Marvel Heroics: The joys of pet ownership
So I was overjoyed when I first started playing Marvel Heroes to discover not only that the game had a pet system but that pets actually had a purpose. Since then I've accumulated a half-dozen pint-sized pals and almost always had one of them out, even if Doctor Doom ended up giving Doom H.E.R.B.I.E. the stink-eye because of the pale imitation.
Today let's talk about how you get pets and what they do for you!
What are Marvel Heroes pets?
As with most MMOs, Marvel Heroes' pets are much smaller companions that follow you around as you fight through zones. Each pet is essentially a piece of gear that can be equipped in a special slot on your character sheet and then summoned (and dismissed) by right-clicking on that icon.
Most pets don't make much noise, although that is not always the case (Spider-Ham is particularly chatty, which is appropriate to the character). They do all have fun little animations, especially when you stop still to watch them for a bit.
What can pets do for me?
Other than provide visual appeal and be a bragging token, pets actually are a grouping of stat bonuses that can be unlocked and then swapped between your heroes. Unlike heroes and team-ups, pets don't level up from XP but do have a five tiers of locked stat bonuses that can be accessed as you "feed" a pet unwanted gear that's dropped.
The easiest way to unlock these bonuses is to go to the options menu and under gameplay adjust the "slot 1" through "slot 5" sliders to automatically vaporize your gear. When you have a pet equipped, the gear will be eaten by the pet instead and count toward unlocking the uncommon gear bonus, the cosmic gear bonus, etc. You can also manually feed a pet by dragging a piece of gear to the icon on the character sheet, which you'll need to do at least for uniques.
If you don't like the stat bonus once it's revealed, you can go to your crafter and reset it to try again. Don't settle for a second-rate pet! Some of the pet bonuses, especially the unique ones, can really be worth having that pet around. And don't worry -- if you are annoyed by how pets look but want the bonuses, you need only to equip (but not summon) the pet on your sheet. You'll gain access to the stat bonuses either way.
There are also more utilitarian pets such as a portable S.T.A.S.H. access card that won't animate and follow you around, but can be accessed to use those services.
Where do I get pets?
Pets are surprisingly rare acquisitions in Marvel Heroes, probably because Gazillion doesn't consider them as essential to gameplay as heroes and team-ups. Therefore, you're going to have to look in many places to get them, including:
- Eternity splinter vendor: Adam Warlock sells one pet, Old Lace (a small dinosaur), for 350 splinters.
- Login rewards: At days 100 and 400, your login reward will be a vanity pet. I think the day 100 pet was a mini Ultron.
- Prestige vendor: If you prestige at any point, you'll be able to purchase an "Iron Buddy" (a mini-Iron Man) pet for some credits.
- Cosmic Chaos: If you save up 2,000 worldstones, you can buy a Cosmic Doop pet from the event vendor. I have one and am delighted with him.
- Giveaways: Gazillion gave all players a free Potted Groot pet as part of the second anniversary event, and that was not the first time the studio gifted pets, nor will it likely be the last.
- Fortune Cards: The Mark 1 fortune cards -- that you can purchase with easily obtainable cube shards -- have a chance of spitting out one of three pets at you. Not too shabby if the RNG smiles upon you.
- Genosha vendor: If you get your reputation high enough, you can spend a gob of credits at the quartermaster to get yourself a little friend.
- Random drop: Hahaha this will never happen to you. But a guy you know will get one and you'll seethe with jealousy for days. Days!
- Mystery boxes: If you happen to get/buy/find a mystery box, I've heard that the pet drop rate from these isn't inconsiderable.
Alternatively, you can break out your wallet and snap one up at the G store. In the items tab there are a half-dozen or so pets for sale, all of which cost 950 Gs to purchase. An even riskier way to buy a pet is to purchase a fortune card with cash and hope that your roll comes up with a pet. There is no way I'd ever do that, but hey, it's your money. Why buy food when you can purchase instant regret from a lockbox?
In any case, at least get yourself one pet for the stat bonuses and personal happiness. You won't regret it!