Ether Saga Online: Pets Developer Journal
Perfect World Entertainment has provided us with this developer journal focusing on pets in Ether Saga Online.
Ether Saga Online is based on the Chinese literary classic, Journey to the West. It is a Free-to-Play MMO and is very story driven. ESO has a rich, vibrant world to explore with an anime art style. It has a ton of content and deep gameplay layers for experienced MMO players, yet is accessible to people new to the genre. ESO has many unique aspects of gameplay, such as an auto-route system with smart path-finding, mounted combat and a transformation system to adopt a monster’s appearance and gain attributes & abilities.
Perhaps the most attractive feature the game has to offer though is the pet system. Unlike many MMOs, all the ESO classes can have pets. In fact, every player begins the game with a pet. The pets aren’t mindless creatures or fashion items. They assist players in combat, gain levels and learn skills. You can also capture a wide variety of monsters to keep as new pets. Players looking for a deeper layer to the pet system can also customize their pets with gear and increase their statistics. The pets are the most fun and innovative aspect to the game that will engage users for their entire gameplay experience.
Each pet has several characteristics: attitude, affinity and statistical growth rate. Each of these characteristics factor into the role that pet will fill. The most important thing to note is that not all pets are the same. In fact, two identical looking pets will have a totally different combination of characteristics. Players will constantly be looking for pets with the attributes they desire.
The first characteristic is attitude. The attitude describes the type of pet: melee, caster or healer. Some pet skills can only be learned by pets with a specific attitude. The four basic attitudes are:
- Fierce: will get in the middle of the fray, a close combat fighter
- Cautious: prefers to attack from afar, a ranged combat fighter
- Bright: a supportive pet, aids its master with heals, buffs and enemy debuffs
- Normal: a jack of all trades; skilled, but not an expert of any of the previous three
A pet’s attitude can be upgraded or even changed through the pet melding system, which will be described later.
The other two characteristics are affinity and stat growth. Affinity describes a pet’s preference towards one of the elements in the game. For example, pets with a Pyra affinity will be more adept at casting Pyra skills. Statistical growth rates are how much the pet will increase each stat when it levels up.
Healthy Pets are Effective Pets
In ESO, there’s more than just a pet’s hit points to monitor. To be a responsible (and wise) pet owner, players will also need to keep an eye on:
Belly – This will determine a pet’s attack power and mood. If your pet uses a skill, it will consume belly points. Be sure to feed them to keep them full and happy. Pet food can be acquired through monster drops, shops and a crafting skill.
Mood - This bar will reflect how well you treat your pet. A hungry pet is an unhappy pet, and if their mood sinks too low, it will gain less experience.
Life – Every time a pet is summoned or fused, its life will deplete. If it reaches zero, the pet will die. Noodles can extend a pet’s life.
Other Things to Note
Pets have their own equipment, which you’ll need to outfit them with. Pet gear will increase their statistics and make them more capable fighters.
Your pet menu (accessible by pressing ‘p’ in the game) will allow you to hold and switch between four different pets at any given time. This will give you the option to hold a different pet for a different occasion such as a tank versus a healer. You can hold more pets in your inventory slots, so you can acquire as many pets as you can hold.
Obtaining a New Pet
In Ether Saga Online, players aren’t limited to the pets they are given at the start of the game. There are multiple ways to acquire new pets including purchasing, capturing, fusing or melding. Each method has its strengths and uses- you will probably use them all to find the perfect pet for you.
Pet for Sale
The simplest method of obtaining a new pet is to purchase one from the Pet Egg Dealer. The first one players are likely to encounter is in Pokai City, standing near Verni the Trapper. Go to her trade list and you’ll be presented with several pet eggs to choose from. In their egg form, you’ll be unable to read their stats, so you’ll have to purchase an identification item if you want to know their characteristics.
Players will also be able to trade and purchase pets from other players. If you’re in the market for rare pets, you can browse the player shops.
Capturing a Pet
If the pet you’d like isn’t available at the shop, you can capture your next pet. First, find a trapper— Verni the Trapper is in Pokai City, for example- and purchase a pet net. It is wise to take several along since capturing a pet is not guaranteed. With these nets, players only need to find the monster they wish to turn into a pet. Not all monsters can be captured- you can scope out which monsters are able to be captured before attacking by clicking on them once. If you can capture them, a little yellow bag will appear to the right of their name. To capture, attack and when the yellow bag flashes use your pet net. It may be make it easier to put the pet net in a hot key toggle. If you’re lucky, you’ll have bagged yourself a new pet. A pet capture may take several tries- the monster’s health has to be low enough to successfully use the net before they are killed. You cannot capture a higher leveled monster than yourself.
There are currently four monster types available for capture: humanoid, beastkin, mechen, and elementa.
Advanced Pet Mechanics
Fusion is not the combining between pets; instead your character and pet will fuse together. Pet fusion will result in you and your pet sharing an HP pool, so damage is split between you and your pet. This will make your character more powerful and provide them with special abilities not otherwise acquired. You can have both a fused pet and a summoned pet (they just cannot be the same pet). Both pets can earn experience, and you can choose how to distribute the EXP between the two pets.
Melding is the combining of two pets to create a single, more powerful pet. You choose a host pet and a supporting pet, and the resulting pet usually has the host pet’s appearance. However, sometimes mutations can occur and you can get the supporting pet’s appearance or a completely different looking pet.
Melding can also improve your pet’s characteristics. A melded pet will have increased statistical growth rates, so you can have a pet with more health than an equivalent unmolded pet. The pet’s attitude can also be upgraded. A pet with an upgraded attitude will be able to learn more advanced spells.
A Lot to Know
The pet system in Ether Saga Online provides many avenues to explore. There are many pets to discover and capture, and even more powerful pets to create. We here at Perfect World Entertainment hope we’ve piqued your interest by shedding some light on the engaging pet system of Ether Saga Online.