Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

Blizzard Confirms: Core Hound Pup is for Authenticator Owners

corehoundpup
(image from MMO Champion)

So Blizzard confirmed in a blue post on the official forums today that the Core Hound Pup that we’ve seen in a couple of animations and screenshots is actually a gift for any player using an Authenticator to access their account, and those players should be getting them soon. Want one? Pick up an authenticator – it’s not just a ticket to a shiny new Core Hound Pup, but it’s also an excellent way to secure your account.

So what are you waiting for? Go out and get one now!

Discussion: Happy 5th Birthday, World of Warcraft!

onxyian_whelpling

If you haven’t logged in to get the 5th anniversary achievement and your very own Onyxian Whelpling (shown here), make sure you log in now! The achievement is still available, and all you have to do to get it is log in to the game – the whelpling will be waiting for you in your mailbox. Each character logged in will get one, and the little guy is bind-to-account, so you’ll get one on any character you create.

Perhaps more importantly though, this weekend marked the 5th birthday of World of Warcraft – five years ago the beta was ending and the game was going live; it’s hard to believe it’s really been that long, and it’s been just over a year since Wrath of the Lich King went live as well.

I remember the end of the beta of vanilla WoW, when GMs and monsters alike ran rampant through the beta realms just to give all of the players a suitably epic send-off into live play. I remember my first ever character, a poor Tauren Druid, back when I was so new to the game and there were no resources to help that I actually had to ask people where quest items could be found (there was no Wowhead or WoW Wiki back then) and there was no looking for group channel. Back when I thought professions were optional and not required to really experience the game.

Sheesh – it’s been a long long road. What about you? How long have you been playing, and what are some of your earliest memories of the World of Warcraft? How are you celebrating, aside from picking up your whelpling and diving into the Pilgrim’s Bounty quests? Shout it out in the comments.

Blizzard Launches In-Game Pet Store…For Real Money

Mini_KT_Lich

See this little guy? Isn’t he adorable? He’s Mini KT, the Littlest Lich – and he can be yours for the low low price of $10 USD. That’s right, I said $10 DOLLARS, not 10 gold, and he’s not the only pet you can get in-game for that amount of money.

Remember back when we noticed that interesting new pets were appearing in the source files of the game? I was intrigued by the Pandaren Monk pet, but WoW.com also noticed a Core Hound Pup along with Lil KT up there a while back on the PTRs. Speculation ran rampant that they were potentially collector’s edition pets for Cataclysm, but now we know their true purpose: Blizzard will sell them in-game, through their Blizzard Store online, and likely through Battle.net at some point.

If you drop the ten bucks on the Pandaren Monk, half of that purchase will go to the Make-A-Wish foundation, which is a pretty good reason to spring for it.

In any event though, this is Blizzard’s first dabblings in micro-transactions in World of Warcraft, and it’s gotten more than a few people pretty riled up. Many other MMOs that have gone before WoW (and likely those that will come after) that used micro-transactions to get more real money out of the players who are subscribed, and most free MMOs use micro-transactions to get money out of players who can sign up and play for free, but if they want the best gear or a custom avatar or better graphics, they have to shell out a little cash.

The argument on both sides of this is immense, loud, and pretty empassioned: some people herald micro-transactions as the end of World of Warcraft entirely, both as a popular game and as a professional, high-quality one, labeling micro-transactions as the mark of MMOs that are on the decline. The other side sees this as another fantastic way that players who are willing to pay for it can customize their characters, and look forward to other potential options like special RP clothes, custom avatar appearances, and more.

Personally I can see the logic of both sides of the equation, but I have to call attention to the fact that Blizzard has essentially already given players what they want for real money in-game in the form of faction changes, race changes, server transfers, and so on. Even appearance changes (which cost in-game money, not real money) came at player behest. I’m completely on-board with the thought that only MMOs that need money or are moving to a “free to play” model currently make heavy use of micro-transactions, but World of Warcraft certainly isn’t there, and it’s certainly not on the decline.

So the moral of the story? If you don’t want to spend real money for an in-game pet, don’t buy one. If there are enough people who agree with you, it’ll be unpopular and Blizzard will shut it down. If on the other hand there’s a demand for it and people love the idea, it’ll grow in popularity and more items will likely be added to the store. In any event, it’s likely not the end of World of Warcraft as we know it – that’s going to happen in Cataclysm.

Video: Pandaren Monk Non-Combat Pet

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpn9sxtbY-g[/youtube]

Over at MMO Champion (and subsequently WoW.com), video has surfaced of a Pandaren Monk non-combat pet that’s apparently very well animated and has some pretty awesome moves! As awesome as he is though, no one knows how we’ll get him or when he’ll make an appearance in the game.

Over at WoW.com, there’s speculation that he might be a reward for Brewfest, scheduled to begin this Sunday, and another idea is that he might be the non-combat pet for the Cataclysm Collector’s Edition (since every previous collector’s edition has come with a non-combat pet) although he’d be making an awfully early appearance in the game for that to be the case.

In any event, we’ll have to wait and see, but one thing’s for sure – I want one.

Grunty The Murloc Marine vs. Zergling: Fight!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vnkdd-NZd28[/youtube]

If you were lucky enough to get to Blizzcon this year, you were also lucky enough to get the exclusive non-combat pet, Grunty – the Murloc Marine!

Now if that weren’t adorable enough, if you were also lucky enough (or know someone who was, rather) to get the collector’s edition of the original World of Warcraft game, you have the option with each new character to get a mini-diablo non-combat pet, a panda non-combat pet, or a zergling non-combat pet, in all of his spiky glory.

Now since there are two non-combat pets from Starcraft in World of Warcraft, someone decided to see what would happen if you had them both out at the same time (or discovered it by chance) – they fight! The video above shows that whoever is out first is the winner, but it’s so perfect that the two of them would go at it like this. Now I’m going to have to keep my zergling out all the time.

Hunter Pet Specs on the Armory!

armory_pet_spec

More hunter-specific news, but I think it’s a big change to the Armory: now when you view a hunter’s talents and glyphs you’ll also see the specs of their pets. The hunter’s active pet is shown right next to the character’s talents, and you can pull down a drop-down menu to see any of their stabled pets as well. You can see mine in the image above (click to embiggen), or you can head over and see my humble main on the armory here.

It’s a pretty neat addition to the armory, and it definitely saves hunters from having to log in to the game to talk to other people about their pets. It also allows you to play a bit more with your pets’ talent builds by exporting them and then importing them into talent calculators, and I’m absolutely sure that sites like TalentChic and GlyphChic will eventually pick up on this change and start scrubbing the Armory for pet specs as well – it’ll be even easier in the future to make sure you can compare your pet’s spec with your friends and other players. Thanks to Aspect of the Hare for breaking the news!

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