Allow me to introduce you to Aisna. She’s level 10 and this wolf is her first real pet ever.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Another new hunter alt?! And another dwarf at that! What happened to Kaet? Or Maja? Or that Tauren you just started? Or your horde of level 20-ish Alliance alts?!”
Ah, but Aisna is special.
Hmm … You can’t really see it in this screenshot, so let me post another …
Here you go: a detail pic of Aisna’s portrait and experience bar.
See it now? My new dwarf lass has completed all the level 10 taming quests and tamed her own pet — and she’s still only a smidgen of XP into level 10!
If you’ve started as many hunters as I have, you may know that this isn’t normally possible — the level 10 taming quests include a goodly chunk of XP. By the time you can tame your own pet, you’re normally well on your way to level 11.
But not Aisna! Thanks to the magic of Patch 3.2, she turned off her ability to gain XP shortly after she gained level 10. Then she went on to complete the taming quests, tame her wolf, kill enemies galore and explore the world, all without gaining a single point of experience.
Of course, given that Patch 3.2 isn’t yet on the live realms, these screenshots were necessarily taken on the Public Test Realms. This is, in fact, just a copy of Aisna. But the ‘real’ Aisna, as it were, is sitting quietly in Stormwind on an out-of-the-way realm, having just hit level 10, and waiting patiently for Patch 3.2.
And once again I know what you are thinking! “Err .. Mania? Are you feeling okay? Why in the world are you so excited about this?” Or as the level 19 rogue on the PTR put it when he saw me at the XP-toggle NPC: “Worst twink ever.”
Ahh, but Aisna is not sacrificing her future of leveling for nothing! Not at all. She is the first of my elite cadre of testing hunters — starting at level 10 and carefully spaced out every six levels so that I can tame any level of pet from 5 to 80.
To be fair, this was possible before Patch 3.2. But the level 10 hunter kept giving me fits — between the taming quests and exploration XP, I found it difficult not to end up with a level 11 hunter. And that put me off the whole project. Now, however, with the ability to toggle off XP gain, I should be fine.
I’ve been wanting to do this since Patch 3.0 when Blizzard introduced pet auto-leveling. I like the way that pets auto-level now, mind, but I find it terribly frustrating that I can no longer just take Mania out to tame a low level pet if I want to see the details of a low level pet skill. And being the stats geek I am, I feel like I am missing out when I can’t keep my big spreadsheets of pet stats updated properly.
So this is my solution. 15+ characters (including two death knights as bank mules) spread across two realms (because they won’t fit on one realm), just so I can feel like the data is at my fingertips.
It may take me quite a while to level all the characters to the proper levels. I may drop this project for periods of time … but it will be there whenever I get bored and just want to do some mindless leveling. And since Aisna is ready to go, I can start collecting the low level data just as soon as Patch 3.2 hits.
Yeah, I’m a mite crazy. But we all need hobbies.