Friday, November 16, 2007

Hunter Pets Suck.

So I was thinking about the hunter pet issue more, and I've come to realize something: Hunter pets aren't very fleshed out at all.
Warlock pets have clearly defined roles. They all serve their purpose wonderfully, and have fantastic unique abilities that are always useful.

Hunter pets... for the most part, are typically the same, save for a few stat point differences in the armor here, HP there, and damage here.

Here is a basic outline of my opinions:

Yes, they get some different abilities, but in the grand scheme of things, most of them are pretty worthless. Let's look a little closer:

  • Scorpid: Obviously at the top of my list for PvP concerns. Scorpid poison + viper sting = great poison protection. Enough said. This is currently the only real viable PvP pet.
  • Ravager/Boar: Anything with gore = good for raid/PVE dps. Why not cats? Because gore is like claw, but better.
  • Cats: Claw used to be handy for extra spell push back vs casters. Now the only real pvp that matters is Arena, and in the arena you bring a hunter for viper sting, which means you bring a scorpid to protect that ability. Cats = phased out.
  • Turtles: Extra armor for PVE off-tanking in non-heroic 5mans? (prime example of why I would never spend a week leveling a turtle up for this purpose)
  • Bears: Rawr?
  • Wind serpents: Good PVP Dps pet against heavy armor targets as their lightning breath ignores armor. End-game usefulness in arena/raids = low
  • Warpstalkers: Their warp ability is not even on gimmick status anymore (boar charge was better due to the 1s immobilization). Now hunter pets automatically get behind the target anyways, removing half of the already mediocre usefulness of their only cool ability.
  • Bats: Like Wind Serpents, but worse.

Can't more be done to help make these pets, I don't know, a little more fun? Or unique? Or Ultmately useful?

All things said, it feels like warlocks are the true pet class of WoW, as when a warlock pet dies, it's really felt. It MEANS something to lose a warlock pet. No more soul link if specced for it. No more paranoia. No more MD buffs. No more devour magic, or spell lock, or intercept, or extra CC with seduce, or blood pact for your party, or sacrifice shield, etc etc.

Hunter pet dies? You lose some dps (which you also lose with the lock), albeit not that much unless BM specced, and maybe some caster pushback or viper protection. That's about it.

There could be some really cool abilities that would make these pets more unique and, I don't know, desirable to keep around.
  • If vampire bats had a mana leech ability that gave a small % of damage done back to hunter/party as mana.
  • Or if turtles had an ability that would reduce damage taken by a significant amount, similar to shield wall for a short duration.
  • Or if cats had a bleed ability that they could stick on rogues to prevent them from using CloS + Vanish, or even if the bleed effect made all physical dpsers attacking that target do 1% more damage. Something!
  • Or if Wind Serpents had a small AOE/single target silence on a cooldown.
  • If Bears had a roar that decreased enemies' crit chance/damage for a duration.
  • If the wolves' furious howl ability actually scaled, and made party members do a %increase more damage for a duration on their next attacks, instead of a small, fixed amount. Or perhaps a % increase in crit chance for a short duration. You know, something actually useful.

You get the idea..


Vague said...

I disagree with your warlock pet notion. The pets that really stand out when compared to hunters are the felpuppy and the imp. The rest of the lock pets, although good on paper are on par with hunter pets if not worse (i.e. the post-TBC useless succy). Imp has a good party aura buff (which is fading away now for most of us who are raiding anything Hyjal+), and the felpuppy if you tank PvE encounters or in PvP.

If hunter pets gained more buffs in PvP, what you will end up seeing is something like a felguard and a void walker in one for example.

Anonymous said...

Good ideas. There were several threads in the hunter forums with new pet abilities and we were promissed the steady implementation of new pet skills long time ago.

But the biggest concern at the moment is the new "feature" that pets try to attack from behind. The newly implemented feature came with a major bug: it won't attack at all, if the target has no back area to stand in (for example back to the wall, the pillar, adge of the bridge, ramps... etc.).

While this feature is highly exploitable in PvP it brings a totally new feature in PvE encounters causing the pet to pull big junks of an instance because of the messed up petpathing.

Please Leiah, tell the devs, that this feature must be hotfixed before arena Season 3 starts. Otherwise we start another season handicapped right from the beginning.

The best way would be to have the possibility to toggle this feature on/off with a new pet button or to remove it completely if not a better implementation of it is possible.

I excuse myself for my rather bad English, but I'll hope that you have gotten my points.

Sincerly your's
a Hunter

Anonymous said...

""Or if turtles had an ability that would reduce damage taken by a significant amount, similar to shield wall for a short duration. ""

They do have this. It's Shield Shell, -50% damage, 8seconds? duration, 3min cd.

Still this is not prime problem of hunter pets. It's difference in BM vs MM/SV spec + Family abilities.

1. Half of pets don't have their own family abilities.
2. 2/3 of abilities that do exist, are not scaled past 60lvl.
3. 1/3 of abilities are "new" and available past lvl 60.
3. 2 abilities out of all, actually do get some Hunter->Pet scaling (scorpid posion, lightning breath - ~1% scaling of hunter RAP)

Both LB and S.Poison were only abilites that felt good and were nerfed.

* My LB could crit for ~700 with BMspec while bet was in BW.
* Scorpid was rolling "ignite" poison for ~800damage/2seconds with BW+Trinkets+StartRoling tactics.

Now this might be over powered IF there was not second major screw up on BLizzards side.

BM pet = 3.8x Normal pet.
I have WWS here from yesterdays BT. Our BM ravager is doing 612 DPS on RoS/Teron. My Wind Serpent (survival spec) is doing 166 DPS.

This again would be ok if BM hunter was doing 400 dps less personal dps than MM/SV. But again its not so. He is doing 90% of MM/SV personal dps.

What Blizzard should do is hire a hunter that knows current mechanics of class and help them develop/change class. Or post (un)official question thread on EJ Forum. Since they alone seem to be unable to grasp what Hunter class is.
FD "fix" in 2.3 is prime example of major screwup that would not happen if 1 developer remotely knew hunter class.

If you want great pet family abilities, they are in the game but not enabled from Beta...

Leiah said...

I agree completely on all your points.

I also agree that the FD "fix" didn't "fix" anything. All it did was remove the bandaid on the actual underlying problem: Hunter mana issues which involves everything from talents and itemization, to actual abilities that are supposed to help.

I'll probably post another blog entry on my response to Neth regarding this issue from the actual US forums.

Anonymous said...

Wind Serpent is still "best" pet for SV/MM hunters DPS wise.

WS/Ravager/Cat (LB/Gore/Claw) differences for non-BM hunters can be measured in 0.1% ;)

Hunter pets in PvP have 0 resilience and 7-9k HP. 9000 armor. And that equals 2-3 seconds of focus fire in 5v5 arena where only viable pet is scorpid.

Beta abilites:

As for oftanking in heroics... Pet is two shotted there if lucky. 0 +Defense/Dodge/Parry. Low hp, low armor (for ot) etc...

Almost everything about pets could be done with training points. So hunter would truly customize his pet for specific job.

+100 defense, +10 dodge/parry, +20% threat, -15% all damage recieved, +200 stamina = 0 points left = tank

+5% damage, +5% crit, +5% hit, -20% threat, +20% focus regen = 0 points left = dps

With such change BM talents could change to be more in line with "KC like spells". Abilities that hunter would use trough his pet.

Maybe this will sound stupid, but Beastmaster Hunter for me is Rexxar. A melee/ramged (laugh) hunter with powerful pet that can be commanded to do specific tasks. Instead Steady Shot beastmaster would "spam" Savage Strike that would be powerful instant pet ability on hunters CD+GDC. Etc.

Anonymous said...

I like the point that warlocks lose more when a pet dies and gain more by the pet being alive, but I think that if they shifted hunters that way it wouldn't be all buffs, they'd have to be weaker than they are now with the pet dead, which I don't think many hunters would want.

Personally, I like using my pets a lot as a lock but I find myself envying hunter pets. They don't have the neat utility of warlock pets, but even a surv/MM pet is miles ahead in survivability unless I'm using a felguard. While the specialized roles for warlock pets seem neat, in practice hunter pets tend to be nearly as good or better than the warlock pet in their speciality, without being poor at everything else.

I suspect that both warlock and hunter pets need better scaling with gear, especially in stats that were added in after release to fix design oversights, like hit or crit rating.