My name is EvenNote, and I’m a pet-a-holic.
All together now: “Hi, EvenNote!”
It’s true – show me a cosmetic pet I don’t have, and I’ll be running to the store and/or the AH to get the pet in at least one color and all its associated tricks. I’m up to 18 pets on Thelanis, and it’d be more if I always had enough Turbine points to get every variety of each pet.
A while back when lots of people logged in to find their cosmetic pets missing, some of the less pet-inclined players wondered why anyone would get upset over something that “doesn’t affect gameplay at all.” Obviously the biggest reason is that most pets are obtained via Turbine points, which cost money, so generally missing pets equaled lost money.
It’s more than that, though. No, cosmetic pets don’t affect gameplay (unless, as is rumored, they add to lag), but they have a big impact on the game experience for many people, myself included. I can spend an inordinate amount of time just hanging out on the ship putting my pets through their various tricks, or searching for a picturesque spot to get a few screen shots.
Sure, it’d really be cool if cosmetic pets could help you attack stuff, or give you buffs, or useful stuff like that. But as far as I’m concerned, the whole point of playing DDO is to have fun – and gosh darn it, pets are FUN. I love beating up on Harry or Horoth while having my active pet use the closest thing it has to an “attack” trick. This is REALLY cute when it’s a panther using Bat With Paw.
Not everyone is such a fan of pets; lots of people don’t see the point since the cosmetic pets don’t “do” anything. Well, hey, neither does hair dye, and I’m starting to get addicted to that as well. It started with Even’s acid green dye job; Vic won an ebony dye and used that to jazz up her original dark brown locks. Later when Acanthia came along, I decided long, straight, black hair really didn’t suit my cute, spunky li’l monk, and she ended up with an amber bangs n’ bob ‘do. Jall’s been through several hair colors, including burgundy and lavender, but in the end I went back to white hair because it just suited her better.
Tirae looks a LOT like Acanthia did when I first rolled her up:
But a couple of looted hair dyes inspired me to change up her look a bit…
Thankfully (and thank Shin for the ebony dye!), she’s back to her original black locks. Azida had better luck at the hairdresser’s, trading her ho-hum dusty rose color and cute but plain pigtail for the same bangs n’ bob style Acanthia wears, in Even’s favorite acid green (thanks, Comic!):
The bangs do give her an uncanny resemblance to my sister-in-law, but I won’t hold that against her. *g*
And then there are armor kits – Even, Acanthia, Vic and Jall all have them, although Acanthia’s traded in her kitted-up dragontouched outfit for an upgraded Spider-spun Caparison. The nearly solid black caparison doesn’t really suit Acanthia, so I’m thinking of getting her a new kit. It should look great on Tirae, though; I haven’t equipped hers yet, as it’s BtCoE and I’m kinda hoping to find some kind soul who’ll be willing to upgrade it for some plat (really don’t want to lose the set bonus).
Even without kits, having good-looking armor might not affect the outcome of a quest, but can definitely add to your enjoyment. Weapons, too – when Slvr offered to make Char a pair of skelly beaters for Mabar, I ended up going with light hammers rather than warhammers because I was able to find two that matched. And speaking of Slvr, this lootgen armor his rogue/arti got is possibly the nicest-looking leather armor I’ve seen (Vic is envious!):
Oh, and how could I forget airship color changes? A full ship paint job will set you back almost 2,000 Turbine points and won’t contribute anything to your guild renown or buffs… but if you’re gonna spend hours on the ship trying on armor kits, dyeing your hair and making your pets do tricks, you might as well have a pretty environment to do it all in, right?
So while cosmetic pets and hair dyes and armor kits and ship paint might not serve any “useful” purpose, that doesn’t mean they’re useLESS.