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Pets Scaling in Wrath: Hit percentage is in, resilience and xp bonuses are out

A while back, class designer Koraa told Warlocks that their pets would be getting their master's hit percentage. Today, he confirmed the same for Hunter pets. This should definitely be a godsend for raid level DPSers of both classes. Conventional wisdom is that reaching your personal hit cap is pretty much the single best way to increase your personal DPS total, and being able to do the same for pets should only provide a noticable increase to DPS, as well as keep any special buffs or debuffs said pets apply coming in with a minimum of interruption.

Unfortunately, something else Koraa said on the same post is a little less exciting -- resilience is nowhere on the table for being shared. They believe that they currently have the right amount of survivability for pets. In a group situation, you or your group should be healing the pet, and in Arena play, any time spent killing the pet provides a benefit in the form "crowd control" while the DPS is focus firing your pet.

Unfortunately, as the player of a level 70 Hunter and Warlock who have both seen extensive 2v2 Arena play, I'm not sure it's that simple.

To start with, the idea of focus firing the pet being considered crowd control is a bit ludicrous. They die very quickly -- less than 5 seconds, easily -- to someone in any decent level of DPS gear, say Season 3 level or so. Then in the meantime, the Hunter or Warlock is deprived of a large part of their DPS, utility, and survivability unless they take the time out to "crowd control" themselves by trying to revive their pet.

In addition, If my 2v2 partner is being stunlocked by a Rogue, I don't consider the Rogue crowd controlled. I consider him killing my partner and my chances at winning the match. It's essentially the same thing when he kills my pet. That pet is my partner in a very real way. He's an integral part of my class. Consider if Counterspell could remove a spell from a caster's lineup for the duration of the Arena battle and you might start to get a feel for what killing my pet does for me in the Arenas.

Beta tester Bibdy put forth another good analogy in that vein. Consider your pet to be a player with 0 resilience and 7000 hp. Back around Arena Season 1, before resilience ruled and Arena gear got incredibly overpowered, pets still had enough toughness to weather your basic PvP players' attacks.

However, as the seasons wore on, gear got more and more powerful to deal with higher resilience -- bu the resilience of pets stayed 0, and their armor and HP has barely budged upward. Consider a pet like a fresh level 70 PvP newbie who hasn't even purchased the reputation PvP gear, and you may have an idea of how weak pets really are.

I will continue to disagree with Koraa. A pet truly is a large part of the utility for both the Warlock and Hunter classes when properly used. To say that a pet that can currently be killed in a few seconds by anyone in good DPS gear is survivable enough seems to fly in the face of all conventional wisdom.

If not more resilience or other forms of scaling survivability, we at least need to some way to quickly recall or dismiss our pets to save them from a focus fire (Simply setting them passive doesn't really work, especially if they're already snared, Mend Pet just doesn't heal quickly enough, and Health Funnel harms the Walock too much). If not, we will continue to be irreparably hobbled in Arenas.

Oh, and speaking of pet woes, Mania's also reporting that Pets won't benefit from the Recruit-a-Friend XP bonuses, which means you'll either have to tame a new pet every few levels or level with an underpowered pet and spend a lot of extra time grinding green mobs to level your pet once your leveling's done.

Here's hoping Blizzard shows some pets some love somewhere on these issues. Despite some of the great changes for pets in this expansions, there's still some key weaknesses and inconveniences that really do need addressing.

Filed under: Hunter, Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Raiding, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena

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