How is that Blizzard have beaten Gamefreak to the 15-year punch in making a Pokemon Online? And how have they managed to do it inside WoW? Too late to ask now: the irresistible urge to battle pets must be fed. To that end, Blizz have put together a brand new high-level tournament to be introduced alongside the Timeless Isle in patch 5.4.
The Celestial Tournament is a pet battles scenario that’ll require an inventive selection of level 25 pets if players are to have a hope of winning. Even then, Blizzard expect the odd loss to be inevitable. The healing and reviving of pets will be disabled over the course of the scenario’s seven encounters: three random tamer teams and four August Celestial offspring.
“But that’s not the end of the line,” write the dev team. “Though your defeated pets will remain down, you’ll be able to restart the fight and adjust who’s on your team before giving it another try. You’ll also be able to switch up your team between battles. Should you happen to leave the Scenario before it’s completed, you’ll be able to return later to restart the event.”
And the potential spoils are as tantalising as you’d expect. After your first tournament victory, you’ll be showered with enough Celestial Coins to buy an account-bound, untradeable Celestial battle pet, sold conveniently by a nearby vendor. Every successive weekly attempt will yield another Coin, but Blizzard don’t necessarily expect players to collect the whole set of four Celestial creatures – “caring for these pets is a sacred honor”.
Patch 5.4 is already in testing on the PTR, which means release in imminent. Once you’re in, you’ll want to head to the new Isle. Master Li is the Celestial Tournament’s gatekeeper, and beyond him you’ll find the familiar names you’ll be battling against: Chen Stormstout, Shademaster Kiryn and, ah, Blingtron 4000. WoW’s never been afraid to push the limits of its fiction, has it?