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!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Beta 18689: The Best Pets Ever

Build 18689 came out today with two VERY interesting pets: Frostwolf Pup - which I'm extremely happy about, and a Pygmy Cow.  They also announced where the Molten Corgi will come from - the 10 year anniversary for World of Warcraft.

All three pets are extremely important pets to me, simply because I.  Love.  Dogs.  And I'm from Wisconsin.  Cows are pretty plentiful (though, I don't live in a city anymore, and have seen them a lot more often).  I have speculated if the pet may be due to my suggestions, but I truly doubt it.  At this point I'm not recognized enough to warrant a pet made for me, or because of me.  Which is why I shall keep on truckin' in this blog.  

However, with actual news, I'm quite concerned for Hogs, the mini Hogger pet that may have been a decoy all along.  I was genuinely really excited for that pet.  Don't get me wrong, the Molten Corgi will be mine, and he will be loved dearly.  But, I do hope that Hogs isn't forgotten as well.  I don't really think it matters how we obtain him, for the record.  I just hope he makes his way into my collection.  Humanoid pets (no matter how low res they are) are always welcome by my side! 

Soon I'll post more pet ideas.  I also want to start making mount, toy, glyph, and even quest ideas.  However, it'll still focus mostly on pets.

See you on Twitter!  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pet Idea: Harmless Zombie & Zomblin

We've had plenty of undead pets, and some of them have been humanoid in nature.  However, there have been a couple models that would be great pets that haven't been implemented.

Harmless Zombie
Zombies are lesser forms of ghouls, which are simply reanimated corpses.  They have very little (if any) will of their own, and mostly shamble forward to their victims.  They usually aren't very large, being about the size of a human, or smaller.  If a zombie pet was implemented, I would hope it would be a little smaller than the Ethereal Soul-Trader, while still being a good size that is believable as an animated human body.

It could drop from Precious and Stinky who both summon tons of these sort of adds when you fight them.  As a battle pet, it could have moves like Bone BiteRotConsumeAbsorbBone Barrage, and Stench.  The pet could have an associated achievement for using it to defeat an enemy Singing Sunflower as well.

Goblin Zombies were really only seen on the Lost Isles, where pygmy witchdoctors were sacrificing the Bilgewater Goblins for Volcanoth to eat.  Since there wasn't really a reason to use the model again, they never did.  However, I'd like to see it again as a pet.

The pet could be obtained from a new quest near any neutral goblin zone - Gadgetzan, Fuselight, Mudsprocket, etc.  The graveyard could have a new quest giver, who could be a ghostly goblin who lost his body and can't make his way back to life.  You're sent to go out and find the pieces of his body, which were taken by the local mobs.  Kill the mobs, get the pieces from their loot tables, and come back to the ghost.  You put together the body, and it comes to life without the goblin's soul.  He shrugs and say you can keep the body and use it for whatever you want.  The quest reward is the [Zomblin].

As a zombie pet, it could have several of the same moves as the Harmless Zombie.  Some of the moves could be replaced with mechanical moves, like Missile or Make it Rain - it would after all be a goblin!

What do you all think?  Let me know on Twitter!  Thanks to Wowhead for the pictures from their model viewer!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pet Idea: Aqir-Related Humanoids

It's no secret that I love humanoid pets - especially if they're larger pets, or actual-sized models.  As such, a couple models that would be perfect would be some minions of the Old Gods, specifically the Qiraji, Mantid, and Nerubians.  We've already had some of those, such as the Qiraji GuardlingKovok, the Mini Mindslayer, and the Silithid Hatchling.  But, as a fan of Old God lore, I'd love more of the descendants of the Aqir to follow me around on my adventures in Azeroth.

Warning: There will be pictures of insect and arachnid beings rather up-close.

Qiraji Bruiser

Based off the Qiraji Gladiator, the Qiraji Bruiser would be a good fit for an Aqir-descended humanoid pet.  His older model could size down well enough for a pet.  It could be a drop from General Rajaxx in the Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj.

As for moves, it could be similar to the Guardling and the Anubisath Idol, having mostly humanoid and sand-based moves.  It could also have insect-related moves.  Such moves that come to mind are CrushSandstormSwarmSwarm of FliesRupture, and Reckless Strike.

Nerubian Hatchling
Cute, right?
The Nerubian Hatchling could be a drop from Anub'arak in Azjol-Nerub, or Elder Nadox in Ahn'Kahet: The Old Kingdom.  It would be fitting either way.  The actual item could be the [Preserved Nerubian Egg], showing that the Nerubian Hatchling would be alive and well.

However, it would still be a humanoid battle pet.  As far as moves, it could have very spidery and humanoid moves, such as PunchSpiderling SwarmSticky WebBrittle WebbingScreech, and Skitter.

Mantid Drone
Mantid Drones tend to have wings, but at some point they seem to shed their wings when they become warriors.  This drone could either have wings or not - it could even change colors between the various "clans" of Mantid found in Townlong and Dread Wastes.  It could drop off the various drones found in either zone as well, or simply drop off Grand Empress Shek'zeer on all difficulties.

As far as moves, it could have Quick AttackSwarmAmber PrisonPheromonesDigest Brains, and Dodge.  Kovok's moves are fairly close to what the Mantid as a whole do in their culture.

(Screenshots thanks to Wowhead's model viewer, as always!)

I will continue the "bijou" ideas in the future for Troll Loa pets!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pet Idea: Gurubashi Loa Bijous

A "bijou" is a trinket or jewel, and is used in WoW for Troll rituals to certain Loa, or to perform certain powers (specifically Jungle Troll).  The most famous use of a bijou was Min'loth, and players would obtain Hakkari Bijous in vanilla Zul'Gurub for reputation.  But, what if bijous were items that would grant you pets?  Here are some examples of Loa statues that could make perfect pets - Gurubashi edition.

Shirvallah Bijou

Shirvallah is the Gurubashi Loa of Tigers.  More people have become aware of the Tiger God because of the new level 100 talent in WoD: Claws of Shirvallah.  It will grant players the ability to become a cat-man, much like High Priest Thekal used to do in old ZG.  Except, the talent will transform people into Saberon, which is basically an updated version of the old ZG transformation.  The pet, however, could use the old model to still show it off and be relevant.  It is, after all, unique!

The Shirvallah Bijou could be a humanoid pet.  It would be an idol found in the outside version of ZG in the general area where Thekal used to stand.  Looting the bijou would grant you the pet at a 100% drop rate.  The bijou would contain a small essence of Shirvallah's power, making the trinket seem alive.  Even though it could be a humanoid pet, it could have mostly beast moves.  The Panther Cub has many abilities that would fit, and are quite balanced for the typical type of moves pets would have in battle.

Outside of battle, the Shirvallah Bijou could randomly roar, causing nearby critters to flee in fear.

Shadra Bijou

One of my personal favorite characters, ever, in WoW is High Priestess Mar'li, the chosen champion of Shadra, the Spider Loa.  Shadra is revered by most (if not all) Troll tribes and empires.  I hope to see more of Mar'li in the future, perhaps joining the Darkspear after surviving death again due to Shadra's blessing.  But I digress...

The Shadra Bijou could be found in the outside version of ZG, where Shadra's place of worship once was.  Alternatively, it could be found anywhere in the top tier of Jintha'Alor, where they are shown to revere the Venom Queen as well.  The model itself could be the same model as Shadra as shown in the Hinterlands, or Mar'li's model from old ZG when she transforms with Shadra's power.  Either would be perfectly suitable.

The Shadra Bijou could be a critter or humanoid pet (depending on model).  The abilities of the pet could be similar to any spider pet already in-game, such as the Giant Bone Spider from Naxxramas.  Outside of battle, the pet itself could trap nearby critters in webs for a short amount of time, much like the hunter talent Narrow Escape.

Hethiss Bijou
Hethiss is the Gurubashi Snake Loa.  In-game, High Priest Venoxis has been the champion of the Snake Loa since vanilla, and he was resurrected in Cataclysm.  He transforms in the fight into a snake-man, harnessing the power of Hethiss.  Since we have no pet with the snake-man model, it would be much more unique and fun for people than an Emerald Boa, which is presumably what Hethiss would look like in his chosen form.

The Hethiss Bijou could be a beast type, thus having moves like BiteHiss, and Vicious Fang like most snake pets.  Other such snake pet moves would be suiting as well.  The bijous itself could be found near Venoxis' area in the outside version of ZG, where you fight in a quest, and defeat him in the instance.

Outside of battle the pet could summon forth a Pool of Acrid Tears on nearby critters, much like Venoxis does in the ZG instance.

Hir'eek Bijou
Hir'eek is the Gurubashi Loa of bats.  Troll druids use his power for their Swift Flight Form, and Hir'eek is called upon in Stranglethorn Vale to help adventurers fly around and observe the happenings in Zul'Gurub.  In vanilla, High Priestess Jeklik was the champion of the Bat God, and used Hir'eek's power to transform into a unique model, which was based off the gargoyle models.  To date, it is still unique, and hasn't been used for anything else.  That model would be perfect (since we also do not have a gargoyle pet).

The Hir'eek Bijou would be looted from the outside version of ZG, in the place where Jek'lik once fought adventurers in the original raid.  In the revamped dungeon, that area is blocked off.  The pet would drop 100% of the time from a small bat totem.

The pet would be a flying type, having mostly bat moves, similar to the Tirisfal Batling.  Outside of battle, the pet could screech periodically, causing nearby players to be startled (like the Darkmoon Whistle).

Bethekk Bijou
Bethekk is the Gurubashi Loa of panthers.  The pet's model could use either a generic panther, or the humanoid transformation used by both Arlokk and Kilnara in ZG (I wanted to post that picture, but it's glitched in WoWhead at the moment).  Fitting with the theme of most other bijous, I'd suggest the female "Tigon" model.  Like the others, as well, the bijou could be looted from a small totem or statue in the Temple of Bethekk in the outside version of ZG.

The pet could be a beast type, using most of the same moves as the Panther Cub, like the Shirvallah Bijou at the top of the post.  Outside of battle, the pet could periodically stealth and pounce on a nearby critter.

Hakkar Bijou

Hakkar the Soulflayer is somewhat questionable as a Loa.  He is a "Blood God" that may be related to the Old Gods, and is related somehow to the Nightmare in the Emerald Dream.  It is because of Hakkar that the Zandalari decided to have adventurers raid Zul'Gurub in vanilla.  Adventurers also put an end to the Atal'ai_tribe in the Temple of Atal'Hakkar, and try to stop Hakkar from being resurrected there.  However, he already has bijous that were obtained in the original Zul'Gurub raid, used for Zandalar reputation.  One such bijou could yield a pet with a small model of him, obtained in a new way of course.

The pet could be looted from a statue of Hakkar, or a totem.  The totem/statue would be located in the outside version of ZG, at the central temple.  Alternatively, it could be looted in or near the Sunken Temple, since there are plenty of places inside and outside the instance for the statue to stand.  

It would be either an undead or magic pet, and could have several abilities related to blood.  Some abilities that come to mind are Plagued BloodDrain Blood, and Bloodfang.  Other moves that would fit into Hakkar's lore would be acidic or undead moves that leech life.  He could even have a new move based on the famous Corrupted Blood indicent, where other pets in the battle could get the debuff dot as well.  Outside of battle, Hakkar could randomly summon a tiny Son of Hakkar that would fly around for a few minutes and disappear.

I'll cover other Loa in future posts.  Let me know what you think on Twitter!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pet Idea: Dog Breeds - Part 2

Last time I spoke about racial pets for every playable race, but what about all those neutral NPCs and factions we meet along the way?  Wouldn't all the other wonderful cultures have their own breeds in Azeroth, Draenor, and beyond?  They would be obtainable by various NPCs that would be willing to sell them to the adventurers in WoW.  Here are a few ideas.

Krasarang Mastiff (Shar Pei)
Kun-Lai Lion Dog (Chow Chow)
-The Shar Pei could easily work with the Gilnean Mastiff model.  The Lucky Quilen Cub already looks like a Chow Chow - it could be recolored, or be given a more unique model with the same animations.  Both dog breeds are well-known for having iffy temperaments, and would fit the "Mogu" way of life perfectly.

Kun-Lai Mastiff (Tibetan Mastiff)
Townlong Spaniel (Tibetan Spaniel)
-While the Grummles are based much more off the Sherpa people of Nepal, both dog breeds fit them perfectly.  The Tibetan Mastiff was also known to be bred in Nepal, which is fitting.  The Tibetan Spaniel could fit well with the lore about Grummles that went to Townlong to find yaks - they could have found the breed and decided to sell them as well.

Fjord Elkhound (Norwegian Elkhound)
Ymirjar Spitz (Samoyed)
-Being a Norwegian dog, it fits well to have them with a race that was based off ancient Norse people.  Likewise, the Samoyed fits well with the rough-and-tumble Vrykul, as well as the surroundings in Northrend.

Kamagua Spitz (Greenland Dog)
Borean Husky (Siberian Husky)
-The models could simply be recolors of each other, as they do look very similar.  There are also plenty of other Husky breeds with similar coat patterns and slightly different colors.  They fit well into the Tuskarr way of life, and could easily be used as a mount of sled dogs as well.

Shandaral (Northrend Night Elves)
Shandaral Spitz (Korean Jindo)
-Could be a recolor of the racial Night Elf dogs I mentioned before.  Fits well, and would look different enough to warrant an obtainable recolor that anyone could get, regardless of faction.

Uldum Hound (Pharaoh Hound)
Setesh Hound (Tesem)
-Pharaoh Hounds are not actually from Ancient Egypt, but Malta instead.  They look a lot like the Tesem, the dog of Ancient Egypt which looked much like a Set animal.  Set was the inspiration for the Uldum Watcher Setesh.  Basically, the Setesh Hound would be a stone version of the Uldum Hound.

Tanari (Saluki)
-Thought to perhaps be related to the aforementioned Set animal, the Saluki is an iconic Middle Eastern dog.  In-game, the Tanari could be thought to be related to Uldum Hounds.  The Goblins of Gadgetzan could have found these dogs in Tanaris, and started to sell them for their own profit.

-No, not a real dog breed at all.  At least, our characters don't think so, but who would argue with the standards of the ACC (Azeroth Canine Club)?  It would offer a fun and silly dog type, compared to all the true dog breeds that have potential to be added in-game.  Or, it could be terrifying.

Arathi Wolfhound (Irish Wolfhound)
Stromgarde Shepherd (German Shepherd)
-The kingdom of Stromgarde is known for owning the land/city that belonged to the oldest known human empire - Arathor.  As such, the Irish Wolfhound is quite fitting, considering the setting and all the dangers in the highlands.  Also, the German Shepherd is a very iconic dog breed that would fit well into Arathi's landscape.

Kul Tiras
Tiranese (Maltese)
Boralus Hound (Ibizan Hound)
-I imagine Kul Tiras being a beautiful mixture of Mediterranean, Spanish, and Italian architecture.  Canal-streets in Boralus like Venice, orange and lemon groves in the countryside like Sicily, mosaics similar to the ones found in Malta, and basilicas like the Sagrada Família of Barcelona.  As such, the Maltese and Ibizan Hound fit Kul Tiras very well.  The Maltese could also be a recolor of the Duskhaven Terrier mentioned in my last post (if that was ever implemented as well, of course).

Ambermill Spaniel (Cocker Spaniel)
Dalaran Spaniel (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel)
-I noticed a distinct lack of spaniels in my list, and Dalaran is a good place to put them.  They mix well with other human kingdom dog breeds (mostly chosen from European and American backgrounds).  Plus, spaniels tend to be cute as heck.

Draenor Orc
Talador Spitz (Basenji)
Tanaan Sighthound (Azawakh)
-Both the aforementioned African breeds fit well with the Orcs, and would behave similarly to the Australian breeds mentioned before.  Basenji are very similar to Dingoes in the fact that they are both Pariah dogs.  Both breeds fit well into the Orcish lifestyle we've seen so far in WoD (i.e., #savage).

What do you think?  Any dog breeds you'd like to see that weren't listed?  How would you like to earn dog pets?  Let me know on Twitter!