Friday, April 26, 2013

5.3 PTR: Murkimus Tyrannicus and Spectate Mode

The 5.3 PTR was recently updated and I decided to check out some of the new-ish features. I haven't been able to track down how to spawn the Unborn Val'kyr yet, but there were a couple other things that are worth noting.

Murkimus Tyrannicus
First off Murkimus Tyrannicus was added the the Pet Journal. It seems that it will be this year's Arena Pass reward. What it's a reward for, we don't know yet. But there's speculation that it will be for either simply participating (same as the requirements for the original Murkimus), or for being in the top 1000 arena teams. At the moment it's not clear, but if it's the former, it may replace the original Murkimus. If it's the latter, and players will be required to make it into the top 1000 teams there's a chance that there will be two pets to obtain from the Arena Pass this year.

Needless to say if eligibility for Tyrannicus is dependent on getting top 1000, I will be very disappointed. I cannot express how much I dislike PVP. So to be put in a situation where not only do I have to participate, but must also win enough to place me at a certain rank? It's quite possibly the worst case for me.

But anyway. Tyrannicus is not cageable and is basically a recoloring of the original Murkimus. His abilities are slightly different, though, and he has three attacks that the other does not have.
Punch, Impale, Shield Block
Body Slam, Counterstrike, Clobber
It will be interesting to see how this Murkimus holds up against the original.

Spectate Mode
Secondly, I tested out the new spectate mode for Pet Battles. It's... interesting. I could see it coming in handy in guild competitions and the like, but for those that don't want to be seen, spectate mode could be pretty invasive.

Here are some details on spectate mode:
- You can see both pet teams, alive and dead pets.
- Every attack or move that a pet makes is also visible.
- You cannot target the pets involved in the battle.
- You cannot attacks the pets involved in the battle (AOE has no affect).
- You can see any capture attempts (successful or not).
So how will spectate mode affects stealth/shadowmeld battling in the wild? For those that don't want to be seen, this new feature will virtually force you out into the open without breaking your stealth/shadowmeld.

If you engage in a pet battle while stealthed or shadowmelded, you will remain hidden. However, a NPC avatar (random race and class) will be spawned in your place (see female Pandaren in the first screenshot). This representation of you is not targetable or attackable. If someone gets close enough to you to detect your presence, the avatar will disappear. If they back up and you return to an invisible state, a new randomly generated NPC will spawn in your spot.

Part of me wishes this feature were optional, and you could toggle it on and off. I like the idea of being able to determine definite winners in guild pet battle competitions, but I'd rather not be watched or visible while pet battling. As it is right now, if I'm not stealthed or shadowmelded, I'm already asking to be ganked as I'm just standing in the middle of nowhere doing nothing. At least if I shadowmeld, I remove part of that threat, although not all. It's still easy for someone to walk near and find me.

With spectate mode being mandatory and not optional, it would place my entire pet team out in the open for all to see. That is just asking for someone of the opposite faction to come over and interrupt my match. Let's face it, some find it entertaining to be disruptive, and/or see it as a free kill. Spectate mode is like advertisement for everyone and all to come over and either watch or harass the participants. Being hidden won't do squat as everything else can still be seen. It's like marking the area in which your battling with a giant "PLEASE ATTACK ME" sign.

It removes options and control over your own minigame, and it just seems to promote a frustrating situation that no pet battler wants to be caught in. Finally find a hard-to-find rare quality pet? Sorry, but because you've progressed through the match, killed the first pet and someone decided to kill you after that, your rare pet will not respawn.

I'd much rather the option to turn this feature on and off, but since this doesn't affect most battlers (not everyone can stealth or shadowmeld or has toons that they can use to remain hidden) perhaps I'm in the minority with this mentality, though.


  1. I agree totally that making Murkimus Tyrannicus available only to the top 1000 PVP would be lame. But Quintessence, how did you earn the Master Sergeant title we see in that picture if you hate PVP so much?

    1. @Anonymous: Master Sergeant was from vanilla WoW when world PVP was a lot more abundant and you pretty much couldn't avoid it. It's fairly low rank (4 out of 14), so getting it came easily, even if you weren't trying.


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