The Glass Menagerie

June 11, 2010 at 6:17 am | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 17 Comments
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Cringer started making a lil bebe the moment I turned my back

In one of the beginner missions in Factions, Minister Cho’s Estate, you discover that he’s eccentric and has been collecting pets and animals from Tyria. I’m sure it was very nice to have a zoo of his own. Before they became afflicted and massacred many of the residents of the estate.

Still, cool idea right? There are around 37 charmable pets in Guild Wars, less if you don’t count red Reef Lurkers as being different from Blue Reef Lurkers.

When the Zaishen Menagerie was added around the 4th anniversary of GW, I figured it was a cool idea even if it didn’t really interest me.

It’s a way of saving your pets. You take your pet to the instance on the Battle Isles, you talk to an npc, and he records and unlocks which pet your adding and what level or evolution it is. It’s account wide so you can do it on any character. When he takes your pet it leaves you free to charm other pets, as with any animal tamer npc in game. However at the Menagerie you can talk to another npc and he’ll spawn pets of the appropriate level and evolution for you as long as you’ve unlocked it.

It’s kind of like a pet achievement island. Which reminds me of a Naruto movie, which I probably shouldn’t admit.

I’m playing Guild Wars more often but, at the same time I’m not motivated to do a whole lot beyond War in Kryta. Even WiK has been moving along rather slowly actually, only lately catching up by providing the Wanted quests and further story and getting away from dialogues upon dialogues.

One of the things I have of course been considering is just wasting time by putting a few animals in the ZM. The obvious first choice was Cringer. A Melandru’s Stalker I’ve had since Pre I think. While I’ve been pretty hesitant about giving him up in the past, I figured I’d go ahead and add him to the ZM because I haven’t actually used him in game since Massacre’s Rune Farm Run, which died I think about the time Factions came out.

Since he was a level 20 Hearty it unlocked every evolution of the Stalker, so I can go in and charm him again but make him Dire or Elder instead. While I had the Charm Animal skill on my bar, I decided I may as well get started on a few others. Very quickly it dawned on me that when you have done all the content and unlocked every outpost there are a few very easy to get pets.

First I went to Eye of the North, and nabbed the Rainbow Phoenix, hopefully it won’t come back, I find it annoying. Then I went outside EotN and nabbed the Jingle Bear, not exactly a prestige pet if you ask me but whatever. Right after that, I nabbed the Mountain Eagle, which is in sight of the Jingle Bear. I grabbed May since I knew she had unlocked the Jingle Moa, and it hangs out right beside the Jingle Bear as well so that was easy too. There’s a Black Wolf right outside Longeye’s Ledge, Moa outside Umbral Grotto, Black Bear outside Iron Mines, Lynx not far from Lion’s Arch…

Yeah as you can tell I got a little carried away and with only about 25 minutes of work, I have about 11 animals in my menagerie now.

Sure most of those are level 5 with no evolution to choose from at all, but still. In fact I only have 2 fully unlocked pets, the Stalker and the Wolf, which you can get from any pvp only character as long as it can equip Charm Animal.

All very satisfying until May asked if she could see my menagerie. Not knowing any better I said sure and we left for the Battle Isles. But low and behold, when I tried to enter the instance, I left her party. You can’t take others to your zoo!

Logically it makes sense, why would you let level 5 characters charm level 20 pets? Why would you let people who haven’t done the work charm a Dire Warthog?

Would it have done that much harm? I don’t know, but how much of the game is below level 20 anyway?

It rubs me the wrong way. Having a pet in GW is already hard enough. It’s not like you can get too attached to them when they disappear with the change of a skill or instance. When you factor in that the sole purpose of the Zaishen Menagerie is really just collecting, and then realize you can’t show that collection off to anyone, well it’s disappointing.

You could argue that it’s great for PvPrs who don’t want to use the standard wolf, or PvErs who get sick of their current pet, but I can’t recall the last time I heard about a good build that involved a pet.

To top it all off, it doesn’t look like any of the pets you save will be available in Guild Wars 2. You can get a generic animal companion monument in the Hall of Monuments, but specific pets (for the most part) that you spent time and energy on? Nope.

I’m not saying the Zaishen Menagerie is useless or anything. It’s a benign waste of time, something to do. The animals you add often have little bebe versions running around their feet. If you spend a lot of time on a pet, this is one way of pulling the punch of ditching it when you get sick of it.

Still, it could have been better, and no doubt the pet system will be in Guild Wars 2.



  1. I think you underestimate this. Ranger fans have absolutely loved this; its what a lot of them are about. Travelling around collecting their beloved pets. I think this is certainly original in the gaming world.

    • I’m doubtful. I think its only appealing to a small subset of the population, and for the most part, anyone else who does it is bored and wasting time.

      • Well I went out lastnight and captured almost all of the pets Just need the Raven in Sacnoth Valley, Jingle Moa which I will have to find someone who has it unlocked to get, and the two spiders left. Oh and the Elder Wolf in Spearhead Peak but im not sure I want to bother trying to get that one its a real pain. Basically you have to charm it before the Stone Summit can, and they start charming as soon as you are within radar distance. Wiki says its doable but I havent managed to get there in time. All in all it only took me somewhere between 3-4 hours.
        If you are someone who really likes the pets and likes to switch them out for other kinds. There are certainly advantages to having all the pets in the same area and being able to get them evolved how you want without haveing to do all the work of leveling them up. But I have to agree it is kind of a niche thing and for a good amount of the games population I would say its just something to do to pass the time.

  2. Funny you should bring this up I actually just started adding pets to mine aswell for exactly the same reason lol. Something to do when I dont feel like doing bountys or title grinding. I have only added one pet to mine so far, the Rainbow Phoenix.

    After I added it I went and captured a white wolf in Varajar Fells. It’s a pretty easy one to get aswell, leave from the Central Transfer Chamber, go through the portal up the stairs in the Battle Depths, then just head west along the southern trail. There are a couple mobs in the way but nothing big. The wolves are on the east bank of the lake.

    I hear you about not wanting to ditch your original pet. I feel the same way about my Rangers crocodile Wilbie Boots. But atleast you can get it back any time you want and evolve it how you want.

    I think the only two that are going to be some what of a challenge to get are the two spiders. The moss spider because you either have to do zaishen bountys for 5 gold coins, or get lucky from Nicholas’ gifts. Black widow because well its in the UW, but hey I am always game for some UW any time. Just not with a pug.

    • Funnier still, I actually have the Endagered Species quest from Old Ascalon on Elsa still. One of the few random quests I never bothered to do on her. They should have added titles for completing every quest in each campaign, like Adventurer or better yet Civil Servant or Good Samaritan.

      • i’m betting on them doing that for guild wars 2.

  3. The option to collect pets is really good, too bad the added it so late, it could be useful.
    I hope that is GW2 it will be better and you will get more “attached to them”.

    • Yeah I could see that possibly being part of the personal house instance. I just hope pets are more usefull in GW2.

    • my theory is they won’t have a charm pet skill that you have to keep equipped. pets will probably have their own special button or something.

      • Yeah with so much of the skill bar already dedicated to certain things, it sounds logical that rangers would have a seperate charm button. Makes me wonder if they will perhaps have their own independant little skill bar aswell kinda like the heros have now. I know we already have the health/command bar but thats just behavior control and target locking. I dunno I dont want to speculate too much I suspect Ranger will be one of the next couple professions revealed. So we will just have to wait and see.

        • yeah i’m thinking pets will definitely have full hero like control

      • Like the skills that transfom norns maybe.

        • Hmmm not sure what you mean by the norn transformation excepot that it replaces the existing skills on your bar.

          What I am thinking is that based on what they said about the elementalists attunements and how they will be four skills above the ele’s regular skill bar. I think each profession will have features on the GUI that are somewhat unique to that profession.
          Since we wont have dual professions anymore and pets are unique to rangers atleast in GW1 so I assume it will be so in GW2 aswell. I imagine they will have either directly above or next to their regular skill bar a bar that features pet commands such as: attack, follow, stay. And most likely it would also have behavior settings like the current hero and pet bars have agressive, defensive, passive.

          What I just illustrated is exactly verbatim of the commands the Summoner has for his minion in Allods. Here is a screenshot to show what I mean.

          Obviously I dont expect them to follow that exact format and I am just speculating here. But I think we will see something unique with pets other than just having them.

          Something I would really like to see is each individual type of pet having a creature skill unique to it E.G a bear with brutal mauling (Knockdown, or was it interupt?) like the ones in pre searing, spider with poisonous bite (obvious effect), dog with ankle bite (cripple) etc.

          I dunno we will have to wait and see, but I suspect we will see something unique to the rangers GUI.

  4. “but I can’t recall the last time I heard about a good build that involved a pet.”
    PvXwiki isn’t necessarily god’s own wisdom, but both builds have gotten an excellent rating – one a team build, one a single player build:
    And while I agree with your dissatisfaction to not be able to invite others to the ZM, it was the easiest way to prevent people charming pets they might not have access to. The latter is something I personally wouldn’t care at all about but ANet seems to think pets are some sort of prestige thingie.

    • bunny thumper, barrage pet, and one or two other builds are all ancient builds that i haven’t seen anyone use in ages. I’ve never heard of pet scythe.

      • pet scythe follows a theme which existed for the last 5 years:
        Take a R/X, pump expertise and basically only use skills from your secondary.

        But those two builds are actually being used atm.

        • So then we are all hoping that they dump ranger from gw2?

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