They don’t add stats. They don’t give bonuses or buffs. They don’t *do* anything but sit around, play some animations and sounds, and look cute. So why am I so obsessed with collecting them? Why does my mom collect salt and pepper shakers? Why does my grandmother collect Snow Babies? I have no idea, but at least mine is digital.

Joyia has 153 mini-pets. Mini-pets are small critters in World of Warcraft that can be summoned and then follow the player about. They are called mini-pets, non combat pets, vanity pets, and critters. My collection began soon after my first character, Birgitta, a night elf hunter reached Darnassus. After talking to an npc I noticed he sold three little owls. I bought one, nearly beggaring my first character. I pulled out the little owl and immediately fell in love. This was in the days of Vanilla WoW, before pets were items that once used became learned spells. Each mini-pet took up a bag slot.

I collected a few, but not to many, as bag space was at a premium. I didn’t buy the snakes, cockroaches, or rabbits, because I already had all the owls and cats. Soon after beginning to realize I needed to have my collection spread out across multiple characters, I was browsing the general forums and discovered a post by a player named Breanni, who had started a pet collecting website called WarcraftPets. I went to the site and loved it. I became a member and began tracking my collection, and voting on every single pet. I was thrilled to see my idea of collecting pets across various alts was not only a good idea, but Breanni’s method as well.

Then came the patch for pet collectors. No longer would pets be items taking up valuable bag space, but instead they would be learned spells. Glee does not even begin to describe how I felt. I quickly learned as many pets as I could on Joyia and started my grand pokemon quest, to catch every single mini-pet in WoW. Breanni’s site being my mecca of information and support.

Near the end of Wrath I went on a binge of boredom and decided to work towards filling out my pet roster. I collected the rare drops. I farmed up all the whelplings. As I collected each pet I added them to my collection on Warcraft Pets. Just after Cataclysm hit, I was lucky enough to be able to purchase 3 of the tcg cards that had pets and also quickly gathered the new additions. One day I logged on and suddenly got a whisper from someone I had never met.

“Hi! Did you transfer to this server?” I hesitated before responding but finally answered that yes, I had transferred to this server, but that was more than a year ago. As it turns out, this was the Alliance alt of a Horde player on the server, and he wanted to know when I had transferred over as I had “suddenly” risen in the ranks and passed him as the person with the most mini-pets on the server.

I did what now? It took me a while to figure out there was a way to sort by server, and who had the most mini-pets. Now, this isn’t Blizzard information, or even crawling the armory to find the statistics, but rather, anyone who enters their info on the site, and the moderators checking against the armory if someone is suspiciously high. But of all the people who entered their collection into the site, I was the highest for Echo Isles. Awesome. Meaning it is entirely possible I do in fact have the largest mini-pet collection on EI.

I only have 11 pets left to get that are reasonable for me to get. (I am not paying 2.5k to get an original WoW collectors edition, though it would net me 3 pets.) I keep fishing in the sewers, doing fishing dailies, and killing foxes with the hope of rounding out my collection before they add new ones to capture. That and I just like the little things. They are so cute!

My favorite pets, in no particular order:

The Phoenix Hatchling

The Firefly (still flying)

The Singing Sunflower

The Spectral Kitten (to match her sister!)


The Gryphon Hatchling

All the whelplings

The Baby Boomkin

The Hippogryph Hatchling


Ah, who am I kidding… I love em all!

I am a Browncoat.

Copied from my journal from September 20th 2002.

Firefly, my new replacement for Buffy, is not Whedon’s best work. To be honest it was confusing, jumbled, and how the hell did the chick get out of the box? I feel like I missed something. Is this even the first episode? I am sure I didn’t miss one… but, it feels wrong somehow. The only redeemable part is when this dude gets kicked into the atmospheric engine. (Though oddly this doesn’t seem to hurt the engine at all.) Other than that the show is a confusing wash of characters and actors I don’t know why I should care about. I kind of like Kaylee. And River (the girl in the box) is delightfully weird. Ah well. I suppose I will keep watching it if Ben does. Also I hate the theme song.

I cannot even begin to describe the hilarity of my review of Train Job, the first episode aired on TV for Firefly. To be fair, it was in fact a replacement episode written in a weekend to replace Serenity, the true first episode. After weeks of commercials showing the girl in the box I was curious about her and here came the first episode and she isn’t in the box. I was less than impressed. If not for a dearth of other programming to watch during my college time I am sure I would not have continued. But there wasn’t anything better to do on a Friday night in a dry county so I kept watching. As each episode progressed I came to care for the characters and truly enjoy the show. Right about the time I felt it was good enough to encourage my family and friends to watch it, it was canceled.

I have trouble letting go. I started participating in letter writing campaigns and massive Internet petitions. Once the show came out on DVD, I purchased it on day one, then proceeded to purchase a half dozen other copies for friends and my mother. No one I convinced to watch Firefly thought it was a bad show and many of them became fans just like I was. About this time Universal was rumored to be thinking of making a movie. It was gas to the fire of my fandom. I emailed Universal insisting that if they made a Firefly movie, not only would I see it in theatres at least 3 times, but I would also buy the DVD the day it came out in stores. I am pleased to say I kept both promises.

I was quite lucky. Universal did 3 rounds of pre-screenings of Serenity. The third round included a showing in my hometown. I missed the ticket sales, but a Firefly fan in AL had purchased tickets he could no longer use and I got them. My mother, brother and I showed up for the 10pm showing at 6pm, and started the line for the movie. Needless to say, we were *quite* excited. We had even made t-shirts, with the Serenity logo on the front and River quotes on the back. It was June 23, and Joss Whedon’s birthday, so we all signed one of those huge cards to send to him.

That fall when the movie came out I went to a midnight screening. And then again the next day. And then again the next weekend. I bought the shirt Hot Topic sold. I bought everything with Firefly on it.

Once it came out on DVD I not only bought it, but I also purchased the UMD copy, and the HDDVD versions, despite not having either player. I bought the toys, I bought the shirts, I bought the posters. I tried to vote with my wallet as loudly as I could. I loved Firefly and desperately wanted it back.

To this day I buy shiny new Firefly things that come out. I buy the shirts, books, comics, figures, ornaments… I buy each new version of the DVDs. Even the bluray ones, without having a bluray player.

While in grad school I built a level in Quake 4 that was a modified Serenity. The sheer number of phone interviews I have gotten off of that one piece of work is amazing. The number of times Serenity and Firefly come up in interviews and at work is unbelievable.

I love Firefly, and believe it may in fact be Joss’ greatest work.

Joss Whedon is my…

I first knowingly encountered Joss Whedon as a young high school student through my best friend. She introduced me to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and after a few episodes I was hopelessly hooked. The funny thing is, I didn’t even have cable, so she would record it on Tuesday night and I would watch it Wednesday when she brought me the VHS tape.
By the end, I was still a fan, but the many twists and turns along the way had made me quite a bit less rabid than the beginning. (Dawn, Xander and Anya, Potential slayers…) I felt that there was a great deal of good, but in the end, not enough to make me want the show to keep going.
As part of Buffy ending I prepared by moving to Joss Whedon’s new show, Firefly.
To say I was a Firefly fan would be an understatement in the extreme. I should take time to tell that whole story, but for now, let’s just leave it at that.
I was of course crushed when Firefly was canceled and couldn’t believe they would do that to my favorite show.
Years later I decided to fill the void with Joss‘ new show, Dollhouse. It looked interesting and had a ton of Battlestar Galactica alums in addition to the usual Whedon group. The first episode left me… unsatisfied. But I persevered. After all, Joss Whedon was my Master Now. Also, I wasn’t exactly impressed with Firefly when I first started watching. After a season I was left with the feeling that I had fallen out of love with Whedon.
Don’t get me wrong. Firefly is still the best tv show I have ever seen. But Whedon is no Pixar. he is able to miss. And miss he did with Dollhouse. I have no idea if it is the fact that the side characters are more interesting that the main one, the premise, or even just the fact that the main story arc could never truly arc because the main character’s mind kept getting wiped… But the show did not hold me. Oh there were good parts. And Epitaph was far and away one of the most interesting pieces of television I have seen in years. But unlike Firefly, this show didn’t grow on me. Even when talking to others I was lukewarm in my support of Dollhouse.
I can’t help but shake the feeling that I have betrayed my fandom though. Is this how Star Trek fans who hated TNG felt? Is this how fans of TNG felt about Voyager and DS9? Suddenly I remember the feeling I walked away from episode 1 with. While Dollhouse is nowhere near the betrayal that was, it still has the same feeling. Why Joss would you take such a wonderful idea and drag it into the ground? Why would you trust it to Fox of all stations?

Why are you not still fighting for Firefly, a far superior show in every form and fashion? You were once my Master… but I am beginning to lose faith.