Friday, February 14, 2014

Thundering Serpent Hatchling No Longer Unlockable "Soon"

Yesterday Blizzard announced that the Pandaria Challenge Modes would be closed off and no longer completable in the near future. Challenge Mode achievements will turn into Feats of Strength and rewards will be unobtainable once the "season" ends. New instances, achievements and rewards are likely to come with the next expansion.

This is fairly significant for pet collectors, considering one pet is tied to the Pandaria Challenge Modes. Guilds who have yet to unlock the Thundering Serpent Hatchling by completing Challenge Conquerors: Gold - Guild Edition will be out of luck once the current Challenge Modes are closed. Granted there are some guilds who have this pet available and would welcome pet collectors to join just to obtain the pet, but it's still disheartening to hear that future guilds won't have access to the hatchling.

There are a few things Blizzard could do to keep this pet accessible to the majority, though none of it is likely.
- Stick the Thundering Serpent Hatchling as a reward for the next set of Challenge Mode achievements

- Provide another source for the Thundering Serpent Hatchling (quest, drop, vendor, etc.)

- Create another guild related achievement (that's not expansion-exclusive) with the Thundering Serpent Hatchling as a reward
Considering how Blizzard is ok with the Challenge Mode transmog sets and achievements becoming unobtainable in the future, I highly doubt they would make an exception for the pet. The argument that the pet will still be around and not completely inaccessible (although you have to find a guild, get into it, and then reach certain reputation with said guild first) will probably also keep them from providing another source for this pet.

While I understand the reasoning behind it, it's still a downer. No one likes to have things taken away from them, and guilds that haven't unlocked this pet may feel that way. The hatchling itself may not be removed, but the option and the chance to acquire it for a guild will be gone.

There's still some time before the Challenge Modes are closed (I believe the official cut off is patch 6.0), so it's still possible to complete everything. Some players and guilds will end up scrambling to get it done, even going to such lengths as to pay others to unlock the achievements and pet for them. It's a fairly common practice apparently, and with the Challenge Modes going away "soon", the demand and prices will only go up. I find it distasteful, but I can't say that I'm against it 100%. I don't blame those offering this service or those taking it. If anything, I feel that Blizzard's choice to lock the Challenge Modes is in the wrong here, as it will cause desperation and panic.

A smaller concern is that guilds will start charging collectors to join and acquire the pet. This doesn't worry as much though, as WarcraftPets has an open guild (US server Madoran, horde - Magical Menagerie) for everyone to join (for the pet or otherwise).

The pet isn't being removed or going away, and so long as players can find the right guild to join it will be available to collect. Yet there's still a sense of loss for future players/guilds who won't have the satisfaction of unlocking the Thundering Serpent Hatchling for themselves. Times change and we have to move forward, I get that. In Azeroth, Blizzard dictates the when and why, and all we can do is try to adapt and cope. It's still a sad day when we "lose" a pet due to those changes.


  1. I'd already written off the Thundering Serpent Hatchling in much the way I would write off pets offered only in other parts of the world. I'm just not a Gold level challenge mode player.

    1. @Heartfruit: I wouldn't write it off completely. Even if your current guild doesn't have the achievement unlocked, there are a few guilds out there that welcome collectors and alts to join just for the pet.

      I didn't have the patience to try for all Gold Challenge Modes, but others in my guild did. It's not as rewarding as unlocking it for yourself, all the same I was still happy to collect the pet.

  2. I was gutted to hear that they are getting rid of the challenge modes. I haven't been able to do them as of yet but thankfully my guild did, enabling me to get the pet. Sad for others who can't add this lil fella to their collections

    1. @Kaitz: It's a bummer, for sure. Hopefully the guilds that are open to collectors will stick around in the years to come. If not, then perhaps Blizzard should consider re-implementing this pet in some other fashion.


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