Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thoughts: Uniqueness and Exclusivity of Pets

Recently, Quintessence made a blog post about two pets in patch 6.2 - a new moth and a new firefly that have spawning mechanics similar to the Unborn Val'kyr.  This post, however, related more to RNG, effort, and the willingness to participate.  After thinking for a while, I thought of another thing that matters to pet collectors: how they look vs how hard they are to obtain.

Not all collectors are the same.  Some are quite casual, collecting only pets they think look cool (which is perfectly fine!), while others collect everything they can.  Some pet collectors only care about pet battling, so they only pick pets with good stats and moves.  There are some in-between who collect everything that's easy to obtain.  However, all devoted collectors take notice of how cool or unique a new pet is.

The thing that made the Unborn Val'kyr so desirable was the fact that it was unique...well, it did share the animations with Mini Tyrael, but it was a new skin nonetheless, and the only Val'kyr pet available at all.  Collectors far and wide searched (and still search) for the pet because it looked cool, and had cool/unique moves for pet battles.  Why they would decide to add something like a moth that has the same moves as other moths with an Unborn Valk-style spawning mechanic is beyond me.

The thing I look for the most is how cool a pet looks.  That's the deciding factor on which character I'll use it on, or if I'll use it at all.  Demonic pets are always used by my Worgen Warlock, and I'm very happy to see a new mini demon when they add them.  The Sister of Temptation was perfect for him - a succubus, which we've never had as a battle pet?  Perfect!  Imps, infernals/abyssals, Willy, and other demons are great, because each one has a unique look, unique moves, and matches my warlock.  I will be especially happy to go out and try for those, regardless of RNG.

Other pets that are recolors of already rare pets are welcome as well.  I like both the Personal World Destroyer and the Pocket Reaver because there are only two of them, each with their own distinct colors and move sets.  The carps from Pandaria were also welcome since we don't have many fish pets, and they were nice recolors of two fish we could obtain earlier in the expansion.  However, with the carps, the thing that made me put off getting those for a while was their RNG...but I still put in the effort to get them for their looks.  The new wolf pups (FelCinder, and Nether) are welcome, because they are canines (which people always want) and because they have more unique looks.

I have to question Blizzard's decision to add moths and fireflies when we already have tons of other moths and fireflies.  It doesn't matter how they are recolored, because in the end they're just moths and fireflies to people.  Even the Imperial Moth tends to get forgotten by players, because even though it has a unique model, it has the same abilities as almost all other moths.

I don't think Blizzard should spend the time making brand new models (moves, skins, and animations) just for pets every patch (similar to Pierre or the Crawling Claw), but I do feel they should add in pets with unique looks of models they have already added in.  We don't have a pet like Omen (though other pets share his animations), which would be a great wild pet during the Lunar Festival.  The Manticron Cube would be a perfect pet from Magtheridon's Lair.  A Mantid Swarmborn from Shek'zeer or Mantid Archaeology would be perfect.

What frustrates me most is when they have other perfect models, or they add in models, and they don't use them for pets at all.  Do we have a Felhound Pup?  Nope.  Oh, they added a new Felstalker to Tanaan, maybe that'll be a pet?  Nope.  What about a new Imp from Tanaan or perhaps a Fel Imp?  Not a chance.  Dwarven Golems would be a great addition anywhere, perhaps from a Dark Iron quest!  But, no such luck.  Yet, they decide to add in moths and fireflies with rare spawns anywhere on Draenor except the new area.  Added on top of that is the new legendary pet supplies, where only one pet is not a simple recolor of easily obtainable pets - the Nightmare Bell  It makes me question if I'll continue being a hardcore (well, fairly hardcore) pet collector, because I'll definitely pass on those two pets until absolutely no one is trying for them in a future expansion.

Obviously, people will take the easiest path, but people will try for something cool, even if it's harder to obtain.  Had the moth and firefly been anything I listed above, and had the Fel-Touched Pet Supplies contained more than a couple spores and a hippo baby, I would have been much more excited.  I feel like I've been lied to when the "Fel" supplies contain no "fel" creatures.  Besides, we're all still waiting on the other Podling pets (AutumnalSassy, and Kelp), as well as the Gronnlings (Runtish and Dwarf).  This expansion is also the perfect time to introduce a baby Rylak and a new baby Fey Dragon - especially since Pixiebell already is exactly that, and it was hinted at before release.

"You’re probably wondering if there are any creatures on Draenor that won’t bite your head off. Try heading over to the Shimmering Mor. This enchanted forest glade is home to wild faerie dragons. Awww, they’re just so cute! No, you can’t take one home . . . oh, who are we kidding? You’ll probably find an egg or some-such to raise eventually."

Yeah, haven't gotten anything like that.  But, you know, we can look forward to moths, fireflies, and spores!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thoughts: Goodbye Pandaria, Hello Draenor

In the last two months I haven't posted, I've joined a new guild, and I've been farming plenty of pets, mounts, and toys to prepare for Warlords of Draenor.  At the end of every expansion, I feel bittersweet.  On one hand, a new expansion with new features is right around the corner, but I miss the expansion I've spent two years investing in.  Pre-patches leave me in a sort of limbo, wanting more from both the old and the new.  As it's the day before Warlords launches, I might as well take a trip down Memory Lane and recall my best and worst moments in each of MoP's patches.

I apologize for the wall of text incoming, but I do hope you enjoy a nostalgia trip with me.

Patch 5.0.4: Pandaria Pre-Patch and Launch
In the pre-patch, I was so excited to be able to play as a Pandaren, have tons of new pets with the pet battle system, and explore the wonders of Pandaria.  I was...exactly where I am at this very moment in time - adjusting to class changes, small UI changes, and even graphical changes.  I was having a lot of fun with new Warlock pets, especially the Shivarra and Wrathguard, as they were two of my favorite types of demons in Burning Crusade.  Even now, I look at them and they still feel new to me.

In the actual launch of Pandaria, I was basically foaming at the mouth in excitement.  I wanted to catch and level pets, explore Pandaria, level Pandaren, and read every quest possible.  I wound up doing a little bit of everything when I could.  One of the first things I did was tame Savage on my hunter - I was the third one on the realm to do so.

The lore was fantastic in the fact that it gave us a tiny glimpse into what else we would be facing, and it set up the Alliance-Horde war well on Pandaria's shores.  I was excited to see where the Thunder King had gone, and when/how we would see the Zandalari again.  I was also curious about the Sha and Mantid, since Old God and Aqir lore are some of my favorite things to see and experience.

Pet battles were an amazing feature in some ways.  I was so happy to be able to collect hundreds of new pets, and many of them had been models I always wanted as a pet.  I didn't enjoy battling too much.  I didn't (and still don't) battle for the fun of it.  It was just another means of getting pets for me.  I collected pretty much every pet I could in one sleep-depraved night, and spent a while during the patch to collect the more difficult pets, such as the Minfernal and Giraffe.  I wound up leveling my Clockwork Gnome first, who was one of the more overpowered pets of the time, and took my time leveling other pets.  I loved that pets and mounts were account-bound, and I spent a lot of time collecting them across many characters, and using pets on characters that never originally had them.  It opened new doors for me to customize my characters with the story I develop for them in my head, which enhanced my enjoyment of playing WoW.

Pandaria was fun to explore, and visually stunning.  I like Asian cultures, and always have, so Pandaria was a welcome sight in one of my favorite video games of all time.  It was refreshing and exciting to be able to explore every nook and cranny while leveling, while finding treasures, toys, pets, rares, etc.  It was a great experience the entire time, and I couldn't wait for future patches.  The Lorewalker items helped with this.  My roommate and I were the first two with the mount from the Lorewalkers on our realm.  We took our time with the Order of the Cloud Serpent, but searching for the eggs made us very nostalgic about the Netherwing rep in Burning Crusade.

The PvE experience for me was fun at first.  I enjoyed LFR, as it was on my level of difficulty.  I enjoyed all the new transmog, and I loved the warlock set.  I found myself getting burnt out on LFR pretty quickly, as I ran it on multiple toons in every wing every week.

Patch 5.1.0: Landfall
First of all - Raiding with Leashes.  I couldn't wait to complete that achievement.  There were about 37 new pets added in the patch to smooth out some families that were lacking.  Among some of my favorites in the patch were the Arcane EyeKun-Lai RuntInfinite Whelpling, and Corefire Imp.  The Pandaren Spirits, such as the Fire Spirit were wonderful pets as well (especially for my Pandaren Shaman), but I didn't enjoy those pet battles at the time.  It's entirely my fault for not enjoying them, as I wasn't prepared for any sort of legendary tamer battles.  Otherwise, this is one of my favorite memories for collecting pets - probably more than the actual launch, since I could take my time.

The story was...alright?  The Alliance-Horde war wasn't especially interesting to me, but I appreciated what Blizzard did in Krasarang with the story.  It was a nice touch to have the war quite literally reshape Pandaria.  I spent a lot of time farming the rares in Krasarang for honor to get transmog (and did up until 6.0).  The quests at Lion's Landing (I didn't do the Horde side until much later) were a lot more in-depth than I thought they would be.  I was glad to see the Kirin Tor rejoining the Alliance, however I didn't love that ALL the Blood Elves were targeted in the Dalaran quest.  I also felt disappointed later on that some of the plot points they made weren't fully addressed - but I'll get to this in the 5.2 section.

In PvE, I was still burning myself out in LFR, and wasn't interested in normal/heroic raiding.  I did a lot of world bosses for the mounts, but never wound up getting either.  I enjoyed doing the Brawler's Guild to get a pet and a mount (I LOVE Mechagnomes!) and I did as much of that as I could.

As a side note, I forgot until now that 5.1 introduced the change to make Lesser Charms a currency, instead of an item in your bags.  I must have blocked that out.

Patch 5.2.0: The Thunder King
I loved this patch later on, and I was way too excited for it when it came out.  I spent the first couple days farming NON-STOP for the Tome of Xerrath on my warlock.  I would NOT miss out on the long-awaited green fire.  After fighting through looting glitches, disorientation on the island, other people killing things too quickly, and other problems, I finally got the tome from Ku'lai the Skyclaw, and I still love him to this day.  After a couple days of pulling out hair and reading every possible way to beat the solo scenario, Kanrethad died, and every muscle in my body unclenched in victory.  I was, possibly, the first on the realm with green fire, as I didn't see any other single person with it until later that evening.  However, I would be surprised if I was the first, since I was only LFR-geared, and there were plenty of other people who were far more geared than I was.

The pets from this patch were fun, but I didn't have good luck in the Throne of Thunder getting them.  I especially liked the Living Sandling, and began to wish there could be playable Sand Trolls (or a glyph for mages/shamans to change their elementals).  I don't remember spending too much time actually pet collecting, but I did spend a lot of time on both the Isle of Giants and Isle of Thunder to get pets like the Zandalari raptors, Filthling, and Sunreaver Micro-Sentry.  I had a blast with the Elite Fabled Pets to get the Red Pandas (and I STILL wish they would have added the blue color).  I spent far too much time farming Zandalari Warbringers for mounts, and I spent a lot of time farming bones on the Isle of Giants for the raptor mounts.  I still haven't gotten the Red Primal Raptor, though I did get the Bone-White Raptor in 6.0 (thank you, Blizz, for allowing the bones to be on the AH!)

I spent a lot of time in LFR to get all the new looks of gear.  I loved the look of the Isle of Thunder, and the gear was beautiful.  I got the Shaman set as soon as I could, and wished he had been a Troll all along.  The warlock gear was one of my favorites, but the helm didn't look very good on my worgen, so I never completed it.

The lore in 5.2 was very interesting.  I loved the direction they took with Lei Shen's resurrection.  In 5.0, I didn't understand why the Thunder King would have been so "terrifying" - he was a Mogu that (according to Loh-Ki) had died at the hands of a ton of Pandaren, so why was he so bad?  We'll just do it again, right?  Well, Loh-Ki didn't mention that Lei Shen had killed a Titanic watcher and took his powers, his blood, and his mountain as his own.  I was left with questions, however, that were never answered.  Why exactly are the Twin Consorts the only female mogu?  Were they all killed with Monara?

I found the Zandalari story interesting, but a tad disappointing.  I was hoping to see Zandalar fully someday, and now it's basically a pile of stones in the sea.  Well, it was clarified to be sinking in the sea in this patch.  I wanted to know more, but it was all kind of left off.  I was excited to see Mar'li again (and I hope she resurrects again to get more lore someday).  It was also great to see Frost King Malakk after he had been missing in Northrend.  It was interesting to see Sul, who seemed to be an important person in Zul'Farrak even in Vanilla (as his name is mentioned in many places in the instance among mobs, boss lines, and an item).  It was bittersweet to see Trolls like Jin'rokh and Al'tabim, who I had done quests for back on Yojamba Isle.

The Kirin Tor/Sunreaver story was handled well, but I was disappointed to see that Aethas Sunreaver was clearly hiding something, but it wasn't ever touched upon again.  I didn't like Taran Zhu's speech, but that's more because I didn't like that character at all.

Patch 5.3.0: Escalation
I....honestly don't remember much about this patch.  I didn't spend much time doing Battlefield: Barrens.  I didn't want much other than the pet from there, which I got pretty much right away.  I should have spent more time to get the toys from there, now that they aren't available anymore.  Oh well, hindsight.

I spent far too much time getting pets from Raiding with Leashes II: Attunement Edition, and I spent way too much time standing around to get the Unborn Val'kyr.  I eventually got it in Zul'drak near the Altar of Rhunok.  Otherwise, I spent a lot of time in LFR and such getting other pets added in the Throne of Thunder.

There wasn't much for lore that I remember.  The Kor'kron were doing things, and the Horde wasn't happy about it.  From an Alliance standpoint, it wasn't an exciting patch for lore.  Horde-side, it was pretty great to see Chen kick enemies in the air as Thrall exploded them.  However, I did enjoy that Y'Shaarj was finally confirmed in-game in the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario.  It tied together the Mantid, Sha, and Titans quite nicely.  I still wish Norushen had a tiny pet version of himself for us to collect.

I guess I spent a lot of time doing other things this patch, though.  I really don't remember much here.

Patch 5.4.0: Siege of Orgrimmar
For the first part of the patch, I was in a pet collecting rush.  I did tons of LFR to get those pets, and joined a new guild to do Flex raids for more chances at said pets.  I spent a ton of time on the Timeless Isle to get all those pets, and wound up getting them all fairly quickly.  My favorite two pets, hands down, were the Sha pets.  I leveled up my Pandaren Shadow Priest quickly and got her the LFR Warlock set, so she would match the Sha pets.  I also got her the Sha Mindbender glyph, and she was set as a Sha-corrupted priestess.  I had a lot of fun with the patch at first, but with all end game patches, it wore off fairly quickly.

The lore was alright.  Garrosh's defeat  I didn't love it, didn't hate it.  Wrathion wound up being someone I didn't like.  I tend to dislike characters that do evil things in the name of good in order to save the day.  No one ever knows how to feel about a character like that, and Wrathion is no exception.  The Legendary cloak questline ended abruptly and strangely...but hey, legendary.  I only got the cloak on my main, and attempted to get it on other characters, only to give up later.

I put off the Celestial Tournament for abouta year - 8 weeks until 6.0.  I hated it.  It wasn't fun.  With a few guides, it wasn't challenging either.  There's no "challenge" to missing a crucial attack and being screwed for the rest of the tournament.  I just didn't enjoy it.  I eventually got all the pets just in time for 6.0.  I got Chi-Chi first in the first couple weeks of the patch, though.  I look back at it with rage, because I didn't want to do that at all, but of course I wanted the pets.  Had the pets been tradeable, I wouldn't have cared as much, and I would have paid a fortune for them.

I spent most of the lull doing old raids for mounts, and catching up on achieves, pets, and mounts I was missing.  I got myself quite a few pets I hadn't tried for before, and wound up getting the "Seeker of Knowledge" title from Archaeology.  By the time the beta came out, I was pretty much done with things on Pandaria, though.  I never got into the beta, so I spent time doing other things in WoW, or playing League of Legends.  I got quite a bit of the Brawler's Guild done on other characters, and tried to enjoy the rest of Pandaria.  Right before 6.0, I collected everything that could ever be a toy.  This came in handy for 6.0, and I got nearly 100 toys done right away across my characters.

Patch 6.0.2 - The Present Day
I spent most of the pre-patch looking at how beautiful my characters are.  I've been farming up anything I missed, and I got all the pets I possibly could whenever they were added (I even got Syd the first two days of the Darkmoon Faire).  Got myself a Ring of Broken Promises to turn in as soon as I'm 100, and I finished Archaeology last night with the Crawling Claw (FINALLY - after about 200 Tol'vir solves since early Cataclysm!).  I liked the pre-event well enough, and I love the Iron Starlette and Bronze Whelpling.

I enjoyed Pandaria a lot.  I loved the story overall, and I had a blast playing it.  More story, pets, and experiences await me on the other side of the Dark Portal tonight, and I really couldn't be happier at this point.  I'm going to miss Pandaria, but I got (most) everything I could have from it.  I'll return someday to farm up some mounts and transmog, but for now, a savage new world is calling.

It's time to part ways, Pandaria.  I'll always remember the fun we had.  No, no, it's not you, it's me.  I'm sorry, Draenor is waiting for me.  I...I'll see you around, Pandaria.  Take care.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lore Theory: Who is the Blue Child?

It's been almost a month since I last posted, and I wanted to make a good post about lore, specifically about a figure that has bothered me for a long time.  The Blue Child is one of Azeroth's two moons, the other being the White Lady - Elune (Mu'sha to the Tauren).  

There is very little known about the Blue Child, other than it is a small, blue moon orbiting Azeroth.  In-game, it disappeared for a while, due to a graphical glitch around the time of Burning Crusade.  Tauren claimed that the Blue Child was sent away to explore the cosmos.  It returned in Mists of Pandaria, but it was briefly shown in the Dragonwrath questline in Cataclysm, with the only major lore surrounding it.  

Once every 430 years, the White Lady and Blue Child align, which is called the Embrace (because it looks like the "mother" is holding the "child").  The moons were in alignment that way when the Titans (or, their creations) empowered the original Dragon Aspects.  The way it's worded in the questline makes it sound as if the alignment is absolutely needed for the new Aspect to be correctly empowered (though, there is a voting part as well).  There could be some truth to the matter, since Elune is a goddess with real powers used by the Sisterhood of Elune.  Perhaps Elune's powers are amplified with the Blue Child's own during the Embrace, which could have some impact on the powers used to empower a dragon into an Aspect.

Now, who is the Blue Child?  The White Lady is Elune, so surely there must be a god or goddess associated with the Blue Child (and by extension, the sun and stars - but that's for another time).  There are several beings referred to as "gods" such as Al'ar the Phoenix God, Hakkar the Soulflayer the Blood God (who is most likely a very strong Loa), and the Old Gods.  Other cultures have god-like beings, such as the Tuskarr religion with IsslirukKarkutTayutka, and Oacha'noa.  However, Oacha'noa has a very interesting line when you encounter her in-game: 
"Oacha'noa yells: Little , why do you call me forth? Are you working with the trolls of this land? Have you come to kill me and take my power as your own?"
Considering that the Drakkari were sacrificing their Loa for power, it would seem that the Tuskarr "gods" may be Loa (or Ancients) themselves.  This would most likely apply to the other Tuskarr gods (though there is some speculation about Karkut being the Lich King, or Bwonsamdi).  So, really, there are very few "true" gods in Warcraft's lore, except...


Mazu is a goddess of the sea, who is really only reported by one NPC: Captain "Soggy" Su-Dao found at Soggy's Gamble in the Dread Wastes of Pandaria.  When you enter his shack he is standing next to a bust of a Night Elf lady's head.  When you inspect the head he says:
At this point you can ask him about the bust, to which he says:
The "dog" Soggy's referring to is a Lion Seal of the same name found in the area, used in a couple quests.  

Now, this is only one reference to the so-called "goddess of the sea" right?  Surely we can't take one single NPC's account as true, undeniable lore...or can we?  There are five other references to the goddess, which are two named areas in the Dread Wastes (Mazu's Overlook and the Shelf of Mazu), as well as an obtainable robe (Mazu's Robe).  There are also two quests with her name: Mazu's Breath (a potion made by Soggy) and Mazu's Bounty, which relates to Jiao, a leviathan/kraken.  It would be reasonable to assume that many fishermen and sailors in Pandaria believe in Mazu, considering there are areas officially named after her on the continent.  They are close to the area Soggy seems to live, so he may have named them in her honor himself, or they may have already been named as such.

It should also be noted that he is convinced that Dog was sent by Mazu.  Lion Seals (which are different from sea lions) are extremely aggressive creatures normally.  They are also usually found in Northrend (mostly Howling Fjord and Zul'Drak), with one exception (Tideborne Bull) which seems to have been removed from Pandaria in its beta (the Wreck of the Vanguard seems to have once been called "Sapphire's End" where the Lion Seals were found).  Considering a friendly Lion Seal found his way to the waters near Pandaria (saving Soggy in this ship), it's fairly convincing that Soggy speaks the truth.

Mazu may have actually created the Lion Seals.  Elune created the Nightsabers (according to the pet journal entry) and she also created Wildkin/Moonkin as evidenced by an old quest.  Certainly, it's feasible that Mazu could have created Lion Seals and other sea life.  She could even have something to do with the Vashj'ir Ancients, much like how Elune has strong ties to the other Ancients in Night Elven culture.

It should be noted that much of Soggy's lore for Mazu is the opposite of Neptulon.  In lore, Neptulon is known for drowning sailors, and causing storms on the seas.  Neptulon has also destroyed cities that have angered him.  However, he has shown a kinder side in earlier history with the Stone of the Tides, giving his powers freely to mortals (and in return, they give themselves to the sea when they are about to die).  Neptulon was cooperative in Throne of the Tides, as well, considering mortals were helping him drive back the Naga.  Mazu, on the other hand, saved Soggy without asking for anything in return, and allowed him to keep Dog around for as long as he wished.  There could be some sort of balance between Mazu and Neptulon - one showing the kinder side of the sea, the other showing its savagery.

The most evidence that Mazu may in fact be the Blue Child is the fact that she looks like a Night Elf, according to her bust that Soggy had fished up years prior.
Now, that Night Elf head model has been used (albeit on a much larger scale) in other areas, such as the Ravencrest Monument in Azshara, and a wooded area in Ashenvale.  However, Soggy's description of her sounds rather "elven" as well, particularly the "slender arms" bit.  It could be that the original statue pieces in Azshara and Ashenvale were statues of Elune or the Blue Child (considering that Kur'talos Ravencrest wasn't even female, and the monument looks to be older than the War of the Ancients anyway).  The developers could have chosen any other female statue head (such as the busts found in Karazhan of human women) or any animal statue head they wanted, but they chose a Night Elf woman as the newly named goddess.  That, to me, is a large piece of evidence.

The Blue Child is called a child because it's implied that Elune is her mother, which is mentioned during the Embrace.  It's not impossible, but it's not directly mentioned in Night Elven culture.  Elune's only named child is Cenarius.  However, considering the very name of the smaller moon, and the lore surrounding the Embrace, it would be reasonable to assume that if there was a goddess of the smaller moon, it could be related to Elune somehow.  

In the Temple of the Moon in Suramar, there were frescoes and murals of "the gods" - and many Night Elves have quotes that speak of "gods" in a plural form.  Their polytheistic religion focuses on Elune most of all, but there could be other celestial gods in their religion, such as the sun, the blue moon, and the stars.  Much of Pandarian society was shaped by the Mogu in ancient history, and they had shrines dedicated to the Two Moons and Seven Stars.  Likewise, the only two female Mogu are sun and moon themed (with Lu'lin having watery powers).  The Mogu and Night Elves seem to share similarities in culture - perhaps due to the Titans, or perhaps due to the events around them.

Elune also has no explicit powers over water and tides (which, as we all know, is due to the moon on Earth).  Those powers were much more elemental, being referenced to Neptulon in most cases.  It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that a "goddess of the sea" exists in Night Elven beliefs as well among their pantheon of gods.  Mazu would be a perfect (and, in fact, the only) candidate for the goddess associated with the Blue Child.

It should be noted that Mazu is actually a goddess found in Eastern Asian cultures.  The stories of Mazu originate in southeastern China.  Legend has it, she saved her father (sometimes a brother) from drowning out at sea during a typhoon.  Later in her life, she became a goddess upon death (depending on the version of the story).  There are some similarities in personality with the two Mazus, such as saving drowning people, being goddesses, and having companions by her side (though, they were demons in the original legend).  However, Mazu is revered in southeastern China, whereas the WoW goddess is only mentioned in southwestern Pandaria.  Mazu's Robe is also blue/seafoam green, whereas the original goddess was always depicted in red.  It is thought she was a real woman who was born ~960, and even has a tomb on the island her body washed up on.  In history, her name was Lin Moniang.

It's clear that Blizzard took many references (including, simply, her name) in the small cameos of the sea goddess in WoW.  However, what do you think?  Is Mazu the Blue Child?  Does it fit, or is it too far fetched to believe?  Let me know on Twitter!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pet Idea: Skywall Djinn

In honor of Robin Williams, Warcraft is making an NPC named after him (also seen here).  What better time to think of Djinn pets?  They have cool models, and their animations have been reused for Pandaren Spirits as well as upcoming Draenor Furies (such as Soul of the Forge and Puddle Terror).

Djinn are creatures native to the Skywall, and are rarely found outside it.  Like other elementals, they would most likely be able to readjust their size at will, making perfect sense for them to be pets.  There could be a total of four Djinn pets, each with their own unique color schemes, based on the bosses in the Throne of the Four Winds.  All the Djinn pets would be Elementals.

Northern Djinn
Based off of Nezir, it could basically be his essence in pet form.  It could drop off of Nezir himself in the Conclave of Winds fight.  Since "northern winds" tend to be depicted as icy, it could have an icy aura, as well as ice abilities.

For moves it could be similar to the Frigid Frostling and Mr. Bigglesworth with moves like Ice LanceSurgeFrost NovaIce BarrierCall Blizzard, and Ice Tomb.  This pet could be a bit slower than Mr. Bigglesworth, but more powerful.

Eastern Djinn
Based off of Rohash, it could drop off of him as well in the Throne of the Four Winds.  Since his colors tend to appear sandy, he could have a sandy aura and sand-based abilities.

As far as moves, it could be similar to the Living Sandling, having moves like Sand BoltSlicing WindSandstormStone RushQuicksand, and Cyclone.

Western Djinn
Based off of Anshal.  It could drop from him as well.  Anshal's moves in his encounter are somewhat druidic and windy.  As such, the pet could have a leaf or wind aura radiating from it.

For moves, it could have wind and nature moves, such as Wild WindsPoison LashSoothing MistsAutumn BreezeSpore Shrooms, and Acid Rain.  All would fit well with what he does in his encounter in the Skywall.

Southern Djinn
Based off of Siamat in the Lost City of the Tol'vir.  He is the Lord of South Winds - belonging to the Conclave of Winds.  He was sent out into Uldum to convert the Neferset into forces for Deathwing.  As such, the pet could use his model, and it could drop off of him (normal and heroic).

He seems to simply have arcane, lightning and wind-themed moves in his dungeon encounter, making his abilities easy to choose.  Arcane BlastZapGravityLightning ShieldIon Cannon and Call Lightning would be perfect abilities for him.

Let me know what you think?  Would you like a Djinn to follow you around Azeroth?  Are you happy to see Robin in-game?  Let me know on Twitter!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pet Idea: Amani Loa Bijous

Like one of my recent posts, today I'll be talking about the Loa revered by the Amani tribe.  There are only four, and all of these people make excellent pets for players to collect.

Akil'zon Bijou
Akil'zon is the Amani Loa of the Eagle, and seems to be similar to Aviana - they both have some sort of leadership and reverence in the culture of birds.  Admittedly, this pet would look identical to the Tickbird Hatchling.  Instead, it could have glowing eyes, an aura, or look like the boss in Zul'Aman (which is a Troll that was blessed by Akil'zon).  Either model would work, and it could be a flying type pet.

The pet itself could drop from Akil'zon in Zul'Aman, or it could be from an idol in one of the villages on the eastern side of Eversong and the Ghostlands.  As far as what the lootable item would look like, the Forest Trolls have been known to have this statue of Akil'darah - a similarly named bird Loa:
As far as moves, it could be a fairly typical flying-type moves, such as Alpha StrikeCawQuillsLift-OffPredatory Strike, and Cyclone.  All of those moves would fit in well with what is shown in Zul'Aman as well.

Nalorakk Bijou
Nalorakk is a black bear Loa of the Amani, and also blessed his follower in Zul'Aman.  For his model, he could have a sized-down black bear model, as shown above, or the model of the blessed priest in Zul'Aman.  If his model was kept as a simple bear, he could have glowing eyes or an aura to show his Loa status.

Like Akil'zon, the bijou could drop from the appropriately-named boss in Zul'Aman, or it could drop from a lootable statue.  And while it is Drakkari, a fitting statue would be:
Nalorakk could be a beast type, and have some typical bear moves: BiteRoarHibernateMaul, and Rampage.  Instead of Bash, it could have Black Claw (which would work well with Rampage).

Jan'alai Bijou
Jan'alai is the Amani dragonhawk Loa, and seems to have fiery powers.  It could have the model shown above, or share the model with the boss in Zul'aman.  That dragonhawk color is a mount, but not a battle pet.  Either model would work well.

It could be a drop from the boss in Zul'Aman, or a statue outside.  There are no dragonhawk statues in the game that I'm aware of, so it could have this instead:
This statue is found in many Forest Troll areas, and would serve well enough as a lootable object for players to get a dragonhawk pet.

It could be a dragonkin pet.  As far as moves, it could have some other dragonhawk pet abilities, with more fire-based moves thrown in, such as: ClawBurnFlybyConflagrateLift-Off and Flame Breath.

Halazzi Bijou
Halazzi is the Amani lynx Loa.  As a pet, it would be the only lynx as a pet, but it could also have the same model as the boss in Zul'Aman.  There are Springpaw Cubs in Eversong that are about the same size as pets, so sizing down the model probably wouldn't cause any problems.

The pet could drop from the boss in Zul'Aman, or from a lootable statue outside.  There are no lynx statues, so another Drakkari statue for Har'koa could work instead:
It could be a beast-type, which could have some feline moves, such as: Spirit ClawsPounceRakeMoonfireFeed, and Prowl.  I chose moves similar to Xu-Fu since both the Celestials and the Loa are mystical beings that may be related.  

What do you think?  Would you like Loa pets to match your Trolls?  Let me know on Twitter!  More posts to come in the future!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pet Idea: Naaru!

Naaru are pretty awesome.  They're basically the highest form of "Light" in the universe Warcraft is set in.  They are benevolent, soothing beings that we mortals cannot even grasp.  They can also become pure Void when mortally wounded, becoming powerfully dangerous enemies - though it is rare.

Whether you're a paladin, priest, shadow priest, or even a warlock, the Naaru have not forgotten you - and here are four Naaru pets that would make excellent additions to our collections!

Spirit of Light
A light-based Naaru.  It could drop from a bag of a Naaru tamer daily, along with two other pets I'll mention next.  Since it doesn't look "humanoid" I would label it as a "magic" pet.

The abilities it could have would be LightPrismatic BarrierSurge of LightBeamFlash, and Illuminate.

Spirit of Shadow
Shadow is a fusion of Light and Void in Warcraft, and these bluish Naaru seem to be in a transition state.  It could also drop from a bag from a Naaru pet tamer daily.  Likewise, it would be a magic pet.

Abilities it could have would be Shadow ShockShadow SlashSoul WardSoulrushNether Blast, and Sear Magic.

Spirit of Void
A mostly Void-state Naaru, coming from the same place as the other Naaru pets.  It could be a magic or undead pet and make sense either way.

Abilities it could have would be Nether BlastForboding CurseDarkflameHauntUnholy Ascension, and Soulrush.

Shadow of M'uru
This pet could drop off M'uru when they make the next Raiding With Leashes achievement.  Like the last pet, it could be considered undead or magic.

The shadow's abilities could be Focused BeamsCurse of DoomCall DarknessShadow SlashWild Magic, and Portal.  Alternatively, it could have moves based off M'uru and Entropius' abilities in Sunwell Plateau, such as Black Hole (though, Portal and Call Darkness are very fitting because of Open All Portals and Darkness).

What do you think?  Would you like to get a Naaru pet of your own?  Share it with me on Twitter!

Pet Idea: Ancient Guardling & Redeeming Spirit

There have been quite a few pets that match different races, classes, and even specs.  I know my Pandaren Shadow Priest always has a Gooey Sha-ling or Droplet of Y'Shaarj following her (going with her Glyph of the Sha and LFR Horned Nightmare recolor quite nicely).  Druids have plenty of critters and plants to follow them.  Monks have babies of the August Celestials that are quite perfect for them, or even a Pandaren Monk.  Warlocks even have a few demons (to go with their demon pets).

However, there are very few "holy" pets out there.  The only ones that come to mind are Mini TyraelMurkalot, and the Unborn Val'kyr - which the last one could be considered better for a Death Knight than a priest or paladin.  Non-battle pets include the Argent Squire and Argent Gruntling.  A semi-holy pet would be the Nordrassil Wisp and perhaps the Spirit of Summer for Night Elf priests or druids.

Thinking of other pets that would be suitable for our paladins and priests was, actually, difficult and fun.  Here's what I've come up with.

Ancient Guardling

Based off the Guardian of Ancient Kings, it would be a perfect little pet for paladins.  It could be a wild pet (the first I've suggested, I believe!) from Arathi Highlands - specifically Stromgarde.  I can't think of more of a place with more "ancient kings" than the first human empire.

The model for the pet could be the actual model itself, but I would prefer a Mini Tyrael/Unborn Val'kyr model made to look like the Guardian.  That would be fitting, as well as adorable.  This pet could be a humanoid or magic pet.

For abilities, it could have any combination of moves from Murkalot and Mini Tyrael, up to and including: Righteous InspirationRestorationHoly ChargeHoly JusticeHoly Sword (or, a renamed version, considering Tyrael's sword name is in the description), OmnislashSurge of Light, or any other light-based moves.  Fortunately, Murkalot and Mini Tyrael have the most suiting moves for this little guy.

Redeeming Spirit

Much like the Ancient Guardling, the Redeeming Spirit could have the same base animations of the Unborn Val'kyr.  It would be fitting, and it would make sense, considering they seem to be good and evil versions of one another.  This pet would be an undead type, like the Val'kyr as well.

The Redeeming Spirit could be another wild pet, found in graveyards around the world, particularly in starting zones, such as Elwynn, Durotar, Dun Morogh, Mulgore, etc.  It would be an easy pet to find (realm permitting, of course) and would be fitting in graveyards where their larger sisters hang out.

For abilities, it could have Spectral StrikeEtherealCall DarknessLightRestoration, and Unholy Ascension.  That set of moves would all work together fairly well, and she would definitely be a pet people would want to use in some tougher battles.

The next post will have Naaru pets.  Let me know what you think on Twitter!