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06/02/2018 - +100 Intelligence for Xu-Fu!

First of all, my apologies for the long maintenance! There was a LOT of work that needed to be done for this update and half the page wasn’t working during it anyway :D

The Battle Tables desperately needed an overhaul. They are the core part of the page, and yet they were old and dusty. Not any more! It's all fixed, brought up to modern standard, loads much faster and most importantly a ton of new features:

So, what’s new?

Breeds
Yes, finally! But what's better than breeds? Stat requirements, such as "more than 280 speed”! That’s in as well, and Xu-Fu shows possible breeds automatically based on those requirements. Sweet!

Automatic substitute finder
The pride of the show. Don’t have that Mudshell Conch? No problem! How about those other twenty critters with the same skills? Xu-Fu now checks for every pet if there are others of the same family that have the required skills and stats, and you can leaf through them on the fly. *points at the bottom part of the screenshot*

Collection check-up
Not sure if you even have any of those critters? Don’t worry, if you’re logged in, Xu-Fu shows you right there on the pet card if you have a pet or not and what level or breed it has. And also if that breed might work or not. Three green bars at the bottom? All cool, go for it.

Crowd intelligence
It’s hard for a strategy creator to test or calculate every odd eventuality. Now you can help with that more easily: open up the additional info panel and you can send in your attempt(s). Xu-Fu will record those and refine the strategy!


Phew, that's quite the int buff right there, but there is more!

- Ratings! Give that clever strategy you love some extra love… I mean stars, give it some stars.
- Favourites! One heart to give per tamer. That will have some real use later on, promise.
- New rematch format. More automatism, less hassle. And yes, the substitute finder works with that as well.
- Tags. Prefer a reliable strategy over a fast one? Cool! Later on, you’ll be able to filter strategies based on your preferred tags.
- Tamer experience. See that “High XP” tag? Hover over it. You won't regret it.
- Enemy pets. So you won't forget who the real enemy is - visible in the additional info panel.
- Coordinates. Click on it to copy TomTom waypoints to your clipboard.

Now that's it. And it’s a lot. Before I'll send you off to explore the new shiny features, let me say a big, big thank you to:

- Simca for his amazing add-on Pet Battle Breed ID and for sharing the breed info with it.
- Jerebear and everyone else who contributed to gathering XP information about tamers.
- Grainne and Remte for their testing, feedback and input, especially on the substitute finder.


Enjoy the new features, and let me know what you think about them!
I'm extremely curious to hear some feedback :-)

Aranesh



05/13/2018 - Everything at once!

And then some. Wow, the last weeks flew past like crazy. It's been more than a month since my last blog entry!

Good thing that changes right now :-)

There is a lot happening. Not so much in the pet battling world - Battle for Azeroth is still rather light on pet battling content, I've been told. But in Aranesh's "other" life (besides taking care of little Xu-Fu) things are pretty much in turmoil. And of course, everything happens pretty much at the same time. From a new job in a different country (and all the things accompanied by that) to the looming European data protection legislation coming into effect in less than two weeks. Hence the picture of this blog ^^
Those do affect Xu-Fu as well, so I've been silently working on adjustments on the page. I've reviewed everything that is potentially saving any of your data and rigorously took it out if it wasn't absolutely necessary, like Google Analytics (that's gone). The little advertisement panel is still there, but set to be anonymous - no data tracking or "personalized advertisement" allowed. If you're bothered by it in some way, let me know.
If you want to know the full gist of it, I've created a data protection article that details much more about what data Xu-Fu is using and tracking, what Cookies are used etc. - it's under News => Data Protection.

And with that all done and cared for... I realized that I forgot something important :O

It was Xu-Fu's third birthday last week! He sure came a long way, and is still going and growing strong :D Happy belated birthday to the little guy.
Much like in the last years, I would like to hold a small raffle for some goodies and been in touch with Blizzard to find some cool merchandise to give away. I don't know the details of it, yet, but as soon as I have something, I'll hold a belated birthday giveaway! Check back here or on Discord to not miss it :-)



04/01/2018 - New Feature: Intelligent Strategy Creator!

Xu-Fu is proud to announce a new feature that will come to you very soon: the Fight Organizer - 01, in short: FO-01

An until today unrevealed team of IT scientists working for Xu-Fu has analysed thousands of strategies from pet battlers all over the world and done the impossible: they created FO-01, an artificial intelligence that can create new pet battling strategies better than any human being!

The tool will be available through a simple button as you can see in the screenshot, which also shows one of the creative and innovative ne strategies the FO-01 came up with! Through its unrivaled computing power and intelligent approach, it will be able to find synergies between pet abilites no mortal could have predicted.

The remarkable restraint of the Xu-Fu scientists stands in stark contrast to other reactions from the industry. While some experts in the field of artificial intelligence doubt the results, stating simply "that is no AI and that is not creative work", others acknowledge the efforts. To the question if they are embarrassed that an unknown team of pet battlers managed to create what they have tried to do for years, the response was a unanimous: "Yes".

Edit 02.04.2018 - While the above would be phenomenal, it is obviously a creation of fiction based on the specific day it was posted :D



03/21/2018 - What is that, a new section!?

Yes, you read that right!
In the middle of working on the battle tables, I needed a bit of a break and decided to add a different some stuff that makes it easier for all my helpers: An article editor! It's almost done, and I've used it now to add a new little section: My development notes :D

You'll find them by hovering over "News" and selecting, surprise, "Development Notes".

Hope you'll find something interesting in there! :D



01/22/2018 - Development Update

Today I have a small update on the current development of wow-petguide.com.

Displaying strategies is certainly the key aspect of the page. Yet all new features of the last year were accessories to that. Cool ones, like the collection viewer, but not hitting the core element that brings battlers to visit Xu-Fu on a daily basis.

That is changing with the next update, because I am working on one of the - in my opinion - coolest features for Xu-Fu so far: a complete revamp of the Battle Table.

Those tables were the very first thing I created, almost three years ago. Over time, more and more features were added and it became clunky, slow, and hard to adapt. Time to change that.
Here are the key features that will go in:

- Required breeds! Finally!
- Automated substitute finder. No more "Any Moth" nonsense. The new table will check for every pet what other pets fulfill the requirements. Conveniently displayed for you to scroll through.
- Looking for a fast strategy, or one to level with, or a very reliable one? Tags show the way!
- A rating and favorite system
- Plus a number of quality-of-life features

There's still plenty to do but as of now you can test the whole thing! :-)
In your account settings activate beta features and you will see the new battle table everywhere.
A small disclaimer though: not all features are fully working, yet!

Nevertheless, if you have any ideas, questions or suggestions, I'm eager to hear them! Please join Xu-Fu's Discord channel and discuss it with me and the team: https://discord.gg/z4dxYUq



01/21/2018 - (Un-)Expected downtime

Yesterday my web space provider performed a scheduled maintenance on wow-petguide.com. Some might have noticed the downtime of a few hours. It was indeed scheduled, but I messed up the times and thought it's next week.

Sorry for the lack of information about it, but luckily it all went fine and the page is back to normal! :-)



12/31/2017 - A new year, a small update... and Discord!

Today is the last day of 2017 and oh boy, what a year it has been! So much new content for us pet battlers. We saw the first pet battle dungeons with the Wailing Caverns and Deadmines, dozens of new pets throughout the year, and a whole new set of family challenges with the legendary pets of Argus!

2018 will bring us a new addon and with it surely a brand new set of pet news, and also for Xu-Fu time is not standing still. My efforts of most of the past year finally came to shine with a brand new user system, and lots more is to come.
One little thing I just added as the last update of 2017: a new landing page!

It shows you much of the latest news around Xu-Fu and is much more interactive and informative. Check it out: wow-petguide.com

There was also something about Discord. If you don't know it, don't worry there is no internal struggles going on ^^ It's a free chat platform that's taking over the gaming world by storm. For quite a while I had my own chat room there together with all helping hands, and fresh for the new year we are opening the doors for everyone who wants to join in!

So if you would like to get in closer contact with me and the group, give us suggestions or just want to chat about anything you want with like-minded pet battlers, you are more than welcome to

.

A Happy New Year to everyone, and keep on battling!

Aranesh



12/25/2017 - Happy Holidays!

The Fesst of Winter Veil is upon us!

Xu-Fu, Aranesh and the whole team wish you all the best for these festive times and hope you have some wonderful and enchanted days.



12/22/2017 - Winter Veil Sale of Pets and Mounts

If you ever considered one of those shop pets, now might be a good time to revive those thoughts.
Blizzard activated a large Winter Veil sale that will last until January 3rd with many pets and also mounts reduced by to 50%!

US Offers
EU Offers

Enjoy :-)



12/20/2017 - 1000 Users! Congratulations to Tovenaar!

For a short time only - since November - it is possible to register an account with Xu-Fu. And now, less than two months later, a first milestone is reached: please join me in congratulating Tovenaar for being user number 1000!

It happened much faster than I expected. Actually, I was expecting a lot more problems along the way, but everything seems to work really smoothly :-)

Thanks to everyone for joining and staying with me. It makes me very happy to see this community grow.

And with that being said, have a great seasonal time everyone and enjoy the festivities!



11/12/2017 - Pet Ready-Checker - everywhere?

Sure, why not!

All that work with user accounts and your collection being saved has to lead towards something, doesn't it?
The first step of that something just went live!

If you go to any of the main categories you will find that the pet table got a big makeover. It loads a lot faster, checks for required pets with much higher accuracy and gives you more info.
And if you are also logged in with your pet collection saved, you will see that the table automatically checks if you have the pets required - and shows you missing or unleveled ones right there on top!

As an example, below this post is the list of pets required to do the Pandaria Master Tamers.
No need to enter your details into the Ready-Checker anymore. No loading times, no fuzz. It's all right there :D

I really hope you like this feature and as always I'm super happy to hear your feedback!


Name

Families

Occurrences

Required Level

#

1.

Humanoid

1

25

2.

Dragonkin

4

25

3.

Mechanical

2

25

4.

Mechanical

1

25

5.

Mechanical

1

25

6.

Dragonkin

1

25

7.

Aquatic

1

25

8.

Flying

1

25

9.

Dragonkin

1

25

10.

Dragonkin

1

25

11.

Beast

1

25

< <

/

> >



11/05/2017 - Xu-Fu goes RSS Feed!

My last update took a very long time to complete, because most of the features were interlinked with each other. I could not publish any of them without the others being in place. Now that the user system is up and running, I can easily add things on top and also have the time again to work on some smaller, fun things.

For a start, I implemented the suggestion of Flatluigi to add an RSS feed for the blog!
Since I'm not posting very often, this should give you a convenient way of notifications whenever there is something new :-)
You can find the subscribe link directly below the headline.

Thanks for this great suggestion! Please let me know if there are any issues with it!

Little teaser for the next update: site-wide Ready-Checker, why not? :D

All the best,
Aranesh



10/29/2017 - Xu-Fu 2.0 is live!

It's done !!!

I always wanted to add a user account system for wow-petguide.com, but in order to do so I had to learn many new things.
It should be easy to use, with enough features in it, but also well encrypted and secured. All of this took a lot of time, but I'm very proud to announce that Xu-Fu accounts are now live!

Check out the "Login" button on the top right. I recommend creating an account using your Battle.net account. That way you won't need an additional password and will be logged in automatically.
It's built on Blizzards security standards. No hassle and perfectly safe. You can then edit your profile to your liking, change your username here (the default is your BattleTag), add a description and so on.

Having an account will allow you to message other users, post comments without additional input fields and track your own comments to see when someone responded.
Speaking of comments. Voting and sorting them differently? Yes, that's in as well!

The core part of the update is however linking your pet collection to your account. You used the Collection Viewer before? Now it's even easier!
If you sign in with Battle.net (or connect your Battle.net account later on), Xu-Fu will grab your collection automatically and always keep it updated for you.
It's then linked to your profile for others to see (unless you opt for more privacy in the settings).

But that's just the starting point. It is the basis that many of my ideas will build upon: to make the page even more accessible, easier to use, and more intelligent!
I will have to spend some time to see how the accounts are working, but soon I will add new features based on your user account and collection.
The Legion Ready-Checker for example - how about everywhere on the page? ;-)

There's definitely more to come, but for now please enjoy the new system and do let me know what you think of it! Either here in a comment, the usual social media, or... send me a message directly on the page o/

Yours,
Aranesh



09/29/2017 - Aranesh is back :-)

The last weeks were super relaxing. I saw and learned a lot of new things and spent equally as much time chilling on a beach :D
Now it's time to put that restored energy to some good use!

But first of all another big thank you for putting together all your insights and ideas for Family Fighter. In those two weeks, more than 3000 comments were submitted! Because of the sheer number of comments, it's the first time I won't manage to read all of them. I'm sorry for any great idea hidden in there unanswered. If you expected a reply and did not receive one so far, please just send me a mail or hook me up on Discord (Aranesh#6150).

Back on topic, I mentioned restored energy and that has to go somewhere. Before my vacation I came very close to finishing some of the most important features of Xu-Fu 2.0 and I'm rather confident now that I can put it live towards the end of October!
Here's my current development status:

Item
Status
User Registration and LoginDone
Login with Battle.netDone
Personal profile pageDone
Settings (email / pw change etc.)Done
Selectable user icons (including character pics)Done
Automatic import of pet collectionDone
Comment system rework98%
Messaging system50%
Notification system revamp20%

Not much missing!
I'm really excited to finish all this and set it live. After spending almost a year developing it all I am looking forward to hear your feedback!



09/10/2017 - A big thanks and a small brb

Argus sure kept us on our toes, but thanks to the many suggestions and comments, all Family Fighter combinations now have strategies!
Not all of them are perfect, and some amazing ideas are probably still hidden in the sheer mass of suggestions sent in.
But slowly and steadily, we are going through them and adding more to the page. I want to say a big thank you to Lazey, Nyari, Jaguar and Remte in particular, who are actively working on the strategies besides me: your help is truly invaluable!

And of course I want to thank everyone who contributed. Without you, the Argus section would never have been filled so fast after release. Not in any special order, thank you for sending in strategies that were already added to the page:

Kananga, Atanzarian, BiXia, Dalster, Puffah, Deckar, Tsoonami, SakuraFish, Caitlin, Simca, Elesack, Matt, Elwoode, Miyka, Ninety, Barlenor, Audum, Yepah, Ariyana, Jon, Harahwah, 3ceph0los, AliceInAcidland, Thuggert, Afroshouji, Caoimhin, Erodrellila, Xinnara

(Sorry if I missed anyone!)

Before the next big pet content patch, I plan to have some better features in place to support such an undertaking.
But first, there are other plans to follow: vacation plans!
I'll be gone for two weeks from today on and will leave the page in the hands of my amazing helpers.

Thank you and take good care of Xu-Fu while I'm gone :-)
Aranesh



09/01/2017 - Anomalous onslaught on Argus

7.3 is a great patch so far with lots to do :-)
And Xu-Fu is an especially happy little cat right now! Thanks to the immense help of Lazey and solidstate77 we were able to provide strategies for most of the Anomalous Animals right from patch release!

With the new fights came an incredible increase in activity here. It's absolutely overwhelming and I want to thank you all for trying the fights, sending in suggestions and commenting about your findings. Truth is, there are more comments and suggestions than we three can go through! We'll try our best and will make changes, adapt things and put more strategies up as we go along.
It is amazing to see the everyone working together to share info and help each other out.

Thank you everyone for being such an amazing community!



08/24/2017 - Argus is almost here!

Yesterdays announcement at Gamescom in Cologne came as a surprise. Patch 7.3 and with it the new Argus zones is going live next week already, on 29/30th of August!

Well, I can say without a doubt that Illidan was right this time with his favorite quote: Xu-Fu certainly is not fully prepared, yet!

Nevertheless, as of now you can access the pet battle areas for Argus and of course also for Environeer Bert.

A word of warning, the Family Fighter achievement is very tough! It is a real challenge this time, harder than Family Familiar, and some of the strategies we came up with so far require very specific pets or breeds!
Not all of them are done either (only about half of them), so any help in filling the blanks is highly appreciated :-)

At this point I want to give a special thanks to Lazey!
He created many of the 7.3 strategies, including the one for Bert, and cracked some of the hardest nuts. Without him, the 7.3 preparations wouldn't even be halfway as far as they are now. Thank you!



08/07/2017 - Say Hi to the Azeroth Adoption Agency

Today I want to highlight a very special community among the pet battlers: the Azeroth Adoption Agency, or in short A3.

Active mostly in the America region, a whole team of pet collectors around A3s creator Wakamaru are helping pets and players find together for three years already. Since they started in 2014 they have found new homes for more than 6.000 pets!

Taking part is easy enough, no matter if you are looking for pets to adopt, or if you’re a seasoned collector who might have the odd duplicate to spare. Simply sign up on www.azerothadoptionagency.com to opt into the adoptions.


They also host regular events, games and giveaways, often with rare pets to catch! One of those events is the main reason for my news entry:
On 13th of August, A3 will host their summer event Fowl Play with lots of chicken-themed games and giveaways to win, well, chicken pets of course!
Up for grabs are level 25 Ancona Chickens, Bush Chickens and even the rare TCG Rocket Chicken.



During the event, there will also be a series of summer giveaways across the A3 network (Blog, Discord, Newsletter, and Twitter) for various other pets including Blizzard Store pets.

I highly recommend to check it out, and good luck if you’re participating in any of the giveaways :-)



07/09/2017 - A glimpse of Xu-Fu 2.0

Today I'm proud to announce a new section on wow-petguide.com: Tools!

Replacing the Home button, this new section will host a growing number of helping hands for anything pet related.
For the launch there are already two available, which I want to introduce briefly:

- Pet Collection Viewer
One of the features coming with Xu-Fu 2.0 is a much better pet import. And while at it, I decided to spend some time in a nicer display of your pet collection. As it turns out, it's also a wonderful standalone tool! You can enter character details and will get a nice view of the pet collection with plenty of utility (that's currently missing from the armory *cough*) like a quick search and filters that can be combined any way you like.

- Magpie
This amazing tool created by Morazor is not exactly new, but found a new home here. It offers plenty of utility around your pet collection and the auction house. For example it can tell you how lucrative your duplicate pets could be. Or you can have it check for bargains on one realm to sell for a profit on another. Or perhaps you want to set up an alert to notify you when a specific pet is available? This and more is easily done with Magpie :-)


Please go ahead and try them out. Write us what you think of them or if you run into any issues.

Or perhaps you have a good idea for another tool that you miss? Let us know!



07/01/2017 - ¡Hola

I am very pleased to announce the release of the fifth language Xu-Fu is localized to: Spanish!

With more than 400 million native speakers in the world - more than English, it is an immensely welcome addition to the page.

I want to express a big thank you to Darlan for taking on this task and making pet guides even more accessible across the globe.



06/11/2017 - A quick development update

Wow, time flies! Right before 7.2.5 lands, I want to take the time and give a quick update on the development of Xu-Fu 2.0!
I hinted towards it last year already (in this blog post), and now I'm slowly reaching the point were things will become real.

This first big release contains many features that all need to be in place together to make sense.
None of them work without the others, and of course they should work properly and reliable, which are the reasons why I'm taking my time with them.

So here's the current plan and status:

Item
Status
User Registration and LoginDone
Login with Battle.netDone
Personal profile pageDone
Settings (email / pw change etc.)Done
Selectable user icons (including character pics)Done
Automatic import of pet collection90%
Comment system rework60%
Messaging system0%
Notification system revamp0%
Login screen with recent activities0%
=== Xu-Fu 2.0 Release ===

Once all that is done and live, I can add more features on top of it one by one. There won't be any need to bundle them up anymore, and I hope to have smaller things done and live in much shorter turnarounds.

Here's what I'm planning for after 2.0:

  • Updating pet lists for each section to check against user collections
  • Revamp of the battle tables: favourite, upvote/downvote, breeds, new rematch version
  • Revamp of the alternatives: clever sorting, show strategies you have the pets for first
  • Utilities Section: Helpful tools for battling and collecting
  • Interface for users to upload their own strategies
  • Perhaps partnering up with other community pages or apps?
  • Any other crazy stuff! Maybe a reputation system? Roles/titles? A pet achievement helper?


Wow-petguide.com is definitely the largest project I've ever started and worked on, and even though it eats up my spare time like nothing, it's incredible fun and engaging. I am indeed very proud and happy to see it growing.
The best of all are the helping hands and encouraging comments from our little pet community. That's the fuel that keeps me going and makes me push forward :-)
Thank you!



06/06/2017 - Deadmines guide live!

Not much time left until patch 7.2.5 it seems, meaning it is definitely time to prepare for the new pet battle dungeon: The Deadmines!

Xu-Fu's guide section is up now and follows the same pattern as Wailing Critters.
Check out the required pets and guides here!



05/28/2017 - TD Battle Pet Script

Today I would like to introduce a small but powerful new addition to Xu-Fu's guides: Scripts for TD BattlePetScript.

A little introduction first: tdBattlePetScript is a fantastic addon created by Idz5 for speeding up PVE pet battles, and removing the element of human error from repetitive battles.
With it you can create scripts for specific pet battle teams, which will allow you to run the fight by pressing a single hotkey each round. These scripts can be as simple as directing a pet to use a certain attack each round, or as complex as choosing which ability to use with which pet, based on a number of conditions a battler might face.

Getting Started
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the addon. There are two versions, a standalone and one that integrates into Rematch, which is highly recommended!

Once installed, open your pet journal and select a pre-made team. Right-click on the team name in the Teams list, and select “Write Script” this will open the script editor.
On every strategy page here where a script is provided, you will see the TD Script button in the battle table header as shown in the screenshot. Click the button, then copy the script into your addon, and get ready to battle!

In Battle
Once you’ve started a battle with the intended target of the script, left-click the Vs icon at the top of the pet battle screen. This will open the script selector. Here, select “Rematch” and it will load the script you’ve saved for this team.
Now, all you have to do is press your “Auto” hotkey (A by default) each round to run your script. As a special note, this addon does not automate the fights! You must press the button each round you wish your pet to take action.

A huge thanks to SimianRex who spent a lot of time creating the scripts and adding them to the respective fight here!

Give it a try and if you run into any issues, we're happy to help :-)