Welcome to PokeWoW
One of my most anticipated additions to World of Warcraft in its upcoming expansion Mists of Pandaria was the pet battles. My paladin has more than 100 pets already, and while it’s fun to show them off, it’s even more fun to be able to do something with them.
A major patch was released for the MoP beta last week that finally brought the pet battles to life. However, a major bug also existed that made it extremely hard to play. Players were crashing just by entering buildings. The problem turned out to be something with the minimap, which a player figured out. A small patch this week also fixed the issue so I was able to get in and try out the battles for myself.
Now, I’ve never played Pokemon, but from what I have been told, the set up here is similar. When you add the training skill, you can add a pet to your team. Each player can have up to three pets on his or her team. Initially, however, the team is limited to one, until you get that pet leveled up high enough.
Once a pet reaches level 3, a player can being trapping wild pets. This allows a player to expand his or her collection very quickly. Also, this expansion makes all pets accountwide, so when one character catches a pet, each one of that player’s characters will have it.
In the screenshot, my paladin stands watch as my Core Hound Pup fights a wild Rat Snake. The action bar at the bottom of the screen shows my pet’s abilities. In each round of the battle, you select the ability you want your pet to use. There are several classes of pets, each with a strength and weakness against another class.
In this shot, the Trap button is lit up in the action bar. My Core Hound Pup had weakened the snake, allowing me to add it to my collection. Once a pet is in your collection, you can add it to your lineup, release it or trade it with another player.
To help players along, each zone in the game has a Pet Battle Master. These NPCs have their own teams of pets and stand ready to challenge you to duels. As you would expect, they get stronger as you move through the various zones in Azeroth. So far, I’ve taken down the first four with my team.
As you win fights, whether against wild pets, the NPCs or other players, your pets gain experience and levels. The max level is 25. As your pets get stronger, they get new abilities. While a pet can learn 6 abilities, only 3 can be active for a battle.
The tricky part for players will be keeping a balanced team of pets leveled up as they progress through the NPC fights. With collections that might grow into the hundreds, players definitely will be busy.
So far, I’m having fun with the pet battles. They add yet another layer to the ever-expanding World of Warcraft. Each of these additions continues to impress me. Mists of Pandaria is going to be an epic expansion of the game. The questing experience through Pandaria has been outstanding and the developers at Blizzard have really gone all out to make sure players do not get bored when they reach level 90.
I, for one, cannot wait for MoP to go live. I’m hoping the big gaming convention in Germany next month might give us a release date. Until then, I will continue to test it out on the beta and keep you informed of what I am seeing.
Andrew is a copy editor for the Wausau Daily Herald. He has owned every Nintendo system except the SNES and DS (in all its incarnations). His primary toon in WoW is Grantham, a dwarf paladin.