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April 2013   « Archives | Current News »

Summon Multiple Pets in 5.3, But with a Catch...

April 01, 2013
When patch 5.3 hits live servers, you'll finally be able to summon more than one pet at a time (a whole bunch, in fact!)  But there's a catch...

Summon an army of pets - but what's the catch?
Technical Constraints
In an exclusive interview with two of WoW's programmers, we learned why players could only summon one pet at a time (until now).

Each pet summoned requires a tiny bit of computing by the server. A single pet following each player is manageable. But multiply that by 10, 20 or 100? You end up with major lag spikes that inevitably crash the server.

This actually happened back in 2008 due to a known bug. Under certain conditions, players could desync from the server and summon an army of pets, only to resync and bring down the server moments later. So WoW's programming team developed a new technology to address this issue.

Variable Model Rendering
The programming that makes this possible was dubbed "VMR" or variable model rendering. This technology works in the same way that players can turn down their video settings to improve the game's performance. Only this is done automatically by the server based on its changing load. Blizzard decided to give players the ability to summon multiple pets as the first way of utilizing this technology.

In the case of pets, if enough people summon too many pets at a time, the game will automatically adapt by reducing the polygons and lowering the resolution of all currently summoned pet models.

A Preview of VMR for Pets
Blizzard programmers were kind enough to share with us a few model captures of VMR at different stages.

A pet rendered with 100% VMR appears normal. But as more pets are summoned realm-wide by multiple players, the VMR automatically scales downward.

Grassland Hopper at 90% VMR
Grassland Hopper at 90% VMR

Perky Pug at 75% VRF
Perky Pug at 75% VMR

As a pet's VMR drops, the model becomes more geometric, with less refined textures. Even special effects are reduced.

Restless Shadeling at 60% VMR

Below 50% VMR, you can see how WoW's newest pet models (like the Swamp Croaker) begin to look more like WoW's earliest pet models.

Swamp Croaker at 45% VMR
Swamp Croaker at 45% VMR

Eventually polygon counts fall so low that only basic shapes are supported.

Ghostly Skull at 30% VMR
Ghostly Skull at 30% VMR

Below 30%, VMR adapts with video rendering techniques that even predate World of Warcraft.

Pengu at 20% VMR
Pengu at 20% VMR

The programmers we spoke to explained that these older rendering techniques have a long and proud history of video game stability.

Fox Kit at 10% VMR
Fox Kit at 10% VMR

Lost of Lordaeron at 1% VMR

VMR is certainly going to take some getting used to. But on the plus side, we'll all be able to show off thousands of 8-bit pets!

And how will this effect pet battles? Just think of them as retrogaming within WoW.

Waka, waka!
Posted by Breanni
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Multiple Pet Summoning Follow-Up, Plus New Filters

April 02, 2013
Yesterday we shared news about how you could summon multiple pets in 5.3... with a catch. Well, we have a confession...

April Fools!Lost of Lordaeron???

Yes, we're sorry to say that there is no such thing as VMR (variable model rendering). So fortunately (or unfortunately), there will be no one running around with hundreds of 8-bit pets in tow.

But in our recent interview with Cory Stockton, Cory did state that they fully intend to implement multiple pet summoning in some capacity down the road. When they do, we're certain that pets will render in all their usual stunning glory.

New Pet Filters (And That's No Joke!)
As a consolation prize, we do have some shiny new pet filters for you to play with. These filters have been sought after for some time!

Ever wonder which Aquatic pets can deal Beast damage? Or which pets you already own that are able to perform Mechanical attacks?

Wonder no more! With our new Attack Type filter group, you can find the perfect counters to popular pets and pet battle strategies. Enjoy!

Special Thanks + Drop Us a Line!
We'd like to extend a special thanks to Drrum (known in WoW as Michelle De Rum) for providing us with most of the artwork for our April Fools' joke. You can enjoy more of her creativity at Drrum's Pets and Mounts Gallery.
Feedback: Did you enjoy our 2013 April Fools' Day joke? Were you fooled? Take a few moments to send us your feedback!
Posted by Breanni
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5.3 PTR: Spectate Battles, Hit Chance & Beasts of Fable

April 02, 2013
We've already covered the new wild pet, achievements, and Burning Crusade raid dropped pets coming in 5.3, but now there's more!

Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.3 PTR
The patch notes for the 5.3 PTR was recently updated. [source]

Here's a summary of all the updates and changes.

  • You can duel (pet battles) with your raid and party members in dungeons and raids.
  • Wild battles and duels can be viewed by everyone, not just the participants.
  • There are updates to hit and miss/dodge chances. The base chance to miss or be dodged has been removed in battles between pets of the same level. Additionally, the chance to miss when fighting a higher-level opponent was reduced.
  • The in-game statistics window will now track your max-level matchmaking PVP wins.
  • The Pet Journal will save your choice of abilities for each pet when you swap them out of your active pet team.
  • Family-specific battle-stones are now BoA.
  • The Beasts of Fable daily quest has been broken up into three parts. You can complete any or all of them, and receive up to 3 daily bags per day. Additionally, these dailies will also reward a new consumable that boosts your pet's experience gain for a period of time.

You can check out the full official patch notes here.

The PTR is coming along, it's a wonder what other interesting features they will come up with next!
Posted by Quintessence
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Lil' Ragnaros On Sale In the Pet Store!

April 04, 2013
Lil' Ragnaros
Summer is inching closer and closer, and what better way to prepare than by adopting a mini-fire lord to add to your collection!

Lil' Ragnaros is currently on sale in the Blizzard Pet Store for 50% of the original price. [source]

Don't forget that the Pet Store sales are regional, so be sure you're purchasing from the correct store.
The US sale can be found here, and the EU sale here.

Whether you're looking to add him to your own collection or as a gift for someone else, don't delay! The sale ends on April 9th, so act now while it's still hot.
Posted by Quintessence
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WarcraftPets Turns 6, Celebrating Six Great Years!

April 06, 2013
It's been six years since the launch of WarcraftPets, and today we're celebrating our 6th anniversary and six wonderful years of pets!
WarcraftPets - Celebrating 6 Years of Pets!
Six Incredible Years
Through the many years we've evolved so much, and we thank you for continuing to support us. Thanks to your contributions, our community has grown and become a great resource for pet lovers, both collectors and battlers alike.

Year In Review
The past year has been a whirlwind of new additions, features, and of course, many new pets!

We'd like to thank everyone again, especially our Site MVPSite MVPs, for continuing to support WarcraftPets. We wouldn't be here without you.

And as always...

Happy Collecting!
Posted by Quintessence
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Three Resources for Pet Collectors and Battlers

April 09, 2013
We're always learning about different resources available to pet collectors and battlers, from new addons to new websites. Here are three that could be just what you've been looking for!

Tired of searching through each of your character's reputation tabs to see which one has enough favor to purchase a reputation vendor pet? RepCheck simplifies the task, and makes it easy to see which pets are available for each toon.

After entering your region, realm, and character name, RepCheck will present you with a filterable list of all your reputations. Each one is listed under its corresponding expansion, which makes sorting even easier. You can filter for a number of items, but best of all... pets!

Give RepCheck a try, and you may find that you're eligible for a reputation pet you didn't even know about!

Battle Pet Tamer Guide
Wowhead has put together a comprehensive guide on the Tamer quests, dailies, and rewards. It showcases the quest chain necessary to unlock each continent's Tamer dailies, as well as the location for each Tamer.

With all of this knowledge under your belt, you'll be able to go out there and tame the world with ease!

Global Pet Battle League
We're excited to announce that registration for Season 2 of the Global Pet Battle League is now open! Interested? Here's the GPBL in a nutshell:

Players from all over the U.S.A. and in many other nations can bring their roster of pets to participate in our tournaments. Up to 64 players will compete each season for bragging rights and the title of GPBL Champion!

Here's how you can participate:

  1. Visit the Global Pet Battle League website for all necessary info.
  2. Be sure to read the RULES page in detail and make sure you can be available for the Qualification and Tournament dates listed on the main page.
  3. Once you understand the rules, click the "Register" link (top navigation) to enter your info and sign up.

Once we've received your registration, you'll be notified of the start time for qualification play (if necessary) and your seeding in the tournament bracket itself.

Official start times will be announced and sent to all registered participants. From there, all you need to do is show up with your roster of level 25 pets and get ready to battle!

Put your skills to the test in this competitive Pet Battle environment. Register now and get your chance to show all of Azeroth that you ARE the very best!
Posted by Quintessence
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5.3 PTR: New Pet, New Achievement, and Accuracy Change

April 10, 2013
The 5.3 PTR was updated again, and this time a new achievement and battle pet were datamined. [source]

New Pet Store Pet
The latest addition is called the Blossoming Ancient. This pet is currently listed on the PTR as a Pet Store companion, Bind on Pick Up and not cageable.

While we've seen Ancients before throughout Azeroth, this companion version has a very unique feature. Depending on the season, the Blossoming Ancient will change color!

New Blossoming Ancient pet!
Image courtesy of MMO Champion

Whether winter, fall, summer or spring, it has the appropriate foliage for all seasons! Now if only we could decorate it for Winter Veil!

New Achievement
Traveling from Tamer to Tamer may have an extra perk in 5.3. A new achievement called The Longest Day was datamined in the latest PTR build.

So far the only criteria of the achievement is to complete three Tamer dailies. The dailies are low level, but keep in mind that this may be updated in the future.

After completing this achievement, you will receive a new type of battle-stone, the Marked Flawless Battle-Stone (not to be confused with the tradeable, generic Flawless Battle-Stone). The new stone is BoA but can be applied to any pet family-type.

Accuracy In Pet Battles
Crithto recently wrote up an informative article detailing the changes being made to accuracy in 5.3. [source]

Here's a quick summary:

  • Pets have had the base 5% chance to dodge removed, and the chance to miss a higher level pet has been reduced from 5% to 2% per level.
  • Because of the removal of the base dodge chance, some abilities with 100% chance to hit needed to be retuned to keep them balanced. These attacks have had their damage increased by 5-15% but their chance to hit reduced by 5-15%.

Check out the article for a full list of abilities that will be affected by this change.
Posted by Quintessence
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World of Petcraft #31

April 12, 2013
Enjoy our monthly web comic created for WoW pet collectors! We feature a new World of Petcraft strip every month.

World of Petcraft #31
About the Artist
Meaghan McLaughlin is an aspiring artist and the author of "Nerds Illustrated." She's currently available to create custom WoW artwork.
Posted by Breanni
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5.3: New Battle Pets Summary and Visual Preview

April 18, 2013
Patch 5.3 may still be a work in progress, but that won't stop us from bringing you a preview of the new pets. They're pretty awesome, so we couldn't contain our excitement!

Keep in mind that this list isn't final and sometimes a few pets don't make the cut.

5.3: New Battle Pets Preview
Upcoming Pets to Collect
There are currently 20 possible pets being released in the next patch. Many of which will come from early Burning Crusade raid instances such as Karazhan, Tempest Keep, and Serpentshrine Cavern. The bosses in these raids will be surprised to see us again!

Other companions that you'll likely find in Patch 5.3 include a new wild pet in the form of an Unborn Val'kyr, new achievement pets, more pets from the Throne of Thunder raid, a new Blizzard Pet Store pet, a pet for winning queued PVP matches, and more!

Learn more about each of these 20 pets: Unlisted and Upcoming Pets
Posted by Quintessence
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Coming Soon: Homage to Bad Robot Productions

April 19, 2013
Blizzard has announced that a new pet will be available in a future patch. This is no ordinary companion, though. The pet will be a look-alike of the iconic robot logo from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions. [source]

Bad Robot
One of the core values we live by here at Blizzard is “Embrace Your Inner Geek.” We play countless games, we collect comics and card games, we love cutting-edge technology and computer hardware, we’re fascinated by science and discovery, and many of us are movie buffs. Movies represent the combined imaginations of talented writers and visionaries, artists and operators, editors and producers, that can culminate in an awesome cinematic experience.

Pet Details
Not much is known about this pet yet, however it was stated that players with the Engineering profession will be able to craft it and everyone will have a chance to collect one. Currently, there isn't a specific release date or patch for this pet.

Stay tuned, we'll have more information on this Bad (or Awesome) Robot as soon as it becomes available!
Posted by Quintessence
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Pet Family Passive Changes Possible In a Future Patch

April 23, 2013
Blizzard recently responded to concerns about a few pet family passives (specifically the Elemental family). It was noted that some changes to specific passives may be coming in a future patch. [source]

There are currently four pet passives that are being considered for retuning. Here are the possible changes. These have not been implemented yet and should not be considered final.

  • Elemental - 50% damage reduction for the turn one is swapped in.
    Our goal being that we’d rather have a passive in place that increases the strategic depth of elemental pets, and is clear in its intention and functionality.
  • Aquatic - Harmful DoTs reduced by 50% (up from 25%).
    Because few creatures have more than one DOT, this ends up being a less than steller damage reduction over the course of the battle.
  • Critter - Immune to CC completely.
    We'd like critters of all speeds to benefit equally from their passive, so we're considering making them immune to crowd control effects completely. This would include stuns, roots, and other incapacitating effects.
  • Magic - Cannot be dealt more than 35% of total health in one move (down from 40%).
    When balance changes were made to reduce the damage of some very heavy-hitting abilities, this passive was indirectly nerfed. We're thinking if we buff the effect to 35% of maximum health, that should compensate for previous adjustments.

Crithto goes on to explain a little further about the potential changes to these pet family passives, and you can read more here.

Keep in mind that nothing has been set in stone yet, and Blizzard is welcoming constructive feedback on these changes. Stay tuned, we'll have more details on any updates!
Posted by Quintessence
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April 25th WoW Developer Q&A: Pet-Related Questions

April 26, 2013
Several WoW developers recently participated in a Q&A session and answered some questions. Here are just the pet-related topics, but you can read the full transcript of the session here.

  • Q: Wild battle pets, released after 5.0, have gradually gotten less and less breeds. Is this because of the pet "gem slots" Cory talked about? If not, will pets continue to be released as mono-/dual-breed pets?

    A: No particular reason tbh. We try to vary up the breeds based on what type of pet it is. Reward pets are locked to one breed for obvious reasons but we plan to keep adding lots of multi-breed pets in the future.

  • Q: Epic pets soon? And if so is it just going to be through an item like epic pet battle stone, or something more interesting?

    A: Current plan is to introduce a couple epic pets in 5.4. We are working on a cool, new way to obtain them as well. Pretty hyped about it.

  • Q: About rare pet battle-stones, i have about seven of a family that i don't need anymore, any chance we may be able to "trade" them for other family stones?

    A: Working on something for this exact issue in 5.4. I feel your pain.

  • Q: Will Battle pets caught in the wild be tradeable?

    A: Great question! This is something we went back and forth on quite a bit before MoP shipped. We are very happy with the call we made though. Love the fact that players are actually out in the world, catching pets and not sitting in town.

  • Q: In pet battles, I feel you made us fight Legendary pets too early, in future expansions are all the pet battles going to be Legendary?

    A: Lots of things we can do to make fights interesting outside of a pet being legendary.

  • Q: Can we ever expect to see a more in depth pet battle pvp system? With how popular they are would you guys be open to adding a win/loss tracker. I see that we are getting a win tracker but a rating or season type system would be amazing!

    A: We are taking a watch and see approach on it. We added a weekly quest and some tracking to 5.3. If that pans out successful, we will continue to add to the PVP side of pet battles.

  • Q: Will there be any spectator mode added to Pet Battles?

    A: 5.3!
Posted by Quintessence
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Pet Maps, Scaling Abilities, and Site-Wide Ranks

April 26, 2013
Welcome to WarcraftPets' latest round of new features and site updates! We've got some major improvements for you today!

New Location Tab
There's something new in each pet's profile... a Location tab!

New Location Tab

We've teamed up with Wowhead to provide zone maps marked with the location of every pet you can find in the world. Here are a few key features:

  • Location data is powered by the most current data collected by Wowhead. It's further refined based on our own observations. So these are likely to be the most reliable pet maps you'll find!

    Note that we're still in the process of tweaking some data, so if you see any mistakes, please let us know!
  • Simply hover over any pin on the map for exact coordinates.
  • Pet "adds" that join a battle (but aren't native to the zone independently) will provide an alert on the map in place of pins.

Popup Locations
For added convenience, maps are also accessible through a pet's tooltip. Just click on the lightly underlined zone and the map will open in a lightbox popup. This is particularly helpful when using our Pets by Zone feature.

Pop-up Locations
Abilities Scale with Level, Rarity and Breed
Have you ever wondered precisely how much damage that pet you're leveling will do with its primary attack at level 25? Or how well it will heal?

Well, wonder no more!

Now when you adjust the level, quality, and breed using the stat calculator (found in each pet's Battle Info tab), the pet's battle abilities (shown beneath) will scale according to your choices. So you can see the exact damage and healing values done by any pet of any possible configuration!

Abilities Scale with Level, Rarity and Breed

Site-Wide Rankings
By popular demand, we've added your realm ranking and your site-wide ranking to your pet collection stats.

Site-Wide Rankings

Site-wide rankings are first determined by pet score, then by the total number of collected pets, and lastly by your most recent login date.

This feature helps you to easily see your realm standing and how close you are to ranking on our Top 500 Collections list without having to check those pages.

Thanks for Your Continued Support!
Updates like these are made possible through the continued support of players like you. We'd like to extend an extra special thanks to our Site MVPs, who have gone above and beyond to support our efforts. You guys are the greatest!smiley
Posted by Breanni
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