I think it's about time pets get another revamp, there's several things that could be added to make pets more useful and less pay to win. Firstly, players in Reboot who do not wish to spend real money on pets can only get their hands on a pet from Hilla, which relies on RNG to get the Blackheart Box, and even more RNG to get the pet itself rather than the pet equip. I think more bosses should drop pets but have their abilities limited. I will elaborate on it a bit more as I go on. Secondly, there's almost no reason for pets to have a level up system. I would say that this should be removed but I have a better idea. What if Pets had their own "job advancement" system and learn new skills instead rather than having to pay for them? Of course you can still pay for them if you don't want to spend days leveling up a pet, but this again allows players who can not spend any real money whether its a financial reason or you just don't want to pay money in a free to play game. I also will elaborate on the skills and such further down the discussion, but back to in-game pets.
First off, I apologize for this long boring wall of text. Not everyone will have the mental strength to read every single word and I understand, I personally zoned out quite a bit after "proof reading" this entire post. By proof read I mean that I read it and ensured that what I typed made sense to me verbally, but I'm not very good at fixing grammar and punctuation errors.
The in-game pets will have a max level of 20 and can only gain 2 new skills when at max level with an initial 30-day life duration before they need to be revived with water of life, which will then give them a 90-day life duration each time they revive the pet. They will come with item pickup and meso pouch as do all non-buff/action pets do, but the 2 skills they learn from leveling up will vary on the pet but all similar pets will learn the same skill (ex. everyone's blackheart pet will learn Auto HP potion and Auto Move from level 10 and 20). (I got this idea from Maplestory 2's minions but more restricted to conserve maplestory's current pet meta). New pets will also not have gear equipable to them.
Current Blackheart Pet holders will keep the skills gained from purchasing new skills and have that version of Blackheart treated as a normal pet but newly obtained blackheart pets will be renamed as Hilla's Blackheart. Pet equipment for Blackheart will no longer be obtainable from the Blackheart Box but purchasable from the cash shop with NX and only equipable to the old blackheart pet. The key to these pets is to use more than 1 from getting a pet snack from the reward shop.
New boss pets (obtainable from any difficulty version of noted boss excluding easy difficulty):
Zakum Seedling (obtainable from Zakum) is a baby zakum tree resembling a Pipsqueak Zakum. Learnable skills: Auto HP Potion(level 10) and Auto MP Potion(level 20)
Hilla's Blackheart (obtainable from non true Hilla): Auto HP potion (level 10) and Auto Move (level 20)
Pink Bean's Minion (obtainable from Pink Bean) Learnable skills: Auto All-Cure potion (level 10) and Item Ignore (level 20)
Baby Horntail (obtainable from Horntail) skills: Auto HP Potion (level 10) and Expired Item pickup (level 20)
Mini Clockwork (obtainable from Papulatus) skills: Auto Move (level 10) and Auto Buff (level 20)
Will's Spider (obtainable from Will) is a baby spider you adopted after will's defeat. Learnable Skills: Auto Feed (level 10) and Auto Buff (level 20)
True Hilla's Blackheart (obtainable from True Hilla) Learnable Skills: Auto move (level 10) and Expired Item Pickup (level 20)
With pets learning skills upon leveling up, Pet level cap will be raised to level 70 for all pets obtainable from the cash shop that can be revived or are permanent. All pets will learn the same skill at the same level milestone so there's no exclusive pay to win pets that will learn a good skill before other pets do other than buying skills directly from the cash shop, which is already part of the current pet meta, to teach your pet skills learnable at later levels faster. Difficulty for pets to reach level 30 will be decreased but will require more than the original amount needed to reach level 30 to reach level 70. Auto Move and Extended Automove pet skills will be merged as one skill along with Auto HP and Auto MP pet skills being another merged skill.
Before explaining the new levels and closeness required, I'd like to introduce a new pet skill and feature: The ability to store items. This is the feature we've all been wanting to solve the desire to hold more items. However, this skill can only be unlocked through leveling up your pets and storage amount increases based on level! You can even stack them with summoning multiple pets at once!
Another new feature, or rather an extended explaination of the former, is how storage will work. Pets with a storage skill (gained at pet level 5) will allow you to store 5 items. Every 20th level after (level 25, level 45, level 65), will open another 5 slots for a total of 20 slots per pet. You will be unable to unsummon a pet (even if it "dies" of hunger) until you take the items out of the pet or swap pets unless that pet has an equal or greater amount of storage slots unlocked. Pets that have their life duration removed will have items in their possession sent to the Blair Package Delivery NPC (we're finally bringing relevance to this NPC again) and can be claimed at any time with no expiration (unless the item stored has it's own expiration then it will be removed if unclaimed by the expiration time) on the character with the expired pet in their possession. Expired Pets can't be moved to the cash shop until after the storage items have been claimed from Blair. Blair will have a storage-like UI when talking to her and asking to retrieve pet possessions.
Revamped Pet Closeness Chart and Skills unlocked(applies to all pets up to level 20, and then applies to all non boss pets.)
Level 1 Closeness Required: 0 Already knows Auto Item and Meso Loot
Level 5: 20 Closeness, Learns Pet Storage
Level 10: 150 Closeness, Learns Auto All Cure
Level 20: 500 Closeness, Learns Auto HP and MP potion use
Level 25: 750 Closeness, Pet Storage Expands to 10 slots
Even More Filler
Level 30: 1,200 Closeness Closeness, Learns Auto Move
Even More Filler
Level 40: 2,000 Closeness, Learns Pet Training (auto feed)
The Filler Never Ends, midlife crisis engaged and stopped wasting people's time by including filler between level milestones.
Level 45: 5,000 Closeness, Pet Storage Expands to 15 slots
Level 50: 10,000 Closeness, Learns Item Ignore
Level 60: 30,000 Closeness, (orignal closeness required to reach original pet level 30), Learns Expired Item Pickup
Level 65: 40,000 Closeness, Pet Storage Expands and caps at 20 slots
Level 70: 50,000 Closeness, Learns Auto Buff
After all this you may be asking yourself, How the heck do you expect me to be able to reach 50,000 closeness to learn the highly desired Auto Buff pet skill when it's already hard to get current pets to level 30, which require 30,000 closeness? And well, honestly I don't expect anyone nor myself to reach it without investing lots of time in the game or whale out on Pet Skills. Fortunately, ways of getting pet closeness will be enhanced in the next paragraph. But there's one thing that I'd also like to add, and that aside from the new Pet Storage feature, the skills unlockable are meant for players who have a pet with no skills and can't afford them. Many players old and new may have a pet that only have 1-3 or more skills and would potentially be able to unlock them for free now. Besides, many of us already bought our pet skills and maybe its an opportunity to get pet skills we haven't bought yet or just to get the pet storage feature open.
-Pet commands now are >3x more likely to cause the pet to react in a way that raises the pet's closeness by 1, and max closeness possibly gained per minute will be 5. If you were to spend an hour of your time giving pet commands you could get about 300. It will take players roughly 167 hours, or a full week and 4 hours to get your pet to level 70. Obviously no one will want to spend their entire week on maplestory telling your pet to sit, but there's always going to be someone who's going to try, which presents the challenge of determination and focus to raise your pet as fast as possible without spending money, which is more likely achievable than getting a Ones to Watch player in Fifa 19 (less than 1% to get one).
-Pet Food will increase closeness depending on remaining hunger of the pet after it was fed. If pet has fullness amount 1 and pet food increases fullness by 30, pet will give 5 closeness. If the pet had 85 fullness and was fed normal pet food, the pet will give 2 Closeness points. Closeness amount starts at 1 if the pet has 6 or less fullness and increases by 1 per 6 more fullness that has been increased up to 30 fullness, or 5 closeness. Premium Pet food will also follow this method, but closeness gained is doubled.
-Closeness will no longer drop. Even if you're mean to your pet and let it "starve" or overfeed it, it will not lose any closeness. It will give you a mean look every now and then, however, and instead, your pet will refuse to gain any closeness for 30 minutes after resummoning it or overfeeding it. This is to ensure the pet doesn't "lose" skills already learned and storage spaces unlocked.
To wrap this up, I know there's some things I need to improve to gain player support, but I'm trying to make it more leveled so that it seems reasonable for Nexon to implement such a demand. If it were up to me and I were a game designer making bank without relying on microtransaction income from Maplestory, I'd personally give everyone all the benefits of pets and pet storage for free. I'd still like to hear player input, and know what parts are good and what are bad, and their opinions to fix said bad parts or explain why it would be bad.