Reader Gnarsh left 2 comments in my FAQ pages yesterday about boars. One example:
Boars are not great for soloing, they are the best pet for soloing. Even spec’d out 100% marksman at level 62, I rarely do enough damage to pull a mob off my boar. A Concussive Shot usually gives the boar enough time to regain control over the mob if it doesn’t die by the time it gets to me. On the rare occasions a mob closes to melee range it doesn’t take more than two or three swings to put it down. As far as ugly, if the mob thinks my pet is funny looking, he’ll only die laughing.
“…the best pet for soloing.” The plan was to publish the comment and then post my own discussing it, but that phrase gives me pause. To publish would give credence to that statement of absolute, even if it only lasted until the reader gets to my rebuff. Which leads me to the question, can it be rebuffed?
He didn’t state that other pets aren’t viable for soloing, just that boars are better. In my opinion, anything with a focus dump that can immediately use any talent generated focus will generate enough threat to solo with effectively. However, I don’t think a case be made that any of them are on par or better than the boar. With charges huge initial threat boost, most hunters are hard pressed to pull agro.
The other factor when soloing is survivability. Of the 7 pets I recommend, boars have more armor and more health than any of them.
Even Dash/Dive isn’t an issue.
Further pushing the recommendation is that the nice models occur early in the game. If you’re going to have both a soloing pet and a raiding pet, it just makes sense that you’d do the soloing pet as you leveled and then tamed a high level raiding pet to minimize grinding up levels.
The only downside is DPS, which doesn’t matter too much when soloing as most damage comes from the hunter, even a BM. Screech is also nice to have, but it’s very situational, and most times I’d just trap if there’s a second mob.
If Bliz gave your favorite pet model a 2nd version with higher armor/hp, but lower DPS, that could hold agro better than your current pet, wouldn’t you take it for soloing? Why wouldn’t you fully recommend that pet for leveling? But that’s the situation with the boar. Can you think of any pet that is superior to the boar for soloing?
For now the comment will be on hold until I can think of a way to tell min/maxers to take a boar without making those that don’t want a boar feel like they’re missing out.