- 1 Control Slots
- 2 Obtaining A Pet
- 3 Naming A Pet
- 4 Commanding A Pet
- 5 Active Pet
- 6 Happiness & Feeding
- 7 Using Pets In Combat
- 8 Additional Tips & Tricks
- 9 Pet Related Bugs
- 10 See Also
Pets are essential to nearly all characters in Ultima Online. Without a mount a warrior cannot hope to keep up with (or escape from!) his foes, and beasts of burden are essential for those who wish to collect resources. Most domesticated animals (such as Horses) require no skill to own, ride or command.
However, only those well versed in Animal Taming can hope to command the strongest of creatures. The dedicated tamer will also practise his Veterinary skill in order to keep his charges in top condition, and an additional dose of Animal Lore not only helps when applying bandages but also when giving commands.
Players may store pets they currently don't need at the stables located in most towns and cities. If a pet is worth keeping for any length of time, it should be bonded in order to preserve it should it die.
For a comparison of high level hunting pets try the Pet Guide
For more information on how to train your pets try the Pet Training guide
Each character has a total of five control slots, a number cannot be increased in any way. Whenever any creature comes under their control, some of these slots will be used up. If the character does not have enough control slots available then they will be unable to take control of the new pet.
Most animals (such as Horses and Pack Horses) require only a single control slot, meaning that the character may command up to five such creatures at a time. However, many monsters can also be tamed, and most require multiple slots.
More powerful creatures require yet more slots. The Cu Sidhe (the only creature with the Healing skill) requires four, as does the Hiryu and Reptalon. Such pets are usually used as "tanks"; somewhat less damaging then a two-pet combo but typically much easier to keep alive in combat.
The only tamable creature to date that accounts for all five slots is the devastatingly powerful Greater Dragon.
If a player has used all their control slots, in order to gain new pets they will need to release, kill or stable the old.
Obtaining A Pet
From An NPC
Most towns have a stable available for the storage of pets, and it's also here where most players get their first steed. NPC Animal Trainers sell mounts (among other creatures) for a small fee. There is a wait of approximately one minute (two? three?) between purchases.
From Another Player
Single clicking a pet will reveal a context menu, from which it's owner may select the "transfer" option before targeting another player. This brings up a standard Trade Window from which the creature can either be payed for or simply gifted - Providing the new owner has a sufficient level of Animal Taming/Animal Lore to command it.
If a pet has recently been tamed and has not yet been fed, it may refuse to be transferred even if it is "Wonderfully Happy". Young players may not have pets transferred to them in this way.
From The Wild
The direct use of the Animal Taming skill on a creature can be used to bend it to your will, providing you have the skill required (and perhaps, the strength to survive it's assault!).
Naming A Pet
To name a pet or change it's name dismount (if required), then click it and drag the mouse cursor away. Your pet's "bar" will follow the mouse, displaying (along with other things) it's name.
Click the text and you'll be presented with a cursor allowing you to change it. Note that you can't add any spaces to a pet's name, but you can delete around the ones already present to leave them intact. Press Enter to confirm your changes.
Commanding A Pet
The creatures you control are of limited use if they cannot be ordered. Blade Spirits, Energy Vortexes, Nature's Furys and those risen through the Animate Dead spell won't pay you any heed and simply attack anything that comes near them. Just about everything else however can be given orders, making them very much a part of your character in the game world.
Tamed pets each have a "control chance" attached to them that is dependant on your Animal Taming and Animal Lore skills. While the former accounts for the majority of your influence, a good dose or lore is still recommended for those serious in taking the path of the tamer. It is only with high levels of both that you'll be able to command the most powerful of monsters.
Usually control chance can be roughly guessed according to the initial difficulty involved in taming the creature. For example, anyone may tame a Cat, and hence anyone may also control one. On the other hand, if you barely have the ability to tame a Dragon don't expect to be able to control it reliably!
If a pet hears an order and decides to ignore it, it'll lose happiness. As happiness goes down the chance that it'll ignore you again increases. If a pet becomes too unhappy it may attack you or become completely wild.
On the other hand, pets will regain some level of happiness every time they obey you, so if you have a high level of taming skill this is not something you need to worry about often. Some creatures (such as the Swamp Dragon, a popular mount) are very difficult to tame but can still be controlled by any character.
One exception of note regarding control chance and taming skill is the Lesser Hiryu. Although it'll happily obey a tamer like any other pet will, it'll also obey a character with no taming but a high level of Bushido instead.
List Of Commands
- The pet will follow the target until ordered to do otherwise.
- The pet will cease all actions until ordered otherwise. While stopped, it will wander around in a similar fashion to a wild creature, but will not attack targets even if it is assaulted.
- The pet will attempt to go to your location using more advanced pathfinding methods than with the Follow command. Those with magical abilities may attempt to Teleport directly (but will fail due to a house related "bug fix"). As the pet will Stop upon reaching you this should only be used if it has gotten itself stuck somewhere.
- The pet will stand still until ordered to do otherwise.
- The pet will follow it's master and attack anything that assaults that person or itself. Only the active pet can actively guard, and any damage that pet deals is credited to the owner.
- The pet will attack the target until either the victim or itself is dead. Once it has felled the enemy, it may attack any other creatures that are hostile towards it. The owner receives credit for all damage dealt within two minutes of giving this order - for long battles, it should be periodically repeated to ensure your character receives looting rights.
- Causes bonded, non-pack creatures to drop whatever they might be carrying. Allows you to for eg. salvage arrows that might have been shot into your pet.
- The pet will be removed from your service. This will cause summoned creatures to disappear immediately, though monsters may use their new found freedom to attack you!
All pets (and some summons) will respond to orders if you simply "say" them. To give orders in this way, just address your pet with the command you wish to issue. For example:
Assuming you've got old faithful Rover will you, he'll stay still until given a new instruction.
Commands which result in a targeting cursor (Follow and Kill) can be followed with the term "me" for quick use. For example:
Rover Follow Me
This will cause your pet to follow you around.
Finally, you don't have to address your pets individually unless you really need to direct them that way. Announcing your commands to "all" will cause all creatures under your control to respond.
Upon giving the kill command and selecting a target in this way, all your pets will plunge into the fight. Choose your active pet carefully - this will be the one your target focuses it's return attacks on.
Note that you cannot address a pet in any other way then the "all" method if it has a space in it's name. You might consider creating a macro to quickly "say" all the commands you commonly use; these can of course include additional actions if you so choose (such as Hiding!).
Using The Context Menu
Using the 2D client, a single left click on your pet will reveal a context menu from which you can select most orders using the mouse.
Using the Kingdom Reborn client you must hold Shift and then right click. Alternatively, you may right click your pet's target bar.
When commanding more then one pet, each will obey your commands in the order that you gained control of them.
Say you have a two pets with you and you give the "All Kill" command. Whichever pet you gained control of first will be the first to attack, and hence the target will also attack that particular pet. For this reason the first pet is known as the "Active Pet".
For example, journeying with a Fire Steed and a White Wyrm you encounter an Arctic Ogre Lord. The Ogre deals mostly cold damage, which the Steed is quite weak against. On the other hand, the Wyrm is resistant to icy attacks - If you took that creature from the stables prior to the Steed, then the Wyrm will be the active pet and the Ogre will concentrate it's attacks on that. As a result you'll need to spend far less time healing your creatures.
In another example, say you wanted to fight a Nightmare, which not only deals fire damage but has a Fire Breath attack. In this case it might be more prudent to use the Steed as your active pet, as the Wyrm's low resistance in that area would make in the more vulnerable.
Note that the relevance of your Active Pet only applies if you're fast enough to target your enemies before they become hostile of their own accord. If you're too slow, after a short period of time they will simply start to attack whatever happens to be closest to them.
The Animal Lore skill can be used to check your pet's strengths and weaknesses, and at higher levels, you can also get readings on the monsters you find in the wild.
Happiness & Feeding
Each pet has a "happiness" rating that can be revealed by using the Animal Lore skill on it. In order from best to worst, these are:
Content, I Suppose
Over time a pet's happiness level will drop on it's own (much faster if it can't see you). Furthermore, a pet will lose happiness every time it ignores one of your orders - And the more happiness it loses, the more likely it will ignore again. If a pet's happiness drops too low it will return to a wild state.
On the other hand, every time a pet accepts one of your orders it will gain a small amount of happiness, so a skilled tamer need just about never worry about annoying his or her charges. However, every now and then a pet will ignore a few times in a row and then it's time to bring out the doggy treats.
Pets do not get hungry and so do not need to be fed on a regular basis, but they do love food and a single piece will typically take them from the depths of despair right back up to the Wonderfully Happy level. Each species has different preferences, which again can be revealed via the Animal Lore skill.
To feed a pet, just drag and drop a food item onto it. One unit will have the same effect as many. Note that this will cause the pet to stop whatever it was doing so you may need to give it a fresh order afterwards.
In order to bond with a pet you must feed it one real world week after the first time you fed it. Bonding allows you to keep your pet even if it dies, and also allows for easier transportation with the Recall spell. Some creatures (such as the Skittering Hopper) don't accept food at all, meaning they cannot be bonded.
Unskilled tamers will often have pets ignore them, and hence will often need to produce food. You might consider carrying several single bits of food in your pack so that you don't need to divide a pile in the heat of combat. The Create Food spell is of great use to tamers.
Using Pets In Combat
In order to battle using a pet, a high level of Animal Taming skill is required. After all, if you can't reliably control the stronger monsters, why bother trying? Because of the large amount of skill points that must be expended to be a effective tamer, many characters of this type find themselves in support roles (casting healing spells for example).
Magery or the Musicianship skill sets are favoured for use in PvM combat, though in PvP many players like to use Stealthing or Archery along with their pets. Whatever your choices, one rule remains fairly consistent - Try to ensure that you're not the one on the receiving end of any damage dealt.
While you have little control what other players are targeting, against monsters there are many ways to make sure you're left alone. The easiest is to simply order your pet to attack the target before it has time to target your character.
If monsters are nearby and you're unable to have your pets distract them, then they will eventually target whatever happens to be closest to them. Some texts hold that they will select the target with the most intelligence but this simply is not true; If you're standing nearer then your pet is, you will be the one under fire, and vice versa.
If the distance to the monster is equal for both you AND your pet, then (thankfully!) the pet will always be targeted. Hence when dealing with a large, fast spawning group of monsters, it's usually best to stand in the same tile as your pet.
Note that even if your pet has become targeted by a monster, if you insist on attacking at the same time you may well distract the enemy's attention. This isn't much of a problem when fighting with multiple pets and other adventurers at your side (as these will likely be dealing damage between them much faster then you can), but when fighting a powerful enemy in small numbers it's usually best to present a small profile.
This is never more true then against Paragon creatures. These have a nasty habit of re-targeting anything that moves nearby or suddenly becomes visible. Against a strong Paragon it is usually best to stand as still as possible while casting healing spells and applying bandages to your pet. If you must get closer, the use of the Teleport spell will allow you to move around unnoticed.
Even the most powerful pet will eventually be worn down with combat, so it is best to be prepared with some healing abilities. The Veterinary skill is the primary method of healing damage to your charges. To use it, you simply double click a bandage and target your pet. You'll heal damage according to your skill level (Animal Lore provides an additional bonus).
To use bandages you need to be within two tiles of your pet. While your character is applying them you may still cast spells, in fact it's quite possible to cast Greater Heal between the time you start and finish winding on each. Note that at higher levels of skill your bandages can purge poison.
Should your pet die, a high level of both Veterinary and Animal Lore is required to bring it back to life - And even then this is only possible if it was bonded before the event. You must stand directly next to your pet to bandage it's ghost, and when it is revived it will have lost 0.1 from all it's skill levels.
Additional Tips & Tricks
The Ball of Pet Summoning can be used to bring a pet from any location in the game world (even the stables) to your location. If you lose a pet and have no other way of retrieving it, or if the pet becomes bugged and can't be targeted, having it linked to a pet ball may be your saving grace. Link each of your pets and place the balls in a safe location for emergency use.
If you log out with a pet nearby, it will log out at the same time as you do and be placed in the stables. When you log back in again it will be recalled to your exact location.
This is dead handy for pulling pets through dangerous areas or retrieving them should the get lost, and even more useful should you die - Pets logged out in this way will not return to you if you're dead, so a quick log out when you fall whisks your creature away to safety until such time as you've been brought back to life (when another log in will bring it back to you).
Note that the auto-stable feature is slightly less reliable then the Ball of Pet Summoning, but 99.99% of the time it'll do the job.
The character you control moves at a speed determined by your movement mode - You can either walk or run, while either on foot or while mounted. All characters move at the exact same speed subject to ping.
With NPCs (such as pets) it's a different story - movement speed is directly related to their level of Dexterity. The more a creature has the faster it can travel around the game world. At a level of 125 (the natural maximum any creature can be trained to), they are quite capable of keeping up with an unmounted player.
Be wary of creatures with a dex score higher then this - For example, the Rune Beetle (which can have as much as 170 dex) is nearly impossible to outmaneuver without riding a mount. Paragon creatures especially can move at extreme speed due to the bonuses they receive to their stats.
Pet Related Bugs
When a pet dies, sometimes it will run (as fast as it possibly can) in a set direction, not stopping until it simply can't proceed any further (for example, it reaches the ocean).
One way to combat this is to have a macro ready to say "All Follow Me" at the push of a button, hence allowing you to recall your pet before it runs too far away.
If for whatever reason you fail to do this in time (say you were also killed!), the use of the auto-stable feature can be used to retrieve errant ghosts.
Against Flying Creatures
One - extremely aggravating! - bug concerns battling against those creatures which are able to "fly". These beings can travel across water or mountains while doing so, but typically land as soon as someone targets them in combat. For some creatures (such as Dragons) a different movement animation is used when in the air.
However, when they are near death some will attempt to flee from their attackers, taking off again as they do so. Although this doesn't affect you or your pet's ability to hit them, pets do act in a rather odd manner when this happens - If there is any tile nearby which is "higher" then the one they're currently on, they'll run at full speed towards it.
This means that whenever your enemy is near death your pet will likely run away from it, hence preventing it from ever dealing the killing blow. Magic using creatures can still cast across the distance, but against more powerful monsters (such as the Ancient Wyrm) sustained melee damage is required to defeat them before they regenerate their hitpoints once more.
An attempt to stop them using the Teleport spell into houses resulted in all creatures (tamed or otherwise) being unable to teleport anywhere. They will still attempt to cast the spell, however.
An attempt to stop them flying into houses affects pets which have legal access to those houses as well. That is to say, if a pet walks into a house and decides to take wing (something the owner has no control of) it will be trapped in place, no longer able to move.