Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How Close are You to Your Pet?

I always say, joking around, that there is a difference between people that play a hunter and people that are hunters and that is how they feel about their pet.

Someone that plays a hunter sees their pet as nothing more than a tool to use in game, a spell or ability.  Someone who is a hunter will see their pet as a companion, a friend, and so much more and you do not even need to be a role player to have that feeling.

While it might be easier for someone that role plays to see their pet as more than just a weapon that follows you around you don't need to be one to feel a connection with your pet.

My first pet was a nightsaber and he became more than just part of my toolbox, he became my buddy.  When I would sit to eat I would feed him as well.  As a matter of fact I think he ate better than I did most of the time in those early adventures.  Every little bit of meat I came across that I did not need for cooking went into his belly, just to keep him happy.

Many of the mechanics like feeding and happiness have been removed from the game now but that does not mean that you still do not develop a connection with your pet like you used to, or does it.

I've noticed that over the years playing a hunter there are some pets I feel connected to and they become part of me, for lack of a better term, while others are just there, as weapons.

I am not sure what it is that connects me to a pet but some of them I just feel as if I click with.  I know why I am so close to my nightsaber, he was my first buddy, my first friend, my first travel mate, I needed to care for him just like you would need to care for a real animal or he would have run away.

I wonder if new hunters, ones that started the game after the addition of the glyph that increased happiness when you hit mend pet so you no longer needed to carry around food have that sort of connection.  Or the ones that started after they removed happiness all together.  Or maybe the ones that started when you had a pet at level 1 and no longer needed to play a melee hunter for the beginning of your gaming life before you learned the beauty of having a pet and how much easier it made life on you.

Do those newer hunters still feel the connection with their pets the way I do with my nightsaber?

My first turtle was nothing special, it was just a basic everyday turtle and now there are so many other turtles out there that people can get.  Fancy turtles if you will, but my normal bland any day of the week and always there turtle is still my tanking pet of choice.  I could have one of those new pandaland turtles, could have the molten turtle from hyjal, or any of the other options out there, but I never felt the connection with them like I do with my original turtle.

My wolf, the one in the image up top, was my main raiding pet in wrath because every good hunter had to have a wolf but he was so much more than that.  He was a buddy.  He was more than just some wolf I went out and tamed because I needed a wolf.  He and I were connected.  He just looked as grumpy as I feel sometimes.  He and I were cut from the same cloth and he was my buddy.

I wonder if the fact I needed to care for the pets is why I have that connection to them.  I've caught so many since the need to care for them was removed and none of them are more than just pets.  Some I have not even named, like my spirit beast who's name is spirit beast even still.  He does not feel like a companion, he feels like a tool.

Over the last two expansions I have tamed my fair share of new little buddies and none of them come close to those early pets and how I feel connected to them.  Was it because they were the first ones, was it because I needed to care for them, or was it because somewhere along the time I forgot how to have fun and just worried about efficiency in leveling and everything I do and my connection with my pet became less important thanks to the changes.

It could be anything but it will not change that when I level when a new expansion comes out I want to level with my nightsaber and when I need a tank even if I can turn my nightsaber into one I will bring out my turtle and when I am doing dungeons, if buffs are not an issue my wolf becomes my pet of choice.  Because, in the end, those are the three pets I feel closest to.

While it is not intended I am sure, pets seem to have their own personality as well, have you ever noticed that?  Some pets, not all, just love to stand on top of every mob you kill, so you have to move to loot because it is obstructing your view as if it is saying, look what I killed for you, now pet me.  Not all pets seem to do that, but some do.  Or the ones that no matter how you move always have to stand right on top of the object you are trying to interact with?  It is like they have a mind of their own and are saying, pay attention to me.

Maybe it is just my imagination running away with me as I know it is only coding and I just interpret it being that way because that is how I want to see it, as I think of my pet as special, to me at least.

How close are you to your pet?

Is the connection I feel to mine left for people that played when we needed to care for our pets or do people still develop that type of a connection to them?  Do you find yourself having a connection to some pets but not others?


  1. I tamed Sian-Rotam back at level when you had to do a certain quest to get him to spawn. I named him Baltas. He's probably my favorite pet because he's the first "taming challenge" I had.

    My Ironhide devilsaur, Voland, is also a favorite. Again, because it was a sort of taming challenge; it was hard to find a black one spawned in Un'goro Crater; always the wrong colors up and they path around. Not to mention we didn't have old world flying back then.

    Loque as well because I searched for him for months.

    I have some attachment to my corehound because I used to run dungeons with him all the time, even though he was easy to tame.

    I always used one of the blue turtles for tanking before but I 'upgraded' him to a spiked dragon turtle in Mists. I may go back and get a blue turtle again; the dragon turtle just isn't the same (and it makes too much noise when it walks).

    For the most part, the rest are just weapons that bring different buffs and utilities.

    My original pet was an owl and I used him until lvl 50 something when I tamed Sian-Rotam. I released him back to the wild at some point after that; It's kind of odd because I don't like flying pets at all anymore. My wind serpent is the only annoying flapping pet I still have and I raided most of DS with him because we needed the buff.

    So I'd say that generally how much I value a specific pet is related to how much I wanted it and how hard it was to get.

    1. Speaking of too much noise I can never use a core hound because of that. They are just too noisy.

      Being hard to get was never part of the equation for me. Personally I was never in rare spawn pets because we do not have the room for them. If we had unlimited room I would of course feel the need to get them all.

      I personally would always prefer a pet I like over a rare one, like the MF spiders, I got one when it first came out and went back to my old one because I liked the old one better.

  2. My Belf hunter is attached to her lynx pet, mainly 'cause I love the model used for it. He reminds me of a caracal. :)

    1. I have never made BE hunter but I could see that being a good connection with one for some reason, as if it belongs.

    2. Well, they have the same sized ears... ;-D

    3. lol. Never thought of it that way but you are right, they do.

  3. I have 4 or 5 hunters total, at least 2 of them have full stables, and every one is attached to all their pets, though each one has a certain one or two favorites.

    Rajji stumbled across Humar, and decided to take him home. When he needed a tanking pet in BC, i took him to find oone of the blue-green warp stalkers in Netherstorm. Rhu and Blinkin have been with him ever since, even though Rhu doesn't get out of the stable much anymore.

    I remember the first time I saw a frostsaber pride watcher in the game, back in vanilla. I was so impressed I took Kelesaria to Winterspring to tame her own the moment she hit level 58, which was the lowest level you could find at the time. Sabre has been her best friend and partner ever since. She's also got a black devilsaur that came to my ICC raids a lot. Tyran liked to stand practically on top of her whenever she was getting her food buffs after the latest wipe. He was (and still is) very protective of her.

    I could go on for each one of my alts, but I don't want to take up any more room here. Maybe I should just go make my own blog post... XD

    1. I would look forward to reading that. I love a good pet story from hunters who treasure their relationships with their companions.

      Some pets just seem to fit their owners. My orc has his raptor, my dwarf has his bear because all dwarves have to, didn't you see the original promo? I've many hunters myself and they all make their own connections for whatever reason. It is as if they find it on their own, I just play them, they make the decisions.

  4. This atricle, a thousand times. I switched my hunter to alliance just as ICC came out in Wrath having been a bloodelf previously and the treks to get my pets still are standout memories of WoW. Back in BC, as soon as I got my baby hunter to level 19 I walked from Orgrimarr to the far north of darkshore to tame the Nightsaber - I'd seen another hunter with it and HAD to have it. That Took hours avoiding naga and finding those cat statues, waiting for the sabre to spawn, my heart pounding when he finally did and I got the tame finished...followed by it almost stopping when he died for no apparant reason after 30 seconds.

    The Ghost saber was my pet exclusivley from level 19 to 70, through Kara during BC and up to level 80 during wrath. As you say, all good hunters then needed a wolf, I did a little research into something a bit differant took me to Theramore. Sadly gone now - but this make him all the more special - is Spot. Spot had a little Kennel with 'Spot' above the door and was a friendly pet. More importantly, Spot barked when you clicked him. And he was tameable...but only by Horde players. Spot was to be mine. A combination of stelthing and feighing death (I think I might even have used a gnomish cloaking device) in order to avoid the NPCs it is to my regret that I had to take one out. But I got Spot, and I named him...Spot. For that is his name and who am I to change it.

    Still the only two pets I use on a regular basis.

    1. That is a great story, did you ever figure out why he died like that?

      I bet that was one hell of an adventure as a horde character. Stories like that are what we can fondly look back at and remember when we start to question why we love the game. You are always hoping for the next moment like that to come.

      I am the same way with named pets, I keep their name as their name because who am I to change it.

      I wish I had gotten a spot one my of my horde hunters but I had totally forgotten about it. Spot was indeed a unique pet.

    2. Ghost saber dying was because he came from a statue and disappeared after a few seconds. Just a bug is how I always thought of it. But you could bring her back to life. Aye, Everyone of me hunters (and at last count 8 active) has Ghost Saber. All still found the same way at lvl 19. Which sucks because Ghost Saber when it spawns from the cat statue can be 19 or 20.

      I loved the way vanilla wow was with having to tame a different wild critter to learn it's way, then once you learn it, you could dismiss it and teach the new way to your pet. I really do miss that. I also miss, having to feed your pet to keep it's happiness up. It made your pet seem like a true pet and not like a bow.

  5. Darkshore to tame the Ghost Saber* not nightsaber.

    1. Remember there was a very rare in Darkshore called Shadowclaw, I think. I only saw her maybe 5 times during the last 8 years of the game. She was invisible and would attack you. This was before Cata and Darkshore got wiped out. I think she still might be in the game, though, but I don't go to Darkshore anymore. : (

    2. I think I remember getting attacked by that one. Rare or not, when you are a low level and get jumped like that it is kill or be killed, taming is the last thing on your mind. lol If it is what I am thinking of that was the only time I ever saw it.

    3. I got some of my favorite pets that way. : ) Be running thru an area (remember this was before flying in the old world) and get jumped by an invisible attacker. We didnt have so many buttons then. So dismiss and tame were on the main button row for me. Dismiss my pet if it was out and tame the new one. Didn't have a lot of health, but it generally worked. :)
      Use to tame a lot of different animals, then after trying them out a few times, released them back into the wild. I like to think that they went back to where they were, had a family and continued on. Speaking of... how you like the change in 5.1 with the paw print animals now being tracked correctly and the claw type still having to be tracked backwards. LOL, that was a rude awaking the other day. :D Maybe bliz will get it right. Oh yeah, that monkey with a hat is exactly on a 3 hour spawn timer. Got him, but I can't stand monkeys in any shape or form. I released him up where terrorpene is located. I hope he fell into the lava pit and burned. dang monkees.

    4. That is so mean to that poor monkey, but funny.

  6. *sniffle* I once had a bear. He was mighty and white, I named him Iceclaw. We where the best of friends. He would charge in and swipe, while I would valiantly do my best to keep those evil monsters from harming him any more then the absolute minimum. We had so many adventures, so many hard feelings when I feigned death and abandoned him ... but in the end, all was well, we where together.

    Yet then came the day I knew I needed a gorilla, for they could use thunderstomp ... thunderstomp was great. Iceclaw could not thunderstomp. And back in those days, you had no room for more then 3 pets. The others where reserved for my trusty wolf with whom I never really connected, and my black lion.

    So I flew to a nice area in stormpeaks, somewhere not too crowded, where he could lead a good life. And there I released Iceclaw. I felt horrid about it.
    Disgusted with myself.

    First thing I did when we had more slots (or was it the pet revamp with thunderstomp for all (probably the latter)) was to go out and get myself a new polar bear ... named Iceclaw. He sits in my stable, hardly brought out in fights. But he will remain my friend forever now, never again will I abandon him again!