See, I don't collect pets, don't care about pet collecting, and I haven't done a single pet battle. The fact that I haven't had
to has been one my greatest delights, because one of the things I do
enjoy doing is farming older content for transmog drops. And in the process of creating pet battles, Blizzard went and put pets
in some of these older raids that I'm farming anyway. Now, I don't care about a single one of those pets. But other people do
, so if I need some help to run Naxx-25 it's easier to get, and if I get some pets while running AQ or MC I can put that pet up on the AH or even just give it to a friend. Because of the way the pet battle system works, I can learn the pet on Elune, then give it to a friend on Cenarion Circle or Norgannon.
The pet battle system has directly enriched my game experience despite, in fact because of,
my complete and utter disinterest in it.
Similarly, I've long stopped doing the Kirin Tor Offensive quests. I do Klaxxi dailies when I feel low on lesser charms because I'll admit doing some
dailies doesn't feel as optional as I'd like (Mogu Runes of Fate feel necessary, not optional) but I still make use of the Thunder Forges even though I've been a blacksmith since vanilla and I have the recipes for the BC
weapons the reborn items were meant to replace (the ones I want, anyway). I'm making use of the forges to craft items for other
people to use in transmog.
One of the elements of the expansion to date that I don't feel is as optional as it could, or should, be is the daily quest system. Daily quests work very well in providing lots for players to do, and I am fairly certain that their implementation throughout this expansion has taught Blizzard a great deal which can be used going forward. For me, patch 5.1 was the height of daily quest design for Mists
and patch 5.2, while good, isn't quite as
good. That being said, what really bothers me about dailies is that already mentioned lack of optionality about them. I need
Mogu Runes of Fate to maximize my raiding viability, and so, I need
to run dailies because it's pretty much the only way to get any Lesser Charm of Good Fortune
much less the 90 or so I need every week
. You could argue that technically, I don't need
runes to raid, and that's true, but it's choosing between the best possible outcome and a less beneficial one. I can get three extra loot rolls, or not get three extra loot rolls. Which sounds better to you? Im not saying I want the Runes done away with - I'd just enjoy another way to procure them, similar to the way I can run a dungeon and a scenario a day and never do a single Order of the Cloud Serpent quest again. I hate those quests, and I love not doing them.
In the future I hope for more optional content like the Brawler's Guild (which I have never touched, and which has in no way positively or negatively affected me) or pet battles, stuff that I can take or leave and will probably leave. I like doing very specific things when I play World of Warcraft
. Optional content that truly is
optional benefits me indirectly by keeping players with different interests than mine going, keeps the game vibrant and alive, and has unforeseen benefits to me at odd and unexpected moments. I like when I get to choose not
to do stuff almost as much as when I enjoy doing things. It makes what I like the more palatable, because it's all my choice to engage in it.