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World of Warcraft Raid Pets: What Should be Next?

Nearly every week, Blog Azeroth proposes a shared topic to be discussed by World of Warcraft bloggers. For the week of December 9, 2012, the topic is: What raid-drop pets would you like to see? In Patch 5.1, Blizzard added battle pets as drops from certain raid bosses in Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj, and Naxxramas. An achievement called Raiding with Leashes was also added. It requires players to collect all of the new raid pets and it awards a pet of its own, Mr. Bigglesworth. Patch 5.1 also changed it so that players could enter old raids without being in a raid group and the mechanics of certain bosses were changed to make them easier to solo.

Adding these pets was a great idea. Not only does it provides players with a new incentive to go back and re-visit older raid content, but the drop rate on the pets is not so low that it feels like another horrible grind. It seems very likely that Blizzard will expand on this in future content patches. When looking at what kind of pets should drop from raids in the future, Blizzard should look no further than their own pet store.

When the pet store was first introduced, the World of Warcraft community became very divided. One of the arguments made by those in favor of the pet store was that pets and mounts were purely cosmetic. It was far from Blizzard offering the latest tier gear for $19.99 a slot. When non-combat pets became . . . well, combat pets, things changed a little. The pet store was no longer offering purely cosmetic items.

All of the pets from the pet store are rare quality. That already provides a nice boost to players looking to train a new pet, but many of the pets also have very powerful stats and unique move sets. Lil’ Ragnaros is one such pet, and there is no wild pet substitute for him.

Blizzard should provide alternatives for pet store pets in the same way that the 5th anniversary pet, the Onyxian Whelpling, is identical to a pet found in Dustwallow Marsh called the Spawn of Onyxia. In an effort to avoid alienating players who were unable to obtain an Onyxian Whelpling, Blizzard did the right thing in making an alternative available. Many of the pet store pets easily lend themselves to raids too.

I would not mind if the pet store pets had unique models or textures, or if there was a period of exclusivity, but eventually the battle stats and move sets of the pets should be available outside of the pet store.


The Cenarion Hatchling is probably more associated with the Cenarion Expedition than the Cenarion Circle because the pet is a re-color of a Trading Card Game (TCG) pet which was released during The Burning Crusade. Even though reputation for the Cenarion Expedition cannot be gained in Serpentshrine Cavern, it is probably the best place for the substitute pet to drop. My vote for a boss would be Fathom-Lord Karathress.


The newest addition to the Blizzard pet store is the Cinder Kitten. My guild has faithfully been running Firelands for the past few months to unlock Lil’ Tarecgosa and I cannot think of a better place to have this pet drop. My vote for a boss would be Baleroc.


The Guardian Cub was the first pet on the pet store to become bind on equip. I admit that it is difficult to think of a place it would logically drop, but for some reason the first thought that came to my head was Atramedes from Blackwing Descent.


Lil’ K.T. speaks for itself. The only problem is that Naxxramas has already received its raid pet drops. As an alternative, I think a Death Knight would be most likely character in lore to be holding onto Lil’ K.T. so I cast my vote for Deathbringer Saurfang in Icecrown Citadel.


Lil’ Ragnaros also speaks for itself. Similarly to Lil’ K.T. and Naxxramas, Molten Core has also already received its raid pets. However, Ragnaros has the benefit of also appearing in Firelands. There is no better place for a Lil’ Ragnaros replacement to drop.


Lil’ XT, in keeping with his lil’ brethren, is also directly modeled from a raid boss. This time we travel to Ulduar. Where else could Lil’ XT drop than from XT-002 Deconstructor himself?


The Moonkin Hatchling is an adorable little thing. It is literally a baby balance druid. What better place for it to drop from than another balance druid? The Faction Champions from Trial of the Crusader fit the bill.


The Pandaren Monk still surprises me. It is a pet that represents a player race and class. You could make the argument that it is no different than a Moonkin Hatchling, but Owlbeasts are seen in the wild around Azeroth. Pandaren have no wild animal equivalent. In any case, I think any of the current Mists of Pandaria dungeons will fit the bill. There are no Pandaren bosses (yet), so any boss would do.


The Soul of the Aspects is a confusing pet. Its name implies a connection to the former dragon aspects, Nozdormu, Alexstrasza, Ysera, Kalecgos/Malygos, and Neltharion. However its model most closely resembles something found in Mists of Pandaria. Ignoring the model though, a good place to have this pet’s replacement drop is the Greater Cache of the Aspects, which spawns after defeating the Spine of Deathwing encounter in Dragon Soul.


I saved the Wind Rider Cub and Gryphon Hatchling for last because they are special cases. First because they are the only pets obtained from the Blizzard store that are sold with plush versions of the pet, and second because the Gryphon Hatchling actually already has an equivalent. The Wildhammer Gryphon Hatchling can be captured by both Horde and Alliance players in Twilight Highlands.

I was unable to find an equivalent for the Wind Rider Cub. While I believe adding equivalents of the other pet store pets to raids is a good idea, the Wind Rider Cub should probably be found somewhere in Highperch, located in Thousand Needles, where Wyvern roam.

Making alternate versions of pet store pets available in raids would ease my own personal qualms about the Blizzard pet store, and I am sure others have similar feelings. I know that battle pets have been described as a mini-game in World of Warcraft, and that having exclusive pets does not really impact any significant part of the game. Still, it is a slippery slope. When players can purchase things that give them a competitive advantage in the game, even if it is just a small aspect of the game like battle pets, it can easily scale over time. I would look more kindly on Blizzard if it implemented this change, and it would reinforce the notion that the pet store is merely there to sell cosmetic items.

One comment

  1. Interesting, I hadn’t thought of pet shop alternates I suppose because I don’t mind dropping a buck or 2 on them .. but its a worthwhile idea for those that are not as pendantic about getting everything as I am


  1. Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: What Raid-Drop Pets Would You Like to See? « Awaiting the Muse - [...] Carmelo at Clever Musings [...]

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