[PLEASE NOTE: This Beta information only, and as a result may be subject to change on release]

It’s my first time. Be gentle :D

As expected, Pet Battles are now live on Beta. After some game play, I can confidently say the following:

  • Some people will do this instead of actual levelling.
  • Many people will get very VERY involved in this.
  • Blizzard are geniuses.

Other people are already compiling very detailed and (far more useful) guides than I will ever be capable of. This therefore will be what I know I’m going to need to grasp to make sure I can play once the games go live.

Where are the Pet Trainers?

They are in every capital, and outside said capitals. When Pandaria hits I’d strongly suggest being anywhere BUT Stormwind to begin your training, but you will be forced to go there in the sequence. It’s one more reason to start in Ironforge. For the purposes of this exercise however, meet the Elwynn Trainer:

You can tell he’s a Pet Trainer… :D

How do you start Battles?

You need the skill to battle and to track battle pets, both available from the Trainer. Once you have them, you need to pick a pet to battle with:

Pet Battle window. Gonna get less complicated eventually.

Okay, let us go through this by the letters:

Selecting a pet in the left hand menu brings up the pet at A. Here you can see that each pet can have up to six skills, but only three can be used per fight. Stupid (my Murloc, will have better names honest) has only one skill currently available, the other five can be learnt once he levels (to 2, 4, 10, 15, 20) We can see he is a Humanoid, has 174 health, 15 power and 15 speed. Speed (it appears) dictates how fast a pet goes into battle, and these three figures should change as you level.

Area B is your first active Battle Pet slot (where my Serpent Hatchling resides) Here you have an experience bar and the three spells that you can use. The spells are in pairs, with a drop-down window that will let you choose which spell to use as they become available. You’ll need to get a pet to level three to gain access to the second slot (C), and level five to get the third.

D is important: if a pet(s) dies in battle you can use the Revive Battle pets ability to bring them all back to life with full HP. If this is on cooldown, you can go and find a Stable Master who will perform the same task.

Suddenly, Stable Masters have a whole new task to perform…

What Happens when you Battle…?

There is a questline to ease you into the process of battling: you’ll be sent out to find and defeat a wild pet as your first task:

Gotta move fast on the beta: everyone’s trying to catch them all…

You will be looking for the green paw icon: they pop up on your minimap too, so keep your eyes open. There are also pets available inside the capitals too if it gets too stressful hunting them down with the crowds. Once you find your pet, left click it to start your fight. Cue the dramatic battle music!

Click for larger. It is worth it.

So, let us explain the Battle Pet Interface:

A are your fight combatants. You are on the left, opponent on the right. The fighting pet shows with level and health, and you take turns (unsurprisingly) to slap each other.  You must select your spell first, then the computer will chose and then the ’round’ will play out. Your combat log (E) shows the round, what spells are used and the damage they do when cast.

I picked the Serpent for a reason: it is capable of a DoT/AoE attack which can last across multiple rounds. If such a spell is applied to the battlefield it will show at B and an indicator will show on the spell bar at C as to how many rounds it will be before you can use it again (in this case 4) Clearly you’ll want to start your fight with an AoE if you have it and let it do damage over time while you use another spell. D is the other important spell in the early rounds, especially as many fights are buggy. Wave your white flag to surrender and to leave the interface if anything goes wrong.

This therefore is how you begin, and questing introduces you to the following:

  • Winning your first fight
  • Learn where to heal your pet
  • Battle a pet to Level Three, thus opening up your second pet slot
  • Learn how to catch a pet
This should be self-explanatory…

You’ll also see, next to the locked ability I am yet to learn via levelling, an icon that allows you to swap pets during battles, which opens up once your second slot does.

Once you have captured a pet, you’ll be sent to battle your first trainer. Yes, you get to fight NPC’s with NPC pets :D

Bring it, Julia!

Same rules apply, except this time it’s 2 v 2. The canny person will be checking out the pet trainers before the game goes live to ensure they have strong teams to defeat them quickly (in this case, snakes are I believe critters, so you’ll want abilities that do a + damage to them.) If your ability automatically has a modifier to your opponent’s pet it will show on your spell bar (green arrow up for a plus, red arrow down for a minus) so the smart amongst you will start picking teams appropriately.

Yes, you will :D

That is as far as I have got so far, but you can expect more as I play with this. Needless to say, I reckon this feature was well worth waiting for…

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