They [Blizzard] are obviously planning to go free-to-play and are looking to cater to a younger audience and the Asian market more than their former fan-base.
Reaction to a post here about Pet Battles, October 2011
Pet Battles came into World of Warcraft with the Mists of Pandaria expansion back in 2012. When the feature was announced as part of the expansion at BlizzCon the year before, it seemed interesting. But that was also the age of discontent and cancelled subscriptions, and our group wandered off to try other things and did not return until Mists of Pandaria was already a year old.
And then, after the rush back to Azeroth, we had some catching up to do… like all of Cataclysm… and finishing off that last bit of Wrath of the Lich King that came out after we had done all the initial instances. The year long content drought didn’t bother us too much. As a group we barely finished of the Pandaria instances in time for Warlords of Draenor.
During that time I did not exactly ignore pet battles. I captured some pets, leveled up a few, but it was never really a focus. I had a modest collection of pets going into Pandaria; there were some pets from quests and others from holiday events like Children’s Week and the pets from getting the BlizzCon stream and the six store pets I got when World of Warcraft Magazine folded up shop after five issues.
That actually gave me a pretty good set of nice, rare quality pets to work with. I did not actually do that much with them, aside from catching pets for my collection, regardless of quality. I did a lot of that during my failed attempt at the Loremaster achievement last summer, which had me wandering around lower level zones. That also gave me a chance to level up a few of my pets. But pet battles were mostly a side task, and I had bigger fish to fry, and all the more so since Draenor showed up. Sometimes literally involving fish.
But Draenor also brought along garrisons, and garrisons have buildings, and one of those buildings was the battle pet focused menagerie. And so pet battles became a thing because… must upgrade all buildings! Which meant taking stock of my pets.
More after the cut because… pet battle writing spew!