Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What If Pets Could be so Much More?

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.


  1. I hope someone from the dev team reads this

    1. I hope so too but don't hold your breath on that one. lol

  2. As far as the mount idea: i proposed in chat the other day that a new profession be added: the ability to train anything as a mount. Wanna ride that giant's back? Saddle up a kobold? Take a snake for a spin? I know its weird but think about it. They run away when dismounting but anything can be a temp mount. A gnome riding an ogre?? Who run bartertown?

    1. I can see a gnome on an ogres shoulders, there are even things like that in game already but I don't think we will ever see humanoid mounts. Perhaps as a temp thing for a quest, but nothing more really. You never know however, there have been stranger additions.

  3. Pet accessoriies and pet mounts are tough sells because of the massive art time involved (I talked to Ghoscrawler about accessories once). Merging with pets for a new raid buff would require a dps nerf to make that spec not clearly superior, and utiility over dps is not the current design philosophy.

    I love healing pets however. It makes so much more sense than cunning. Ditch cunning as it is and have your pet specs be tank, dps, and heals.

    1. I remember you writing about the accessory slot for pets. Always thought it would be a cool idea.

      I do agree with GC on this one, even if I don't always agree with him, it would be a lot of work for such a small audience and and even smaller one that might use it. But perhaps skin color, some day, that would be a lot easier to do as there are different skins in there already and it would be just changing it from one to another. So just maybe.

      Would love a healing pet for some things. It actually would be quite good for the heroic scenarios to come. With two hunters have one work as tank, one work as heals and everyone just DPS their hearts out.

      But perhaps that would be why they would not. Could you imagine 25 man raiding with 5 tank pets and 20 healing pets? I would love it.

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    1. Why not would be as frostheim mentioned, a lot of art work required. It would be cool, I agree, but I can't see anything like that getting past the what if stage.

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    3. I love to complain but I also like to consider myself reasonable. If it would take away from other content, it would not be worth it.

      Perhaps when our solo quest line comes, like the warlock solo quest line now, then we can get it.

      You are not allowed to go away, we will drag you back, we always do.

  5. I had a somewhat similar idea to pet merge back in Wrath, I think it was... except that my idea was to swap roles, you'd take over the pet and the hunter would remain as a ranged DoT, basically (think warlock imp). That was my solution to better pet tanking specifically, it never occurred to me to make it a viable dps (or especially healing) option. I wasn't anticipating pet tanking to be fully viable, it wouldn't be a full rotation like a warrior or a druid, but you'd have basic tank functions like a taunt, a personal cooldown, a few dps rotational threat abilities, etc. Functionally, I imagined it would be a button you could hit as a hunter (One With The Beast would make for a good name) when the tank goes down and you don't have a battle rez available. Doesn't have to be limited time, either, I could see being able to do that for 5-mans and such, just not anything resembling progression content.

    And yeah, I'm specifically avoiding making these viable specs... I think there's enough diversity in the game already, I'm not in the "every class should be trinity" camp. I like that some classes are single-purpose, but then, I have toons of all types so I can switch as necessary. I can understand why someone with only one or two main toons might want their roles expanded.

    1. On rare occasions pets used to work as serviceable pet tanks for 5 man content but it is rare they are even good for a few seconds in raids. The damage output is just too much now. An oh shit button that would allow that would be kind of cool.

      I would be further in the every class has its role thing if it were not for the fact that some classes just get royally screwed, like hunters. Hybrids can be tanks or healers for faster queue, we have to wait. Hybrids have a much easier time getting group content done, like the thunder king 5 man quests I can do all day long on my tanks and healers because everyone needs them but my poor hunter can never find a group, even saying 100K+ DPS does not help. Hybrids can have more fun playing the game because they can fill a needed role to get into things faster. When the pure classes just sit and wait. They have options where pures have none other than to reroll.

      Now, if the pure DPS classes had a nice boost to their DPS, as in 10% more or better than the DPS of all hybrids I could agree that everyone doing everything is wrong. Your bonus for not being able to do everything is you are better at the one thing you can do, but when hybrid classes can do everything and beat you or at least be competitive with you when you have no choice, you are basically screwed as a pure DPS class.

      I would actually pay blizzard to give hunters a tank spec. Seriously.

  6. If some of these ideas become true it will be awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Healing pets! Hell Yes!

    Merge with your pets! Awesome idea for a 4th spec for Hunter tanking (Skinchanger or Skinwalker, something like that). I like Anon's idea that our hunter self becomes like a ranged pet while we go into our pet to tank. It'd be like druids so I don't see a balance problem. I'm defintely a firm believer that all classes should be hybrids since there's really no benefit to being a dps only class.

    Pet barbershop! Awesome idea! Xmog for pets! Although, since they're giving us a bigger stable, it may not be that necessary.

    Accessories! Cool, but not likely to happen.

    Pet Mounts! Also cool, but not likely to happen. A hunter class mount would be easily doable though. This could also fit for a Hunter tanking spec; tank while mounted on your pet's back.

    1. Never thought of the tank spec being you on the pets back, that is a pretty solid idea. I like it.

  8. So... real tanks don't get vengeance against player attacks but pets would?

    1. Yes, because pets are better than real tanks. ;)

      Not sure why they removed it from tanks in PvP but perhaps it was because they got too powerful with it. Remember a real player makes decisions whereas a pet is just an AI so a real player could take advantage of it a lot more than a pet would.

    2. With high Vengeance, tanks were unkillable. It was dispellable (I think it was considered an enrage), but that's hard for people, you know. Eh. Supposedly there were some combos you could get where you'd have no dispeller.

    3. Tranquilize shot for the win. Hunters have been dispelling enrages since vanilla. ;)

      But you are right, most people would not notice it and for the longest time only hunters and rogues could get rid of an enrage. Not sure if there are more that can now. Think druids can now as well.

  9. On a similar note to the ogre riding
    Leather workers should get their own mount like the rest of the professions.

    Leather riding saddle - mount your own tauren

    1. That would be interesting, not the riding a tauren thin, but adding a saddle to a given mount.

      I actually think they should be able to make something that gives the user 10% mounted speed, that does not stack with other mount increases. Would be a nice little bonus.