Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Have a Happy Holiday and New Year!


I was hanging out with my Blossoming Ancient on scenic snow-peaked hills for the holidays, when I casually mentioned how nice it would be if it actually snowed. My pet was happy to oblige. ;P

Wishing everyone a happy holiday, merry everything, and an amazing New Year! Stay safe and be well. Here's to more awesome pets in the new year (and next expansion)!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Notable 2013 Holiday Stuff

Things of note this holiday season:


- The first day of winter for the Northern Hemisphere starts December 21, 2013. This means the Snowy Owl will begin spawning in Winterspring, so if you have yet to capture one, park an alt or two out there and get ready for the hunt!

- WarcraftPets is having a holiday giveaway!
Two Murkablos (courtesy of Doobjanka) will be randomly awarded to users that post their festive pet idea in the thread. Be sure to read through the guidelines so you don't get disqualified. Entries must be made before Tuesday, December 24, 2013. Good luck to all, and there are some awesome ideas that I would love to see implemented in the future. *hint hint Blizzard* :P

- The release date for D3: Reaper of Souls was finally announced! March 25, 2014 is when the game will officially be out. :D
Unlike the previous D3 release, this one doesn't seem to have a Collector's Edition tied to it. Instead there's the Standard Digital Edition and a Digital Deluxe Edition. The latter is I guess the replacement for a CE, as it comes with all the bonuses and goodies as a CE would. So if you're looking to collect the Treasure Goblin companion, you'll want to order the Digital Deluxe Edition. NOTE: Bonuses to be sent out once Reaper of Souls is officially released, however some items may arrive earlier than anticipated. Just watch your mailboxes.

- Wowhead is giving away 15 Moonkin Hatchlings to celebrate their new website feature.
Simply comment on the giveaway page with a link to your favorite in-game sound effect or music. Contest ends Monday, December 23rd so don't delay in entering.

I'm sure there's more that I'm missing, so I'll add more to the list as I remember/come across them. Have a safe and happy holiday season everyone! Stay warm (or cool) and give your pets some extra biscuits and hugs. :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rotten Little Helper Available Now!


Today's the first day of Winter Veil and guess what? Apparently the Rotten Little Helper drops from the holiday world boss daily quest as well as the gift under the tree (the drop from under the tree has yet to be confirmed since it can only be looted starting on the 25th)!

I'm not sure if this is intended or a bug, as the official Blizzard guide to Winter Veil doesn't mention it dropping from the daily quest. At the moment it only lists the Rotten Little Helper as a drop from the Gaily Wrapped Present, but it could simply be an error in the blog post and not the game.

That being said, hopefully this isn't a bug and no changes will be made because this means more chances for this pet during the holiday event. More chances is always better when it comes to pets that are only available for a limited amount of time per year in my opinion. It also means players don't have to wait until the 25th of this month, and can choose to spend time (or not) attempting for the pet.

If this was indeed intended, I think this will be the first holiday boss dropped pet that's not Bind on Pick Up. It's not a good or bad thing, just a note of a change. :P

Anyway, the pet item is blue in quality but the pet, when learned, is uncommon so you'll need a Humanoid stone to upgrade it. It's BoE and cageable, so it's possible to trade, sell or gift to friends/family. What an interesting gift, though. A grumpy little helper. It goes well with the Lump of Coal? XD

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rotten Little Helper Speculation


The Feast of Winter Veil will be starting in 8 days, and you know what that means.. A new pet, the Rotten Little Helper!

It's still unknown where this pet will come from, but there are two likely sources so far:
A drop from the Stolen Present (reward from completing the daily quest to kill a holiday world boss)

OR

A drop from one of the presents under the holiday tree in Ironforge and Orgrimmar.
Now, you may be wondering, why does it matter where it comes from so long as we can just get it eventually? What matters here is time. IF the pet is a drop from the daily quest, we'll be able to make attempts for it the very first day of Winter Veil (December 16). Not only that, but we'll also be able to make efficient use of our limited time to get the pet, and make as many attempts each day as possible. Plus those that may not have as much time to spend each day can also prioritize the Winter Veil daily. But that's only if that's how we'll receive the pet.

IF the pet drops from one of the presents from under the tree, we'll have to wait a bit longer for it. The presents become lootable starting December 25 (generally in the morning, not at daily reset).

So what do we know that could help us determine where the Rotten Little Helper will come from? Well.. not much. It doesn't help that the Pet Journal is very general in describing the pet's source, "World Event: Feast of Winter Veil." The description of the pet does mention these evil Winter Helpers joining up with the Abominable Greench, though, and that's the holiday world boss that we must kill for the daily. Keep in mind that the description doesn't always mean anything or give hints. Most of the time it's just flavor text.

We're kind of still left in the dark, and unsure of where to start with this pet. Do we try for the daily or simply wait until the 25th of this month? Both?

My personal guess is that it will be a drop from under the holiday tree. Why? The pet is Bind on Use which would fall in line with the other present-dropped pets. Generally, the holiday world boss-dropped pets are Bind on Pick Up (to make them extra unique/special?). Examples are Toxic Wasteling, Frigid Frostling and Lumpy - all of which can only be obtained from a daily reward bag. But that isn't to say that Blizzard will NEVER add a BoU holiday boss-dropped pet. It's entirely possible, but for me, unlikely.

It was pointed out to me that the new Winter Veil achievement implies that we'll be receiving a new toy from the presents this year, which may mean that there's no room for a new pet under the tree...

But! Who's to say that the current present that has a chance to drop 1 out of 4 BoU pets can't include another (new) pet? It's entirely possible that the Gaily Wrapped Present had its loot table extended by one, so instead of only 1 out of 4 maybe it will be 1 out of 5 pets this year.

Despite my arguments (and evidence?) that the Rotten Little Helper will come from under the tree this year, we won't know for sure until the holiday starts. Even if in the end the pet doesn't drop from the daily, I would still complete the quest every day just in case. Besides, there's a chance for Lumpy from that goodie bag. :P

What I DO know for sure is that I can't wait for a new pet! :3

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Small Stuff (For Now)

Not much has popped up recently in the way of pet-related news. Blizzard is extending its Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale until the start of next year, so if you're looking to RAF yourself for the pets, now is probably the best time to do it.

I'm still eagerly waiting more news/announcements on "pet breeding" and other Warlords of Draenor details, but that may have to wait a while. The holiday season is upon us, and while I have no doubt developers are working their butts off, I'm sure even they need some time to reflect upon this past year's accomplishments and stuff. Here's hoping we'll hear something about WoD soon! Maybe at the start of the New Year? :P

For the time being, a seemingly small PTR patch (5.4.2) was datamined and revealed a "new" Moonkin Hatchling. It appears to be the same as the current hatchlings from the Blizzard Store, however, its item and spell ID are unique and different.

This might be another one of those re-used pets for a unique event. A similar case would be the Spectral Tiger Cub and Spectral Cub. The former is from a TCG loot card while the latter is from a 2012 event in China. Although both have similar names and look identical, they are two completely different pets.

So it could be a situation where the Moonkin Hatchling pet is simply re-used. Or perhaps there's a unique place for this "new" version. We'll have to wait and see.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Recruit-A-Friend Process to Collect the Pets

TLDR: Step-by-step directions on how to RAF yourself. Additional details/info can be found further down the post.

1. Log into your main character and open your friends window.

2. Find the "hand" icon in that window (upper right) and click that button.

3. Type in your current email address that you use for your Bnet account.

4. Check that email address for an email from Battle.net and click the link provided.

5. Follow the RAF steps (choose the option that says "I already have a Bnet account" if you want to keep your RAF account on the same one as your main account).

6. Add a "starter edition" license to your existing Bnet account (you can view it in your WoW licenses list when you check your account management page on Battle.net; WoW1, WoW2, etc.).

7. Need to upgrade from "starter" to "standard edition", so purchase a WoW Battlechest from the Battle.net store and gift it to the "starter" account.

8. Add 2 month's worth of game time to the new "standard" account by either heading over to the Battle.net store and buying game time OR trading gold from your main account to a toon on your RAF account.

9. Done! Main account needs to wait 7 days from the time the 2 months game time was applied to receive the RAF rewards.

------------------------------------------------------------------------


This past Friday I was finally eligible to redeem 3 RAF pets. I had recruited myself 3 times 7 days prior, and being a total noobie when it comes to doing this RAF thing, I was anxious that I may not have done it properly. Thankfully it all worked out! An old guildmate is my fourth RAF, but I'm still waiting for that transaction to complete. I'll explain further down in the post.

My total for the entire thing came out to be $105, not taking into account the 3 free months of game time that my main account will receive. Thinking about it now, though, it's a pretty steep amount to pay for 3 pets. Guess I'm glad that I didn't attend Blizzcon; I had extra savings to help cover the cost of these pets. Having a birthday that just recently passed also helped, heh.

RAF'ing is quite the process and I was really worried that I somehow botched it up. I wasn't able to find many detailed FAQ's or guides on how to do it, but thanks to the folks at WarcraftPets and on Twitter, it gave me some much needed hope/confidence. Still, I wasn't 100% sure that everything would work out until I was able to redeem the pets.

For anyone that's confused or hesitant to RAF themselves, here are the steps that I took. For general information on the RAF system, Blizzard has official articles here and information on rewards here.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pets: The "Pay to Win" Problem

"Paying to win" has generally been frowned upon, as this game was not built around microtransactions. We're already paying a subscription fee, we shouldn't have to pay even more to advance or be ahead of the curve, right?

This mentality is especially true when it comes to Pet Battles PVP. For an activity that's so open and welcoming to everyone, many feel that it's extra unfair should anyone be able to gain an advantage by simply having more expendable RL money. But on the other hand, doesn't it make sense that you get more if you pay more? Can't there be a happy medium between "paying to win" and keeping gameplay fair?

It's rare that we see a very strong pet that's purchasable outside of the game, but when one does pop up, it's hard to ignore the fact that it becomes the "go-to" pet for a while. And by "a while", that usually means until the next major content patch when a large number of pets are released. Generally the newer ones are created to better counter and balance the previously "OP" pets. Even if things are smoothed out over time, an overpowered pet that can be purchased outside of the game still causes a ripple within the community. Maybe not just a ripple. A tidal-wave?

When Murkalot stepped onto the scene, it caused quite a bit of fuss. Was he "overpowered"? Yes. Did he cost RL money (and there was no other way to obtain him)? Yes. Blizzard has since "nerfed" this pet, but he is proving to still be a powerhouse contender in the arena, which may mean he still falls into the category of a "pay to win pet". You pay a certain amount to collect a pet in order to have an advantage over others or just to stay on par.

There were quite a few comments that pointed out how ridiculous the endgame had become because of this pet. Not only due to its insane damage, but also because of how the pet is obtained. Would the response have been just as strong or as loud had Murkalot been a pet that anyone and everyone could obtain within the game? Maybe. But for different reasons of course. Gameplay would be the largest concern, not the fact that money was involved when it shouldn't be.

And it's completely understandable. For a game that doesn't rely on microtransactions, gaining any type of major advantage or advancement by spending more money is just plain unfair. People start the game with the impression that they don't need to be rich IRL in order to be competitive in-game. To suddenly switch things up on them is very jarring and a huge turn-off.

To play devil's advocate, though, for a pet that costs more than one month's worth of playtime, shouldn't the player get a little more? Otherwise, what exactly are they paying for? It would alter the status quo, yes, but as long as it's an option for everyone, isn't it "fair"?

The problem is that it's not exactly an option for everyone. While I agree that you should receive your money's worth, it's just unreasonable to think that everyone is able and willing to spend the same amount of money to keep up with the rest. I'm sure the player base is quite large now, but even if it wasn't, each player leads their own unique life. Circumstances are rarely ever the same. So how can anyone expect that by simply keeping the option open to everyone, that the option is actually a viable choice that everyone can make? For some, there is no choice; the answer is just "no, can't do it, won't do it".

Still, in this type of situation where players are purchasing "optional" items/pets, the demand for quality is there. For some, quality includes the pet's ability and strength in Pet Battles.

It's unlikely that Blizzard will stop selling pets outside of the game, so what can be done to avoid the drama while providing a product that players can be proud to say they paid X amount of money for? Can this even be achieved without inserting Massively Awesome Ability into So And So Pet?

How about this: what if pets that require RL money to obtain only had sub-par or mediocre abilities, but in exchange had amazing graphics, animations, etc. Would that be satisfactory? Rather than paying to win, collectors would be paying for the vanity/to collect. The gameplay would still be focused on what can be done in-game, but the high quality of the pet's cosmetic side would justify paying X amount.

Or would players still want more? Pets are not just for looking adorable as they follow us on our adventures anymore; many players enjoy them because they like to participate in Pet Battles. While the fun for collectors comes from buying something that looks cool and increase their army of pets, the fun for battlers is the ability to feel strong and to win. And regardless if you're a collector or battler or both, who doesn't love a pet that can really hold its own during a match?

Not to mention that implementing an awesome looking pet that costs extra wouldn't be very popular with the collecting community. Sure, it MIGHT address the "pay to win" concerns of the pet PVP community. But those that enjoy the act of simply collecting could see it as an unnecessary and unfair obstacle in their own style of preferred gameplay.

Blizzard can't make everyone happy, but they can attempt to maintain balance. "Paying to win" pets definitely upsets that balance, though. To be fair, Murkalot's situation was pretty unique. As I mentioned before, it's rare that we see a pet that's not readily available in-game that has such a crazy set of abilities. Perhaps Blizzard's enthusiasm for this Blizzcon pet simply got a little out of control. It may just be a one-off that isn't likely to happen again.

We may yet see another pet from the Blizzard Store that's strong enough in battle to cause a stir (the Alterac Brew-Pup might be pretty strong, but maybe not in the same realm as Murkalot was), however, I'd like to hope that there's something that can be done to help ensure that "paying to win" isn't an issue while still providing a purchasable pet that people can feel comfortable spending money on.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Alterac Brew-Pup: Store Preview?

The Alterac Brew-Pup's store page was briefly up today, but has since been taken down. This might be a sign that Blizzard is getting ready to release this puppy pet!

According to Wowhead, the pup's store page mentioned that 50% of the proceeds (between whenever the pet is released up until December 31, 2013) would be donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

To add to this, MMO-Champion speculates that the Alterac Brew-Pup might be part of a Blizzard Store package deal. It was revealed during Blizzcon that the Fey Dragon mount would be part of an upcoming charity sale combo. While we can't be certain that the pet's sale is indeed the charity sale Blizzard was referring to, and that the mount will also be included in a related sale, it seems entirely possible.

Just to clarify: Neither the pet nor the mount are currently on sale yet. The release date has yet to be announced. But with all the recent activity revolving around the Alterac Brew-Pup, I wouldn't be surprised if it's released soon-ish. Perhaps for the holidays?

One thing that surprised me a little is that the charity set up for this pet is not the Red Cross or another organization that is helping out in the Philippines. Blizzard is known for supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and that's awesome. However, considering the recent natural disaster, I thought that they might want to focus some goodwill towards those in immediate need.

Either way, kudos to Blizzard for being charitable. Pet sales are a great way to generate donations since who could say no to an adorable and loyal little follower? Not to mention that these digital items are giftable, so it's very easy to spread the love. I can't wait to see the Alterac Brew-Pup (and possibly the Fey Dragon mount) on sale in the Blizzard Store in the near future. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Look-a-Like Challenge - Part 6

I think I'm nearing the bottom of the barrel for this challenge. There are only so many things you can "turn into", and until Blizzard adds more ways/items, this Look-a-Like challenge may be coming to an end.

That being said, I did manage to find a few more fun costumes that look like our pets! One absolutely requires a friend's help and a skymirror, though. Again, I'm reaching for transformations at this point, so I've had to get creative. :P

Without further ado... to the Look-a-Likes!



Pet: Twilight Fiendling
Look-a-like: Nightmare Spawn
Notes: Rogue friend required, must have the minor glyph, Glyph of Disguise

Darker version that's easier to get than the original look-a-like suggestion.



Pet: Tiny Blue Carp
Item: Gumweed
Notes: Since there are 3 possible colors you can turn into, it might take a few attempts to get the correct color. The buff only lasts a few moments, so you'll need a friend to quickly copy your transformation to preserve the costume.



Pet: Tiny Green Carp
Item: Gumweed
Notes: Since there are 3 possible colors you can turn into, it might take a few attempts to get the correct color. The buff only lasts a few moments, so you'll need a friend to quickly copy your transformation to preserve the costume.



Pet: Fishy or Tiny Goldfish
Item: Gumweed
Notes: Since there are 3 possible colors you can turn into, it might take a few attempts to get the correct color. The buff only lasts a few moments, so you'll need a friend to quickly copy your transformation to preserve the costume.



Pet: Death Talon Whelpguard
Ability: Chromaggus' Chromatic Mutation
Notes: Friend and Ai-Li's Skymirror required

To get this costume, you'll need a friend to agro Chromaggus and kite the boss to the beginning of the supression room (where the first supression trap is), while you stand far away in the back of Vaelastrasz's room. You want to avoid getting any debuffs on you, but one or two should be ok.

Once the boss and your friend are in place, wait until your friend receives all 5 debuffs from Chromaggus, resulting in a transformation into a hostile mob. Because you are far away, the boss will not agro onto you and will immediately run back to its original starting position. Your friend, however, will be mind controlled but will take much longer to walk back to the boss.

If you have a CC that roots or stuns your friend (not polymorph or hex), use it to get a few extra moments with your friend. Inch close enough to use the skymirror while targeting your friend, but not close enough so that you agro him/her. Once you have the costume, hearth/drop group so your friend gets teleported out of the instance to the graveyard, dropping the mind control.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

D3: Reaper of Souls CE Pet - Treasure Goblin!

Well, since MMO-Champion released the information on the next D3, Reaper of Souls Collector's Edition pet, I might as well share the information I have too. Now that it's on MMO-Champion and the PTR, it's pretty much public knowledge. :P

Doobjanka got a preview while at Blizzcon, and found the Treasure Goblin hiding in the WoD demo. One of the CMs working the floor requested that we not share the information yet, as it really wasn't meant to be displayed at the time. It was really exciting seeing the pictures and having an extra early preview, though! I squeed the moment I saw it lol.


Treasure Goblin's tooltip (since we all know what it looks like now).

I'm pretty excited for Reaper of Souls, not just for the pet, but I want to know what happens in the story. The first D3 was a bit unsatisfying for me, so I hope this next one is darker and more fulfilling lore-wise.

I don't believe there's an official release date yet for Reaper of Souls (is there?), so waiting, waiting for my very own Treasure Goblin. I hope his animations are neat. He's got such a large sack of gold on his back... anything could happen to it (like he could give it to me!). :P

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"New" RAF System Unveiled

Blizzard released their revamped Recruit-A-Friend system today, aaaand.. well not much has changed in terms of eligibility for rewards and the process in general. Some notable changes include being able to recruit without having to log out, and more mount/pet options to pick from.

To redeem any of the new pets or mounts, you'll need to recruit four friends (or yourself four times). After they buy the starter game, if they buy 2 months of game time, you'll get one month of free game time for your main account and the choice of one pet or one mount.

Honestly, I can't say I'm all that impressed with the changes. I was hoping for some changes in pricing to accommodate a little bit for collectors who will probably only be doing this for the pets and mounts, but I guess it wasn't meant to be.

Here's an estimate of what you'll be spending to collect all four pets:
Purchasing battlechests not on sale -
$20 x 4 (starter game)
+ $30 x 4 (two months game time)
$200
- $15 x 4 (one month free game time for you)
$140

OR

Purchasing battlechests on sale -
$5 x 4 (starter game)
+ $30 x 4 (two months game time)
$140
- $15 x 4 (one month free game time for you)
$80
Regardless if you purchase during the sale or not, these are PRICEY pets. Compared to the Blizzard Pet Store companions, RAF pets cost 3-5 times (depending on when you buy) more. It's quite a jump.

On the one hand, I can understand that these pets were originally special pets, even in the Asian regions. To offer them to (nearly) everyone, it's a major decision. So it's somewhat reasonable to put a larger price-tag on these pets.

On the other hand, it makes me a little irritated. Collectors have been requesting for these pets for years, so Blizzard knows that they are hot items and mainly collectors will be going after them. Yet they chose to hand them out in such a capitalistic way, that seems to take advantage of that collector mentality. You want this? Ok, we know how much you've been longing for it, but still pay this huge price. The cost may still mean these pets are out of reach for many people. So does the system accomplish the goal? I don't know since I don't know what the intent was for adding these pets to a (not-really) revamped RAF program.

Even if the prices hadn't changed, if these pets were made giftable or something similar, perhaps it would be more acceptable. Some countries don't allow the RAF system, so how are those collectors supposed to obtain these pets? On top of that, if the pets were giftable, it might also be an incentive for some players (who were recruited back into the game) to start collecting again. Come join me in Azeroth, and here's a neat pet to get you started! Or something like that...

In the end, I'm not all that jazzed about the whole thing. I have mixed feelings of frustration yet gratitude. Thankful, yes, that Blizzard has given us the opportunity to collect (if we have the means to) these "rare" pets. But a little upset with the way they chose to implement it.

It's not just the price of these pets, but the seemingly uncaring mentality behind it. Rather than taking into consideration who exactly has been requesting the pets, and finding a compromise so that the target community doesn't feel like they're being taken advantage of, Blizzard instead puts the pets behind a wall that only a large sum of money will allow access through. I give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt many times, but right now I can't shake the feeling that this is all money driven. (Well, everything is money-driven, but not everything Blizzard has done is as blatantly so.)

There's also this sense of self-contempt that I have since I will be purchasing the battlechests when they go on sale. It feels hypocritical of me since I don't necessarily agree with how the pets were implemented, yet I'm seemingly supporting it by buying into the system. But that's the nature of a collector/completionists. You are literally compelled to collect, no matter the price (in most cases). This mentality is what I feel Blizzard is taking advantage of. They KNOW that many will invest in the RAF program just for the pets. And yet there's no compromise to maybe ease up on those that must collect them all.

Anyway, that's just me ranting a bit about this "new" RAF system. It's not really new; sure there are new pets and you can do it all from within the game itself. But the process is still the same. The price is still the same. There are no other changes other than the formerly mentioned points.

The collector in me squees at the thought of new pets to collect, but every other part of me groans discontently because it just doesn't feel good to think that that side of you that's compelled to collect is being taken advantage of. It may not have been Blizzard's intent, but that's the resulting feeling of it all.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day Two of Blizzcon 2013 & Closing Thoughts

Blizzcon 2013 has come to an end, and WOW! What an end it was! That was the BEST Closing Ceremony I've seen to date, and it made me wish so badly that I was there in person lol.

Pets?
On the pet front, day two of Blizzcon didn't reveal too much more on the future of pet battles or pet collecting. However, Mumper did hint at a unique trainer NPC being available to battle at the Pet Stables in a player's garrison, and there was unofficial talk on pet breeding. We can probably expect more information on these topics and more as the weeks/months come. The gears are in motion so hopefully we won't have to wait too long for details!

It's a little disappointing that the issue of players out-leveling LFR and losing access to the items/pets that can only be obtained in LFR wasn't touched on/asked during the Q&A. But hopefully we'll get some sort of definite answer prior to the expansion releasing.

I'm especially interested in the idea of epic pets becoming a reality. Will their stats change by a significant amount, if at all? Will ALL pets be available as epic quality? How will increasing the quality cap impact collectors and completionists? What will the effects be on the battling (PVP and PVE) side of things? All these questions and more float through my head whenever I think about the possibility of epic pets.

Overall Blizzcon Impressions
Even though there wasn't a lot of pet-related stuff to gush about this year (what little there was, was quite interesting though; Doobjanka saw some cool stuff, TBA!), Blizzcon was amazing this year. So many new games and announcements - the excitement and enthusiasm could be felt through the livestream.

I'm excited about many of the games: Hearthstone looks like fun, the Reaper of Souls storyline has me intrigued and eager to play, and although I'm not a MOBA fan, the Heroes of the Storm announcement trailer was really cool and well done.

Everything was so lively this year. From the panels to the live raid, I was into it all. Heck, I was even on the edge of my seat watching the SC2 finals (and I don't normally watch ESports)!

And the closing ceremony? I know Blink 182 probably isn't everyone's cup of tea, but man oh man, it was KICK ASS for me. The ending concert really made me nostalgic, hearing so many old favorites. It was awesome to see the crowd getting into it too. Crowd surfing and mini-mosh pits lol. The end of Blizzcon really closed with a bang. Perfect ending.

Many thanks to everyone working at Blizzcon and Blizzard for bringing us such awesomeness. Even though I wasn't at the convention in person, I enjoyed every moment of it while watching the livestream. Also many thanks to Blizzard for listening to the community and actually acting on some of the suggestions made. You rock and I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the future.

MOAR PET STUFF PLEASE! ;P

Blizzcon 2013 Informal News

UPDATE: Mumper clarified a little on what "breeding" will entail:
"current plan is you can merge two pets of the same family and pick the breed. Doing this gives chance at epic."

Blizzcon attendee gloriaboboria Tweeted some interesting tid-bits about pet battles in the next expansion. Most of this is unconfirmed, unofficial news from a chat with Mumper (developer, Cory Stockton):
"Breeding pets is coming, will be a building in the new garrisons. Doing this is how you will get epic pets." - gloriaboboria

"It will also allow you to get better breeds. No increase to pet level cap so ccurrent pet battles stay relevant contet. (Good idea imo)" - gloriaboboria

"The idea of gemming pet stats is scrapped, breeding replaces it." - gloriaboboria
Again, none of this has been officially announced yet (save for Pet Stables in player garrisons), so we'll have to wait for additional confirmation and details. But it is interesting to hear the plans that devs have for the future of pet battles. I'll be eagerly waiting for more information on the Pet Stables!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Day One of Blizzcon 2013: No Pet News Yet

Blizzcon is still underway, but the WoW related panels are finished for today. So far there hasn't been any new pet related news or discussion. There are still many panels to watch tomorrow, though. Here's hoping for something pet-centric, however big or small!

With the announcement of the next expansion, Warlords of Draenor, we can start speculating what kind of pets we might find there. There are bound to be new wild pets to capture, as well as reputation earned companions and dropped pets.

Will any of the new orc sub-factions have some pets for us? Some adorable animal that we have to rescue from the Iron Horde? What about the Draenei? Will they finally allow us to adopt a little Naaru pet? There are so many possibilities!

During the art panel, two concept art slides caught my eye. The first being only what I can describe as an armless-rat-thing, and the second is some sort of mutated cross between an aquatic murloc and flower lol.




Are these going to be neutral creatures in the world or mobs that we fight? Perhaps they are "pet worthy" for collectors?

Hopefully tomorrow's WoW panels will reveal a little more about pet battles and pet collecting in the next expansion. But if not, there's still the WoD beta/PTR that will eventually open up. Then we can dig deep into discovering the new goodies that's hiding in Warlords of Draenor!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Muraklot Arrives Early and Shakes Up Pet PVP

UPDATE: Developers are likely going to keep an eye on Murkalot and are accepting feedback on this pet. There are a number of threads on the official Pet Battle forums that you can also respond to/leave feedback in.


Blizzard started mailing out the Blizzcon 2013 pet to Virtual Ticket holders yesterday! So awesome :D

Convention attendees will probably have to wait until they receive their goodie bag to redeem their own Murkalot, but unlike Virtual Ticket holders, they can trade/sell the pet card that contains the Murkalot code. So it balances out in the end. Some receive the pet early but cannot exchange the pet at all, while others who receive it later and retain the option to sell it.

Speaking of balance...

There's some discussion on the WarcraftPets forums on Murkalot's battling ability. So far, it appears that his attacks and moveset leans toward being "overpowered". That isn't to say, though, that there aren't any ways or pets to counter Murkalot. I'm sure people will find ways around this pet. However, one can already tell that this will be a popular pet in PVP for a while, and may make the game frustrating for many players. Heck, simply leveling this pet has shown its many, MANY strengths.

On top of that, if this pet is truly "too good" in PVP, there will be the issue of "paying to win" that will need to be addressed. Once the majority of the PVP endgame is filled with Murkalots, it will be the new status quo to have one on your team, or risk being at a disadvantage. This pet costs $40, so although some may want to keep up with the rest, they might be unable to or unwilling to shell out the money to do so. I can see this causing a lot of friction in the community.

On the other hand, now that Murkalot has been released, IF its abilities get nerfed there will be some who are upset that they paid for the pet, expecting an overpowered contender in pet PVP. Again, the trouble of "paying to win" situations.

We'll see how things go for Murkalot, but there are really only two ways this can go: the pet gets nerfed, and some are upset that they paid for it to use in endgame PVP OR the pet doesn't get nerfed, and pet PVP becomes a game of who can play Murkalot best or pair him with the best team. One option will cause a ripple for a while before things cooldown, and the other will cause frustration until the next "OP" pet is released. My best guess is that Murkalot will get an update to his abilities and won't be a "must have" in pet PVP in the near future.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Argent Gruntling Get! ...Finally!


FINALLY! After how many patches since the Argent Tournament was released, I finally collected the Argent Gruntling this past weekend. About time, huh?

The main obstacle that I took my damn time in overcoming was getting a horde character up to the appropriate level. The Argent Tournie quests can be started at level 77, but for the longest time, I didn't have it in me to level a toon that high. I did manage to make a horde DK and get her out of the starting zone, but up until about a month or so ago, I hadn't touched her (as evident by her heirloom and starter-zone gear XD).

Recently, I decided to tunnel vision my collection and finally reach that milestone of getting all pets to max level, so I figured why not kill two birds with one stone. I used my lowbie DK and took her out to Uldum (since she didn't have access to any other high level pet zone) where the pet level was high enough for her to earn decent pet experience as well as player experience. She battled like mad until she was eligible for the tournie.

It was a long grindy process, filled with danger (yikes at being really low level in a high level zone on a PVP server), but completely worth it in the end. I managed to level MANY pets up, even duplicates, got a few battlestones for my trouble, and was finally able to start the Argent Tournie quests.

Now I can finally check off another pet from my list, so even though it took me AGES to do it, I feel pretty satisfied with this accomplishment.

Next on the to-do list... "PVP" (but it's really just killing one person over and over) for the Vengeful Porcupette? lol

Monday, November 4, 2013

WarcraftPets Meet-Up at Blizzcon 2013

WarcraftPets will be holding another meet-up at Blizzcon this year. Unfortunately I won't be attending (T_T) but I'll be there in spirit! And watching the Live Feed of the convention, of course. :P

This year the meet-up won't be held in the "realm area" but at the Meeting Stone. Blizzard designated this spot for group meet-and-greets and the like. I don't have a clue what it looks like there, so all I can say is look for Doobjanka and the WarcraftPets logo. Hopefully no one will get lost!


Click to see a larger version of the map.
Meeting Stone area highlighted in the red circle.

Doob will be at the Meeting Stone both days of the convention:
Friday, 2-3 PM (Pacific Standard Time)
Saturday, 6-7 PM (Pacific Standard Time)
The first 50 attendees of the meet-up will get a nifty common TCG loot card. And registered users that sign the meet-and-greet roster will be entered into a raffle for a Rocket Chicken (raffle will be done AFTER the convention). So come for the pets, stay for the awesome company! :)

I'm pretty bummed that I won't be able to attend and meet our great community. The gathering in 2011 was pretty neat and I got to meet some cool people from the community. Even a couple pet collectors from my own realm!

I expect this year there will be an even greater turn-out now that pets are more "mainstream" and the interest has risen significantly with the implementation of Pet Battles. Hmm, now that I think about it, perhaps it's better if I'm not attending this year... I don't do well in large groups. :P

Oh well, maybe next year! I hope everyone has a blast at Blizzcon; go say hi to Doob for me. XD

Friday, November 1, 2013

Macabre Marionette and Reaching Collecting Goals

Today is a fairly momentous day for me. Not only have I added another new pet to my collection, but I've reached another milestone in my collecting goals. :D


After many years of waiting, I can finally say that I'm now a proud owner of the Macabre Marionette. This little guy is absolutely ADORABLE! He dances nonstop, even when in a pet battle.

Since you only need one quest item, but crafting can generate 5, I sent 3 of my alts and a guildmate the materials to make their own Bread of the Dead. Unfortunately, you can't mail the actual bread since there's a limited time duration on it. Now I have a total of 4 Macabre Marionettes, one of which I upgraded to rare with a stone.

The other three remain uncommon and on a bank alt. They're cageable so I suppose it's only a matter of time before I try finding homes for these little guys. Day of the Dead is only around for this weekend, so there are bound to be people who miss it and are looking to acquire the pet.

Needless to say, I immediately began to level this pet up once I got my hands on it. It was the very last pet in my collection (for now) that needed experience and levels.


And with that, I can finally say that all of my pets are rare quality AND level 25! Can I join the Elite Four now? :P

It's a huge achievement for me since it's been one of my goals to get all of my current pets to level 25 before the end of this expansion. Seems like I made it just in time!

There are still some pets for me to collect, so I'm not quite done with everything yet. I'm working on my horde toon to finally earn the Argent Gruntling, and I've been running SoO LFR and normals each week on different characters for a chance at the pets. A few pets will have to wait, since they're not out yet, but there are others that I can work on getting. A friend has graciously offered to let me kill him 85 times to gather the rest of the Bloody Coins necessary to purchase the Vengeful Porcupette. Meep.

One pet that I'm starting to lose hope in ever collecting is the Stunted Direhorn. I honestly hate pet PVP. I've tried it and found it extremely stressful and not enjoyable in the least bit. It's definitely a psychological thing, much like player PVP. The "randomness", although not really random, gets to me and I end up feeling too anxious to make sound choices in my next move.

My total queued matches completed is 4, and out of those I won 2 games. Despite having the pets to make potentially strong PVP teams, I just can't bring myself to do it. At this rate, I'll never be able to add the last direhorn to my collection. Sigh.

For now, though, I'm going to concentrate on getting the pets that I do stand a chance of collecting. RNG is still a bitch, but compared to doing something that causes extreme emotional distress, I'll gladly take on the RNG gods any day. Not saying that RNG doesn't play havoc with my emotions, but it's something that I've grown somewhat accustomed to.

There are 10 pets left for me to add to my pet family (9 if you don't count the direhorn), and hopefully I'll be able to finish collecting and leveling them before the next expansion is released. It's a challenge that I'm willing to take on, all for the sake of my obsession hobby. :P

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Patch 5.4.1 Released, Pets Will Need to Wait

Patch 5.4.1 was released, but only to implement new and updated pets in the Pet Journal. No new pets have been released yet.

The new additions include Murkalot and Alterac Brew-Pup. The former being the Blizzcon 2013 gift and the latter will come from the Blizzard Pet Store in the future. I expect the Blizzcon pet will be mailed to eligible accounts once we get closer to the convention dates or during the actual convention (November 8 and 9).

Changed pets include the four that were previously only obtainable in Asian regions.
Golden Pig
Jade Tiger
Silver Pig
Zipao Tiger
Their source is now "Recruit A Friend", however the revamped RAF system doesn't seem to be out just yet. Hopefully Blizzard will announce something soon. I'm really eager to find out what will be required to earn these pets.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

5.4.1 PTR: RAF Pet Rewards

Wowhead recently uncovered possible pet rewards from the revamped Recruit-A-Friend system (release date TBA) on the PTR.

There are currently four possible pets that will be redeemable through the RAF program, but they will probably add more in the future.
Golden Pig
Jade Tiger
Silver Pig
Zipao Tiger
So far all of these pets are unique (may only have one), BoP or BoA, and non-tradeable. They are also all the Asia-exclusive pets, which may mean we'll finally have access to the originally unobtainable companions. There are other limited-time pets that were Asia-only, so they might add those to the RAF system in the future too.

All that being said, I'm very eager to learn more about the updated RAF program. My main concern, though, is whether or not this will cost collectors an arm and a leg to acquire all of the pets.

Right now, to be eligible for RAF rewards, your friend (or you if you referred yourself) must purchase the full game (not sure if this means all expansions or just the original) and two months of game time.

The price for a month's worth of game time is $14.99, and depending on what "full copy of WoW" means, it could range anywhere from $20 (for just the Battlechest which I think includes expansions up to Cata) to $50-60 (for the Battlechest + MoP expansion).

IF (and I stress if) they maintain the same requirements for the updated version of the RAF program, just for these three pets, you'll be spending at least $139.96 for four separate accounts and one month game time for each one (technically, you need to buy 2 months but you get one month free for your main account per RAF account, so it's like buying 2 months of RAF time for half price). YIKES. All is this assuming my math is correct and prices haven't changed.

However, developers mentioned in a recent interview that they will be changing how the RAF program works. They haven't gone into detail about it yet, but they mentioned using RAF tokens to redeem pets. How we'll obtain these tokens is still unknown, but hopefully the cost won't be too high.

I mean, for $139.96, you could buy a few TCG pets or even one of the older, rare ones (if you find a good deal). For $130, you could buy 13 Blizzard Pet Store companions, compared to just four from the RAF system (under current conditions).

I'm definitely glad that they're considering giving us access to previously these pets, though. There have been many requests for the Asia-only pets, and perhaps Blizzard has finally found a way to fit them into the game.

I'll wait to see how they change and update the RAF system, and hopefully the eligibility requirements for the rewards will be tweaked/tuned to allow for more reasonable access to the goodies.

I hope Blizzard keeps in mind that even if they release these pets to other regions through RAF, if the price is too high, those pets will still be out of reach for many collectors. It would be a nice gesture in general, but the situation would still be somewhat the same (unavailable to many).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Look-a-Like Challenge - Part 5

After much searching, I discovered more pets to look like. A few of these might be my all time favorites, but I couldn't say for certain. How could I pick which pet I enjoy looking at the most? :P

Unlike my other Look-a-Like posts, though, nearly all of the ones listed here require the help of a friend. The key is the use of creature abilities on a target that you can copy.

I don't think it's possible to obtain most of these costumes (in the manner in which I present) alone. Potions of Illusion and/or Ai-Li's Skymirror are an absolute must as well.

IMPORTANT! Also, a short explanation of mob Polymorph or similar CC effects (this knowledge will come in handy when attempting the Look-a-Likes below):
Most mobs will NOT target the "tank" or player with the highest agro and Polymorph them. Instead, many mobs will choose the person that has secondary agro. That being said, the player that wants the costume (has the potion or skymirror) must not have the highest threat on the target creature. Should both players have the items to copy a costume, then it doesn't really matter who ends up CC'ed.



Pet: Cobra Hatchling
Look-a-like: Lord Cobrahn
Notes: Rogue friend required, must have the minor glyph, Glyph of Disguise

Wait until Lord Cobrahn uses the ability Cobrahn Serpent Form (usually when he's less than 100% health). Once he's used it, vanish and then pick-pocket him while he's still shapeshifted. Using skymirror or a potion will preserve the costume for longer.



Pet: Harbinger of Flame
Look-a-like: Charred Flamewalker
Notes: Rogue friend required, must have the minor glyph, Glyph of Disguise

These mobs only spawn once you've begun the quest chain to unlock the Molten Front in Mount Hyjal.



Pet: Crimson Lasher
Ability: Sunseeker Harvester's Polymorph
Notes: Friend and Ai-Li's Skymirror required

Wait until the NPC uses Polymorph on a player, then quickly target said player and use the skymirror. Because you lose control of your character when polymorphed, it's unlikely you'll be able to skymirror yourself while CC'ed.



Pet: Core Hound Pup
Ability: Cabal Zealot's Shape of the Beast
Notes: Mage friend and Ai-Li's Skymirror or Potion of Illusion required

Mages can spellsteal the buff from the zealot and transform into a corehound for 2 minutes. Use the skymirror or a potion as necessary.



Pet: All Chickens
Ability: Vilebranch Witch Doctor's Hex
Notes: Friend and Ai-Li's Skymirror required

Wait until the NPC uses Hex on a player, then quickly target said player and use the skymirror. Because you lose control of your character when hexed, it's unlikely you'll be able to skymirror yourself while CC'ed.


Pet: All Crabs
Ability: Naz'jar Spiritmender's Hex
Notes: Friend and Ai-Li's Skymirror required

Wait until the NPC uses Hex on a player, then quickly target said player and use the skymirror. Because you lose control of your character when hexed, it's unlikely you'll be able to skymirror yourself while CC'ed.



Pet: Toxic Wasteling
Ability: Plague Scientist's Combobulating Spray
Notes: Friend and Ai-Li's Skymirror required

You will have to kill the first four bosses in Icecrown Citadel to reach the NPCs that use this ability. Wait until the NPC uses Combobulating Spray on a player, then quickly target said player and use the skymirror. Because you lose control of your character, it's unlikely you'll be able to skymirror yourself while CC'ed.



Pet: Widow Spiderling
Ability: Darkfallen Archmage's Polymorph: Spider
Notes: Friend and Ai-Li's Skymirror required

You will have to kill the first four bosses in Icecrown Citadel to reach the NPCs that use this ability. Wait until the NPC uses Polymorph on a player, then quickly target said player and use the skymirror. Because you lose control of your character, it's unlikely you'll be able to skymirror yourself while CC'ed.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Look-a-Like Challenge - Part 4

In honor of Hallow's End, I've found some look-a-likes for two Halloween pets. A couple of them aren't the easiest costumes to acquire, but if you're itching to be festive, it may be worth it. :)

Unfortunately, since I don't actually own one of the pets, I couldn't get a screenshot for that particular costume. Not only that, but the RNG involved in even getting transformed is quite high.

It would be awesome if there was a spell to turn us into a black, broom-riding, hat-wearing cat, but alas. ;P

As with my other Look-a-Like posts, it's helpful if you have the following:
1.) The help of a friend
2.) Potion of Illusion and/or Ai-Li's Skymirror
3.) Misc items that transformed my character into fun things



Pet: Creepy Crate
Item: Box o' Tricks
Notes: The item can only be used in Shadowmoon Valley if on the quest "To Legion Hold". Using a skymirror on a person transformed (or yourself) will preserve the costume even if you leave the zone.


Pet: Mini Diablo
Ability: Trick (demon) (Only available during Hallow's End)
Notes: Friend and Ai-Li's Skymirror or Potion of Illusion required

The Trick costume is random, so it may take many attempts to actually get the Mini Diablo costume. Since it only lasts for 45 seconds, the Skymirror or potion is necessary.



Pet: Nordrassil Wisp
Item: Hallowed Wand - Wisp (Only available during Hallow's End) or Wisp Amulet



Pet: Vampiric Batling
Item: Hallowed Wand - Bat (Only available during Hallow's End)

Friday, October 11, 2013

How We Collect Now: My Dilemma

Something has been on my mind lately. Pet collecting. Well dur, I'm a pet collector. But to be more specific, the state of pet collecting post-release of Pet Batttles.

"Why" we collect hasn't changed all that much, although some people's goal may be to collect to battle rather than collect for fun. Either way, we still want to "catch them all". The most significant change that I've noticed is "HOW" we collect.

In the past, collecting was mainly a "do it yourself" activity. You could enlist the help of a few friends, but in general you had to do the grunt work. From farming mobs, questing, or grinding reputation - there was a very clear path to the pet you wanted. There weren't many workarounds or options to collect some pets, and if you wanted it you had to jump through the necessary hoops. At the same time, that was part of pet collecting's allure. A few (and I stress the few) pets that were difficult to find, but so satisfying to collect.

These days, post-Pet Battles release, not only has the number of pets skyrocketed, so has the interest and desire to collect. On top of that, most pets are now cageable which makes it possible to trade/sell them. Combine these changes together and what you end up with is a situation where it's somewhat unreasonable to expect a player to adopt the mentality of "do it yourself" due to the exceptionally large number of pets to obtain. With cageable pets, buying and selling has become a much more viable option for collecting, and it helps alleviate the strain of facing RNG and the grind of over 500 pets.

Some collectors have taken to grinding gold instead of the pets themselves so that they can simply purchase what they seek off the Auction House. For them, it's a more effective and efficient use of time and energy. Which is understandable. There are only so many hours in a day and days in a week, but so so so many pets. Sometimes RNG can be unkind and risking the roll each time may only mean time lost. So it's only natural that players seek out an "easier" and more direct way of doing things.

Don't get me wrong, though. I think it's great that collectors now have another option when it comes to acquiring pets. You could do it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you (not literally hire someone, but purchase a pet from them). The market is open for everyone and that's perfect for spreading pets around and reaching a wider audience. Even those who may not even enjoy pets all that much can still participate by buying low and selling high.

But now that utilizing the Auction House is a popular and pretty efficient way of collecting pets, it means that old-school collectors will need to adapt to this shift in HOW collecting is done. Farm a pet? No, farm the gold to buy the pet. This is where I run into an issue.

As someone that adores these in-game critters, I'm ultimately in it for the pets. I don't want to farm for gold; it's not fun and it's not what I'm after. It's just a means to an end. Call me old-school, but I really do enjoy the hunt and search for a pet. I love the journey of it all. Coming to the end of that adventure only to find a pet is extremely rewarding and satisfying. Well, at least it was.

However, I do have to admit it HAS become pretty tiring. Every patch has been explosion of companions, and trying to research and collect them all by yourself is a lot more time consuming, tedious, and frustrating than in the past. The sheer number to find with each new release kind of dulls the experience, and that gratifying feeling of coming to the end of a hunt is instead replaced with relief that I can finally move onto collecting the next pet on my list (or doing something else).

So while I don't want to make gold to just buy everything, it seems as though the situation is slowly pushing me towards that direction. It just doesn't make sense to mash my face against the wall to get to the other side when I could simply walk around it.

I remember spending a few days for about 6 hours straight each day grinding for the Firefly pet. Could I do that now though? For 20-30 pets a patch?


Perhaps my age is starting to show/kick in, but I'm finding time to be very precious now. If there were only a few to collect every other release, it would be similar to pre-MoP collecting. There would be more time between each one, and it would feel as if there was more time to search before resorting to buying it. (Of course that would also mean less content for collectors, which is a huge bummer.)

With how things are now, it's completely unreasonable to spend hours for each one out of 10, 20, 30, etc., and would probably result in me going crazy in the process. Maybe I had more time in the past, or maybe I was simply younger, but I just can't seem to put forth the same amount of energy into "doing it myself" these days.

Yet if I can't seem to grind out the hours and battle the RNG like I used to, it leaves me with only one other option: buy the pets. The problem for me is that I'm terrible at making gold. Saving gold, I'm great at that. But making it? I just can't do it. My interest isn't high enough in farming for it, even if I do realize that it will lead me to what I'm actually interested in (pets).

The shift in "how" we collect has really put me in a tough spot, and with this evolution of collecting, I may just get left behind. If I can't find it in me to sit through the grind for 20 pets a patch or farm up thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of gold each new content release, I'm afraid my pet collecting days will be over.

I think that buying pets will steadily become more and more popular than trying to farm your own, and with each new batch of many many pets, it will only become a better option. I mean, if you have to collect 20 or even 10 pets, and must face RNG or a long grind for all of them, would you? What if the option to simply make enough gold to purchase them off the Auction House was there? I think most would take the latter path, even if it removes most of the journey and adventure of collecting. Spend time and energy to battle RNG (a risk/chance) or make gold and buy the pet (a guarantee)? Yea. I'm pretty confident that many will stick with the guarantee.

What would "solve" my issue? Perhaps if there were fewer new pets each patch. But if there are many new ones, maybe lower the RNG. Then again, I love seeing so many new additions, so I don't think I'd want Blizzard to cut back on how many are released each time. The RNG could be adjusted, but that's tougher to balance with everything else. They could make the pets uncageable which would force us to go out and hunt them ourselves. That would be unfair to many, though, and I'd rather see lots of people enjoy companions.

In the end, it's probably just me. I just need to adapt better and make the change to how I collect along with everyone else. It's too taxing to try and stick with the old-school mentality of "do it yourself", and it would be more reasonable to just buy low and sell high. Unfortunately, it's all easier said than done for me.

I don't plan on giving up pet collecting any time soon, but I do find that I'm struggling more than before. It's put a slight damper on the experience, but I enjoy my collection too much to just let it all go. I'll either make a change in myself or power through it. One day my dissatisfaction with myself or the situation might get the better of me, though, but all good things must come to an end eventually.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wind Rider Cub Gone From Blizzard Pet Store?


The Wind Rider Cub was recently back in the Blizzard Pet Store, however it seems that the sale was short-lived. After roughly a little over a week and a half the store sold out and now the option to even preview the item/pet in the US store is gone.

The EU store is also missing the listing for the item/pet, but then again there's a notice on the front page that physical items are currently unavailable from that region's store (this includes both the Wind Rider Cub and Gryphon Hatchling).

When the little wyvern sold out in the past, players were still able to at least view its Pet Store page. Now that it's gone completely, everyone is wondering if this means it will be gone for good.

It's entirely possible that this is only temporary and Blizzard has removed the Wind Rider Cub's Pet Store listing to avoid any confusion about whether or not it's available. Perhaps it is simply out of stock and it may take some time before they're able to create more. We'll just have to wait and see what's planned for the future. Hopefully, for all collectors, the Wind Rider Cub will be back in some form or another.

Unlike its counterpart, the Gryphon Hatchling (who shares its model with the capturable Wildhammer Gryphon Hatchling), the Wind Rider Cub has a unique model and does not share it with any other pet. Because of how unique and rare it is, it's in somewhat high demand by collectors. It's adorableness and limited availability also drives up the desire to own a little wyvern companion.

If (and I stress the IF) the pet is truly sold out from the Blizzard Pet Store for good, one thing that can be done to compensate is to add a wild version of the Wind Rider Cub into the game. This would allow players to collect at least some version of it, even if they can't get a hold of the store pet. It's not 100% the same thing, and some collectors will still pine after the "original" one, but there are others who will happily seek out and capture a wild one just the same.

So while it's not time to worry too much just yet, we'll definitely need to keep an eye on the Blizzard Pet Store and hope that the Wind Rider Cub will return.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Moon Moon, We Love You

UPDATE: Hotfix October 7 - "Moonfang should now always drop something when defeated."

After 7 hours of sitting in the Darkmoon Island forest (that's seven attempts total), I'm now a proud owner of Moon Moon! :D


The event comes and goes like clockwork, and it's fairly straight forward except for the fact that you must actively help Moonfang spawn by killing smaller wolves. I didn't have any problems with this, though, minus the elite wolves that spawn as the second "phase". Those need a couple of people if you want to kill it within a reasonable amount of time.

Other than that, you just need to be careful not to kite the wolves or Moonfang away from their original spawn area. They have a high rate of evading and then returning back to their spawn with full health (if you drag them too far). It's especially annoying if Moonfang does this, as that means everyone will need to work on defeating the world boss all over again.

One thing that should be mentioned is that although you can loot this boss multiple times a day on a character, sometimes the body won't have any loot for you at all. There aren't any trash or vendor items to be had; Moonfang's loot table only consists of unique-bound vanity items. The "no loot" scenario is likely due to the fact that 1 - you already have one of the unique items, or 2 - the internal random roll for loot just didn't pick any of the unique items.

It can feel a little disheartening when you run up to loot Moonfang only to find nothing available, but thankfully you can just try again. She's taggable by all too, so it's not like you'll be competing with any specific group or faction for a chance at the pet or other vanity items.

Overall I'm pretty satisfied with how this was all implemented. Limited time (one week out of the month), but a "high" rate of spawn (once an hour) that you can participate in and loot as many times as you want. The droprate isn't too high or too low, which balances out nicely with everything else. Being able to tag the boss for personal loot is also a huge plus that I think everyone appreciates. No chances of "ninja looting" here!

I'm still a little concerned about how this event will play out on low population servers or when the novelty/popularity has died down. The DMF is CRZ'ed, though, so there should generally always be some players there, but what will happen when most don't even want to bother killing Moonfang anymore? Will they have a significantly harder time with the encounter?

Keep in mind that this isn't taking into account that the event probably won't be outdated until maybe next expansion, when the level cap is higher and we all have more gear. If you take that into account, perhaps it won't require a large group of people to take down Moonfang, and smaller groups who are still interested will be able to do it just fine. We'll have to wait and see how it plays out in the long run.

Last but not least, I've updated my Look-a-Like Challenge to include Moon Moon. :) I must say, it took a few attempts to get a good screenshot. Moon Moon kept wandering off just as I was taking one. Damnit, Moon Moon, stay still! :P

Oh, and if you target Moon Moon and emote dance with it, you're in for a cute surprise! :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Speculation On the Darkmoon Faire's New World Boss, Moonfang

Next week Three days from now is the start of the Darkmoon Faire, and there's a new pet to collect from a world boss on the island: Moon Moon! I'm pretty excited to see how it goes, and hope that the implementation of Moonfang will be much smoother than the Darkmoon Rabbit.

Unlike the Darkmoon Rabbit, Moonfang will apparently be "summonable"... sort of. By killing enough wolves on the island, Moonfang will spawn, at least according to this Wowhead comment.

Additionally, a poster on the WoW forums noted that Moonfang will be similar to the Timeless Isle rares (similar 1 hour-ish timer and all), and anyone and everyone will be able to tag it/have a chance at loot. If this is indeed true, this will be a huge step up from the Darkmoon Rabbit which required you to be in the raid that tagged the boss. It will remove much of the griefing (but not all, of course) and give everyone a fair chance at the vanity items that drop from Moonfang. This style of loot distribution for a world boss definitely gets my two thumbs up.

The main question now is will players only have one chance at loot per day? Or can players kill Moonfang as many times as they please in hopes for a drop (same as Timeless Isle rares)? If the former is true, then we'll need to start parking all of our alts on the island for a chance on each one. Unless... it's an account-wide chance (bleh). But we'll see what the mechanics are for loot once players start killing this new DMF boss.

My hope is that it will be similar to the Timeless Isle rares, and players will only need to invest some time and effort into spawning Moonfang and killing it.

If things are balanced enough, a "low" droprate paired with the ability to attempt countless of times per day will be a fair situation. If the droprate is "high", then having a "once per day" mechanic would be understandable. Another thing to consider is that this event is only around one week out of the month, making the time limitation another factor that needs to be added into the equation. It's all about balancing the RNG with everything else to ensure that it's not too "easy" yet still fun.

Last but not least, I'm curious as to how Moonfang's stats will scale depending on the number of players attacking it. The rares on the Timeless Isle increase in health as more players tag it, but it's entirely possible for a single player to take on one of those rares by him/herself. I doubt that Blizzard wants players to be able to solo the new DMF world boss, though, so I'm wondering if Moonfang will have a set health pool and hit like a monster truck even without numerous people attacking it.

If that's the case, then a large number of people will definitely be necessary, meaning that summoning and defeating this world boss will depend heavily on participation on the Darkmoon Island. That could spell trouble for lower population realms, and/or once the novelty of the event has died down.

We'll have to wait and see what's true and what's not at the start of next week. Things could have changed between the PTR and patch 5.4 release, so it's all still kind of up in the air. I'm crossing my fingers in hopes for a good scenario for collectors, though.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wind Rider Cub Back In Stock (US) and Blizzcon 2013 Pet

Two things that are noteworthy as of late:
1. The Wind Rider Cub is now back in stock in the Blizzard Pet Store! US only at this time.

2. Blizzard has finally announced the goodies for this year's Blizzcon event, and yes, one of those goodies is a pet. Murkalot!
I've heard that EU players can purchase the cub plush + pet and the code will work for EU accounts. However, I must stress caution when doing this, as I'm not sure if this is supported by Blizzard. If the code doesn't work, it's possible that they will assist in getting a working EU code for you, but it's also possible that they won't. So purchase at your own risk/discretion.

As for the Blizzcon goodie, it looks like they're releasing a WoW pet with the theme of the new Diable class, the Crusader. But honestly, when I look at Murkalot, I can only imagine him yelling "ONE, TWO, FIVE!" and then throwing a Holy Hand Grenade. :P

On a serious note, though. If you plan on purchasing a Virtual Blizzcon Ticket, keep in mind that you cannot sell the pet. After purchase, you receive this message:
"BlizzCon 2013 In-Game Goodies
Your BlizzCon 2013 in-game goodies for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will automatically be added to your Battle.net account. After the goodies have been officially released to players some time after the start of BlizzCon 2013, you’ll be able to access them in-game when you log in using this Battle.net account. Keep an eye on www.blizzcon.com for more information."
Only those who will be physically attending Blizzcon and/or receive the physical scratch card with Murkalot code will be able to trade and sell it. If you want to give someone the pet via Virtual Ticket, you'll have to purchase the ticket through their account so that it's bound to it.

Friday, September 27, 2013

(US) Celestial Tournament Strats: Third Week

This week went much smoother than last week for me due to actually having the time to research and play properly. I did have to use a back up team on Xu-Fu, though. Made a mistake the first time, and hopefully that will be the last time I do that. XD

Most of the teams I used were inspired by Wowhead comments, thanks!

ROUND ONE - Random Rotation of Misc Trainers

Shademaster Kiryn
First: Twilight Spider (2, 2, 1)
Second: Terrible Turnip (2, 1, 1)
Third: Pet Bombling (1, 2, 1)
I think any spider will work in this encounter, so I just chose one in my collection with the most power stat. Since its utilizing mainly dots and Leech Life, power is ideal for this pet. Some extra health doesn't hurt either!

I opened with Brittle Webbing and then used Poison Spit. After that, I just rotated Leech Life with either dot, making sure to keep both up. Nairn went down quickly and easily.

Next up was my Terrible Turnip against Stormoen. I waited until Call Lightning was used, and then replaced that weather with Sunlight. After that I used Tidal Wave to knock down any turrets up and to damage Stormoen. I tried to save Leech Seed for Sunlight for increased healing.

In the end, my Turnip had enough health to soak the next pet's attacks (Dodge, Prowl and Bite) allowing my next pet an advantage over Summer.

I used my Pet Bombling to finish off the fight.

EDIT - A more reliable team
First: Kun-Lai Runt (1, 1, 2)
Second: Lil' Ragnaros (2, 2, 1)
Third: Darkmoon Zeppelin (1, 2, 2)
Start with Mangle and then Thrash. After that use Deep Freeze to stun Nairn, which will cause Kiryn to swap to Stormoen next turn. Swap to Lil' Ragnaros just as she switches.

Use Flamethrower and then Magma Wave to knock down the turret. After that Conflagrate should make quick work of the rest of his health. Lil' Rag should have some health left to eat some of Nairn's health, who will get swapped back in once Stormoen is dead.

Damage Nairn as much as possible, and then use Kun-Lai Runt to finish him off once Lil' Rag is down. The runt should be able to take on Summer for a little bit. If he doesn't outright defeat the wolf, use the Darkmoon Zeppelin to finish off the fight.

Blingtron 4000
First: Spawn of G'nathus (1, 1, 1)
Second: Electrified Razortooth (1, 2, 1)
Third: Fel Flame (1, 1, 1)
I started with Spawn of G'nathus and Swallow You Whole. Dive on the next round to avoid Au's Gold Rush attack. Swallow You Whole finished off Au nicely.

Against Banks, I used my Electrified Razortooth. Even though Banks is a Critter, I avoided using a Beast pet since Banks' main attack is Mechanical (strong against Beasts).

I used Rip, Blood in the Water, and then Rip until Banks was about 50% health and his heal was on cooldown. At that point I used Devour which defeated Banks and healed up my Razortooth. It had enough health to place a Rip or two on Lil' B.

Lastly up was my Fel Flame. I used Immolate first and foremost and then Burn while I waited for Lil' B's Extra Plating to fall off. I probably didn't have to wait, since the Fel Flame hits hard and is strong against the mechanical pet, but I wanted to be sure that Conflagrate hit as hard as possible when I used it.

Wise Mari
First: Crow (2, 2, 2)
Second: Onyxian Whelpling (2, 1, 1)
Third: Legs (2, 1, 2)
Started with my Crow and used Alpha Strike first. Once Carpe Diem used Cleansing Rain, I changed the weather using Call Darkness, followed by Nocturnal Strike and then Alpha Strike until the fish is down. My Crow had enough health to take on the next pet.

Since Call Darkness was still up, I used Nocturnal Strike on Spirus first. My pet didn't have enough health for 2+ more rounds, so I used Alpha Strike until it died. If it had had enough health, I would have used Call Darkness again and then Alpha Strike and/or Nocturnal Strike.

Once my Crow was down, I swapped in the Onyxian Whelpling and used Tail Sweep to finish off Spirus. The Whelpling had plenty of health to face the next pet.

Against River, I used Tail Sweep and then Healing Flame. I saved Lift Off for when Whirlpool had 1 round left on it. This meant my pet did get hit by the first Dive, but thankfully my heal was enough to negate it. Tail Sweep to victory!

I had Legs as my third pet, but didn't even need him.


ROUND TWO - Celestial "Boss Pets"

I used the same teams and strats that I used in previous weeks (except for Xu-Fu, which I used a back up team for), so I'll be omitting the strategies I employed and instead just list my teams for each Celestial.

Xu-Fu (tiger)
First: Dragon Kite (2, 1, 2)
Second: Ancona Chicken (1, 1, 2)
Third: Menagerie Custodian (1, 1, 2)
As I already mentioned, my team and strategy from previous weeks did work, but I made one mistake that cost me the match. I ended up having to use a back up team with the same strategy.

The mistake made - Used Ion Cannon on a turn that Xu-Fu healed, which mean it didn't finish off Xu-Fu and it put my pet on cooldown. Hopefully I won't make that mistake again (but I probably will :P)!

Anyway, my back up team had the same strategy as my main team. I used my Dragon Kite first, except because it's faster than Xu-Fu, I used Lift Off first. This allowed me to avoid Moonfire damage (strong against Flying) and replace that weather with Call Lightning on the second turn.

After Call Lightning was out, I switched to my Ancona Chicken and used Flock until it was dead. RNG was kind and Xu-Fu missed one or two of its hits.

When my Chicken died, I swapped my Dragon Kite back into battle. Again, I used Lift Off first to avoid Xu-Fu's Feed (damage and self-heal), but I probably could have used Call Lightning too.

I switched to my last pet once my Dragon Kite was down. This time I did NOT use Ion Cannon right off the bat, and simply DPS'ed down Xu-Fu properly. :P

EDIT - Possible Chicken replacement
Lil' Bling (2, 1, 1)
The strategy with Lil' Bling is still the same. Spam Inflation to add double damage to Xu-Fu until either Xu-Fu is dead or Lil' Bling goes down.

Zao (ox)
First: Zandalari Kneebiter (2, 2, 2)
Second: Zandalari Anklerender (2, 1, 2)
Third: Zandalari Footslasher (1, 1, 1)
Yu'la (dragon)
First: Gregarious Grell (1, 2, 1)
Second: Hopling (1, 2, 1)
Third: Moonkin Hatchling (1, 2, 2)
Chi-Chi (crane)
First: Sen'jin Fetish (1, 2, 2)
Second: Jade Oozeling (2, 1, 2)
Third: Darkmoon Eye (1, 1, 1)

Pierre and Rascal-Bot Can Now Be Caged/Traded

Senior game designer, Jonathan LeCraft, Tweeted something very interesting yesterday evening.
"Pierre and Rascal-Bot have been hotfixed so they can be traded and caged. They are also no longer unique."
Both Pierre and Rascal-Bot were originally implemented as BoP and un-cageable/tradeable. With this change, engineers can now cage/trade them (items are also BoP now) and collectors can have up to 3 in their Pet Journals.


I'm sure many collectors will be quite pleased with this change, and it was expected, as Blizzard hasn't implemented a profession-exclusive pet since the original engineering companions. However, I'm curious what prompted this change. Certainly it was warranted, but I was expecting the change to occur just before the release of the next expansion, allowing engineers some exclusivity for a period of time.

One reason that may have caused a speed up in the change is that Rascal-Bot can come in different breeds. I'm not sure if Pierre has multiple breeds as well, but if so, it would only make sense to allow players more than one in their collections and grant the ability to trade different breeds with each other.

And perhaps there was just a large outcry from the collecting community, requesting that these pets be cageable. Blizzard has been very accommodating lately, and actively listening to collectors. Not all suggestions or requests are granted/implemented, but developers are definitely paying attention. This could just be another prime example of Blizzard hearing the community out, thinking it over, and then releasing a change after some consideration.

Or maybe this was Blizzard's intent all along! :P Allow enough time for one pet to be crafted before changing its binding status. It seems unlikely, though, as it doesn't make a ton of sense.

But who knows. Anything is possible and I'm sure Blizzard had their reasons for it. I'm glad these two pets will be available to a much wider audience now that they're tradeable, but it was cute that they were exclusive for a short time. Even though I'd much prefer that they're cageable/tradeable, it was a bit nostalgic having profession-exclusive pets. It brought me back to the days where I had to drop my main professions (twice!) to learn engineering just for the two pets. :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Look-a-Like Challenge - Part 3

UPDATE: Yay, Moon Moon!

5.4 brought many new pets so now there are even more that you can look like. I've determined four at the very least, but there might be more that I haven't thought of yet. Let me know if you can think of any others. :)

I only have screenshots of two, since the other two can't be obtained just yet. I'll have to wait for those to become available before I can get some screenshots of those. In the meantime, I'll leave the look-a-like information for them.

If you're not sure what this is all about, see my previous post and the first one that started it all. It's an ongoing challenge! XD

I needed the following to acquire the costumes
1.) The help of a rogue friend
2.) Potion of Illusion and/or Ai-Li's Skymirror
3.) Misc items that transformed my character into fun things



Pet: Ashleaf Spriteling
Item: Scotty's Lucky Coin
Notes: Combat will cause the costume to fall off, but using a potion or the skymirror will preserve it for longer



Pet: Moon Moon
Item: Moonfang's Paw or Rituals of the New Moon (white)
Notes: Moonfang's Paw can only be obtained during the Darkmoon Faire from Moonfang (or from the Auction House). Secondary option is Rituals of the New Moon (transparent white wolf), but you'll need to have/find an inscriptionist to craft this specific item for you. If you remove the offhand, the costume will drop, but a potion or skymirror will preserve it for longer.



Pet: Dandelion Frolicker
Look-a-like: Puckish Sprite
Notes: Rogue friend required, must have the minor glyph, Glyph of Disguise


Pet: Macabre Marionette
Look-a-like: Honor the Dead
Item: Noggenfogger Elixir
Notes: You can only acquire the "Honor the Dead" skeleton costume during the in-game event, Day of the Dead, by slash dancing with Catrina. Alternative to this (for when the event isn't up) is the Noggenfogger Elixir.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Timeless Isle Frustrations

UPDATE: It looks like the Scary Sprite event has been buffed/nerfed with this past week's Tuesday maintenance! Not only does the crystal spawn a lot more, the Scary Sprites have had their HP reduced and spawn quite often during the encounter. Thank you Blizzard! This will hopefully give everyone more of a hope of obtaining the pet. :)

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I've been spending at least an hour a day on the Timeless Isle, but I wish I had even more time to hang around there. So many pets to collect still!

All in all, I think the Timeless Isle is a fairly successful zone for what it was intended to be. It's a place where you can gear up your toons or alts fairly quickly, you can explore and adventure around, there are tons of things to collect and achievements to complete, and it's just a nice way to end an expansion.

That being said, there are two things that I have issue with on the Timeless Isle, and yes, both concern pets - the Vengeful Porcupette and the Dandelion Frolicker. I would say that both areas of dissatisfaction could be fixed with a little tweaking to how they're obtained.

Vengeful Porcupette
If you've kept up with my blog over the years, you already know how much I despise PVP (in any form). Even if it involves a pet, I will more than likely drag my heals and procrastinate for a very long time if I have to PVP to earn it. Heck, I STILL haven't completed my pet PVP battles for the Stunted Direhorn.

So it should be no surprise that I already have issue with how the Vengeful Porcupette is acquired. PVP to earn currency to purchase the pet. I just can't bring myself to be optimistic about the endeavor.

Well, recently it was brought to my attention that there's yet another reason to dread the world PVP grind. You can ONLY earn Bloody Coins if you get the killing blow. If your target falls off a cliff and dies, no coin. If a creature kills your target, no coin. If for whatever reason they die by something else other than your direct attack, no coin.

This just makes it all even more infuriating. Not only do I passionately dislike PVP, but I must also be DPS to earn the currency for the pet? This seems pretty unfair.

My main role is a healer, always has been and always will be. I do have a DPS off spec and can make sure of my healing gear for it (yay hybrids), but I am in no position to PVP as DPS. I'm miserable at PVP already, so what makes anyone think that I will be capable enough to score killing blows on anyone? It would just be my crummy attempts at sniping kills from other people (which I feel is pretty rude, but hey, maybe I'm just too nice).

The "workaround" to all of this is that you can still earn coins from a buddy who is willing to be killed repeatedly by you. However, keep in mind that there is a 10 minute cooldown on the target that you kill, and you cannot earn a Bloody Coin from that target until the debuff has fallen off them. This means even if you have a friend who's willing to die by your hands to help you collect coins, it will take upwards of 16-17 hours, with 5-6 coins per hour. It may also be possible to earn coins from any other level 90 alts that they may have, but it's all a very tedious process.

Another option is to simply wait for the pet to go up on the AH or even pay a friend to grind out the coins and purchase the pet/cage it for me. With how rare the pet is on the AH, and how deserted the Timeless Isle will be in the coming months, this pet will probably go for way too much. Having a friend get killing blows to earn coins is reasonable enough, but just how many people have someone on call like that who would be willing to use their time, their currency, all to give up the pet in the end?

Regardless if there's another way, this is downright frustrating. To think that I will have to resort to such a cheesey method of doing things for this pet - was this Blizzard's intention?

Quite frankly, although I can't stand PVP, I was going to suck it up eventually and partner up with a friend to go on a killing spree of the island. However, I was going to do it as a healer and we'd be a DPS/healing duo. But this plan is all irrelevant now since I will need to get the killing blow, and that happening consistently enough so that we're not wasting our time is very unlikely.

I wouldn't be so uptight about all of this had the "killing blow" requirement not been an issue. Sure, I'd still resist the idea of PVP'ing, but at least it would seem fair for everyone. In this situation, it heavily favors DPS and people who have the ability to PVP well as DPS.

So since I don't fall into either category, DPS or someone who can PVP well, I guess I will have to resort to a somewhat underhanded way of earning the Vengeful Porcupette. Thankfully my friend is more than willing to sit and let me kill him over and over. I'm definitely lucky in that respect, but not everyone else will have someone they can call on to help them.

Dandelion Frolicker
I'm pretty content with how you're supposed to obtain the Dandelion Frolicker, as it's pretty interesting. But my problem lies with the spawning mechanics of both the crystal and the Scary Sprite itself, as well as the enormous RNG factor that seems to overshadow everything else.

The Neverending Spritewood crystal that's used to turn the Nice Sprites hostile towards has a roughly 1-2 hour respawn timer. The problem with this is that that means it will only spawn handful of times a day. How many of those attempts will actually be solid tries for the NPC that drops the pet? How many out of the handful of people clicking the crystal actually have the DPS to kill enough sprites or the Scary Sprite and know what they're doing? The answer is not enough.

Is it anyone's fault that some players aren't able to adequately make use of the crystal spawn? No. Improvements can always be made, and it may be a learning process for some. But with this in mind, there are just not enough chances in a day for everyone to experience the encounter properly. Those that know what to do and what to kill may not even get a chance each day. This is RNG factor #1.

There doesn't seem to be any set number of sprites you need to kill before a Scary Sprite will spawn. I've seen people kill hundreds without getting the right one spawn, and I've read of attempts where they killed less than 20 and managed to spawn a Scary Sprite. Random is random, and killing a normal sprite has a chance to spawn a Scary one, but the spawn rate seems terribly low and too inconsistent. This is RNG factor #2.

Even if you manage to spawn a Scary Sprite, or two or three or more, the pet has such a poor droprate that it makes any effort put forth feel like it was for nothing. This pet is so rare that I've heard of it being just as expensive (if not more) than the older TCG pets. It's a bit shocking considering someone paid RL money for the TCG pets, and the Dandelion Frolicker doesn't require RL funds. Chalk the droprate up to RNG factor #3.

So what do we end up with in the case of this pet? Too few spawn of the crystal leaves many chancing even being able to attempt the encounter each day, a low/random spawn rate of the Scary Sprite, and a miserable droprate on the pet itself. We're looking at a situation that relies too heavily on RNG, which ultimately makes it not very fun.

While I think it would be nice if the pet was 100% droprate for all the effort it takes just to be able to try for it, I'm not expecting that. I think a simple increase in spawning of the Scary Sprite and/or the crystal would help. It takes a lot of effort, yes, but when it feels like that effort is for nothing due to RNG overpowering all other factors (patience, persistence, etc.), it gets hairsplittingly frustrating. And for something that's supposed to be fun, it currently is not.

In the end, minor changes would be great compromises for these two pets. Allowing Bloody Coins to be earned with honor kills rather than killing blows, and increasing the spawn rate of the Scary Sprite and/or Neverending Spritewood. I don't see these changes as being unreasonable, as we'll still have to work to earn our pets. It may still be frustrating for some, but at the very least there would be mechanics in place to ease the grind and balance the RNG. It takes into consideration and better accomodates the different playstyles that each collector has.
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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.