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The Gift of Ideas: My Favourite Pet

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Syrana of Sideshow & Syrana has given me a wonderful Christmas present… a free blog topic!  The trend was originally sparked byTamarind at Righteous Orbs.  Here’s the idea:

I notice that it’s a season for gift-giving, mulled wine, the warm fuzzies and what not … and, putting aside my bah humbug inclinations, I got to thinking, well, how can we can spread a little festive love around here? And, given how connective blogs are and how much we like tagging each other to write things, I came up with a Cunning Plan…

It’s basically a blog-content gift exchange (and it really needs a catchier title), and here’s how it works. If you’d like to play, leave me a comment and in return I’ll give you a subject, or ask you a question … and then you go away and blog about it. It doesn’t have to be a whole blog post, this is meant to be low pressure gift-exchange, but, you know, a comment or a paragraph, or a corner of a post (or a full post, if you want to really indulge me, or feel inspired). And if I suggest something crap or boring in which you have no interest, you can look at it as the equivalent of a pair of novelty socks, say “thank you very much, Tam” and throw it away entirely, and I’ll pretend not to notice and make a mental note not to get you novelty socks next year….

And then, if you feel like it, you can throw it open on your own blog, inviting people to comment if they’re will to blog on a subject of your choosing….

If you’d really like, you can comment here and I’ll try my best to come up with a topic for you to write about.  But I warn you – I’m hardpressed to come up with my own topics, so you might not like what you get!

Anyway, here’s my response to Syrana’s query, “Regardless of min/max optimal raid DPS etc, what is your favorite pet that you have tamed?”

It’s a tough question.  Unlike some raiding hunters, I’ve built a strong bond with each and every one of my pets.  They’re like another part of my character, and I tend to bring them all out in rotation so none of them gets bored sitting in the stables too long!

But right now, if I had to pick a favourite (don’t tell the others!), it would probably be… Ambrose.

ambrose

Did I mention Ambrose is a daddy?

If you don’t recall, back in patch 3.0 (shortly before Wrath of the Lich King hit shelves) Hunters were given quite a work-over.  Pet talents, pet classes, and a slew of new breeds to tame!  When I saw Moths were part of that list, I was so excited.

I’d remembered the Shimmerwing Moths from my first time in Netherstorm.  They were such a shocking electric blue that I was mesmerized at the sight of them.   And now I could have one of my very own!

So while some headed to various vendors or trainers the day the patch hit, I was right away on a flight path to Netherstorm.  I’d picked out a name (originally inspired by Ambrosius the dog from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth), and had my dear Fiddlesticks parked away in the stables.

Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to play much with Ambrose.  While leveling from 70-80, I was using my Gorilla, Hanno.  Once I hit 80 and began raiding he saw a bit of action, but with the dominance of the wolf nowadays, Ambrose only accompanies me for dailies, farm content and heroics.  Of course, he also tends to be the one by my side while I hang around town.

I still get whispers asking, “Where did you get that beautiful pet?” And it always makes me grin.  What a beauty!

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Blizzard Pet Store: A Cue for QQ?

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

So if you haven’t heard the news, Blizzard has added two extremely adorable non-combat pets to the Blizzard Store.  This was instantly controversial, with people calling Blizzard out for adding ‘microtransactions’ to the game, and being profiteers or some such.

They announced it yesterday.  I’m sure half the blogging world has a post on it by now, that’s what we bloggers do, you see.  We hear juicy topics of debate and our mouths start watering until we get to our keyboard.

Well, I had a whole post typed up about this and why I think this is nothing new.  That it’s no different from buying loot cards and is in fact better because there is no middle man.

But when I told the news to Gadgets, his reaction was that it was cheating.  After a lengthy conversation about why he thinks it’s cheating and how it’s different from buying loot cards, I was enlightened and found there are other ways to look at this than I initially did.

So instead, I’m going to outline our different outlooks, and how in the end, they seem to converge.

You see, Gadgets LOVES his achievements.  He’s about halfway through his last reputation to get The Insane.  Seriously, him and achievements should like… get married.  Or something.

If you don’t already know my take on achievements, I’m a fan of them.  But I rarely go out of my way for them unless it’s something I am passionate about or particularly interested in (see my Brewmaster, Chef and of Sen’jin titles).

Him and I have both been casually working towards the [Lil' Game Hunter] achievement (he’s at 73, I’m at 72).  But we’re working at them for different reasons.  Like I said, his epeen is measured in achievement points, and that’s fine.  Me?  I love cuddly little pets.  Why do you think I rolled a hunter in the first place?!  I had quite a collection of non-combat pets before the achievement system was even mentioned.  If you ever see me in-game without a non-combat pet trailing behind me, assume my account has been hacked and notify the authorities!

Anyway, here’s how we each looked at the situation:

Brajana: When I saw these new pets, I equated them to buying a t-shirt or the murloc plushie from the Blizzard store.  No one really needs them, but people want to buy them because they are cute, or because they want to show how much they like the game/their class/murlocs/cuddly things.  $10 for an in-game plushie-type thing?  Nothing wrong with that.  Have you seen Lil’ K.T.?  He’s adorable!  And what’s different from the card game?  Nothing. Except this is cheaper. And directly from Blizzard.

Gadgets: Of course, the first thing in his mind was the fact that $20 could get him from 73 to 75 for that tasty, tasty achievement.  But he wouldn’t do it, because it wasn’t a reward for something and it wasn’t something he earned in-game.  It’s like buying achievement points.  Spend $20 and you’ll have this achievement is what he saw.  Because he doesn’t run around town with a different pet each day.  He doesn’t bring out holiday-specific pets when it’s appropriate, he doesn’t raid with a non-combat pet by his side. As for the card game, Gadgets thought of the loot cards as a reward for being a player of the TCG.  Even if you sell it, you’re making money as a reward for playing.

And so we found our point of convergence on the topic:

Buying non-combat pets from Blizzard for the non-combat pet:  Dandy.

Buying non-combat pets from Blizzard for achievement points: Stupid.

It’s a very small distinction.

Let me go back to my “Blizzard Merchandise” theory.  If I bought the Murloc plushie because it’s amazingly cute and cuddly and I’d love to have it sitting on my desk greeting me every morning, fine!

But if I was buying the Murloc plushie because I have a plushie fetish and I’d just shove him in my box labeled “Plushies”, that’s just dumb.

But of course… this is purely an opinion.

The fact is that Blizzard is doing nothing wrong here.  And I will continue to believe that until the day they start selling things that have a major effect on the game (i.e. gold, emblems or gear).

So what do you think?

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Win a Limited Edition Figurepets Set!

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Here’s another prize you could win if you donate for the “Need More Stable Slots!” SPCA Charity Drive!

Shawn from wtfcraft has a limited edition set of the first series of FigurePets that he’s offered as a prize for the draw!

If you’re like me, you don’t just collect the in-game non-combat pets for the achievements… but also because they are so darn cute to look at!  Well, with FigurePrintsFigurePets, you can have them with you when you’re out of game too!  These are being produced with the same high-quality process as the FigurePrints.

If you win this prize, youll get all 3 pets!

If you win this prize, you'll get all 3 figures!

So please head over to the “Need More Stable Slots!” SPCA Campaign page to find out how you can donate to a great cause and enter to win this and other prizes!

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Ghugh’s Charger & Endless Mend Pet

Monday, May 18th, 2009

So yesterday I was dual-boxing on my machine with my boyfriend’s Hunter to help me get Ghugh’s dungeon runs for his Charger quest. It was a very long afternoon, as we had to run UD Stratholme, Dire Maul and Scholomance… and I can sometimes bore easily.  We took turns playing to get it all done, and much frustration was had in Scholo.

When doing the final event in Scholo, I read that if you wipe, you have to reset the instance and do it all over again.  Well, my paladin died from AoE pretty early, and I was not happy.  I tried running him back, but of course the gates were shut so I could get close enough to get XP, but not in the door.  The event seemed to be taking forever, so I figured I had to reset.  Since my Hunter was stuck in the instance, I hearthed them both out and then started the long journey back to Scholo.

It was only then that I read that the event can still be completed after the paladin has died as long as he is… close enough to get XP.  So I reset it and hearthed for no reason at all!  He died again the second time, but the strategy worked, and I finished the event with the Hunter and ran the Paladin in after.  Much rejoicing was had!

I also saved a lot of money by going this way instead of buying the ability at 61.  Since I had most of the mats from being a miner, it only cost me about 230g to get this quest done, rather than the 500g or whatever it costs to just simply train it and buy the mount.  So there!

"Feat of Strength? ... What we have is great Strength of Feet!"

"Feat of Strength? ... What we have is great Strength of Feet!"

But an interesting little thing happened during this run.

At one point I decided to swap out his cat pet for his Gorilla pet, because… well, it just makes more sense.  So I used Call Stabled Pet, spent Gorilla’s talent points and went on killing things.  Then I noticed the little +s and sparkles that go with Mend Pet… but I didn’t remember casting it.  I look at his buff only to find this:

mendpet_days

Huh!  That’s pretty sweet.  Bring this to a raid and you’re sure to top the healing (and overhealing) meters. :)   And it’s still there today, after logging out and everything… but now there are only 20 days remaining!

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New Tamable Pet Family: Scourge

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

valdyr

How many things are wrong with this tooltip?

  • My Wolf, Valdyr, is apparently a Player.
  • Valdyr is also of the classification “Valdyr Valdyr”.
  • I need to kill him 15 times a day! :(