Friday, August 19, 2011

What a Gem!

Vincer's datapad was turning into quite the menagerie. There was a giant mountain worrt, a torton, a durni, whatever that big bird Steely was, and enough cats that Animal Cops Corellia must have been alerted to.

Amber - the plains tusk cat - was Vincer's best friend and companion; a quiet ally who would accompany him on fishing trips, or just sit silently by his side while enjoying the sights and sounds of the cities.

But the remaining pack of cats were the warriors of his pet battalion. You see, Creature handlers were not limited to one active pet, but could have up to three depending upon skill level.

Vincer managed to configure a trio that became a well-oiled fighting squad all unto themselves. Vincer continued the pattern of naming his cats after gems.

First, there was Onyx; a bio-engineered pet with dark, rocky skin and spikes. He was a well-balanced fighter, fast and sturdy. He was effective even when fighting by himself.

Onyx was later joined by two others, pictured below as babies still. The grand wrix would go on to grow much larger as you'll soon see. Grand wrixes were the large beasts that made everyone grind to a halt when one ran past. The tiny female razor cat would always be the baby in stature and how Vincer treated her. He always had a soft spot for the girls.

The wrix would be named Peridot, for no particular reason other then it seemed to fit. The little one was called Opal; which seemed like a cute, tiny name for a cute, tiny girl.

Vincer would refer to the trio as the Gem Kitties, which was an easy way to sum them up when discussing strategy with the squad then rattling off all their names.

The real magic with this group was how the various creature handler commands were blended together to offer some fine level of control when necessary.

Macros for attack and return contained each of their specific "attack" and "follow" instructions. That meant that the /petattack macro would send all of the Gem Kitties, but an "Opal attack" command would send only the baby girl. The "follow" commands worked much the same.

The result was rather dynamic, with the Gem Kitties being sent en masse to tank the squad's foes, and then individually called back to their master for healing before individually being sent back into the fray against either the same foe, or a different one.

The flexibility of this strategy offered both tanking and crowd control capabilities, while not sacrificing any healers by forcing them to stay close to the action.

When coupled with Mileena's healing abilities, the pets were as much a part of the squad as any active member. Phantom, Nikki and Cyra could unload with their biggest attacks from behind the wall of fur and fangs that the Gem Kitties provided.

So here's to remembering Onyx, Peridot and little Opal; the Gem Kitties more invaluable then their namesakes.

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