Friday, January 23, 2015

Pet Stuff In the Official 6.1 PTR Patch Notes

The official 6.1 PTR patch notes are out. There are a few notable pet-related bits of goodness, but as with all things PTR stuff is subject to change and not everything will make it to the release of the next content patch.

But anyway, onto the updates and changes! Taken directly from the notes:

  • "For the Pet Battlers out there, there's a separate chance for an additional visitor offering unique Pet Battles with a chance to award a bag containing Pet Battle items and new Battle Pets." (Erris the Collector, Kura Thunderhoof)
- Note: If you don't have the Menagerie unlocked, you can still accept and complete the daily quest (Critters of Draenor) that Erris and Kura offer when they show up in your garrison. Unsure if this will change prior to 6.1 being released.

  • "Reduced the difficulty of quests to unlock the Menagerie, elite pet challenges, and pet battle daily quests."
- Note: The change to the quest Pets vs Pests includes the removal of the boss passive as well as HP changes for the pet NPCs (unsure of the latter as I can't find proper info on the current health of the three pets).

  • "New battle pets have been added to Black Temple, Caverns of Time: Hyjal Summit, and Sunwell Plateau along with a new achievement, Raiding with Leashes III to collect them all. Completing the achievement to collect all the new Battle Pets will award a Naaru pet." (Raiding with Leashes III)
- Nothing much to say here except WHEEEEEEE!

  • "Level 100 characters with a Tier-3 Garrison will now receive an item in the mail that increases a single Battle Pet's level to 25." (Ultimate Battle-Stone)
- Note: This is currently untrue on the PTR. Instead of being mailed a battle-stone, the Menagerie NPC still offers the Unearthed Magic quest that rewards the Ultimate Battle-Training Stone. The level 3 garrison prerequisite might still apply though.

One thing that wasn't mentioned in the PTR patch notes is that Flawless Battle-Stones have had their level penalty removed.

Using a quality stone on a level 15+ pet no longer causes said pet to lose levels. So upgrade away!

Another quality of life improvement, Pet Charms stack to 1000 on the PTR. YAY! Now I don't have to feel silly for hanging onto extra charms that take up bag space. :)

Edit: Pet Charms have also been changed to BoA, along with Battle-Training Stones. My inventory says thank you 100 times over!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

6.1 PTR: Erris the Collector's Pet Teams

Much like the Menagerie battles during WoD Beta, I'm curious about how many different encounters we'll experience each time Erris the Collector/Kura Thunderhoof visits.

Wowhead now has her pets listed in their database with the six possible abilities that each of the pets can have, so that makes it somewhat easier for me. It's just a matter of tracking down the different teams.

Here's a list of teams I've come across while on the PTR. The team she has is the same for everyone that manages to get her to visit on any given day day, but whether she shows up in the garrison is still random and varies per toon.
Enbi'see, Mal, Bones
Nicodemus, Brisby, Jenner
Spores, Dusty, Salad
Moon, Mouthy, Carl
Sprouts, Prince Charming, Runts

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Patch 6.1 PTR: A Visit From Erris the Collector

Erris the Collector decided that my garrison on the PTR was worth visiting today, and I found her near my Menagerie. It looks like her appearance is random per character, as my alts didn't see her in their garrison.

She had a daily quest called Critters of Draenor (appeared to be account-wide). Completing the daily rewarded 3 leveling stones and Traveler's Pet Supplies. You cannot challenge her to a Pet Battle again after turning in the quest. Seems to be your standard Pet Battle daily, right? Well there are some things that make this battle a little unique.

Nevermind the fact that Erris the Collector will not be in your garrison every day (I didn't see her until today), but her pets seem to have random (but not so random) abilities. Whether or not she has the same set of pets each time she visits, I don't know. Hopefully she'll come by again soon so I can find out!

Erris' pets this time around were Enbi'see (uncommon - Draenor peacock), Mal (uncommon - Draenor firefly), and Bones (rare - Bone Serpent). All level 25. Their qualities and breeds stayed the same for each match.

I challenged her team a total of 15 times (without completing the quest), and each time her pets had slightly different movesets. Although it seemed random at first, it turns out that they pull from their pool of six possible attacks.

Below is the list of each match and the pet's moveset for each encounter, followed by the list of their six possible abilities. It should also be noted that although they have multiple choices, certain abilities are "locked" into a slot. Hawk Eye never appeared as Enbi'see's third attack slot, for example, and only as her second.

1.) Quills, Hawk Eye, Reckless Strike
2.) Peck, Hawk Eye, Drain Blood
3.) Peck, Accuracy, Reckless Strike
4.) Peck, Hawk Eye, Reckless Strike
5.) Peck, Accuracy, Drain Blood
6.) Quills, Hawk Eye, Reckless Strike
7.) Quills, Accuracy, Reckless Strike
8.) Quills, Hawk Eye, Reckless Strike
9.) Peck, Hawk Eye, Drain Blood
10.) Quills, Hawk Eye, Reckless Strike
11.) Quills, Hawk Eye, Reckless Strike
12.) Quills, Accuracy, Reckless Strike
13.) Peck, Hawk Eye, Reckless Strike
14.) Quills, Accuracy, Drain Blood
15.) Quills, Accuracy, Drain Blood
Possible abilities: Quills or Peck (slot 1), Hawk Eye or Accuracy (slot 2), Reckless Strike or Drain Blood (slot 3)

1.) Alpha Strike, Puncture Wound, Nimbus
2.) Alpha Strike, Puncture Wound, Flyby
3.) Alpha Strike, Puncture Wound, Flyby
4.) Alpha Strike, Puncture Wound, Nimbus
5.) Barbed Stinger, Lift-Off, Flyby
6.) Barbed Stinger, Puncture Wound, Nimbus
7.) Barbed Stinger, Puncture Wound, Flyby
8.) Barbed Stinger, Puncture Wound, Nimbus
9.) Alpha Strike, Puncture Wound, Nimbus
10.) Alpha Strike, Lift-Off, Flyby
11.) Barbed Stinger, Puncture Wound, Nimbus
12.) Barbed Stinger, Lift-Off, Nimbus
13.) Barbed Stinger, Lift-Off, Nimbus
14.) Alpha Strike, Lift-Off, Nimbus
15.) Alpha Strike, Lift-Off, Nimbus
Possible abilities: Alpha Strike or Barbed Stinger (slot 1), Puncture Wound or Lift-Off (slot 2), Nimbus or Flyby (slot 3)

1.) Bone Barrage, Call Darkness, Nocturnal Strike
2.) Bone Barrage, Death and Decay, Nocturnal Strike
3.) Consume, Call Darkness, Nocturnal Strike
4.) Consume, Call Darkness, Lift-Off
5.) Consume, Call Darkness, Lift-Off
6.) Bone Barrage, Call Darkness, Nocturnal Strike
7.) Bone Barrage, Death and Decay, Nocturnal Strike
8.) Consume, Death and Decay, Lift-Off
9.) Bone Barrage, Call Darkness, Nocturnal Strike
10.) Consume, Call Darkness, Lift-Off
11.) Consume, Death and Decay, Nocturnal Strike
12.) Consume, Death and Decay, Lift-Off
13.) Consume, Death and Decay, Nocturnal Strike
14.) Bone Barrage, Death and Decay, Nocturnal Strike
15.) Consume, Call Darkness, Lift-Off
Possible abilities: Bone Barrage or Consume (slot 1), Call Darkness or Death and Decay (slot 2), Nocturnal Strike or Lift-Off (slot 3)

I didn't have any problem defeating Erris' team; the battle was straightforward. It could be challenging for someone with only a few max level pets and limited knowledge of the strong and weak mechanics in Pet Battles, but for a veteran Pet Battler, the fight should be a quick win.

The Traveler's Pet Supplies dropped Pocket Lint x4 and Battle Pet Bandage x3. It could be that the bag's (better) rewards are not yet implemented or just bad RNG on my part. For a daily that doesn't appear every day, I wonder if heavy RNG drops is a good idea. I could see it getting frustrating receiving nothing but bandages and vendor items from an NPC that I might need to wait days or weeks for. Especially if there are new pets that drop from this bag.

Well, we'll have to see. It might not be that bad and/or Erris might make frequent visits. Everything is subject to tweaking and change. It's the PTR afterall!

Regardless, it's nice to see some new PVE content coming in 6.1.

Lastly, whichever developer decided to name Erris' (Draenor) firefly Mal, you ROCK! :D

EDIT: Much like her appearance at your garrison, her pet team is random per visit. ‏@Mononic1 had a different set of pets to battle.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Patch 6.1 PTR: Three New Pets and Possible PVE Content

A PTR build was released today and more pet goodies are in store for us in 6.1! Three new pets were datamined:

Bone Serpent

Young Talbuk

Slithershock Elver

The Bone Serpent is a familiar face. It was originally datamined during the WoD Beta, and was listed as wild but never released. Now it would seem that is has finally made its return and we'll hopefully get to collect it in 6.1. :)

These three pets are all BoP and according to the Pet Journal, they come from the same source, Pet Battle: Erris the Collector, Kura Thunderhoof. (Of course, this might change.) Just who are Erris the Collector and Kura Thunderhoof? Where can they be found? Are they new Grand Masters for us to defeat?

No details on these NPCs just yet, but if they are new trainers this could mean new PVE content coming in the next content patch.

Speaking of PVE content, a new pet supplies bag was datamined -- Traveler's Pet Supplies. Take special note of the flavor text on the bag, "Usually contains a few pet bandages and some lint. But every once in awhile, it may yield a special pet."

Could this mean new "bag pets" are coming in 6.1? Or perhaps it will drop older pets? Or even pets that can't be obtained anymore (many would love a chance at the Vampiric Battling). We'll have to wait for more information before we can say just what a "special pet" is.

There's still no info on where this new bag will come from or what we'll have to do to get one. If it's anything like the Big Bag of Pet Supplies, it may indicate a new Pet Battle daily is on the way. But we'll see!

UPDATE: Just as I published this post ‏@Mononic1 Tweeted an image of Erris the Collector. The daily she offers rewards the Traveler's Pet Supplies.

If the source of the 3 new pets doesn't change, this means they'll probably drop from the new reward bag.

Ready, set, RACE
As many thought, it's now confirmed that the Race MiniZep will be tied to the new racing mini-game at the Darkmoon Faire. The achievement Big Rocketeer: Gold rewards the pet. I'm curious to find out how difficult/easy the race is, and whether or not completing the race "within 26 tolls" will result in me pulling out my hair or having a good time lol.

Another thing I can't help but wonder is whether or not the next content patch will be in time for February's Darkmoon Faire. If not, we'll have to wait until March for the new pet.

It would make sense if we have to wait since the only way to really test the new mini-game is to wait until the faire rolls around. If the PTR is still up at the start of February, we'll get the chance to preview the race, report bugs, etc. Once that's been sorted out, 6.1 can be released mid-month and then it's just a matter of waiting a few more weeks until the first week of March. I don't know if that's what they're aiming for, but that makes the most sense to me.

Fancy stone quest and new NPC
Thanks to a Tweet from Lio, the source of the Ultimate Battle-Training Stone has been discovered.

The quest seen above, Unearthed Magic, is from the Menagerie NPC. I'm not sure if there are any pre-requisites or if the quest is repeatable.

For me, I was able to pick up the quest from my level 3 Menagerie on the PTR (the plot was completely unlocked, and the usual bag daily was also available). I have yet to complete the quest, however, so I don't know if there's any follow up or anything after the initial battle-stone quest. Maybe it's just a one-time deal for those just starting out in Pet Battles?

Lio also found a new trainer INSIDE her garrison Town Hall, Alchemist Hanmos. He was just outside of her archaeology room.

It seems to be random whether or not he shows up, though, because I couldn't find him in my garrison on the PTR. I had a different NPC in his place. Perhaps it's random or on a daily rotation.

So who is Hanmos? Where did he come from? What is his purpose (other than getting crushed in Pet Battles :P)? How do you get him to visit your garrison? So many questions! XD

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Raiding with Leashes III: They Do Things, Yay!

I'm pretty excited for Patch 6.1 purely because of Raiding with Leashes III: Drinkin' From the Sunwell. I managed to collect all of the RWL pets on the PTR and man oh man, this set of RWL pets is my absolute FAVORITE so far. The previous two sets of pets were great, but Blizzard really outdid themselves with this newest one. It makes me wonder what they're going to do for RWL4. I can't even imagine pets being more awesome than this!

So what exactly makes the RWL3 pets so amazing? They ALL have idle animations/interactions. How freaking amazing is that? Besides looking neat, each and every one of the pets (PLUS K'ute, the reward) does something interesting. I LOVE pets that do more than just sit around while waiting for me to take them on an adventure.

Some collectors may not agree and might find their idle animations annoying, which is understandable. But the fact that Blizzard took the time to put in those extra animations deserves some recognition and a tip of the hat. They certainly didn't have to give the 13 new pets 13 different animations, yet they did. So even if you're not as enthusiastic about RWL3 as I am, it should still be noted that extra time and effort was spent on these pets. It's something I'm in awe of and grateful for. :)

Anyway, onto the awesome RWL3 pets (in no particular order). The screenshots of the idle animations/interactions really don't do them justice, by the way. They are much, much cooler in person. I can't wait to collect these pets once 6.1 is released. I'm just dreading having to clear Hyjal Summit over and over. Yikes. :P

Abyssius - Supremus, Black Temple
Abyssius will occasionally get "stunned" (first image above) and then fall apart (second image above). Don't worry, though, he'll pull himself back together and will be as good as new. Every now and then he'll get stuck in place and won't follow you, but I'm not sure if is intended or a weird glitch.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Datamined Goodies From Patch 6.1 PTR

The 6.1 PTR is upon us! Servers aren't up yet but they should be in the very near future.

Even though servers are still currently unavailable, datamining has begun and the next content patch has quite a bit of stuff for pet collectors and battlers! I'm so excited, I can't even haha :D

There are 15 new pets so far, one of which seems like a test-pet or placeholder.
Leviathan Egg - Leviathan
Grotesque Statue - Grotesque
Shard of Supremus - Abyssius
Fragment of Anger - Fragment of Anger
Fragment of Suffering - Fragment of Suffering
Fragment of Desire - Fragment of Desire
Sultry Grimoire - Sister of Temptation
Smelly Gravestone - Stinkrot
Hyjal Wisp - Hyjal Wisp
Sunblade Rune of Activation - Sunblade Micro-Defender
Void Collar - Chaos Pup
Servant's Bell - Wretched Servant
Holy Chime - K'ute
Race MiniZep Controller - Race MiniZep
My Special Pet - My Special Pet
The first 13 pets in the list have a special place in 6.1 - pets from Raiding with Leashes III: Drinkin' From the Sunwell! We're finally going to travel to Black Temple, Hyjal Summit, and the Sunwell to seek out the pets that those bosses have been hiding all this time. ;)

Much in the same way the previous RWL achievements awarded a pet for completing them, this latest one rewards K'ute after you've collected the 12 listed. Judging by the name of the item that teaches K'ute, and the name of the pet itself, I can only conclude that it's a little naaru pet. Or at least I can hope!

The last two pets, Race MiniZep and My Special Pet are still unknowns.

However, the Darkmoon Faire might be getting a new challenge, The Real Big Race. It's likely the racing feature that was previewed during the WoD beta but had to be postponed and was not released at launch. If so, could the Race MiniZep be a reward from completing the related racing achievements? Or perhaps simply a new pet to buy from the faire? Maybe it's something else entirely? Hopefully the PTR Pet Journal will shed some light on this once servers come up.

As for My Special Pet... I haven't the slightest clue. It's currently lacking an item and spell image on Wowhead and MMO-Champion so I can't even speculate at the moment heh.

Another interesting addition coming is Ultimate Battle-Training Stone. If you tested content on the WoD beta, this stone might look familiar to you. It instantly grants 25 levels to a single pet, but unlike the version from the beta, this one is rare quality (down from epic) and is consumed when used. The beta version was only for testing purposes; it's hard to tell if this new battle-stone will see the same fate - for testing only, never released on live.

Other things to note about this stone: BoP, has an item level of 100 and requires level 90 to use. Signs that this might actually be implemented? Or just details that were included for completion's sake?

Also, I have to wonder where would this highly-desirable stone will come from. Is it a one time deal, or can it be obtained repeatedly (however easy or difficult)?

So many questions! Here's hoping they're all answered in time. It's good to see more pet content coming in the future. :)

Oh, and this isn't really a pet (even though many have supported the idea) -- 6.1 might bring a personal Pepe! Completing the achievement What A Strange, Interdimensional Trip It's Been rewards the toy, Trans-Dimensional Bird Whistle. I think it's as close as we can get to a Pepe pet, so yay! :D

Friday, January 9, 2015

Cooking Up (Lil') Leftovers

The RNG gods must be generous lately; three pets dropped for me this week. Thank you RNG!

One of the pets that I finally managed to collect is Lil' Leftovers. This little guy was frustrating to get, not because I had to cook a ton of Draenor food before he finally dropped, but because of how random the drop was.

I finally received the pet while cooking Blackrock Barbecue. I had enough mats to craft 28 food, but the pet dropped on the 27th.

To be clear, when I say "28 food" I don't mean 28 stacks or 28 individual pieces of Blackrock Barbecue. As you can see in the image above I have way more than 28. The number I'm talking about is the number that you see in the crafting window when you begin cooking. 28 crafts of the food.

People report various numbers of when they received the pet, which can make the process of trying to get Lil' Leftovers more frustrating for some because their own numbers don't seem to match up. "I cooked 1,000 of X food and it dropped!" Does the person mean they cooked 1k stacks? 1k individual pieces (50 stacks)? Or 1k crafts? Depending on how the reader interprets the statement, cooking could be a huge disappointment or huge surprise for them.

It's difficult to pinpoint the actual number that Lil' Leftovers has a chance to drop because of how cooking works now. Each craft creates more than one piece of Draenor food (the higher your cooking skill, the more you create each time - 6 to 9 pieces being the max). Compound that with the different values that players report, it's hard to give an accurate estimate of when you may see the pet. So really, the best thing anyone can do is to just keep trying.

27 crafts may seem like a small amount (it truly is when you look at the bigger picture), and I feel lucky to have finally proc'ed the pet. But I actually cooked way more than 27 prior to that. I lost track towards the end. I'd say I've cooked well over 500 crafts since the beginning of WoD. Maybe closer to 1000 crafts. That means roughly 300 stacks or 6000 individual pieces of (100 stat) Draenor food. So. Much. Food. And nothing to do with it! Thankfully the AH is there and I was able to make a small profit from my efforts.

At first I was just vendoring the food because I really didn't have the space or desire to keep any of it. With Savage Feasts being so easy to acquire and feeding a large number of raid members, the food from Draenor cooking is kind of useless. Of course there are still people out there that will buy crafted food, so if you don't want to feel like you're cooking just for the pet, I'd recommend using Undermine Journal to check which 100 stat food is selling the best on your server.

That's what I ended up doing. Turns out crit, mastery, and multistrike food sell for the most out of all the 100 stat cooked foods on my server, so I focused on crafting those instead of cooking whatever I had mats for. Whenever I accumulated a hefty amount of garrison resources, I would buy 200 meat (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on how cheap or expensive it is each day) from the Trading Post. My stockpile of fish is almost un-ending since I'm still hunting Lunkers, so I was able to craft 28-30 100 stat food at a time (roughly 8-9 stacks). This method paid off in the end, not only with the pet but I earned a nice chunk of gold too!

I should mention that I have yet to hear a report that the pet dropped for anyone while they were crafting the 75 stat food. That isn't to say that Lil' Leftovers CAN'T come from Meat and Fish Dishes, there's no official word or any solid proof that it can't. But anecdotal evidence leads me to believe that the pet comes from 100 stat food and Feast of the Waters or Feast of Blood. Or perhaps it just has a higher chance to come from the Delicacies and feasts compared to the lesser Draenor recipes.

It's a long, grindy process that can sometimes feel pointless. Cooking isn't exactly useful this expansion, with Savage Feasts being relatively superior and all. You can still gain something from cooking if you take a few extra steps -- check Undermine Journal weekly (or even daily) and prioritize cooking the 100 stat food that sells for the most on your server. Sometimes what you put up on the AH won't sell, but as with cooking for the pet, persistence should pay off in the end.

As a side note, I mentioned this before but completely forgot about it. When I tried to feed my Lil' Leftovers a Magical Pet Biscuit I got a surprise, "Food cannot eat food" haha! XD

It's such a small detail but I love it and makes me so happy for some reason. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Current Collecting Progress and Thoughts on Hatespark

I haven't had a chance to sit down and write a proper blog post due to a busy RL, but I'm going to remedy my lack of posting right now. Yaaay...? Hopefully I'll find time to write more in the coming month(s)!

My collecting spree has pretty much ended now that I've obtained nearly all of the "guaranteed" pets. The only ones left on my immediate list are highly RNG-reliant and/or are still unimplemented (I'm looking at you Sea Calf). Still, I managed to add two new pets my collect recently, both of which I'm glad to have!

Syd the Squid finally dropped for me on month 3, day 3 of the Darkmoon Faire. I guess VonFeasel needed quite a bit of time to warm up to me; I'm glad I finally made a good enough impression on him. :P To be honest, I wasn't hopeful for anything this month and was fully prepared and expecting to go another month without seeing the little squidy. I'm ecstatic that I was wrong!

What I am a little disappointed about, though, is that Syd doesn't seem to have any interesting idle animations/interactions. I mean, Mindbender Ghur'sha from one of the Throne of Tides encounters has no qualms about sitting on your head, although it does mind control you in the process. But how neat would that be if Syd randomly sat on your head from time to time? Sure, there's the Tentacled Hat from fishing but it's just not the same. I don't know about everyone else, but I'd proudly wear Syd on my head. :P

The other pet that was recently added to my collection (as of today) is the Deathwatch Hatchling, WoD's Challenge Mode pet. A guild called Check Please on Ysera earned guild-gold in all WoD Challenge Modes and was kind enough to open up free invites to collectors seeking this pet. Truly a generous offer! They're closing invites soon, which is understandable. They've already given so much to many, many collectors; no hard feelings if they can't or choose not to keep up with the demand. :)

The ravager model looks neat in general, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well the Deathwatch Hatchling matched the color-scheme of my draenei DK that I created to level in Check Please. Dare I say that it was just meant to be? lol naaah :P

Aaaand Other Stuff
The WoW 10th anniversary event was extended by a week, which is a good thing... I think? This will hopefully give collectors an extra chance to get a hold of their own Hatespark the Tiny from the anniversary edition of Molten Core. More Hatesparks floating around might also drive the prices down on the AH a little (just a little though).

My experience with the anniversary raid was pretty rough, though, so my hat and heart goes out to those still running it in hopes for the pet. I hear that some runs aren't quite as bad now, and there's actually some organization between raid members. Regardless it's still a hefty time investment (a few hours, even with a solid group), with no guarantee that the pet will drop. Pretty disappointing for us collectors, if you ask me.

So while it's great that the opportunity to collect Hatespark directly from the raid is still available (ends January 13), it's only a small consolation for those seeking the pet. There are other factors that trump the extension of the event. Limited availability, limited time, drop rate that's not 100% or even close to, large time investment and possible toxic raiding environment. All of these things puts a stress on those that consider pets the opposite of "optional content".

I've always been in the boat of balancing the factors that collectors will have to contend with, in order to create fun, fair and desirable content. That being said, I can't say that I consider the pet drop from the anniversary MC to be very balanced. Maybe the drop rate could have been adjusted, or a mechanic should have been implemented to increase your chances incrementally each time you run MC.

I hope that in the future, limited availability pets similar to Hatespark the Tiny will be distributed in a less punishing fashion.
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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.