Hati’s Back!

The long awaited quest to find and save Hati after the events in Silithus last expansion finally went live on March 12th, and I wasted no time. The quest-line was short but sweet, and the little cinematic at the end was no exception.

Titanstrike

Beast Mastery Hunters first meet Hati during their artifact acquisition quest where he’s a normal wolf until the very end, when Hati sacrifices himself to save the player. The Titan Thorim recognizes Hati’s heroism and imbues your newly acquired artifact weapon, Titanstrike, with Hati’s spirit. Once a normal white wolf, he is reforged in thunder and remains a loyal companion so long as the Hunter keeps Titanstrike equipped. At the end of the expansion players use up all the power left in their artifact weapons to help heal Azeroth after Sargeras plunges his sword into Silithus in a desperate final attempt. This meant that all those Beast Mastery Hunters who spent the better part of two years with their beloved Hati suddenly found themselves without his companionship, and without a proper goodbye.

A Disturbance in the Force…

Apparently Hati’s story has the same impact at Blizzard, and they added in a new quest in BfA to find him again! Mirmiron tells the player that he has come across some strange power fluctuations and, after some studying, he thinks that it’s Hati. It seems that after using up our artifact weapons in Silithus, Hati’s spirit split up and scattered into the Nether. We team up with a familiar dwarf, Grif Wildheart, to track down the two halves of Hati’s enraged spirit, calm him down, and fuse him together again.

I love being a Hunter

When we get Hati back Mirmiron sends us over to Thorim, where we learn we can change Hati’s appearance and buy some cool Hati-specific toys. It was really cool to see so many hunters who were also doing the quest at the same time, even if the amount of Hunters there made the quests buggy!

So many good boys

But Wait, There’s More!

Because it wasn’t enough just to get one of the most beloved Hunter pets back, there’s a vendor right next to Thorim where you can buy neat toys to interact with Hati. These include a rubber ball, a fez, an item that turns Hati into a mount for a while, and an item that enhances the visuals on his thunder abilities.

The Hati quest was the first thing I got excited for in patch 8.1.5, and I think that it was really well done. It’s amazing how people can invest so much emotion in something like this, and I think that’s exactly what Blizzard wanted. I was heartbroken when Hati disappeared, but now we can explore the rest of what 8.1.5 has to offer together!

Visiting Sunsong Ranch

One of the first things that come to mind when I think of Mists of Pandaria is Halfhill, the bustling farmer’s market town where the clueless Farmer Yoon resides. The story behind acquiring his farm, Sunsong Ranch, is familiar to anyone who loved Harvest Moon games like me. Basically Yoon was looking for someone to help out on the farm while also showing members of The Tillers that it’s worth keeping. From there, it’s up to you to grow crops used in Pandarian recipes and upgrade the farm little by little. It’s by far my favorite thing from the expansion, and the closest players would get to their own instanced “housing” until Warlords of Draenor brought us Garrisons.

Making New Friends

The picture above shows the fully upgraded farm, with the best tools, most plots of soil, and farm animals, but starting out on the farm is completely different. Beginning the quest-line reveals that Halfhill plans to demolish Yoon’s farm for more space, and so the player sets out with the task of making sure everyone in the Tillers Union votes in favor of keeping the farm. Mists of Pandaria introduced separate reputation bars for NPCs and my goal here was to raise everyone’s reputation to “best friend” status while also getting to exalted with The Tillers, the farming group in Halfhill.

Halfhill’s central hub

Earning the trust of each farmer was a slow and steady process. Reputation, or friendship, was earned by doing quests or finding rare items scattered around Valley of the Four Winds which could then be gifted. The gifts were important because after the main story-line quests were over, my only other way of gaining friendship was through daily quests which were random each day. Each farmer had a favorite gift which would earn more friendship with that particular farmer, which added another layer of tedium to this whole ordeal. I remember spending hours flying around the zone using an add-on that scanned for the little dirt piles that hid the gifts. But what is exactly the point of becoming best friends with everyone?

The Power of Friendship

Best friend status has its own perks, the most important of which being that you have convinced them that Sunsong Ranch shouldn’t be demolished. Each farmer also gives you an addition to the farm, like animals or furniture for your little house. Lastly, you can ask any of your new besties to help you out on the farm. I think they’re actually supposed to help out with crops and stuff, but I haven’t noticed anything useful. Each farmer has their own expertise and will appear in different locations if asked to tend your farm. Chee Chee is my favorite (he’s just awesome) and his expertise happens to be sheep, so he hangs out with the sheep on my farm.

Chee Chee takes good care of the sheep

Helping out each farmer with their problems and surprising them with gifts was heartwarming, and the conclusion of the quest-line with all of us banding together to save the farm was just awesome. The whole thing was very reminiscent of Harvest Moon or similar games, which is why I think it continues to be one of my favorite things in the game ever. I still return from time to time, like I just did to take these pictures, and it always gives me the same warm fuzzy feeling that truly impactful stories do. Even so, I haven’t gotten to the best part of the farm…

I Love Dog

Yes, you read that right. Sunsong Ranch is home to the original good boy, a dog named Dog. I don’t remember quite how the story goes with him, but at some point while questing around Valley of the Four Winds you run into a dog with no home. If you choose to complete the quest (just look at that face), you befriend Dog and he comes to live with you on the farm. And from then on every day you log in to tend the farm Dog will be there to greet you. That’s really the little detail that tipped Sunsong Ranch over the edge into “completely amazing” territory.

The best part about Dog is that my reaction to him is the same for many people, in that he is a constant joy in a strange land full of Pandas. Luckily Dog makes his return in Warlords of Draenor when you unlock the herb garden in your Garrison, and in Legion he’s hanging out in Dalaran with Breanni in the pet shop. However, in Legion there’s a little secret players need to work out in order to get him to appear in the pet shop. I’m still not sure if he appears in BfA but I have hope!

Dog!
Dog’s love transcends time and space!
Dog boosts morale in the midst of the Legion invasion