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Posts with tag maniasarcania

Petopia back in action

As many of you pointed out through numerous, apprehensive e-mails, our favorite Hunter pet resource was down for a while. As Mania pointed out, however, she was aware of the issue and was working actively to get the site back online. It seems like she's knocked the right heads, too, because Petopia is back on its feet again, supplying us with all the Hunter pet information we could ever want. So as unsettling as Petopia's disappearance was, especially in light of another favorite WoW resource closing its doors, there's no need to panic. Whew.

Filed under: Hunter, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

Hunter pets: leveling improved, caster stats removed

Once again, we return to Mania's Arcania for the latest and greatest in pet news:

First off, hunter pets' leveling has been improved in the latest beta patch, so that now pets have to get just 1/10th (10%) of the hunter's total experience per level rather than 1/6th (16%). That's a big improvement of more than a third off of pet leveling time, but considering that now our characters have a ton more experience to earn per level than they used to, and a huge part of that experience we get comes from turning in quests. Our pets were taking an incredibly long time to level up before, I'm personally not sure this improvement will be enough to give it that special "training a pet feeling" (if it ever could -- personally I would do without pet leveling altogether, but that's just me). Hopefully this still won't be so bad, since, as we already know, if you tame a pet any lower than that, it will automatically just jump right up to 5 levels below your hunter. Hopefully Blizzard will be paying attention and reduce the leveling time even more if it's still too slow, or maybe even, as Mania hopes, include quest experience in pet leveling too.

Secondly, "caster stats" on pets are at last going extinct. Many of us have, in the course of our travels around Azeroth, desired one nifty pet or another, only to find out that it was a "caster pet" with reduced stats, and far inferior to the regular pets. Somehow for ages now, beasts found in the wild with a mana bar haven't changed to regular pet stats when you tame them, and have basically been a waste of stable space (nevermind why in the world beasts would have mana bars). But now that is going to change! As Mania reported, and Ghostwalker confirmed, caster pets will be a thing of the past, and their damage will be brought in line with all the other pets of their family type.

Filed under: Hunter, Leveling, Wrath of the Lich King

A vision of pets with armor

The image you see on the right is not an actual pet in the game. Originally highlighted on Mania's Arcania as a possible mystery pet somewhere in Darkshore, it turns out that some player just switched around some of the files on his computer and replaced this pet's normal skin with the night elf armored mount's skin. We certainly don't suggest you try skin-swapping at home -- it's against Blizzard's Terms of Service. Nonetheless, the image brings to mind the hopes and dreams of hunters everywhere, that their pets could someday have armor of their own.

It would be a lot of work for Blizzard to adapt even one piece of armor to fit all the different pet models in the game, but surely just a few different armor pieces would suffice to start with. If even one armor slot were implemented for pets, it would be a way for hunters to further adapt and scale their pets to varying situations, and of course visually it would help set epic pets apart from regular ho-hum pets. Of course, there should be a way to hide this armor, too, in case Blizzard got carried away with some sort of ugly design.

In addition, hunters might not be the only ones to benefit from this sort of effort: if such armor could be adapted for pets, perhaps something similar could work out for druids in feral forms as well. Blizzard has given no sign that they intend to make this sort of change, but who knows? Perhaps they'll even go crazy and adapt some of the humanoid armor for demon pets too! It never hurts to dream...

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Warlock

Choosing your first pet

Another new service provided by Mania's Arcania is a series of in-depth articles about how to choose your first pet when you're just starting out leveling your hunter for the first time. She covers the starting zones for each race, and highlights the pros and cons of all the best pet choices in each zone. So far she's covered the orcish, night-elven, and tauren starting areas, and more are sure to come.

If anyone is starting out with a hunter character for the first time, her guide is the best I've seen on this topic, especially if you really care about the details. Most beginning hunters just choose what seems nice to them at the moment, of course, (or whatever their friends recommend to them), but it's nice to have a special recourse for those who like to do all the right research and make such choices wisely.

Filed under: Hunter, Leveling, Guides

Hunter levels 1-10 improved

Mania's Arcania is at it again! She's leveling a new character, and -- surprise -- it's a hunter! Hunter characters are like those nifty potato chips: you can't just have one.

Anyway, she's made an interesting discovery this time about: The removal of the hunter deadzone has made the first 10 levels before a hunter can get his or her pet a much more tolerable, if not... dare I say it?... enjoyable experience! You no longer have to spend so much time meleeing, and you actually get to use a lot of your new abilities (such as Arcane Shot at level 6) more than once.

Previously those first 10 levels were so bad that I dreaded starting a new hunter character, and summoned up lots of patience just to get through them to the juicy fun part once the pet enters the scene. But now starting a new hunter should be a lot nicer.

Filed under: Hunter, Leveling

Name that pet

Picking a pet's name is always one of the decisions I like best in WoW. It's creative and interesting, and if done right, it can bring lots of smiles to you and your friends. Naming your own character is also fun of course, but even in light of the name-changing feature, it still feels so permanent to me. With your pets, you can name more than one, and there's always the possibility that in the future you'll get to find some new and incredibly awesome pet and get to think of a name for that one too. Excellent pet namers even have special synergy between their hunter and pet names -- a creative feat which is at once challenging and simple.

Mania's Arcania has an interesting little feature: in addition to all her other hunter and pet information, she's started a sort of "contest" called "Name That Pet," where hunters can submit pics of their pets for public inspection, and we all get to help them think of names for them. The latest pet in the series presents an great opportunity for hunter-pet name synergy: an owl tamed by the tauren Hawkspirit. In her blog, Hawkspirit's player shows how her owl finally reached 70, but still doesn't have a name, and Mania is here to help her out.

If you're interested in pet names, check it out and apply your naming genus.

Filed under: Hunter

Hunter pet experience progress

Mania is probably the leading expert on hunter pets -- she runs Petopia, as well as a blog devoted mostly to hunter issues with a specialty in pets. We've reported some other great research from Mania's Arcania in the past, including how long it takes pets to gain loyalty. Now, in response to the leveling speed increases coming in Patch 2.3, she's laid out pretty clearly how pet experience works. Based on some PTR research, she says:
  • Pets still require 25% of the experience that a player would at the same level. Players now require less experience to level between levels 20 and 60, and so our pets also require less experience during those levels.
  • Pets still do not get any share of the experience when their owner completes a quest. (I didn't expect they would, but it was worth checking.)
  • As on live, pets do not get experience when they kill something that is grey to the hunter.
  • The experience that pets get per kill does not appear to have changed.
Generally there are no big changes to pet experience in patch 2.3, except that players will be gaining more experience from quests between levels 20 and 60, and of course pets won't be getting any of that. It's too soon to say if this means hunters will start outleveling their pets during those levels or not, but it could be an issue in the future.

Mania has also discovered some interesting details about the relationship between the pet's level and your own level when it is gaining experience. If you're a hunter leveling a lower-level pet, head on over to her post and check it out.

Filed under: Hunter, Leveling

Details on the new minimap tracking system

In addition to letting us know about the new hunter pets in Patch 2.3, Mania's Arcania (of Petopia fame) has also written up a pretty detailed explanation of how the new minimap tracking system works, with helpful screenshots and everything. We've mentioned this before, but now here are some of the new details she has uncovered for us:
  • The "!" and "?" quest-giver symbols now show up on the minimap very clearly.
  • Clicking on the new magnifying glass button gives you a list of all the different things you can track, including existing tracking abilities, as well as places to repair, buy ammo, aucions, banks, and so on.
  • Flight Masters you haven't met yet will always show up, whether you are tracking them or not.
  • Quest-givers' "!" symbols disappear from the minimap if their quest is too low-level for you (which is too bad if you are going back for more reputation).
  • For hunters: the various creature-tracking abilities now distinguish between neutral and hostile mobs, via yellow and red dots, respectively.
  • Special tracking-assistant addons like Gazmik Fizzwidget's famous TrackMenu may no longer be needed.

Filed under: Hunter, Odds and ends, Quests

Time requirements for Hunter pet loyalty gain

Even more news about pet loyalty from Mania for Hunters everywhere. She's been sitting with a stopwatch and a pen and paper and figuring out exactly how long it takes to become Best Friends with that Ravager you just tamed, and the results (so far) are above.

Basically, to gain a loyalty level, your pet needs to, no matter what, gain at least 5% of the XP you, the Hunter, needs for your next level. This is required even if your pet is your level (which means they aren't actually gaining the XP). But there's also a time component on every loyalty level past Unruly. For example, to get to level 4 from level 5, you not only need the experience gain, but an hour must pass. This, as Mania says, is why sometimes your pet will ding loyalty while you're standing around in town-- you've gained the experience, but the time has to pass as well.

She's not done yet-- she needs (or someone with some time on their hands could do it as well-- Mania's going through a move lately) to check out if the experience stays the same all the way to 70, or if it increases at the higher levels. She also didn't try this keeping the pet anything other than happy, so the numbers may change if the pet isn't at full happiness. And she didn't explore, at all, what happens when the pet loses loyalty-- if your pet has dropped a level of loyalty, it may be a completely different formula to regain it.

But great work so far, and this is more than enough to give any Hunter a clear idea of how loyalty works in most cases.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Fan stuff, Guides

Petopia drops more updates

Mania's posted a ton of updates for Petopia-- and all done while planning a cross-country move! Doesn't this girl ever sleep?

Lots of untameable pets have been added (which you can see by the strikethrough on them), and pet family damage, armor, and health modifiers have returned. There's a new Tips and Tricks section that's got a few good guides in it already, and the pet skill calculators have also been supplemented and updated.

Petopia is just an amazing resource for Hunters (in fact, I can't think of nearly any class-specific resource that's so useful-- when is someone going to start up a "Totemtopia" for Shamans?), and Mania's great work on it just keeps making it better and better.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends

The hidden formula behind pet loyalty

Mania's Arcania continues its look at pet loyalty and the mechanics of how it works. Last time, she found that tamed pets would stick around for 30 minutes no matter what you do, and this time around she went the other way-- up to loyalty level two, Unruly.

Basically, using a newly tamed pet, a stopwatch, and a notepad, she determined that in order for a pet to go from loyalty level 1 (Rebellious) to level 2 (Unruly), the pet needs to gain 5% of the experience the Hunter needs for his next level. So a level 11 hunter needs 8800 experience to get to 12, which means a pet (of any level and family) needs to kill for 440 XP (5% of 8800) to go up a loyalty level with that Hunter.

Interesting. And the formula apparently works even when the pet isn't actually earning experience (ie when your pet is the same level as you are). However (and this is a big however), time is also playing a factor, and Mania's not exactly how it does-- she let her pet sit happy for a few hours, and then on the very next kill, the loyalty level went up. So it seems to be some combo of experience earned together and time (where more experience or more time can replace the other if necessary), but the exact numbers aren't there yet.

At any rate, good stuff, and Mania is being really thorough with it. If you're a Hunter who changes pets often, it's worth a read.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Odds and ends, Leveling

PTR Notes: Dashing raptors

The always interesting Mania's Arcania has more great news for Hunters from the PTR blog. Apparently in 2.2 (and right now on the PTR), Raptor family pets will be able to learn the Dash ability. Previously, I believe, Dash was primarily available from the cats in STV (Bhag'thera, the elite panther down there, gave Dash rank 2). But now Raptors are getting in on the speedy fun, too.

Now, Raptors can already learn to both Bite and Claw (they can Growl and Cower, too, but those are the standard pet abilities that every pet has), so you might think a third ability would make them a little OP. But it turns out Raptors have been getting the short end of the stick for a while-- Cats can do all those things and Prowl, and Boars even get an extra Charge ability. Heck, even Tallstriders can Dash, so a Raptor doing it is no problem.

Bears, it seems, are stuck with the short of the stick, as they only have the Bite and Claw. But Bears get extra HP and Armor, plus a lumbering bear isn't exactly sprightly, so Bear-owning Hunters don't have much to complain about. If you're a Raptor kind of Hunter, make sure to stop by the pet trainer after 2.2, because your pet, clever girl, has picked up a new skill.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

Petopia hosts a Pet Skill Calculator

Mania's Arcania (the official Petopia blog) points out their new Pet Skill Calculator, hosted by Petopia and put together by Draketh of EU Moonglade. Basically, it's more or less an easy way to simply show off your pet's build-- you start with 350 skill points (what you'd have with a level 70 pet and maximum loyalty), and then you can just throw those points into all the different abilities available to your pet's family.

So for showing off your pet's build, it works just fine-- there's even a real simple "Link to Build" button that's perfect for inserting into a forum post or signature. But personally, I'd like to see a little more output-- at the very least, the calculator could show off your pet's resistances (yes, I know they're on the tooltips of the skills, but it wouldn't be hard to show an at-a-glance visual output of your choices). And I haven't had a 70 hunter (I leave the heavy hunter lifting to BRK), but aren't pet stats standardized by pet family at 70? Draketh would probably have to add in some Hunter talent toggles, but wouldn't it be possible to actually show, via Hunter and pet talents, your Pet's standard DPS and armor. Maybe that's a little tough to calculate, but I'd like to see it if possible.

Still, if you've been looking for a way to show off your pet's build (or get advice on it from other Hunters), this calculator is a great tool.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Talents

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