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!