Blizzard community managers Nakatoir and Crithto have recently announced potential changes coming to Elemental, Aquatic, Critter, and Magic passive abilities in the Pet Battle system. The Pet Battle system is still relatively new compared to the 8-year-old World of Warcraft and very much in flux. As pets and their abilities are buffed and nerfed, the system as a whole needs to adjust to accommodate those changes.
The short version of these proposed changed are as follows:
Elementals will lose their immunity to weather, instead taking reduced damage on their first round in play
Critters will become completely immune to crowd control rather than reducing their duration to one round
Magic pets cannot be dealt more than 35% of their health in one attack, changed from 40%
Aquatic pets will reduce damage taken from Damage over Time effects by 50%, up from 25%
Crithto and Nakatoir's full posts can be found behind the cut below.
It was BlizzCon 2010. I was sitting outside the exhibit hall at the Anaheim Convention Center, pecking out a text message on my phone, when I heard someone say, "Oh hey! You work for WoW Insider!"
His voice was so excited that I was a little surprised when I looked up and realized the young man in front of me wasn't just another general attendee of BlizzCon 2010 but an actual employee of Blizzard. "I love you guys!" He exclaimed as I boggled over his official staff shirt and badge. Was this really happening? Wasn't I the one who worked for a fan site? Shouldn't I be excited about him?
He didn't notice my cognitive dissonance and motioned to the empty space on the bench next to me. "Can I sit down?"
In northwest Mulgore, right on the border to Stonetalon Mountains, there is a small plateau area that is chock-full of prairie dogs, rabbits and mice. At first glance, this would appear similar to the icebergs in Northrend that were home to entire colonies of our small, suited companions. That is not the case here though, as these small critters house a deep, dark, and evil secret.
At random intervals, the critters will mutate, growing to several times their own size, and will don weapons and armor in order to do battle or exterminate the competition. The prairie dogs get spiked pit helmets that they clearly stole from Commander Schnottz and break out daggers to run their enemies through! Rabbits break out the axes, clearly having spent way too much time with orcs, and holding them between their teeth charge for their enemies! The mice, however, seem to be the most prepared, wearing helmets made from the skulls of the dead and dual wielding shotguns. I don't know about you, but I would hate to walk around the streets of Ogrimmar only to be greeted by a gang of shotgun-wielding mice.
If you want to go check it out, don't be dismayed if nothing is going on right when you get there. It takes a few seconds for them to mutate and start fighting, and you don't have to do anything but sit back and enjoy. Don't worry about them wanting to attack you; they are perfectly content to sit and war with themselves and ignore your presence. It's interesting to see little quirky things like this that made it to the live version of the game. The area is only accessible through flying, so one has to wonder what other things are hidden in the world for us to find. Special thanks to my friend Dan for letting me know about this place!
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, a magical journey awaits ... a fantastic voyage through a mystical realm. I speak, of course, of the Public Test Realm, and the wondrous patch notes that dwell therein.
Now before we begin, I should make it clear that mages aren't getting anything even remotely earth-shattering in patch 4.0.6. It's not like Blizzard is letting us autofire while moving or anything. But a patch is still a patch. Things are going to change, and though mages have been left largely un-fiddled-around-with (at least in comparison to many other classes), we do have some incoming alterations to be aware of.
So with our expectations in an appropriately subdued state, let's peek beyond the jump for an annotated look at what be happening, yo.
Strangely, the guild reward that players seem most excited about in the early days of Cataclysm is not the Kor'kron Annihilator or Golden King but the Armadillo Pup. We all have a long way to go to earn the mounts, after all, but we can all help earn the pup whether we're running Heroics at 85 or leveling a new character. This noncombat pet is unlocked by earning the achievement Critter Kill Squad and getting exalted with your guild. Ending the carefree lives of 50,000 critters seems like a monumental task, but smart guilds can take advantage of some special tactics to earn this achievement in no time.
Let's take a look at how you can earn this adorable pet for your guild.
This is pretty simple (I know there are a few versions floating around), and just a few minutes with the macro API will probably get you something just like this (or probably better), but if you, like Bornakk, have so many noncombat pets that you don't know what to do with them, this macro that a guildie gave me a while back might help. Plug this text into a macro, save it as "Critter" and throw it on your toolbar.
As you've probably surmised, it'll choose a random critter from your noncombat pets and bring it out for you to play with. As I said, this is super-simple -- you could add /dismount on to the front of this and use it as a one-stop "dismount and summon pet" macro, or I'm sure our commenters (who are much better at this macro stuff than I am) will have lots of other ways to play. We posted a more complicated one a while back, and you can still replace CRITTER with MOUNT, but this one's even easier than that.
But like Bornakk, I tend to collect way too many noncombat pets and I can never choose which is my favorite. A random macro like this helps pull out a friend I haven't seen lately.
Critter killing is a favorite past time of many a WoW player. Some would even say it comes close to bordering on obsession. You may know someone like this, or even be that someone. You have a rank 1 Moonfire or Arcane Shot hot key just for taking out critters. Your critter killing has been known to fake out the tank, making him think you're pulling early. You let neither wind, nor rain, nor snow, nor DPS meters keep from killing a critter. Some people call you unbalanced, but you know you're just dedicated.
If you've been thinking of jumping into the wide world of obliterating small fuzzy creatures in WoW, now is a good time to start, because since 3.0.8 went live, it's official: killing critters is cool. Pest Control is a new achievement introduced with the patch that gives you credit for killing the creepiest and crawliest of critters on Azeroth, the insects, arachnids, snakes, and other such vermin. You've probably accidentally killed these fellows with a stray Fan of Knives or Pestilence or what have you anyway, but next time that happens, you'll get credit.
If you're a critter lover and need to assuage your guilty conscience, have no fear. You can always do To All The Squirrels Who Shared My Life while you're killing the pests. That way there's some sort of balance. You can be a lover, a killer, or both. Rather zen of Blizzard, don't you think?
"You love Rat." "You love Chicken." "You love Rabbit." I have to admit, before the achievements came to the game, I was a critter-killer -- I usually ended the lives of any critters I came across, because this is war and the world is no place for them. But since achievements appeared, I've gone around loving every little animal I could -- I haven't gone at To All the Squirrels I've Loved Before with a plan, just emoted towards everything I found.
But Random Ravings isn't quite as random -- they've got a terrific list of where to find every single critter you need. Only two are actually in Northrend (I thought there was more), and the rest seem to be in muliple places around the world, so it doesn't seem too bad at all. The hardest might be the wild parrot -- that one seems to be only in Un'Goro, but brave the dinos down there, find the bird, and you're all set.
Nice list. Anyone ready to head up to Borean Tundra and just grab the last two? BBR says they're also working on a list of all the books for the reading achievement -- can't wait to see (and eventually run around and do) that one either.
ZeusJones sends along this movie he made, in support of his new organization seeking to protect the apparently innocuous wildlife around Azeroth. How many innocent lives have you mindlessly snuffed? Please, stop the slaughter.
Now, I'm all for Zeus' little campaign (and he's even got a blog up and running for it), but I want to warn him: those animals might not be as harmless as they seem. True story: I was in Heroic Underbog this weekend, and a frog hopped by while we were waiting for mana. I clicked on him, and Frost Shocked him out of his little froggy existence, as I usually do whenever we see critters around.
And I kid you not-- I was very surprised to see a little red 1 roll up my scrolling combat text. I checked the combat window, and sure enough: "Frog hits you for 1." Completely true. I don't know how he did it (it was an instant spell! he's a critter!), but that frog tried to take a bite out of me. Maybe I should have bought Griftah's amulet.