Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Tips and tricks related to WoW gameplay.

Balance of Power

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I finally did it! I’ve been working on this quest chain for ages, ever since I was high enough ilevel to run a normal Emerald Nightmare group without embarrassing myself. This has been a long, slow slog through raiding, in part thanks to my gaming anxiety that seemed to pop up with a vengeance in random raid groups.

I don’t really have any fantastic tips for others attempting this quest chain, but in my experience a few things helped.

  1. Queue as a healer if possible. You don’t need to be outstanding – that’s why there’s multiple healers. Do your best and follow the encounter mechanics and generally no one looks closely at you.
  2. Be patient in the group finder. Avoid groups that list themselves as “big dick DPS” (I don’t know why that’s a thing and I wish it wasn’t), or who use profanity in their description, or say something like “know fights and be good or kick.” Groups like that are generally full of people with big egos and bad manners.
  3. Look for groups that list themselves as being chill or laid-back, or who specifically say they are working on the Balance of Power quest. Groups like that are more willing to be courteous and forgiving of mistakes.
  4. Run the raids on LFR a few times first if you’re super nervous about encounter mechanics. They are the same between LFR and normal modes, so you can learn in LFR and be more confident in normal.

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If you’re a nervous raider, like me, and you find yourself in a group full of assholes…leave. It’s not worth it. Raid groups for normal mode are a dime a dozen and you’ll find another one. Normal mode raids in Legion are on a loot lockout, not a boss lockout, so if you have to join another group you won’t be screwed. You can still kill the bosses again, you just won’t be able to loot them. That is, in my opinion, a better use of your time than slogging through with an awful group full of bullies and morons.

My experiences raiding normal mode Emerald Nightmare and Nighthold on Sylvestris weren’t actually that bad. Most of the groups blazed through with little to no issue, were generally respectful so long as you didn’t cause a wipe, and didn’t seem at all preoccupied with DPS meters. I had a good time overall, got some decent gear, and some awesome new artifact appearances.

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Mythic groups are a separate beast from normal mode raiding. Don’t get discouraged. The steps above apply as well: look for groups that are advertising themselves as chill or easy going, or groups that are working on the quest line. Don’t stress yourself out by joining mythic+ groups. Mythic zero is where you want to be.

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Good luck, friends.

Public Service Announcement

If you didn’t hear the news about all the stuff that will vanish with the Legion pre-patch, you might want to get out there and do some research. This helpful guide over at WoWhead can help you figure out what to prioritize during these last few weeks. The Legion pre-patch is due any week now, so don’t delay.

Among those items that will no longer be available after the patch are the mount awarded by defeating Heroic Archimonde, the challenge mode mount, and the guild pet rewarded from earning challenge mode gold as a guild.

If, like me, you are completely pet-crazy and cannot pass up an opportunity to collect a pet but your guild sucks and has been dead for a year, don’t despair. You can get the pet fairly easy before Legion.

The Deathwatch Hatchling is a reward for the guild’s superior efforts in challenge mode dungeons, so not every guild will obtain this fine pet before Legion hits. Thankfully, a lot of great folks have opened up their guilds to the pet collecting community.

Step one is to find a guild that has the pet unlocked. This thread over at Warcraftpets has a lot of good information in it on guilds that are currently accepting new players for the sole purpose of nabbing the pet. Find a guild and get yourself an invite.

You’ll likely have to create a new character on the guild’s server, which probably means you’ll start off with no gold. A fairly easy way to remedy this is to buy a pet off the auction house (or obtain one from its source if you’re patient enough) and then learn it so it is added to your collection. Log onto your new alt, cage the pet, and re-sell it on the auction house. If you aren’t able to do so, I recommend leveling your new character with two gathering professions and selling the materials. Also, if you have any pieces of Timeless or Baleful gear laying around collecting dust, the BoA pieces can be mailed to your new character and sold for decent gold. The hatchling only costs 300 gold, which is easy enough to make with a little effort.

The hatchling also requires revered reputation with your new guild. On your main character, purchase a guild tabard from a guild vendor (the kind that boosts your guild reputation gains) then mail it cross-server (or even cross-faction!) to your new alt. Bonus: you can sell that tabard when you’re done for more money.

There is also a guild raid achievement mount, but I have not seen any guilds offering it up without a hefty gold tag attached.

And lastly, if you’re still hoping to get the moose mount before it vanishes forever, check out Friendship Moose and give it a shot.

Best of luck to you guys!

 

Iron Man How-To: How To Not Die

If you, too, are attempting the Iron Man Challenge, I’m sorry.

Er, no. I mean, I’m happy for you. Yes. Happy.

Either way, here’s some stuff I have learned along the way. Hopefully it will be useful to you. You can leave your own tips in the comments.

  1. Never ever ever EVER tab out of the game for more than like, 2 seconds. If you have to take care of something else on the computer, always log out. At the very least, get to an inn.
  2. Don’t roll on a PvP server. Like seriously, don’t be dumb.
  3. If you get flagged for PvP, log out immediately. Don’t run to an inn. Don’t hearth. Don’t finish the quest you were working on. Log out, come back when your flag has run out.
  4. Speaking of hearthing, do it often. Every time you hearth, you decrease the chance that you will die on your way back to your inn. Hearth out of caves, away from groups of mobs, etc.
  5. Skip quests that require you to lose control of your character for any reason. If you aren’t in control, you cant run away if you get damaged too much.
  6. Skip quests that require you to die or break any other Iron Man rule. Duh.
  7. Class matters. Classes that require you to be up close in melee range may have a higher risk of dying than those that can keep the enemy at a distance.
  8. If you get into trouble, don’t run away willy nilly. Use your CC, incapacitates, or other aggo dumps or transfers and make a calculated escape. If you run off flailing and screaming you might pull more mobs and die.
  9. Don’t mount up and run through a bunch of mobs thinking you’re invincible. You aren’t. You’re in crappy gear and you’ll die extremely fast if you get dismounted or dazed.
  10. Stick to zones where the mobs are lower than you. Don’t try to take on mobs that are several levels higher than you are.
  11. Finish quests even if they become green or grey.
  12. Don’t start combat if you aren’t at full health.
  13. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Know what is nearby such as patrolling mobs, elite mobs, etc.
  14. In areas where mobs are particularly thick, stick to the outside of the area and pick off stragglers instead of blazing right into the middle of things.
  15. If you can stealth, use it with caution. Breaking stealth in a bad spot will get you killed. Instead of sneaking past something that will kill you, try running a wider path around it.
  16. Enemy guards are usually much higher level than you are, will spot you from a mile off, and can one-shot you. Know where enemy towns are located and stay the hell away.
  17. Don’t use fear of any kind. You can’t glyph it so that mobs stand in place; they’ll run away and bring back friends. This is bad.
  18. Keep fights one on one whenever possible. Always CC an extra mob, just to be safe.
  19. You are allowed to eat food to regain health as long as the food doesn’t apply a stat buff. Keep some food on you to heal up after tricky encounters.
  20. Avoid caves and fortresses in general. Usually you can complete quests by picking off mobs just outside these areas, instead of going inside.
  21. Try to avoid letting things spawn behind you, so they don’t close off your escape route.
  22. Speaking of, always have a escape route.
  23. Never jump off of anything ever. Fall damage is an embarrassing way to die.
  24. Do a wowhead search for vendors that sell armor/weapons that you can use. Finding the perfect grey/white drop out in the world is harder than buying it off a vendor.
  25. Selling cloth will be a major source of income as you level. Always make room for cloth in your bags, use the revenue from the AH to buy new bags to hold more cloth, and repeat.

Hunter Specific Tips:

  1. Keep your pet in tanking spec always. Since there is no option to let your pet have no spec, this is the best option.
  2. Pre-cast Mend Pet before combat so you don’t get threat from the healing ticks. Reapply often.
  3. Keep in mind that healing from Mend Pet will draw threat off your pet if there are multiple mobs attacking it.
  4. Your pet isn’t a threat god. You will pull from him easily if you aren’t careful. He’s also flimsy, just like you, so treat him as such.
  5. If your pet is too squishy, consider taming a beetle or a turtle. Both of these pet families have a damage reduction ability that may allow them to live longer.
  6. Make sure Cower is turned off and Growl is turned on for all new pets.
  7. In fights against more than one target, drop a Freezing Trap at your feet just in case.
  8. If something gets loose from your pet and runs towards you, hit it with Concussive Shot to slow it. If it gets in your face, hit it with Scatter Shot. Sic your pet on it immediately to regain threat.
  9. Use Aspect of the Cheetah minimally. The daze side effect isn’t worth it.
  10. Disengage is tricky. It can save your life, but if you launch backwards into other mobs, it can also end it. Use with caution and always know what is behind you.
  11. Feign death doesn’t always dump aggro. Always have a backup plan.
  12. Scare beast should be used with caution. See number 17 above.
  13. When you get Trap Launcher, use it to lob a Freezing Trap beneath a mob before you pull.
  14. There should be no reason to use Distracting Shot.
  15. Misdirection should be used as often as you can.
  16. Deterrence is a last-ditch effort if something is attacking you and your pet cannot pick it up. Deterrence plus Disengage and a Freezing Trap will solve almost anything.
  17. Camouflage falls under number 15 above.
  18. If all else fails, leave your pet to die and run like hell. You can rez your pet, but if you die, it’s game over.

Rare Pet Watch: Unborn Val’kyr

When I set out to write these little pet guides, I knew I would have to limit it to the pets I was able to catch myself. After all, if I can’t catch it, I have no business writing a guide on it. So when I caught my Unborn Val’kyr yesterday, I knew it was time to make this guide. Bear with me, it’s a long one.

The Unborn Val’kyr was introduced in patch 5.3 as a new elusive undead pet for us to chase after. She was intended to be rare, but not quite as rare as the minfernal or the scourged whelpling. If you have camped and captured either of these pets, you know about what to expect when you go after the Val’kyr.

Unlike her rarer cousins, the Val’kyr has quite a few spawn points: 27 total, in fact. This means that camping her is more difficult than camping a pet that spawns all in the same spot. But for the dedicated pet collector, the val’kyr is a worthwhile investment that should not be foregone due to the daunting task of collecting her. Hopefully the information I was able to collect during my time hunting her will be useful to you in your hunt as well.

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Where?

The Unborn Val’kyr spawns only in Northrend, excluding the zone of Wintergrasp. She has three spawn locations per zone and can spawn at any one of them randomly. Only one val’kyr can spawn at any time in all of Northrend. You won’t ever find more than one up. She can spawn in Sholazar and then next time in Grizzly Hills. There is no discernable pattern to her spawns. Be prepared to trek all over the continent in search of this pet. This map of Northrend shows all of her spawn locations in blue and the suggested route to travel in red. For more precise locations, the following are her spawn points as you would input them to a coordinates addon like TomTom:

/way Icecrown 47.9, 86.6
/way Icecrown 73.8, 64.5
/way Icecrown 43, 33

/way Storm Peaks 42.5, 78.5
/way Storm Peaks 65, 41
/way Storm Peaks 29.0, 50.0

/way Borean Tundra 48, 8
/way Borean Tundra 80, 48
/way Borean Tundra 32.7, 60.1

/way Sholazar Basin 58.5, 22.0
/way Sholazar Basin 44.47, 69.59
/way Sholazar Basin 36.8, 19.4

/way Zul’Drak 57.0, 39.8
/way Zul’Drak 75, 22
/way Zul’Drak 24.3, 63.7

/way Dragonblight 82, 66
/way Dragonblight 26.9, 54.1
/way Dragonblight 64.4, 43.7

/way Grizzly Hills 61, 18
/way Grizzly Hills 79.60, 50.79
/way Grizzly Hills 26, 57

/way Howling Fjord 71.91, 43.39
/way Howling Fjord 45, 43
/way Howling Fjord 68.10, 67.63

/way Crystalsong Forest 19 57
/way Crystalsong Forest 43 44
/way Crystalsong Forest 67 49

When?

The val’kyr can spawn at any time of day or night. I caught mine at roughly 2pm. There has been much debate and inquiry into how to force her to spawn, since it was originally hinted that she only spawns under certain circumstances. But the issue has been laid to rest: nothing the player can do will influence her spawn rate. Simply put, it’s out of your hands. However, players have noted (anecdotally) that she respawns faster after a successful capture than after a failed attempt. So if a player battles her and fails to catch her, she will respawn much later than she would have had they succeeded. Anecdotal forum evidence suggests her respawn timer is less than 2 hours.

How?

Since you cant influence her spawn rate, there’s no need to run yourself ragged trying. My best advice to you, the intrepid pet collector, is to input all the coordinates I listed into TomTom (or whatever you use) and have them displayed on your map in-game. You can either camp one specific spot, or you can fly loops around Northrend. If you have limited time, I recommend parking an alt or two in Northrend at a specific spawn location and checking them periodically, especially late at night and early in the morning. But if you have time to spare, actively flying around seems to be a better bet. That’s how I found mine. I started my circuit in Zul’Drak and found her in Borean Tundra. With 310% flying each circuit takes about 15-20 minutes at most. If you run in to another pet hunter flying the same circuit, go the opposite way.

Quite a few of her spawn points are accessible to a low level character, so long as they have means of transportation. A character as low as level 60 with a flying mount can reasonably camp out at some of her spawn locations without fear of dying.

If you do manage to find her, congratulations! You’re only half way done with this nightmare. The val’kyr has two abilities which cause it to die in combat. One of these abilities, Unholy Ascension, is permanent. If she casts this during your combat, she is dead, and you are done. Go find another one. The second ability, Haunt, is not permanent. She will “die” and enter your active pet as a spirit to deal damage. Do not allow your pet to die while Haunt is active. Heal, absorb, whatever you can do to keep it alive until Haunt is over and the val’kyr reappears. She was hotfixed soon after going live so that she wouldn’t cast these abilities very often, but she can still use them. For what it’s worth, mine never did anything but cast a simple attack (not sure if it was Shadow Slash or Shadow Shock). Your best strategy is to bring her down quickly and cage her as soon as possible.

Good luck!

Rare Pet Watch: Moon Moon

Moon Moon, for those of you who don’t crawl around the internet often, is an internet meme which began on Tumblr. It features a mentally challenged wolf doing very odd things in moderately amusing photographs (wild wolves are about as silly as domestic cats apparently) with dumb captions…it’s basically like any other animal meme on the web, except this one made it’s way into WoW.

For those who don’t give a crap about internet memes (I don’t) then here’s the low down on this pet: Moon Moon is a wolf battle pet with a unique model obtainable from a rare boss found only during the Darkmoon Faire. Rare drop off a rare mob found only one week out of the month? Yeah, I’d say that qualifies this little guy as a rare pet!

Where?

Moon Moon is found as a drop off the rare spawn boss Moonfang, who spawns on the Darkmoon Isle. You can get to the isle via portals located in Goldshire (Alliance) and just south of Thunder Bluff (Horde). Take the portal and head south-west from there. The shortest way to Moonfang is to cross through the woods and jump down the cliff. Moonfang spawns at approximately 39, 43.

When?

The Darkmoon Faire occurs only one week a month, beginning on the first Sunday of the month. Check your in-game calendar for dates and times for your region. Moonfang is only around for seven days a month, so if you’re hell bent on this pet you will want to make the most of it.

How?

Moonfang isn’t so much a conventional rare spawn as she is the end result of an event. This event cycles about once every hour and begins by the spawning of numerous Moonfang Snarlers. These are non-elite wolf mobs that spawn all over the forested areas of the island. Kill a number of them (a large number, probably 15+) and Moonfang Dreadhowls will spawn. These are elite and difficult to solo, but thankfully there are a lot of people on the island waiting for Moonfang. Kill a few of those (about 2 or so) and Moonfang will spawn to avenge her fallen children.

While killing the non-elite and elite wolves, you will notice emotes in your chat log if you’re paying attention. “There is a pained howl from deep within the woods” and variants of this pop up every so often as you kill wolves. Kill enough, and the text “BEWARE: Moonfang Dreadhowls now roam the woods” will appear in the middle of your screen like a raid warning. Similar text flashes on your screen when Moonfang spawns, so missing her spawn is next to impossible.

Moonfang hits very hard and can be difficult for smaller groups. Larger groups of players can zerg her without a lot of difficulty, but you should be wary of her all the same. Her attacks are:

[Leap for the Kill]: Leaps at a target and all enemies within range of that target suffer massive damage. Get out of the way FAST.

[Moonfang’s Tears]: An AoE similar to Starfall. It is easy to spot and easy to stay out of, just get out of the white lights.

[Moonfang’s Curse]: This transforms all enemies close to Moonfang into her servants. If you get caught in it, you will be transformed into a worgen and you will heal her. Run away when you see it being cast. This is mostly a concern for melee.

[Call the Pack]: This summons non-elite wolf adds, and a ton of them will appear. One for every person within 40 yards of Moonfang. They should be killed so they don’t eat your healers.

So the basic strategy is to run away from any bright lights on the ground, run away from her when she casts Curse, and don’t stand next to anyone who is being targeted for Leap. Keep the ads off healers and if you die, run back quickly.

A few tips: Reports suggest that Moonfang can reset if kited too far from her spawn location. Don’t do that. Also, if no one is around to kill the Snarlers to start the event (or if people are being dumb and ignoring them) they will eventually despawn and the event timer will reset. Kill the wolves!

When Moonfang is dead she can drop a few different vanity items, which includes the pet [Moon Moon]. If this is your first kill, she will drop an item which begins a quest. If she died and you don’t have the option to loot her, don’t panic. Moonfang has no trash loot (no coins, no currency of any sort, and no grey items) so if she didn’t drop one of her unique items for you, you won’t be able to loot. It’s not a bug and you’re not missing your shot at loot. You just didn’t get anything this time.

From personal experience I can say that the non-elite Moonfang Snarlers begin spawning again about 45-50 minutes after Moonfang dies. I have been able to reliably camp and kill Moonfang with a 50 minute timer set. I kill her, set the timer, go do other things, then come back when the timer goes off. Anecdotal evidence suggests the pet has a reasonable drop rate. Not too low, not too high. But as always, RNG is nobody’s friend. The pet can be caged and traded, so check your local auction house if camping isn’t going your way.

Best of luck getting the pet to drop!

A Guide to the Timeless Isle Pets

I’ve been enjoying this latest patch and it’s brand new island, mostly because I enjoy content that I can experience by myself and at my own pace. So far I have done nothing but run around in circles killing things, and while that probably sounds like a recipe for boredom, I actually quite enjoy it. The island is beautiful, there’s always a rare spawn up to kill, and I enjoy hanging out with my server’s community. I might come to regret it later, but for now I like hanging out on an island with the folks who call Bloodhoof home.

One thing I’m not too keen on is the pet situation. I love all the new pets, and I love that many of them are fairly unique, and I adore the fact that every patch comes with buckets of new pets…but I don’t care for the drop rates on these pets, and I don’t enjoy running frantically all over the island trying to tag a rare spawn before it’s five second lifespan is up. I’ve done a bit of research and testing since the patch launched in order to maximize my own pet collecting efficiency, so I thought I would post it here so other people might benefit.

Let’s start with a simple overview of the island. You must be level 90 to access the Timeless Isle, and you can do so either by flying there all on your own or by talking to Chromie, who now sits atop Mogu’Shan Palace. She’ll give you a quest and a teleport to the island. Once there, you’ll be given a few quests to orientate yourself with the island, but there are no major storyline or quest chains here. The zone isn’t on rails, it isn’t unlocked piece by piece and it isn’t phased in any way. Nothing is stopping you from ignoring the quests and running amok all on your own.

The island is covered in elite mobs, most of which are easy to solo if you aren’t a complete dunce. There are also numerous treasure chests to open, all of which are specific to you. No fighting with other people over chest spawns! There are also a ton of rare spawns to kill, events to participate in, and five world bosses to poke. The fifth, Ordos, is only accessible if you have the legendary cape from Wrathion, but he doesn’t drop a pet so who cares.

Take some time to orient yourself on the island. It feels a bit overwhelming at first because almost everything drops a pet. But instead of drowning in the sea of rare spawns, I recommend going about it one pet at a time. Focus on one, and when you get it, go to the next. Mods like TomTom and NPCscan can be invaluable when you’re camping things. New with this patch is a skull icon on your minimap whenever a rare is nearby. No more target macro spamming, no more guessing. If a rare is up, it will appear on your minimap as plain as day.

I’ve had success with the following camping style: park yourself somewhere close to a rare spawn location. Add the rare spawn to NPC’s database so that when it spawns, NPC scan will yell at you. Wait. When the rare spawns, kill it, then set a timer for 30 minutes. You can now log out, switch to an alt, go make dinner, whatever. When the timer goes off, make sure you’re back at your camping spot. You will want to clear your cache between spawns, too.

Armed with a good camping strategy, a few good addons, and a lot of patience, you’re probably ready to tackle the Timeless Isle. So let’s look at what pets it has for us.

First off, here’s a map I made on which I have marked every rare spawn that drops a pet.

I am a bad cartographer.

I am a bad cartographer.

While the Timeless Isle brings with it 21 new pets, only 8 of them are dropped by rare spawns. The map I made above shows the spawn locations of each rare spawn visually, and I will also provide coordinates for those who use them. All rares on the island are unable to be tapped, meaning that no matter who hits them first, everyone who participated gets loot. Now then, a list of the rares with as much info as I can provide.

Monstrous Spineclaw: This rare crab drops a [Spineclaw Crab] pet. Unlike other rares which have a set spawn timer, this rare has a chance to spawn in the place of any elite crab on the island. In order to see it spawn, you will need to kill the crabs. As such, its spawn location varies and is difficult to camp.

Imperial Python: This snake drops a [Death Adder Hatchling]. Like the Spineclaw crab above, the python spawns in place of one of the many Death Adders on the island. Killing the adders has a chance to spawn the Python. He’s up fairly often, and more than one python can be alive at one time. He hits extremely hard and must be killed quickly, so wait for backup.

Zhu’Gon the Sour: This alemental spawns at 37, 77 right in the middle of Old Pi’jiu. An event must be completed before the rare will spawn. When the event begins, alementals will swarm the village. Killing ten will force Zhu-Gon to appear. He drops a [Skunky Alemental]. He has a 30-60 minute respawn timer.

Gu’chi the Swarmbringer: This is a rare grub the size of a small whale and he drops the [Swarmling of Gu’chi]. He is on a spawn timer of approximately 30-60 minutes and spawns at 41, 80, or just south east of Old Pijiu. He will patrol in a north-easterly direction if not killed, but nine times out of ten he is slaughtered seconds after spawning.

Bufo: This frog looks only slightly different than the other frogs hopping about in the Croaking Hollow on the south east side of the island. He has multiple spawn points within a few yards of each other but does not need to spawn in place of a regular frog. His respawn timer is 30-60 minutes. Like the frogs, he deals a stacking debuff which causes instant death at 10 stacks, so be sure you can burn him quickly or else wait for reinforcements to arrive. He drops a [Gulp Froglet].

Leafmender: Hiding among his fellow sprites, he drops an [Ashleaf Spriteling] when killed. He spawns at 67, 44, along the northern part of the Blazing Way. His respawn, like all rares on the Isle, is 30-60 minutes.

Garnia: This Pandaren elemental spawns way up at Ruby Lake, at 64, 27. The only way to get to her is to hitch a ride on one of the island’s albatrosses. The best place to catch one is around 33, 54 at the stairs of the Celestial Court. Tag an albatross by hitting it once with a ranged attack as they swoop through the court. It will pick you up and carry you around the island (slowly) in a set path. After several minutes you will pass over Ruby Lake. Attack the albatross again to force it to stop midair over the lake, and kill it. You will fall into the lake. It is recommended that you park an alt here at the lake and check frequently rather than making the trip up several times a day. Garnia hits very hard and her primary attack must be interrupted. She drops a [Ruby Droplet] when killed.

Spirit of Jadefire: Another Pandaren elemental, the Spirit drops a [Jadefire Spirit]. It can be found deep in the Cavern of Lost Spirits, the entrance of which is at 43, 40. Like Garnia, interrupts will greatly reduce the damage taken when fighting the Spirit.

So that covers the pets that you must obtain by killing a rare spawn. Keep in mind that the drop rates for these pets are fairly low, so you will need to kill them repeatedly. My best advice to any would-be pet collectors is not to run all over the island chasing the latest announcement in general chat. Park your butt firmly in one place (I prefer hanging out at Pi’jiu since multiple rares spawn very close by) and wait. Watch TV, listen to music, annoy your friends in guild chat. But camping one spot will ensure you get a kill, rather than forcing you to race around the island and always end up being two seconds too late for that rare you really wanted. Finally, these rares die fast. Like, really fast. So pay attention and get your tag in as soon as possible. Tabbing out for even a minute might cause you to miss the spawn and the kill entirely.

Now that we’ve looked at rare spawn pets, lets look at the pets the isle offers that can be picked up by other means.

More wonderful map making.

More wonderful map making.

The map above shows you the relative locations of all pets on the isle which do not drop from a rare spawn. However, it excludes wild battle pets and pets given as a reward from the Celestial Tournament. We’ll cover those further down. As you can see, there are a ton of pets available on the island that don’t require you to camp for weeks on end.

[Dandelion Frolicker]: This pet drops from an event which takes place around 45, 72. At this location there is a large tree surrounded by friendly little sprites. About once every 15 minutes or so, a large pink crystal will spawn nearby. Click the crystal, and these sprites will attack you. Murder them in droves and a Scary Sprite will spawn (at a rate of about 1 every 10ish seconds if you’re killing sprites fairly fast). Kill the Scary Sprites and they have a chance to drop the Frolicker. This event is a “solo” event, as whoever clicks the crystal is the only person who can attack the sprites. However, if you are in a group everyone can loot the Scary Sprites and you can receive healing while you go on a rampage.

[Azure Crane Chick]: This pet drops from the numerous birds’ nests found on the ground all over the island. The yellows dots on the map represent only a tiny handful of total nest spawn places. Anywhere you see cranes hanging out, there will be a nest. Looting the nest usually awards only a small amount of coins, and will always aggro nearby cranes. But sometimes you’ll get a pet out of it, too.

[Bonkers]: This pet drops from treasure chests in a cave located at 57, 42. Speak to the hozen inside and purchase a key from him for 500 coins. Use the key to open a chest – any chest, it doesn’t matter which. The usual reward is a number of coins, usually several hundred. You can also receive epic BoA armor items, Burdens of Eternity, and, more rarely, a pet. You can buy as many keys as you want, so go nuts.

[Sky Lantern]: Finally a pet that doesn’t require any funny business to obtain. If you have 7500 Timeless Coins, you can purchase this peaceful lantern from Ku-mo at approximately 40, 63, on the southern edge of the Celestial Court. This lantern cannot participate in pet battles, but it’s pretty all the same.

[Ominous Flame]: This pet has a small chance to drop off the elite Foreboding Flames inside the Cavern of Lost Spirits at 43, 40. These flames die quickly if you’re all roided out with Timeless Isle buffs, but you will still want to make a habit of interrupting their primary spell attack. Click on the fires inside the cave for added defense against their attacks.

[Jademist Dancer]: Like the Ominous Flame, this pet drops off of the elite elemental spirits flitting around on the beach at about 25, 29, on the very northern coast of the island. These, too, should be interrupted as often as possible to minimize the damage you sustain in combat.

If you’re looking for easy pets to add to your collection, these require no camping, no headaches when you miss a spawn, and no pulling your hair out because other people killed a rare faster than you could whip out a Moonfire. Most of them simply require a little patience and a little coin.

The next pets the island has to offer are wild battle pets, which you must fight and capture. While adding three more moths to your collection may sound boring, these three moths are worthwhile additions to any team. They each have a unique set of moves which makes them unlike any moth we’ve had before. Two of them can be captured on the ground but the third must be sought high above it, on the windy peaks accessible only by albatross ferry.

More MS Paint!

More MS Paint!

The above map shows the approximate spawn locations of the three wild moths on the isle. The Flamering and Ashwing Moths can be fought and captured all over the island. Both will appear as primary pets (those places marked on the map) and a secondary battle pets to other moths. The Skywisp Moth only spawns high up on mountain tops, where it must be reached by albatross. I was able to catch a ride on a friendly bird (which I then murdered by way of saying thanks) to a slope high above the Blazing Way at about 74, 34 (not marked on map, my bad) where a group of 4 or 5 moths were hanging out. The birds can be tricky because if you stop DPS they will continue to fly, so more than once I missed my mark and had to wait for the bird to come around over another mountain top before it was safe to kill the bird and drop down. The Skywisp moth does in fact appear as a secondary pet when you battle other moths, so it is possible to catch without every bothering with the slow as molasses bird taxi.

You can also reach these peaks by swimming out into the water until you can mount on a flying mount, then flying up as high as you can over the place you want to end up (such as over the lake where Garnia spawns). Then dismount and use a glider or a slow fall mechanism in order to pilot yourself to your destination. I gave it a shot and died spectacularly, so use at your own risk. Gliders can be purchased from Ku-mo, the same little Pandaren boy who sells the lantern pet.

Finally, the last pets you can obtain on the island are those you can purchase from the Celestial Tournament. I haven’t managed to win the tournament yet, so this guide will not feature walk-throughs or helpful tips on how to beat it. Sorry. If at some point I manage to get it down, I will write about it so others can do it too. But I haven’t, so I won’t. The gist of the Tournament is this: you enter a solo scenario where the Celestial Court is full of pet trainers instead of standing empty. You fight three initial trainers who each have a team of three legendary pets. I managed to defeat these just fine, actually. But then you must defeat all four of the Celestials in battle, and they are hard. Win the tournament and you will receive currency used to purchase one of four new pets modeled after the celestials: [Xu-Fu, Cub of Xuen], [Yu’la, Broodling of Yu’lon], [Zao, Calfling of Niuzao], and [Chi-Chi, Hatchling of Chi-Ji].

Patch 5.4 introduced a lot of new pets, and most of them can be obtained right here on the isle. Hopefully this guide and the maps I painstakingly slopped together in Paint will help you figure out what’s what and where it is so you can gather pets to your heart’s content.

Happy collecting!

Battle Pet Spotlight: Nexus Whelpling

Sometimes a pet will come along that is one in a million (or, you know, one in 547). The Nexus Whelpling is my go-to pet for battling flying creatures. He wreaks havoc against anything with wings with his hard-hitting magic abilities, but takes negligible damage himself. He’s the perfect counter pet to any tamer’s flying pets. He has an amazing mix of utility and offensive spells that makes him a solid choice for PvP pet battling too! Against a trainer, start with Arcane Storm to set the weather to Arcane Winds, then cast Mana Surge for a devastating three round attack with increased damage during the storm. It’s hard to imagine any flying pet surviving that, but just in case, Tail Sweep will sweep your opponent right off the field. Bye bye. For PvP, Sear Magic can be a life saver against debuff-happy opponents. Wild Magic can be cast as a last ditch effort just before your whelpling dies to give your next pet a competitive edge. Any way you look at it, there’s no reason not to add a Nexus Whelpling to your team!

Breed ID:

The Nexus Whelpling does best when he is the slower pet in the battle. Tail Sweep does extra damage if the whelp goes second, so look for breeds with lower speed and higher attack. Breeds 10 and 20 fit the bill.

Where to find it:

The Nexus Whelpling hangs out at – you guessed it – the Nexus. This is a raid/instance location found in Coldarra, a large island off the northwest coast of Borean Tundra in Northrend. The whelps spawn all over the island in small numbers. They are relatively uncommon to find, but nowhere near as rare as the Minfernal. As this area is a Wrath-era zone, you will want to be level 68 or higher in order to survive the mobs there and make the most of your time.

Pets with similar skill sets:

If you’re using the Nexus Whelpling, chances are it’s as a strong counter to flying pets. His strength in this role is due to his classification as a dragonkin pet with strong magic attacks. No other dragonkin pet has the exact same set of skills as the Nexus Whelpling, but there exist a few that are also suitably equipped to be devastating to flying type pets: the Nether Faerie Dragon, Sprite Darter Hatchling, Lil’ Tarecgosa, and the Netherwhelp (if you’re lucky enough to own one).

Pair it with:

Only two abilities benefit from the weather being Arcane winds. Those are Psychic Blast and Mana Surge. The Arcane Eye and Tiny Blue Carp have both of these attacks, but do not have Arcane Storm. Pairing them with a Nexus Whelpling could unleash some potentially devastating synergy. Try it out!

Pro Tip:

Having trouble with Jeremy Feasel during the Darkmoon Faire? His monkey and tonk’s stun can be bothersome for some teams. If they’re giving you headaches, try swapping in a Nexus Whelping, or any pet with Arcane Storm, which prevents the monkey and tonk from stunning your pets!

How to Defeat Dos-Ryga and Other Legendary Pets

With the advent of patch 5.3, Blizzard did a little bit of tweaking on the legendary pet battles. Most notably, all legendary pets required for the Beasts of Fable dailies now reduce all incoming damage by 50% and it seems to have increased their damage output, too.

Presumably these changes are in response to those who felt that the so-called “legendary” beasts were…well, not very legendary. Personally, I don’t really want “difficulty” in my pet battles. A little bit of a challenge is all in good fun, but I always felt that pet battles were a fun side-quest. They should be kept fun and simple, otherwise they get to be a hassle and a chore and I have enough of that with other aspects of the game.

But, that is my personal opinion. Many folks seemed to think the legendary beasts of fable were too easy and Blizzard has answered. Now it seems the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction: folks are now complaining that these battles are too difficult. My opinion falls somewhere in between. I find them challenging but overall surmountable. In fact, I don’t see too much of a difference between pre and post patch battles.

However, if you’re struggling, then I have a few tips for you.

First of all, there are a lot of good “universal” pet teams out there that folks claim can take on every legendary pet without the need to swap pets or change up your team. These are great, but it’s always been too much work for me to put together one team that has enough synergy and firepower to take out many vastly different opponents.

My strategy had always been to up my team with 3 pets that are strong against the legendary. If the legendary is aquatic, 3 flying pets, and so on. If that proves to be a mistake, then I will swap pets around as needed. However, after killing these legendaries a few times I have it down as to which pets work the best. After a while, I got it down. I don’t think the legendaries are too hard.

HOWEVER. Dos-Rgya for some god-forsaken reason has been over-tuned to the point of ridiculousness. Even a full team of my best fliers couldn’t make a dent in him with his 50% damage reduction and his ability to heal to full health every few turns. His attacks simply hit too hard for any pet to survive without healing, but if you sacrifice a turn to healing you can’t put out enough damage to win the fight. It’s awful. After struggling with him for a solid hour, I finally hit the internet to do some digging. Here’s what I found.

If you’re having trouble with Dos, or any of the legendary pets, there is a team that can take them out in one hit. Yeah, one. Your team should look like this:

1 cockroach or beetle. Must have Survival and Apocalypse. Does not have to be level 25, but must be high enough not to die in one hit. High speed pets are useful here.

2 water strider pets. Must have Healing Rain and Soothe. Should be level 25.

The strat:

Send in the roach/beetle. Use Apocalypse.

Dos-Ryga will use Whirlpool. You may keep your roach in combat for this turn. Swap him before Whirlpool hits.

Send in a strider. Use Soothe.

Do not attack Dos-Ryga. Heal yourself as needed. Keep using Soothe to send him back to sleep. Pass on your turn if you can do nothing but attack. The point here is to stall and buy time, not do damage. Switch to the second strider when the first dies.

Important: after some testing it appears to me that Apocalypse WILL NOT hit if the roach is not out. You must swap to the roach in order for this attack to hit. Switch him in when Apocalypse has 2 rounds left. Use Survival immediately to be sure your roach doesn’t die from Dos-Ryga’s attacks prematurely.

Wait for Apocalypse to hit. It has a 100% chance to hit.

Win!

Notes:

This strategy relies heavily on your ability to bullshit for 15 rounds. Always use a heal on cooldown. Pets with high amounts of speed are a saving grace in this set up. The ability to get in a heal before Dos attacks is priceless. Use Soothe on cooldown as well. You must not attack him for this strategy to work. This includes DoT attacks. Apocalypse is a one-hit kill, so the point of your striders is simply to last long enough for Apocalypse to kill him.

This strategy should work for any legendary pet that you’re struggling with but I have only tested it on Dos. It took a few tries to get it right, but it works like a charm. Hopefully this gives you some hope if you’re struggling and getting downtrodden. Pet battles are supposed to be fun!

 

The Call to Arms for Fun(?) and Profit

Yeah, I dont know if “fun” is the right word here. More like mind-numbingly boring and/or frustrating. But profit? Oh yes.

If you don’t mind hopping blindly into the queue to heal or tank for a group of miserable, ungrateful sods, then the Call to Arms has a lot to offer you. I’ve been running about five a day whenever the tank slot is highlighted (I gave up on the healing one; it’s almost never up) and the following is evidence, albeit mostly anecdotal, of the profitability of the Call to Arms feature.

Before:

First, arm yourself with the Darkmoon Adventurer’s Guide, available from the Darkmoon Faire. Bosses in heroics have a chance (a small chance) to drop Darkmoon Artifacts, which can sell for hundreds or thousands on the auction house. You could also turn them in for tickets if you like collecting mounts or minipets.

Next, spend your justice points. Going in to a heroic with a full compliment of justice points is wasteful. See the end for advice on how to spend them for max profit.

And finally, understand how the Call to Arms feature works. The CtA for your specific role (let’s say tank) has to be up when you queue. Duh. Then it gets kind of tricky. I have heard that if you lose a member of your group and then invite someone in to fill that spot WITHOUT using the dungeon finder, you will lose your satchel. The satchel is the big key to profitability here. If for any reason you lose eligibility for the satchel, it’s almost not worth it to continue the instance unless you’re at the last boss anyway. Be careful. If you have the lead, don’t give it up, and do not invite a guildie or a friend in to your group no matter how cutely they pout.

Consider running the older heroics instead of the new Hour of Twilight heroics. They’re easier, groups will tend to be over geared, and they will go faster on average. Faster dungeons means more dungeons run in a given time, equaling more profit.

During:

Every boss has potential to make you money. Don’t skip bosses if you can help it. Each boss drop item is worth on average about 20 gold to a vendor, so be sure to greed roll instead of pass on loot.

Loot everything. Take five extra seconds after killing trash to loot the corpses. Aside from a little bit of coin, you’re looking for cloth. Embersilk stacks can sell really well, and you have a chance at BoE blues and even epics.

End bosses will drop Chaos Orbs. You cannot need them, but if you win the green roll you just won a good chunk of change.

Bosses may also drop Darkmoon Faire artifacts, which can and should be needed.

Always always always roll disenchant on loot if you have the options, UNLESS it is a BoE blue or epic item. Enchanting materials generally sell far better than the vendor price of the item, and BoE gear will sell better on average (especially epics) than most enchanting mats.

Finish the instance! This whole strategy is kind of moot if you bail out before you finish the dungeon. You don’t get the satchel for good intentions, so suck it up and soldier on and finish the damned thing. Then you can bail and whine about how awful the group was. Conversely, don’t spend hours wiping with a bad PuG. The cost of repairing your gear will eventually creep in to your profits. Personally I have a solid “bailout point” where if my gear is solidly yellow then I politely wish the group luck and leave. No point in spending 200 gold in repairs for a 100 gold paycheck at the end, huh?

The Payoff:

You’ve slogged through the entire dungeon, killed every living boss in sight, and got your satchel. Bid your farewells and hit the auction house, because this is where the money comes pouring in. Let’s take a look at what you might have gained during all this (aside from a serious blow to your sanity, ha ha…) and tally up the profit. Numbers are rounded up or averaged.

42 gold for just completing the instance

60 gold on average from the Satchel

10 gold give or take just from looting mobs and bosses

So far we have 112 gold, give or take, just for queuing up and finishing the dungeon. Now let’s tack on some bonuses…

60 gold on average for winning a Chaos Orb (price is approximate for my server’s economy, yours may differ)

150 gold on average for winning a Malestrom Crystal from disenchanting.

90 gold on average for winning a Heavenly Shard from disenchanting

100 gold on average for winning a Greater Celestial Essence from disenchanting

100 to 500 gold for winning any of the Faire artifacts, not counting the rarest one (Treatise) which can sell for thousands I hear

20 gold on average for vendoring any of the boss drops you might win, multiplied by how many you won and sold

60 gold for a stack of Embersilk

100-1000 gold ballpark for winning any BoE blue drops

1000-5000 gold ballpark for winning any epic drops (mostly in the Twilight heroics)

And that’s all stuff you might win randomly just as you move through the dungeon. Next we’ll look at what kind of bonus that little satchel can give you…

Satchels have a chance to contain some very rare, often priceless stuff. Usually, though, they will contain between 50-90 gold and a random gem or a few potions. Sometimes they will contain a BoE minipet, and in my experience those can sell really well. So:

20 gold for an Amberjewel

50 gold for a Demonseye

8 gold for a Dream Emerald

60 gold for an Ember Topaz

300 gold for an Inferno Ruby

9 gold for an Ocean Sapphire

10-40 gold for elixirs and potions

150-200 gold for potions

And any number of minipets, some of which can be quite rare and thus valuable on the auction house. In my experience…

50 gold for a Cockroach

200 gold for the raptor hatchlings

7,000 to 10,000 ballpark for any of the whelplings

Now obviously you wont get all of this in just one run. To make any real profit from the Call to Arms feature you have to actually run it diligently, every time it pops up. Persistence pays off here. This isn’t a get rich quick type scheme, but if you’re putting the effort in you can expect to see the turn around pretty soon. I made 15,000 gold in about a week just by running about 5 dungeons a day and auctioning the rewards. A typical run might look like this:

42 gold for completing the dungeon
60 gold from the Satchel
10 gold from looting mobs
60 gold for a Chaos Orb
150 gold for a Malestrom Crystal
40 gold or so from vendoring random greens
60 gold for a stack of Embersilk
50 gold for a jewel in the satchel

That’s a total of 472 gold on average for a run. Then you have to figure in what it costs you to repair at the end of each run, and add on any bonuses you might get such as a rare pet in the satchel or a BoE drop.

And Finally:

All those justice points you amassed…if you’re like me and have nothing left to purchase from the vendors, then you can turn those points in to gold in a number of ways. My favorite: buy the BoE epic bracers and sell them. They go for around 1000 to 2000 gold on my server, and they sell pretty quick. You can also exchange them for enchanting materials to sell, but in my experience the point-to-gold ratio is not as high as selling the bracers.

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

I Get High with a Little Help from My Friends…

That 29,000 gold purchase I mentioned I made?

RAWR!

Yup.

Dragon. Sandstone Drake, to be precise.

A big, huge, ultra-mega-thanks to my guild, who as soon as they heard I was whipping this thing up showered upon me all the help I could possibly ever want. Several people donated truegold, or mats for truegold, or cooldowns to make truegold. Others still crafted potions for me, or helped me hunt down an alchemist who could make the end result. It’s one of the many reasons I love my guild so much. I didn’t ask for help; I just got it. I couldn’t be more grateful. Honorable mentions? You bet.

Adra, The Boy, Manda and Alma for truegold transmutes and lots of them.

Adra again for making the potions (if I remember correctly…I dealt with a lot of alchemists…)

Nani and Syraeda for donating extra volatiles.

Aish for dropping a crap ton of truegold on my head. I feel like I owe her my first born child or something. Seriously crazy-nice donation.

And Barnaught, who was awesome enough to make the dragon for me once I got the mats together.

If it werent for these folks I’d probably still be farming mats. I cannot thank them enough. Free dragon rides for life! Just, please, no “mile high” club on my back…

The Process

If you’re looking into getting this mount for yourself, you’ll need to have bare minimum 29,000 gold. That doesnt take into effect goblin discounts, though, so if you’re a goblin or know one, the end price may be cheaper.

The dragon is only made by alchemists with a 450 skill in archaeology. Even then, they have to dig up and piece together a Canopic Jar from the Tol’vir artifacts and hope that it has the recipe inside. It’s only about a 10% chance, too, so expect the availability of alchemists who can make this to be very low.

The mats for this recipe are as follows: 12 truegold, 8 Flask of Titanic Strength, 8 Flask of the Winds, and 8 Deepstone Oil. Then you have to purchase a pyrium laced vial and 8 sand of time from Yasmin in Uldum.

That further breaks down into 36 pyrium bars, 120 volatile air, water, and fire, 128 volatile life, 128 whiptail, 64 cinderbloom, 64 Azshara’s veil, 16 crystal vial, and 8 albino catfish.

You’ll also need to purchase 1 pyrium laced vial for 4,000 gold and 8 sand of time for 3,000 gold each. See where the gold investment comes in? Ouch.

So you can understand now why farming these mats all on my own was a huge undertaking. I spent hours, literally, flying up and down the river in Uldum picking whiptail, and equally as long circling Tol Barad picking Azshara’s veil from the water. I spent hours over the course of two days fishing in Hyjal for volatile water, at a rate of maybe 1-2 waters per every 3-4 pools. I hijacked as much from my alts as I could, and then got small donations from guildies to fill in the rest.

I think overall about 60-70% of the total mats I farmed myself, with the remaining percent coming in from generous folks in my guild.

If you’re planning on making this and NOT planning on spending more money than you have to, here’s a bit of advice: get friendly with an alchemist and an herbalist. Maybe even a miner, if you’re none of the above yourself. I mean real friendly. I wont tell your mother.

Buying all those mats off the AH will turn a 29k gold drake into a one million gold drake easily, so unless you’re the richest bastard in WoW, I highly recommend farming as much of it yourself as possible.

Leave some room in your wallet for a tip.

Fun stuff: as a druid I can switch out of the dragon form high in the air, pop over to flight form, and let my poor passenger float all…the way….down…

Works especially well for the, ah, heavier passengers out there…

Ow, my back.