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Hunter Pet Changes in Battle for Azeroth

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An overview of changes to pet specializations coming in Battle for Azeroth.

Note: This is an early preview and anything is subject to change at any point throughout testing.

In Legion, all pets can be assigned any specialization (Cunning, Ferocity, Tenacity).

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In Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard's changing things around a bit and you're no longer able to change your pet's specialization at will. Instead, pets now have a default specialization.

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Pet specializations grant you and your pet the following active & passive abilities on Alpha (Build 25976):

Cunning

Ferocity

Tenacity

More About Battle for Azeroth

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As someone's who's played Hunter since 2008, was my first class and is still one of my mains, I think this change is stupid. I really like the idea of pets and have gone out of my way to tame every single spirit beast, there's clearly always going to be a best pet specialization and all this does is nothing to benefit Hunters and instead just takes away being able to have a nice looking pet.

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5 minutes ago, leapingshadow said:

As someone's who's played Hunter since 2008, was my first class and is still one of my mains, I think this change is stupid. I really like the idea of pets and have gone out of my way to tame every single spirit beast, there's clearly always going to be a best pet specialization and all this does is nothing to benefit Hunters and instead just takes away being able to have a nice looking pet.

That is exactly what I thought. I like to have non typical pets and this forces me to maybe use pets that I do not like. If I can change my specialization at will why should my best friend not be able to?

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Honestly, it looks like it barely does that much. People on the Alpha have pointed out the pets have the same basic attack damage, so the difference comes down to utility skills (the only dps gain one being on the same effect as time warp, which chances are you'll have in your raid) and abilities specific to pets and not the spec which... well they already sort of are.

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1 hour ago, leapingshadow said:

As someone's who's played Hunter since 2008, was my first class and is still one of my mains, I think this change is stupid. I really like the idea of pets and have gone out of my way to tame every single spirit beast, there's clearly always going to be a best pet specialization and all this does is nothing to benefit Hunters and instead just takes away being able to have a nice looking pet.

Blizzard is trying to bring back once again that sense of uniqueness to every class much like we had prior to Cataclysm. I won't say it's a bad thing, but some things back in the "Glory Days" weren't good either and we got a lot of quality-of-life changes. This is one of the things I wish they kept as it is, with you being able to have your favorite looking pet and assigning whatever Specialization you want.

Maybe Blizzard could add a "Pet Transmog" system where you can change the appearance of your pet whenever you want based on a Bestiary containing all the pets you've tamed. But I highly doubt they will add such thing.

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My initial reaction of "wtf is going on here" hasn't changed with this. Ferocity spec is already essentially pretty much mandatory for raiding / pve if damage is bottom line for you. Tanking is essentially the world questing, levelling and solo thing traditionally speaking, but the passives here make it look considerably strong for both pve AND pvp. Extra health and a soft defensive cd are great if they normalise the damage each specced pet puts out. Cunning's passive sounds interesting at least, particularly if it stacks with other speed increases, and Master's Call not being gated behind pvp talents seems like a good change to me, but too much here depends on how strong Leech will be, and if it's necessary to keep your pet alive especially. 

However, locking in the specs of each pet family is dumb, particularly for min maxing, providing necessary buffs / debuffs (they changed Moth to cunning for example so you can't have 'lust and a cRez at same time if you noticed, which basically means Netherrays would still remain BiS as non-exotic, with Heroism, a dispel and Ferocity spec) as well as off the rails, off the cliff and crashing into an exploding fireball on the city orphanage below decision to have all Spirit Beasts be locked in as Tenacity only. Imagine if Ferocity remains the best damage spec for BfA and that pet of yours you camped for three weeks or whatever can't be used to go core raiding and you're left with the remaining "choices" out of the Exotic families with largely out dated and awkward to use skills? 

For solo and pvp, it leaves the rest of the families to compete for the most useful skill / spec combination unless you care more about cosmetics. Auto dispels on a 10 sec cd will be useful for a pvp environment, and shield wall for soloing pets has always been useful; when do we need Mortal Wounds or a minor snare for questing and levelling, really?

Might as well just bring back Broken Tooth lol. I'd actually prefer to just have a pet talent tree again and select the skills *I* want or need on top of the standard base abilities, with the only unique skills belonging to the Exotic families. 

fucking yikes from me.jpg

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Essentially the equivalent of telling people who leveled up for heritage armor that their class of choice is no longer available on that race.

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40 minutes ago, SMOrcMan said:

Essentially the equivalent of telling people who leveled up for heritage armor that their class of choice is no longer available on that race.

Lol, you ding level 110 and get a reload UI with another class :D
better RNG than hearthstone! I would by that! (just kidding!)

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Doesn't really matter to me. I have had my Corehound, Quillen, and spider (PVP) out 100% of the time. My corehound is out for my own personal hero during questing, and in case someone doesn't have, or use correctly, in instances. I only swap the Quillen in when a BRez is needed. My spider comes out for PVP. Because of that utility, I couldn't use anything else. At least with this, I can use a wider assortment of Ferocity pets.

Edited by Sharknad0

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As someone who has mained a Hunter since early Cata - And a Pet Collector at that: I welcome this and REALLY hope they will expand upon it.

I have been a killer for the rarest of the rare pets and have only tamed Rare-Unique pets since after I hit cap at 85 (With some recent exceptions as some of the newer and cool looking Hunter Pets are Unique but not always Rare) And I miss that pets had different sticks too them. Once they removed pet spells and made it possible to just "swap" a pets spec back and forth - I was devastated.

Did we need BL? Corehound. Did we need a interupt? Mana-Ray. Did we need a Spellpower Buff? Sporebat. And the list goes on. And same with pet specs. For a Bear to be a DPS pet and for a Waterstrider to have the possibility to "tank" is just stupid and breaks the immersion of what it means to tame the pet you have. Sure it's fueds more into that "I want to use whatever pet I wan't" but as a die-hard collector of the hardest to tame and find pets - I don't care about "What suits me" as it should be more about what ACTUALLY fits the world and the beast you tame.

I want them to build on this. Give each pet spec 4-6 passive buffs. Make Tenacity pets SUPER Tanky but low on the damage so you can solo Elites with ease even if you don't have the gear to burst it dead. Make Ferocity pets strong on damage to slot right in as the perfect PvE pets. Make cunning pets the PvP type: Give them some snare/root removal, some "protect the Hunter" style abilities and ON TOP of that: Give each pet a unique ability again. Maybe even 2 for BM specific pets.

I know people wan't things to just be "out there and accessible" but as a Hunter who has spendt more time camping Hunter pets than I think many other Hunters have - I will say that I WAN'T for these changes to happen. The examples laid out here is a bit silly with the "Primal Rage" but the "Masters Call" is absolutely perfect.

Give each pet a designated pet spec but make that spec worth it's value with 4-6 passives.
Give each pet 1-2 abilities and make them fit the type of pet it is. I know buffs is no longer a thing so abilities will have to be repeated but just spread them out good enough. As an example I love how the Chimeras got the AoE breath and the Worms the AoE rumble (Even tho they are so low on damage that using them is a waste)

And how about this: What if Blizzard added a Hunter Toy that allowed you to change the appearance for your current pet to any pet from your stable? Would people still cry then? You get to have the "minmaxed" pet looking like EXACTLY what pet you want it to be.

Edit: Of course a pet appearance swapper would have to be turned of for PvP since: "Okay he's got a Raptor, that means Reduced heal... And I am rooted with a web?"

+ How would they make the Worms Burrow work if you swapped you pet to be a Bird? There are things to think about but still.

Edited by Rexx
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I like the changes.i wish they would go back and make them a little more like vanilla

Edited by dromir

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4 hours ago, dromir said:

I like the changes.i wish they would go back and make them a little more like vanilla

As in stupid as hell and out of control? ;-)

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1 hour ago, Caeren said:

As in stupid as hell and out of control? ;-)

give me a more probable excuse when my pet pull 50 elites because I jumped from a small wall/platform! :D

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The main disagreement with this change simply has to do with the 'look' of the pet. I don't see many people arguing as much about the spec changes but  the 'lock' on appearances.

If your thing is to tame rare/difficult pets to tame...I doubt that will change.

But, I don't want to be forced to play an ugly (to me) pet just because it fits a tactic like the old need to pull out the fugly ass sporebat.

IF there were a way to transmog a pet's appearance (which, there already its by way of the Essence Swapper) then fine, I don't care what changes they make as long as I can 'look' the way I want to look.

I mean, if we can tmog gear we don't like to something we like why not our pets appearance?

I really hope Blizz is paying attention to this topic here and on the Blizz forums, wowhead, and reddit. The clear majority is that hunters do not want to be locked in to a pet appearance they don't like.

Edited by Tupi
Oxford Comma ; )
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All the complaints about looks as pointless as they are. Are also meaningless. Most testers have confirmed that outside of the lust no pet spec actually has an increase in damage. Now if you want to min/max the best seems to be tenacious for the extra defensive. But other than that it really so far does not seem to matter at all beyond if you extremely prefer one of the bonuses over the other. Honestly it is not as big of a deal as anyone complaining even makes it sound.

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9 hours ago, KLoaf11 said:

All the complaints about looks as pointless as they are. Are also meaningless. Most testers have confirmed that outside of the lust no pet spec actually has an increase in damage. Now if you want to min/max the best seems to be tenacious for the extra defensive. But other than that it really so far does not seem to matter at all beyond if you extremely prefer one of the bonuses over the other. Honestly it is not as big of a deal as anyone complaining even makes it sound.

umm, most of the complaints ARE about the looks of the pets. The pet damage is the same, we get it. People who only want to min/max will min max w/o regard to looks. It's those of us that like our whole look to be cohesive with a pet of our liking who are upset that we may be forced (if we want to be competitive in dungeons/raids) to go with a pet we don't like the look of.

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On 2/13/2018 at 9:13 PM, Tupi said:

umm, most of the complaints ARE about the looks of the pets. The pet damage is the same, we get it. People who only want to min/max will min max w/o regard to looks. It's those of us that like our whole look to be cohesive with a pet of our liking who are upset that we may be forced (if we want to be competitive in dungeons/raids) to go with a pet we don't like the look of.

That is my point. If you don't care about min/maxing you should just go with looks. 

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On 2/15/2018 at 8:53 PM, KLoaf11 said:

That is my point. If you don't care about min/maxing you should just go with looks. 

and my point was that a good deal of us (by my reading) want to be competitive AND have a look we like. Simply put again: if we aren't forced in to a look we don't like and can transmog all of our gear to what we like why force us into a pet model we don't like? The change to be able to chose your pet's spec was done (I think) for that very reason. I mean, Blizz allowed us to even mog over our Artifact weapons...an item SO important we have spent hours upon hours grinding AP to empower the damn things. Yet, the appearance didn't matter? That defies the logic of what they want to do to hunter pets. It just makes no sense that hunter pets need to be so important an aspect that they take away the simple method of allowing players to play at as high a level as they can with a look they find 'fun' and pleasing.

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On 2/18/2018 at 7:37 AM, Tupi said:

and my point was that a good deal of us (by my reading) want to be competitive AND have a look we like. Simply put again: if we aren't forced in to a look we don't like and can transmog all of our gear to what we like why force us into a pet model we don't like? The change to be able to chose your pet's spec was done (I think) for that very reason. I mean, Blizz allowed us to even mog over our Artifact weapons...an item SO important we have spent hours upon hours grinding AP to empower the damn things. Yet, the appearance didn't matter? That defies the logic of what they want to do to hunter pets. It just makes no sense that hunter pets need to be so important an aspect that they take away the simple method of allowing players to play at as high a level as they can with a look they find 'fun' and pleasing.

The fact you think you can't be competitive without whatever pet you think you need shows your not. Besides the one having blood lust none of the pet specs matter. They each just have different abilities and passives. Is it that wrong to bring uniqueness to pets. As a hunter of old that's one thing I used to love about hunter pets. For damage I would bring out my cat. For tanking I would bring out my turtle. But lets be clear. Damage does not change. The only difference is the active and passive. It literally does not matter. The only thing that will probably be required is a tenacity pet at the highest level of cutting edge for the defensive. Other than that no pet with the current changes will make you more or less competitive. If you think otherwise then facts mean nothing to you. Now if you don't have lust in your group sure having the blood lust pet out will help. If anything this change actually increases the amount of pets that are useful. Because as of right now the only three pets with really any competitive edge is spirit pets healing, brez pets and lust pets. Now all ferocious pets will have lust which is a big advantage. I personally like having chromaggus with me. If you don't care about which pet you have out right now. This change means nothing to you and won't affect your competitiveness.

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12 hours ago, KLoaf11 said:

The fact you think you can't be competitive without whatever pet you think you need shows your not. Besides the one having blood lust none of the pet specs matter. They each just have different abilities and passives. Is it that wrong to bring uniqueness to pets. As a hunter of old that's one thing I used to love about hunter pets. For damage I would bring out my cat. For tanking I would bring out my turtle. But lets be clear. Damage does not change. The only difference is the active and passive. It literally does not matter. The only thing that will probably be required is a tenacity pet at the highest level of cutting edge for the defensive. Other than that no pet with the current changes will make you more or less competitive. If you think otherwise then facts mean nothing to you. Now if you don't have lust in your group sure having the blood lust pet out will help. If anything this change actually increases the amount of pets that are useful. Because as of right now the only three pets with really any competitive edge is spirit pets healing, brez pets and lust pets. Now all ferocious pets will have lust which is a big advantage. I personally like having chromaggus with me. If you don't care about which pet you have out right now. This change means nothing to you and won't affect your competitiveness.

You aren't comprehending what I said. I am talking solely about the 'look' of a pet and a lot of hunters out there don't want to be forced in to a look just because it has an passive or active attribute that some raid leader thinks is best for the group. I don't think I NEED any pet other than the ones I like the look of.  

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12 hours ago, Tupi said:

You aren't comprehending what I said. I am talking solely about the 'look' of a pet and a lot of hunters out there don't want to be forced in to a look just because it has an passive or active attribute that some raid leader thinks is best for the group. I don't think I NEED any pet other than the ones I like the look of.  

This is my point. If your in a group where someone thinks that even in a pug leave. It won't matter. You aren't forced into anything.

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      The time has come for our beta key giveaway for the upcoming expansion, Battle for Azeroth! This post will have everything you need to not only enter the giveaway, but make sure that your entry has the best chance of winning one of the 75 keys we are giving out.
      How to Enter
      With the information that has been spreading through datamining and now on the beta servers, it's obvious something big is brewing for the home city of the Night Elves, so our contest will be sending you to Darnassus! In order to enter, you will need to have a level 1 Night Elf and bring it to Darnassus - specifically, The Howling Oak.
      Once you have arrived, position yourself at the entrance on the first platform, as shown below:

      Once you have done so, you should click on the in-game clock and then click the "Show Stopwatch" button that appears in the Clock window. This will show you an in-game timer that you'll need to use for the contest.
      The objective is to follow a route through Darnassus and time yourself from start to finish, following the steps we have outlined in the instructions below. Once you have your time, you will then choose from one of five times in the poll at the top of this post; you should select whichever time is closest to the time you recorded while completing the run through Darnassus.
      Users that selected the "correct" time will then be placed into a pool of players that will be eligible to win a key. The winners will be chosen at random from those that have selected the correct option in the poll. As long as you follow the route, there should be no issues with your time being too far off the average we found while running the route.
      So, without further ado, let's get running!
      Instructions for Route
      Follow the steps below exactly as detailed in order to keep your time as close to ours as possible. There are a few things to note before starting your run:
      Read the full instructions before starting your run. It will make things much easier for you. Use the WoW in-game timer. It's likely more reliable than your years-old egg timer. Stick to the path as much as you can on the map's route. We stayed in the middle of the path for the whole route, so cutting corners too often might ruin your chances. The red route on the map below should be followed as precisely as possible until you reach the Temple of the Moon, at which point you should follow the instructions for where to go. We typed out each emote in order to give players a fair chance in case they did not want to use macros for the emotes. You should do the same. When you see an "or" between two emotes, you can choose which one to do. We felt we would give an option for the Alliance players that wanted to show respect to their comrades, but also leave the possibility for Horde players to show their disdain for the Alliance. Here is a map of the route you will follow:

      The steps for the route are as follows:
      Start your timer. Emote with /salute or /spit at one of the guards next to you (you can do this at either guard, it does not matter). Follow the route around Darnassus until you reach the entrance to the Temple of the Moon. Enter the Temple, then turn left immediately and follow the path with lamps on either side that leads to a ramp guarded by two Sentinels. Once you reach the top of the ramp, turn right and follow the path until you reach Tyrande and Malfurion. Stop just before them. Emote with /bow or /laugh at Tyrande. Emote with /salute or /spit at Malfurion. Run through them and jump off the balcony into the water below. As soon as you land next to the statue of the fountain, stop your timer. Once you've got your first time, you can either try again and average your times, in case you felt you made a mistake, or you can enter with your first time. Come back to this page and select the option in the poll that you think was closest to your time for the route. Your entry will be your poll selection, so choose wisely and good luck!
      Rules and Information
      As for every contest, we have a set of rules that will apply for the duration of the contest:
      The contest will finish as soon as the poll closes on Friday, May 25th, 2018. Users will be selected at random from the pool of players that choose the "correct" poll option. This will be done by a random number generator and we will not change the choices unless a user has broken one of the rules. You may only enter the competition once; if you attempt to enter with multiple accounts from the same IP, your entries will be void. Do not use any speed enhancement buffs, gear or mounts. You should complete the route at the running speed of a Level 1 Night Elf (any class) in their starter gear. Do not use any race other than Night Elf for the challenge; they have a passive increase to their movement speed that other races do not have. Good luck to all that enter and we hope you can come to appreciate the beauty of the city while completing the challenge (or scout out a few weak points for future battles if you will be returning as a Horde player)!
      EDIT: The poll results that are displayed after voting should all be at 0 votes. Your vote is still counted, but we have done this to remove the possibility of users simply checking the results for an easy method of entering, rather than actually participating.