small-scale violence in the world of warcraft

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