I've been doing a lot of addon mailbags lately, to help people over the hump from Cataclysm to Mists, but this is the last one for a little while. I will, potentially, continue to tack them on to the end of other Addon Spotlight columns, depending on whether I receive questions that I think might be troubling a lot of people or not! If you have questions, or suggestions, do email me on email@example.com. I will try to get back to you!
Let's delve into the mailbag once again with a great question about Pet Battle addons!
I have a question for your Addon Spotlight column which I hope you can get to. I've become mildly addicted to pet battles. If you had any recommendations for addons that would fulfill my desires (listed below), that would be fantastic.
- A way of showing if I already have one or more of a wild pet so I'm not constantly searching my pet journal every time I see a green paw on the minimap. Kind of enveloped with this, I'd like something that could show the rarity (if possible) of a wild pet as opposed to the ones in my stable so I can see if it's an upgrade.
- A way to streamline the pet journal interface so that instead of seeing all of the multiples of each pet, I can just have a list of what I do and do not have, instead of eight blue mini-jousters clogging up the list.
- Some kind of tracking system that shows where to go to find all of the wild pets so I'm not tabbing in and out of game every time I find one in my pet journal that I want.
- Some kind of NPCscan-ish tracking system that will highlight or ping the map when there is a tameable pet I do not currently own.
- A modifier for the AH that will work like the "Useable items only" feature before 5.0.4 hit, so that I can filter the pets on the AH out that I already have.
- A more intuitive system for displaying weaknesses and strengths, hopefully in the tooltip, when I mouse over a wild pet.I will say that I have no clue at all what the API limitations for pet battles are, so it may well be that the reason I can't find my dream pet battle addon is that it's just not possible, but all the same, if you could help me out I would be overjoyed.
I can definitely guarantee that your whole list is not currently covered by any one addon that I'm aware of. I've had a good look, too! But I know that our Addon Spotlight commenters are hugely knowledgeable and helpful folk, so they will almost certainly be able to fill in any gaps in my knowledge.
My predecessor put together a column about Pet Battle Addons where he talked about two addons -- Bunny Hunter and Rarity. These two addons, both of which are updated for Mists, serve much the same purpose, and that's to track your "progress" in hunting down the rarest pets and mounts. Progress has scare quotes as, as many of us know all too well, you can farm these rares for years and never get that one lucky drop. These addons basically serve to remind you how unlucky you've been!
As far as showing what you own already, there are a few ways to go about it. Altoholic allows you to view your battle pets cross-character, but I couldn't get it to work myself, perhaps it's something the developers are still working on, but it really wasn't playing. Others, though, have told me that it's working perfectly for them, but that's one to try out rather than rely on. I've written about Altoholic in the past and it really is a great addon to keep around!
The slickest addon I've found for pet hunters so far, to check if they have a pet or not, is BattlePetCount. This wonderfully slick little addon bypasses the very unwieldy journal altogether, and simply adds the information you need in the tooltip. So, when you mouseover a pet, it tells you not only whether you already own that pet, but also what quality of pet you own, and what level it is! You can't tell just by looking at a wild pet's tooltip whether it's rare, so you can't be sure whether the little beauty you just tracked down is an improvement on your current spiny lizard or not. But, being able to tell at a glance whether a you already own a rare version of a pet or not is a huge upgrade from the current status.
My only complaint about BattlePetCount is that it doesn't affect the tooltip revealed by the minimap whatsoever, it only applies changes to the tooltip you see when you mouseover a pet itself. You can, however, tell once you're battling! But, like I said, it's a huge step up. It also works with pet vendors, giving you information on ownership of all the pets they have to offer. It also helps to solve your Auction House woes a little, just because it will show you on mouseover whether you have a pet already or not. I'm sorry to say that I haven't found an auction addon that does this for you any better than that.
BattlePetCount is such a simple solution for the wild pet hunter, but let's see if we can't address some of your other requests. I haven't quite got the moon wedged on that stick yet!
Improving the Pet Journal for collecting
OK, so this one was relatively easy to answer for you. There are a lot of great websites around that have huge amounts of detail on where to go for pets, what to do to get them and that sort of thing, but I agree that alt-tabbing is tiresome!
There is an awesome addon out there by the name of Collectinator. What does it do? Well, it takes your pet and mount journal, then revolutionizes them! How does it do it? You open up your pet or mount pane, and locate the "scan" button. They've hidden it rather well, up by the X in the corner that closes the window. Sneaky! Once you hit scan, you're greeted with a huge list of all the pets or mounts (depending on which window you scanned) in the game.
If you have a look at the picture above, you can see that I've used the obtain filter to select all pets that can be purchased from vendors in all expansions. The middle pane offers a huge amount of other filters that can be applied to the pet list. Once you've located the pet you're after, or when you're just browsing through, you can open up any pet or mount entry to reveal a full set of details on where to get the pet, where it hangs out, or any reputations or other hoop-jumping required!
Unfortunately, at this point, whether or not a pet is able to battle is not one of those filters. But, if you're hunting down a specific pet, you could do a lot worse than Collectinator.
And the rest?
I'm sorry to say that I haven't found a single addon that allows you to scan an area for pets, like NPCScan. I'd love to say one will appear, but there may be limitations that prevent it.
As far as auction house optimization, wait and see! There may well be mods inbound and I'll be sure to keep an eye on them. And for the strengths and weaknesses of a wild pet, that's still a case of using your pet journal to look up similar pets and make a judgement call. Addons can't do it all for you... yet!
As ever, if you know additional or alternative addons, pop them in the comments!
Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email firstname.lastname@example.org.