I remember my first impression of Pet Battles when I heard about it in the beta – freaking awesome!

I also remember my first thought when I heard just how many new collectable pets there would be in the expansion, added throughout the world – Now I can put cute over collecting.

One of the things I’ve done in World of Warcraft over the years has been seriously collect the non-combat pets.

But I never started out as a collector. I started by seeking out the pets that were really cute

I’m just a pet kinda person. Especially cats.

An ‘oh too personal’ moment, maybe even TMI; I could have been the crazy cat guy, if my life had gone a different path.

Hell, I could have been one of those far out dudes you sometimes hear about, living on a private preserve with a dozen tigers roaming the grounds.

I’m the guy that, when asked “What would you do with a million dollars” for the high school yearbook, answered that I’d set up a private preserve in Montana or somewhere for big cats. Oh yes I did, I thought that would be freaking epic.

I am a long distance removed from that kid, but some things linger on. I still love cats, and most cats love being near me. Cassie says it’s creepy, but then again, she’s the one who is the current cat whisperer in the house, followed everywhere by our ginger kitty Meg, so hah!

My love of cats, and of cute pets in general lives on, and the non-combat pets in WoW satisfied my desire for cute little fluffy things… even those that were covered in spines and flames, like the Core Hound Pup.

That is the key point to this post. My desire to actually collect as many pets as possible did not start by wanting to be a complete collector. I started by wanting cute pets. Seeking out something like a Cockroach pet was the furthest thing from my mind.

It was only once I saw how close I already was to having all the pets in the game that I really pushed to get the rest of the way there. I became a collector because I’d done so much of the groundwork already, and hey, you get cute bonus pets for hitting those milestones! A Skunk? A Fawn? Ooh, a Celestrial Dragon?!?

There was that one day a few years ago, I think after I got the Stinker Skunk, that I thought “I’ve already got a bunch, let’s see how close I can get by making lists and stuff and taking it one day at a time.”

Nobody was more surprised than I by how successful I was in getting to 150 before the expansion came out.

A large part of my success was the WarcraftPets website, an outstanding site that let me create a personal account, track my collection and give me checklists on which ones I was missing, and clues on where they could be found.

Now, all that has changed. 

It would have been different if Mists of Pandaria was an incremental change.

Cataclysm was an incremental change to pets. They added 15 or 20 new pets, most of them requiring some form of grinding. Whether it be daily quests, rep levels or lucky drops from fishing or kills. If you wanted to continue working at having a complete collection, you could just expand your list a teeny bit and choose which pet to work towards next.

But they didn’t do that to Mists of Pandaria. It wasn’t incremental, it was a total transformation. They didn’t give us ten or twenty new pets, they gave us HUNDREDS.

To get those pets, you don’t have to hope for a lucky drop. You don’t have to work for a tedious grind, or do hundreds of daily quests for rep or tokens.

If all you want is the pet, you can go out and capture it through Pet Battles. Boom, done.

Sure, if you want to have a Rare quality, then that will take time and effort. But if you just want a Black Lamb, any quality of Black Lamb will do. The rarer quality pets don’t sparkle more when they’re out.

The only gateway is playing Pet Battles, and leveling a team of… cute little pets. Of YOUR choice. And that you can name.

Alex has a Core Hound Pup in his team. It’s his favorite. He has named it, “Mydogsonfire!”

Yes, there are other new pets out there too, that you can get from Quests or Rep, but there is a big difference to me between having a handful of new pets to look for, and HUNDREDS to choose from.

There are hundreds out there I don’t have, and that killed my craving to complete a collection. I was almost complete, and now there are more I don’t have than do.

I don’t feel like all of my previous collecting efforts were wasted, far from it. I had quite a few pets that I could cage and send to Alex and Cassie for their collections, rare ones that I was delighted to share. And I had a wide variety to choose from in building my starter team.

But now, with the flood of hundreds of new capturable pets… I no longer feel the desire to “catch ‘em all”. That craving to collect… it’s dead.

There are just too many.

Instead of feeling the collecting frenzy, I’m back to where I began… I want all the CUTE ones!

I like Pet Battles, but I agree with some of the folks that wish it was released a week before Mists came out. I would have liked having my team ready and waiting to capture Pandaria pets.

Every time I see a Bandicoot, I think back to my Storytime about the breezeway bandits, and my hands itch to capture me one of those. Or a whole family, to keep and feed my leftover chicken to.

This isn’t a complaint, it’s an observation. When there were only a few left out there, it was a goal that felt tantalizingly close.

Now that there are just so bloody many out there to choose from, I couldn’t care less about trying to collect every single one.

But I want those cute ones, oh yes I do. And I want a place to let them run free.

We’ve got Farmville in the game now. We’ve got our own special place to plant and grow vegetables, phased and special.

Can the Sunshine Sanctuary for Collected Critters be far behind?

Will Blizzard someday give me my own private preserve where the pets I’ve collected over the years can be released to play together and have fun, while I sit on the porch in my rocking chair, sipping my coffee, enjoying my pipe, and fretting over the feed bill?

Never say never, my friends.

The bandicoot is my new “must have” pet. Which one of the new ones is yours?

14 Responses to “Pet Battles – The Collection Killer”
  1. Celendus says:

    Prior to Pandaria, I had put zero effort into pets. That said, I have made it my mission to collect a certain 6 pets and I’m at 5. I just need to get the Children’s Week alligator, name it Gummy, and my collection will be complete.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      Gummy the Alligator? Lol!

      Have you looked at the crocolisk pets you can get from the Shattrath area cooking daily Chum Buckets? Crocolisk in the City?

  2. Theodoxus says:

    I want all the elemental pets, so I’m off to get Pebbles… my druid has 6/10 so far, and is closest to getting it.

    I still haven’t trained in pet battles. I have SOO much stuff to do otherwise, I’m up an hour past my bedtime as it is, and up when the alarm goes off to get 30-40 minutes of play in before work, and I still run out of time. chasing pets isn’t optimal at this point (and I’m seriously behind on my TiVo watching

    /shake fist at Blizz and Network TV syncing up so well.

    Heck, I just found the Anglers yesterday… more dailies! (At least each one gives a point in fishing too!)

    My poor monk, rushed to 25 so I could learn glyphs – is stagnant. My priest gets a few quests tossed to him daily (and runs to Silken Fields for tailoring Imperial Silk) and everyone else is just slowly absorbing rest xp… some day, my friends, some day.

  3. Mama Druid says:

    There’s only been a few must haves for me.

    1. Sprite Darter – Got it long ago via an Alliance-only quest in Feralas. I loved it’s bright colors and it seemed like an appropriate companion for my druid. I had to have one.
    2. Willy – I didn’t even know about his cool features when he was made available via Children’s Week; he drools, takes naps, and ZAPS CRITTERS WITH A LASERBEAM FROM HIS EYE!!!! He was battling pets before there were pet battles. Yeah, he’s awesome and he has the honor of taking up a very valuable spot on my spell bars.
    3. Stinker – When I first saw skunks scurrying about in Azuremyst on my new Draenei, I had to have one. Their big bug eyes were too dang cute! I was sure a vendor would be selling them in the capital city. But no, the vendor sold moths. Disappointed. But then the new achievement system was implemented and lo and behold I could have my very own cuddly skunk.
    4. Tiny Sporebat – The only reason I ground Sporeggar rep.
    5. Perky Pug – I am a proud pug owner. Clearly, I needed to have this guy.
    6. Scooter – Just like Stinker, when I saw these guys in Darkshore after the Cataclysm I needed to have one. Thankfully they were made available via Children’s Week.

    Working to get Stinker turned me into a collector, albeit a casual one. The only one I’ve paid real money for was the panda monk when it was reduced to $5 recently. And I don’t spend large amounts of gold for them on the Auction House nor do I grind for them i.e., dragon whelplings, hyacinth macaw, trial of the champion pets. I still have a few to obtain; the crocs from the fishing dailies, the geode, Pebble, that God Forsaken Ice Chip That Never Drops. Shoot, as an enchanter, I still haven’t made the lantern pet! I always ended up using my mats to enchant my gear.

    As for Pandaren pets, I had not planned that out and just now looked to see what is available. I will need the Pandaren Water Spirit. When I played a panda monk in beta, I was endeared to the little spirits that were part of the quest line. I will also need a Wild Crimson Hatchling. And a kite. And a crane. Heh… gotta catch them all!

    My apologies for the mini post as a comment. :)

  4. Matty says:

    The little cricket, like Chester in one of my favorite stories, The Cricket inTimes Square. Dangit, Bear, you inspired another memory and story! ;)

  5. Rowtan says:

    I and a group of guildees just got the cute bunny from Stormstout Brewery – http://wow.joystiq.com/2012/10/03/how-to-get-a-hopling-pet/ – and it is the definition of cute .. i just want to /hug him all the time :-)

    We were a little concerned, initially, that perhaps only one person at a time could get it, but as it turns out, anyone in the party can pick up the statues – once you get 30 between you, you get the achievement and the bunny in the mail :-)

  6. TheWoWExp says:

    I have to try to get all the pets I can, but I want each pet to be at the same level, so it’ll take me some time. I still have to get a lot of my battle pets up to level 5 (highest is 12, my Perky Pug!). I don’t know wtf my obsession is with needing all my pets to be a similar level. I’ve always been that way.

    The pet I would love to have right now is the Crawling Claw. :D

  7. Kemonojin says:

    “Mydogsonfire”. Heehee…

    I have six of the worg pup from UBRS. You used to have to do a quest and kill Halycon, now you just beat down the scarshield quartermaster and he’s yours. My very favorite pet. When you rearrange your pokemanz list your first/main pet is the one that starts following you, but you can break out any other pet and still have whatever particular one you summoned follow you normally, though.

    Really disappointed that Lil’ Ragnaros isn’t a very good pet, at least the one I have… Hits really hard, (15) but really slow (8). I didn’t get my pokemanz past level 3 yet, though… which made for an amusing moment in Pandaria; “Oo, a tanuki!” (fight starts, a second one joins… and the first one is level 24.) Player used ‘Oh crap!’

    Using an all flying team right now, a pterrodax and the phoenix hatchling. :) Hatchling is weak against critters, which is everything I’ve fought so far. I wish I could remember what I had for a team in the beta…

  8. Pawzy says:

    Pet battles have been very, VERY addictive to me. I’ve got about 12 past level 6, with half of those very close to level 10. When I’m out and about on a lower level character, I have them battle pets while I’m questing. Once the pets are high enough for pandaria battles, they’ll run around with my 85+s.

    Before MoP, I collected pets because there wasn’t really much else I could do. I had been stuck in “waiting for content” mode for MONTHS. At least I got something to show for the time spent. I went from 25 to 125 pets in that time. ;)

  9. dubhe says:

    I must have the tiny rhino in scholozar basin. And the tiny mechanical field worker that I saw over near alliance stater land.
    I’m not sure tho about how it works exactly tho. I keep getting “poor” versions of the pet. I am not sure what that means.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      the ‘Poor” means that the power level of that pet is lower than it is possible to be.

      Just like with gear, your pets can have a quality rating based on color. Say your pet is level 5. A poor quality level 5 pet will have less health (by a tiny bit) and potentially less damage output than the exact same type of pet of the exact same level that was colored Green or Blue (Rare).

      This is why you can have more than one of each pet. You can have up to three of the same pet at any time, and before you can tame more you have to cage or release one of yours to make space. So it you go out to find and battle a Tiny Harvester in Westfall, and you succeed, the quality is random. Maybe he’s Poor, maybe he was Uncommon (Green). Whichever, if you cage him, you have him, but you can keep battling them hoping for a higher quality (Blue is the best).

      Or, you can decide you just wanted one to follow you around and be cute, not for battling, in which case even a Poor is just fine. The quality difference is inly revealed in Pet Battle performance.

      I hope that helps explain it!

      • dubhe says:

        Cool thanks for the info, very helpful.

        Lol, yes it was the “Tiny Harvester in Westfall” that I meant. I saw them when I was there to get one of the last recipes I needed for Iron Chef :)

  10. My new “musts have pet” would have to be the Summit Kid (in Kun-Lai Summit). It is the cutest thing EVER! Now all I have to do is get some pets leveled to 23-24 so I can go catch one. :o(

    Until then, I might have to settle on getting a Little Black Ram from Loch Modan.

    I’ve taken a break from battling pets and have been questing. I want to get a toon to 90 so I can get down to some serious farming/cooking.

    I have to say, so far this expansion is not good for the ADD afflicted…I keep finding so many things I “need” to do and can’t stay focused on anything more than a few days…lol.

  11. Kate says:

    I want all the rats. And every possible cat, although I’m not sure that I will be able to get the cheetah because I only ever see them with their mothers, and there’s no way I’m going to kill their mums in front of them.

    I’m hoping to eventually get a cricket and pretend it’s a weta. (Google image search with caution)

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