Since their introduction as useful entities that could heal, replenish mp and attack enemies, pets have caused a massive shift in the game dynamic, moving the focus from team-based playing to a game which focuses on personal capabilities in competition with others for loot. There have been suggestions to nerf pets in the past, but these have largely been without success, mostly because doing so would be unfair to those who have paid vast sums of money to have overpowered pets that follow them around forever and make the game much, much easier.
As it currently stands, there exists a single pet status effect: Pet Stasis. A stasised pet can’t move, shoot, heal or otherwise be useful to the player, and thus it exists as a great equalizer that requires owners of all pet rarities and abilities to face the same challenges. However, this ability can’t be used liberally because doing so would slow the game down for players who are accustomed to a grind-heavy, fast-paced RPG, and people get annoyed when devs just slap it on a boss and call it done. As such, I propose these ideas for additional pet status effects that could be implemented. I do not currently have sprites for any of them because I suck, but if anyone else with a greater degree of competency in this field would like to give suggestions for what the icons above the player’s head would look like, please let me know.
Your pet doesn’t replenish your hp. Can be used when devs want players’ hp regeneration slowed down, but don’t want it stopped entirely. This would also encourage the use of support classes like priests, paladins and necromancers. This only affects heal.
Your pet doesn’t replenish your mp. Used when permastunning, perma-paralyzing, spam-healing in the damaging water of a certain recently created dungeon and other such capabilities aren’t desired. This only affects mheal.
Pretty easy to understand. Pet doesn’t move, but can still use its abilities. This would affect decoy, electric, attacks far, medium and close, rising fury and savage abilities.
Pet can’t attack. This would affect attacks far, medium and close, as well as rising fury and electric.
There are multiple ideas for this one.
- Your pet gets less and less effective each time it gets hit by one of these shots, reducing the power of each ability use by 5%. It only goes away after you change maps, and affects all pet abilities.
- Your pet is weakened slightly (about 20% for each ability), and slowly regains its strength over time.
Like the Great Pet Bug of 2017, this would significantly decrease your pet’s ability frequency, affecting all pet abilities. Could be used when devs want people to still have pets, but want to seriously decrease their usefulness.
Your pet starts trailing another player (though heal/mheal still boost you and decoys still draw attention away from you). I considered having the pet follow and give aid to that other player, but the possible exploits and resulting chaos are a little too broken for this.
Your pet’s abilities get all screwed up (temporarily, or course). Your pet loses all of its abilities, and replaces each of them with a different, set ability of the same level. A 90/85/71 heal/mheal/electric pet, for example could become a 90/85/71 atk far/savage/decoy pet. Heal would always be replaced by akt far, mheal would always be replaced with savage, and so on. This would (potentially) make it easier to program, as well as give players an additional sense of strategy in their choices for third pet abilities (perhaps choosing an ability that would turn into heal when unstable, for example).
Where would these be implemented, and how?
These status effects would be dealt by enemies in the same manner other negative status effects are, through shots and AoE attacks. I personally believe that, like Pet Stasis, these shouldn’t be removable via Puri, Geb tome or Holy Water, just to make sure that everyone would have to endure them. Note that these status effects are not a replacement for pet stasis, but rather would allow devs to make boss fights and dungeons be able to turn off or nerf certain abilities that they don’t want players to be able to abuse, while still permitting others. This gives them the ability to more liberally apply pet-nerfing effects, because each one only targets certain abilities while leaving others active. Bosses could have shots that inflict the status effects to punish players for poor dodging, or they could have them inflicted in the same manner as O2’s new global slow attack to hit everyone. However they are implemented, the goal is to reduce how overpowered pets are in a variety of situations throughout the game while still allowing players who have paid hundreds or thousands of dollars to retain their freakish beasts of nature.
Edit: changed stuff with Pet Bleeding
Another, much later edit: changed some stuff with Pet Unstable, removed Pet Weak and did some other random changes.