|Chances of ever having FIVE? Slim to none ^^|
5.1 introduced the concept of the Battle Stone to Pet Collectors: there are two varieties. There's the one for 1000 JP from the Valor Guy in Townlong (which upgrades anything below Uncommon) and then there's this fella and it's sub-class accompanists. The Battle Stone is particularly awesome because a) it's bind-free (the class specifics aren't) and b) it's BIND FREE SO YOU CAN SELL IT.
Most people have agreed that the 1000 JP version is pretty much a waste of time if you can upgrade a specific pet to Rare in one hop. These people are clearly not aware of the drop rate of the Blue stones, and unless something changes drastically between here and the next patch, these could be a decent way of padding out
1. Fight a Trainer and hope one drops in your reward bag
2. Fight in the Wild and hope one drops when you win a fight
I've been battling daily since 5.1 was released and I've had FOUR: one from bags and three from fights (you'll find the stones relate to the family type you've been battling) of which only one was a Flawless without a class bind. At this point, the RNG turns round and throws a bloody huge bag of poo at me (as is often the case in these situations) and I have to accept that there is no hard and fast way of getting them to drop, ANYWHERE. What is there to do therefore if, like me, you're looking for 75 L25 Rares in the quickest time possible and without selling your soul to Blizzard, AGAIN?
I've had a few ideas. It seems only fair to share them with you at this point.
A: Replace and Upgrade Wherever Possible.
One of the great advantages of the now upgraded Blizzard Interface is being able to see pet quality and stats as you fight. This allows the canny to take a moment and check whether pets in any random fight could afford upgrade potential.[*] Remember that many zones aren't just home to indigenous species, there are generic pet types that exist across Azeroth and beyond and often there could be a potential to upgrade a lower level rare to boot. After all, a L5 Cat will take considerably longer to level than a L19 one. Unless you keybind your pet interface to a key (thanks to Gorestalker US-Kargath for that handy tip) it might be an idea to have your mobile device to hand with a list of what pets you possess and whether a specific opponent might be worth keeping. As a rule, if its a rare I'll capture it regardless for a quick look once the fight is done.
B: Keep Moving.
If you're levelling pets, try not to stick to the same zones whilst doing so. Identify the pets you have that could be upgraded and actively seek them out whilst working on others. Again, possessing a list of your captures will be a distinct advantage. Use the Replace and Upgrade Mantra wherever you happen to go, but vary your locations.
C: One In, Two to Play.
The current preferred method to start a L1 Rare on is journey is simple, and has has nothing to do with going back to a starting zone to instigate. I've levelled my Corefire Imp this morning to L14 in the Valley of the Four Winds (and picked up two L21-23 Rare upgrades in the process) The trick is to find the right combination of mobs, and hope for a wee bit of luck. Oh, and I take no credit for this method: many people have pointed it out to me along the way, including several regular commenters on this here Blog. I thank you all for your wisdom as a result.
You'll want to fight in an area with L23-25 mobs. get Your L1 ready to go, and accompany it with two pets you know would be capable of defeating 3 enemies easily. Yes, that is possible in a zone like the Valley of the Four Winds. With confidence you'll be able to replace two L25's with a 25 and another leveller in the 20's. Then it goes like this:
- Start your fight.
- Hope the L1 doesn't die on the first 'hit' Actually, this happens far less often than you might think it would, especially with opposition that shields or prepares themselves before they fight.
- If your L1 does die, abandon the battle, go find a Stable Master and try again.
- Assuming your L1 survives one round, SWAP HIM OUT.
- Then complete your battle as normal with your two remaining fighters. At battle's end, your L1 should grab enough XP for 3-5 levels (depending on your opposition and the level of your other two pets) That should make surviving the first hit next time considerably easier.
- Rinse and repeat.
I'd make the most of this technique, because I'm thinking certain people might consider it a 'creative use of Game Mechanics' and we'll see it stomped on in a later patch. For now, however, it will make the process of getting those little rares bigger with the minimum amount of fuss.
However, by far the best way of getting high level Rares is to go out and capture them. I'd say, at this point in our adventure, that anything Blue is worth having, albeit briefly, especially if your long term goal is to aim for Pro Pet Mob.
[*] I am aware of the growing 'Build vs Quality' discussion going on on that there Internet. It is far harder to grab Rares in the wild overall and I will, in 99% of cases, take a rare over an Uncommon precisely because of this fact and that stones for upgrades are SO BLOODY RARE. Ask me about PvP Pet Battles when I've got 75 L25's under my belt :p