I’ve been asked by a couple people, including BigRedKitty, to publish a detailed account on how I went about taming Oz, my new Ghost Wolf. Of course, when you discover something fairly cool and semi-hidden in a game, the tendency is to horde (heh) it all to yourself, but I figure that (a) that’s just plain selfish, and today’s not Thursday, my selfish day, and (b) it’s not like the ghost wolf or the taming thereof is a national security secret. It’s out there. And this checklist I’m about to go through isn’t original in the least — but I’ll try to clear it up for anyone who wants to try their hand at taming this cool pet.
Caveat emptor first: The ghost wolf (technically, the “Grimtotem Spirit Guide“) will cost you a pretty penny in gold beforehand, contains no innate special skills (such as prowl) except the ones that all wolves can train, and will cost an even prettier chunk of time after you tame it, in bringing it up to speed. However, if you think that the look, rarity and funky pet noises are worth it, then by all means. Oz will think of your pets as his progeny.
The reasons there are so many hoops involved in taming one of these wolves is that they are a summoned mob that only lasts about 7-8 seconds before automatically dying. Hunters’ “Tame Beast” skill takes 20 seconds. Those of you above a certain mathematical level might see the problem presented. So our goal is to speed cast time up to 7-8 seconds, and allow for a successful taming before the wolf dies.
The steps I took were as follows:
1. Get to the 65-70 level range, and start hunting for a helm with a metagem socket in it. You mostly find these in dungeon runs (I got mine from the Helm of Desolation in normal BM), although there are a few chain quest rewards that net you such a helmet. The lack of such a helm was what kept me from taming a ghost wolf for so long — they’re not the most common things in the world.
2. As you’re working toward your helm goal, keep checking the AH (or a jewelcrafting friend) for a Mystical Skyfire Diamond. I recall paying either 130g or 180g, but I can’t remember which. Your results may vary, depending on your server.
3. Socket said metagem in said helm metagem slot. Now, this was the first time I’ve ever fiddled with metagems in WoW, and the odd conditions of each metagem threw me off. You see, metagems allow you to obtain a fairly powerful new ability, but in return, you have to fulfill the conditions listed (each metagem is different). The Mystical Skyfire Diamond has a proc that cuts casting time in half (our 20 second taming time instantly becomes 10 seconds when this proc happens), but the metagem’s conditions is that it requires more blue gems than yellow gems.
What was unclear to me is that I thought this condition applied only to the piece of armor that your metagem is used in — not so. The “more blue gems than yellow gems” applies to the sum total of all gems spread across all your equipped gear. I was able to equip the metagem, but it was greyed out until a friend helped explain it to me. I thought, crap, I’m going to have to get rid of a whole bunch of gems and then rebuy, reequip them… but common sense kicked in and just had me take off some gear for the duration of this taming process. Who cares about cut casting time afterwards, at least for hunters? Most everything we do is insta-cast anyway.
4. Socketed helm on your noggin, you need to recruit the help of a priest (level 30+) and a level 70 shaman. This is perhaps the easiest way, although there are alternatives (Trolls’ berserking and leatherworking Drums of Battle also help cut cast time). Buy some level 35 meat (a few stacks should be fine). Get your party together and mosey on down to Dustwallow Marsh in the 42, 9 area (that’s north-central, in a Grimtotem camp). All of the mobs will be 35-38ish, so you shouldn’t have to worry about unwanted aggro, unless you brough along a low level priest.
5. Create a macro called “wolfie”. The macro has two lines:
/target grimtotem spirit guide
/cast tame beast
6. I relocated two aspects (doesn’t matter which ones) to my 1 and 2 keys. I put the “wolfie” macro on the 3 key.
7. With your party in place and a Grimtotem Spirit-Shifter targeted, explain the plan and do a dry run through without any keys being pressed. It’s vital for the priest to know and recognize the blue glow that signals the metagem’s proc, since the proc only lasts about 7 seconds.
8. Have your priest MC the spirit-shifter. If your priest is a 70, then they should be able to hang on to the guy with little difficulty.
9. Have the shaman activate his or her 40-second Bloodlust/Heroism spell. From this point on, you’re on the clock, and if you screw up, you have to wait another 9 minutes or so for this spell to recharge.
10. Quickly start flipping between keys 1 and 2, changing aspects (which is the fastest way to get the metagem to proc). Mine proc’d around 15 seconds remaining on heroism, which was cutting it short.
11. Once the metagem procs and the blue glow lights up, the priest should use his MC’d Grimtotem to summon the spirit guide. At the same time — do NOT wait for a visual confirmation that the spirit guide has been summoned — start pounding on key 3 (“wolfie”) like there’s no tomorrow. You can spam this and not have to worry about losing your taming process; once it starts, it’ll keep on going.
12. If the timing is right and nobody messes up, you’ll complete the taming riiiiiight before (or even at the moment) the spirit guide dies.
13. Resummon your wolf, feed it some level 35 meat (don’t want him to run away, now!), and think of a very cool name for it. Oz is taken, so back off!
14. Sigh, head to Outland, and begin the life of an amateur melee hunter whacking away at mobs with your rusty axe while your wolf slooooowly levels from 30 to 70. The new post-2.3 pet leveling boost does help (I was able to get Oz from 30 to 44 in the space of an afternoon).
Hope this helps!