Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Real Tough Cat


What's wrong with this picture? I'll give you a moment. Anyone? Bueller?

Look at the health bars. A dwarf and his trusty cat, who's been with him since he was just a shaver hunting boars in Dun Morogh, putting down a named, an elite giant. worthy of an achievement, and not  a scratch on either of them? Isn't that odd?

Yes, well, I thought so. I was in Icecrown, failing to find the new pre-expansion invasion everyone's been talking about, when I noticed the pet didn't seem to be taking much damage. From anything.

We were in Northrend because supposedly that's where the new Scourge invasion is happening, only we couldn't find any sign of it. To pass the time I'd been questing for an hour or so. The dwarf had done a level, tipping him over into forty-six. The mobs, as per usual, were the same but they felt noticeably tougher than usual. They certainly took a little longer to kill.

There seemed to be no good reason why the pet wouldn't need a heal now and again. Or a rest between pulls. Only he didn't. Not once. Even with adds, of which there were plenty.

Belt but no pants. It's quite the look.


It was unusual enough that I noticed. I watched his health bars on a few pulls and coudn't see it move so I held the mouse pointer over it and watched as we fought.  He was taking one one or two points of damage, now and again. The most I saw his health drop by was five - out of just over four thousand.

Now I was really curious. I let him fight a couple of mobs on his own. It was slow. He didn't seem to do a lot of damage. But his health never moved. Still, not much of a test. 

One of the quests asked us to kill three named mobs. We'd already killed one before we knew there was a quest for it and it had been a very long fight. I hadn't been watching the pet then but it felt like it would be a bit more of a challenge for him so I took the pair of them back to do the mob again, only this time I sent the cat in and stayed well back to watch him.

He tanked the fight without visibly losing any health at all. Same on the other two nameds. Hmm.

As I'd been flying around Icecrown searching for any sign of a crowd gathering, without success, I'd spotted a lot of elites. I thought we might try some of those. We did. They didn't muss the cat's fur. I was starting to get ideas. What about the huge named elite I'd seen, stomping about the place, looking scary?

So we pulled him and we killed him. The hunter stood back, the cat tanked, the bird did whatever it does and the giant fell over. Up popped the achievement and a nice drop. I watched the pet's health closely. It was the same as on the regular mobs. Never lost more than five points at a time. Usually no more than three.

Compare my health with the pet's. I had to fd after about twenty seconds - he's full health after nearly five minutes.


The final test was unplanned. I was still thinking about it, trying to figure out why the cat, who I don't recall ever having been particularly robust, should suddenly have grown a steel-hard skin, when the hunter noticed there were about four or five mobs trying to rip his arms off. 

The cat might be virtually invulnerable but the dwarf very definitely wasn't. I feigned him at about twenty per cent health and sat back to watch what would usually be a slow but inevitable death for the pet. Only he didn't feel like dying.

He just kept fighting. It was slow but he worked his way through all of the mobs until there was only one left. It took him five minutes and his health never moved even in the slightest. With absolutely no support from me he whittled them all down and I got the xp. And the loot, when I finally stood up with a minute of feign death left and one half-dead dryad still staggering around being savaged by an indefatigable feline.

That was about where I left it. I still wanted to try the new pre-expansion event but it was beginning to look very much as though the version of Icecrown you get if you just portal there as a level forty-five (as he'd been when he arrived) isn't the same one all the level fifties get sent to for their big bash.

I logged in my shaman instead, she being the only level fifty character I have. Before the screen had even loaded, in came an urgent call from someone or other, telling her the plot was afoot and off we went on a merry chase, all through Orgrimmar, then to Crossroads and finally on to Icecrown.

This event is invite only.


She did all the quests, narratives and dailies, then flew around the map, trying to get to the bosses that pop every fifteen minutes and just barely managing it. After two extremely close calls she hearthstoned back to Orgrimmar because it was clear her pokey slow flying wasn't going to cut it. She'd never gotten around to training for the fast mounts even though she could have done it at forty.

Luckily, she'd never really spent any of the money she'd made while levelling up, either. She had six thousand gold left, which turned out to be enough. Just about. Then she went back to Icecrown and tried again - it was a lot easier that time.

On the third boss she got a purple ring that was almost double the stats of the ones she was wearing. I thought that would be a good point to stop so I went and had my tea and then came back to write this.

I'm left with a couple of questions for tomorrow. Firstly, is the unbreakable pet a thing, now? Is it just how hunter pets are, near the cap? (Because they certainly aren't like that for my vulpera hunter in the twenties - I nearly wore her heal spell out last night). Maybe it's a function of the new levelling process, in which case is it working as intended or will it get nerfed as soon as someone realizes what's going on? 

Maybe it was some kind of bug or fluke and when I log in next it'll be gone. If not, though, if it keeps on happening, do I want to keep experimenting with it or just carry on as though I hadn't noticed?

Performances every fifteen minutes, prompt. No refunds for latecomers.


Secondly, do I want to go even a bit hard on the Scourge events? There's a currency you can earn with dailies and a vendor that takes it for some armor that would be a big upgrade for either the shaman or the hunter (when he levels up to fifty and they let him join in). The dailies aren't too bad (Okay, the mushroom one's pretty bad...). I could fit them into the schedule quite comfortably.

Then there are the bosses. They spawn every fifteen minutes and the loot is potentially better than I'm ever going to see anywhere else. Plus I like big zerg fights. 

I haven't even decided if I'm going to buy Shadowlands, though. Daybreak finally opened pre-orders for Reign of Shadows today and I'm going to give them my money as soon as I finish this. Still no launch date that I can see but unless they push it into next year it's bound to clash with the WoW expansion at least somewhat and I know where my priorities are going to lie.

And anyway, as we all know, every catch-up reward from a pre-expansion event is going to be obsolete as soon as you get a few quests into the expansion itself. Is it even worth bothering? And if you aren't getting the expansion then what do you even need upgrades for? You're done, aren't you?

Yeah, but upgrades are fun even if they don't last long. And so are big events that get everyone all hyped up. I suspect I'll end up doing quite a lot of bosses just for the buzz, if nothing else.

As for the indestructible pet, well, I guess if he keeps it up I'll just have to see how far I can push him. For science. And maybe for the loot.


  1. In Icecrown Brohjahm is the only one you might want to try to farm. He drops a 34 slot bag which is handy. The bad thing is that he only spawns every 6 hours 40 minutes (all the rares rotate and have 20 minutes between each). Wowhead has a special timer for him in their Today in WoW section on the main page so it is easy to see if it worth waiting around.

    The nice thing about the rares is that they can drop loot every time you kill them. There's no daily lockout (unlike the weekly world quest associated with Nathanos in Eastern Plaguelands).

    1. Ooh! A 34 slot bag! I'll keep an eye out for him. There was a named drake/dragon/ whatever those things are flying around when I was killing the giant but I couldn't find him afterwards. Maybe someone else got him.

  2. I wonder if your dwarf was in Chromie time Icecrown or regular Icecrown. Were the mobs scaled up to your level? I think mobs cap out at 35 for that expansion outside of Chromie time.

    1. He was in Chromie Time for Warlords of Draenor. All the mobs conned even level (going up one level when he dinged) and the zone level indicator on the map said 10 - 50. Of course, what effect being in a different expansion from the one Chromie expects you to be in might have is anyone's guess...

  3. I can confirm that if I don't keep my pet healed when trying to kill an elite it dies before the fight is over. Depending on the elite, that can vary between seconds or near the end. I'm max level and have decent gear, the pet is a ferocity pet. I'm not sure about tanking pets, haven't had to use one in a while.

    So, I'm thinking this might be one of the many weird side effects of Chromie time or level scaling. My experience having leveled a few alts for a bit is similar, there are definitely some strange things going on.


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