Last night I finally got sick and tired of seeing that menagerie plot locked on all of my garrisons, so I gritted my teeth, dropped some coin in the auction house, and unlocked the damn thing.
As you may have figured out, I hate pet battling. I tried it a tiny bit when it was first introduced and found it to be insipidly boring. It reminded me for some reason of those interminable games of War we used to play as kids on a hot summer day when it was too hot to do much of anything but sit in the shade. Your best friend would come over, your mom would bring out some Dixie cup Popsicles, and you would haul out that massive deck of leftover cards, the one made up of four or five incomplete mismatched decks. You each got half, and you proceeded to lay them down one card at a time, highest card takes both. I hated that game, but most of my friends loved it.
Now before the indignant comments start, let me say that intellectually I understand the draw of pet battling. It is quite complex, it appeals to those who enjoy achievements and collecting, and you can actually make decent gold from selling leveled and rare pets. I get all of that. I just for some reason detest doing it. I think it seems to me like WoW in slow motion. It is basically the same mechanics that occur when you kill a mob — you fire off a shot, the game computes likelihood of damage and applies it to your target, then the target does the same to you, and you keep up this rotation until one of you dies. That seems fun to me, probably because it is micro-processor fast. But when it happens in pet battles, it is
S L O O O O O W W W
Anyway, all this is by way of explaining that when pet battling was introduced, I tried it, didn’t like it, and so never did much of it. I have something like 700 pets, and the highest level for any of them is 5. This never bothered me before WoD, as I actually believed Blizz when they said pet battling was just an optional side activity, a diversion and fun thing for those who enjoyed it.
Sometimes I am in awe of my gullibility.
Imagine my surprise — and annoyance — when I discovered that A MAJOR GAME MECHANIC, the garrison, required you to have several level 25 pets if you wanted to unlock a building THAT YOU HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO HAVE. A building whose sole purpose was to facilitate a part of the game declared optional.
I am the kind of person who does not like to leave things incomplete. If I start something, I want to finish it, all of it. So that locked building icon on my garrison planning map taunted me, day after day, week after week. Early in WoD I decided to bite the bullet and level up a couple of pet teams so I could do the menagerie unlocking quest, the one that requires you to defeat three level 25 garrison pests. After about three hours of pet battling in low-level areas, I had one team up to level 5. (Did I mention that in addition to not liking pet battling I also stink at it? I am sure the two are related, but not sure which is the cause and which is the effect.) So I abandoned the effort. Fine, I said to myself, who cares about a stupid menagerie anyway?
But I saw that locked icon every day. It took on a life of its own, mocking me every time I went to the planning map to assign a follower. “Whatsamatter, Fi? Finally found a part of the game you can’t do? Huh? Scared you might fail? Buk-buk BWAAAAK!” (OK, some of this may have been the effects of my allergy meds, but still.)
So last night I took a deep breath, put on my battle face, fixed bayonet, and decided to unlock that damned thing.
Like most things you fear, it turned out to be ridiculously easy once I actually set about doing it, as Blizz sometime rather recently provided a catch-up mechanism for pet leveling. Who knew?
I started by reading some of the Wowhead comments. Mainly they advised getting Chrominius, but that seemed out of the question for me, so I went the alternate route. Turns out you don’t need a whole team, you can (now) defeat all 3 pests with one level 25 Pandaren Water Sprite. I grabbed one in the auction house for about 4k. Unfortunately it was level 1. But no worries, up popped a quest in my menagerie to go grab a special chunk of rock near my garrison mine, and it yielded some kind of “ultimate” pet leveling stone. I applied it to my new sprite, and voilà! Instant level 25.
After that it was simplicity itself to open the menagerie and then upgrade it to level 2. Not sure if I will go for level 3, as that involves a lot of actual pet battling, but hey at least that stupid building lock icon is gone now!
Everyone have a good weekend.