Of all the things Blizzard is changing about the Hunter class one thing they haven’t been skimping on is the ability to tame pets. We currently have 32 pet families available to use in the beta. There will be slightly fewer with just the patch, but the way we think about pets is going to change drastically.
I am sure you have heard all about how the mechanics are changing. No more loyalty, less leveling, and talents instead of training points. With any pet you tame automatically being within 5 levels of you when you tame it, it takes off *some* of the load of having to level it. The beauty of the system is viability. Always wanted a crab but couldn’t justify it? Well how about a 4 second stun, in the form of Pin, to fix that viability problem. And since it is a pet tank, take it around with you as you level, pin a mob and kill it before it gets to you. Easy!
It is a ncie change to an out-dated system. Now I haven’t had the opportunity to go around taming pets left and right. 5 levels from 75-80 is still a lot of experience. But I have tried out a few different pets to get a feel for what I am looking to use in the expansion.
Spoooooooooooooooooooorebat. Yup. I totally tamed a Sporebat. Imamanapot is such a lovable little . . . floaty thing. There is a method to my madness. The Sporebat was a non-exotic pet that had an armor debuff base skill. In conjunction, it is a Cunning pet, which does have some decent talents available to it, such as Spiked Collar and Feeding Frenzy. The major drawback for the tree is that Roar of Recovery is on an exceptionally long cooldown for being a big mana potion. 6 minutes is only rivaled by Heart of the Phoenix I believe.
My original thought was that the Sporebat would help smooth out mana efficiency in PvE but the current Aspect of the Viper has little drawback other then the amount of time it takes to refill mana so it ended up feeling like Roar of Recovery was wasted.
I also went out and tamed a Hyena. It’s cute like the picture. Until they grow up! My initial draw to the Hyena was the Hamstring ability that they had. It had a 6 second duration with a 20 second cooldown. It was a pretty appealing ability but unfortunately I could never get it to be effective in PvP.
The problem is that even if I applied Tendon Rip (the name of the ability) a gap-closing maneuver would end up being used, in which case I could just apply Wing Clip. I have no complaints about how the pet skins looked, but as far as PvP goes, I think there are other pets that would work better. In another universe this might have worked.
I still have my Ghost Wolf and my cat, Khagan who have pretty stuck with me the whole time. I was glad to hear they gave cats another DPS ability since Prowl was so useless. For my own peace of mind I will probably use these two for raiding. Unless it’s changed Furious Howl, while buffed and changed, is having stacking issues currently with Battle Shout and Blessing of Might. Without this being fixed it is most definitely a deal-breaker for the poor wolfy.
There are a couple pets I want to try out in a couple different capacities. A Nether Ray might be a optimal PvP pet when used in conjunction with Silencing Shot. As I look at some of the pet abilities I just see macros and how to best utilize them in situations. Nether Shock, the 2-second interrupt, will definitely be hot-keyed or macro’d to make sure it is used effectively. Focus targets and all those shenanigans.
Even the aforementioned crab can be used effectively in PvP I think. A 4 second stun, Roar of Sacrifice, etc. Hopefully the tanking tree would give the pet a bit more longevity in Arena and then use some of it’s tanking talents to help you survive. Even going a full 51-point BM with a Rhino and using Stampede could help a lot to keep you or a partner alive. It’s a 15-yard knockback on ALL nearby enemies. I imagine that it could cause havoc in a team trying to burn someone down. It could buy a vital couple seconds in order to keep you or a teammate alive. I also imagine it would be all kinds of hilarity in a place like Alterac Valley. Hello cliffs and bridges. :)
I am expecting another beta build anytime now so we can get back to running tests and trying things out. But one thing that is awesome are these pets. I expect to see a lot more variety running around Orgrimmar in the future.
So, what pet do you want to try out the most? What are you looking forward to fighting by your side in the patch/expansion? Post your thoughts and opinions!