There aren't any pets in any of the screenshots released to the gaming media, true, but I don't think we should infer from that that LM pets will only be visible in combat. I imagine the person taking the screenshots simply didn't think to summon a pet, or chose not to summon one, perhaps because it would have been a distraction from what the screenshots were intended to show, namely the landscape. Pets are an integral part of the identity of a loremaster, and I think most people, loremasters and non-loremasters alike, enjoy seeing LM pets running around the game. I can't think of any good reason to disable pets out of combat. In fact, many LMs begin combat with a pet attack, so it would be impractical to only have pets show up when combat begins.
I'm sure LMs who aren't traited into Keeper of Animals will still be able to use pets; again, pets are too integral to the LM class to gate them behind traits. I'm sure there will be pets that will require putting trait points into KOA, but really, that's not all that different from the way things work now. You have to devote a legendary trait slot to the eagle if you want to use it, and you have to trait deep into KOA to be able to use your bog lurker. Looking at that screenshot of the LM trait tree, it looks like it will basically work the same in Helm's Deep; you have to use trait points to unlock these two pets, but the other pets are available to everyone.
I don't think we should read anything into the fact that there are bears in a couple of the trait icons, just like we shouldn't infer from the fact that there's a picture of a bear on one of our current trait icons that you have to trait to be able to use the bear. I think they just decided to put pictures of pets on some of the trait icons because, you know, they affect our pets.
As for the idea that our pets won't have active skills anymore, or that they'll do way less DPS, I don't see any reason to think that. I think pets in Helm's Deep will probably be just the same as pets are now for people who don't trait KOA.
As for the multiple pet thing, it doesn't sound like people who trait KOA will be able to keep multiple pets out, and certainly not all seven pets, all the time. When I first saw the screenshot with all the pets out, I assumed it was a big single attack were all the pets ran out, smacked the enemy, and then disappeared. From that Gamespot quote, it sounds like we might be able to summon three pets and keep all three out for a little while... but note the word "temporarily." It will probably be a skill with a short duration and a longish cooldown... maybe one minute out of every five or two out of every ten or something.
But I'm not in beta, so this is all speculation. We should know more when the LM dev diary comes out in a couple of weeks.
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