Scattered Shots: Hunter pets we'd like to see in our stables

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Scattered Shots: Hunter pets we'd like to see in our stables
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing potential new hunter pets in Warlords of Draenor.

Blizzard seems to have really enjoyed teasing hunters this expansion with the Dire Beast spell. Dire Beast is a talent which summons a random beast to fight for you for 15 seconds. Each zone in Pandaria has three different beasts it chooses from, and there are several instances where it will summon a beast which you're currently unable to tame. The most notable examples being the pterrorwings on Isle of Thunder and the gulp frogs on Timeless Isle.

There's also several beast families which have been in the game for a long time but remain untamable. Occasionally, these are added in a new expansion, such as the basilik and water strider in Mists of Pandaria. As a pet collector, I have high hopes that we'll see both old and new pet families added in Warlords of Draenor to fill our stables. Let's start with a family of beast so obvious that they already have a unique spell attributed to them in the game.

Hydras. I'm still at a loss why they haven't officially been added to the game yet considering that they already have their own hunter pet ability, Bellowing Roar. The only place this is used right now is for the handful of hunters who tamed the Spirit of Atha back in early Wrath. For the longest time those hydras were considered to be of the crocolisk family. In Cataclysm, they were moved to their own hydra family with the Bellowing Roar ability. Perhaps hydras will inhabit the shorelines of the Zangar Sea in Draenor, and Blizzard will consider letting us tame them finally.
Gulp frog
Mists of Pandaria added quite a few new beast families which are unfortunately not tamable yet. The gulp frogs can be summoned with Dire Beast on the Timeless Isle, and in Townlong Steppes you can summon a beaver. A preview of pets to come? Maybe. The main thing probably holding them back is making new unique spells for each family. It might seem simple, but that doesn't mean there's not something more important to be done before more hunter pets can be made. The exception being the hydras. They are ready to go! What's the hold up?

Needs more dinosaurs

Raptors? Check. Devilsaurs? Check. Direhorns? Check. By now my hunter is pretty adept at taming ferocious dinosaurs, so I think it's fair to say if he can wrangle an elite direhorn, he is ready to tame some diemetradons, stegodons, and pterodactyls. If you've ever used Dire Beast on the Isle of Thunder you will have noticed that 33% of the time you will spawn a pterrorwing which looks pretty awesome. There is also the pterrordax breed found in Un'goro Crater. The main difference between them is the former fights on the ground while the latter hovers in the air at all times. Azeroth's analogue to the stegosaurus is the stegodon, also found in Un'Goro Crater. Being able to tame all of these could be a nice addition to the Ancient Tome of Dinomancy. Out of all these, I really would like a pterodactyl pet more than the rest.

Dinosaur Pets
Mounts as pets

It's been a longstanding pipe dream of hunters to be able to tame their own mounts, and while I would love to see something like that happen, what I am talking about here is being able to tame existing wild beasts as regular pets. It just so happens that quite a few of them are also used as mounts. That is a lot of potential pets! A full mammoth Stampede would be a horrifying sight to anyone on the receiving end of it. The fact that we have yet to see many mount lookalike pets could mean there is a philosophical reason behind not allowing them. However, there are pets such as the Gurbashi Riding Raptor and Shattered Hand Warhound which use mount models, and they can most definitely be tamed. So, I wouldn't say my dream of a mammoth pet is entirely out of the question.

Beasts of Draenor

When it comes to new pet families, there were a few hints to come out of BlizzCon in regards to Warlords of Draenor pets, but we won't no for sure until the closed beta begins. These are the ones gathered by the posters at the Petopia forums thus far.

Warlords of Draenor hunter pets
The wolf model you may recognize from the Kor'kron War Wolf mount given out for defeating Garrosh on normal mode Siege of Orgrimmar. This is what it looks like without all of the armor and spikes. We can be pretty sure that this is going to be the model for Draenor wolves and thus will be tamable. Beside that is the new spiky Draenor boar model. We briefly saw one of these guys beside an ogre in the announcement trailer.
Warlords of Draenor hunter pets
The new chimaera model will hopefully be found out in the wild as well, but the one you see above is of the recently datamined mount. The next picture is a piece of concept art for a new beast in Draenor called the riverbeast. Whether or not these end up being tamable is up in the air because they would need a new pet family and ability.
Warlord of Draenor hunter pets
The tallstriders really are in desperate need of a model revamp, and if they turn out to be anything like this concept art I'll be replacing mine with one of those for sure. The next one is called a dragonfly. In one of the BlizzCon panels it was mentioned they are considering making a mount out of it, but there's always a possibility this will end up being one of Draenor's native species. Next up is the most evil looking toucan bird I've ever seen. This could be anything -- a critter, a battle pet, or a beast -- but my hope is we can tame those flying beaks of death.

Barbeque boars

If you've ever wanted a flaming boar, duskstalker, icepaw bear, fire roc, or any pet with a special visual effect you may be in luck. The reason pets currently lose special effects like this is because they are applied via an aura, and when you tame a beast all auras get stripped away. This is to prevent hunters from taming beasts with damage buffs or anything else that could harm gameplay. There were a few brief periods of time where there were ways around this, but it's no longer possible. Game Designer Dave Maldonado mentioned on twitter they are looking into changing these from auras to be on the "display level." This means pets like the previously mentioned ones will be able to keep their special effects once tamed. Remember to take this one with a lot of salt. It's just a tweet.

Both Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria each added approximately 175 new hunter pet looks to the game, so hopefully we're in for the same treatment in Warlords. Would you prefer to see all new pet families, or is there some beast that's been in the game for years that you've always wanted to tame?
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