Winter Veil Arrives Just In Time!

As I mentioned in my previous post, the top items on my Winter Veil Wishlist this year were Mr. Bigglesworth, the Legendary Pet Battler achievement, the Feldrake, and maybe even a Lump of Coal.  Well, barring the extravagant inclusions of Murky and world peace, I can happily say that as of Day 2 in this year’s Winter Veil Festival, I have received/achieved everything I had hoped to!

The Feldrake was a present to myself, and I’ve spent the last week getting random whispers from people asking about my “sick mount”.  I don’t mind the attention.  And Friday became the epic grind day, pushing for that 5000th battle win, and begging and bartering for raid pets in hopes of the meta-achievement completion for Mr. Bigglesworth.  Within moments of each other early Saturday morning, both achievements were… achieved!

raidingwithleasheslegendarypetbattler

My luck in raids has been less than stellar, so many of the pets I gathered either came from purchases or in-game trades (“I’ll trade you a Pandaren Earth Spirit for the Anubisath Idol!”).  I found myself posting on forum threads and spamming trade for takers; something I wouldn’t normally bring myself to do.  I mean, what’s another raid lockout (or twelve) for the eventual drops?  Well, I am not known for my patience, and the will drives one to do some spazzy things sometimes!

Upon completing Raiding with Leashes, I could hardly quell my excitement, so got to work leveling Mr. Bigglesworth at once!

MRBIGGLESFIGHT

Two new pets cheering on a third.

 

This morning I woke from dreams of Lumpy prices on the Auction House.  I had a wondrous dream that two were available for 399 gold each.  I lingered in bed for a while, not looking forward to the trips up to Hillsbrad Foothills to battle The Abominable Greench for a distant chance at that Lump of Coal.  My boyfriend called to me from the other room with news that Greatfather Winter had mailed out presents, and the chance at Lumpy had gone up.  He knows me well – it got me up, alright.  But it wasn’t merely Greatfather Winter who had sent a wrapped gift.  No, a Night Elf Hunter also happened to send me a Wrapped Gift, and in a few clicks I had a brand new Lumpy in my arsenal!  Yay for awesome boyfriends!

The last few days I’ve spent leveling more pets and grinding for the Clawing Craw by doing archaeology.  But I hit my limit yesterday, and decided to level up my DK alt for a bit.  I went from Level 84 up to about 75% into 85 in Jade Forest.  It was a nice change of pace, and it was helping me fund my main account after the big Darkmoon Rabbit purchase.  I feel like I’ve hit the apex and am now calming down a bit.  I find myself hunting rares, then wanting to level pets to 25, then doing archaeology, then checking the AH for affordable pets I may not have yet.  Not really rallying behind any single cause.  I’m returning to work after a long break tomorrow, so hopefully the new restrictions on my time will help me to refocus.

 

Power-Leveling Through Suicide

A friend recently asked me to explain the mechanics of power-leveling through using a pet with a suicide move (like “Explode”), and I’m happy to oblige!  See, at present, any pet alive at the end of the battle gets a slice of the XP pie – including Level 25 pets, who do not benefit from the XP.  The goal is to get the max amount of XP to a lowbie pet.  There’s some talk about the XP being split to Level 25 pets being something of a bug, but until there are changes implemented, my process follows below.

Originally, it was just me and Harikari, my Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling.  He has a the following two spells that are vital for power leveling:

  1. DecoyCreates a wooden decoy that protects your team from two attacks.  This humorous prop is great for staving off damage while you work the enemy down to the HP where you’ll be ready to use…
  2. ExplodeInstantly kills the caster, dealing damage equal to +-40% of the user’s total health to the current enemy.  This is the move that kills your Dragonling (or other Explode-able pet), also hopefully taking the enemy out, leaving your lowbie pet with the high cut of XP.

I’ll now walk you through the evolution of my process.  Originally, I’d put the lowbie (Level 4 or higher) in the pole position – leave them in for one round and then pull them back.  Then I’d bring out a regular pet – like the Terrible Turnip – and start whacking on the first pets.  When I got close to the end of the match, I’d let the Turnip take enough damage from the enemy to die (usually using “Pass”).  Hopefully I’d be close enough so that Harikari could then pop Explode and everything would be done with.  At some point I learned that the lowbie pet never even had to be put in for a round – he just needed to be the only one left alive at the end to get all the XP, so that changed my process a little and I usually don’t put the lowbie pet in for play at all, keeping him in the third pet slot.

The problem with having just the one Explode pet is that sometimes those Explodes are *ugh* DODGED.  There’s nothing worse than working all the way through to have your suicide be dodged.  How insulting!  It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it can ruin the last three rounds of play.  It’s less than likely that your lowbie will be able to pull out the win at that point (though not impossible, from experience).  In order to mitigate the risk of this, I decided to add another Explode pet into my arsenal – the entertaining Darkmoon Zeppelin, in my case.  “Hindy” has the same Decoy and Explode skills, and his Missile spell is quite amusing to watch.

I’ve embedded a couple videos below that take you through the battles.  These are low-level fights, and thus are relatively short.  But they’re dailies, and still award a sizeable amount of XP.  You’ll note the slightly different tactic for undead pets, as they come back from the dead for one round.

I highly suggesting clicking the link at the top of the movie screen and viewing it in the slightly larger mode.  My apologies on the poor quality – could not figure out how to get it loaded to YouTube in higher quality.

Another Raid Lockout, Another Pet

MiniMindslayer

New Toy and a Tired Grind for the Claw

While traveling from pet battle daily to pet battle daily, I heard a knock at my door.  Knowing what it was likely to be, I bolted from my chair to the entryway.  I was greeted by a friendly USPS delivery women, who asked me to sign for an envelope.  I couldn’t hide the excitement as I signed and, thinking back, might have rudely quickened her away.  But The Precious was waiting for me in this envelope!

I opened the mailing envelope to find The Precious in an additional four layers of protection.  Ladies and Gentleman, might I present:

feldrake2

Feldrake wooooooot!

He is such a sweet ride.  Which is good, because I spent a LOT of time on his back today.  With my recent pet battle push to the Singing Cricket recently complete, I’ve doddled around without a goal.  Well, one has appeared before me.

I do not have the Crawling Claw rare companion pet from Tol’vir archaeology.  I KNOW!  I spent more time than I should have at the beginning of Cataclysm going insane on the new profession, but a few key items elude me still (Crawling Claw, Zin’rokh).  Now having grown into the pet collector I am, the Crawling Claw is a must-have item.

ACHIEVSDEC102012

Let’s go crazy!

But flying all around Kalimdor waiting for Uldum dig spots to randomly pop is just the last thing I want to do.  Thankfully, Blizzard has made the grind for these sorts of things a little more tolerable by introducing a sort of token system built into the Pandaria digs.  As you create artifacts, those either (rarely) turn into Pristine versions in the forms of quests which can be turned in at The Seat of Knowledge, or transformed into a crated box which can then be traded to Brann Bronzebeard (also at The Seat of Knowledge) for a boxed quantity of the Pre-Mists of Pandaria archaeology fragments of your choice.

At first I didn’t think it would help much, but boy has it made solving Tol’vir artifacts speedier!  I even got a rare today (not the one I wanted, unfortunately) – the Scepter of Azj’Aqir/Aquamarine Qiraji Battle Tank mount.

The other good thing about roaming around Pandaria for digsites is the achievements.  Oh, the achievements!  The ones shown here are only a small “fragment” (ha ha), as I switched computers midday and was too tired to transfer those screencaps over.  Eh, the image would have been too large, anyways.

I winded down just as the server was scheduled to go offline at 1:00 AM PST, but I’ll be back on later today after the server pops back up.  In the meantime I’ll be looking into audiobooks or PODCASTS that might be good at keeping me entertained for the hours and hours and hours I’ll be flying around on my gorgeous new mount!

Critter-gettin’ or Crittergeddon, Whatever Works

The last two days have been very big for pet-collector Wezmerelda.  I was ever-so-close to the Pro Pet Mob achievement (62 pets) and decided to grind my way up to 75.  It took me who knows how many hours (and I didn’t rig it with the Farmer Nishi exploit, thank you very much), but around 1:30 AM PST, I got my Singing Cricket!

propetmob

 

Today I’ve been a little wayward, not really knowing what to do with my time.  I’m not in a large guild or anything, so I don’t have a whole lot of people to brag to.  I sent Cory Stockton, a Lead Content Designer (@mumper) a couple tweets about how I was underwhelmed by the model for the Singing Cricket:

tweets1
No response, though I’d be surprised if I did!

Mid-day I spotted an auction that looked, well, too good to be true.  It was for a Darkmoon Rabbit, and the Buy It Now price was about 64k, and the current bid was 29k.  The player selling it was posting about it in trade, saying it was available for bids, etc.  I didn’t even have enough money to cover the 29k, so I dismissed it.  Though while chatting at a guildmate (my boyfriend’s brother – we’re a small family guild) I jokingly asked if he had 20k to spare me.  When he took me up on it, I um, wow, I just didn’t know what to say instead of giving him a big “Whoa! Thanks!”, and promising to give him every extra pet I come across for the conceivable future!

After an anxious time spent watching the auction, I had a bid strategy and a stopwatch started once “Short” hit.  About three minutes before I was going to place my max bid, the listing disappeared.  Holy crap, where did it bloody go??!!??  Adrenaline waning, I resigned myself to the fact that it was too good to be true, and went to whack at some more wild pets – I even tried some PVP, which is new for me!

Moments later, the brother messaged that the listing was back up, for only a thousand gold more – and by the same guy.  I. Was. Flabbergasted!  You mean to tell me the seller took it down only to list it again?  Why wouldn’t he play fair?  I looked him up, ready to send him a tirade, and his toon wasn’t online.  So off to WoWProgress.com to look for alts.  Sure enough I found an alt online and whispered him, telling him I was just about to place a bid of X amount when I saw it snagged, and he relisted it.  What was the deal?  He confessed that when he saw what he thought would be the winning bid he found it to be a player he knew well to be a bit of an arrogant character on the server, and he didn’t want it going to him for such a deal (the thing usually goes north of 100k, so…).

I again reiterated my interest, that this would not be up for resale and that I was an avid collector being helped out by my guild in this purchase, and, to my shock, he said yes!  I took ownership of Chompers, my Darkmoon Rabbit for 36,000 gold and it’s like a dream come true.  I also noticed it came out as the “good breed” (5 – I hadn’t known until immediately prior that it could have more than one variant), so score on that as well.  I’d say this day has been pretty epic… now if I could only get those 732 more pet battle wins towards Legendary Pet Battler… it’s on!

cricket+rabbit

Jiminy the Singing Cricket, and Chompers the Darkmoon Rabbit

The Band’s (Almost) All Here!

ABBAMINUSONE

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to acquire the Pandaren Water Spirit.  And then this morning doing my dailies I lucked into the Pandaren Air Spirit as well.  Huzzah!  This adds to the Pandaren Earth Spirit I selected as the original quest reward, and now I have nearly the complete set!  I’m just missing the Pandaren Fire Spirit, but once she drops (or I break down and purchase her from the AH), the naming convention I’m using will come full circle.  Can you guess from the names above?  What name is left?

Update: I picked up the Pandaren Fire Spirit on the Auction House for what I considered to be a screamin’ deal, so the band is complete!  The answer to my question above is “Frida”, the final (and my fave) member of the Swedish supergroup, ABBA!  Spencer wins… nothing, but hopefully a boost to his pride :-)

Pet Leveling Essential Toolset

There are myriad ways of acquiring information about the best way to level ones pets, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the tips I’ve found useful.  Below is a list of pets, locations, and best practices:

1. Terrible Turnip

Now this is more useful for capturing pets as you get to higher levels, but as capturing will be an integral part of the leveling process I thought it wise to include.  The Terrible Turnip has a vital move that can save you from accidentally killing an elusive rare, Weakening Blow.  This spell deals damage without reducing the opponent’s health below 1 health point.

Terrible Turnips are usually acquired through a random drop when harvesting crops (dropped as an Ominous Seed) at your farm at Sunsong Ranch in Valley of the Four Winds.  To start with this, you’ll need to become acquainted with The Tillers faction.  Once the seed is planted, your Turnip may be harvested the next day.  If you do not want to slow down the process by waiting for the RNG gods to be on your side, they are also usually plentifully available through your Auction House at reasonable rates (I’ve seen as low as 200 gold).  Don’t be the one who accidentally crits a last move on that rare Minfernal!

2. Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling

This guy is amazing for power-leveling pets and I would include him in your early team to 25.  Leveling each and every pet afterwards will be twice as fast with the Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling on your team!  His true usefulness becomes available at Level 20, in the form of Explode.  Explode is a suicide move, instantly killing the poor Dragonling, but taking away a large percentage of the enemy’s health.  Anywhere from about 20% for weak hits to 60% for strong ones.  At Level 25, that means that up against a beast opponent, you can commit seppuku when the enemy’s at around 800 HP and knock him out.  You have to make sure to time this correctly, however.  You don’t want that speedy rabbit to Dodge out of it.  There will be times where your timing will be off, but for the most part it is a consistently rewarding leveling tool.

Decoy is also a helpful tool for swapping in the low level pets mid-fight, if for some reason you’re not comfortable with putting them in the pole position.

Now as to why killing off a pet is important — because when a member of your pet team dies, they lose their share of the experience points awarded upon winning the battle, with the total now distributed among the live pets who actually fought in the battle.  So you bring out a Level 6 for one round of the fight, and have the Dragonling (mine’s name is Harikari) solo the remainder and die at the end, and you have a nice chunk of  experience that goes to the Level 6 alone.  Sometimes taking them up several levels at once!  I’ve had Level 1’s hit Level 6 in one battle.  It’s a pretty huge win.

Note: This XP method was temporarily broken on the release of 5.1, which made power-leveling very slow for a few days.  But thankfully it was deemed a bug and corrected – *whew*!

3. Darkmoon Zeppelin

Those times when I timed one of the Explodes wrong using Harikari and failed a match are now over, because I recently acquired the Darkmoon Zeppelin (purchased at the Darkmoon Faire for 90 Prize Tickets), who happens to ALSO have the Explode move (as well as Decoy).  This guy just gives an extra safety buffer for misses with the other.  Plus it’s sometimes fun to see some different spells  (Rocket vs. Breath) from time to time.  Note: Minfernal, Pet Bombling, and Sploder also have the Explode spell, but I think the Zeppelin is most fun!

4. Good Set of Locations

Here are a few of the locations I’ve used for my power-leveling endeavors.  The key component is that all enemies in these regions are between levels 21-25, and they are close to a Stable Master.  That 8-minute Revive cooldown can be tortuously long when you’re short of Pet Bandages!

  1. Dragonblight east of Wyrmrest Temple (approx 64.49, 52.55) – Fight the Dragonbone Hatchlings.  They are plentiful, respawn quickly, and the flight back to the Stable Master is about 6 seconds long!
  2. Vale of the Eternal Blossoms, between Mogu’shan Palace and your choice of Horde or Alliance Shrines.  There are aquatic and flying pets all over this region, they are high level, respawn quickly, and there’s a short flight to your local Stable Master.  This is usually where I take my Level 22 pets to “finish them off”.

5. Grand Master Pet Trainer Battles

Each day there are about 16 opportunities for battling Grand Master Pet Trainers and receiving a daily reward of a Sack, which usually awards Battle Pet Bandages, silly modification consumables for your pets, or useless (sellable) grey items.  And sometimes pets and battle-stones!  For these battles, there are experience multipliers due to the increased difficulty.  On the battle that you’re comfortable with (you stay out of this, Thundering Pandarian Spirit!), you can include a pet that’s a few levels under 25 and easily get him up far more than you would in regular wild battles.  The seven Grand Master Pet Trainers in Pandaria have the highest XP multiplier at x5 the normal XP.  So do your dailies!

6. Battle Pet Bandages!

An often overlooked but vital power-leveling tool.  If the above XP multiplier isn’t enough to motivate you to do your dailies, consider Battle Pet Bandages.  They can ONLY be acquired through dailies at this time, and they are very convenient while you’re doing your Trainer dailies – especially the Pandarian Spirits!

I’m 52 pets into my Pro Pet Mob achievement, and I’m still learning tricks.  Do you have any up your sleeve?

Bragging Rights

I’m a sucker for competition, and I’m usually let down because I lack the skill to compete in much.  Gear score?  Nah.  Maybe back at the end of Wrath when no one was an Arms Warrior.  PVP rating?  Are you kidding me?  But thanks to WOWProgress.com‘s Pet Scoring algorithms, I’ve got a game I can play to win!

pet_score

#1 spot on Durotan-US, woot!  And nearly the top 300 in the world!  I’ve been in a race with a mage on the server, and every couple days (or few hours?) I’m updating the status to see where the standings are.  He will take the lead for a bit, then I’ll be able to work to back up above.  It’s pretty fun.  Along with this I get to work towards my Legendary Pet Battler (3714 as of this publishing) and Pro Pet Mob (count at 52 presently).

It feels pretty good to be in the lead, and I’m only a little embarrassed to say it.  :)

 

Gender in Battle Pets

World of Warcraft battle pets can be boys or girls – and not just via naming your Gilnean RavenLenore“.  Yes, I’m serious!  If you’ve spent any time getting into your pets’ abilities, or on varied battle pet forums, you may have noticed something called Breed IDs.  These Breed IDs set the skill makeup of the particular pet you’re fighting with, or against.  Does your pet have more health points, power, or speed?  With few exceptions, most pets several different breed makeups.  All the battle pets in game are assigned one, and you draw from them randomly upon engaging.  WarcraftPets.com has a great write-up here, if you’re interested in exploring it more.

One of the most heralded websites taking us behind the scenes on Breed IDs is Warcraft Battle Pets by Christoph Schaffhauser.  It’s great for establishing which breed your pet is and gives you an idea if it’s one of the better breeds of that particular pet.  For example, if you have a pet that has a skill that doubles its damage if it moves first, and yours shows that the health gets the highest piece of the pie, you may want to find a version of it with higher speed.  It can get very complicated but at least the information is there should you desire it.

An interesting thing I found while perusing the listings was little male (♂) and female (♀) symbols next to the individual breeds.  How curious!  Upon further digging, and confirmation from @mumper himself on the new WarcraftPets.com interview, the genders are indeed embedded into the Breed ID’s and may play some role down the road.

I would love love LOVE to find a Kun-Lai Runt with a bow in her fur, along the lines of this beauty below…

Yeti with Bow

Just look at that bow… isn’t she a cutie pie?

Winter Veil Wishlist

This post is in response to Blog Azeroth’s Shared Topic for the week of December 3rd – 9th.

The World of Warcraft Feast of Winter Veil event this year brings with it a bunch of opportunities to acquire pets… well, so far as I know the one I don’t have will still be up for grabs (Lumpy). *Sigh*  Has anyone heard of anything being added this year?  I sure hope there’s something new to surprise us during this year’s festivities, but I’ll be happy if I can score that Lump of Coal.

I already scored bigtime by receiving a gift from my boyfriend delivered via in-game mail, sent in some Red Ribboned Wrapping Paper and everything.  He had asked me what rare wild pets I might still be missing.  I mentioned the Emerald Whelpling, as I could only remember running around and around that lake in northern Feralas murdering Noxious Whelps for ever and ever.  I thought he was just curious.  I didn’t know he would then murder whelps for hours on end for me.  So sweet!

I have a few more things on my wish list.  Items both available in game through grinding pet battles, old raids, and/or a little RNG, and available only through purchase.  The purchasable items are pie in the sky, and are only listed in case I have some wealthy WoW benefactor out there just looking for ideas on what to get me!

1. Mr. Bigglesworth

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 8.44.04 PM

After last week’s hotfix to the 5.1 patch that prevented the Mr. Bigglesworth pet from randomly dropping from Kel’Thuzad in Naxxramas, the only way to acquire him is by completing the Raiding with Leashes meta achievement.  So far, I have merely two of the twelve required pet drops.  My run of Molten Core and Temple of Ahn’Qiraj came up fruitless, and I’ll need to wait until another night when my boyfriend can assist me with Razorgore in Blackwing Lair and all of Naxxramas.

If all else fails, it’s to the AH I go!  I don’t have many funds, but one or two of the pets would be a manageable set of in-game purchases!

2. Legendary Pet Battler

I’m off to a good start with this epic achievement which awards… well, nothing.  A few achievement points is all.  Winning 5000 pet battles is no small effort, and I would think they would wan to throw a fun pet or title into the mix.  But noooooo.  Nothing fun for us obsessives who can’t stop leveling our blues.  I’m at just over 3400.  If you multiply that number times the average number of minutes a pet battle takes (2-4 mins?), that’s… a lot of minutes, omg!  Still, I’d like to have this one in the bag by the end of Winter Veil.

3. Feldrake

feldrake

This here starts the real deal stuff, y’all.  This here is where things get serious.  One day I was browsing WoWTCGLoot.com to look at reasonably-priced pets I might not have, and I noticed this beautiful mount.  The Feldrake.  Just look at this amazing mount, will you?  It’s gorgeous.  It’s also around $200.00 USD.  Ah well.  One of the unique qualities about this mount is that it functions as a ground mount in places like arenas, battlegrounds, and some instances.  Sure to attract attention.  I would fly around on this thing all day looking for one of the new wild pets, I tell ya.  ALL. DAY.

4. Murky

murky

Okay, this is where things get ridiculous (well, more ridiculous).  But if you don’t ask, Greatfather Winter won’t know, amiright?  Ever since I ran the King Mrgl-Mrgl quest chain through Boren Tundra, I fell in love with the baby murlocs.  Shortly thereafter I found out about Murky, the companion pet given as a gift to attendees of the 2005 Blizzcon.  He dances and sings, people!  I even have this song as a ringtone on my mobile phone and used it as a wake-up alarm for several years.  It’s etched into my brain.  But alas, the card to redeem him as an in-game companion (and battle!) pet is costly.  To the tune of $2000.00 USD.  Yeesh!

And last but not least…

5. World Peace

It’s my pageant answer, yo.  And I really do want it.

What are you hoping to receive this Winter Veil season?

 

 

 

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