Posts Tagged ‘Challenges’


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,


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.


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.


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 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,


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! 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…


The Pet Hunter Diaries: Prepared For “Pandaria”

September 24, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 4
Current Total: 155

Isn’t it amazing, how sometimes, even achieving a small, seemingly trivial goal can make you feel like a million bucks? I think because of this, some part of me will always be drawn to World of Warcraft — it is, in essence, a very goal-oriented game; there’s always something to be working towards, whether you’re a hardcore raider chasing heroic achievements, or simply like good old boring down-to-earth me, trying to collect 150 unique companion pets before the release of Mists of Pandaria.

In less than 24 hours, the expansion will launch, and I’m happy to report that I’ve completed what I set out to do well ahead of time, but why stop there? I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, a pet hunter’s job is never done. I’ve always been a rabid an enthusiastic collector of companion pets, which makes the upcoming pet capture-and-battle system feel like it’s right up my alley, but it’s also very exciting to see that more and more people are beginning to discover the joys of vanity pets, particularly those who have otherwise expressed little interest before.

For the last couple of WoW expansions I played until I reached the new level cap, and then stopped not long after that. I like raiding on occasion, but I’ve always been a proponent for more activity choices for endgame. Could pet hunting and battling be the answer to my ennui? That remains to be seen, but the last several weeks of doing nothing in game but focusing on amassing my pet collection has been very enlightening. Apparently, that alone has been enough for me to feel quite accomplished. But hey — I am, after all, your average everyday pet fiend.

I think I’ve done all I can pre-MoP for now. I’m sure that after Tuesday everyone’s pet collection including my own will explode, making the 150 unique pet achievement look like peanuts, but it was fun while it lasted. Now the question is, when I sit down to play tomorrow night, do I concentrate on starting my journey to level 90, roll a new Pandaren monk, or jump right into pet hunting? Choices, choices, choices.

And speaking of choices, I should also start thinking about assembling my pet battle team. The possibilities are endless:

That last one actually might not be such a bad idea, though the thought of someone beating up my little polar bear is too demoralizing and soul-crushing to even imagine; I just don’t know if I could take it.

To my fellow pet enthusiasts, see you all in Panda Land! It is my hope to meet you one day with honor on the pet battlefield.

Happy hunting,


Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Hyjal Bear Cub

Another baby bear! After two months doing Firelands dailies (didn’t always do them every day, that’s why it took longer) finally unlocked vendor to purchase this little guy. Probably obvious why I chose him first, as he is very cute, very cool. Having to spend more than 1000 gold to buy him, not so cool. Damn you, why do bear cubs have to be so stinkin’ adorable?

Crimson Lasher

Several days later, unlocked second Firelands vendor to buy this pet. What a PITA this event chain is. Another 1000+ gold down the hatch, but now have my own little Crimson Lasher. No, definitely not feeding it any more burning scorpid gunk.

Fox Kit

Spent weeks doing Tol Barad dailies, hoping for Alliance controlled every day in order for few extra commendations. Killed every Baradin Fox I came across, but after a pile of fox corpses still no luck. Screw it, finally just spent 200 commendations at the vendor for this pet and called it a day. Totally worth it. Has great dancing animation!


Checked AH periodically for hex sticks, buying any I could find for 5 gold or less (go to hell, sellers who list for 25g) to use on forest frogs in heroic ZA. Kitty stealth solo run ftw! Got lucky on third run, using second to last hex stick left in inventory. Finally got my Mojo!


Sims 3 Saturday: RIP Sim, Survived By His 98 Children

September 22, 2012

Well, as you’ve probably already guessed from the title, after eight weeks of propagation madness, this will be the final installment of my blog’s Sims 3 Saturday series. As the rules state, the Family Man challenge ends when your Sim dies, and sadly (but in a not entirely unanticipated turn of events), the Grim Reaper finally got around to visiting my Sim during my last play session. Anyway, there will be time for the heartbreaking details later, but first there’s drama to be had and newborn babies to be counted.

Speaking of which, thanks to a sharp-eyed reader who pointed it out to me in the comment section, I realized I made an error last week and tallied up a total of 82 for the number of children my Sim has fathered, when the real total is actually 84! At the rate my Sim breeds, I just knew I was going to make a mistake sooner or later. So, this week, when Tracy Connor gave birth to a baby boy, that actually makes 85. Tamara Donner, the new Sim who moved in down the street, also gave birth to a boy for 86. Lisa Bunch, another new romance, gave birth to twins, making that 88. Back on track.

There’s also Jamie Jolina, the young attractive doctor my Sim met last week, who gave birth to her second set of twins for an even 90. Yeah, methinks that medical career of hers is going bye-bye for a little while, considering all that’s been on her plate lately, as evidenced by that time she came over to my Sim’s house for a quickie. Overtired, the two of them promptly fell asleep after their wild bout of woohooing, completely forgetting the fact that Jamie had brought along one of their kids when she came over. 3am and the poor helpless and neglected toddler finally keeled over from exhaustion, only to wake up on the cold floor to his crazy parents screaming down at him for doing absolutely nothing wrong!

Parenting fail.

Kaylynn Langerak, my Sim’s “official” girlfriend, also gave birth to her last child for a total of eight Sims for her household, bumping the total to 91. This latest bundle of joy was also a girl, making that seven baby girls for Kaylynn! Mark my words, that house is going to implode in a few Sim weeks, when all of them inevitably go through puberty at around the same time.

Perhaps sensing his end was near, as you’d recall, last week my Sim also resolved to be a better person. That includes being a better father. Whoever dubbed this challenge the “Family Man Challenge” obviously did it for the irony, but hey, that doesn’t mean my Sim can’t at least attempt to live up to the name!

The first thing he did was look up his eldest son, the first child he ever fathered with Fiona McIrish waaaay back in the first week. The boy that began it all, Edmund McIrish was now a teenager. My, how quickly time flies! My Sim hopes his firstborn will grow up to be a good man, and not turn out to be an insensitive womanizer and neglectful parent like his old dad.

Half-brothers and they don’t even know it.

At least things are looking good on that front, as Edmund appears to have a way with kids. He came over to the house while babysitting his mom’s friend’s son Fred French (who incidentally, if you’ll remember the Fiona McIrish/Molly French fiasco, is also my Sim’s child) and appears to be doing a much better job taking care of the little guy than a couple of the women my Sim has brought over to his house. Ahem, Jamie Jolina, I’m looking at you.

Next, my Sim decided to better get to know his children by throwing a party inviting as many of them as he could. Obviously, inviting close to a hundred kids to the house at the same time would crash my computer faster than a blimp in a hurricane, but seeing as most of them were toddlers and infants anyway, we made do with filling the guest list with about a dozen of his children who were elementary school aged or older. Since so many of them were also on the verge of aging up, it only made sense to make it a birthday party! We’ll decide who will get the honors later.

It’s a good thing all these children are my Sim’s own kids, because otherwise, an elderly man inviting a bunch of the neighborhood boys and girls over to his house for a party would be pretty creepy even by Sims 3 standards. Determined to provide a great time for his little ones, my Sim bought all new outdoor activity furniture and equipment for his backyard. A barbecue grill and picnic tables! Swings! A jungle gym and playset!

You children are creeping me out.

Well, that turned out to be a waste of time and money. All his kids wanted to do was sit inside and do homework. Oh well, I guess he can take pride in the fact that all his children are such good, studious Sims. When it came time for dinner, my Sim ordered a couple boxes of pizza because, hey kids, the only two things your old man knows how to cook are waffles and autumn salad (which doesn’t even really count)!

Finally, time to blow out the birthday candles! I randomly chose Jodi Ansari to age up. She was perhaps the third or fourth of my Sim’s children to become a teenager, but her birthday was special because my Sim was actually there to witness the transition. *Sniff*, my Sim can’t help but get a little teary-eyed. His kids are growing up!

Holy crap, Jodi Ansari just exploded into a cloud of stars!

And yet, new ones are still being born. Time for another wave of babies! Tamara had twins, 93! Jamie had a boy, 94! Lisa also had a boy, 95! Sandi French, a new romance my Sim managed to sneak in between all the partying (thankfully not during all the partying), also ended up giving birth to a boy, for a total of 96.

It’s a wonder that my Sim still had time to go out and meet new people, but he did go out for a meal one time and had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of one Blair Wainwright – a local policewoman. Maybe when she stays over, robbers will stop trying to break into my Sim’s house at night and try to steal his stuff while he’s sleeping?

Anyway, my Sim went through the motions, inviting Blair over to his house before turning on the charms to try and get her to woohoo with him. For some inexplicable reason, all this took place in his second floor bathroom. I don’t know why, that’s probably just where they happened to end up randomly, but it’s something my Sim will regret for the rest of his life…which didn’t turn out to be very long at all!

Right as things were heating up between my Sim and Blair, the Grim Reaper chose that very moment to show up! Well thanks, Grimmy, nothing kills the mood (har har) faster than Death himself knocking at the door. It was there my Sim finally died of old age, with a traumatized Blair looking on as Grims led his ghost away.

Oh look, my Sim wants to sleep. Careful what you wish for, eh?


Two more of my Sim’s children were born after his death. Alicia Schwab was the last woman he romanced and she gave birth to twins, bringing the final total of the number of children he fathered to 98. At just shy of 100 children, I have a new personal record for the Sims 3 Family Man Challenge.

My Sim being the only member of his household and with him now dead, I had to switch over to another active household if I wished to continue playing. I decided to choose Edmund McIrish’s household. As my Sim’s firstborn, I felt that was appropriate. The fact that he was also the first of all my Sim’s children to become a young adult helped. Because of it, I was able to move him out of his old house and into the one in which his father used to live. Edmund went upstairs where he found my Sim’s urn in the place where he had died, right in the middle of the bathroom floor. What a terrible place to expire.

There are no restrictions in Sims 3 about burying bodies in your own backyard.

I ended up placing his grave in the backyard by the garage and beside the big tree. There are no funerals in the original Sims 3, but Edmund decided to invite a bunch of his half-brothers and sisters to a gathering at the house anyway, so they could say good bye their dearly departed dad together. Many more of them have grown to become high school aged now, and despite my Sim’s efforts to get to know his children late in his life, the majority of them had never even met him and were more than happy for an excuse to skip first period.

Since this was supposed to be a solemn event, Edmund had the presence of mind to let everyone know that formalwear was the attire, but look at what some of his siblings still showed up in. Teenagers!

I also have no idea why there’s a kid walking around in his underwear…

His grave being so close, my Sim’s ghost continues to wander the halls of his old home. Even in death, he’s drawn to the bed where he spent so much of his life woohooing. Instead of getting freaked out, Edmund is totally cool with his dead dad haunting his house. Here they are, father and son, sitting and chatting on the bed together like old friends.

“I miss waffles.”

For those wondering, Kaylynn Langerak, my Sim’s girlfriend, mourned for a while but then got over it. She inherited his vast fortune, bought a large house and moved into it with her seven daughters. On the other end of the spectrum, two of my Sim’s children by Jess Eastman died not long after he did, for reasons that still remain a mystery to me! I could only guess that, due to the Eastman household of eight only having 50 Simoleons in shared income between them the last I checked, they starved to death. Very sad.

But as always, life in Sims 3 goes on…literally! The neighborhood Sims will thrive whether or not I pay attention to them when I play. All I know is, my Sim has made his mark on the history of Sunset Valley with his 98 children. Their future is in the game’s hands now, as I don’t know if I’m up to playing any of them.

However, I did recently purchase the Sims 3 Pets expansion, so there’s a chance I may go back one day to use one of my Sim’s many descendants to play around with that, like maybe buy a dog or breed some horses or whatever. But for now, my work is done. As promised, at the end of this post, you’ll find screenshots of my Sim’s ridiculous family tree, complete in all its glory. I hope you’ve enjoyed my Sims 3 saga, and thanks for reading!

The End


Sims 3 Saturday: Simply 82

September 15, 2012

(Actually, 84. I knew sooner or later I would screw up the count. Thanks for the catch, Rowan!)

Welcome back to Sims 3 Saturday, as we carry on with Week 7 of our Family Man challenge. Last week, we saw my Sim’s family tree explode as he continues to go full steam on his procreation rampage through the neighborhood. We were up to 69 offspring, and this number can only go higher as my Sim begins to spiral more and more out of control with his caddish ways.

As always, we begin with the birth announcements, welcoming a wave of new babies to the neighborhood of Sunset Valley: Tracy Connors gave birth to twin girls, bringing our total up to 71. Juliet Stump gave birth to twins, making it 73. Toya Reid gave birth to a boy, baby number 74. Kaylynn Langerak, my Sim’s current sweetheart, gave birth to another set of twin girls, thus bringing the count to 76.

Sunset Valley’s women have all entered their sunset years!

The birthrate is slowing down noticeably, but it’s certainly not for the lack of trying on my Sim’s part. In truth, as fast as the neighborhood is filling up with his children, we are running out of eligible game-generated female Sims who are of child-bearing age just as quickly. Not surprisingly, we have a growing aging population. Recall that not long ago, my own Sim became an elder, so it makes sense that all his peers would be getting on in years as well.

But while we’re on the topic of neighborhood demographics, there’s a more pressing concern. On a routine walk out to the community lots to meet new people, we see that the majority of the town are elementary-school aged or younger, and they all have one thing in common — half their genetic code comes from my Sim. If we don’t get some new blood into Sunset Valley and STAT!, in another generation everyone in the neighborhood is going to be related to each other in one way or another.

Jamie Jolina, AKA Dr. Sexy, M.D.

In any case, it appears just strolling around downtown isn’t going to cut it anymore. My Sim began adopting a more aggressive strategy to meeting new people — methodically visiting one house after another, greeting its inhabitants, and allowing himself to be invited inside if there is an eligible woman in the household. Gutsy, very gutsy. This was how he met Jamie Jolina, looking bold and lively in her designer glasses. She’s a doctor at the local hospital, which probably explains her busy schedule as she seems to be constantly unavailable whenever my Sim tries to call her over to woohoo.

My Sim also met Lisa Bunch, Sandi French, and Alicia Schwab with his door-to-door propositioning. Whoa, where did all these Sims come from all of a sudden? Apparently, just as Kaylynn Langerak aged up from teenager to adult last week, so have all the other youth in the previous generation. It doesn’t even bother my Sim anymore, he’s crossed that line and is already too far gone.

Then one day, it all comes crashing down. It was a day like any other day, on a trip like any other trip to Central Park. All of a sudden, the sun stopped shining, the birds stopped singing, and the air grew cold. In the near distance, my Sim saw the dreaded figure — it was the dark shadow of the Grim Reaper, wielding his menacing scythe, headed straight for him. At that very moment, my Sim knew deep in his heart, that this was it. His time had come.

There is only one thing we say to Death: “Not today!”

But actually, no. To his surprise, Grim was actually there for another poor Sim. But for a second there, I actually thought it was the end for my Sim. After all, he’s already lived several days past the “average” Sim lifespan; it wouldn’t have been that big a surprise. Anyway, as Death led away the ghost of the deceased, I guess my traumatized Sim had an epiphany: It was time to live a better life! A more honest life! And the first thing he was going to do was tell all the past women in his life how he has wronged them!

To do that, he had plans to invite the mothers of his children to a huge outdoor pool party at the community center. Attire: Swimwear. Time: in the middle of the night. Um, are you sure about that, Sim?

As you’d expect, it didn’t go well at all. He didn’t even get a chance to make his apology speech! As soon as the first woman showed up to greet him with a scorcher of a kiss, the cat was out of the bag. All the other scandalized women at the party took exception immediately, indicated by the furious thought bubbles that began popping up all over their heads. Because Sims are gregarious and cordial by nature (or more like the game mechanics just couldn’t handle the animation of a 12-person dogpile), every one of them literally lined up in a neat little row waiting for their turn to chew out my Sim.

My Sim present at the formation of his anti-fan club.

Needless to say, it was the crappiest pool party ever thrown in the history of Sunset Valley. There was no food, no music, no swimming, but there were plenty of fist fights! By the time the last woman got done beating up my Sim, it was 2am in the morning and the event was over, and my Sim had to walk around with the “humiliated” moodlet for days. This is what you get for honesty.

Recall Iliana Langerak from last week, who is also Kaylynn Langerak’s mother. My Sim has woohoo’ed both of them, fathered their children, but they are a special case and were spared the disastrous pool party. My Sim still has feelings for Kaylynn, and was hoping to take their relationship to the next level, but this meant he had to break it off with Iliana. Since Iliana’s also Kaylynn’s mother and familial ties took precedent, he wanted to salvage what he could with the elder Langerak if it was at all possible (don’t count on it).

Things started off okay. My Sim invited Iliana over for a little chat, working up to the point where he will confess his attraction for her daughter (and I’m not even joking, there is actually an option to “confess attraction to Kaylynn.”) However, it might not have been as prudent to point out the fact that Iliana wasn’t getting any younger and that in a few days she would become an elder and wouldn’t be able to have any more children in any case. Aha! Out comes the truth of why he wants to cut her loose!

I don’t think offering her a drink is going to make it any better…

Iliana was livid and began acting strangely. Between mocking and throwing insults at my Sim, she did things like run around his house like a maniac, sleep in his bed, and rummage through his garbage! Um, I take it that means she’s breaking up with him? I’d like to think that his confession about her daughter actually caused Iliana to lose her mind, but more realistically she probably possesses the “inappropriate” trait, which causes Sims to act erratically in social situations. Damn, I really hope she didn’t pass that on to the son she and my Sim had.

Sweet, conscientious Kaylynn was certainly spared the trait. She came over when my Sim called her next (after showing her mother the door, before that crazy lady could do further damage to his house) and said yes when he proposed that they go steady! Kaylynn was so happy that she began jumping for joy and then…caught my Sim when he leaped into her arms? What a woman! However, I might point out that he did refrain from telling her about his other relationships or his six dozen or so other children that are running wild throughout the neighborhood. He may be coming around, but he’s not crazy!

“Oof! You need to start laying off the waffles!”

On the next round of births, Kaylynn gave birth to yet another pair of twin girls. That makes 78, not to mention that’s a total of 3 sets of twins for Kaylynn now, and all girls — Brook, Gabrielle, Sha Sha (eh? What kind of baby book are you getting these names from, Sims 3?), Elizabeth, Cara, and Barbara! Jamie Jolina, she of the medical degree and sexy glasses gave birth to twins too, making that 80 children for my Sim. Kaylynn’s mother Iliana Langerak also gave birth to twins — oops, I’d forgotten that she was pregnant already when he broke up with her. But anyway, that’s 82! The Langerak family tree is now looking quite odd, considering my Sim is the father of every baby and child on it:

Tracy Connor also gave birth, though it was a funny story because she was one of the women I invited to that infamous party at the community pool. She was still very angry and for some reason came to my Sim’s house — to further reprimand him, no doubt — but suddenly went into labor in the middle of her tirade! But this time, I knew enough to get him to bring her to the hospital to hopefully try and score some brownie points. Apparently it worked, because right after giving birth to another set of twins (84!), Tracy and my Sim were in bed woohooing again, and she was expecting once more!

Let’s head to the hospital in style in an ice cream truck!

Look, I know my Sim is trying hard to turn his life around, but baby steps, okay? /pun. At least he’s not spending every waking moment of his life woohooing like he used to, now it’s like…maybe half that time.

Speaking of which, a new family moved in down the street. My Sim had the pleasure of meeting one of its members, Tamara Donner. Within hours, they were in bed and trying for a baby. Ugh, he just can’t help it.


The Pet Hunter Diaries: Thrill Of The Hunt

September 12, 2012

Dear Diary,

New Acquisitions: 9
Current Total: 151

Every time I write to you I feel like a big nerd. Oh who am I kidding, I am a big nerd.

As you can see, I’ve reached my pre-World of Warcraft expansion goal of 150 unique pets. One reason for that is I made out like a bandit leveling the last 16 points I needed to max Archaeology. It was a pain in the ass, but I managed to score two pets and a mount out of it. Not bad for about an hour of work.

Another factor which helped a lot was the Darkmoon Faire which was in town last week. Can you believe it’s only been my second time at the Faire since it moved to Darkmoon Island? And the first time didn’t even really count because I was only able to catch the tail end of it for a day or two. And yet I’m pretty sure I can play all the effing games there in my sleep now, seeing as I did them every day on no less than six characters to be able to get all the pets at once (now that they’re account wide). It didn’t exactly happen this month, but it sure as hell will next month.

Of course I’m ecstatic about my achievement, but at the same time…I’m getting this nagging feeling in the back of my mind like I cheated a bit because three new additions were actually redeemed through loot cards from the WoW Trading Card Game (TCG). I debated, I debated, I debated, and finally caved and just bought these dirt cheap common cards off eBay.

Okay, so I know it was the wise choice. It’s really not much different from buying aesthetic items from a game’s item shop, no? Probably cheaper too. Prices ranged from $0.99 to $4.50, and as several people have pointed out to me already, considering the time investment and effort it requires for me to gain one pet in game these days, the price is definitely worth it.

Still, I’m loathe to spend real money on vanity pets, because if I didn’t I would have all the ones from the Blizzard store already. Right now I only own Lil’ XT because he was a free gift for being a former WoW Mobile Armory subscriber as well as the Pandaren Monk and Moonkin Hatchling because when I bought them a part of their proceeds went to charity. Otherwise, I would generally prefer to leave “buyable” pets out of my collection as that just feels a little like an easy way out. After all, it’s the hunt that counts, no? Although, I guess one can argue that the bidding war I had over a couple of these cards can also be considered a chase of sorts.

Dear Diary, not saying I won’t continue to pad my collection in the future with more real life purchases, but how ’bout we just promise not to make a habit of it? Okay, sounds good to me.

Happy hunting,


Latest field notes and recently hunted pets:

Curious Wolvar Pup

Am a big moron. Not really “new” pet, but missed being counted after patch 5.0.4 (this is why I write, D.) Thought only had Oracle pet, forgot had done Children’s Day quest a million years ago for this little guy on alt. Which alt? When? Who cares! Was nice surprise “bonus” pet, reward for helping some orphans.

Sea Pony

Nothing more irritating than fishing pets, but surprisingly painless. Random guy on dock beside me hooked him in 5-6 casts, made me want to jump and beat snot out of him to steal sea pony. Luckily fished up my own in about 60-70 casts. Urge to kill gone immediately. Only available during Darkmoon Faire from fishing off shores of island.

Darkmoon Monkey

Between this month’s tickets and last month’s paltry haul on main, had just enough to buy one Darkmoon pet before Faire left town. Chose monkey, because everybody loves monkeys. Especially monkeys wearing red fezzes. This is truth.

Clockwork Gnome

AKA Jeeves’ lazy cousin as he will not fix your armor, sell you stuff or do banking, just stand there looking pretty. Unbeknownst to me, project had been sitting in archaeology queue under Dwarf artifacts for who knows how long.

Voodoo Figurine

Another archaeology find, troll artifact. From description: “Often powered by flasks of mojo, troll sweat, the flesh of tribal enemies, or by DEVOURING TINY PORTIONS OF THEIR OWNERS’ SOULS.” Uh, crap, what? Wait, there’s more: “But don’t worry. Teeny, tiny little portions. You won’t even notice they’re gone.” Oh, good. Was worried for a sec there.

Sand Scarab

From WoW TCG expansion “Tomb of the Forgotten”. Very common and also cheapest of pet loot cards purchased. Maybe people don’t particularly like bugs? Admittedly, little guy is sort of creepy. Takes certain kind of love to appreciate insect bigger than your boot.

Purple Puffer

From WoW TCG expansion “Throne of the Tides”. Looks horrifyingly ugly on card illustration, but surprisingly cute in-game. Like Sea Pony, swims around in own little bubble which floats after owner, quite cruel if you think about it. Am disappointed that despite name, little guy does not have “puffing up” animation. Missed opportunity.

Gregarious Grell

From WoW TCG expansion “Crown of the Heavens”. Sports mullet, lots of piercings, and will look fantastic and right at home running beside warlock alt. Wait, Sand Scarab, Purple Puffer, Gregarious Grell. Purposeful alliteration? Or myself just slow to pick up on “old news”? Either way, I shall dub him Grayson.

Celestial Dragon

Received this latest escapee from the celestial menagerie for completing “Littlest Pet Shop” achievement, requiring possession of 150 unique companions. Since Patch 5.0.4, pet achievement rewards apparently no longer mailed as he appeared automagically in pet journal. Reward for collecting pets — even more pets. Go figure.


Sims 3 Saturday: The Summer Of 69

September 8, 2012

69 babies, that is. It’s Saturday, so you know what that means — time for another installment of the Sims 3 “Family Man” Challenge series. Warning: we are in for some drama this week.

As you know, last week I broke my previous record for this challenge. I mean, at 50 children, I practically blasted it away (old record was 37). However, this doesn’t mean my Sim is going to stop trying for more, because I’m still very interested in seeing how much higher this number can go. It’s just that, you know…we can relax a little. Have a bit of fun.

My Sim joyriding in his expensive car. Cue “Night at the Roxbury” music.

Another thing — my Sim also became an elder last week. He’s nearing the end of his life and can get a visit from the Grim Reaper at any moment — and since this is The Sims, I mean that quite literally! The poor guy has spent the bulk of his life in his bedroom between the sheets, I figured it’s high time for him go out and live a little. As well, I’m looking forward to stirring the pot and causing some drama in the neighborhood worthy of The Young and the Restless. Mark my words, before my Sim dies, he’ll be sure to throw a party inviting all his children…and their mothers. It’ll be like Fight Club.

As usual we start off with the announcements of a new wave of latest births: Juliet Stump gave birth to twins, bringing our count up to 52. Madison VanWatson gave birth to a boy, making it 53. Sharla Bills gave birth to a girl, 54.

After getting pregnant again, neither Madison or Sharla will be able to have any more babies, since their households will become full (8 Sims per household is the max). Once again, my Sim is going to have to go out and meet some potential new mothers if he’s going to keep the birthrate up. This is starting to become a problem. Quite frankly, the neighborhood is starting to run out of eligible women that my Sim hasn’t already romanced (and/or knocked up).

It’s so, so wrong (well, kind of wrong in the real world, but not one bit in the Sims world) but I had no choice but to do it. Rewind back to the Sims 3 Saturday post four weeks ago, when my Sim experienced the most awkward and derpy moment of his life after he invited a Sim named Kaylynn Langerak over to romance only to find out she was still a teenager and in high school. Of course, once he realized his mistake, she was promptly showed the door.

Kaylynn’s first kiss. My Sim’s 348,325th kiss.

Well, many Sims days later, little jail bait Kaylynn is all grown up. The game now classifies her as an adult, and thus is fair game for my Sim to romance (so wrong). In fact, my Sim has been waiting for this moment for a while, maintaining a not-creepy-at-all friendship with Kaylynn even after all this time so that when she has her birthday he can jump right in (even more wrong). My grey-haired Sim and young, vivacious Kaylynn shared their first kiss after he confessed his attraction to her at her house, right in front of her parents because she still lived at home (wrong, wrong, wrong)! She’s always had a crush on me, okay? That’s the story I’m sticking with!

The thing is, I really like Kaylynn. A neat freak and a perfectionist, her personality simply jives with my Sim’s. He has not felt this way for another since Ayesha Ansari. Throwing caution to the wind, he decides to ask her out on a romantic date, hoping for an opportunity to get to know her better without her family around getting in the way. But to do this, my Sim still had to keep Kaylynn from knowing about the other women whose children I fathered, so we chose to meet up at a secluded fishing pond nestled in the hills.

First date out in the middle of nowhere. Watch out for that poison ivy.

It was exactly the thing they both needed. After making out in the woods, they went home to my Sim’s house and woohooed for a baby.

However, to make up for both Sharla’s and Madison’s full households, ideally I needed to romance one more woman. My Sim looked up his contact list to see if there were any other lady Sims on it that he hadn’t made a romantic interest yet. As it turned out, the only other woman I could call over? Iliana Langerak…Kaylynn’s mom. Dun dun dun.

We’ll be right back after the break, because it’s time to update with another wave of babies (because all this time my Sim has been keeping busy): Jess Eastman gave birth to twins, bringing our total to 56. Toya Reid also gave birth to twins, making that 58. Madison gave birth again, to a boy (her last child), 59. Monika Morris gave birth to a boy, 60. Another cycle later, Toya gave birth to another baby boy, 61. Monika gave birth to another boy, so now it’s 62.

“So you’re sure Jared doesn’t suspect a thing?”

A funny story with Monika — when I tried for a baby with her afterward, the option was greyed out, telling me her household was too full for her to become pregnant right now. But that didn’t seem right, as by my calculation there should be one more Sim slot available. A quick check told me that she was actually married, to Jared Frio. Jared and his wife lived in their house with six children — yep, all of them actually mine. I had Monika kick Jared out, forcing him to move in with his brother Connor Frio, thus freeing up the vacated last spot for Monika’s and my Sim’s final child. By the way, don’t bother feeling too bad for Jared, he’s a jerk.

Back to the babies. Bless that fertility treatment lifetime reward, because it’s a parade of twin girls! Tracy Connor gave birth to twin girls. 64! Juliet gave birth to twin girls. 66! And finally, my Sim’s new love Kaylynn Langerak ended up giving birth to twin girls! 68! It was a happy day indeed.

I guess now is a good time to reveal another shocking event — Agnes Crumplebottom, my Sim’s fiancee and only long-term steady relationship, decided to move to another town. Basically, the game took her away, along with her and my Sim’s seven children. Apparently, these moves by the game are completely random, but I personally like to think that she finally got tired of waiting around for my Sim to marry her, grew a backbone and dumped his ass at last.

My Sim actually let Iliana sleep over? Wow.

We now return to the Langerak Saga. With Agnes now gone, my Sim feels he needs a new steady girlfriend. Could Kaylynn be that special someone? After the birth of their daughters, he moved her into her own home so she could start her own household with their new family.

Still, despite his deep feelings for Kaylynn, my Sim, horrible person that he is, could not help himself and invited Iliana, Kaylynn’s mother, over for some romancing. Needless to say, things got out of hand when the evening ended up with the two of them in bed, and Iliana pregnant. Her little boy became baby 69 for my Sim, the half-brother of Iliana’s daughter Kaylynn, as well as the half-brother of Kaylynn’s own children, hers and my Sim’s twins. Confusing, isn’t it?

Poor Kaylynn. What ever will she say about this? Or should the better question be, will she even find out?