For this edition of what if I want to delve into some hunter specific what ifs. Namely our pets and what if they were more useful than they already are. With 20 new slots to keep out furry, feathered, and fluffy friends coming in patch 5.3 maybe it is time for our pets to do more as well, being we can have more of them.
What if Pets could heal?
I don't see why an AI can not be added to have pets heal. There is already a very good AI in the game for smart heals. While smart heals will not save a tank when they are about to go down and can not hit a major healing cooldown on their own they can surely heal the person that most needs healing at any given moment.
That would be the perfect AI for a pet healer. Just like the pet damage dealer is not the best damage dealer all on its own, but it is good at it, and just like the pet tank is not the best tank, but it has its moments when it could rock it, like solo tanking Sindragosa while it was current content. Why not have a pet healer that just casts heals on the player most in need?
The pet healer could have three heals that it rotates and casts based on the AI that is written for it. It would work on energy just like they do now, and cooldowns. A standard heal, a big heal and an AoE HoT on a one minute cooldown.
The pet healer would never be able to replace a healer, not in a million years, but it could work nicely for some fights I am sure. Sort of like for those two and half healer fights. Or how about those dungeons when the healer goes AFK. There is really not that much damage going out, all you would need is a little patch work healing, have a hunter switch to a healer pet and roll with it, no healer needed any more for a 5 man with a decent group otherwise.
Would people use the pet healer in some way if there were such a thing as a pet healer?
What if the pet healer worked like the disc priest. All the damage it does bounces exactly like atonement heals do. That might even be better pet healing design. What if indeed.
What if your Pet tank could gain vengeance?
Could you imagine the doors this would open to soloing if your pet tank benefited from vengeance. It would basically remove the DPS loss from running with a tenacity speced pet when the pet is actually tanking. Imagine even further in our what if scenario that the vengeance scaled on raw damage and did not count that the pet only takes 10% damage from AoE based spells. The vengeance a pet would gain could be insane. You would see pet tanks doing 200K+ DPS on certain solo fights we currently use it on.
And would that make pets in tenacity spec the choice of PvPers? Could it replace a cunning pet because it would take away the easy to kill aspect as soon as someone started to beat on it and it started to beat on them even more. Perhaps it might make people think twice about attacking the pet unless they know it is 100% out of the line of sight for heals because the more they beat on the pet, the more the pet beats on them. Land a few good hits on the pet and that next kill command might hit you for 400K thanks to vengeance.
Oh the possibilities of how great it would be if a pet in tank spec gained vengeance. What if indeed.
What if you could merge with your Pets?
One of my favorite ideas that I posted some years back was a new hunter ability called "One with the Beast" where the hunter would become the pet he controlled. What if we could do that and the pet we became had more abilities than it would normally have when we were at one with the beast.
A tank pet would have all real tanking abilities, cooldowns, self heals and stuff like the previously mentioned vengeance. The ferocity pet would have more damage dealing abilities and cooldowns and do a rotation as if they were a hunter, but within range of course. With energy burning abilities, energy generating abilities, and need to keep DoTs up on the mob. A cunning pet would have all the abilities to control, and of course do damage, but their real strength would be in their control.
Make it so that each hunter merge gave something specific to the team, something they do not already have, while bringing along what a group has always been used to having, that awesome hunter damage.
The tank pet would bring a 30 second cooldown that would share their 90% immunity to all AoE damage the raid or party for 6 seconds. The damage dealing pet would have a focus fire type ability that when five stacked would fire off a 10 second 20% haste buff to the entire raid or party. The cunning pet would become the master of all control having three separate interrupts and three separate stuns, all on 10 second cooldowns, along with a slew of snares and slows, meaning that if a mob was susceptible to stuns, you could effectively lock down a mob for 6 out of every 10 seconds, at the sacrifice to DPS by doing so of course.
What if that healing pet ability was put in and there would be a healer one as well with more healing abilities so when you were at one with the healing beast you would be a fully functional healer. A hunter could really fill any role in the game just by being one with the beast. Hunters are already pretty awesome in what they can do, but what if their pets were that awesome too, what if indeed.
What if there were a barber shop for Pets?
We can transmog our appearance, why not do something for our pets as well. Of course there would need to be some restrictions on what colors you can change your pet, to keep some unique skins in the game and all and to make sure the spirit look was only for spirit animals. Also, lets face me, fluffy (see above) would not really be that intimidating in pink. And I think making him have a pink skin might be akin to animal abuse.
Otherwise, wouldn't it be nice to be able to make fluffy black or grey or even white. Now that would be cool. I am sure there could be various degrees of color changes they could offer us hunters and while it would become an unfair gold sink that only we had to pay if we wanted, it would only be if we wanted. I am sure having the option to change the appearance of mans best friend a little more to our liking would be worth a few coins.
And for those people that are transmog fanatics they would get the added effect of having a pet that matched their armor at all times. If everyone else can transmog their weapons, why can hunters only transmog one of our weapons, the ranged one. Why not allow hunters to transmog, so to speak, their other weapon, their pet. Just no pink fluffy for me. He would never forgive me if I did that to him. But I could see having a fox with a cute bow in its hair. I am sure that would go over really well with many of those pet people out there.
Speaking of bows in their hair...
What if we could accessorize our Pets?
Add a bow, add ankle bracelets, add a collar. I am sure my furry friend would not mind getting a new collar, he has been wearing the same one for the better part of 5 years at least. He deserves something better. A nice gold collar, with some kick ass spikes just a little longer, so they dig in on the enemy while he is shaking them left and right.
Could you imagine if we could give our pets some sort of jewelery or body armor or sorts. Sure, there would need to be some limits on the way we could accessorize them. The last thing we need to see is a spider with a giant white top hat running across the battlegound, but outside of the initial laugh we would get it would be rather silly. But King Krush running at you with body armor and spiked bracelets and collar would be downright awesome don't you think?
Blizzard has already shown a desire for inappropriate body armor to be added to the game, just check out the boomkins cod piece and tell me if you have ever seen anything worse in the history of wow. The only thing that could have made that appearing more disturbing is if they gave everyones favorite feathered superstar a brasserie to match, for the female feathered ones at least. Makes me shutter just thinking about that.
With that said, if a boomkin can wear a cod piece I see nothing wrong with my direhorn wearing a few pieces of well placed body armor to look more bad ass than he already looks. White direhorn for me baby. I would add some completely black, trimmed with silver, body armor to that bad boy and get killing.
What if we could mount our Pets?
No, not that way you sick person. Now go clean your mind off and come back to finish, I'll wait.
Better now? Okay, lets get on with this what if.
Outside of the fact that the entire warcraft community would scream bloody murder if hunters had the slew of unique mounts that no other class could get it would be something that seems fitting. Why wouldn't a hunter be able to mount their pet.
I can ride a turtle that looks just like my turtle, so why not my turtle itself? I can ride a cat that looks just like my cat, so why not my cat itself? I can ride a wolf that looks just like my wolf, so why not my wolf itself? You get the idea.
We could have some free sea mounts, the turtle, some free flying mounts, could you imagine flying on a seagul, we could have some of the most unique mounts in the game and we should have them. We are hunters, we have made a connection with a beast so close that it would be willing to fight to the death by our side but we can not ride it. It just does not make a great deal of sense.
Sure, some pets would seem a little odd as mounts, as the seagul shows. Imagine a tauren on that poor thing. Porcupines would also pose an interesting dilemma that can only be solved by the fact we are heavily armored and smart enough to use a saddle.
This what if is a real stretch like all other what ifs I have mentioned but I do believe there is a possibility that we could see something like this, in a way, in the future. While we would never be able to ride our entire stable of pets I can see that some day hunters will be allowed to ride their starting pet. Warlocks have a class mount, paladins have a class mount, death knights have a class mount and worgens have a race mount, even if that mount is themselves. So why not have hunters have a class mount, which would be their races starting pet. Now that what if, is possible. Maybe.
What if our pets could do so much more, what if indeed.