If you are reading this blog, I am sure you have already been over to Petopia and Big Red Kitty to read all the WOTLK pet goodness there. But if not, don’t miss out. Mania and her helpers have done a terrific job, keeping Petopia up-to-date. I’ve wanted to help and have been running around casting beast lore on anything with a brain, trying to find undiscovered tameable pets, but I haven’t found one yet that isn’t already listed on Petopia. Big Red Kitty is excelling himself with some excellent hunter guide movies. He’s really captured the excitement of the beta.
I have been experimenting with some of the new pets. No video software on the machine I am playing beta on, unfortunately, but I do have some screenshots (for some reason they are cut off on the blog – but click on each to see the full picture – hehe at least in most cases this serves as a spoiler alert):
Edit some more screenshots:
Pitch (renamed Tin) was tamed by my level 80 premade dwarf hunter, Beren (in case your’re wonder whether WOTLK allows race and sex changes!*) *it doesn’t, btw – just you hair and piercings.
Thought’s on pets so far:
- I love what they have done with the pet system. The talents trees and family skills make a lot more families viable pets, allowing hunters to choose and spec pets for their specific needs and play-styles.
- 5 stable slots – what’s not to love about this one? Oh yes, I want even more! And I want to be able to carry my pets around to summon at will, as I now can with my mounts and mini-pets, without taking up bag space.
- Doing away with loyalty, automatically knowing skills such as growl and claw, and these scaling with level, plus low level pets jumping to 5 levels below the hunter when trained all have important implications. These are actually both good and bad.
- The good is that it is easy to keep several different kinds of pets leveling with you. If your bear falls behind, because you have been playing with your raptor, no problem, just go train a bear at your level and bam you have a bear with all the skills and loyalty of one that had leveled with you. (This of course only works if there are bears of an appropriate level to train, and may limit your choice of skin.)
- If you want an unusual skin, but it is on a much lower animal, you train it and bam it jumps to 5 levels below you, so now you on have to level it up 5 levels not 25.
- You also save a stable slot, since you don’t have to keep one to stable your main pet whilst going out to train animals to learn skill upgrades from.
- No loyalty seems in practice to also mean less frequent need to feed your pet.
- The bad is that it take a little of the skill away which separates the good hunters from the also rans. The good hunters researched pet skills, went out and trained them, and ensured their pet always had the most up-to-date skills. Now the distinction will be in choosing the most beneficial pet talents and family of pet for your situation, spec, and play style. So there will still be a distinction, but it may or may not be as marked.
- The bad is it also encourages hunters to switch pets more, and discourages loyalty to one pet from the beginning. This is not so bad in terms of killer play style, but may not appeal to many RPers.
- At the moment some things are still a bit buggy on the beta. Growl does not seem to be working properly all the time. Sometimes my pets hold aggro well, other times growl seems to get switched off, or cower on (even though I have turned it off in my spell book) and they dump aggro like water off a ducks back. Some of the pet talents don’t seem to be fully implemented yet. Also, currently the pet still only has 4 active spaces on its pet toolbar. Yet now it has more than 4 active spells. You cannot drag spells on to your own toolbars, so the only way around this is to create macros to cast those spells, which then can be placed on your toolbars. I am still trying to figure on what the pet will and will not auto-cast and when, how its focus is working, and which spells I should micromanage.
- My biggest bug bear is cower. Why of why does a tenacity pet come with cower as a standard skill? And why is there no option to unlearn this skill all together, which is something I always did when training any pet in the wild, which had it as standard. I take it off the toolbar, I turn it off in my spell book, but it looks to me as if the pet is still cowering sometimes, and it is getting turned back on. Cower, just say no!
- As for the pets I have trained so far, I haven’t played with them all extensively, but my first impressions are:
Edit: Rhino’s family skill is now a charge with a knock back for all enemies. As well as being a lot of fun, this probably have uses in pvp, but is less useful for instance, where you would not want to knock back one group of mobs into another. So Rhino will be popular, but his size and skill will not make him a good choice for instances.
- The Rhino is hilarious – but in reality he is too big for anything but a novelty. At the moment he doesn’t have a family skill, unless this is something earth shattering, then he will be a fun toy only.
Edit: I tamed him solo quite easily. Cleared an area around him set a freeze trap; trapped and tamed. I also equipped all the haste gear I had picked up in game, I am not sure if it actually affected the speed of my taming channelling, but it seemed to, he remained in the trap and only got out the second before the taming finished. He did not have chance to fear me. They have also added a 5th green devilsaur out in Northrend (see Petopia).
- Devilsaur’s will be popular pets – their dps seems very high and they look great. The only downside is there are only 4 in game currently, and 3 are low level, so will need leveling from 65 for level 70 hunters. I want to start Northrend with a level 70 pet, not a level 65 one. I will try taming the Netherstorm devilsaur at 71, but I suspect he will be difficult to tame because of his fear (need a friendly priest to cast fear ward, me thinks).
Edit: The polar bear cub is no longer tameable. Ghostcrawler announced he was never meant to be tameable. When he was tamed he grew rather than shrank and his pixels were right, also his animations were never developed because of this, so he doesn’t open his mouth for instance. This explains why his face looked so stupid, but I know a lot of people liked him and have been crying to replace him. Of course I would prefer them to fix the look of his head and his animations, than to make him untamable, but I guess they have more urgent things to do.
- Silithid – he’s a lot of fun – nice animations, nice family skill. However, as BRK points out most BM hunters aren’t going to run with cunning pets. Also there aren’t any level 70 or higher ones yet, so you are going to have to level him up 5 levels.
- Polar bear cub – he looks great from behind, has a brilliant cub noise as he charges into battle. However, why oh why couldn’t they have given him a more realistic face? He looks like a stuffed toy not a real (or WOW world) bear. I went out and tamed a grown-up bear after a while.
Edit: Cats are now getting Rake – see my later post – this will improve cats dps, probably placing them above raptors and just behind devilsaurs. So cats have a reprieve – yeay for Gwind!
- Moth – looked like these could be real high dps pets, plus their self heal ability is a great little bonus. But are we really going to see a lot of moths around? I think not. They are just not as sexy or aggressive looking as a devilsaur or a wasp, and the rate at which their wings flapped and the noise they made was annoying imo.
- Wasp – I much preferred him to the moth. His animations were better, he looked better,his family skills is good for both pve and pvp, though in truth the moths family skill might still be better.
- Chimera – can you say abandon. I hated the stop start on this big flapper as he made his way to the target. No dash for this critter, even though he is supposed to do it. He keeps stopping to figure out whether he is in range to cast his lightning breath. A pain. Also imo the wings are too big (but then I am not usually a fan of the flappies). Big Red Kitty liked him, but then he tamed the chimera while it was still dishing out 4-5k crits, I think they had fixed it by the time I tamed one. I notice BRK doesn’t have one now either :>)
- Wolf – I always like wolves and worgs – although their family skill is poor. Not sure what I think about the new model. It’s certainly different. But is it nicer than the happy coyote or the broad shouldered worg, matter of personal taste I guess.
- Worm – same problem as the chimera – a stop-start action as he looks for his spit range. He’s an unusual look though, with quite nice animations. At the moment the tooltip does not say how much his spit reduces armor by. Tanking pet, but not going to replace bears in my heart.
- Condor – he’s beautiful! The screenshots don’t do him justice. A ferocity pet with demoralizing screech and dive – in other words an old world owl with a cats dps (owls are now cunning birds of prey). I could get over my dislike of flying pets for this one.
- Bald Eagle – another beauty – a bird of prey, cunning pet with disarm as his family skill. He seems to hold aggro very well and has some nice utility talents in the cunning tree. I like him a lot.
- A note on the cat – I love my cat, Gwind – but is Northrend the end of the road for him? Prowl was only ever useful with shadowmeld for guarding stuff in pvps, but other family skills are now much better. Plus, there are now lots of ferocity pets to choose from, some of which (devilsaurs and raptors for instance) are probably going to put out more dps. And given there don’t seem to be too many cat models in Northrend to keep your cat caught up, if leveling with something else, is this good night sweet cat?
- It was cats, ravagers, raptors, scorpids and windserpents, in the Burning Crusade. Which will be the top 5 pets in WOTLK? Any suggestions?