Xu-Fu's Blog

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08.05.2017 - And the winners are ...


Thank you to everyone who participated, wrote a comment, sent a like or made a compliment. It means a lot! You guys are the best!

The screenshots however, were maybe a little bit too easy ;-)
The locations in question are indeed the Warsong Hold in Borean Tundra for the Horde:

And for the Alliance, it is Lor'danel in Darkshore:

Next time, it will be close-ups of smudgy textures :P
But the most important information is still missing of course, the names of the two winners!
After collecting all names, I did an online dice roll and here is the result:

  • Horde: Jaydub

  • Alliance: Henashka

Big congratulations! I'll get in touch with you via email, and another huge thank you to everyone else who took part.
There will always be a next time! :-)

30.04.2017 - Happy Birthday Xu-Fu!

It's two years already and today we're celebrating Xu-Fu's second anniversary!

In the last year, pet battles saw an immense amount of content, and wow-petguide.com a surge of activity with it! It has been an amazing ride so far and I can only guess what's still to come. And it is all thanks to you! Thank you for visiting, for leaving comments, suggesting improvements, and for simply being an amazing community. I am very happy to be a part of it.

But speaking of giving - in many cultures around the world it is customary for the birthday child to give away some presents.
And today I am giving away a Gryphon Hatchling and a Windrider Cub plush, each of course accompanied by their in-game code to receive them as a battle pet as well.

A big thank you to Blizzards Community Management who sponsored the two plushies for this occasion!

How can you get one of those little cuties?

It's a competition ;-) You have to identify in what area the below images were taken.
They are small sections out of two different screenshots. One was taken in an Alliance settlement, the other in a Horde settlement.
You can only guess for one picture, and if you get it right, or at least close by, you have the chance for the corresponding plush!


Rules of the game:

  • Leave a comment with your guess, only comments on this blog entry will be taken into consideration
  • You have to choose one faction! Please make clear in your comment which one you are aiming for
  • Add your email address so I can contact you in case you win!
  • If multiple people guess correctly, a /random roll will decide
  • If no one guessed correctly, the one with the closest ingame location will win.

The competition will end 08:00 PST on May 8th (in exactly one week) and I will announce the two winners directly after :-)

Best of luck and a great May 1th to you all!

22.04.2017 - The Move of the Falcosaur

Thanks to the huge effort of Jagûar, the Falcosaur Team Rumble quests have found their way into Xu-Fu's guides some time ago already.

Now they also found their own, separated space in the form of their own category :-)
If you are on the Falcosaur quest chain you will ultimetely end up with their individual pet battle quest challenges, and the more than 150 different strategies listed here will hopefully make it a breeze for you!

14.04.2017 - Another Pet Dungeon, already! Hooray!

It appears the uptake of Wailing Caverns and the feedback have convinced our beloved pet battle developers to give the dungeons another shot! o/

And this time, we are heading into the Deadmines! I'm quite excited because that was my very first thought when I pondered other dungeons to revisit. But it's also rather obvious, with Deadmines being sort of the Alliance equivalent of the close-to-Orgrimmar Wailing Caverns.

The dungeon is already up on the PTR and you can go test it out to your hearts content.
Just like with Wailing Caverns, here's a little preview from my side:

The quest to start the dungeon is again given in Dalarans pet shop and sends you straight to the Deadmines where Marcus "Bagman" Brown awaits you, ready to take you to the scenario. A noteworthy addition, the initial quest now also hints towards the teleport option from Dalaran, which unlocks after the first playthrough.

Thanks to his minecart expertise, we are starting out about halfway through the regular dungeon, at the big foundry, where the Junk Reaper 500 awaits us, an epic quality mechanical boss pet. He hits hard for a first encounter, but with one or two strong Elemental pets doesn't last too long.

Next up we get a glimpse at the dead side of the Deadmines, by fighting a very unfortunate Defias - a floating skull - and a Geode that became sentient, and angry. Both fights are against green quality pets with white backline rats, nothing a few critters can't handle.

It seems the Defias not only worked their own people to death, they also resorted to animal work! This whole place is such a tragedy...
Luckily for us, we only need to defeat one Mining Monkey who will then obey and open the door for us - old school using a cannon!

Following this, we are climbing up the pirate hierarchy and meet "Captain" Klutz. He's a big baddy who stuns your pet and heals himself. Enter team Undead ;-)

Defeating him riles up his crew of piratey pets: Klutz's Battle Rat, Klutz's Battle Monkey and Klutz's Battle Bird. (yes, I forgot to take a picture of the monkey -.-)

Once this ordeal is over, we are finally facing the evil that has taken hold of this place, but not before a small roleplay encounter, watch the cool exit! ;-)

All in all, the dungeon is very similar to Wailing Critters in terms of length and difficulty. However the fights are much more varied and I had a lot of fun going through it.

What do you think of it so far? :-)

31.03.2017 - Araneshs opinion on Wailing Critters

I rarely voice my personal opinion on the design of pet battle content. Often I can understand the game design reasons very well, and I understand the different opinions of players, any side of the spectrum - mostly leaving my own opinion somewhere in the middle. And that is boring.

Now, with the Wailing Critters dungeon live, I would like to make an exception: I really, really like this dungeon.

It is easily accessible for new battlers, with the last boss a tad more challenging, and for those with a huge collection it's still a nice diversion that doesn't take too long to do. And if you don't want to run it repeatedly for the pets, you can buy them.
There are design choices that can be argued about, sure. Did it have to be so dreary? Would it have benefitted from being just a little bit more challenging? Perhaps less randomization in the reward satchel? Maybe, details, but nothing too troublesome.

It is in my eyes a perfect entry point for a line of content. Next up, clearing the rats out of the Deadmines, putting ghosts to rest in Shadowfang Keep or maybe fighting off crazed mechs in Gnomeregan? There could be many cool opportunities to revisit old instances like with Timewalking, and in the background of pet battles. Hands down, I would love that.

In such a limiting context, Wailing Critters does deliver! The atmosphere is coherent with the old Wailing Caverns experience, and the beast / snake theme fits very well.

And yet, I have a problem with it. Not with the dungeon itself, but with this:

It’s really up to the players. This is one of the features which is pretty experimental, something we’ve never done before. It is depending on how players feel about it and how everything ends up. And maybe we’ll do more. If everyone thinks it’s the worst thing ever, then maybe we won’t do it again or maybe we’ll take this lessons, learn and will try to do better next time. So it’s really up to the players and obviously we are waiting for feedback.

(Direct quote from this 7.2 Q&A)

So what feedback is the dungeon receiving? The majority of the comments I’ve read are negative or at best neutral. Most public voices are disappointed and unsatisfied with the experience. An overall feeling of meh.

But why? I believe, because this dungeon is only the entry point. Because it is not the whole experience and cannot, never even had the chance to deliver on the vague promises from BlizzCon 2016: Just three words: Pet Battle Dungeon.
That resonated. And it created expectations, for another Celestial Tournament, for the whole thing, for the full set of content: challenge, variety, innovation! Much of the immense criticism and dissatisfaction now is because those expectations were set, and never limited to what the dungeon really is: an experiment. With that build up, you cannot derive the popularity of the dungeon by looking at the feedback. Your data will be flawed, because you set it up to fail.

Please allow me this allegory: it is like promising a full set of awesome equipment with amazing synergies in the set bonus, but then releasing just one single piece, and checking how people like it and how many are wearing it so you can decide if it’s worth to create the remaining items as well. Sure, nothing was actually promised, but the expectations were there nevertheless.

What Wailing Critters should have been announced to be is a trailer of more to come. To judge a trailers popularity for future decisions makes sense. But the audience needs to know that they are watching a trailer.

For the sake of this and future pet battle dungeons, and because I thoroughly enjoy Wailing Critters, I can only urge Blizzard to keep this in mind and perhaps give it another chance, with a second piece in the set, and an adjusted and fitting communication strategy.

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