Did you see the news? Our druid brethren are finally getting some color choices in their bear and cat forms!
In honor of that (and also because of the many recent comments on the topic), I thought it only fitting that we celebrate the color-changing pets of Azeroth and Outland.
(And yes, I basically expanded the comment I made the other day into a full post. But I was surprised at how many people e-mailed to say that they have never heard about color-changers before.)
What’s a Color-Changing Pet?
Color-changing pets are pets that will randomly choose between two or more colors each time they are called.
In fact, your worm will randomly choose one of its colors each time it appears — when you log in, when you dismount, when you use Call Pet or Revive Pet.
In effect, a color-changing pet allows you to have two (or three, or four) differently colored pets in one! And you never know which one you are going to get when you call.
Didn’t They Fix All Those Pets?
Back before the Burning Crusade (TBC) expansion — way, way back in the mists of WoW prehistory — there were several well-known color-changing pets. The two that I remember best were the Son of Hakkar and the Bloodaxe Worgs.
The Son of Hakkar is (now) a dark red windserpent from Zul’Gurub. But at one time he would cycle between three different colors: golden, dark red, and green. (Unfortunately I’ve lost the nice animated GIF that Brash made of his colors. I don’t suppose any of you still have that stashed somewhere?)
Bloodaxe Worgs were once well-known as the only source of Bite Rank 8 (remember when we had to tame pets to learn pet skills?), but they were also a popular pet because they would switch between black and dark brown — a dark brown that is no longer available to hunters.
But then in Patch 1.12, the last pre-TBC patch, Blizzard explicitly fixed these color-changing pets. Here’s the relevant 1.12 patch note:
If a hunter has tamed one of the following creature types, they will no longer potentially change colors if resummoned:
- Son of Hakkar – Red
- Frenzied Bloodseeker Bat – Brown
- Deep Stinger – Red
- Dark Screecher – Gray
- Cave Creeper – Brown
- Bloodaxe Worg – Black
- Scarshield Worg – Brown
Egad — I hadn’t remember there being so many of them! Anyway, I figured that the color-changing behavior was unintentional and that we’d never see it again.
But Then They Added More!
But in the very next patch — or more properly, in the Burning Crusade expansion — Blizzard added a new color-changing pet: the Rip-Blade Ravager.
These ravagers hang out near Toshley’s Station in the Blade’s Edge Mountains. (Not to be confused with Gore-Scythe Ravagers, which spawn to attack the Station and which cannot be tamed.) Rip-Blade Ravagers come in orange, purple, or a unique orange & purple mix.
Initially I figured that Rip-Blade Ravagers were an oversight on Blizzard’s part that they would eventually get around to fixing.
Since then, however, not only haven’t the ravagers been fixed, but Blizzard has continued to add more color-changing pets. In fact, we got a big bunch of them with the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
The Current List of Color-Changers
I’m still updating the color-changing section of the Pets with Special Behaviors page on Petopia, but I believe these are the current color-changing pets:
- Rip-Blade Ravager: orange, purple, and orange & purple
- Savage Worg: black and brown
- Sentry Worg: black, brown, gray, and white
- Cavedweller Worg: gray and white
- Deep Borer (worm): blue and gray
- Dredge Worm: brown and gray
- Shardhorn Rhino: ‘blue‘ and brown
- Gundrak Raptor: grey and mottled
- Drakuru Raptor: black and blue
And that’s more than we had back before Patch 1.12! (If I’ve missed any, please let me know.)
Of course there’s no guarantee that Blizzard won’t fix these pets to a single color at some point, but in the meantime they can make a beautiful and intriguing addition to your stable … especially if — like me! — you have a really hard time deciding which color you like best.