Hunters can tame a lot of things, we’re really spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting a pet. We have many looks to choose from, many raid buffs to choose from, and even a choice about which pet spec to bring for the same raid buff. But there are still things I wish I could tame that I just can’t, and probably never will be able to either, some for very good reasons. Still, I can dream, right?
I’ve loved frogs for as long as I can remember. When I was 4 my parents moved to a big property in the mountains and we had a creek which flowed through our back yard. Every summer I would be down there, finding all sorts of creatures, turtles, yabbies (Australian fresh water crayfish), trout, but most of all I found frogs. There were hundreds of them. We lived there for a few years, and but we moved to another place that backed on to a nature reserve. We had a swimming pool, and every morning I would scoop out the frogs that had got stuck in it over night. There were a lot of different kinds, I think I found about twenty different species over the years, including one which was presumed extinct in the region (that actually caused a lot of issues, a local developer had to stop a large construction near the reserve…. he wasn’t happy about it and he let us know).
So, frogs are special to me.
Frogs are freaking awesome. First off, once they’ve grown out of their tadpole phase, they are almost exclusively predators, some even eat prey as large as mice, birds, and snakes. SNAKES! Frogs have a full 360 degree vision field, some can jump over 300 times their own body length, and some frogs are among the most toxic creatures on the planet. Frogs are freaking bad ass, and as the bad assest class in the game, we deserve to be able to have them hop along side us into battle. I’d picture them bringing along a pretty decent poison style raid buff, too. Maybe something along the lines of a rogue poison?
Sadly, I don’t see it happening. When it comes to wow, frogs are pretty thin on the ground. Sure, there’s a bunch of companion pets and a couple of critters out in the world, but there aren’t any 50 foot fire breathing old god corrupted frog bosses, or even level appropriate mobs. None.
Which is a real shame. Sure, there’s Murlocs who are vaguely frog-like, but it’s an easy argument to describe them as fish-people as it is to describe them as frog-people. It’s not the same. Blizzard just hasn’t gone there. Yet. Maybe there’s hope in Mists of Panderia?
Why tame just one thing when you could tame a whole SWARM of things? Afflict your enemies with a thousand stings of your bee minions! A horde of ants crawling over the skin of your foes! A plague of rats nipping crawling inside the armour of your adversary! Nine hundred killer wasps! Many creatures live in huge communities, and individually these animals are minor pests, but together they are dangerous. Unless you’re allergic, a single bee is unlikely to cause more than a painful sting, but aggravate a bee’s nest and you could easily wind up dead. Swarms of locusts plague farmers all around the world every year.
There are swarms in wow, the silithid are a great example of a massive insectiod community, and fortunately we can tame individual members of the group. Sci Fi would have us believe that the conciousness of these creatures is more than just that of a just a single bug, there’s a hive mind that is shared among the group. What if we could tame the entire group? Those who have read Terry Pratchett’s book Lords and Ladies will be familiar with the concept.
As much as I love the idea, it’s too far out of left field to really be put into the game. Still, it’d be awesome to have your very own bee army… or cockroach, or locust, or mouse, or scarab, or….
….whatever those things are. I’ll have that.
Murlocs (and Gorlocs)
Murlocs are among the most loved and most hated creatures in the game, but they have a certain charisma that I find irresistible. On one hand they’re fierce, cunning, killing machines who hunt in packs, defending their patch of shoreline with deadly skill, on the other they’re sho kewt! They’d make a great pet, but I honestly can’t say why. They just would, okay?
The main reason this will never happen is that they’re too smart. It’d be like taming an dwarf. Murloc’s have societies (albeit primitive), they have a guttural language, they have a culture of sorts, they use simple tools, and they even simple dwellings, which makes them at least as civilised and intelligent as my neighbours (who I would argue lack some of these things, but I digress). We’re much more likely to see them as a player race than as a hunter pet, which is fine by me, as long as they can be hunters! There’s precedent for that, too.
I’m sure there’s a yo dawg I heard you like X joke in here somewhere.
We have engineers make us companion pets, why not deadly fighting pets too? It wouldn’t be hard, just reweaponise the de-weaponised mechanical companion. Maybe with a taser, or shooting acid from its eyes, or launching balls of exploding shrapnel from its mouth… I’m sure the goblins would make something fiendishly clever and totally safe*.
Something like this, except with more spikes.
This idea isn’t new, the guys at the Hunting Party Podcast have been going on about it for ages, and I honestly cant see any reason why it couldn’t happen. You wouldn’t even need to make a new pet species, you could just have an engineer crafted version of each existing type of pet.
*not safe at all.
I realise we’re treading on the toes of shamans here, but screw them. They take tier tokens and agility mail that rightfully belong in the hands of hunters. Even if we want to split hairs and wonder if they’re elementals more than they are beasts we’ve dabbled in that area before and I don’t see any shamans running around with them. So, new type of hunter pet called Elemental Beasts, exotic, and on par with a spirit beast in terms of rareness, difficulty to tame, and abilities? I vote aye, good sir.
Case in point: charhounds. Not only do I want to be able to tame them, but I want to have two at once, and name them Riplimb and Rageface. I’d then whack them every day with a flaming rolled up newspaper while wearing the decapited head of their former master like a hat. Rageface would be whacked twice on Tuesday. /bitter. Seriously though, they look amazing, and I want them.
From a design point of view there is almost, almost, a precedent for this: casters got to keep Tarecgosa as a mount on the legendary quest for the caster stick. Which is cool. Good for them.
A hunter pet is a different game though, the dragon wouldn’t just be ferrying us around (or turning us into it, or whatever), as a pet it’d be fighting along side us… cool! Thing is, its too cool. I just don’t see it ever happening, because it’s mean one of two things, either our DPS would be OFF THE CHARTS or the dragon would be weaksauce and hit like a wet noodle compared to what we should expect a dragon to do. Dragons are supposed to be some of the strongest creatures in the game. They’re not in the same league as wolves and panthers.
Again, this idea has been brought up before. There’s been talk that we should be able to tame one as a legendary pet, but the only way I can see it being balanced is if the dragon is severely weakened in some way, and that doesn’t feel right to me. I’d rather have no dragon at all than shame dragonkind with a crap dragon.