In WolfQuest's single player campaign, mates are the player's accomplice throughout the game and will assist with tasks such as hunting and caring for pups. They are NPCs controlled by computer artificial intelligence and as such, cannot be controlled by players. In the first episode Amethyst Mountain, the primary objective is to seek a mate. With a mate secured at the conclusion of the first quest, the player is free to continue to the second episode's mission in Slough Creek: to give birth, raise, protect, grow and feed pups born to the player and their mate.
The player may only have one mate per saved game. It is still possible to find other dispersal wolves after meeting and securing a mate. Even if the player finds a dispersal of the opposite gender, they will not be able to repeat the bonding ritual to secure the wolf as a mate. The game will recognise that the player already has a mate, preventing them from gaining any more.
Once the player has found and bonded with a dispersal wolf of the opposite gender, the wolf befriended becomes the player's mate forever after completing the first quest in Amethyst Mountain. The mate will help the player fulfill survival tasks such as hunting by attacking prey and also defending against predators.
During Survival of the Pack, the mate will continue to help the player with regular survival duties, but have the added benefit of scavenging for food or hunting on their own to feed all your pups. Unlike the player, the mate cannot fulfill tasks such as marking territory or defending its family from predators including the eagle, likely as a result of limited time and funding resources before the episode was released.
The mate is able to carry and drop pups, however this does not always have desirable results. In some cases, it was possible for pups to drown as a result of the mate's negligent AI, meaning the mate would drop pups in the creek or leave a pup open to attack if a predator was in range of a targeted puppy. While mate AI has since improved, mates will sometimes repeat this behavior.
- The music that plays after establishing a bond with your mate.
In multiplayer, mates are not an intended part of the online game. This is why it is impossible to encounter stranger wolves anywhere in multiplayer, as this was not the intention of multiplayer as a feature. Players are strongly discouraged from seeking, advertising or participating in any mate-related chat rooms (Usually, the name of these games are disguised by being named 'meating' etc.) as stated in the multiplayer guidelines. Doing so will likely end with a warning or permanent ban from WolfQuest.
Because mate/mating-related games are a common issue in multiplayer, the WolfQuest Report Team - a team of voluntary community members who frequently patrol multiplayer's open games list - was founded to help reduce rule-breaking games found in multiplayer. See the WQRT article for information.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Mates are NPCs (non-playable characters) controlled by the computer. Their AI is not the greatest, but it is sufficient enough to allow the player to play through and complete the game and its challenges. As a result, there are a few penalties to the mate that mean it is restricted from specific tasks completely.
- Mates cannot enter or have any interaction during a social encounter with stranger wolves.
- Mates cannot assist with territorial marking and protection.
- Mates cannot defend against the eagle.
- Mates have limited defensive actions against predators and typically only attack after the player has attacked a predator or prey that require a group effort to bring down (ex- elk).
- If you do not specify a name for your mate, its default name will be 'MyMate' until renamed in the 'Pack Stats' interface.
- Your mate will only eat elk once its health reaches 50% or below.
- Your mate may kill a spawned hare in your immediate area. Sometimes, it will eat the carcass regardless of his/her remaining health.
- Your mate will feed your pups, however they won't gain weight. This is a bug that will soon be fixed.
- Your mate will stay with your pups while you're 50 meters away from your territory, however they will not feed your pups while you're absent.
- Sometimes, if your mate follows you across a river with a pup in their mouth, and you turn around, your mate will drop the pup in the river.
- Your mate may start walking off aimlessly.
- Your mate may get stuck behind a tree or your den. They also may 'forget' to feed your pups, and stand around wagging their tails. To fix this, you have to save and reload, although this may happen again shortly after.