Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Lap-Cat Interaction: Fitting and Sitting

Doobjanka contacted me over the weekend to let me know that a WarcraftPets user had notified him that the Savage Cub had an interesting (and new) interaction animation.

Emoting /sit at it would cause it to walk over to you, jump into your lap and then settle down for a cuddle.


Excited about a new interaction, I tried it out and sure enough, lap-cat!

Tweeting this on Twitter prompted a response from Coffeesaurus who tried the emote on a different feline pet. It seemed to work on a Silver Tabby, so what about other pets?


This made me want to test it out on other cat pets (including non-beast ones). They all had the same response to /sit. Lap-cats! Except for the Feline Familiar. For some reason she didn't respond to the emote. I guess my lap just isn't good enough for her. T_T Oh well lol.

I did some further testing:


  • Emoting /sit doesn't work when in any druid form (including Boomkin)
  • Doesn't work if you're wearing a costume (see image above).
  • Only works if you use the emote /sit. Using a keybind to sit down doesn't trigger the animation.
  • You can use the Magic Pet Mirror to transform into another pet (even a cat), and the emote will work (see image below).


During my early blogging days, I mentioned that the cat models needed some updating, including some sort of interaction. So I'm really pleased with this new addition to the interaction list. It's a nice touch to older/existing pet models.

I already absolutely LOVE pets that respond to you and/or the environment around them, but this just takes the cake! Echoing WayneWoods' Tweet:


I hope there are more hidden animations coming in the future. Perhaps /dance with baby bears causes them to dance too? /play makes flying/bird pets do a mountspecial animation? There are so many possibilities! :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Teams For Tanaan Boss Pets


click for larger image

I've been doing my 6-9 boss pet route (pictured above) on 3 characters for almost a week now, and I think I've got the run down pat.

I'm aware that howl-bomb pretty much finishes all of the NPCs off easily, but it's such an uninspired and boring strat to me. Instead, I've gone with my own teams.

I took ideas from @SerrinneWoW's Wowhead guide, then mixed and matched those with my own ideas. I wish I could say that the Wowhead comments on the boss pet pages also helped, but unfortunately those comments are largely filled with "howl-bomb works for all lawl"-type of remarks.

Anyway, the teams that I use work roughly 90% of the time. With bad RNG, I sometimes have to restart the fight. Secondary pets such as snakes and crabs can be my downfall (but not always), especially if they're P/P breed. Ouchies. Still, I'm satisfied with how it's been working out for me, which is well enough for my liking.

You could probably replace some of the pets that I use with other, similar ones. The Emerald Whelpling did well in place of the Emerald Proto-Whelp, for example.

As for the breeds, those are just the ones that I have. I'm sure other breeds could work (maybe even better than the ones I chose), but I haven't bothered to test them.

And yes, MVP of Tanaan pet battles is the Emerald Proto-Whelp. This little guy does some serious work!


Mirecroak -
  • Bush Chicken (1,1,1)
  • Ikky (1,1,1)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Tainted Mudclaw -
  • Ikky (1,1,1)
  • Bush Chicken (1,1,1)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Felfly -
  • Sentinel's Companion (2,2,2)
  • Dread Hatchling (2,2,2)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Corrupted Thundertail -
  • Stormwing (1,1,2) or Lil' Bling (2,2,1)
  • Mechanical Axebeak (S/S 2,2,1)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Dreadwalker -
  • Soul of the Forge (1,1,1)
  • Kun-Lai Runt (P/S 2,2,2)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Vile Blood of Dreanor -
  • Infinite Whelpling (P/P 1,1,1)
  • Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling (1,1,2)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Crused Spirit -
  • Zandalari Toenibbler (P/S 2,2,2)
  • Stinker (1,2,2)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Bleakclaw -
  • Nexus Whelpling (1,2,2)
  • Sprite Darter Hatchling (2,2,1)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Felsworn Sentry - (Testing this team a few more times before settling)
  • Shard of Cyrukh (1,1,2)
  • Kun-Lai Runt (2,2,2)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Any suggestions on how to improve these teams is welcome and appreciated! :)



EDIT: Continuation of my route with more teams. (Aviana's Feather from Felsworn Sentry to Throne of Kil'jaeden)

Dark Gazer -
  • Fel Flame (H/P 2,2,1)
  • Infinite Whelpling (P/P 1,1,1)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Skrillix -
  • Fel Pup (2,1,1)
  • Lost Netherpup (2,2,1)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Netherfist -
  • Fel Pup (2,1,1)
  • Lost Netherpup (2,2,1)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Direflame -
  • Eternal Strider (P/S 1,2,1)
  • Electrified Razortooth (1,2,1)
  • Emerald Proto-Whelp (P/P 2,2,2)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Patch 6.2 So Far...

It's been a couple of days since Patch 6.2 was released and I've managed to make good progress collecting the new pets.

All of the wild pets are now in my pet army, including the two elusive "only one spawn at a time" pets (Crimsonwing Moth and Sapphire Firefly). The latter two took me some time to find, and to be honest it was getting pretty frustrating towards the end of my search. I'm glad I managed to find both before I raged quit though. Neither was rare when I captured them, so I had to burn two upgrade stones on them.

With wild pets, the new menagerie vendor pets, and Nethaera's Light and Fel Pup checked off my list, all that's left are the RNG pets. That is, the drops, the rep grinds, and the missions/garrison campaigns that I have to wait to pop up. I'm already making a dent on the dropped pets though.

On day one of the patch I managed to complete Tiny Terrors in Tanaan, although I kind of cut it close to the daily reset. But can you blame me? It took me literally hours to complete all 15 in one sitting. Nevermind how difficult or how long each battle was, the travel time is what made it especially painful.

Some of the pets are hidden away in obscure and hard to reach areas, most of which are surrounded by level 100 mobs (sometimes elites). Being the first time I traveled to each one on live, I didn't quite know the best ways to get to a few of them. It didn't help that the in-game map isn't exactly accurate when it comes to terrain and geographical obstacles. I can't count how many times I ran into an impassible hill or crevice, and then had to make a wide circle to go around. Yikes did it take time.

But with that achievement under my belt, I've basically said screw doing the full route. Each day since, I've only traveled to 6-9 legendary boss pets. Less on my alt because she doesn't have Aviana's Feather, and more on my main because she does. See the image below for the path that I take daily; I start at the Vault of the Earth flight path.


click for larger image

If I have time and I feel up to it, from the last point I Aviana's Feather to the four boss pets in the north, near the Throne of Kil'jaeden. I completely skip the two outlying ones because pft. And I mean, 13 out of 15 isn't bad at all. That's 13 bags and 13 possible chances of getting a pet. :3

Speaking of the bag-dropped pets...


Yesterday the Periwinkle Calf dropped for me! My first one from the Fel-Touched Pet Supplies. I believe it dropped after my 22nd bag.


And today, after completing my route of 9, the Nightmare Bell dropped. :D I'm especially excited about today's pet because it's the only one from the bags that isn't a re-skin of an existing pet. Plus I struggled an unusual and frustrating amount on some of the later fights today. I normally don't have too much trouble on these fights, but an uncommon P/P snake with 8 rounds of Fel Corruption was kicking my ass for a while bleh.

So I'm very grateful and pleased that something awesome came out of my efforts. Made the failing worthwhile. :P

I've heard a few complaints about the legendary boss pets, and how little of a challenge they are for some. But "hard" and "easy" is relative isn't it? Someone with deep knowledge about breeds and counters will have a much better time than someone who doesn't. Same for those with a large pet collection versus someone that only has a few.

One thing that I can somewhat agree with is that there isn't a lot of necessary variation between strategies used for these new legendary battles. You can pretty much use the same teams (or a very similar team) for battles against boss pets of the same type. Up against one of the flying ones? Sentinel's Companion, Emerald Proto-Whelp and maybe one other to round it out, if not the Dread Hatchling. The same can be said about the other pet types, and the Emerald Proto-Whelp is pretty much MVP for all my boss pet teams.

I'd still categorize these encounters as decent as far as end game content goes, though. With rotating backline pets that have rotating abilities, and a tough frontline legendary boss pet (some that come back to life for a few more whacks at you), I'd say your novice and average Pet Battler will probably take a couple of attempts (if not more) to get some of these pets down. Naturally, veteran battlers won't have much trouble, but maybe the long travel time makes up for that? :P

Anyway, that about sums up my 6.2 experiences so far. I'm soooo looking forward to collecting more pets!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Look-a-Like Challenge - The End

With the addition of the Magic Pet Mirror in the upcoming 6.2 patch, the Look-a-Like Challenge series is done for.

The new toy will allow you to look like any of your (combat) pets, making the search and need for NPCs that look like pets unnecessary. I'm excited for the Pet Mirror in 6.2, but at the same time I'm a little sad to see this project come to an end.

It was a fun challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed the hunt for NPCs to turn into. Some of them required a lot of brainstorming and testing.

Thank you to everyone that provided helpful information on different pet look-a-likes, and thank you to my OH for assisting with the tougher costumes.

I look forward to doing a new, similar challenge/project, whatever that might be! (Any ideas/suggestions are welcome :D)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Collecting Reputation Pets In Patch 6.2

Wowhead has some new guides that will interest collectors in 6.2. Order of the Awakened and The Saberstalkers. Both factions have pets for sale but only to those with the right reputation.

For the Order of the Awakened, it seems as though there's only one main way to earn rep - complete the daily quest Unseen Influence for 1500 reputation.


You won't want to miss a day since you need Exalted with the faction before you can buy the Blazing Firehawk.

At the rate of 1500 per day, it'll take a total of 28 days of dailies. If you're lucky enough to come across a Medallion of the Legion it will cut down your grind time by roughly one day per medallion.


The Saberstalkers might be an easier rep grind, if you don't mind killing (elite) mobs over and over that is. You need to defeat blackfang NPCs in Fang'rila for their claws (the currency to buy Savage Cub) anyway though. Only Revered is necessary and you'll need 1500 claws.

It's tough to estimate how long it will take to reach Revered since there's a few different mobs that you can kill. The majority will reward 30 rep each, while the Fang'rila rare elites give 600 a kill. On top of that there's a weekly quest that rewards 3500 rep.

If you complete just the weekly, it'll take you 6 weeks to reach Revered. But it's almost certain that the grind time will be less since you have to kill the NPCs for claws and will earn reputation alongside that.

And of course, the Medallion of Legion mentioned above can be used for this faction too.

Keep in mind that all of these values are before any reputation bonuses, such as the buff from the level 3 Trading Post. I don't know if Order and Saberstalker reputation is affected by rep modifiers, but I'm hoping so!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Graves Collected!

Update: This little guy is just full of surprises!

Developer Jeremy Feasel pointed out on Twitter that Graves responds to not only /dance, but also /cheer, /talk, and /roar. Tried it out in-game and I feel bad for roaring at him because he ends up cowering. :( Still cute though :)

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

After a day of waiting (and some worrying), I finally received Graves! Wheee!

I logged into Heroes early this morning and was prompted with a notification that I had earned Graves (and the Hearthstone card back), so of course I had to log immediately into WoW and collect my little golem.

He may not have been able to help in the battle in Heroes, but he can come help me in Pet Battles instead! In just a few stone tosses (ok, maybe 24) Graves was quickly level 25. :)


Graves has some interesting animations. He idles about and also occasionally sits down. If you emote /dance at him, he'll do a cute little dance on his tiptoes (pictured above).

Additionally, he'll cast his signature telegraphed stun move and then stomp the ground (pictured below). If you've played Heroes before, you'll recognize this is the same move that Graves' larger counterpart does down in the mines on the Haunted Mines map.

     

It doesn't actually do any damage or stun, though. How neat would it have been if it had a daze/stun effect (but not an actual stun) like when Nuts throws acorns at you? Would have been really appropriate. :)

Overall, I'm pretty please with Graves. I haven't tried him in Pet Battles yet, but I hear he's decent. I don't know if he's an OP "must have" like a few other promotion pets though.

Regardless, I'd still recommend collecting Graves. It took some grinding in a game genre that I wasn't familiar or comfortable with, but it was worth it. He's got neat idle animations AND player interaction. Plus his flavor text and background gives me the feels in my heart-space...even if he's not the prettiest pet. :P

Blizzard is slowly working on sending out this pet to everyone (those eligible should have it by the end of the week), so check your Heroes account every now and then for the achievement prompt.

Good luck to everyone still working towards collecting Graves!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Crimsonwing Moth and Sapphire Firefly: One Always Spawned

Last week developer Jeremy Feasel (aka: @muffinus) responded to the concerns voiced about the upcoming Crimsonwing Moth and Sapphire Firefly spawns in 6.2. I tested it on the PTR, and at the time the moth did not have an instant respawn once one was captured.
"They were intended to be instant-respawn, fixed. There will always be one up."
It's great that these two wild pets have an altered spawning mechanic and they won't be exactly the same as the Unborn Val'kyr. Having at least one up at all times will make it a little less painful to hunt for.

I'll be honest and say that I'm still not thrilled about the way the pets are being implemented, but at the same time I'm grateful for this change to the original Valk spawning. It's as good a compromise as we'll get.

What will this mean for collectors, though? Once all of the pet spawns are discovered, there will be a lot of camping, sitting and waiting and server hopping. It will be a free-for-all, first come, first served. This in itself could be frustrating for some, especially those on a PVP server (yikes), but it's probably the lesser of two evils in this case.

I'm debating whether or not I'll be the first ones out there hunting for these two pets. Or if I should wait a few weeks until after the initial excitement dies down. Normally I go with the former. Word of new pets doesn't spread as quickly as a flashy new mount, and I've found that participation in the search for pets mostly picks up rather than dies down after the first few weeks. Only after maybe months does the interest waver.

Anyway, we'll see how I feel. Since these two pets are nothing spectacular and I'm not all that enamored by their spawning mechanic, I may just put it off until I've collected all the other 6.2 pets.

Then again, the itch to collect them all straight away might be too much to bear. My obsession with pets might compel me to sit for hours on end waiting for these two pets, against my better judgement. Well, that's what developers are hoping for right? Silly collectors like me who will do almost anything for a pet heh.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Balance, Balance, Balance (And Not the Druid Kind)

I wrote up an entire thing about flying and how it affects activities such as Archaeology and Pet Battles, but it started going off in a tangent that wasn't intended. So instead, I'll just lay out what I have plain and simply.

If Blizzard is dead set on no flying, then please, PLEASE create content with no flying in mind. Don't add in content same as usual; amend or alter them so that they accommodate the inability to fly.

This article that Lio linked explains how WoW has steadily shortened the stick upon which the carrot dangles. Not only that, though, but the tools to get to that stick have also been cut. Flying, for example.

When I read about the two new pets coming in 6.2 that will have similar if not same spawning mechanics as the Unborn Val'kyr, I was pretty livid. Not only did I not understand the logic (or lack thereof) behind it, but the fact that it felt like manipulation also upset me.

I gauge content and the desirability of it with the following (loose) equation. It's something I feel should be kept in mind when adding features and mechanics to the game.

RNG + Effort required = Willingness to participate

I say loose equation because 1 - I'm no math major nor was it my strongest subject, so I can't even say it's a proper equation. And 2 - the three things involved can be broken down into smaller parts. Perhaps it's more like a puzzle and these are just the three main pieces.

Anyway, to give an example of what I'm talking about, let's take the Sprite Darter Hatchling. Before and after Cataclysm, when the source of this pet was changed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pets With Unborn Val'kyr-Style Spawning In 6.2 - NO THANKS

Update: After thinking it over (and I've been thinking about this the entire day) I've come to the conclusion that IF Blizzard really, really wants to implement new wild pets using the Unborn Val'kyr spawning mechanic, they're pretty much damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Let's say they take into account the desirability factor of the two generic pets (a moth and a firefly), and decided to replace them with super new models with shiny new abilities. That would make them extremely desirable yet players would feel stuck behind the "one spawn per zone" mechanic. It addresses the "why should we care about these two pets" and "why do they deserve such unique spawning", but it adds a different type of irritation to the equation.

Well ok, let's pretend that the two pets aren't ultra special and they are just a moth and a firefly (how they are currently). We then return to the issue of why these two pets and why should anyone care. It feels like a gimmicky, pointless addition to the patch, all in the hopes of getting us out of our garrisons and wandering aimlessly in Draenor. It's almost as if our collector mentality is being taken advantage of and manipulated in order to give the false impression of engaging and compelling gameplay.

So what is Blizzard to do? Damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

My personal opinion is scrap the whole Unborn Val'kyr-style spawning and go with something else. Maybe the wild pets don't need any kind of gimmick. Just make them rare or spawn under certain conditions.

I thought about what made finding a pet fun and interesting, and for some reason Nethaera's Light (a 6.2 pet from Dalaran) came to mind. It's such a simple encounter, if you could even call it an encounter. Yet finding the NPC, figuring out what to do to trigger the event and adding the little candle to my collection -- all of that had me brainstorming and actually thinking. If that's not engaging (yet short-lived) gameplay, I don't know what is.

Perhaps that's what the Crimsonwing Moth and Sapphire Firefly need, some sort of simple mechanic that allows the player (not RNG) to take the lead. More gimmicks and what not, but if Blizzard absolutely insists on implementing these two wild pets in a way that's outside of the norm, then gimmicky ideas is what they'll get.

Just random ideas off the top of my head: Perhaps give a prerequisite to the Crimsonwing Moth. Only spawns if the player drops a campfire down in a specific location. Moth to a flame, right?

Or some other requirement that the player has to figure out. But something like that would be interesting and different. It would make the moth available only to those in the know. Gate it behind multiple requirements, whatever, go nuts. Sure, over time everyone will know about it, but by that time the impact of having players out trying to figure out how to heck to get the moth to spawn should be felt throughout Draenor.

Another random idea: Sapphire Firely spawning only at night, and only if you have another firefly pet out. Makes sense since fireflies are drawn to each other, yea?

My point is, you don't need to use extreme mechanics to make a pet rare or to draw out gameplay. One per zone at any given time is such a punishing concept, and it won't even help accomplish the intent behind adding two hard to find pets. Because guess what? Players will camp a spot, that is...sit unproductively for hours, capture their pet and then leave. The Unborn Val'kyr-spawning style leads to a mindless and infuriating activity, and it's not really necessary, is it?

And if it is necessary, someone please explain to me why.

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

An official 6.2 pet preview was released today, and while most of it is information we already know about, one piece (conveniently added towards the waa~ay bottom) is new and somewhat alarming.

  • Crimsonwing Moth -- A rare spawn in Talador with many spawn points, and only one ever appearing in the zone at a time.
  • Sapphire Firefly – A rare spawn in Spires of Arak who also has many spawn points and appears only once at a time.

Wait, wait, what? If I'm reading this correctly, this is Unborn Val'kyr-style spawning. In zones where there is no flying. For pets that are recolored versions of pets that we already have.

Again, WHAT?!

I generally try to avoid knee-jerk reactions, but I can't stop myself from being fairly annoyed and upset with this announcement. The underlying reason for my irritation though, is the lack of reasoning behind these two new additions and the way they were implemented. WHY?

To be clear, the Crimsonwing Moth and the Sapphire Firefly are two entirely new pets being added to 6.2. Don't confuse them with the other wild moth and firefly (Cerulean Moth and Violet Firefly) also being released in the next patch. Nope. The former two are special...kinda? Not really.

These two are not unique in any way other than their skins and planned spawn-style. Unless changes are made to their movesets, both have uninspiring abilities that are identical to other moths and fireflies.

So again, why are these two pets receiving such special treatment? Giving them the unique spawning must mean they are desirable and worth our time, right?

Because that's what we're going to be investing in these two pets. Time. Lots of it. Both Talador and Spires of Arak are zones where flying is not allowed. Sure, you can Aviana's Feather around every 10 minutes, but that doesn't exactly make scouting out the entire zone for ONE spawn any less of a headache. Even the Unborn Val'kyr was a pain to find (still is for some), and you can zoom around in the air in Northrend.

A mechanic that might set these two wild pets apart from the Unborn Val'kyr's spawning is if the spawns come in one right after another. A Crimsonwing Moth gets captured in one area, and another one immediately spawns somewhere else. One collector manages to snag a Sapphire Firefly, and another person is able to collect one almost right after in another part of Spires of Arak. That would make the difficulty of traveling around these zones less of a negative factor. But that's something we'll have to test once the PTR comes back up.

Even with this small consideration, I'm not exactly excited about these two new pets. Traveling around aimlessly, hoping for a spawn isn't very engaging gameplay.

I'm still failing to understand the "why" behind their implementation. Currently my only impression is that developers really wanted to stick these two pets in somehow, but also wanted to draw out 6.2 content. What better way, than to keep two boring wild pets just out of many collectors' reach! Two birds with one stone. Compelling. Gameplay.

I mean, some collectors still don't even have the Unborn Val'kyr. Granted the area in which those spawn is MUCH larger and spread out, but it's still disheartening news hearing that you'll have to find two more wild pets in a similar fashion, when you don't even have the Val'kyr that was added in Patch 5.3.0.

And again, I come back to the "why?" in this. Why these two generic, recolored pets? Why should collectors care about/desire these two pets? Why this style of spawning? I'm sure I'm not the only one asking these things. Unfortunately I don't think we'll get any real explanation, and the answers that I come up with on my own only anger me further.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Magic Pet Mirror Fun - Emote Animations

As you may already know, I'm incredibly excited about Patch 6.2, mainly because of the Magic Pet Mirror. This fun little toy is probably my favorite new feature of the upcoming patch, and will definitely be my first purchase from the new Menagerie vendor.

I did some testing on the PTR using the Pet Mirror and found out some neat things.

  • Any action performed (other than walking, running, and jumping) after using the Magic Pet Mirror will remove the effect.
  • The costume can be Skymirrored and/or copied by other players.
  • It has a one hour cooldown, and it applies a 10 minute buff.
  • Stacks with other toys, but only if you use the other toys first and then the Pet Mirror.
  • Stacks with Pepe on a few pets, but only if you apply Pepe first.
  • Can't be used on pets that can't battle.
  • You can perform certain emotes as the pet you mirrored!

The last part was the toughest to test. With a long cooldown and hundreds upon hundreds of pets to go through, it took a long time of cycling through characters to use their Pet Mirror (they don't share an account-wide cooldown on the PTR). I finally finished last night, though, and have a somewhat complete list of which Mirrored Pets have emote animations!

One thing to note about this list - Unfortunately I don't have an infinite amount of time to spend on the PTR testing each and every single pet for animations, so for pets that have the same or similar model (such as all the rabbits, cockroaches, etc.) I tested one and figured that any animations performed (or not performed) would also apply to the others that shared the same look.

So my list doesn't include EVERY pet (because, c'mon, that would be nuts), but it should cover all of the pet models.

Another point I should make - I didn't try out every single emote, just the main ones. Certain pets that are based on player-character models will probably be able to do all of the emote animations that players have.

I took some example screenshots for each tested pet (didn't capture all animations), but since there are over 70 images I'm only including the ones that I found the most interesting in this blog post. If you're interested in taking a look at all of the screenshots, I've created a gallery here.

Anyway, the list is long but I've sorted it by pet families and in alphabetical order. Some Mirrored Pets don't have any emote animations, but I included them anyway because... well, silly reasons. ;)

Aquatic

      
Aqua Strider
  • mountspecial
Hydraling
  • cower
Pandaren Water Spirit
  • cower
Spiny Terrapin
  • cower
  • sleep

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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.