It took WoW a couple of years to get pet AI solid. For the longest time my Hunter was constantly asked to put up his pet in instances because the pathing a AI was so poor. Sometimes he would lag behind me, sometimes he would jump ahead and other times he would just get stuck on something and attempt to take the long way around and aggro everything in the instance in the process.
When WAR was released, the pet AI and pathing was absolutely horrible. The War Lion would lag 30 yards back and then warp to the target. He would jump around and seemingly go through walls or up them. He would, at times, disappear completely meaning I had to resummon him.
Humorously enough, the pet pathing and AI is still horrible in WAR. Two years after release, they have still not gotten it right.
In WAR’s defense, pet pathing and AI seems to be one of the hardest things to nail in a MMO. Aion nearly got it, it took WoW over a year, AoC still doesn’t have it perfectly and forget WAR.
Because of this I am, frankly, amazed that it seems that Rift has gotten it right. Take a look at this video and keep a close eye on the elemental pet:
Notice he stays close to the player? Notice how he is not warping all over the place? Notice how he takes an intelligent path to every mob he attacks? Yeah, WAR still has not gotten that right after two years, yet Rift has seemingly nailed it before release.
I am impressed.
I can not wait to compare and contrast Rift’s mail system to WAR’s. One of the most fundamental things in a MMO and Mythic had the worst, laggy, useless mail system ever on release and for a year afterward.