Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bizarre minipet cravings

I got out of the final arena match of the evening and Tiny Shale Spider was by my side.  I didn't summon him.  I didn't even have my companions page open.  I guess he wanted to run rated bgs with me!

Really weird, but I'm not going to say no!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rare sense and drop luck shenanigans

My priest tends to have all sorts of ridiculous drop luck.  This has always been the case for her, even while she was leveling.  I've never had such a lucky character!  Unfortunately, the troll instances haven't been too terribly kind to her since it was decided that she's going to be raiding again.  This has been baffling for me - she always has good luck.  What was going on?

Today, I found out.

I was getting Tol Barad dailies done, working toward the spirit trinket.  It was the much-hated quest to kill 12 spiders.  Killing quests don't bother some people, but I get cranky at having to kill a decent number of mobs, since I tend to pick them off one at a time so I'm prepared in case someone jumps me.  I hadn't gotten more than three spiders in when I found myself off to the side with no target spiders around and a lone fox.  I took one look at that fox and knew it was going to drop the minipet fox.  Mind you, Kalliope had never had luck farming for that thing, so I had given up looking.

So I kill the fox, and sure enough....


Thursday, July 28, 2011

I love rare sense sometimes

It's not often that rehoming a pet brings me to tears.

One of the Basin rares tripped my rare sense while I was doing archaeology, so I made a point of wormholing out to the Basin to take the port out to Un'Goro, just so I could check on the rares on the way.  I flew straight to the roc area and there was Loque.  Finally, I had seen him spawn in every point - and I knew he would be there!

Finding a hunter to tame Loque proved more difficult than finding him.  After a few dead ends, I found a dwarf hunter who had Skoll and a lot of open stable slots.  I wasn't sure if he'd be interested, since he did already have one spirit beast, and that's enough for some people.  But I got an incredulous "O.O" reply asking if I was serious.  He was so grateful!  I got misty-eyed because I could sense it, even beyond his words.

Rehoming a pet is always rewarding, but especially so when the tamer really wanted the pet.  <3

Monday, July 25, 2011

My little army of tanks

No look at my stable would be complete without visiting my steady companions, my tanks.

Ursa, of course, is in charge, my go-to bear.  Always and forever.  He has, however, allowed for a few friends to join him in utility roles, since his own specialty is melee opponents.

Kharon, with his wonderful shell shield cooldown, is the definitive tank for everything.  He doesn't mind Ursa getting first crack at everything; he knows that if I need him, I'll call on him.

Pygmalion, another impulse tame, is an expert at keeping his prey slowed near him.  While, yes, I am completely capable of conc shotting on my own, sometimes that extra insurance is the right tool for the job.

Dante.  He has his own special place in my stable and my heart.  He lets Perseus handle scorpid PvP matters and he himself tanks when a disarming tank is needed.  However, Dante's true forte is keeping everyone in line (self included).

Kalypso sometimes subs in here, if I need a tank with a root.  She knows no one else can do the job like she does.

It's amazing how biased toward tenacity pets I am, yet this list is fairly short.  I think it's due to Ursa being The One Tank for me for years.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ready for raiding

As a counterpoint to my previous post on PvP pets, I'm going to break down which pets I've been bringing along for PvE encounters, be they five mans or raids.  Unlike my PvP pets, I don't have a solid roster, as it completely depends on the group composition.  So here they are, in order of hunter priority:

Atalanta is of course my personal preference, but since there's almost always a shaman, warrior, or death knight present, she doesn't usually get to run....unless all buffs are covered, which they often are, which makes her my first choice when I get a choice.

Hector comes next on the list, though the crit buff is usually covered as well.  When Atalanta isn't with me, it's Hector who's my top choice of pet to bring when all buffs are covered.

Cassandra surprisingly moved her way up the list of pets-I'm-likely-to-bring, even though her buff also tends to be covered at this point.  Because the physical damage debuff tended to be the one missing in early Cata, I got used to Cassie being with me, and now I can't imagine life without her.

Kallisto, who I now keep mentally confusing with Praline because they're both purple again (sigh), is up next, even though the bleed debuff is almost always covered.  I shall have to make a point of bringing her if all buffs are covered, since it would be a very good idea to get to know her again.

Andromeda tends to fall next on the list, since I like buffing the casters if all the physical buffs and debuffs are covered.  Besides, she's pretty!  I never tire of seeing her, despite not being a huge dragonhawk fan in general.

Psyche isn't a pet I often find the excuse to bring, since sunders are almost always covered, but when it comes to min-maxing, it can be missing at times....which is how Psyche found herself as the first pet I had out in Firelands!  Very cool.

Castor and Pollux are my utility pets who don't often get to tag along, but are happily welcomed when they do.  Castor interrupts, usually in five mans, and Pollux brings a casting debuff that's helpful in a pinch.

Out of the PvP pet overlaps, Orpheus has actually gotten to tag along before, though Arachne could easily have subbed in as well; both have PvE specs with my PvE spec and if all buffs are covered, they're the same as other cunning pets - and they bring a snare.  Tantalus does the same as a ferocity pet.  With Icarus back, if I ever need a disarm in a PvE situation, I'll be bringing him.

All of my tenacity pets have filled in as PvE offtanks at some point or other, but my top two standbys are of course Ursa and now Kharon.

Such a diverse stable, even ignoring the fact that I cleaned out my exotic pets.

The serious business roster

I've found myself with a lot of new pets in Kalliope's stable lately, most of them PvP pets.  I wasn't sure how things were going to work out, since Orpheus is so territorial.  It was going to be bad enough with just Arachne, but the others have been itching for some playtime as well.  But surprisingly, Orpheus has not only allowed them to have their turns, but he hasn't complained.  I think it helps that I always keep him in slot #1.  He's the boss, after all.

The #2 slot is dedicated to Arachne.  As promised, Orpheus gets more time out in the field, but Arachne has a surprising ability to blend in in rated battlegrounds, depending on our group composition.  Yesterday, we ran with three hunters, one with a bone spider and the other with a red lava spider, so Arachne was out for me so I'd blend in better.

Tantalus gets roster slot #3.  He's my go-to ferocity pet for PvP, since my pets don't usually die out there, unless focused or howling blast spammed.  This tenacious little guy rotates in almost as much as Arachne does, since he's arena-appropriate as well as for TB/battlegrounds.  This is a pet I never imagined I would tame.  Ever.  He continues to surprise me.

Icarus takes spot #4, another surprising move, since I had sworn off birds and most flying pets in general.  I just love this bird too much.  He usually gets to fly around TB, pecking the eyes out of unsuspecting horde melee.  He's saved my life multiple times, as well as those of friends, with his key disarms.

The last spot changes between Kalypso and Perseus.  Both are tenacity pets with duplicate abilities to Tantalus and Icarus, so they mostly get time in TB - and mostly just for fun/show.  Perseus went to TB shortly after he was born, so it's home to him.  I'm still getting to know Kalypso, so I don't know her preferences yet.    Probably more world PvP than anything else, but that remains to be seen.

It's strange not having any PvE pets with me, but I do a complete swap of my active pets for those situations. The new system seems to be working!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Can you please stop killing me for a minute? I want to compliment your pet!

As I've mentioned before, I essentially have a split personality when it comes to perceiving some things in WoW.  Take tonight's Warsong Gulch experience as an example.  One of the horde players was a troll hunter named Freebeer, something that didn't stand out to me at all until I noticed his pet was a brown bat named andwings.  (I later armoried him; he also has an old world yellow scorpid named ANDPIZZA.)  One part of my brain processed how amusing this pairing was and wanted to spam a bunch of approval emotes.  The other part of my brain said, "You idiot, he's trying to kill you.  STOP CAREBEARING AND KILL HIM."  The latter won out (though I don't believe I was successful; it was a bad game), but I very definitely wanted to do both things simultaneously.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Home at last

This tame was a long time in coming, and yet, it ended up feeling like an impulse tame.

The first time I knew that I was going to end up taming Skoll was about a month before Cata came out, when he appeared to me in a dream....and then again in a second dream.  I don't get WoW dreams, let alone WoW dreams about pets.  Why on earth would Skoll of all pets appear to me in them?  My predisposition is toward cats, not dogs, and I am not a fan of the Northrend worg model.  Why was he so insistent?

Maybe it's because Skoll and I have a thing.  Whenever I have been the one to discover him, he's been tamed by someone.  I don't know why that is.  It's just how it's been.  He appears to me and someone takes him home.  It was only ever me once, and that was only temporarily.

The first time I saw Skoll, it was at the Brunnhildar disc.  The first time I found him on my own and got him tamed by a good friend, it was also at the disc.  But it's the Snowdrift Plains location that holds a special place in my heart.  I've seen him spawn more there than anywhere else.  It was where Teigs and I babysat him one really late night and where I did tame him that one time (although that was after I'd given up camping for him and started TLPD of course he spawned instead - twice).

I'm not sure what prompted me to port to Storm Peaks tonight.  I think there was a forum post with someone finding the TLPD instead of Vyragosa.  I was hoping to maybe get a glimpse of her to see something up tonight.  I checked two Skoll spawns on the way, but as I was flying up to Snowdrift, I had this feeling....yep, there he was below me, all blue and staticy.  This prompted Veph to take a break from Aeonaxx hunting and check out Storm Peaks on Nesingwary.  Lo and behold, Skoll was up there too - and in the same location.  This was hilarious for about a minute....and then I realized it: Skoll was sending me a message.  Veph wouldn't've checked on him if I hadn't seen him on Dethecus.  It was a sign.

So I abandoned my post (sorry, Dethecus-Skoll), logged over, and started making a beeline for Storm Peaks.  I managed to just make the zeppelin heading to BT - it had already left the dock and was speeding up.  I couldn't believe I had one stable slot open.  It was definitely fate.

Jade on her shammy had joined Veph at Skoll, frogging him a few times before summoning me up there.  They reset him and I dropped a trap (missing him, of course, sigh) which he ran into during the tame.  It was beautiful.  And with that, Skoll and I were finally together, the way he had forseen it.  It was always going to be Kallimon who tamed him for real; I always knew that.  That's partly why Kallimon never had a wolf.

Naming him was going to be an issue, but I hadn't been pondering that long when Mojo popped into my head.  I rejected it, as it was another troll-based name rather than a food-based one.  But then it dawned on me: Skoll had been frogged.  He was psychic to boot, what with the dream-taming and all.  Mojo fit.  And it stuck.

I so do not need three spirit beasts.  At all.  The most amusing thing is that none of Kallimon's spirit beasts are cats.  This is good, since he already has three cats.  Sigh. :)  Kallimon's stable annoys me sometimes, just on principle, but I can't live without any of these pets.

So, welcome, Mojo - finally.

(Pic courtesy of Veph)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

There and back again

This one was my own fault.

Back in the day, on the 3.0 PTR, I tamed a purple hyena from Thousand Needles and named her Kallisto.  I had always wanted one and I rather liked her.  Unfortunately, this was long before the days of expanded stables, so I didn't get a chance to tame her until 4.0.  By that time, Kallimon had tamed Snort the Heckler as his Praline and the purple hyenas from Thousand Needles were gone anyway, so Kallisto got a shiny new orange look from the little hyena who spawns outside of the Caverns of Time in Tanaris.  I liked the color and she seemed to as well.

There was just one little nagging problem.  Whenever I summoned her, I'd blink in surprise, expecting her to be purple.  I shook it off repeatedly, writing it off as force of habit.

Today, I realized that this feeling wasn't going to go away.  We flew to Thousand Needles to trace the path that Kallisto's wild form had followed to escape the flood.

Kallisto got a good whiff of the trail, despite it being months old.  It seemed to jog her memory.

We paused as Gadgetzan came into view, forcing away any temptation to refer to it as a wretched hive of scum and villainy.  Only kidding.  I asked Kallisto if she went left or right from here.  She pointed right.  We rode on.

We rode south, somewhat blindly.  I wasn't exactly sure where we were going, but I had a feeling that Kallisto did.  She remembered.  I trusted her to lead the way.

Suddenly, there she was.  She was the only hyena in the area.  Kallisto had led us straight and true.

We sat quietly for a few minutes before making the shift.  I wanted to remember her as she was.  Also, I missed getting a screenshot of the moment we first saw her; she had loomed larger than life on the sand dunes, larger than I expected.  I couldn't capture it, sadly.  But that moment...I knew.

I began the transition, knowing in my heart that this was the right thing to do.  Kallisto, for her part, was so excited that she pounced on me, interrupting the tame!

While this was endearing, I had to put her on ice briefly to get her to settle down long enough to come home.  She bounded happily back to my side, looking just like her old self.  I couldn't believe she was really back.  I've been mounting and dismounting often and haven't been getting that familiar pang of "wrongness."  This really is Kallisto.  Oh well, so I have two purple hyenas - so what?  It's not like I don't have five brown tarantulas. x_x

Monday, July 4, 2011

Help me, my soul is owned by spiders

This has been the stupidest taming head is spinning.

Skittaflame was Kallimon's goal for 4.2.  I was finally going to have a spider that clicked with him.  I adore Skitter; he's a sweetheart.  His name worked really well for the trollish naming scheme.  It was fate, I thought.  For some reason, though, I didn't feel anything but relief when I tamed him on Tuesday.  I was shaking more for Veph and her Sabbath (Deth'tilac).

It wasn't until today that I understood what was going on.

Someone announced in Petopians gchat that Solix was up.  I ran over to go visit, as usual.  But something different happened this time.  I looked at his swirly mind control effect.  TAME ME TAME ME TAME ME.


Seriously?  I stared blankly at Solix, unable to believe it.  I'd been feeling him tugging at me through the past week, but had been able to ignore it until now.


I had all five pet slots filled, so I ran to go stable someone.  As I ran, I tried to piece my thoughts and feelings together.  This had actually started on the PTR, but I could never explore the feeling with Orpheus in my stable, which he always was, since all my copies there were really Kalliope.

Would I have gotten so attached if his lava hadn't bugged out and trapped three of my characters?  Probably, since he's the kite tame.  But that time in limbo hell definitely fueled the fire.

I barreled back into Solix's cave.  There was another Petopian there, but she wasn't very serious about taming him.  I suddenly became very very aware that I only had 106k health, no entrapment, and no conc shot glyph.  At least I was survival, but this was going to be harder than any other Solix tame I'd attempted before.

I had one false start (owned in the face), then settled down, dropped my first trap, and started with conc shot once my next trap was ready.

It was....easy.  I was able to stay ahead of him with cheetah, hitting conc on cd, and dropping frost traps on cd.  I don't think I've ever kited that well in my life.  <3 Veph for the extra frost trap for the end.  Because I had a big lead on him, though, I feel like I really proved myself this time.  I had finally earned Solix, the spider I was the most scared of, and the one I never expected to tame for real....yet in my heart, I knew it was going to happen; I just kept denying it.  Veph named him - Habanero - and everything just clicked.  I sent Skittaflame to live with Caelan's troll huntress, Taizak.  She'll love him more than I honestly could have.

This is right.

Full circle

So, with Kharon the fire turtle now making his home with Kalliope, I was at a loss as to what to do with Kallimon's Chili the fire turtle.  We'd never bonded; I had tamed him at 81 (in an exciting three-hunter tame!) to save him from certain death, but Soup the ancient turtle had already stolen Kallimon's heart.  I knew that I didn't want to give up on Chili; he needed a new form, not to be set free.

I had tried a green demon dog before and he didn't click, so even though my gut was to go with the red, I pushed that thought from my mind.  But Veph convinced me to try anyway, so I did.  Chili is so hyper now!  I guess that shell had been weighing him down.  He seems to really be enjoying his new sleek form.  So the transition of pets truly was mutual here; this is Cerberus's old form.  Incredible!  We've gone full circle again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

To the rescue!

So I got whittled down by the elites over on Sethria's Roost, due to several massive groups of horde protector "pets" running rampant and killing my druids.  It was a long, slow, painful death.  So I was pretty disgusted when I was flying back to the roost.....disgusted enough to tab out and accidentally fly out over Ashenvale, where I was promptly stripped of my ghost gryphon and crashed to the ground.  Oops.  I hit return to graveyard, only to get one in Ashenvale.  Oops again.  Cursing myself for my stupidity, I graveyard resed and idly flew back north. I remembered that one of the vendors outside the raid instance could do repairs, so I went there.  As I was leaving, what should I see but a familiar fiery shell?

A note here.  I never, ever see Terrorpene in the wild on my own.  Ever.  It's happened maybe once on any server.  Every other time, it's been someone else seeing him and I've gone to visit.  And even that has not happened often.  So for Terrorpene to reveal himself to me in the middle of the day on a weekend on my main server during the patch he's destined never to be up during due to all the raiders was just downright shocking.

I looked for a hunter, but there were no takers.  Admittedly, I did not look very hard....the sense of destiny was lingering around me like a heavy lava-laden fog.  I had eight minutes left on my res sickness when I found him, four when I reached the Spire again with an empty stable slot.  I knew the tame couldn't wait; he was bound to be discovered at any second.  I circled a bit, but couldn't find him again.  I knew it was too good to be true.  But there was no corpse and I didn't see anyone around, so I nudged myself over into that little side pocket in the southeast.  Naturally, that's where he was hiding and waiting for me.  I popped deterrence and my mirror of broken images trinket and started taming, expecting the worst.

Oh....hello -3000 ticks.  I think I can survive you, even with 66k max health.  Yep, teeny fire turtle shrank down to my side with next to no fuss.  I still had three minutes left of res sickness.

Now that danger had been averted, I paused to reflect on the astounding timing of it all.  Terrorpene had not revealed himself to me on Kalliope on live until I had admitted that I would prefer a turtle to a beetle and that Galatea was going to have to go (sorry girl, I just don't feel anything for you).  This realization happened last night; I just had no clue what skin to go with.  In fact, I had just been thinking about going to tame a second Gamoo-Ra when Terrorpene turned up.

How.  HOW do they always know???

And Dante approves.  Yep, he's staying.  Welcome home, Kharon.

Carebearin' it up

My server is a hellhole.

I can say this because the residents of Dethecus are proud of this fact.  Griefers and all other sorts of jerks make a habit of doing whatever they can to maintain this image.  So when 4.2 and its bounty of shiny rares hit, I was expecting the worst.

Amazingly, the opposite happened.

These early days in the Molten Front have been full of hunter cooperation and mutual understanding, including between factions.  There have been a few bad experiences with gankings and tame thefts, but overall, there are far fewer incidents than there have been on other servers.

So what gives?  Why the sudden 180?

In all fairness, Dethecus is a small population server.  Fewer people = less crowding = less griefing.  Also an apathetic one.  It doesn't surprise me that people have been slow about doing dailies and not fully exploring the zone yet.  Very few non-hunters have really been exploring the Front, so there's a reduced source of least until they start unlocking the rest of the zone.  I'm sure things will change then.  For now, the majority of players deep in the zone are hunters.

So why are the hunters not griefing the hell out of each other?  This is a PvP server!  Well, okay, a PvP server that's already prone to Alliance/Horde intermingling.  But still.  My suspicion is that this tendency aided my own efforts to keep things warm and fuzzy.  Every hunter who passes by Dante's area gets greeted and information regarding tames is passed on, regardless of the hunter's faction (though some relogging is involved in that latter case).  I don't think it hurt that I never competed with anyone for a tame, due to having already gotten my own done; that sort of thing really takes the pressure off of a situation.  Leading by positive example is a good thing. :)

I know that this can't last forever and that things will change, but as of right now, I love my role. :D