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Pet Battling!
Mok'ra, Tribe!

Two weeks ago I tried pet battling for the first time. I'd never touched this side of the game before, as I'd always had other, more pressing things to do, like dailies, crops, and so forth. But two weeks ago, I gave pet battling a shot, and within minutes I was hooked! It is a compelling mini-game that appeals to the collector in me (get them ALL!) and to the puzzle-solver (to defeat a pet with XYZ abilities, which one of mine should I use?).

So I thought I'd start a thread here for comments, advice, and reflections about pet battling!

Here are some of the things I've learned: Pet battling is like a big rock-scissors-paper game, with 10 pet types, each one strong or weak against different types. A beast and a mechanical-type pet make two good first pets, as beasts are strong against critters, while mechanicals are strong against beasts, and most of the wild pets out there are... critters or beasts.

Pets come in four different flavors: rare, uncommon, common, and poor. I keep my eyes open for the rare ones and capture those to add to my collection. I generally capture the *first* pet of a new type, no matter what its quality is, then I upgrade it to a higher quality pet when I can -- always with the hope of finding a rare one.

Pets also come in different breeds: different breeds have different weights for health, attack power, and speed. Some breeds are better than others. I've barely scratched the surface of this aspect of the game.

The game culminates in set-piece battles against tamers with a set team of extra-strong pets. My original regular team defeated these easily enough until I got to the Northrend tamers, who squashed my team into the ground. At that point I realized that I needed to level up new pets to defeat particular tamers -- the Crystalsong Forest and Dragonblight tamers in particular (I leveled three turtles and a bandicoon to beat them).

I found that getting that FIRST pet to 25 is the hardest. I hit a slump around level 11 when it started to take many more battles to gain a new level. I found, though, that once I had one level 25 pet, it was much much easier to level more up. To do this I run a low-level pet with some high-level ones, swapping the low-level pet in for just one turn, and finishing the battle off with the big, bruiser 25. My lowbie pet gains levels fast this way (fighting against wild 25's I've found that the first battle will take a pet from level 1 to 5, the second from 5 to 7. Then it will gain one level per battle until about level 18, when it starts to take more than one battle to gain a level, but it's still not that bad. I've found that the final haul, from level 24 to 25, takes 5-6 battles.)

My favorite leveling-up spot is the lake right next to the Shrine of Two Moons, which is full of Eternal Striders. I have a level 25 Pterrodax Hatchling, which is very strong against aquatics and has a nice self-heal -- he can solo three of them with no problem. The stablemaster, who heals and revives pets, is really close -- right up on the balcony where the flight master is. So it's easy to do a couple battles, fly up for a heal, and come back for more battles.

So far, my favorite pets are...

* Darkmoon Cub. My first beast pet and my first to reach 25. He slaughters Critters with a few swipes of his paw, and his Devour ability heals him so he can just keep on ticking from battle to battle.
* Clockwork Gnome. My first mechanical pet. He's slower than the Darkmoon Cub, but once he gets going with his turrets and his self-heal he's inexorable. Excellent against beasts. The Gnome and the Cub were the core of my original team.
* Celestial Dragon. Great all-around pet with particular strengths against Flying and Magic type pets, with a huge nuke and a nice self-heal.
* Pterrodax Hatchling. Excellent against aquatics, with a good basic attack, a big nuke, and a self-heal. My go-to pet for power-leveling lowbie pets at the lake next to Two Moons. He can one-shot or two-shot grey aquatics, which makes power-leveling with him really fast.
* Fel Flame. An excellent Elemental-type pet that melts mechanicals into slag. He's pretty showy, with blazing fiery attacks, and is very satisfying to use.
* Terrible Turnip. This one ROCKS at capturing wild pets, because it has an attack that won't bring the wild pet below 1 HP, so the turnip can't kill it. One of the most frustrating things about pet collecting is accidentally killing the pet I'm trying to capture -- I have to bring it to low health to capture it, but not so low that it dies! The turnip is perfect for this job.

... and many more!

Okay, your turn!

What are your favorite pets? How/where do you level your pets up? Have you upgraded any pets to blue with flawless battlestones? Which pets are you trying to capture now? Which tamers are you working on? What neat things have you learned?
I am having more fun than I thought with the pet-battling feature. It has been great, and appeals to my moments of OCD. Gotta catch em all! (And then make sure they are Rare and Leveled to 25!)

I'm still a bit of a novice at this, as I only started a little over a week ago, but I'm improving. I am currently working on the Pandarian Spirit Tamers. For these battles I will need to level specific pets so it will take a bit more work than a normal, progression trainer. Fun!

My favorite leveling spot is the same spot as Zlinkas, yet I somehow didn't realize the Stable Master could heal your battle pets for a very nominal fee. That is very helpful! My favorite pets are the first I was able to level to 25, plus a couple others:

Water Snake
Dark Phoenix Hatchling
...some JC Panther that I cant remember exact name....some favorite eh?
Nether Faerie Dragon
Anodized Bear Cub

Also, can anyone share a couple links to different websites with pet battling info? I am looking on recommendations on which pets to use Battle Stones on, and can't locate a good list anywhere. Also, a guide on the Spirit Tamers would be nice. I know they should be in WoWhead, but I couldn't delve enough to find them.

Now, I need to start considering names for all my favorites....

Here's a site with some good, basic information for pet battles.

Shantow the Bear
The Ironsong Tribe

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." King
(02-11-2013, 09:28 AM)Krell Wrote: Also, a guide on the Spirit Tamers would be nice. I know they should be in WoWhead, but I couldn't delve enough to find them.

I've been using the detailed comments by Aaro to help me with spirit tamers:

Burning Pandaren Spirit

Flowing Pandaren Spirit

Whispering Pandaren Spirit

Thundering Pandaren Spirit

I'd also love to see a good list of uncommon-only pets that would be good targets for a battle stone!

Also, I'd love a good way to delve into my pet database to answer optimization questions like... I have a pet that has an ability that does double damage if the target is "Burning." Which of my other pets has an ability that applies the "Burning" debuff? And so forth.

Well, maybe you guys can help me.

I tried to get into the pet battles and just can't...seem to. Which is weird, because I am a collector. I love to collect mounts and achievement points (especially when mounts earn achievement points!), but pets throw me off.

I've tried leveling a bit and almost have some to level 10. It feels like such a daunting task to level one of each type up so you have something strong against every other type. Also, I don't feel that pet battles are very "Warcraft".

Anyway, I may just be a lost cause. But I figure I'd say something in case anyone has tips on convincing why this is worth my time, hehe.
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Well, I consider the pet battles to be a 'game within the game' which allows me to play a completely different game, yet stay within my WoW universe that I am already comfortable with. So, I get the benefit of doing something different, and the luxury of doing it where the people I enjoy are.

If one of your arguments is that it doesn't feel very WoW-like then I can't help you much there. Because it is different. But since it's contained in the WoW-world it works for me. It's something I can do at my own pace, and don't need to be paying close attention to the game for long periods on end. I appreciate that.

And you're right, it is difficult to level a pet (or team) to 25. But once you get one, it becomes MUCH easier to do. If you're a collector and like achievements, I challenge you to level a team you liek to 25, and see if it grabs your attention.
Shantow the Bear
The Ironsong Tribe

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." King
Hiya Melikar,

I agree with Krell -- I really enjoy playing a mini-game within World of Warcraft. I can log on, play at my own pace, pursue my own goals, yet still socialize with my friends and add achievements to my character. It's nice to do this within WoW itself.

I like the fact that I can progress entirely at my own pace -- I can even walk away from a pet battle in the middle of a turn and nothing happens. My pets don't get slaughtered, Zlinka doesn't die, there are no consequences. It's very relaxing to be able to pace myself and walk away if I need to.

I also like being able to choose my goals from a large menu of options. I could... capture a pet in every zone, capture one of every pet, battle every tamer, battle a pet in every city, level one of each type of pet to level 10, then level 25, and so forth. Each of those gave rise to several hours of leisurely, self-directed play.

I did find the whole leveling thing a little overwhelming at first. I started in Orgrimmar, with the dung beetles, and happily got my first randomly-chosen pet to level 3 or 4 within a few minutes. That was great. Then I went out into the wild and battled pets in Durotar, and Ashenvale, and was a little startled when a second pet appeared in level 5 battles, and then things got harder. I got beaten a few times, and had to go back to fighting lower-level pets until I had multiple pets at level 5. I leveled these slowly, generally fighting wild pets that were slightly lower level than mine. It took a while.

I originally had the idea that I'd level one pet of every type to level 10 as I went along leveling my first team -- I'd just keep my best two (a beast and a mechanical) and then swap in a third until it reached level 10, then swap in another. But this quickly became a real slog. Pulling a level 6 pet upwards with two level 12s took a long time, then swapping in another one and repeating similar battles in the same zones (Durotar, Ashenvale, and Stonetalon)? This wasn't much fun. Plus, the XP-gain of my main two pets slowed to almost nothing as they got less and less XP per battle the higher they got, while trying to drag a weaker pet along. I almost stalled out at that point.

Oryx, meanwhile, was bootstrapping his way up, capturing white or green-quality pets two levels above his highest pet and then switching over to those new ones, and using them to bootstrap himself to even higher pets. He rapidly passed me up with his bootstrap team, as I was trying to level about 10 pets at once and getting nowhere. I almost switched to his system... but then his system broke down in the high teens when his common-quality pets could no longer beat wild pets of higher level. He got stalled, too.

I switched to a new technique: choose three pets (my original two -- a beast (Darkmoon Cub) and a mechanical (Mechanical Gnome) plus a third, solid all-around pet, and got them up to 25. I leveled them using a combination of wild battles and tamers, while also working on the achievements of getting a capture in every zone, getting one of every pet, and beating all the tamers in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, which gave me goals to pursue and also varied the scenery and the fights so the game stayed fresh and interesting.

Once I had my first level 25 team, leveling new pets became much, MUCH easier. Plus, I was now pursuing much harder tamers. My original team of three got smeared against two of the Northrend tamers -- that was when I realized I needed to level up a few more pets to beat them. This went pretty fast. I found that the goal of leveling just three more pets (three turtles, in this case) was much more manageable than the abstract goal of leveling one of every type for an achievement. I got my three turtles, beat the tamer, and then leveled up a bandicoon for the next tamer. I grew my collection largely in response to what I needed to beat the tamers. Soon I had a growing collection of max-level pets to choose from -- and that in itself was fun, like choosing the right tool from a swiss army knife.

I finished beating the spirit tamers this week, and am looking forward to the new pets and new battles in 5.2!

Alright, I got my first pet to level 10 last night. Working on about five so I have some variation to choose from.

So far my main team consists of the Phoenix Hatchling, Cinder Kitten and a switch off between Moonkin (Humanoid) and Lil' XT (my mechanical).
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