Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hunter Pet History

When I first started playing WoW, I didn't know a whole lot. I knew I wanted to be a Dwarf... and that's about it. I watched the opening cinematic and saw the Hunter and his bear and figured I'd give that a try. I mean, boomstick! How awesome is that? So, WoW Ralken was born.

I logged in ad promptly ran around Anvilmar trying to figure out how to get a pet. Look, that level 2 Warlock has one! Why don't I? Yes, I was a noob, but everyone was back then.

Anyway, I drudged through those first 10 levels in what seemed to take months, and finally learned how to tame pets. I instantly went out and got an Ice Claw Bear. That was Eldrar 1.0. No, I left the 1.0 off his name, I just use it here as a naming designation. After a few levels, I did the A Pilot's Revenge quest and met Mangeclaw, a beautiful white polar bear. This guy was a pain to tame at level 12, due to his interrupt attack. It took a few tries, but I had a pet very few other players did, especially in those early days. That was Eldrar 1.1.

I don't know if any of my readers were playing back in the dark days of WoW 1.2, but let me put this simply: Hunters sucked. Or maybe I sucked. I'm not sure, but I do know this: Hunter PETS sucked. Sure, nowadays you young kids have scaling pets, focus dumps, talent trees and all kinds of toys. I had Growl and Bite, and Bite was a waste of Focus. I could have used Claw, as well, but pet autocasts were stupid back then, and Claw would leave me with no focus for growl. It all came down to one simple realization: poor Eldrar wasn't cutting it. He couldn't hold aggro. I needed something that could do damage. I was leveling in the Wetlands at the time and figured I'd try a Raptor. I went out and got Rubio, a Mottled Raptor.

Anyone who gets the reference for that name gets a cookie.

Rubio and I did well for a while. After a dozen or so levels, I realized that Rubio was getting beat around a bit too much. At this point, I had grown smarter. I started researching. I found out that Raptors were Offensive pets. Sure, he could hold aggro, but he had no defensive capabilities. I needed a Defensive pet, but I didn't want the trouble I had with Eldrar. After some digging, and discovering the Holy Grail of Hunter information, Petopia, I learned that the only Defensive pets with Medium DPS ratings were Crocolisks and Gorillas. There were no Crocolisks around my level, but there were some pretty white Gorillas. Once I got to level 40, I got myself an Elder Mistvale Gorilla. Here's Eldrar 2.0.

Eldrar and I stomped all over the rest of the game, literally. Thunderstomp had a 60 second cooldown back then, but it was still amazing. I recieved whispers any time I was in town asking where I got such a cool pet, but the only other Hunter I ever saw with a Gorilla was a guildie I was mentoring.

I kept Eldrar on as my tanking pet, and also picked up a Giant Ember Worg, Hayate, for groups.

Then, it happened. Two weeks before Burning Crusade, I got hacked. These jerks used Ralken for farming in Winterspring. With a cat. They abandoned my partner, my lifelong companion, my monkey for a freaking CAT.

I hate Cats.

Fast forward a year or so. I had no motivation to play my Hunter without Eldrar. I took up Sam as my main character, and was working on Ullic. Around this time, my girlfriend took a hiatus from Final Fantasy XI to give WoW a try. She rolled a Hunter and I helped her along. I got the itch to get Ral going again, and I geared him back up and brought him to Outland. He needed a pet. I looked at my options, tryed Hayate, but he wasn't cutting it. I tamed Rico, a Razorfang Hatchling, but I didn't like him. After some further research, I found out about Boars. There were level 60 Boars in EPL, just sitting there waiting to be tamed. They were ugly things, but I gave it a shot. One Plagued Swine later, Chops was mine.

Chops was amazing. An unkillable tanking machine. Alas, it was not meant to be. Bliz stealth-nerfed the Charge + Growl combo in patch 2.4.2, in preparation for Growl scaling off Hunter's AP instead of Pet's AP in 2.4.3.

Great, now what? Ooh, Screech is a good aggro-holding focus dump. Let me try a bird. Cema 1.0 was a Greater Windroc. I upgraded to a Dire Raven when 2.4.3 hit since Carrion Birds were Defensive pets, while Owls were Offensive. Cema 1.1 got me to 70, and she's still with me.

The biggest announcement about Wrath for me was that pets would auto-level to within 5 levels of the Hunter upon taming. I could get my monkey back! Two days after 3.0.2 went live, I picked up Uhk'loc and squealed with delight with Eldrar 3.0. Sure, thanks to BRK, everyone has a Gorilla now, but I doubt many will stick with them. There's Devilsaurs and Core Hounds and Rhinos for those wannabes. I'm a Gorilla man to the end.

1 comments:

Indigo said...

I ran my original pet on my hunter, one of the dragonhawks from the Blood Elf starting areas, all the way up into my 60's. I knew I should give up on Flutterbye, but I just couldn't do it!

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