|Dead Yeti's start at A, Robot Chicken at B. Gnome, get out of the shot!|
With Blizzard's announcement that player's vanity pets will soon be able to battle each other, there will be those of you looking at the one or two pages of companions you own and wishing they'd done more work picking up the multitude of cute critters scattered across the game's continents. There are those of us too, with an eye on the Auction House, who know that this is the time to start exploiting our knowledge of the game to bring those pets that are the most desired (and the hardest to find) to you, for only a small fee :D At this point I should recommend the truly excellent Warcraft Pets which is a fabulous place to read up on exactly how many companions there are in game, and how you can get hold of them. I think it's safe to assume that some of the harder to find pets are likely to possess some of the more sought-after fighting abilities. With this in mind, I've been thinking about which of these cute guys are going to be the ones that will be worth the most as AH sales, and I think I'll start this occasional series of How To Cash in on the Minipet Thing with my #1 choice. Ladies and Gnomes, I give you the Mechanical Chicken:
The big thing to notice here is that this girl's not soulbound, even though you complete a set of quests to get her. There's only one major downside to grabbing her: once you've done the quests on a character you can't do them again. For an alcoholic like me this is clearly not an issue: I have at least six characters at the appropriate level who are capable of completing this chain. That's a lot of metal chicken to stockpile :D Getting her for an 85 is about three hours work, so you can knock this off in an evening. You'll need to kill mobs in three areas: Hinterlands, Tanaris and Ferelas. All mobs in this area have a chance to drop the quest item you'll require:
An OOX of Your Own. That's all there is to it!
The savvy collector, whilst killing mobs to get this item to drop, can maximise the chances of making more money (and advancing reps) by picking the mobs they choose to grind. In Ferelas, for instance, I recommend killing the Noxious Whelps you'll find around Jademir Lake (surrounding Dream Bough) as they have a chance to drop a Tiny Emerald Whelpling (while you're there there's also a chance to get a Sprite Dartling but bear in mind both are pretty low drop rates and the latter is BoP [*]) If you have a skinner I'd also suggest taking the time to clean up after yourself for additional cash. If you have a herbalist there's tons of Blindweed here, if you're a miner there's Iron Ore as you travel. The key to doing these kinds of grinds isn't necessarily the number of mobs you can kill in an hour, is what you can gather to maximise the amount of cash you make as a result. Similarly in the Hinterlands there are lots of beasts to kill: if you can't skin I'd suggest picking humanoid mobs for their cloth drops (Trolls!) In Tanaris, killing the Southsea Pirates are a great way to help boost your Steamweedle Cartel rep... the clever farmer looks at everything as an additional income stream :D
I did a 'dry run' for this article with the Lock yesterday, and her chicken's currently up on the AH for a shade under 9k. That's not bad for three hours work, all told. Of course, that's only a profit if it sells ^^ Remember folks, having an item is no guarantee you will be able to sell it. However, with a pet this 'rare' you're looking at what I'd consider to be a fairly decent investment of time. As a result I'll be sending the family out in the next few weeks to pick up a few more...
[*] As Blizzard have announced this morning that Seasonal Pets are no longer BoP, there is a chance of pets like the Sprite Darter also being removed from Soulbound status. Should one drop while you're farming and you already have it, I'd STRONGLY SUGGEST keeping it just in case...