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.
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.
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.
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’?