Ok, let's begin. As you all know, I've spent roughly 4m in gold over the last few days in order to try and sort through the vast sea that is the creature types for the element based pets. My current list is on mediafire (link below - the specials lists is sorted with the better pets on top) and has my current list of 97 creature types and all their abilities. When looking at the spreadsheet keep a few things in mind. First off, I assumed all pets with a physical base attack were on 10s CD (cooldowns) and it appears a few are 15s. Please let me know of any corrections that need to be made for this or any other CD I might have wrong. Also, unless stated all positive numbers are a gained bonus to pet's master (you) and all negative numbers are a debuff on the target. PA = physical attack power, MA = magical attack power, all +dmg is both types. I'm still trying to find a way to determine the Rune ghost abilities; I have both listed because I can't determine ahead of time. Please note all rune ghosts I've seen have varied greatly in their special ability. If you find a way to determine this, let me know.
Link for spreadsheets - http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=c6576112b90bdfc16e7203eb8736812954708898ec939464d6f20ee4ff677d52
Ok general info - All pet hunters can transport you to the "Ranch" to learn how to catch magic cavy. All pet hunters will sell food and badges of trail bought potions. Both repeatable quest in the "Ranch" have value - the milk is a good way to get food (favorite meal is rare but saves you 60k in loyalty food) and the chicken one can give you golden eggs. Golden eggs are an exp food, trade in for some potions, and daily shot at another wolf for a guaranteed cavy (got a holy pet egg my first try).
Pets are arranged into seven elements = Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Light, Dark, and Runic (none).
Earth is a tank/melee focus pet - Str, Stam, Dex in that order for priority.
Light is a tank/melee focus pet - Stam, Str, Wis in that order for priority.
Dark is a rogue/scout focus pet - Dex, Str, Stam in that order for priority.
Wind is a hybrid focus pet - Dex, Stam, Wis in that order for priority.
Fire is a mage focus pet - Int, Wis, Stam in that order for priority.
Water is a healer focus pet - Wis, Int, Stam in that order for priority.
Rune Ghost are a general high stat focus pet. They are +all stats equally for growth, but are limited in abilities.
Since it seems every creature type can be found in every element, choose a match for your class combo.
The first reason pet choice matters are the abilities linked to a creature "type". Look over the list and find a pet that will help you do what you want : tank, heal, dps, solo, or pvp. The creature "type" will determine what it looks like and how it's abilities to assist you. %5 wisdom boost from a Fruit Cactus won't help a rogue/scout even if they use a dark element version, but they still get the stat bonuses. Even if the pet is ugly, be sure to make your main pet suit your class combo. You can always get a 2nd pet to look cute or mean for show while afk at the AH.
The other reason pet choice matters are merging limits on the "element" types. You can only merge a fire into another fire pet. You can only merge a pet of the same or lower level of your main pet. You can only merge into the same pet 3 times in a 24 hour period. A rune ghost is a blank element pet and can be merged into ANY other element type; however, only a rune ghost can be merged into a rune ghost. One trick to note here - if you wish to build off stats for your 2nd class or to be more rounded, use Rune pets or use badges to buy an element stripping potion. The potion will let you turn a Light pet into a rune pet, for example. You get the stats values of the light pet - Stam, Str, Wis - in that order to boost your other pet.
Let's look at some basic numbers the pets give us. A pet essentially has 6 stats for merging and bonus purposes. The 5 listed core stats and "Aptitude." When ever you merge a pet, any greater value stat will grant a bonus to the "agent" pet(main pet you will be keeping). You can't lose points, only gain. The stat gain is the difference in stat divided by 4. Your agent pet will also gain exp based on the levels of each pet. Exp gain is equal to 1000 divided by the level of the agent minus the level of the reagent plus 1. Ex: a level 1 merged with a level 1 = 1000 exp gained - 1000/((1-1)+1)= 1000/1 = 1000. Ex: a level 1 merged into a level 5 = 200 exp gained - 1000/((5-1)+1) = 1000/5 = 200.
I'll cover some of the basic meaning behind the values in blue now. Exp is simply how much until your pet levels up. TrP are training points used to train your pet's passive skills. Loyalty is directly related to the probability that your pet will use their skills in combat to aid you. Nourishment (food) determines how much your pet can give you in stats as listed in your Assist column. 100 Nourishment means your pet is full and will give 100% stat value. Training at the bottom of the list is used to convert into exp or TrP or aptitude using the potions from the pet hunters. Aptitude reflects the multiplier value for the stats growth and value into Assist value. The higher the aptitude, the more the assist raises. The last thing that affects the Assist value for stats is your pet's level. The higher level your pet is, the greater the stats Assist value will be. A simple reminder here to also train up your pet's passive skills. Every pet will come with 1000 TP, which is enough to train 2 skills once or 1 skill twice if level permits.
Pets can also be trained to do gathering for you. This is a very expensive process, only work this up on your main pet. Each attempt at gathering is actually done while your pet is put away ("return"). Each attempt cost 1 tool, each tool cost 100g, but each attempt WILL make an item. You either get one of the gather items listed or a vendor item to cover the toll's cost. There is a higher success rate to gain a skill point as you start each new bracket, and it will slow down skill ups as you level deep into a bracket. There are two noticeable advantages. One is your pet can gather while you are afk (I tested it, doesn't work offline). The other advantage is your pet could eventually be gathering refined Thorn Apple Thicket for 100g each. It will require an upfront cash investment to train your pet's skill up that high. Some of that cost can be recouped by selling the mats on AH as you level, and selling the junk back to a vendor.
I'll finish by covering a few tips on merging pets. There are 3 main goals when merging pets - gain exp for leveling, gaining tp for training passive skills, and gain stats for assist bonus. The first and second goal really go hand in hand. Every merger will give you 50 training points for an element and 100 training points for rune pets. The third goal doesn't matter what level the food pet is, even a level 1 pet can gives stats (especially aptitude) to your main pet. Ex: my main pet has 60 aptitude at level 34 and I merged it with a level 1 pet with 80 aptitude resulting in my main pet with 65 aptitude. However, it is harder to gain core stats from lower lvl pets unless they are a higher rarity. If your first goal of leveling your pet up, your main focus is to make all 3 mergers per day of the same level as your main pet. At the high levels the 1000exp per merge will matter more and you will still want to use exp food and potions to help it (golden eggs and badges potions). To gain stats, you really want to focus on merging your main pet with higher rarity pets that have high growth values. You really want to focus on getting your pet's aptitude up to at least 80. Every point of Apt will add to the multiplier bonus, with 80 being a nice bracket increase. Likewise, every point of Loyalty will increase your stat assist gain.
As I finish this off, I really hope it will help others to build killer pets without a lot of trail and error and loads of cash. I really hope my work helps others and I will continue to update my spreadsheet with new creature types, and I'll continue to update this post with new information and corrections. If you run on Osha, feel free to throw some cash at Lulong to continue my studies on pets
Now if only I could find a pet that gave +heal . . .
Already have 1 small update to files to add a few creatures. Of note, lava transporter for 10% agro and hammertooth sage for 8% cast spd.
Added several versions to the file share folder.
New updated Files 7-11-10.
Updated files again. Also reworded a few paragraphs above.
To help people search AH with so many eggs up on AH, this might help:
Wild pet egg = White; Natural pet egg = Green; Amazing pet egg = Blue; Magical pet egg = Purple; Holy pet egg = Orange; Rune pet egg = all Rune Ghost.
As of 9-21-10 I have yet to find any new pets to add to my list. If any1 finds one not on my list, PLEASE send me a mail with it's abilities.
On the spreadsheet below, all pet who have a 2nd ability for acc, spd, and dmg, the ability is the pet only - not the owner.