Category Archives: PvE

Creature Feature: Gorilla

He's preparing a knuckle sandwich!

He's preparing a knuckle sandwich!

Gorillas are one of the most well known and now least understood pets in the game.  They were before their time, having had the ability to use AoE threat; however, it was limited in size and scope due to the 1 minute cooldown on thunderstomp and the lack of additional threat.

When the Echoes of Doom patch came out, Gorillas were at the forefront.  Having overtaken and unseated the previous tanking kings(boars!) they now stood high and proud with their 10 second cooldown thunderstomp.  AoE tanking and the Gorilladin were born.

Gorillas may not be as used anymore, but they are still a force to be reckoned with.  When you have the power to smash your way through any problem, there’s no need for a plan other than tank and spank!

GENERAL STATS
Gorillas are a tenacity pet beyond a shadow of a doubt.  Their thick arms and corded muscle are more than strong enough to withstand the blows of anything in its way.  They are more than capable of tanking a 5 man instance(among other things!) but only if the gorilla is talented properly.  As of patch 3.1, pets of all kinds share the same 5% bonus to all stats, and an incorrectly talented tenacity pet is more than capable of being outanked by a ferocity pet.

The focus dump skill for Gorillas is Smack, and their special move is Pummel.

Gorillas in WoW have 7 different skins, 5 of which are tamable.  Although not as sizable a list as say, cats, gorillas still have some variety in terms of which ones you can get; so long as you don’t mind how they are built.  All gorillas share the same physical build, so if you think that gorillas are too broad/big/furry/silly, then you’re out of luck.

Gorillas are a very peaceful animal, and their diet reflects this.  They don’t eat meat or anything like that, but they will eat fruit, bread, and fungus without a fuss.  Of course, this means they like bananas.

Gorillas are the figurehead of AoE tanking, and are the closest you can get to taming a humanoid.  In fact, I never skin gorillas as I find they are too close to being human for my tastes.

Gorillas in real life are a passive species which only attack if aggravated or if they feel threatened.  They live in colonies with one Alpha male called a Silverback; they are called this due to the colour of their fur changing from black to a whitish grey.  It is still recommended to not get too close to one since they have the strength to snap grown men in half.

Gorillas are tamable by all hunters.

ABILITIES
Pummel: bonks the target on the head, causing them to lose concentration and lose the spell.  They can’t remember how to cast from that school of spells for a couple of seconds afterwards.

The facts are these: pummel interupts the spell being cast, pummel stops the target from using spells of that kind for 2 seconds, pummel does no damage, and pummel is on a moderate cooldown.

Happily, there’s no math for this ability other than being able to count to two, because two is the number of seconds that pummel affects the target.  Not being able to do damage should be the most bothersome thing about this ability, as the rest is all good news.

Pummel is particularly effective against healers or in PvE encounters where interupts are crucial(Which are few and far between).  When used on a healer casting a healing spell, it will interupt the spell being cast; since the majority or classes use one school of magic for their healing spells, pummel effectively stops healers from healing themselves for another 2 seconds which give you more than enough time to slaughter them.  If your opponent is casting a crucial spell like Haunt or Cyclone, Pummel effectively stops that as well.  The uses of pummel are many, and a creative mind can come up with any number of uses for it.

The thing is that you can’t use pummel on everything, because that’s the rogue’s job.  You have to use pummel at the most opportune time in order for it to be effective, rather than using it all over the place.  If you interupt a Shaman casting Lava Burst only to have your kill foiled by a Healing Wave, you have no one to blame but yourself for your charred corpse.

What I mean is that Pummel is on a 30 second cooldown period.  If you use it on a Hunter’s steady shot, then you have to wait another 30 seconds(or 21 if you’re a beastmaster!) before you can use it again, and I can guarantee that you’re going to need again during that period of time.

Happily, the cooldown isn’t as restricting as some other pet abilities you can find around the area, and you can use Pummel on whatever you find is necessary(keyword being necessary!) in order to win.  If you use it on an affliction warlock casting Immolate, that’s wrong.  If you use it on an affliction warlock casting Haunt, you’re doing it right.  If you’re using it on a paladin casting any heal, you’re doing it right.  If you’re using it when he’s… I don’t know, casting his hearthstone, that’s probably wrong, btu still funny.

Unfortunately for PvE, the lack of damage on this ability, the lack of interrupts needed from you, and the semi-restrictive cooldown make this ability suck for Heroics and raids.  Most big spells can’t be interrupted anyway.

This is a PvP ability, all the way.  This thing oozes of PvP utility and reeks of PvE uselessness just because of the lack of times to be able to use it.

ENVIRONMENT
Gorillas are durable and tough creatures, while still being quick, agile, and intelligent enough to outwit and destroy some of the “upper” races of Azeroth.

Gorillas are, like all tenacity pets, very good for soloing.  Thanks to a baseline Thunderstomp, Gorillas can easily hold aggro on 5-6 equal level monsters for as long as it takes to kill them all.  In addition to their thick armor and high HP, gorillas have access to a variety of talents designed to make them more durable and more easily kept alive.  This allows intelligent hunters to Solo most monsters in the world, with very few exceptions.  In addition, Pummel allows a smart hunter to utterly destroy some world monsters that rely on their spells to destroy players.

Gorillas also enjoy battling in battlegrounds, where their strengths are made very apparent.  Their durable exterior allows them to survive when most pets wouldn’t, and they can still dish out a pretty decent amount of damage.  In addition, they have access to many very useful PvP abilities which help reduce incoming damage to the hunter.  Lastly, Pummel allows a skileld hunter to stop healers from healing important people in a fight, which can lead to a victory instead of a loss in a clutch match.

Arenas are the same story, but with smaller, more important numbers.  One interupted heal can be the end of a healer, and a win for your team.  Although they don’t have the ability to hold people in place or slow them down, and interupt is just as, if not more important than those types of abilities as it can mean the end for your kill target, and a much easier match.

KLINDERAS’ THOUGHTS
Gorillas are like Orcs: big, brutish, but useful.

I have recently had the joy of working with a Gorilla while on my search for a Spirit Beast, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  He can destroy monsters I would otherwise have trouble with, and when an Alliance member comes to kill me, the Gorilla does a very good job of not only keeping me alive, but keeping my opponents out cold.

They’re also incredibly gentle.  The Gorilla I have been working with has a particular fondness for finding and playing with flowers.  He also frequently picks them for me, presenting them to em with a big goofy grin.

His rage, however, speaks volumes of what he truly is.  He has smashed apart and entire ridge of Undead without a moments notice, only to exit unscathed.  It’s a wonder that the Scourge haven’t already been defeated when there are animals like this in the world.

COLEMAND’S THOUGHTS
This is how it’s done.

The New Tier 9

BAM, like that.

The old tier 9 armor is done with.

Finite.  Done with.  Done quick.

What were they? If I remember correctly…

I always do, by the way.

OLD TIER 9 BONUSES

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Old Tier 9

2 piece tier 9 reduced your pet’s focus cost for his abilities by 50%.

Pointless, yes? Of course it is.  Since when has your pet ever needed more focus? If you’re talented properly, this should never have been a problem.

4 piece tier 9 increased the critical strike chance of steady shot by 5%.
Whoop de doo.  This is a 2 piece bonus, not a 4 piece.  Only Beastmasters really benefited from this in a big way, since Steady Shot takes up a lot of our DPS; but even then it sucks!

Happily, this aforementioned crap has been replaced.


NEW TIER 9 BONUSES

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New Tier 9. See the difference?

2 piece: The damage from your serpent sting can now be critical strikes.
For marksmen, this is big.  Their stings are the most powerful out of all the hunters thanks to improved stings, making this a buff to MM damage mostly; however, everyone benefits from this.  It doesn’t increase the base damage of the sting(which makes Chimera shot sad) but it’s still going to be a visible DPS upgrade.

To be honest, this should be baseline.  Lock DoTs can crit, so should ours!

4 piece: Each time you hit with a ranged attack, your pet gains 600(HOLY SHIT) attack power for 15 seconds.
Now, this is a buff.  I don’t know what the proc chance is, but I’m betting it’s high enough.  For beastmasters, this 4 piece is going to be a strong one I predict.  600 attack power is 50 more attack power than blessing of might! Blessing of might increases Dave’s(my devilsaur) DPS by something like 200-300 dps.  Another 200-300 DPS? YES PLEASE.

It’s also and incentive for all hunters to keep their pets alive, should the marksmen and the Survivalists want the set bonus.

This is good news; in fact, I’m really happy that Blizzard realized that the set bonus was balls.  Now if they could notice a few more things(Cower bug, more stats for our pets, ammo costs, etc), I’d be set.

Speaking of things, I’m going to look at those Engineering changes later.  Stay tuned!

Paladins Can Still Be Cockroaches

Paladin that doesn't buff.

Paladin that doesn't buff.

Hey paladins! You’re on notice.

Earlier today, I raided a 25 man Obsidian Sanctum.  It started off great… walked about 25 feet before being asked to come and help.

So, I fly there, and summon some people, and walk in.  Fresh new instance, fresh new place.

“Alright everyone, buff up.”

I pipe up.  “Hey! Can I get Might and Kings please for my pet and myself?”

Poof.  Sanctuary and Wisdom.  Sanctuary?! Isn’t that the tanking blessing?

“Um, I have Wisdom and Sanctuary, can I have might and kings for me and my pet please?”

Nothing.  There are two paladins.

“My pet is a big cuddly dinosaur! He likes buffs!”

Finally! Another Poof! Kings!.. and Sanctuary.

I look at the buffs to determine who needs to buff me properly, and I ask again.

“Hey, can you please buff me with Might and my pet with might as well please?”

He responds eloquently with something along the lines of “Less QQ, More Pew Pew.”

Are you serious? Well are you? Do you understand what you are, and how you affect my “pew pew” you degenerate, ungenerous, flatfooted, flat faced, flat nosed, no good, no use, no point, hopeless, brainless sack of shoveltusk toss-up? Do you not understand how important it is that you buff me properly?

Let me put it in a few easy, simple to understand terms: you are a paladin.  Specifically, a holy paladin.  Your job is to heal, yes? Now see, you not buffing me is like me being a mage, see? and being a mage, I don’t put arcane intellect on you, see? Or better yet, casting dampen magic on your heal target, see? It’s not game breaking; but it’s sure as hell annoying and improper dontchathink?

Let me explain what you’re doing.  You are failing to buff me with 550 attack power, which is a lot of attack power.  You are also failing to provide my now angry and ornery t-rex with the same 550 attack power(1 100 AP for those of you counting!).  This is a player who, until now, is fairly calm; but when you say “less QQ more Pewpew you’re DPS your job isn’t hard just pewpew lewl” and then not buff me for the only gods-be-damned job I have in this miserable raid, I get a little ticked.

Just a little.

Here you are, Mr. Paladunce, with some of the most powerful buffs in the game.  Without them, everyone else does worse.  You play a class that buffs people and is meant to be a help to others.  You are meant to buff me, as that is one of your roles.  My role is to not die and to do damage.  Yours is to buff and heal.  Please remember the buff part, ’cause the important bit is coming up.

YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

I can’t PEWPEW unless you buff me.  You fail to buff me.  I QQ to get a buff.  You fail to buff me.

It’s a good thing I can’t do this to you right now, or I might have been arrested.

RAGE.

RRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

Paladins, do your part.  It’s not hard.  Just understand the underlying principal mentioned forthwith.

BUFF ME AND MY DAMN PET PROPERLY OR I WILL QQ UNTIL YOUR EARS BLEED.

Thank you.

Something They Missed

That'll be 25 silvers.

That'll be 25 silvers.

They did it again.

I know it’s still too early to say, but can anyone remember a certain, little promise being made?

You guys know, the one with the ammo and the prices and the stuff? The one they mitigated with stackable ammo?

They still haven’t mentioned it.  Not with this patch, not yet.

They’ve addressed pet resilience(although they probably need to do more), they’ve addressed traps(to the detriment of the PvErs), and they’ve even changed the visual effect that detterence has.  That’s great.

Specfrikin’tacular.

The visual effect on deterrence was not a problem.  That was not my big issue.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t even really notice the visual effect change they made to Improved Aspect of the Hawk.  Did you? Thought not.

Either way, that change was pointless.  The only thing it does is make it easier/harder(we’ll have to see) for our opponents to see so they don’t waste shots or something like that.

I’m still waiting on an ammo cost reduction change Blizzard.  I spend roughly 3-4 gold every time I fill up for 4 000 arrows.  Considering I refill 2 times a day usually, that’s 6-8 gold on regular arrows.  I make my own Mammoth cutters, but that still means I lose out on 1-2 stacks of saronite bars and 1-2 stacks of volatile triggers, which can cost anywhere between… 60-100 gold a week on those.

I only use Mammoth Cutters on bosses.

So we’re paying very little in order to play.  Paladins, mages, locks, priests, and some other ones need to pay for reagents in order to be fully effective I’m sure; but if they start spending 200 gold on reagents a week, I’ll be surprised.  200 gold a week does drain on the purse a bit.

I’m standing by my easy solution for this: keep the price of ammo, just make the stacks you buy come in stacks of 1 000 rather than 200.  24 silvers for 1 000 instead of 200 reduces the price of arrows to 1/5 of what it used to be, and would be very easy to implement!

I won’t go into a rant this time, seeing as some people found me to be a bit… aggressive on the subject; however, I still stand by my post that this is one change I’ll be happy to see if it comes along.

Trust me, I’m happy with the steps they’ve taken this patch to make us more PvP viable(i.e, pet resilience and the multiple traps!) but for the sake of convenience I still want my ammo reduction.

What about you? What change would you all like to see come from Blizzard for your class? What’s your number one big problem that still needs addressing?

This Is What Heaven Must Be

Look! It's... so close...

Look! It's... so close...

Traps now have separate 30 second cooldown categories: Fire (Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Black Arrow), Frost (Freezing Trap, Frost Trap) and Nature (Snake Trap). A hunter can have one trap of each category placed at one time.

All pets now receive 40% of their master’s resilience and 100% of their master’s spell penetration. In addition, if a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.

I think that patch 3.2 will make hunters very happy campers.  Is 40% resilience enough? Maybe, seeing as how they have talents that reduce crit as it is and this will probably make them as hard to kill as some players.  High five? I think so.

Also, that spell penetration is going to be hawt for those hunters with the good fortune of having a Spirit Beast or who are using other pets with a spell type move… Wasps, Dragonhawks, Corehounds, Nether Rays… jeez oh man there are a lot of them!

Also, 3 traps at once? 3? I’m down for making minefields.  Imagine 2 hunters in the flag room in a Warsong Gulch.  That is carnage and fun waiting to happen! This will solidify us as defenders in Battlegrounds.  For PvE, this means that survival hunters can use Black Arrow and use freeze traps to CC! I foresee CC coming back in a big way.

A more comprehensive post on the changes at a later time: for now, I’m going to go back to some drooling and oggling of changes.

Heroics < Battlegrounds

FC_NotEqual_41725_lgLast night, I was spending time with friends of mine I hadn’t seen in a few weeks.

We go to talking about the wars, the dangers, and the overall life in World of Warcraft.

One of my friends hates PvP, like another friend of mine does(Rilgon, I’m looking at you).  However, when I asked why, it was entirely about balance.  His first response was that it was too hard to get into, and that it’s required a lot more work to begin playing PvP.

Which, I said, was bogus.  Harder to get into?

I spent 3 weeks getting the PvE gear I have.  I’ve spent, easily, 7 000+ gold staying equipped for it.  I’ve been glued to my screen when there wasn’t anything more pressing than WoW to do.

1 week of PvP.  I have 524 resilience(which isn’t bad, or so I’m told) and a successful arena team.  I’ve spent 1 000 – 2 000 gold, max.  In all honesty, I found it so much easier than PvE.  PvE, you step into instance after instance hoping to get the drop you want.  For me, I was incredibly lucky.  I got a lot of loot very quickly due to an amazing amount of luck.  But most people don’t have that kind of loot luck.

In fact, the reason that all of my friends quit WoW was because raiding was “a full-time job”.  A fun one, maybe, but a job? How is that easier to get into? There are applications to get into the bigger guilds, and it has been pointed out that some of them are just pointless posturing.  Either way, you need a resume to play a game? That’s not easy to get into at all.

To keep this fair, we’re not going to mention that battlegrounds are available as early as level 10, that a PvP server is a constant PvP fight, and that the money cost is lower.  For one, when you hit 80, the higher end brackets are all available right there.  No need to gear yourself.

When you do the first couple fo battlegrounds, you will die.  Well, duh, who doesn’t? But even when you lose, you get something out of it.  You get honour.  More honour means more gear.  In PvE, a loss is a loss.  For me, it also means 13 gold every time I die, plus whatever amount of money it cost for ammunition and other buffs.  Plate armor people like Colemand have to pay even more.  The money you pick up from a Naxx can help with the repairs, but that’s only if you can clear it fast enough without a lot of deaths.  If you manage to wipe on Patchwerk 3-4 times, you just lost 50+ gold.

2 hours of Arena: 13 gold.  Tops.  2 Hours of Battlegrounds: 15 Gold, tops.

Secondly, you can do PvP whenever it’s convenient for you.  This makes it so much easier to get into! For a raiding guild, you have raiding times.  You must abide, or you can’t raid with them.  In addition, raids will take anywhere between 2-5 hours on raid nights.  PvP is whenever you feel like, for however long you feel like it, and you can leave at any point and time if there’s an emergency and no one will care.

Lastly, there’s Wintergrasp.  Waltz in, get boatloads of honour, and then walk out.  You get Tokens to buy more gear, and you get a chance to raid the Vault of Archavon.  Most importantly, Wintergrasp is the perfect place for the beginning PvPer: gear isn’t a factor.  The lowliest geared mage could walk into a tank or a turret and blast the everloving shit out of people.  What’s the equivalent in PvE? Ulduar? Heck no, because the vehicles have hp based on the quality of the items you are wearing.  So, gear is a requirement, and good gear at that.  Good gear is expensive, and you know the rest of the story.

It is my humble submission that, in fact…

/slamdeskwithhands

…it is much easier to get into PvP!

/bow

/curtains

Where Klinderas Is Selfish

Ball = DPS

Ball = DPS

I’ve been testing, feeling, experimenting… use any other words you deem appropriate, but I’ve been in a dilemma.

I’ve been torn between Survival and Beastmastery for PvE for the longest time.  For the past 3 weeks I’ve been dancing between the two trees.  Marksmanship just isn’t my cup of tea, so it’s not in on this.

It seemed that Survival did better DPS.  It STILL does.  But I don’t like it.  For almost half the effort, I can do more DPS in survival than I can in Beastmastery.  I never have to change Aspects for more then 3 seconds, and I don’t have to worry as hard about my pet if he gets hit by a Heigan wave.

But it’s just that: it’s too easy to do well with.  Survival is boring to me.  Complex Shot Priority System(SPS) my ass; I’ve got the damn thing down to a science.  Black Arrow, Serpent Sting, Explosive Shot, 3 Steady Shots, rinse and repeat steps 3+4 until Black Arrow is usable again.  Kill Shot whenever possible.

Aside from the occasional movement on my end, I don’t really do much else.  I actually fell asleep at my keyboard playing like this.

Beastmastery might be an easier SPS, but it is so much more fun for some weird reason.  Having to switch between Aspect of the Viper and Aspect of the Hawk creates interest.  Having to worry about the movement of my pet is much more of an issue, and this creates interest.  Having a pet the size of a school bus creates interest.

I have to work harder for lower DPS, but it’s more rewarding.  If my Ego is telling me I should be topping the meters, I’ll tell Mr. Ego to stuff it.  This isn’t about Ego: this is about being able to stay awake to play my damn game.

Hail to Beastmastery(even if it is sub-par at the moment)!
ScreenShot_052809_142548

Furrious Raiders: The Cunning

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Hello everyone, and welcome to the second post in a series of posts designed to help talent your pets for PvE success!

Last time, we discussed the Ferocious pets, and how to talent them to deal the maximum amount of damage.  There were some foggy areas, but after some testing we came up with the best specs possible.  As a forward to this post, I’d like to point out that if there is something you think is wrong, I will test it myself and update the post if need be.

With this in mind, I’d like to remind everyone that suggestions, advice, and criticism are good, and are encouraged around here.  If you think something is fishy, don’t dismiss it: tell me.  I’ll be sure to post the results.

Now, let’s begin with probably to most convoluted of the trees!

Cunning
Cunning pets are similar to Ferocity pets in that they both deal damage, but where they differ is in how they do the damage.  Whereas Ferocity is straight up numbers, Cunning does damage depending on the situation.  Once again, like the Ferocity tree, you must be talented properly to even begin to deal damage.  It is possible to talent your cunning pet to deal no extra damage, and that’s not what we want for PvE.

Here is how your Cunning pets should be talented if you are to take one into a PvE Environment.

Cunning PvE for Non-Beastmasters

Cunning PvE for Non-Beastmasters

The Beastmaster build.

The Beastmaster build.

The two talent specs are incredibly similar, but there are 4 more points in the beastmaster tree.  There are a few key talents for PvE that both specs share, and some that are unique to the beastmaster tree due to the extra 4 points you can get via the Beast Mastery talent for all the beastmaster hunters out there.

Yes, I am that lazy.

Where this gets complicated is when we get to the DPS talents: with 1 exception, all of our DPS talents here are subject to different parts of the pet’s environment.  Anything from the target dodging an attack to your pet attacking something near death can affect your pet’s DPS.  As such, it’s important to remember that pure mathcraft cannot properly measure the DPS your Cunning pet can put out: the only way to find out is to try one out.

DAMAGE
Cobra Reflexes: A 30% increase to attack speed is nothing to sneeze at.  This talent is nothing but a DPS upgrade, so we take it.  We move on.

Spiked Collar: Did I mention I love this talent? It’s a straightforward increase in DPS no matter how you look at it.  9% increase to all damage dealt.  7 word which make me become teary eyed.  It’s like a chick flick, but for hunters, and with even more kleenex.  Please, Bring Your Own Box.  Heck, take it another 2 times, and don’t regret it.  It’s okay to cry for joy here.

Feeding Frenzy: This is where the interesting talents kick in.  On top of the 9% increase to all damage from Spiked Collar, Feeding Frenzy adds another 16% increase to damage.  16%.  That is, by itself, more straight damage from one talent than Ferocity gets from 2 talents!.. there’s just one catch.  The opponent has to be at less than 35% HP in order for this effect to take place.

Now, the interesting thing about Feeding Frenzy is that when your pet attacks an opponent at less than 35% HP, your pet gets a buff.  The buff is Feeding Frenzy.  If your pet attacks something else after having attacked someone at less than 35% HP, it will keep the buff for the 10 seconds that it lasts.

I’ll leave it to your creative minds to figure out what you can do with this knowledge, but a word of reminder: the 35% mark is roughly the time when most people burn their cooldowns and use Bloodlust/Heroism.

Wolverine Bite: This ability can be described in 4 words: Bite their face off.  This ability packs the punch of a unique ability while being trainable to all Cunning pets.  Every time your opponent dodges, they pay for it dearly.  At level 80, this ability does 405 damage before armor reduction, and it does ~300 after it from my experience.  It frequently crits for 600+, and it does even more when other talents become effective.

Wolverine Bite is a huge, I mean HUGE damage ability.  Every time it hits, it hits like a truck.  With the number of times your pet attacks, your target is bound to dodge a number of them.  Every time they do, your pet does the damage it was meant to, and then some.  Consider it a move that counters the loss of damage other pets have to put up with.

Owl’s Focus: This ability is like a 2 for 1 deal at a gun store.  Buy 1 bullet, get 1 free! Well, the same applies here: use an ability, and you have a 30% that you can use another one for free.  What do you do when you see free stuff? You take of course! 2 ranks, no question.

Roar of Recovery: First off, this is not a direct increase to your pet’s DPS.  This is an increase to your DPS! This is the only talent that we’ve covered for pets that increases your DPS rather than your pet’s.  How does an increase to your mana increase to DPS? Simple: more time spent outside of Aspect of the Viper is more time doing actually damage.  Enjoy the 1 rank you take in this, because it’s one rank that you will enjoy and savour every minute of.

Half of Wild Hunt: Now, here’s where the Non-BM tree ends with 1 rank in Wild Hunt.  In the last Furrious Raiders post, there was a discussion about what was stronger: 3% increase to all damage, or a 10% increase to attack power inheritance.  I did tests which had the same results as Rilgon and other reputable sources(WoWLadies and Elitist Jerks.  They know their math); Wild Hunt was stronger when you had more stats.  We beastmastery hunters get 2 ranks in this lovely talent, increasing the 10% into a 20%! That’s a big change!

Now, the Beastmasters out there still have 3 points to go.  There’s only 1 logical place to put them all.

Half of Cornered: Although it requires your pet to be at 35% hp to work, a potential 50% increase to DPS isn’t too shabby.  Wait, what? 50% increase to all damage.  That, if you can control it, is astounding.  The Ferocity tree couldn’t even try to compete with that damage increase.  The problem is that it’s not exactly easy to get your pet at that precarious amount of HP, and it’s best not to leave your pet there unless you have a plan to save it when the time comes.  Oh, and that time will come.  It will come.

SURVIVABILITY
Dash: Fastest one is the first one in.  Fastest one is the first one out.  If you ever wished your pet would just move faster, this is a good, all purpose talent for that.  Get it please.

Avoidance: In PvE, stuff blows up.  I don’t mean normal explosions and that stuff.  I mean big fantastic fireworks of magic and death that kill those rogues dead if they’re not careful.  Now normally that would kill our pet dead too, but we have this talent to thank profusely.  See, 75% reduction of all AoE damage is huge.  Massive.  Gigantesque.  I kid you not, without this talent, your pet will die miserably in 9/10 boss fights without a chance of revival.  Take 3, glorious ranks in this talent.  You did it? Fantastique.  Now never look back.  Just don’t.

Besides, you need this to get Wolverine’s Bite, and if you skip that I will shoot you.

The Other Half of Wild Hunt: For the non-BM users out there, you get one rank in this talent.  One beautiful, gorgeous rank.  It will give your pet a 20% increase to Stamina inheritance.  The Beastmasters out there can get excited, ’cause it gives us a whopping 40% increase instead! This proves we’re cooler.  It must.  Either way, it helps keep the pet alive, and that’s good for all of us.  Like Flinstone vitamins.

Bullheaded: This is the last point that beastmasters get.  Now, this is normally a PvP talent.  However, with all the damage flying around, Bullheaded can be incredibly helpful.  A 20% decrease in damage taken for 12 seconds can be all it needs to survive a Sartharion lava wave.  Or a bonk on the noggin that it gets for being in the lava wave in the first place.  Silly Link.

*whimper*

The Other Half of Cornered: Once again, your pet needs to be precariously close to death in order for this to start working.  However, a 60% reduction in your opponent’s chance to critically hit you can actually save that pet of yours sometimes.  Think of it as a jack in the box, with a really, really bad spring that doesn’t always work.

CONCLUSION
So let’s take a look at the talents we used here: 7 parts damage talents, 4 parts survivability.  This is slightly skewed from the 2 parts damage, 1 part survival that Ferocity had down to a science.  However, when the damage talents get working for cunning, the damage dealt jumps, leaps, and bounds in circles around the DPS of Ferocity pets.

This being said, there’s nothing I would change.  For Non-BM hunters, the only change you could really do it replace Owl’s Focus with Cornered, but I wouldn’t do it since Owl’s Focus is a much more consistent, safe increase to DPS.  The only thing for BM hunters is swapping Bullheaded with Carrion Feeder, and I wouldn’t do that because Bullheaded can keep your pet alive in a fight, where Carrion Feeder just saves some paltry amount of gold in food for the pet.

Do I see anything else worth changing? No, not at all.  I’m a stubborn person like that, and I think that these talent builds provide the best DPS that a cunning pet could produce.  Since that is exactly what we’re after, so we’re not going to change one bit.  Right? RIGHT.

Will there be a “next time”? Why, yes, there will be.  Will it be for DPS? Heck no.  When it comes to the Tenacious, they hold the line instead of break it.

We’re talking Tanking, peoples, and tanking with pets.  So stay tuned!

A Little Experiment

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This could be big.

Much like the Stargate pictured here, I hope that I found something that would be a bit of a breakthrough for us Beastmastery hunters.

Right now, the big PvE Pet is a ferocity pet of some kind, more often a wolf(fistpump!) but it begs the question: have we tried everything? Granted, ferocity pets do the most damage by far.  There’s nothing, pet wise, that does more.

But is that really true? I can only wonder, since I’ve been doing a lot of meddling recently.  I’ve been writing the Furrious Raiders: The Cunning post for some time, and I began to wonder if they’re even viable for raids; or if they’re better for them, somehow.  So, as a Beastmaster, I am going to do some testing this week involving a new member to the team.

Dave decided to move out, so instead, we have Falco the Dragonhawk.
FalcoFalco here is the test subject to my new “Cunning Raid Pet” test.  I want to see how much DPS I can pump with a lvl 80 Dragonhawk under 2 environments.  The first is a Dummy subject: the second is in Heroics and(if I decide to make the tests long enough) 2 Naxx raids, one for Link and one for Falco.

Let the games begin!

Furrious Raiders: The Ferocious

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Hello everyone, and welcome to the first installment of a series of guides dedicated to PvE success for your pets!

Well, success as far as far as talenting your companions.  But if there’s one thing I preach above everything else, it’s actually playing and learning how to do things.  Once you have a talent spec, success isn’t guaranteed, just given a better chance.

So, with that in mind, I think it’s appropriate to start this series of PvE guides with the pet tree dedicated to dealing a massive amount of damage:

Ferocity

Ferocity specializes in massive DPS, making up for it with a frail physique.  But when I say massive damage, I mean it! Ferocity pets are the king of the pack for DPS… but only if talented properly.  A poorly talented ferocity pet will suck terribly on the DPS front! You can potentially talent your pet to do almost no extra DPS, and that means that it can do less damage than a tenacity pet.  That’s saying something.  So talent your pet properly, dammit!

The regular build for PvE DPS is something like this.

Ferocity PvE talent

Ferocity PvE talent spec without Beast Mastery talent

BM Ferocity PvE

The Beastmaster build.

The two talent specs are incredibly similar, there’s just 4 more points in the beastmaster tree.  There are a few key talents for PvE that both specs share, and some that are unique to the beastmaster tree due to the extra 4 points you can get via the Beast Mastery talent for all the beastmaster hunters out there.

Now, as all of you know, there are a few things to keep in mind when speccing for PvE DPS: Damage, Survivability, and more Damage.  But without being redundant, we’re sticking to Damage and Survivability, both of which have to be consistent and/or controllable to be effective.  This is the truth for anything DPS related, so all you other classes can learn something here too!

So, let’s take a look at our talent tree, and see if it follows our recipe for destruction!

DAMAGE
Cobra Reflexes
: A straight up increase to attack speed.  Nothing odd or strange about this talent being here, so let’s move right along.

Spiked Collar: 9% Increase to all damage done.  I shouldn’t explain this, but this is indeed a pure DPS upgrade.  Take it, love, live it, smell it, and take it again 2 more times ’til you have 3 ranks in it.  Just do it, and never look back.  You’ll thank me.

Spider’s Bite: 9% increased chance to critically hit.  Take a look at Spiked Collar.  Put what I typed there down here.  Learn to love again, and have a happy life.  Take everything in moderation… except this talent.  Full 3/3 here.

Rabid: This too is a pure DPS upgrade.  Although it isn’t constant, it’s damn well close.  With an uptime of 20 seconds and a cooldown of 45-31.5 seconds(it’s shorter if you are a Beastmaster with Longevity!), this ability only has a down-time of 25-11.5 seconds.  That’s next to nothing! So, another must have talent for PvE DPS.

Call of the Wild: Now, this is a different story.  This is hardly constant at all! It lasts 20 seconds, but the cooldown is a whopping 5-3.5 minutes! So why is this in a PvE DPS build if it isn’t constant? Because you can control this.  It’s not a random proc, it’s not a stroke of luck.  This is an ability which takes skill to use at the right time, and not just willy nilly all over the place.  For PvE DPS, that’s perfect! There will be times where you need to “burn” the boss, or when you need a hefty DPS boost.  This ability does both of these perfectly.  Just don’t waste it on trash, because then you’re doing it wrong(The only time this would be acceptable is if you’re about to die and you can salvage wipe by killing a certain trash mob.  Otherwise, save it for the bosses).

Shark Attack: Although not as splendiferous as Spiked Collar, Shark Attack still gives a 6% increase to all damage done, making this talent another 2 delicious ranks of damage that you can have and hold ’til death do you part.

Except all you non-beastmasters.  You guys are like those kids who sit at the table and don’t eat their dinner, waiting to get cake instead.

Half of Wild Hunt: The +20% increase to your pet’s attack power inheritance is a big help for DPS!.. but you non-beastmasters can’t get more than one rank in this.  See, this is the cake, but because everyone else ate their dinner, we get more cake.  *raspberry*

That and Wild Hunt actually does more damage than Shark Attack, since it scales with buffs a lot better than Shark Attack ever could.  So make sure you take that last point and stuff it in Wild Hunt! Here’s some proof to back me up, done by yours truly!

SURVIVABILITY
Dash: Although this gets your pet into the fray quicker(resulting in DPS sooner, but not by any means even remotely that important as to say this actually increases DPS!), it’s so much more useful than that! The increase to your pet’s speed can save its life! Dodging lava never was as easy as asking your pet to follow you and Dash.  Instant pet recall.  Or, heel! or whatever.  Wherever you think an increase to move speed might be useful, Dash can make an appearance.

Improved Cower: In my opinion, this is strictly better for PvE than Bloodthirsty.  What you rather have, a 1/5 chance in getting some HP back, or a more constant(see what I did thar?) 20% decrease in all damage taken? Your pet took 5 000 damage? try 4 000.  Improved Cower just healed my pet(preemptively) for 1 000.  That is all that needs to be said, I should think.

Avoidance: The only way that AoE damage is going to be 5 000 damage is through this talent.  75% decrease in damage taken from AoE attacks? With all the AoE Damage flying around, this is a must have for the pet.  Remember what I said about Spiked Collar? Put it here too, but love this differently.  It’s not for DPS, it’s for life.

The Other Half of Wild Hunt: Only the beastmasters get this, and that makes us happy.  40% increase to our pet’s inheritance of stamina? Perfect.

CONCLUSION
So, let’s take a look at how our tree fit into our recipe: 6 1/2 for damage, 3 1/2 for survivability.  Remember the recipe? Damage, Survivability, and more Damage.  2 parts Damage with 1 part Survivability.  It’s a science for this tree, it really is.  Like cooking a giant, furrious cake of death.

Ferocity DPS is at its highest when talented like this, and so that’s how you need to talent your ferocity pet to do DPS.  There’s no real two ways about it, but if you wanted to, you could tinker a little bit with the tree.

For example, if you’re still learning pet management, you could take the points from Improved Cower and 1 point from Wild hunt, and place them into Bloodthirsty and Heart of the Phoenix, but I wouldn’t do this if I knew how to control my pet since it’s a waste of points.  If you know how to control your pet, it shouldn’t be dying.  Ergo, no need for Heart of the Phoenix.

Aside from that, this is rock solid.  I wouldn’t change a thing in the non-Beastmaster tree, since you can’t salvage the points for Heart of the Phoenix, and there’s no where else of use to put points.  So you non-beastmasters get no variety at all here.

Happily, both these builds are the best at what they’re supposed to do: Massive Quantities of Sustained Ranged Pet DPS.  So, depending on your hunting styles, you are going to use one or the other.  Right? RIGHT.

Next time, we’re going to take a look at the second tree(and the only other raid viable tree at that) for pets: The Cunning Tree, where smarts beat brawn and it’s not all about simple DPS… heck, it’s about complicated DPS!