Patch 5.3 and PTR fun

Since the PTR is finally (FINALLY) on a release build, I figured it was time to finally put out my 5.3 pets guide.


Fun fact: On the PTR, you have no pets or account-wide achievements. Blizzard helpfully supplies you a couple super rare pets you’ll likely never get in-game though, so that’s cool, but it’s a crapshoot as to whether you get any pets you actually use on a regular basis. I got 2 poor quality Tolai Hares. So useful. As fun as it would be to re-form and re-tame and re-level my entire team, and then do all the tamer quests to try everything out? No. If you’re super interested in that, here’s a generic training montage.

Close Enough. But there are still plenty of observations to be made just by looking through achievements, the pet journal, etc. The first I noticed was that all abilities now display a percent chance to hit, which is nice.


By the way, Burrow has an 80% chance to hit. Spoiler alert. They’ve also removed the base 5% chance to miss for all abilities, but they also built in a % chance to miss on some abilities which formerly only had that base chance to miss. Each family has an ability which has a base guarantee to hit, too. The ‘base’ throughout here is to note that things like Blind still cause you an increased chance to miss where applicable. There is a longass list of all the ability changes in the full patch notes.

This is also why, if you’ve noticed, I’ve stopped putting up guides for the past month or so. I have a couple ready to go, but I need to make sure they’re still valid before I put them up. Would be kind of silly to edit them less than a week after I posted them (I’ve been expecting 5.3 to launch ‘next Tuesday’ since I first started this post on April 5th, so).

In other fantastic quality of life news, according to the patch notes, “All Pet Battle daily quests on Pandaria, Beasts of Fable and Spirit Tamer quests will now award experience, valor, and Lesser Charms of Good Fortune.


This may make them my new favorite way to earn… well, everything. They’ve also boosted the Beasts of Fable quest, making the Beasts more difficult (though by what measure I can’t be sure) but the rewards are better. The quest itself is broken up into 3 sections, so you don’t have to spend upwards of a half an hour travelling to do the entire thing every day. ANDPLUSALSO, the bag now has a chance to reward a new item which boosts your XP gain, which is pretty fantastic too (and my main gripe with the BoF quest, whee). ANDDOUBLEPLUSALSO, the Spirit Tamer bags now have a chance to drop upgrade stones, AAAAAND, there’s a new ‘luck’ mechanic where, if you don’t get a stone you get an unseen stacking ‘unlucky’ buff which increases your chance to get one, from both bags and battles.

That’s a lot of alsos.


In 5.3 they start very helpfully marking the tamers on the map now. The paw prints persist even after you complete that particular quest or daily for the day, so you still need your ‘did I do that one yet?’ addon. They also added a new achievement, “The Longest Day” for fighting all the tamers involved in dailies in a single day. All.


I didn’t even begin to attempt this on PTR. The marked stone reward is nice (and BOA!), but it seems like you’re really going to need to have all your strats down for all the tamers beforehand or this is going to take freaking hours, travel time aside. Also note that this is faction-specific… I didn’t have to go fight the Durotar Tamer, though I was in the area.

This time there’s only one new pet to be tamed, the much-anticipated Unborn Valkyr. When I looked at the pet journal, I saw something… disturbing.


“Northrend,” really? I can understand why they wouldn’t want to get more specific on PTR. but it’s like they want me to squander a couple Saturday nights flying around with the windows rolled down drunkenly yelling. But then, that’s nothing new.

Like the psycho I am, I did exactly that. I started by going to the place @mumper took the infamous unborn valkyr teaser shot. I did a whole bunch of random stuff to try and trigger a spawn… jumping off cliffs, getting naked, moonfiring roaches and the like. Then, @mumper was all, HAHA MADE YOU LOOK it’s not even in the game yet! And then I blacked out and when I woke up got on an FBI watchlist somehow. Immediately afterward, the random PTR pet system gave me one.


That’s right. The computer was RUBBING IT IN MY FACE. And this pet is really gorgeous and well-done. Check those transparent wings!

Right now, we know they have a ‘unique’ spawning mechanic. According to Mumper on Twitter, this mechanic is server-side, so you’re not going to find one by killing a bunch of vrykul or something. They are confirmed to spawn in the area around Icecrown Citadel. The current operating theory is that they spawn in the same places as rare mobs (confirmed sightings at Loque’nahak’s spawn point, as per wowhead comments).


There’s a super cute mini-direhorn farmed from mobs on the Isle of Giants, so if you’ve been putting off your spectral porcupette, now’s the time. There’s also a new pet from the Isle of Thunder, farmed from the living piles of filth in the Saurok area. It looks like the piles of living filth. Ugh.


There are also 3 new pets from encounters in Throne of Thunder, so to prepare I’ve been farming the auction house. One is from only LFR Primordius and one is from only normal or heroic Primordius. So, the likelihood that I’ll get both (or really even one) is roughly the same as my character spontaneously becoming an Unborn Valkyr. The 3rd is another baby direhorn which drops from Horridon, because obviously. That one doesn’t specify difficulty level, and has the same look as the others, only more blue/aqua.

There are a few new pets obtained via farming BC-era instances cheekily dubbed ‘Attunement Addition’.


Thanks for the memories, Heroic Slave Pens. I guess.

Karazhan, Tempest Keep and Serpentshrine Cavern are included, not the more grueling to attune to Black Temple or Mount Hyjal. If you collect all 10, it will net you the achievement Raiding With Leashes II and a cute Tito all your own.


I soloed Kara a couple times and didn’t get a single one. It’s worth noting that Lil Bad Wolf’s note says he drops from Big Bad specifically, and I got the Romolo encounter both times. May be coincidence, as a sample size of two is hardly telling, especially combined with the murkiness of whether these pets were even live when I tried farming them.


The other new pet of note comes from aiding Vol’Jin’s rebellion. You complete a couple scenarios and then *events transpire* (wiggly fingers!), and the quartermaster is eventually unlocked. You have to do dailies and turnins for currency, then turn in that currency for pets. It’s kind of like every mid-expansion content we’ve seen thus far, now that I think about it. Huh.

Unlike any content we’ve seen before, Spectator Mode for all pet battles is now live. Sorry, Arena pvpers who’ve been asking for a Spectator Mode since Burning Crusade! Spectator Mode means whenever anyone battles pets out in the world other players can monitor your progress and see whether you’re battling or just standing there like an idiot. This includes cross-faction players on PVP realms, so get ready for the ganking to commence. This also breaks pet battling in stealth, after a fashion… the battle is still played out for all to see, but your character is replaced by a placeholder. They have to hunt around a little to find & gank the ‘real’ you.

Lastly, the one I’m dreading most! There are new pvp achievements.


That’s not the part I’m dreading, but bleh anyway. This is an achievement with several ‘steps’. There is a really adorable new baby dino pet awarded for winning a certain, huge number of specifically level 25 Battle Finder battles.


Yeah, of course the PTR awarded me this one, too. Jerk computer. Additionally there’s a new weekly quest you can complete by winning a lvl 25 pvp battle, too, but I haven’t familiarized myself with that at all.

This is the bit I personally have been prepping for the most in-game. I have a few kun-lai runts, a few dragons and my trusty clockwork gnome ready to go. I get the feeling that these battles are going to be the easiest to do after a week or so of 5.3’s launch, so getting prepped for PVP now is the way to go.

Most of the coolest stuff in this patch is about regular character play. I’d add ‘unfortunately’, but I have a revolution to go foment.


HELLS naw. *cracks knuckles*

8 thoughts on “Patch 5.3 and PTR fun

  1. niktheheratik

    Yeah, that’s something I’ve worried about is the new patch wrecking the guide I’ve been doing. OTOH, I’ve got a work contract that starts next week, so if I don’t do it now, it might not happen for awhile.

    And thanks for the new patch info!

    1. Liopleurodon Post author

      Aw, that’s too bad (good luck on speedy completion!). I have a couple guides ready-ish to go, but I was screenshotting Mo’ruk, the 2nd RNGest of Pandaren fights, and I was like mmm, maybe let’s wait. lol. I hope to start doing walkthrough videos pretty soon here too, but same deal (and also I’m awful at it).

    1. Liopleurodon Post author

      I knowww! It’s looking like it might be a fairly hardcore camp based on current info… and it’s definitely a *camp*, not a maybe camp, but maybe use my patented strategy of ‘waiting until a server reset’. boo.

  2. Cymre

    Great post Lio. A lot of these additions I’m really looking forward to but I’m not a big fan of the PVP battles. I do wish that spectator mode was only available to party mode though.

    1. Liopleurodon Post author

      I think the reason I’m not fond of pvp battles is the rock paper scissors of it all. If you have your totally amazing, cannot lose Rock team and happen to queue up vs a team that’s all Paper, regardless of how awesome you are as a tamer you might as well just forfeit. Then you swap to your Scissors team and come up against Rock after Rock, of course. Also, I feel like a jerk using gimmick teams (3x Kun-Lai Runts, eg) which definitely works to my disadvantage.

      I’m honestly not sure what they were thinking with spectator mode. It really seems like a griefing mechanism, not only from the PVP side, but I can definitely see people sending angry tells to tamers lucky enough to get into a fight with a Valkyr or whatever. Bleh.

      Thanks for the compliment. :)


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