Petopia Gets a New Skin

Front page of the spruced-up Petopia.

When you have a chance, swing by Petopia and take a gander at the new skin I uploaded tonight. I’ve been working on it off and on for awhile now, and I have to say I’m rather fond of it. But of course I want to hear what you think. *grin*

Important Note: If you are seeing any weirdness with things overlapping improperly or colors that don’t look like this picture to the left, try forcibly refreshing the page. (On Windows this is normally Ctrl+F5.) And next time I will remember to change the name of the stylesheet so that isn’t neccesary.

As usual there are a couple of caveats. You’ll notice that the pet pics look a bit out of place at the moment. I will probably start replacing them soon: certainly many of the pictures I added myself in the past year could stand to be a little better quality. (It took me a long time to figure out the Model Viewer well enough to get the best shots.)

I’ve also left out some bits of content temporarily while I wrestle them into shape. For example, all the taming guides are currently MIA, as is the “Surviving the First Nine Levels” article, but I hope to have much of that back up soon.

On the other hand, I was able to add some minor new functionality. Individual pet pages now have both a Thotbott and a Wowhead link, for instance, which I know will make you Wowhead lovers happy.

I also added a new overview page for pet families, with a new trial family organization that I’m sure will cause some discussion.

And there are other bits changed here and there. Take a poke around and see what you can find! The biggest plus in my eyes is that I once again like the look of the site — which means I’m more excited to add new content.

Incidentally, I did my best to make sure that everything renders properly in IE6, but there are a few known issues. The ghost saber image in the header has some odd black artifacting and I had to drop the King B image on the homepage entirely. I hope, however, that the site is usable in IE6 — if it’s not, please let me know and I’ll go beat my head against it some more.

And that goes for IE7, Firefox and Safari as well, of course. If you see anything amiss just let me know and I’ll swing into action.

And let me know what you think! I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.

(Aside: I went through a number of possible titles for this post. My favorites were the understated “Petopia Updated – Visibly” and the ironic “Petopia – Still Green!”)

81 thoughts on “Petopia Gets a New Skin

  1. Znodis


    Late one night I tried testing gore, and it seemed like double damage was a critical, and would proc FI. However, when I spoke up, Cheeky (of spreadsheet fame) corrected me that it was just double damage. I would trust him over my sleep deprivation.

    I still plan to test it again.

  2. Palladiamors

    If it IS just double damage, then it should still be able to critical. That WOULD make it better then claw in most respects, as opposed to my current equal or less than theory. If it count’s as a critical though, then it’s high critical chance would be great for proccing pet related skills, but a raptor and cat would be fairly close to damage output. *sighs* Hate to say it, but I may have to tame a raptor just to test.

  3. Mordreade

    I like the way the links are grouped. I like the Art.
    But….. it is too blocky, to much of a set pattern to actually be pleasing to the eye. Frankly, (and I know you did work hard on it)it looks like a simple website template we all seen a thousand times all over. The different shades of green (and I am NOT a green hater) remind me of a baby puking strained peas.
    I am not saying any of this to be mean or contrary, and I do applaud you for your work (of wich I am very grateful), but I only give honest opinions.

  4. Fonzy

    This is a great layout.

    I only have one suggestion to make, and that is that you should try adding a 3D model veiwer for the pets.

    Other than that, I’m loving the layout.

  5. Seidouyumi


    From what I’ve seen, Gore’s double damage can critial, making it do four times the level of damage that it could do. Now, mathematically, this comes to some funky numbers. There are several posts on the WoW Hunter Forum about how Gore doing double damage does not trigger any special abilities that require a critical hit.

    It means that there is, I think, a fifty-five percent chance of doing double damage, and a five percent chance of doing quadruple damage. Mathematically, it’s possible for Gore to do a lot more damage than Claw, but Claw’s own damage is higher at base.

    Claw 9 does 54-76 damage, and can crit for 108-152 damage.
    Gore 9 does 37-61 damage, but could do 74-122 damage, but can crit for 148-244.

  6. Wolfington

    I must say, it does look a little bit blockey…

    Also, I would recomend being a little clearer about finding pets by level, pets by zone, etc. (Although the Quick Jump is really cool, and it does give pet by level/zone, but you have to type it in to search..)

    Also, this is small, but the King B pic is tilted a bit and that kind of thing just bugs my eyes, call me picky >.<

    I still love the minty green.. The old green was to dark for my liking.

  7. Ayrianna

    I’m fine with the colors that you chose, but PLEASE take the pet families out of the drop down! There is nothing “quick” about making your users add in another click and scroll through a drop down to find the pet they are looking for.

    Maybe I’m just thinking about my own browsing habits at Petopia (I’m there a lot), but I use it MUCH more often as a resource for finding a specific pet than I do for looking up guides.

  8. hyena84

    something about the lightest green hurts my eyes slightly and i miss the list of familys off to the left (MUCH faster then a drop down menu).other then that it looks nice…

  9. Yossir

    The old version looked better in my opinion. The two cats on the new page look funny and the light green isnt the best color.

  10. Dvalin

    I agree with the last 3 comments, although I’m warming to the layout the colour is awful. Perhaps I’m just too used to the old petopia as I’m generally not looking for tips and hints but what pets I need from where for skills or just to find a new interesting pet for my hunter. I would like to see the pet families back on the main page and a definite change of colour, that pale green just doesn’t feel very hunter-ish. Functionally though it feels pretty good though.

  11. Dvalin

    Apologies for the double post but I forgot to say, a good shade of green imo would be somthing like you would find in Nagrand, love that zone :)

  12. Wolf68

    The new design is, well, nice and clean. In my opinion it looks a bit like an accountant’s first attempt on webdesign. It is not wild and dangerous at all, considered it is a page about animals.

    Still, petopia is and always was my favorite page about hunter pets. Thanks for taking the time making and updating it.

  13. Veider

    It’s great that you have freshened up the pages, I’ll second the other comments here on that. (I just haven’t used the pages enough to be able to appreciate the changes yet, so I leave that decision to them for now.)

    The other comment I would like to make, is similar to some others; I turn down the light on the screen to view the new pages, as the old ones were so soothing to my eyes. In fact, I hardly ever saw a more relaxing page for my eyes to read. :s
    …call me weird and dark-dweller if you like. I’m a creature of the night. ;-)

  14. Suzi

    I’m not a big fan of green, but I much prefer the lighter shade rather than what it was before. Depending on how easy or hard it is to implement, perhaps we could choose our skin (both having the new layout, but a choice of shade). Of course, if you started along that route people would be insisting on even more choice so perhaps you should stick to what you like the most.

    It’s great how it’s set out now – I really like the Quick Jumps, search ability and artwork. I will 2nd the wish for Allakhazam links, but I don’t want to increase your workload too much. :) All in all, great job Mania!

  15. Seidouyumi

    I noticed something. The little icon by the URL in the address bar has changed. It’s still a white Cat for the main site, and a pink Tallstrider for the Blog :D

  16. Crinis

    wow, not to be rude, but i dislike it alot, light green, and bright white gives me a headach, plus it is much harder to search imho, i miss the darker warm colors, and the quick pet links on the top left, if you are having a vote on looks, i say either change it back, or make it a little like the old one,such as the old top left pet links.

    have a nice day,

  17. Crinis

    Also, Allakhazam is old and not very great imo, i like and wowwiki for lore info, and wowhead for spells, items, prof skills, and everything other then lofe! :D

    plus the quickjumps i don’t like, just because i’m sadly lazy to go *click click click click click tap tap*

  18. Yanweh

    I’m with the minority here, and I dislike the appearance of it. The color definitely needs a lot of changing. The utility is nice, I just don’t like how it looks any-longer. It’s… *sigh*… unprofessional looking?

  19. Kaylink

    To be honest with you, I very much dislike the new layout of this site. The color scheme of mint greens is nothing less than painful to the eyes, the older colors were much more appealing. Neutral tones are key to making an appealing backdrop, it draws your attention to the features rather than the blank space. Even a faint pattern would have been nice, the whole BOOM PLAIN GREEN really is tacky looking, as is the new layout. It looks like a Multimedia 101 project, all flat and basic and very boring. The new interface is rather sloppily done too, the old left-side menu was fast and efficient. This one has more steps and is clumsy to navigate. Don’t get me wrong, the info is great as always, but the way it is organized has gone down in quality. I would seriously reconsider trying out new skins and interface options, I am sure you can come up with something much better.

    Also, I am having major issues with the two illustrations on the front page, of the Ghost saber and King B. They look, I’m sorry to say, incredibly cheap. The cliche Photoshop drawings, if you will. Sloppy shading, ill-use of coloring tools, no substantial anatomy visible. As an artist myself, I would seriously recommend either trashing them altogether, as they make the site look childish, or getting someone to make new ones. if you paid more than 45 a piece for them you were very much ripped off.

    Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I am very disappointed in the new look, as I can see several other people are too. I hope that you decide to alter some of the things myself and others have suggested.

  20. Seidouyumi

    On the subject of recomended pets-

    Someone mentioned that certain pets get the spell bonus while most don’t. Most skills don’t benifit from the spell bonus (I checked), but certain, specific, pet skills did.

    Those skills are Lightning Breath, Fire Breath, Scorpid Poison, and Poison Spit. I’ve checked two out of three of these and will be checking the other two shortly. Scorpid poison does, at rank one, one nature damage per tick, but it gets a huge bonus from the spell bonus. My scorpid’s poison was doing three nature damage per tick at rank one, and with only one application. Lightning Breath gets almost a full bonus from the spell bonus as well.

    For a Marksman Hunter, that spell bonus could drive the DPS of these specific pets pretty high comparitively.

  21. Ayrianna

    please please PLEASE take the pet “quick jump” OUT of the javascript drop down menu! It’s getting REALLY annoying to have to select the pet, and then click the button. Well over 50% of web surfers use browser that have Tabbed browsing, but those javascript drop downs completely make tabs useless. I have come here many times since the layout change, and it’s incredibly frusterating to not be able to have several pet families open in different tabs. I see that you added in a comparison table for the pets, but it’s still just so much easier to have two separate windows to compare them.

    If you really MUST have the pets in a drop-down format, there are plenty of ways to do it Via CSS so your users can still right-click on the link to either copy the link location or open the page in a new tab and/or window.

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