Archive for the ‘World of Warcraft’ Category

h1

My Top 5 Gaming Highlights Of 2012

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! Here’s my first post of 2013, whose title I confess should really be “My Top 5 Gaming Highlights of 2012…And Then Some” because while 2012 was indeed a great year for games and gamers, admittedly I found myself struggling to come up with pure gaming-related entries for this list. It’s not that I haven’t been impressed with the industry’s offerings this year so much as I find myself with less gaming experiences to draw from, because the truth is I played less games these past twelve months than I have in recent years. Time has been so tight, there are so many games on my to-play list that I never even got a chance to go out and buy, let alone play. I can’t say that I’ve ever been so behind before.

Then again, so much has also changed in my life in 2012! Let’s take a look back at the memories:

5. Pet Battles and the Return of the Dynamic Duo

Pandaren

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria released on September 25th. I won’t go as far as to say it’s my favorite expansion so far, though I’m aware it is for many. Nevertheless, I’m still playing it more than three months later, which is already more than what I could say for its predecessor Cataclysm.

I will say that the new expansion has provided me more reasons to stick around, even after hitting the new level cap. For one, the companion pet battling and collecting system has me hooked — 431 pets to my name so far, and I’m still hunting, always hunting. Also, the mister and I have both taken a break from the endgame grind to work on a couple of Pandaren Monks. More than anything, I love playing MMOs with my husband. Leveling characters has always been our special way to bond, and nothing brings us closer than facerolling our enemies together with our Spinning Crane Kicks.

4. 122 Books

stats

I’ve always been one to go looking for challenges, which I have to say sometimes leads me to give myself some pretty random dumb goals.

As with most random dumb goals, I didn’t really have a reason for it, but a few years ago I just decided one day that I wanted to read 100 novels in a year.  I attempted several times, coming so close in 2011 at 83 books, and being pathetic I went and retroactively lowered my Goodreads challenge that year to 80 just so I could get the achievement badge. Well, no need to fudge the numbers for 2012; I kicked the challenge’s ass with a total of 122 novels and so you can even say I read enough to make up for last year.

Interestingly, the more I read the lower my average rating for books seem to get. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting more critical, or that more books under my belt just simply equals more mediocre ratings.

3. Mercy Gaming

Mercy Gaming

2012 was a rather turbulent year for Star Wars: The Old Republic to say the least, and neither has it really been smooth sailing for a lot of us who kept our subscriptions going until free-to-play. I think the most gut-wrenching part of it all the worrying I did about whether my Republic and Empire guilds will fall apart. After all, I got to meet and play with an amazing group of players, and I’ll always have SWTOR to thank for that.

I needn’t have stressed myself. The Republic Mercy Corps and Imperial Mercenary Corps may be shadows of what they once were in the game, but many of our members have kept in touch. Rebranded Mercy Gaming, the guild lives on, becoming a multi-gaming community that continues to adventure together in games like Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, The Secret World, Minecraft, World of Warcraft, PlanetSide 2, and many many more. It’s always a party with these folks, who have all become my very good friends.

2. The Secret World

TSW

Never have I ever played an MMO like TSW. The only other game that even came close to capturing my heart and blowing my mind this year was of course Guild Wars 2, but even that gets edged out, albeit just barely. For one thing, while my playtime in GW2 has tapered off until I can find more time in my schedule, I am still playing TSW regularly each week because I just can’t seem to get enough of this game! I suppose it does have a certain je ne sais quoi that made it stand out to me above the rest, and it’s not just the unique genre or playstyle.

For one, I like that it came out of nowhere and surprised me (in a good way). In fact, months after its release it’s still regularly doing that. While it’s far from perfect and definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, it does sometimes feel like with every issue update and TSW Monday, I fall hopelessly in love with this game all over again.

1. “Baby Mogsy”

MMOGC Jr

Welcoming our first child in February 2012 definitely made me and my husband a lot busier. While taking care of a baby has left me not as free to do a lot of my hobbies anymore, I’m loving motherhood and I cherish every single moment I spend with my little girl, even though she’s probably the biggest reason why my time spent gaming has dropped so dramatically in 2012! But you know what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Even from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I’d gladly give up anything for her.

Our daughter has changed our lives, bringing us such joy and making us feel blessed each and every day. At 10 months old now, every moment with her is like an adventure. She is just full of surprises, and I don’t want to miss a single one!

h1

The Pet Hunter Diaries: Raiding With Leashes

December 11, 2012

Dear Diary,

Hey, it’s me again. Yep, still crazy for vanity pets, and still busting my butt to expand my collection. The hunt continues, and it appears my time in the field has been extended again with the release of World of Warcraft patch 5.1 toward the end of last month. A whole slew of new companions were added, including twelve that drop from certain bosses in classic raids. Well crap, this is obviously shaping up to be yet another time sink, but if this was a Blizzard ploy to get people back into old content, I’D SAY IT’S BLOODY WORKING!

Molten Core

Given my crazy schedule in November, I didn’t get to start until last week. And I’m happy to report that the reported drop rates of “not too bad” are actually just that. I mean, 7 out of 12 for my first run-through of all the four raid dungeons is pretty good, right?

Here’s to luck this week as well when the lockouts reset.

Until next time,

MMOGC

Latest Field Notes and Recently Hunted Pets

Okay, I know I complain (just a little) but I have to admit, doing some of these vanilla raids is actually a lot of fun, especially when I’m soloing everything and feeling INVINCIBLE. Some of the bosses even present a bit of a challenge to do alone because of their mechanics, but I’m generally pleased to add this as yet another activity to mess around in WoW whenever I have time to blow — at least until I get my achievement and Mr. Bigglesworth.

Stitched PupStitched Pup

That is one ugly puppy! Simple enough to get, though it’s worth noting I had to switch to my Guardian off-spec on my druid to get past Patchwerk in Naxxramas, and since the pets only drop off the end bosses in three wings, most of my time was pretty much spent clearing the dungeon. Dropped by Gluth, and in the end he was the only boss out of the three that dropped his loot.

Corefire ImpCorefire Imp

Drops from Magmadar in Molten Core. I guess since the Corehound Pup is already a pet, they needed something else to drop off him. Anyway, he’s cute and very flexible in terms of being a battle pet. In nothing else, he’ll go well with my warlock.

Ashstone CoreAshstone Core

Kinda meh about the model on this guy. I mean, he drops off of Golemagg the Incinerator, one of the cooler looking bosses with one of the cooler sounding names in Molten Core, and it’s like…that’s it? It’s just a white, floating piece of rock. Disappointing.

untamed hatchlingUntamed Hatchling

Getting this little guy was a pain mainly because he drops off Razorgore in Blackwing Lair, and keeping that boss alive during phase 2 while adds were pummeling him was the hardest part doing this solo. The trick was to frequently come out of the mind control to clear adds, and also popping my HoTs (ah, it’s sweet to be a druid) to grab aggro. Took me half an hour just to get the rhythm down, but once I managed it, he was a cinch.

Death Talon WhelpguardDeath Talon Whelpguard

Dropped from Broodlord Lashlayer, who was such a pushover that I spent much more time getting through the damn suppression in those two rooms leading up to him than I actually did fighting. Very pleased that Blizzard decided to add a Drakonid pet.

ChrominiusChrominius

As his name suggests, he’s a mini version of the boss Chromaggus who drops him. As soon as I saw him, I knew he was going to be one of my favorites — he’s just too cool looking! I seemed to have gotten lucky in Blackwing Lair; first week and I was three for three and done.

Viscidus GlobuleViscidus Globule

Oh be still my heart, it’s yet another horrible blob pet. Terrible luck in Temple of Ahn’Qiraj. Ran the whole thing for the bosses and only came out with this guy. I’d forgotten frost oil or anything I could use to freeze Viscidus too, and being lazy I had to call in my husband the mage to bring the frost spells. He dropped the pet for me, so now I can skip him forevermore.

h1

How Do You Feel About One-Time-Only Events?

October 29, 2012

So I was fortunate enough to be online in Guild Wars 2 yesterday, waiting in Lion’s Arch, at the advertised time for the special Halloween event. And after all that build-up, all the secrecy, the “one-time-only” event that we were all waiting for amounted to a cinematic cutscene that lasted about 40 seconds.

Whether it was worth it or not is a matter up for debate, one I’m not going to get into here. Personally, I thought it was a wicked cutscene, followed by a fantastic encounter with the Mad King in his otherworldly lair, and that overall the ArenaNet folks did an amazing job bringing us Act 3. I was thrilled to have been a part of it.

But I still dislike the idea of one-time-only events.

Quite simply, they’re bad news, and hard to justify. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great that game designers are still freely experimenting with special events and timing, but when you’re planning an in-game holiday intended to be enjoyed by everyone, then 1) announcing a one-time-only event, and 2) not giving any details about what to expect is probably one of the quickest, easiest ways to alienate and piss off a bunch of your players.

Speaking for myself, yesterday just so happened to be a lazy, rainy Sunday and I had some free time in the afternoon. But I’m aware not everyone was that lucky. Australians and folks in Asia were setting alarms to wake up in the wee hours in the morning on a freakin’ work day, and a lot of East Coasters in the US were out shopping for supplies and preparing for the Frankenstorm. Come on, people, we’re living and gaming in an international community! There’s also conflicts and unforeseen circumstances that can always pop up! Crap happens! When you know full well that everyone and their mother is going to want to participate, why still consider one-shot events?

Not to mention how they often lead to not-so-fun problems associated with overloaded servers. If you ask World of Warcraft players present at the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj opening event, most will tell you about the horrific lag, and I still recall the long server queues being a hindrance at Rift’s River of Souls event last year. GW2’s event wasn’t perfect, but I do however have to give a hat tip to the team for the relatively smooth performance yesterday — though not indicative of everyone’s experience, I had absolutely no problems before, during, and after the wait in Lion’s Arch nor during my showdown with the Mad King. At least before the servers sputtered and died, that is.

But what does this all mean? It occurred to me that dynamic, truly spontaneous events with persisting and enduring consequences that will change the game world are still possibly a long ways off. After all, can’t an impromptu, extemporaneousness event which can cause our actions to alter our surroundings permanently for everybody arguably be perceived as a one-time-only event? As much as we ask for it, as temptingly awesome as it sounds, even if it were technologically achievable, player resistance will probably be a significant obstacle. As gamers, none of us like to be left out or miss anything in our favorite MMOs. And really, who can blame us?

h1

The Pet Hunter Diaries: Special Events

October 15, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 54
Current Total: 363

I have to say seasonal and special events are one of my favorite things about collecting vanity pets in World of Warcraft. Whether it’s midsummer sparks or flying cats in witches’ hats, many of them possess a unique flair and are often available only for a limited time each year and therefore you’ll want to put aside some time to obtain them. Speaking of which, Brewfest has just now come and gone, so I hope all my fellow collectors have grabbed their pink elephants and Wolpertingers if they hadn’t already gotten them in the previous years.

What do people do while waiting for the Wanderer’s Festival to start? Fish, of course!

I also want to mention that Mists of Pandaria has also added a new weekly event called the Wanderer’s Festival to their calendars. Every Sunday night from 9pm-11pm server time, lanterns appear in the water at Turtle Beach in the Krasarang Wilds, and special NPCs and Pandaren loremasters show up to set up bonfires, fireworks and a beer keg for all in attendance. I’d missed the festivities the last few weeks — in fact, I didn’t even know about them until I saw this blog post by Anexxia so I have her to thank for clueing me in.

So last night, a few minutes before midnight my time (I’m on a west coast server) I made the journey to Krasarang Wilds, flying along the strip of beach in order to find the right location. It wasn’t difficult to spot; many players were already there and waiting for the arrival of the wandering pilgrims. Aside from wanting to see the event for the first time, I had another reason for being there. If you guessed pet hunting, you’d be correct. A wild pet, called the Wanderer’s Festival Hatchling, is only available for capture during this event, and I wanted to bag one for myself before the night was out.

Speaking of special events, I feel I have to mention the Darkmoon Faire as well, since this past weekend also marked the end of the week-long carnival. I was able to purchase all the Darkmoon pets available from the vendor, thanks to the new account-wide pet journal feature consolidating pets on all your characters.

Otherwise, the safari continues. I’m still hunting in Cataclysm zones and sometimes in Pandaria, usually between questing sessions and while waiting for instance groups to pop. I’ve had little luck with obtaining some of the harder-to-find pets in Northrend, Outland, or Azeroth even though I’ve gone back on occasion to check for them, though I did do some “night hunts” and managed to add a couple nocturnal pets to my collection.

As usual, happy hunting and until next time,

MMOGC

Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Showcasing some of the more unique pets I’ve captured on my travels:

Wanderer’s Festival Hatchling

Wanderer’s Festival Hatchling is…a turtle! Around 9pm server and immediately after everyone got their achievement for witnessing opening ceremonies, these little guys began to pop up all along beach. I grabbed the first one I saw, battled it and caught it. Not sure if more respawn during the two hour event or how often they do, but when I came out of the fight they were ALL gone, snapped up by other pet battlers. My advice, get there early.

Darkmoon Zeppelin

I should hate this pet, I really should, considering how many times it has blown me up in quest Tonk Commander, but it’s just so cool! Flying mechanical pet! Other Darkmoon pets I obtained all at once include Darkmoon Cub, Darkmoon Tonk, Darkmoon Balloon and Darkmoon Turtle, because I already got the monkey. All I had to do was grind dailies every day on a bunch of characters until my eyes bled out. Can’t complain, otherwise at 90 tickets a pop it would have taken my main almost a year to get them all.

Flayer Youngling

One of those hard-to-find pets in Outland. They can only be found high in the strip of bramble forest between Terrokar and Hellfire Peninsula and they don’t seem to spawn very often. Every time I showed up there before there were none and someone was always camping. But one day, during one of my rare flyovers I happened to catch the lone sight of a single spawn! As a bonus, capturing this little guy also completed my Outland Safari achievement.

Restless Shadeling

Interesting pet, as it only spawns early morning in the Master’s Cellar below Karazhan. Ugh, remember that place? “Early morning” apparently means 12am server time. During late night gaming weekend (2am my time, because on my server Deadwind Pass seems to be on Mountain time), I showed up there just to see what would happen and at 12:01am on the dot, these guys just automagically appeared all over my mini-map. It was actually kind of anti-climatic. But again, other hunters started showing up and 2min later they were all gone.

Stone Armadillo

Easy one to get, just show up at night in Desolace and these little guys are literally crawling all over the place! Don’t know why I didn’t get this one earlier, just hardly ever find myself in Kalimdor especially at night. Very cute and actually looks like a hunk of rock. There should be no trouble finding one, though trying to catch uncommon or rare quality will probably be the bigger challenge.

 

h1

WoW: DING! Level 90

October 11, 2012

Sixteen days after the World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria release, I finally reached level 90 last night with my druid main. Given my pacing, a little more than two weeks is about when expected I’d make the new level cap. I wouldn’t say I consider this “slow” by any means, but I do know that I have been a bit sluggish compared to some of my fellow bloggers, some of whom I know hit the big ding last week.

Indeed, this is the first WoW expansion where I’ve actually taken it easy, and it has been good. I’ve been taking my time, spreading it between leveling my main and playing my new Pandaren Monk, in addition to also doing a little bit of dungeon running on the side with guildmates. If you recall, I reserved a Mage alt exactly for that last purpose, and that lowbie spellcaster I started weeks ago with my friends is now level 80. With all of us having mains from different servers, different factions and different levels, this has become a way for us to do group content together.

If you’ve seen my WoW pet hunting posts, you’ll also know that I’ve been completely addicted to the new pet system. My progress on that has been happening in the background, mostly in the afternoons when I find lulls during the day between chores and working on my commissions. As well, the baby’s napping schedule is still a little sporadic, which makes the pet collecting/battling mini-game the perfect activity, whether I get 20 minutes or 2 hours to play. It’s also essentially the closest thing to a “pause” button in this MMO; once you engage a wild pet in a fight, the whole world literally fades into the background, you can’t get ganked or attacked by roaming mobs, and the game will wait for your turn until you take it. When I need to step away from the computer in a hurry, I can do it without a second thought.

Overall, I’ve been quite impressed by MoP. Admittedly, this is the most fun I’ve had in WoW since The Burning Crusade, which still happens to be my favorite expansion. Granted, as is the case with most MMOs I play, a lot of my enjoyment has to do with the people with whom I’m playing, but a part of me is also convinced there’s something special about MoP. Contrasting it with Cataclysm, I feel that this expansion has a lot more personality and character. Don’t get me wrong, I really didn’t think Cata was that bad, but while it was an ambitious and bold move by Blizzard, I also felt the last expansion lacked a certain cogency and at times seemed like it was confused with itself. MoP on the other hand feels like it has a clearer direction and things more in check.

Cuddly!

The other thing is, I know a lot of people have put this expansion down it for its cutesy nature and cuddliness, and that’s certainly a valid criticism. I’m definitely not denying that the game has dialed up big time on the whimsy, but I also don’t think it should be the only reason to stay away. There’s just so much more to explore in this expansion that a concern like that just melted away once I actually got to play more of the expansion.

At least to me, it sure feels like there’s a lot more to do in MoP. In addition to my pet hunting shenanigans, now there’s even farming to do! And I don’t mean MMO farming, I mean the tilling, seeding, watering, harvesting kind of farming! I’m crossing my fingers here, but getting your own little farmstead and plots to grow crops in certain feels like a first step towards one day seeing player housing in WoW. If this is some sort of experiment by Blizzard, I have to say it’s proving quite successful.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is, I’ve hit 90 and I already feel completely overwhelmed. I know there’s a lot to this expansion, but I don’t feel it so much when I’m leveling because there’s always that forward direction and an ever present goal to reach level cap. However, once I got there, it was like, where’s an Everything-You-Need-To-Do-Once-You-Hit-Level-90 checklist when you need one? There’s farming and cooking for the Tillers, fishing for the Anglers, other reputations to work on, two entire remaining questing zones to complete, professions to level, more pets to hunt…

I haven’t even thought about the dungeons I need to run yet. No doubt I’ll be doing some endgame instances real soon, but so far gearing up has been the last thing on my mind. That’s probably a good thing, since that process has always been the first step leading me to burnout in the past. We’ll have to wait and see how long MoP will keep me playing, but right now it does appear to offer a lot more to do at endgame compared to the previous expansions.

To close off, I’ll leave you with some of the gorgeous visuals I’ve come across on my adventures through Pandaria. I have to say they’ve really nailed the Eastern themes.

h1

The Pet Hunter Diaries: Azeroth Achieved!

October 8, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 58
Current Total: 309

Believe me when I say you would not want to be one of my World of Warcraft battle pets. I would scream obscenities at you, put you through a grueling workout regime that would make you wish you’d never been born, then force you into violent fights with other pets over and over again until you’re beaten black and blue and unconscious. That’s exactly what I did with my stable of battle pets; I PT’ed those useless maggots (and some of them actually are maggots) until I had myself an elite team of bloodthirsty level 25s.

Only then did I feel ready to take on the bigwigs of the pet battling world. That’s how a few days ago I managed to unlock the pet battle dailies in Azeroth, accomplished by defeating all the battlemasters in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms. Getting to that point really wasn’t so difficult at all — especially if you’re actively hunting unique pets at the same time; the experience points roll in, and the levels simply fly by. Soon enough, I was ready to take the fight to Outland and Northrend.

As far as the hunt goes, I’m only missing the really hard-to-find Azerothian wild pets and those that only show up during certain conditions. I’d consider myself a patient person, but I’m still not about to fly to Stranglethorn every half hour to check if it’s raining. Speaking of patience, I’ve also taken to letting the game idle on my machine while I’m busy with my real life obligations during the day, occasionally throwing glances over my shoulder as I’m working around the house to see if a pet I’d been camping has finally decided to respawn. Pet collecting is like the perfect hobby for us compulsive multi-taskers.

Unfortunately, more people are also clueing in on the server reset trick. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who cares about pet battles, but that’s clearly not so. Last time I tried to log out and camp at a pet “hotspot” before a scheduled restart, there were about a dozen or so other people who had the same idea. Hopefully in about a few months things will get better as our group of pet-obsessives get what we need and move on.

I’ve begun to do the pet hunting exclusively on my Mage now, since being able to teleport to every major part of the game world is the only way to travel, especially now that I’m canvassing Outland and Northrend. One interesting thing to note, is that once you hit around level 20-22 with your team of battle pets, it looks like you’d be strong enough to tackle wild pets everywhere, including the Cataclysm zones and even into Pandaria.

Sad to report, Diary, that so far I’ve had very little luck hunting in Outland, and only slightly better luck in Northrend. There’s always one single pet exclusive to each zone there, and they’re almost always nigh impossible to find…

Happy hunting and until next time,

MMOGC

Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Once again, showcasing some of the more unique pets I’ve captured on my travels, because quite frankly I’m getting rather sick of all those variations of snakes, spiders, rabbits, squirrels, etc.

Pebble

To get this little guy you must complete achievement Rock Lover which involves doing Lost in the Deeps daily at the throne of Therazane in Deepholm 10 times. The catch is, some of the dailies there are random, changes every time. And whaddya know, apparently random = rare. I’d sat at 9/10 times completed for the past two months because that quest was never up, and I checked every day since I resubbed. No wonder I hardly ever see anyone with Pebble on my server.

Diemetradon Hatchling

Familiar to those who remember questing in Un’Goro Crater, which also happens to where I hunted this pet. They tag alongside the Diemetradon Elders that dwell there; a trick to get hatchlings to spawn if you don’t see them, kill Elders and wait for respawns with these little babies accompanying them. Very cool looking pet!

Sporeling Sprout

Obviously the pet exclusive to Zangarmarsh in Outland, doesn’t seem to be very abundant, but got lucky and bagged this pet as I was flying over Sporeggar and spotted him. Looks like I have graduated from being small-time poacher to Sporeling sprout abductor. I should feel bad, but he happened to be the Humanoid type pet I captured to gain Family Reunion achievement, so I don’t.

Fel Flame

Found in Shadowmoon Valley, it’s a great pity pet for those of us who were never lucky enough to get Searing Scorchling that drops off the ice lord boss that’s part of the Midsummer event, or who can’t be assed to grind more Firelands dailies to buy the caches with Marks of the World Tree for a chance at him.

Clefthoof Runt

Here we go with poaching baby animals from their parents again. Remember these guys from Nagrand? Seems pretty rare, but one day flew over a herd and there happened to be quite a few of these tagging along. A runt he may be, but he is still almost as big as my cat form.

Stunted Shardhorn

Another “runt” pet, one of the first Northrend pet I captured, native to Sholazar Basin. Has tendency to spawn inside trees that annoy me to no end! I had to put two or three out of their misery until I came across one I could battle. Always wanted a baby rhino.

Water Waveling

Quite a few of these at the water fields in Zul’Drak. Now I can run around and pretend to be a frost mage with my very own pet water elemental.

h1

The Pet Hunter Diaries: Notes From The Great Azerothian Safari

October 2, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 96
Current Total: 251

Uh, yeah. Just as I thought — it’s pet collecting madness after the release of World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as evidenced by my new acquisitions count and current total, which illustrates a huge jump in numbers from last week. There are so many new pets to hunt and collect.

My guess is, if I’d spent as much time leveling as I did pet hunting and battling this week, I would have reached level 90 by now. But it’s the perfect thing to do in the middle of an afternoon when your baby is napping. Or any time you have a moment to spare, really. What I’ve been doing is methodically going through Azeroth zone by zone, hitting the low level areas first and working my way up. Basically, the higher the level range of the zone, the higher level of the pets you’ll find in them. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you can defeat the NPC trainer in one zone, then you are most likely good to go to move on to the next level bracket.

Other notes I’ve picked up from my great Azerothian safari:

  • It’s all about the team! Team make-up is probably the most important aspect of pet battling, and you’ll probably find yourself constantly switching around and tweaking yours depending on the type of fight. At least, you should be. Always mix it up, and don’t be tempted or feel like you have to be stuck with the same 3-pet team.
  • Consider leveling up at least one of each type of pet (e.g. Flying, Magic, Critter, etc.) because you never know when one of them will come in handy. Variety is key! I definitely would not recommend filling your team with three pets of the same type; it’s a bad idea, as evidenced by some of the NPC trainers you will no doubt tasked to defeat. For instance, I wiped the floor with the goblin Cassandra Kaboom, using a strong Elemental pet against all three of her Mechanicals. You don’t want the same thing to happen to you.
  • If you’re going to be leveling at least one of each type of pet anyway, and seeing as there are 10 types all together, it’s perfect to level several teams in tandem. When looking for battles in one zone, rotating 3-4 teams also lets you take advantage of the 8min cooldown on your heal/revive pets ability, so no need to visit a stable master every time you get battered up. When one team gets low on health, simply switch to another one. This ensures you’ll have about a dozen pets all around the same level no matter where you go, also allowing for minimal downtime.
  • Make sure to still keep a good number of pets at every level or level bracket. You never know when you’ll be traipsing through a lower level zone one day and see a wild pet that catches your eye, and you’ll want a battle pet at a similar level to capture it. This shouldn’t be too hard if you’ve been an avid hunter already, as pets keep their levels when you catch them.
  • Admittedly, leveling pets can be a bit of a grind if that’s all you’re focusing on. The best way to make it not feel like one is by making it a hunting expedition. Time flies when you have a goal in mind, especially if that goal is adding a new unique pet to your collection. Still, even when you catch a new pet, why stop there? Chances are the quality of that pet can be improved, because you’ll probably be catching a lot of “Common” ones.
  • Don’t settle for “Poor” quality! I certainly don’t. Hunting uncommon and rare quality pets can help you level up quick by keeping your mind off the grind. Kill all Common pets you encounter that you already own (there are addons out there that help let you know), and usually by the time you finally bag that your Uncommon or Rare, you would have gained a healthy amount of XP for your team(s).
  • When you find you need to focus on leveling one particular pet, you will want to take it to a zone where there are wild pets appropriate to its level, but see if you can give it an advantage by choosing areas are that teeming with opponents that are weak against it. For example, when I found I needed to power level my Lil’ Tarecgosa, I took to the wilds of Feralas, where the Flying type Nether Faerie Dragons there were getting one-shotted by her strong Magic type attacks. The quick XP gain meant I was able to level her from 8-11 in a matter of minutes.
  • Pet hunting comes with a whole other set of rules, since your goal is not to kill, but to capture. Before you set out, it’s good to have a good mix of pets at varying levels on hand. Usually, a good rule of thumb is to have pets about 1-2 levels above the ones you hope to catch, meaning they are strong enough to not lose the fight, but at the same time they aren’t so strong that you’ll risk killing your opponent outright. Also, be careful not to use abilities that your targets are vulnerable to or you’ll risk doing too much damage, leading to a dead pet and a botched hunt.
  • Also good to have are pets with “small” attacks (like leech life or abilities that do periodic every turn). They’re good for those annoying situations where you’ll get your opponent just a sliver of health above the threshold which activates the trapping ability, when all they need is a tiny little nudge to put them in the sweet spot (25-30% health range). Always look at the numbers, especially when your opponent goes under 50% health. Calculate the damage of your attacks, and pray you don’t get a freak crit that kills the pet you hope to capture.
  • It’s also helpful to have a “tanky” pet on hand, one you can use to soak up damage between turns while you try and capture, because the truth is sometimes the trap misses. This can prevent your other pets from being whittled down and dying on you, because once they die they get no experience at all, no matter how much they participated.
  • While I do prefer to level a bunch of pets at once and keeping them all at around the same level, admittedly it’s sometimes good to have along a “brute” that’s higher level than all the rest. They come in handy during those times where you find the need to completely and utterly destroy your opponent, without delicacy or any of the subtleties. Fighting against NPC battle trainers, for instance. Or, say, when you’ve caught the pet you were after and now that a second pet has joined the fight, you just want the battle to be over. Brutes are good as a back-up plan, and I find bears especially good for the job (Baby Blizzard Bear, Hyjal Bear Cub, etc.)
  • I’m finding that each zone has at least one pet unique to them. Not always, but in general this is the case. Sometimes, that pet can be a bit hard to find. Maybe I just got lucky, but I wonder if server resets can be used to your advantage? All I know is, after days of hunting around the Wetlands for Tiny Bog Beast or Arathi Highlands for Tiny Twister and having no luck, one time I showed up in both places after a server reset and there were a bunch of them all over.
  • Some pets will only come out during certain conditions. For example, Widow Spiderlings in Duskwood or Stone Armadillos in Desolace will only appear at night. Baby Apes in Cape of Stranglethorn only when it’s raining. When it comes to finding out information like this, sites like Warcraftpets.com are your friends.
  • Once you get out of the starting zones, you’ll find most wild pet battles will consist of two opponents; you’ll get an alert that another pet has joined the battle after you engage, and it will sit in the sidelines until you defeat the first. Some wild pets only show up as the “second” pet of a team battle. I suspect the Snowshoe Hare in Hillsbrad Foothills may be one of these. Keep in mind, you can only capture one pet per battle.

Happy hunting,

MMOGC

Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Too many to list all of them, obviously. And anyway, most of them are the same variations of your common models of rabbits, mice, snakes and spiders, etc. Believe me, after a while, you get so sick of seeing rats and rabbits like in every zone you go. Anyway, I’m just going to showcase some of the more unique ones I’ve found on my travels, or a few that I personally like.

Lucky Quilen Cub

What the heck is a Quilen you ask? Apparently a lion dog thingy with disgustingly huge blue watery doe eyes. Finally got this after entering Collector’s Edition code to upgrade my game. Holy crap, this thing is so cute it’s ugly, didn’t even know that was possible. It kinda hurts just to look at it.

Giraffe Calf

No safari is complete without a giraffe. Caught this little (um, maybe not so little?) guy out in Southern Barrens among roving giraffe herds, just swooped in and stole him away from his parents. WoW has turned me into poacher. Next up is training him to become a killer in underground fighting ring. Anyway, pet is TALL. Towers over gnomes. Throw a pet treat that increases its size at it, and it also gets as big as a hunter pet. Got loads of comments.

Lost of Lordaeron

These ghosts are all over the place out in Tirisfal Glades, common but very cool model nonetheless. Also shows you can capture of some of the most unique and pretty pets right in the low level zones, like Gazelle Fawn in Mulgore or Ravager Hatchling in Bloodmyst Isle. Best looking pets are not always locked in later parts of game, though not sure how respectful it is to be able to capture and own and treat the spirits of the dead like…well, pets. Game has turned me into monster.

Tiny Harvester

All over Westfall, very commonly seen in the fields. Essentially miniature of annoying Harvester mobs that try to kill you, but starting out in the human lands it was first wild pet I saw that got me really excited about pet hunting. But also special to me as first catch of this pet also happened to be my first Rare. Very detailed and unique little pet.

Tiny Twister

We have pet models of earth elementals, fire elementals, etc. about time we get an air elemental pet. Found only around Circle of Outer Binding out in Arathi Highlands, but rarely seen because of possible long respawn times. Hunted for two days without seeing any until after server reset, and then there were many. Good luck if you go, and pray some jerk hasn’t caught or killed them all.

Tiny Bog Beast

Yet another “Tiny” pet. Also seems to be quite rare because of possibly long respawn times. Found in Wetlands around the Green Belt, northwest of Greenwarden’s Grove. Finally bagged myself one and only shortly after a server reset, may be harder to find but very awesome looking, well worth it to hunt.

Fishy

FISHY! Oooh, fishy fishy fishy fish! A fish, a fish, a fish, a fishy, oooh! Oooh, fishy, fishy, fishy fish! That went wherever I did go… My first pet quest reward out in Pandaria, that lives in a floating water bubble. To be the greatest pet hunter, quests must not be neglected!

Feral Vermling

And of course, the achievement reward for collecting 250 unique pets, a fairly easy one to do now these days. Kind of a scary-looking little bugger with its red eyes and evil smirk. I think it might be planning something…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,347 other followers