Whether you gotta' catch 'em all, or are looking for just the right little friend to accompany you in your adventures, I will attempt to lead you in the right direction.
This guide is written from the horde perspective, since that is the guild's faction.
Blizzard is constantly adding new pets. I'm trying to keep these posts small to allow for additions and edits. This will be a continual process, even after I have completed the sections. Be sure to check back from time to time.
Tips and Tricks:
- http://www.warcraftpets.com is hands-down the best resource out there for pet collectors. It has some wonderful guides, information on pets and where to find them, and even the ability to track your own personal collection. Refer to it as often as you like. I simply cannot stress enough how instrumental this site was, and still is, to building my current collection.
http://www.wowhead.com is another very useful site. If you've singled out one particular companion, Wowhead offers great information on drop rates. And the comments can keep you determined if the RNG is not being your friend.
- Before heading out on a farming expedition, always make sure to visit a major city to clear as much space in your bags as possible. Put anything you don't need immediately in your banks. Don't forget to vendor any useless items you don't want to keep.
Keeping your bags free means fewer trips to a nearby city to hawk any items you acquire. You will be amazed quickly your inventory will fill up.
Another thing you will want to do while clearing your pets is to double check your preferred resource on source of your "prey." This can save you the frustration of going out and killing many of the wrong enemy, only to discover later, you should have gone north.
Familiarize yourself yourself with the area you will be farming. Make note of nearby towns, vendors, and mailboxes. Knowing where you're going will help save time and increase the time spent killing the particular baddie/baddies that drop your soon-to-be beloved friend.
Take breaks! This seems counter-intuitive given the advice from above, but getting too frustrated with any task can take it's toll, and pet collecting is no exception. Don't let a vanity item ruin your fun of the game!
Be courteous! In your travels you will be coming across players who need the very same mob that drops your pet for a quest. Let them have the kills. You do not know how long you will be in the area, while their duration is greatly dependant on the availability of quest mobs. There are many things you can do during this time. If other enemies drop the pet, simply move on. Or you could head to town to take care of business. You could always take a short afk. You could even help them with their quest. Whatever you do, DO NOT KILL STEAL!
- Being horde-side, there are quite a few pets that we simply cannot get through the original means. This means that for several companions, we have to rely on auctions.
Check both the horde and neutral Auction Houses before buying. Pets are actually fairly common commodity on both. Chances are that for the more common of factional pets can be found on both at any given time. However, your beloved Cornish Rex may be anywhere from between a few to 50 gold cheaper on one or the other. Gold may be easier to come by these days, but if you're a poorer collector, the difference could make or break the deal.
Watch the prices. Auction addons could be very useful in this area. Prices fluctuate depending on many, many factors. One item may be a much better price on Friday evenings due to flooding in the market. Another may be much cheaper on Wednesdays due to the habits of a certain crafter. The same is true of pets.
Any time you see a pet listed that you have not seen before, check Warcraftpets or Wowhead for the source of them. Some people like to take advantage of the general populace's lack-of-information to make some extra gold. Educate yourself.
- Many pets can be crafted. To this end, try to foster a good relationship with the various crafters. They will be more willing to work with you in the future. This goes for all aspects, not just pets. Farm the mats for them. Offer to pass off pet recipes free of charge. Tip. Be friendly and polite. It's not just good manners, it's good business sense.
Be patient. RNG doesn't always go your way. You may luck out with that new pet only a few kills in. It may take you days,weeks, or even months before you see it. Don't give up! Move on to another goal if you need a break, but don't give up on the drop completely. You may just find it on the auction house at a decent price. Or it may be the very next drop when you go back to farming.
Don't let your very human habit of applying peronas to very non-human creatures/concepts discourage you. The RNG is not sentinent or sapient. It has no instincts, likes/dislikes, bias, etc. It is random. Either you'll get the drop or you won't. There is no shortcut. No tricks. Nothing that can change that.
There are misconceptions about how drop rates work that can lead to unneeded frustration. Say a certain item has a drop rate of 1/100. While statistics say that the closer you get to 100 kills, the more likely you are to see the item drop, it certainly doesn't garuntee it. The drop rate is not a magic number. If you kill 100 of the right npc, you are not due for anything in particular to drop. The drop rate remains constant no matter how many kills you get in. It is 1/100 at kill number 1 and 1/100 at kill number 1,368. This means that pet is just as likely to show up in the beginning as it is in the end.
Do be an achievement hound!
Lastly, try to decide for yourself. Only you know whether a certain pet is worth the method of gaining it. No on else can decide for you.
- 1. Real World Methods.
a) Collector's Editions
b) Trading Card Game
c) Blizzard Pet Store
2. Various In Game Methods-Part 1.
c) Argent Tournament
d) Auction Houses
a) General Vendors
a1) Eastern Kingdoms
b) Reputation Vendors
a) Pets from certain enemies
b) Zone Drops
5. Various In Game Methods-Part 2
a) Darkmoon Faire
b) Love Is In the Air
d) Children's Week
e) Midsummer Fire Festival
g) Hallow's End
h) Pilgrim's Bounty
i) Winter Veil
a) Raptor Nests