Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Winter Veil, everyone!

Happy holidays, everyone!

Where the Wild Things Are will be back in 2013, so be sure to stick around for the rest of the 4.2 rares. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Gorishi Grubs

Just three weeks after the discovery of the tameable amber parasites, another unique-skinned worm has come to light: the Gorishi grub. Though these may not have necessarily been intended either, they do have a burrow animation and otherwise seem more "finished" than the amber parasites.

Update 1/11/13: Patch 5.2 will make these untameable, so tame yours before that patch arrives!

Hey everyone! It's only been three weeks since the amber parasites were discovered, but there's already a new giant worm in town: the Gorishi Grub.

These grubs are similar to the parasites in that both are unique appearances for the worm family, and like all silkworms, both inherit the two crocolisk death animations. But that's where the similarities end. The grubs have the new silkworm burrow animation, which the parasites still lack. However, unlike the parasites, who are always present in the Dread Wastes, the grubs are spawned by a rare spawn.

Clutchmother Zavas, a level 54 rare silithid, makes her home in the silithid hive in southern Un'goro Crater. While in combat, she will randomly lay Gorishi eggs, which hatch to spawn Gorishi Grubs. The grubs will die two minutes after they hatch, giving hunters a limited, but decent-sized window in which to tame them.

For hunters looking to tame these as a group, it's easy for one player to hold aggro on Zavas and kite her away from freshly laid eggs. Another hunter can easily grab aggro on the new grub when it hatches, making for an easy tame without any danger of killing the clutchmother. Any eggs and grubs present when Zavas is reset by feigning will remain where they are, which makes it easy for the tanking hunter to tame without risking an accidental kill.

While we don't have an accurate spawn timer for Clutchmother Zavas, our best guess is that it's around four to six hours like other Azerothian rares post-Cataclysm.

At the time of this recording, we don't know whether we'll get to keep these worms as pets either, though the fact that the amber parasites are still here is encouraging.

For the most current information on the Gorishi grubs and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From Un'goro Crater, this is Kalliope, showing you where the wild things are.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Ban'thalos

Our journey back through the Molten Front starts above the Sanctuary of Malorne with Ban'thalos, the loyal green spirit owl. We'll also be taking a quick detour to Darnassus to visit his fellow spirit owl, Dori'thur, as well as taking a look at their origins. Next week, we'll be moving a bit to the northeast to visit the Regrowth.

Hey everyone! I'm here above the Sanctuary of Malorne in Mount Hyjal, hanging out with the shiny green spirit owl Ban'thalos.

This level 85 spirit beast is often the first challenge tame that players encounter upon properly phasing into the zone's daily quest hub. Since he's exotic, hunters need to spec as beast mastery to tame him.

Ban'thalos has the same three tamed abilities as other spirit beast pets. The first, spirit beast blessing, is a mastery raid buff that scales with the hunter's level, maxing out at 3000 at level 90. The second, spirit mend, is a targetable heal over time which scales with the hunter's ranged attack power. The third ability is spirit walk, which allows the beast to enter stealth mode with a 50% movement speed penalty, but grants a 20% damage bonus to his first attack from stealth.

Ban'thalos was the first flying spirit beast introduced to the game and at the time of this recording, is still the only tamable one. Dori'thur, Tyrande Whisperwind's companion, looks exactly like Ban'thalos, but is not flagged as a beast.

Both come from the line of green scout owls introduced in Warcraft III. According to Noah, the developer who came up with the challenge tames, the spirit owls are named for families that had huntresses who fought in the Third War. This is why Dori'thur belongs to a Whisperwind. Ban'thalos means Nightwing, but as the huntresses of that family are gone, he roams freely without a home. As the spirit owls are drawn to places of druidic magic, Ban'thalos flies in a circle high above the Sanctuary of Malorne.

Since he spawns so high up, the trick to taming him is getting him to a safe taming location without you dying or him evading and resetting.

The safest method involves perching on top of an incredibly thin treetop, then pulling Ban'thalos down to it. A freeze trap will protect you from his Harsh Moonlight ability and at the right height, you won't even take any falling damage. The hardest part is actually landing on top of the tree.

The other method is a lot riskier. It involves pulling Ban'thalos and disengaging before hitting the ground. There are lots of ways to die attempting this method, but it can work if you are having trouble with the tree. The engineering cloak enchant or other slow fall effects can help, but the tame can be executed without one.

Ban'thalos spawns around every 8 to 12 hours.

For the most current information on Ban'thalos and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the skies of Mount Hyjal, this is Kalliope showing you where the wild things are.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: An Overview of the 4.2 Challenge Tames

In the first KPoP flashback series, we'll be visiting the Molten Front and all ten of the challenge tames introduced in patch 4.2.

Hey everyone! This is Kalliope, here to give you a quick look back at the ten challenge tames of patch 4.2.

On June 28th, 2011, a daily quest hub was added to Mount Hyjal, connecting into a larger quest hub in the Molten Front. Hunters had the added bonus of being able to tame 10 new beast rares - three spirit beasts, five lava spiders, one cat, and one crab. Between them, there are eight unique taming challenges. Each challenge pushes hunters to figure out the mechanics for each tame, then successfully execute them.

The challenges test different hunter skills, but they all have two things in common: their level - 85 - and their deadly nature. Though the tames can now be overleveled and are therefore a lot safer for the hunter, a few of them will still one-shot the unprepared, while others will require an even lighter touch than before to keep the beast alive.

I'll be showing you all the beasts and their taming mechanics in subsequent videos, each with helpful tips and tricks to taming them.

For even more in-depth information on the Molten Front rares and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the front lines of the Molten Front, this is Kalliope, inviting you to stick around and see where the wild things are.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


With the discovery of the amber parasites, the KPoP YouTube channel passed 200k views! I'm just in awe of how many hunters there are out there who are interested in these discoveries.

Coming up soon, I'll be delving into the first KPoP flashback series. I've been looking forward to spotlighting these particular rares for a long time, since they're the reason I started doing this sort of reporting in the first place.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A video that speaks to the hunter's heart

Balthazar and Frostheim released a song that sums up many hunters' relationships with their pets. It's something that likely applies to anyone who reads this blog, so definitely give it a watch:

Yes, Ursa, Ursa Minor, and I are in there. :) There are a number of Petopians featured as well. If you're like me, recognizing other hunters and their pets just on sight adds an extra layer of depth to the song/video because it's all so true.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Amber Parasites

Patch 5.1 revealed a most likely unintended tameable maggot-skinned worm. Whether hunters will get to keep them as pets remains to be seen, as they share a skeleton with silkworms. Stay tuned for updates!

Update 12/2/12: You do NOT need the daily to get the parasites to spawn. Having the daily makes it easier to find the beasts that will spawn parasites, but it's not required.

Update 1/3/13: Patch 5.2 will make these untameable, so tame yours before that patch arrives!

Hey everyone! Kalliope here in the Dread Wastes with a likely unintentional, but still exciting new worm tame.

You'll need three things to do this tame: level 90, a beast mastery spec, and the Klaxxi daily quest "Infected." With this quest, certain beasts in the southeast corner of the Dread Wastes will have a yellow cloud around them. When damaged, these beasts will randomly spawn amber parasites in groups of three, any of which can be tamed.

Your newly tamed worm will have really low health, so either be prepared for him to die to the remaining beasts or take the exhilaration talent to heal him to full immediately after taming.

Don't to get too attached to your new buddy just yet, since at the time of this recording, we don't know whether we'll get to keep them as pets. For the most current information on the amber parasites and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

Hoping for the best in the Dread Wastes, this is Kalliope, showing you where the wild things are.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to tame the Spirits of the North

With 5.1 here, I've noticed a bunch of hunters having trouble taming a Spirit of the North. There's a method briefly covered in my arcane wyrm video here. Hope that helps!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Deep Tunneler's animations

This quick micro-video provides a quick look at the unique animations of The Deep Tunneler, one of the new 5.1 rares.

Whether he'll keep these on live is hard to say, but they're certainly amusing in the meantime.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: The 100+ Rares of Azeroth (Patch 5.1)

Bombyx isn't the only rare showing up with patch 5.1. Over 100 rares have turned up in various Azeroth zones, bringing with them their sparkling personalities, several new skins, and a couple of gameplay changes for leveling hunters.

The list of families dropping in level thus far:
- Beetle (34 -> 22)
- Fox (13 -> 9 {for all hunters})
- Nether Ray (60 -> 46)
- Shale Spider (83 -> 29 {69 exotic})
- Sporebat (60 -> 44)
- Warp Stalker (54 -> 47)
Hey everyone! I'm here on the public test realm for patch 5.1, where Azeroth is overflowing with new tameable beasts. There are well over one hundred new rares of various levels for hunters to tame and more are being discovered every build.

Though most of the new beasts have previously existing skins, some of them still break new ground. Low level shale spiders will give hunters access to the stat bonus buff at level 69 rather than having to wait until Deepholm.

Other beasts provide an alternative option to previously unique skins, allowing hunters an extra opportunity to obtain the look they want in these days of cross-realm zones and heightened competition. A few of them bring unique looks outside of instances, making them easier to obtain alone.

A good portion of the new additions sport completely new or previously unreleased skins, something that may appeal to hunters of any level.

Regardless of appearance, the new rares bring a unique flavor to their part of the zone, giving players something new and exciting to discover when they're least expecting it.

Many of them have a quirky sense of humor. Several others are incredibly sleepy. A few just like to run around wildly, while others stand with a purpose. And a small handful are just plain scary.

Whether you're a hunter or just leveling through Azeroth, these new rare beasts are going to change the face of the landscape for the better.

For more information on the new Azerothian rares and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From all over Azeroth, this is Kalliope, showing you where the wild things are.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Bombyx

Patch 5.1 brings the 10th rare Pandarian beast, the purple silkworm Bombyx, and with him, an entirely new set of tracking challenges and a new silkworm burrow animation (tiny burrowing feets, at last!).

As a bonus, he even has his own vocalizations, which are deeper than your average silkworm's.

Hey everyone! Kalliope coming to you from the depths of the Krasarang Wilds with the charming but eccentric silkworm Bombyx.

Bombyx is level 90 and uses the last of the silkworm colors, a deep, rich purple. As an exotic pet, taming him requires speccing as beast mastery.

His two tamed abilites are the same as other worm pets. The first, acid spit, causes his target to take 4% more physical damage. The other, burrow attack, does a channeled area of effect for eight seconds. As of patch 5.1, silkworms have a new animation for burrow attack, which shows just how these unlikely tunnelers are able to dig with their tiny feet.

Bombyx takes the rules established by the first nine Pandarian rare beasts and kicks them up to the next level. Though you still need to know the basics, almost every tracking method covered in my earlier video doesn't apply to this guy - he's in a class of his own.

His pathing is extremely erratic. Bombyx twists and turns as he walks, often doubling and tripling back over the same ground, sometimes with small differences. He makes sharp turns without leaving any tracks or indication that he's done so. Worst of all, Bombyx will randomly stop walking and sit still for varying amounts of time, making flaring him more difficult than any other rare to date.

Bombyx's tracks are also misleading, since they aren't footprints. His "tracks" are actually heavily-chewed silkweed, a smaller version of the regular silkweed plant. On top of not showing which way he's going, the tiny silkweed tracks are difficult to see on the jungle floor - even with ground clutter turned down - especially between the actual silkweed herbs. The tiny flowers can appear alone or in varying size clumps, depending on how Bombyx decides to move at any given time. They can also be found underwater or in rare cases, on the surface of it.

On top of everything else, Bombyx spends the majority of his time passing through aggressive mobs. The good news is that they're only level 86, which reduces them to mere annoyances.

Thankfully, Bombyx restricts himself to a relatively compact area between Dawnchaser Retreat and the Temple of the Red Crane. But with his unpredictable movements, it's difficult to pin him down more closely than that.

Bombyx's spawn timer appears to be around one to two hours, like all other Pandarian rares - though as always, this could change in the future.

For the most current information on Bombyx and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the jungle of Krasarang, this is Kalliope, showing you where the wild things are.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Arcane Wyrms

Patch 5.1 adds a new subset to the serpent family - arcane wyrms. They come in four tameable colors. (The red is now available on a rare wyrm in Silithus, as noted here.)

Hey everyone! Kalliope here on the public test realm for patch 5.1 with the newest addition to the non-exotic serpent family: arcane wyrms.

Arcane wyrms hail from Northrend and are just like any other serpent pets, except they fly rather than slither. This makes the arcane wyrms the first subset of a family to use a different mode of movement.

At the time of this recording, three colors of tameable arcane wyrms have been discovered on the PTR.

The white skin appears on the Spirits of the North high above the Nexus in Borean Tundra. These wyrms are tricky to tame, since they are non-aggressive, fly extremely high up, and are only level 70. High level hunters are in danger of killing the wyrms and low level hunters are at risk of dying to the level 80 elite dragons. So far, only the lower-flying wyrm has been able to be tamed, since you can dismount below it, shoot it with a non-damaging shot, and survive the fall damage without losing aggro.

The purple Arcane Serpents flying below the Spirits are much easier to reach. These level 71 or 72 wyrms circle the lower part of the Nexus and can be easily reached from the ground.

The Arcane Wyrms in Dragonblight reside south of Stars' Rest. These level 71 or 72 wyrms have changed color from purple to blue in 5.1, giving hunters a previously unseen color option.

A fourth color has been found, but remains unavailable. The Crazed Mana-Wyrms inside the Nexus instance have changed from white to red, but still cannot be interacted with, leaving this skin out of hunters' reach....for now.

For the most current information on the arcane wyrms and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the great snowy north, this is Kalliope, showing you where the wild things are.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


My YouTube channel passed the 100,000 view mark last night! That's a lot of hunters who have been helped. It's quite gratifying!

I've been having trouble accessing the PTR for patch 5.1, but rest assured, that video of new exciting tames is coming in the very near future. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To Pandaria!

It's been quite gratifying to hear that the videos have been helping hunters get their tames done. Congratulations to all!

I'd love to hear more of your taming stories! The taming mechanics may stay the same, but each tame is unique in its own way.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Counting down....

It's almost time! Naturally, I will not be posting as much during the initial MoP rush, but if something exciting happens, you can be sure I'll be here to let you all know as well.

My plans tonight involve saying a proper goodbye to Cadmus, my beloved red yak on the beta. As for live, my monk's BoAs are ready to go....whenever I decide to level her. I haven't actually worked out what I'm going to do first; that may end up being a last minute decision.

 Best of luck to you all in your leveling and taming!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hunter Pet Buffs, Debuffs, and Utility Abilities in MoP

With just days to go to the Mists of Pandaria expansion, I've broken down the useful pet buffs, debuffs, and utility abilities in video and infographic form.

The transcript appears below, after the charts.

MoP Buffs, Debuffs, and Abilities Chart

Minimalist Raiding List

Hey everyone! This is Kalliope and I'm here in Stormwind to take a break from tracking wild beasts and focus on the tamed ones in the stable.

The Cataclysm expansion greatly changed the role of hunters in raids, giving us the widest variety of buffs, debuffs, and utility abilities of any class. In the Mists of Pandaria, hunters can cover every single buff and debuff in the game, as well as provide some extra utility.


There are eight buffs in the game as of patch 5.0.4 and seven are covered by hunter pets.

The only exception is attack power, since all hunters now passively bring trueshot aura, so it would be redundant for a pet to bring it as well.

Critical Strike is covered by a whopping five pets, three exotic - devilsaurs, quilen, and water striders - and two regular - wolves and the handful of limited edition hydras.

Mastery is brought by a pet of each type - cats representing regular pets and spirit beasts the exotic. The rest of the buffs are only provided by either exotics or non-exotics, not both.

Only one pet covers Spell Power, the new exotic water strider. The buff is combined with Critical Strike, just like the equivalent buffs from other classes, making water striders an intended two-in-one buff pet.

The Stat Bonus buff is also only provided by an exotic family, the shale spiders.

The last of the beast mastery-exclusive buffs is Stamina, which is covered by silithids.

A few buffs are only carried by non-exotic pets. Attack Speed is a new addition to hunter pets in Pandaria and is only available from hyenas and serpents.

A post-patch hotfix added the Spell Haste buff to sporebats, which rounds out the hunter buff arsenal.


There are currently six debuffs in the game and all can be brought by any type of hunter. Very few exotic pet have debuffs, and none are the exclusive option for their ability.

The exotic devilsaurs may be the only family that brings a Mortal Wound effect, but this debuff is already covered by the baseline hunter skill Widow Venom.

Four different pets bring increased Physical Vulnerability, two exotic - rhinos and worms - and two regular - boars and ravagers.

Magic Vulnerability is provided by two non-exotic pets, dragonhawks and wind serpents.

It's also two regular pets who contribute the Weakened Armor debuff, tallstriders and raptors.

The Slow Casting debuff is provided by the exotic core hounds and the regular foxes and goats. At the time of this recording, Sporebats still have this debuff, but are likely to have it removed, as no other class or pet has both this and the casting haste buff.

Weakened Blows is always provided by tanking classes, so it's unlikely that a bear or carrion bird will actually be needed for a raid. Still, hunters do have the option.


Two incredibly useful support abilities are available to hunters via their exotic pets in Pandaria.

Core hounds still bring Ancient Hysteria, the hunter's version of the Bloodlust or Heroism buff.

The new quilen family gives hunters the ability to resurrect a fallen ally in combat.


A number of pets bring utility abilities, but the ones covered here are the most likely to be situationally useful in a raid.

Though every class is now capable of bringing a stun, hunters should be aware of their own options. In addition to the beast mastery ability Intimidation, hunters can bring either the exotic shale spider or a regular bat, porcupine, or wasp.

Non-exotic gorillas, nether rays, and moths all bring an extra interrupt to the table. Though less effective than talenting for Silencing Shot, if a fellow raid member misses an interrupt, a pet could fill in on that turn of the rotation, leaving the hunter free to save Silencing Shot for their own turn.

In a pinch, the regular scorpids and birds of prey can disarm a melee target, though this is likely to be a rare occurrence, since most raid bosses cannot be disarmed.

Hunters can now glyph their explosive traps to provide an AoE knockback, but beast mastery hunters also have a single-target option in their rhinos.

Chain-castable roots are more efficient, but an exotic silithid or a regular crab, dog, or spider could also potentially save the day with a well-timed root.

When it comes down to the most necessary buffs, debuffs, and support abilities, a stable of 13 pets can cover all in both specs. A beast mastery hunter can carry as few as 11 pets and marksmanship and survival hunters can fill out their more limited selection with as few as eight.

What abilities your raid will actually need will vary depending on the group's composition. A handy addon, RaidChecklist, developed by Anyia of the Petopia forums, is a fantastic asset for checking what abilities your raid has without having to manually inspect everyone. What you'll actually need to bring depends on the encounter and raid makeup, so choose wisely. Good luck!
Reference links to the inspirations for this post:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Theramore event phases out pets

After completing the Theramore scenario, hunters will lose the opportunity to tame some former residents of the island.

Hey everyone! This is Kalliope, reporting in from the ruins of Theramore with an update on the Mists of Pandaria launch event.

Once a player runs the new three-person scenario Theramore's Fall, the non-instanced city phases into a crater for that character. This is especially significant for hunters, since two pets also phase out when this happens.

The Spiny Rock Crabs, blue Cataclysm model crabs that used to live just outside the island city, are no longer visible once Theramore is destroyed. The crabs spawn at level 35 or 36, which gives hunters a large range of levels at which to tame them before doing the event.

The other pet who phases out is Spot, the tan coyote-model wolf who barks when clicked. This little guy is friendly to Alliance, but Horde hunters level 35 and up can tame him. Spot's doghouse used to be outside the Theramore Keep, but it does not survive the destruction of the city. Spot himself is nowhere to be found, but since he does not appear in the scenario, there's no indication that he won't turn up later. Still, for hunters who want to make sure they get Spot, now is the time to tame him.

Neither skin is unique, so both are available elsewhere in the game. But for hunters who want these specific pets, they need to do it before the scenario.

For the latest hunter pet news, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Portent

Today, we visit the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and the color-changing quilen Portent, thusly concluding our journey through Pandaria and its beast rares.....for now. Patch 5.1 hangs on the horizon, and with it will come our missing silkworm rare and first spirit beasts of the expansion. The Where the Wild Things Are series will continue, showcasing beasts from the rest of Azeroth. Stay tuned!

Hey everyone, Kalliope reporting in from the Vale of Eternal Blossoms with the speedwalking stone quilen Portent.

Portent is level 90 and as a quilen, he's an exotic pet, which means you must be specced as beast mastery to tame him.

Portent gains two abilities once tamed. His family ability is fearless roar, which gives a raidwide 5% crit buff. His exotic ability, eternal guardian, is an instant cast battle res with a 10 minute cooldown that is NOT affected by longevity.

Portent is the Madexx of Pandaria, as he can spawn in any of the four adorned stone skins: red, green, blue, and purple. He won't switch between them, so what you tame is what you get.

Portent leaves dusty tracks behind him, which are pretty large and show up well from a distance. This is helpful, since Portent covers most of the Vale on his lengthy path. However, if you haven't quested through the zone, he'll phase out around the middle of the map and you won't be able to see him or his tracks in the west.

Between the phasing, random color spawn, and easy to spot tracks, Portent is likely to be one of the more difficult rares to track down, especially in the color you want, so bring all the patience you can muster for this hunt.

Portent currently spawns every two to eight hours here on the beta.

For the most current information on Portent and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, this is Kalliope showing you where the wild things are.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Hexapos

We'll be sneaking into the Dread Wastes to catch a glimpse of the stunning sporewalker Hexapos, which will leave our journey in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms next week.

Hey everyone, Kalliope here in the Dread Wastes with the elusive, yet strikingly handsome Hexapos.

He's a level 90 water strider, which means he's an exotic pet - you'll have to spec as beast mastery to tame him.

As a water strider, he'll have two unique abilities once tamed. The first, still water, provides a 10% spellpower and 5% crit raid buff. The second, surface trot, grants a 10 minute waterwalking buff to both him and his hunter.

Hexapos is now the only white sporewalker in the game, since both Marticar and Boglash back in Zangarmarsh were changed to the green skin.

Hexapos's trail goes almost entirely around the perimeter of the Dread Wastes. Along the way, he cuts through several aggressive packs of mobs, as well as passing by a number of level 90 elites. Needless to say, tracking him from the air is a lot safer than on the ground, so if you haven't learned how to fly in Pandaria yet, be very careful when tracking him and make liberal use of camouflage.

When Hexapos walks, he leaves mysterious tracks, which are rather large and generally easy to spot, at least when they're not half-buried in the ground. And, since many of them will be, be prepared to keep your eyes peeled.

His spawn timer appears to be around two to eight hours here on the beta.

For the most current information on Hexapos and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From deep in the Dread Wastes, this is Kalliope showing you where the wild things are.
I've also included a bonus tribute video to Marticar's old white color.

For those of us who remember Marticar from the Burning Crusade expansion, I wanted to pay tribute to this gorgeous face-eating monster. Marticar used to be an elite rare, which made him a three-man fight at best, and imprinted my memory and others' with his striking white countenance. Hopefully, at some time in the future, Marticar will once again wear a skin that makes him stand out from the pack - the former terror of Zangarmarsh deserves it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Things can never be simple (or: Kalliope's MoP roster changes again)

This is all Arachne's fault.

I had things all worked out for MoP. She would transfer from Kirix to a minipet green tarantula so I could keep both her and Orpheus, while still having room for all my incoming family.

However, things generally do not go as planned when I plan ahead.

While doing Therazane dailies in the Crumbling Depths, I suddenly realized that Amthea reminded me vaguely of Arachne in Smite. Intrigued by the parallel and having nothing to lose, I brought Arachne out there to change forms.

Our identification was instant. Arachne's movements reminded me of her Smite counterpart's. She was suddenly more alive than she'd ever been as Jadefang. That solved the bonding issue.

We ran around Tol Barad with her in cunning spec. With the changes to beast mastery and her new spec, we tore up plenty of Horde. Suddenly, I couldn't imagine how I had ever felt nothing for shale spiders and could have thought I could live without one.

Then the horrifying reality set in: I had no stable space for her. Someone was going to have to go. Shockingly, I didn't have too much trouble settling on Pygmalion, even though he'd just changed into a basilisk. Despite the new form, I still wasn't really feeling him as a true companion. He'd lost his personal connection with me once it was clear that Gumbo is my only crocolisk who matters on any character, period. Plus, from a practical perspective, I'm unlikely to need petrifying gaze with my current setup.

That should have been all, but it wasn't. It hardly ever is just one change with me. Now that I had a shale spider again, I was only going to be missing one buff from a complete set - a sunder, since Psyche (my pink raptor from the Barrens) was also going to turn into a minipet in MoP. I was torn again; I like Psyche, but have never really felt her personality in a raptor. A serpent would have been out of the question for her too, but the buffs had changed in 5.0.4 - and a tallstrider felt like a real possibility for her, specifically the purple one. I had tried one once before, but Penelope didn't click, partly because I was resentful of how she came as a package deal with Odysseus the monkey (who I felt nothing for).

So it was off to Terokkar, unsure whether this plan would work, but again having nothing to lose. I specifically did not want to tame the same tallstrider that Penelope had been, so I ran around the island on foot in camouflage, with Psyche the raptor in tow. I figured she'd let me know when we found the right bird. She was quiet, though, so I kept running around, pausing only when a tallstrider parading around its own raised section of the island caught my eye. Mere seconds later, Psyche lifted her head and roared. I knew that was my signal, so I tamed her on the spot. Almost immediately afterward, Psyche preened her wing feathers. Messages of contentment don't get much clearer than that!

Of course, this once again left me with the seemingly impossible choice of who to let free. Once again, I was surprised - Tantalus practically volunteered. He's terribly energetic, but doesn't get out of the stable often. He never complains, but I know he needs more attention than he gets. If runed blue demon dogs ever became minipets, he'd fit right in as one. The best part about Tantalus's easygoing nature is that he can wander in and out of my stable whenever he likes with no problem.

So when the time comes, I know who will be taking off for a while. Thankfully, that won't be for another few weeks. I really wasn't expecting this.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Rockhide the Immovable

Today we take a quick peek at the scourge of the Townlong Steppes, Rockhide the Immovable. We'll be headed south to the Dread Wastes later in the week.

Hey everyone, this is Kalliope coming to you from the Townlong Steppes, where I'm currently tracking the hot pink basilisk Rockhide the Immovable.

Rockhide is level 89 and boasts one of the 24 stunning new basilisk skins that are being introduced in the Pandaria expansion.

Once tamed, he'll have the ability petrifying gaze, which turns an enemy to stone, making them invulnerable to both damage and healing for three seconds. It's basically a light copy of the druid spell banish.

Not only does Rockhide have a unique skin, but at this stage of development, he's the only basilisk in the game with the bright purple base.

Rockhide takes a twisting and turning route through the main section of the zone, passing through battlefields and large packs of aggressive mobs, including some level 90 elites. Even at max level, it's probably not a good idea to tame him in those areas, so keep your distance in those sections, especially if you can't fly yet.

As he travels, Rockhide makes worn tracks, which are fairly large and stand out from most of the terrain. Unfortunately, most of these tracks are partially buried in the ground, which makes them much more difficult to see. Rockhide also ups the ante by dropping a track and immediately turning sharply. This can make it quite easy to lose his trail.

Rockhide's spawn timer clocks in between two and eight hours.

For the most current information on Rockhide and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the Townlong Steppes, this is Kalliope showing you where the wild things are.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Kirix still tameable in 5.0.4

With aspect of the wild gone, I had to see if Kirix was still tameable in patch 5.0.4 at level 85 with all my Cata gear.

To my great surprise, he was!

To quote myself from Wowhead:
Aspect of the Wild no longer exists in MoP, which forces the tamer to take massive 32k ticks from Kirix's aura. Fortunately, the minor glyph Tame Beast shortens your taming time by four seconds and the talent Aspect of the Iron Hawk reduces the damage you take by 15%. With the glyph alone, the above method still works, perfectly countering Kirix's knockback and stun.

The only difference I noticed in 5.0.4 is that Kirix's toxin cast now interrupts the tame beast cast, even through deterrence! So you need to cast tame beast AFTER the toxin cast. The timing needs to be a bit tighter, but it's completely doable.
For the record, that's the lowest my health's been since taming him the first time, when he actually killed me as the tame went off. Typical!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Stompy

Today, we scale the peaks of Kun-Lai Summit to catch a glimpse of the skillful climbing goat Stompy. Coming up next is a trip to Townlong Steppes.

Hey everyone! This is Kalliope checking in from the snowy mountains of Kun-Lai Summit with the agile rare goat Stompy.

This handsome fellow is level 88 and is the only goat in the game to wear the blue skin. Once tamed, Stompy will gain the trample ability, which slows the casting speed of any enemy in his melee range - 50% against mobs and 25% against other players.

When he moves, Stompy drops heavy tracks, which are rather large and quite easy to spot against the snow, even when partially buried. This combination makes Stompy one of the simplest new rares to track down, but don't get lulled into a false sense of security - Stompy turns around and doubles back more often than any of the other rares.

Stompy has a relatively compact path in the mountains of Kun-Lai, never coming close to Bristlespine's trail. He especially favors the summit of Mount Neverest, as he takes the time to climb it each time he passes through. However, he takes two slightly different paths up and down the peak, depending on which part of his path he's on, so watch out for him to do some impromptu rock climbing.

Stompy walks through a few aggressive mobs - including some elite yetis - and one incredibly snowy area near the base of Mount Neverest, but for the most part, the terrain is clear for taming.

His spawn timer appears to be around two to eight hours here on the beta.

For the most current information on Stompy and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the peak of Mount Neverest, this is Kalliope showing you where the wild things are.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Patch 5.0.4 arrives!

The pre-Pandaria patch hit today! You all know what that means - more taming stories! Unlike the pre-Cataclysm patch, this wasn't a massive epic taming spree that spanned three continents. I had three very specific stops.

The journey started three days ago, in Thousand Needles above Ironeye the Invincible's spawn. He was there when I arrived on Saturday night. I had forgotten he was already my desired color on live as well as beta. I was so struck by his beauty that I actually beast lored him to make sure he couldn't be tamed yet (which, of course, he could not). Even then, I started praying that he would be up when I logged in.

He wasn't. Sigh.


I then flew down to Uldum to touch base with Jason. Unlike the other pet swaps of the day, he was merely going to stabilize his color to yellow from the exact same tame. Part of me knew that there was a good chance he'd be in white when I arrived.

He was white. Of course he was.


So I teleported up to Toshley's Station in Blade's Edge, quickly flying down to Zangarmarsh to the tame I was secretly most looking forward to. Andromeda was finally going to become a sporewalker. When a pet finally comes into their own and everything clicks, it's beautiful. Not all of my pets go through such transitions, but Drommie is among the most graceful who have.


Of all of today's tames, hers was the only one that was a sure thing even before I arrived. No color changes, no rare spawns to worry about. Plus, Drommie completed the Zangarmarsh trio of species (sporewalker, nether ray, sporebat). I've always loved that zone - it was the first one I truly fell for.

I ran back to Uldum to pick up Jason (who was yellow this time), then flew back to Thousand Needles to wait for Pygmalion. And wait. And wait. Until I finally flew across the zone to check on one of the other rares (who was not up) and then, of course, he spawned.

I am feeling quite good about the state of my stable. Stability in one's stable - and in one's life! - is important.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Bristlespine

Welcome to Kun-Lai Summit, home to the fearsome porcupine Bristlespine. Later in the week, we'll check in with his neighbor Stompy.

Hey everyone! Kalliope coming to you from the warm yellow fields of Kun-Lai Summit where I'm keeping an eye on the trickster porcupine Bristlespine.

This sneaky little guy is level 88 and is the only porcupine in the game to use the dark blue skin.

Like all other tamed porcupines, Bristlespine gains two abilities as a hunter pet. The first is paralyzing quill, which enables him to incapacitate enemies in melee range for two seconds. The other is rest, a fun little non-combat ability that lets him take a nap.

Bristlespine leaves puzzling tracks when he moves. They are fairly large in addition to being green, which makes them stand out from the ground, at least when they're not buried in it.

However, Bristlespine doesn't make tracking him easy - he repeatedly cuts through numerous aggressive mobs and makes a habit of dropping a track, then turning sharply in another direction.

Bristlespine sticks to the southern part of the zone, never entering the snow-covered mountains where Stompy resides. He generally avoids the roads, except to cut across them.

There are very few truly safe areas to tame him along his path, so when taming at level, be especially aware of your surroundings.

Bristlespine's spawn timer on the beta is around two to eight hours.

For the most current information on Bristlespine and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the south side of Kun-Lai, this is Kalliope showing you where the wild things are.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are: Bloodtooth

Today, we'll be paddling in the shallows of Krasarang Wilds with the sly dragon turtle Bloodtooth. Next week, we'll be checking out the rares of Kun-Lai Summit.

Hey everyone! This is Kalliope. Hope you're ready to get wet today as we trudge through the Krasarang Wilds to track down Bloodtooth.

This little guy is level 87 and the only epic red Pandarian turtle in the game. At first glance, he looks similar to the regular red turtles, but he has spikes and fins on his tail and shell that mark him as epic. These two models correspond to the regular and epic red dragon turtle mounts, though the regular one appears as purple in game until 5.1.

Like other tamed turtles, Bloodtooth gains the ability shell shield, which reduces all incoming damage to him by 50% for 12 seconds - it's basically shell shield wall.

Bloodtooth leaves muddy tracks on his path, which are rather large and contrast well with the light sandy beach. However, many of his tracks appear underwater, and these tracks aren't as easy to spot.

Bloodtooth's path roughly follows the southern coast of the zone, which means he enters the water quite often as he passes between sandbars and islands. Sometimes, he'll even submerge completely, the only one of the new rares to do so. Bloodtooth likes to drop visible tracks and then turn into the water, which can cause even the most attentive hunter to lose the trail.

Here on the beta, Bloodtooth appears to spawn every two to eight hours.

For the most current information on Bloodtooth and other hunter pets, be sure to visit Petopia and the Petopia forums.

From the coast of the Krasarang Wilds, this is Kalliope showing you where the wild things are.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Farewell, so long, and goodbye

The end of the beta is fast approaching, and with it comes the dreaded moment of saying goodbye to our beta pets. Some will be waiting for us next month in Pandaria when the expansion is officially released in September. Others will return to the wild for good, their journeying days at our sides over. But the hardest goodbyes will be for the pets who we will never (for the moment) be able to tame again.


ImageOne specific type of mushan was only very briefly flagged as a tameable crocolisk, but nonetheless won over numerous hunters' hearts.

ImageImageA couple of yaks were briefly tameable as part of the goat family. This goodbye is the hardest for me personally, as Cadmus the red yak will thus far be unable to migrate into a mount form.

Manglemaw the baby crocolisk and a group of tiger cubs were also briefly flagged as tameable. Gigantic baby pets have thus far been unintended, so it was unsurprising that they were not an exception to the rule. On the plus side, both shall live on in minipet forms. (Chuck is the adorable equivalent of Manglemaw.)

This is the unfortunate downside of beta testing and getting attached.  But better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  Farewell, you kings and queens of beta.  You shall not be forgotten.