Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Free Range Pets

I've often heard mention of the intimate bond between Hunter and Pet and the seamless union of souls where the pet becomes an extension of the very fingers of the hunter.

As such, its often recommended that a Hunter keep their pet on passive. Doing so leaves the Hunter in supreme control of each and every action, save for the focus-consuming attacks that are left on auto cast.

The latest installation of that philosophy was put up recently by Pike. The article offers excellent advice with some basic instructions that Hunters, new or veteran, can benefit from. Go, go. Read, read.

For instances and raids, no doubt. Passive is King. Last thing I want to do is have my pet off and doing its own thing, pulling the entire room of dancers before Moroes' dinner party. Not that that's ever happened :-P

But, do you really want to be an oppressive overlord? Do you want to crush your pet's sense of style and independence? Do you want to hurt your pet's pride by constantly micromanaging her every move like Mother Hen?

In a raid setting, sorry Condoleezza, but you're gonna have to listen to what I tell you.

But...a Ravager's got to spread her pinchers and fly. She needs to roll around and feel the soft grass of freedom on her carapace.

If I'm constantly ordering her around, not only does it tire me out, but it downright makes her cranky.

And its actually more productive for combat to let her call the shots from time to time.

For example.....

I'm a skinner. Nagrand is chock full of skinnables. Just to the east of the Spirit Fields is a little meadowy slope where packs Clefthoofs roam, usually 7 or 8 individuals in each pack. A daddy, a couple of mommies, and a couple of babies. Its good to be a Clefthoof Bull.

Until Condie gets her chance to play.

Having no AoE to write home about, a Hunter is faced with needing to be innovative if he wants to make quick work of these walking leather dispensers.

So, I set Condoleezza on defensive, and send her in to attack the Bull. Once Growl is about to fire again, I kindly ask her to consider attacking one of the neutral Clefthooves, and Growl it. Now two mobs are securely aggroed onto her, with one Growl each.

While this is going on, I also go ahead and cast Misdirect onto her. And I take my time, firing one shot at each of three other neutral Clefthoofs. I don't use Multi-shot, because that might hit one of the two mobs already in combat, and I'm going for AoE-like effect here. She's now got 5 mobs securely on her.

And they're on her securely enough that a Mend Pet ain't gonna pull aggro off of her.

For fun and maximum skinning efficiency, I usually drop a freezer and pull another neutral one over to me. Or if the remaining neutral Clefthoovi haven't walked too far away, and I've crit-ed during the misdirection which means she'll have enough focus for another Growl, I'll gently nudge her in the direction of another mob.

From there, the rest is up to Condoleezza.

I now just keep Mend Pet up, and assist my pet. I've got my assist pet command mapped to F1 and just spam away at that one and follow her kill order.

As each one burns down, she kindly picks another. I check Omen to make sure she's got enough threat for me to open up, and badda bing, badda boom, 6 or 7 dead Clefthoofs in 40 seconds or so, with minimal tap dancing or scrambling or kiting or much fuss at all.

Double bonus points if you immediately switch over to another pack of Clefters that cross paths with the one you're killing. And Triple bonus for when the third pack intersects. That's insane. It takes longer to loot and skin them all than it does to kill them. Although the misdirection cooldown kinda interferes with this one.

Granted, this technique depends greatly upon your armor/stamina so the pet can take all this damage. Plus it depends upon your combined firepower to burn down the mobs.

But if you're looking to complete the daily gathering quest nice and quick, AND you're not on Terokkar server (keep your carapaci off my Clefthooves), go give it a whirl. The best part is, they're all neutral, so you get to choose how many mobs you engage, and can tweak the numbers to suit your armor/stamina/dps.

Make sure your pet gets ample cuddle time after putting in such an admirable job of taking all those hits, and also feeling free to dictate her own kill order for masses quantities of mobs.

Oh, and watch out for Durn. He likes to walk by during the madness, but I find his aggro range is kinda messed up, as I've actually had him walk directly over me without entering combat.


Pike said...

Heh, I do that a lot, actually-- have my pets grab aggro on a couple different things. On Passive though-- cause I've seen things go wrong with it on Defensive :( Maybe I'm just unlucky.

Valdesta said...

Yay! I'm going to have a chance to fart around like this again!

I've missed just being off by myself and challenging myself in the solo-player way, and I look forward to re-spec'ing out of a raid spec on my Hunter and playing for the sheer joy of a Hunter.

Other'n skins and meat, what kind of good stuff (recipes?) have dropped from the clefthoof when you farm 'em? :)

WoWGrrl's player blog

Valdesta said...

Thank you for your note on my blog, btw!

I found being in the raiding guild fun in some ways but blog-writing-blocking in others. So much easier to write about strangers because I know they won't likely find my writings about them, and if they do, it's easy to point out that I am not making a judgement of them as people, just relating an experience in a public but largely anonymous forum.

I'm looking forward to the free time - I just got back from a family wedding and had time away to think about what I WANT out of this gaming experience (especially as summer nears and it's oh so nice out), and now I've reset my direction. In time I'll write about some of the thought processes behind it but right now I just feel like laying low and making some fun videos :)

I'll link 'em on the site soon.

Valdesta / WoWGrrl
My Player blog with tips and tricks

MW said...

Yay, someone else who keeps pets on defensive!

It works pretty well in PVP, too — usually my cat gets hit with an AOE pretty quickly upon entering the fray, so if there are a ton of enemy players around, I can let her go to town and focus my fire where I want to. All I have to do is keep her off of other pets or demons and keep her healed, and pull her back temporarily if she's getting hit too hard and too often. Not what I'd do in a small-scale battle, but nice when it seems like all 40 Horde players meet up with all 40 Alliance players in AV.

Of course, I have yet to hit 70 — there might be ways to screw up that I haven't found yet.

C. said...

I'm a bad, bad hunter.

My pet is usually on Defensive when I'm soloing, Defensive in special instances in raids and dungeons (using the defensive/passive toggle to send them back to a place I've asked them to stay is great on some fights, like Lurker), and Aggressive in PvP, because an Aggressive pet has a bigger detection radius for stealthed people than I do. Not that I don't usually use passive for instances (which I do), but I tend to be a proponent of using defensive when it's safe to do so, because the pet AI is not as wonky as most people assume it is.

Although there's one pull in Shattered Halls where a defensive pet will inevitably get itself killed, but. That's more the exception than the rule.

Also, re> your clefthoof farming technique: Did you know that they didn't "fix" the aggro assignment from a misdirected volley? And that volley still doesn't consume charges of misdirection? I typically send my dragonhawk after the bull, then Volley the entire herd onto her, hit Bestial Wrath (to avoid the hoof stomp stun), run through the middle of the herd, drop an explosive trap (which consumes the charges of misdirection), and go to town while my 'hawk picks her targets.

It's awesome fun. :D