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Animatronics: The manufacture, maintenance, and mastery of mechanical moppets

Brian Karasek

With corellary data regarding non-manufactured but just as mechanical companions.
"How to make new friends...from scratch."

The Engineer is unique among tradesbeings. For many reasons those practitioners of "the greatest art, the grandest science" (© U. Geargrinder) have long been set apart from their counterparts in less technical fields. Either the demands of science, or the cruel whims of physics, or the insistent demands of the local fire brigade have all set Engineers apart from the rest of the world.

But one way in which the Engineer is set above the crowd, and not placed in a containment cell "while the authorities sort this out," is in our ability to craft companions for ourselves, our associate, or the sake of our bookie. Engineers, unique to crafting professions, can learn to produce our own mechanical pets to keep us company. Here we will discuss the various pets available to the tinkerer, and related pets which are too advanced to be crafted by any but the masters of the field.

Clockwork Companions: I brought you in this world, and I'll take you out!
Several models of manufacturable companions can be learned by the studious engineer.

Mechanical Squirrel

The first and easiest of the manufactured companions, the Squirrel is a common sight scampering about the forges of Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff, chasing noisily after its creator on the way back to the bank for yet again another stack of ore. These little fellows are quite easy to make, requiring only a Copper Modulator, a Handful of Copper Bolts, a Copper Bar, and two Malachite. The end result is a lively little fellow with Malachite eyes who will follow you as long as you want the company. The tricky part, of course, is finding the schematic, which is carried by a variety of locals throughout Azeroth. Mechanical Squirrels, while lively, are not lifelike and appear clearly mechanical.

Lifelike Mechanical Toad

A much rarer schematic for perpetual pals, is the Lifelike Mechanical Toad. They require slightly more effort to make, and the schematic is no picnic to acquire either. The Toad behaves exactly as a living toad does, occasionally hopping up and snatching a fly from the air. Some Engineers may need to clean flies out of their Toad's housing from time to time. The Lifelike Mechanical Toad requires a Living Essence, four Thorium Widgets, a Gold Power Core, and a Rugged Leather to create. The end result is a remarkably lifelike pet. It appears in all physical respects as a normal green toad, though anyone looking at it will see clearly it is "Lifelike" and not alive.

It should be noted that the Chief Engineer of Hoof & Horn Engineering is the founder of the Toadwrights' Guild, a trade organization dedicated to the craft. Appreciation, and lore relevant to the Lifelike Mechanical Toad. It should also, sadly, be noted that our Chief Engineer is a little affected by years of exposure to his own inventions, and that membership in this organization is thus far capped at one.

Tranquil Mechanical Yeti
Learned from a friendly goblin in Everlook, the Tranquil Mechanical Yeti is a favorite of Engineers from the northern climes, and of pranksters everywhere. The goblin with whom you must speak, Umi Rumplesnicker, will send you on a quest across Azeroth with a special yeti of her own design. Once you've completed the task she sets for you, Umi will offer to teach you how to make a Tranquil Mechanical Yeti, as well as some other rewards (including a larger sized combat yeti which, sadly, cannot be made by Engineers). The yeti is made using a Cured Rugged Hide, four Thorium Widgets, two Globe of Water, two Truesilver Transformers, and a Gold Power Core. The device produced is a small yeti, lifelike and visually identical to the yetis one encounters in the frozen north. Scale, of course, is altered.

Lil' Smoky and Pet Bombling
Gnomish and Goblin Engineers are all given membership cards for their respective organizations. The Mechanical Engineering Guild, Associated issues the Gnome Engineer Membership Card, while the Goblin Experimental Explosive Korporation issues the Goblin Engineer Membership Card. These cards expire in two weeks, and can be renewed with the issuer at the cost of two gold. When an Engineer renews their card, they receive an appreciation package in the mail the following day, which thanks them for their continued effort and also includes a free gift. The gift enclosed might be parts, explosives, metal, stone, or schemata. Two of the rarest schemata delivered are for the robot companions Lil' Smoky and the Pet Bombling. It should be noted that Engineers can renew their card any time they like, as often as they like. They must simply destroy the card in their possession, and they will be able to obtain a new one immediately (and another free gift in the mail the following day). Chief Engineer Geargrinder reports renewing his membership card ten times a month for three years before receiving Lil' Smoky's schematic. Many other Engineers report receiving their schematic within the first ten renewals.

Lil' Smoky, the robot issued to members of M.E.G.A., requires a Core of Earth, two Gyrochronatoms, a Fused Wiring, two Mithril Bars, and a Truesilver Bar. The companion produced resembles the Repair Bot models visually, though is much smaller with no repair function. Due to several untraceable design flaws, Lil' Smoky's housing does not contain exhaust well, and the internal motors are quite audible at a distance. Engineers who practice the arts of subterfuge would be well advised to leave Lil' Smoky in his packaging when doing so.

Pet Bombling is issued to members of G.E.E.K. Reports indicate it requires a Big Iron Bomb, a Heart of Fire, a Fused Wiring, and six Mithril Bars. Goblin Engineers, as ever, are recalcitrant and reticent when asked by Gnomish colleagues for details.

Uncraftable: The Pets You Keep, Not Create
Additional mechanical pets can be found, though this section contains pets which Engineers might like, given their mechanical nature, but cannot learn to create. The technical know-how of the rank and file Engineers is still slightly behind the true masters of the craft.

Mechanical Chicken
The Mechanical Chicken is earned from Oglethorpe Obnoticus, the Gnomish Engineering trainer in Booty Bay. First, you must locate and rescue three of Oglethorpe's OOX devices in Tanaris, Feralas, and the Hinterlands of Azeroth. Oglethorpe will reward each of these rescues individually, after which he will offer you an OOX of your own. The Mechanical Chicken is visually similar to the Gnomish Battle Chicken. It will behave as a normal chicken in every way, but appears obviously mechanical.

Rocket Chicken

The Rocket Chicken is a prize obtainable from the goblin Landro Longshot in Booty Bay. It will require that you redeem the code from a collectible trading card to receive it. It appears to be a modification of the Mechanical Chicken, in the way most likely for a Goblin to modify it: by attaching two giant rockets to it. The Rocket Chicken will periodically test fire its rockets, which action boosts it several inches in the air. It cannot move while hovering, and will run to catch up with you if you leave it behind. From time to time, the Rocket Chicken's thrusters will switch to full, and the Rocket Chicken will launch into the air. Regrettably, rumors of things going up always coming back down have proven to be, in this case, in error. The Rocket Chicken can be recalled after a catastrophic launch failure.

Dragon Kite
Also obtained with a collectible trading card from Landro Longshot, the Dragon Kite trails along behind you in the sky, soaring on the breeze. Kite flyers who have flown the kite in a storm report lightning strikes, but no casualties yet.

Clockwork Rocket Bot
The Clockwork Rocket Bot is a present from Greatfather Winter, or for the Horde Great-father Winter. It can only be obtained by opening a package under the Winter Veil Tree during Winter Veil of 2007. The device takes several moments to charge up, but once charged it will follow you about as normal. Unique among mechanical pets, Clockwork Rocket Bots actually target one another and attack. A Clockwork Rocket Bot which has been destroyed can be easily reassembled for another round.

In Closing: Clean Up Your Toys Before Someone Steps On Them!
Engineers are unique among our colleagues of less demanding, more rewarding professions. Engineers are able to make their own pets, perhaps to assuage them when their friends have grown tired of hearing them complain about Engineering: the cost, the hammered thumbs, the marketability, the hallucinations, brain damage, and genetic drift. When such things weary you Engineers, be glad that you can create a sympathetic ear, and imagine if you were a tailor! This concludes the lecture on mechanical pets.

Many thanks and much praise to Hoof & Horn's much respected colleague, Breanni, whose tireless research on all pets mechanical and otherwise has benefited our R&D department extensively.

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