A Cow Goes To Dwarven Lands

I made another alt. I'm kind of surprised by my own excitement about making alts right now, because I don't remember being that much of an altoholic back in Vanilla. On private servers I was even more focused on the moment and on progressing with what I already had, since you never knew how long the server was going to be around.

With Classic though, I guess I feel more secure in "collecting" alts, knowing that the game will be around for the long run. Plus I'm more aware of the benefits of having multiple characters with complementary professions and how they can help each other out than I was back in 2005.

Also, I honestly kind of needed another alt. As I mentioned, my shaman is waiting for my husband to catch up, and my druid is the character I'm using to get him there. What was I supposed to do when he doesn't feel like playing? Play a different game? Pfft.

Anyway, with the whole wide world of Warcraft open to me, two different factions and six different starting zones, I made... a third tauren. Don't ask me why, I guess I just love them that much. And I made her a hunter because hunters are fun and both Bhagpuss and Wilhelm talking about adventuring on their lowbie hunters made me itch for one of my own even more.

The one thing I did in order not to burn myself out on Mulgore was take my newest noobcow over to Durotar to do the quests there instead. All the starting zones are still quite busy, but if you make a point of playing during off-hours you can get quite a lot done in a short time.

The levels up to the big ten, spent sadly pet-less of course, were mostly unremarkable except for that one time when I teamed up with an orc warlock on the Echo Isles and his low level combined with a warlock's typical love for fearing things caused utter mayhem among the voodoo trolls, with both of us eventually running off into different directions with barely a sliver of health left and only just surviving. But that's just another day in Classic, I guess.

I also saved his life once by bandaging him. You can take away my healing spells but you can't take away my urge to keep others alive!

Anyway, at level ten it was back to Mulgore to learn how to tame a pet. I only died once... or was it twice? during the quest, the first time due to the fact that I'd forgotten that dismissing my temporary pet would cause it to become hostile towards me and I did so at a very bad time.

And then of course came the eternal question: Which pet to choose as my permanent companion? As someone with a bit of experience as a hunter I wasn't just going to pick up a common one from the near vicinity; I wanted it to be special. (You can read about my previous history of hunter pets here.)

Eventually I settled on wanting a white bear, a model that's only available from two named mobs until close to the level cap. One of them's a rare, so I discarded that option since I had no interest in spawn-camping him. The other was "just" a named quest mob in Dun Morogh, the shared starter zone for gnomes and dwarves. Let me tell you, for a level 10 tauren that's very, very far away! However, that only made me even more determined to go for it.

So the unknowing target of my future affections was going to be a level 11 bear called Mangeclaw. My own hunter was only halfway through level 10 by that point (and you need to be the same level as the pet you want to tame or higher), but the journey to Dun Morogh was so long that I was confident that I'd be able to fill out the rest of my bar by the time I arrived.

I'd already been to Orgrimmar, so I started by taking the zeppelin to Undercity and hoofing it down to the Sepulcher. At that point I took all my gear off because I knew there was going to be a lot of death in my future and I didn't want to damage it unnecessarily. And then I was off.

I suffered my first death to some wizards in southern Silverpine, and from then on it only got worse. Why are there so many spiders so close to the road in Hillsbrad? I was reminded that if you die too often in quick succession, you actually have to wait a couple of minutes before you're able to take control of your body again. That was quite boring, but I passed the time by watching some YouTube videos on the side.

Arathi Highlands was the worst, with my poor cow often barely being able to run a few meters after reviving before being ganked by a high-level spider yet again. In hindsight though, I could have saved myself some tedium by not detouring to Hammerfall to pick up the flight path there, as most of my deaths occurred on the unsecured path between that and Refuge Pointe.

It was getting quite late in the evening by that point, but to be honest that only served to spur me on even more, as it meant that I was less likely to encounter random Alliance players looking to kill Mangeclaw for their quest.

After all that, getting out of Arathi felt like a breath of fresh air, and I made it through the Wetlands without even a single death. While crossing the tunnels to Loch Modan I fell victim to the dwarven mountaineers a couple of times, but compared to what had come before those deaths barely registered.

And then I was there at last, Dun Morogh and the little clearing with Mangeclaw in it, with no competition! Unfortunately I was still three bars away from level 11, so I had to start off by killing all the other wildlife in the area. Originally I considered going further in to find more hunt targets, but there were so many mountaineers in the narrow pass that I decided not to risk it and waited for respawns instead. During my second round of clearing the area I dinged level 11.

Then I went off to tame old Mangey... and promptly got killed by him. I'd known that he had a ravage attack which was likely to interrupt my first taming attempt, but I didn't have enough health left by the time I started the second cast, so I died shortly before it could finish.

You'd think that one more corpse run was nothing after spending literally more than an hour just to get there, but I did feel a little offended by having been killed by the very target of my hunter's affections. Fortunately I got it right the second time - my first taming attempt was interrupted again, but this time I had a healing potion at the ready to drink up before re-casting the tame, which allowed me to succeed with just a little bit of health left. So I finally got my bear!

I remember my first pet on Kronos being super grumpy and requiring a huge amount of feeding to improve his mood, but it seems that this is another thing that private servers have overtuned, because a single slab of boar meat and a shiny red apple were enough to get Mangey, now renamed to Snowclaw, from unhappy to cheerful, and he stayed there for a while. As it was 3am by that time I hearthed out.

And now every experienced hunter I'll meet will know to just what lengths I'm willing to go for the right pet! Until I get close to the level cap that is, at which point he could be mistaken for any old bear from Winterspring I guess. But knowing me and my levelling speed, that point in time is a very long way off.


  1. I just grabbed the nearest Ice Claw Bear when I got the taming quest done. He's still the only pet I have. I quite like him being smaller than just about every other hunter's bear I see. I bought a second Stable slot but I haven't thought about what to tame next yet.

    When I played on Live back in 2009 my huner, who got to the low 70s before I stopped, only ever used one pet, the Snow Leopard he started with. I have this problem every time I play a pet class that has limited pet storage. I always feel a huge loyalty to my starting pet and can't easily park him in storage let alone dismiss him. My current plan is to stick with the bear until and unless he can't do the job. He seems fine for now.

    I am also on the alt train. I spent this morning taking my Mage to 5 and moving my Priest out of his startign area at Level 1 because the Dwarf/Gnome starting area doesn't seem to have a mailbox. Or I just missed it.

    I have a warrior to sort out next. Where will it end?

  2. I'm surprised you got a free moment with Mangeclaw. I was there yesterday on BB and there was still a short queue waiting to slay him for a quest. I actually was able to make a full group for a kill.

    Nice looking pet though, one of the early distinctive ones.

    1. Would have been pretty hilarious to have a tauren join the queue. 3 short dwarves standing in line, then a large tauren, then 2 more dwarves.

    2. I was using British understatement when I said that it was getting "quite late" by the time I got there. It was actually nearly 3am UK time (which is 4am in Central Europe). Even on the busiest server there's a time when most sane people in that time zone have gone to sleep.

  3. That's cool. One of the fun things of playing a hunter is doing and sharing these sorts of taming stories. Definitely a far more epic journey than a Wetlands run!

    I remember going after a Ghostsaber, only discovering after a chunk of effort to spawn one that my tame failed consistently. I hadn't realized that as a level 19 I couldn't tame a level 20 pet. Oops. Definitely a learning experience and one that is hard to repeat given the wealth of knowledge so easily available for MMOs these days.

  4. I'm focusing on my Warlock and trying to mostly advance her, but if I feel in a rut with that character, or am tired of the area she's in, it's nice to switch to a different character.
    Most impressive that you knew you could make your circuitous way to Mangeclaw and tame him. I've killed him for a quest many times, but never considered trying to tame him.

  5. Aw... You've got your own little buddy!