Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

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Back to my Roots (Plus a bit of help!)
comment 19 Written by on June 3, 2010 – 8:52 am

I got to log in last night for the first time in about 3 weeks. I popped on Aely, checked the mail, and made sure I was ready for the raid tonight. Puttered around on my other characters, did a quick AH scan with my banker… and realized I had no idea what to do. There weren’t many people about for RP – most everyone was out playing alts or doing other things – and I could barely remember that the Abyss Crystals I’d mailed myself were for an enchant on Aely’s new Valius, Gavel of the Lightbringer (SQUEEEE!), let alone why I’d mailed my banker a pile of light leather.

So I did what I’ve always done when faced with such a situation. I went back to the beginning, to the character I started out with.

Angoleth got dusted off, I did some bag rearranging (I’d mailed my banker the light leather because I didn’t have the pattern for something Angoleth was going to make for Annata, my rogue. Go figure.), and I set out to get some XP on the hunter I’ve played since vanilla but who always seems to be my third or fourth string alt to make it through the new expansion.

As an aside – when I started Burning Crusade and when I started Wrath of the Lich King, the first character to go exploring on both continents was Angoleth, and yet, in both expansions, she’ll be the last of my level capped characters to hit 80, and in both cases I leveled a new character from scratch before she made it (Aely in BC, Annie Mae in WotLK).

Anyhow, I stopped by the stable master to figure out who I’d be dragging with me out to Howling Fjord to go do some Kalu’ak quests. I was faced with the following:

  • Russ, a brown bear
  • Talia, a black owl
  • Ishura, a red windserpent
  • Arsaelan, a white lion
  • And one empty stable slot

I’ve never really decided what would go in the last slot – whether I’d pick up a Spirit Beast (I’m particularly fond of both Arcturis and Skoll) or whether I’d grab a wolf to round out the pet list.

As I was thinking about it, I remembered – waaaaay back in the bad old days, when I was level 45 or so, I decided I wanted to tame a wolf pet. Angoleth’s last name means “wolfwalker” and part of her backstory involves an old wolf pet that she’d had at Hyjal. When I finally found the one I wanted, a rare wolf from Ashenvale, I tamed him and then spent weeks getting him caught up to my level. I was a noob, and didn’t know there were similarly skinned wolves in Ferelas at level 40 or so, so I tamed one that was level 21, back before ANY of the pet leveling changes had happened.

Leveling him took FOREVER, but that wolf eventually became my favorite pet. I raided Molten Core with him, and he made it partway through Outland.

Sadly, with only three stable slots at the time, he was released (I took him back to Ashenvale to let him go, I’m weird) for me to pick up Ishura and see if I couldn’t improve my DPS, since windserpents had a patch or two that they were the “flavor of the month” as DPS pets and wolves were cunning pets and couldn’t compete.

Back to last night, I figured why not try a wolf pet again.

I’d not had good luck leveling with the bear (unbelievably slow, I was always out of mana) or with the cat (really squishy, always losing aggro), so I figured it couldn’t hurt to tame a wolf in Northrend and see what happened.

What happened? I spent 4 hours leveling Angoleth, got about 3/4 of the way to level 72, and had more fun huntering than I’ve had in awhile. Mr. Wolf does nearly as much DPS as Angoleth in mana-conservation mode, but it didn’t feel slow, and I felt like I got a good rhythm going where stuff just died. I even got to do a little showing off, trapping and pulling things so that we could just plow through stuff and get all the Kalu’ak quests in Howling Fjord done in one night.

Here’s where you come in.

Obviously, I’m sticking with a wolf pet. Right now I have a black worg from Howling Fjord, but I’ve always been fond of the shaggy grey coyote-wolves from Azeroth. I’m torn between the two – I don’t really like how the black worg always has his mouth open, and how he always looks like he’s mostly starving… but he’s also level 71 and I don’t have to do any work to get him up to Angie’s level.

Should I keep the black worg, go find a grey wolf, or pick another wolf? (I’m not fond of the UBRS style worgs. I am also aware that the prairie wolves in Mulgore keep their yip yip bark! after you tame them, but Anaje has that wolf as her main pet, so I’d rather not have a duplicate.)

And the second question…

What do I name him? (This wolf is very much a Him. I asked. If I pick up a different wolf, it might be a Her though, so both male and female names are OK.)

Since I’m going to be playing Angie a bit, at least for now, I’d rather not run around with “Wolf”. It feels lazy.

Let me know of your ideas, and also if you have any characters that you always seem to “settle back into” even after periods away from the game.


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19 Responses to “Back to my Roots (Plus a bit of help!)”

  1. Really, if you prefer the grey wolf, then go for that one. I’m leveling a hunter right now and, after hearing stories about how long pets take to level, I was shocked at just how quick and trivial the process is. It just takes a handful of mobs and the pet dings, though perhaps it takes longer at higher levels. My guess would be that even if he starts out the full five levels below you, if you drag him through a heroic then he’ll be 80 by the time you’re done.

    As for a name, to me a giant gray canine just has to be named Mouse, but then again I’m a huuuge Dresden nerd. It also has that nice touch of ironic humor. But hey, that’s just me.

    By Verdus on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply
  2. When Kestrel finally tamed a wolf, it was a white one (it may be a rare from Grizzly Hills, or it might be the companion to the NPC Hunter who wanders around there; I honestly can’t recall). I do remember I was thrilled to get him. He may even be a frostwolf; I know that naming him came easily: He was Frost.

  3. Since you see it all the time, you have to really like the pet you’re with as a hunter. My way of looking at it is this: if you truly love the grey wolf, then go and tame the grey wolf. Even if it starts out five levels below you, if you love the pet, then I think it’s worth it.

    As far as names go, when Jinaki was a hunter, she gave her pets appropriate names. Since her name was African (and a lot of the troll names had an African feel to them), I was pulling African names for her pets. I figured if the pets were hers, the names had to mean something and they had to sound like a name she would give them. So when you think about names for your wolf, maybe try to think of something that sounds elven or sounds like a name Angoleth would give her companion. It could even be a throwback to the name of the wolf pet she used to have, if you wanted.

  4. There is a “special” white wolf that’s out with the worgs in Duskwood. It’s gorgeous. Just got it on my baby hunter. As no one’s playing these days, it’s prolly easy to get.

  5. I agree with the others, if you really liked the grey wolf, go back and get it. 5 levels isn’t hard to make up with the new pet leveling curve, and if you really liked, it, there’s no good reason to not get it. And as far as the naming goes, who’s to say that Angoleth didn’t go back to Ashenvale and her old pet found her?

    By Andy C. on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply
  6. I am getting frustrated with my hunter cause I keep pulling mobs off the damn pet!


  7. Go get the wolf! Anwynn’s got the same black wolf she’s had since she was high enough to tame one. He’s named Reaver, because I was watching Firefly at the time and it seemed appropriate. Maybe take a quick scan through a favorite book or move and name him after a character that you like? And absolutely get a pet you like looking at, even if you do have to level him to match you. It’s only 5 levels now at least. I don’t like the Northrend wolves for the same reasons. The starved look really bugs me for some reason.

    By Kyraine on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply
  8. I vote for grabbing the “normal” wolf. I personally hate the worg and Northrend wolves with a passion because of that mouth thing, they don’t scratch and they don’t do the howling animation. Never mind that the Northrend wolves look eternally starved, but that’s just my opinion.

    Any BM hunter worth her training knows about petopia.brashendeavors.net. If Mania hasn’t found it, it ain’t there. Maybe that list can point you to a wolf you like in your level range. Outlands is known for a few hidden spots that are gems for us hunters looking for a more grown up partner, but it’s not really needed for the level range anymore. Pet-levelling has become a lot easier since they only need 5% of the level in xp now, and that is after it jumps to 5 levels below your level if it is lower. So if a L80 hunter tames a L1 pet it will automatically become L75, while a L77 pet remains at L77.

    For names I often use http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/names.htm
    A great site for names (pets and (N)PCs), especially if you already have a bit of a background to work from. Eg. Warpstalker -> dragonlike & tanking pet -> Welsh dragon -> Kaydin = Welsh for Protector. Akitla = Aqua Tiger -> name means Snow falling on Water. Ok, I’ll admit that it’s a Huge Timesink, but the partner for life is worth it.

    Perhaps you can find a friendly scribe who will make a Certificate of Ownership, that way you can rename your pet if it won’t listen to the first name you pick. Sometimes pets like to pick their own names. (And ooc it gives you a chance to get rid of the “name Wolf = lazy hunter” tag. ;p )

    By Tsani on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply
  9. @Tsani – You’ll notice that the two links I have (to the northrend worg and to the grey coyote wolf) go to Petopia. I’m VERY familiar with the site 😉

    I’m also familiar with the leveling curve being 5 levels lower now, but that’s still a level 67 wolf that I’ll need to get to 72 before he’ll be very useful. I’ve got a scribe that can make the certificates, but I’m not really so much good at “trying out” names. I kinda want to have one set up for this guy.

    I’d rather not go back to Ashenvale and find the same wolf – I did my RP to let him go, and I’d rather not have to retcon that and “resurrect” him. I did it once for Russ, and that was enough.

  10. @ Itanya Blade:
    It’s a problem that keeps popping up at the “max/ten-levels” (50-60-70-80). Growl just can’t keep up with the DPS we can dish out by then normally, and it’s worse when you’re running around in heroic or raid gear. The only fix for now is to let the pet have at the mob for a few seconds before starting to shoot. Tenacity pets with Thunderstomp have it a bit easier, but if I go all out I still pull the mobs off my poor little scaled tank. Then again, we can also pull bosses of the tank-in-a-can if we’re not careful. ;p

    Pray to whatever or whoever will listen that the powers that be will fix it before the world gets torn apart again.

    By Tsani on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply
  11. How spiritual is Angoleth? If she has some degree of faith in Elune and you want to express this through pet choice, I’d suggest a grey wolf and name it Moonshadow or Elunesong. The former references the high regard in which Elune is held by implying that even Elune’s shadow would be more light than dark, as well as suggesting that the individual wolf in question can be as ferocious as an angered godess. The latter ties the Night Elven worship of Elune with the notion of wolves howling at the moon to give the impression that even the wolves sing praise to Elune, and that this one is particularly adept as such.

    Alternately, if Angoleth isn’t very spiritual or doesn’t wish to express her spirituality through pet name, then I’d still go with the grey wolf and go for either a more traditional name (like Fang), name it after the name given by the game (Scavenger, Howler, Runner, Longtooth, Hunter, Tracker, Prowler, Worg etc.) after running it through the language filter to find the Darnassian equivalent, or figure out the characteristics of the individual wolf in question and use that as a basis for the name. Either way, go for the grey wolf because the black one will continue to bug you as long as you have it.

    Alternately alternately, you can name him Bob. =P

  12. @ Anna
    We are, but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve had to hit my hunter friends over the head with the actual name of the link before they will look at it. The professional hazards of an ex-Hunter Class Guild Officer… it’s still an automatic reaction that was intended more for the occasional reader/lurkers. 😉

    Namewise I’m the same. I like having a name right the first time, but two pets have been renamed. One was renamed by “team instance” for how good it was at finishing the dead tank’s job a few times, and one when someone came up with a much better name a day after naming it (and solved IC by the pet just refusing to listen to the first one). Most of my pets go through a few levels of the “newly tamed-tag” before I get a feel for them.

    A very OOC solution (for some) may be to bring the new pet to a few instances. My instance group took a 75 pet with us to a few rounds of Tourney 5 man and it levelled twice in an hour. Pretty sure a few runs in Nexus or Utgard will work too.

    I agree with you on the Ashenvale wolf. If you already had an IC goodbye moment then it’s too easy to say “oh, he came running back when I visited the area again”. Using the It’s-his-son-method is another copout bordering on Mary Sueism. ;p

    By Tsani on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply
  13. Strange, I also had to come up with a name for the wolf companion of my Nelf-huntress. The backstory of the two is that she adopted him when he was still a pup und he would follow her around and make those puppy-noises “yip-yip-yip”

    So she called him Yip.

    By Chadrassa on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply
  14. Crikey, I really shouldn’t comment before I had at least one cup of tea…

    I had to come up with the name last weekend, rather on the quick. Yip is a ghostpaw runner because I like the old wolf model better than the one they introduced in WotLK.

    By Chadrassa on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply
  15. I’m bad at naming other people’s pets. Best I can say is just play around with him and see if something comes to you. That’s actually how Lark named her spirit beast, Komah, and how I’ve named several of my other hunters’ pets.

    As far as the pet/leveling thing goes, I agree with everyone here- if you -want- an Ashenvale wolf, rather than the Northrend worg… Go get one! Instances are a quick, easy way to level your pet up, so he should catch up fast.

  16. The best wolf is Ironjaw out in Terrokkar. Only one in the game that looks like it. Lotos has one named Heinz (after the best dog ever in the history of ever, not the ketchup.) Also, with the most recent change to pet leveling, they only need 5% of the master’s level rather than 10%, so it’s faster than ever. You can take pretty much any pet into Northrend and get it caught up in the time it takes to get a full level.

  17. Man, I wish all wolves barked when you click them. I love clicking on the coyotes that do it, but my wolf (and lordy, I hope we really do get to bring other pets on Cataclysm raids) is a Dun Morogh wolf, and I’m not trading her in, even for that.

  18. …dammit Verdus. Now I have to go tame a kitteh and name it Mister.

    …or wait till xpac time, roll a goblin named Ivy and tame HER a cat named Mister…

    Decisions, decisions.

  19. I really like Ironjaw’s (Terrokar Forest) model, it’s the same model as the rare in Badlands.

    Characters I always “settle back into” .. hmm.. I guess my Hunter or my Priest, perhaps. They both feel comfortable to play.

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