don’t have specific numbers or details to share right now, here are some examples of abilities that we’re going to take a close look at:

  • Black Claw and similar abilities that increase damage taken by a flat amount.
  • Hunting Party and similar abilities such as Flock.
  • The Shattered Defenses debuff effect from abilities such as Hunting Party or Flock.
  • Any large percent-damage-taken or percent-damage-dealt buffs or debuffs.
  • Twilight Meteorite and similar long-cooldown damage-splitting abilities.
  • The Jar of Smelly Liquid ability.
  • Hermit Crab


Of course that last one isn’t an ability, but Hermit Crab incorrectly has a higher stat budget than it should, and it will have its stats reduced to bring it in line with other similar pets.


A goal we have when making many new pet battle World Quests or encounters is to create puzzles that players can counter and “solve”-- ideally with the option to use a variety of pets and tools to do so. When a few pets have such strong synergies that they can deal massive damage in just a few rounds and almost trivially beat these enemies, it becomes problematic. Do we make new challenges only beatable by the highest damage combos, or do we make them generally solveable and therefore immediately smashed by massive damage?

We don’t want to ruin the feel of combination abilities, so we aren’t going to make Black Claw no longer interact with Hunting Party or Flock, but we want to make sure these abilities are dealing appropriate damage. And we want to make sure that secondary effects such as Shattered Defenses are being accounted for with regards to balance.

When we have further specifics, we will be sure to let you know.



In addition to the post above, Kaivax also responded to concerns regarding old content, and the potential ability nerfs:

19 November 19: We’ll do our best to make sure older Achievements are still able to be completed after the changes, even if that means we need to change some of the Tanaan Jungle, Argus, and Battle for Azeroth pet battle challenges to make them somewhat easier.

I think it’s also worth noting that the sample future changes I listed in the OP were the most-impactful examples we’ve thought of. I’m sure we’ll also take this opportunity to find pets/abilities/combos that we can buff at the same time.



What say you, pet community? Do you think this will be an overall good change for pet battles, or will it be more harmful than helpful?






6 Comments (EN)

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Raba#2893

wrote on 12/07/2019

Penguins with belly slide will be stronger than Trunks combos or am I missing something?
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Berendain

wrote on 11/17/2019

"Mudslide

Now also increases all critical damage dealt by 25%."

Coastal Bounder croaks in excitement. [The only pet with Mudslide and Rain Dance, so far.] (edited)
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Alayea

wrote on 11/17/2019

(Disclaimer: PTR is PTR, the future is the future, etc. Moving along...)

I don't like the manner in which they're eyeing certain pet abilities and their corresponding effects. I'll accept nerfs to them if -- and only if -- Blizzard does something about the circumstances which necessitated using such strats. And given past experience in this expansion alone, you'll have to forgive my low expectations. (edited)
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Beornwulf#2324

wrote on 11/16/2019

actually, given there are these sweeping changes coming up, is there a way to flag which ruleset a given strategy was created under? will help with people trying to use old strats when they don't necessarily work the same way
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DragonsAfterDark

wrote on 11/17/2019

I believe Aranesh has something in the works to tag strats that will be impacted by the changes. :)
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Remte

wrote on 11/16/2019

The way the notes are written makes me think there is still much left to speculation, and for a reason. But for all awesomeness of Xu-fu's I think I will leave it for somewhere else ^^

EDIT: The EU link is:
https://eu.forums.blizzard.com/en/wow/t/pet-battles-in-visions-of-n-zoth/104421/ :) (edited)
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Beornwulf#2324

wrote on 11/16/2019

Hopefully it'll lead to some diversity in useful pets for things. I just hope it's tested enough that some older fights don't become impossible...
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DragonsAfterDark

wrote on 11/16/2019

I have to agree. There are some bosses that, without Shattered Defenses, may be incredibly difficult/nigh impossible. Some of the Argus fights come to mind, or the new dungeon.
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Shenk

wrote on 11/16/2019

blizzard not testing stuff is a big worry
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DragonsAfterDark

wrote on 11/16/2019

Yes, I feel like they'll tailor stuff to these changes in Shadowlands, maybe BfA, but we'll be left holding the buck for previous expansions.
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stoo wrote on 11/18/2019

My guess is their response to a lack of balance in older fights will be "it scales now, just use a level 1 pet".
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Remte

wrote on 11/18/2019

Okay, but what about MoP fights? They will not scale. And I don't think they will have anything else than the existing damage prevention. :S
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Alayea

wrote on 11/18/2019

@stoo: And if Blizzard cited that reasoning, it would be utterly dumb. It would punish those who have leveled all their pets (contravening a core tenet). It would punish everyone in general because those low-level pets will eventually not be low-level (unless there's a "stop XP" for pets that I'm unaware of). Does having to fish for certain level 1 pets so you can do a fight that's otherwise broken sound like fun?

We've had pet battling for four expansions so far, and already the system is showing problems with the differing design choices made over the years. It's why I really wish Blizzard would hold off on making any major changes until Patch 9.0, which itself would hopefully deliver a system update. (edited)
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Remte

wrote on 11/19/2019

Only the elite protection cap, scaling, and weather changes come in 8.3. The rest describes a more distant future.