My Thoughts on Hunter Pets

Pets are possibly one of the biggest selling points of the Hunter class to new players. When I first started playing WoW, I was told that Hunters were “kinda like Rogues but they use bows and have pets that you can tame.” My slightly girly, non gamer head went ‘oooh, pets’ and then chose Warlock because they were magic users.. but Hunter was my first alt! I just ended up deleting her because I wasn’t a fan of the female Orc model (this was pre-TBC, no Blood Elves, and I was Horde). Some people like pet classes because you get yourself a little companion that you can fight with, some because of the variety, and some just because they like cute animals.

Stable Slots

Whatever your reason for liking Hunters, you probably like to have several pets in your stable. First pets, flavour pets, useful pets.

My first pet was the polar bear from Dun Morogh when I was level 11. Dan ran me there from the Undercity on his Mage, and on my first attempt I died. I called it Gwynarth (white bear in Welsh, okay, Dan named it, I wanted to call it Pokey) and I loved it, levelled most of the way with it. My next pet was a white stripey cat from Winterspring called Sashi, who was my raiding pet at 70. When WotLK was released, I tamed a Rhino, first thing I did, I loved them to bits, and I called it Steve. Later on, I decided to tame Pitch in Scholazar Basin as my raiding pet, and called him ChairmanMeow. My point? I’ve had to delete every one of those pets to get others. I had to close my eyes when I found Skoll and the only pet left that I could release was Gwynarth, I still feel a little horrid for that! My stable currently has: Wolf, Turtle, Spirit Beast (Skoll), and a pink Dragonhawk. I’m running around with NomNom, the blue rare cat from Winterspring. I wouldn’t have had to if Hunters had more stable slots, which I think would improve the Hunter class without making them overpowered.

Dev Chat

So, the developer chat pops up on Twitter, I’m around so I asked “Are hunters likely to see more stable slots for their pets in the future? With the current variety of pets, the amount they have right now seems too small.” and I was answered!

Arm-waving here, but a model I would love to see is dramatically expanded slots (so you can store all those Spirit Beasts) but have a smaller number of “active” pets, like 3. You could summon an active pet from anywhere in the world, when outside of combat. You would swap a pet from active to the stable at the Stable Masters.

You know, I think I’d be okay with that if it happened. That would mean we could keep the sentimental pets, and just carry around the pets we’re most likely to use.

Variety (or Lack of)

Another thing I think Hunter pets could use is a little rehaul of their abilities perhaps. As it stands, there is a pretty large variety of tameable beasts, and a heck of a lot of those tend to go unused. I like the talents, Cunning/Ferocity/Tenacity, that gives a little choice depending on what you’re doing, but I’m not sure I’m a fan of each beast having a different ability when that leads to there being a clear choice for ‘best raid pet’, ‘best pvp pet’ and so on.

You join a raid or instance or even just wander around a city and any Hunter you see with their pet out will 9 times out of 10 be using the same boring Northrend wolf model, occasionally the demon style wolf from Zul’Drak, which originally was really cool, but these days it’s BLAND. When I raid, I try to min-max a bit, I try to do the best I can do. I like to compete with the other DPS and if I turned around and said “screw this, I’m using a moth tonight” I wouldn’t be able to compete. I would, but I wouldn’t be as successful at it as if I used the ‘best’ raiding pet. I use a wolf when I have to, but I don’t like it. I’d use a cat.

I really think it would be nice to have a little more variety. Yes, make the choice cosmetic, that’s what makes us different. Especially after the Trial patch.. who wouldn’t like that? There would still be some limitations in terms of the spec of your pet for the min-maxers, for example, a bear wouldn’t be a brilliant pve pet, but this would still give a lot more choice! That’s the only thing I can think of that could work, and I’d like it a little more, personally. Can you guys think of any other ideas to give Hunters more pet choice aside from ‘sod the math, use the cat’?

16 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Hunter Pets”

  1. The lack of enough slots has always been an issue for me. Maybe you want to run with a wolf or have an owl by your side instead. I am slowly learning to like the set up for the pets now, with Ferocity and so forth. My big concern is if Blizzard makes the pets into an after thought rather than an important part to the success of a Hunter.
    .-= Torayne´s last blog ..5 Reasons Why We Love RP-PvP Servers =-.

  2. I primarily used to pick the most annoying pets just to be a douche.

    I had the ZG bat purely for the bat boss where I’d Eyes of the Beast it and chase a healer then loudly proclaim on Vent that the tanks can’t hold aggro worth a damn. Sadly that one went to make room for other pets. I never renamed him – he was always bat.

    Currently I’ve got: Spirit Beast, Crab(Sebastien), Wolf (HairyMclairy), Cat (also called ChairmanMeow btw – had him for a long time, he replaced a NE starting area cat called WeeMadKitty) and a Devilsaur who used to be called Gaylord but apparently that’s against the rules so Blizz reset him. I wrote a touching goodbye on my blog :p

    Gaylord was the first time Guildies really warmed to any of my pets besides Bat (my ex gf almost cried when i mentioned I’d dismissed Bat). I still to this day get requests from Guildies to bring him along purely because they remember the exotic patch and the couple months they spent with a giant pink Dino who stomped all over the place. I think it was also the fact he always looked like he was smiling. When he was renamed one of our members even wrote a touching poem to say goodbye.
    .-= echo´s last blog ..Passing Loot =-.

    1. Hahaha, Bat and Gaylord sound like the coolest pets ever :p

      Guildies don’t really warm to pets anymore because .. everybody has a wolf now so what’s the point?

      (Also, Turtle called Turdul, Cat called NomNom, Wolf called Shifter, Dragonhawk called Pokey, and nameless Spirit Beast)

  3. Great post!

    I don’t know about you, but I’m really worried that Blizz might yank or drastically change how pets are in the game.

    With every GC Post, the news seems darker and darker. So anytime I can read about a hunter loving their pets and how it’s a big part of the game to them? The better!

    Keep it up!
    .-= Brigwyn´s last blog ..If you could have any animal as a pet, what pet would you want? =-.

  4. Immediately, upon dinging 60 Chakae left Hellfire to drudge the pit of Ungoro Crater for the horrific Devilsaur. With its black skin and blue little beady eyes, she had no choice but to tame this exotic beast.

    There was a time when she felt a little like Little Foot staring up into the big mouth of the monster…and so when he waved his head in defeat and bowed before her…she named him Sharptooth. For months and months, the two have been together. Sharptooth always taking her heart over Tequila the worm…Scabbers the plagued bear…or Ashes the ghost saber…always Sharptooth. She has even trained him to walk softly with indoor feet!

    Only one obstacle could overcome the Sharptooth in her heart…the King (Krush)!

    ((PS. I was really fond of naming my worm Tequila. It has a funny letter because it said the name was reserved but it is my favorite name above all else heheheheheheheh))
    .-= Tarinae´s last blog ..3.3.3 Addendum =-.

  5. The thing i enjoy most about hunters, ur never lonely in game. I’ve put many hours into getting the pets i wanted and whether you like it or not attachments form. Thats why i find it so hard to dismiss a good pet.. i’d happily pay good money for more stable slots, fingers crossed. The oldest pet in my stable is my ghost saber Maebea. I’m horde and solo’d the whole expedition to get her when i was at level 21.. proudest moment of my hunters life :) The 1 pet i could never never never dismiss
    .-= wasmemon´s last blog ..The Sounds of War…Craft =-.

  6. My first (and up until a couple of months ago, only) toon was a Hunter, made when I started playing around November of ’07. I’m a pet person in real life, so after reading the manual’s description the classes, the Hunter stood right out and was an obvious choice for me.

    And to further the stereotype, he’s a Night Elf. Not because I wanted to be Legolas or anything; it was just that the whole “one with nature” thing that fantasy Elves typically have seemed to go hand-in-hand with the ability to tame wild beasts and have them fight at your side.

    The idea of having “active pets” sounds like a good one to me. My Stable is filled up, and while there are a few pet families that I’d absolutely love to try, I can’t bring myself to get rid of any of the pets that I currently have. I still even have my very first pet; a green spider out of the Night Elf starting zone. I leveled all the way to 70 with him, but I haven’t touched him since before Wrath came out.

    It’s weird how one can get attached to virtual pets like that. It’s hardest for me if I’ve named them or done a lot of things with them. For example, I have a cat that I used back in my Kara days. This was way before low-level pets auto-leveled to five levels below you when tamed, so it’s one of the generic brown cats out of Netherstorm, only because those were the only level 70 cats I could tame. I like leveling pets, so I could easily dump him and get another skin, but after doing so much with him, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    So yes, a few extra slots would be nice. If anything, it’d let me try out a turtle for my soloing…

  7. I started this as a rant about too many Blood Elves and that Orcs are cool (and then made a post myself), but the point I actually wanted to add was that I agree that “many stabled pets” is the way to go, as I’m absolutely not inclined to ditch the Raptor that was tamed in 2005 and helped me level to 70 just because Wolves are better now.

    When I started WoW, I think it went in this order:
    Orc Rogue to 6 (friend’s account, deleted)
    Human Warlock to ~25 (friend’s account, deleted)
    Orc Rogue to 20 (own account, now 60-80 main)
    Dwarf Hunter to 15 (own account, deleted)

    So yes, pet classes are very nice, my DK is also Unholy and very much enjoying his perma-Ghoul
    .-= Armagon´s last blog ..Whiny Post Day: Living in the past =-.

  8. Here’s the thought that’s. Been bouncing around my head for a while on this, because I totally agree with your assessment of the problem. I think they should equalize the dos that the base pet does, and have further differentiation come from pet talents. In addition, each beast type should have a utility ability that is specifically meant to cover some of the utility brought by another class. This makes pets a more meaningful contributor, especially in 5 or 10 man groups.

    In addition, I really do think that exotic pets should be notably better than their mundane counterparts. It just makes sense, and it would only strengthen BM hunters, which could really use a boost, anyways.
    .-= Razorstorm ´s last blog ..The Fall of the Baroness =-.

    1. Yes! That’s an excellent idea. The utility would have to be slightly less than a player of the class the debuff/buff would be representing otherwise you could just bring a bunch of Hunters instead, and it would still lead to some pets being much better than others, but at least the lesser used pets would be useful.

      Also, I agree on exotic pets, as long as it didn’t bring back BM as the only really worthwhile spec for doing as much DPS as you possibly can. It does need a buff, but something to put it on par with MM and Surv. Though mind you, if I could raid with a Core Hound I don’t think I’d mind being BM!

  9. Yes! Gah, one of the biggest dissapointments of going back to my hunter after a long while where he was gathering dust a shelf, was discovering that wolves were pretty much the only viable raiding pet.

    I miss the days of ZG bats with silly attack speed.
    .-= Ercles´s last blog ..Oh Shamalama-Ding-Dong =-.

    1. Originally, I was quite happy with the change. I’d heard about how awesome wolves were on the beta and I’d been looking forward to playing with something new, and the Northrend model, at first, did look quite cool.

      Though, at least at the start of Wrath we had Scorpids, Devilsaurs, Raptors, Cats.. that was nice! There was variety! BM Hunters had Devilsaurs to make them stand out a bit, but now “nope, wolf.”

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