small-scale violence in the world of warcraft

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who Is Getting the Love, Patch 5.4 Edition

Been about six months since I did an inventory on my level 25 pets, broken down by family. At the time I noted that I'd picked up a bunch of critters and aquatics, taking advantage of the easy pickings in the Valley, but I needed more magics. So how am I doing now?

critter - 45 (+19)
beast - 43 (+19)
aquatic - 34 (+15)
elemental - 25 (+9)
flying - 22 (+10)
humanoid - 17 (+7)
mechanical - 17 (+9)
undead - 15 (+6)
dragonkin - 15 (+6)
magic - 11 (+7)

Still dominated by critters, beasts, and aquatics. I really hope in the next expansion Blizzard does a better job of creating variety among the high-level wild pets. Among the other families, mechanicals made a strong move, fueled by my desire to have more options in the Celestial Tournament, where two of the four opponents in the final round are beasts. Magics are still in the back, but at least they didn't fall further behind this time.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

the night is dark and full of terrors

lately, for my weekly 10 pvp wins, i've been running this team. it's built around the combination of call darkness, which blinds all pets (except elementals), and nocturnal strike, which never misses if the target is blinded. while i don't keep a full win-loss record, this team clearly does better than any other i've tried lately - i'd estimate i win about 70-80% of the time with it, which ain't bad.

assuming my opponent cooperates, my preferred strategy is to use the whelpling to grind down my opponent's pets with plagued blood and tail sweep. big health pool and a low speed so tail sweep almost always gets its bonus damage. when he finally does go down, i use the bonus attack from the undead racial to call darkness. then i send in the birds. speed, speed-based bonus damage, nocturnal strikes, and more call darkness result in an orgy of damage. usually enough.

works well against: direhorns, the current flavor of the month. their beast damage is weak against flyers. also very effective against teams with a lot of healing.

works poorly against: elementals, since they aren't affected by darkness. teams using arcane storm and other magic attacks can be problematic as well.

Friday, August 2, 2013

a farewell to tol barad

so, after collecting a crapton of rusty rifles, killing a legion of already-dead ghosts and skeletons, and putting an ice jacket on poor lost problim more times than i can count, danger mouse has done enough tol barad dailies to purchase both a rustberg gull and a fox kit. along the way she got her first exalted reputation, and leveled from 85 to almost 88. i'm thinking it's time to give her a break and let her finish leveling with some soothing pandaria scenery.

mouse being mouse, she gave the fox kit a name that accurately reflects her pleasure at having achieved this milestone.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

leveling a low-level character with pet battles

i'm not exactly sure what the formula is for how much experience a sub-90 character gets for winning a pet battle, but i know it scales with both the character's level, and the level of the pets in the battle. as a result, a level 30 character battling level 9 prairie dogs in the south barrens doesn't get a lot of xp - probably less than she'd get herbing kingsblood. which brings us to this guy:

if ratshag the orc was still with us, he'd say something like "this amazingly virile piece of gnomeflesh be noggle the rogue. say hello, you buggers." so, say hello. hard to tell from the picture, but he's about level 35-ish. and yes, he's in the valley of the four winds. what's he doing there? i blame julie.

it started when she had me log on to her second account and fire up her baby monk. meanwhile, she got on her level 90 mage and opened a portal to pandalaran. once there, she transformed into her sandstone drake and i had the monk hop on. a quick stop at halfhill to pick up the flight path, and then a little hop over to the west, to the "dead zone". there's a nice big swath from farmer nishi over to the swampy plateau behind the area where old hillpaw keeps losing his chickens where there are oodles of critters but no hostile mobs. none. zip. and winning a pet battle against level 23-25 pets when you're only level 30 gets you more than a tenth of a level. in just a couple of weeks of occasional playtime she managed to get her monk from 30 to 60. so i asked her to transport my little rogue over as well. and he's picked up ten levels so far.

every now and then i'll stray a little to close to the edge of the dead zone, and a wolf or a vermling will have himself a nogglesnack. and sometimes a high level character will do a double-take and ask "you lost, little fella?" but mostly it's just a quiet and relaxing way to level yet another alt.

Friday, July 19, 2013

in which llanion returns to provide me with delicious blog fodder

don't know exactly what this will be yet, other than it's patch 5.4's move to provide a new challenge for pet battlers, and get new rewards. one of the details that's leaked out is that you need thirty level 25 pets to participate. now, like most things in wow, whether a particular benchmark is hard or easy is completely subjective and i try to not to worry about such things. but some folks commenting on the wow insider article got their knickers in a twist over the gating. and i mentioned as such in the blog azeroth chatroom this morning, leading to this conversation:

llanion: Now, I haven't played in two years, so maybe I'm mis-interpreting something radically..
llanion: How many people who aren't hardcore Pet Battle enthusiasts are going to want to enter a PET BATTLE TOURNAMENT?
stoppableforce: ^
ratshag: people who want the four new pets you can buy with your winnings
llanion: I think part of my brain is trying to dribble out my ears and my workday isn't even half over yet

then i happened to mention the arguments over whether or not a chance to miss should exist in pet battles. whoa nellie:

llanion: ...please tell me they're not theorycrafting the Pokemon minigame.
ratshag: some refuse to believe that it would convert pet battles into tic-tac-toe with pretty graphics
llanion: Look, Ratters, my desk is part of an entire double row of six, and flipping it would be really, really difficult.
ratshag: lol
llanion: So, you know, lie to my face if necessary; I need to hear that they're not actually theorycrafting the Pokemon minigame.
ratshag: no, we would never do that
llanion: Oh, good.
llanion: I was worried for a moment there.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

shove up, gamon, ...

...and take for kor'kron friends with you. galertruby's got level 1 pets that need some xp before heading out to pandaria for leveling, and you buggers are in his way.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

qiraji guardlings for everybody!

in case you missed the news, last night blizzard hotfixed a major boost to the spawn rate for qiraji guardlings. from what i was seeing the on the forums, the tidal surge of players hunting them had already started to ebb as more and more people got theirs and left the zone, and the hotfix finished it. this morning i logged on to the alt i had parked in silithus, and there was a guardling fluttering right in front of her. after capturing it, i cruised around the area and saw four more, completely unmolested.

so what prompted this abrupt change from blizzard? was it the wailing and threatening to quit the game on the forums? was it the swarms of death knights being created on the handful of servers that have no crz? was it the griefers killing guardlings before someone could capture them? or was it the massive gold rush into silithus in general? whatever it was, doing it as a hotfix instead of waiting for weekly maintenance suggests things were not going as planned. given that all these factors were things i as a player fully expected to see, i have to wonder once again what game it is the folks at blizzard play. it may be called "world of warcraft" but it doesn't appear to be the game we are playing.