Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Three Situations Where Your Pet Needs Some TLC

Hunters. Pets. We go together like the horse and carriage, or peanuts and butter, or twig and berries.

The harmonious union of Beast Master Hunter and our Pets is a sight to behold, and the damage delivery potential is cause for endless OP, nerf them, u r hax comments.

However, its not always so pretty. Having to partially manage an NPC in addition to doing all your own personal lovely DPS stuffy stuff, and rely upon the Blizzard Pet AI to do the rest, doesn't always work out the way we want it to.

Lets take a look at some examples in WotLK raiding where your pets make your life a little more difficult.

Naxxramas - Thaddius

Some people call it the Leap Boss or Jump Boss.

You start off the fight by splitting up your raid in half. There are two adds that must be killed within a few seconds of eachother like Romeo and Juliet. However, unlike R&J, they're separated by a large distance, so you need to relatively evenly distribute your DPS to kill them via two distinct efforts.

Once the adds are dead, you need to run and then JUMP off the platform. If you just run and DONT jump, you fall into the sludge and die and become the target of mockery.

Any hunters out there can tell you how much fun it is jumping off of platforms with your pet. Sometimes the pet just nicely follows you, and other times, the pathing AI decides to run half way around Azeroth, aggroing every single mob along the way. And still other times, they just get stuck and do nothing.

In this scenario, me and Brass discussed it and figured that we'd jump, our pets would stay stuck up on the platform and then there'd be enough distance that our pets would dismiss automatically. Then just blow the whistle after you land and viola, your pet is there, ready to do combat with Thaddius himself.

Yeah....no. For Brass, it worked perfectly. Not so much for me. I jump, my pet stays active and remains up on the platform. She can't come down because the AI can't find a path to run to get down. And she's up on a platform and too far away for me to cast Dismiss.

And the Thaddius fight does not allow you any spare seconds to cast Eyes of the Beast and make your pet jump manually. You're constantly mobile in reaction to polarity shifts, so you can't waste any time fiddling with your pet.

So new rule...Dismiss your pet before you jump. The 5 second cast time feels like an eternity, and leaves you with only about 1 or 2 seconds to spare when you get down to Thaddius's platform, but the 30% of your DPS that you get from your pet is worth those few seconds of stress.

Archavon

In Wintergrasp, there's a quickie 25-person single boss, minimal trash, raid called Archavon.

When you get up to the final encounter, you're in a hallway entering the boss's circular-ish room. There's a few steps down to the boss area. As you enter from the hallway, the top of the first step is actually a tiny smidge raised above the level of the hallway you're in.

Apparently that tiny smidge is just enough to make your pet get stuck.

Raid runs in to start the fight, my pet gets hung up on some stupid brick in the floor.

This fight does leave you enough time to cast Dismiss, but I got interrupted mid-cast, and then an AoE effect "encouraged" me to move further into the room and away from my pet, so I ended up pouting and saying "F THIS" and just spitefully leaving her stuck there at the top of the steps.

New rule...Dismiss your pet before entering Archavon's room.

Malygos - Vortex

Now they're starting to piss me off with the pet glitches.

About two hours into our Malygos learning night, the Hunters are all discussing things we can do to push through Phase 1 better.

I was feeling that my DPS was a bit lower than I expected for a mostly stand and deliver type of fight. Given the fact that we had sparks on the ground giving +50% or even doubles giving 2x50% bonus to damage, this was peculiar.

So Brass sets to examining the combat logs and figures out that our pets are not doing much damage after the first Vortex.

And so with a keen eye open during the next attempt, sure enough, out pets glitch out during Vortex.

All the raid gets thrown in the air, but the pets dont. When we land and run to the pre-arranged rendezvous point, our pets just kinda stand there in position like deaf dumb blind drunk idiots (*). Not really doing anything. If Maly happens to be in range, the pets do some melee, but not really like normal. When Maly moves, they just stand there doing nothing.

It even got worse. The normal pet AI, when functional, makes your pets shuffle to to the rear of a mob if they don't have aggro. Very nice for avoiding frontal cleaves or other such nastiness.

But in this case, my pet was Forrest Gumping it up, standing there wondering about boxes of chocolates or shrimpin or something, and she ended up in front of the boss. She attracted some bad breath effect which then nailed a player next to her, which was the wrong player that our raid wasn't expecting to need to absorb the breath. Wipe City, population us, with Mayor Vespa the Kitty holding a tea party at Town Hall.

For the attempts that my pet was glitching and not attacking after the first Vortex, my overall DPS was roughly 2300-2400. When I started recalling after vortex, went up to about 3000, which makes pretty good sense given the normal ~30% DPS you get from your pet.

New rule...recall your pet after each and every Vortex. She'll actually port to your side, not even run, that's how glitched up it is. And then you can send her back into battle.



Bottom Line

A Beast Master's pet brings about 30% of her total damage output.

When its clicking, its a sight to behold.

When it glitches up, its fodder for a blog post.



(*) I'm in no way shape or form trying to insinuate that either deaf, dumb, blind, or drunk people are necessarily idiots. In fact, quite a few amazingly bright, fun, productive people have a combination of one or more of those conditions and demonstrate no measurable level of idiocy. However, if you (a) happen to have all four conditions AND (b) happen to also be an idiot, well, you can just imagine what it'd be like to raid with this person.

1 comment:

Brajana said...

Yay!

This is something I always look for when I'm reading guides about raid bosses, but it's rare they will mention what to do with a pet. I don't want to wipe the raid, so I'd like to know before hand what is going to affect my pet. Like Lurker - some hunters don't know to keep their pet stayed on the inner ring. They don't know that pets aren't affected by any of the aoe moves he does.

Thanks for this :) When I get to these raids I'll be sure to watch out!