The thread is here. Yoninah, my level Tauren, was my hunter of choice for the assignment.
First, I decided to go for the daggercap hawk. This meant taking the zepplin to Tirisfal.
Oinkers was with me, but had a little trouble with the zepplin bug.
I was surprised to notice upon arriving in Tirisfal that Brill is a LOT closer to the zep tower than it used to be. After having a bit of trouble locating the new stable master, I got Oinkers and Stilts stabled and was off! Unfortunately, it turned out that I was off to wait for the zepplin to Howling Fjord.
Happily, the zepplin arrived right after I took that screenshot. While waiting to travel to Northrend, I checked where the daggercap hawks spawned...and realized that as a low level hordie with no flying mount, I was in for a long haul. A VERY long haul.
Wowhead comments had players attempting to run directly across the Fjord, taking a few deaths along the way. I opted to try a different route, traveling by water.
I didn't get far before I saw the first ?? orca fin and decided that perhaps the direct route would be a wiser idea after all.
After my first death to the worgs on the elevator, I remembered that Yoninah had been through this once before, when she ran herself up to Dalaran back in LK. She may have even been the first character I did that with.
I followed the road directly into the keep. I was very surprised there were no aggressive mobs in sight along the way.
I then of course made the terrible mistake of taking the side door out and immediately angered the alliance questgiver outside, who two shot me.
I realized moments later that it was NOT a terrible mistake after all, as there were hawks nearby.
I started to tame one, only to get an evade message at the end of the tame. I took a step backwards and he came down to me. This tame worked.
I pondered a name as I waited for mend pet to get his happiness up. For some reason, his ability Snatch made me think of the movie and my friend who named himself Gorjusgeorge after one of the characters. I decided to go with it.
I hadn't tamed a bird like this since these birds were first made tamable back in BC, and I certainly hadn't kept mine then. I studied George with great curiosity. He seemed to be a low flyer of sorts, but since I hadn't tamed any birds on my tauren before, I couldn't be sure if what I was seeing was accurate. I was pleased to note that his trick ability does work, like the other non-owl birds of prey.
We decided to hearth in order to grab the other pets with ease.
It was only then that I realized that my hearth was still set to Dalaran. Oops. I probably should have checked on that sooner.
I asked for help in guild, and Sili thankfully offered to come to my rescue. While I was waiting for Sili to get out of her battleground to initiate the summon, I checked on Fangy for comparison in terms of flight height. He flies at the same height, so I guess my perception is off.
I also noticed that Breanni has elder-related RP flavor text, since the Lunar Festival is still going on. I had either not heard it before or forgotten. Either way, I was impressed.
While still puttering around Dalaran, I decided to check out the barbershop options and mistakenly sat in the first chair. Pets like to sit on top of you when you sit in that chair. George happened to look pretty amazing when he did this.
Amusingly, my buddy happened to be on his warrior, so I informed him of his namesake. He didn't really react, but I'm sure he was pleased on some level, albeit likely a small one. Back during the Cata beta, he had named his worgen's mastiff after me. I'm not entirely sure why or how it was intended, but it happened.
While sitting with George, I noticed that while the hawks still do the little "air burst" of flapping that the owls do, it's a lot smaller and therefore less annoying. That flapping is a pet peeve of mine on the owls. I also noticed that their tails move differently, since they're shorter, smaller, and denser. I've always liked this particular hawk color, but after having just sworn off feathered flying pets in general (with the exception of Kallimon's Pompano and Papillote), I was surprised that I was actually okay with this guy. It also dawned on me how perfect this assignment had been for Yoninah. Most of her favorite pets are dark-colored, so a gothic theme was completely up her alley.
A paladin passed by and asked for my assistance in forming a raid group so he could get inside ICC to check out the patterns. I was happy to oblige and in an even happier coincidence, it turned out that he had a mage alt who could port me off that rock. I reset my hearth to Org and decided to bring George with me to pick up my next assignment.
George and I caught the zep to Grom'gol without any trouble. He also managed not to have the same trouble staying on the zep that Oinkers did.
We passed by the young panther that Yoninah had tamed twice before. He was now level 25 instead of 30 and didn't seem to recognize her. It was a bit sad.
We also passed by the barn owls in Duskwood. I was glad to have gone for George instead. I had tamed a black owl before and though I liked him okay, he had all the issues that owls usually have.
We then zipped by the black ravagers. I'd had one before on a different alt and wanted to try something truly different, so we kept going north, past the black widow spiders and murlocs.
I wasn't totally sure how I was going to get into Northshire as a lowbie hordie with no flying mount, but discovered that access to the area was easier than I had anticipated.
I tamed the first worg I found myself face to face with across the river.
I noticed immediately a certain similarity with Hector, since he decided to stand facing the wrong way.
I had never tamed one of the Northrend worgs before; they're not my style, and they used to be everywhere. A name wasn't coming to me immediately, although I certainly gained an appreciation for the fierceness of the model. One of the other worgs came over to sniff mine as I pondered.
I decided to hearth and grab the other two assigned pets while I mulled over a name for this guy. I stabled George, then headed off to Durotar. I'm not sure why I felt compelled to go out of order, but so it went. Death Flayer was not up, as there were a few lowbies in the area, so I went to see Sarkoth. On the way, I rode by the little brown scorpids, one of whom became the original Remoulade. I was reminded of how much I love the Madexx model, but also how much I liked the old scorpid model before green Madexx stole my heart.
Seeing Sarkoth was no less exciting than seeing Madexx, since he's quite a bit bigger than the surrounding scorpids, and I got the same thrill of excitement seeing him load in.
Once tamed, the little guy immediately gave off one of the pathetic "feed me!" emotes moments after being tamed, then did his little dance after reaching yellow happiness.
A name wasn't coming to me for him either, so I decided to roll out to pick up the assigned spider. I felt bad that I wasn't spending as much time with these two as I had with George, so I thought about them even harder as I rode north.
I stabled the wolf in Razor Hill out of fairness to the little scorpie, then /loved Tednug and Scratchfever on my way to Org. Scratchfever was lagging a bit behind, so he ran to catch up with Ted, and I was reminded of how much I love the old world lions and Jambalaya (who is also a savannah highmane). No floofy lions for us!
I pondered on the knowledge that Remoulade was going to change to a Madexx-model scorpid after the patch, which would leave me without an old world scorpid (since I don't consider ColonD the teal scorpid as a serious pet). Subconsciously, I rode by the scorpid mount, so we stopped to visit.
Back in BC, before I tamed the original Orpheus, I was on the fence between taming a pink scorpid and the black model I now had with me. It was very hard not to pick the black back then, so I could tell I was likely to keep this little guy, even though I still didn't have a name for him. On that note, I decided to stable him and pick up the wolf again as I headed back to Tirisfal.
I summoned the wolf again at the top of the zep tower, but this time, I instantly had an idea for a name and named him Cuddles, after a dog-like pet a friend in an old game used to have. He sang hauntingly, so I assume he approved of the name, even though it's not the most original. As the zepplin pulled out, I noted that he didn't have a problem with staying on board either. I mentally facepalmed at Oinkers.
The trip to Tirisfal was uneventful. I tamed a skitterweb lurker, but even before I tamed it, I wasn't feeling the click, despite the green eyes.
I had just been here within the past week to tame the matriarch for Kallimon and I was pretty sure the way bone spiders moved wouldn't suit Yoninah. So I almost immediately released it in favor of an old nemesis...
Krethis the Shadowspinner.
Krethis had spoken to me the moment I entered the area, despite not having done so when Kallimon had passed through. I immediately named my new spider Charlotte, the name that had popped into my head back in Durotar. Again, not a terribly creative name, but it's the name I most closely associate with the black widow spiders to begin with.
I hearthed and unstabled my scorpid, in the hopes that I would finally be able to name him. He clicked his claws at the stable master excitedly, causing me to mentally add "With gusto!" And thusly, he became Gusto. (Plus, I'd just been in a lengthy discussion with someone about the Gummi Bears, so the name was on my brain.)
Satisfied that all four pets were named, I decided to take a break to mull things over.
When I next logged in, I became immediately aware of how small Gusto was next to Yoninah from a distance.
Zooming in seemed to fix that problem.
Besides, I remembered that pets will grow in size as they level, so he'll eventually grow into being her pet. At any rate, it was Gusto. There was no way he wasn't going to be staying, regardless of anything else. He's a happy little guy and he reminds me of the original Orpheus.
While I've had all four of these pet types before and know how they work in combat, I wanted to see how they moved with Yoninah. I rode over to the Org dummies and grumbled - again - that we don't have an equivalent alliance-side to the large amount of stabled pets.
George was up first. I suddenly realized that owls actually do have one visual advantage over the hawks: unless they have dive up, hawks just fly at the same height while moving, which looks a bit odd when they're heading in for an attack, or returning from one. It's a bit difficult to capture the lack of movement in a screenshot, but hopefully, you get the idea. Looking at the big picture, I know that in the long run, as a cunning pet, George will gain points in mobility and will therefore hardly ever be moving in or out of combat without dive being up. I am still glad he's not an owl, because having him bob at my side would never go away, and I know I wouldn't be able to live with that. (Kallimon's two birds are an exception.) I had already grown quite fond of George yesterday in Dalaran, so I really wasn't looking to get rid of him anyway.
Next up was Cuddles. He definitely projects well at Yoninah's side, and that's just at this low level. When I sent him in to attack the dummy, I immediately noticed he had the same lope the old world worgs have. This surprised me, as I'd never noticed that before. I'd always gotten caught up on the really bad clipping the Northrend worgs' front legs have when they're walking about on an incline. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Skoll.)
I brought Cuddles over to the OCJ-lookalike for comparison. I was reminded that one of the reasons it took me forever to warm up to the old world worgs was their "poofiness" and front-heaviness. While it works on Kalliope and Babykalli, I just don't feel that frame works next to Yoninah.
Also, she tends to have less...ferocious pets. Basically, if she's going to have a wolf, he's going to be fierce and pretty much the exact opposite of her. Had he been any other color with any other name, I might not be so open to him, but Cuddles is a tough cookie and I think just the kind of protector Nina needs.
I brang out Gusto again, just for the sake of argument. ....yeah, okay, short visit.
Last up was Charlotte. Despite her thin frame, she projects well by Nina's side, much like George. Again, the contrast of her delicate form fit well next to Nina's bulk. I was a bit surprised that the model clicked, since I had just changed out Kallimon's scrawny-looking regular spider for a bone spider, but I guess that's the difference with trying it out on a female hunter, regardless of her size. I'd wanted to tame Krethis on a hunter before, but didn't realize it should be this one. I would never have tried this combination if I hadn't been assigned a bone spider in the same area.
So, as of right now, all four are staying. :) Very fun experience! :D