Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Grell Pre-Sale

WoWTCGLoot has started their presale for the Gregarious Grell, and this time those who participate will be entered into a random drawing to possibly win an Ethereal Soul-Trader! (OM NOM NOM NOM. *drool*) A random winner will be picked on Feb 10th.

So if you're eager to be one of the first to play pretend warlock (or have TWO impish creatures out at the same time), check out their sale!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

TCG - Gregarious Grell Soon

Just a quick reminder that the next TCG expansion deck is set to be released on February 7th! The common pet loot card for Crown of the Heavens will be the Gregarious Grell. I don't think there are any animation previews for this pet yet, so it's hard to say if it will do anything interesting or neat other than idle about. We'll have to wait until the 7th to find out. :)

As usual, we can probably expect WarcraftPets.com and WowTCGLoot.com to have a joint pre-sale for the grell pet, and if the presales of the past are any indicators those who participate in the presale might be placed in a random drawing for another (possible pet) loot card! Keep your eye on those two webpages for more information in the coming week(s). ;)

And just one last thing, here's a likely possible list of the order in which the next TCG pets will come:
Tomb of the Forgotten deck - Sand Scarab pet (likely release date: one to three months after Crown of the Heavens)

Timewalkers: War of the Ancients deck - Eye of the Legion pet (likely release date: one to three months after Tomb of the Forgotten)
Obviously we'll have to wait to be certain.

Rock Beats Scissors

But not if my scissors happens to be the Jaws of Life. :P

I'm actually still quite sick but against my better judgement, I'm up and writing about the latest WarcraftPets.com contest! Inspired by the news of the upcoming MoP Pet Battles Feature, Breanni has challenged all WarcraftPets users to use the new little website feature to create their own pet battle scenario. And there are PRIZES!

NOTE: The WarcraftPets.com feature is a standalone and fun mini-game, and does not necessarily reflect how the actual in-game MoP Pet Battle feature will work. There's currently no information on how the WoW system will function.

The website mini-game is pretty straight forward, and you can get quite creative with it. The biggest catch is that each pet has to have an ability that makes sense. So for example, my Elwynn Lamb couldn't lob acid rain down its opponent, because 1 - lambs aren't acidic in anyway, shape, or form (unless... it's a mutant lamb...), 2 - that pet doesn't do that in-game at all. But on the other hand, maybe the Toxic Wasteling would have an acid rain ability, or heck.. if you're brave enough, give Stinker that power. He sure smells awful powerful enough. :P

Anyway, there are lots of REALLY awesome prizes (Dragon Kite... *drool* one day, one day!), and it's just a very cute way to pass the time in general.

I'm not going to list out all the prizes or lay out the rules in its entirety. To learn more and then to enter, check out this post here: WarcraftPets Pet Battle Contest!

Good luck to all those entering! Have fun with it and get creative. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Forced to Take it Easy

The Lunar Festival pets are here! And normally I would have already added them to my collection by now, but life has hit me with an on-going fever. So while I'd love to be able to go about collecting the coins and earning those pretty little lamps, I'm just going to have to wait a little longer before taking a more serious and strenuous approach. To be able to enjoy pixels, one needs life, and to be able to maintain life, one must address any serious threats that pop up in Real Life. :P

Thankfully the event lasts for about 3 weeks, so I should have enough time to eventually collect the two companions. Just going to have to limit myself to visiting only a few Elders per day instead of the mass continent hopping that I normally like to do.

I really do hope I'm well enough before February since the DMF and Vday in-game event will be arriving together. I'm also hoping that there's nothing extraordinarily new (*cough* NO NEW DUNGEON LOOT BAG DROPPED PETS PLZ! *cough*) for the Valentine's Day holiday. If there is, that might just send me into a relapse due to the added weight of anxiety/stress on top of my slow recovery and then... well I'll be a very sad druid.

There's so much I'd love to be doing! But you just can't ignore it when life tells you to slow down and take it a bit easier. I'm just thankful this situation occurred during THIS in-game event. Any other seasonal event and I might have wound up sinking into a major depression due to the many factors that make pet collecting during those other holidays so intense.

So wait for me little lanterns! Hopefully I'll be picking both of you up soon.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lunar Festival Soon!

UPDATE: So! Something interesting that I discovered, "Honoring every elder will grant you 75 Coin of Ancestry..."

Is this true? Can anyone confirm? Why oh why wasn't I made aware of this sooner?! If this is true for this year's Lunar Festival, the final total for visiting EVERY elder will be 159 coins, which is enough to purchase not one or two, but THREE of the same lantern pet. Great news for many pet collectors who will be looking to "trade" for the opposing faction pet.

Those who won't be able to find all the elders due to level restrictions should still be able to acquire enough coins to purchase one pet, though. I think hey'll need to be roughly level 60 though.

See comments in this post for further discussion on this (unconfirmed) possibility.


The Lunar Festival is nearly upon us and I find myself nowhere near ready! XD I have yet to open up a character spot for a horde DK, which I will use to go around, gathering enough coins to purchase the horde version of the new Lunar Festival pets (Lunar Lantern and Festival Lantern).

So far Wowhead's guide is confirming that the new pets will be faction favored, but if the official Battle.net armory is correct, a single character should be able to learn both pets (it shows both the new pets in your toon's "Not Collected" section which implies that in the end you can have both). Now it's just a matter of collecting enough currency and then getting the pet across the Neutral AH... *shudder*

Oh and if Wowhead's guide is up-to-date and correct, I'm not seeing any new dailies or other sources for Coins of Ancestry. This may have changed but we'll just have to wait and see.

IF this IS the case, though, keep in mind that there are ONLY 84 Elders total, which means a single character would only be able to earn 84 coins. This is unfortunately not enough for one toon to purchase two of the same pet (one to keep and one to "trade" with an opposing faction buddy or otherwise). It also means that if you plan on using the Neutral AH to trade a pet with someone on the opposite side, you pretty much only get one shot at it. If another player or a bot snipes your pet, you'll be out of luck.

...Unless you have a bunch of high level alts that you can fall back on to collect more coins and try again. Heh.

Again, we'll have to wait and see once the festival starts on the 22 of this month. Perhaps Blizzard updated this holiday and there will be other ways to earn enough currency to purchase more than one pet per toon.

One last thing, WowInsider also has a detailed guide on where to find the Elders. I'm particularly fond of their description on where to find the Dungeon Elders.

So again, good luck to all pet collectors! :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lunar Festival Prepping

The Lunar Festival is only a week away, so I've been starting to plan out how I'm going to go about getting both new pets from this in-game holiday.

Oh and if you missed the news, Blizzard has finally added companion pets to the last remaining petless holiday! The Lunar Lantern and the Festival Lantern. (Yay, every major holiday has at least one pet now. :P)

Note: It's still not clear or confirmed if a single character will be able to learn both the alliance and horde version of the pets. Both pets are Bind On Use, so let's just hope that we will be able to.

There's really no trick to acquiring enough Coins of Ancestry to purchase a Lunar Festival companion, but it will take some time to wander around and gather them all if you don't have any saved up from previous years.

Note: As far as I can tell, the Lunar Festival currency from previous festivals SHOULD work as currency for these two new pets. Then again, much like the DMF tickets the older pre-revamp currency may simply turn into outdated and void currency (although I'm not finding any info that would suggest this is the case atm). We'll just have to wait and find out once the holiday actually starts.

Unfortunately, if you don't have left over coins from previous festivals, you will only be able to purchase ONE pet. There's a total of 84 possible elders, which will yield a total of 84 coins. Each pet costs 50 Coins of Ancestry (according to the official WoW armory page). So unless they plan on adding even more elders to get coins from or a daily/other means, those without extra currency will be short 16 coins of purchasing two of the same pet on one toon.

This will make trading the Lunar Festival pets tough for some (especially those without any alts), since the gist of "trading" is to purchase two of the same pet - one to learn and the other to trade off to the opposing faction for their version of the pet.

The only other options will be to purchase the opposing faction's companion with gold, or if you have a guildmate/alt character (can be of the opposing faction) to assist you by getting the other pet for you.

Needless to say, those with multiple high level alts will definitely have the advantage in this type of situation. Traveling across all of Azeroth and into some dungeons is no easy feat for a lower level toon. But! Don't despair because after looking at the possible elders available, it should be doable for even a non-max level capped character.
For characters that are at least level 68 (able to enter Northrend):

Faction Capital Elders - 3
Kalimdor Elders - 21
Eastern Kingdom Elders - 17
Northrend Elders - 18
Total - 59 Coins of Ancestry
Just enough to purchase one pet, and the above calculations don't even include the coins that can be gathered from the Cataclysm Elders, the opposing faction's capital elders, or the Dungeon Elders.

Those who are NOT eligible to travel to Northrend will have to find the elders located in the dungeons. Without the 6 dungeon elders (I'm excluding the Northrend dungeons of course), players lower than level 68 will only be able to acquire 44 coins (BOTH Factions' Capital Elders - 6, Kalimdor Elders - 21, and Eastern Kingdom Elders - 17 should all be accessible to those lower than level 68... to varying degrees of difficulty of course)

IF a toon lower than level 68 can speak/find to the Cataclysm Elders, then gathering enough currency for one pet would be much more plausible. But due to phasing and level restrictions, I'm not sure that's possible. I haven't tried seeking out a Cataclysm Elder on a lower level character, so I can't really say.

In any case, lower level toons might find collecting enough currency for one pet to be challenging at the very least. We'll see though! Maybe it won't be as tough as it looks.

All that said, I guess my plan will be to gather enough coins for the alliance version of the Lunar Festival pet (Lunar Lantern) and then take my horde character around and gather enough coins for the horde version (Festival Lantern). Or I could use an alt to purchase another alliance version of the pet and find a horde buddy to trade with. Of course I'll have to enlist some help from a friend to transfer the pet across the Neutral AH... which I'm a bit apprehensive about. We'll see.

One last thing: As with all things datamined, it should be noted that things may have changed since these two pets were first datamined, and they may have had their faction preferences removed. If this is the case, then it will just be a matter of gathering enough coins across my alts to purchase both pets! That would definitely be ideal. :D

Hopefully all goes well. It's the first in-game holiday of the new year, so let's get it started on a good note yea? Good luck to everyone going after the two new pets!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crown of the Heavens Preview

Wowtcg.com has previews of the loot coming in the next TCG expansion deck, Crown of the Heavens!

Being the common loot card, the Gregarious Grell is first up on the list. Their preview page has an image of both the physical card and a screenshot of what the pet will look like in game. There's no indication on the page that it will have any special or unique animation/interaction, though.

The Eye of the Legion (coming a couple TCG expansions after Crown) will match perfectly with this grell companion! Pet collectors won't have to be a warlock to feel like one now. :P If only we could have them both out at the same time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why One RNG System Works and the Other Doesn't

Now that more data is available from Wowhead, I recently did a numbers crunch for the companions that changed to zone-wide drops in Cataclysm, and as expected the droprate for these few pets is lower post-Cata than pre-Cata. For example, a pet that was a 1 in 1,000 drop from a specific set of mobs turned into 1 in 8,000 drop once it became a zone-wide drop. Just a side note: The numbers presented for pet drops after Cataclysm on Wowhead should be accurate, as the pre-Cata information was cleared once the expansion went live.

While the droprates are lower now, hopefully that won't discourage pet collectors (especially newer ones) from going out and searching for that elusive pet to add to their collection. Keep up the good hunt everyone!

Thankfully, the few pets that were changed are still BoU so should a player choose to not spend the time and energy killing misc mobs in a zone, they could always simply save up gold and wait for that pet to pop up on the AH instead. Options. Me likey.

After undergoing this tedious task of calculating the current droprates for the pets that became zone-wide drops, I had a discussion with a guildmate about which would be a more effective and attractive system: the current holiday loot bag system (100% dependent on RNG, plus other factors which a player has NO control over) or the zone-wide dropped companions (with their low droprates and also a highly dependent RNG factor).

Obviously, I'm pretty biased but I took the time to hear out my guildie who explained that the low droprate numbers and sheer size of any given zone would be pretty discouraging. I definitely understand and empathize when it comes to the new droprates (1 in 10,000 for one or two pets). If I were a pet collector new to the scene, that number would be very daunting.

This is how pet collecting has always been, even in vanilla. There are the easier pets to obtain and then there are the companions that you just have to wonder... how in the hell did I manage to get that one?! I remember back in the day when the lowest droprate was 1 in 5,000.

That being said, even though there's often grumbling over the low droprate from us pet collectors, there's a lot less resistance to the zone-wide dropped pet system than the RNG holiday loot bag system. You have to wonder why that's so.

In the defense of the zone-wide dropped pets, I mentioned that unlike the RNG holiday loot system, a zone-wide pet drop just FEELS rewarding. Nevermind that a player can choose when/if they want to farm for it, or that it's out there just waiting to be looted 365 days of the year. These pets take quite a bit of time and energy, yet the end result is highly gratifying.

Why is that, though? Why doesn't the once per day, for two weeks out of the year, RNG based, holiday loot system not generate that same satisfaction?

I think it has to do with the psychology behind it all. On the one hand, you have to seriously put some effort and work into farming for one type of companion, while on the other hand you simply have to log in for 5-10 minutes, kill one boss and then collect your bag. One scenario presents a situation where the reward outweighs the unknown and the grinding. In the RNG holiday system, the reward more often than not doesn't. Coupled with the other pro-collector factors (the OPTION to farm, the 100% availability, etc.), a zone-wide dropped pet just FEELS like adequate compensation, whereas the holiday loot bag doesn't present any at all (then again it doesn't require the effort either).

However, it's the effort, determination, and persistence that essentially MAKES pet collecting. It makes the RNG tolerable and even a somewhat fun challenge. Back in the day, I saw 1 in 5,000 as a test to my dedication to my collection. Could I do it? Would it drop from the next kill? How far would I be willing to go for that cute little critter that I could call my own?

Most collectors will agree that the mentality behind collecting appears to be misunderstood by many people including Blizzard developers. Drrum eloquently sums it up in this post she made on the WarcraftPets Forums.
"Most of us don't even really mind the rng, as long as we have unlimited access to farm."
After my long discussion with my guildmate about the zone-wide dropped companions vs the RNG holiday loot bag, the pros and cons of both systems, and which would be the lesser evil, my friend saw my point of view and agreed (to my surprise!) that when it came to the two, the low droprate system would be preferable over the holiday loot bag. It's not just the loot that's desirable, the road that must be walked upon to reach the end destination also plays a large part of collecting.

Not everyone will agree and Blizzard can't very well please everyone, but I definitely think that with more open and constructive discussions everyone could re-examine pet collecting, what it means, the mentality behind it, the end goal, and ultimately find a better solution to making a pet "rare" and implementing a more balanced loot system.

In the meantime though, one RNG system, while it seems to work in one form, will not always work in another. That needs to be addressed first and foremost.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MoP Pet Battle Review

In case you missed the reveal at Blizzcon 2011, MMO-Champion has a straightforward review of Pet Battles.

Keep in mind that even though that all of this was officially announced by Blizzard, there are still no guarantees that everything listed will go live with the next expansion. Things could change between now and the release of MoP.

Also keep in mind that there are still MANY MANY things that we just don't have enough information about yet. So unless it's listed on this review page or stated by Blizzard elsewhere, everything else is speculation for now and we really need to just wait and see how things play out.

The features that I hope make it into the live version of MoP even if everything else doesn't: Account wide pets and unique player-given names for companions! Yes please! :D

As for Pet Battles in general... well I'm still really torn about it. Part of me is curious and would definitely try it out, while another part of me is somewhat resistant. The things that I worry about are how this new feature will affect the pet collecting community, pet collecting gameplay, and vanity pets overall.

It was stated that it would be entirely optional, but it was also mentioned that Pet Battles would "unlock countless more pets". I'm the type of person that doesn't enjoy being pigeonholed into a situation where there's only one route to take. I like my options (but not too many as that would get overwhelming) and I enjoy having some sense of control over my style of gameplay.

So IF participating in Pet Battles is the only way to access these "countless more pets" then I don't see how it would be considered "optional" content for a pet collector. If a collector wanted to obtain and unlock the new companions, what choice would they have? If this turns out to be the case, it would be more of a pet peeve than pet perk for me. We'll see.

In any case, MoP will definitely bring about some changes for pet collectors and it's just a matter of time before more concrete details are revealed to us.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Going As Planned

The DMF is over for this month, and thankfully Blizzard was able to resolve the issue with the bugged artifacts.

I petitioned a GM and they quickly gave me 10 tickets for both the artifacts. At first the tickets were actual items and not currency (therefore not usable to purchase anything), but they swiftly responded by adding them to my currency tab once I mentioned it. Glad to see that they are taking responsibility for this past month's flaws in the DMF event, even if they couldn't fix everything in one week and some will have to wait until next month.

So despite the scare and the bump in the road, I'm currently still on track for purchasing the remaining three DMF pets. As long as I keep hunting for the artifacts and doing the dailies each month, everything should go as planned. Hopefully.

Next up: Lunar Festival! I've already spoken with a guildmate about assisting me with transferring the horde version of the Lunar Festival pets (Festival Lantern) through the neutral AH, and if both pets remain at the price that the armory has them listed as, I might even make some time to gather even more Coins of Ancestry to buy a couple lanterns from either side. Just in case someone might want to trade. :) They'd also make great gifts later in the year too.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Eye of the Legion - Preview and Source

If you missed it, MMO-Champion now has a preview of the Eye of the Legion pet. It was datamined from the patch 4.3.2 PTR. And according to this tweet, this pet will be from the TCG expansion deck Timewalkers: War of the Ancients.

There are still two more TCG sets that need to be released (Crown of the Heavens - scheduled for release some time in February and Tomb of the Forgotten - likely to be released a couple of months after that), so Timewalkers will probably be released sometime late spring/summer.

I'm actually quite excited about the Eye of the Legion pet. We all get to pretend to be warlocks! There are so many awesome possible idle animations for this eye companion, I just hope that the developers have it do something neat other than just hovering about. We'll see.

Bugged DMF Artifacts/Monthlies - Update

UPDATE: There's a new blue post concerning the Captured Insignia and Adventurer's Journal:
"We’ve identified a number of issues with the Darkmoon Faire this month, and they should be resolved for the February faire. Specifically, we found problems with:

• Attempting to turn in the Adventurer's Journal and Captured Insignia which are associated with these quests “The Captured Journal” and “The Enemy's Insignia”. If you are having difficulty turning in these items, please contact our customer service department at http://us.battle.net/support/en/ and they will be able to provide you with 5 Darkmoon Prize Tickets per item."

- source (January 6)
So be sure to submit a ticket if you're experiencing bugs with the two artifacts mentioned above. NOTE: If the tickets awarded for the two bugged artifacts are actual items and not currency, we can't use them to buy anything from the DMF. If this happens to you, just speak with the GM again and hopefully it will be sorted out.

Also, we finally have confirmation that artifacts will ONLY drop in level-appropriate dungeons now:
1. This was a bug that is being hotfixed. A character that is not level-appropriate for a dungeon should not get Monstrous Egg, Mysterious Grimoire, Imbued Crystal, or Ornate Weapon drops. This is irrespective of whether or not the character has a Darkmoon Adventurer's Guide in her bags.
- source (January 6)


A blue updated the post addressing the bugged monthlies:
"Update, 04/01

A hotfix was deployed last night in order to solve the issue and the monthly quests should now be available again. However, if your character had already encountered a bug with some of the monthly quests, then you will need to wait until the next Darkmoon Faire starting on February 5 in order to complete those quests and the related achievements.

Once again we apologise for any inconvenience this issue may have caused."
- source
So to clarify - If you've encountered ANY bug with the artifacts and/or monthly quests THIS month, you will simply have to wait to do them again NEXT month. If you have NOT encountered any glitches with this month's artifacts/monthlies (perhaps if it's your first time completing them and such), you are fine and should be good to go.

I just tested out two of the bugged artifacts, the Captured Insignia and Adventurer's Journal, and both are still giving me the "you've completed that quest" error. I'll continue to try throughout the week in hopes that they'll reset just before the faire ends, but I'm having huge doubts.

On top of the seemingly lowered droprate for the artifacts, the high competition, the sometimes bugged rolls, and the recently implemented level-appropriate requirement, we now also lose a month's worth of SETS of 5-10 tickets.

I understand Blizzard wanting to extend content for as long as possible, but this is a bit ridiculous.

The DMF is shaping out to be... disappointing in its execution to say the least.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

PTR Patch 4.3.2 - New Pet!

MMO-Champion has a new one for us (datamined from the 4.3.2 PTR): Eye of the Legion!

All that's known so far is that the item is of blue quality and is BoP. It's anyone's guess when and where this pet will come from, or even IF it will be offered to players on live servers.


Seriously, Blizzard. Even IF a portion of your customers enjoy limited attempts, limited time, uncompensated and mindless RNG, a portion definitely DOES NOT. Can't make everyone happy but. Compromise. Balance. PERIOD. Archaic loot system just does not work with the current holiday model.

UPDATE: Thanks to this tweet, it's been confirmed from the PTR that the Eye of the Legion is from a TCG expansion deck, Timewalkers: War of the Ancients. When this set will be available, no clue. Most likely some time this year after the other TCG decks previously discovered on the PTR.

Flaming Fire Kitty Fun

Don't know if anyone remembers my first screenshot as a fire kitten with the Disgusting Oozeling out, but the fire kitty is back and this time... a SUPER fire flaming cat!

One might ask, "But Quint? How does a fire cat become a SUPER fire flaming cat?"

The answer of course, is to eat your fill of fiery pets! My druid's favorite being the Phoenix Hatchling. I mean, cats naturally enjoy poultry yes? :P

I kid, I kid. I'd never eat my little friends. ...Unless it's the Plump Turkey after it's "sensed its destiny", in which case I'll make an exception. :9

Disclaimer: It is not recommended players eat their non-combat companions, and instead players should try the Wild Winter Pilsner for the extra flaming effect. ^^

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Darkmoon Faire Bugs

Alright, well there are a few bugs that have made themselves known now that a second DMF is here. Here is a list of the few that will likely have an impact on ticket collecting, and therefore pet collecting:
- Captured Insignia, Adventurer's Journal, and possibly other artifacts are not behaving properly and giving many players the "Cannot complete again" error message. This is likely due to a reset coding error, and it's been suggested by other players to simply keep trying throughout the week (specifically around the same time you turned in your artifacts last month).

- The Treatise On Strategy is supposed to ONLY be rollable by those with the Darkmoon Adventuere's Guide in their inventory, however the entire party can view and roll on said item so long as at least one person as the Guide. This means those that don't even know what it is or even want it can compete with those that do.
There are other bugs to be worked out, and Blizzard is aware of them/working on addressing each one, but so far those other bugs have more to do with achievements and won't really effect pet collecting as far as I can tell.

Also, it should be noted that artifacts seem to have either had their droprate nerfed, and/or require level appropriate dungeons/content now. There have been several Wowhead comments that indicate that the latter may have been implemented since the last DMF. If you can confirm that the lower level dungeons still drop any of the artifacts for a level 85 toon, please let me know! Otherwise, it looks as though any max level characters will have to run level 85 dungeons from here on out for their artifacts. Blah, I should have farmed up more from lower level dungeons when I had the chance last month.

Honestly, I'm not surprised that the second DMF is turning out to be riddled with problems. Without being able to test it on the PTR multiple times due to time constraints and the faire being only one week out of a month, there were bound to be bugs that remained hidden until a second faire showed up.

Here's hoping that Blizzard fixes these issues before the event is over so collectors can earn their fair share of tickets.

I Think I Broke It

I picked up my second DMF pet tonight, and had a blast watching (and hearing!) it get destroyed over and over again. >:3 I especially love the little *pop! squeak* noise as it explodes. *Evil cackle*

Here's some video I took of the Darkmoon Zeppelin going up against Lil' XT.

Yesssss... burn! BURN IT ALL! (WITH THE LEMONS! *ahem* oops, Portal 2 reference. :P) Sorry I'm taking my frustration about Lumpy out on you, little zeppelin. ;)

Thanks to my guildmate who let me borrow his Lil' XT for some toy carnage. (He's the gnome sitting and facing the wall lol, looks like he's on time out. :P)
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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.