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.

Friday, June 21, 2013

if you don't have a minfernal yet ...

... now is probably the perfect time to go snag one. all the pet farmers are in silithus camping for their guardling.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

gotta name 'em all

got my second lil' bad wolf the other day (i gave the first one to julie) and now it is time to bid farewell to karazhan. over the years i have farmed it for loot, for badgers of justice, for attumen's pony, for transmog gear, and now for pets. nothing left to go back for now, at least until blizzard puts something new in there. seems only appropriate to name the little fella after kara's biggest fan.

okay, yeah, i realize it would've been better if it'd been a rabbit. nothing's perfect. there was a spiffy bit of hunter loot that dropped along with the pet, though...

...and now it is summer

people are reporting seeing qiraji guardling spawns in silithus, so it is now finally possible to capture them, completing world safari and getting your zookeeper title. me, though, i'm gonna wait a week or so for the crowds to die down. they'll still be just as fresh.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

raiding with leashes ii progress

farming the burning crusade raids for the pets has been a big honkin' time sink for me since patch 5.3 went live a few weeks ago. i've been running karazhan with a dozen different toons each week, and tempest keep and serpentshrine cavern with several. along he way i have discovered a few things. loot reaver is immune to leaching poison, which resulted in my poor level 85 rogue getting smooshed rather brutally. on the other hand, a level 90 protection warrior's second wind talent regenerates health fast enough that i was able to go afk for several minutes right in the middle of lady vashj's phase 2 with no trouble.

so, how am I doing on finding the new pets?

bosspet for juliepet for me
big bad wolfx*-
terestian stranglehoofxx
prince malchezaarxx
void reaverx-
high astronomer solarianxx
hydross the unstable--
morogrim tidewalkerx-
lady vashj--
* = i just went and bought one off the auction house for julie

big bad wolf has been my nemesis in karazhan. he shows up plenty of times in the opera event, he just has yet to drop the pet for me. bastard. good news is, since he's fairly early in he tower, i'm not spending a lot of time there anymore. if it was prince i still needed pets from, and i was still having to run chess many times each week, i'd be a sad ratters.

as for the rest? they'll drop eventually. and then tito will be mine! but i do wish ssc was easier to get to, particularly when things go south and you have to run from one of those graveyards halfway across the zone....

Monday, June 3, 2013

the very rare turtlepede

was out in the valley of the four winds, doing my daily imperial silk transmute (yes, someday my tailor will make it to 90 and grind to exalted with the augustus gloops so he can learn to make royal satchels. maybe). anywho. saw this rarely-seen-in-the-wild eight-legged turtlepede patrolling around the silken fields.

oh, those silly mages and their glyphs....

Thursday, May 30, 2013

balancing time vs reward

one complaint frequently aired on the official pet battle forum is that it takes far too long to do all the pet battle dailies. which, well, is true. it does take a long time. which is why i don't do them all.

here's what i've been doing, most days. i start with the thundering pandaren spirit, conveniently (if you're horde) located in the hills above the shrine of two moons. if you bring a fast rabbit as your first pet, this fight is fairly easy and you can let a baby go in as your second pet to get the xp. then it's down into the vale of eternal blossoms for aki the chosen. send in a baby pet first, then a crab with shell shield and healz to clear out her first two pets. pretty much any bird can finish off her last one.

next i cross the mountains into the valley of the four winds. maybe pause for a few minutes to harvest golden lotus on the farm, or motes of spirited away, or whatever i planted yesterday. across the fields to farmer nishi, who is easy like a sunday morning. pretty much any strategy works worth her - i go with a water strider to take out her elementals (swapping in a baby pet to take a hit when toothbreaker does his night of the living turnips move), and finish it off with my darkmoon tonk's ion cannon of badassity.

finally, it's knock beasts of fable book ii time. these guys give lousy xp, so i don't bother trying to level baby pets of them. conveniently located in the valley are mostly harmless yi (easily downed by team yeti) and greyhoof (call lightning and let slip the ion cannons of war). just across the border in the krasarang wilds is skit-skit-skittererer xi'a (all darkness and nocturnal strike spam). and then i'm done.

so how'd i make out? 20 valor points, three big fat lumps of xp for baby pets, four shots at flawless battle-stones, a shot at an earth spirit pet, and a shot at a panda pet. all in under twenty minutes. feels good to me.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

and oh yeah, lucky yi

forgot to mention yesterday that lucky yi is also an elite pet who can heal himself, and is therefore tougher to beat after the patch 5.3 changes. sadly for yi, this just means that he got upgraded from "harmless" to "mostly harmless." it's still a "bring your yetis, and let the rampages roll" kind of fight.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

beasts of fable in 5.3

when the "elite" pets were introduced in patch 5.2, they were pretty much a joke. i slapped together three beast-damage pets for killing the elite critters, three mechanical pets for the beasts, and three flyers for the aquatics. almost no thought at all, and the beasts of fable were on farm. yawn. the only hard part was the time required to travel to all ten.

yesterday, patch 5.3 made some changes. instead of one quest to kill all ten, there are now three quests, each of which gives the same reward as the original. so you can choose how much time to invest versus how much reward. yay on that.

but the pets themselves were also changed. they have only half as much health, but all incoming damage is cut in half. (their power may also have been increased a bit, but i'm not sure and it's hard to check). for many of the pets this has no net effect - still takes the same amount of damage to kill them. for those that can heal themselves, however, the impact is huge, since the amount of healing was not halved. killing these guys - nitun and dos-ryaga - is now a lo harder. not surprisingly, the official pet battle forum erupted with cries of "it's impossible!" and "gg blizz" and "that's it i'm gonna cancel my account."

but of course, it isn't impossible, as the second wave of posters on the forum pointed out. you just need to make sure your teams are prepared for what they'll be facing. for dos-ryaga it turned out i was already set - i've always sent in my crow first and opened with call darkness (followed by nocturnal strike), and that messed up his healing enough that i didn't notice the difference. nitun, though, he gave me fits for a while. other than trouble the kun-lai runt, my team wasn't damaging him enough to overcome the healing he got when he killed them. so i ultimately brought in the duck of death and my brilliant kaliri - both flyers so his beast attacks were weakened. beast damage, speed bonuses, and predatory strike to finish him off. i'm sure there's more ways to skin this raccoon (the post that said the undead racial bonus negates his healing ability has me intrigued) and i'll try at least a few more of them. what's important to remember is, these battles are puzzles. if your first plan doesn' work, take a step back and try something different. enough thinking and patience, and you'll find a solution.

Monday, May 20, 2013

the first pet battle

i'd forgotten all about this until this weekend, when i was leveling my warlock through mount hyjal. near the end of the zone, when you infiltrate the twilight's hammer cult, instructor devoran asks you to take his pet corehound out for some fresh basilisk meat and a spiked collar. then he sends you out to fight the ogre gromm'ko's champion raptor, butcher.

i was halfway through the last quest when i realized, "oh my gods, this is pet battling!" and it was, up until the point where the ogre got all pissed that his pet had lost and i had to kill him. these days, we're too sophisticated for such juvenile displays of temper, and just talk smack about how op the other guy's pet is on the official forums.

Friday, May 10, 2013

one does not simply walk into the darkmoon faire

"concealed within his fortress, the lord of the darkmoon faire sees all. his gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth, and flesh. You know of what I speak, gandalf: a great eye, lidless, wreathed in flame."

plus it shoots a frickin' laser beam, which never misses. wicked cool. so, thanks, jeremy feasel.

(julie was so happy that i got this this morning that she gave me not one, but two fingers!)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

gotta catch some more of 'em

"gotta catch'em all" never really entered my mindset. i mean, i have a lot of pets, but there's still a bunch i don't, and i still sleep fine at night. but they are out there, waiting to at least be cataloged, whether i ultimately get to them or not.

so, here is the list of pets i don't have yet (omitting trading card game pets, collector's editions i didn' buy, promotions in china, etc) and what I would need to get them. should i choose to do so.

mulgore hatchling, ammen vale lashling, dun morogh cub, elwynn lamb, mechanopeep, shimmering wyrmlingdrag my butt back up to the argent tournament and do dailies
searing scorchlingdrag my butt back to the molten front, do dailies to buy the reward bag, then get lucky
clock'emdo more fights at the brawler's club
crawling clawkeep doing archeology and buying tol'vir fragments from brann bronzebottom. then get lucky
jade owl, sapphire cub, mechanical pandaren dragonlingremember that i've got characters that can craft these, and then craft them
aqua strider, azhure whelpling, crimson whelpling, darkmoon rabbit, disgusting oozeling, emerald whelpling, firefly, gundrack hatchling, hyacinth mccaw, ji-kun hatchling, lashtail hatchling, living sandling, lumpy, mojo, razzashi hatchling, snarly, son of animus, tiny shale spider, zandalari anklerendergo to the auction house and drop several metric craptons of gold
warbotremember that i can just buy this from a vendor now, and go do it
tiny flameflystop forgetting do finish that quest chain in the burning steppes
darkmoon eyecontinue to battle jeremy feasel every day the darkmoon faire is in town. and get extremely lucky
fox kit, rustberg gullgo back to tol barad, and grind out dailies
gold mini jousterdo that quest in mount hyjal again, and this time remember that i've already got like seven blue jousters
hoplingdo that thing you gotta do in the stormstout brewery. with the magic beer or whatever it was
jublingdo that thing at the darkmoon faire. something to do with dark iron ale or somesuch
porcupettekeep doing daily npc tamer pet battles, then get lucky
qiraji guardlingsummer is coming
snow pandakeep doing the fabled beasts daily. triple the odds when 5.3 lands!
spawn of g'nathusarmtwist my friends into helping me kill g'nathus
spectral porcupettegrind on dinosaurs
sumprush rodentkeep working on operation: shieldwall dailies
tiny red carp, tiny white carpjust keep fishing. just keep fishing
lil' tarecgosaget my guild rep up in one of the raiding guilds i have an alt in, then go buy it
thundering serpent hatchlingget an alt in a way better guild
wild crimson hatchling, wild golden hatchling, wild jade hatchlingget my butt in gear and grind out all the order of the cloud serpent rep, then capture them

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

and she's back in the game. for now, anyway.

my wife took a sabbatical from wow to focus on school and work these past few months. the semester is winding down now, and this weekend she logged on and started leveling alts through pet battles. after enjoying herself for a few hours, though, a problem arose.

"why didn't you tell me there are four new untradeable pets that can only be got through fishing?"

"i dunno. i thought i mentioned them at some point."

"I gotta have them."

"you gotta?"

"i need!!!"

and she was off.

of course, fishing is a slow process, even when you aren't trying to catch really rare fish. so she did some research, and ran across the ancient pandaren fishing charm, which gives you a buff that gives you a 20% or so chance to get a bonus fish every time you catch one in a fishing pool. to get it, you have to talk to the ghostly pandaren fisherman, a friendly npc who spawns once every few hours in the valley of the four winds. (i probably read all this back at the beginning of the expansion, and then promptly forgot it.)

unlike me, julie does nothing half-assed in this game. she set up her npcscan add-on to detect the fisherman. she parked herself right at his spawn point. then she launched a second wow session, logged on to her second account, selected a character on a different server, and parked that one at the spawn point as well. then she fired up her other laptop and proceeded to do school work. after maybe an hour, the scanner alarm went off, followed immediately by a triumphant "ha-ha!". then she switched to a different character, parked it, and got back to her homework.

by the end of the day, she'd picked up fishing charms on five different characters, including one of mine (thank you, love :) ). along the way, she had a couple of conversations with other players who said they'd been looking for the fisherman for "weeks", and then flew away. moral of the story: this is a game that rewards patience.

she hasn't got any carp yet, but i expect she'll get all four before i do (i still need red and white). either that, or school will pick up again in the summer and she'll make me play her account to get them.

Monday, April 22, 2013

hydra doesn't pvp. except when she does.

hydrargyrum, of the twisted nether blogcast and (when she remembers she still has a blog) almost evil,  is my oldest wow blogging friend. we met back when we were the only two wow bloggers on the now-defunct blogging / pre-facebook social media platform. long time ago, that was. somewhere along the line one of her alts on my server got lucky and picked up a winter's little helper pet, which she generously gave to me.

for years it sat in my bank or pet book, only coming out on occasion during the winter veil holiday. when we got the ability to name our pets this expansion, christening it "hydrargyrum" seemed the appropriate thing to do. and at some point, even though it was only an uncommon pet with a really strange spell set, i decided to level it to 25. then i found myself with an extra flawless humanoid battle-stone, so i stoned the little gnome because why hell not?

and then the other day i ran across a pvp team comp that caught my eye. kun-lai runt (a very popular and effective pet currently). slow tundra penguin. and winter's little helper. didn't have a penguin of that particular breed, so i substituted pengu - same spells, but a little faster and a little weaker. wasn't worried about it, because i still think that, with certain exceptions, having the right breed is greatly overrated. anywho, three pets, all with the ability to "chill" an opponent, and all with an ability that gets a bonus when hitting a chilled opponent. so how'd hydrargyrum, slide, and grievous muppet do?

they pwned teh face.

over the  course of the weekend they racked up twelve wins against five losses. not too shabby. along the way i picked up the experienced pet brawler achievement. fifty wins isn't a lot, at least when compared to my pve wins, but pvp is still so darn slooooooooow and doesn't offer much in the way of rewards. yet. can only do a few battles before my brain starts pointing out how many opportunities we're losing by not doing other stuff. but still, i have fun while i'm doing it, and i'm looking forward to the pvp achievement grind that will come in 5.3. mostly.

but remember - hydra doesn't pvp*

*old joke. she'll know what i'm referring to ;)

Monday, April 15, 2013

there will be blood in the water ....

.... and the sharks will come.

one of the new achievements in patch 5.3 will be brutal pet brawler, with the very enticing reward of a stunted direhorn pet. i fully expect that a large number of pet collectors who so far have avoided pvp battling will give it a shot, because, you know, gotta catch'em all. but there are some distinct differences between pvp and pve, and if you aren't prepared in advance you're in for a drubbing. most notably, it's not enough to put any three good pets together and call it a team. if the pets have abilities that (a) build off of their other abilities, and (b) complement the abilities of their teammates, it gives you a very powerful edge. for example, a triple conflag team uses two fire elementals to set the enemy on fire before dropping the conflagrate bomb (bonus damage against burning targets), but also has a dragonhawk with a flying attack to cover for them should the enemy send in an aquatic pet. i won't say it's impossible to beat a tight team like these with any three old pets, but it'll be damn hard.

so far, i haven't done a lot of pvp. i like it, especially the fact that it encourages you to use a much wider variety of pets than pve does. but i've got milestones to reach, and both the queue times and the slowness of the fights keep me from doing more than a handful of fights before going back to more time-efficient game elements. but i've done enough that i can spot someone who is just "checking it out" as soon as the fight starts, and I know my odds are very good. (against more solid teams, my track record is roughly 50-50; i can hold my own, but i'm no master). if the patch does bring in a big influx of non-pvp'ers, i'm afraid i'll be doing my part to make it as unpleasant a learning curve for them as possible. after all, i want a baby dinosaur pet too....

i am kicking around an alternate idea though. if a number of non-pvp'ers (or pvp'ers willing to set aside their solid teams for a while) could meet up on a particular server and all queue up, it might be enough to swamp the queue with amateurs. the result would be short, if not instant, queues and fights that were quick and evenly matched. a couple of hours, and everyone could knock out a good junk of the 250 needed wins. not sure how many people this would take. five, maybe? ten? it'd be interesting to find out, and it would be a good excuse to bring my all-squirrel team out to play.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

who's getting the loving now?

six weeks or so ago, i tallied up all the level 25 pets from each of the ten families, just to see. now, after after a few weeks of using pet battles to level characters, thanks to the xp introduced in 5.2, i've got a lot more 25s. so i am again curious to see how the families are faring. numbers from the last time are in parentheses, for comparisons.

critter - 26 (+11)
beast - 24 (+5)
aquatic - 19 (+7)
elemental - 16 (+4)
flying - 12 (+5)
humanoid - 10 (+3)
undead - 9 (+3)
dragonkin - 9 (+4)
mechanical - 8 (+1)
magic - 4 (+0)

big gains for critters and aquatics, due to all those rares i captured in the valley of the four winds getting leveled. gotta do something about the magic situation.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

some thoughts on the changes to hit and dodge

in pet battles, there is a baseline 5% chance that you will miss an attack against an opponent of equal or lower level. there is also a 5% chance that your opponent will dodge your attack. i grew up in a world filled with dice, spinners, rnd() functions, and, when nothing else was available, the last digit of each phone number on a page torn out of an old phone book. as an adult, a big part of my job is managing risk. also, i still play d&d, so there's still lots of dice. as a result, i've been rather baffled by all the people on the wow forums claiming that random outcomes have no business in mini-games like pet battles. there has been a deluge of complaints since day 1, some constructive but many from people with no understanding of confirmational bias, claiming to have been the victims of all sorts of statistically unlikely events (such as missing 15 times in a row). sometimes people report having thrown hellacious temper tantrums, as if this was something to be proud of.

playing zombie dice with these people would probably be a miserable experience.

in patch 5.3, blizzard is going to overhaul the entire system, much to the delight of people who are uncomfortable with probabilities. the baseline chances to miss or dodge will be reduced to 0%. there will still be a chance to miss/dodge higher level opponents, but it will be reduced from 5% each per level to 2%. all tooltips will show the chance of missing (no more "this attack has a moderate chance to miss").


a number of basic attacks will now have a small (5-15%) chance to miss, instead of using the baseline. to compensate for the reduced accuracy, the damage for these attacks will be increased 5-15%. these attacks are mainly the no-frills attacks pets typically get at level 1, such as chomp, diseased bite, and water jet. the thinking is, players will find it more fun if they can opt-in to a baseline chance to miss, rather than have it imposed on them. for the full details, go here.

so what does it mean? for starters, it's a blow to healing. healing abilities were never subject to the 5% baseline (how would you dodge your own heal), so they gain nothing while attacks are getting a 10% buff. the other effect that i can see possibly coming from this will be in pvp.

a lot of pet battle players have shown themselves to be extremely averse to the element of chance. therefore, i expect them to avoid using the attacks with a chance to miss, whenever possible. and this may be something that can be used against them. look at it this way: an attack that does 10% more damage when it hits but misses 10% of the time means that most of the time i'll be doing a little better than my opponent, and some of the time i'll do a lot worse. over the long-term it all averages out, but so what? if i can win a bunch of fights by a small margin, i won't mind getting trounced every now and then. now, there's a lot else going on, and the most effective attacks are generally the more complex ones not getting the chance to miss treatment, so the ultimate impact may be too small to notice. but i will definitely be selecting these attacks when setting up pvp teams, and i'm very curious to see how it will all work out.

Friday, March 29, 2013

more pet names, some with reasons

with over 400 unique pets, more than half of them rares, coming up with names for them is a neverending battle. here's a list of some of my newer ones, in no particular order other than alphabetical.

bad attitude - lil' ragnaros. b.a. baracus would be proud - "too soon! you have awakened me too soon, you crazy fool!"

buggernaut  - fire-proof roach. because he is one.

cat in hat - feline familiar. seemed like a reasonable name for a cat wearing a hat.

cute widdle paws - prairie dog. because mylune and her heaving, eye-level bosom want it that way.

deadliest catch - emperor crab. wednesday nights on the discovery channel.

dreamer - wanderer's festival hatchling. "one day we'll find it / the rainbow connection / the lover's the dreamers, and me."

hanged man - restless shadeling. if you've read walter jon williams' metropolitan, then you'll get the most excellent reference. if not, well, that's not my fault now, is it?

j thaddeus esq - huge toad. because of this huge toad:
Separated at birth?

mighty unclean - stunted yeti. "i'm dirty, mean, and mighty unclean." yeti needs a bath.

feisty oscar - red panda. just because.

whole lotta rosie - silithid hatchling. she's a whole lotta woman.

meanwhile, i have found that the names of the 50 states are not allowed for pet names, but if you drop the directional prefix the game'll allow it. so "dakota slim" or "carolina crunch" are good to go.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

some yays and boos

item one: the quiraji guardlings did not appear in silithus at midnight last night. or at three am pacific time. or after some rolling restarts. it appears very likely at this point that nobody is getting their zookeeper title before may 1. not unexpected, but that's still a boo.

item two: people were reporting when patch 5.2 came out that they stopped getting xp from pet battles once they reached level 89, which seemed like an odd thing for blizzard to do. apparently this was not "working as intended", because last night my shaman dinged 89 and the pet battle xp kept coming in. it wasn't mentioned in any blue posts that i saw, but it appears that this got fixed some time in the last few weeks. so that's a yay.

item 3: the npc tamers used to alternate what pets they sent into battle first, resulting in the annoying tactic of yielding repeatedly until you got the initial match-up you want. since 5.2 i've noticed that they now always send out their pets in the same order (expect for when they swap pets because you stunned one). so that's a yay.

item 4: FAILSTORM is still an amazingly craptacular move. no change in 5.2. so that's a boo.

item 5: nothing to do with pet battles, but my nelfette warrior picked up something that has been missing from the game for far too long a time: a strength-based polearm! promptly re-specced her for arms and then farmed up the glorious looking hellreaver for the transmogalypse. so that's a yay.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

easy come, easy go

i've written about the high prices some pets can command, but holy freakers, this takes the cake. apparently a guy went afk for a few minutes, and when he came back his six-year-old had bought ten new pets at the auction house for him. total cost?

476,000 gold. great googly moogly.

hope the kid at least got some hard-to-find pets for dropping that small fortune, and didn't pay 13k for a darkmoon tonk (which some optimist is currently listing on my server).

Monday, March 11, 2013

leveling through pet battles, post-nerf

so patch 5.2 brought us xp for our pre-90 toons (pre-89, actually). i rushed out and checked it out with a level 85 in the valley of the four winds, and was pleasantly surprised at how much i was getting. about 90-100k per fight, depending on the level of my opponent. so, 130 fights or so would be enough to gain a whole level - easily doable!

then i started reading that in lower level zones, things seemed rather amiss. people were gaining absurdly high levels of xp, far, far more than could be obtained via questing in the same time. and two days into the patch blizzard announced that that was not what they had intended, and that there would be a hotfix real soon. that night i checked it out, purely out of a selfless desire to have data to provide to my readers. sure enough, without leaving stormwind, i was able to get my mage from 34 to 52 in just a few hours. got several pets up to level 6 along the way. it was fun but, well, kind of silly.

as promised, the servers went down friday morning, and when they came back up the party was over. character xp now scaled with the zone you were battling in, as well as with character level and the difference in levels between your pets and the opponent. so what exactly did that work out to? here is what i've found so far:

in the valley of the four winds, a level 85 toon with a standard leveling team (two 25s and a baby) now gets 80-90k xp. a little less than before, but only slightly. a level 80 toon in mount hyjal using the same leveling team got about 20k per battle, which is fairly proportional to the amount needed level up (maybe 150 fights per level). using low-level pets in orgrimmar with a level 85 toon, however, yielded zero xp.

based on what i've seen and read then, leveling via pet battles is viable if you like doing pet battles. i did about 300 over the weekend, got my 85 up to 86, my 80 up to 81, four pets to 25, and captured three rares for species that i had previously just had poors or commons. oh, and got a flawless critter battle-stone. as much daily questing as i'm doing on my 90s now, anything that helps out with lowering the quests my leveling toons have to do is a win for me. as always, your mileage may vary.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

lucky xp dispenser

i didn't have a lot of time to check out 5.2 last night, but i did want to see how much xp one can now get for winning a battle. i fired up my priest, who is still 85 but was already in the valley of the four winds where he's been diligently making imperial silk the past few months. here's what i found:

you get a crapton of xp if you aren't 89 or 90.

against a level of 23s, i got 90k and change. against 24s, 95k. against a trio of 25s, farmer nishi, jeremy feasel, and lucky yi - one of the new elite wild pets - i got 100k xp. for the sake of comparison, a typical level 85 quest in the jade forest gives you only slightly more: 111k. put another way, you need to win about 140 battles to gain an entire level. i've got half a dozen alts still at 85, and two at 87, plus a few babies, all of which i'd like to get to 90 without having to pretend to be prince anduin's bff yet again. game on.

now, let's talk about lucky yi. he's one of the ten new elite pets you need to defeat for beasts of fable and win yourself a red panda pet. he's a big cricket in the heartland section of the valley with about 4k health, a heal, a hit/crit buff, and a critter attack. in other words, he's extremely vulnerable to humanoid pets doing beast damage. i sent in my kun-lai runt, and he got medieval on yi's chitinous ass. still had over half his health left when it was over. and my priest picked up a nice chunk of xp. but here's the really sweet part of the story:

yi respawns immediately and you can go beat him up as many. times. as. you want.

just keep swapping in pets with beast attacks until your revive pets cooldown is up. you don't need to move. you don't need to deal with hostile mobs. you don't need to search for things to kill or gather or blow up. you can just farm him until your eyeballs bleed. next time i've go an hour or two, i'm firing up netflix on the other monitor and going to town. happy leveling!

Monday, March 4, 2013

is it summer yet?

back when we got our first looks at all the new pets for us to capture, it was quickly obvious that blizzard was following the same model that they had used with the oceanographer achievement for fishing. That one required you to catch winter squid (only available in winter) and raw summer bass (only available in summer). Now we had the snowy owl and the qiraji guardling. since it was well established with the fish that in azeroth "summer" and "winter" switched at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, we knew when we'd be able to get our pets and thereby our achievements and zookeeper titles. right?

ummm.... maybe not.

the snowy owls didn't show up until november 1, long after september 22. well, maybe that was because they'd been delayed as part of the expansion release. but it now looks like they disappeared after february 28. this suggests that, as far as pet collecting is concerned, winter (and, one suspects, summer) are only four months long, with a two month spring and fall in between. if this is correct, then the qiraji won't begin buzzing around may 1. sorry folks.

unless, of course, blizzard is still monkeying. wouldn't be the first time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

which families are getting the loving?

to satisfy my curiosity, here's a tally of how many level 25s i have, broken down by pet family.

beast - 19
critter - 15
aquatic - 12
elemental - 12
humanoid - 7
flying - 7
mechanical - 7
undead - 6
dragonkin - 5
magic - 4

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

dive! dive! ahooooga! ahooooga!

did i watch too many world war 2 submarine movies when i was growing up? yeah, probably. but das boot is awesome - if you haven't seen it you really should.


there's been a fair amount of sloppiness in the implementation of various aspects of pet battles. (yes, safari hat, i'm looking at you.) one sloppy that's been around since beta has been the inconsistency with which blizzard puts accuracy warnings on tooltips. now, moth dust's tooltip says "This ability has a moderate chance to miss" right up front, so you know about what to expect (turns out "moderate" means "hits 80% as often as nomal"). however, dive and its sister-attacks burrow, heroic leap, launch, meteor strike, proto-strike and lift-off are also 80% accuracy attacks, but there's no mention of this on the tooltip. same with mana surge, deep breath, and probably a few i've missed. now, if you crunch the math, you find that this accuracy decrease means that these attacks will be approximately as effective as doing basic attacks - fewer big hits vs. more smaller hits. without it, they'd be overpowered. so i'm fine with it. i just wish blizzard would check the tooltips and make sure they supply the information we need.

if you're curious about accuracy effects, you can get more info from be aware that currently it gives the wrong for attacks that hit 1-2 or 1-3 times instead of just once.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

have you signed up with yet?

seriously, if you haven't, you should. once you have an account there, you can import your pet library from the armory, and then it gives you a really nifty summary of what you have. for example, this is my summary (as of today):

just a couple more battle-stones, and i'll break the 50% rare milestone....

also, there's better filtering tools than the armory has, you can look up battle pet stats, there's forums that are much more civil and helpful than the official ones, contest, and many other doodads. if you haven't registered, stop wasting time on goofball sites like this one and go there now.

Monday, February 18, 2013

hasn't been the best of weeks

we had a death in the family last week - not unexpected, but it was still sad. then we had to get everyone to the middle of  upstate new york for the funeral, including various travel arrangements, getting the dogs to the vet, and buying a whole lotta winter clothes (you tend not to own parkas when you live in texas....). but there were good moments mixed in with the sad and hectic. including:

1) got to meet my stepson's lovely girlfriend

2) the hearse did not get stuck in the mud

3) this happened

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

when minigames collide

so there i am, cheerfully slaughtering wild pets in the vale and pretty much minding my own business, when somebody's surveying tool pops up right in the middle of my battle.

really, archeology? how would you like it if just as you are unearthing the lost tomb of sub-emperor dave the mostly great, loud mary and muckbreath starting rampaging through your pottery shards?

Monday, February 11, 2013

where are they now?

so here we are about four-and-a-half months since pandaria went live and i started building my pet battle army. i was thinking about how much things have changed since those first few hours when i set out into elwynn forest, and i found myself wondering what had happened to those six pets that were my spearhead on the drive to level 25. which ones was i still sending into battle on a regular basis, and which had drifted off to the sidelines? time for a review, i think.

morbinex. fell in love with this guy and his hard-hitting wind-up back in beta, and he was still a great beastslayer as we leveled up. unfortunately, he's only an uncommon, and as i got closer to 25 the gap between him and the rares became more and more noticeable. haven't used him in months now. i'm thinking it's time to put him at the front of the line for my next mechanical battle-stone, and restore him to his former glory.

francois. as a rare beast, he was an awesome critter-killer. but i've got a number of pets now that are both great for ripping through critters and also heal themselves along the way, so he's also fallen aside. poor pantsless monkey.

mudderclucker. picked her up in westfall - she was my first captured rare. my go-to pet for fighting aquatics, but later on i acquired flyers with harder-hitting abilities like alpha strike and lift-off, so the shiny has worn off.

stoppable force. still getting some use out of this guy. his ion cannon is a great finishing move against npc tamers like farmer nishi and jeremy feasel, who always have a beast for their last pet. pull out the cannon, and it's game over.

sleepy willy. another uncommon pet, useful for smacking wild flyers when i literally had nothing else. plus, i loved the befuddled look on his face every time he got hit. poor willy got replaced by oozes, which has got to be demoralizing. he's stoned now, and has an unusual variety of attacks - maybe i should think about ways to utilize him in pvp.

cuddles. my first pet with rampage - he went through critters liek a chainsaw through butter. eventually i found that humanoids like flayer younglings and stunted yetis were even better for this job, since they have that nifty passive self-heal, and i phased out my other scorpions. cuddles is still part of the four-team voft4w farming roster, but he'll probably be pushed out once my newly-stoned kun-lai runt reaches 25.

so there it is. the original six were great - no complaints about how they performed in those wonderful, chaotic first couple of weeks. but eventually new pets came along that were more effective, and for the most part i no longer need them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

looking back on 5.1

as patch 5.2 approaches, i felt like taking a few minutes to look back on the various changes to pet battles that 5.1 introduced. some were huge improvements, some not so much.

pet journal improvements
big success, mainly because the old ui was so awful. being able to sort and filter the hundreds of pets many of us have is a huge help, and having the correct quality of non-capturable pets displayed is awesome. would be nice to have the ability to sort in ascending or descending order, but i can survive without it.

polished battle-stones
purchased with justice points, converted a pet's quality to uncommon.  never bought one, never felt the temptation to buy one. uncommons are dog meat in pvp, and the changes to how xp is divided with 25s in your team meant pets could be leveled easily even as poors. gotta give this one a thumbs down.

flawless battle-stones
giving this one a thumbs up. they aren't easy to obtain, but fight enough npc tamers or wild pets and eventually they'll drop. and being able to pick a pet to promote to rare is fun, even if you never use it in a fight.

new wild pets
kind of a mixed bag. having new pets to collect, especially ones from under-represented families like humanoid and magic, is a good. and some of the models are great fun to watch, especially the kun-lai runt and the lofty libram. but i had been expecting these pets to break up the monotony of beast/critter/aquatic while leveling,  and the new pets were all too isolated with limited spawn areas and long timers.

pets in vanilla raids
loved these. almost all were new models to pet battling, and having mini versions of raid bosses follow you around is always fun. the only raid i personally farmed was molten core (just one more week to go until i hit exalted with the hydraxian waterlords), but lots of other people hit the other raids as well. the pets were tradeable, and on the servers i play on there was a healthy supply of them on the auction house, with prices typically in the few thousand gold range. well within my budget. hoping to see blizzard add more of these to other raids in the future.

Monday, January 28, 2013

by fire be purged, sucker

getting into pvp pet battles has been on my list of things to do pretty much since the beginning, but i've never managed to bring myself to do more than dabble. "i'll get serious about it after i finish leveling" i tell myself. well, last week i replied "dude, you've got all the leveling achievements. doesn't that kinda qualify?" to which i did not have a good answer.

a little digging around on the official pet battle forums suggested that a "triple conflagration team" was a good team. the idea is, every pet has at least one attack that causes your enemy to burn - flame breath, scorched earth, flamethrower - and conflagrate, which hits hard, and then hits hard a second time if your opponent is burning. two fire elementals up front: lil' ragnaros and either a searing scorchling (which i don't have - farming for one by doing more molten front dailies currently has zero appeal), a pandaren fire spirit, a spirit of summer, or a fel flame (this is what i went with). backing them up, ready to pounce should your opponent pull out an a aquatic (which do bonus damage against elementals), is a silver dragonhawk hatchling with frog-killing quills active. why silver, as opposed to any of the other colors? because of reasons which i'll talk about later.

so here they are - the pet battle equivalent of a fire mage. no defense, no healing, just lots and lots of kill him before he can kill you. 

so how'd they do? pretty damn well, i thought. over the weekend i picked up eighteen wins, and lost maybe ten or so. couple of the losses came because i derped - hitting conflagrate when the target wasn't already burning, for example - so hopefully that will get better with time. it's not perfect (no team can be) and it's weak against teams sporting undead and critters. teams with multiple aquatics or weather changing abilities can also be problematic. but those teams of triple fff's that are so op that blizz is nerfing them in 5.2? yeah, we ran into one of them. it was delicious.

all-in-all, a successful run. i do think i need to put together some more teams, and rotate them, even if the others aren't as good. the pool of people you battle against tends to be very small, and i'm pretty sure that after winning five in a row, at least one of my opponents figured out what i was up to and put up a team specially designed to beat triple-conflag and ended my streak. (if you hadn't noticed, the game gives the illusion of more opponents by replacing your opponent's avatar with a random one. if you watch the pet names though, you can figure out when it repeats.) so, more teams, different strategies, and hopefully more victories.

that's the plan.

why a silver dragonhawk? speed. most pets have different "breeds" - combinations of power, health, and speed. one breed of silver dragonhawk puts all its eggs in the speed basket and gets  whopping 357 speed, pretty much guaranteeing that it'll go first against anything other than a flying pet (which have a 50% speed bonus). since quills get an extra attack if you go first, i wanted to guarantee that i'd have an edge. i had to buy about a dozen dragonhawks from the vendor before i got one with the right breed (and then level it and find a dragonkin battle-stone). worth the sacrifice in power and health? i think so, but i can't be sure that it isn't simply confirmation bias diddling with my brain. next dragonkin stone i get, maybe i'll put it on a slower, harder-hitting dragonhawk and see how it performs.

Friday, January 25, 2013

why i'll be sticking with pet battles in 5.2

well, there's actually a lot of reasons, starting with "i'm still having lots of fun doing them." but this blue post regarding 5.2 caught my eye:

the developers don't want fresh 90s to skip previous content and jump into the newest, so you'll still need 480 item level, but all the changes introduced to previous content will definitely help catch up quicker (lower prices, higher drop chance...)

this is a major change recent expansions, where a freshly-leveled alt could immediately be handed enough gear from the main to jump into the newest 5-mans and be raid ready in a matter of hours. in 5.2, every alt which dings 90 will still need to do dailies to unlock valor point vendors, and then have to farm valor through some combination of old dailies, old scenarios, and old heroics, just to reach the point where they can enter the new lfr. whereupon they can began grinding more rep and more valor so they can replace the epics they just worked their digital butts of to buy.

no want. the shiny is gone.

currently, when a pet reaches level 25, it's as good as it will get (assuming it's a rare). the pets I level today are just as ready for action as the ones that dinged two weeks into the expansion.

i really hope blizzard has the sense to keep it this way.

Monday, January 21, 2013

this has nothing to do with pet battles

but a gif of joffrey getting smacked around is always worth posting.

normal pet battle stuff will resume shortlyish.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

has anyone else noticed...

...that fishy (or as i like to call him, commodore bob) sounds an awful lot like a muppet wearing scuba gear when he fights?

or is it just me?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

into the darkness

i recently reached the 75 pets at level 25 achievement (and got the no-longer exciting reward of a level 1 rare critter). since there is currently no higher achievement for leveling, i no longer have any means of tracking how many pets i've leveled (other than manually counting them). which means leveling joins unique pets and captured rares in the ranks of "things the game used to track for you but don't no more." so be it. it's not really that big a deal.


based on past experience, it seems almost certain that there will be new achievements at some point. what isn't certain is if there will be a "level 150 pets to 25", or if they'll simply introduce a new level cap and have all the achievements point to that, eg, "level 10 pets to 30" or whatever. given that the current achievement counts dings and not actual pets (allowing you to double dip on non-rare pets by stoning them and re-leveling) i expect that any pets i level to 25 now won't be counted towards a hypothetical new achievement. mildly annoying if my completed work isn't counted, but it could be severely sucky if i level so many now that the only way to hit the new achievement would be to release existing 25s and catch new pets. hrmmmm.....

probably best if i don't think about it.

Monday, January 14, 2013


back in the sunset days of cataclysm, as information for pet battles was beginning to come together, one pet ability really caught my eye: BONESTORM (and yes, i'm even willing to capitalize it faithfully this one time. that's how big a deal it was). back then, i only had a vague sense of what it would do, but it sounded freakin' awesome so i wanted it.

fast forward to a few weeks ago. i got "luggage", my creepy crate, leveled to 20, unlocking bonestorm. and i looked at the numbers. i'll leave it to the great jean-luc picard to express my reaction.

now, pretty much every pet has a basic attack, the one that does x amount of damage one time, based on the pets power stat (which is in turn based on level and quality and breed).  then there are a number of attacks that do, on average, the same x amount of damage but in some other fashion. there's the "1-3 attacks, each doing half of x damage", there's the "25% more damage over the next four turns", there's the "does half of x damage, but heals the user for the same amount", and so on. then there are attacks that do more than x damage, but at some sort of cost. attacker has to spend a round buffing up, or is stunned for a couple rounds after, or the attack continues for three rounds and can't be cancelled, or whatever. the point is, attacks are meant to be balanced so that, while one may be better under particular circumstances, there is rough overall parity.

bonestorm fails this goal. epically.

let's look at some of luggage's numbers. creepy chomp does 260 undead damage. bonestorm does 195 undead damage, split across the enemy team, but costs 10% of your total health. so, if i use bonestorm on the first round, i will do 65 less damage and take 160 more damage. that's a heck of a penalty to pay just to be able to damage the enemy reserves, especially since attacks like quake and magma wave do it with no penalties at all, either in terms of damage done or taken.

bonestorm is a fun attack. seeing my crate do its whirling dervish run through the enemy ranks is highly amusing. it's a shame blizzard screwed up the numbers so badly when they coded it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

add-on: petbattle teams

one of the add-ons i find really useful is petbattle teams. it allows you to define an unlimited number of teams and then switch a new team in with a single mouse click. in addition to remembering which three pets are on a team, it remembers which three spells you have selected for each pet.

here is what it looks like on my computer:

it creates an extra frame to your pet journal, showing all the teams you have defined. you can see that i've named my teams based on their purpose. i've got four different teams for leveling in the valley of the four winds, each with the pet i'm currently leveling (today it's the scourged whelpling) and two level 25 pets chosen for their ability to carve up critters and aquatics. after each fight, i switch to the next team, and by the time i've used all four the the cooldown on revive pets is up, saving me the trouble of having to find a stable master. you can also see a team with heavy mechanical damage for fighting beasts, and my teams for fighting some of the npc pet tamers. i took this screen shot as i was getting ready to fight the tamer in winterspring (that goblin whose name i don't bother to remember), so that team is currently selected one. underneath the list are buttons for creating a new team, casting revive pets, and slapping bandages on them.

i started using petbattle teams shortly after mists came out. back then, i only had two teams - the six pets i initially leveled. being able to instantly swap between them was a big help even then. now, i have no idea how i'd manage to keep it all straight without it.

Monday, January 7, 2013


so, looking at my armory page, i see that i have four level 23 rares, twenty-five level 22 rares, and twenty-nine level 21 rares. all of these have just been sitting on ice since i captured them. meanwhile, i only have nine pets to go to achieve pro pet mob and pick up a singing cricket. yet all my attempts to focus on reaching the achievement efficiently keep getting derailed because i get distracted and end up leveling cooler looking pets up (rare or otherwise) up from 1.

so, so hard to be disciplined and level yet another raccoon or grasshopper, when there's baby elephants and pandaren spirits and the luggage....

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

a day in the life of a flayer youngling

"chiba. yeah. see, molly's been to chiba, too."

molly does not know what the master means when he says that. but he smiles and pats molly on the head when he does, and he is proud of molly, and that is the best thing in the world.

molly has a job. molly is fast, and molly's claws are razor sharp, and molly kills whomever the master says should die. it is a good job, and molly does it well because molly wants to please the master.

today there is a baby, a little bunny rabbit. molly could easily kill it and eat it, but that is not molly's job. the baby is to be protected, so that it can grow to be strong and fierce and serve the master, alongside molly. this will be a good thing. so molly does not kill it.

the baby rabbit is facing a bandicoon. it swipes at the baby, who tries to dodge, but it is young and slow. blood! the bandicoon has hurt the master's baby! evil, evil bandicoon! it must die!

molly runs forward into the fight. the evil bandicoon turns toward molly, but it is slow and stupid and molly's claws are cutting it, slicing, killing, destroying. it manages to bite molly's leg, but this is not important. molly does not have time to bleed. soon the bandicoon is dead, and the baby is saved. the master will be pleased.

treachery! the evil one had an ally, lurking in the grass. it attacks molly with teeth and claws, but molly is smart. molly twists out of its path, then uses its own ferocity against it. some of its attacks hurt molly, but they are of no consequence. molly is fast and molly's claws are sharp, and molly serves the master, and so she cannot lose. soon the second bandicoon lies dead on the ground, next to its evil friend.

again! these bandicoons think they can drown molly with numbers, but they will fail. slice! stab! blood! fury! molly's ferocity is too much, and soon the third villian is defeated. molly roars in triumph, a warning to all who defy the master.

why ... why is it so dark? was there ... poison? nasty ... evil ... bandicoons.

the baby ... the baby survived. the baby gained experience. so ... molly did her job? the master ... is pleased with molly?

the master ... will ... revive ... loyal ... molly?