Google+ ALT : ernative: 12/16/2012 - 12/23/2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Overload

They really weren't kidding about the speed of this...

5.2 may not be appearing for us to play with before next year, but there is an awful lot to chew on in the break over Christmas. The Patch Notes are now available and the usual suspects are frantically data-mining even as I type, and its clear there are two new islands available for play. Looking at the current world map and the datamined information available thus far, the large island I initially assumed would be Thunder King HQ appears now to be identified as the 'Island of Giants', which appears to have some relevance to the Zandalari.

There's also a metric tonne of additional content, apart from the new Quest Hub, Tier Gear and expected Class changes. Some are, I have to say, quite a surprise.

  • Players that have grown attached to working the land at Sunsong Ranch can now purchase the land from Farmer Yoon. Once the farm is owned by a player, it becomes a rest point like an Inn, where the player can bind and instantly log out. Work orders will pour in to the farm from factions across Pandaria, and completing a work orders will earn a reputation boost with the issuing faction.
It's no surprise this change has been implemented: there are other hints to improvements to Quality of Life whilst farming too:

  • Seed bags have been added, that allow planting of crops 4 plots at a time.
  • Yoon's Mailbox has been renamed to Sunsong Ranch Mailbox.
  • The yield from special crops has been improved to make farming them competitive with gathering these items out in the world.
  • Running the Master Plow across underground Virmen will cause them to pop out of the ground at 30% health and stunned.
  • Wild Crops will now occur less often.

Note to the smart: time to start stockpiling those Terrible Turnips :p The bags of seed are welcome, as is the trick with the Plough (sticking with non-US spelling here) but there are other things we could see to improve matters still further. Let's have more items coming out of the ground when we're ploughing: moving soil can disturb stuff when you're grinding Tiller's rep: why does that have to change when that's done? I'd still like to be able to purchase more seed types and maybe make more use of the animal NPC's on the farm: might be cool to be able to make cloth from the sheep's wool, for instance. Still, this is very early days so a lot could yet appear.

Pets are getting a new tier of fight: the Elite Pet Battle:

  • Elite Battle Pets have been added to the game world. These rare pets will spawn alone against an entire team. A new quest has been added to track progress as these new pets are hunted down, and defeating that quest will award the new Red Panda pet.

Knowing that there will be pets that take three L25's to bring them down makes me wonder just how powerful those Elites will be themselves: if they're that good, everyone will be using them in the same teams and life may get boring very fast. I hope the Dev's have thought this sufficiently through to mean the Elites come with something special but don't end up making all the effort and time people have put into training redundant. I'll be watching this develop with interest. It's good to see that not only will Battle capped XP players have a chance of Lesser Charms in their fights, but those below 90 can use fights as an additional character XP boost. Will certainly mean I'll be using both quests and Pet Battles to get a couple more alts out of the 85 zone sooner rather than later. Here's one significant change to battle protocol too:

  • Fleeing a pet battle will no longer despawn the pet that was being battled, but doing so will now inflict some damage on the fleeing pet battle team.

This is great news when you get a spawn of a quality you don't need but someone else may well be able to use. It's also going to deter people (like me) from starting fights and then deciding they don't want to finish them because of pet rarity. I'm pleased to see that the Devs are looking at the nuts and bolts of fights and working out where changes can be made not simply to improve quality of life, but deter shortcutting the system.

What this does make me aware of is the need to now try and catch myself up with the outstanding quest grinds I have in game, and to try and 'clear the decks' of outstanding tasks before we see 5.2 deployed. I reckon I've got a while yet before I need to start panicking, but it is clear from Blizzard's enthusiasm to prep everyone to go as soon as Christmas is done that they mean business when ti comes to keeping people moving and occupied. This will be me then, off with a pencil and pad, to work out exactly what needs to be done by when...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Not a Job

Let me guess, no DPS spec?


We all still seem to be here. I'll carry on, then.

Yesterday, I was in an LFR. One of the two tanks, a DK, managed to wipe us by gathering all the adds and then complained the Paladin was incapable of holding threat and them. When I pointed out to him it was his job to look after adds as much as it was the other tank, he went silent before pronouncing: 'This isn't a job, you know. Just saying.'

I hate to be that woman, but I think it is.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who sticks themselves up front in fights. Tanking, perhaps even more than healing, demands a certain type of commitment that, like it or not Mr DK, does make it like an actual job. Nowhere else is it more significant to be geared to a decent standard, and to come with an innate understanding of what happens in every fight. If you want to do it properly you can't just expect to turn up and hit stuff, though this doesn't seem to stop most tanks I encounter in LFR. In fact, the 'not a job' attitude is perhaps one of the main reasons I dislike the Raid Finder as much as I do. That however extends not simply to the guys at the front but to everyone who believes simply turning up and doing only what's needed is sufficient. You know who they are, and I'm not simply talking about the Hunter with autofire or the Healer who clicks the Heal button but decides to dps instead.

At some point, in many, many LFR's,  the people not doing the job end up outweighing those who do and chaos/ disaster are simply inevitable. How do you persuade people this is not the way it should be when we all KNOW this is just a game?

This is one of the reasons I think Blizzard work so hard to maintain the integrity of the Guild setup, despite fierce resistance from those who'd like to be able to raid all content cross server. Keeping a formal structure for people to learn and grow within is vitally important, and should be responsible for making tanks understand the significance of being capped in key stats and gemmed/enchanted to a decent standard. There are many people that feel Blizzard simply doesn't do enough to foster an environment that promotes the proper dissemination of information people need to learn their roles. That impetus is given squarely to the community to deal with, which is all very well, but again assumes that people will do their own legwork when it comes to comprehending what is needed and when it is appropriate. It is a delicate balancing act, and despite various assertions that the game is getting easier, it really isn't.

Now, more than perhaps at any time in the past, understanding what is expected of you needs to addressed far more than it is currently in game.

I've discussed various options to solve this 'problem' over the years, because it continues to be one when you come into an LFR with a wiseass tank (with mouth, attitude, lack of knowledge: delete were applicable) or heaven forbid two of them. But please don't think that my concern is being directed simply at the guys up front, because both healers and dps are just as capable of stuffing it up as well. The bigger deal with the tanks is simple: they are, in the end, the people who have to kill the bosses at the front, until such times as the content is trivialised by stat inflation and all you need is a half decent Hunter to do it. I think anyone who doesn't believe they should be 'doing a job' when it comes to tanking should stop and take a long, hard look at the game as it stands and grasp the one immovable truth: this isn't a one player game. Until such time as it goes to an App, or Blizzard remove raiding/5 mans altogether, you are NEVER going to be in a position where you won't come across someone else, even if it is at the Mailbox. As a result, you need to be able to deal with other people and that means, by definition, that some rudimentary social interplay will come into the mix.

Understand what your class is and what it does, and if you choose to press a button when you play understand the consequences of your actions. Tanking is a job, one I'm very grateful other people choose to do, far better than I would ever manage. If you sit in the Big Chair, you need to be prepared for the responsibility.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

5.2 Live. This as close as you can get :D

5.2 will deploy on the PTR in January. They weren't joking about the updates.

Right now, this is as close as you can get to the Island of the Thunder King. Yes, I'm going to stick my neck out and say the content is already in game, and has been for a while, but you won't have noticed it because, frankly, you didn't know it was there. However, the signs are, even as I type, with the constant sound of thundery ambience as accompaniment. You, see, its been on the map since we started.


You will be here. Ho yus.

If you do Shado-Pan Dailies, you'll be very familiar with the island south of the 5.2 area: there's lightning everywhere. I think it's fair therefore to assume that if you head north from here you'll run into an island that's looking large enough to house daily quests as well as an instance: are we heading for another Isle of Quel'Dailies as we had back in TBC?

The question then becomes what we can reasonably expect from 5.2. Fortunately we won't have long to wait before there are answers. For now, feel free to go stare at the Island yourself but be warned, it's shrouded in Pandaria's mists right now and any attempt to fly towards it will dismount you, and there are some VERY nasty eels swimming in the water...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the End of the World (of Warcraft) as We Know It

Like I wasn't going to link this... :D


Ladies and Gentlemen, the Apocalypse is almost upon us. Knowing that Lenny Bruce is not afraid is little comfort in these last remaining moments of sanity, and I find myself thinking that if we were all to check out, I think I'd like less ID4 (in which this song appears in one of those reverential nod type moments) and more like Knowing (which does apocalypse really well.) After all, in a world where Instagram is a major player, you want your end of all things moment to look good, to have a decent filter and to make a beautiful icon to boot.

This is your last day in the game. Tomorrow it will no longer exist, and there'll be no Customer Support to moan at or Devs on Twitter to complain to that you'd not finished your Tier Gear in time.

What do you do?

I'd begin in Stormwind, just because. I blame Reginald Windsor for that.

I know I'd put the flying mount away to begin with, and I'd travel on my favourite ground transport. Right now that would probably be the Klaxxi Scorpid, and I'd make the journey to the Dark Portal via road. That way I'd pass through zones I came to know and love over the years: Elwynn, Duskwood, the Deadwind Pass and the Swamp of Sorrows. I'd stop and remember what has changed since the Sundering, sparing a though for the bag quest clue you'd find under the bridge in the Swamp. Then I'd ride to the Nethergarde flightpoint and fly back to Ironforge and repeat the process from the gates of Ironforge all the way up to the Eastern Plaguelands. These places are ingrained in my memory from levelling countless alts, the roads and the shortcuts. Then I'd travel to the Hinterlands and ride down the Plaguewind Ravine one last time to go sit by the lake and stare at Scholomance, which I think probably qualifies as my favourite instance in the 1-60 bracket: not the new version, however, the old one before they made things easier and compressed the entire place down. Whether it was for the Paladin Mount quest, or farming for Trousers, or going to make Alchemy Flasks in Vanilla, I think this place beats UBRS, Strat and the Dire Mauls.

After that I'd go set up a cooking fire in Loch Modan, by what is left of the lake, and remember what that place was like pre-Sundering too.

After lunch I'd head into Outland on my Flying Cloud and do a tour, after which I'd move to Northrend, doing the same: stopping at places I have particular memories of, seeking out specific NPC's to recall the times I spent there. I'd spend more time than I could really spare hanging around the Storm Peaks too, in one last pitiful attempt to make the Time Lost Proto Drake spawn next to me. After that, I'd rub my HS and return to Pandaria to the huge party that I'd organised with all the people I've ever known in game, who'd all be there for the last night of fun. There would be some fun runs to the old instances: AQ20, Kara, Naxx and ICC, and there'd be lots of reminiscence on the times past and the awesome things that we all got up to over the years. We'd also spend a moment stopping and remembering those who were no longer with us, raising mugs of ale in celebration of a life lived well and dedicated to the business of enjoying the game for what it was: a game.

Finally I would slip away from everyone else and find the portal to Stormwind, after which I'd travel to Uldum and say one final farewell. After that it would be a Hippogryph to Ferelas and my last trip out to Feathermoon Island (or what is left of it) where I'd spend the last moments before the lights went out forever. There's something about that place in the game that makes me just feel happy: whether it was my levelling time there, or the number of days I'd grind leather... I'm not sure. Maybe it's odd that a Dwarf could find such calm amongst the forests of the Night Elves but I feel as if the place is a home I would want to return to at the end of my existence. It simply feel right.

Feathermoon, Pre-Sundering. Perfect

Even if the place that I remember doesn't exist, this is where you'd find me, sitting by the water's edge in my Fishing Chair, staring back towards the coast, thinking of the Water Elementals and the Giants and the demanding Goblin by the dock. Many things have changed in eight years, but it's good to know that the Goblins remain the money-grabbing, opportunist gits they have always been.

If by some miracle we all survive past tomorrow without Nicholas Cage giving us 'that look', we can continue to enjoy the World of Warcraft we've come to know and love. However, why not take a moment today to consider what you'd do if the game was no longer here, and maybe spend some time considering what you've been through to get to this point. A lot has happened in eight years, and you may be surprised at what you remember when you do so...

Oh, and one last thing. Leonard Bernstein!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

She's Becoming Gold

No vicious streak. Not Epic quality.

Bunnies. Not only are they cute, they're a sure-fire way of getting people to link to your posts *cough.* Warcraft have reinvented the bunny with Pandaria, and frankly I find the Hoplings really rather disturbing: they're vermin on several (not legal) substances. However, I'm not here to talk about the pest problem in the Valley of the Four Winds. I'm here to consider one specific Leporidae and the rather complex moral quandry it has created for me.


His is a mile wide, AND he's Purple!

This whole introspective exercise started innocently enough, with a conversation on Twitter with the estimable , who was lucky enough to snag the Darkmoon Rabbit at auction for a mere 20,000g (if you'd like to see what transpired, click here.). I've never seen this pet for anything less than 50k on my server (current one up's asking price is a cool 70k) so I think it is fair to say that amount represents a significant bargain. However, I'd not really considered the circumstances behind this pet's expensive status against the experiences I've gathered as a Battler. The rabbit itself isn't actually worth a purple nameplate to begin with in battling terms (ask Ratshag, he knows about such things) but it's rarity in capture does mean that the asking price is probably about right. You need 39 other people to even have a chance at rolling for one, after all. This however is not my issue: for that we need to go digging about on the Internets to define a term I remember from my O Level Economics lessons.

Opportunity cost is the cost of any activity measured in terms of the value of the next best alternative forgone (that is not chosen). It is the sacrifice related to the second best choice available to someone, or group, who has picked among several mutually exclusive choices. The opportunity cost is also the "cost" (as a lost benefit) of the forgone products after making a choice. Opportunity cost is a key concept in economics, and has been described as expressing "the basic relationship between scarcity and choice".

In simple terms: is it worth spending 70,000 gold on a Rabbit, if it excludes me from spending that money on other pets (or indeed items) that I consider are just as important? It's not as if I consider the asking price as excessive to begin with, I should say: I do think, considering the amount of time per month the rabbit is 'live' put against what it takes to get one, those figures are justified. It is also important to consider that there are very few items in game you might consider spending such large sums of money on: the Vendor/Reforger Yak, for instance is probably to only other major purchase (away from the Black Market Auction House) Most importantly of all however, is the consideration that even without making a real effort to generate an income this Expansion, and with (pretty much exclusively) one character doing all the work, I've still made money.

However, I won't buy one, and I know that this has nothing to do with my in-game wealth.

I took my daughter Christmas shopping at the end of November, and spent the day looking in various shops for a dress that I could wear to a formal ball that I attended a few weeks back. The first outfit I found, I will admit, I fell in love with, right up to the moment when I looked at the price tag and grasped that to buy it would mean spending what equated to our weekly food shopping bill. When faced with such real life decisions there is absolutely no hesitation: the result will never justify the expense. I realise that my real life thinking has seeped into my gaming experience in that regard, but it isn't the only reason I won't part with the cash. There is also the part of me that resents the need to have anything that expensive to purchase to begin with, for the sake of having a complete collection.

This issue began with Murlocs, and the Blizzard Battle Bear, and Mini Tyrael: items from events I could not sensibly hope to attend, and price tags on items from said events which (again) are entirely justified but again will never realistically be within my reach. It's like being able to do Heroic Modes in current content, or camp the TLPD in the Storm Peaks: you make a conscious decision to place your own limits on what is reasonably acceptable behaviour, and you stick with it. Yes, there will be those who look and tell you your collection will never be complete, and that you're not a 'proper' collector as a result. There's a whole ball of complex psychological and social factors at play here, many of which seep through from the Real World without permission. In the end, it has to be about finding a situation that is comfortable for you and your expectations. I may have the money, but until in my heart I can adequately justify the expense, the Bunny is never being bought.

I find it interesting that a game can present such complex moral questions, and I think that perhaps designers should have a greater understanding that their actions can cause consequences far and beyond what they may have first considered when implementing ideas. In the end, however, my feelings are only one possible take, and there are ten million people playing this game. I'm sure my Server's Darkmoon Rabbit will finally sell, but I won't be the buyer. Whoever does part with the cash I hope will enjoy what they have, and will consider it money well spent.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Certainty of Chance

You can never have enough Neil Hannon. TRUFACT.


There are some changes planned for 5.2, for example, we would like to make Valor points convert to Justice as long as you’re Valor capped.


Once upon a time, there were no points. All we had was Badges of Justice. You remember them? That was back in TBC (don't start!) when they were only available in Heroics and Raids and the average per five man dropped three (one per boss.) There were exceptions, like the Shattered Halls, which could drop FIVE. Then there was Raiding: 22 badges from Karazhan in a complete clear. It's no wonder some people detest the place after all this time... needless to say, once Wrath rolled around Badges were out of fashion, and we converted to the Points system. Ever since, there have been problems. The latest has come with the introduction of the Upgrade system for gear: for 1500 Justice Points you can upgrade your Rare quality gear to Slightly More Rare gear. This is beginning to cause a problem with the complete lack of Justice Points available from the method most people would use to earn them: Heroics.

Currently, each Heroic Boss drops 35 Justice Points, which means to upgrade one item you'll need to kill 42.857 Enemies of Pandaria to make that happen. Of course the plan is that by the time you've done that the blue gear you're attempting to upgrade will have been replaced with Shiny Epic Loot but (looks sadly at blue weapon) we know that's often not the case. Looking at the above CM comment, and the thread in which you will find it, it is clear some people resent the fact that once you're capped with Valor you're still forced to run instances for what is a ridiculously low amount of upgrade potential. There are other means: you can run Scenarios (35 JP) or (gasp!) you can go do PvP and convert Honor to Justice, but as the original poster in this thread points out, the last thing anyone wants is a load of blue-clad PvE nublets piling into BG's. Blizzard's (potential 5.2) solution is interesting, but I'm not sure that dumbing down Valor is the answer.

In fact, converting Valor to Justice seems like a step backwards, not forwards.

It is always tricky when you start screwing around with in-game currency. The true 'value' of points is that you earn them, up to a point, and then you don't. You have a limit, which is clearly defined, and you know how much you can get from a week's work. Remember that, for a long time, you could only earn so many Valor PER DAY and it was a pretty large shift for Blizzard to remove that particular restriction. Telling me now that Valor can become Justice, and that I can just keep running dungeons until (I assume) I hit the 4000 wall is not really sending out the right signals. If you guys just push your faces into the ground and keep playing you'll have what you want... no, this isn't the way. Double the Justice drop. Make it 70 per Boss, and acknowledge that taking half the time under normal restrictions is a better practice than simply pulling the safeties off and letting people just run until their eyes bleed. Of course, you could argue that's exactly what's happening now and halving the time it takes to get the points you want would be preferable... but not at the expense of devaluing the existing currency to do so. There has to be a better way.

The biggest issue in all of this is, of course, the random nature of loot drops generally. Points allow people a measure of certainty in what they can purchase. We all have to live with the percentage chances of the gear we need to make ourselves awesome: taking away cookie cutter Talent Specs is all well and good, but the maths in the stats means that some pieces of gear are ALWAYS going to be better for a class than others. Otherwise sites like Mr Robot simply wouldn't exist. If those key items aren't purchasable, there's always going to be a problem with people's desire to gear well. Of course, PvP deals with this problem by making EVERYTHING available for the people who work for it via a vendor. Is this really a situation we would want in PvE, I find myself thinking... because if it did work like that, an awful lot of other things would change. Is it time to amend the system so that the best PvE gear is ALWAYS guaranteed for purchase?

It is an odd situation I find myself in, and it's not the first time I've given serious consideration to doing PvP to upgrade a PvE weapon I cannot get an adequate upgrade for. I'm concerned that, over time, I am not providing the absolute best I can for the people I raid with, especially when they have upgraded weaponry and I am being held at the mercy of a set of computer-generated dice. It's not even as if I can buy a crafted alternative this time around: the only opportunity I have, away from Instances and PvP, is one item on the Black Market Auction House: Flintlocke's Blasthammer. It seems to me that Blizzard will happily let me part with all my hard-earned cash to own said item, but it is unwilling to give me a means by which I can earn the item in-game. Is it really the place we find ourselves at now that cash matters more than effort?

 One thing I can be certain of in all of this is the fact that whatever Blizzard decide to do about this issue, someone will be unhappy. That's at least one thing you'll never want to bet against in this game...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Do Your Thing

Your winter weather may vary.

My name is P, and I collect stuff.

Normally it is mounts that occupy my time, but for a while now I've been looking for pets. This is easy when you have lots of things you don't own, but as your needs list begins to shrink the options begin to involve an awful lot of hanging around waiting for things to happen. The most annoying needs ultimately are in places where you cannot accurately predict the occurrence of other events that are linked to the item you are pursuing.

I said yesterday I predicted a lot of time in the Storm Peaks. I was wrong.

Last night I deliberately hassled the zone. I spent the best part of two hours running around, killing stuff and skinning beasts. I did not pretend I was camping the Time Lost Proto Drake (even though I skinned a dead Vyragosa) nor did I make any pretensions towards pulling out an alt to mine or herb (though it did cross my mind) I saw one solitary pet the entire time to fight, so I did, and got a one level upgrade to my rare Arctic Hare. I was about to log for the night, when I spotted the green paw before the snow began.


Samantha or James? :P

Needless to say I can now pass on the following observations about capturing an Arctic Fox Kit:

  • It is obvious when it is snowing. No, really. Look at the picture above. You're not confusing this with anything else.
  • There are plenty of spawns, but ONLY IN THE ZONES WHERE IT SNOWS. There is not snow in the entire region either (certainly no snow around the Terrace of the Makers area for instance) so make sure you are in the right place.
  • It ALWAYS snows in Thunderfall. Don't get excited if you find it snowing there. I would suggest the Snowblind Hills or the area around the Snowdrift Plains as good capturing spots.
  • Evidence suggests that it is more likely to snow late at night. I capped at 11.30pm last night (12.30am Server) and I've heard about people capturing early morning so camping in the afternoon might not be the best idea. However, your Server may vary.

However, I don't have Northrend Safari thanks to what seems to be a persistent issue with Pet Battle Achievements.

I has him. Why you no see him Game?

As of 5.1 this was still bugged. If I raise a ticket I know I'll be told this, or given the stock 'please feel free to report a game bug' response , which is no help to anyone, especially when it is clear that WHY this is broken is as much of an issue as the problem itself. Internet wisdom is suggesting I release my existing Maggot and recapture, but the pet itself was notoriously difficult to locate as a primary pet prior to 5.1. There are no comments as to whether this has changed so the one task I'll undertake this morning is to go see what I can see.

[EDIT: Capturing a second maggot activated the Achievement. I did not need to dismiss my existing Uncommon quality Maggot to make this happen. The underground area where you will be asked to complete the quest 'The Shining Light' (which rewards the Ashbringer to Tirion Fordring) has now been supplied with a decently spawning supply of said beasties, so much so I was able to grab a Rare quality before I departed.]

After this, my capture options become increasingly limited:

  • Indigenous life is down to two remaining pets: the Emerald Shale Hatchling and the Lofty Libram. The latter will be a camp, I suspect over Christmas. The former I've not properly investigated, but I will.
  • Eye of the Legion is a CCG purchase.
  • The Imperial Moth will come, eventually, from my Tailor's Imperial Silk procs.
  • The Jade Crane Chick requires me to have a Pandaren at a high enough level to find a Pet Battle Trainer. I'll need to check if that means getting off the Starting Area island...
  • The Anubisath Idol drops from the Twin Emps, so that's once a week until I have another L90, after that Mr Bigglesworth is also a given.
  • Two pets come from the Faire: the Eye and the Rabbit. When it rolls around again I'll make sure I take the full amount of hits on the Trainer. The Rabbit? I don't care if it's Epic, I'm not paying 50k for it. My collecting has limits.
  • Pandaren Earth and Fire Spirits will come eventually with Dailies. I already have a spare Air on the AH from yesterday.
  • Various pets drop from pet bags. My relationship with the RNG is well-known ^^
  • Clock'em is from the Brawler's Guild. *sigh*
  • 4 Hatchlings from the Order of the Cloud Serpent. Once I get Exalted I'll check my options.
  • Camping the Wanderers Festival for a Hatchling.
  • Collecting 2000 Commissions at Lion's Landing to open a crate of rodents for the Sumprush.

Once I've done all that Blizzard, feel free to release some new content :D

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Can't Be Tamed

Not bad for a night's work.

The post title is, of course, misleading. Last night EVERYTHING got tamed :D

I wasn't going to try for the title this weekend (mostly because my daughter's ill and I've been pretty knackered as a result), and if there is one thing I have learnt in the last few months it is that cheesing the harder fights is often impossible. So, instead I got all logical: making a list of all the mobs I needed to eliminate, and deliberately matching strong pets against them. I've done some Internets research too, and putting that together means when I log on I have the full gamut of Pandaria trainers to slap for bags (and hopefully stones) Plus, as an added bonus, I went on and sorted the Spirit Tamers (note to self, must level my Whelk to 25 today, extra points if you guess what I called him) which means I'll have some Spirits to sell come the end of this week.

Aki was an interesting challenge: her Dragon pet's opening attack is near on impossible to counter, and so I took advice and didn't even try, restarting the fight until I could get Chirrup up first. Of course I couldn't do this if it was PvP... but let's not go there yet. Her Red Cricket was taken out by Mulder, my Alpine Foxling Kit. The key to his continued success is Dazzling Dance (where DATA ERROR = 25% :P) allowing me first whack, plus with the addition of Howl meant I could kill the Cricket and still have about 250 HP left before Stormlash appeared.

I'm looking forward to having my own Cloud Serpent Hatchling, because Call Lightning is pretty devastating as an ability (the tooltip is misleading, trust me) However, two can play at that game, and this is why I'm really glad I levelled Bruce, my Lil' Deathwing. He brings Call Darkness to the table, and armed with an Elementium Bolt to rival his old man's Stormlash continued survival was short-lived. Then it was Whiskers vs Bernard and the awesomeness which is the ability that is Food Coma. Going first, this means I get both damage attacks off before the poor wee Civet's got a chance to consider his impending demise.

As my husband remarked, the 3000g reward isn't really sufficient compensation for the amount of effort I've pumped into this. The Tamer title however will be one I will wear for quite some time. It should be an indicator, if it were needed, that Pet Battling is SRS BNS.

I've managed a fair bit of other faffing this weekend too, it's not just been the wee beasties.


BUG MOUNT!

The Klaxxi are done and get added to the 'must knock the remaining Achievements off over Christmas' Pile which gives me a ring upgrade and (as you can see) no need to level my Horde Guild to 25 so I can see myself on a bug. I also managed to push both the August Celestials and the Cloud Serpents over to Revered which means a) Commendation and b) the last obstacle I had to getting someone else to 90, so next week you CAN expect my focus to shift to the Secondary Mogging Hunter, as we make a real effort to start Gold Earning for the Holidays. No really, I need a break from the pets...


However, there is that one pet... ^^

There is however the issue of the last two pets I'm missing for Zookeeper. That means, at least for the Winter Months, P will be spending an increasing amount of time in the Storm Peaks in the hope of a snowstorm... :D