Friday, October 7, 2016

Shiny Mountain Cottontail Is Back In 7.1

Yesterday while doing a Pet Battle World Quest on the 7.1 PTR, I noticed that one of the adds in the fight looked a little odd. At first I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but upon closer inspection I discovered the Mountain Cottontail in all its glossy glory!

After the battle I promptly sought out a wild Mountain Cottontail on the PTR and found one as a secondary pet. It took a few restarts, but I managed to get it spawn in with its new shiny appearance.

It seems the special version of the cottontail will be back in 7.1! (see above screenshot for glossy skin on the left and normal white on the right)

Unfortunately the updated look doesn't seem to be retroactive. The existing Mountain Cottontail in my Pet Journal on the PTR (was originally shiny) did not have the new skin. Instead, it remained a color-changer so it had the chance to be spawn in with the glossy appearance, but it wasn't guaranteed. Capturing a new cottontail that started out with the shiny skin guaranteed that it retained the look.

It's a little inconvenient that we'll have to capture new Mountain Cottontails in 7.1, but on the bright side we won't have to travel to Redridge to find these wild bunnies. They also appear in Highmountan in Legion, hooray!

I'm ecstatic that this special wild pet will be making a come back. Big THANK YOU to Blizzard for maintaining these small details that mean so much to some collectors. It's the little things that make the game that much more fun and amazing. ❤

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

7.1 PTR - Falcosaur Battle Pet Preview

Developer Jeremey Feasel reminded me yesterday that in addition to the RWLIV content coming in 7.1, there are baby flacosaurus pets to collect! And after testing on the PTR, I can definitely say that they are pretty unique pets, obtained in a unique way.

Four new falcosaur battle pets are coming in the 7.1 Patch:

To obtain them, you must first have the World Quest for their area. Sharptalon Swarm! for the Sharptalon Hatchling, Direbeak Swarm! for the Direbeak Hatchling, and so on.

These WQs seem to be up for 2 days each, and more than one can be active at a time. I'm not sure what the respawn/cooldown time is for these quests.

If the World Quest for a specific type is not up, it doesn't seem possible to collect the pet of that species. This is because the Matriarch of the brood will not spawn, and she's the key to finding the orphaned hatchling.

Defeating a Matriarch of any of the four falcosaur species will spawn an orphaned hatchling nearby. (We're monsters, I know. Killing the mother just to scoop up the babies.)

I found using "/tar orphan" helpful, but they appear to be static spawns so once you know the location of one, you can return to the same spot for that species.

The orphan appears to remain spawned so long as the World Quest for its type is active and/or if you haven't collected it yet. You can leave the area and come back, and if the quest is still up the orphaned hatchling will still be there.

Interacting with the orphaned hatchling will initially yield nothing except flavor dialogue. But a hint was dropped on Twitter that each falcosaur pets' description in the Pet Journal might provide some insight.

Here are the descriptions for each of the falcosaur babies. Pay close attention to the underlined part.

  • Bloodgazer Hatchling - "Though they may look fierce, the bloodgazer species of falcosaur has a beak that makes it predisposed to consuming fruits."

  • Direbeak Hatchling - "Direbeak falcosaurs are heartier than other falcosaur species, but cannot smell as well. They prefer pungent meals and will often eat carrion that has been sitting in the sun for days."

  • Sharptalon Hatchling - "Sharptalon falcosaurs can subsist entirely on a diet of small nuts and berries, and use their talons mostly for defense."

  • Snowfeather Hatchling - "Snowfeather falcosaur hatchlings instinctively flee to nearby adults when threatened. The species is particularly fond of large prey."

Each falcosaur has a special type of food that they respond to. Bring it the right food and you'll get a wonderful reward!

So after brainstorming for a while and trying out different items (and failing a lot) for the Direbeak and Sharptalon Hatchlings, I got lucky and purchased the right food for the Bloodgazer Hatchling. As the Pet Journal noted, they enjoy fruit. But not just any fruit, Azsunian Grapes!

Perhaps the food each falcosaur is native to the zone they're found in? With that in mind I searched for different foods purchasable in Val'sharah for the Sharptalon Hatchling. There weren't any nuts to be found, but there were a few different kinds of berries. And what do you know? It took some of my Dried Bilberries!

I'm not sure if each hatchling will only accept a specific food, or if a variety of nommies are ok so long as they fall into their preferred food category.

That's as far as I've gone in terms of collecting these baby dino-birds. The orphaned Direbeak despawned on me since the WQ timed out, and I've yet to see the Snowfeather quest pop up. This leaves me some time to brainstorm what food to bring for each falcosaur though. My current guesses are Pungent Vrykul Gamalost or Pungent and Moldy Gamalost and Charcoaled Elderhorn. Stinky cheeses and large game fits their description right? :P

UPDATE: Orphaned Snowfeather loves some Smoked Elderhorn. And Orphaned Direbeak likes Pungent Vrykul Gamalost.

But wait, there's more! These hatchlings aren't just for collecting, there are quests to complete as well. They remind me a little of the Children's Week orphan quest chains.

After adding these pets to your Pet Journal and then summoning it out, the hatchlings will each have a quest for you. Level them up to 25!

Leveling it to max will complete the quest. The hatchlings require a nap time after each adventure (there seems to be an internal cooldown on the quests), but your hatchling will eventually have a new task for you.

I only have two out of the four falcosaurs, so I can't be certain -- but it seems each one has a slightly different quest chain. You can have different quests active at the same time. After leveling each one to 25, I received the following:
- The Smell of Draenei - Bloodgazer (take your Bloodgazer to Exodar Inn)

- The Smell of Night Elves - Sharptalon (take your Sharptalon to Darnassus Inn)

What happens after completing this quest? I'm not sure. My hatchlings are currently worn out and need a break from all the traveling. I'll be sure to update once a new quest pops up for me though!

UPDATE: The quest chains seem to follow this pattern

Sunday, October 2, 2016

RE: PVP Prestige Battle Pets

UPDATE: Apparently it takes 50k Honor to Prestige each time. I haven't been able to find any source where Blizzard confirms this, but if this is the case, let's consider the following:
PVP World Quests reward 300 Honor each.
PVP World Quests are on a 24 hour CD (that is, 4 new ones pop up once a day).
If you were to use JUST the PVP WQs to Prestige:
  • Prestige 1 for the pet -
50,000/300 Honor = ~167 WQs needed
167/4 WQs each day = ~42 days
  • Prestige to max (level 5) -
~208 to ~210 days needed
And this is just for Season 1......


Yesterday night I started the PVP Honor grind with a few guildmates. To sum up the experience:
  • Arenas are not worth it. The Honor earned is just dismal.
  • Battlegrounds are a little better (if you win, at least).
  • PVP World Quests are the best in terms of Honor and time.

After hours and hours of grinding mainly bgs, I checked my Honor level and it was only 16. I had started the night at level 9. What.

I was incredulous. All of that and I had only earned 7 levels? Needless to say, I then realized that the Grind. Is. Real.

This made me stop and and seriously think about these PVP Prestige battle pets. Not only do I need to grind to Prestige 1, but I need to keep going and max out for this season so that I won't be behind once Season 2 comes out in 7.1. There is a new pet coming in S2 that, as a collector, I need to fulfill my gameplay.

Did I mention that all of this has to be done on Alliance AND Horde? I'll have to endure the grind on not just one character but two, just to collect these pets.

Is this worth it? How will other collectors fair? Why does it have to be this way?

After some long and hard contemplation, I'm on the verge of excluding the Prestige pets completely. It pains me to even consider this, but trying out the grind and then realizing just how long of a journey it is (in quite possibly the most uncomfortable part of the game for me)... I just can't think of what my other options are.

At first, when I first heard about the Prestige pet (singular, not plural) I thought I would be ok. Prestige once and then be done, once on Alliance and then Horde - even someone who's as allergic to PVP as can be like me can manage that, right? But with the news of a second pet being introduced next season...that changes things.

It's incredibly disheartening and discouraging. Anxiety-inducing. Almost rage-inducing.

I'm already pretty lucky and have guildmates who will help, but what about collectors that don't have that luxury?

I don't want to over-generalize, but a good portion of the pet collecting community are just not that into PVP. Collecting is largely a solo-form of gameplay and fighting others is generally not necessary. "Care-bear" is thrown around a lot, but really, some just prefer to avoid certain activities that make the game less enjoyable for them. PVP is one of those activities.

It seems unfair to put collectors in this situation where they must choose between their collection (gameplay) and being coerced into a part of the game that they've chosen to largely avoid.

There are some collectors that love PVP, and that's great that they can collect while PVP'ing. But just like them, there are collectors that enjoy raiding, and some that don't. Some that like professions, others less so. Collectors that prefer making gold, and collectors that don't. And so on.

However, unlike every other aspect of the game, the PVP pets are only for those that PVP. There's simply no other way to collect them. Don't want to raid? That's ok, because the raid-dropped pets will be up on the Auction House in time. Same with many other pets that can initially only be obtained from a single source -- they can be traded and/or caged and thusly made available to many types of collectors.

Perhaps Blizzard wanted to put an emphasis on how special PVP is now, and that's why these pets are so exclusive. Raiding? Psh. That's just an everyday thing now, right? Some raiders will have words with you if that's the case.

So this whole PVP thing feels like a mistake. Adding in a reward that many PVP'ers will probably ignore and not benefit from, and placing that reward in an aspect of the game that collectors (that actually want the pet) try to avoid... it feels very underhanded as if something else is at play here. Like maybe WoW has this new shiny Prestige System that Blizzard wants us, everyone, to get into so that it's a HUGE SUCCESS! And what better way, than to add a pet, because you know collectors will flock to it, right?

Sorry for the sarcasm, I'm pretty upset about all of this.

I don't think Blizzard can take back what they've already implemented, nor do I think they want to. But I implore them to consider the following options for future PVP seasons:
1. Don't include a battle pet reward.

2. Include a battle pet reward, but make it tradeable/cageable so PVP'ers AND non-PVP'ers can benefit.
Option #2 seems to be the best of both worlds - you can reward PVP'ers for their efforts (doubly so since they will be able to make a one time profit from selling the pet if they choose to), and collectors that are actively avoiding PVP won't feel forced into an activity that they don't enjoy.

I hope I'm not alone in feeling this way about the Prestige PVP pets. As opposed as I am towards PVP, I'm open to compromise. I'm sure there's a better way to implement these pets without taking away from the PVP community, and simultaneously not excluding the collecting community.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Complete Family Familiar Achievement Faster Using A Second Character

The "alt character without World Quests unlocked" strat for the Family Familiar achievement is not a secret but it's not very obvious, so here's a quick summary and explanation of it.

What it is: It's essentially a work-around to the once-a-day per toon World Quests, allowing you to complete Family Familiar at a much faster rate than you would normally.

Characters with World Quests unlocked will find that they are only able to battle the active Broken Isles Pet Battle trainers once a day. Winning the encounter will complete the quest, making it impossible to repeat that same battle on the same day with that toon. You have to wait for the quests to rotate and hope each day that one of the Family Familiar trainers pops up.

Using the alt character-strat bypasses this, and allows you to battle that same trainer repeatedly on the same day (only on that specific character). Since the alt doesn't really complete anything (other than the Pet Battle), it doesn't incur a lockout and you'll be able to start and finish the trainer battle over and over. You won't receive any rewards on that character of course, but progress for Family Familiar can be reward enough. :)

This may seem like an exploit, however it was noticed and brought up during Legion Beta. I asked a developer if this was intended behavior for Pet Battle World Quests, and it seems that it is intended. So unless this has changed since beta, this strategy for completing Family Familiar faster is not an exploit.

How to do it: The only requirement is to have a character at max level (110), and DO NOT unlock World Quests.

This means you want to avoid completing the 'earn friendly reputation with X Broken Isles factions' milestone. Alts that are not level 110 will not work for this.

Once you've reached max level, log onto your main character (one that has World Quests unlocked) and see where the Broken Isles Pet Battle quests are located for the day. You can then take that information and hop onto your second character, travel to that location, find the trainer, speak with them and then engage in a Pet Battle over and over.

Note that the Suramar Pet Battle trainers are not included in this. Because they are unlocked during the Suramar storyline, alts without access to World Quests will not have Suramar progress and therefore will be unable to battle these trainers. They can see them and interact with the NPCs, but they won't be able to challenge them to a Pet Battle.

And that's about it!

Last but not least, if you're wondering what addon allows me to track Family Familiar in such an easy and convenient manner in the screenshot above, it's Family Familiar Helper! Made by Gello, who also created and maintains the awesome addon Rematch. Both are must haves for any pet collector/battler.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Patch 7.1 PTR: Algalon Pet Battle Strategy

After many frustrating attempts, multiple failed strategies, and hours of trial and error... I finally defeated Algalon the Observer in a Pet Battle on the PTR and completed the quest that rewards Stardust!

This battle was possibly the toughest I've ever encountered. Algalon has high health, hard-hitting, Elite legendary pets that had annoying I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people run into trouble with this battle.

I'm sure some will have no problem defeating him, but if you're like me and find yourself struggling against him, here is the strategy/pets that I used. (I wish I could battle him again so I could test out my strategy to make sure it wasn't just a fluke, but alas you can't fight him once you've defeated him once.)

Keep in mind that this is PTR, so Algalon's pets/battle is subject to change.

Macabre Marionette - H/P (1/2/1)
Emerald Proto-Whelp - P/P (1/1/2)
Infested Bear Cub - H/H (1/2/2) (I think H/P could work as well)

1.) Macabre Marionette - Siphon Life, Dead Man's Party, and then Macabre Maraca twice to finish off Comet.
Notes: The second Macabre Maraca should hit while you're on your Undead-round (when the marionette comes back to life).

Comet CAN crit you. If that happens and he kills you before you can get your second Macabre Maraca off, restart the fight.
2.) Comet dies, Macabre Marionette dies. Swap to Emerald Proto-Whelp, Algalon swaps to Cosmos.

3.) Emerald Proto-Whelp - Ancient Blessing, Emerald Dream, and constantly use these two healing abilities whenever they're off cooldown while filling in the gaps with Breath until Cosmos dies.
Notes: You want to time Emerald Dream just before Cosmos' force-swap ability. The bunny uses this ability on cooldown, which is annoying. However, when your pet is asleep, Algalon's pet cannot swap it out.
4.) Cosmos dies, Emerald Proto-Whelp should still be alive, Algalon swaps to Constellatius

4b.) (Optional) Emerald Proto-Whelp - Ancient Blessing just for good measure (if available, not entirely necessary)

5.) Swap to Infested Bear Cub

6.) Infested Bear Cub - Use Hibernate on cooldown and just pass your turn until Constellatius kills all active pets with Apocalypse.
Notes: Because the Infested Bear Cub is Undead, it will take less damage from Constellatius' only attack (Tail Sweep), giving you more room for error.

Algalon's pet uses Wish pretty much on cooldown. Instead of trying to beat through the healing, use its Apocalypse ability against him. Outlast Constellatius by healing your pet and letting Apocalypse expire, killing all active pets.

Emerald Proto-Whelp should be last pet standing. Hooray, you've won!

I'm absolutely ecstatic that I finally defeated this encounter. I went through many different strategies and struggled so much; I thought that I would just have to wait until a pet battle-theorycrafter came up with a viable strategy.

But after consulting the OH and having him give it some attempts, we formulated a solid plan that involved knocking down Algalon's first pet (dragon) because it did massive AOE, avoiding getting force-swapped when facing his second pet (bunny), and then simply letting his third pet (hippo) kill itself. A huge thank you to the OH for helping me brainstorm and test different ideas. :)

Although it was initially VERY frustrating, it was ultimately VERY satisfying completing this Pet Battle. I can't wait to do it again on live once Patch 7.1 is released!

Last but not least, Stardust's idle animation - it turns into a shooting star, flies up into the air and circles around for a little bit before falling back down next to you. NEAT! :D

Sunday, September 18, 2016

7.1 PTR Preview: Raiding With Leashes IV and Algalon the Cosmic Pet Battler

The 7.1 PTR recently went up and new Pet Battle content is on the way. There's juicy pet news! :D

Much to every collector's delight, it was revealed that Raiding With Leashes IV: Wrath of the Lick King would be featured in the next content patch.

Previous RWL pets had some fun and interesting interactions/idle animations, so I was hoping these new pets would also have quirky attributes.

I'm happy to say that after some testing, it appears that the majority of them do do stuff! Some are only color-changers, but that's still awesome. I hope their color changing ability is intended and they stay that way. :)

Here they are, broken down into each raid (image-heavy warning):

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Legion Pet Battle World Quests Resource

Pet Battle World Quests are drawing some attention, not just from collectors and battlers, but also from players looking to earn reputation and artifact power.

For a collector/battler, most of the quests will be straight forward. With a large enough collection, the fights shouldn't be a problem.

However, for someone just getting into Pet Battles or is only doing these new quests for rep/AP reward, the encounters may not be as simple.

Since I'm not one to create guides/strats for fights, here's a website that has some team ideas for Legion Pet Battle World Quests: Xu-Fu's Pet Battle Strategies

Many of the pets used do not need to be a specific breed, and they're relatively "easy" to collect.

For more advanced pet battlers, the same website also has suggestions for Family Familiar strats. It's a great resource if you get stumped on a fight. :)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Fourth Pet Battle World Quest (Suramar)

Legion has been a blast so far! However, there seems to be a lack of detailed information in certain areas. More for us to discover/learn, yes, but it can also lead to a lot of confusion and frustration.

One of these 'missing' details is the 4th Pet Battle World Quest in Suramar. I have a feeling that many may not be aware that while the 3 Pet Battle quests around the other Broken Isles zones are guaranteed, there is a 4th WQ that can sometimes appear in Suramar (it's not guaranteed to appear every day).

Not everyone will see this elusive 4th WQ, though. To access it you must complete certain Nightfallen storylines. Suramar and its content is heavily gated, and you won't get the Pet Battle WQ unless you've unlocked them first.

Unfortunately, it's not entirely clear which quest chains unlock which Pet Battle WQ. Wowhead does a great job of listing the Nightfallen quest chains and the other WQs that they unlock, but it doesn't list the Pet Battle ones.

If you have information on which quest chains grant access to which Suramar Pet Battle WQ, please let me know!

If you've completed up to and including Blood and Wine, you should be able to see Clear the Catacombs and Flummoxed, at the very least. These are the ones that I recently completed after having finished the aforementioned storyline.

Another hidden detail about these WQ is that they are on a different timer than the rest of the Pet Battle quests. I think this is due to the fact that you need to unlock them first.

So make sure you progress through the Suramar storyline, and keep checking your map to ensure you don't miss a Pet Battle WQ!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Color a Battle Pet!

Just wanted to share something fun that collectors might appreciate.

I recently stumbled upon an artist that creates battle pet coloring pages (how did I not discover this sooner?!). They're ADORABLE and so well drawn.

If you need some inspiration on what/how to color, here are a couple of wonderfully finished pages from others in the WoW community.

I haven't printed any out and tried coloring yet, but if I find time in the near future you can bet my colored pencils and markers are going to get a work out hehe.

How amazing would it be if all pets were eventually featured? Well, maybe not *all* pets since some share models. But just the unique ones? ^^;

This artist also has a Patreon page, so maybe support so we can see more battle pet coloring pages? :3

I can't wait for more :D

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thoughts On 7.0.3 Menagerie Daily Stealth-Change

I've largely been quiet about the elephant in the room in 7.0.3, but a point was recently made that really resonated with me.

Let's talk about the stealth nerf to the Menagerie daily, shall we?

The Menagerie daily is now account-wide as of the pre-expansion patch. This includes all dailies handed out by the Menagerie NPC (regardless of building level or faction).

With all that's been going on since 7.0.3 dropped (updating the WarcraftPets database, managing my own characters with the talent and spec changes, transmog stuff, etc.), I haven't commented much on the stealth change to the Menagerie daily.

Initially, everyone speculated that being unable to pick up and complete the daily on more than one character was a bug since there was absolutely NO mention in the released patch notes about changes to the daily other than reduced Pet Charm rewards. (Patch notes have since been edited to include the additional daily change.)

It was later revealed on a secondary patch notes page that the daily becoming account-wide was indeed intended. This underhanded ninja nerf is what upset the Pet Battle community more than anything, nevermind the actual change. It was unexpected, initially unannounced, and seemingly uncalled for.

Many can understand why the double nerf (reduced Pet Charm rewards PLUS account-wide Menagerie daily change) was implemented -- the garrison was just too strong. Those with multiple characters reaped what could be considered an excessive amount of rewards over the span of WoD, and these changes were made primarily to dissuade players from camping their garrisons in Legion. I strongly believe that the target audience for these nerfs are veterans of not just the game, but also veteran Pet Battlers with multiple characters.

One thing Blizzard didn't consider, however, is how this would affect newer players and those just starting to hop into Pet Battles. This double whammy impacts their impression of Pet Battles the most.

Most veterans will have stockpiled enough Pet Charms to last for quite a while in Legion, so it's really no skin off their backs. Veterans largely remember what it was like leveling, grinding, and progressing without the luxury of Pet Charms -- it's nothing new for them, it's not a culture-shock.

But noobies, who may have joined later and rely on Pet Charms to level pets and participate in Pet Battles, will now struggle to earn Pet Charms to purchase bandages, pet food, and battlestones until Legion drops. Even in Legion, prior to level 110 there isn't much content for battlers to collect Pet Charms. Going from 100 to 0 can be a huge shock, especially for those who have never known any other style of gameplay other than 'use charms to progress'.

On top of this, many are upset at the fact that their multiple Menageries across multiple characters are now a wasted investment. An account-wide daily means that any building constructed will be largely unusable once you've completed and turned in the daily on your first character for the day. Yes, you can still purchase items and heal at the Menagerie, but I think a large draw for dumping gold into building the lot for many players was the daily, dropped pets, and the Pet Charms. Not so much the vendor.

All of this has caused a stir in the community. An unpleasant stir.

I definitely agree that this should have been handled better. If they had intended to hand out this double nerf from the get-go, it should have been announced prior to 7.0.3 going live so collectors could have a chance to adjust and prepare accordingly. Suddenly logging in to find an unannounced change is completely jarring and it's only understandable that players would have a negative knee-jerk reaction to the unexpected change.

Despite my silence on this topic, it does bother me that the account-wide status of the Menagerie daily went unannounced, and we had to find out about it through some player sleuthing (the change was finally officially noted in a SECOND patch notes page, not the one initially released) rather than a Blizzard representative addressing our questions and concerns.

I'm also bothered by the fact that throughout all of this, there was ZERO compromise on the matter. Just flat nerfs. Yes, I can understand why the changes had to happen, but I don't agree that there was nothing to be done to offset the negative.

This comment is what really sparked my desire to express my 2 cents. It struck me as the perfect compromise that COULD HAVE been included - it would have been the perfect time for it - but wasn't.

A baked in reduced cooldown on the pet revive/heal as a reward would have been a great way to help balance the changes in 7.0.3. With the removal of garrison perks, many other bonuses were baked into gameplay but for some reason the Pet Battle one (reduced revive/heal cooldown while in Draenor) was left out.

I think adding a cooldown reduction (in general, not just for Draenor) as part of a 'you built the Menagerie and upgraded to level 3!' achievement would be a wonderful positive in what has been perceived as an overwhelmingly negative patch for pet battlers/collectors. Would it erase the whole Menagerie daily debacle? No. But it would be a wonderful peace-making gesture.

Overall, I'm going to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt about all of this. Do I think there was malicious intent? No. Do I think there were oversights and poor communication? Yes. Do I agree with all of the changes? No, not really BUT I can understand why they were necessary adjustments to the game, and have largely accepted them.

Some may not be able to overlook this matter or take it as lightly, and it could turn them off from Pet Battling completely...or for at least a while. (It's hard to say no to cute and cuddly pets...)

So an additional change to give players some kind of compensation for investing in a max level Menagerie (often on multiple characters) would go a long way. The best one that I've seen suggested is definitely the reduced cooldown of the pet revive/heal, for all zones and not exclusively Draenor.

Just my thoughts on this matter. Better late than never, right?
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Perks N Peeves by Quintessence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.