small-scale violence in the world of warcraft

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.


  1. Let me see if I've got this right --you now have a suitcase that goes to war for you??

    1. yes, named after the luggage. I also have a sunflower, a pug, a broom, and a couple of robot chickens going to war for me, in addition to the more usual scorpions, baby dragons, and frogs. ;)

    2. and hi, sis! i'm gonna get you to play this game some day, just you watch.

    3. But OF COURSE you take a pug to war with you...

    4. Absolutely! It's his recurring theme! Never will a pug be far from his feet. :)

  2. I was intrigued when I first saw this ability but when I read the tooltip it didn't seem that impressive so I haven't even levelled mine up. I probably will at some stage though when I've run out of the more interesting ones to do.

  3. I also thought it was lackluster. A shame because obviously Marrowgar's Bonestorm is truly awesome.

  4. Sent a tweet to @mumper asking if they got the coefficients wrong, and linking to this post. We shall see if anything comes of it...