Archive for the ‘Pet Battles’ Category

Friday night got us to level 92. Saturday, we finished up the Frostfire Ridge storylines (<3 Draka so much!) and headed into Gorgrond. There, we found such a bounty of bonus objectives that we were 94 in no time flat. Abandoning Gorgrond, we headed into Talador. In much the same way that the Dread Wastes feels like an amped-up version of the Ghostlands, Talador feels like an amped-up version of Eversong Woods. It’s got a very similar color palette and general terrain landscape, only with shiny crystal-studded art noveau blue and purple Draenei architecture instead of shiny crystal-studded art noveau red and gold Sin’dorei architecture. We cleaned out Talador pretty thoroughly, even getting all the bonus objectives, then headed into the Spires of Arak. We established our outpost there before calling it a day, having reached level 96 and already well on our way to 97.

It wasn’t until we established the outpost in Spires of Arak that I noticed that the main building of the outpost contained a Garrison Command Table. Huh. I went back to the other two outposts and found that their main buildings also contained Garrison Command Tables. So we could have just gone back to our outposts instead of hearthing back to our Garrisons themselves all day!

I am finding the missions and followers aspect of Garrisons quite compelling. My poor followers don’t get much chance to rest; as soon as one set of missions completes, I send them back out on another. I soon found myself wishing that Blizzard would make a Garrison Command Table app for smart phones, so that I can deploy my minions even when I’m not directly logged into the game!

The Garrison is already a much more appealing addition to the game for my personality type than Pet Battles were. I dabbled with Pet Battles as a mid-expansion umpteenth alt alternative leveling method, and they did work out quite well for that purpose. Once the Pet Battling Monk reached level 90, however, I stopped doing Pet Battles. I couldn’t even convince the Underpowered Death Knight to pick up the Pet Battling baton as a way for her to level. It didn’t help that my saved teams in the Pet Battle Teams addon seemed to get wiped every single time there was a patch/hotfixes. I’d decide to Pet Battle one day and have to re-organize my teams, then not think to Pet Battle again for another two or three weeks and come back to all my teams having been wiped again. That was really frustrating and discouraging. But still, if there were also an offline-mode Pet Battles app for smart phones, I might Pet Battle more often, too.

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As usual, I’ve been participating in Thel’s ROYGBiV Transmogrification contest solely for the fun of playing. Because I wasn’t hoping to win anything anyway, I set myself an additional challenge of using a different color of a certain relatively plain striped robe style for each of my entries. I was therefore quite delighted to discover that Thel had chosen my entry as one of three winners for May! I didn’t have a Blossoming Ancient yet — what a cute addition to my battle pet menagerie!

Thank you, Thel! :D

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Yesterday morning, PlaidElf whispered me saying that she had a little something for me and would be rolling an alt on my server to mail it to me. When I saw her show up at Camp Narache on my server, I hopped over to one of my characters residing in Thunder Bluff and flew down to meet her — or rather, him, because, like most of PlaidElf’s characters, this one was a he.

I was totally surprised and delighted when that little something turned out to be a Harmonious Porcupette!

Wow! Doesn’t that require, like, high Shaohao rep and lots of Timeless Coins? What a generous gift! PlaidElf said, though, that since her Seish has been farming Shaohao rep to get the super shiny glowy golden cloud serpent mount, she’s kind of had coins running out her ears, and she’d noticed that I didn’t have one of these prickly little guys…

I named it “Haoshao” in honour of his origins.

Thank you so much, PlaidElf! <3

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So, Warlords is in alpha and has some real patch 6.0 notes (not to be confused with the highly entertaining April Fool’s Day fake patch 6.0 notes). Not quite as exciting as being in beta, as far as the general public is concerned, but it is some welcome, good news. I wonder if getting the worst of the bugs worked out of the spiffy new file format is what’s delayed things for so long?

Alts still needing to reach 90
Warlock (currently 62)
Rogue (currently 46)
Pet Battling Monk (currently 82 87)
Draenei Mage (currently 73 80)
Male Tauren Warrior (currently 22) to 60+, will then be boosted to 90

Like mini-Kam, the Pet Battling Monk will not actually go to Pandaria until after she dings 90. Upon reaching level 86, Koralyra decided she needed an off-spec. Just to be different from my other Monk, she decided that she wanted to try out Brewmaster for soloing old content. I don’t have any more intention of ever doing group content with her Brewmaster spec than I do of tanking with my DK’s Blood spec.

Kaprikka just dinged 80 today!

The Male Tauren Warrior has been delayed by my dithering over which zone I want him to quest in next — I’m having a hard time deciding between Stonetalon Mountains, which I still have not done since the Shattering, and Stranglethorn Vale, which has a few quest reward weapons that I know I want for him.

Other Objectives
Get shinies for Transmogrification from Mists LFR for Paladin, Priest, Pet Battling Monk
Complete Kamalia’s Pandaren, Mogu (9/20), and Mantid (1/8) archaeology museums
Fish for Flying Tiger Gourami, Alpha Spinefish, Mimic Octopus with Kamalia until she becomes Best Friends with Nat Pagle (currently Pal)
Farm Skyshards and capture Alani (7/10)
Queue for Scenarios I have not yet seen (A Little Patience, Battle on the High Seas)
Start Warlock on Green Fire quest chain
Level enough pets of each family to be able to obtain the Tamer title and the safari hat and do the Celestial Tournament.
Level Male Tauren Warrior’s Engineering at least high enough to specialize as Gnomish and acquire necessary recipes & mats for specialization quest before using free boost to 90

Realistically speaking, most of these goals will probably have to wait until my leveling and LFRing objectives are mostly complete.

The Paladin got Qon’s Flaming Scimitar this week, so she’s finally done with Throne of Thunder. She still needs her T16 shoulders and the Ancient Mogu Tower Shield from Siege of Orgrimmar. The Priest is getting itchy to start LFRing for the things she wants.

The Pet Battling Monk didn’t do much pet battling between levels 80 and 86, but now she’s started running the Kalimdor & Outland trainer circuit again and will ride it all the way to 90. Several pets have gained several levels, but I’m still not quite ready to take on the Northrend trainers yet. Most of the Outland trainers continue to give me plenty of trouble; I only feel like I can confidently carry a pet in my Nicki Tinytech and Morulu teams. The Pet Battling Monk has delegated the Northrend trainers to the Underpowered Death Knight, who will have the task of beating up Dragonbone Hatchlings (a tip from Nightwill — thanks!) to grind out those last levels from 18ish to 25 for the pets I’ve flagged for Northrend trainer teams. Even looking just at the pets I’d starred as Favorites, I was feeling overwhelmed by the number of pets in my journal. I pruned my Favorites list ruthlessly, selecting exactly ten pets from each family to level. If I want to pick up some of the culled pets again later, I’ll know which pets were previously on the Favorites list by looking for the ones that have names.

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A Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, courtesy of Dragonray, who wonders:

What sort of method do you use for levelling multiple alts? Do you follow the same quest chains each time, do you avoid a certain quest section, do you only dungeon, etc?

I typically level with a mixture of questing, gathering, and LFD.

Since Heirlooms debuted, most of my characters have used them. I’ve gotten used to the pace of leveling using Heirlooms, to the extent that leveling without them now feels agonizingly slow. Kaumalea the Underpowered Death Knight doesn’t use Heirlooms, of course, and I’ve decided that Kehontah the Male Tauren Warrior will not use Heirlooms to help him reach level 60, prior to being boosted to 90, either. He’s also not going to do LFD, not even SFK at level 20 for the weapon (a rite of passage for all my other alts). He’ll be finding joy in the journey and perhaps even contributing to the Godmother’s “Those We Leave Behind” project.

To keep myself from getting bored with the leveling process, I try to do something a little different with each alt — or at least, between one alt that I spend a lot of time with and the next alt that I spend a lot of time with. I try to choose zones and questlines that feature the race of my character or a faction that relates to the class of my character. I use LFD to skip over levels that don’t have any zones or quests I want to do.

When I get to Outland, I cherry-pick the questlines that give good-looking clothes or weapons for Transmogrification. This means I end up doing a different set of zones and quests depending upon the armor class of the character.

Going through Northrend as Horde, I usually do some of the Taunka village questlines, then burn through the rest of those levels in LFD. Ever since Kamalia experienced the Wrathgate, I’ve avoided the Forsaken outposts and their quests like, well, the plague (pun intended). I tried to do some of the Alliance side quests in Northrend with Kinevra, but she was in such a hurry to get to 85 that what she did went by in a blur. Now, Kaprikka is in a hurry-hurry to get to 90, so I probably won’t see much of non-LFD Northrend with her, either. One of my other Alliance alts will have to be the one to take it slow through the Alliance story in Northrend — and I would like to play all the way through Storm Peaks again sometime.

I do have a fairly set path for the Cataclysm levels. I play through Mount Hyjal until I’ve completed Aessina’s Miracle, so that if the character ever wants to get something from the Molten Front, they can jump right in. Then I go to Vashj’ir and follow the quest chain until I get to Silver Tide Hollow and open up the Earthen Ring quartermaster. I go to Deepholm just long enough to get to level 83, and I usually follow the Stonehearth questline rather than the skyship questline. Then I go to Uldum and play through the Ramkahen questline. Sometimes I finish it, other times I go to Twilight Highlands as soon as I reach level 84. I’ll do enough of Twilight Highlands to get the portal open. After that, I may continue questing in Twilight Highlands, go back to Uldum, or just gather and LFD my way to 85.

The only things a character must do in Pandaria are get the Grummlepack and open the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Mages don’t even have to do the latter; they can just wait until they get to level 90 and learn the teleport. I usually do the Tian Monastery in Jade Forest, getting started at Sunsong Ranch, and the Lorewalker Cho/Zouchin Province questline in Kun-Lai Summit (at least until the trolls have been defeated). I’ve only done the Dread Wastes with a few characters; the others have all tried to avoid it.

I’m fond of Archaeology as a speed-leveling tool when I’m really in a hurry to level and don’t have any zones or questlines that I’m particularly interested in playing through. Archaeology provides consistently good XP, plus a little gold on the side, and it’s a good way to occupy myself while I’m sitting in an LFD queue (especially as DPS). Archaeology gets much easier after level 60, when one can fly. Many digsites have very uneven terrain or large obstacles created by ruined structures, and it’s faster and simpler to hop on one’s flying mount and go over an obstacle than to go around on the ground. The digsites at Auchindoun are particularly terrible; the relics can spawn both inside and outside the ring, and trying to navigate around that place on the ground while searching for relics would be a nightmare! I am not excited about trying to do Archaeology on Draenor if it remains a no-fly environment for the whole expansion!

I’m also fond of dailies as a leveling tool, though they are definitely not a speed-leveling method! I’ll often do the Thunder Bluff fishing and cooking dailies with whichever alt is currently at the top of my leveling queue. I particularly like to do dailies from past expansions with a character who is not yet at the level cap of the current expansion, so that they can get XP as well as whatever reward I’m interested in. I’ve put many characters through their paces at the Argent Tournament. The latest, Kinevra, eventually said enough is enough and refused to do any more jousting — I haven’t done the jousting in the Court of Bones for ages, only the arena jousting on the Tournament grounds, but it seems that I’ve finally gotten thoroughly sick of that. Kaelinda got a couple of levels between 85 and 90 from the Molten Front — good enough XP that Kinevra is contemplating going to Tol Barad after she’s finished at the Argent Tournament (still a long way off). After Warlords launches, I will probably get post-90 levels for at least some of my characters from the various Pandaria dailies.

The Kalimdor Pet Battle Trainer circuit sped the Pet Battling Monk quite handily through her first 70 levels. I’ve liked Pet Battling enough to occasionally vist Pet Trainers with other alts, if they’ve been convenient to wherever the character was questing, or to do a wild pet battle here and there. In the future, I might do Pet Battling as an alternative to gathering and LFD to skip over levels that don’t have any zones/quests a given character wants to do.

So that’s how I level, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, never exactly the same way for any two characters.

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I’ve been saying that I didn’t want to post a written “to do” list until Warlords was at least in beta. Now, even though there’s still no sign of a beta, we have that “on or before 20 December but hopefully by sometime in the fall” pseudo-release date. Furthermore, I’m currently applying for full-time academic jobs. Should I actually get one of them, the job itself would probably begin in late August, and I’d be busy with the associated moving during late July or early August. So I suppose I might as well make a small list of the things I most want to accomplish in WoW before the end of summer.

Alts still needing to reach 90
Warlock (currently 62)
Rogue (currently 46)
Pet Battling Monk (currently 82)
Any Alliance character — doesn’t have to be the Dwarf Shaman (currently 27), anymore, because I want to play her all the way through several zones for the stories, and either the Human Mage (currently 86) or the Draenei Mage (currently 73) could more easily rush to 90 in LFD
Male Tauren Warrior (currently 22) to 60+, will then be boosted to 90

Things to do at 90
Get shinies for Transmogrification from Mists LFR for Paladin, Priest, Pet Battling Monk
Complete Kamalia’s Pandaren, Mogu, and Mantid archaeology museums
Systematically queue for Scenarios until I have run each Scenario at least once — I don’t run Scenarios very often, and there are a few that I have not yet seen
Start Warlock on Green Fire quest chain
Level enough pets of each family to be able to obtain the Tamer title and the safari hat and do the Celestial Tournament.
Level Male Tauren Warrior’s Engineering at least high enough to specialize as Gnomish and acquire necessary recipes & mats for specialization quest before using free boost to 90

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WoW Insider‘s Breakfast Topic this morning requests retrospectives on the Pet Battle feature. This reminded me of Navimie’s “10 Days of Pet Battles”, which I bookmarked even though I wasn’t into pet battling when she first published it because I’m fond of survey memes and thought it would be fun to do sometime down the road if I ever did get into pet battles. I’m still no Pet Battle pro, but I think I’ve got enough experience now to give at least short answers to Navi’s questions.

1) Your first day pet battling.
I wrote about this when it happened; I was given a Pandaren Air Spirit for #FFW2102 and felt that I shouldn’t let such a fancy pet lie idle.

2) What pets don’t you like and why?
Snakes and spiders really annoy me. Too many times I have pulled a pet off the front line too late and it died from poison ticks a round or two later. I think I might have a snake or two in my collection, and maybe even a spider, but I won’t be leveling them. Okay, maybe the snakes, because I did like catching garter snakes when I was a little kid. But not the spider!
I don’t like the various diseased undead pets because they are just too creepy and icky. I have tamed a few of them to get “tame a pet in X zone”, but I’ve released all of them except the Scourged Whelpling. I kept that one because it is one of the few tamable (as opposed to dropped) dragon whelps.

3) Who is your favourite pet? If you could bring it out into the real world, tell me what you imagine you would be doing.
I’m not sure I have a favorite pet, because so many of them are wonderful in such different ways. But if I could bring one out into the real world, well, I’ve been reading books with gryffins in lately, so right at the moment, I’d probably choose one of the mythological creatures such as the gryphon hatchling, the hippogryph hatchling, or the wind rider cub. My sister’s dog might like such a playmate while it was little, and who hasn’t wished they could have their WoW flying mount in the real world?

4) What was the most epic pet battle/capture you ever had?
There was once this battle where I’d managed to cage a rare specimen of a pet I wanted, but I won the battle only by the slimmest of margins — I was quite worried that I might end up losing it. Alas, I don’t remember anymore even which pet it was that I captured, so maybe it wasn’t that epic after all? I prefer to run my pet battles relatively close to the edge, with pets fairly close in level to the enemy team, ending with all of my pets at low health. I get better XP, and it somehow feels more sporting that way. So, in a way, most of my pet battles are a bit dramatic.

5) What pet do you want more than any other pet? What would you do to get it?
Last May, I made a list of my ten most-wanted not-yet-obtained pets. Let’s see how I’ve done with acquiring them:
1) Dragon Whelps — captured Scourged and Infinite Whelplings
2) Civet/Otter/Mongoose
3) Tanuki/Bandicoon
4) Bucktooth Flapper/Thundertail Flapper
5) Hedgehog
6) Red Panda — the Pet Battling Monk declared her disinterest in doing the Beasts of Fable by purchasing a Sunfur Panda off the AH. She also declared her disinterest in doing the Pandaren Spirit Tamers by purchasing the other three Pandaren Elemental Spirits from the AH. She does, however, plan to do the Celestial Tournament, and Xu-Fu will be her first pick!
7) Anubisath Idol — named “Tartan” in honor of PlaidElf, who was helping me with AQ40 when it dropped; she already had one
8) Qiraji Guardling
9) Unborn Val’kyr — I’m still looking for an Unborn Val’kyr, though I don’t actually go hunting for her that often. I really should start checking the spawn sites in at least one zone (probably Howling Fjord) at least once a day, and then eventually patience and persistence will pay off (hopefully with at least an uncommon on the first try!).
10) Direhorn Runt — bought on the AH after proving to myself that trying to farm it would be exceedingly boring

6) What pets have you got in your favourite team(s)?
The Phoenix Hatchling rocks in my Cassandra Kaboom team; he could beat her whole team single-handedly when he was still a couple levels lower than them. Likewise, the Anubisath Idol is excellent against Grazzle the Great’s three Onyxian Whelplings. My other Kalimdor and Outland teams work, and some of them are even getting to the point where I think I can probably put in a carry pet or two, but they’re not really awesome yet. I’m also currently working on leveling enough of the right families of pets to defeat the Northrend trainers.

7) Do you use mods? If you could only have one pet mod, what would it be and why?
I only use one mod, Pet Battle Teams. I picked it up when the Pet Battling Monk got to Outland and the number of different team compositions got to be so many that I wanted to have saved teams instead of recreating them from scratch, using my paper notebook, each day.

8) What is the stupidest thing(s) you have ever done in a pet battle?
Oh, the same stupid things everyone does — not checking the health of my team before a battle or not checking if the team I currently have loaded is an appropriate level relative to a wild pet. I also have a bad habit of leaving DOT’ed pets on the front line for too long, so that they die from the DOT even after I swap them out.

9) What is your favourite pet ability? If you could have a pet with your favourite abilities, what would they be?
Cauterize is what makes the Phoenix Hatchling so great against Cassandra Kaboom’s triple mechanical team. The Dark Phoenix Hatchling, which doesn’t have Cauterize, isn’t nearly as effective. The Anubisath Idol’s Deflection makes it a star against a dragonkin’s Deep Breath; on the flip side, when the dragonkin is mine, Deep Breath is pretty awesome. Pump, another two-round charge-and-blast move, is great, too. I use the Pandaren Air Spirit in a lot of my high level teams because I can set up Renewing Mists, then let it heal my other pets when they are on the front line.
Because I don’t have very many high level pets yet, I’m not very good with the subtleties of how pet abilities interact. I can about manage to properly use one pet’s coordinating abilities. I need someone like Liopleurodon to tell me how to make a team where pet A uses an ability that empowers the abilities of pet B.

10) Design a pet! What model would your pet have, where would it come from and what abilities would it have?
I really really want a Kodo Runt pet! It would be found with roaming kodo in either Mulgore or the Barrens, and it would have the same moveset as the Clefthoof Runt and Stunted Shardhorn.

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