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Non-Permanent Pets

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Dark Cleric
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Non-Permanent Pets

I was thinking about pets and the relationship between their power levels and how many you have. Obviously the more you can get, the less powerful they become, else you get OP with your own little team.

I think a temporary pet summoning build would be pretty awesome. With a long recharge time, you can summon either a very strong pet for a short period of time, one or two medium power pets for a medium amount of time, or a gang of weaker pets for a longer period of time. I would imagine a build like this would necessitate a few things; non pet powers would get a little boost in normal power to make up for the majority of the time not having a pet(s), probably a defensive power set as your secondary power.

There are other games, like WoW, that allow characters that would normally have a pet to 'sacrifice' their pet for more power. I think it is the Hunter class where if you are a MM you get 17% increased damage or something like that for sacrificing your pet.

I think it would be fun to try this out a year or two after launch.

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TheInternetJanitor
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Temporary pets can be

Temporary pets can be interesting but generally need to have significant power and cooldown in order to distinguish them. The actual effect they bring can be almost anything from offense, defense, control, support, and any mix of those. They just need to feel like they made a big impact in the fight when you press that button similar to other "supermove" abilities. If they are not treated as "supermove" abilities then you risk getting into a situation where they either have a high uptime (in which case you might as well make them permanent and balance them around that) or with a low impact low cooldown they are basically no different from a regular move but with all the inherent effort it takes to work with an extra entity. At that point you might as well just have a regular "hold" or "fireball" or whatever power and just change the graphic to be a horde of little monsters.

There are some good examples of ways to get around this if the pet provides something unique, and this usually means it doesn't act like a traditional "pet". If the summon is a wall or sticky pile of tar or some other "stage hazard" type summon that allows players to change the battlefield itself then having it be temporary is ideal and fun. These are essentially control powers at that point but provide very interesting ways for players to cleverly create situational advantages. Usually this means taking advantage of preplaced corners or doorways in order to control movement and line of sight, since creating a wall in a big empty space just means baddies walk around it. This can be mitigated in various ways by changing the behavior of those wall summons, which I am almost certain CoT is already planning on doing. Things like having walls that add a high miss chance and/or damage reduction to range attacks to targets on the other side but allow movement, for example, or walls that knockback when things try to walk through them, can still be useful in a wide open area since the enemies will not try to walk around them.

If you have an entire power set built around nothing but temporary pets then you are going to end up with most of them functioning almost identically to similar non-pet powers or you are going to end up waiting between fights until all your cooldowns are up again to bury the next fight in pets. You could do it, but it would be difficult to make such a character feel unique, balanced, and fun. Since the game will have aesthetic decoupling in theory we will be able to make most powers look like a "temporary pet" so they have to really have a unique function, especially if your whole class is built around that idea.

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I saw the title, and all I

I saw the title, and all I could envision is Lassie suddenly clutching her heart and keeling over...and a traumatic little Timmy.

Timmy: "Whats that girl? The kidnappers are where?"
Lassie: "Urg! Arrrg! Ruff! Ahhhhhhhhh!"
Timmy: Noooooo! Lassie!

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A neat idea would be a

A neat idea would be a chargeable/interruptible summon power. Before half-way it'd summon multiple weaker minions, half-way and up would summon a pair of medium strength minions, and fully charging it would summon one big strong minion.

That way the summoner can choose what they want for any given situation, and/or get forced to have something they didn't want because of poor planning.

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TheInternetJanitor
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I love the idea of having

I love the idea of having output, cost, time to cast, and recharge affected by a charge up mechanic. It means powers can effectively have 2 or more powers built into them and gives more tactical choice to the player. Assuming all those options baked into the ability are worth using, anyway, which is a different issue.

Vermintide and the sequel are good examples of this. The different weapons have various swing speeds, angles, attack chains, and charge ups. You can be holding one weapon and use it in several ways based on your need at the moment.

I think champions online had a few charge up powers but most of them were not really interesting choices. I remember many were simple "charge more, get bigger number" differences that resulted in newbie traps as charging or not was an optimization problem rather than a tactical choice. Many were on abilities designed to be used outside combat like buffs and travel powers as well.

The idea of "one power, more than one potential outcome" is great, but has some design pitfalls that have to be worked around.

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MWM developers have stated on

MWM developers have stated on several occasions that Operators will have pets. But these will be of the temporary variety rather than the persistent pets that Commanders get. So if this is true, apparently you will get your wish. But I doubt there will be a relationship between the number summoned and their strength.

I think the idea you have of a summoning class who can summon kamikaze pets or single-use pets or short-lived pets could be a lot of fun to play. It actually reminds me of the Mesmer from GW2 with their clones and phantasms, which is my favorite class in that game.


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The only problem with

The only problem with temporary pets is balancing them, like someone else said.

They often wind up so useless you might as well use a regular ability. Or worse, so hard to summon you never bother - or worse, not powerful enough to go through the work (I'm looking at you, doomguards and infernals in WoW).

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Phararri
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Best pet system ever imo

Best pet system ever imo

Anyone whom follows my post know I dislike restrictions. I feel like permanent pets are a restriction, notably in size.

I do remember those dire pets in WoW. They were not permanent; hung around, but disappeared. CO has these in sidekicks. Their cooldown is fairly long.

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Phararri wrote:
Phararri wrote:

Best pet system ever imo

Anyone whom follows my post know I dislike restrictions. I feel like permanent pets are a restriction, notably in size.

I do remember those dire pets in WoW. They were not permanent; hung around, but disappeared. CO has these in sidekicks. Their cooldown is fairly long.

"Pets" that last barely longer than the attack animation are not pets imo. To me pets are long term (I'd say 1 min or more) mobile entities that don't depend on direct player control to "function", anything else is just temporary summons.

I sure hope that we get pet/entity-like animations that we can apply to any attack but I feel that making an actual power set/power type around what is shown in that video is just wasted resources. If we are going to translate Lost Ark's Summoner to CoT then I think going with a Ranged/Manipulation or Control/Ranged AT and using an "entity summoning" aesthetic would do the job.

TheInternetJanitor
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If a pet is just an attack

If a pet is just an attack with an animation then you don't have to dip into the problems of having actual independent entities for it at all, just put an aesthetic on the power that looks like animals or robots or whatever are helping you.

Which is fine, aesthetic choice is great, but like blacke4dawn mentioned, that isn't really a "pet" in the usual sense.

warlocc
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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
Phararri wrote:

Best pet system ever imo

Anyone whom follows my post know I dislike restrictions. I feel like permanent pets are a restriction, notably in size.

I do remember those dire pets in WoW. They were not permanent; hung around, but disappeared. CO has these in sidekicks. Their cooldown is fairly long.

"Pets" that last barely longer than the attack animation are not pets imo. To me pets are long term (I'd say 1 min or more) mobile entities that don't depend on direct player control to "function", anything else is just temporary summons.

I sure hope that we get pet/entity-like animations that we can apply to any attack but I feel that making an actual power set/power type around what is shown in that video is just wasted resources. If we are going to translate Lost Ark's Summoner to CoT then I think going with a Ranged/Manipulation or Control/Ranged AT and using an "entity summoning" aesthetic would do the job.

Agreed. A pet is something that can act "independently", otherwise it's just a skin on a regular attack.

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Phararri
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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
Phararri wrote:

Best pet system ever imo

Anyone whom follows my post know I dislike restrictions. I feel like permanent pets are a restriction, notably in size.

I do remember those dire pets in WoW. They were not permanent; hung around, but disappeared. CO has these in sidekicks. Their cooldown is fairly long.

"Pets" that last barely longer than the attack animation are not pets imo. To me pets are long term (I'd say 1 min or more) mobile entities that don't depend on direct player control to "function", anything else is just temporary summons.

I sure hope that we get pet/entity-like animations that we can apply to any attack but I feel that making an actual power set/power type around what is shown in that video is just wasted resources. If we are going to translate Lost Ark's Summoner to CoT then I think going with a Ranged/Manipulation or Control/Ranged AT and using an "entity summoning" aesthetic would do the job.

Agreed. A pet is something that can act "independently", otherwise it's just a skin on a regular attack.

It is a pet

If you guys mean follower? No, it is not a follower, but that is a pet. It is LA's pet system. There is no babysitting, nor on screen clutter. The pet comes in, does his thing, then summon the next pet.

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Phararri wrote:
Phararri wrote:

It is a pet

If you guys mean follower? No, it is not a follower, but that is a pet. It is LA's pet system. There is no babysitting, nor on screen clutter. The pet comes in, does his thing, then summon the next pet.

But it's not a pet? The thematics of it is a summon, certainly, but a lava wurm coming out of the ground and affecting a line of creatures is, mechanically, no different from just blasting that area with a beam of fire.

The commander spec is about autonomous minions that follow commands and fight for you, not blasting the ground with a visual effect that isn't actually an autonomous entity. If you like that, that's cool, but that's a Ranger, not a Commander (or at the very least a ranged attack rather than summoning an NPC to do your bidding).

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Its just a matter of

Its just a matter of terminology. If those are considered pets in Lost Ark, who are we to say they are wrong? But in the context of this discussion, the term pet is referring to autonomous minions (a.k.a. followers) that we can summon into existence by our powers alone and who persist until defeated or we unsummon them.

Also we are not talking about cosmetic vanity pets either. And while those also use the word pet to describe them, they are excluded from the context of this discussion.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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As far as I know, the power

As far as I know, the power sets for commanders in CoT won't all follow the same 3 small pets, 2 medium and 1 large pet formula that CoH had so what's to say you can't include both single attack/effect pets(kamikaze) and semi-permanent pets in a power set. Just swapping out one of the semi-permanent slots and making it a single attack/effect would let commanders have a larger focus on spike damage.
You could even design a commander pet class set which combines the two type in interesting ways.

The pet could be semi-permanent until used. This way you can summon your horde which follows you around until you unleash it either by setting up triggers or as you see fit. This type of commander could specialize in alpha strikes if their pets were damage focused or if they were a buff/debuff type then they become a unique way to deliver the effect.
There is also the possibility a set could have the mechanic of making the choice of which type (single use or semi-permanent) of pet at the time of summoning to allow for more versatility in a commanders options.
A set could have either a single attack/effect or semi-permanent pet with some kind of absorption/build up ability. The pet could either just follow the character or attack as might be expected of the pet but once the build up meter fills it unleashes a powerful effect that consumes the pet. This might help with the possible issue of pets being fairly disposable in trials as well as add a new sacrificial play style for the commander class.

A power set in a pet class does not have to only include a summoned entity which follows you around taking attack/heel commands. It can include a variety of different types of pet summons to allow for more play style types.
I mean if you can have melee or ranged sets that have an intrinsic play style associated with it (alpha strikes, tanking, aoe, ect) why not do the same with pet summon sets or even sets with a single pet summon.

warlocc
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Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

As far as I know, the power sets for commanders in CoT won't all follow the same 3 small pets, 2 medium and 1 large pet formula that CoH had so what's to say you can't include both single attack/effect pets(kamikaze) and semi-permanent pets in a power set. Just swapping out one of the semi-permanent slots and making it a single attack/effect would let commanders have a larger focus on spike damage.
You could even design a commander pet class set which combines the two type in interesting ways.

The pet could be semi-permanent until used. This way you can summon your horde which follows you around until you unleash it either by setting up triggers or as you see fit. This type of commander could specialize in alpha strikes if their pets were damage focused or if they were a buff/debuff type then they become a unique way to deliver the effect.
There is also the possibility a set could have the mechanic of making the choice of which type (single use or semi-permanent) of pet at the time of summoning to allow for more versatility in a commanders options.
A set could have either a single attack/effect or semi-permanent pet with some kind of absorption/build up ability. The pet could either just follow the character or attack as might be expected of the pet but once the build up meter fills it unleashes a powerful effect that consumes the pet. This might help with the possible issue of pets being fairly disposable in trials as well as add a new sacrificial play style for the commander class.

A power set in a pet class does not have to only include a summoned entity which follows you around taking attack/heel commands. It can include a variety of different types of pet summons to allow for more play style types.
I mean if you can have melee or ranged sets that have an intrinsic play style associated with it (alpha strikes, tanking, aoe, ect) why not do the same with pet summon sets or even sets with a single pet summon.

I think Commanders are better off being a jack of all trades, master of none. What you're saying almost sounds like you want the Commander to be able to replace any other group member (tank, DPS, etc) based on the pet they choose, and not be their own "class". CoH Masterminds got it right making pets as they were, and using secondaries to add these flavors.
A temporary, one time ability should be in the secondary or tertiary. In my opinion.

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warlocc wrote:
warlocc wrote:

I think Commanders are better off being a jack of all trades, master of none. What you're saying almost sounds like you want the Commander to be able to replace any other group member (tank, DPS, etc) based on the pet they choose, and not be their own "class". CoH Masterminds got it right making pets as they were, and using secondaries to add these flavors.

I didn't say change the commander class, I suggested having power sets which have different focuses. Much like how melee power sets are all basically DPS oriented but they can also be spike damage focused or AoE focused.
I also completely disagree that a pet class is better off being locked into a jack of all trades role. If you want to trade specialization for versatility I support that option being available to you but I see no reason why the commander class cannot include power sets that specialize in any of the traditional trinity roles in addition to jack of all trades sets. Please note I said specialize in a trinity role not replace other options.

warlocc wrote:

A temporary, one time ability should be in the secondary or tertiary. In my opinion.

A temporary one time ability is the description for almost any power the game will have other than semi-permanent summons, upgrades and toggles. Did you mean temporary one time summons? If you did then I again disagree, even CoH had temporary one time summons as part of a primary set.

Regardless, the overall point I was making was that the commander class can include the same 3/2/1 semi-permanent summons power sets that CoH had as well as sets that include different types of pet mechanics that we have seen in other games.

Phararri
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Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:
Phararri wrote:

It is a pet

If you guys mean follower? No, it is not a follower, but that is a pet. It is LA's pet system. There is no babysitting, nor on screen clutter. The pet comes in, does his thing, then summon the next pet.

But it's not a pet? The thematics of it is a summon, certainly, but a lava wurm coming out of the ground and affecting a line of creatures is, mechanically, no different from just blasting that area with a beam of fire.

The commander spec is about autonomous minions that follow commands and fight for you, not blasting the ground with a visual effect that isn't actually an autonomous entity. If you like that, that's cool, but that's a Ranger, not a Commander (or at the very least a ranged attack rather than summoning an NPC to do your bidding).

Just because it is not a pet system you like does not mean it is not a pet. To "Summon" means to call, or aid, the class is calling aid in the form of pets. You even admitted that much, that they are summons.

You cannot summon something that is not present. They summon pets. If it were ships, they would summon ships.

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No one is arguing that

No one is arguing that Phararri. They're saying that a "pet" in the context of an mmo has a specific meaning, and that ignoring that meaning devalues anything brought to a conversation in that context. This is especially true in a game like CoT where abilities can be made to look like anything, so literally every single ability in the game would be a "pet" if your only definition is that it can have the aesthetic of something appearing, because every single ability could be made to look like that.

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The best way I can think of

The best definition of a MMO pet I can think of is 'A separate entity, usually summoned, trained or hired, that the player character has some measure of control over. This control can range from advanced commands (passive, aggressive, defensive, go to, ect), to simple follow mechanics (no commands just the pet stays close to the character), to placement options (the pet does not move when summoned or follows a predictable path once summoned).'
As far as I can tell this would cover pretty much any MMO pet type out there.