WoW Wednesday – A Short Guide to Pet Battles
By Meredith Watson, OnRPG Azeroth Reporter
When pet battles where first announced most everyone laughed and said, “Pokemon”. It may be true that Pet Battles are a knock off of Pokeman but I wouldn’t know. While I’ve never played Pokemon, I have pet battled and it is good fun. If you haven’t participated in pet battles yet for whatever reason at least give it a try. Maybe you think it is another time waster like Archaeology. It is but it won’t make you want to stab your eyes out.
What are Pet Battles?
The pet battle system is a fun little game within World of Warcraft using the player’s companion pets. It has a turn based combat system. The player can level their companion pets to level 25 by fighting and capturing pets in the wild. Fighting trainers and duelling other players are also options. The 5.2 patch included a quest line for the battling of legendary pets.
Surely by now we’ve all seen the Battle Pet Trainers in Orgrimmar and Stormwind. All you need is to be level 5, be in possession of 10 copper, and you can learn Battle Pet Training and Track Pets. If you don’t have any pets to start with the trainer will offer to train you with a pet specific to your race. You now have a space unlocked in your pet battle team interface. To unlock the second and third slots you will need to raise a pet to level three and then level five. In doing this, there is an achievement for both. Assuming you’ve learned the pet from your inventory you can drag it to the unlocked slot from the list of pets on the left hand side.
Your trainer will give a short quest series which you will want to do as the reward is Revive Pets, which is vital to playing. This skill allows you to heal and resurrect your dead pets. Revive Pets is on a fairly long cool down so you will want to learn to use it wisely. Any stable master in Azeroth will also heal your pets for a small fee. If travelling around Azeroth looking for a stable master doesn’t appeal to you and your Revive Pets is on cool down, there is another way. Doing the quests to fight Battle Pet Trainers and winning will reward you a bag of spoils. Quite often these bags contain pet bandages, which work just like Revive Pets but don’t share the same cool down. I would love to see at some point the ability to make our own pet bandages or even be able to purchase them.
You are now ready to rumble
All pets have six different abilities they can use that are unlocked through levelling. Only three are active at a time however. In your team interface there is a drop down menu on each ability, allowing you to choose between two options. Some abilities have long cool downs that can last several rounds such as HoTs or debuffs. Your pets can also be switched in and out during battle depending on their effectiveness. Only the three pets in your current team can be used though.
All pets are categorised by family types of which there are ten: Aquatic, Beast, Critter, Elemental, Dragonkin, Humanoid, Flying, Magic, Undead and Mechanical. All pet families have their own strengths and weaknesses against each other. For example, undead is weak attacking aquatic whereas mechanical is strong defending against elemental. The combat interface indicates their strengths and weaknesses so you can switch pets in and out as needed. You don’t necessarily need an encyclopaedic knowledge of what each pet family strengths and weaknesses are to be a successful trainer.
Pet Battling out in the wild allows the player to capture the pets they are fighting if they so desire. Pets, like most things in WoW, come in colour-coded rarities: grey, white, green and blue. Blue pets are rare and will have more health and do more damage than their lesser counterparts. You will need to get the pet you want to trap down to 35% health before the trap icon lights up. If you miss, you can always try again the next round but remember the pet you are trying to trap will still keep attacking. You must defeat all pets in the battle for the trap to be successful if it is a multi-pet battle.
PvP pet battles can be quite fun as well if battling wild pets and fighting trainers is a bit of a snooze- fest for you. You can do this two ways: Through the Pet Battle Finder or directly challenging another player. If you use the Pet Battle Finder and win, your surviving pets will gain experience whereas if you directly challenge another player and win no experience is gained. Unlike wild pet battles though, PvP battles through the Pet Battle Finder are timed. One of the best things about this system is that you can’t interact with the player you are battling against avoiding the usual trash talking that comes with PvP. You won’t know their name, guild or server. It is all about the pet battle. As it should be.
Currently, when battling, you and your pets are phased so that you can’t be interacted with or interact with the surrounding environment. This is soon to change come 5.3. Other players will now be able to watch pet battles as they happen. My hope is that they can’t be “heard” though. There are quite a few changes coming for pet battles in 5.3 all of which seem quite positive.
Do you participate in pet battles? What changes or improvements would you like to see to the current system?