So, we theorized about talented pets a bit quite a few installments of Scattered Shots ago, but now we have the actual trees live and testable on the Wrath Beta, and they seem to be firming up nicely. There's a few promised changes yet to come, such as the removal or lowering of focus costs on many major abilities and talents, and it's still very possible that Blizzard may make changes here and there before live, but I think they're solid enough at this point that we can look at each tree and make some solid predictions about how people will use them and how various talent builds might look.
Posts with tag carrion-bird
You may recall a few days back that we told you about new stable slots coming with Wrath of the Lich King. It looks like Blizzard wasn't just whistling dixie, because they're in. When I was switching from my level 65 devilsaur to my beefier level 70 dire raven for a Nexus run over on the Beta server, I noticed that the stable boy was offering me two more stable slots!
The stables slots costs 50 gold for the third one, and 150 gold for the fourth one, giving you a total of 4 slots. This means you have room for one pet from each talent tree, plus a spot for a specialized pet (such as a scorpid for PvP) or an exotic pet (and yes, devilsaurs will be exotic only) or two.
Combine this with the abolishing of the need to tame pets simply to learn skills and auto leveling, and it continues to look like pet management should be easier, funner, and more efficient in Wrath.
You hear it pretty much all the time if you've ever slightly dipped into the world of Hunters. If you want to play in the big leagues, conventional wisdom says you're pretty much stuck with a select handful of pet types (also known as pet families): Ravagers, Cats, and Raptors for PvE, Scorpids for PvP.
But do you know why those pet families are so desired? What it really comes down to is Hunter roles and abilities.
So Growl has been having some problems since 2.4 went live. Pets refuse to cast it in the right order, which is wreaking havoc with Hunter aggro, especially on boar pets, who depend on a Charge/Growl combination to gain their fabled massive aggro. I myself have noticed that I have a lot harder time keeping aggro from my beloved boar Bonnie when I solo on my Hunter. So now on the PTR, we have some new lines in the latest update of the patch notes:
• Boar Charge: This ability will no longer make Growl cast immediately after it generates excessive threat.
• The pet ability Growl will no longer scale with pet Attack Power.
It should also be noted that Nethaera has said that Growl will now scale with Hunter AP instead of Pet AP, so there's no fear that it's become a non-scaling flat skill.
Now, this all sounds somewhat ominous, but what does it actually mean?
While looking over the new "fake" pet skills page at Petopia earlier today, one of the biggest things that struck me is that the whole Thorns skill that the temporary Crab pets get for the lowbie Hunter taming quests would be a great thing for normal Crab pets to get. Right now, They're stuck learning nothing but Claw, placing them right near the bottom of the pet pantheon - very close to Sporebats, who can't learn any special abilities at all.
My two high level Hunters tamed a Carrion Bird and a Boar, respectively, so I'm lucky enough to have a good selection of skills to use, but I think there should be more options for people who love their offbeat pets like Sporebats or Hyenas or Crocs. They can even use some of the old rumored alpha skills for pets that popped up around the time of Burning Crusade's alpha. I'm hoping that Blizzard shows more types of Hunter pets some love in WoTLK with a wide selection of new skills, be it thorny shells for Crabs, a Cannibalism-type skills for Raptors, or anything else that lets us see Hunters fighting alongside fewer Cats and Ravagers (or in the case of arenas, Scorpids).
What do you think? Should Blizzard focus a bit more on a wider variety of options for Hunter pets? Or should Hunters just take what they can get and be grateful for it? If the former, what types of new pet skills would you like to see?