Somewhere in the midst of Day 2 (more on that later) I finally hit level 10 and was able to pick pets for my new Dual-Boxing Wunderkind.
While the first pet-less levels weren’t as frustrating as my first solo-hunter leveling, I was definitely counting down the minutes until I could go from controlling two things to four (yes, I’m a tad crazy). I loved playing a Mastermind in City of Heroes and a Druid in Diablo II for the same reasons… must have minions! As soon as I could I picked up a ferocity (dps) pet for Daysinger and a tenacity (tanking) pet for Nightsinger.
I was thinking of running with two tanking pets, but it occurred to me that we really only needed one tank. Having two pets that were built towards soaking damage as opposed to dealing it didn’t seems like the best tactical decision. (Plus one pet spamming taunt was probably more than enough.)
Sadly, MeatShield has trouble holding aggro on the higher level mobs– but really, we’re going up against stuff almost 1.5 times his level so I can’t blame him that much.
So now I had pets… and the possibility that once I hit Random Dungeons I could be twice the Huntard for half the price. Time to break out the macros!
Pets have three basic states: Aggressive, Defensive, and Passive. These correspond to the following macro commands: /petaggressive, /petdefensive, /petpassive.
Now forget you have ever seen Aggressive or Defensive– at least when it comes to running with groups. They are useful in some situations, but on the whole your life will be much easier if you just stick to the baby seal.
Aggressive pets will attack anything within their aggro range like a psychotic level 5 wolf chewing on level 80’s in Goldshire. While their aggro range is thankfully smaller than their desire for self-sacrifice, this is Not Good(tm). Many were the times leveling alts in which I felt the need to strangle the other player’s Growling-Aggressive pet that kept dragging us into battle.
But Aggressive is useful in certain situations. Pets can see stealthed players and NPCs often before you can and they are great for tagging respawns of quest critters if someone is being annoying and camping them for lulz.
Defensive pets are better, as they don’t charge off after things without first getting shot at… but when something across the room of mobs is shooting at you, it’s normally better to draw it towards you (and away from the other mobs) before sic’ing the Lizard of Pointy Doom or the Pig Who Dreams of Being Bacon on it. Pets will also not follow kill orders and will simply switch to the nearest thing that has caused it damage. This isn’t bad when soloing (or in my case dual-ing), but it’s better to micromanage your pet in groups… and it doesn’t hurt to practice while out of dungeons.
Passive pets require the most hands-on approach, but learning this level of control is something that helps a LOT when it come to unexpected situations. Passive pets will only attach when you tell them and will recall as soon as their target is dead. This keeps them from pulling something they shouldn’t, but does have the downside of dropping their dps if you don’t swap targets before it dies. Plus they can also pull other mobs back with them, so you really need to keep on top of targeting.
That and the fact they’ll stand there sniffing dirt while you get your ass handed to you, is very very annoying.
But better than unanticipated PigPulls. … Darn you MeatShield. *sighs*
Thus I have /petpassive included in the same macro I use in the Follow macro (keybound to 0) and to the targeting macro (which cast’s Hunter’s Mark and sets Nightsinger to /assist Day). This way there is no possible way these little guys should get me in trouble come dungeon time.
You can tell a pet to do three basic things that aren’t attacks or abilities: Attack, Follow, and Stay. Once again Blizzard has been nice with the naming and the macros are: /petattack, /petfollow, and /petstay.
Attack means, well, attack! This sends your pet out after whatever you are targeting at the time. For dual-boxing it is very important to remember that for the pet of the follower, this is what the follower last targeted and not necessarily what the main is targeting! (I learned this the hard way… Which is why my opening for every attack from the pets now includes a /assist line for the follower.)
Follow means ‘drop whatever you are doing and get over here’… as long as you are on passive. If you are on aggressive or defensive, the pets will ignore this the second something more interesting happens.
Stay is a useful for when a pet is bound and determined to bring all of the mobs back with it, or when you jump down without remembering to unsummon the pets… who go and pull every mob between point A and point B while running down the ramp. I have this one keybound for those times when it’s better to let the pets die and soak aggro while I run like a crazy troll to safety.
Other Pet Abilities
Cuisinart has Growl turned off. Always. Unless you are soloing or have been specifically asked to use your pet as an off-tank… KEEP GROWL OFF.
MeatShield only has Growl turned off for dungeons, since he functions as my tank outside the joys of randoms. Still, I turn it off first thing when I zone in and I have a macro that says ‘Growl is off, good to go.’ (If you like, you could setup a macro to turn growl back on in case the tank goes down, but I just haven’t run into that many instances yet where the tank faceplants and the fight is even remotely salvageable by those of us still standing.)
The basic skills that come with your first pet are : Call Pet, Dismiss Pet, Feed Pet, Revive Pet, Tame Beast. Only two of these are used enough to warrant macoring… unless you kill off your pet a lot.
Until you pick up the glyph at 15, you’ll need to keep your pet in munchies. This means you need same level food to keep your sidekick ‘o doom happy and tearing into things at 125% damage. I have my macro below set to use a specific food item, but there are various addons that will feed the pet whatever is handy (and can be used).
This heals your pet, which is useful, but once you hit level 15 and can grab the Glyph of Mend Pet it also increases your pets happiness. Happiness from healing means no more carrying around food– at which point you can toss the Feed Pet macro.
FollowMe – Daysinger (new, keybound to 0)
FollowMe – Nightsinger (updated, keybound to 0)
KillIt – Daysinger (new, keybound to Q)
KillIt – Nightsinger (new, keybound to Q)
BetterYouThanMe – Daysinger and Nightsinger (new, keybound to A)
DungeonTime – Daysinger (new, keybound to Shift-Q)
/p Growl is off, good to go.
DungeonTime – Nightsinger (new, keybound to Shift-Q)
MendPet – Daysinger and Nightsinger (new, keybound to E)
/cast Mend Pet
Biscuits! – Daysinger and Nightsinger (new, keybound to S)
/cast Feed Pet
/use Chunk of Boar Meat