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,



  1. Do you have any more loot cards? I’d really love to get a special pet that I can level up. Right now, I’m looking at a Core hound Pup/Mechanical Squirrel/Sprite Darter Hatchling Combo

    • No, I don’t have any more loot cards (I wish!) I sort of stopped buying the card packs years ago when my ex and I split and I never went back to the game. The loot cards I have are from way back then that I’d never scratched and claimed, and only the hippogryph was a pet. I am really tempted to buy the cheap ones they have now though, on ebay. The newer pet loot cards are a lot more common now, but the older ones that are like $50-hundreds of dollars? Forget it.

      I have to start thinking about my trio. I wish you could have more “teams” if you know what I mean? I could go with themes and stuff — like an all-reptile team! Or a cats-only team! Or an all-flying team! Um, yeah, I am already having way too much fun with this.

  2. *stands up sheepishly* “Hello, my name is Tarante11a. This is my first meeting and I am a pet-o…. ” OH sod that!

    Yes, I have spent literally hours, possibly hours AND hours, doing circuits killing the same damn mob group, over and over again, in the hope that the Green/Azure/Crimson Whelpling|Fire-bloody-fly|Oozling would drop. Even as I’m doing it, the ticker-tape of my thought is saying ‘What the hell are you doing? What the hell are you doing? This one! No, THIS ONE. What the hell ARE you doing?” And if the damn thing does drop, the first emotion I experience isn’t ever mind-blowing joy, it’s knackered relief and a kind of grumpy dull pleasure in the knowledge that I’ll never have to kill a bloody Noxious Whelp (or whatever) ever ever again, not if I don’t want to.

    It’s on these pet grinds that I stand closest to black abyss of self-awareness, the skittering, murky understanding I try to keep at the back of my mind: my favourite hobby, the thing I spend a horrible amount of time indulging in, is a really stupid pointless thing to do.

    I come up with my own little mind games to distract me from this; trying to calculate how many mobs I’ve killed from the stacks of leather I have in my bags, only allowing myself to stop when I have to empty my bags, making up ridiculous rp reasons for my toon to be killing THIS MANY Bogneedlers (or whatever).

    It helps a lot to have a really good audiobook on hand or the Olympics/Paralympics/Other large sporting event on the telly, or even better, that excellent HBO boxed set you’ve been saving up for just the purpose or your favourite one you haven’t seen for a while (can I recommend The Wire for this purpose – 5 Seasons!)

    But we wouldn’t be sitting here complaining if it wasn’t fun at some point, would we. I do eventually get a sense of satisfaction when I can look at my nested set of whelplings or raptors. Some of them have their entertaining little ways: Dart and his zooming about, Corehound drooling and rolling over, Willy falling asleep, and if you aren’t a gearhound or PvP’er, as I am not, there is a very small satisfaction to be had in standing outside the AH, next to ZOMGZOR wearing his Tier 250 gear, and whipping out Mr Pinchy in an unspoken ‘Yeah? Yeah?!’

    I’ve not played the MoP beta, but all reports make me feel I’m going to love the pet battles, although, I am rather worried about this whole ‘capturing’ business. If some herbert has off with my hard-earned Black Tabby (or whatever) I might have a Violent Episode. So maybe I’ll just sit in a corner, growling possessively over my brood, I’m not sure.

    Anyway, thank you for listening. Apologies MMOGC, I seem to have hijacked your blog.

    P.S. My unhinged ranting has also involved some really appalling grammar and punctuation abuse. I don’t care.

    • Have you ever considered starting a blog? Damn, because you write an even better pet diary than I do, seriously. My hat’s off to you, you’ve pretty much described why I love pet collecting so much — yes, it’s fun but also infuriating sometimes, but yet, even that is a huge part of the appeal. Nothing beats that exultation when you finally have success at the end of a long grind.

      I know I always bitch about good old fashioned farming, but you know, I do sometimes miss it. I don’t have time to just sit down and watch a movie or something anymore, but when I did I used to use that time to kill thousands of whelps or whatever. Watching movie or show marathons is the best for that, as I’m always multitasking anyway, need something to do with my hands constantly. But now when I do get the time, I feel I should be doing something in game that guarantees more results…hence rep and dailies farming. It takes a long time, but at least I know I will get a pet at the end, unlike the RNG farming :\ Ah, but to go on a whelp killing spree again while enjoying a good audiobook, that sounds good right about now. You know I’d be right out there with ya if I could; I still haven’t gotten that damn crimson whelpling!

      And don’t worry about the “capturing” business, that’s only for pets you encounter in “the wild”. The pets you have collected, you won’t ever part with, unless you decide to cage certain ones and sell them on the AH 😀

      • I meant to ask you, if you flirt with the Guild Herald, does he do anything interesting? He might make a suitable partner for my hunter. Perhaps I could then pretend that the Alliance Page is our child and we can set up home somewhere posh in Stormwind. Actually, I think I might be trying to play The Sims again. Bother.

        Btw I solved my realm change problem very simply by spending the excess gold on pets from the AH. I got fed up with waiting for Blizzard to reply to my snivelling. So, I am now the proud owner of a Magic Lamp, a Peddlefoot, a mechanical war-rabbit thingie, an Easter Bunny, a World Destroyer and something else that I can’t remember what it is. This also solves some of the self-imposed RP issues with my hunter, who is only allowed collect ‘real’ animals, so no elementals, magical or mechanical pets. Whelpings and raptors are ok (she’s also not allow to train hunter pets from zones she’s never quested in.) So having my troll rogue buy some of the forbidden ones has boosted the numbers up a bit. Think I’m at 68 now.

        Today’s round of pet acquisition will involve Skyguard/Argent Tournament/Mt Hyjal/Tol Baradin Rep, Old Man Barlow fishing quests and a few circuits of furbolgs in Winterspring for Diplomat rep but mainly for stupid Azure Whelpling. WHERE IS IT!!??

      • I can’t say I have tried to flirt with my guild herald 😛

        I have to say, even as RP goes, having the herald as your lover and the Alliance page as your lovechild is a bit twisted, seeing as they’re both considered your “pets”! Maybe that’s why I find it so amusing 😛

        Oh I am envious of your wealth. If I had a ton of money I’d go on a spending spree on the AH too…still a couple raptor hatchlings I need to get, a couple horde argent tournament pets, two whelplings, etc. etc. etc. They are all going for exorbitant amounts of gold though, alas 😦

        Good luck on the azure hatchling, it shouldn’t be too bad, I think the drop rate isn’t as bad as say, the emerald or crimson whelplings. I remember getting it within a dozen kills when I got it but I may have gotten extremely lucky.

  3. Only own at most 20 Pets and not really sure how I even ended up with over half of them. I don’t think I’ll even get to 50 Pets in the rest I’d my lifetime let alone 150.

    Wish you luck getting there. More likely you will get there as well than I ever will.

    • Thank you! Will keep this pet diary updated. It’s appalling really, when I think about how long this collection has been around. Must have started on the very first day I started playing, when on a run through Deadmines I got that macaw. The first pet of many.

      It’s also amazing how far behind you can get in pets when you’re not around for a year.

  4. That was a great read. I’ve never gotten too serious about pet collecting because all the work done getting a bunch of pets together is somewhat wasted the moment I lose interest in whatever toon did the collecting. Now that pets and mounts are going to be account wide… suddenly pet collecting sounds pretty damn cool. I too might start having to attend these POA meetings once I start playing MoP . . .

    • Yeah, what they did is brilliant. Makes sense for many of the account bound pets/mounts anyway. And I too used to get discouraged because my entire collection was split up amongst my toons until one day I just decided to start concentrating on them with my main. That’s why I stopped even trying on my other characters, much to my rue now.

  5. ” Too bad, as all I can picture now is this dude drop kicking my armadillo. ”

    UNFRIEND!!!!!!111!!!!! j/k

    Seriously, tying this system to existing pet collections is possibly the most brilliant design call Blizzard has made in years – it doesn’t even exist yet and already many of us are massively invested in it.

    • Oh crap! I should have known better than to express any form of violent tendency towards armadillos. 😀

      Okay, kids, say it with me — armadillos are our friends! Do NOT drop kick armadillos!

  6. The thing I don’t understand with this new pet business is why, if two characters had the same pet, two of it show up in the pet thingie. Why not combine them so you just see one Anacona Chicken, for example? Because I have a tendency to get the same cheap pets on all my alts, I have an army of chickens and a regiment of cockroaches and snakes.

    • Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you can have up to 3 of the same pets in MoP. We can have more now, since things are still new and all your pets are being consolidated (hence your army of chickens! LOL) But as you cage and sell off your pets on the AH (yep, that’s one of the new features in the upcoming pet system!) and go back to the limit of three or below, you won’t be able to catch any more than 3 of the same pet again.

      The reason why I think you can have more than one of the same pet, is when I puttered around in beta I discovered that individual pets have different qualities. I was catching mainly common “grey” pets in the wild, for example, but every once in a while I would come across an uncommon “green” pet, or even a rare “blue” pet. That’s why I think they allow you to catch more than one, so you can hunt for better quality specimens of the same pet, and ditch ones that are not as high quality once you do, etc.

      • So having a bazillion chickens is just a side effect of the system for catching different quality pets; I couldn’t actually wind up with a blue quality Anacona Chicken since I can only “learn” that once through an item.

        Also, since I can’t manually “combine” them (only get rid of them via the AH), I suppose that puts my plan of a Frankenstein killer mechanical squirrel to rest!

        Can you abandon them like Hunter pets?

      • This is all new to me too, so I may be wrong, but when MoP comes around you may be able to cage up your extra chickens and sell them off or abandon them. I hope! Because I just logged into all my characters too and i have a bunch of duplicate pets!

        The quality stuff might not go live until MoP, and that might even be applicable only to pets you catch in the wild, I don’t really know all the details yet. I didn’t test it in beta for very long, I had to pull myself away in order not to spoil too much of the new zones for myself. 😛

  7. *cough* Pokémon *cough*

    ♪ I wanna be the very best… no one ever was…

    • Bagsy be in Team Rocket.

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