Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.
Once upon a time, there was a comedian who did a bit about Troy Aikman. Mr. Aikman is a famous, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback who was forced to retire due to receiving multiple concussions over his career. The joke went like this:
"Troy, you've been a Super Bowl MVP and are one of the greatest quarterbacks of the 20th century. How do you feel having to retire after receiving your 10th concussion, and how has that incredible series of blows affected your brain?"
"Ummmm... I like... pudding!"
How is this pertinent to WotLK and hunters? Well, the new 51st talent point in the beta of the Beastmaster tree is named Beast Mastery. As written, it's kind of obscure, a little open-ended, and the programmers don't seem to have a clue what it could really mean:
"We're still working on implementing this particular talent. The talent will allow you to train a different "class" of pets which we're calling "exotic" right now. Only hunters with this talent will be able to train those pets. They won't necessarily be "stronger" (though will all have unique abilities that you can only get from exotic pets), the extra power you should get from the talent will be from the additional pet skill points (pet talent points).
So when pressed for an answer on the WotLK beta forums for what "exotic" entails, the blue-poster basically said, "Pudding!"
But did you ever have a doubt that BigRedKitty wouldn't know what "exotic" is? We sure hope not! We're totally on the case, ready to spill the beans on "exotic" pets, and announce what you 51/15/5 Beastmaster hunters can expect to find come expansion-time.
Yes sir, the twisted, mutated moles at the BRK Hanky-Panky-Spanky Infiltration and Disinformation Unit are totally on the case, vis à vie "exotic" pets. Many of them died to get this information...
Yup. Since the grand old dame of Stormwind is, in fact, a dragon named Onyxia, she's an "exotic" hunter-pet in the making. You think warlocks have the smexy, female sidekick-mojo all locked up? Wait until you bring this fun girl to your next battleground.
She only has one spell: Dragon-Form. But it really rocks, believe us.
One might think this is an slam-dunk of a hunter pet, but remember that one must tame it without assistance. Just how much health will a hunter have to pack to be able to survive the taming, we're not quite sure. But if you can tame it, for Elune's sake, keep the guy on Passive at all times.
Oh, and his diet is "raiders". Fill out your twenty-five-person raids with at least thirty people; Brut is really naughty if he's not Happy.
Finally, the code-bug we've been surreptitiously trying to get inserted into the WoW-code activates. We anticipated that the hardest part of having a Fel Reaver pet would be his diet, but we were totally wrong. Getting a Fel Reaver into your stable is almost impossible. They hate competition for your love and will happily kill all your other pets instantly.
A level ten hunter runs to Goldshire and tames herself a level one bunny. It morphs to level five, to be five levels below its master.
But at level six, the bunny learns the new pet skill, "Flying Zerg of Death"! Inspired from Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail, hunters with bunny-pets will totally dominate all twink-PvP brackets for the foreseeable future.
All his spells are at your command. You can Innervate on yourself if you want. You can have a real honest-to-Elune bear-form tank. You can even have an Attack-Tree with Aspect of the Pack! Get'em, Attack Tree! Wrroar!
Many people believe this change is just Blizzard's way of fixing a terrible wrong, as some say Druids were never meant to have free will to begin with. But we at BRK Worldwide Amalgamated have a more benevolent, enlightened, and realistic view: Druid as pets just feels good, and if it feels good, do it. Right?
We're down like Blackrock Depths for druids as hunter-pets, foshizzle!
This abomination becomes the first Horde-only hunter pet. However, getting a Stitches does require an effort akin to an Alliance hunter getting a Horde friend to assist with summoning Sian Rotam. It's time to cash in some "you owe me's" for those FTL PvP-pugs you've been helping your Alliance buddies with.
Of course, Stitches has a diet of... well, anything, including gray equipment.
We may not be able to have two pets active at the same time, but a three-headed dog is certainly in the cards. And with three heads, we get three Bite attacks per tick! You've just got to travel to Hades to get one, but that's the only catch.
One of the most aggravating instance-bosses in the game finally gets what's coming to him. Yes, it is totally acceptable to abuse this pet, in fact we'll be shocked if you don't. Let him starve, let his happiness drain away, that's fine with us.
Yes, you can actually tame this infamous World of Warcraft blogger. She's mean, vicious, deadly, just one sweet killing machine. Everything you ever thought you'd want in a hunter-pet, but were afraid to ask.
Her special talent is Critique. If you do something stupid, like tactics, gearing, or even raid composition, she let's you know with extreme prejudice and a kick to the privates. We wince in anticipation!
And finally, Botters
Regardless of level, class, race, or faction, any hunter who approaches an automated farming toon can tame them as a hunter-pet, get access to their gear and bank, shard and sell everything they own, then release them back in to the wild in a place they haven't a chance of surviving.
You're a level 72 Tauren hunter at the Crossroads and find a level 33 Night Elf rogue-bot farming mines. What do you do? Simple! Just "Tame" him, shard his loot, take his gold, release him back into the wild just outside of Black Temple, and then celebrate. How much fun is that gonna be?!
We just hope there's an Achievement for it.