A few weeks ago, I read BRK's blog for the first time, and heard about Chain Trapping for the first time. Up to that point, I had only really used my freezer trap as a tool to allow me and Teddy to take on 2 mobs at a time, or 3 if we attack 1, Teddy tanks another, and I freeze the third. And I'd have to burn down one of the mobs fast enough so that when the frozen turkey thawed out, then Teddy could grab aggro on him and then keep tanking.
So I was intrigued by the clever use of the various cooldown timers for the traps, and how awareness of the interactions of the timers could allow a Hunter to keep a mob frozen for more than just one trap cycle. Hmmm. Me Likey!
That night after reading about chain trapping, I went to Arathi Highlands (my favorite sandbox for playing with new tricks) to try it out. A bit of fumbling while I tried to engage a single raptor and chain trap him around for a little while. Pretty easy to get the hang of how it works, especially when only worrying about me and 1 mob. Then I cranked up the voltage a bit and grabbed aggro on 2 raptors, with the intent to chain trap 1 while burning down the other 1. Of course, I was pretty over powered for Arathi at that point, so the second raptor would be dead before one cycle of the trap expired. Not a really good test, but I figured I had the basic concept down.
Then fast forward a few weeks, with little chain trapping practice in between. Me and 4 guildies are in Zul'Faraak. We've got our usual 2 rogues, a pally, a pretty under-lvl warlock, and me, the beast master. I often dislike having 40% of my party being rogues, what with their natural tendancy to backstab. Well, actually, its their natural tendancy to go berzerk with the DPS, draw aggro, then complain at how weak their leather armor is. BUT, the nice part of the rogues is their sap ability. This only works on humanoids, and ZF is full of those.
Lots of 3-pulls, so sap 2 of them, hunter pulls the third one. We pretty much burn them into the ground with not too much problem.
When we got to a part that has a 4 pull, I mention that I can freeze one, rather than our usual sap 2 then have rogues tank 1 while we burn 1.
The group seems accepting of this. I'm not thinking chain trap yet, just single trap because with a 4 pull and 2 sapped, we can burn 1 faster than 1 freezer trap cycle.
It was fun getting the team to work with my freezer, because they had to let me fire a shot to pull the 1 I wanted to freeze, which even with an Arcane Shot Rank 1, would still pull aggro on the 2 non-sapped mobs. My teammates would have to let me pull both, but then jump on the 1 we didnt want frozen to pull aggro off of me. A few boo-boos but we got the hang of it. For instance, one time we designated a caster as the frozen guy, but he just stood there and shot ranged spells at me. Luckily Teddy's a trooper, so he off tanked for us in that situation. So the team lead (target designator) switched to letting me select the frozen mob with my hunter's mark while he would indicate sap 1 and sap 2 and kill via lucky charms. This let me examine the targets and then select a melee mob who would be nice and cooperative and run into my trap.
Lots of fun, and some decent results in ZF with this move.
Then the true glory....
After we beat ZF and all of us got the Carrot on the Stick quest objective complete (and I also had 5 other quests complete, w00t), we took a jog over to the Temple of Atal'Hakkar, or Sunken Temple.
Well, what do you know? No humaniods! And we've never done any real teamwork on letting our Paladin play tank, because both of our rogues go nuclear as fast as possible. So we're left with a dungeon full of multi-pulls of non-humanoids. Sap don't work in here, buddy. Luckily our local Hunter has done his homework and knows just a drop about chain trapping.
I spent a little while explaining the concept (which was annoying via text because I'm the only 1 without a mic. Perhaps a stop at Best Buy on the way home from work is in order today). Then I ask them to clear away from me, and also I show them where I want them to stay clear of because I'm going to chain trap him over there.
First time through, as soon as my guy thawed, someone chased him down and the second he stepped into my second trap, bam-o, broken trap and we burn him down. Ok, I explain again the concept, and the trap breaker says "oh yeah".
Next pull, I drop my trap, wait for a bit of cooldown, pull the first guy, freeze him, then trot over to the chain trapping spot and switch to our DPS kill target and help burn the first one down. The turkey thaws and comes at me, and I drop my drap and freeze him, and run back to the original spot and resume DPS.
The turkey thaws a second time, and then I realize I made a mistake because I have no trap available yet. I call Teddy off of his DPS target, which actually messes things up because he's got aggro on 3 mobs because I left Growl on and my rogue buddies can't out-threat my lovely bear.
We recover and beat all these guys, and then I do some internal reflection. Stupid trap worked fine for the first and second freeze, but the third freeze on the turkey, my trap wasn't ready. Ahhhh, I see. On the second freeze, I waited for the mob to be on top of me before I dropped the trap. I should have dropped it the moment I got to my spot, so then the cooldown would begin for the next trap. I could have had 10 seconds to play with if I did it right.
Next pull....golden. I trapped him 1, 2, then 3 times while all other DPS was slaughtering other stuff. Then only the turkey is still standing and all the party turns on him.
Sweet, our little hunter in her subdued armor and weak little sword (which gives me a big +agi boost, and i never melee, so phoey on them) and silly lack of aimed shot....yeah, well she just effectively removed a mob from the fight and allowed us to attack him at the time and place of our choosing. Pretty handy to have around. Plus, she kept up the DPS at the same time because all her items provide a bonus to +agi or RAP, leading the Damage Meter, even ahead of a Rogue 2 lvls higher. Add to that the fact that I supplied the Tank, and you've got me feeling pretty satisfied with the evening (well, actually morning by that time, but who's looking at the clock).
Definitely had a few slip ups where I messed up by pulling the wrong mob, or letting the wrong mob hit the trap first, or accidentally breaking my own trap, or accidentally leaving Teddy on defensive mode and having him break my trap, or forgetting to mend pet and allowing Teddy to die (poor fella, happened way too many times), or having absolutely no contingency plan for when my trap was resisted (talk about a chicken with its head cut off). On and on with my own personal contributions to the chaos and sloppiness.
BUT my team did a really good job of adjusting to the technique and learning to work with me. So a nice shoutout to them for that.
In general, I totally loved managing all the details of target selection, trap location selection, trap cooldown timer coordination, DPS via the gun, DPS via the pet, mend pet, and on and on. Really quite fun stuff.