So after finally getting all the pet perks up to r1 on at least a few different pets and obtaining level 15 of the player perk counterparts to those perks, I have to say:
Pet Perks aren't very good at all.
Now, whether this is from their activation requirements or just their effects, they just aren't useful.
This perk lets your pet obtain a portion of the shadow mission completion exp, and even extends the buff, in a small part, to other pets in the summoner's party.
Here's the thing though: This perk is only useful for giving your pet EXP.
At rank 1, this perk gives the currently summoned pet 40% of the owner's completion exp. With level 15 of the player perk as well this increases by +10%, making it give 50%.
At rank 1, it gives party member pets 8%. Add on level 15 of the player perk and it's +2%, making it 10%.
Now theoretically this could be stacked if multiple people in the party all had r1 + Level 15 and also activated the perk all at once, giving up to 50% + (10x7)%, up to 120% shadow mission completion exp to the pets of everyone in the party.
But multiple issues arise:
1) Shadow Mission completion EXP counts for SO LITTLE of a pet's total exp.
2) This perk's ONLY use is to help level up a pet, and it doesn't even do a good job of that.
3) The entire party is very unlikely to A) Have this perk as their pet's active perk,
Have this perk ranked up all the way, and C) Actually fulfill the activation reqs.
The activation reqs for Bonding Ties are:
1. Stay mounted on a pet for 1 minute straight (0/1)
2. Obtain combat EXP (0/20)
3. Pet finishes an enemy (0/5)
Now for the first req, 1 minute straight of being mounted is highly unlikely to ever happen during normal gameplay. Especially if the pet you're using doesn't actually have mounted combat capabilities.
Now the second isn't a limiting factor, unless you're fighting weak/est enemies on the field or in SMs, since if enemies give 0 exp due to being too weak, it won't count.
But the third, this runs into issues in Hard and Elite SMs unless your pet has some kind of nuke skill.
Altogether, Bonding Ties isn't good. If you want your pet to level up, go take it with you into Baltane Elites or Adv HM dungeons with Divine Link. Shadow Mission completion EXP isn't even where most PLAYERS get their exp from, it's from the mobs themselves in those missions.
Now moving on to the next.
This perk basically gives your pet the Mana Shield skill, as well as a small Mdef/Mprot buff to itself and the party. (may just the the party's pets)
Once activated, it works exactly the same as the player's version. In fact, it even has Mana Use on activation, and upkeep cost that slowly ticks away mana, and also keeps the same damage:mana ratio that the player's version does.
Now for the issues.
Pets don't get Mana Shield reforges or even the bonus from using magic weapons/wands. They get the base efficiency and that's it. And pet mana shield is just like the player version so their def/prots don't come into play.
At r1 this is 2.5 damage per MP. I don't know about you, but this wouldn't help my pet's survivability at all, especially compared to Divine Link.
And since you can't actually ACTIVATE this perk without using Divine Link, and since most pets have less MP than HP anyways, this perk makes your pet squishier.
Here's the activation reqs:
1) Stay Divine Linked for 1 minute straight (0/1)
2) You (the player) gets hit while using Mana Shield (0/3)
3) Pet receives the Enduring Melody buff (0/2)
4) Pet drinks a mana potion (0/5)
Now, this perk basically makes your pet squishier. You need Divine Link to activate it, so it's actively downgrading its defensive capabilities when it activates.
And besides, I don't know about you, but I think spending 5 Mana Potions on a pet so it can activate a buff that essentially nerfs its defense is dumb. Even if you keep MP 10 potions on hand specifically to use to activate this perk, it's a waste.
Besides, it also asks you to use Enduring Melody. Who is going to appreciate having someone use enduring melody on the party so they can turn on their pet's mana shield? No one probably. Besides, Divine Link doesn't regen a pet's MP, so once it runs out (and it likely will after only a few hits because Blue Shield doesn't apply defensive stats just like normal Mana Shield, you're basically left with a small Mdef/Mprot buff to your pet and to the party.
This buff is 11 Mdef and 5 Mprot at r1 Blue Shield for 10 minutes. With level 15 of the player perk it doubles to 22 Mdef and 10 Mprot.
Party members get a meager 5 Mdef and 2 Mprot. The player perk doesn't affect this buff at all.
Finally onto the last one:
Ironically this is probably the most "useful" of the Pet Perks, just because its effect can be sort of helpful.
Of course this doesn't help a pet's combat ability. This basically is only useful for pets that you keep out to heal, when they aren't tanking hits.
What this does is, after activation, when your pet uses healing on you, it causes the pet to shoot out healing orbs to a certain number of nearby party member pets X times every Y seconds, up to Z total AoEs for the skill's duration.
At rank 1 this is:
Cast up to 15 "AoEs" which each shoot 10 healing bursts out every 2 seconds hitting up to 7 nearby party member's pets. And the effect lasts 360 seconds, so that's how much time you have to fit all 15 AoEs in.
With Lv15 of the player perk this boosts it to up to 15 AoEs, shooting 15 healing bursts every 1 second for 360 seconds.
If you manage to fit all 15 AoEs before the duration is up, you can't cast anymore unless you reactivate the skill. And if the duration runs out before you cast all 15 AoEs, the remaining casts are just lost. Not a biggy, but just saying.
For the activation requirements:
1) Keep pet summoned for 5 minutes. (0/1)
2) Pet uses healing (0/10)
3) Summoner uses Party Healing (0/5)
4) Pet receives Life Anthem effect (0/1)
Now, if you're in a party as a healer, this is bound to activate eventually. It's actually the most natural of all the activation requirements.
The pet uses healing 10 times is done in 2 casts of healing, since it makes 5 orbs and each one counts separately.
The life anthem can be done without actually finishing casting the relevant buff, so you don't have to worry about cancelling out something like BFO.
The worst part though, is the 5 minute summon time requirement. It's essentially a cooldown on a pet skill. This is mostly a huge issue when training the perk itself.
No matter the perk, each rank requires 10 activations to rank up. Now at 5 minutes apiece, this comes out to at least 50 minutes per rank. Now most pets have between 100~120 minutes of summoning time, maybe up to 180, so this is a very hard cap of how many times you can activate this perk, and thus how quickly you can rank this perk.
As for the most disappointing part, this perk ONLY HEALS PARTY MEMBER PETS.
It doesn't heal YOU, it doesn't heal YOUR pet, it doesn't heal YOUR PARTY MEMBERS THEMSELVES, only the summoned pets of party members.
Now the heals aren't too weak, a r1 healing pet can hit upwards to around 120~200 HP every second, which can help keep party member pets alive.
But since, once it's activated the AoE is set off by your pet using healing you run into a bit of a problem: Your pet can only cast healing on you.
And the way it starts casting is a bit annoying.
Instead of standing in place and starting casting, your pet will run right up to your character before it actually starts casting. It's a bit annoying.
Anyways now to the AP costs:
Each Player Perk costs 181 AP. They give no stats and there's 3 of them so it's basically 543 AP for small bonuses to your pet's perks.
Then there's the fact that reaching level 15 in a perk requires a total of 34 ranks gained in a pet's perk. Since learning rF doesn't count, this comes out to 14 ranks per pet.
So basically you'll need 3 pets to rank their perks to get to level 15 in the player perk. (So like two pets at r1 and the third gets up to r9)
Since it takes 600 Pet Points to get a pet from unlearned to r1, this is 1,340 Pet Points to get to level 15.
3 player perks worth of pet perks is 4,020 Pet Points. Now that the 2x PP event is over, it's 15 Pet Points every time your pet reaches a level ending in 0 (10, 20, 30, 40, etc).
So getting a pet from Lv1 to 200 gives 300 Pet Points. So basically hitting 268 separate 10th level milestones to be able to rank up enough to get all your perks up to level 15.
All in all, my thoughts after reaching Level 15/r1 in all the perks:
The activation requirements are unintuitive and just too much to want to do to activate.
If the skills just had traditional cooldowns and better training methods it'd be better.
Though Bonding Ties and Blue Shields effects run counter to their intended effects. (i.e. Speeding up Pet leveling and making a pet tankier)
Healing Rays is disappointing in that it only heals pets, and the 5 minute activation timer makes it suck up a pet's summon time just for some pet heals.
These pets need a rework already, and they were just added!
Basically dead on arrival.
Baltane Elites and Adv HM dungeons blow Bonding Ties' shared shadow mission completion EXP out of the water.
Blue Shield ironically makes your pet die faster.
Healing Rays only helps other pets survive. It'd be far better if it healed the entire party. The target limit shouldn't even exist IMO. Imagine if party healing had a target limit, lol.