small-scale violence in the world of warcraft

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.