Archive for August 30th, 2012

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The Pet Hunter Diaries: The First Step Is Admitting I Have A Problem

August 30, 2012

Dear Diary,

They say it is coming; I can smell it in the winds. It has been a long time the hunt called to me, but I hear their voices now, the song of my dreams — and I have no choice but to heed. Look at me, they say. I’m so cute and cuddly! You want me in your collection. You know I’ll make the perfect companion. Time and time again, I have tried to turn away! But, dear Diary, as always…here I am.

Vanity pets. My love, my shame, my addiction. And in about a month’s time, it will only get worse. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is coming. Pet battles are coming. For self-proclaimed pet hunters such as myself, this new feature is both a blessing and a disaster. Perhaps it’s time to just give up this futile fight and embrace my inner obsessive pet collector. After all, I’ve played in the beta, and in it I’ve seen the time sink that is this new pet system — AKA my complete and utter ruination. And how better to embrace my imminent downfall than to document the entire process here like the gigantic nerd I am?

MoP might not be out yet, but the hunt is on. What does it say about me, when the first thing I did upon logging into my character for the first time in nearly a year, was to catch up on the new pets I have missed? Even though this is incredibly last minute of me, ever since I resubbed to WoW a few weeks ago I’d been working towards obtaining the “collect 150 unique pets” achievement — a not entirely unreasonable goal, or so I thought, seeing as I had last left off at 134.

Unfortunately, it might have been a tad too ambitious. Of the pets I have yet to collect, even the ones that don’t involve extreme good luck or paying an obscene amount of gold on the auction house require weeks to months of grinding, grinding, grinding. Again, what does it say about me when I will scorn grinding rep and dailies for gear, but will practically trip over my feet to do them if the end reward was a vanity pet instead? I am a sick, sick woman.

Latest hunting notes and recent pets:

Armadillo Pup

Was not even Revered with guild upon return to game, can imagine how long I have not played. Immediately bought this little guy upon hitting required rep. 50,000 dead critters needed to unlock pet, can somewhat recall going on rat killing spree in Deeprun Tram (just doing my part!) Seeing as I personally helped kill thousands of the little buggers towards guild achievement, I’d say I deserve this!

Guild Herald

Also bought at Revered rep with guild. Looks like full-sized male NPC, faction-exclusive companion, not battle pet. Too bad, as all I can picture now is this dude drop kicking my armadillo. On second thought, non-battle pet status probably good thing.

Rustberg Gull

This pet a result of almost two weeks dailies grinding for Baradin’s Wardens in Tol Barad. Alliance almost never wins there on server. Wanted to shoot self by time I was done. Unfortunately, 200 more commendations in my future, required for Fox Kit pet (now added to vendor). Oh well, better than farming and hoping for random drop. Might as well get to exalted on the way too.

Blue Mini Jouster

As pet collector, always thought Blizzard were bunch of shitheads for making you choose between getting Blue or Gold Mini Jouster as a reward for quest Egg Wave. Glad they made it daily, which if completed ten times awards you the Mini Jouster you did not choose in initial quest, allowing you to collect both. Thank you.

Hippogryph Hatchling

Found my stack of WoW trading cards while cleaning the other day, including rare Thunderhead Hippogryph loot card. Forgot I had this. Used to play game with ex-boyfriend, thought the dirtbag had made off with this along with rest of my collection. Could have sold this for at least 50 bucks on eBay, but hey, recall that I am sick, sick woman who must have her pets.

Dark Phoenix Hatchling

Thanks to removal of guild rep weekly cap and number of dailies cap in latest patch (again, thank you), got exalted with guild earlier this week. Would have been another four weeks otherwise. Bought really awesome dark phoenix pet right away, as well as its big brother the dark phoenix flying mount.

Lil’ Tarecgosa

Also bought this little guy when hit Exalted rep with guild. Cutest pet ever (sorry, Baby Blizzard Bear), and definitely prettiest dragon whelp pet by far. Unlocked by guild achievement. Now currently one very adorable pet richer…but unfortunately about 1500 gold poorer.

Tiny Shale Spider

Doing Therazane dailies one night when NPC scan mod alerted me to Jadefang in Crumbling Depths. As luck would have it, had Underground Economy daily quest. Heart pounding, set bomb in order to be literally exploded ass-backwards into previously inaccessible ledge. Held my breath, heaved a sigh of relief to find Jadefang in back of cave, actually up and alive. Wasn’t for long. Looted Tiny Shale Spider. Did not expect to go camping for rare spawns, just lucky night.

As you can see, I was somewhat aided by Tuesday’s patch 5.0.4, which also brought along an overhaul to the current pet system. The spellbook companion tab is now replaced by a Pet Journal UI, and all pets and mounts become account-wide with the exception of faction-exclusives.

As a result, I sorely regret not working harder on pet collecting using my other characters in the past. Children’s Day pets? Could have done the quests on multiple characters and gotten them all in one year. Argent Tournament Horde-side pets? My Tauren could have done those ages ago. Darkmoon Faire? My army of alts could have been ticket farming for a pet each. I could have been well over 150 pets by now.

Oh well, as they say, water under the bridge. The important thing is, hunting has been busy yet fruitful. Two weeks ago I needed 16 more pets to meet my goal, but today we are up to 142 with only 8 to go. Dear Diary, I hope to be there the next time I write, or at least be a lot closer to 150. Much luck and best wishes to all the other pet enthusiasts out there embarking upon their own pet hunting safaris. If interested, feel free to check out my current collection. To use a turn of phrase coined by my lovely guildmate from across the pond, I’m always happy to talk shop with other fellow “Pet Pals.”

Happy hunting,

MMOGC