Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And all was right with the world

Brought Atalanta to Karazhan earlier.  It had been our first raid together back in the day, so it was the perfect place to test how she felt by my side.

She's so bright now!  I just can't get over that.  But it's definitely still her; she's just more herself than ever before.  She seemed happy to visit our old haunt too.

I do love this cat.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Who truly is in charge?

We Petopians (many of us, anyway) often find ourselves catering to the whims of our pets and hunters, taming pets we wouldn't've given a second glance otherwise.  This is normal to us.  We understand that our pets have their own needs and that our hunters have their own preferences, separate from our own.  I've been pondering Atalanta's recent change of heart over the past few days, sometimes aloud.  My bf pointed out that it really was me making all of these decisions.  While I knew that on some level, he was right, I still couldn't help but feel that the choice was never truly in my hands.  I had to figure out how this was possible.

As it turned out, the truth presented itself to me readily, though I wasn't totally thrilled to realize it.

This is all a convoluted form of roleplaying.

I admit it; I have a bit of a bias against the label of "RP."  This is mostly because there's so much bad roleplaying out there, and, writing snob that I am, it drives me crazy to see poor characterizations and structure.  I know it's not all bad, but that doesn't stop the bias from pinging around my head.  Forgive me, dedicated RPers who have some actual ability and talent.

I digress.

Though our pets and our hunters are a part of us, they have their own personalities, some of which evolve without our direct involvement or control.  That's just good writing.  The characters take over and develop organically.  For a character to truly be "real," it needs to detach itself from its creator in that sort of way.  It's the pinnacle of what I consider to be proper character creation - complete separation from the subject, despite it still being part of you.

And this is why I take my pets' personalities so seriously.  They speak to me in their own voices (though not always with words), something that not all characters born of my mind or heart do.  Not all of them, of course; just the ones that are well-defined.

They are definitely the ones in charge here.  And that is completely fine by me.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Atalanta comes of age

This story goes way back, back to when I first started playing WoW.  I tried to roll a hunter named Atalanta, but the name was of course taken.  I ended up Kalliope and Atalanta was born as my first pet after Ursa.  She was supposed to be a snow leopard, but I was convinced to get a ghost saber instead.  As the years went by, Atalanta settled into the form and she couldn't....wouldn't...change.  We scouted frost sabers in Zul'Drak on the PTR once, she and I - she turned her nose up at them.

After Leo (still nicknamed Floof) joined us, something changed in Atalanta.  I couldn't tell you what it was, just that she suddenly made up her mind that she wasn't corporeal enough.  Perhaps it's because of the connection to the Atalanta/Hippomenes myth, even though there was never a chance that Hippomenes would be morphing into a lion.

Cats are so unpredictable.  All I can say.

So today, Gondria was up on Nesingwary, near Zim'Torga.  That was where the prospective frost sabers we'd looked at were.  I took this as the sign we'd been looking for.  I relogged to Dethecus and headed out to Zim'Torga, stopping at Brunnhildar to get Atalanta on the way.  If Gondria was up, she wasn't at that spawn point.  I wasn't surprised.  It was just a ruse to get us out there, and I knew it.  Atalanta seemed to know it too; her vibe was very calm, with an air of preparedness.  I was momentarily overwhelmed by all of the frost leopards prowling around, but one very quickly separated herself from the pack by pouncing a nearby bunny.

This was the moment of truth.  It had arrived without warning.

I looked Atalanta in the eye.  I had never seen her so determined.  She wanted this.  Despite going through all the motions of scouting, I didn't really expect her to really want to do this, let alone be looking forward to it.

So it was done....and Atalanta became stronger.  She felt more like her namesake, a true warrior.  In her less corporeal form, she was quieter, more tentative.  It was a transformation unlike any other.

Welcome back, Atalanta.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

When Floof became Leo

So I suppose this was obvious to everyone but me, but Floof has attached himself into the permanent family as the first primary rotating pet.  He couldn't stay under that name (as he was never supposed to), so he has changed his identifier to Leo.  I was a bit concerned that he wouldn't like the name and would lose his luckiness, but if my latest dream was accurate, he hasn't.  (Said dream indicated that Veph and I would have seen Blood Seeker if we had stayed up the extra couple of hours.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Floof really is lucky

So I had my third ever WoW dream.  No, it wasn't Skoll again.  It was the TLPD.  He was flying south from Brunnhildar.

I woke up and got my comp on as quickly as I could.  For some reason, my USB ports weren't activating and my mouse wasn't working.  Groggy, I thought it was just being slow to kick in, so I made do throughout the rest of the proceedings; I wouldn't get mouse activity again until I rebooted afterwards.

It took WoW forever to open.  When I finally got logged in, I selected the wrong character.  I had to wait through the load screen twice.  As I logged into Kalli, fully prepared to port to Dalaran and fly over, I realized that I had actually logged out at the waterfall spawn point with Floof out and on passive.  I was stunned that I'd been so prepared, especially since I had almost hearthed before relogging the day before.

I mounted up in a daze and flew a few yards to the right, so I was hovering over the waterfall itself.  I didn't see anything, but my instinct told me to stay put.  Sure enough, within 30 seconds, NPCscan and SilverDragon alerted me that TLPD was up.  I didn't jump.  I wasn't surprised to see him, since I knew he'd be there.  It was one of those things.  It took me a moment to actually get a visual on him, since my settings are so low on this computer.  He was exactly where I dreamed he would be: flying south from Brunnhildar, just over the mountain's edge.  That was when my hands started shaking uncontrollably and I completely lost my head; I saw nothing but him and thought of nothing beyond figuring out how the hell I was going to pull him with no mouse.  I attempted to dismount and pull him with arcane shot at the top of the waterfall, but my trembling hands didn't let me do so until he had flown out of range.  I parachuted down and groped for my mount button, flying after him as quickly as I could.  He didn't seem to be flying that fast; I was just shaking horribly.  He was flying low over the ground just below the waterfall, so I body pulled him and dragged myself to the snow below, fumbling for arcane shot.  He followed me and the tag worked.  I couldn't believe it.  Seconds later, he lay dead before me and I looted him with shaking hands.

I don't even know how or why this happened.  He just decided to call me.  I hadn't even been in Storm Peaks for myself yesterday; I was helping Gigglez camp.  Why the TLPD decided he wanted me now, I don't know.  If not for the dream, he would have gone unspotted.  Hopefully, he'll decide to spawn again sooner rather than later.  Floof and I shall be there to find him and help get him home! Morpheus. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

But I don't even like him!

I'm not even sure what happened earlier.  I might as well have been intoxicated for as fuzzy as this whole thing is in my head.

While on break during rated battlegrounds tonight, my rare sense suddenly went off.  It was for a rare in Twilight Highlands.  This never happens.  I have very little experience spotting rares in that zone, and in two cases, my rare sense went off in the immediate area of the spawn (Karoma near Crucible of Carnage and Sambas over by Victor's Point for my friend).  As I flew over the Highlands and crossed off Karoma's spawn points one by one, I realized I knew who it was.  It had to be Sambas, simply because of how he spawned for me when I was looking out for him for my friend (I flew into the zone, parked over Victor's Point, got queued into an instance, and he was walking around that spawn when I came out, just as I knew he would be).

Naturally, it was him.  He was at the spawn northeast of Victor's Point.

I couldn't find anyone to tame him.  I didn't really expect to, though.  I knew he had attached himself to me, for better or for worse.  I guess he decided he liked me after I went to look for him for my friend.  I am not a fan of the floofy lion. -_-  I never have been.  But....he liked me.  I couldn't turn him away.  What was I supposed to do?

So.....yeah.  Meet Floof the Sambas.  No, he's not the original Floof, and no, he's not staying.  Icarus will be returning from his brief vacation soon.

Yeah.  I still don't even know.  Crazy fluffball.

Next Day Followup: It seems that Floof is psychic.  My Pottermore beta account was activated today and naturally, I was sorted into Gryffindor.  For those who don't know, the Gryffindor symbol is a lion.

I definitely do not know what to make of all this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

KirixVision Part 2

While attempting to help a couple of alliance hunters tame Kirix, I took the opportunity to mind vision him while they were trying:

Will hopefully have the opportunity to do so again!

Glowbear finally home!

Arcturis finally turned up again for my friend, so I can stop driving by Grizzly Hills.  Again. ;)

I hid him with my mount!

A terrible screenie of the tame itself.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Teamwork to the max

As some of you may have noticed, Orpheus wasn't listed in the first line of the family grid.  Instead, he appeared alongside my four other current PvP pets of choice.  (Kalypso is taking it easy; she is still a bit of a hermit crab.) This was partly a reflection of how organized I keep my stable, as those five are generally the ones with me, and the other four rows appeared in the usual order of my deep stable.

The other major reason I chose to display them that way is because they are a team, moreso than any of my other pets.  Generally, my pets either run with me as a duo or as part of a larger raid group; there are a select few cases of pairing off (Atalanta and Hippomenes, Perseus and Andromeda, and the twins Castor and Pollux), but they are fewer and further between.

Last night, I was able to cycle through all five pets multiple times against a druid-warlock team.  None of them died, since I kept switching them after they were dotted up.  Orpheus and Arachne especially got into trading off in multiple matches.

If only I had three more stable slots, I would gladly run with five spiders.  This is really fun!


What's the only thing more awesome than watching a giant green lava spider run around on a reign of terror?

Being a giant green lava spider running around on a reign of terror.

I had checked on Kirix while in the Front on Kalliope, just to say hi.  A bit later, I was there on Aisling and wanted to see if he was still up.  I was tired and didn't feel like navigating the flames, so I had to get pretty close to them to see Kirix poke his head into view.

Then I had an idea.

I mind visioned him.

Talk about up close and personal!  I'll have to try and make a video of this sometime, as pictures really don't do the experience justice.

Everything's coming up warpies

Now that Kalliope's stable is 100% full and stable (for now; I can never promise forever anymore), I was able to give Kallimon's stable a real going-over....again.

There were only two releases in this sweep.  Bisque, my Ghostcrawler, never clicked, even with his new name.  Once Mojo joined the family, that was it; he's Kallimon's spirit beast of choice.  I released Bisque near the pool in Mount Hyjal; he should be happy hanging out with Tortolla and Tooga.

I had been on the fence with Nalorakk (Arcturis), as Mojo seemed to click more than he did.  I felt guilty even considering it, since camping him had been such a chore this last time.  However, when I summoned him, I could feel the bond returning.  He's staying.  Once again, Kallimon saves a pet Kalliope never could.

The second release was both easier and harder.  Much like Skittaflame, I had not bonded with Kallimon's Dante that first night in the Front.  I know, it's terrible.  It's Dante.  But I had already bonded with him on Kalliope, after our adventures in Kalimdor and all those hours together on the PTR.  He chose to be with my main rather than my alt.  I really didn't get much of a say in this choice; it just....happened.  I took Dante to visit himself before letting him go.  The real Dante hugged both of us before turning his back on us to make the transition easier.  It was okay by him, since he understood.  And besides, being on my main was his idea.

So Kallimon had two open stable slots again.  I wanted to give a warp stalker a chance, but had despaired of ever clicking with one.  Caelan suggested a female red warpie.  I still wasn't fond of the red warp stalkers, but I realized that I hadn't given a female warpie a real shot before.  (While MintJulep had been a green warp stalker for a time, she had never clicked in that form and I had forgotten that I had in fact had her as my sole female warp stalker until after this conversation.)  Once the decision to go with a female warp stalker had been made, the pieces fell into place.  The only skin that strikes me as being potentially female is the white one, so a quick trip to Shattrath united Kallimon with Etouffee, who gave up chasing butterflies to come home with him.

She's fiesty.  She bit Kallimon - HARD - after being tamed.  I've never seen a warpie do that before.  Dante sensed her mean streak and held off giving his approval warily.  I'm not quite sure what I've gotten into here, but I do believe Etouffee is staying.

Now to see about that last stable slot....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Meet the Family: 4.2 Edition

It's been a long, long time since I last updated my stable chart, and for some reason, I've never actually run around and taken pics with Kalliope and all of her pets before.

This post is well overdue.

Kalliope's Family:

And without further ado...the family album!  Everyone is posed near/at their birthplaces.

























Friday, August 12, 2011

Bears for buddies!

Tonight was a big bear night!  The bf and I got into our first bear run of the five-man ZA era - FINALLY.  We've been so close and not made it, just due to silly mistakes or one person not giving it their all.  This was hardcore; we only had a pug tank (whose only error was dying to the bombs after the dragonhawk boss died....oops - he was wonderful otherwise).  Hardcore runs are when the pally healer puts up ret aura and aura masteries it on the lynx boss!  I rolled with Psyche for sunder, since we were actually missing a lot of buffs; she seemed to be the right one for the job.

Our friends already had bears, so it was really between three of us for the mount.  I beat the dk tank's 91 with a 92.  Apparently, Amani bears love me, since Ursa Major came home with a 98 on my very first bear run.  The bf hadn't gotten one of the real bears back in the day, though he'd done successful bear runs, so I happily passed the bear along to him.  I've been obsessed with getting that mount for months, but this was far better.

And now, a few hours later, my rare sense kicked me in the shin.  I've been keeping an eye out for Arcturis for a friend for a long time now.  I haven't been camping hardcore or anything, but have been driving by when I could.  Yesterday, the hunter whose Loque tame made me cry managed to pick up Arcturis in the middle of the day and gave me the spawn timer.  I didn't catch the next spawn or the spawn after that, but when my rare sense went off a few minutes ago, I had a feeling I was going to be checking in the right range....and so I was!

This entire post has been written while I've been waiting for my friend's ZG run to end.  I have also learned not to tab with the toxic wasteling out, since the muffled combat sounds are extremely unnerving when you're watching a pet for someone!

Sadly, a goblin shaman turned up before my friend did and took out Arc. :/  Cheeky jerk resed underneath Arcturis, so I couldn't kill him fast enough without risking one-shotting Arc myself (glowbear only has 15k hp).  Camped him a good while on principle.

Not quite the happy ending I was looking for for this story, but at least we have another glowbear sighting.

EDIT: Arcturis tamed!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Opening a box o' trouble

When I released Odysseus, I knew I was giving up some PvP utility.  But I had never really liked having him out, so when my stables got purged, he went.  But then I saw one of my friends with a monkey and asked him about it.  It seems that there are particular arena group compositions that monkeys are more useful against than a spider would be.  Mind you, this is the same friend who encouraged me to get a spider in the first place, which caused Orpheus to gain his final form, so I was listening.  (This is also why I can forgive him for almost anything regarding pets and griefing.)

I had to tame a new monkey.

This was a very difficult assignment, since I wasn't fond of any of the skins.  I had chosen Ody's black skin because of the green eyes, but I just didn't feel anything for him.  I liked the brown well enough on principle, but Sandwiches already has a brown monkey - and somehow, I wasn't a fan of it next to Kalli anyway.  This left the gray and dark gray monkeys, and I wasn't fond of either of their faces.

It seemed like an impossible assignment, but off I trekked to Deadmines anyway, hoping I'd get lucky.

I easily cleared through to the mining monkey section of the instance, killing all of the goblins in the area and zooming in as I walked around.  Most of the monkeys were black, brown, or dark gray; there was only one gray one up.  I had paced around the area a couple of times, checking out the monkeys, when I got a small pull from one of the dark gray monkeys near the door (the one on the left as you enter that section of the instance).  I got the feeling that if I was going to give that skin a shot, it had to be with that monkey.  I waffled slightly, eyeing the identical monkey just to the right of the door, but trusted my gut and tamed the one who had specifically spoken to me.  I was surprised that the skin seemed to click.  I had no idea for a name, so I took Monkey with me through the rest of the instance, then off to the Molten Front for dailies and Dante's approval.

Monkey stayed Monkey until Korii suggested Eris for a name.  This was a big game-changer, since I had never pictured the monkeys as female.  I tried it out, but it felt wrong, partly because Eris is the goddess of strife (Persephone, who was also named for a goddess, washed out too), but mostly because it just didn't seem to be the right name.  I decided to give Circe a shot, but the name is too regal for a monkey (and would have been more appropriate with a boar, which I have no plans to tame at this time).  Then it hit me.  Pandora was the name I had originally bestowed upon my PTR dragonhawk, but she never clicked.  Pandora was a troublemaker, but not maliciously so.  It wasn't her fault she'd been created to unleash the evils of the world upon mankind.  That seemed to be the right mix of troublemaker and innocent to match the face, which had grown on me by this time.

I actually like her.  I think this is going to work.

Provided that Pandora can stay out of trouble, that is.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Roll call

Kalliope's Current Stable Breakdown:
Total Pets: 24
Tenacity: 7
Ferocity: 8
Cunning: 9
Exotic: 5
Rare: 9
Spawned: 1
Named Quest Mob: 1
Instance: 2
Raid: 2
Duplicate Families: 2
Most Popular Starting Letter: P (5)

Honestly?  I'm slightly surprised by the cunning pets taking over.  And it amuses me to no end that a few hours ago, P would have tied with A for leading my pet names, since Pandora hadn't gotten her name yet.  Oh, I haven't introduced her yet - that'll be tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Non-huntery payoff

My first time seriously raid healing since Wrath went surprisingly well.  I love this healing team I'm now a part of!  And for the first time ever, I truly don't mind raiding on a different character than Kalliope, especially when it's Aisling.  For all that I'm a hunter first and everything else second, my priest should have, by all rights, originally been my main.  I have no regrets; I'd just forgotten.

Besides, how can I raid without Mr. Wiggles?

The shocking thing was unexpectedly going terrible shadow for Baleroc and we downed him because of it.  I was completely unprepared, after spending a week getting my healing gear up to par.  Guess I know what I'm doing this week!

Now I just need to keep playing that well....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy trails, Kallisto; welcome, new blood

A couple of days ago, I realized that Kallisto and I weren't clicking anymore.  We hadn't been since she returned in Cataclysm; I just hadn't seen it because I really like her.  The initial problem, which I realized in early July, was that I twitched every time I saw Kallisto in orange, subconsciously expecting the purple she used to be.  So I figured the problem would be solved once she returned to her natural coloration.

Sadly, I was wrong.

I instead had trouble seeing Kallisto as herself; I kept thinking of Praline.  Part of the problem is that I didn't know what to call her.  She couldn't be Kalli; Kalliope is Kalli.  That was always a roadblock, but one that had been cheated around, simply by just using her full name.  The nail in the coffin was that I finally understood that Kallisto had already been reborn a long time ago as Praline.  I had always kind of been aware of the rebirth, but didn't see that it truly meant there was no going back until now.

So I stabled Kallisto and went hyena scouting.  I had absolutely no idea what I was looking for.  The purple was my favorite skin, and my second favorite choice, the orange hyena outside the Caverns of Time, had been moved.  Somehow, I sensed that tracking down a new orange hyena wasn't going to work; it was that one or nothing.  At Caelan's suggestion, I checked on Slaverjaw, but he wasn't up.  I'm not a fan of the white hyena skin and Sandwiches has GrilledCheez, who is an attractive yellow, so those were out.  I flew aimlessly into Uldum, just to check out a few of my options in the wild.

I tamed a mangy gray hyena on a whim, but was surprised that I didn't like the look of the skin once tamed, at least not with Kalli.  Not knowing what else to do and still having Caelan's suggestion in my head, I flew around to try and find the red hyenas, just so I could see them in person.  I'd never really considered the skin before; too many other hunters had a soft spot for it for me to ever even try getting to know it.  So really, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I finally spotted a red hyena fighting a camel, but it lost the battle before I could dismount and get involved.  I flew around the area a bit longer and discovered one on a ledge.  And suddenly, I understood why I was having so much trouble finding them.

I was phased.

Every time I flew close to my target hyena, he disappeared.  I tried blindly throwing some traps into his patrol path, but none of them triggered.

This was when things got interesting.

I landed on the side of the cliff, on a very tiny ledge.  I could target him from here, but he was out of range.

I tried firing some traps up to him to pull him, but he didn't trigger any of them.  It was difficult to see how far off he was from hitting them, so I flew up (ironically, on Hephaestus the red proto-drake) to get a better idea of what the situation was.  He looked pretty far off from the traps, so I tried dismounting and using my engineering cloak to slowfall down to the ledge.  This actually worked like a charm, except the little hyena decided that now would be a great time to hit my freeze trap.  Not wanting to wait 40 seconds for him to break out and run to me, I summoned Atalanta to go poke him.  Yes, I could have gone pet fishing in the first place, but I hadn't wanted to accidentally kill the little guy.  This was a last resort.

I dismissed Atalanta and retrapped the little scamp, just to be certain that he wasn't going to knock me off the ledge, since I couldn't recall offhand what abilities these hyenas had.

At that point, the tame was easy.

You may have noticed that I took screenshots of this process, even though I hadn't committed to keeping this guy yet.  I had done so on the grounds that this was a lot of effort just to try on the skin.  Of course, once he was at my side, I realized that I'd been in denial.  I had already started to get attached.  The skin turned out to be rather attractive as well, though it really only matches the Firelands tier of gear; after this, he is unlikely to match Kalliope again.  But that's never been a priority for me.  I just like pets that fit by my side, regardless of their color scheme.

The name Jason kept wanting to attach itself to him, though I rejected it.  The yellow hyena would fit better, I reasoned, due to the Golden Fleece.  But then, something clicked.  Jason Voorhees was no stranger to blood.  The double reference did it.  Once he had a name, Jason's personality started falling into place.  He's fiercer than Praline, which is saying something, since she was Kallimon's battleground companion back when she had a snare.

He's a keeper.