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New Vanity Pets Available For Purchase

Gryphon Hatchling Wind Rider Cub



It’s a topic I’ve talked about before, and others have spoken about them as well.

Here in the good old U.S.A. these new puppies (Wind Rider Cub and Gryphon Hatchling) sell for $24.99 each, as this time around you’re purchasing not only the code to the in game vanity pets, but also a plush toy. Blizzard is selling the toy actually, which comes with the in game pet code, but really I’m pretty sure that most of the people who will buy these will do so for the in game pet more than the toy. I could be wrong, but that’s my guess and the reason for me listing them in that order.

In the case of the Pandaren Monk and Lil’ K.T. from the first round of microtransaction-vanity pets, half of the purchase of one pet was donated to charity. This time around it’s all going to Blizzard. Now, don’t take that as an argument from me, I’m just stating the facts for you here. You can find my thoughts on microtransactions in the posts I linked you to above (or to summarize, it doesn’t bother me).

I’m not a big fan of vanity pets, though there are a few that I like. But my wife loves them. Why does she love them? I have absolutely no idea, but that didn’t stop me from buying the monk and K.T. for her. Of course, I was also able to buy both of those two for less than the price of one of these, not to mention I didn’t have to bother with Shipping and Handling, nor did I have to pay and wait for the delivery time. Oh yeah, and sales tax, can’t forget Uncle Sam’s share of the cash now can we?

Going with the longer shipping option (8-10 days instead of 1-2), the two of these together comes out to $64.11 USD after all fees and such are applied. If you go for the higher shipping then it’s a little over $3 more.

How do I know that total? Well, I did mention my wife loves these things didn’t I?

Pet_Purchase_2
 
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Posted by on February 24, 2010 in World of Warcraft

 

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Microtransactions: Final Thoughts

The purchasable minipets continue to cause a storm across the blogosphere. I’ve already mentioned them here and here, but rather than offer another analysis on the Pandaren Monk as I did with Lil’ K.T. I’m just going to offer one finally post on it and then I’m leaving these two alone.

I don’t care what fears people have about Blizzard offering other things in the future (they can go ahead and put T5695 gear up for sale for all I care), as far as I’m concerned that is in no way a valid argument for anything.

The only argument I have found that is valid to any degree is not so much an argument as it is a failure to understand: How can you justify spending $20 on two pets?

To even things out a bit, let’s forget about the $5 donation to the MaWF and just look at it as a flat $20 price tag here with no further bells and whistles.

Cost Analysis
Actual Cost: One Pet
Most people are looking at this: $10 = 1 pet

What most of them are failing to see is that it actually works out to this: $10 = 50 pets

Which means the actual cost is: $0.20 = 1 pet

The reason for this is because each of these pets is a BoA item that is mailed to every character you have and every character you make in the future. Each account is able to have 50 total characters across all servers, and every one of them gets this pet for the same fee. Now, not everyone is so much an altoholic as my wife and I (both of us have had to delete toons for having reached the 50 toon limit), so not everyone is going to be able to see it that way. But, some people are as bad as I am, or even worse, and they actually get an even better deal than twenty cents a pop.

For the sake of consistency though, we’ll go with a maximum of 50 toons.

Actual Cost: Both Pets
Alright, lets open it up a bit and throw that second pet in there.

Most people see this: $20 = 2 pets

What they miss: $20 = 100 pets

Actual Cost: $0.20 = 1 pet

Now, the math here obviously comes out to the exact same thing because the cost is the same in both cases. We double the cost, but we also double the quantity purchased.

Perspective
To put that into perspective a bit, let us change what we’re purchasing to nails instead of vanity pets. As with any example, it’s not going to be perfect and any trolls can come by and chew on my nails if they want. Yes, nails are real world items that can serve a purpose and be functional, but that’s not the point. Read with the intent to understand, not with the intent to respond.

Example: We’re going to say that you just bought a beautiful Asian painting. The details of the painting aren’t important, but if you’re really interested I’ll tell you that it depicts a monk. You need to hang it on your wall, but you don’t have any nails. So you go to the store to buy a nail and find out that they don’t sell nails individually, they only come in two varieties and they only come in boxes of 50. Either nail would work, but the picture will hang a bit differently with one than it will with the other, and both ways appeal to you.

You aren’t sure which nail is going to suit you the best, but you know that you could probably find uses for either type. You also know that you only need a single nail, but having several might come in handy later on down the road. If you could buy a single nail for $0.20 then you would prefer to do that, but sadly the store doesn’t allow such purchases. So you have to decide whether you want one type of nail, or both types of nails, and you have to deal with the fact that you may very well be buying more nails than you’ll ever use.

My decision was to buy both types of nails and see which style of hanging appealed to me more, knowing that I could change between both styles of hanging whenever I wanted to by switching out one type of nail for the other.

Conclusion
The point of me breaking this down for you isn’t to try to convince you to change your mind on whether or not to buy them, the point is to open your mind a bit to help you see a clearer picture of what you’re actually buying. In essence, you aren’t just going to a store to buy yourself a nail, you’re going to a store and buying a box of nails. Whether or not you decide to use them all is up to you. You may only need a single nail to hang up that nice picture on your wall, but you’re buying a whole box that’s available for you to use if you have a want or need to do so.

How you justify the cost is dependent on how you chose to look at it. Did you spend $20 on a single nail, or did you spend $20 on a box that has 100 nails in it? The answer is up to you; it’s all in how you choose to look at it.

I didn’t spend $20 to buy my wife 2 pets, I spent $20 to buy my wife 100 pets, and she’s enjoying every one.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2009 in World of Warcraft

 

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Vanity Pet Analysis: Lil’ K.T.

After buying both of the new vanity pets for my wife that I mentioned yesterday, we took a look at them both to decide what we thought about them. Initially I was almost certain that K.T. was the one for me as I’ve always been a fan of liches and necromantics and such, and pandas aren’t really my thing.

So pulled out the panda first expecting him to the weaker of the two. As it turned out, he was actually pretty cool. Every minute or so he pulls out some wicked Kung Fu moves to show you and he makes cool little martial arts noises and such. We were actually surprisingly pleased with him and that just made us even more ready to see what good old K.T. had to show us.

I knew from reading the description when I bought them that K.T. would occasionally attack critters, so we took a character into Stormwind and stood there amidst the squirrels waiting for him to show us what he’s got. We waited, and waited, and…waited…and then logged out. The little sucker decided to use his freezing skills on us or something because he didn’t do a blasted thing! We were both rather disappointed in the little lich, but we liked the panda enough that we just stuck with him instead.

When I mentioned on twitter today that we had not been impressed with him other people chimed in saying that KT had worked just fine for them and that they had a blast killing critters with him. I was pretty stumped at that point, wondering if perhaps ours had been bugged or something. So when lunch time rolled around I went ahead and logged into my wife’s account since she was out of town with her mom for the day. I rolled a new human toon and ran to Goldshire to pick up the pets from the mailbox, knowing that there were chickens, cows, dear, fawn, and rabbits in abundance in the area. You can find chickens right there near the mailbox, so that was my first target. I

I pulled out K.T. and stood there waiting. I waited for a couple of minutes, knowing that the Pandaren Monk would have done something in that time period and got disgruntled. I moved on to another location assuming that perhaps he just didn’t like killing things in towns. I found a cow and rabbit together and parked myself there while I tabbed out to check Twitter for any other replies. I found that some people had triggered him in cities, so I was stumped again. Then I heard a nice, wicked laugh so I tabbed back over to WoW just in time to see a rabbit get frozen and about half a second later the ice busted and the rabbit was dead, prompting another wicked laugh from Lil’ K.T.

From there I went to other animals trying to get it to trigger and hoping to get screen shots of it as well. The animations were happening pretty fast and I was in the middle of rotating camera angles and suck to try to get good shots as the critters moved around, so the shots I did manage to get weren’t all that great. But, I did manage to snag a few for you. Before I had to go back to work I managed to get two chickens, a rabbit, and a cow all killed with Lil’ KT. The cow was the best seeing the massive ice block show up around it before it died. But, I didn’t catch the screen shot on that one before he was dead.

Here is the letter that you get when you pull K.T. out of the mailbox:
kt

Here’s a a shot of the first little chicken that met his frosty death, just as KT froze him:
freeze

And here’s one of the dead corpse after the freeze effect ended:
dead

You don’t see any debuff or anything show up on the critter, you just see it get hit with a frost spell, frozen solid, and then falling over dead when the freeze effect breaks. But the casting animation and the wicked sounds from K.T. make it a fun experience.

All in all, the time between his freezes was somewhat disappointing as I had to wait several minutes even between multiple critters that were right next to one another. But, the info on the pet does mention that it is random, so maybe the numbers were just against me today or something. If he is capable of doing it more often or while you’re running near a critter or something then he might be cooler than he seemed. In the long run I was still pleased with the little guy, but somewhat disappointed as well. I wish he’d be a little more aggressive in his critter killing. ;)

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2009 in World of Warcraft

 

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Pet Purchases

[Edit: Alright, so I already caved and bought both of them for my wife. I couldn't help it. She loves the pets and I love her, so she got 'em both.]

I received a link on twitter today taking me here, to a new service offered by Blizzard. Well, it’s not really a service so much as simply a couple more items that you can purchase from them: Vanity Pets.

Pandaren Monk – a martial-arts expert who’s here to help celebrate the upcoming fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft. He may be cute, but he’s proof that even the softest of critters can overcome the hardest of circumstances.

Lil’ K.T. – miniature lich who bears a striking resemblance to the legendary lord of Naxxramas, Kel’Thuzad. But don’t let his diminutive stature fool you: Lil’ K.T. has a diabolical laugh and wields true power at his bony fingertips, randomly wreaking icy havoc on critters who dare to cross his path.

You can purchase the pets from the Blizzard Store for $10 (US) each. If you happen to pick up the Pandaren Monk, then 50% of that payment (so $5) is donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation if you buy it between now and the end of the year (December 31, 2009 11:59 P.M.).

I’m not huge on vanity pets myself, so I probably won’t end up buying one for myself. I very well might buy one…or both…for my wife, but unless someone gifts one to me then I won’t have them. Of the two, I think the Lil’ K.T. is the coolest one, but I’m not a big panda-monk kind of guy. And I love that Lil’ K.T. will occasionally “wreak icy havoc on critters who dare to cross his path”.

[Edit: As you'll see in the comments down below, I actually like the Pandaren Monk quite a bit after seeing them in action. Lil KT doesn't do his icy bolt of freezing critter death very often which is kind of disappointing. The monk though, he does his kung fu moves for you pretty regularly (including the Flying Crane Kick, lol) and he also bows back to anyone who targets him and does the /bow emote.]

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2009 in World of Warcraft

 

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