Posts Tagged ‘expansion’


Pet Me!

Voodoo FigurineSo you’ve just got the achievement ‘Can I Keep Him‘ for acquiring your first companion pet but you’re finding the prospect of hunting down another 149 for ‘Littlest Pet Shop‘ a touch daunting? Well, worry no more ‘cos Blizzard have your back! A new feature added to the character profiles on the World Of Warcraft website means that you can keep track of all the companion pets your persona currently owns but more importantly – also all the ones you have yet to collect! And to round it all off, they’ve done the same for mounts too! Yeah, ideal for all you peeps looking to grab ‘Mountain o’ Mounts‘.

If you’ve never checked out your character’s profile on the World Of Warcraft site, you really should. It’s a handy out-of-game summary of your character statistics and traits, good for evaluating your strengths and weaknesses plus it’s great for all the braggers out there. Just type your character’s name into the WoW site search box, find your particular version of that character in among the thousand and one others with the same name and away you go. You’ll find the new feature, the Companions & Mounts page, listed on the left-hand-side menu.

You can tweak the pets/mounts it shows with a number of filters (quests, drops, etc.) and mouse-overing a specific item will pop-up a larger version, with some details on how you can go about getting your mitts on it. Sometimes that information will probably be enough – other times, a site like Wowhead might be needed to help with the finer points. Btw, click and hold you LMB on the pet/mount image and you can drag it left and right for a 360° turntable effect. Very swish, eh?

All-in-all, it’s a really nice check-list feature, perfect for players aiming to ‘catch-em-all‘.

Side-notes – the little dude up there is the Voodoo Figurine companion pet, a ‘rare’ troll find obtained using the new Archaeology profession. There’s been several new pets/mounts added to the game with and since Cataclysm and I really, really should make a proper post about them. I will, eventually. Also, you’ll notice this article’s title refers to the pet aspect of the feature rather than the mounts. It’s just that ‘Mount Me!’ sounded just a little bit creepy. Okay, okay ‘creepier’.


The Green Proto-Drake is mine!

I spoke last year about the other rewards you could obtain from the Mysterious Egg / Cracked Egg item purchased when you reached Revered reputation with the Oracles from Geen, the gorloc Quartermaster but like I said, I hadn’t managed to claim the Reins of the Green Proto-Drake, a rather nice (280% speed) flying mount. Well, six months ago, that all changed.

Of course, I’d been obsessively smashing open those eggs ever since I first posted back in February last year (and doing a wonderful Auction House trade in Tickbird Hatchlings, White Tickbird Hatchlings, Cobra Hatchings and Proto-Drake Whelps). Then work issues got all-up-in- my-face and I had to take a break from WoW. After a lengthy absence, I came back to my old characters, rooted around in their banks and sure enough, one of them had a Cracked Egg that had run it’s course after I quit. What did I find when I popped it open?

Green Proto-DrakeAs the vaguely un-hip kids still insist on saying… Boo-ya!

I know these things are probably decided when you open the egg but it’s funny instead to think of this beastie crammed in a tiny egg, hidden away in a darkened bank vault for months on end. Well, now he’s free and happily flapping those huge scaly wings carrying my sorry butt from A-to-B (and back to A again when I forget what I was going to B for when I reach it).

As you can see in the screenshot, my character is transformed by the new disguise on the block, the Gnomeregan Pride reward, a quest item you receive from completing the Words for Delivery quest as part of the ‘Operation Gnomeregan’ Cataclysm pre-amble. For 30 minutes, you get to look like Gnomeregan Infantry. Shame it has a 4hr cool-down though. The only other rewards from the ‘Operation Gnomeregan’ quest line (apart from cash/exp) are a nice looking cloak (the Gnomeregan Drape) and a Feat of Strength achievement called, appropriately enough, ‘Operation: Gnomeregan‘.

Obviously, that’s for the Alliance. The Horde scum get to recapture the Echo Isles, earning the Darkspear Pride (which transforms you into a Darkspear Warrior for 30mins on a 4hr cool-down), a Darkspear Shroud and the ‘Zalazane’s Fall‘ Feat of Strength.

Hopefully, Cataclysm will bring forth a whole slew of new mounts and vanity pets to collect and sure enough, if things don’t get too hectic with work, I’ll try posting about how and where to get hold of them. See you there.


Stinker, looking for love

StinkerAlthough the Valentine’s day inspired ‘Love is in the Air‘ world event in World of Warcraft may be a distant memory and even the crying on the forums about the random nature of the Be Mine meta achievement has died down, there is still one critter out there desperately trying to ‘get his groove on’… and failing.

I am of course talking about the mighty Stinker. Now, I’ve already managed to obtain this pet (as detailed here) but was quite amused to find the bods at Blizzard have given this critter a little extra oomph in the personality department. Quite clearly inspired by the legendary skunk philanderer Pepé Le Pew, it seems our little Stinker has a thing for the ladies. And by ‘ladies’, I mean cats. Specifically, the Bombay Cat and the Black Tabby Cat.

Whenever Stinker spots either of these felines, he falls instantly in love, chasing his prey around the area until he is finally scorned and his heart breaks. All together now… awwwww.

Don’t worry though, old Stinker has the memory of a goldfish and will again be pursuing the unobtainable within seconds.


The Proto-Drake Whelp is mine!

Proto-Drake WhelpOkay, okay, I promise not to announce every single thing I acquire in World of Warcraft like this but this particular vanity pet has me more than a little pleased for the moment. Partly because it completes the ‘set’ and partly because it’s one of those long slog kind of rewards to get. Let me explain (and show you how to get your hands on the flying bundle of fun to the left)…

The Proto-Drake Whelp comes from the Cracked Egg, which comes from owning a Mysterious Egg for the alloted 7 days – after which, it transforms and the roulette of what you get can begin. The Mysterious Egg can be bought from Geen, the Oracles Quartermaster once you have Revered reputation with them (and 3 gold to spare). You’ll find this race of Gorlocs in their village at Rainspeaker Canopy, in Sholazar Basin, Northrend. Yep, you’ll need to be tootling around in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion for this reward.

Now, building reputation with these beasties requires you to have finished the Oracles quest line, ending with ‘A Hero’s Burden‘. This quest has you taking down an elite mob, Artruis the Heartless (so maybe bring friends) but during the fight, you’ll be attacked by a Gorloc and a Wolvar (the Frenzyhart Tribe being the other warring faction in the Basin – by this point you’ll have met them already). Who you kill decides which faction’s daily quests you can take. If you’re going for the Oracles rewards, you’ll want to beat the puppy to a pulp. Complete the quest chain and you’ll be honoured with the Oracles but hated by the Frenzyhearts. Meh. Never liked those slave-driving morons much anyway.

Right, now just do the daily quests in the Basin to earn that Revered standing and you can purchase a Mysterious Egg. Stick it in the bank for a week and forget about it. When you come back, crack that sucker open and then cry because, chances are, you’ll just get some Aged Yolk for all your effort. Don’t worry, you can buy another egg but that means another seven days. Yay!

If you happen to get lucky, you’ll receive one of four possible vanity pets. In order of how common they apparently are, you could get either a Tickbird Hatchling, a White Tickbird Hatchling, a Cobra Hatching or our friend up there, the Proto-Drake Whelp. If you’re really, really lucky (2% drop rate according to Wowhead), you could wind up with the Reins of the Green Proto-Drake, a flying mount!

No. I haven’t got that yet. *mutter* *grumble* Note – you can get the same pet even if you’ve already learnt that one. Great for flogging on the auction house, not so great if you’re impatient for some other reward.

So there you have it. How to get your very own Proto-Drake Whelp. It’s not a hard process and not particularly expensive either, just time consuming. Yes, I’ll probably be swimming in Aged Yolks before I ever get the flying mount but I’ve got my mind set on it.

Oh, and if you do get everything and become Exalted with the Oracles, don’t forget to switch back to the Frenzyheart Tribe faction, complete their daily quests and become Exalted with them so that you can earn the Mercenary of Sholazar achievement!


Meet Stinker!

StinkerYou probably already sussed from my first post talking about the new Achievements feature Blizzard added prior to the launch of the last expansion ‘Wrath Of The Lich King’, that I had my eye on the vanity pet collection achievements. Giving them their own tab and taking them out of your backpacks and bank slots, thereby ridding you of the space requirement certainly allowed even the most ardent pack-rat to enjoy the thrill of being followed around everywhere in game by a variety of pets.

So ever since that day, I’ve kept an eye out for new vanity pets. An auction purchase here, a quick quest or two there and a few trips to previously overlooked vendors, slowly adding to my collection until Sunday night when I hit the magic number – 50 and gained the achievement ‘Shop Smart, Shop Pet…Smart‘. Moments later, a letter from Breanni, the NPC pet-store owner in Dalaran, arrived commending me on my pet care and asking me to look after… Stinker, the vanity pet skunk.

So here I am with my collection of 51 vanity pets and of course I felt the urge to brag share the news of my accomplishment. It’s not such a tough feat all told – especially considering there are apparently over a hundred pets in game. But I’m still pleased. In fact, I thought I’d share with you my favourite ten pets… listed after the ‘jump’.

Click to continue…


Step away from the Mechanostrider, lady!

Like a drunken adult trying to ride a child’s playground ‘springy’, I bring you this screenshot of my World of Warcraft character in full Frost Vrykul disguise sat on his (yes, the disguise changes your sex if you’re a fella) swift, green mechanostrider. Riding on mounts that are clearly waaaaay too small for you is one of the delights that await you in the new expansion, Wrath of the Lich King. The mount considered too tiny for anything but a Gnome or a Dwarf to ride is apparently strong enough to support the weight of a hulking, frozen warrior in full battle armour. It’s Gnome technology at it’s finest!
Frost Vrykul on a Swift Green Mechanostrider
You might be wondering, since WotLK came out almost a month ago, why beyond showing you this hilarious scene (seriously, my eyes were watering after seeing this giant zipping around on a tiny mechanostrider… but, hey, that’s just me) I’ve been strangely quiet on the expansion-related article front. The fact is, I’ve been playing WotLK during pretty much any free time I can muster. Work has been torture. Not the regular torture that it usually is but a special kind of torture you’d only wish upon your most successful friends.

Wrath of the Lich King is great fun. I’ve really been enjoying it. Of course, people are devouring the new content at a lightning speed and if that’s your thing, go at it. For everyone else, I’d recommend taking things at your own pace. Enjoy the sights, take in the lore and for God’s sake, read the damn quest instructions, you morons! Sorry… sorry. One of the returning plagues from the launch of The Burning Crusade (heck, even the start of World of Warcraft itself) is the dumbasses who think yelling out to everyone else in the area to give them a point-by-point breakdown of every step a quest entails is somehow quicker than simply reading four or so lines of text.

Still, before long you find yourself in the next area and well away from those knuckle-dragging bozos. People seem to be handling the change of scenery in WotLK a lot better than TBC and feel quite at home in the Dun Morogh-esque snowy landscapes it provides. The gap between end-game TBC player items and WotLK new greens seems to be less drastic than the first expansion, quietening some of the masses this time round though there are murmurs that Blizzard might have gone too far in the opposite direction – that people rarely find the quest rewards a worthwhile upgrade to anything they already had. What can I say – you can’t please everyone.

New game mechanics in the form of vehicles have been the occasional questing highlight while playing through the expansion and a new slew of recipes are sure to keep me and my alts busy (and financially secure) for a long time to come. I can’t say I’m too enthralled with the new Death Knight class. Some people are having a whale of a time, to be sure (and others are crying that they’re too over-powered), but for me the late 50s and very early 60s are a real drag for my alts so having a class dropped right at the foot of that particular mountain just doesn’t inspire. Maybe a month or two down the road I’ll have an itch for something different but in what roughly amounts to three levels of DK starter quests, I can’t muster the energy to put aside my main and embrace the traitorous DK lifestyle.

So WotLK is lovely and I’m looking forward to getting as much blood from this particular stone as I can, as is MMORPG tradition but looking ahead, I really think Blizzard have to step up their game and try to adhere to their statement of providing something close to one expansion a year. Two years is too long to wait, if you ask me. I have to wonder if the majority of WoW’s playerbase would wait another two years for the next one.

And of course, I can’t end an article mentioning drunken adults on a playground springy without linking to this webcomic from Cascade Failure.


Achievapalooza 2008!

“Just One More Achievement…”According to the rather disturbing countdown clock on WOW Insider, Blizzard’s second expansion for World Of Warcraft – Wrath Of The Lich King, is due in just under a month (okay, okay, 23 days, 3 hours, 56 minutes and 6 seconds at the time of writing. See, I told you it was rather disturbing… who needs to be that fixated on an expansion’s launch?). I have mixed feelings about the launch day. On the one hand, I’m excited by the prospect of exploring all new lands and running away from all new critters but I also remember the launch of The Burning Crusade, the last expansion. The starting areas were flooded with players just as excited and due to a tweak in respawn timers (to ensure people weren’t sat around waiting for mobs to reappear, or more likely, at each other’s throats for ‘kill stealing’), you could down a critter and before your attack animation had ceased, a replacement had spawned and already be kicking your ass. It was a little… um… hectic, those first few days.

One of the things that I was rather looking forward to and something I’d talked about in the past, was the achievements. Well, a few weeks (months?) ago they announced that they were rolling some things previously assumed to be part of WotLK forward (such as pet revamps/class revamps, vanity pet/mount interface shuffle and the incription profession). Well, in the Tue/Wed 3.0.2 patch last week, they all arrived along with the new achievements feature.

Achievements boil the game down to it’s most basic of tick-box orientated gameplay. Visited all the areas in Durotar? Well done, you earn some points. Beaten seven shades of shinola out of Edwin VanCleef? More points for you! These are just some of the easy-peasy achievements. They also combine into sets so your Durotar wanderings add to your overall Explorer achievement for East Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland and Northrend. Your dungeon boss killing spree counts towards your various ‘Dungeonmaster‘ achievements. Some of these achievements will even earn you some lightweight rewards like titles, tabards and vanity pets. There’s tougher achievements in the mix, some that require long-term commitments and some that acknowledge bouts of luck such as rare kills/drops. All in all, that’s one helluva list (750 achievements… currently) of boxes to tick.

Me, I’m going all OCD on the easy ones. I’ve decided that the rest are going to have to be happy accidents if I get them or I’ll end up driving myself batty like the dopes on the forums. I have to admit, it’s kinda nice going about your business, playing the game as usual then seeing the whoosh of an achievement occur. Even reviewing your ‘progress’ on some of the others tempts you into focusing your gameplay a little more.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to infiltrate an enemy faction city and spend countless hours trying to catch a rare fish, all the while getting my ass handed to me by players trying to earn that bizarre “kill-then-/hug-emote-the-corpse” achievement…


Gotta catch ’em. All of ’em

EgbertApologies for butchering the Pokémon catchphrase but this latest announcement by Blizzard Entertainment for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion – ‘Wrath of the Lich King’, just puts me in mind of Nintendo’s obsessive collect-’em-up title.

I thought the hook was already buried deep within my cheek in regards to announced features for the expansion. Extensive new content? Yay! I want me some of that. Raise the level cap? Mmm-mmm! Loving that progression. Then they did it… They appealed to the brainless grinder in me. They announced their Achievements system.

Basically they’re borrowing the system Microsoft have made popular with their XBox Live ‘experience’, and bolting it into the perfect casing for such a devious set of enticements – a Massively Multiplayer Online game. With it they’ll be awarding points for completing various chores and attaining specific conditions (from the bizarre; getting your hair cut in a new WotLK barbershop… to the obsessive; raising your reputation with 40 factions to ‘Exalted’).

And what do points make? Prizes! (sorry, Brucie). And by prizes, I mean some fairly innocuous little rewards in the shape of titles, vanity pets and tabards. “More pets?” I hear you scream, “But I’ve got pets coming out of my ears! I can’t possibly devote yet more bank space to all these cute little critters!”. Worry not, that’s where Blizzard’s announcement comes in (you did click the link before, right?).

Blizzard CM, Wryxian, revealed that in WotLK, players won’t need to forever juggle bag & bank space due to their insane need to collect each and every mount and vanity pet in the game. You’ll simply ‘learn’ the pet/mount as you would a spell and it’ll appear in a new tab in your character info window to be called up whenever desired. Cool huh? Yeah. That’s me tied up until the expansion after WotLK comes out desperately trying to catch ’em all, too.

Oh, crapcakes!

ps. Almost forgot to mention – if you are planning on expanding your critter collection to near-legendary status, the website with all the information you could ever want is ‘’. Consider it a to-do list as well as a how-to guide.