Thursday, April 28, 2016

Legion Alpha: New Pets and More Pet Battle World Quest Updates

New Alpha build yesterday means new stuff and updated Pet Battle World Quests.
  • 6 new pets (2 of which were datamined way back in WoD Alpha/Beta, but never released)
  • Handful of updated pets - full list of Legion pets
  • Pocket Pet Portal (item that increases Pet Journal cap to 1500) is now rewarded for completing Battle on the Broken Isles
  • Confirmed(???) price for Narcissa's Mirror - 1000 Pet Charms (UNSURE about this, vendor was updated but it's still unclear if Pet Charms will be *the* currency for Legion)
  • 3 Pet Battle World Quests active daily (up from 2)
  • Better quest rewards! Pet Charms, multiple battlestones (but not Polished yay), and even Artifact Power

Also, seems like the Corgi Pup will come from a special vendor during the WoW anniversary period.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Legion Alpha: Oh, Ominitron

I haven't gone into depth about most of the Pet Battle World Quests (I've only been keeping track of them here), but today's battle was especially interesting.

I just can't resist gushing about a particularly hard or engaging pet battle, and this one was a bit of both!

One of today's Pet Battle World Quests on Alpha was in Stormheim. Oh, Ominitron - 3 level 25 epic pets: Mini Magmatron, Mini Arcanotron, Mini Electron

Don't let their 'companion' status on Wowhead fool you -- these constructs can kick some butt.

What's so unique about this battle is that each of these pets only has one ability. HOWEVER, upon hitting any of your team with their single attack, they automatically swap on that same turn. Each one's attack is pretty hard-hitting, but two are particularly annoying.

Let's take a closer look at each one.

First pet to come out is Mini Magmatron. He uses Incineration Security Measures before switching to the next pet (on the same turn). This is just a large AOE on your team. If he doesn't hit any pet on your team, he will not swap out. Instead he'll try using his ability again on the next turn, and will continuing trying until he lands a hit on *any* of your pets (doesn't have to be your active one).

After swapping, Mini Electron steps up to the plate. He uses Lightning Conductor, which is a single target ability but stuns your pet for one round. He's quite fast, so unless your pet has 311+ speed, he WILL be going first. Under most circumstances, that means he'll stun your pet before immediately swapping out (again, on the same turn). Same as the previous Mini, if his hit misses your pet, he won't swap.

The pet switching gets a little random at this point. Sometimes Mini Magmatron will pop back in and it'll go back and forth between him and Mini Electron.

But the real threat is Mini Arcanotron. You absolutely want to avoid this guy's attack, Arcane Annihilator. Not only is this ability a gigantic single target nuke, it also puts the Shattered Defenses debuff on your pet. Ouch. Again, once he hits your pet, he'll immediately switch with one of his teammates. If he misses, he stays and tries again until he lands his attack.

My Struggle and Eventual Success
Initially, I tried to prevent the pets from stunning my pets. Arcane Winds to the rescue! But the drawback was that that also meant I couldn't stun or root any of the Minis either. The constant swapping became an issue at that point. Especially when it came to the giant nuke + debuff.

Next I attempted to root the Minis, but that also seemed to be a mistake. Root Magmatron and he'll just AOE your team into oblivion. Root Arcanotron and he'll finish your pet all on his own with his super hard hitting + debuff attack. And last but not least, Electron - very few of my pets on Alpha are faster than Electron, meaning he has the move advantage and can get his attack + stun off first. Rooting him meant my pet was stunned and then dead before I knew it the majority of the time.

Side note: There might be a bug with this battle. Mudslide didn't seem to work on any of the Minis. Magmatron is an elemental, so it wouldn't work on him of course. But the other two... they just kept swapping like mad. I had no problem rooting them with other abilities though, so yea, probably a bug.

At this point I was pretty flustered. This was the first fight on Alpha that I had run into that left me feeling stumped. The rest I managed to work out, even with the limited number of pets that I have on Alpha, but this encounter...THIS ONE. Geeze.

I decided to enlist the help of the OH and see what his thoughts on it were. After a brief overview of the Pet Battle mechanics involved, we came up with a team that seemed to be more successful than my other attempts.

We decided that the biggest threat was Arcanotron, followed by Electron. Magmatron's damage wasn't to be ignored, but avoiding it wasn't as high a priority as dodging his bros. Avoidance was key.

So the team we made was Stinker, and two rabbits (both with 322 speed). Stinker was really just a damage/damage soaker to be honest. We used Stench but that ability is so unreliable. It did cause a couple rounds of misses for the Minis though. That probably helped a little. A third rabbit would have been preferable but my collection is lacking on Alpha. The MVPs were the bunnies and their speed.

With a full critter team, not only was the AOE weak against them, but they also couldn't be rooted/stunned. This neutered Magmatron and Electron somewhat (the damage was still high and shouldn't be ignored), which let us focus on Arcanotron.

Dodge and Burrow were the way to go to! My rabbits couldn't avoid EVERY attack from Arcanotron, but it was enough so that they could put some decent damage in on all the Minis. I had to really focus and think about each move before using it; any slip up would have been really punishing.

In the end I finally defeated this swap-crazy team - my Dust Bunny had 29 HP left. THAT'S how close it was. THAT'S how tough the battle was, at least with my limited collection on Alpha.

I think I would have had an easier time if I had access to all of my pets that I have on live, but I really couldn't say for sure. Maybe it wouldn't be easier; these Minis are no push overs.

Anyway, fight completed. It's been the most challenging (and frustrating) one on Alpha so far! I immediately went out and captured another 322 speed rabbit right after. Yenno, just in case this quest pops up again. ;)

Kudos to the pet battle dev team for this one. The encounter mechanics are new, different, and really make you consider your pets and strat carefully.

Tough fight, not impossible, but I could definitely see some players struggling with it. Pretty fun and feels rewarding when you get though!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Legion Alpha: Narcissa's Mirror (aka: *SQUEEING NOISES*)

I can't even begin to describe my excitement over a new toy coming in Legion (how we obtain it still TBA, however Wowhead has it listed as a purchasable item from a vendor for 1000 Pet Charms): Narcissa's Mirror!

This toy is sort of a sister toy to the Magic Pet Mirror, except instead of turning you into your pet, you turn your pet INTO YOU. How freaking awesome is that?

After some testing on Alpha, here's how it works. Keep in mind that all of this is subject to change, nothing is set in stone yet!

Legion Alpha: Pet Battle World Quest Updates

Alpha received an update yesterday (build 21531) and so did the Pet Battle World Quests (initial overview can be found here).

Here's a list of changes.
  • Pet Battle quest is NOT available in all 6 six zones on a daily basis anymore. Yesterday there were only 2 quests up, and today there's only 1 Pet Battle quest available (second quest was hiding in Suramar; thanks to @SerrinneWoW for pointing it out XD). (see this post where I track the available quests each day)
  • Pet Battle encounters are phased out unless they are the quest(s) of the day.
  • You cannot re-enter the battle once you've completed the quest.
  • Players sub-level 110 cannot battle the World Quest pets.
  • New type of quest: Find and defeat or capture X wild pets.
  • New achievement related to Pet Battle World Quests: Pet Battles > Battle > Battle on the Broken Isle (Complete 30 different Pet Battle World Quests - no reward (yet?))

Keep in mind that all of the above is still subject to change!

I'm a little sad to see that not all zones have Pet Battle World Quests available each day anymore. This greatly limits the amount of Pet Battle PVE content we'll have (initially) in Legion.

However a concern was brought up that the Pet Battle quests may take the spot of another type of activity, even though Pet Battling isn't as common a style of gameplay as questing, killing elites, etc. While I don't know if this reduction in the number of pet quests each day was made because of this concern, the change does seem to address it.

More testing will have to be done; it's not clear just how many Pet Battle World Quests are supposed to be available each quest rotation. One? Two? Enough to satisfy at least one objective in each of the emissary quests?

Personally, I'd like to see at least 3 up each day (half of total number of zones). Maybe 4. I think that would be a fair compromise. Depending on the randomization of quests each day, it would also still take at least a week+ to complete the new achievement.

Also, there was a new type of Pet Battle World Quest the other day - defeat or capture 3 different wild pets in the zone. One would think that that's pretty easy right? I mean, there's no legendary or elite/boss pet encounter to complete. However, I actually found this a bit more challenging purely due to travel time and time constraints.

Unlike the static PVE encounters, your objectives are spread out all over the zone. The challenge isn't in the battle, it's simply FINDING the battle.

For my quest, I had to defeat or capture a Vale Flitter, Shimmering Aquafly, and Spring Strider. The first one was easiest to find, but the last two were a lot harder since I wasn't very familiar with the zone yet.

On top of that, there was only ~20 minutes left on the quest duration before the World Quests changed for the day. That added even more pressure.

Some unknowns: Are the quest objectives static or will they change? Does each zone have a similar "fight 3 different wild pets" quest? Since I didn't have much time, I was unable to test if secondary pets counted towards completion. The Vale Flitter and Shimmering Aquafly were both primary pets, and I never found a Spring Strider.

So I'm not sure I like that type of quest. Maybe once I'm more familiar with the area and know where to find each wild pet, it won't be as bad. But I also worry about competition over these wild pets to not only complete the quest, but also collectors simply trying to collect them. Will there be enough pet spawns to adequately meet the needs of the number of players participating? We'll have to see I guess.

The other changes made seem more like bug fixes than anything. Being able to enter any Pet Battle World Quest, whether or not it was part of the day's rotation didn't seem like it was intended. Nor did the ability to repeat the fight over and over again, or sub-level 110s being able to engage in the battle.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

More Pet Tuning In Legion - Farewell Howl-Bomb

A number of pet tuning changes are coming in Legion, however even more updates are being considered.

New to the list:
  • Cleave damage reduced by 25% (no longer has a 1 round cooldown).

Dev note: We heard your concerns about adding a cooldown to cleave and agreed that this felt like a better solution.

  • Shell Armor duration reduced from 3 rounds to 2.

Dev note: Shell armor was very powerful compared to other flat damage reduction abilities, this should bring it more in line with them.

  • The damage bonus from Howl now only affects one attack.

  • Pandaren Water Spirit's Whirlpool and Geyser now share the same ability slot.

Dev note: This is our first iteration at disarming the Howl Bomb strategy in PvE, which has proven to be very powerful in too many situations. The goal is to make PvE battles more interesting and encourage the use of a wide variety of pets.
Developers are welcoming constructive discussion and feedback, as always!

I've left some feedback on one of the changes (Howl), because that one hits home for me. I'm biased since I *do use* Howl, but in non-Howl-Bomb strategies.

The Howl-Bomb nerfs were inevitable IMO, and while I'm a little sad to see it go (it was always nice to have a clutch strat if you got stuck on a fight or were short on time and needed a quick win), I'd like to think that it will be better overall for Pet Battle gameplay.

I wouldn't be surprised if a new 'go-to' strategy pops up though lol.

I don't think these changes are ready for testing on Alpha just yet, so those are just my initial thoughts. Depending on how these new tuning updates play out, I may change my point of view.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Baby Winston Has Arrived

I caved this morning and pre-purchased Overwatch Origins. It's a good thing I did because Baby Winston was delivered to those that bought Origins today!

So far I haven't noticed any interactions, but he's got some neat idle animations.

Adjusts his glasses

Throws down a force field shield and stands in it

Holds and charges up an electric weapon

And last but not least, he enrages and grows larger with glowing eyes and fists

Oh and throws out a few swipes and swings too

He's only got one tooth, which I guess is appropriate for a little baby. Still teething! D'aaaww. :)

Legion Alpha: List of Pet Battle World Quests

Keeping track of Pet Battle World Quests from Legion Alpha. My original post on this new feature found here, and an update to World Quests here.

► DAY 1 quests completed:

Azsuna - Training With the Nightwatchers (Nightwatcher Merayl, reward: Flawless leveling stone)
Pets: Breezy Book, Helpful Spirit, Delicate Moth (all level 25 rare)

Dalaran - Fight Night: Sir Galveston (Sir Galveston, reward: Magic leveling stone)
Pets: Sir Murkeston, Coach, Greatest Foe (all level 25 epic)

Val'sharah - Only Pets Can Prevent Forest Fires (Living Coals, reward: Polished Magic stone)
Pets: Cackling Flame, Devouring Blaze, Living Coals (all level 25 rare)

Highmountain - Snail Fight! (Odrogg, reward: Dragonkin leveling stone)
Pets: Rocklick, Slow Moe, Snot (all level 25 rare)

Stormheim - My Beast's Bidding (Robert Craig, reward: Undead leveling stone)
Pets: Thrugtusk, Wumpas, Baeloth (all level 25 epic)

Suramar - Threads of Fate (Felsoul Seer, reward: Polished Humanoid stone)
Pets: ??

Monday, April 18, 2016

Legion Release Date Announced - Two Upcoming Pet Changes

Blizzard just announced the release date for Legion: August 30, 2016!

Prior to the expansion, there will be pre-patch content that also brings a couple of changes for pet collectors.

1. Deathwatch Hatchling (reward for WoD Challenge Mode Guild Gold) will likely be removed from the guild vendor, similar to the Thundering Serpent Hatchling in MoP.

It won't be removed from the game completely, and will probably end up on the BMAH (same as the serpent hatchling). Still, I HIGHLY recommend collectors obtain this pet NOW, while it's still relatively "easy" to collect. There are a number of guilds that are accepting those looking to just collect the pet (see this thread), free of charge.

2. The WoD Digital Deluxe will be retired come Legion PRE-PATCH. This means the bonus rewards, including mount and pet (Dread Hatchling), will be unavailable once 7.0 hits. So if you want this pet, get it sooner rather than later. Post-Legion, the only source for the pet will be physical WoD CEs that you'll probably have to purchase from a third party website (Ebay).

Don't delay too long on these pets. The BMAH is a VERY unreliable source, and unless you're willing to shell out a good amount of RL cash for a physical CE, I would absolutely collect these two pets now while the collecting is straight forward.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pet Battle World Quests: First Look

UPDATE: Pets do earn experience for completing these Pet Battle World Quests encounters. My level 1 received 3625 xp from the Stormheim battle (My Beast's Bidding - see end of post for details). The battles are repeatable, but I'm unsure if that's intended or not. If yes, could make for some convenient grinding/leveling...?

Oh and I didn't notice it before, but the World Quests changed yet I was still able to repeatedly battle an NPC from the previous rotation. Definitely not sure if that's intended or not.

Good to see a rare quality battlestone as one of the rewards though. I say that but 4 other quests are Polished stones...zzzzzzzz. lol

UPDATE #2: Amalia was today's Dalaran Pet Battle World Quest! My level 10 pet received 4750 xp from her team of 3 level 25 rare quality pets. Can battle her repeatedly, but you don't receive the World Quest reward (battlestone) after the initial completion.

Keeping track of the quests, rewards and enemy pet teams towards the bottom of the post.

UPDATE #3: You can enter the World Quest pet encounters even before you're level 110. You won't get quest completion or any of the rewards (you do receive player experience though - 3762 xp @ level 100 from Rocko). Not sure if that's intended, but if it's intended then I guess it'll be great for alts/lower levels and pet leveling.

UPDATE#4: If you don't complete a Pet Battle World Quest and leave it up, it will automatically change once all of the quests rotate. Can't "save" quests for next day.


I finally hit level 110 on Legion Alpha! First thing to test: Pet Battle World Quests. Here's a quick breakdown of what I've discovered so far.

  • One Pet Battle World Quest per Broken Isle zone (includes Dalaran as a zone), which comes to a total of 6 possible Pet Battle encounters at any given time.
  • One quest per reputation objective. Example: Only the Pet Battle World Quest in Highmountain counts towards Highmountain Tribes. See this GIF as an example - highlighted quest marker = counts as part of the objective.
  • Despite only receiving two emissary objectives for specific zones, you can still go and complete any and all of the Pet Battle World Quests that are currently up.
  • Simply approach the Pet Battle area that's listed on the world map and you'll see an RP pop-up (similar to this dialogue, Tournie Announcer is specific to Dalaran though) and auto-accept the quest.
  • Battles are repeatable, but offer no rewards after the initial completion (unsure if intended).
  • Haven't tested whether or not these battles yield pet experience.

As mentioned in my feedback post on the official forums, I think the Dalaran battle is a bit overtuned relative to the rest of the encounters. Everything else was your standard, fight 3 level 25 pets though. (Details on each of the quests that I completed for this first round can be found after the cut.)

So far the rewards leave much to be desired. At least from a veteran's point of view. Battlestones? I have a decent number already, so one battlestone isn't really going to get me super excited to travel out and battle.

If anything, the prospect of fighting something new will probably be more of a draw for me. At least the first time. Depending on the (randomized?) reward, I may not travel out to complete the same quest a second time.

And can we talk about these Polished Battlestones? Why they're in the rotation as a reward, I don't even know. Even those newer to Pet Battles quickly grow out of uncommon battlestones. These just don't cut it as a reward at this point IMO.

Things I'm hoping to see: different rewards. Pet Charms, toys, rarity stones, new pets, etc. More varied rewards each round of Pet Battle World Quests too. Maybe one day 3 could give battlestones while the other 2 reward Pet Charms. Next day 4 battlestones and surprise, a new pet! Something like that.

Different types of battles. Throw in some curve balls that make me rethink my strategy. BUT! If these World Quests are meant more for newer Pet Battlers, then perhaps I'll have to wait for new challenges.

What concerns me is the longevity of this content. Once we've completed all of the battles at least once, collected the new pets (if there are even pet rewards for these quests), what will keep us coming back for more? The battlestones? Or will the "good" rewards be so rare that we'll be required to check back as often as possible?

Anyway, I'm beat. Spent all night reaching max level and then checking out these new battles. I'll add more to this as I come across it, but I'm way too exhausted to press on for now.

Below are the first 3 days of World Quests. I'm keeping a much longer list of encounters on a separate post found here.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

More Legion World Quest Thoughts and Questions

Both MMO-Champion and Wowhead have quick previews of what the max level World Quests will be like in Legion.

I'm still working on getting to 110 on Alpha so I can check out this new content for myself...almost there! But for now, these previews will have to do.

Unfortunately I'm left with more questions and thoughts than conclusive answers.

  • Not all Wolrd Quests will be available for the same duration of time - What's the duration on each Pet Battle World Quest? How quickly will they rotate?
If they rotate too quickly, some may not get to experience a certain encounter. If they change too slowly, it could cause some to lose interest in the feature entirely.

  • Reward for Pet Battle World Quests appear to be a (single) leveling battlestone (that I've seen so far) - Will the reward be JUST leveling stones? Or will they reward other things such as rarity battlestones, Pet Charms, etc.?
For newer/casual collectors and battlers, this sort of introductory Pet Battle content (IF that's the intent) will be great (if the encounters aren't super hard, that is). Catch up by doing a Pet Battle World Quest (each day?) to collect some stones and get that army of pets leveled up faster. 
For some veterans, one battlestone might not be enough to keep them interested after they've defeated all of the World Quest challenges at least once or twice.

  • Pet rewards to keep everyone interested, yay! - But will the new World Quest pet rewards be exclusively from the Pet Battle World Quests? Or will there be a chance they come from other types of content (PVP, PVE, Dungeon, etc.)? Will the reward match the activity, or will the loot table be shared across all types of World Quest content?
According to Jeremy Feasel on the official World Quests thread, "There will still be random, rare toys/mounts/pets from a variety of activities, this is simply a philosophy for World Quests." 
This leaves me wondering just how random it will be. Random as in, 'sometimes X Pet Battle World Quest will reward a battlestone, but it has a chance to reward A, B, or C pet other days!' Or random as in, 'sometimes Y and Z PVP and Dungeon World Quest will reward a new pet!' 
If I have to complete a PVP World Quest for a pet...I'm probably going to be really stressed out. :(

Other things:
  • Seems like one Pet Battle World Quest option per day/hour/week(???) for each zone/emissary, however we do know that there are a few different Pet Battle World Quests for each zone, so it's likely they will rotate.
  • It's still unclear if the World Quests are account-wide or not. I'm going to guess not, as it's dependent on a toon being max level.
  • Will the pets rewarded through the World Quest feature be cageable? Will they come in different breeds? What will entice us to keep doing the quests/collecting?
  • Difficulty level of each Pet Battle World Quest encounter is still somewhat unknown. Will the difficulty fit the reward?
  • If these battles are intended to be more for newer, casual, intermediate pet collectors/battlers, will it put off veterans? What about Pet Battle PVE content for sub-level 110 characters? Assuming there will be such content, how will that fit into the scheme of things? (Possible progression Pet Battle path in Legion = New Broken Isle trainers, then level 110 World Quest Pet Battles, and finally 'end game' ??)

Hopefully once I test the World Quests out for myself, a lot of these questions will be answered. I'm especially curious about the rewards though. Curious about what they are, and whether or not they'll be satisfactory for the majority of pet collectors and battlers.
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