Friday, February 25, 2011

A tale of tarantulas

It all started with a scorpid.

It was during the Burning Crusade era of WoW.  We were limited to three pets and I only had two I was really settled on: Ursa and Atalanta.  I needed a pet for PvP.  Scorpids, with their stacking poison debuff, were all the rage.  I wasn't a huge fan of scorpids at the time (oh, how that has changed now...) and the only ones I had any real connection with were the pink ones in Tanaris.  Unfortunately, these were the bad old days before pet autoleveling, so I opted for one from Terokkar Forest.  I abandoned my black panther through a sea of tears, only to get ganked by two Horde before I could tame my scorpid of choice.  And thus my scorpid was born in a flood of blood.  I named him Orpheus, after the muse Calliope's son.  He was my walking around pet, since we were (and still are) on a PvP server.

Grateful as I was to have him by my side, things were slightly off, since I hadn't gotten to tame the scorpid I really wanted.  Plus, Orpheus was resentful of me for birthing him into a PINK skin.  So when patch 3.0 came out, I started shopping for a new look for him.  I squeezed him into Nuramoc's body, but the pink still outweighed the blue, and he was still very unhappy with me.  So Orpheus did not stay there for long, soon finding himself a new home in a blue crab from Darkshore.  Orpheus was considerably happier being blue, and rather enjoyed playing with pin.  I was happy he was happy and felt more at peace with the whole situation.  I thought this would be his final form.  I was wrong.

I was running hunter-priest in 2s with a friend of mine midway through LK.  He suggested that I get a spider for arena instead of a crab, since web was a ranged root and a non-channeled one at that.  Plus, it was what most hunters in arena were using, despite crab's worthiness and survivability.  I was rather against this idea.  Orpheus was happy and I didn't have room in my stable to tame a sixth pet (the other two were my then-wolf Cerberus and devilsaur Theseus).  Plus, I wasn't a huge fan of spiders.  But I thought about it and remembered that there was one spider in WoW who I felt some affinity with: Chatter, the named brown tarantula in Redridge.  He was always up when I was passing through the zone, so we'd established a familiar sort of bond.  After some consultation with Orpheus, we went over to Alther's Mill and he moved into Chatter's body.  The transformation was amazing!  Orpheus really liked being fuzzy and cuddly instead of having a hard carapace and sharp pointy things protruding from his body.  And thus, Orpheus had taken on his final form.  He would never change again, no matter what gameplay changes there would be in WoW.

Time passed.  Life was good.  But one day late in LK, I deleted a second huntress on the server, Kalli the blood elf.  As heart-wrenching as it was to lose her pets, I just wasn't playing her over there....and ultimately, I needed the space.  I was haunted by the ghost of Hippomenes out of all of her pets (somewhat ironically since he was a ghost in the first place).  He had been her best buddy and loyal companion, as well as being my dear Atalanta's long-distance mate.  I had to get him back, but there was only one pet who I could stand to part with until the expanded stables in Cataclysm: Orpheus.  It broke my heart to do so, but there was no one else I could give up.  Theseus was too hard to get, Ursa and Atalanta were my babies, and I needed Hector (Cerberus already had plans to return to his true form in Cata at that point) to raid.  Orpheus and I camped out in Grizzly Hills for hours upon hours, waiting for Hippomenes to come home again (for the first time, since Kalliope had never had him before).  Eventually, he did, and Orpheus took his leave.

Hippomenes had forgiven me!  I was grateful for that.  But I was still wracked by guilt, since I'd left Orpheus out there alone.  The worst part of it all was that Hippomenes didn't click with Kalliope the way he had with Kalli.  There's only one bear for Kalliope, and that's Ursa.  No exceptions.  I went back and forth with myself for days....weeks.  Tormented, I finally decided to take Hippomenes to Redridge with me and get Orpheus back.  I couldn't last until Cata without him.

Chatter was not there.

My brain rejected this.  It was impossible.  Chatter was ALWAYS up.  An hour passed.  Then two. Orpheus was mad at me.  That had to be why he wasn't there.  I groveled as I paced around Alter's Mill.  I begged his forgiveness.  The third hour passed.  Chatter still had not spawned.  I was frantic.  Orpheus was still furious.  I was losing my mind over a brown tarantula.  I was sitting amongst other brown tarantulas that looked exactly like Chatter.  But they were different.  He was different.  My friends thought I was crazy, even crazier than I'd been when I tamed Hector.  The fourth hour came.  NPCScan went off.  My heart leaped in relief as I targeted my baby and....couldn't find him.  OHMYGODWHEREWASHE?  I panicked, imagining a lowbie coming through the area and destroying him.  And suddenly, I thought to turn around toward the mill....and there he was, just wandering around casually.  The little bugger had snuck up behind me.  I had never seen him spawn there before.  I didn't know he COULD spawn there.  I wept as I let Hippomenes go and brought my baby, my right arm, my fuzzy spider home.  That was Orpheus's true birth.  I hadn't realized how much I truly loved him until that four hour camp in Redridge.  As exhausting as other camps I've done have been (including the eventual ten hour camp that brought Hippomenes home for real), this one was the most emotional camping and taming I've ever done.

The Cataclysm beta opened and Petopians crawled all over it, checking up on changes to existing pets.  I noticed Chatter was among the missing rares.  After what Orpheus, Chatter, and I had been through, I started to worry and asked beta testers to keep an eye out for him.  July gave way to August and September with no sign of him.  But in early October, there was a glimmer of hope.  Vephriel spotted a lone greater tarantula in southeastern Redridge.  He was the only brown tarantula left in the entire zone, so it seemed likely that this was Chatter, but with amnesia.  I accepted the possibility, but still hoped and prayed that Chatter would regain his memory.  November came.  Other previously missing rare spawns, like the strider clutchmother and Shadowclaw were found.  Chatter, however, remained missing, and the tarantula in Redridge stayed nameless.  I visited Chatter often on the live servers, unable to do anything to stop what was coming.  There was almost no time left in the beta....and then it was closed.  Nothing had changed.

The world shattered.  Chatter was gone.

I visited the little red tarantula often, /encouraging him to remember who he was.  It wasn't the same, but I stuck by the little guy.  He was a survivor, and my Orpheus was a survivor - it had to be Chatter.

Time passed and the 4.0.6 patch hit the PTR.  I started hunting for Chatter, but to no avail.  Instead, I came across Rekk'tilac, whom Veph had been dying to meet.  He was HUGE!  My brain could barely handle the possibility that Chatter might really be back - and bigger!  More and more rares popped up, but no Chatter.....until Kurasu found him!  And he was BIG!  Not Rekk'tilac-big, but big!  I couldn't stop smiling for days.  Chatter was really, truly home.

But....there was still that little tarantula in southeastern Redridge.  He wasn't Chatter, but he too survived the Cataclysm.  Veph and I puzzled over the little guy, wondering....  And then, a week after Chatter was found, Veph dubbed the little lost tarantula Chitter.  And it was right.  I immediately hopped on Babykalli (Kalli reborn as a baby blood elf!) and Veph flew me to Redridge on her touring rocket, whereupon Chitter was tamed.

Finally, things seemed to be in place.  But Noah, the Petopia lurker dev, had other plans.  Patch 4.1 hit the PTR and....Chitter was real.  He was now a rare spawn with his real name!  What was left of my brain melted as the little guy raced about the area, much like Orpheus is known to do.  I have plans to tame this little guy officially on my tauren huntress Yoninah to complete the family again with extra tarantula goodness.  I will have more brown tarantulas than I do black bears - and that was the only pet I ever had a duplicate pet of before.  That was the pet that got me into WoW in the first place.  That's saying something.

Between Orpheus, Chatter, and Chitter, my world has been forever changed for the better. <3

Monday, February 21, 2011

An unexpected discovery

I trekked over on Kalliope to Twilight Highlands earlier to help a guildie out with Crucible of Carnage.  As I was approaching, I noticed a pink square on my minimap, indicating that there was a Karoma spawn point just outside the arena.  I thought to myself "What a terrible spawn location!  I can't imagine that he'd ever be spotted here."

And that was when I saw the ghostly blue spirit wolf pacing around in said square.

I flailed a bit, since I still needed to help my hunter guildie, who was still only level 84, but was reluctant to leave the big blue puppy alone.  I did leave him to go help with the bosses, but I checked in with him after each other, shocked that he was still there and untouched.  There were some serious lag spikes, which may have cut down on the number of players in the area, but there were still a number of passersby.

We finished Crucible and my guildie was still only level 84 and not quite close enough to power level up to tame him, so I started hunting for a hunter to tame him.  I had a rough time of it; it seemed like every hunter I asked either already had him or wasn't interested.  There were a few I didn't ask because their pet names were offensive, and I wasn't going to be part of that.  This puppy was special, since he was up in a terrible location, and this was the first time I'd seen him since the Cataclysm.  (The only other time I'd seen him was via Eagle Eye in Loch Modan post-Shattering.)  I was determined to find him a loving home.  I had a good track record with getting Skoll tamed by others and I was going to continue it with Karoma.

At last, I asked my friend who'd had good luck with having spirit beasts found for her before if her hunter was 85 yet.  She said she was about three bars off, but would tame Karoma, despite already having a ghost wolf.  Overjoyed, I said I'd hold him for her while she leveled up.  I started chain-trapping Karoma, which wasn't always an easy feat, considering the lag patches.  A level 77 troll druid flew by and picked the Twilight Jasmine in the area.  He stared at me and Karoma for a bit, but flew off in peace.  I had no intention of bothering him, so long as he wasn't bothering me and my trapped puppy.

Some time later, a horde death knight landed behind me and started to pop army of the dead.  I muttered to myself IRL and I fought to guard Karoma, who was still trapped.  There was a heart-stopping half minute of lag toward the end, but the dk ended up dead and Karoma remained alive, though he did get out of his trap for a bit, so I took some damage.  The dk resed and I killed him again.  Thanks to his DoT and my continued stay in combat, healing up was not a great option for me, so when he returned a third time, I was under 20k hp.  I had a heartwrenching mistarget as Karoma broke out of his trap and the spirit puppy dropped to half health.  Acting quickly, I got back on the dk and got him down to half health again before I died myself.

I flew back as quickly as I could from the graveyard, giving my friend updates along the way.  I was so sure I was going to be returning to a corpse that I wasn't surprised not to see him immediately when I resed.  It turned out to be more lag - Karoma finally loaded up: alive and at full health!  I bandaged quickly, resummoned Orpheus, who'd been with me throughout the proceedings, and got a fresh scatter-trap on Karoma.  I'm not sure whether the dk was only after me and spared Karoma, or if Karoma killed him after I died, but regardless of how or why Karoma lived, he did and I was grateful.  The dk flew by again, but decided not to mess with us.

Not long after that, my friend dinged 85 and tamed Karoma, who is now her ghost wolf's girlfriend. :)  I am very happy for her and thrilled that Karoma got a loving home. :D

VanCleef pay big for your heads!

My newest hunter, the goblin Sandwiches (big pet profile post forthcoming at some point), did her first dungeon run today - it turned out to be Deadmines.  I had GrilledCheez with me, just to do something different.  The bear tank didn't zone in from Org.  After waiting around for a reasonable amount of time, the rest of the party realized that we'd have to wait 12 minutes to kick him.  I volunteered to go grab a tanking pet and traded out Cheez for Salami (who I *knew* I should have brought in the first place).

We slogged our way through the trash, Salami doing the best he could to hold aggro, considering that all he had to work with were growl, intimidation, and natural threat from Kill Command - all single target abilities.  He ultimately held the ogres while we burst down everything else.  Happily, the shammy healer was very understanding, helpful, and alert, and the mage and pally burst things down quite quickly, so it wasn't too big a deal.  I had to do some kiting when I got aggro a few times, but the shammy could handle it.  We got to the first boss and the druid still hadn't zoned in.  Unfortunately, we still couldn't kick him, so we just did the boss.  It was rough, since that boss drops aggro every time he blinks, but we got him!

The druid was still in Org, so we kept going, single pulling all the trash through the monkeys.  Salami died to the double ogre pull in front of the door, but that was kind of to be expected.  No one else did, though.  Sometime during the pulls of the lumber room, the druid turned up.  In cat form.  He said he was lagging - and boy, was he!  He was blinking all over the place, mostly running over the same patches of ground over and over again.  Salami kept pulling, including the boss.  Salami held aggro at the beginning, but after a while, the dps buildup was too much and I had to kite the end bit, up until Helix dropped off the ogre.  We waited the two remaining minutes to kick the druid.

Off we went to the next bit of trash.  We powered down the workers while Salami held the evokers.  I did a little kiting on the big pull on the corner.  We reached the third boss's room with no tank in sight.  Salami tanked the first of the adds, then we add-tanked the rest, going directly into the boss afterwards.  This guy Salami held really well; I only pulled aggro once and he was able to get it back.  All in all, this was Salami's best tanking job.  The emberstone staff dropped for the mage, which was nice, since he actually needed it.

On the trash up to the ship's room, I had the mage sheep one of the melee in each group while we burst down the other one then focused the caster.  This went really smoothly, including the cannon pull (we sheeped one of the casters here and just went nuts with damage).  We plowed through the birds (no rares were up, thankfully) and as we approached the ship itself, we actually had a blood elf warrior tank queue in.  And thus ended Salami's first tanking run.  The warrior was fine, but he needed on a BoE blue that dropped, as well as the agility cloak that Cookie dropped.  Since one of the quest rewards was also an agility cloak, it was okay.  I know Salami could have finished the run on his own, and that alone made it all worth it.

I love that crab.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Patch day!

Patch 4.0.6 arrived on February 8th, bringing with it a variety of new pet looks and some changes to my own stables.

First and foremost, Hector's fur finally grew out as he and I were present for Dethecus's first Deathmaw spawn of the patch.  At last, he was the pup he was always meant to be!  And this truly was meant to be; he popped at the northwest spawn point, the same place I'd found him on the PTR.  I spent a great deal of time flying between there and Redridge, eagerly awaiting the first Chatter spawn as well, so Orpheus could visit.  It was a good omen; not long after Chatter appeared, so did Deathmaw. :)  I had a good time visiting Snarlflare as well - I've grown quite fond of him - and Seeker Aqualon's major size increase was a bit of a surprise (but a welcome one)!

Kalliope's only other stop for 4.0.6 was Azshara to go tame a beige chimaera to be the new Bellerophon.  So I flew up there and grabbed one who was flying around near the Evalcharr, who happened to be up.  I hung around to watch him fly for a bit, since he hadn't been up on the PTR, and I'd never seen him before in person - new look or old.  I couldn't stop watching him.  In my deepest subconscious, my being was pulsing TAMEHIMTAMEHIMTAMEHIM.  I protested; I wanted the beige chimaera.  TAMEHIMTAMEHIMTAMEHIM.  NO, I want the beige one!  TAMEHIMTAMEHIMTAMEHIM!  OKAY FINE.  I released the beige chimaera (sorry, little guy) and tamed the Evalcharr to shut up the voice in my head.  I named him Bellerophon and smirked smugly at my subconscious.  SEE?  NO CLICK.  I readied myself to tame a different beige chimaera for Bellerophon.  Except...I couldn't release him.  I'm pretty certain I facepalmed IRL at this point.  Fine, Bellerophon, you win.  You can be green.  At least you look really stunning with the sun coming through your wings...

Mind you, I love green.  It's my favorite color.  It's just that I never expected to be taken by this skin.  That green is gorgeous in person.  It doesn't photograph well.  It's warm and rich, not sickly.

Anyway, moving on....

It was Kallimon's turn!  My first stop was Azuremyst to pick up good ol' Death Ravager to be the new MintJulep.  And you know what?  I don't think I could have picked a better match.  Minty had been extremely picky about choosing a form; I'm so glad she worked her way into this one.  Kallimon and Minty look like reverse-twins.  This was destiny.

Remoulade, who was a brown scorpid from Durotar, had gotten the Madexx bug, so he changed himself into one of the lovely brown common models hanging out around north of the Obelisk of the Stars.  He's not the flashy type; he never wanted to be Madexx...he just liked his style. :)

The last stop for Kallimon was with Pacane in Un'goro.  After she'd come into her own as a green raptor, there was no doubt in my mind that she had to be the ravasaur matriarch to go with Beignet, who was also from the Crater.  It took a day or two, but she did eventually spawn and Pacane was finally home.  Amusingly, the white and black devilsaurs were especially attentive during this camping period, so it felt as though Beignet and Skorn were helping with the search.

Babykalli was my last hunter with a plan for this patch.  Eurydice, Creepthess, became Orpheus's long distance wife, across servers and factions.  This is not the first time Babykalli has done this for one of Kalliope's pets; when she was still Kalli and a blood elf on Dethecus, she had the original Hippomenes with her.

My last tame of the new patch was unexpected and unplanned.  I'd been greatly amused by Takk the Leaper's new incredible leaping abilities on the PTR.  After reading Toph's adventures in taming him and learning that Noah was behind this wonderful new addition to his abilities, I ran out there to tame him....only to not have to chase him at all.  How anticlimactic!  I named him after Noah, since he's done so much for us hunters in Cataclysm - above and beyond the call of duty.  Thank you, Noah!

And those are the long-delayed 4.0.6 tames!  There are others that I've done since then, but I'll hold off on those until after I complete the set...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Random "Pet Theme" Challenge: Gothic Pets

Gothic Pets!
For a switch, I was tempted to assign you the Blackrock Battle Worg from Elwynn, and/or the Fjord Hawk from Howling Fjord, but that reaaaally doesn't seem fair for a Horde lvl 30

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