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08/13/2018 - Battle for Azeroth

The release of a new addon is always a very special time. All that anticipation, culminating into the first hours of entering new zones and experiencing all the new content that we only read about or maybe saw some videos. Or played on the beta, but it's not the same right?

All that is going to happen in just one hour. For that, Xu-Fu and I wish you an amazing start into this new expansion. Let everything else be aside for a while, embrace the experience, and enjoy it!



08/01/2018 - Add your own Strategies!

What's that ominous Plus sign right next to each strategy? Your way to add strategies to Xu-Fu of course!

It was long overdue and from this day onward you can stop adding your strategies into comments, because now you have access to a full new toolset allowing you to upload it right there as a new alternative!

Make sure to check out the Strategy Creation Guide if you have questions, or want to know how everything works exactly: https://www.wow-petguide.com/index.php?m=StratCreationGuide

And if you have any feedback or questions, post them here or send me a message!



07/16/2018 - Battle for Azeroth - Pre-Patch Preparations

One month to go for Battle for Azeroth, and this week the pre-patch will hit already! With so many changes coming in that patch, a blog entry about it is long overdue.

1. Use your pet charms today!
Pet Charms as we know it will lose in their value immensely. With the pre-patch comes a new currency and you won't be able to buy upgrading stones with the old charms anymore. So if you still need some or want to stockpile, spend them today!
Details: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20762158027?page=5#post-82

2. Pre-Patches break stuff
Especially the API, the data source that Xu-Fu is using to grab info from the WoW servers like pet skills or your collections. It's very likely that some of this will break in the process. In the past it took Blizzard about 1-2 weeks to get everything back together. In the meanwhile, you might see incorrect pet stats or weird errors. Sorry!

3. Xu-Fu is not ready :-(
I am working hard on getting things done before the addon hits, but I did not make it in time for the pre-patch. Unfortunately, and to my regret, some parts of the page will be outdated from tomorrow on. That is especially true for any strategy involving the Teroclaw Hatchling (looking at you there, pet dungeons!).

I would like to shed some light on why it takes so long, and why there is nothing visibly changing on the page in the meanwhile. From the very start, the user system had one larger goal: allowing every user to upload their own strategies. To make that possible I needed a user login system, and breeds, and a better handling of alternatives - all that is working towards that one goal.
Previously I had a little admin tool where my helpers and I could change and update strategies. In all these update processes, it broke and simply to save time, I did not repair it but continue working on the new strategy editing mode. That's why we were not abble to update all the strategies in time.

But, I plan to have this all done *before* Battle for Azeroth, and it looks promising! Fingers crossed and thank you so much for being patient with me through the next few weeks :-)



07/01/2018 - Dynamic Alternatives!

Another update already!
This one went much smoother than I expected, and I'm super happy about it. It is feature 2 of 3 core things I need to complete before Battle for Azeroth hits the shelves. That gives me another 6 weeks from now to finish up and have Xu-Fu ready for the next addon. Yay!

Here's what's new today: dynamic alternatives!

The page started out without the possibility to have more than one strategy for a fight. Rather quickly it became necessary to add more, so I created the system that has been active for almost 3 years now. It first supported up to 9 alternatives, but that soon became too few and I extended it to 15. And now, with the plans I have, that won't do anymore.
This release removes the limit entirely. But with more alternatives, a better sorting system needs to be in place and that's what you will notice immediately.
The list of strategies is no longer set by myself or a moderator. Instead, when you open up a fight, all available alternatives are checked for a few criteria:
- is it one of your favourite strategies?
- do you own the pets?
- are there good or bad tags on it?
- what is the rating of the strategy?

According to that, the page will pick the highest one to show you, and the alternatives menu shows you all the others in the order of their likely importance to you. Some of that you can control directly:
- if you set a strategy as favourite for example, it will always be shown first.
- In your Settings you can also select which tags are important to you and which you dislike - if you don't mind TCG pets for example, move it to the ones you prefer and more of these strategies will show up.

Likely, giving a strategy a fitting rating is now so much more important and will help you and everyone else to have a better experience.

This is quite a big change in how the page works and I am very curious to hear your feedback. Please let me know what you think of it.



06/27/2018 - New section on Xu-Fu unveiled

Today I am very happy to introduce a new section to Xu-Fu’s Pet Guides. A topic that has been neglected for way too long: Pet PvP!

Rosqo, well known in the pvp world of pet battles, volunteered to work on this section and will fill it with life. He is creating many pet related videos on Youtube to share his team setups and the thoughts behind them. Definitely worth checking out!

The first page to go online is an overview of the recommended pets for PvP, separated into Tiers which are based on how often these pets appear and how powerful they are when facing human opponents.

Have a look at the new section and let us know what you think! Or if you have a different opinion, or maybe you think a pet is missing? We certainly would like to know :-)



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


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4c0k5ilk wrote on 06/21/2018

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cz

wrote on 03/24/2018

This is really good stuff. Thank you!

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





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