Updated Tue, Apr 17, 2012 by Mem
With beta invites being handed out left and right, the wealth of information flowing from Mists of Pandaria has been an almost nonstop stream. Most of the information strewn throughout the internet has been based on the major changes coming to talent trees as well as the brand new Pandaren race. However, little has been said about the noble, brave, and too often overlooked Hunter’s pet.
Since it is still early in the beta testing process, little was known about what would be happening with the WoW Hunter pet. However, in a recent statement made by Ghostcrawler the veil of mystery has been temporarily lifted. The changes are huge in scope (check out Ghostcrawler’s forum post in its entirety)and will either cause great joy or dismay in those of us who love the Hunter class. Read onward to find out more about the changes coming to Hunter pets in WoW.
If you have ever played a Hunter you have more than likely found yourself more than a little annoyed that you have to bring out a particular pet just because it is a certain spec (Tenacity, Ferocity, or Cunning) . Crabs are for tanking, cats are for DPS, and that is just the way it is. However, in Mists of Pandaria Hunters will find this concept blown totally out of the water.
In Mists of Pandaria Hunter pets will no longer be trapped into the spec they were born into. Working much like class specs, each pet will be able to choose from any of the three pet specs. Pets will come equipped with the spec that is typical of that type of pet, for example a cat type pet will be automatically specced Ferocity. However, this spec can be changed at will, meaning that the Hunter can literally use one pet for everything if they so choose. A welcome change indeed for those Hunters who have a particular pet they prefer over all others.
As if the change to Hunter pet specs weren’t enough, Mists of Pandaria will bring changes to pet talent trees as well. Gone are the talent trees resembling those of players. Instead each pet spec will come equipped with 2-3 active and 2-3 passive abilities. These abilities will include those that are considered to be the most favorable for Hunter pets, so it is likely that most Hunters will find their favorite talents despite the cut.
The logic behind this change comes down to the fact that the more elaborate trees seen in action in Cataclysm, simply weren’t being used. Let’s face it, most of us don’t like speccing our own characters, let alone spending the time to go through the same process with our pets. So instead of changing the pet talent tree into the full tiered talent system players will see on their own characters in Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard has instead given each spec its own core abilities.
While some players may be unhappy with the changes to Hunter pets coming in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, I for one, am more than pleased. It was clear that, like the class talent systems, Hunter pets and their talents needed a drastic overhaul. The old system of talents pigeon holed players into speccing their pet a certain way with little room for change. The rest of the talents always appeared good, but when compared with the “norm” were really not worth spending the talent points in if the player wanted the maximum effectiveness for their pet.
Removing this talent system which forced players to be forced into a talent layout, as well as allowing all pets to use all three specs, coincides with the other changes we have seen thus far in Mists of Pandaria. Blizzard is really aiming to make game play fun for all players, no matter how they choose to play the game, or which pet they choose to play it with. While some players may rage against these changes and call it “dumbing” down of the game, I for one feel the opposite. I find the changes to be liberating and cannot wait to experience WoW my way, instead of the way prescribed by an elite few.
My only regret here is that instead of giving us some choice, as they did in the new revamped player talent system, Blizzard has simply assigned us a set of 6 or so pet talents and called it a day. I think in the long run, having a small choice would be more meaningful than none at all. Despite this though, I much prefer this new pet talent and spec system over the one currently in place.
How do you feel about the changes coming to Hunter pets in Mists of Pandaria? Will this change help or hurt WoW? Do you think these changes could be handled differently? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! Want the news straight from the horses’ mouth? Check out Ghostcrawler’s forum post on the changes coming to Hunter pets in Mists of Pandaria.