small-scale violence in the world of warcraft

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.