Pet Battlin’ Fool
I’ve mentioned before my strange new habit. I participate in what is, essentially, the Azerothian equivalent of dog fighting. I pit my cuddly little pets, which I used to collect just for the heck of it, against vicious beasts of the wild to beat, subdue, and capture them. Michael Vick would be ashamed of me.
Luckily, it’s just a virtual world, so no animals are actually harmed, and surprisingly, it turned out to be a lot of fun. I’ve spent a lot of my game time (when I “should be” doing other things) filling out my collection. Within the next few days, I fully expect to break the 400 barrier both on pets collected and pet achievement points earned (earning me two more pets!).
In just the last few days, I earned my first level 25 pets, after having been mercilessly beaten by the final pet tamer of the bunch in Northrend, Nearly Headless Jacob (mo’fo’ better watch out or I’ll make him Fully Headless Jake!). Here, at the “end game” of pet battles, it’s become apparent that my star A team of rare pets isn’t going to be enough to mow down the competition; it’s going to take finesse, strategy, and most of all, careful pet selection from among several 25s to be able to conquer the pet battling world.
I was also the lucky recipient recently of an “un-familied” flawless battle stone. These extraordinarily rare objects upgrade any pet you have to rare quality. I got it on the fight where one of my favorite pets – and the only one I use that’s green – turned 25. I blasted him with the upgrade, and he was knocked back to level 23. A dubious reward, indeed.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed the pet battles. My only complaint (there’s always one, isn’t there?) is that the reward for beating pets of higher level is so small. You’re encouraged to take on more challenging opponents with under-leveled pets for a “difficulty award” of extra experience, but as you get towards the end of the leveling curve, the reward is so infinitesimally small that it’s really not worth it, and that’s where the challenge is greatest. If I use a level 23 team to take out a level 25 team, it only earns me an extra 20 or so experience (in a level that requires a total of around 1800), and the threat of taking on pets 2 levels higher – so a total of 6 extra pet levels – is actually quite great; I’ve lost many pet battles that were structured like that.
So when battling level 25 pets, you can either use a level 25 team, which means you’re throwing the experience you’d earn in the garbage, or you can use an under-leveled team, face a greater possibility of losing, and earn a tiny bonus. Bleh.
But it’s not nearly enough to actually stop me from pet battling. I’ve enjoyed it far too much right alongside some other bloggers, most notably Navimie, who I speak to frequently in game about our pet battling triumphs and travails. It’s been great fun, and a wonderful addition to the game.
Stubborn (no battle pets were harmed in the research or writing of this piece)