Tag Archives: 5.3

Beyond 5.3

First of all, pet PVP isn’t that bad. I’m not sure why I was hesitant to get into it from a ‘I’m gonna lose so muchhh’ perspective. Even though, let’s be real, I started off losing pretty frequently. Now I’ve leveled off to winning roughly 4 out of 5.


The issue now is that there isn’t a ton of reward for it. Yeah, cute little direhorn. And right now I’m getting exactly 1K XP per battle I win at level 17, so that’s additional incentive. But other than watching my win totals go up (which right now that’s bugged and I’m not properly being awarded achievements or wins for my weekly quest, so that may have something to do with my disenchantment here), and that weekly quest, there isn’t any way to progress. I keep getting these cruddy green upgrade stones and that’s about it. Because of how long the battles take, dozens and dozens of turns, that 1K XP is just barely beating out grinding lowbie squirrels. Throw a loss or two into the mix, a longer queue time, and it completely tanks my XP per hour.

If this is your first time PVPing, I’d encourage you to just keep at it. I know I still have a lot to learn. I mean, if you’re raiding you don’t say “well, Kel’Thuzad did this thing I haven’t seen up to this point, I guess I should just give up.” Same goes for lil KT. Don’t give up! Pretty much the whole time I’m doing pvp, I like to keep this song in mind (no really).

If your team combo doesn’t seem to be working, try a new one. My composition right now is my Wild Golden Hatchling with Call Lightning and Cyclone, my Clockwork Gnome with his turret, and my Scourged Whelpling with Plagued Blood.


I make a lot of swaps, and if I come up against another heavy DoT team or a team with a pet that has a shell shield ability I could be in trouble. But for now, it’s working out pretty well for me. PVP has a steep learning curve, because you need to know your pets’ abilities to the utmost, but you also need to learn everyone else’s pets’ abilities, frequently on the fly. I’m pretty sure part of the reason I’m having success here is because the Wild Golden Hatchling isn’t common for pvp, so people aren’t too familiar with what it can do.

I feel sad for some of the people I’ve been fighting, too. That isn’t meant to be a brag or elitist comment. I’ve beaten people with green quality pets, clearly just standing on their wobbly pet battle legs for the first time like baby fawns. It makes me almost wish I could find these people afterward, to tell them they’re just not going to win with a team made up of an un-upgraded Wolvar Pup, a snake and a breed 13 rabbit. And of course, there are also the maddening tri-teams of triple speed rabbits, or triple Kun-Lai Runts, all named in such a way that make it obvious the player is just there to troll for lulz, so clearly being able to contact opponents isn’t a good idea in general. I just want to give some of those poor little tamers a hug and tell them to not give up.


But those are both few & far between, and it’s mostly the close wins, or even if I lose by a huge bit, learning a new pet, that makes it fun. I’ll definitely continue to do this for the leveling challenge, because it makes it a lot more tolerable to alternate grinding & pvp. Were it not for this silly leveling challenge I’d get my 10 wins on the week and go do PVE until next week. I’m not asking for a currency-like mechanic like player PVP, though that’s how PVP avoids the same feeling of character stagnation. I’m not sure how you’d fix it, honestly. But, it’s so time-consuming I need a carrot other than ‘fun’.


Speaking of carrots and wasting time, no I haven’t gotten a Val’kyr yet. I tried for about an hour in Grizzly Hills, then went to go poke around in Zul’Drak for a minute. When I came back, it was obvious that I was no longer in the same CRZed Grizzly Hills as before. With the small number of spawn points, until we know more about how taming changes the spawn I can’t see devoting more time to this in the short term.

I’m 1/10 for Raiding With Leashes 2 pets (got the waveling). Later today I plan to farm some bones and maybe a baby direhorn, plus LFR for maybe pets.


The Beasts of Fable are a lot harder, which is fun, and no I’m not being sarcastic for once. I felt since 5.2 that they were too easy to be the ‘epic challenge’ they were presented to be. As epic as flying around for an hour is, lol no. Apocalypse still functions properly, and Life Exchange does the correct amount of damage, though overall this is less damage, because the Beasts Of Fable’s life pool is relatively smaller. However, the Beasts hit much, much harder, and roaches and faerie dragons seem to be made out of wet paper, so using both is a no-go now. I’ve been using the Roach, plus 2 others based on the pet’s family type (eg, for Gorespine I used my Pandaren Dragonling and Darkmoon Zeppelin). For the pets that heal, I’ve been using my Gilnean Raven equipped with Darkness, though there are better choices. You have to have something to cut that healing though, because otherwise it’s just silly.


As to the Barrens stuff and story, I was really hoping that Alliance would get the kickass, “no sleep til Orgrimmar!” moment. I’d actually avoided the spoilers about it, because as soon as I read that line, I knew we were in for something really epic. Instead I got to tool around in a mechanical cat. I haven’t done anything in the Barrens since handing in my initial 15 resources, even though Gahz’rooki is on the line, because I’m really annoyed with this. I know that at this point this is the Horde’s story, but this feels slapped together.


And just a tiny bit insulting.

Kun-Lai Runt

With 5.3 coming, I figured it was a good idea to start profiling some of the better PVP pets. Max level pet PVP is going to see a lot of action very soon, so you can tame this guy to help you succeed.


The preferred breed for the Kun-Lai Runt is 4, or P/P. Right now, but getting fixed with 5.3, his stun Deep Freeze is broken in your favor. It ignores the resilience buff and stuns anyway. Even without benefit of a bug, that stun plus his humanoid ability Takedown, which hits for over 300 damage, and twice if a pet is stunned, are crazy, crazy deadly.

Before 5.2 you had to team him with a pet with a chill like Blizzard, because the runt’s Frost Shock was broken and didn’t apply a chill effect. This can still be a beneficial synergy, as you can then sub out Mangle for the low-ish damage Frost Shock and not have to worry about your opponent swapping pets in the round after you frost shock. Watch out though, because if your opponent has a Runt in their lineup as well (and they will) Blizzard also buffs theirs.


My Blizzarding pet of choice to pair with my runt, Hyde, was a Winter’s Little Helper named Jekyll (I mean, obviously). This is still also good synergy because she has her own delayed stun in the form of Ice Tomb. Double stuns to complement an awesome ability which hits twice when your opponent is stunned? I don’t think I need to spell this out here.

Another good, possibly better, choice for Blizzard synergy is the Tiny Snowman, which has an AOE attack and is elemental. This gives you protection against counters, since both Jekyll and Hyde are humanoids. Better than that, because Elementals aren’t affected by weather effects, opposing Runts won’t be able to use your own Blizzard as a chill effect against you.


If you come up against the Runt in PVP, and you’re going to come up against the Runt in PVP, your best counter is to use a pet with a lot of Undead attacks and hopefully some healing over time spells (so you get heals while you’re stunned, or in the back row). A Restless Shadeling, Ghostly Skull or Giant Bone Spider are popular picks. The Scourged Whelpling is another choice I’ve seen a bit of, but I haven’t had much success with him as a counter.

In PVE he can also pack quite a punch. He’s a good pick to beat that jerk in the Dragonblight, Okrut Dragonwaste.

He’s not all killing machine, though. Sometimes, he just wants to quietly sit and contemplate the fleeting beauty of the wildflower.


As the wildflower begins to die the moment it is picked, so does he, because if he’s picked we’re going to go PVP. Nice knowing you, Hyde.

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*