Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

BigRedKitty: Florence Nightingkitty

Daniel Howell

Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the Hunter class, sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary.

LF Tank and Healer for Heroic Shattered Halls.

LF Tank and Healer for Black Morass.

LF Tank and Healer for Gruul's Lair PUG and good to go.

LF Tank and Healer to raid Undercity or Hogger.

As a DPS-class, this is all we see in the Looking for Group channel, isn't it? It's just 10,000 warlocks and mages and rogues and hunters, all hoping that a tank and healer will consider us worthy of their glorified, sanctified presence. We prostrate ourselves, hoping they will let us get a little reputation and watch them get a new piece of gear, while we take home eleven pieces of Netherweave Cloth and a Large Prismatic Shard.

Well in WotLK, hunters are getting a huge present: the ability to have Pet Talent Points. Although the final names of the pet talent trees aren't chiseled in stone, the concept is that we will have a DPS Tree, a Tanking Tree, and a Utility Tree.

A basic glimpse in the WotLK-future would indicate that Marksman hunters could get a DPS-spec'd pet and do more DPS than a Beastmaster hunter currently can. That would make sense; we'd be fine with that. A Survivalist hunter could make a Utility pet. Would a Utility pet be like Robin to your Batman, dropping traps and able to Fear and put wickedly-cool debuffs on targets? Maybe, sounds like fun.

But what puts a shine on our gun is the idea of a Beastmaster hunter with a Tanking Pet. Can you imagine... a hunter's pet that could honestly tank a 5-man instance boss.

Yeah, baby. You sell that to us, Blizzard, and we're totally buying.

And the first time we ever mentioned this on our personal blog, the tank-lurkers erupted in a foaming blather of incoherent and monosyllabic outrage.

"Tanking is the hardest part of the game! If a hunter's pet can do my job, I'm rerolling Student and getting my f-ing associates degree."

That's right, the tankers were concerned they'd be out of a job, on the street, and relegated to a daily ritual of washing perfectly clean and untarnished shields. And we're here to tell you... we certainly hope that happens. Enjoy your NevrDull, fellas, and don't let that armor drag on the carpet on your way to Poly Sci 101 at your local community college.

Now that we're completely on the bandwagon of potentially eliminating the need for tanks until level 80 and the new 25-man raiding content, the Hunter-Pet World Domination Extravaganza has a new target in its sights.

LF Healer for Heroic Steamvaults... oh wait, never mind. Our Hunter has a Healing Pet.

The insanity that is Pet Talent Trees must be amplified, my fellow hunters. Give us a pet DPS Tree and bequeath unto our class a pet Tanking Tree, that's all gravy. But take the Utility Tree and round-file it. In its place...

In it's place, we need a pet Healing Tree.

That's right, we need a hunter-pet capable of healing a five-person group. And we've got the whole thing worked out!

First, we need a pet capable of doing healing spells. Unicorns, by Elune! Make unicorns pet-trainable in WotLK and we'll spec one in the pet Healing Tree.

The spiffy yet fictional pet Healing Tree gives our pet the ability to auto-target our party's tank and auto-cast heals when the tank's health drops. Our unicorn will have a bonus-to-healing aura, an auto-casting heal-over-time spell, a decurse, a quick-but-small heal spell, and a slow-but-big heal spell. When the hunter selects his pet's Healing Tree talents, the hunter is able to pick and choose which healing spells his pet unicorn can auto-cast . Simple, easy, fun to do.

A hunter's Ranged Attack Power would continue to buff his pet's spell damage, e.g. Wind Serpent's Lightning Breath, but through the use of the pet Healing Tree, RAP would also be able to buff a pet's bonus to healing. All the standard hunter-pet synergy would remain intact, but instead of your pet blasting away at the boss, your unicorn would stand by your side and drop heal-bombs on your tank and a Unicorn-Horn Blast of Tranquility over the entire party.

Can you smell all the Win here? Is there anybody out there who doesn't want a little Unicorn-Healing Love?

But of course there is one group who might have an issue here, who might have a major grievance to file with their union. That would be our sweet-smelling healers.

Just like the pet Tanking Tree will cause a massive resignation of tanks, the pet Healing Tree would turn all those Holy Priests into mana batteries and the Resto Druids into ferals. And when their cries crashed the forums and their rages obliterated our chat windows... we'd eat it up with crusty Italian bread dipped in oil and vinegar.

Mr. Holy Priest, do you want to know what it's like to sit outside of the Caverns of Time for three hours, trying to get into a single Black Morass run? Just wait until the pet Holy Tree is implemented and the pet unicorns replace boars as the Overpowered Pet of the Year.

LF3M, Fury Warrior and Shadow Priest need a hunter with either Tank or Healing pet to run anything they'd like. We're bored and lonely. Please, we used to be popular...

From his video guides to Karazhan For Hunter Dummies, nobody covers raid Hunters like BRK. Looking for more Hunter goodness? Check out our non-raid Hunter column, Scattered Shots or the WoW Insider Directory of Hunter Guides.

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr