Thursday, August 10, 2017

7.3 PTR: Time-Gated Pets of Argus

UPDATE: Blizzard has clarified the time-gated Argus progression timeline.
“Week 1” is currently active on the PTR. This includes the first two story chapters and their related unlocks, including World Quests in the first two Argus areas.
“Week 2” will activate tomorrow, August 16. This includes the next couple chapters of the story, access to the third Argus area, and Invasion Points
“Week 3” will activate Friday, August 18. This includes the remaining story chapters and the rest of 7.3’s non-raid content, such as the Seat of the Triumvirate dungeon and access to the Netherlight Crucible.

This would mean the following Argus-dropped pets will be available in the following order:
  • Week 1 of 7.3 - Docile Skyfin, Fel-Afflicted Skyfin, Rebellious Imp
  • Week 3 of 7.3 - Grasping Manifestation
  • Unknown - Cross Gazer (possibly week 1) and Uuna

---------------------------------

I've been doing some Argus testing on the 7.3 PTR, and noticed something interesting that might be important for pet collectors.

TLDR; a few Argus pets that drop off of rares might be locked behind quest progression, which will be time-gated (over the course of a few weeks) for everyone.

Initially, rares and rare elites behaved similarly to most WoD spawns. Consistent spawning with a "once per day, per character" type of mechanic. In the most recent PTR build, however, this seems to have changed. For a few NPCs, at least.

This is only my own speculation, but there seems to be a couple of different types of 'rares' on Argus. World Quest rares (think Demidos and Orumo the Observer, only drops loot when their quest area is active) and normal rare spawns (once per day, per character types).

After this week's PTR patch, one rarespawn (Ataxon) suddenly seemed to changes its behavior. Prior to the patch, it was up every day and marked as a rare (giant gold star) on your minimap, and it also dropped loot. Post-patch and although Ataxon was spawned for me, it was not flagged as a rare and killing it yielded no loot at all.

I did some research on Wowhead and it turns out Ataxon (plus another rare that drops a pet) is likely tied to Argus World Quests. This might mean they will only have loot for you during their active WQ (similar to Demidos and Orumo).


On the other hand, Naroua appears to have two IDs for the same NPC. One for the rare that's spawned all of the time (thanks to @patf0rd for confirming), and one for the rare that's the objective of a WQ. The other two NPCs only seem to have one ID (for their WQ).

So what does this mean for pet collectors? If the two rares are only available for loot when their WQ is active, the pets that drop off these two NPCs will be gated by quest progression. To unlock WQs for certain regions of each Argus zone, you need to complete specific portions of the Argus story.

For Mother Rosula WQ - complete quest The Burning Heart
I believe this takes place toward the end of the quest chain at Krokuun, and during transition to the next zone, Antoran Wastes.
For Ataxon WQ - complete quest Seat of the Triumvirate: The Crest of Knowledge
Mac'Aree seems to be the final zone you'll head to, so this quest chain will take longer to access. There's an earlier quest, Sigil of Awakening, that unlocks Mac'Aree WQs in general, however I've completed that and Ataxon was still not available for me. This leads me to believe that you need to complete the quest that specifically awards Western Mac'Aree WQs (this is where the NPC is located).

During the recent Developer Q&A with Ion Hazzikostas, it was clarified that the Argus story will follow a time-gated model.

From Wowhead liveblog of the Q&A: Argus should have lots of stuff to do -- it has 5 chapters and you'll have lots of stuff to do. The second week, you'll unlock invasion points and the second zone. After the second week, you'll unlock the Netherlight Crucible and the dungeon, the Seat of the Triumvirate.

The noted rares above, if they are indeed tied to WQs, will depend on your own quest progression and time-gating. Pet collectors will probably be unable to jump right in and collect these specific pets. But I should mention that there are MANY other pets that will be readily available for collecting in 7.3. Pet collectors won't be without anything to do. ;)

Anyway, this is still the PTR so the above is all subject to change. These are just my initial observations and speculation - ones that I wanted to share with the community as early as possible to try and stem confusion. I know how frustrating it can be to feel unsure of what's "supposed" to happen and if you're doing something "wrong", especially in Legion where gating/time-gating is noticeably prevalent.

Last but not least, a couple other quests/NPCs that also drop pets but I've found no information/details on:


If you have any information on these two, or any corrections/clarifications on any of the above, please let me know!

Monday, August 7, 2017

7.3 PTR - Argus Wild Pet Colors

I couldn't wait for the new wild pets found on Argus in 7.3, so I did some testing on the PTR. It turns out that 4 out of the 12 new wild pets will come in at least two colors. If there are other wild pets that come in various skins, I haven't seen them yet -- please let me know!


Antoran Bile Larva (Antoran Wastes) - comes in green and red



Bile Larva (Krokuun) - comes in green and purple



Pygmy Marsuul (Mac'Aree) - comes in blue and yellow-green



Skyfin Juvenile (Mac'Aree) - comes in blue-orange and orange-white


The two larva pets share the same coloring (green), so if you're looking to collect all available colors you'll only need to collect two of one and then the remaining color of the other larva pet. Or you can collect two each - to each their own! I believe these pets do come in at least a few different breeds... all the more reason to collect more? ;P

Personally, my favorite out of the four is the Skyfin Juvenile. Such a neat looking pet in such vibrant colors!

I'm SO looking forward to collecting all of the Argus wild pets in 7.3! While I enjoy making sure my collection is complete with all possible pet colors, I'm a little glad that there's only a few that have different skins. Otherwise I think my Pet Journal would overflow hehe.

It's a bit surprising that there's no 'Argus Safari' (collect all wild pets of Argus) achievement, but that's ok. There's plenty of pet content coming already. ^^;

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Twilight Now Available From Blizzard Store

Yesterday it was discovered that a new mount and pet would be coming in the near future, however it wasn't clear when they would be available.

Spoilers: The answer is today, they're both available from the Blizzard Store today!


Twilight is a new little kitten using a similar (but tinier and cuter) appearance to the new Argus felines (example: Darkfang).

She changes colors - blue (I believe this is her default), purple, and yellow. This adorable new kitty also enjoys sitting on your lap (target and emote /sit), dancing with you (target and /dance), and climbing onto the Pilfered Sweeper!


The pet and mount combo costs $30, and Twilight by herself costs $10.

I absolutely didn't expect Twilight today. A future promotional pet of some sort, yes. But color me completely surprised at how soon she was released. We only just had a preview yesterday! What a pleasant surprise it is, though. :)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

7.3 PTR - Argus Pet Battle Content

UPDATE: Developer Jeremy Feasel has pointed out that the Crysa and Environeer Bert encounters are using some new tech on the PTR. Their pets will scale down to match the highest level pet on your team! :O


The quality of the trainer pets do not change, however the abilities they have available to them does change depending on their scaled level.

Some really interesting stuff here! If this initial trial goes well, I wonder if we can expect to see this tech deployed to all trainer battles? It might make getting into Pet Battlers much easier for newer players.

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Gigantic pet update in today's PTR build. Will update with more detailed information once I'm able to go through it all.

Summary:
  • New achievements (Family Familiar-style but for Argus)
  • 23 new pets, 12 of which are wild from Argus

--------------------------

New achievements break down:

Unlike Family Familiar which only requires 12 out of the total number of trainers, it sounds like each achievement under Family Fighter requires defeating all 18 of the following Argus Pet Battle World Quests/pet NPCs:
  • Baneglow
  • Bloat
  • Bucky
  • Corrupted Blood of Argus
  • Deathscreech
  • Earseeker
  • Foulclaw
  • Gloamwing
  • Gnasher
  • Mar'cuus
  • Minixis
  • One-of-Many
  • Pilfer
  • Retch
  • Ruinhoof
  • Shadeflicker
  • Snozz
  • Watcher

UPDATE: According to developer Jeremy Feasel, all 18 pet NPCs will be spawned indefinitely and can be battled even if their World Quest isn't active. Hooray!

--------------------------

New pets break down: Wowhead has a list with images of the new pets here, plus an early preview of a datamined pet, Twilight Kitten.

A text version of all datamined 7.3 pets can be found here.
  • Wild pets: 12 (Argus)
  • Drops: 5
  • Quest reward: 1
  • Achievement reward: 1
  • In-game holiday event: 1 (Winter Veil)
  • Vendor: 1
  • Unknown: 2

Twilight Kitten, which is not listed in the Pet Journal currently, also falls under "unknown". However, @perculia has stated that the datamined info says it will be from the in-game Blizzard shop.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Patch 7.3 PTR: Raiding With Leashes V....?!

UPDATE: Possibly 18 new pet NPCs on Argus, similar to the Tanaan Jungle legendary NPCs? Thanks to @patf0rd and Paladance on WarcraftPets Discord for pointing this out.

Developer Jeremy Feasel also noted:

Can't wait to check these new Pet Battles out!

! → Also, additional updates on RWLV color-changers and Celestial Calf down below.

-----------------------

This week was a big surprise for pet collectors - Raiding With Leashes V: Cuteaclysm popped up on the 7.3 PTR! The previous Raiding With Leashes IV was released in Patch 7.1, so the next installment wasn't expected so soon. What a wonderful surprise! :D

Collectors will need to obtain 15 new pets from Cataclysm-era raids, and upon collecting them all will be rewarded with Amalgam of Destruction.



Here's a break down of the pets and which raid/boss they'll drop from. Image heavy warning!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

7.3 PTR - Datamined New Pets and Models

UPDATE: Dibbler will NOT be from a Gnomeregan Pet Battle Dungeon. There's currently no indication that this dungeon will be in 7.3.

However, @patf0rd discovered where the Leprous Sack of Pet Supplies will come from, a new trainer!

Environeer Bert is a new trainer with an all mechanical team. He can be found in Gnomeregan, in the left tunnel after exiting the elevator. He offers the daily quest, 'Bert's Bots', which awards the new bag.

I went out to try out his battle and I have to say, I think it's a bit overtuned and buggy right now. As detailed in @patf0rd's @patf0rd's Wowhead comment comment, M-37's Firebomb ability does Elemental damage instead of Mechanical as advertised in the tooltip.

This combined with how hard some abilities hit makes me think this encounter is overtuned. Especially when compared to a similar all-single-pet family trainer, Crysa. The dot also targets pets that burrow/use evasion effects, which makes it even more brutal. I don't think the difficulty level matches how accessible Bert's daily is.

But we'll see what happens. The fight may need some tweaking, but overall it's an interesting battle! (Let's just not talk about the RNG bag though....)

-------------------------------

Blizzard was not joking when they said more content at a faster pace in Legion -- 7.3 PTR is already here! *whew*

As always, everything discovered/datamined from the PTR is subject to change before patch release. We're still very early on in the PTR testing, so some content may still be WIP or not yet available.

New content
  • 4 New pets:
    Dibbler - Drop from Leprous Sack of Pet Supplies (hint of upcoming Gnomeregan Pet Battle Dungeon?!)

    Ghost Shark - Pet Journal lists it as a vendor item from Nat Pagle fishing, but could be placeholder info

    Golden Retriever (datamined by Wowhead) - Unknown source

    Naxxy - Vendor pet during Hallow's End, costs 150 Tricky Treats
  • New Summon Random Favorite Pet Button in the Pet Journal
  • Datamined Australian Shepherd puppy models



This is just the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure. The Gnomeregan Pet Battle Dungeon hasn't been officially announced/released for testing/confirmed yet, but... *crosses fingers* ^^;

I can't wait to see what else 7.3 has in store for pet collectors and battlers!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Lament of a Non-PVPer - Brainstorming Ideas For More Accessible PVP Pets

Lately I've been diligently completing the PVP tower WQs on my main (alliance) and an alt (horde). But this hasn't always been the case -- I admit that up until this point, I haven't been keeping up with the PVP WQs. Like at all. And I fully recognize that it's because of my own laziness and aversion to anything PVP-related that I'm so behind on Prestige ranks (barely halfway to Prestige 2 on my alliance, and a little further on my horde).

I also realize that it's kind of silly to be so against Honor grinding this expansion when PVP tower WQs are available. They're more PVE than PVP. BUT! I must mention that I HAVE had someone of the opposite faction try to kill me at one of the PVP towers. Luckily I was on my Druid so it was fairly easy to run away. I couldn't go back to finish that WQ for a few hours though, for fear of being drawn into actual PVP again. And the free-for-all WQs? I don't even try.


Alliance Enthusiast - reward from Prestige rank 1

Anyway, all of this has made me realize how demoralizing this grind is. The desired end goal of this grind (Prestige 7 for the Dutiful Squire and Dutiful Gruntling) seems SO very far away for a non-PVPer that's lagging behind.

The end of Legion is probably still a ways off, but there's still some anxiety/panic for me when it comes to these PVP pets. So far, developers have offered up zero information on whether or not the current Prestige rewards will be available after this expansion ends and the next expansion begins.

Expansion-exclusive rewards would mean there's only so much time left to grind your face off to reach desired ranks. Added pressure of a deadline makes it even less enjoyable, especially for someone like me who didn't like this task to begin with.

What could developers do to make the PVP pets more accessible as we get later and later into Legion? Or even possibly after Legion? I took to Twitter and brainstormed a little with a couple of others!

  • Reduce amount of Honor required for each Prestige rank
    I believe they did this for Prestige 1, but the others were increased. To make it take less time before the expansion ends, I think reducing the Honor required to reach each rank would help a lot.
  • Change requirements for PVP pets completely (not Legion-Prestige related) and make them available on a vendor
    Currently the pets are tied to Prestige 1 and 7, but what if the requirements were changed? Maybe complete a new quest? Or new achievement? And then you're allowed to purchase the pets off a vendor.
  • Make the pets cageable (I'm not a fan of this one in this specific situation)
    The reason why I'm not a fan of these pets being cageable is because developers seem to WANT them to be exclusive, and WANT us to participate in a specific activity to earn them. Cageable would go against that design philosophy.
  • Increase Honor gain (suggested by @noeldillabough)
    Increased Honor earned from simple PVP-related tasks would help a bunch. Coupled with lowered required Honor to reach each rank, would make the race to collect these pets before the end of the expansion less stressful.
  • Purchasable for Marks of Honor (and possibly a next expac-Prestige rank requirement? preferably reasonably low rank :P) (suggested by @liopleurodonic)
    This one seems most likely to happen -- remove the Legion-Prestige rewards, but you can still collect them by reaching X Prestige in the next expansion, and if you have enough Marks of Honor you can buy them using that currency. My concern is whether or not Marks of Honor will be reasonably collectible by non-PVPers like myself, and IF they attach a Prestige requirement to this, whether or not there will be a more "PVE" option to earn Honor like the PVP towers in Legion.

Those are just a few ideas on what could be implemented as either a catch-up mechanic or new method of collecting these pets. I'm sure there are many other good ideas out there. Who knows? Maybe developers already have something in store for us in the future.

Bottom line for me -- This grind is very discouraging and I sincerely hope there's a plan going forward to help PVP noobs like me, and to make sure the rewards are more accessible late in the expansion.

I'm doing the PVP tower WQs daily on two characters, not even Prestige rank 2 on either toon yet, and the end seems so far away. Add to that I Just. Don't. Know. How much time I have left to reach Prestige rank 7 before the end of the expansion and possibly the removal of the Prestige rewards.

If there's no time limit and the rewards will be available indefinitely, great! It won't be as nerve-wracking of a grind and maybe a catch-up mechanic won't be necessary.

But without having confirmation of one way or another....talk about a stressful endeavor. =\

Edit: Thanks to @Evolyn_Warcraft, here's a handy chart breaking down Honor earned and how much it will take to reach Prestige 7.

According to this, at the current rate I'm going (3 PVP towers a day which equals to 1035 Honor/day - using a Guild Battle Standard) it will take me approximately 339 days to reach Prestige 7, minus 1.5 Prestige ranks and give or take a few days.

That's almost an entire year.

If (and that's a big 'if' since there's no official word) these Prestige rewards are going away at the end of Legion and there are no catch-up mechanics or changes.... then I hope this expansion has more than a year left to go. T_T

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sun Darter Hatchling Found Thanks to WoW Secrets Discord

The WoW Secrets Discord has done it yet again, and I was fortunate enough to watch the adventure unfold.



Sun Darter Hatchling location has been discovered, and after an entire day of brainstorming, testing, and puzzle-doing...they unlocked how to collect this pet!

Here is the original Google Doc that documented their progress: Cavern of Consumption. Huge thanks to Sinnie for keeping this document up-to-date throughout the day.

I won't go into detail on every step necessary to collect this pet. A better guide will be posted on Wowhead soon, I'm sure. However, I will list the consumables you need in order to "solve" all of the puzzles inside the cave.

Edit: Here's a guide from the Secrets Discord channel, and a Wowhead guide/comment: here.

Consumables you'll need, in order as used inside the cave:

Do not click off any of the buffs. Just continue using consumables as necessary to bypass each obstacle.

If at the very end, in the cavern with the lake and egg, you cannot use your Scroll of Intellect -- only then should you click off all other buffs.

Good luck to everyone! And thank you to the dedicated detectives in the WoW Secrets Discord channel for figuring all of this out. It was a pleasure to watch everything slowly unfold. MVPs were those willing to gather/buy the materials to make many consumables and test things over and over. There are too many to name, but you know who you are. :)

And thank you to Blizzard devs for creating this interesting puzzle!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Patch 7.2.5 Pet Content

Patch 7.2.5 is set to release this coming Tuesday, June 13. Here's what pet collectors can expect/look forward to in the patch!

10 New pets! Some of which may not be available at the start of 7.2.5 though.

Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon - 4 new pets
There are three new pets to purchase from the vendor using a new currency that's earned from the Challenge quest of the scenario, and an achievement pet for completing Pet Battle Challenge: Deadmines.


If you complete the Challenge Deadmines quest every single week, it should take you 6 weeks to collect all three vendor pets.

Here's an overview of the Deadmines Pet Battle Dungeon from the PTR.

Deaths of Chromie Scenario - 2 new pets
This is more complicated than the Deadmines Pet Dungeon and not as straight forward when it comes to collecting the pets, but this scenario has a chance to drop two new bronze dragon pets.

  • Both pets have a chance to drop from Time-Lost Wallet.
  • Time-Lost Wallet is only sometimes awarded from Sands of Time.
  • Sands of Time can occasionally drop from mobs inside the scenario and special Time Chests.

After earning enough reputation to reach rank 5 with Chromie (Bronze Ally), you can choose the tier 5 talent, Fortuitous. This increases the odds of looting Sands of Time, which in turn increases your chances of receiving Time-Lost Wallets.

Rogue pickpocketing - 2 new pets
Rogues get a short quest chain in their Order Hall. Completing it allows you to pickpocket a new currency, Coins of Air, from mobs on the Broken Isles. Griftah (in the Rogue Order Hall) sells two new pets for 10k Coins of Air each.

Tomb of Sargeras meta-achievement - 1 new pet
Completing Glory of the Tomb Raider awards one new pet. It can only be completed in Normal mode or higher.

The Tomb of Sargeras raid does not open up until June 20 (see raid release schedule here).

????????? - 1 new pet
Sun Darter Hatchling was added, however it's currently not collectible as far as we know.

There's little to no information on where this pet will come from. The Pet Journal says it drops from an Oddly-Colored Egg, but where can this egg be found?

The pet's flavor text might hint that we'll need to wait until Argus. "This unique species of faerie dragon is not usually found on Azeroth."

Friday, June 9, 2017

Activity-Exclusive Pets In Legion

A late addition was added to the 7.2.5 PTR. With the patch set to release next week, this pet really seems more like an afterthought than a well-thought out and planned reward.

The pet, Micronax, is earned by completing the meta-achievement Glory of the Tomb Raider. This achievement can only be done in Normal mode or higher. The pet is BoP and not cageable.

Needless to say, some pet collectors are not all that enthusiastic about this. Myself included; it really saddens me to see the community divided and/or feeling upset over how a pet is implemented.

This has been a long-time coming, but I think it's time to address the seeming trend in Legion. Activity-exclusive battle pets.

The direction of pets becoming more and more exclusive to a specific activity, with no other recourse other than to do said activity, is becoming exhausting and discouraging. It feels as if a certain balance between multiple gameplay factors has been lost or abandoned, and things are becoming too extreme.

Why is Micronax and the achievement it's tied to so disliked by some in the pet collecting community? What makes this situation any different from other achievement pets?

Micronax pushes the boundary of what collectors need to do to fulfill their style of gameplay. It's the FIRST pet reward from a raid meta-achievement. The closest exclusive pet from a group-achievement is Lagan. Even that pet was somewhat crossing the line for a few collectors, as it required the help of 4 other players in a Mythic dungeon. Many see Pet Battles and pet collecting as more of a "solo" and "casual" style of play. And Lagan put collectors in a position where they had to travel outside of that preferred style.

However, other achievement pets fit more inline with solo-gameplay. Zoom, for example, is a from a quirky achievement that can be completed alone OR with others.

The upcoming Micronax cannot be earned alone, at least for a few expansions. There's no option but to either wait that long or do the achievement yourself.

More and more collectors are feeling pushed out/away from their preferred gameplay because of the extreme and exclusive direction Blizzard is taking with pets. Pets seem to be treated more like any other reward in Legion, rather than a mini-game localized to itself.

It's understandable that the developers want to encourage everyone to try new aspects of the game, but for a collector, Legion is starting to feel more like mandatory participation and not so much like encouragement.

I've heard multiple times throughout the community a growing sentiment that Blizzard would much rather push players into activities they may not wanted to participate in, instead of maintaining pet collecting. They feel coerced and forced into parts of the game when all they would like to do is collect pets/play solo.

For collectors, the pet IS the game, the goal, the activity. To gate this gameplay behind another activity that's completely unrelated...it's only a matter of time before it's just too demoralizing to continue. As Liopleurodonic once said, "...it's a lot easier to stay motivated when completion is an attainable goal."

I was really hoping that Micronax would be tied to the Glory achievement, but not directly like the title. My hope was that it would be similar to the MoP and WoD Challenge Mode pets, and collectors would be able to find a pet-friendly guild should they be unable to or unwilling to complete the achievement themselves. This would give collectors options, something that seems to be missing these days.

I think this is one of the reasons why collectors are starting to feel more alienated. The options are disappearing, and the number of pets in Legion where there's only one way to collect a pet is growing.

It's getting overwhelming. The carrot being so far away has left some collectors feeling like there's no point, no hope, not doable, why bother.

Do I think it's ok to have some exclusive pets? Sure. Some variation is nice and probably healthy for the game.

But I think there needs to be a balance with exclusive pets. Maybe make them tradeable or cageable in the future. Maybe add them to a number of different exclusive sources. Even better yet, keep the number of exclusive pets to a minimum, while providing an abundant number of pets readily available for all collectors.

Balance. Options. These would make situations like Micronax, the class exclusive pets, the PVP pets, feel better for many collectors. Sometimes that's what people need - even if it's all in their head, you can't understate how important it is to FEEL positive/hopeful about something.

Balance the RNG better with other factors. Requirements should be reasonable (as subjective as that is). Give collectors different ways to collect pets. Keep the number of exclusive pets small, allowing collectors to feel that there's much more they can actually accomplish rather than not.

I recognize that much of this post is entirely subjective. How one person views pet collecting in Legion may not be the same as how someone else sees it. My thoughts may not accurately reflect that of the entire community. I am merely pointing out my observations and thoughts on this matter.

My personal feelings about Micronax and similar activity-exclusive pets are more ambivalent. Part of me is not happy but is willing to accept it. Part of me is hopeful that there will be changes made along the way to help out collectors (pets changed to BoE and/or cageable). And part of me is deeply invested in the community and wants to see collectors happy and excited about a new pet, not upset and disappointed.

We, as pet collectors, need to admit and accept that the pet collecting environment is probably changing. Perhaps exclusive pets are just how things will be from here on out. Pets may not be just for Pet Battles anymore, and we may see more pets added as mere rewards for various activities.

We must consider that developers might be looking at a bigger picture, and these exclusive pets are intended as long-term gameplay. Content that doesn't have to be completed right away, and it's something that's perfect when there's not much else going on later down the line. It's also possible that they have plans for the future to make exclusive pets less exclusive and more inclusive.

However, I still hope that developers will acknowledge that some pet collectors are feeling very discouraged and alienated. That there's ongoing sentiment that pets are being used to force players into different aspects of the game, rather than in an already established mini-game. And that Blizzard will take all of this into consideration and possibly address these issues going forward with pets that are implemented in a more thoughtful and collector-friendly way.
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