Everything points to 3.0 being launched tomorrow, and I’m very interested to see how everything shakes down. Hunters have quite a few changes to deal with, so I decided to make a list of things to do when I login after patching. Some are obvious, some not so much. Hopefully, this post will get you out of the BC mindset and to the start of WotLK.
First, the obvious one – talents.
I’m going to be speccing this. First, you’ll notice what I’m skipping: Beast Mastery, and Kindred Spirits. The new 61 point talent IS pretty cool, but as I look at my pet calculators, I don’t see 4 points to be a deal breaker. In fact I feel like I’m just putting points wherever. I fount the sheer number of abilities my pet has in the beta to be overwhelming, so I feel better keeping it simple and getting used to the few I really like. I can get most of what I want without them anyway. The other reason for Mastery, taming exotic pets, is really cool, but looking at the list of exotics, I think I’ll just be sticking with the ones that actually mean something to me rather than just another hunter with a core hound. The 20% damage from kindred spirits is great, but Cobra Strikes gives me more DPS as well as mana via Invigoration, and Longevity really, really punches up growl.
I could still get those top tier talents if I didn’t put any in MM, but I consider those to be pretty essential. Free 5% crit, and one of the best talents around now in tier 2 with Mortal Shots. Then, there’s the whole reason for those previous 10 points: GftT. With my 25% crit, this blows Beastial Discipline away. I may even take both if focus should become more of an issue.
Utilizing 5 stable slots is next.
I’m definitely keeping Flight (raptor) and Frothy (crab). That leaves 3 slots one of which should probably be a ‘Cunning’ pet. I’m actually going to take 2 cunning pets. Taming Sporewing will probably be the first thing I do after allotting talent points. He was actually the whole inspiration behind the Pet Review Project. My second pet will be a spider. I was really close to taming one of the cool BC spiders to replace my raptor until I learned about focus dumps. I may be persuaded to tame a bone spider eventually tho. The 5th slot will be a second ferocity pet, the wasp. None of those choices have anything to do with pet family abilities. At heart I’m a RPer, so that’s a secondary concern. Those are also my choices at 80, not 70. Until 80 I plan to have a ‘disposable pet’ slot so if I’m leveling with a Ferocity, I can tame a equal level Tenacity pet to take on some elites if I need to.
So, now on to which pet to use and what talents to spec. This could be a whole post in itself, but here’s my opinion for which to use from 70-80: Ferocity. One of the major issues is going to be hunter mana and that goes to 2 areas which are dealing damage and healing pets. If you kill thinks faster, you use less mana on dealing damage, AND your pet recieves less damage, so you spend less on healing.
Furthermore, lets talk talents for a moment. Ferocity gets 2 healing talents in addition to the highest DPS. When averaged out, Bloodthirsty heals 1% with every attack (you have Cobra Reflexes right?). That’s not great, but every 3 min, you can heal back to full if you need to with Lick Your Wounds. Not to mention, instant rez if you happen to forget to heal. Cunning gets even better regen with Carrion Feeder, but it’s really only useful out of combat which is fine for soloing. Additionally, Roar of Recovery can help mana regeneration as well. Tenacity pets bring the best in combat healing, but IMO the least useful. Blood of the Rhino is insanely powerful, and I think we may see hunter pets as main tanks if you’re slightly above the instance. However, it’s still mana intensive for soloing. The other HP ablity is Last Stand which will keep you pet alive, but doesn’t heal him.
In summary, I think Ferocity pets will make the best pets for soloing with Cunning a close 2nd. That puts Tenacity pets right out for soloing with the exception of soloing elite mobs (which they’ll be great for). They’re just too expensive mana-wise for grinding normal mobs. If you want to know specifics for talents here are my Ferocity, Cunning, and Tenacity trees. Those are all built for soloing, not for raiding, not for instances, not for groups, not for PvP. YMMV.
One last piece: Macros. Since we no longer have to weave shots, you can take that !Auto Shot completely out of all your macros. I still plan to use one, just so that I’m using my trinkets and Kill Command whenever they’re up.