Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hunter Pet Ideas for Cataclysm

There has been a lot of talk and speculation this week on the possibility of new hunter pets and the utilization of their unique abilities in Cataclysm. With a couple new possible tamable creature models being revealed from recent Cataclysm alpha data-mining (Mastiff and Fox), it seems like hunters are going to be facing some new pet decisions come the next expansion.

There have been discussions on what kinds of pets and abilities players would like to see on a few popular World of Warcraft related sites, so I would just like to share some of my hunter pet ideas.

Pet Idea 1: Murlocs

The infamous murloc. I would personally love to have a fiesty murloc at my side, helping to fell my various foes. Their special ability would be a thrown fishing net that roots your target in place for a few seconds and isn't broken by damage. And of course they would make their trademark murloc gurgling sound as you send them after your enemies. Murlocs eat a strict diet of fish only.

Pet Idea 2: Giant Squirrels

I'm not talking about being able to tame the small squirrel critters that already inhabit Azeroth and beyond. Blizzard would have to create a new monster type for this. I'm thinking BIG squirrels, the size of a small dog, frolicking about you with tail swishing crazily just like real squirrels. Giant squirrels would only eat bread, fruit, and cheese, although I have witnessed real life squirrels eat meat before, which was frightening. Possible ideas for a giant squirrel's unique ability are Acorn Barrage and Intimidating Tail Swish.

Acorn Barrage would be a channeled multi-target attack that hits your targeted opponent and the next two closest foes with a barrage of acorns, hitting each target three times over a three or four second channel. This would be an awesome ability to use simultaneously with multi-shot or volley, and would be useful in PvP as well. Of course since it's channeled it could be interrupted by any attack.

Intimidating Tail Swish would basically be a fear spell that sends any opponent in a 10 yard radius of your giant pet squirrel running for their life for a few seconds. Obviously this would mainly be useful in PvP battlegrounds or non-dungeon PvE. Let's face it, hunters with a fear ability would be awesome. It's just fun to watch things scatter. The little icon over the heads of your feared opponents would be of a squirrel face with red glowing eyes or something.

Pet Idea 3: Skunk

Skunks may look adorable with their spunky hair and cute white stripe, but when they face away from you and lift their tails, you had better be in another zip code. The obvious unique ability would be this very defensive tactic, called Repulsive Stench. It would be a conical area of attack, applying a nature DoT or slightly decreasing movement, as well as attack and casting speeds to affected targets. Skunks would eat a diet of bread and fruit.

Pet Collars

I realize a lot of people have this idea. For me personally, I thought it would be a neat hunter pet mechanic in WoW after playing Dragon Age: Origins, a game in which you can acquire a canine-like pet and equip different collars on him for different effects. Pet collars in WoW would be like rings or neck pieces - you wouldn't actually see them on your pet, but they would have different pet attribute enhancing stats. Or instead of the collar itself having stats, it would have a single gem slot that could be fitted with certain pet exclusive gems. This would give jewelcrafters new gems to cut in Cataclysm and would be a neat way for hunters to customize their pets.

Pet gems wouldn't be crazy powerful. Think more along the lines of the usefulness of minor glyphs. One gem might heal a pet for 2% of received damage, slightly increase its chance to dodge melee attacks or slightly increase focus regeneration speed. Hell, they could be completely utilitarian. Maybe a certain gem allows the pet to automatically undo a movement impairing effect on a nearby friendly target with a three minute cooldown, or it provides a small health (or other attribute) boost to all members in the pet's master's raid group. Or how about a gem that increases the party's movement speed to rival that of Aspect of the Pack, speeding up movement speed between trash pulls without having to worry about being dazed from being hit while in AotP? Fun things of that nature.

One of the things I love most about being a hunter, other than the pure DPS, is group utilization. I like using traps. I like misdirecting my threat. I like pushing a button and instantly allowing everybody in the group to run much faster. Hunter pet collars could be a way to enhance a hunter's group usefulness without even touching the talent trees.

Cataclysm is still months away but half the fun in waiting is speculating and coming up with things you hope will make it into the expansion. What ideas do you have?

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