I had originally made a sort of promise to myself that I would not go on the beta, instead just wait until launch to explore all the new shiny stuff and thus have a genuine first experience of the expansion. I did a good job not reading into the flood of new info but it's impossible to remain a Mists of Pandaria virgin, especially when you read Warcraft related blogs on a regular basis.
A week or so and completely by accident, I found out that there are green cranes wandering around the new continent which is Pandaland. When I saw the screenies, my heart skipped a beat. I was already greatly impressed by all the scenery shots I'd seen before, but this was just something else - such a sleek model with very vivid coloring. Truth be told, I've been a bit disappointed in the new pet models released thus far. I don't "dig" the porcupines, nor do I like huge bugs. Even though the caterpillars have happy colors, I don't quite feel at ease looking at them, never mind having one by my side, and the only reason I would ever tame a fu dog/quilen is for their combat res-ability. Although even then I doubt I would take it out of the stables unless I need it in the raid.
Which brings me to the tigers. While I really like how realistic and fitting to the zone they are, I just can't seem to make that click yet. You know, that proverbial spark that happens when you see a pet and you just know, that's the one for me - and I'm not just talking about the pixelated ones here. Perhaps this feeling will change once I've tamed one in the live build, but I think it would feel oddly misplaced to me amongst my other pets. Their models are perhaps too realistic for the somewhat cartoony style of Warcraft; in that sense I would love it if they gave certain pets a make-over to match the new models (I'm thinking of the demon dogs and hyena's, for example). I do love the new sounds they make when they're fighting, though, I hope that is something that will be applied to all the cat families.
Now, to get back to my point - I'd seen the pink, brown and black cranes before, and while I also found them to be very beautiful, none of them stirred up that particular feeling of "I have to have this beast". However, I kept thinking about that green one for the next couple of days and upon seeing another screenshot of one today, I caved - although it should be duly noted that I haven't done anything besides standing AFK in Dalaran, browsing Mogit for new outfits (while also standing AFK) and idling around in Storm Peaks hoping to see Skoll spawn (with Warcraft tabbed down and NPCScan running in the background, some more AFK).
The only thing I do lately - besides providing the obvious AFK spam when I'm being whispered - is coming online on Wednesdays for progression raiding. In-game, I'm literally standing around waiting for the next expansion. Outside of it, I'm wondering what the next expansion will be like, what sorts of preparations I should make and which characters I'll be embarking on this new adventure with. I'm not the only one to be going through this, as our guild leader is getting progressively more annoyed at the complete radio silence in the guild, and at least once a day someone will proclaim that Stormwind is completely dead in the trade channel.
Be that as it may, I launched the beta client. I made a template 85 hunter because I do not want to grow attached to anything and thus still be able to have my "first-class" leveling experience. Once I'd rebound the necessary keys, I started looking for the bird and I ran into a dozen things that sparked my interest. While I'm typing this I'm trying not to give in and look up what they are, because getting into the Jade Forest I felt like such a newb again (for example, I saw all sorts of abilities being used I didn't recognize the effects for) and I wanted that feeling gone. I could also barely resist picking up the tricks of the trade of critter battling so I could tame me one of the many adorable critters running around (luckily for me, it seems this feature wasn't even 'unlocked' until much later!).
|Look at them, they are so cute! I certainly hope they can be tamed as companion pets|
I ran around for a good twenty minutes before I Googled where to find the green one (which is called a Wandering Greenback in the game). The directions online had told me to go to the Shrine of the Dawn in the Jade Forest, which is exactly where I found him.
He was the first green-feathered one of his species I ran into. I've heard hunters say before that "the connection was instant" but I'd never understood how that was possible - Even when I know that I want this pet, I still have to tame it and run around with it for a while before I can be sure. But this, this was completely different, at that moment it became crystal clear to me what that sentence meant. I sat there quietly for a while - looking at him and taking some pictures to send home, I watched him get killed and respawn, I called out the little crane pet and had them pose together and went for the tame. Then those dreaded words appeared - "creature cannot be tamed". Suffice to say, I was incredibly disappointed. Apparently there are heaps of pets in the beta that cannot be tamed yet, and I truly hope that this one makes the cut. Although I don't see a reason why he wouldn't, I know that the first thing I'll do when Mists goes live is travel to exactly that spot and tame him - it has to be that crane, in that spot. I haven't thought about a name yet, I know I will figure that out once he's with me but for now, let's just hope he'll be there, sitting on his rock faithfully when the time is right.