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..