Before all pets were normalized with the 2.0 second attack speed, Sian-Rotam was one of the few that possessed this slow, hard-hitting attack speed. Most Hunters preferred Broken Tooth for his lightning fast 1.0 second attack speed, or Humar for his unique and incredibly awesome charcoal black appearance and fast 1.3 second attack. Yet there were some Hunters that wanted a cat who could swing hard and produce larger crits, Sian-Rotam fit the bill here.
I’d never had much of an interest in a slow hitting cat, because I was mainly interested in PvP, where a quick hitting pet was more favorable. All cats did the same amount of damage, but the faster ones were better for spell interrupts vs. caster opponents. I was pretty smitten with my 1.2 second attack speed wolf and carrion bird, that is until Blizzard went and re-invented Hunter pets.
As far as I recall, it wasn’t too long before TBC when Blizzard decided to give all pets a 2.0 second attack speed. In a sense this change really blew, but this re-engineering of Hunter pets also brought with it a host of other very positive changes. Pets had become a lot more durable and were able to do considerably more damage, especially for BM Hunters such as myself.
Once these changes were realized and my once distinct wolf and buzzard were now pretty average, I opted to abandon them in favor of the more unusual, at least appearance-wise. Since pets were an absolute bitch to level back then, I wanted to go for something that was already near 60ish. I set my sights on a certain White Lion that was pretty uncommon on the Alliance side due to the fact that it only existed once spawned from a Horde-only quest. The quest is now available to both sides, which sort of trivializes this once unique pet.
Since I’d never played Horde, nor knew anyone who had a high level Horde character, the process of taming him was going to be a bit of a challenge. In order to get this cat back then, you needed to be at Frostsaber Rock in Winterspring while Shy-Rotam was being summoned by a Horde player on that quest. The other part of this tame that made it such a challenge, was that both of these cats were elite. I needed to find some cool Horde player who would assist me on this mission.
I made a level 1 Orc Warrior and then ran to Ogrimmar. I proceeded to ask in general chat if there were any 60s on that particular quest who would allow me to tame Sian-Rotam once he appeared. Of course, I offered up a huge bounty of 25G for anyone who helped me catch this difficult to obtain pet. It seems like chump change, but 25G back then was probably equivalent to 500G now.
Needless to say, I attracted the attention of an Orc Hunter who was more than willing to let me tame Sian-Rotam in exchange for the 25G and my help killing Shy-Rotam. After a brief review of the gameplan, I logged back onto Garwulf and met this guy over in Winterspring. We headed over to the quest spot and proceeded with the agreement.
Since I trusted this guy wouldn’t screw me over, and being that Winterspring has always been pretty void of player traffic, I wasn’t too worried about Sian-Rotam being killed before the tame. I helped him complete his quest and then I started taming Sian-Rotam. The taming went off without a hitch and I was once again a happy Hunter with a new pet. He then listed a gray item for sale in the neutral Winterspring auction house and I bought it out for 25G. Done deal.
At that time, there were only a handful of Alliance Hunters with this unusual pet. Although Sian-Rotam wasn’t a “rare” pet, he was a lot rarer than Humar was on the Alliance side due to the hoops that had to be jumped through in order to acquire him. Not to mention, taming him still wasn’t a gimme because this was also back when both cats were hard hitting elite mobs, unlike the easy-mode 60 non-elites they are today.
I can’t remember the Horde toon’s name, but he was a pretty cool guy. If anyone on Kul Tiras with an Orc Hunter happens to be reading this and recalls this event, then Cheers! Silly little adventures like this one are the things that I usually find most enjoyable about this game. Someday when I’m eventually all done with WoW, it’s things like this that will remind me of just how much damn fun this game was.