Category Archives: Pets

Ask Colemand: Twitter Edition 1

And now, your host... Colemand!

And now, your host... Colemand!

Hello.

Many people have been wondering what I’ve been up too, in addition to the many questions I’ve been getting.  It seems like you all care for me in some stupid, sputtery kind of way.

Okay, I’m sorry for lying.  No one has asked how I’m doing.  Or what’s up.  No one has even asked how are the imaginary wife and kids! I’m beginning to think that no one values the opinion of a dead, old, sarcastic, snarky, annoyed, badgering, weathered, more than weathered, and did I mention annoyed? dead guy.

In other words, no one wants to ask a dead guy anything.  Well you know what? I am going to try to force all of you to do it.  See, if you don’t email me at slowwolfblog(AT)gmail(DOT)com, putting ASK COLEMAND in the subject line, then I will demand everyone who follows me on Twitter to ask me questions.

Here goes our first trial of the Ask Colemand: Twitter Edition!

Colemand, how can you tank? You’re bones! How do you manage to stay together during fights?

Ah? So you’ve heard I’m now a “tank”, which is slang for “pinata for piss heads”.

For one, my bones aren’t actually that brittle.  See, I drink milk.  Loads of it, every day.  It’s good for you, thanks to all the calcium in it! Plus, it tastes delicious, especially when cold.  Which isn’t hard to do, seeing as I have a mastery of cold.

Calcium alone doesn’t cut it though.  You need to have a great deal of armor, thick armor, armor that knows how to be beat on.  If you don’t have good armor, you’re paste.

Lastly, you could always accept the first and most respected tenet of the Pirate Code; make strategic withdrawals.

How’s Mikey, your pet cockroach? I haven’t heard about him in awhile.

Mikey’s good.  He’s a lot bigger, and I’ve taught him to sleep somewhere else other than my stomach!

He is also eating a lot more.  His diet now include: berries, plants, fruit, small woodland animals, large woodland animals, gnomes, humans, night elves, fruit trees, fruit farmers, orchards, buildings, and small cities.

With restraint, of course.  He shouldn’t eat too much, or his itty bitty stomach would start to have a tummy ache.

Isn’t that right, Mikey?

*clickety*

He’s adorable isn’t he?

Why do you love cooking so much?

Good thing you didn’t ask where it came from.  That’s a long bloody story.

I love cooking for two reasons: first, I have a gift.  I am undead, yet I have a perfect nose and a pristine tongue.  That can only mean that I must use these gifts, or it’s a perfectly good waste of my talents, wouldn’t you say?

Second, why wouldn’t I? You all look so delicious, I simply have to try.

Yes, even you there pink skin.  Sitting right there, staring at me.  Who do you think you are?

You’re so tasty
Looking baby
I have to simply give it a try

I look at you
thinking that you
would go well with butter and rye

Oooh, you’re a meal to me
I mean so real to me
I think that you and I should
go out and I should
Get cooking, Um, hooking up with you
Sometime.


You’re face, so tender,
You’re hands, so slender
You’d look really tasty stir-fried

You might as well be
A gorgeous pastry
Topped off with a bit of parsley

Oooh, you’re a meal to me
I mean so real to me
I think that you and I should
go out and I should
Get cooking, Um, hooking up with you
Sometime.

You better believe you're cookable, baby.

You better believe you're cookable, umm, lovable baby!

What do you think? Made that up myself.  I think I could be a star.

That concludes this edition of Ask Colemand.  If more than one person could please ask questions next time, I’d be much appreciative.

Under The Gun: Tier 1

Teir 1!

Tier 1!

*dust*

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an Under the Gun post, and I’ve decided it’s needing a revamp.  It needs a new flair and a new breath of fresh air.

The talents I will dissect through these posts are going to be analyzed by tier from here on out.  Doing a specific analysis on talents like I have done in the past has been a little annoying to do, and it has been hard to write about other talents like that because it’s so incredibly obvious what their function is!

Secondly, there are more than enough talent analyzes for Marksmen and Survivalists out there, but almost none for Beastmasters! I figure that we Beastmasters need to get in on this, so let’s get this show rolling shall we?

Today, we’re going to analyze the first tier of the Beastmaster tree, which is one of the simplest to explain tiers of talents in this game.

TIER 1Tier 1 BM

Improved Aspect of the Hawk Improved Aspect of the Hawk.
5 ranks.

Your normal ranged attacks have a 10% chance to increase your attack speed by 3/6/9/12/15% for 12 seconds.

At first glance, this talent seems to be good in every situation: but it’s not when you think about it.  The tooltip for this talent is a bit sneaky, for starters.  Can you guess where?

It’s right here: your normal ranged attacks.  What does that mean? It means this talent only works off of your Auto-shot attacks, rather than your more interesting shots like Arcane shot or Explosive shot.  This defines this ability, and gives it a very narrow area in which to be useful.

With this knowledge, it’s obvious to determine that this talent is, in fact, PvE based.  In PvE, you have plenty of opportunity to use and abuse your Auto-shot.  By standing still, you shoot auto-shots and do extra damage.  The key part here is that you are able to stand still in PvE from time to time, allowing for a better chance to use this powerful ability.

For PvP however, this talent is junk.  Improved Aspect of the Hawk only has a 10% chance to procure itself(A.K.A “proc”) and you get a lot of time to get that to happen in a 5-15 minute long bossfight.  In PvP, your chances of getting this ability to work are incredibly low because you are moving around so much.  By moving at all, you reduce the effectiveness of the talent by a great deal, and that’s not using your talent points effectively.  Actually, it’s a waste to use this talent in PvP.

The other reason you wouldn’t want this in a PvP area is because of the Random Number Generator(RNG).  In PvP, you generally want to have a constant(or at least reliable) source of burst damage(A short period of extreme damage, usually caused by a great deal of critical hits).  Although this talent does provide a slight amount of burst, it’s a 10% chance that this works.  That’s nowhere near reliable or constant! In fact, that’s downright out of the ballpark of “handy” and flying to “wonky” at all due speed.

If you’re standing still, this talent can increase your DPS by a good margin.  Your auto-shots are always shooting, so a 10% chance is bound to happen.  In addition, your attack speed is so greatly increased during this time that it would be silly not to take this talent for PvE purposes.

For PvP however, this talent is damn near useless.  It’s unpredictable, relies on you standing still(Which you should most definitely not be!) and doesn’t give enough real “burst” damage.  I humbly submit that this is the PvE talent of the tier.

Like a good coin, however, this tier has 2 opposite sides!

Endurance Training Endurance Training
5 ranks

Increases the health of your pet by 2/4/6/8/10% and your total health by 1/2/3/4/5%.

As mentioned earlier, tier 1 of the Beastmastery Tree is much like a coin: there are two sides, and they are opposite, a heads and a tails.  Endurance Training is the heads to Improved Aspect of the Hawk’s tails, and that’s true in every sense.

First, lets examine this from a PvE perspective.  Health is nice in every environment, but it’s not necessary in PvE.  Our job as DPS is not only to deal damage, but to take as little of it as possible to help our healers do their job.  If everyone is doing their respective jobs and you die as DPS, it’s your fault.  A lot of damage can be avoided, if not all of it.

Health, as a result, is not really needed.  We get enough health from equiping our gear.  Past that, all health in PvE is extra.

That’s why this talent doesn’t do well in PvE; in fact, it’s useless.  PvE talents do one of two things: do damage, or utility.  Endurance Training does no extra damage, and provides no extra buffs to help the raid/party.  Ergo, not good for PvE.

For PvP, however, this talent is necessary.  In PvP, the priorities for talents are different: survival and damage(preferably burst damage).  Endurance training does survival, and it does it well; not just for you, but your fluffy companion as well! Since your pet as a beastmaster is of the utmost importance, having this talent for PvP greatly reduces the chance that your pet will be killed if you’re careful(about 3 000 health points without WIld Hunt, much much more with WIld Hunt!), while also helping you not to die in 5 seconds.  Having this talent generally can add 2 000 health points with the right gear, and being a Tauren grants you a little bit more.

For the sake of importance and of clarity, the extra health of your pet doesn’t do well in PvE.  If your pet dies, it’s your fault.

For those who are really lazy…
TL;DR: Improved Aspect of the Hawk is the PvE talent of the tier, Endurance training is the PvP talent of the tier.

/flourish

Surprise Bananas!

He's baaaack!

He's baaaack!

Hot on the heels of the Creature Feature: Gorilla post I made, I’m making an announcement.

I’ve tamed a gorilla and I liked it.

Yes, the pet with an interrupt most people would say sucks, is now in my employ.  I have decided to name him Diddy until I tame a more permanent pet(Diddy is only accompanying me until I find Loque’nahak).

I play on a PvP server and I have had the opportunity of seeing a Gorilla in action while hunting Loque in many Solo and PvP situations.

First, for the reasons that all tenacity pets are good tanks, gorillas still do have thunderstomp contrary to some opinions.  He can still AoE tank with the rest of them, and do a good job.  They aren’t called Gorilladins for nothing!

In addition, Pummel is a neat tool against caster mobs.  They try casting anything and that Gorilla is all over them like a cheap suit.  Heals? None.  Shadow Bolt? Forget it.  This is particularly helpful against creatures and monsters who have a big nasty spell and you can interupt it.  Just a smack on the noggin and your good!

Now, for PvP.  I would argue that a gorilla is an incredibly effective means of interupting spells and allowing for a killing blow.  Unlike Cunning pets(who have been touted to have better interupts!) Gorillas have Charge.  Charge does do a mini stun for a brief amount of time, which does interupt spells! Timed properly, Charge is a stun/interupt you can use at will.  Seeing as the Gorilla is the only Tenacity pet with and interrupt(in the form of Pummel!), this has a certain weight to those who wish to use a tenacity pet in PvP.

Pummel is a great little tool! Unlike some other abilities that do extra damage on the attack, Pummel is only on a 30 second cooldown(21 if you’re a Beastmaster, which is in comparison to 40 seconds for most of the other pet abilities and 1 minute for Sonic blast on the bats!) and can be used more often, which is important.  Yes it is a melee ability, but between Boar’s Speed and Charge, your Gorilla will be in melee whenever you want him to be, making the range some other abilities you can use be a bit of a moot point.

Personally, I find the Gorilla to be incredibly powerful when facing casters, and this pet would be particularly strong with a Non-beastmaster to take advantage of the lower cooldown.  Imagine this: a marksmanship hunter in PvP.  He has a gorilla.  He knocks a caster down to half Hp.  In an effort to save himself, the caster begins casting a spell.  The MM hunter uses Silencing shot.  The caster panics, uses some cooldowns, and then tries again after 3 seconds.  Gorilla uses Charge.  The caster tries once more.  Pummel.

At this point, the hunter has probably thoroughly destroyed the caster.

So remember kids: Gorillas.  Don’t mess with them, unless you gave the bananas to kill it, and even if you do, good luck trying.

Creature Feature: Gorilla

He's preparing a knuckle sandwich!

He's preparing a knuckle sandwich!

Gorillas are one of the most well known and now least understood pets in the game.  They were before their time, having had the ability to use AoE threat; however, it was limited in size and scope due to the 1 minute cooldown on thunderstomp and the lack of additional threat.

When the Echoes of Doom patch came out, Gorillas were at the forefront.  Having overtaken and unseated the previous tanking kings(boars!) they now stood high and proud with their 10 second cooldown thunderstomp.  AoE tanking and the Gorilladin were born.

Gorillas may not be as used anymore, but they are still a force to be reckoned with.  When you have the power to smash your way through any problem, there’s no need for a plan other than tank and spank!

GENERAL STATS
Gorillas are a tenacity pet beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Their thick arms and corded muscle are more than strong enough to withstand the blows of anything in its way.  They are more than capable of tanking a 5 man instance(among other things!) but only if the gorilla is talented properly.  As of patch 3.1, pets of all kinds share the same 5% bonus to all stats, and an incorrectly talented tenacity pet is more than capable of being outanked by a ferocity pet.

The focus dump skill for Gorillas is Smack, and their special move is Pummel.

Gorillas in WoW have 7 different skins, 5 of which are tamable.  Although not as sizable a list as say, cats, gorillas still have some variety in terms of which ones you can get; so long as you don’t mind how they are built.  All gorillas share the same physical build, so if you think that gorillas are too broad/big/furry/silly, then you’re out of luck.

Gorillas are a very peaceful animal, and their diet reflects this.  They don’t eat meat or anything like that, but they will eat fruit, bread, and fungus without a fuss.  Of course, this means they like bananas.

Gorillas are the figurehead of AoE tanking, and are the closest you can get to taming a humanoid.  In fact, I never skin gorillas as I find they are too close to being human for my tastes.

Gorillas in real life are a passive species which only attack if aggravated or if they feel threatened.  They live in colonies with one Alpha male called a Silverback; they are called this due to the colour of their fur changing from black to a whitish grey.  It is still recommended to not get too close to one since they have the strength to snap grown men in half.

Gorillas are tamable by all hunters.

ABILITIES
Pummel: bonks the target on the head, causing them to lose concentration and lose the spell.  They can’t remember how to cast from that school of spells for a couple of seconds afterwards.

The facts are these: pummel interupts the spell being cast, pummel stops the target from using spells of that kind for 2 seconds, pummel does no damage, and pummel is on a moderate cooldown.

Happily, there’s no math for this ability other than being able to count to two, because two is the number of seconds that pummel affects the target.  Not being able to do damage should be the most bothersome thing about this ability, as the rest is all good news.

Pummel is particularly effective against healers or in PvE encounters where interupts are crucial(Which are few and far between).  When used on a healer casting a healing spell, it will interupt the spell being cast; since the majority or classes use one school of magic for their healing spells, pummel effectively stops healers from healing themselves for another 2 seconds which give you more than enough time to slaughter them.  If your opponent is casting a crucial spell like Haunt or Cyclone, Pummel effectively stops that as well.  The uses of pummel are many, and a creative mind can come up with any number of uses for it.

The thing is that you can’t use pummel on everything, because that’s the rogue’s job.  You have to use pummel at the most opportune time in order for it to be effective, rather than using it all over the place.  If you interupt a Shaman casting Lava Burst only to have your kill foiled by a Healing Wave, you have no one to blame but yourself for your charred corpse.

What I mean is that Pummel is on a 30 second cooldown period.  If you use it on a Hunter’s steady shot, then you have to wait another 30 seconds(or 21 if you’re a beastmaster!) before you can use it again, and I can guarantee that you’re going to need again during that period of time.

Happily, the cooldown isn’t as restricting as some other pet abilities you can find around the area, and you can use Pummel on whatever you find is necessary(keyword being necessary!) in order to win.  If you use it on an affliction warlock casting Immolate, that’s wrong.  If you use it on an affliction warlock casting Haunt, you’re doing it right.  If you’re using it on a paladin casting any heal, you’re doing it right.  If you’re using it when he’s… I don’t know, casting his hearthstone, that’s probably wrong, btu still funny.

Unfortunately for PvE, the lack of damage on this ability, the lack of interrupts needed from you, and the semi-restrictive cooldown make this ability suck for Heroics and raids.  Most big spells can’t be interrupted anyway.

This is a PvP ability, all the way.  This thing oozes of PvP utility and reeks of PvE uselessness just because of the lack of times to be able to use it.

ENVIRONMENT
Gorillas are durable and tough creatures, while still being quick, agile, and intelligent enough to outwit and destroy some of the “upper” races of Azeroth.

Gorillas are, like all tenacity pets, very good for soloing.  Thanks to a baseline Thunderstomp, Gorillas can easily hold aggro on 5-6 equal level monsters for as long as it takes to kill them all.  In addition to their thick armor and high HP, gorillas have access to a variety of talents designed to make them more durable and more easily kept alive.  This allows intelligent hunters to Solo most monsters in the world, with very few exceptions.  In addition, Pummel allows a smart hunter to utterly destroy some world monsters that rely on their spells to destroy players.

Gorillas also enjoy battling in battlegrounds, where their strengths are made very apparent.  Their durable exterior allows them to survive when most pets wouldn’t, and they can still dish out a pretty decent amount of damage.  In addition, they have access to many very useful PvP abilities which help reduce incoming damage to the hunter.  Lastly, Pummel allows a skileld hunter to stop healers from healing important people in a fight, which can lead to a victory instead of a loss in a clutch match.

Arenas are the same story, but with smaller, more important numbers.  One interupted heal can be the end of a healer, and a win for your team.  Although they don’t have the ability to hold people in place or slow them down, and interupt is just as, if not more important than those types of abilities as it can mean the end for your kill target, and a much easier match.

KLINDERAS’ THOUGHTS
Gorillas are like Orcs: big, brutish, but useful.

I have recently had the joy of working with a Gorilla while on my search for a Spirit Beast, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  He can destroy monsters I would otherwise have trouble with, and when an Alliance member comes to kill me, the Gorilla does a very good job of not only keeping me alive, but keeping my opponents out cold.

They’re also incredibly gentle.  The Gorilla I have been working with has a particular fondness for finding and playing with flowers.  He also frequently picks them for me, presenting them to em with a big goofy grin.

His rage, however, speaks volumes of what he truly is.  He has smashed apart and entire ridge of Undead without a moments notice, only to exit unscathed.  It’s a wonder that the Scourge haven’t already been defeated when there are animals like this in the world.

COLEMAND’S THOUGHTS
This is how it’s done.

Skoll Lightning!

Skoll

Drawn by MissMonster of Deviant art! Click for link.

I have an announcement to make.

I’m going to be hunting more than one spirit beast it seems.

There is a new spirit beast on the PTR! This is the 3rd spirit beast, which continues the tradition of 1 new spirit beast per big patch, and this is no exception.

Actually, there is one very big exception to this particular spirit beast: he’s a wolf.
skollwowI nearly died of shock when I saw this.  Apparently, he has electricity crawling all over him and his light blue fur glows with the crackle of power.  The picture does no justice to all these cool effects, so I order all of you to go drool over this video right now! Skoll in Video

He’s named after a character from Norse mythology: Skoll, the moonchaser.  Skoll chased the moon across the sky in an effort to catch up with her and eat her.  His counterpart, Hati, chased the sun for the same purpose.  On the day of Ragnarok, the end of times, Skoll and Hati would succeed in their ravenous quest and feast on the sun and the moon.

Skoll, the spirit beast, matches his namesake in almost every way.  His lightning fur matches the electricity that was wielded by Thor and other gods, so is a powerful symbol of his Norse heritage.  His fur is blue, the colour of the night he chases under.  His attack is a Moonstrike graphic, the last tie to his Norse namesake.

I, for one, am going to be camping this guy the instant the patch releases and I won’t stop until he is mine.

Loque will have to wait if I don’t have him by then, as I have bigger wolves to catch!

Special thanks to Tigerfeet for pointing out to whom the artwork belongs to(MissMonster’s portrait of Skoll is amazing, is it not? She drew a version for Hati as well!), to Mania for the screenshot of Skoll, and to zub for finding the video of Skoll in-game!

Loque’Nahak Check List

WTB Spyglass

WTB Spyglass

The hunt for Loque’nahak is in full swing.

So far I have had no luck; even with no one looking for the beast right now it seems Loque is reclusive.

After hunting him for the little amount that I have, I realized there are some really good things to keep in mind if you want to hunt(if not now then later!) this shy but wicked awesome looking beast, and not only this beast but every rare-spawn creature you have ever wanted to tame.

1.  Don’t quest in the area unless you’re a high enough level to catch that beast.
I am really happy I didn’t quest in Sholozar Basin on my way to 80.  If I had gotten there at level 74-75 like some people plan on doing, I would have definitely found Loque and been unable to tame him.

If you ever want to see an angry, frustrated, and thoroughly dejected Klin, that’s one way to do it.

2.  Get an epic flying mount/epic ground mount.
Especially for creatures that can spawn in any of 6+ locations over a large distance, it’s very important to have a fast means of transportation to keep a watchful eye on all of them.  For areas you can use a flying mount, epic flying helps so much that you can use a gathering profession to make money on the side, and still be able to make a complete round of all the spawn points within 5-8 minutes.

Seriously? You’ll be looking a long time without epic flying.

3.  Have a “dummy” pet for just-in-case moments.
Catch and designate a pet for the sole purpose of protecting you while you search.  Especially on a PvP realm, being prepared for a fight at all times is crucial.  Even on a PvE realm, you might get attacked by some errant mobs!

Being ambushed is a lot easier to deal with if you have a pet, so have a pet to protect you… just make sure the pet is disposable, or you’ll be a sad panda when you actually meet with the pet of your dreams and your stuck with another animal.

4.  Be mentally ready to skip out on Heroics, PvP, and many other things(i.e, Don’t give up!)
Some of the harder hunts can typically take days to weeks of camping the same animal with no luck.  Going after these animals tends to really make you show your true colours: can you handle the wait? Do you have the tenacity and the patience to fly in circles endlessly looking for your perfect pet? Those who can’t will drop off quickly; but those who can will eventually find it.  It’s not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when”.  It just takes a lot of time.

So much time, in fact, that I’ve put my Battleground bashing on hold, and only PvE if needed or it’s a raid night(hopfully better luck this week!).  Speaking of which, I would trade my loot karma for a chance to raid with Loque this week, but I’m totally not going to find him.

5.  Research your prey’s spawn points and environtment.
Arguably the most important part of the chase is having the knowledge of where the prey is going to be and what it is going to be surrounded by.

If I didn’t know where Loque spawned, I would be wasting a great deal of time flying around where he would never be.  In addition, it’s nice to know where there are hostile creatures you might be attacked by, whether it’s a strong World PvP zone, what kind of resources are in the area, and whether or not there is a great number of people playing in the area at certain times.

Keep in mind this checklist for all those going out into the world looking for the rare pets in the game! As hunters, we are the only class who goes on ridiculous tests of hunting ability and patience like these for a certain, specific animal.  It is for that that we as a class are unique: you don’t see warriors worrying about their weapons in the same way as we do our pets.  They walk into an instance, kill a boss, and hope like hell they get loot.  We walk around darkshore for hours opening statuettes in the hops of getting a see-through cat.  We hunters spend hours and days and weeks looking for that pet that is just for us, and not necessarily an upgrade.

Rare pets are a test of patience and love for this class; so do yourself a favour and try to catch a rare pet.  It’s an experience no hunter should be without no matter how demoralizing it can be.  Because when you catch that one pet you’ve worked so hard to get, you get one of the best feelings in the world.

Success!

It’s Time I Started Acting Like One

I'm going to need this guy's eyes...

I'm going to need this guy's eyes...

There has been an awful lto of QQ on this blog of late, hasn’t there?

Not to worry, I’m not turning into a mage.

But the fact remains that I really don’t know what to write about sometimes, and QQ is easy to find and write about, so I apologize.

As a compensation to all of you, it’s time I did something new.  I think it’s time I decided to be a real hunter.

Before he quit, BigRedKitty was easily one of the most respected hunters to grace the World of Warcraft.  He also had something I don’t.

Okay, he had lots of things I didn’t, but that’s aside from my point.

BRK managed to capture one of the rarest, most gorgeous pets in existence: the spirit beast.  Loque’nahak is one of the rarest, most difficult to capture pets in the game and it is a matter of great pride for a Beastmaster to get one, and a matter of greater pride still for me as I have never tamed a rare spawn before and what a better way to start than at the top!

You know what?
harkoaThis hunt is on!

(Wish me luck, I need it.)