I don't know how many of you caught this little gem in today's patch notes:
"Engineers can now obtain the schematics for Lil' Smoky and the Pet Bombling from certain creatures found in Gnomeregan. Specialized Gnomish or Goblin engineers can obtain both schematics equally. The repeatable quest that used to randomly grant these schematics has been disabled."
but yours truly is ON THE CASE! That's right folks, I just spent the last two hours in Gnomer so I could bring you the skinny on this HUGE, STUPENDOUS, EARTH SHATTERING NEWS for Engineers!! I told my husband earlier, this is like the Spectral Tiger of Engineering. Every Engineer wants one. Every Engineer will pay obscene amounts of money to have one. Some Engineers will claim they took up the craft JUST FOR ONE OF THESE PETS! I'm shouting because I still can't believe Blizzard made a change like this, you could have told me I won a new car and I'd be less shocked.
As soon as I saw this, I dropped all my other PTR projects and marched my warrior's little butt over to Gnomer to start farming these bad boys. The first time I went through I cleared a lot of mobs and killed all the bosses. I had no idea what I was looking for so I pretty much killed everything that looked important. When I got to Mekgineer Thermaplug, I finally scored! He drops the Pet Bombling recipe 100% of the time. So that part is pretty easy, I killed him five times and got this plan every time.
Lil Smoky is a different story, but I think I have it figured out. This plan only seems to drop from Arcane Nullifiers, I looted it four times during my six runs through Gnomer and it always dropped from an Arcane Nullifier. The problem is that it isn't a guaranteed drop and it might not be just any Nullifier. I killed lots of Arcane Nullifiers during my Gnomer runs, they can be found in several places in the dungeon. But I only got the drop off the Arcane Nullifiers that were right near Thermaplug. Three of the drops were from Nullifiers that were inside Thermaplug's room. One of the drops was from a Nullifier that was right outside Thermaplug's door. So I kinda feel like it will only drop from Nullifier's that are near Thermaplug. Obviously I can't back this up with concrete data, but I can tell you that I killed some of the Nullifiers in the corridor leading up to the Thermaplug's room each time I went through and it never dropped from one of them. But I got it four times from the Nullifiers that were stationed in front of or behind the door to Thermaplug. Feel free to kill others if you like, but this is my advice for getting the drop.
So once this change goes Live, you may have to spent extra time in Gnomer to get Lil Smoky. I can tell you're broken up about about that. The recipe has a pretty good drop rate, but you could end up going 2-3 times if you get rotten luck on mob spawns or drops. Sometimes Nullifiers don't spawn inside the room and you get the chicken mounts, so you have to reset and come back. The best way to deal with this project is to get yourself the Workshop Key. NOW. Go on... go do it... I'll wait here.
For those who don't have this key and don't know where to get it, you need to go to Gnomer and kill the Electrocutioner 6000. It's one of the first bosses, so if you get a bit lost hopefully you'll still stumble across the right place. Once you have a key, you'll be ready to farm your new recipes when the patch hits. The boss with the key and the area you need for the recipes are in two different parts of the dungeon, so unless you know Gnomer like the back of your hand I'd get the key ahead of time and then use the Backdoor entrance to farm the recipes.
Finding information about using the Workshop Key (aka Backdoor entrance) is also a bit challenging, so I'm including that here. You enter the dungeon area normally and when you take the elevator down to where the troggs are, just keep going straight (you should be heading north). After a couple of sets of stairs you should enter an oval room, at the top is a corridor which leads to the workshop door. On the other side of the door is the instance portal, go through that and continue following the corridor and eventually you'll hit another door. Unlock this second door and you'll be in a diamond shaped room called the Engineering Labs, turn right here and you'll be headed west. At the northwest corner of the room, turn right again and follow this corridor in a northwest direction where you'll quickly reach a T intersection. Turn left at the T and take that corridor to the Launch Bay, you'll still be heading northwest. Once inside the Launch Bay, follow the southern curve of the room to the tunnel that exits to the southwest.
In this tunnel is where you'll find some Arcane Nullifiers, so if you want to kill them for a possible drop feel free to do so. Once you reach the end of this tunnel, you'll see the door to Thermaplug's room. Kill any Arcane Nullifiers you see in front of and behind this door, then kill Thermaplug once inside. With any luck you'll have both recipes, but if not just run back out to the Workshop door and reset the instance. It takes 10-15 minutes to get in and out, including clearing the mobs that aggro you. I didn't use stealth at all on my runs and was still able to get in and back out in less than 15 minutes. That's all there is to it, pretty darn easy if you ask me :)
Here's some pretty photos of my adventure for you to enjoy!
Oh, and one more thing...