Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two New Pets and Reporting Pet Names

Wowhead News datamined two new pets from the upcoming beta patch: the Thundering Serpent Hatchling and the Jade Crane Chick. The hatchling is BoP while the chick is BoU.

It's not clear where either pet will come from yet. There was a Thundering Cloud Serpent Hatchling that was on the guild vendor for a bit (NYI). This newly datamined hatchling could be one in the same, but it's still too soon to say.

The Jade Crane Chick could come from any number of sources, but if it's a baby version of the crane mob, I'm very eager to see its model! Even if it's just a miniature version and not a unique baby-ish model, I can't wait to get a preview of it.

There was a third pet added to this latest beta build, but it's not necessarily new. The Singing Cricket was previewed in an earlier build as the reward for the achievement Pro Pet Mob, although it didn't have its own item or spell ID at the time. This pet is currently BoU.

Additionally, MMO-Champion datamined something interesting:
REPORT_BATTLEPET_NAME_CONFIRMATION - Are you sure you want to report %s for inappropriate battle pet name?
REPORT_PET_NAME_CONFIRMATION - Are you sure you want to report %s for inappropriate pet name?
Looks like players will be able to report any inappropriate names given to companions, which makes sense. If a name is deemed unfit for your toon, why on earth would Blizzard allow you to give that nickname to a vanity pet? Why would anyone want to name a pet something horrible anyway? :(

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pet Stuff For June

Nothing much to report from the beta at the moment. Pet-related events are going to be somewhat slow for the time being too. Next month should pick up again since the Darkmoon Faire and the Midsummer Fire Festival will be making their appearances, though.

Plus the new TCG expansion deck, Tomb of the Forgotten, will be released next month too. Yay for the Sand Scarab pet! WoW TCG Loot will be having another pre-sale (likely joint with WarcraftPets) soon for this common loot card, so be sure to keep an eye out for that announcement. They also have a couple of screenshots of the scarab pet if you're curious about how it will look.

Another heads up for next month is the conclusion of the Arena Pass Tournament on June 5, so everyone has about one week left to get in those games to qualify for Murkimus! Note: I'm not sure if Blizzard will be mailing out the pet right after the event ends, or if it will take between 2-6 weeks like in previous years. We'll see.

Other than that, I'm just patiently waiting for an official Pet Battles and pet collecting update from Blizzard. While not in response to a pet specific topic, Nethaera did mention that they'll
"have more information about pets specifically as soon as we can. That too has some things being ironed out still but we'll share a bit more "soonish"." - source
Like with everything else, it will come in time. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pets R 4 Hug, Not Fite

I'm back on the beta and pet battles still hasn't been officially turned on (that I'm aware of), but there's still a teeny-tiny chance for a battle here and there. Just a small taste and preview, I suppose?

There are a couple of new things in this latest beta patch - mainly UI updates and Pet Journal tweaks/refining. For example, the pet combat log has a bit more detail about each encounter.

Another example is when a pet "dies" during a battle, the journal will clearly indicate that it's no longer able to engage in combat until it's revived.

Not only will there be a large red "X" on its icon, the pet will also appear lifeless in the preview window.

Speaking with a Stable Master near any inn will heal and revive your pets, or you can train the ability to heal and revive your own pets (has a 10 minute cooldown).

I know Blizzard probably isn't ready for feedback on pet battles yet, but I really hope that the pet bandages that were datamined make it into the final version of pet battles. Or the cooldown on the pet revive/heal spell is shortened.

A 10 minute cooldown may not seem like a long time, but when each battle takes about a minute to complete and traveling to a Stable Master to heal up after each battle won't always be an option (or a convenient one at that), those pet bandages that you can use on the go seem worth the time spent making (if that's how you obtain them).

I can't say I'll be very impressed if the design of pet battles is to purposely force a player into combat without a fully healed pet to make it "challenging". I mean, let's be real. Who would in their right mind keep battling with an injured companion? Why handicap and put yourself at a disadvantage like that? There's an achievement to go X battles without using the healing spell, but let that be it: just an achievement. I wouldn't integrate it completely into the gameplay. That's just my two cents, though.

Moving along, I encountered my first Pet Tamer! Julia Stevens in Westfall, just across the bridge from Elwynn Forest.

If you can't read the text, it says: "Ever wanted to teach your pet how to fight? Step right up and I can help ya out!"

I'm a little unsettled by this dialogue from this NPC, to be honest. It doesn't seem very in character with what a little girl (or ANYONE) should be saying about pets. It doesn't bother me to the point where I'm put off pet battles completely, but if Blizzard wanted to be a little more "PC" about it, I would recommend rewording the text to something less... aggressive.

No, miss Julia, I have never wanted to teach my companions how to fight, as I think it's a bit pointless and barbaric unless they're being specifically trained as attack/guard animals.

With that said, it DOES seem a bit hypocritical that I'm taking part in this style of gameplay that seems to encourage fighting between companions, doesn't it? I'm trying to see this in as neutral/casual light as possible, but I do recognize that participating in pet battles is a little... unsavory.

I definitely do not support or condone animal cruelty or fighting for entertainment IRL, and as for pet battles in game, well I'm trying to see it more like Pokemon where everything has a touch of magic and rather than "dying", they simply tire out and are never truly harmed to the point of death.

MoP Catch and Release

In MoP there will be a new ability in the Pet Journal where you can choose to "release" pets. Releasing them is pretty much like tossing a companion that you don't want in your collection. The initial problem was that you could release just about any pet and there was no way to get them back if it was on accident. This has been resolved in the latest beta build:
"We have added restrictions on releasing pets in the latest build. The only pets you can release are ones that you have caught though the pet battle system. We have also made a change to the tooltips for pets so that it will always show the pets original name below the custom one." - Mumper
So you will only be able to release wild pets that have been caught through pet battles. Any companions obtained through quests, RL purchases, redemption codes, world drops, etc. won't be as easy to get rid of. Although I'm not sure why anyone would want to toss a pet to begin with! :P

And not really anything new or especially noteworthy, but it seems like the developers are having as an enjoyable time writing up the flavor text for the Pet Journal as I am reading them all:
"Really glad you guys are liking this. We were really excited to write them and they really bring a lot of flavor to the pets." - Mumper
Hooray :D

PS: Thanks to Daetur, there's a list of the flavor text for all the pets (so far - I'm sure more will be added in the future) on the WarcraftPets Forum! There's an even longer (and more complete?) list on MMO-Champion now. :D

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Unnamed Pet Model

MMO-Champion has a screenshot of a datamined model from the latest beta build. The colors are STUNNING! I hope they'll all be available at some point or other.

I don't know about everyone else, but it's cute enough to be a pet to me - possibly the MoP CE pet? Or it could be the new guild rewarded vendor pet, the Thundering Cloud Serpent Hatchling!

Although the model seems a bit reused I'm loving the colors of these baby serpent hatchlings, and who could say no to those big round eyes? I hope they have some neat idle animation or companion/environmental interaction. If this is the intended Thundering Cloud Serpent Hatchling pet, how cool would it be for it to suddenly have a lightning aura during a rain/thunder storm? :D

Saturday, May 19, 2012

More Flavor Text For Pets!

The Diablo 3 servers are down for maintenance, so I finally updated my MoP beta client with the latest patch. And guess what? The Pet Journal got an update - MANY pets have flavor text now! I'm ecstatic. :D

To view each pet's description, just hover over the little map icon in the journal when viewing a pet's profile.

I haven't sat down and properly looked through them, but I can't wait to read them all. While browsing through, my favorite so far is the Magical Crawdad: "Only magical wishes make magical crawdads. If you wish for a fish, fish for a wish." :) But there are SOOO many to go through that I'm sure I won't be able to choose a favorite after I'm done reading all of them.

I'm a little disappointed that the Firefly's flavor text was changed to be more informational than a tribute to the TV series, Firefly. But oh well. It seems like most of the descriptions of the pets are more informative than playful and silly. I guess it would only make sense to update this pet to fall in line with the others.

Anyway, this is the beauty of the Pet Journal; there's so much potential in it for awesome details like flavor text, customization and other things. It makes pet collecting that much more fun, at least for me. What can I say? I love the care and attention the companions get when developers have the time and resources. It really shows in the final product.

That and minipets just plain awesome and adorable. It's a little friend that will loyally follow you without complaint into even the darkest and scariest places of Azeroth. Not to mention they'll never out roll you on gear or tell you you're doing healing/dps/tanking/whatever wrong. :P

Update: Wow, talk about detail! It looks like the flavor text for each pet is unique. So even if they might be similar (in model or type), such as the many cats or snake pets, each one has its own description rather than a copy paste for all them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quickie Beta Update

Quick update on the latest beta finds - I need to get back to leveling in D3! :P My Fetish Shaman hungers lol.

MMO-Champion datamined the lastest build and found the following:
Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling - Bind on Use. Will this be the MoP CE pet? What on earth does a Padaren Dragonling even LOOK like? Black spots around its eyes and a white tummy; I'm giggling at the thought of a panda-patterned whelpling tbh.

Glyph of Shadowy Friends (Your shadow form extends to your non-combat pets.) - This is a minor glyph for priests, obviously, and I'm jealous like WHOA! How awesome will it be to have a little shadow form companion run around with you everywhere? Lucky duckies. Makes me almost wish I played a shadow priest. Almost. :P

And from Wowhead News:
Two tamer NPCs have been discovered, Steven Lisbane and Julia Stevens .

According to Imthedci on WarcraftPets forums, there's a small quest chain to win a duel against Julia (located in Westfall). I haven't checked it out yet, but looking through the chain, it seems the same as the quests to learn how to heal and revive your pets that can be completed in Goldshire. Except this time it's against an actual tamer and not just a trainer.
I think that's it for now! Back to Diablo 3 and my chicken loving Fetish Shaman. :D

Love the Fetish Shaman Pet

My Diablo 3 CE arrived earlier than I expected it to! Hooray for the Fetish Shaman. :D

I didn't know he would be so tiny when summoned in WoW, so I gave him a pet biscuit.

He's quite the looker eh? :P After playing through D3 on my witch doctor, I've gotten pretty used to having him around. :)

Now if only they would add the little Fetishes, that spawn if I talent Fetish Sycophants, as minipets into WoW too. They're adorable even though they run around with a giant butcher knife all the time. XD It's their haircuts, damnit! The way they look from the back makes them look like little grey eggs wielding knives. lol!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

One Task Down, Many More To Go

A big thank you to my teammates on the Arena Pass realm! Hopefully it won't take too long for us to receive Murkimus. :)

Now that I've completed the 50+ games necessary for the pet, I can focus on Diablo 3 (coming Tuesday!!!!), and waiting for my CE to come in the mail. I signed up for the Annual Pass, so I'll be able to play on launch night, but how could I pass up a cool looking pet like the Fetish Shaman?

Anyway, I'm definitely looking forward to playing D3 as this will be my first experience of the Diablo universe. My friends and I are actually going to be live streaming as soon as we're able to on launch night, so that will also be a first for me lol.

Part of me is hoping pet battles WON'T be released on the beta next week, since I'll already be sleep deprived enough from playing D3. Ouch for me if it is finally implemented, though. Pet battles AND D3? That's going to be tough to juggle, not to mention tough to choose between. I won't be able to pick one to prioritize! *huddles in a corner* Nooo, don't make me choose. D:

I'm still going to keep an eye out for pet-related news from the beta, but D3 is going to be a major distraction. Oh, and there's this thing called sleep that I hear is sometimes good. Might have to try that out too. :P

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pets For Sale On The Black Market

MMO-Champion has a preview of a new feature on the beta: The Black Market. It looks like certain NPCs from around the world have decided to expand their business into the shadier areas of Azeroth.
"It allows players to bid on special items that are not normally sold by NPCs. For example, Mei Francis normally sells mounts in Dalaran, but in this case he is auctioning Ashes of Al'ar!"
If you check out this screenshot, you might see a familiar name listed on The Black Market AH. Breanni, how could you?! :P

This is probably hinting that certain pets will be available from time to time on the new AH. Perhaps companions that are especially difficult to get or even pets that are no longer available. Hell, The Black Market would be a good opportunity for developers to sneak in those pesky holiday loot bag companions during the off-season. I'm all for multiple sources for those particular pets.

Do I dare hope for CE pets, older TCG pets, and event-exclusive companions as well?

It's too late, I'm already thinking about it now. Damnit.

There will probably be much discussion and disagreement over which pets should and should not be available through The Black Market. I can already think of a few pro's and con's IF companions in the aforementioned categories are included in the "should be" bunch.

We'll have to wait and see just which pets will be available through The Black Market. Which is fine, since that will give us some time to farm and save up some gold. It's just a preview, but 10,000 gold for a pet?! Shame that Azeroth's bankers don't give out bank loans. :P

MoP Beta - Title Change and Three New Pets

Ok. Blizzard is DEFINITELY trying to get as much out for testing before next week. :P Another beta patch!

It looks as though the developers agree with a portion of the pet collecting community and found that the "Tamer" title just didn't fit, so the achievement Time To Open a Pet Store will award the title "Zookeeper" instead.

I'm not sure if it's "*name* the Zookeeper" or "Zookeeper *name*". Wowhead News has "the Zookeeper", while MMO-Champion lists it without the "the" portion. Either way is fine, tbh. At least people won't mistake Quintessence for being untamed anymore! XD

New pets were also datamined from the beta:
Aqua Strider
All three of these pets are BoP.

Now, this is absolutely PURE speculation on my part, but seeing how a new Children's Week orphan was recently discovered, and now these three named, blue item quality, and BoP pets have been suddenly added as well... could these companions be the reward choices for next year's Children's Week event?

This is all based on... well nothing other than these items being datamined in the relatively same time frame. To me it just makes sense that if you're working on an upcoming project that has multiple pieces or parts, why not just complete all the parts at once?

Anyway, that's just my best guess! There's no indication of where these pets will come from yet.

I'm glad to see that Blizzard is still implementing some non-pet battles companions. Players who won't be participating in the new feature will have new things to collect in MoP too. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

MoP Beta - Current Non-Tradable Pets

I'm not sure if this is a bug, something that will change, or what, but currently the Blizzard PetStore pets are not cage-able on the beta. This is curious because in a recent Q&A, developers mentioned that they plan on allowing the caging and trade of the PetStore companions. I wonder if they've had a change of heart?

The TCG and even "no longer available" pets are all cage-able (for now), but the Blizzcon and CE pets (including the SC2 CE pet) are not.

Here's a list of pets that I've found are currently NOT tradable on the beta (I don't have access to the WoW CE pets, so I can't say for sure whether or not those are tradable, but I'm guessing they are not):
Cenarion Hatchling
Gryphon Hatchling
Lil' Ragnaros
Lil' K.T.
Lil' XT
Mini Thor
Moonkin Hatchling
Pandaren Monk
Soul of the Aspects
Wind Rider Cub
I don't expect this to be the final list, and developers could change their mind at any time. Things will probably continue to change and shift around as more testing goes on, so we'll just have to sit tight and wait to see what the final list of cage-able/tradable pets will be in MoP.

Still, it's a bit strange. Maybe the pets listed above require special coding to make them cage-able? Or perhaps they're just really stubborn and don't like being cooped up in a cage. :P

Pet Battles Updates and Impressions

Pet battles are still turned off on the beta. It is still very much a work in progress - but there is definite progress being made!

Parts of the pet battling system are still missing and what CAN be previewed is incomplete. This makes reviewing the new feature a bit difficult since it's like critiquing a painter's latest work, except you're only given a small corner of the piece.

I'll be giving my latest impression of pet battles in its current (incomplete) state, but please keep in mind that this is NOT the final version, and until it is fully implemented for testing on the beta, we still don't have a good view of the bigger picture.

So read on if you are simply extra curious and would like just a small taste of any changes/updates of pet battles!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Beta Update - Achievements and New Orphan

The bad: Watered down coffee is still coffee, and drinking it at night results in being awake when I should be sleeping.

The good: But luckily for me, tonight is one of those rare nights where being up late works out for the better!

Wowheadnews has some datamined goodies from another beta patch coming soon to a Blizzard downloader near you. So many beta patches being released lately. I guess the devs want to get as much content out for testing as soon as possible, before Diablo 3 overshadows all else, eh? :P

Here are the pet-related changes and updates. (NOTE: You may have to visit the actual Wowheadnews page linked above to see all of the changes and updates since the tooltips for some of the things listed below might not be updated yet)
- The achievement Time to Open a Pet Store now rewards the title "Tamer" and only requires 335 pet battle achievement points instead of 400.

- The achievement Must Love Dog now requires "every member of your raid is accompanied by a canine companion pet".

- There's a new possible orphan for Children's Week, which means there might be new pets for this seasonal event next year! Cooking School Bell.
Pet collectors rejoice! Your wish for a title has been granted! :) While I think it's definitely awesome for the developers to finally give pet collectors a title, it's going to be hard for me to give up my "Matron" tag. It's not quite "Mistress" (as in "Guild Mistress") but it's the closest I can get. :P

Oh and "Tamer Quintessence" makes it sound as though Quint was untamed prior to being "tamer" haha.

I'm really curious about the Must Love Dog achievement. Accompanied by a canine companion pet, eh? Does that mean more puppy pets will be added in the near future? Because right now our options for a dog vanity pet are very limited.

And last but not least, the Cooking School Bell. I'm not quite sure what to make of this one. The tooltip clearly indicates Children's Week, but a "cooking school bell"? Is this a profession-based orphan? A chef in training? I wonder if this is another one of those placeholder items that will eventually change into something else entirely. With a new zone coming in MoP, it DOES make sense that new orphans would be added for the next Children's Week event. Also, the Pandaren do have a cooking racial passive, so I suppose it makes sense. We'll have to wait and see.

That's all I've found for now. If there's more pet-related stuff, I'll update this post.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Beta Update - Guild Vendor Pet, Nameplates, Pet Battles

The latest beta patch didn't unlock pet battles, but there were some updates.

Companions and wild pets now sport an icon on their nameplates showing what family type they are in, as seen in the screenshots above.

The second pet battle slot now requires the achievement Just a Pup to unlock, and the third pet battle slot now requires the achievement Experienced Pet Battler to unlock. Again, these could just be placeholder achievements. It's a WIP afterall.

Last but not least, the guild vendor has a new pet, Thundering Cloud Serpent Hatchling, but it currently doesn't have a sale price. This could be a placeholder companion since I haven't found its spell or item ID yet, or it could also be a NYI pet. If the mounts are any indication, a Cloud Serpent Hatchling sounds pretty awesome!

Pet battles are still unavailable for most players on the beta, however a few might have the ability to pet battle (if they have the patience to withstand all the possible crashing :P). Last I checked, capturing pets is still turned off as well as collecting experience from pet battles. Those that were able to train for pet battles during the short preview might be able to track wild battle pets still.

It seems like it will be a while longer before Blizzard is ready to allow us to fully test this new feature. I hope it's worth the wait!

Singing Cricket Achievement Reward

MMO-Champion has datamined info from an upcoming beta build. Ready for this? Singing Cricket. It's the new reward for completing an achievement to raise 75 pets to level 25 (Pro Pet Mob).

My hope is that this cricket will actually sing! What's an appropriate genre for a cricket, though? Opera? The blues? Or perhaps it will be more like the Singing Sunflower and just hum a short melody of sorts.

I wonder if they plan on bringing back Laura Shigihara to compose and voice the sounds for the Singing Cricket (she did the vocals for the Singing Sunflower). That would be pretty neat. :D

Oh, and there's a new pet-related item: Battle Pet Bandage. Not sure how this will be used, though. Will we be able to use these to heal our own pets during a pet battle? Seems a bit unfair. Will companions require healing after each battle? Hopefully I won't have to make all the bandaids... I plan on doing a lot of battling!

Account-Wide Achievements In MoP

Ghostcrawler recently wrote a blog post about account-wide achievements, and mentioned some interesting information that will probably affect pet collecting and pet battles.

First and foremost:
"You also won’t be able to use a faction-specific pet, mount, or title on the wrong faction."
He does note that there may be some exceptions, but it's still a WIP and the developers will address any issues that pop up as they run into them.

Regardless, this is somewhat disappointing news, but I can see how allowing the use of cross-faction pets would be inappropriate. I guess this means no Horde Balloon for my nelf druid. Pity.

Secondly, Ghostcrawler explains how some achievements will be "account-only". This basically means you could add to the progression of a few achievements across multiple toons. So for an achievement such as Legendary Pet Battler, any pet battles won on any toon would be cumulative and add to your existing total amount. This is just an example, though, and it was mentioned that only a few achievements would behave in such a manner. We'll have to wait and see which ones actually fall under this category.

The system of account-wide achievements is obviously still unfinished, and it will need to be refined further.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What's In A Name?

I've come across a dilemma. Nevermind the GIGANTIC list of companions that need to be renamed, and nevermind that I need to collect a lot of them first (once MoP is released). My current predicament - should I rename the pets that already have proper names assigned to them. Or will I even be able to rename them?

Blizzard has made it possible so that many of the pets are easily customizable. A lot of companions are of neutral gender and often neutral faction. This gives the player a lot of room to personalize their collection. Companions such as the Fox Kit, for example, could be renamed to (almost) anything the player desired.

But there are some pets that have already been named and/or assigned a gender. Miniwing and Lumpy are just a few examples of pets with existing names, while Mr. Chilly and the Guild Herald are examples of companions that are classified as male (due to their preassigned name and actual in-game model).

So what to do with these pets that have already been customized by Blizzard? CAN anything be done? Will the final version of the new collecting system even allow pet collectors the ability to change the names of pets that have already been named?

It would be somewhat disheartening if we weren't allowed to rename these pets, but at the same time it feels a bit rude to overlook a developer's creativity. I mean, someone had to go through the trouble of coming up with a unique and suitable name for the pets with proper titles to them, right? Hell, some of those companions might even have interesting back-stories to their in-game names.

If I were to put myself into the shoes of a developer, I know I wouldn't want someone messing with the name(s) of pets that I've created. Then again, I'm pretty detail-oriented and anal about stuff like that. Maybe the WoW devs won't mind as much as I would.

For now, I guess I'll be leaving the pets with existing names alone. It's no sweat off my shoulders for the time being, since it means a few less names I have to come up with lol.

Come MoP, if we can rename them to whatever we please, I might have a change of heart for some of them, though. Or I might not. It's hard to suddenly stop using a pet's name that I've gotten accustomed to using for so many years. Then again, "what's in a name?" Right?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

One Fish, Two Fish

Curious about what The Angler's reputation pet will look like? MMO-Champion has a nice screenshot of the Tiny Goldfish. 'Cept it doesn't look all that tiny to me! :P

Note: The Tiny Goldfish should not be confused with Fishy, even if they have similar models. From what I can tell so far, they are two completely different pets.

The latter companion is a BoP reward from the quest Let Them Burn, while the former is from a reputation vendor and is BoU but requires honored rep with The Anglers faction.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pet Teams Require Unlocking

As predicted, the second and third slots for your pet battle team will require an achievement to unlock. The achievement for the second pet slot is Building a Team, while the third pet slot is Pet Tamer.

Remember that this is the beta. These could be just placeholder achievements or they might actually be the intended achievements to unlock a team of three for battling. We won't know for sure until we get closer to the expansion release.

Keep These Beta Patches Coming!

MMO-Champion has news of a new beta build coming soon! Sometimes having insomnia isn't such a bad thing. I can catch more of these late night updates heh. ;)

So what's new in the latest beta patch? Not much in the way of pet-related stuff, but the placeholder for the MoP CE pet was added. There's still no information on what this companion will be, though. Oh Blizzard. Such a tease hehe. XD

Another possibly significant update can be found in the datamined client strings. Reading the descriptions of some of them seem to hint that a pet battle team of three will require some unlocking through achievements.

So an example and possible scenario for this: you start out with one possible pet on your team. To add a pet in the second slot you'd need to complete a certain achievement, and the same goes for the third slot.

I'm not sure which achievements we would have to complete. It might require winning a battle against a Pet Trainer/Tamer, or it could be as simple as collecting your first wild pet. Since most of the pet achievements are still non-functional (at the time of this writing), we'll have to wait and see what the achievement rewards are at a later date/time.

I don't even know what to make of the "PET_BREED_QUALITY" client strings, and I don't think I want to speculate about them right now. A legendary pet breed? Err... either it's simply one of the pets from one of the legendary weapons or a very, uhm, EXTRAORDINARY offspring from two special pets. Blizzard did mention possibly allowing us to "grow" our own pets on our personal farms in The Valley of the Four Winds, but I haven't heard much news about that since the initial MoP Press Tour. We'll see!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One of My Favorite Things

I'm really enjoying the Pet Journal and I think it's a great addition to the game. Even if Pet Battles wasn't a planned feature for MoP, I would still find the journal very useful and amusing.

Besides the obvious informational value, and the ability to rename, add, remove, and preview the pets, one of my favorite things about the Pet Journal is that it gives the game devs the creative ability and outlet that was somewhat taken away when pets became trainable spells. Pre-pet spells, a few special pet items would have flavor text on them. I've written about it before, but a great example of this would be the Firefly. "Still flying..." it used to read. *sniffles*

With the Pet Journal, I've noticed some pets have flavor text added to their "Info" section. For example, the Black Lamb's info reads, "Offspring of the black sheep, the black lamb is only found in the forests of Elwynn."

Ever since I discovered that, I've been checking each companion's Info section to see if there is any new flavor text. I'm not expecting every single companion to have something written there, as that would be overkill, but I love finding small surprises in the way of a newly added description that's amusing or informational. Those little details just show how much thought and tender care was put into the creation of the game and this particular feature.

My absolute favorite descriptive text so far is from a pet that won't even make it into the release of the expansion. Here's Jacob the Test Seagull's flavor text, in case you can't read it in the image below: "[DEBUG] This pet comes from the magical Test Land where it frolics all day in fields of structs." (Wikipedia: Struct - (short for "structure") is a computer science term for a record that is used to store more than one value.)

I can't help but wonder if all pets come from this magical Test Land, and when they "die" do they go back there? Instead of 'All Dogs Go to Heaven', is it 'All pets go to "magical Test Land"'? LOL :P

Anyway, I can only hope more unique and interesting flavor text is added for more companions in the journal. Especially if a particular pet has an interesting back story to it or is a nod to pop culture or something else.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Organizing a Pet Schedule

I don't know about everyone else, but it helps me organize my thoughts when I get a list going. So this is just a possible schedule of pets being released in the next few months:
- May 15 = Fetish Shaman from Diablo 3 CE
- (Some time after) June 5 = Murkimus from Arena Pass
- June 12 = Sand Scarab from TCG deck, Tomb of the Forgotten
After June and July, there might be a small gap for pets (other than the companions available from in-game holidays). I haven't found any news or hints that the upcoming seasonal events will have any new pets to offer, but we'll see.

Things that are still unknown: the MoP release date and the Timewalkers: War of the Ancients TCG deck release date. The MoP CE will likely have a special companion attached to it (just not sure what pet), and the common loot card for the Timewalkers TCG deck will be the Eye of the Legion.

I'm looking forward to all of it. :D

TCG: Tomb of the Forgotten Release Date

The next TCG deck, Tomb of the Forgotten, is set for release on June 12, 2012. If you remember from waaaay back when, the Sand Scarab pet was discovered to be the common loot card for this deck. :D Exciting news!
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