New WoW Pet Goes Live! Oh, and some other game launches too.

Yesterday a brand new pet became available for players in World of Warcraft!

To quote Ming Ming, THIS. IS. AWESOME.

What, Wonder Pets rock, man. Get off me.

The pet, named Graves, comes from an achievement linked to your Battle.net Heroes of the Storm account.

Yeah, Heroes of the Storm. I dunno, some other game that I guess launched recently or something. I hear it’s a Blizzard game based on another game that was based on… a Blizzard game?

It’s always nice to have an example of when to use the term ‘incestuous’ in a family friendly setting. “Heroes of the Storm is the incestuous offspring of a Starcraft 2 mod and League of Legends, conceived while Infinite Crisis watched from a chair in the corner.”

Too soon?

Okay, jokes made, moving on.

Heroes of the Storm released on June 2nd for open play, which is very cool.

I’ve had access to the beta for a while now, and while I have not personally played it myself my son played it a lot in the early days of access.

He decided he loved Sgt Hammer, so I bought that character along with may others in beta bundles, and snagged some skins as well.

According to my Heroes of the Storm account information, the Cub played Sgt Hammer to level 7 and won 32 matches. He also got Arthas to level 2. He raised our overall player level to 12. And none of that means anything to me because I don’t really know if that’s good, bad, normal or amazing.

I’ve learned a few things thanks to my friends on Twitter this morning. Yes, friends on Twitter had to teach me about how a game I’ve had long time beta access to works.

Apparently, your individual characters max out at level 10, and you get the WoW pet once your overall player account reaches level 20. So you can play whatever characters you want in matches, and all of your playing contributes to your overall player level.

Thanks to my son, I’m already at 12 towards that new pet. That’s pretty cool.

Here’s the thing.

I want to want to play Heroes of the Storm, but I don’t.

If you understood that last sentence, you may have had too much coffee, just like me.

Please understand, I am NOT knocking the game. This isn’t a ‘ooh a cool new game came out, let’s be a prick and bash it’ kind of post. No!

I think it’s a great looking game. The character designs are awesome, the graphic resolution is vibrant and alive, I wish that World of Warcraft has the beautiful visuals this game does. It’s amazing. I like to relax and watch Twitch streams of the game in action, and the game itself even has a ‘watch a match’ feature so I can EASILY watch the games in action… while someone else plays it.

But… I don’t actually want to play it myself. I dread the very thought.

There is no excuse for this. I even bought my own character and special skin months ago just for me to play, that I thought looked fantastic. I bought Illidan, and his Spectre skin that is just amazing. I’d LOVE to make a cosplay costume for that skin appearance, it is the first design of anything I would actually want to build and wear to a convention. As long as I had internal cooling, anyway.

spectre-illidan-skin-1

spectre-illidan-skin-2

I can’t push myself past whatever mental hurdle is stopping me from logging in and playing it.

In fact, in some ways this post is a self-shaming attempt to goad myself into playing. In the back of my head is a little Spectre Illidan saying to me, “If you just yell at yourself in public and get people to tell you that you’re an idiot for not playing, maybe the peer pressure will shame you into playing . Judo throw, hiyaaa!”

As if peer pressure has ever made me do anything in my entire life. Hah. Spectre Illidan don’t know me very well, do he?

Now with the release there is a pet on the end of a string, being dangled in front of me just out of arms reach. An incentive meant to strike where I am weakest. If I just get in there and, here’s an amazing concept, PLAY A FUN GAME, I can get a free pet in WoW.

The free mount got me to play Hearthstone, the free pet should be just the right tool for this job as well.

Still and all, I’m dreading doing this. I can’t even figure out why.

It’s similar to that feeling when there is something that you’ve heard is really cool, a TV show or whatever, and the initial buzz sounds good, and your friends gush how great it is, but the longer you go without taking action the less you want to actually see it. It’s almost as though all the positive stuff heard about it goes in the brain and becomes actual weight, having mass and substance, one comment at a time. Eventually, just thinking about seeing the show feels like you’ve got to lift this heavy load of comments out of the way to do it. Exhausting.

Or am I the only one that ever gets that feeling?

My son liked Heroes of the Storm. I should like it too. It looks cool, I like Starcraft and this is kinda like Starcraft only without the building bases or resource management or single player storyline or… hmmm. Come to think of it, most of that is why I like Starcraft. Heroes of the Storm is a game where the stuff I like about Starcraft is removed and all that is left are the named characters bashing away at each other in a click frenzy.

No, that’s not it. That’s a simplistic description that hides the truth. Heroes takes the charming character of Starcraft and puts in a faster-paced action-filled game that does have deep strategy, aimed at moving your butt from start to finish. No slow build up, no fear of a zerg frenzy, no turtling, just go go go. I can get behind that.

But I still dread playing it.

This came out in the open when I tried to enlist a substitute player over dinner the other night.

“You know, son, there is a really cool new pet in World of Warcraft that you can unlock by getting to level 20 in Heroes of the Storm. You like pets, and you like Sgt Hammer a lot. Why not maybe play it some more and you could unlock that pet for us?”

He nailed me right to the wall.

“If you need to ask someone else to play a game for you to get a pet, there’s something wrong.”

Um, ouch.

Maybe this post will get my butt moving, and get me past this mental block I’ve got. Maybe, once I start playing Illidan (or Sgt Hammer, why the heck not, apparently the Cub isn’t going to anytime soon), I’ll develop a newfound love of the game and get hooked.

Maybe. I watch other people play the game like Kiye Berries (@kiyeberries) on Twitch, and it sure looks like they’re having some fun.

Then again, maybe not. I guess it’s not you, it’s me, but just knowing that isn’t enough to get a relationship off the ground.

How about you? Are you a Warcraft player that intends to play HotS JUST to get yourself a new pet? How do you feel about it?

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13 thoughts on “New WoW Pet Goes Live! Oh, and some other game launches too.

  1. I got it as soon as the pet was activated (was sometime last night/early this morning). I think I may be more addicted to HotS than WoW right now. Mostly playing Murky.

    Individual Heroes actually can level up to 20 now, a recent addition, the 15 and 20 milestones grant a fair bit of gold, but that’s it, and it’s a long hard road.

    Player level 20 isn’t too bad though, only half of the overall grind (40 max) and Blizzard has an Experience boost active for the next 3 weeks and it doubles each week (25% this week, 50% next, and 100% the week after). If you have friends on, playing in a group with them will further boost your xp.

    My Warlock is level 99, when she hits 100, I think I know what the free 25 stone is being used on.

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    • Now see I thought it was 20 and said so on Twitter and got corrected so now I throw my hands up and do a wavy thing to all y’all.

      I’m going to try and use my illidan in the practice modes tonight, see if I can learn this thing.

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      • I’m pretty sure the temporary in-game cap is level 20, but out-of-game permanent character progression is was limited to level 10 when I played last (but I can’t check right now, as the game locks up my system when I try to run it). Reference: http://heroesofthestorm.gamepedia.com/Hero_Progress

        If you want to level up faster, there are two simple ways to speed things up. First is to buy a stimpack for bonus XP and Gold (and the 30-day one is 50% right now). Second is to play with a friend for a 50% XP bonus. There’s also bonus XP as part of the launch event, with a 25% boost right now, apparently ramping up to 100% from 16th-24th.

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      • A buddy of mine said Illidan was tough to play, but powerful once you got the hang of. So if you dig in and get frustrated with him, try the one the Cub was enjoying.

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  2. Haha I love that the Cub sussed you immediately .. he’s growing up!

    I was going to ask the same of mine .. I’ve had HotS since early beta too .. I started playing once, but then my eldest son got all excited and wanted to play, so I let him .. but then I couldn’t find the “teacher mode” again, and couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm, so never went back. So I was gonna ask him .. in a roundabout way, if he’d do a bit more playing on my account to get to level 20 .. when I logged in and it turned out he already had … result!

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  3. I know its far to late (you having bought that skin and all) and likely ill-heard advice at this point in time. But illidan is tagged as “very hard” and might not be the best starter hero to get a good experience with the game.

    Also, to me at least, there is an extreme difference between how the different heroes play to the extent that it almost (hyperbole warning) feels like a different game from one to the other. So take advantage of the free cycling of heroes to try out some different ones.

    Oh and just because you (almost literally?) asked for it, here is some public shaming for buying skins for a game you aren’t playing: *points fingers and throws blame*

    That out of the way… go play it. It is actually fun, at least for dropping in once in a while, and especially with friends.

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    • I tried some different heroes last night with friends in the guild real fast after raid. You are spot on that the game depends on who you play as. I used Sgt Hammer and Sonya last night, I’ll try more today if time permits.

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  4. If you want to play together for the xp bonus, let me know. I am also going for the pet. And then I will do it all again on my wife’s account.

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  5. I played a bit in early beta but got put off by toxic players. But i am having fun learning heroes vs the AI.

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