Sunday, June 29, 2014

Safari Hat Gets Fancy

Tired of needing to equip and unequip your Safari Hat when switching between the task of leveling pets and doing other things in-game? A solution is currently in the works for WoD!

Currently the Safari Hat is flagged as a toy on the beta, and it cannot be worn (placed in your helm slot). However, it can be added to the Toy Box and players can still "equip" the hat to receive the pet experience buff. Graphically, it still looks as though you're wearing the hat even though it's not actually replacing your helm slot.

Not only will this free up an inventory slot, it also means players can keep on their main head piece and still utilize the Safari Hat at the same time. You can even drag the Safari Hat icon onto your action bars and keybind it for fast/quick access.

Some additional notes:
- Logging in and out and loading a new zone does not remove the Safari Hat and buff.

- Toggling the "Show Helm" option in the Interface options has no effect on the Safari Hat. This is likely because you're not actually wearing the hat anymore. This might be a slight annoyance for those that don't want to view any helm of any kind.

- I have yet to test if the bonus pet experience is still applied in the same way, but I don't see why it wouldn't be unless there's a bug.

- The Safari Hat can't be toggled on/off without manually clicking off the buff. At the moment selecting the hat icon (either in the Toy Box or on your action bar) just re-applies the hat to your character. If an on/off feature is added this new setup for the Safari Hat will be as close to ideal as a pet battler could hope for! :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Onwards To WoD Beta!

Alpha's turned into beta, and now we can copy over our entire pet collections from live servers to the test servers. YAY! Pet Battletaur is also selling Elekk Plushies, so get them while they're full of fluff and cuddly. :)

Last but not least (for now), I'll just leave this here...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

WoD Alpha: Reinstallation Sucks and Some New Stuff

New alpha build but it looks like I need to reinstall the entire thing so I haven't been able to check out the Pet Journal for updates. Damn you error #0! Tried clearing Cache and WTF, but that just led to being unable to even authenticate the alpha. Ran out of ideas and patience so bleh, reinstalling. If this doesn't fix it, I might need to just wait until the next patch to load into the game.

Anyway, Wowhead has some nifty additions from this latest patch. New pets and the Elekk Plushie achievements that were previewed last week.
- Spectral Bell which summons a Ghastly Kid

- New pets that are possibly wild: Gnawtooth Rat, Leatherhide Runt, Mud Jumper

- Wowhead is showing the sproutling pets with the same model as those little vicious flower creatures (Sassy Sproutling below), each one using a different color scheme

- The two Elekk Plushie achievements: An Awfully Big Adventure and Overstuffed
Once I'm able to load into the alpha, I'll update this post with any additional details I find in the Pet Journal.

Update: The sproutling pets were added to the pet journal but are only listed as a drop from Draenor for now. They do indeed use the SAVAGE flower creature model (yay!) And only the Leatherhide Runt and Mud Jumper are in the journal as wild pets. Not sure where the Gnawtooth Rat comes in (if at all). No other updates to the journal that I can see.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

WoD Alpha: More Pets!

The alpha is down for the weekend (so devs can address a bug or two), but I managed to hop on for a few moments before it went down.

Wowhead datamined 7 new pets and the item that teaches the Weebomination pet was finally added.
Autumnal Sproutling - Bind on Use

Forest Sproutling - Bind on Use

Kelp Sproutling - Bind on Use

Nightshade Sproutling - Bind on Use

Sassy Sproutling - Bind on Use

Sun Sproutling - Bind on Use

Zomstrok - Bind on Pick Up

Only the Zomstrok pet was added to the pet journal and it resembles a Bogstrok. The flavor text is especially interesting, "Zomstrok is evil incarnate, the unholy mistake of someone maddened by isolation, a creation that could not be undone." Although it's a humanoid lobster-esque type of creature, this pet is currently Undead with multiple undead abilities. Work in progress? Or will this be an interesting pet from an interesting drop? We'll see.

I can't wait to see what the sproutling pets will look like, so hopefully they will get added to the pet journal soonish. :D

Friday, June 20, 2014

More WoD Previews From LeCraft

LeCraft Tweeted another teaser of what's to come in WoD.

"If you see this on PTR, don't worry... we'll be adding way more trainers to it."

It would appear that the developers have decided to implement the Elekk Plushie (perhaps as is) and award players who can defeat difficult trainer battles with this pet on the active team with an achievement. This was a pretty popular request by players once news of the plushie pet and its inability to be efficient or useful in battles started to spread. I guess developers liked the idea and decided to run with it!

Personally, I have mixed feelings. I'm up for the challenge but I still can't help but feel bad for a helpless stuffed animal/pet. As a child my toys were never the ones that got beat up, they always won the battles damnit. Even against each other, I made sure they all had a fighting chance... unless I didn't particularly like/enjoy the toy. I adore all my in-game pets, so I just feel guilty and somewhat sad knowing that I'm sending a less than optimal battler into a fight.

Anyway, hopefully the achievement will be interesting to complete and not too much of a pain.

Another tidbit LeCraft mentioned on Twitter is a nod to a fellow pet lover, Eleanor Wroblewski (aka: @undeadgoat on Twitter). This ghostly goat is appropriately named Eleanor and will be a "boss" pet that players can battle against. :D

There are quite a few nods to pet collectors/battlers and ideas from the community that are already popping up in WoD, and it's always nice to see more! Wowhead has a huge list of other community references -- just search for the word "pet" and you'll find many other awesome ideas that originated from pet lovers. :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

This Past Week In Pet Stuff

I recently received some bad news about a guildmate passing away, so these past couple of days have been tough. However, some interesting pet tid-bits have popped up that are worth mentioning.
- Someone found an adorable critter in the WoD alpha, a Vent Scuttler. It looks like it uses the same model as Fankriss the Unyielding, a boss in AQ40, just sized down. Hopefully this little guy will be turned into a wild pet that we can capture in Draenor -- I think it qualifies as a pretty SAVAGE looking bug. :P

- The Disgusting Oozeling proves yet again that while its debuff aura might not be desirable, the aesthetic effects are. Try taking out your oozeling while mounted on Reins of the Heavenly Golden Cloud Serpent, and it will look a lot like Yu'lon. Other mounts look pretty neat too so experiment pairing the oozeling with others.

- For those that have yet to get lucky doing the fishing dailies, El of El's Extreme Anglin' Tweeted that the Strand Crawler will be available in WoD from your garrison.
"WoD: Strand Crawler is a possible reward from the Garrison Fishing Shack daily."
- Changes were made to how players can collect Bloody Coins, making gathering enough currency to purchase the Vengeful Porcupette somewhat easier. The Censer of Eternal Agony was actually nerfed, but the Fire-Watcher's Oath was buffed and is much easier to obtain. We'll see how this affects the supply of porcupettes in the Auction House in the future when the Timeless Isle is all but abandoned.

- Last but not least, a small tribute to my guildmate. Your spirit will forever live on, my druid-tree-bear-kitty friend. You'll be missed dearly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Accuracy Changes and WTB Killer Stuffed Animal

Another patch was released for the alpha and there were tons of accuracy changes for many pet attacks/abilities and a new pet was added.

Hit More, Miss Less
The accuracy changes come after a recent discussion on Twitter about hit chances versus damage ranges. Based on the feedback LeCraft received (which was overwhelmingly for higher accuracy/less RNG for hit) he Tweeted that the updates were implemented in the latest alpha build.

Wowhead has a full list of all the abilities that were changed, as does MMO-Champion (in a different format). I think nearly ALL abilities listed saw their hit chances go from less than 100% to 100%, which is wonderful considering even a 90% chance to hit will cause frustration due to unfortunate misses.

Because of the increase in accuracy to these abilities, the damage ranges were also altered (lowered) slightly. Judging by all of the responses to LeCraft's initial Tweet, though, I don't think many battlers will mind the damage changes (if exchanged for a better chance to land the hit).

We'll see if all of this sticks after more testing. So far the response to the accuracy changes have been well received. You could say it's a "hit" :P

Now if only something could be done about the "hit chance" of your capture crate when battling wild pets.

New Tailoring Pet
A new pet was added to the Pet Journal, an Elekk Plushie. Since the Pet Journal is still incomplete on the alpha, LeCraft gave us a preview of what it would look like.

Tailors will be able to craft it, but the item is BoP. Currently the pet can be caged, though, so yay for us non-tailors! No recipe has been implemented for it yet.

Initially, this pet sounds pretty adorable, yea? It's a plushie of a baby elekk, how could it not be fluffy and cute? LeCraft mentioned some additional details on this pet that makes the cute-factor a bit sad, though.
"Well, it's a *regular* stuffed animal. Which means it just sits there and stares at you when you summon it." - Tweet

"And when you take it into pet battles... well they are all imaginary abilities. It just takes a beating." - Tweet
After learning this, it seems like it would be a little heartbreaking to send the Elekk Plushie into battle. I wouldn't want any of my pets to go into battle if they didn't stand a fighting chance at all. :( Except maybe if it was a pet rock. I would assume that a pet rock would be really difficult to "kill" (defeat) since it's... a rock and can withstand even the largest of hits. The only attack it would truly be susceptible to is perhaps some sort of crush that smashes it to pieces.

Anyway, it was revealed that because this pet would be the first of its kind (not a real battler, but can still battle), it's still undecided if this pet will actually be implemented.
"Yeah, we were worried people may not think it was funny. It may not make it."
Personally, I'm torn between being excited for a new profession crafted pet and sad that an adorable stuffed animal will get beat up in a pet battle. One person suggested that perhaps the Elekk Plushie should join the ranks of the other no-battling pets, like the squires, balloons, and kites. I wouldn't object to that, but at the same time I wouldn't mind seeing a fierce little stuffy kicking butt in a match. Maybe tailors should join forces with engineers and sew on some rockets/additional weaponry to the plushie pet. :P

Pet Battletaur
Last but not least, as mentioned in LeCraft's Tweet on the latest alpha patch, a new NPC was placed near the pet batttle trainers in Orgrimmar and Stormwind. Pet Battletaur is a new vendor that provides players with batttlestones that increase pet level to 25 and raise quality to rare. This is likely only for alpha, and is meant to aid players test new pets/changes. The Mythical Battle-Pet Stone is BoP and not consumed when used. Very convenient for testing!

I doubt that this particular leveling stone will make it onto live servers, but we'll see. Maybe it will be an extremely rare find/drop. There are other versions of leveling battlestones that raise your pet's level by one only, which seems more reasonable for release.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

First Wave of WoD Alpha Invites Out!

The Warlords of Draenor public alpha is now open! Yaaay!

Disclaimer: Be wary of phishing attempts on your account, and use discretion when opening any emails. Best way to check if you received an invite to the alpha is to log into and check your account management page. On the right hand side (under the giant green "Add a Game Key" button) there's a link for Download Clients. Under World of Warcraft you should see a download link for "Beta Game Installer". Download, run that and your launcher will be updated with an option to install and play the alpha.

Anyway, new stuff! It's not much but it's a nice start. Many of the previously datamined pets were added to the Pet Journal, with one new addition, the Albino Chimaeraling. Previews of the new pets aren't implemented in the journal yet; maybe we'll see them in the next update. Details of where each pet will be from were added, though. Keep in mind that they're still works in progress, and everything's subject to change.
Grovestrider Hatchling - Drop from Draenor

Lifelike Mechanical Frostboar - Engineering crafted

Iron Starlette - Engineering crafted

Mechanical Scorpid - Engineering crafted

Mechanical Toucan - Engineering crafted

Carrotus Maximus - World drop from Valley of the Four Winds (this is likely inaccurate and will probably be updated)

Lil' Leftovers - Cooking crafted

Weebomination - Unknown drop

Albino Chimaeraling - Looted from an egg from Shadowmoon Valley (Draenor)

Royal Peacock - Achievement reward (Draenor Pet Master)

All pets listed above are currently cageable but that will probably change.

Wowhead lists a few other new pets but I suspect that they are either NPCS or they won't be obtainable. Examples include an undead pet named Eleanor and what appears to be a clone of the Treasure Goblin, named Puzzle. Evil Widowling could be a new pet that wasn't included in the Pet Journal this time around but we'll see!

A notable new addition is Hogs which Wowhead currently lists as the in-game gift for WoW's 10th Anniversary. If it is it will probably be a small version of the infamous NPC Hogger. I'm thrilled to see this and I hope it's true! Any pet to help celebrate the upcoming anniversary is very much appreciated. :)

Other than the new pets, there aren't a lot of Pet Battle updates in this alpha build. There's a small UI change when you target a wild pet and then right click its portrait.

It's not a huge change and there aren't any new options in the drop down menu. We'll see if there's more to this change later down the road.

That's it for now - I'm sure I've missed something haha. I'm really excited to be on the alpha and I can't wait to discover and test more pet stuff soon!

Guardian Cub Retired From Blizzard Store Soon

Blizzard just announced that the Guardian Cub will soon be retired from the Blizzard Pet Store.
"In approximately two weeks (no sooner than June 18), the titanically cute Guardian Cub will vanish from the Shop and head into hibernation in the Blizzard Archive."

If you have yet to buy one, maybe now is the time. The Guardian Cub isn't going anywhere in-game. If you own one, you own it for good. And there will always be others selling/trading the cub in the future. Prices may go up as time passes, though. Something to consider.

This is the first pet to be directly pulled from the shelves, and I can't help but scratch my head and ask "why?"

The Guardian Cub is unique compared to its Pet Store brethren. Unlike the others, it can be purchased and after a cooldown period (24 hours) the cub can be traded to other players. It was essentially a Blizzard-sanctioned method of buying gold. Pay for the pet with real money then sell the pet in-game for in-game currency.

The implementation of this pet seemed like an experiment of sorts. Let's see what happens when we do this! Initially the response the pet received was polarized. Some thought it was a good idea and might actually help curb the illegal sale of gold from third party sources. Others didn't share that sentiment and only saw it as another cash-cow (cash-cub?) that would disturb the balance of the in-game economy. Eventually I think the community came to accept the Guardian Cub as just another part of pet collecting, regardless of how it was obtained.

None of its history provides me with clues to an answer to "why?" though. I can't seem to come up with any possible ideas as to why Blizzard has decided to retire the Guardian Cub now. Did it cause more headache than it was worth? Was there an overall negative impact on the in-game economy? Did Blizzard simply run out of generated codes and decided it wasn't worth it to continue producing them? Was it not as lucrative as they had hoped/invested in?

I don't expect any real answers, which is fine. Blizzard doesn't have to explain every decision they make. It does leave things open for speculation and wild imaginations though. Maybe the code for the Guardian Cub was slowly taking tangible shape and becoming sentient? :P

But seriously, I'm a bit sad to see this pet leave the store. It's adorable and was unique in that it gave players a legal route of acquiring gold in-game for real life money. If this type of pet really was just an experiment, who knows if we'll see another tradeable pet in the Pet Store any time soon. It was the first of its kind and it could be the last.
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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.