With the announcement yesterday that the molten core 40 man raid is coming back for a limited time only for max level characters to celebrate the 10th anniversary and a core hound mount will be given to everyone that finishes it I was reminded of my experiences with core hounds.
You see, as a hunter I often like to play the game of matching my mount, pet and battle pet to run around with a family. When I reached exalted with the anglers and got myself the water strider mount I immediately caught myself a water strider and called out a water strider battle pet so I could have the water strider family. Don't you give me that strange look, if you are a hunter you have done the exact same thing at one point or another even if you do not want to admit it.
Once I heard about the core hound mount I knew I would have some fun running around with my core hound mount, core hound pet and core hound battle pet. Then the memory came to mind, the memory of how I managed to tame my core hound, a level 60 boss while at level 80, and it was still a challenge.
My core hound is, or should I say was, the absolute best pet in the game to have. Even if you hate the stomp stomp stomp sound, which I do, beast from blackrock spire was indeed a beast. There was a reason for that, a reason why beast was the best pet in the game and it lasted a long time, a very very long extremely over powered time and it had reasons it was the best pet in the game.
When you tamed beast he was a skull mob because he was a boss but unlike any other bosses you might have tamed he managed to keep his skull marker. If someone were to click on beast they would not see a level, they would see a skull. If that were not imposing enough there was a lot more to it. Pets had talent points back in the day, just like we used to, and beast being the beast that he was had an additional talent point because he was a boss and not a level 80. So he had more talent points than any other pet in the game.
But wait, there is more. If having an extra talent point is not enough for you to agree that beast was the best pet in the game and if being a skull when you looked at him was not enough to agree that beast was the best pet in the game there was something else that came along with being a skull pet besides that extra talent point.
As a skull mobs people needed additional hit rating to hit it. Just like you would a boss in a raid. He was considered a level 83 mob and PvPers back in wrath did not gem and enchant for 83 mobs because they were attacking level 80 ones, as in players. Beast was the only pet in the game that was considered as a level 83. More came along with that distinction than just being harder to hit too.
Beast's armor was beastly. If your normal pet had armor to the point of stopping 60% of damage beast had boss type armor and stopped 90% of damage. Making him harder to hit and when you did hit him you would hit him for less. Now can we all agree that beast was beastly, that in his heyday beast was the most bad ass pet the game has ever seen.
I used to love soloing with beast because of his increased armor, his boss level, and his extra talent point. He could take more damage, do more damage, and survive better than even a turtle could for that time he held the position of being a pet god.
Getting him however was no easy task for me. Even if I was level 80 at the time, even if he was just some low level dungeon boss in a dungeon I could easily solo, even if I were to kill him it would have only taken me a few seconds.
He had a knock back, he had a DoT, he had an interrupt, all of which poised to be a problem while trying to tame him. The extremely long cast time for tame beast was not exactly user friendly here. I would either get interrupted or find myself knocked back and if that did not happen the DoT would kill him.
On a few, interesting, attempts to tame beast he managed to knock me back into a position where I was actually up in the air and in a wall. I got knocked back into places I did not even know existed in beasts lair. I was DoTed to death, interrupted multiple times, knocked around like a ping pong ball. All in all I was a battered and bruised hunter and beast was having none of this "you will be mine" bull crap I was trying to sell him.
He beat me like a red headed step child. I tried my best to do what I could to shorten my tame beast time. I even used flasks and potions that would speed up its cast time. I would come close, oh so close, so close I could taste it close. Every so often I would get lucky enough that he decided to attack instead of knocking me back and I would get to that point where I could see it happening, I could see me about to finish it, but I would die to the DoT he put on me.
I figured maybe some stamina gear would work and looked into getting some and gemming for extra stamina but instead I decided to enlist the assistance of a friendly guild priest and he came with me when I tried it again. I told him to just heal me and sooner or later if I get lucky he will not knock me back and instead let me finish the cast so I can get him. I explained how close I was multiple times, but I died the split second before he was about to be tamed, but with his heals I should be able to finish it.
We tried multiple times to do it but it was just not happening. He would get healing aggro and as any hunter can tell you, you can not tame a pet that is not aggroed on you or at the very least I could not tame beast if he was not aggroed on me. The second I lost his interest it was wipe time because even with fade the only way for me to get aggro back was to attack and as I mentioned with me at 80 and him at 60 it was quite possible, and did happen a few times, that I would kill him.
We adjusted some things like me putting on a green weapon I got while clearing up to him, the priest waiting until the last moment before throwing any heals on me being I did not need much healing, and me pulling with a serpent sting, which was enough to get his attention and to outpace a tiny bit of healing aggro while being safe enough that I knew it would not kill him. On our third attempt with this changes I manged to nab him.
Sure I could have done it solo if I had just went and picked up some stamina gear, but having a friend help is always a better option then wasting gold on stamina gear.
I've done a lot of tames over the years, spirit beasts, molten front spiders, challenge tames, you name it. But no tame ever gave me the trouble I had with beast. He remains, to this date, the hardest tame I ever completed and at the time, for what he was and what he could do and being a pet god, it was well worth a few deaths, some potion using and getting the help of another to get it done. In truth I probably could have done it easier, there probably was a better way, but this was the first tame I ever had that presented any challenge and to me, it was sure fun. I did it my way, figured it out on my own, and there is something satisfying about that.
I have not used beast since they took away his skull designation (they killed beast, you bastards) and the extra skill point, of course, being skill points are no longer used, but I still have beast and more importantly I still have the memory of my first big tame.
So when the MC 40 man comes out and hunters all over the game start running around with their core hound family most will be excited about their new mount but I will be excited about my old pet. It will be nice to have beast make a special guest appearance outside of my stable even with that annoying stomp stomp stomp.
What are some of your fun taming adventures?