Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pet Taming: A Story Told in Pictures

Well, the results were in, and the masses wanted me to give the Windserpent a try:

Now there's high-level Windserpents all over Outland. But I, being me, needed something special. Something... dare I say... teal. Something I'd fallen in love with during a random fun-run of Zul'Gurub a few weeks back:

This Guy

Level 61 elite Soulflayer, found in Zul'Gurub, a pre-BC level 60 raid instance. The only other Windserpent with that same skin is found in Wailing Caverns. Yes... yes. He would be mine.

So I bid my goodbyes to my wolf Amarok, got my boyfriend (on a lowbie alt) to set up a raid group for me so I could get into the instance and then I walked into Zul'Gurub solo. And by solo, I mean solo. No pet. Just Tawyn.

It wasn't long before I found my target. Unfortunately, he was constantly flanked by two level 60 elites who acted as bodyguards. If I trapped and started to tame the one I wanted, I was quickly swarmed by two elites who hit hard and have various stuns and poison abilities. Not good.

I tried a couple of strategies here, none of which quite worked. I tried getting onto the higher platform and trying to tame him from there, so they'd have to run to get to me-- but then he just went out of range and the tame failed. I tried to tame him from the water, but he wound up evading it. I soon realized I would have to get the two entourages out of the way before I could focus on the guy I wanted. So I figured I could maybe throw down a Frost Trap and kite them and slowly burn them down. This failed miserably thanks to their charge'n'stun tactics. It was all sort of discouraging and I began to wonder how I was ever going to do this without various Survival Hunter tricks. But no, I wasn't going to give up. Cause I'm a hunter, dangit.

So eventually, after much trial and error and my feign death button worn from use, I realized that as a Beast Master hunter, my best weapon would be exactly what I was missing... a pet.

So I got one.

A level 60 serpent in ZG. He's kinda cute, no?

Now, I felt, I was ready. I went back to the taming spot and laid down a freezing trap. I positioned it in such a way so when they patrolled back, they would walk right into it, and I'd have another trap cooldown ready.

And around the corner they came, and into the trap Teal Windserpent popped. The other two dashed at me. I laid down another trap... double-trap! And with two of the windserpents crowd-controlled I sic'd my new snake on the other and proceeded to burn him down. But it wasn't long before Teal Windserpent broke out of the trap (early, I think) and shoved me off the ledge and into the water... which I hadn't exactly been banking on. And so, I regret to say, thanks to some unfortunate stuff that happened, I hit the bucket.

My serpent and I (who I'd renamed Kaa because he'd sort of grown on me) went boldly back inside. We were down to just two.

Same routine as before. Laid down a trap...

Trapped Teal Windserpent. Sic'd pet on his red buddy. Intimidation, Bestial Wrath, and onslaught of MQoSRDPS. Uh-oh, Teal's out! Chain-trapping for the win!

And now the time had come. As he was heading for my next trap, Teal Windserpent got off a fear and a bunch of poison on Kaa, sending him running. But before he could finish him off, I /thanked him and hit the abandon button. Just me and Teal Windserpent now...

Aaaaand action:


Now he just needs a name. Oh and he needs to be brought up nine levels. It's gonna be a pain, but hey, I've got nothing better to do during farming sessions. And how often do you see one of these guys runnin' around? I mean, I adore Locke, but I think he must be the most popular cat model on the server.

Oh, and the above story-- I think I could have probably pulled it off with no deaths if I hadn't been standing too close to the edge. It woulda been tough, but I think I could've done it. Almost makes me want to go back and try it again... almost.

And yes, this is one of the reasons why I can't get enough of this class. Who else gets to pull of crazy stuff like this, in the name of something that equates to some 30% of our DPS? =P

In other news, my new boots, they are lovely, no? /pose


Goeben said...

Congrats! Good work, and a great choice for a windserpent. I have never seen a hunter with a WS of this model on my server; you will really stand out from those with the Outlands skins.

As a long time beneficiary of a WS companion, let me offer a couple of suggestions:

1. A lot of hunters don't like the "bug" with Lightning Breath, where if you leave it on auto-cast the WS will sometimes try to move away from its target to cast. You can get around this with a macro, but I would encourage you to play with it (like when you are grinding). You will soon get a feel for it, and I find it to be situationally useful, especially in PvP.

2. Practice using ranged pulls. If you prefer to engage a mob at about 30 yards, start 40 yards out and send your WS. It will zap 20 yards from the target, then they will close with each other meeting about 30 yards from you. This feels wierd at first if you are used to melee type pets, but can be very useful in crowded areas, and in instances.

David said...

What a fabulous story! Great job! Thank you for posting this in such great detail :)

Sade said...

I'll be showing this to my girlfriend; I think she'll get a kick out of it. I love your stories and your choice of words, Pike; don't ever stop, please!

I tried a wind serpent once -- I tamed a level 49 elite rare spawn White Wind Serpent in Feralas, named her after my significant other, and levelled her aaaaaall the way to 70 BEFORE the pet-leveling changes, and then decided that the WS was not for me. :( It was a rather tearful goodbye, to say the least.

Hunter and pet said...

Pike I love you!! He's awesome.

Anonymous said...

Wind Serpents are a great pet whenever you have Go for the Throat and Lightning Breath & Bite on autocast...

With more crit, you gain more focus which will be dumped on the easily spammable LB (no CD other than global, and it IGNORES armor!), albeit the pathing glitch with it wanting to fly back a bit to use it still puts me off when raiding with mine...

Having a lot more fun and breaking 1600+ DPS consistently nowadays with my lovable wind serpent. Just wish I had my t5 2 piece bonus to make grinding with him easier (since now I need to learn I have a skill called 'Mend Pet' again.)

Faeldray said...

Wonderful story, Pike :) I like the way the pictures and your style of writing made it very entertaining. And that windserpent skin is the most beautiful one of them.

Althoran said...

Grats on the new Windserpent!! and the new Boots!
Thanks for another good read.

Anonymous said...

Grats on the raid instance tame. Getting my spider and bat from KZ was some of the most fun I've had on the project.

If you're interested in adding to your macro, the line you want is:
/cast [target=pettarget,exists] Lightning Breath

Personally, I didn't like pulling from ranged with Screwtape, for the same reason I don't like having a pet without dash or dive for grinding. It just just takes too long for the first growl to go off.


lunch said...

heh, nice story, and top effort for obtaining this wind serpent! So good that it has version 6 of LB too! I suppose you don't have the option of having him on passive tagging along in instances to level as a BM tho eh :(

Richard said...

Very nice!

I had one of those serpents back before TBC came out. ^_^

One neat thing, which is unfortunately no longer part of the pet, is the fact that it used to appear in a different color whenever you summoned it. I don't know why they removed that. :/

In any case, congratulations! ^_^

Mirshalak said...

Nice story, Pike. :)

Cool with the use of chain trapping, as well; what I've started doing in the HFP instances is waiting until the trap cooldown has 5-10 seconds left before sending my pet to the first mob. I've started getting into the habit to a degree of doing that even if I think I'm only going to have a single target; sometimes I can get adds, and often if I pull late threat it's good to have a free Snake Trap if I need to kite for a bit to finish up.

Don't worry too much about having died, either; there is at least one pull in ramps where the only way I know how to get past it solo is to sacrifice the pet; it's an initial 3 mob pull where the beastmaster then summons two additional hounds. What I tend to try and do is put a Snake Trap near the boar, misdirect Aimed, Multi, and Arcane onto him, and focus on simply burning down the Beastmaster as quickly as I can. I then feign, the boar dies, and once I've rezzed the boar I can kill the other two fairly easily.

Sonvar said...

Well gratz on the effort taken towards getting the pet. Personally for me if I tamed a Windserpent again it would be between this one in the outlands or this white one The part that bothers me about is that to get a windserpent again means I must disown the kitty I leveled to 70 with. And to do so stops me everytime. Even though I don't use that kitty anymore it still has that sentimental value.

As far as Locke's cat model goes I've only seen him on my server with two other hunters. An orc hunter and oddly enough another draenei hunter.