World of Warcrafts most interesting pets - just like mounts - are the truly rare ones, the ones which make you stop dead and immediately whisper the owner to ask where they got it from. These are the pets which take the longest to get or cost tens - even hundreds - of thousands of gold on the AH.
Every pet collector will have their favorite and today were doing to tell you about one of ours: the Captured Firefly. Now you can get a glowing purple variation on this little pet - called the Tiny Flamefly - from two different quest chains, one for the Horde and one for the Alliance but why go the easy route? Nothing tops the Firefly for awesomeness or for its reference to popular culture.
Getting your mitts on this particular pet is, lets face it, going to involve some grinding. Happily though, this means a trip to my favorite TBC zone: Zangermarsh. Yes, were going to be spending the next few thousand kills listening to the noise of rain gently hitting giant mushrooms and avoiding naga and ogres.
Of course, theres always the option - particularly if youre grindphobic - is to check your local Auction House. The thing about the Captured Firefly is its so rare it might not even end up on there. Oh and if it does then its going to cost you loadsa gold. Were talking spectacular amounts here so be prepared to balance out whether its work your time or your money.
Just follow the arrows.
Mushrooms and Mobs
First off, some tips. You could be doing this for a while so youre going to want to temporarily set your hearthstone to Orebor Harborage. The inn is just a few meters from the hotspots youre going to be farming. On top of that, youre going to get a load of trash and Orebor also has various vendors who will happily pay to take those greys off you.
The mob youre going to be looking for is a wasp-like level 62 mob called a Bogflare Needler. Worst-case scenario, youre going to be killing around fifteen hundred of these guys but fortunately theyre very easy to locate. They tend to cluster around the north end of Serpent Lake, just behind Coilfang Reservoir. Now Im going to assume youre a level 85 and this means every class can basically one shot this particular mob; indeed you can probably stand on it without getting aggro.
The other thing in your favor is the fact that no one, except the odd soul leveling up, ever seems to visit Zangamarsh anymore. This means youre more than likely to have the entire zone to yourself. Theres nothing worse, when farming, to have to fight a dozen others players for the same mobs.
Grinding itself is a naturally tedious activity. No one likes it and yet its a massive part of WoW. This is probably a good time to pass on some tips on how to not go totally insane while grinding for this particular pet.
First off, grind with a friend. If you do it in-game, it will halve the time spent killing Bogflare Needlers and, if your friend is just on Vent/Teamspeak/Mumble/Skype then they can keep you semi-sane as you run around killing mobs. Talk about anything, just not what youre killing.
If you cant find a friend, its time to raid your mp3 collection. You want your favourite music, something which will take your mind off the inevitable grind. This could be hard rock or a film score or even the games soundtrack, anything that will flow and not jar you out of your focused, mob-killing state.
It also helps - especially if youre grinding in the wee small hours - to have food and drink to hand. Coffee or popcorn or just a large bag of M&Ms. Ideally, when it comes to food, something light which can be consumed with one hand during those minutes when youre running or flying and not killing stuff. As for coffee or the caffeine-packed beverage of your choice, well thats just to keep you awake.
Grinding itself, if you can get into the right mental state, can actually be quite enjoyable, in a Zen kinda way. Savour the little things; the sound of rain, the gorgeous music found in Zangamarsh or just the chance to talk to good friends and time will fly by. Also, if you have to be somewhere, set and alarm, just in case.
You're going to be seeing a lot of these guys ...
These tips are transferable; you can use them whether youre grinding rep or any one of those hard-to-find pets. The other thing is it helps to have a path to follow; if you start near Orebor Harborage and work your way east until you start seeing naga by the time you fly back across the lake, the Needlers should have respawned. Keep repeating this until your bags get full or you hit the jackpot.
Oh yes, of course, the pop culture reference. Well, its a shame because when Blizzard decided to turn pets into spells, they got rid of loads of the juicy flavor text. The text for this pet originally said Still flying which is a nice reference to one of the classics of sci fi: Joss Whedons short-lived TV series Firefly.
Let us know how long it took for you to get your own Captured Firefly. Any tips on grinding it that youd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.