Pets, Crafting, Elements and Hero Matching

Introduction

One of the questions I see pop up a lot on Discord, Reddit and Twitter is the idea of finding the ideal match between a hero and a pet. There are a few criteria you need to consider as to why you’d pair certain pets with certain heroes and like with many other aspects of DFK there is more than one way to skin this particular cat. Hopefully this speggulative piece will give you a better idea as to how you may want to prioritise.

Oh, and this is going to be a long one (TWSS), so strap in!
(…TAWSS)

Are Pets Even Important?

We don’t know much about the majority of bonuses that pets offer. We’ve got a few ideas, hints and small bits of intel that have been dropped. I’ve got a list of all current known Pet Bonuses here. With only analogous concepts of what crafting will look like in DFK (beyond ‘gather X to make Y’), and PVP still pretty far away still (yet seemingly within touching distance after recent announcements), there’s a been the biggest focus on the Profession Bonuses as they’re the first to be revealed.

But forget the bonuses we see on the cards for a moment, because there’s one bonus as yet unseen that has no counter-argument:

XP boosts.

Back in June at the DCentral event in Austin, we got teased with this slide:

This, based on what Dreamer said as part of that keynote speech, strongly suggested that ALL pets would give an XP bonus to the heroes they’re equipped to. After two months of trying to argue this point on the Discord, I then sought clarity on the matter by submitting the question for an AMA. Hubert had this to say:

“The XP bonuses will be available from the start once we get pet bonuses activated. They apply to whatever quest is associated with that pet type. If its a fishing pet you’ll get an XP bonus plus whatever bonus it has if you are doing a fishing quest. XP bonus is purely based on the rarity of the pet. The more rare, the bigger the bonus.”

So, not only do all pets give XP (called it), but the amount of XP pets give increases with the rarity of the pet. This also settled another argument I was on the right side of (not that I’m counting) in that I suggested there would be a difference between, say, a Legendary pet with a Rare prof bonus and an Uncommon pet with the same Rare prof bonus. It was said early days that there’d be “hardly any difference” and some people took that to mean none at all, but hey – language is important. But, back to the matter at hand…

At the time of writing we still don’t know what those XP bonuses are going to be, but we do know that they’ll increase the rate at which heroes level up. More XP = faster levels. Faster levels = increase in value. We know this already as the top heroes in the game right now that have been juiced to the hilt (with stamina potions by people with insane bags) are worth a fortune compared heroes that have been questing and levelling organically.

Long story short, pets will make your heroes level faster which will increase their value over comparable heroes that don’t have pets equipped. So, yeah. Pretty essential. It’s also now put more value on the rarity of the pets themselves, whereas previously values were mostly derived from the rarity of the bonuses.

Cost Effectiveness

What’s that? You’ve seen/heard that feeding pets won’t always be profitable if a) you’re using pets with common bonuses with b) low level heroes that are only just at profession score 10 or over? So yeah, that’s true.

So how can pets be essential if they’re not profitable? Well, that’s where investment comes in. The increased loot yield that you get from the profession bonus on a pet might not, in isolation, generate enough value in looted items to cover the cost of feeding the pets. As such, you might well be questing almost at a loss if your pet/hero is just scraping the grade.

But, as I just illustrated, the increase in XP gain that you get from equipping the pets will ensure your hero levels faster, which will allow you to boost its stats faster, which will make it a more effective quester faster – whilst also maintaining and improving its value.

The Level 10 Profession Quests will likely see Profession Scores go up to either 30 or 40, and like with the L0PQs it’ll be easier to increase that level at the bottom end (eg 20-30) than it will be at the top (eg 30-40). So if you’ve got a hero with a prof score of around 10-13, the L10PQs will boost that score even faster. As such, it won’t be long at all before your hero that’s operating at a small loss (I wouldn’t expect pets to be a massive resource drain) with their pet to be breaking even and then operating at a greater profit than they would without the pet.

Crafting

There were six types of crafting listed on the pet catalog filter – Blacksmithing, Goldsmithing, Armorsmithing, Woodworking, Leatherworking and Tailoring. But, with the release of the blue and grey eggs, we only saw four of those, with Blacksmithing and Leatherworking nowhere to be seen.

Of the pet bonuses that are out, if we look at the breakdown of the mythic bonuses compiled by Twitter user Starbuck, there’s some useful information:

From this analysis, we can see that there are almost twice as many Woodworking and Goldsmithing bonuses than there are Tailoring and Armorsmithing. So why is that? Well, that’s because the Woodworking and Goldsmithing bonuses can be found on pets from both the blue and the grey eggs. Tailoring bonuses can only be found on pets from the blue egg, and Armorsmithing bonuses can only be found on pets from grey eggs. This suggests that both the Arm/Tail bonuses will likely also be seen on one of the next two eggs, i.e. the yellow and green. And, from that, we can almost guarantee that Blacksmithing and Leatherworking will be found on pets from both yellow and green eggs.

If you don’t believe me about the crafting bonuses, feel free to try to find evidence that contradicts me on the wonderful resource DFK Analytics – the best way to find pets to buy based on the criteria that matters to you.

The easiest way for me to illustrate egg colour relative to crafting type, have a look at this illustration by DFK heavyweight nous:

Ignoring elements for just a moment longer, and knowing that the green and yellow eggs will support Leatherworking and Blacksmithing, we can also confidently predict that the green egg will be the second egg to produce pets with the Woodworking bonus and that the yellow egg will hatch pets that could have Armorsmithing.

Nobody knows what the Golden Eggs are going to do yet (except skyrocket in price because people are impatient), so stand by for more information.

So now we know which eggs produce pets that can roll which crafting bonuses, it’s also fair to say that with most of the Serendale 1.0 blue/grey eggs having been hatched, it’s unlikely we’ll see a massive increase in the number of Goldsmithing/Woodworking bonuses go up when the next batch of pets are released. So, grab ’em whilst/if you can, etc.

Elements

It may not have been immediately obvious, but there’s only one element for each of the different types of crafting. Again, this can be verified on DFK Analytics.

Armorsmithing = Earth
Woodworking = Wind
Goldsmithing = Water
Tailoring = Ice

Now, it’s just speggulation at this stage, but nous posited (and sold me on the idea) that it would likely be the Fire element that’s associated with Blacksmithing (you know, because, weapons require a forge and all that) which would mean that Leatherworking is likely to be associated with Lightning. Light and Dark are two elements that oppose each other very directly and have a more direct relationship than any two other elements in the game. So it’s very likely that pets with Light and Dark elements are going to spawn from the Gold Eggs which are said to have “unique bonuses”.

Believe what you will at this stage!

Hero Crafting

So crafting will be performed in game by heroes. Whereas the crafting we’ve seen so far – the Alchemist and the Stone Carver – are effectively just ingame shops with a complex pricing system, heroes themselves will have to craft in DFK as far as the above elements are concerned.

What we didn’t know previously is what would determine a hero’s effectiveness at crafting, which has made ‘matching pets’ for crafting purposes pretty difficult. However, that changed when Hubert confirmed in the AMA on 18/08/22 that a hero’s element will affect crafting. When I followed that up in the chat, he said:

So at least as far as heroes are concerned, their element will play a huge role in which crafting they specialize in. Was also good to know that heroes will have a Crafting Score similar to the Profession Score, so it’s likely that the Hero Element will have a similar affect on Crafting as the Profession Gene has on Profession Questing.

Hero and Pet Matching

I think this is probably the most subjective part of the process, because you can equip a pet to a hero to boost its profession questing, crafting or combat (and XP, obvs). And heroes all have their strengths and weaknesses – even the floor heroes. Any floor hero can be a busy little worker be on the prof quests. Some heroes are better at profession questing than others, as will some heroes be better at crafting. Some will be better suited for PVE and PVP when those features are released.

Now obviously, if money was no issue then we’d all just buy the best heroes for each speciality and then the best pets to match them with. For most of us, life isn’t that simple.

Pets aren’t a technical requirement to facilitate heroes being able to do any of the above, either. So, it’ll become an art of making the best connections based on information we get when the actual bonuses are announced.

For crafting, there’s no suggestion that a pet without a crafting bonus would assist a hero in crafting in any way. In fact, a lack of bonus would suggest it wouldn’t. As such, simply matching the element of a pet to the element of a hero is redundant if the pet doesn’t have a crafting bonus. On that note, the better approach would be to find or buy pets that have specific crafting bonuses and match those pets to heroes with the associated element. Here’s the image again for a reminder:

Before combat is released, I’d suggest the fastest way to level a hero would be to attach it to the highest rarity of a profession-matching pet that you have/can afford. The Level 1 Training Quests offer more XP than the L0PQs, but the L10PQs will offer even more XP still. Having a pet with an XP bonus equipped to a hero doing an L10PQ will ensure it’s gaining XP at the fastest possible rate. That way, you’re doing all you can to maximise the development of the heroes you want leading the charge for you when PVP is eventually released. After the combat bonuses are released, it’ll be a case of picking the best combat bonuses you have and giving them to your PVP squad(s), but as we can’t predict what those bonuses will be at this stage, we can’t do anything except continue to develop our best heroes and collecting as many combat bonuses as we can – the higher the better, ofc. Matching will then come later.

As for heroes who are bound to a life of profession questing, the only thing that matters is getting a profession bonus that matches the profession gene of your heroes. As mentioned earlier, I would try to have enough pets to have one per hero where affordable. And then, once you’ve got enough pets to have 1:1 pets:heroes, I’d then start trying to trade up and improve the pets you’ve got for better ones.

Pet Availability

Of course, not everyone is going to be able to achieve 1:1 pets:heroes. Presently, with two of the five egg types ‘hatched’ (excluding some CV eggs), there is just short of 1 pet for every ten heroes. When yellow/green/gold eggs hatch, based on the number of eggs unhatched in those colours, it’ll be closer to 1 pet for every five heroes. This might change slightly over time as egg drop rates are included in the pet bonuses (and might be higher in higher tier profession quests) but it’s unlikely that every hero will get a pet – this isn’t an Oprah Winfrey giveaway, they’re supposed to give an advantage. So once people see the use case for pets, it’s my opinion that the demand for pets will go up and the floor price will rise with it.

Another thing to consider is the cost of pets. A mythic pet will likely set you back over 1500J, and that’s just for an entry-level mythic that doesn’t have three 3-star bonuses. But a pet with a single mythic bonus can cost from 250J-400J at the moment, so in theory you could buy three pets that had individual mythic bonuses for all disciplines for under 1,000J and just swap them round on your hero (subject to lengthy pet cooldowns for unequipping them from heroes to prevent abuse of bonuses). This would cover you in terms of the bonuses you could need for a hero (who in all likelihood would only be given one role at a time (questing/crafting/combat)) but is a more affordable way to do it. AND it would deplete the total pool of pets giving them all greater value. Not financial advice.

Conclusion

Congrats on making it this far (or having the good sense to skip to the end) – the TL;DR is that pets are going to have a HUGE impact in hero development and that the basic XP-for-all-pets bonuses is sufficient justification in itself to try to add some pets to your collection. But given how much they’re going to influence almost every other aspect of the game (including Duels, eventually, allegedly), I can’t see how anyone can continue to ignore their future potential.

Enjoy!

-Stronghold

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