Friday, June 23, 2017

Lament of a Non-PVPer - Brainstorming Ideas For More Accessible PVP Pets

Lately I've been diligently completing the PVP tower WQs on my main (alliance) and an alt (horde). But this hasn't always been the case -- I admit that up until this point, I haven't been keeping up with the PVP WQs. Like at all. And I fully recognize that it's because of my own laziness and aversion to anything PVP-related that I'm so behind on Prestige ranks (barely halfway to Prestige 2 on my alliance, and a little further on my horde).

I also realize that it's kind of silly to be so against Honor grinding this expansion when PVP tower WQs are available. They're more PVE than PVP. BUT! I must mention that I HAVE had someone of the opposite faction try to kill me at one of the PVP towers. Luckily I was on my Druid so it was fairly easy to run away. I couldn't go back to finish that WQ for a few hours though, for fear of being drawn into actual PVP again. And the free-for-all WQs? I don't even try.


Alliance Enthusiast - reward from Prestige rank 1

Anyway, all of this has made me realize how demoralizing this grind is. The desired end goal of this grind (Prestige 7 for the Dutiful Squire and Dutiful Gruntling) seems SO very far away for a non-PVPer that's lagging behind.

The end of Legion is probably still a ways off, but there's still some anxiety/panic for me when it comes to these PVP pets. So far, developers have offered up zero information on whether or not the current Prestige rewards will be available after this expansion ends and the next expansion begins.

Expansion-exclusive rewards would mean there's only so much time left to grind your face off to reach desired ranks. Added pressure of a deadline makes it even less enjoyable, especially for someone like me who didn't like this task to begin with.

What could developers do to make the PVP pets more accessible as we get later and later into Legion? Or even possibly after Legion? I took to Twitter and brainstormed a little with a couple of others!

  • Reduce amount of Honor required for each Prestige rank
    I believe they did this for Prestige 1, but the others were increased. To make it take less time before the expansion ends, I think reducing the Honor required to reach each rank would help a lot.
  • Change requirements for PVP pets completely (not Legion-Prestige related) and make them available on a vendor
    Currently the pets are tied to Prestige 1 and 7, but what if the requirements were changed? Maybe complete a new quest? Or new achievement? And then you're allowed to purchase the pets off a vendor.
  • Make the pets cageable (I'm not a fan of this one in this specific situation)
    The reason why I'm not a fan of these pets being cageable is because developers seem to WANT them to be exclusive, and WANT us to participate in a specific activity to earn them. Cageable would go against that design philosophy.
  • Increase Honor gain (suggested by @noeldillabough)
    Increased Honor earned from simple PVP-related tasks would help a bunch. Coupled with lowered required Honor to reach each rank, would make the race to collect these pets before the end of the expansion less stressful.
  • Purchasable for Marks of Honor (and possibly a next expac-Prestige rank requirement? preferably reasonably low rank :P) (suggested by @liopleurodonic)
    This one seems most likely to happen -- remove the Legion-Prestige rewards, but you can still collect them by reaching X Prestige in the next expansion, and if you have enough Marks of Honor you can buy them using that currency. My concern is whether or not Marks of Honor will be reasonably collectible by non-PVPers like myself, and IF they attach a Prestige requirement to this, whether or not there will be a more "PVE" option to earn Honor like the PVP towers in Legion.

Those are just a few ideas on what could be implemented as either a catch-up mechanic or new method of collecting these pets. I'm sure there are many other good ideas out there. Who knows? Maybe developers already have something in store for us in the future.

Bottom line for me -- This grind is very discouraging and I sincerely hope there's a plan going forward to help PVP noobs like me, and to make sure the rewards are more accessible late in the expansion.

I'm doing the PVP tower WQs daily on two characters, not even Prestige rank 2 on either toon yet, and the end seems so far away. Add to that I Just. Don't. Know. How much time I have left to reach Prestige rank 7 before the end of the expansion and possibly the removal of the Prestige rewards.

If there's no time limit and the rewards will be available indefinitely, great! It won't be as nerve-wracking of a grind and maybe a catch-up mechanic won't be necessary.

But without having confirmation of one way or another....talk about a stressful endeavor. =\

Edit: Thanks to @Evolyn_Warcraft, here's a handy chart breaking down Honor earned and how much it will take to reach Prestige 7.

According to this, at the current rate I'm going (3 PVP towers a day which equals to 1035 Honor/day - using a Guild Battle Standard) it will take me approximately 339 days to reach Prestige 7, minus 1.5 Prestige ranks and give or take a few days.

That's almost an entire year.

If (and that's a big 'if' since there's no official word) these Prestige rewards are going away at the end of Legion and there are no catch-up mechanics or changes.... then I hope this expansion has more than a year left to go. T_T

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sun Darter Hatchling Found Thanks to WoW Secrets Discord

The WoW Secrets Discord has done it yet again, and I was fortunate enough to watch the adventure unfold.



Sun Darter Hatchling location has been discovered, and after an entire day of brainstorming, testing, and puzzle-doing...they unlocked how to collect this pet!

Here is the original Google Doc that documented their progress: Cavern of Consumption. Huge thanks to Sinnie for keeping this document up-to-date throughout the day.

I won't go into detail on every step necessary to collect this pet. A better guide will be posted on Wowhead soon, I'm sure. However, I will list the consumables you need in order to "solve" all of the puzzles inside the cave.

Edit: Here's a guide from the Secrets Discord channel, and a Wowhead guide/comment: here.

Consumables you'll need, in order as used inside the cave:

Do not click off any of the buffs. Just continue using consumables as necessary to bypass each obstacle.

If at the very end, in the cavern with the lake and egg, you cannot use your Scroll of Intellect -- only then should you click off all other buffs.

Good luck to everyone! And thank you to the dedicated detectives in the WoW Secrets Discord channel for figuring all of this out. It was a pleasure to watch everything slowly unfold. MVPs were those willing to gather/buy the materials to make many consumables and test things over and over. There are too many to name, but you know who you are. :)

And thank you to Blizzard devs for creating this interesting puzzle!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Patch 7.2.5 Pet Content

Patch 7.2.5 is set to release this coming Tuesday, June 13. Here's what pet collectors can expect/look forward to in the patch!

10 New pets! Some of which may not be available at the start of 7.2.5 though.

Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon - 4 new pets
There are three new pets to purchase from the vendor using a new currency that's earned from the Challenge quest of the scenario, and an achievement pet for completing Pet Battle Challenge: Deadmines.


If you complete the Challenge Deadmines quest every single week, it should take you 6 weeks to collect all three vendor pets.

Here's an overview of the Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon from the PTR.

Deaths of Chromie Scenario - 2 new pets
This is more complicated than the Deadmines Pet Dungeon and not as straight forward when it comes to collecting the pets, but this scenario has a chance to drop two new bronze dragon pets.

  • Both pets have a chance to drop from Time-Lost Wallet.
  • Time-Lost Wallet is only sometimes awarded from Sands of Time.
  • Sands of Time can occasionally drop from mobs inside the scenario and special Time Chests.

After earning enough reputation to reach rank 5 with Chromie (Bronze Ally), you can choose the tier 5 talent, Fortuitous. This increases the odds of looting Sands of Time, which in turn increases your chances of receiving Time-Lost Wallets.

Rogue pickpocketing - 2 new pets
Rogues get a short quest chain in their Order Hall. Completing it allows you to pickpocket a new currency, Coins of Air, from mobs on the Broken Isles. Griftah (in the Rogue Order Hall) sells two new pets for 10k Coins of Air each.

Tomb of Sargeras meta-achievement - 1 new pet
Completing Glory of the Tomb Raider awards one new pet. It can only be completed in Normal mode or higher.

The Tomb of Sargeras raid does not open up until June 20 (see raid release schedule here).

????????? - 1 new pet
Sun Darter Hatchling was added, however it's currently not collectible as far as we know.

There's little to no information on where this pet will come from. The Pet Journal says it drops from an Oddly-Colored Egg, but where can this egg be found?

The pet's flavor text might hint that we'll need to wait until Argus. "This unique species of faerie dragon is not usually found on Azeroth."

Friday, June 9, 2017

Activity-Exclusive Pets In Legion

A late addition was added to the 7.2.5 PTR. With the patch set to release next week, this pet really seems more like an afterthought than a well-thought out and planned reward.

The pet, Micronax, is earned by completing the meta-achievement Glory of the Tomb Raider. This achievement can only be done in Normal mode or higher. The pet is BoP and not cageable.

Needless to say, some pet collectors are not all that enthusiastic about this. Myself included; it really saddens me to see the community divided and/or feeling upset over how a pet is implemented.

This has been a long-time coming, but I think it's time to address the seeming trend in Legion. Activity-exclusive battle pets.

The direction of pets becoming more and more exclusive to a specific activity, with no other recourse other than to do said activity, is becoming exhausting and discouraging. It feels as if a certain balance between multiple gameplay factors has been lost or abandoned, and things are becoming too extreme.

Why is Micronax and the achievement it's tied to so disliked by some in the pet collecting community? What makes this situation any different from other achievement pets?

Micronax pushes the boundary of what collectors need to do to fulfill their style of gameplay. It's the FIRST pet reward from a raid meta-achievement. The closest exclusive pet from a group-achievement is Lagan. Even that pet was somewhat crossing the line for a few collectors, as it required the help of 4 other players in a Mythic dungeon. Many see Pet Battles and pet collecting as more of a "solo" and "casual" style of play. And Lagan put collectors in a position where they had to travel outside of that preferred style.

However, other achievement pets fit more inline with solo-gameplay. Zoom, for example, is a from a quirky achievement that can be completed alone OR with others.

The upcoming Micronax cannot be earned alone, at least for a few expansions. There's no option but to either wait that long or do the achievement yourself.

More and more collectors are feeling pushed out/away from their preferred gameplay because of the extreme and exclusive direction Blizzard is taking with pets. Pets seem to be treated more like any other reward in Legion, rather than a mini-game localized to itself.

It's understandable that the developers want to encourage everyone to try new aspects of the game, but for a collector, Legion is starting to feel more like mandatory participation and not so much like encouragement.

I've heard multiple times throughout the community a growing sentiment that Blizzard would much rather push players into activities they may not wanted to participate in, instead of maintaining pet collecting. They feel coerced and forced into parts of the game when all they would like to do is collect pets/play solo.

For collectors, the pet IS the game, the goal, the activity. To gate this gameplay behind another activity that's completely unrelated...it's only a matter of time before it's just too demoralizing to continue. As Liopleurodonic once said, "...it's a lot easier to stay motivated when completion is an attainable goal."

I was really hoping that Micronax would be tied to the Glory achievement, but not directly like the title. My hope was that it would be similar to the MoP and WoD Challenge Mode pets, and collectors would be able to find a pet-friendly guild should they be unable to or unwilling to complete the achievement themselves. This would give collectors options, something that seems to be missing these days.

I think this is one of the reasons why collectors are starting to feel more alienated. The options are disappearing, and the number of pets in Legion where there's only one way to collect a pet is growing.

It's getting overwhelming. The carrot being so far away has left some collectors feeling like there's no point, no hope, not doable, why bother.

Do I think it's ok to have some exclusive pets? Sure. Some variation is nice and probably healthy for the game.

But I think there needs to be a balance with exclusive pets. Maybe make them tradeable or cageable in the future. Maybe add them to a number of different exclusive sources. Even better yet, keep the number of exclusive pets to a minimum, while providing an abundant number of pets readily available for all collectors.

Balance. Options. These would make situations like Micronax, the class exclusive pets, the PVP pets, feel better for many collectors. Sometimes that's what people need - even if it's all in their head, you can't understate how important it is to FEEL positive/hopeful about something.

Balance the RNG better with other factors. Requirements should be reasonable (as subjective as that is). Give collectors different ways to collect pets. Keep the number of exclusive pets small, allowing collectors to feel that there's much more they can actually accomplish rather than not.

I recognize that much of this post is entirely subjective. How one person views pet collecting in Legion may not be the same as how someone else sees it. My thoughts may not accurately reflect that of the entire community. I am merely pointing out my observations and thoughts on this matter.

My personal feelings about Micronax and similar activity-exclusive pets are more ambivalent. Part of me is not happy but is willing to accept it. Part of me is hopeful that there will be changes made along the way to help out collectors (pets changed to BoE and/or cageable). And part of me is deeply invested in the community and wants to see collectors happy and excited about a new pet, not upset and disappointed.

We, as pet collectors, need to admit and accept that the pet collecting environment is probably changing. Perhaps exclusive pets are just how things will be from here on out. Pets may not be just for Pet Battles anymore, and we may see more pets added as mere rewards for various activities.

We must consider that developers might be looking at a bigger picture, and these exclusive pets are intended as long-term gameplay. Content that doesn't have to be completed right away, and it's something that's perfect when there's not much else going on later down the line. It's also possible that they have plans for the future to make exclusive pets less exclusive and more inclusive.

However, I still hope that developers will acknowledge that some pet collectors are feeling very discouraged and alienated. That there's ongoing sentiment that pets are being used to force players into different aspects of the game, rather than in an already established mini-game. And that Blizzard will take all of this into consideration and possibly address these issues going forward with pets that are implemented in a more thoughtful and collector-friendly way.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Death Knight and Monk Class Pets - Final Thoughts?


I collected my third and last DK pet this evening, and I wanted to record my thoughts on the entire experience while it's still fresh in my mind.

Initially, the task to level up a character, gear up enough to complete all necessary quests and campaigns, and then collect enough AP to earn Concordance on not just one but THREE weapons -- all of this seemed like a very daunting task. Doable, but it's nothing like anything pet collectors have experienced before.

I was, and still am, concerned about how many steps it takes to collect these pets. Even after finishing my ultimate goal of collecting all three DK pets, my point of view on the requirements for these pets is still shaky. I'm still undecided if it's too much for the average pet collector.

This is largely because my personal experience collecting these pets was relatively good, making me biased about the whole thing.

My own DK adventure was probably not average either. Instead of leveling to 110 and then waiting for AK40 to begin sinking AP into my weapons, I played my DK almost as much as my main. Even before AK40, I chased after all the AP that was available outside of raids and dungeons, and completed content as it was released. Every. Single. Day.

I know there are plenty of collectors who do not enjoy the class and/or do not have the time to play as I did. Looking at it from their perspective, collecting all three DK pets is indeed very intimidating. Again, doable but the carrot seems very far away. It's understandable how that can be demoralizing.

So in regards to the requirements for these class pets, I still can't say for certain whether or not I agree with how they were implemented, even after completing the task.

Do I think the requirements are too high or unfair? I don't know. I really don't know.

Is this task beyond that of a collector/player? Nope. It's doable. That's about as much as I can confirm without any bias.

Was it worth it? For me, yes. It's a unique experience that I'm sure I'll look back on and say, "I did that!" :)


Class #2 - Monk
I'm getting a better glimpse of the entire experience on my Monk.

She "took a break" once she reached 110 and completed the necessary prerequisite quests and storylines for the pet. Logging in mainly consisted of collecting/using follower mission rewards.

I believe I left her off at weapon level 30-35ish (all from miscellaneous AP rewards from leveling, questing, treasures, and follower missions), and only returned to play her once I was able to send her an AK40 Tome from my main toon.

With my Monk's AK at cap I'm only now beginning to collect AP in earnest. She's earned her mount and is diligently going through the Suramar for the (large) AP rewards.

Only a day after class mounts were unlocked and her weapon is already level 47. Much like my DK, my Monk's AP is mainly coming from quests, WQs and follower missions. Thankfully, Monk only needs one weapon with Concordance, unlike DK which needs three.

The increased AK is real boon IMO. It feels really good to see a huge amount of AP from a single token, filling up your weapon bar and alerting you that there are points to be spent. It's probably just psychological and all in my head, but I think this is what was needed to help make the "grind" more tolerable. Monk is not my preferred class, and I would much rather play other characters, but. This. Is. Doable.

If I didn't have as much time as I do, would I still feel the same way? Maybe. Maybe not.

I'd have to concede that yes, it can be accomplished overall. But the fact that the end result is SO far away due to time constraints or other factors... it makes it seem like it's NOT feasible.

But I want to reassure all collectors that it's an adventure like none other, and it's worth going for. If you enjoy collecting and love pets, just look at this as a long-term project. Developers have stated that there are no plans to remove the pets, so we'll hopefully have plenty of time (even post-Legion?) to collect everything.

Stay determined and dedicated. "Hard", "easy", whatever -- these terms are all relative and mean different things for different people. The bottom line is: It. Is. Doable. And YOU can do it!

Good luck to all and happy collecting. :)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Class Pets On June 6 + More This Month


DKs and Monks rejoice, today is your day! Starting today, players can earn their class mounts (if they've completed the prior quests in the Broken Shore campaign), which means unlocking class pets. Yay!

Here's a list of classes and their pets: Collecting Legion Class-Exclusive Pets (DK and Monk are toward the bottom of the page)

   

Note that reaching AK 25+ for Step 4 can be accomplished either through work orders or by buying an AK Tome on a character with higher AK.


More Events In June
There's more to this month than just class pets though - here's a quick reminder of all the pet-related events occurring in June. For a full list of all events, not just pet ones, check out Blizzard's official blog post.
  • June 6 - Class mounts (unlocks class pets for DK and Monk)
  • June 21 through June 27 - MoP Timewalking (2 pets)
  • June 21 through July 4 - Midsummer Fire Festival (1 NEW pet)
  • June 21 through September 23 - Summer begins (Qiraji Guardling starts spawning in Silithus)

Overall, what an exciting month for collectors! Wheee! :D

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Squirky Now Available & 7.2.5 PTR Updates

This week has been full of pet news!


First and foremost is Squirky (at last!) -- Blizzard revealed where this battle pet comes from. As many collectors already guessed, she can be found on Seabreak Isle, off the north-western coast of Azsuna. Squirky is a level 25 wild pet that you have to capture, so I hope you're well equipped to deal with the 110 hostile elites roaming the small island. :P

But not only is Squirky finally available in-game, Blizzard also released a plushie version! Another baby murloc plush joins the family. :)

(Note: The in-game pet and the plushie are not tied to each other. You do not need to buy the plushie to collect the battle pet.)

Second bit of news comes from the 7.2.5 PTR. Two new pets and an updated pet from a previous build.



The Ageless Bronze Drake uses a mount model, scaled down, which is pretty neat! It's possible this is just a placeholder model though, but having more mini-mount pets would open up so many pet possibilities!

I'm not quite sure if the Time-Lost Wallet is a general reward for completing the scenario, or if it's more of a rarer drop/reward. It's also unclear how often we can complete the scenario. In general, even after reading a preview, I really don't know/understand much of the new feature. All I know for sure, so far, is that I dislike timed-events...which is what the Chromie scenario seems to be.

Hopefully more information with more detail will be released soon.

The other newest pet, Sun Darter Hatchling, is very lovely indeed!


It's unknown where the Oddly-Colored Egg will come from, however the flavor text of the pet makes it sound as if it could come from Argus. Either directly from the future zone, or transported to Azeroth from the other world.

Again, all of this is subject to change, so we'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Save the Date: May 19th - Squirt (NA) + Pet Battle Bonus Event


For those in the NA region, mark your calendars! This week is the Pet Battle Bonus event, and Squirt is due to arrive May 19th.

According to this handy chart, it's the only day (so far?) where Squirt's arrival and the Pet Battle Bonus event overlap.

Time to gather up all of those Pet Treats (although these might not even be needed when facing Squirt during this event), don your Safari Hat, and get your pets ready for some power leveling.

Happy pet battling, everyone! :)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Reduced Requirement For DK & Monk Class Pets

Good news everybody!

To put it short and sweet, Exalted with Armies of Legionfall is no longer required to collect the DK and Monk class pets.

The "grind" is now mainly about collecting enough Artifact Power to unlock all weapon traits.

This news was revealed on a recent Developer Q&A this past week.

Q: Will the exalted requirement for class mounts be account wide?

A: No, it will not be account wide. But...that requirement has been removed! We did want people to have flying before the mount but now we see with how pacing has worked out that that is not a worry. So no, you do not need exalted for class mounts. Just completing the Legionfall campaign and the finale of that for your class = unlocked class mount.

Completing the class mount quest line is necessary to unlock the class pets on the vendor. Without the class mount, players won't be able to see the vendor items at all.

Now that Exalted is no longer required to access the class mount quests, this means reaching Exalted is also no longer necessary to collect the pets.

This is GREAT news for players working on alts (and heck, this is good news for mains too). Those that planned to wait for their main to reach AK 50, so they could send alts a level 45 AK Tome, can now do so without worrying about meeting other "grindy" requirements for the pets.

With this change, here's the updated process for collecting the DK and Monk pets.
1. Reach level 110.
2. Complete class campaign to unlock third relic slot. (necessary to complete a quest in step 6)
3. Unlock and complete Broken Shore quests.
4. Upgrade Artifact Knowledge. (requires AK 25)
5. Empower weapon(s). (requires step 4 + weapon level 34 to start the quest, and weapon level 35 to complete)
6. Complete the ongoing Broken Shore campaign. (estimated 11 weeks from 7.2 launch)
7. Complete the class mount quest(s) to unlock the pets on the vendor. (requires step 6)
8. Level weapon(s) to 52.
9. Buy desired pet(s). (costs 1k Order Resources each)

One thing that should be noted though, is that collectors will want to reach Exalted with Armies of Legionfall on at least one character. The Paragon reward chest (earned every 10k reputation after Exalted) has a chance to drop a new pet, Orphaned Felbat.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Wonderous Wisdomball Change and General Binding Guideline for Battle Pets

This post is late coming but as some may already know, the Wonderous Wisdomball is now Bind on Pick Up as of Patch 7.2.


I only made this discovery after finding out I overlooked one of my alts that had the quest to obtain this pet. Double-checking the reward and to my dismay the item that teaches the Wisdomball was not Bind on Use, as I expected it to be, but instead BoP. This companion remains un-cageable.

@RestoKay on Twitter discovered a Wowhead comment that strongly implies this change from BoU to BoP was intentional.

It's pretty disappointing news for many collectors, but I suppose it shouldn't come as a huge shock. Pets that are not cageable are usually that way for a reason - the developers want them to be exclusive, unique, and earned through specific means by players themselves.

Another example of a "bugged" pet item this expansion is Lagan. Initially, completing the achievement Poor Unfortunate Souls rewarded a BoU pet, however upon adding it to the Pet Journal it became uncageable. It was a very odd circumstance, as all other achievement rewarded pets are not tradeable or cageable in any manner. Lagan was an anomaly.

So it really shouldn't have come as much of a surprise when Lagan was eventually fixed in late Januaray and its binding was corrected to be BoP.

However, I think what was more shocking was how long developers let the pet continue being bugged with the wrong bind, without any clarification that that was the case. I think this is what really caused upset within the collecting community.

The same can be said for the Wonderous Wisdomball. Some collectors are not happy about the change, and rightfully so. After we've come THIS FAR into the expansion and the bug is only being fixed now? Without prior word or clarification on the intended binding of the companion?

Perhaps it wouldn't be as big a deal had there been an official note stating that Lagan and the Wonderous Wisdomball were bugged, and they should not be tradeable or cageable -- collectors would know what to expect and what's intended.

But since a forewarning wasn't made available and I don't think Blizzard can give us a heads up every single time, I think we could all use a refresher on how battle pets (usually) work. Here's quick review of what the general binding standard is for pets. Keep in mind there will always be unique cases, and not every pet will (or has to) follow these guidelines.

• General rule of thumb -
Pets that are not cageable are normally not tradeable. If they are, it's probably unintentional (bugged).
• Achievement pets -
Not tradeable or cageable in any manner.
• Dropped pets -
Depends on the pet and source. Can be a mix of BoP, BoU, cageable, and not cageable.
• Wild pets -
Not tradeable or cageable in any manner.
• Blizzard Store pets -
Not tradeable or cageable in any manner, with the exception of the Guardian Cub.
• Profession pets -
Depends on the pet and source. Can be a mix of BoP, BoU, cageable, and not cageable.
• Promotional pets -
Not tradeable or cageable in any manner, with the exception of TCG pets.
• Quest reward pets -
Depends on the pet and source. Can be a mix of BoP, BoU, cageable, and not cageable.
• Raid dropped pets -
Mix of BoP and BoU, but almost always cageable.
• Vendor pets -
Depends on the pet and source. Can be a mix of BoP, BoU, cageable, and not cageable.

It's truly disappointing news about the Wonderous Wisdomball; many collectors are still battling RNG and were hoping to buy one at a reasonable price. With this change, the ONLY source for this companion now is a drop from the Kirin Tor emissary. It doesn't occur very often, so better rally all of your level 110 characters to be ready to complete some WQs when Kirin Tor does pop up.

And if a collector receives a second Wonderous Wisdomball? We've seen that Blizzard has the tech to turn a previously un-cageable pet into a cageable one, as with the case of Bonkers, so we can only hope that Blizzard will make the Wonderous Wisdomball cageable post-Legion. Right, Khadgar?


You're killing me here, Khadgar.

Friday, April 14, 2017

7.2.5 PTR - Pet Battle Dungeon (Deadmines) Preview

UPDATE: Most recent PTR build (Build 23958) changed how the three new pets are rewarded.

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

Hot on the heals of Wailing Caverns Pet Battle Dungeon, we've got the next part of the story - Deadmines! This scenario is currently up on the 7.2.5 PTR and is ready for testing.

Here's an overview of what this new dungeon is all about. Note that because this is from the PTR, all of this is subject to change.

!!! Prerequisite: Complete the Wailing Caverns Pet Battle Dungeon quest (Normal). It's unclear if the Challenge version is also required in order to access the Deadmines quest.

Breanni (Dalaran, Broken Isles) will have a new quest for you in 7.2.5 - "Deadmines, Part Three?"

This quest sends you to Westfall to speak with Marcus "Bagman" Brown. Despite us clearing out Deadmines not once, but twice, he's hearing strange things coming from inside and would like for us to investigate. Who knew Pet Battlers would be such awesome detectives? :P

There's a total of 7 Stages in this Pet Battle Dungeon, with a total of 9 different pet encounters. Backline pets were variations of generic crabs, rats, and parrots (all common quality).


► Stage 1 - What Is All This Junk?: Defeat Foe Reaper 50 (this might be a typo, pet's name is actually Junk Reaper 500)

Single pet fight against an epic level 25 Mechanical pet with Boss passive.


► Stage 2 - Terrible Tunnel: Defeat Unfortunate Defias and Angry Geode, plus their teams

     
Both are uncommon level 25 pets with the Elite passive. First is Undead and second is Elemental. Backline pets do not have any passive/buff.

We killed all the defias inside Deadmines, but somehow their ghosts have become battle pets that we must defeat. How strange haha!


► Stage 3 - Worst. Guard. Ever.: Defeat Mining Monkey and its team

Rare level 25 Beast pet with the Elite passive, plus two backline pets without any buffs.


► Stage 4 - Outta My Way. You Oaf!: Defeat the Oaf Runt ("Captain" Klutz)

Single pet fight against an epic level 25 Humanoid pet with Boss passive.

Who is this guy? More importantly, HOW is he a battle pet?! (He's taller than my nelf!)


► Stage 5 - Cannon Crazy: Defeat Klutz's Battle Rat, Klutz's Battle Monkey, and Klutz's Battle Bird, plus their teams

          
All three are uncommon level 25 pets with the Elite passive. Critter, Beast, and Flying. Backline pets do not have any passive/buff.

After seeing these pets with little pirate hats on, I really want tiny pirate hats for my battle pets now too!

Also, how are these pets manning the ship's cannons? O_o


► Stage 6 - Shadowy Figure: Confront the Shadowy Figure (not the same one we saw in Wailing Caverns!)

Who could this be? What happened to the mysterious figure that was in Wailing Caverns? What are they doing in these dungeons with these pets? And why? :O


► Stage 7 - The Soup's Gone Bad!: Defeat Cookie's Leftovers

Single pet fight against a legendary level 25 Magic pet with Boss passive.

This pet has high health, high speed, plus actively uses crowd control and heals itself.


Same as the Wailing Caverns Pet Battle Dungeon, completing Deadmines will reward an Ultimate Battle-Training Stone, Manapoof Link: Westfall (allows the NPC next to Breanni to teleport you directly to the Deadmines quest giver), and unlocks the Challenge version.
Pet Battle Challenge: Deadmines (account-wide weekly quest) - rewards Mr. Smite's Supplies (chance to drop 2 new pets) one (1) Old Bottle Cap (new currency)
Players can use this new currency to purchase the three Deadmines-themed pets.
These pets are BoP and are no longer cageable. This means if collectors want these pets, they'll have to complete the Challenge version of Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon at least 6 times.


The main thing I noticed during the Deadmines scenario is that the difficulty seemed to spike at the very end (Stage 7), relative to the other encounters.

I would say the dungeon is more 'intermediate' than beginner due to the more diverse pet families you go up against, but it's still doable by even less experienced battlers. The end, however, contrasts with that and I could see some newer battlers struggling with the legendary boss pet. As usual, veteran battlers and those with a large selection of pets to choose from should have no problem.

Overall, I enjoyed the content and was much happier with the length. 9 encounters vs. 11 in the Wailing Caverns was much more pleasant to run through. The atmosphere and setting was also a lot more enjoyable, and there was less travel time between battles.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

7.2.5 PTR: Three New Pets & Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon

The 7.2.5 PTR is now up! There are three new pets (so far), and *drumroll* a new Pet Battle Dungeon! This time it takes place in the Deadmines.


Pet Reaper 50 - Drop: Mr. Smite's Supplies (presumably the reward bag from the Challenge version of the Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon)



Tricorne - Drop: Mr. Smite's Supplies (presumably the reward bag from the Challenge version of the Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon)



Pocket Cannon - Achievement Reward: Pet Battle Challenge: Deadmines (complete the Challenge version of the Pet Battle Dungeon)



Quest from Breanni for the new Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon!


I haven't had a chance to try out the dungeon yet, but I will most definitely put together a preview/overview as soon as I do. ^^;

Confirmed: Squirky Not Yet Available

In an interesting turn of events, developer Jeremy Feasel clarified on Twitter that Squirky is still not yet available.



This is a little surprising as he has hinted at many "secrets" still undiscovered in-game. Many collectors assumed Squirky was on that list, but it would appear that we're mistaken!

So where could this pet come from? Wowhead Site Director Perculia speculates that it might be from a promotion (either BlizzCon or other), due to the fact that one of the advertised plushies is a yellow murloc.



Personally, my hope is that it's not tied to a Blizzard Store item and that Squirky will be readily available in-game. Collectors have waited this long, and still continue to patiently wait, so it would be heartbreaking to find out the availability of this pet is limited only to those that can afford to buy a physical item.

In the end we'll just have to wait and see!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Happy 10 Years WarcraftPets!

7.2 has been a whirlwind of things to do, so I'm a few days late... but HAPPY 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WARCRAFTPETS!! ^_^

To celebrate, I took a quick selfie with Breanni in her new Dalaran shop on the Broken Isles. :P


I joined WarcraftPets as a normal member in 2008, roughly a year after the website launched. Little did I know just a couple years after that, I would be volunteering for one of the best companion pet resources out there. It's crazy how time flies!

I'm absolutely honored to be helping with WarcraftPets and humbled by the friendly community. Thank you to everyone for making WarcraftPets what it is today. And a BIG thank you to Brian (Breanni) as well for getting this awesome-ball rolling, and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of that awesomeness.

In 3 years I'll be celebrating 10 years with WarcraftPets - hopefully I'll still be on board to see that milestone. :)

Here's to many more wonderful years!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Weebomination and Nether Faerie Dragon 7.2 Updates

UPDATE: Stinkrot also received a new look. I think all DK pet models were updated, resulting in an update to battle pets that use the same appearance.


OLD (pre-7.2) Stinkrot appearance - more polygonal



NEW (post-7.2) Stinkrot appearance - smoother look overall, higher quality details

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It looks like Weebomination and the Nether Faerie Dragon received some updates in 7.2. Thanks to Brawler for the heads up.

Here are some comparison images.


OLD (pre-7.2) Weebomination appearance - lighter tone overall with distinct entrails coloring



NEW (post-7.2) Weebomination appearance - darker ton overall with more apparent stitching




OLD (pre-7.2) Nether Faerie Dragon appearance - translucent blue all over



NEW (post-7.2) Nether Faerie Dragon appearance - no longer translucent at all, and wings have the same look as the Sprite Darter Hatchling


I'm kind of sad about the Nether Faerie Dragon change, if I can be honest. I quite enjoyed the translucent blue look because it set it apart from its cousin, the Sprite Darter Hatchling. :(

Monday, March 27, 2017

Patch 7.2 This Week!

The next major content patch is almost upon us, and there's new Pet Battle content plus new pets to collect!

11 new pets to collect
Here's a list of the new pets coming in 7.2.

Note that the Death Knight and Monk companions will not be available at the start of 7.2. Gaining access to these pets on the vendor will require an 11 week campaign which unlocks the class mount quests.

Crackers will also be unavailable until week 3, when the continuation of class campaigns is unlocked.

More information on the new class pets can be found here.

A new toy
Similar to the DK and Monk pet rewards, Mages will be able to unlock a toy that allows battle pets (that normally wouldn't follow players into the air) to fly alongside players.

3 new WQ trainers
These trainers can be found on the new zone, The Broken Shore. They're unlocked after completing the Broken Shore introduction scenario and quests. More information on their teams here. At this time it doesn't look like they will count toward Family Familiar.

Pet Battle Dungeon
If you're level 110 and have at least ONE max level pet (but it's recommended you bring along 3 or more), head over to Breanni's shop in Dalaran (Broken Isles).

A new quest will send you to investigate a mystery in the Wailing Caverns. Completing and turning in this quest will unlock a weekly quest of the same nature, except it's Pet Battle challenge-mode time. For a detailed rundown of the Pet Battle Dungeon scenario, see this blog post.

Similar to the Celestial Tournament, the challenge version of the Pet Battle Dungeon requires at least 15 max level pets, and you cannot heal or revive your pets while inside the scenario.

The challenge-mode weekly quest rewards a bag that drops quite a few Pet Charms, and has a chance to drop one of three new pets (two of which were discovered to be color changers!).

There's also an achievement tied to completing the challenge version of the Pet Battle Dungeon, Pet Battle Challenge: Wailing Caverns, that rewards a new pet.

If you're having trouble getting to Wailing Caverns, there's a new NPC located in Breanni's shop, Manapoof, that will teleport you directly but only after you've completed the dungeon. Being on the quest to seek out Muyani is not enough to get the option for a (free!) port.

Did I miss anything? Please let me know if there's pet/Pet Battle content that I've overlooked. :)

I'm pretty excited about 7.2, if not somewhat (or very, heh) overwhelmed and anxious. So much to do, so little time.

I would have preferred a longer period between the announcement of the release date and the actual release date itself...but *shrug* what can you do?

Can't wait to collect some new pets!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Patch 7.2: Developer Q&A and Patch Release Date

There was a Dev Q&A today that answered some player questions regarding Patch 7.2. You can find the VoD and transcripts either on Wowhead or MMO-Champion.

Here are details related to the new pets in 7.2. The patch is set to be released March 28.

  • Unlocking class mounts (and therefore DK/Monk class pets) in Patch 7.2 will take 11 weeks (of campaign), plus exalted w/Armies of Legionfall.
  • Earliest for flying is ~2 weeks into 7.2. (Pathfinder 2 is required for class mount quest)
  • Not all classes will have class pets (that match their mount and/or in general...?)
  • Future Pet Battle Dungeon(s) depend on player feedback and participation. If both are positive and high, there will likely be more dungeons in the future.

I'm absolutely shocked that 7.2 is less than a week away. I would have preferred a bit more heads up, but ahhh. New pets are on the way!

Things to do to prep for patch next week:
- Level DK/Monk/Rogue. Grind AP on DK/Monk to reach weapon level 35 (all 3 weapons for DK), and complete class campaign on Rogue.

- Have at least 3 max level pets for Pet Battle Dungeon (normal-mode), and 15 max level pets for challenge-mode.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Road to 7.2 Class Pets: Personal Experience and Insights

   

I wanted to share my experiences with leveling and preparing a character for the upcoming class pets, so I'll be breaking down the process into sections with some personal insights. Note that this is all based purely on my own testing or observations; other players' experiences may vary.

TLDR; The entire adventure isn't a short one, and shouldn't be seen as something to quickly grind through. I think this is very much meant to be a long-term goal, much like the Argent Tournament pets took weeks to months of dailies (for some collectors, even crossing into multiple expansions).

It's a slow-going task, but it's absolutely doable. These pets will not be removed and they will be waiting for you. Don't let the length of time discourage you from these pets! (Not enjoying the class playstyle is an entirely other matter though...)

Disclaimer: Although though my personal opinion is that collecting the 7.2 class pets is a lengthy task yet doable, I would still advocate a different way for collecting these pets. Even if it's just a slight change. I still think there are some collectors who will feel discouraged and/or left out. That being said, I accept whatever decision Blizzard makes regarding these pets.

Here's a break down with my opinions and commentary to help explain my point of view. Walls-of-text, ahoy!

For a preview of the requirements for Patch 7.2 class pets, see here.

Pre-7.2 Content:

Friday, March 3, 2017

Developer Response Regarding 7.2 Class Pets

There's been an official response from Muffinus (developer Jeremy Feasel) regarding the 7.2 class pets.

Hi everyone! Thanks for your feedback, wanted to drop in a few updates/notes.

In the next build, you'll see that the required currency for each bonus item has dropped from 10000 to 1000 Order Hall Resources. We agree that the "hard part" of getting the bonus items should be maxing out your artifact, not the grind afterwards.

In 7.2, we want these bonuses to feel like a badge of honor for players that have unlocked the final ability on their empowered artifact. For some time they'll be pretty exclusive, and this is intentional. It makes sense for the Blood Death Knight, with their bloody mount, to also have the Bloodbrood Whelpling, showing off their dedication to their specialization.

It's also important to note that we also have no plans to remove these items in the future, and we will re-evaluate their acquisition in a post-artifact world. If you don't want to go for them right now, don't worry, you won't be permanently missing out on anything.

I hope this assuages some of your concerns. As always, we're looking forward to your continued feedback!

Although this isn't the compromise I had in mind, it's far better than nothing and silence. I would have much preferred the removal of the Power Ascended requirement for each of the upcoming class pets, but that seems integral to the experience that Blizzard wants us to have.

Going from 10k resources to 1k is still a notable concession, and will mean a little less grinding on a (possibly alt) toon.

It should also be noted that the Artifact Knowledge research is being bumped up to AK 50. Main characters with max AK can purchase and send alts a tome that will automatically increase the alt's AK to 45. This will hopefully make the AP grind for alts significantly quicker/less painful.

I look at it as encouragement to make progress on my main first and foremost so that my alts can get a significant boost later.

Of course, this doesn't address all issues revolving around these pets, and some collectors will still inevitably be/feel left out.

However, the most interesting part of the developer statement is that they will be taking a second look and reassessing how these pets will be collected post-Legion. This could mean a wide range of things for all types of collectors/players, but we don't know for sure yet.

It's possible that changes made in the future will enable a much larger audience to obtain class pets and toys. Even those that initially felt like it was hopeless to even attempt collecting these pets may see the end of the tunnel.

Re-evaluation is also good news because it will hopefully mean alts will be able to smoothly transition on into new expansion content once they've hit 110 post-Legion, but without missing out on class rewards. It would be awkward if, for example, my Mage needs to hang around on the Broken Isles well past level 110 just to collect enough AP to earn Power Ascended.

Hopefully the re-evaluation ensures that this doesn't have to be the case.

But on that same note, I'm hoping we won't have another situation where the class pets are "moved" to another source. An example of this poor design choice is the Thundering Serpent Hatchling, which was removed as a vendor item from guild vendors that completed MoP Challenge Mode achievements. It eventually ended up on the BMAH as a random drop from a box that also had a random chance of popping up for sale.

If the class pets follow suit post-Legion, it would not make for very interesting or compelling gameplay. Going from a guaranteed source (that requires some time and effort) to a completely random chance seems almost like taking a step back instead of moving forward.

All of this is yet to be seen though. We just don't know what developers are brainstorming for these pets.

I can definitely understand that some collectors will still oppose these new class pets. And understandably so. The reduction in price doesn't necessarily address the different play-styles or players that may not fit in this exclusive box that they've created for each class.

There are still collectors who do not have the time to dedicate to an alt, and may barely even have time to keep up on a main character. There are collectors that cannot bring themselves to play a certain class, maybe because they absolutely dislike the play-style or lore, or simply don't want to take time away from their main. There are MANY different types of collectors, and there will still be opposition to these 7.2 class pets from some of those players.

We have to keep in mind that Blizzard is at the very least considering all of the feedback they've been getting. If you have constructive criticisms about these pets, let developers know in a logical and respectful manner. Perhaps the feedback won't have an immediate impact, but who knows what will happen in the long run. I give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt that they will indeed make good on their word and re-evaluate how these pets are collected in the future.

I just hope that they take into consideration a good portion of the community that feel hopeless and helpless in this situation. And I hope that it won't be too late for said collectors.

Overall, I am personally very glad to hear from Blizzard on this matter. The compromise is smaller than I envisioned, but it's still something. I'm more reassured by the fact that they plan on re-evaluating these class pets as time goes on, and I can only hope that this will also mean more pet collectors than not will have a chance at these pets in the future.

In the meantime, I can only encourage other collectors to see these class pets as a long-term project. Hold onto hope that they are not truly out of reach, and persist through these less favorable times. It may seem unreasonable and impossible now, but there's a chance that things could change for the better.

I've used "hope" and "hopefully" a lot in this post, but that's because that's all I can offer those that still feel discouraged. It's probably not enough to keep everyone collecting and invested in pets, though. And it's heartbreaking, but I understand.

I think Liopleurodonic put it best: "...it's a lot easier to stay motivated when completion is an attainable goal."

I completely agree and encourage Blizzard to keep this in mind going forward.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Class Pets: I'm Taking a Step Back

I believe I'm done. Done with responding or adding my two cents into conversations about the upcoming 7.2 class pets. It's just put too much of a strain on me emotionally.

I think I was done as soon as is started. When it was revealed how the DK and Monk pets would be earned, I had a very distinct sinking feeling in my stomach. No, no, no, my gut told me. This will not go over well.

The extreme way these pets will be obtained is causing an equally extreme response from the community. Those against it, they're upset because of the various reasons they're against it. Those for it, they're pushing back against those that oppose it because they think it's ridiculous to have issue with this situation. Middle-grounders and those trying to seek a balance between two sides are largely drowned out, not present, or dismissed.

As I stated on Twitter earlier, I'm disillusioned with these pets. To be entirely honest, I'm quite bitter towards Blizzard for implementing them in the first place, as it's caused a divide within the pet collecting community. In all my years volunteering for WarcraftPets, I don't think I've seen such a divisive topic as class pets (specifically the ones coming in 7.2).

I'm not expecting everyone to get along and agree with everyone else all the time. But these pets have caused any sense of civility and community to fly out the window, and it's very much an "us vs. them" type of scenario. And both sides consider the other wrong. One side is dismissive and considers the other as being entitled and merely complaining. The other side is angry (understandably so) and cannot fathom the (valid) points made by the other.

It's (excuse my french) a shit show.

What was my hope to involve myself in these discussions about the DK/Monk class pets? To shed some light and perspective for those that don't understand why others are upset. Those unaffected have nothing to fear or worry about, therefore there's really nothing to discuss from their point of view. But if we're to maintain a healthy community, I believe we need to consider the less fortunate. Empathy and empathizing goes a very, very long way.

As I mentioned before, whether Blizzard decides to change how these pets will be collected or keep them as they are now, it will not impact me much. I'm lucky to be part of the fortunate. But that doesn't prevent me from understanding why those, who feel they WILL be negatively impacted, see this as poor design.

I can also understand why the other side is ok with these pets, and even possibly why developers would want to implement collectibles like this.

But when it comes down to it, I think those that feel these pets will have an adverse effect on their gaming experience need to have their concerns addressed. They, in my eyes, are the little guy. And the big guys should stand up for the little guys (while not neglecting the big guys' desires/outlook).

So I advocated for a compromise. One that wouldn't take away from the intended overall experience, but one that would concede to those that are against these pets that it could be a bit more reasonable.

The compromise: Everything would stay the same, but the requirement to learn all traits post-empowerment would be removed. That's it.

The intent is to ensure those that want the challenge (and/or to feel special for a time) will still get it for the most part, and those that felt it was originally impossible to even strive for, may not be as discouraged and come to think it's not as out of reach as they initially thought.

But it's a minefield, and each side (mainly the side that's for the pets) is very much stuck in their beliefs. It's impossible to get across that a compromise as light as this would address both parties.

There's a serious lack of empathy involved from many that are vocal about supporting the design choice regarding these pets. I could say the same about the side that's voiced opposition, however I've read many responses that state that they're not looking for an overhaul of the entire collecting process, just a small concession.

I've yet to come across a response in support of the class pets, that acknowledges there are players whose gameplay experience will be negatively affected and to help with this, there's room for a reasonable change. I've yet to read a response from a supported of these pets that has a tone other than dismissive.

You're selfish for feeling the way you do.
You're entitled.
Stop complaining and whining.
You won't get to participate, get over it.
It's not that bad, do it later.

And so on.

We get to see the true colors of the community, I guess. Which makes me incredibly demoralized.

So I'm going to just stand by and watch and wait and see what happens. I think I've said all that I can to provide perspective. In the end my point of view really doesn't matter.

Blah, blah, blah. Overreacting. So melodramatic. Etc. Spin this situation however you want. It will not take away from the fact that some collectors feel very strongly about all of this, and to dismiss or ignore them would be a disservice by Blizzard.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Updates and Additional Thoughts on 7.2 Class Pets - At a Loss

UPDATE: Thanks to Adumbledore, there's now a DK/Monk pets feedback thread on the US Bnet 7.2 PTR forums.

Whether you're for or against these upcoming class pets, feel free to leave your feedback. Keep in mind that feedback will be better received and taken seriously if it's constructive, respectful, and on-topic.

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

This week's PTR build added in the Death Knight and Monk class pets. To put it bluntly: I am not looking forward to these pets in their current iteration.

Disclaimer: I'm aware that this is the PTR and things could still change. Nothing is set in stone yet. I'm desperately hoping things will change for the better, and class pets will be implemented in a more collector-friendly manner. At the same time, I'm a pessimist at heart. So... there's that.

Both the DK and Monk pets are purchasable from Class Hall vendors. Each pet costs 10k Order Hall Resources each (DK's have 3 pets, so 30k total). BoP and not cageable.

To see the pets on the vendor, you need to complete the class mount questline. To purchase the pets, you need to meet the following requirements:

Death Knight pets (3 whelplings) -
Must empower and fully unlock all artifact weapon traits for each DK spec (Blood, Unholy, Frost). This includes the new traits added in 7.2. Each pet requires the corresponding fully unlocked artifact weapon.

Monk (Ban-Fu, Cub of Ban-Lu) -
Requires the achievement Power Ascended (empower and fully unlock all traits for one Monk artifact weapon).

Note: It's still unclear how the Rogue class pet will be obtained. The PTR Pet Journal still only states "Hall of Shadows". If anyone has a high level Rogue on the PTR and can try/test where Crackers is from, please let me know!


Feels Bad Man
I don't know what to say about these class pets at this point. It seems bonkers that Death Knights must farm artifact power to fully unlock talents for not just one but THREE artifact weapons. It seems a bit unreasonable to require fully unlocking traits for any artifact weapon, if I can be honest.

Sure, Artifact Knowledge is going to increase come 7.2, so each AP token thing will grant more AP per. But it still takes time and energy to go out and collect each token. WQs, dungeons, raids, etc. These activities still all require so much time. Especially for those playing with a time constraint. If DK or Monk aren't main characters, it'll be rough grinding the resources and AP just for the pet(s).

I was going to add arguments and logic to this post about why these pets shouldn't be so heavily gated behind seemingly unreasonable requirements, but I'm tired. Emotionally tired.

Since this PTR cycle started, I've argued for compromise when it comes to class pets. Add more exclusive pets? Ok. But consider the player-base that actually want these pets, and implement the pets in a way that doesn't completely alienate them. No need for "dumbing down" the game, just a few tweaks here and there so collectors don't feel completely discouraged/turned off.

There have been valid issues about class pets post-Legion and come next expansion. DKs and Monk will essentially be trapped in Legion, farming AP and resources in order to buy their class pets. If there's a weapon requirement for these companions, what will happen if we don't get to keep these artifact weapons in the next expansion?

I've discussed on Twitter at length the changing environment that is pet collecting. How once upon a time it was less like a job, and more like a quirky pastime. These days, compounded with the extreme content over-saturation in Legion (and gating and RNG among other things), many collectors seem to be burnt out. Or they've put collecting on hold indefinitely. Would-be collectors simply see it as too daunting of an activity and don't even bother.

The addition of new class pets with stringent requirements doesn't help. Gating these pets behind tasks that have nothing to do with pets or Pet Battles doesn't help.

I feel like I've said as much as I can, as logically and reasonably as possible.

Yet I can't shake the feeling that all that I've said is in vain. Am I simply yelling into the void? Is my point of view that of the majority? Or vocal minority? Have I surrounded myself in an echo chamber, where thoughts and ideas just bounce back without any real discussion? Am I not stating each point well enough? Is my mode for feedback incorrect; should I be directing it elsewhere?

If I'm being unreasonable about my dislike for these upcoming class pets, I'll gladly bite my tongue and back off on the subject. If my suggestions for compromise and not alienating pet collectors are out of line, I won't push the issue further.

The majority of myself feels that my point of view is not irrational though.

And then there's a small part of myself, the devil's advocate, that's insisting that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. Perhaps it really won't be that bad.

Minus having to level each class that has a class pet.

Oh and having to contend with RNG for some of them.

Plus the gating behind certain Order Hall Advancements.

And can't forget about the steep resource price and artifact weapon requirements coming soon to a Class Hall near you.

Yea, sure. It won't be that bad. (Sorry for the sarcasm, but I feel so passionately about this whole situation that it's slowly turning into a sense of hopelessness/helplessness.)

So I don't know what to think anymore. Self-doubt, inner conflict, plus I'm incredibly discouraged and demoralized about the whole thing.

Do I hope that there's some future yet-to-be announced mechanic that will make collecting these pets viable next expansion and less tedious? Yes, absolutely. Even if there is, does it remove the fact that I still advocate compromise? No. I would still very much like to see these pets implemented in a gentler, more collector-friendly manner for those aiming to collect the pets in current content.

I just don't know what else/what more can I say to get my points across. I'm at a complete loss.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love Is Definitely In the Air

Happy Valentine's Day, February 14th, and/or Tuesday to all!

No new pets were added with this year's Love Is In The Air in-game event, but there was a new item that "buffs" an existing pet. ^_~


#buffpeddlefeet can now be realized with Peddlefeet's Buffing Creme! It puts a Well Buffed buff on Peddlefeet that turns him slightly translucent and sparkly. This consumable can be purchased from the holiday vendors for one token.

Some background: Once upon a time, a character by the name of Zepp dreamed of the day where Peddlefeet would be buffed. Perhaps this isn't the exact "buff" Zepp had in mind, but a buff is a buff. ^^;


In addition to the creme, while I was looking for a suitable body of water to use my Love Boat toy in, I discovered a tiny, adorable change to Dalaran (Broken Isles).

I'm not sure if this is temporary or a permanent addition, but it would seem Trashy has found a cute companion to spend this special day with. :)


Normally, Trashy is a mob that wanders around Margoss' Retreat (the fishing island floating just outside of Dalaran). Today, I was surprised to find him with Cinnamon, an adorable red panda with a bow. Cinnamon usually hangs out in Curiosities & Moore shop in Dalaran.

We'll have to wait and see if this love is just a fling, or something more. hehe ^^; (note: There's a Trashy Jr. hanging around in the Dalaran Sewers; could Cinnamon have anything to do with that...? *wink*)


Anyway, I hope everyone has/had a great day. <3

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mischief Raises Over $2.5 Million For Charity!


Today, Blizzard announced that Mischief sales generated more than 2.5 million dollars for Make-a-Wish, a non-profit organization!

Unfortunately for me, this number includes sales of both the in-game battle pet and the Blizzard Store plushie. I'm only keeping track of how much each charity battle pet raises.

Regardless, it's wonderful that players helped raise so much for charitable causes!

Here's the full list, now with Mischief included.

  • 2016 - Mischief (AND plushie) raised over $2.5 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation
  • 2015 - Brightpaw raised over $1.7 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation
  • 2014 - Argi raised over $1.9 million for the Red Cross Ebola Relief Efforts in Africa
  • 2013 - Alterac Brew Pup raised over $1 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation
  • 2012 - Cinder Kitten raised over $2.3 million for the American Red Cross Superstorm Sandy relief efforts
  • 2011 - Cenarion Hatchling raised over $1.9 million for the American Red Cross Japan Earthequake and Pacific Tsunami relief efforts
  • 2010 - Moonkin Hatchling raised over $800,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation
  • 2009 - Pandaren Monk raised over $1.1 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation

Estimated total: $13,200,000*

*includes money raised from sales of non-battle pet items

Thursday, February 2, 2017

First Thoughts On Class-Specific (Order Hall) Pets

Patch 7.2 is introducing what seems to be new class-specific pets from the Monk, Death Knight, and Rogue Order Halls. Similar to other Order Hall pets, they're BoP and not cageable.


This news has caused some concern and anger within the collecting community. We'll have to level even more characters if we want access to class-specific pets? Will all classes have a collectible battle pet from the Order Hall?

In regards to the last question - I speculate that yes, in time, ALL classes will eventually have an Order Hall pet. Some may have more than just one (Druids and Death Knights, for example), while others will share the same pet with another class (Demon Hunter and Warlocks).

I know some are hoping that these class-specific pets will stop with the new additions in 7.2, but I think that would be unfair to classes that have yet to receive an Order Hall pet (Hunters, Mages, Paladins, Priests, and Warriors are still lacking a class-specific battle pet).

If it truly is Blizzard's intention to release a battle pet(s) for each class, collectors have a daunting task in front of them should they desire to collect them all.

Locking pets behind a certain level on a certain class is a huge concern for some collectors. There are players that don't want to play more than a few classes, while others simply don't have the time to level up additional characters.

Since it's unlikely that Blizzard will back down from adding class-specific pets, I think consideration of these players and some compromise is in order. Here are some suggestions on how Blizzard can implement future class-specific pets. One or two or all ideas could be applied to a class pet.

(To be clear, I am prepared to level as many characters as I need to in order to collect each class-specific pet. However, I can ABSOLUTELY empathize with those that are unhappy with these pets. I also agree that it's a huge undertaking and completely overwhelming for those attempting to collect them all.)


1. Don't lock the pets behind a high player level, Order Hall talent, or additional RNG.
The best example for a compromise between multiple class-specific pets and player progress is the Shaman pet, Snowfang.

Players only need to reach level 100, complete the introductory quests to unlock the Shaman Order Hall, and then battle Snowfang the NPC.

Collectors get to experience a new/different class (and class hall), while not having to overexert themselves in order to collect a pet. They can level up, unlock the Order Hall, collect the pet, and then move on. Or, should they find that they enjoy the class, continue playing/leveling that character.

This method of collecting still requires effort and ensures the player experiences the class, but it does not lock a collector into a character for an undetermined amount of time, unlike the following pets.

The less favorable examples of obtaining class-specific pets are the Druid, Warlock and Demon Hunter companions. Not only does collecting these pets rely on at least player level 105, but it also requires a certain Order Hall level/talent AND RNG. All of these things compounded will only cause frustration for those playing certain classes just to collect the pets.

2. Have certain classes "share" the same pet.
Similar to the Warlock and Demon Hunter pet, there are some classes that could probably share the same class-specific pet. Priests and Paladins come to mind for a shared companion. This would give players the option to seek out the pet through one or the other. It would mean one less character to level, which would be a blessing for those that are not alt-aholics.

3. Make the class-specific pets cageable at the start of the next expansion.
Players will automatically want to participate in the new shiny content of the next expansion. Leaving the class-specific pets locked behind Order Halls is fine, but that will also mean players that want to collect the pets will need to extend their stay in the Broken Isles, rather than heading off into newer content.

If the class-specific pets become cageable at the start of the next expansion, both collectors that may not want to level alternate characters and those that play the classes but have zero interest in collecting the pets will have a chance to benefit. Everyone will be able to jump into new content without feeling as though they're missing out on anything. It would mean more are able to enjoy and appreciate these special companions.

I have to admit that this change would be somewhat controversial. The class-specific pets are indeed special - they are (relatively) unique to each class and the fact that they are BoP and not cageable only adds that uniqueness. It can be argued that by removing these two aspects, it also removes each pets' value/rarity.

But WoW is an ever-changing game and environment. It evolves and so must we. It doesn't happen often, but there have been a few times where aspects of certain pets has changed. And although it's subjective, I don't think the value of those pets has been altered to the point where they're completely unwanted. The majority of collectors will desire all pets, regardless of changes.

Side note, there was an interesting user comment regarding the "uniqueness" of the Order Hall pets. I hadn't even considered that some might feel these pets AREN'T unique and/or do not add anything to the class fantasy. If many collectors feel this way, there's not much reason to keep these pets BoP and not cageable since they'll simply be another item on a collecting-check list.

Blizzard has shown that they are leaning more and more toward implementing pets obtainable only through specific activities (Order Hall and PVP pets, just to name two). However, they're running the risk of alienating the very players that would even have an interest in these companions. This is why compromise is absolutely necessary. It's not the BEST situation for collectors, time and effort may still be required, but it lessens the otherwise overwhelming task.

There are many other ideas on how to make class pets more collector-friendly, not just the ones listed above.

I can only hope Blizzard takes into consideration the varying types of collectors/players, and implements future class-specific pets with compromises.

Friday, January 20, 2017

7.2 PTR - Pet Battle Dungeon (Wailing Caverns) Preview + First Impressions

Patch 7.2 will bring a new feature and challenge for Pet Battlers: a Pet Battle Dungeon!

Requirements: players must be level 110 and have a level 25 pet

The NPC in Dalaran (Broken Isles) will offer a new quest, A Call From the Caverns, which sends you to search for Muyani in Northern Barrens. You'll find this NPC in the left eye-socket of the skull above Wailing Caverns (see image below).

     

She'll have a second quest, Wailing Critters, and this sends you into a scenario version of Wailing Caverns to defeat the enemy pets inside. Speak with her again after picking up the quest to queue into the dungeon.


There's a total of 7 Stages in the Pet Battle Dungeon. Not a short run, so be prepared to sit down and do some Pet Battling!

Stage 1 - Defeat 3 different pets, Deviate Smallclaw (common beast), Deviate Chomper (common aquatic), Deviate Flapper (common flying)

Each pet comes with 2 adds. The pets are all level 25, common quality, and have the Elite passive.

Enemy teams are "locked" per instance. If you leave and rezone, the secondary pets on the enemy teams may change slightly.

Leaving the dungeon resets your progress, so only exit if you're ok with restarting the entire run.

You can heal/revive on the initial run (see below for additional details on a "challenge mode" version of the scenario).

Unknown if this is a bug or intended, but forfeiting most fights will result in your pet team taking damage (similar to forfeiting wild battles).

Stage 2 - Defeat Son of Skum (epic beast, 1745 HP, 305 Power, 294 Speed) and his 2 friends
One level 25, epic quality enemy pet with the Boss passive, plus two additional non-epic adds (no Boss passive)

Stage 3 - Defeat 3 different pets, Phyxia, Dreadcoil, Vilefang (all uncommon beasts)

Similar to Stage 1, each encounter comes with 2 adds. All level 25, varying quality, Elite passive.

Stage 4 - Defeat Hiss (epic beast, 1614 HP, 319 Power, 311 Speed) and his 2 friends
Same as Stage 2, one level 25, epic quality enemy with Boss passive, plus two additional non-epic adds (no Boss passive)

Stage 5 - Defeat 2 different pets, Growing Ectoplasm x2 (both rare magic pets)

Each enemy comes with 2 adds; all level 25, varying quality, Elite passive

Traveling to each battle requires running up a long tunnel. There are pulsating mushrooms (they're attackable) spread out around there that give you a stacking movement speed (debuff: Bilebloat).

Stage 6 - Confront the Shadowy Figure (le gasp! step not required in challenge-version)

There's no actual Pet Battling for this objective. Simply walk up to the shadowy NPC lying on the ground (he gets up once you get close enough, you can follow him). Some dialogue/RP will occur, and you'll move onto the final stage.

Stage 7 - Defeat Budding Everliving Spore (legendary elemental, 2231 HP, 353 Power, 300 Speed) and his 2 friends

Single pet fight against a level 25 legendary with the Boss passive, plus two additional non-epic adds (no Boss passive).

Once you've completed the final stage, you can jump down the cliff and speak with the NPC who will teleport you out.

Currently, if you complete the quest, zone out, and then zone back in, all of the enemy pets will reappear inside. I don't know if this intended or not. I haven't tested how much pet experience is earned from each battle, so I can't say if zoning in and out of the Pet Battle Dungeon would be a good tactic to level pets or not.

Turn in the quest and you'll be rewarded with an Ultimate Battle-Training Stone. 'But...is that it?' you might be wondering. That's definitely NOT the end!

Muyani will have a follow up quest (must have a certain number of max level pets, possibly 15, for this quest to pop up):
Pet Battle Challenge: Wailing Caverns (account-wide weekly quest) - This quest rewards Damp Pet Supplies (chance to drop 3 new pets).

There's a catch to re-entering the Pet Battle Dungeon for the second quest: NO healing or reviving (similar to the Celestial Tournament). That's right, this is the "Challenge Mode" version of the dungeon!

Note: You do not need to complete Normal each week in order to get the Challenge quest. After completing Normal the first week, you'll have direct access to Challenge mode from then on out.

With this in mind, I'd say this version is meant for more experienced and veteran battlers. This is a great option for those looking for something more along the lines of "end game" (although I'm sure some will be annoyed that they need to do the initial "easy/boring" dungeon first, before heading into the harder stuff).

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My initial impressions (I've already left feedback on the Bnet forums, but I'll go ahead and add them here too)...

Pros:
  • Fairly accessible to Pet Battlers of varying experience/knowledge. Initial run was straight forward, no real difficult gimmick. Only needed a handful of pets to complete the run.
  • Unlike Celestial Tournie, you can heal/revive in the initial run. Makes it less punishing for newer/less experienced battlers.
  • A second run can be done ("challenge mode") where no healing/reviving is allowed. Excellent option for more experienced battlers! (different reward)
  • Interesting cliffhanger for the initial quest! The antagonist is still at large, so I hope this hints at future Pet Battle content continuing the storyline. :)

Cons:
  • Forfeiting the majority of the encounters results in your team taking damage (similar to forfeiting wild battles). This may be a relatively minor issue, but will cause issue/headache for those that attempt the "challenge mode" version.
  • There's no easy/obvious way to exit the dungeon at the end, other than jumping down from the cliff.
  • Traveling to Wailing Caverns is a bit annoying, but minor issue.
  • Time commitment. This dungeon isn't exactly short. 7 Stages to go through takes time. Debatable if it's too long of a scenario. Exiting resets your progress so taking a break isn't an option.

The "normal mode" version of the dungeon will be very straight forward for veteran battlers. I only needed a few pets to defeat all encounters. You'll mainly go up against beast, flying, and aquatic pet families, so as long as you have pets that are strong/counter those, it should be relatively easy.

I've yet to try the Celestial Tournament version of the dungeon, so I can't comment on the difficulty level there yet. I'm thinking of waiting until there's a fix for losing pet health when you forfeit some of the battles, because that seems like an added and unnecessary level of headache.

All in all, I'm glad that there's something for everyone. Newer battler? Can still give this Pet Battle a try! Veteran battler? There's a challenge for you in there...go get it. ;)

I'm undecided on the rewards. The battlestone I could see benefiting newbies. Veterans will probably just bank it or use it on a spare pet (to sell/trade/keep).

The "challenge mode" reward seems appealing at first, but depending on the drop rate of the 3 new pets... it could become a tedious chore if it requires MANY MANY runs. Like I noted earlier, this isn't exactly a short run. Getting to Wailing Caverns also takes some time as well. The amount of time needed to get there, do the run, and then contending with RNG bag drops... it could get frustrating.

Not to mention the rewards are essentially reskins of existing pets. Is this enough of a draw for collectors?

Once collectors have the 3 new pets, what's to keep them from going back? Nothing, really. But I guess most abandoned the Celestial Tournament after getting all of the rewards, too. Perhaps the longevity of this content is not that big of a deal.

We'll see how well received (or not) this content is with the pet community. I'm cautiously optimistic about it. Although I may have enjoyed the experience for the most part, I can definitely see how this dungeon might come off as mediocre or 'ho-hum' to others.
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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.