Tuesday, November 6, 2018

How to Prepare For Patch 8.1 Pet Collecting

Things to do to prep for 8.1 (coming in December):

  • lvl a toon with Engineering skill of at least 125 (new crafted pet)
  • lvl a toon to 120 + Enchanting skill of at least 125 (new crafted pet, recipe drops off a boss in upcoming raid, unsure if from all difficulties)
  • grind rep on a toon (or all toons?) for Proudmoore Admiralty (A), Order of Embers (A), Talanji's Expedition (H), and Storm's Wake (A) (unknown if all BFA reputations will receive new battle pet drops from paragon caches
  • save up at least 500 dubloons (2 new known vendor pets + 1 new pet toy)

All of the above can be disregarded if you have lots of gold and/or are planning on trading for some of the new battle pets. Pets related to the above are all cageable.

Did I miss anything? Please let me know!

These are the main things pet collectors can start working on now. I'll update this list if anything else pops up or comes to mind.

Friday, November 2, 2018

BlizzCon 2018 Notes For Pet Collectors

Quick notes on things announced, previewed, or hinted at during BlizzCon 2018 WoW 'What's Next' panel, plus my own speculation. Focusing on topics and stuff that pet collectors/battlers will likely be interested in.

December 11 is when we can expect Patch 8.1.5. Notable previously unannounced content for pet collectors in this patch:
  • Children's Week updates - Kul Tiras and Zandalar orphans (could this mean new/more battle pets?!)
  • Brawler's Guild returns - Unknown if the 2 existing battle pets will still be available to purchase from the Brawler's Guild vendor, and/or if there will be new additions.
NOTE: Much of Patch 8.1 has already been datamined and previewed. Lots more than just the above is coming; this is just stuff that was not yet revealed until today's panel.


After that, next major content patch will be Patch 8.2.5 (Rise of Azshara):
  • New continent to discover/explore, Nazjatar - new battle pets (baby naga!)
  • Mechagon Megadungeon - 8 bosses, Mythic only, but there was brief mention of new rewards *cough* pets...?
  • More Island Expedition maps - Very likely more pet rewards, but it's unknown how we'll obtain them.

And last but not least, where do I submit my official request for this creepy squishie-tentacle-eyeball-boi to be a collectible battle pet? :P


That's it for now. Will update if there's anything else!

New Charity Pet 2018 - Whomper!

I haven't made a blog post in a while - most of the new/news stuff lately goes onto WarcraftPets, so I felt it was a bit redundant to also write a personal blog post about it.

But today is a special day, BlizzCon 2018! And they JUST announced and released a new battle pet! Whomper!


Whomper is this year's charity pet, with 100% of the adoption fee going to Code.org (through December 31, 2018). It's a nonprofit organization that focuses on computer science in schools and increasing participation by women and minority groups.

There is also a separate Whomper plushie that you can buy! Proceeds from this toy will also be donated to the nonprofit organization listed above.

I have to admit, although he's a cutie, I'm a little disappointed. Whomper's idle animations are pretty much the same as the animations for grummles and/or pygmies. So it's not an entirely unique battle pet. Nonetheless, he is adorable (and HUGE - screenshot above is without any pet biscuits) and I will adopt him without any hesitations. :)

We'll have to wait and see how much this pet (and plushie) raise for charity. For a full list of previous charity pets (and toys), here's an updated list from last year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Island Expedition Pets: A Discussion & Suggestions

Edit: Coincidently, developer Jeremy Feasel Tweeted this tonight, almost right as I finished up this post! Apparently drop rates might have been adjusted, although it's not clear what reward exactly has been increased. Doubloons? Azerite Power? Pets/mounts?



I still stand by what I've written below, but it's good to see developers acknowledging some adjustments will/could be made to make Island Expeditions a more enjoyable experience. Still, I hope Blizzard takes into consideration what I've discussed.

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


There are a total of 28 battle pets (one of which, Inky, is pictured above) that randomly drop at the end of an Island Expedition. Six of these are not cageable. At least one of these that we know of comes in multiple colors (permanently stays a color when adding it to the journal, NOT a color-changer), and players can receive duplicates.

To put it bluntly, many pet collectors attempting to collect these pets are finding it extremely underwhelming and un-fun.

It's currently unclear what factors affect whether or not players have a CHANCE to be rewarded a pet at the end of an Island Expedition. Yes, a chance, not even a guarantee, as players have met certain criteria multiple times (such as win or play on a specific difficulty), yet cannot produce consistent results. This makes it frustrating because it feels as if there is zero progress being made toward the end goal: collect all Island Expedition pets.

It would help collectors feel much more inclined to continue the search for these pets if there were known factors to help guide them.

  • Does Island difficulty matter? If so, how?
  • Does winning vs losing mean higher chance for a pet?
  • Do players need to defeat specific mobs during the scenario?
  • Do players have to beat the other team by a certain margin or in a time limit?
  • etc.

Any other information would be helpful and appreciated so collectors know they're not doing the "wrong" thing and are on the right path. No one likes to feel like they're wasting their time, and the feeling of realizing you could have been doing X instead of the incorrect Y is devastating.

This combined with how awkward Island Expeditions can sometimes be, especially if in a PuG (it's a miracle if all members actually stick together and work as a team, instead of wandering off to do their own thing), makes these scenarios fairly tedious and not fun. Many collectors view it as a grind for the sake of a grind, with only the tiniest hope of a pet at the end.

Giving collectors some information would absolutely give them a better idea of 'the how and what' rather than giving the generic advice to, "just run more and hope RNG is on your side." Knowing and understanding the factors would make it feel less hopeless and lacking in progress, which would make it a bit more enjoyable.


Some Suggestions
In addition to letting collectors know 'the how and what' as noted above, I wholeheartedly would love to see these Island Expedition pets available for purchase with doubloons some time in the future. We don't have to call it a "catch-up mechanic", but ok, who are we kidding. It would be a catch-up mechanic.

At the moment, I'm finding very little use for doubloons. I only very rarely buy the consumables that slightly boost my performance during an Expedition. There's just nothing really compelling me to do so. So in the end, the currency is starting to stack up and yet I don't have any real meaningful and fun way to spend them.

It would be mercy upon all collectors if the Island Expedition pets could be bought with all of this new currency that we're accumulating. Especially toward the end of the expansion. Most of the time all we get is Azerite Power as a reward for completing an Island Expedition, but when Azerite Power doesn't matter as much anymore and would therefore be a less than mediocre reward, what's a more appropriate reward than to offer up pets to purchase in exchange for all of your hard-earned doubloons?

Collectors would still need to grind these scenarios to collect doubloons; it's still random whether or not players receive any currency at all. There's no suggestion for a "freebie" here.

Offering the option to buy the Island Expedition pets with doubloons would also give collectors a concrete objective. A tangible objective more often than not provides more motivation to grind out activities because players can actively see their progression. It would feel more productive, fun, and a better experience overall.

Another suggestion that I've seen float around is to increase the drop rate of the pets, period. My only problem with this is that it doesn't necessarily address the problem with the piling up of doubloons and nothing fun to use them on.

Not to mention duplicate pets can drop, and some would probably prefer having more control over which pets they receive in order to round-out their collections. Missing the X-colored pet? Ok, well I'll focus on collecting enough currency to buy it off the vendor and try my luck there.

Edit: Another suggestion, "bad luck protection" for Island Expeditions. After X number of runs (could even be a range, such as 10 - 20 runs, so as to keep it RNG-esque) you're more likely to get a pet reward than not. Something like this could work too, although the RNG aspect of it could still prove frustrating.


In Closing
Island Expeditions are a neat concept, and in theory are quite fun. I could see this being taken to the competitive stage. However, many collectors do not care to be the #1 Island Expedition-runner in all of NA or whatever. As the actual achievement suggests, "I'm [only] Here for the Pets". :P

Some additional information would go a long way to helping collectors feel more willing to run these scenarios endlessly. Many are not against a grind, but if progress is invisible it makes it more difficult to continue.

Many collectors would appreciate some consideration toward the Island Expedition pet rewards. Allow us to purchase them with doubloons - this will not take away from participation, as we'll still need to grind Expeditions for an RNG chance at currency. It will provide a specific goal for collectors, tangible progress, while also making use of the already existing currency.

I hope Blizzard takes all of this into consideration and gives it some thought. Some compromise would be appreciated - I want to enjoy this new feature, and hopefully I've outlined how it can be improved. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Battle For Azeroth - Unlocking Vendors and Vendor Pets

To my surprise, many of the vendor pets in BFA cannot be obtained in a straightforward manner. A lot have prerequisites, such as a certain quest or achievement completed, or rare elite killed, etc. If you don't meet the requirements, the pets will not appear on the vendor, or the vendor will not be available.

After completing a prerequisite, you should receive some sort of in-game mail from the vendor that now has the pet for sale (not always the case, I've yet to receive any mail - this could be a bug).

I've put together a list of details from Wowhead comments, WarcraftPets and the Bnet Pet Battle forum on how to unlock certain vendors and pets on those vendors.

I'm almost positive that there are more vendor pets that have prerequisites, but I haven't been able to find info on them yet. If you know of any additional ones please let me know!

Unlocking Vendors:

Nigel Rifthold ([A] vendor sells 5 pets)
Note: You do not have to do the quest chain to "save" Nigel before completing the process below.
  • Head to Anyport (western coast of Drustvar)
  • Buy 10 Tirasreli Gourmet Chocolate from Xun Xun Sweetflower
  • Travel to 52,31 in Drustvar (west of Fallhaven, just above the "F" in the name)
  • Climb up a hill and enter a tree house
  • Loot the chest that's inside if you haven't already
  • Click on the chest a second time (consumes the chocolates), Nigel will appear and be a vendor.

Shoak ([H] & [A] vendor sells 4 pets)

  • Alliance - Head to 55,36 and find Kajosh. Complete the quest chain. Shoak will appear in the Horde camp, Gloom Hallow (Alliance can interact with him, but you'll agro the camp).

Jenoh ([H] vendor sells 5 pets)


Unlocking Specific Vendor Pets:

Ranishu Runt - sold by Jenoh (H)


Accursed Hexxer - sold by Shoak (H) OR Blind Wunja (A & H)


Swamp Toad - sold by Shoak (H?)


Lil' Tika - sold by Happy Holaua (H)


Lil' Benfon - sold by Happy Holaua (H)


Child of Jani - sold by Happy Holaua (H)


Mechanical Prairie Dog - sold by Dana Pull (A)


Greatwing Macaw - sold by Dana Pull (A)


Smoochums - sold by Nigel Rifthold (A)


Frenzied Cottontail - sold by Nigel Rifthold (A)


Drustvar Piglet - sold by Nigel Rifthold (A)
  • Complete the quests at Carver's Harbor, Drustvar, ending with Cured Ham

Monday, August 6, 2018

Battle For Azeroth: Reputation Battle Pets

There are 8 battle pets in BFA that require reputation with a specific faction. Some are Neutral and can be earned by any character, while others are faction-specific. Thankfully all of these pets are cageable, so if you don't have one toon for both Alliance and Horde, you might be able to trade/buy the opposing sides' pets.

NEUTRAL
Azerite Puddle
  • Requires Revered with Champions of Azeroth
  • Sold by Magni Bronzebeard in Silithus for 200 Polished Pet Charms
  • Cageable
  • Earn reputation by completing World Quests in Silithus (unlocks at lvl 120)

Azeriti
  • Requires Revered with Champions of Azeroth
  • Sold by Magni Bronzebeard in Silithus for 100 Polished Pet Charms
  • Cageable
  • Earn reputation by completing World Quests in Silithus (unlocks at lvl 120)

Cou'pa
  • Requires Revered with Tortollan Seekers
  • Sold by Collector Kojo in Stormsong Valley and Zuldazar for 200 Polished Pet Charms
  • Cageable
  • Earn reputation by completing quests and World Quests in Kul Tiras and Zandalar


ALLIANCE
Corlain Falcon
  • Requires Revered with Order of Embers
  • Sold by Quartermaster Alcorn in Drustvar for 200 Polished Pet Charms
  • Cageable
  • Earn reputation by completing quests and World Quests in Drustvar

Lil' Siege Tower
  • Requires Revered with 7th Legion
  • Sold by Vindicator Jaelaana in Boralus for 200 Polished Pet Charms
  • Cageable
  • Earn reputation by completing the Alliance War Campaign, doing World Quests in Zandalar (unlocked at level 120), follower missions, and quests

Seabreeze Bumblebee
  • Requires Revered with Storm's Wake
  • Sold by Sister Lilyana in Stormsong Valley for 250 Polished Pet Charms
  • Cageable
  • Earn reputation by quests and World Quests in Stormsong Valley


HORDE
Lil' War Machine
  • Requires Revered with The Honorbound
  • Sold by Ransa Greyfeather in Zuldazar for 200 Polished Pet Charms
  • Cageable
  • Earn reputation by completing the Horde War Campaign, doing World Quests in Kul Tiras (unlocked at level 120), follower missions, and quests

Tragg the Curious
  • Requires Revered with Talanji's Expedition
  • Sold by Provisioner Lija in Nazmir for 75 Polished Pet Charms
  • Cageable
  • Earn reputation by completing quests and World Quests in Nazmir

Friday, July 27, 2018

Battle For Azeroth: Wild Battle Pet Colors

BFA adds 27 new wild pets to 6 new Horde and Alliance zones. Many of these pets come in more than one color, so if you're a color-collector (like myself) get ready for some hunting!

Here are examples of the different skins (previews from BFA Beta - things could change prior to release). Warning, image heavy!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

PVP Battle Pet Rewards: Suggestions From A Collector

Let's talk about the new PVP battle pet rewards, shall we? Yes, we're opening that can of worms.

2 sets of Honor rewards already exist: the Dutiful companions and Wyrmtongue pets (both with faction-specific pets). These are awarded upon earning Honor Level 5 and Honor Level 20 respectively.

BFA adds a new set of faction pets to earn from PVP'ing, two crabs, Sir Snips and Bucketshell. You need to reach Honor Level 400 for these new pets.

If the jump from 20 to 400 seems like a massively gigantic one, it's because it is. Even objectively, the number 400 is such a huge leap from 20 (a 380 difference), nevermind how much Honor is involved in that.

Speaking of which, let's explore how much. A player from the Bnet Pet Battle forums did the math, and let's just say it's pretty discouraging from a non-PVP'ers point of view. (note: calculations aren't taking into consideration Honor is account-wide and alts can boost daily earnings)


4.3 years of PVP WQs for one character. I honestly don't even know if World Quests will still be a feature that far down the line.

To be frank, I think it's unreasonable. Disclaimer: I'm biased, and I'm viewing this from a pet collector's and non-PVP'ers point of view.

I'm not saying that battle pet rewards shouldn't be in PVP (or any other non-Pet Battle activity), but that huge gap between the existing PVP rewards and the new ones is inconsistent and excessive. Even the mounts rewarded from the new Honor system don't have such a large jump from goalpost to goalpost. You receive a mount from Honor 15, 40, 70, 125, 150, 250, and 500.

Am I suggesting Blizzard add more battle pets in between to make it similar to the mounts? NO. PLEASE. NO. I'm simply pointing out the ridiculousness of the requirement jump for the battle pets. (The whole "pets = mounts" (which I don't necessarily believe) is an entirely different discussion.)

Why does it matter if it's unreasonable and discouraging? It's pushing away potential participants. Players who feel it's impossible to attain a goal will not take part and/or simply quit. This isn't a threat. It's human nature. It's much easier to press on and continue when the desired outcome feels obtainable.

Collectors want to complete their collection as much as possible. If that's no longer possible due to a reward that's readily in the game, it's incredibly disheartening and makes it that much easier to never get started and/or stop.

     

Suggestions
Here are a couple of suggestions on how to adjust the PVP rewards in the future. I'd prefer compromises instead of 'all or nothing'. I'm sure there are other ideas that address collectors' concerns as well.

Rotate the rewards after the next PVP season ends. Or even after BFA ends. Place the crab pets at a lower tier in the future.

This was already done with the Dutiful and Wyrmtongue pets at the launch of Patch 8.0 (they were awarded in a different order prior to the pre-patch), which made the later pets more accessible to those that were unable to obtain them previously. It was a very welcome change that did not take anything away from the system. My hope is that Sir Snips and Bucketshell will also be rotated to a (much) lower and more reasonable reward tier. Perhaps Honor 75 or Honor 100.

Actual PVP'ers will get the prestige of owning the newest items first, but others will also get a chance to collect them, even if they have to wait for a while. It won't seem like an impossible feat for non-PVP'ers, and it will give others that aren't hardcore in X-activity a chance too. It won't be as discouraging, and would encourage continual, active participation. Because let's face it, who wants to keep chasing after a carrot if they can't even see the carrot anymore?

Another suggestion is to place "old" PVP season rewards on a vendor, purchasable for Marks of Honor. Nothing is removed, and this would also make room for newer rewards (which I'm sure PVP'ers would appreciate). Give non-PVP'ers a way to earn Marks consistently, and it won't feel like an impossible task.

And yes, players will still need to grind and participate to be eligible for rewards. These suggestions aren't meant to be seen as an "easy win" for anyone. Many collectors are willing to put effort into non-Pet Battle activities, but within reason.

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

TLDR; Pet collectors feel the gap between Honor 20 and Honor 400 for the pets is excessive and unreasonable.

Suggestions on future changes that will not take away rewards, but make seemingly impossible feats more doable:

1. Rotate the rewards so that the crab pets appear at a lower tier in future PVP seasons (or at the end of the expansion).

or

2. Once the PVP season ends, take existing rewards and place them on a vendor for Marks of Honor. Add a way for non-PVP'ers to earn Marks. Add new rewards to earn for active PVP'ers.

And I think this goes without saying, but Please. Stop. Adding Battle Pets. As PVP. Rewards. There are other (better) rewards for PVP'ers to show off... that's for another discussion though. :P

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Patch 8.0 - Miscellaneous Notes & Known Issues

Patch 8.0 this week! Pet Battle patch notes can be found here.

Miscellaneous changes/updates and known issues:

- Recruit-A-Friend system was updated. Adjusted requirements and a more streamlined process. Updated guide on RAF'ing yourself for the pets.

- Vendor that sells the PVP pet rewards was not updated for Patch 8.0. After earning the Dutiful and Wyrmtongue companions on one faction, you should be able to purchase the other faction's pet. However, the vendor still lists previous-patch Prestige requirements instead of the new Honor Level achievements. Hopefully Blizzard sorts that out soon.
Update: Appears to be fixed. Eligible players should be able to purchase the pets from Captain Roberts (A) and Sarah the Savage (H).

- 'Polymorphed wild pets' trick possibly nerfed in 8.0. These wild pets show up as the polymorphed version in the Pet Journal, but appear as the normal (actual) pet when summoned.
Update: Does not seem to work anymore, even on freshly polymorphed wild pets post-patch.

- Brutus, Rooter, and Thundering Serpent Hatchling not showing up properly even if collected when re-importing collection to WarcraftPets (resulting in an incorrect total number of unique pets collected).
Update: It looks like this issue is being resolved for a few. Some may still see an incorrect total pets collected. Hopefully a full fix will come in a day or two.

- Those that completed the Uuna storyline will notice that she's missing her flower crown, wand, and teddy bear when summoned. She still has her flower crown when viewed in the Pet Journal, but that's it.
Update: Known issue, developers are investigating.

- The original "shiny" Mountain Cottontail turned into a color-changer in 8.0 instead of using the golden bunny skin. It doesn't seem to use the gold skin in its rotation, despite it appearing with it in the Pet Journal. The new silver-shiny Mountain Cottontail remains unchanged.

- Some players are experiencing bugs while in-game and attempting to Pet Battle. Issues range from, but are not limited to, not being able to swap pets in and out of the active team, "locked" Pet Battles despite only one WoW account on the Bnet account, to unable to initiate a pet encounter.
Update: Outdated Pet Battle addons are likely the cause. Either disable or update your addons and try to Pet Battle again.

That's it for now. Will add to this list if anything else pops up.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pre-Expansion 8.0 Pet Charm Changes

The pre-expansion 8.0 patch is on the PTR, another reminder that BFA is fast approaching!

Normally, nothing would be that notable for pet collectors and battlers, but this time around there is a significant change that's happening that we'll want to keep in mind.

In 8.0 the Pet Battle currency, Pet Charms, will be receiving an update. They will be renamed to Shiny Pet Charms.

On top of that most of the Pet Battle vendors will NO LONGER ACCEPT this existing currency in exchange for their wares in the pre-expansion patch. Instead, items from these vendors will require the upcoming, new currency, Polished Pet Charms. However, these can only be earned in BFA from a couple of quests but mainly from Pet Battle World Quests in the new zones.

What does this mean for us? Spend your existing Pet Charms *BEFORE* Patch 8.0. According to Wowhead, the earliest we might see the pre-expansion patch is July 3, but in general, the pre-patch is speculated to come early July. If you want to make the most of your existing Pet Charms or need battlestones to upgrade quality or pet levels, spend those charms before next month!

It should be noted, though, that we will not be losing any of our Charms at any point. The Pet Battle vendors are simply switching over to use new currency. We will still be able to use existing Pet Charms at vendors that sell existing pets and toys. Any new pets/toys from BFA vendors will require the new currency, Polished Pet Charms.

To summarize the important changes:
- Spend Pet Charms before July 3rd! *update* July 17 is the newest estimated date for 8.0
- Pet Charms renamed to Shiny Pet Charms in 8.0
- No Charms lost during pre-expansion patch or in expansion
- New currency coming in BFA, Polished Pet Charms
- Vendors selling battlestones, pet bandages, pet consumables, etc. will require new currency in 8.0
- Ultimate Battle-Training Stone increased in price as well as requiring new currency
- Existing Charms can still be used to purchase existing vendor pets and toys
- Polished Pet Charms earned from BFA quests and Pet Battle WQs
- Polished Pet Charms required to buy pet consumables as well as BFA vendor pets
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