A new server was released earlier this week, and life on Cairne is fresh and unknown. It is amazing not to see any level 70's running around. When most of the population is below level 20, it is really odd actually having to find groups for Dead Mines instead of just having a 70 friend run you through.
As I said on the WoW Insider Show last week, I do have a little green hunter who's 70 and plays in groups with my friends often enough. She's not very powerful, and probably never will be. My warrior and warlock take up most of my end game time, and that's okay. So in hopes that I might convince myself to play a hunter more, I've decided to roll yet another alt on the new server and see where things take me. I really enjoy classes that have pets, so I made another hunter. She's now level 17 after a few hours of play.
One of the first choices I had to make was what kind of pet to get. I used Petopia to browse some of my options, and to make sure that my preconceived notion of a bear was the right answer. It was. With my other hunter, I leveled from 10 to 70 using a cat. Nothing wrong with that, he just wasn't as good at tanking as my bear is turning out to be.
As I play a prot warrior for my main, I find that having a suitable tank for most situations really makes the game easier. This might just be my play style. So my bear and I are trekking along through the content right now, enjoying the old sights again, and meeting some new people.
What makes my bear so great? A few things. First, he's got a lot of HP. Right now around 400. That's a lot for such a low level, and thanks to a few nifty macros I've made (in particular /petattack) he can tank multiple mobs as fast as I can target them and issue commands. A pack of five defias bandits got you down? No worries, my pet can hold their attention long enough. He gets quite a nice HP boost from his natural 8% buff, and another 10% from my Endurance Training talent.
Another thing that helps my bear's survivability is the +5% armor he receives. This effect is less noticeable, but results in 3% to 4% less damage taken by the pet for every hit (because of the almost linear, but not quite linear, results of armor at low levels). When taking more than two mobs at once, this effect can be nicely seen. In fact, I originally had chosen a wolf as a pet; but he didn't do nearly as good as my bear does at multi-mob tanking.
It's nice to keep up the bears threat, and I usually let him have some alone time with the mob I'm about to attack for at least 5 seconds. After that I throw on a Mend Pet and let my DPS take the mob down. Pretty nice.
What tips might you have for a young hunter out exploring the world? While this will be my second hunter I've leveled, I'm sure there are a few tricks I can use along the way to make things easier this time around. In fact things like the pet attack macro have already helped a lot.