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Welcome to the Wrath of the Lich King Hunter FAQ.
This wiki is a stickied guide found here. Credit goes to Aethien for the writing of the sticky.
OK, let's face it. You're probably here to ask a question. Chances are *somebody* has answered that question in the past, so before you start a whole 'nother thread, please do everyone a favor and check to see if it has been answered already.
Where do you look? Why, right here!
This is my attempt to compile any and every common, useful question you might have to ask about hunters or otherwise use this forum for. While I am not a thread nazi, per se, I do get tired of answering the same questions over and over and over and over and... (get the idea?)
I don't pretend that this will answer *every* question, as the title indicates, but it should answer all the common ones. If you have a more complicated or unusual question and you don't see it, by all means start a thread for it. However, if you ask a completely blank open-ended question that is answered in this FAQ, like "what's the best pet?" or "what's the best race?" or "what's the best talent build for kicking ass?" or basically any other question that contains the word 'best' with no specific details, you will be mocked and rated-down. Consider yourself warned.
If you know a question that should be on this thread but isn't, post a reply with it. (I wouldn't mind if you also included the answer, assuming you know it. I'm not the single authority on huntering.)
Hunters are the ranged combat class in WoW. Since they don't (really) have magic, they have some limited combat abilities for if something does get in their face. They also have beast pets whose primary purpose is to allow them to use ranged combat while soloing.
After level 40, they wear stronger armor than any classes other that warriors or paladins, (but they can not use shields like shamans,) plus other defensive abilities such as a high dodge rate. They can also use all weapons other than maces or wands. Hunters are excellent soloists and arguably the best pullers in the game. Unfortunately neither of these skills come into play much during most groups.
Yes, hunters are fun. Any class in the game is fun or not fun, depending on who you ask. I personally despise playing warlocks and druids, but other people think they're the best classes in the game.
Hunters are not an in-your-face class like a rogue or warrior. They aren't a powerful healer or AE damage dealer that has a concrete role in a group. But they are fun for being what they are. If the concept of a hunter sounds appealing to you, you will probably have fun playing one.
Yes and no. The bottom line is that every class has it's strengths and weaknesses. A hunter, on average, can beat some classes easily, like rogues, and have a lot of trouble with others, like druids.
In battlegrounds, hunters can often have very interesting roles, particularly defensively such as guarding the flag in Warsong Gulch or a node in Arathi Basin. Between tracking to see your opponents coming, and being able to put freezing and frost traps down to stop aggressors, hunters make good guardians.
What is the dead zone?
There are plenty of ways hunters are useful in a PvP environment. On a PvP server, Track Humanoid is invaluable, as is Freezing Trap. However, hunters once suffered heavily from the "dead zone," the space between where ranged attacks and melee attacks can be used; this was changed in patch 2.3 (Nov 2007)
How do I jump shot?
The "jump shot" allows a hunters to deal limited damage while outrunning their opponents by jumping, turning 90 degrees shooting an instant shot and turning back. Performing a true jump shot is a complicated mess of pushing buttons on your mouse and keyboard in well-coordinated fashion, so I'm not going to take three paragraphs to explain how to do one. The easier thing to do is simply strafe, since you run just as fast as strafing, and as long as your target is more in front of than in back of you, you can still hit it.
This is as much as I'm prepared to say specifically about PvP.
You'll have to use every trick in the book and think for yourself. There really isn't much anyone can do to magically make you a better player in PvP besides reminding you of what abilities you have. As the posters at the official boards would say, L2P.
No race is the single best. They all have advantages. First, let it be said that STARTING STATS DO NOT MATTER. Don't pick a Night Elf over a Dwarf because of the difference in starting agility. A Night Elf with 650 agility would have around 643 as a Dwarf. Big deal.
As far as racial attributes go...
- Night Elves can go unseen with Shadowmeld, which is useful to hide from an enemy.
- Dwarves can cleanse poisons using Stone Form, and are slightly better at using guns.
- Draenei have a Heal over time, and increase their party members chance to hit by 1%.
- Tauren have extra HP, and can War Stomp to stun targets in close range to help them get back to range.
- Orcs have pets that do increased damage, and a minor damage boost every few minutes.
- Trolls have a bonus to using bows/thrown weapons, can give themselves a small haste effect every few minutes, and have increased damage against beasts.
- Blood Elves can drain mana from their opponent and then silence nearby opponents to return mana.
All together racial attributes are not that important as you can see. Not one of those is a real must have, so don't chose a race because of their abilities if you can't stand the looks.
Want to know about another skill? Check for yourself at the hunter trainer or on the Hunter Spell List.
What is the hunter's role in a group?
A hunter's primary role in a group is to safely deal damage. They have other possible roles, but 90% of the time, your group will want you to just stand in the back and shoot.
Note that that means not taking aggro, running into other creatures to get a clear shot, or breaking sheep. (or any other forms of crowd control)
- Crowd Control - Freezing Trap will work on nearly every creature in the game. It affects the first target to run across it, and it doesn't work extremely long when the effect isn't broken by someone hitting the frozen target, freeze trap is still a very powerful tool. While survival hunters are masters of crowd control (due to talents like Wyvern Sting, Readiness and improved traps,) all other specs are still very able to do pull their weight. Also, your pet can sometimes off-tank things in a pinch; at higher levels, this isn't usually recommended, as Fido will not weather too many hits from elites, but better your kitty than your healer!
- Pulling - Hunters can feign death, take one creature out of the fight with freeze trap, designate a target with Hunter's Mark, and are masters of taking and dropping hate. At level 70 you will also get Misdirection, which lets you give someone the threat from your next 3 attacks. (Note that you can't abort the pull with FD if you do this.)
- Scouting - Hunters can track, meaning they can know if something is nearby without walking up to see it. Hunters can also use their pet with Eyes of the Beast to go exploring; even if the pet aggroes something, as long as he doesn't bring it back to the party, it doesn't matter.
- Tanking - It's a pretty sad day when this happens in a group, but in some cases and with the right talents, your pet can tank single targets. (This is generally a much more acceptable thing to do before level 50 than after.)
Why do hunters cost so much / use so much room in their bags? - In reality, hunters don't cost more than other classes, but it sure seems that way after buying ammunition and pet food, plus all their other necessities. The costs of these things add up, but other classes have expenses too. Reagents, armor repairs, food/drink, poisons, etc. Do they compare to buying a stack of food and perhaps a full quiver/pouch of specialty ammo? I dunno, ask a level 80 warrior...and remember you don't need crafted ammo.
The real kicker is that hunters can typically pick up less stuff before they return to town because of the quiver. There's really little that can be done about this. Take trade skills that don't involve gathering 10 different stacks of herbs or generating more leather than you can pick up if this is an issue for you. However, there are plenty of examples of how other classes face this problem as well...just not from level 1.
What are good trade skills for a hunter? - There are seven choices that are considered somewhat normal:
- Mining / Engineering - This lets you build guns and create ammo so you don't have to pay for it. The irony is that Engineering creates more headaches than it solves, because it takes up massive amounts of bag space, costs a ton of money to save you a little bit on ammo costs, and doesn't create anything you can sell. You do get Goblin Jumper Cables, scopes, and limited teleportation out of the deal, though. The main reason most players do engineering is for the "toys" - trinkets like the Discombobulator Ray and mind control cap.
Skinning / Leatherworking - A great choice in the beginning, but later on leatherworking starts to suck because there are very few mail recipes and the ones there are are both hard to make and also more often geared toward a shaman. This will definitely help you before level 40, though, and you can continue to sell stacks of leather later on. A huge upside to skinning is that unlike other collecting skills, it won't interfere with your tracking.
- Engineers will get several different enhancements to their own gear (such as a large haste on proc enchant for your gloves) at high level.
Herbalism / Alchemy - Hunters benefit less from alchemy than most classes, but Elixirs of Agility and of the Mongoose are very helpful, and alchemy is one of the few tradeskills you can profit from if you know how, since everyone needs a potion or two at some point. Don't overlook this one.
- After lvl 60 there are many more mail patterns available and multiple (BoE) epics at 400+ skill.
- After lvl 70 or so, there are many new mail and leather recipes available in Dalaran for high level Leatherworkers as well, such as the Swift Arrow sets.
- Leatherworkers are also able to make cheaper leg enchants for themselves as well as a powerful wrist enchant/embossing.
Mining / Jewelcrafting - JC lets you make Rings, Necklaces and some Trinkets.
- An Alchemist will benefit from a longer duration and stronger elixir/flask effects on any elixir/flask they are able to make.
Mining (or Herbalism) / Skinning - This is the standard "collector" tradeskill set for farming items for others. People out to make cash often take this set-up to find things to sell on the AH. Unfortunately, this doesn't work as well with hunters as other classes because they have more limited bag space, but it can still work.
- Beyond a skill of 300 you can also start to cut gems to put in socketed items, which is the real highlight. The downside to Jewelcrafting is that it is more of a service profession, and because it is relatively new many players do not fully understand it or try to exploit the jewelcrafting market.
- At high level, jewelcrafters will be able to make powerful gems for their own use.
Inscription / Herbalism - Inscription lets you make glyphs, vellums or enchanters to put their enchants on and other nifty things like darkmoon cards.
- Mining (or Herbalism) / Enchanting - Enchanting helps you improve your armor but is a huge money pit, and thus needs a gathering skill to keep it up. If you know how to make money, enchanting can potentially make a lot of money, but this route is not recommended for anyone who is just starting.
- Enchanters also get the ability to enchant their own rings at high level.
- At a high level Scribes will be able to enchant their own shoulders with a powerful enchant.
Note that First Aid, Fishing, and Cooking are not technically trade skills, and do not count against your limit of two. All hunters should do First Aid. Fishing and Cooking help feed your pet, but aren't necessary as they can be a huge waste of time. (If Blizzard would add some high-level cooking recipes that don't require fishing, maybe I could do something with my capped Cooking skill!)
Are hunters the best soloists? - No, but they are very good. They can move from target to target with little downtime, and can track to the next target to find it faster. The misconception of a hunter being able to fight while not taking damage making them be the best soloists is an often-repeated myth. Many other classes can solo as well as a hunter, it always depends on what you are fighting. There are so many different things you can (or cannot) solo, it is impossible to say which class is the strongest.
However, a beast master hunter can level on their own extremely well. While generally not as useful in a group as certain other characters, beast masters are incredible soloists.
What is pulling and how do I do it? - Pulling is the act of taking a creature from where it is to some other place to fight it. Usually that means one person goes off and fetches it to a spot where the rest of the group lies in wait to ambush it. If you want to know about how to pull, NuklearPower's Brian Klevinger has a decent explanation of it here.
I will add my own caveats to his writing, though. Hunter pulling is only more effective with a slow methodical process. While technically it's a more improved method of pulling, it isn't always better because it's sometimes like using a sledge hammer to squish an ant - your shoe would do just fine. Not only does the group need to listen to you, and stay out of harm's way, but you need to carefully lay a trap, scope the scene, bring the group back, blah blah blah. The point is it is often easier for a random warrior with a gun to pull.
If you are asked to pull for a group, it pays to be thinking about your next pull, or even starting it while the group is still fighting. While I seldom get to pull for an instance group, in Molten Core I knew the pulls and would do my best to "chain pull" – bring another target to the group just as the last one dies. That isn't something any other class can do very well, mostly because of feign death.
At level 70, hunters get an ability called Misdirection that allows them to make shots and have someone else get the threat for it. At this point, the hunter can out-pull the "random warrior with a gun", but it does have a cooldown, so Misdirection is often reserved for big pulls.
Can I play a melee hunter? or Where does melee fit in with playing the class? - In theory, yes. In reality, no. Hunters are a ranged-dominant class. If you completely ignore this, that would be like a rogue who wants to tank, because hey, they have skills that let them do it, right?
Melee is not something you should be accustomed to doing as a first choice. It's rare that running in and whacking things with an axe is the ideal strategy for you at any given time. You will always do more damage with your ranged. Past level 40 or so, melee can't even compare.
Hunters should be prepared to melee when the circumstances arise, such as when they can't get to ranged during PvP or in close quarters of an instance. Don't neglect your weapon skills completely. But realize that more often than not, you want to do what you can to get back to range, by Wing Clipping, Counterattacking, Trapping, Scatter Shotting, Intimidating, or whatever else you can come up with. Notice how many tools we have to get to range, though? And how many do we have for real melee damage?
Raptor Strike adds damage to a swing, Mongoose Bite is a decent attack but with a cooldown, Counterattack is a defensive move that isn't focused on damage, and Wing Clip doesn't do damage...
What is chain-trapping? - With the ability to use traps in combat, the CC power of a hunter has greatly increased. To chain trap something, set a trap before the fight starts. When the mobs are actually pulled, the trap cooldown should be almost up. So, after the mob is trapped, move to the side and place a new trap and stand behind it. When the trap wears off the mob will hopefully go towards you and get caught in the new trap. You can then set another trap soon afterwards, while the mob is still frozen.
Note that with the proper talents you can extend the trap time to almost completely cover the trap cooldown, which allows you to control a mob for a long time. The first set bonus for Beastlord armor and the level 80 PvP set also reduce the trap cooldown.
Why do people say hunters suck? - There are a lot of little things wrong with every class. For hunters, some are there because the class was the last to get put in the game and many facets of the game weren't designed with hunters in mind. Some are because Blizzard keeps tweaking the formulas and code used on hunter abilities. Some are bugs that have crept into the code and Blizzard hasn't or won't deal with. Some are just whines for other stupid reasons, like getting owned in a duel.
There are some real hunter issues. You can read the official boards if you dare to sift through the muck for them. However, the most important thing is, every class is playable and every class is fun. Don't let all the forum whiners get to you.
The truth is, hunters are one of the most versatile classes in the game, with very good survivability, high damage capability and a decent amount of utility. It's up to you to figure out how to bring all these things to your character, though.
Where are some other useful sources of info for hunters?
Pet-related skills are in the pet section.
Hunters have a series of abilities called Aspects. A hunter can have a single aspect in place at a time, and they each produce a unique effect. A hunter can switch aspects at any time.
- Aspect of the Beast (level 30) - Increases the hunters and his pet's melee Attack Power by 10%, also makes the hunter untrackable. Great for soloing as this will help your pet keep aggro and it's nice to be untrackable in PvP but otherwise not very useful.
- Aspect of the Cheetah (level 20) - Increases the hunter's run speed by 30%, but becomes dazed when hit. Cheetah is mostly only useful in traveling due to the daze component, but it can be used carefully in combat and even PvP to kite an opponent.
- Aspect of the Dragonhawk (level 74) - Combines the effects of Aspect of the Hawk and Aspect of the Monkey.
- Aspect of the Hawk (level 10) - Increases the hunter's ranged attack power. This is the hunter's offensive aspect.
- Aspect of the Monkey (level 4) - Increases chance to dodge by 18%. This is the defensive aspect.
- Aspect of the Pack (level 40) - Cheetah for the group. This is of limited use since it comes at the level players get access to mounts, but it can let your group run through instances and other indoor areas quickly.
- Aspect of the Viper (level 20) - Returns mana based on weapon speed to the hunter whenever you deal damage but reduces the total amount of damage dealt by 50%, also returns 4% of your maximum mana every 3 seconds. a good way to quickly get back to full mana but a bad aspect to keep up for a longer period of time.
- Aspect of the Wild (level 46) - Increases the group's Nature Resistance. This ability works like a paladin aura.
Hunters can place traps any time, unless silenced. (Before Burning Crusade it was only possible when out of combat.) When an opponent crosses the trap, it will detonate, resulting in an effect depending on which trap is used. The traps stay in place, and invisible to anyone outside the hunter's group, for one minute or until triggered.
- Explosive Trap (level 34) - Causes AE damage to all enemies nearby when triggered. Most of the damage is instant, but there is a smaller over-time component.
- Freezing Arrow (level 80) - places your freezing trap at the area you targetted.
- Freezing Trap (level 20) - Freezes an opponent for a fixed amount of time. This is a very useful ability because it can affect almost any enemy type in the game, whereas most targeted crowd control is limited that way. Helpful for PvP, pulling, or just dealing with multiple targets.
- Frost Trap (level 28) - Don't confuse this with Freeze Trap. When triggered, Frost Trap produces a huge field of ice that makes all opponents nearby run slowly. Has limited usage, but can be very helpful in pulling large groups and it's vital for PvP.
- Immolation Trap (level 16) - Causes single target damage over time. The normal damage trap for soloing.
- Snake Trap (level 68) - Releases a number of snakes that attack any nearby opponent and inflict various poisons. Great for PvP because of poisons that snare or slow spellcasting. However those snakes have very few hp and a single AE spell will get rid of them all. In PvE, this trap can make crowd control troublesome as those poison dots will break/prevent most forms of crowd control and the snakes target the next enemy in range, so it is hard to "control" this trap.
Hunters have a few skills for close combat. Note that this doesn't make hunters effective at melee combat so much as it makes them not completly worthless at it.
- Raptor Strike (level 1) - Increases damage on the next melee hit. This is not an instant attack and only adds a flat amount to the next hit.
- Wing Clip (level 12) - For many hunters, this is the most important melee skill because it lets them get out of melee and back to ranged. Wing Clip slows the run speed of a target for 10 seconds so you can get some distance.
- Mongoose Bite (level 16) - A straight forward instant melee attack on a 5 second cooldown.
- Disengage (level 20) - Another ability that helps you gain range, when used you jump backwards.
- Counterattack (level 30 min) - See talents. This ability is only usable when you parry, it also immobilizes a target for 5 seconds.
Hunters gain the ability to see the locations of targets on their minimap. This works essentially the same way Find Minerals or Find Herbs does, but for enemy types. Hunters eventually learn how to track every enemy type except for mechanical and creatures with no type (like insects). It is important to note that only one tracking type can be active at a time, and this includes Find Minerals or Gather Herbs, or the dwarven racial skill of Treasure Finding. This can influence your choice of profession, or at least prove to be an aggravation.
One particular tracking skill deserves some additional mention. Track Hidden is not a standard tracking skill. It is used to help detect stealth targets, but it does not simply pop up all the stealth targets nearby on the map. Instead, it slightly increases your stealth detection. If a hidden target is extremely close to you, it will show it on the map, but by that time it's probably about to attack you anyway. Track Hidden is not a highly-effective ability, but when it comes to detecting stealth rogues, every little bit helps.
Stings are a class of special shots, only one of which can be on a target per hunter at a time. Stings are considered poisons and can be removed by druids, shamans, and paladins.
- Serpent Sting (level 4) - Does damage over time. A poison arrow, basically. This damage WILL break freeze traps and polymorph, so don't just fire it blindly. It also helps prevent a rogue from stealthing in PvP.
- Scorpid Sting (level 22) - Lowers a target's chance to hit. It will not stack with another hunter's Scorpid Sting since 20 hunters could make any target miss completely.
- Viper Sting (level 36) - Drains mana from the target over time. While Viper Sting works very quickly, it often doesn't work quickly enough. In a PvP battle with a mage, the mage will usually have enough mana to finish the fight anyway, so it is often better to just use Serpent and kill him quickly. Against priests and other healers, this is a different story. In PvE, you will want to Viper Sting any healer you can.
- Wyvern Sting (min level 40) - See talents. Puts a target to sleep for 12 seconds, after which it has a dot effect on it larger than that of Serpent Sting.
- Auto Shot (level 1) - This is your version of attack for ranged. Only hunters get this, and only hunters need it. Caster classes do get an autoshoot for wands. Auto shot will continually fire arrows or bullets at your target so long as you are within range, standing still, and facing the right way.
- Arcane Shot (level 6) - Instant attack which does quite ok damage. It has a fixed damage component (15 damage / 25 mana for rank 1; 273 damage / 230 mana at rank 9) and it also adds damage equal to 15% of your ranged attack power. Keep in mind that it deals non-physical damage, so armor is ignored, but mobs can resist some of the damage or even be immune to it, (which is rather seldom.)
- Concussive Shot (level 8) - Very short-term snare effect. It might help you get another shot or two in on an approaching target or help keep it at bay longer while you are kiting it.
- Distracting Shot (level 12) - Ranged taunt. Using DS taunts your target to get it to chase you instead. In situations where your pet is taking a beating, or in a group to peel a target off a caster, this can be a useful ability, but it doesn't see a great deal of use.
- Multi-shot (level 18) - Fires a free shot at your target that will also hit 2 nearby opponents. This is a big-time sheep breaker. When it is safe to use, it can also be a big addition to your damage and a big drain to your mana at the same time. Multishot ignores your weapon speed, (it uses a fixed speed of 2.8,) but uses normal shot damage for how much it does. If you use Multishot a lot, a slow high-damage weapon may be favorable for you.
- Aimed Shot (level 20 min) - See talents. It's a great instant attack but at the cost of a lot of mana.
- Tranquilizing Shot (level 60) - Attempts to remove 1 frenzy and 1 magic effect from the target. Good ability for PvP and useful in some bossfights.
- Steady Shot (level 50) - An important shot for damage since it deals cheap, reliable damage without a cooldown.
- Hunter's Mark (level 6) - Hunter's Mark does two things. First, it increases ranged attack power of all attackers against that target and additional attack power each time the target is struck by a ranged attack. It's cheap on mana and should be up on every target you focus on -- if the target will last long enough for you to benefit from the buff. Second, it adds a huge bobbing red arrow over your target that says "Kill me now!" This causes a target to appear for you on the minimap, even if it is a stealthed rogue, and also lets players nearby know what you are attacking or singling out for them. When playing the role of Main Assist for a group, hunters will usually mark their targets. When pulling, hunters will often mark what they intend on pulling through a freeze trap so players *don't* hit it. Either way, it's a little anti-thematic, but has all kinds of basic utility usage. To rogues: Hunter's Mark is considered magic and can be dispelled, and does not actually prevent you from stealthing or allow anyone other than the hunter to see you. Cry more noob.
- Rapid Fire (level 26) - Allows the hunter to fire ranged attacks with 40% increased speed for 15 seconds, basically an extra 6 seconds worth of attack time if it works completely.
- Trueshot Aura (level 40 min) - This is a talent skill, and sort of like an aspect. (It can be used with an actual aspect.) If you already have 30 points in marksmanship, it's an excellent one point spend, but that's also an if. More in talent section.
- Scare Beast (level 14) - Fear a beast. It doesn't really get used that much except when fighting druids or other hunters.
- Eagle Eye (level 14) - Zooms in a hunters view. Very rarely-used skill.
- Beast Lore (level 24) - Gives information about a target beast. This ability is almost exclusively used when considering possible pets to tame, since it gives stats on the pet and states explicitly if something is tamable.
- Intimidation (level 30 min) - Activated talent that lets your pet stun a target briefly.
- Flare (level 32) - More of a PvP ability, Flare will reveal stealth targets in a particular area. There are a few places where using it on rogue NPCs can be helpful, so don't forget about it, but it's not a main row ability for anyone on PvE.
- Misdirection (level 70) - This ability transfers the threat you generate on your next three attacks to another target. While this can be used while soloing to make enemies focus on your pet, the primary purpose of this skill is during groups to help the hunter be effective at pulling. Misdirecting the hate from your first three shots to the main tank can make pulls where positioning is important much easier, and can also let healers and damage dealers be less cautious of pulling aggro. Be aware that only one misdirection can be active at a time on a target, so 3 hunters cannot all misdirect the MT at the same time.
AND ONE MORE...
- Feign Death (level 30) - Feign Death is an ability I could write a novel about. Here are the important things to know about feign death:
- Causes you to flop on the ground and be removed from all hate lists.
- Can fail, and fails more often against higher level targets and when facing more opponents.
- Removes you from combat, which possibly allows you to drink during a fight, or walk away safely. You can easily return to combat before you are ready by being hit with an AE attack or aggroing something nearby, or if your pet is fighting.
- Will not put you back into combat until you stand up. If you stay lying there until mobs finish off your pet, or if some AE-ing target goes running by and hits you with one as he passes, you will stay face down in the mud.
- After 6 minutes of feigning you will stand up again. You simply cannot lie down and feign your death without end. There are gameplay and RP reasons for this. When you feign death, in theory you slow your heartrate and your breathing so that it can not be ascertained you are alive. The 6 minute maximum on feign death keeps people from safely hiding in a spot forever - while not as huge an issue in this game, this creates an ability to 'camp' things that would cause significant problems in other games, as FD often did when monks used it in Everquest.
- While FD *does* work in PvP, players are not normally fooled, it's still useful because it makes anyone targeting you to lose their target.
What's the best pet? - This is always the first question out of anyone's mouth. Really, there's a lot more to know about pets than just "teh best". If you're lazy and just want an answer, use whatever you want. Whatever you think is pretty. At the moment, Gorilla's are considered to be the best leveling pet, crabs the best PvP pet and there's a bunch of options for the best Dps pet.
- What's your favorite pet?
- What is your pet?
Please don't start another thread on this subject. Honestly, the "favorite pet" threads are getting old and everyone pretty much just the same thing every time. Expect a lot of "cat" answers, a couple "bears", and a few people who try to be original, plus the occasional "I don't like flying pets because they flap in my face," and "I don't like cats because everyone uses a cat." And I mostly use my Crab. It works for soloing and BG's and I like seeing it by my side.
How are pets different? - There are Three ways pets can differ.
- The first is diet. Most beasts eat meat, or meat and fish. Some eat other things. To check a pet's diet, use the Beast Lore ability on it, or if it's already your pet, mouse over the little happiness icon in your pet window. With talents and glyphs in Wrath, happiness is not as important as it used to be.
- The second is their type. There are three types, ferocity, tenacity, and cunning. The general intent seems to be that ferocity is the dps pet, tenacity is the tanking/soloing pets, and cunning pets have nifty tricks. In actual gameplay cunning is very underwhelming. Each type of pet will have a talent tree that you can access here. The talent trees are fairly self explanatory, so I'll leave that as an exercise for the readers.
- The third way that pets are different is in a special ability that all pets have. Each pet type (cat/bear/wasp...) will have one special ability. These are what really sets pets apart and makes certain pets better then others. Pet choice actually depends a lot on what is in your raid.
- If you don't have a warrior for sunder armor, the worm will be your highest dps pet by quite a bit, due to the armor debuff. He does require you to be Full BM though.
- If you don't have a Warlock who's putting up CoRecklesness or a Druid with Faerie Fire, a wasp will be your highest dps pet, and it doesn't require full BM.
- A cat is a solid choice in any situation, a Raptor works well and even a Moth is a good dps pet.
- A devilsaur is also an excellent choice but requires full BM.
- The spirit beast is completely cool, and will do competitive dps but is extremely hard to get and requires camping the places he spawns.
Aside from the situational use of the worm and wasp all the pets are close, and as long as they are ferocity are legitimate choices for raiding. So unless you're a min-maxer, choose a pet you think is cool. All beasts of a certain type and level will be identical. It doesn't matter if you have a polar bear, I have an elite brown bear, and that guy over there has a rotting bear. If they're all level 50, they are all the same. See Petopia for all you could ever want to know about pets.
How do I get my pet? - The first thing you must do is the class quest in your starting area after level 10. Go to Dolanaar/Kharanos/Bloodhoof/Razor Hill/Azure Watch/Falconwing Square and look for your trainer. He will give you a series of quests to tame particular creatures in the zone. After you have finished, you will then be able to tame your own pet.
Ok, if I have to tame my pets, how do I actually do it? - To tame a pet you first have to find one you like. Go out into the wild, and find a creature that is a "beast", no bigger than a bear, and not above your level, and click "Tame Beast". Your character will stand still while a bar goes by and the beast will run up and start beating you. This represents the creature's resistance to your efforts to tame it.
If you manage to withstand the attacks for 20 seconds without being interrupted, you will tame your target and it will stop attacking you.
You can NOT take any other action while taming or it will fail. Nobody else can interfere by healing you or tanking the beast. You must simply weather the attacks, but there's nothing keeping you from trying to not get hit. Stand as far back as you can and maybe even start with Concussive Shot first. Freezing Traps are wonderful once you have that skill.
Why can't I tame a dragon? - Beasts are the only creatures hunters can tame, and only certain types at that. (See the Allakhazam beast family link under bestiary, or use Beast Lore if you aren't sure.) Dragons are considered to be too intelligent to be tamed as a minion. There are some cool exotic pets you can only tame if you are BM.
Note that if you tame an exotic pet as BM, and decide to switch spec you will not lose your pet. It will not be able to be summoned so just go to the stable master and pull out a new one.
OK, I've decided what kind of pet I want. Where do I find a xxx my level? - Go to the side panel for Allakhazam, and under Bestiary, click "By Beast Family..." and pick the family type. Alternatively, check Petopia for one with a skin you like, because pets can never be more than 5 levels below your own once you've tamed them.
Exotic pets are available to be tamed if you have the 51 point BM talent. They are competitive with other pets, but fairly equivalent due to blizzard not wanting 51 point pets to be the end all and be all of pets. If you change specs with a exotic pet it will be de-summoned and you will have to go to a stable master to retrieve a pet you can still use.
How do I feed my pet? - Happiness is your pet's current disposition. If your pet is happier, he will fight better.
To raise a pet's happiness, you must feed him. After giving the pet a piece of acceptable food, by clicking on the "feed pet" skill and then clicking on the food in your inventory, they will start gaining happiness at a rate of typically 35 per second. This effect lasts for about 10 seconds, and then you will need to feed your pet again. *Do not feed your pet before that, and do not send your pet to attack while he is "digesting" or you will cut short the effect.*
(You can also feed your pet by "picking up" the food onto your cursor and clicking on your pet.) You can also increase your pets happiness through some of the talents in the pet trees and via a minor glyph of mend pet.
The icon for their happiness will eventually turn from red to yellow, and then to green, with enough feeding. As your pet gains levels, old food will stop being as effective. If you start seeing your pet gain 8 or 17 happiness instead of 35, you need to get higher-level food. Unfortunately, this means at high levels you will be nearly forced into using Talbuk Venison or the food found in Northrend zones such as Dalaran. At lower levels, vendor costs for food aren't bad, random raw meat works for feeding, and cooking is still meaningful. In Wrath with the glyph or a ferocity pet there is really no need to worry about this anymore. It's much nicer.
Do Pets Gain Experience And Level?
What determines a pet's size? - Yes. They gain experience at a slower rate than you, but also take less to level. The pet tab in your character window will show you your pet's experience bar. A pet will not gain experience when it is your level, to keep the pet from outleveling you.
Each level makes your pet an effective level higher, raising stats and increasing their chance to hit and be missed. It also gives the pet a few extra training points and makes them a tiny bit bigger. All pets of a given type and level are the same size. If you tame some huge behemoth, it will shrink as it becomes loyal to you. (Funny and depressing at the same time.)
Pets will always be at most 5 levels behind you. That means if you tame a level 5 pet at 80 he will magically turn 75 right away.
Which skills can pets use? - There are passive and activated abilities.
- Passive abilities are just that: passive. They provide a boost to some attribute, like armor, stamina, or fire resist.
- Activated abilities are on use abilities that your pet will use. They can be turned to autocast, so that in a certain situation your pet will automatically cast them (usually every time they can) but autocast can be turned off so you can trigger abilities manually.
Oh noes! My pet disappeared/died! Is he gone? - Your pet can disappear for a number of reasons. These include dying, going out of range, being dismissed or abandoned, being stabled, or taking a flight somewhere. In other words, if you don't see your pet, don't panic.
If your pet is not visible, use the Call Pet ability. He will always be somewhere even if he isn't out. If he is dead you will get an error message to that effect. Then Click res pet!
If your pet dies, he is not gone forever. You have an ability to Revive Pet, that costs a ton of mana. Your pet will come back with low health and much lower happiness. (I tend not to be happy about dying either.) Make sure the first thing you do after rezzing your pet is to feed it. Pets also disappear while you are mounted.
How do I feed my pet? - Use the feed pet ability, and click on a piece of food that your pet will eat. Refer to the diet comments earlier if your pet "doesn't like that type of food." Your pet should then gain the "feed pet" effect and start gaining happiness, which you would see in the combat log. This leads to two important items:
- Pets gain less happiness if you feed them food much lower in level than they are. A pet gets maximum happiness - 35 per second - only if the food is less than 20 levels below them. It can drop to 17, then 8, and then 0.
- MAKE FULL USE OF THE FEED PET EFFECT! If your pet is already eating, don't feed him again. This serves NO benefit - not for happiness, not for anything. Also, note that the pet loses the effect if it enters combat, so don't feed it and then send it off to attack something. Indigestion does not make me happy. Getting to chew my food does.
How do I control my pet? - The pet bar that appears when you call your pet has three sets of commands. The three on the left, Attack, Follow, and Stay, are direct orders. Attack sics your pet on your target, follow tells him to come with you, (or back to you rather than attacking,) and stay is for making sure he doesn't move. I recommend you bind the command for pet attack to an easy-to-reach key like the tilde since you'll be hitting it a lot and pressing ctrl-1 sucks.
The three on the right are for putting the pet into different attack modes. On aggressive, your pet will chase after anything non-friendly nearby and initiate combat with it. In defensive, the pet will protect itself or you from attackers, but otherwise do nothing. A passive pet will simply moan as it gets hit and let itself be beaten. You should almost never set your pet to aggressive, and strictly use passive in instances so your pet doesn't run off.
The middle slots start off empty, and are for placing trained abilities. All trained abilities can be set to "autocast" by right-clicking them, which will mean the pet will use them whenever possible. If your pet isn't holding aggro, make sure he's growling. If you don't want your pet to tank, (because you're grouped with a warrior,) turn growl off and bite and claw on. You can also left-click the pet abilities to manually command your pet to use them.
My pet isn't holding aggro... - There are two potential problems.
- Your pet needs to be growling (and not cowering.) If growl is turned off your pet will not be generating much threat. Remember that if cower is not on your bar it might be turning on all by itself. Yeah, I know, super annoying, the same goes for Cower and turning on/off.
- You're simply generating too much hate. Stop spamming your own abilities. There's no reason to be using multishot or stings in solo 90% of the time. Once you hit level 30 use feign death if you do happen to take aggro.
Side note: Survival hunters have a MUCH harder time keeping aggro on the pet. There's not much that can be done about this, and it has to do with growl mechanics. They'll have to use their CC to keep mobs from reaching them.
Can I have more than one pet? - Yes and no. You can have one at a time, but you don't have to get rid of your current pet forever to get a new one.
In each town, usually in front of the inn, is a "stable master" who has 4 slots you can purchase to store your pets like putting items in a bank. This way, you can board your pet while you go looking for a new pet, or just to have different pets for different situations (like having a DPS pet and a tanking pet.)
What else can I do with my pet? - To put your pet away, Dismiss it. To get rid of it forever, right-click it's portrait and select Abandon. Note the difference in these two! A dismissed pet is simply hidden, an abandoned pet is gone for good. Also by right-clicking your pet, you can choose to rename it. You can only ever rename it once, so be sure to name it what you want.
There is an ability called Eyes of the Beast that lets you take control of your pet for a minute. During this time you can run your pets wherever. When the duration expires, your pet will try to run back to you, and will despawn if he is now out of range. Eyes of the Beast can be a useful tool for very long-distance pulling, since the aggro transfers to the hunter after the pet is gone. It can also be used for scouting unfamiliar areas without risking yourself, or your party if you're in one, especially if you have a cat with prowl.
How do I use my pet in an instance? - Carefully.
Pets can easily cause wipes. Pets do not always take the same exact route you do, and might run past things you don't if you were to jump off an edge and the pet takes the long route. They also will attack things and chase runners places you don't want them to go. Keep a tight leash on your pet in an instance. They don't aggro things as easily as you do, but they still can.
Your pet will mainly be used for support damage, but you can also use it as an off-tank to protect the casters in the back from angry adds that run up to them. Be sure not to attack something that is otherwise under control, however at least now pets will break off an attack from something that becomes controlled.
Why Can't I Tame A Mount? - Because Blizzard says so. Taming a beast for combat training and taming it to be used as a riding animal are two different things. Hunters learn how to hunt, so that's what they teach their pets to do.
Where can I find what all the hunter talents are? - WoWHead's Talent Calc
There is never any one distinct "best." Right now, many players will tell you Survival. Before Burning Crusade, players would argue between Marksmanship and survival. During the Burning Crusade people would Say BM, with one SV hunter per raid. In another few months it may(will) change again. Each tree is simply different and has its own purposes.
Again, this is something that changes, but right now the best answer is Survival.
- Improved Aspect of the Hawk - Used by many non-beast masters, as it gives a decent DPS boost if you are not haste capped. This does stack with Rapid Fire. Good burst DPS, great talent since DragonHawk will probably be your most-used Aspect. In the late levels, though, Viper may replace Hawk now and then.
- Endurance Training - This is a nice talent, but as it does not really contribute damage, it is very seldom taken as more then a filler point for a raiding build. It is nice for leveling and you could take it over Hawk if you are still leveling.
- Focused Fire - Despite it's location low in the tree, this may be one of the later talents you pick up as a Beast Master. It's definitely worth the investment, however, especially after you get Kill Command at 66. It's also the only dps talent for other specs at that level, if they are trying to get Aspect mastery lower in the tree.
- Improved Aspect of the Monkey - This is at best a mediocre leveling talent.
- Thick Hide - 20% extra armor is great for tanking, and a little extra for yourself is also nice. Recommended for leveling, In a raiding scenario getting revive pet is probably better.
- Improved Revive Pet - If your pet ever dies in the middle of a tough boss battle, being able to call him back can turn the tide. Your Revive Pet will take just 4 seconds, cost about a third of your total mana, and brings your pet to life with 45% of his total health. Very good for 2 talent points.
- Pathfinding - This will increase your speed while mounted and when using Aspect of the Pack, but is pretty useless from a fighting perspective as you will never be in pack while fighting due to the daze. The extra mounted speed is kind of nice, but worth 2 points? no.
- Aspect Mastery - Excellent talent that you have to get if you go this far in the tree.
- Unleashed Fury - 15% extra pet damage? Definitely.
- Improved Mend Pet - Excellent talent if you have the points. Although it takes three times as long to remove debuffs as in the past, the 20% lower mana cost is worth the talent points on its own.
- Ferocity - 10% extra crit chance is deadly, especially when combined with the tier 6 talent Frenzy.
- Spirit Bond - Fairly minor regen, it can help while questing but is not significant. The extra healing is very nice though, and so this is quite a decent non dps talent.
- Intimidation - Great ability for protecting casters, catching runaways, extra aggro, and interrupting casting. The stun is not broken by damage, either. Short cooldown. If all that weren't enough, you need it to get Bestial Wrath.
- Bestial Discipline - More focus equals more damage or better aggro. A must-have talent if you're this high in the tree.
- Animal Handler - A good talent, less attacks dodged (or parried when the pet is tanking) is more damage. Decreasing masters call CD is excellent in PvP.
- Frenzy - Simply amazing. This talent (along with Ferocity) is essential to Beast Masters. Frenzy can reproc multiple times, and can proc off of special attack crits, effectively increasing the pet's damage by ~30% while active. It usually stays active once it is active and due to the high critrates pets have 4 points are enough, some people even argue for as little as 3 points.
- Ferocious Inspiration - A great little buff, for groups or for solo. Applies to all classes, melee, ranged, and spell. The added Arcane damage is a neat bonus.
- Bestial Wrath - Incredible DPS talent, cancels out any crowd control on your pet and makes it immune for the duration. Can be used frequently with just a 2 minute cooldown.
- Catlike Reflexes - Another great tanking talent. The opposite of Animal Handler, 9% fewer hits is basically 9% less damage to heal.
- Invigoration - A half decent talent to boost your mana regen. This will keep you out of viper for a longer period of time and so increase your dps. In most raid there is a lot of mana regen so it loses it's usefulness there.
- Serpent's Swiftness - An incredible dps talent, and not one to pass up if you're going all the way.
- Longevity - This will shorten all your pet CD's which will increase it's dps by quite a bit. It will also shorten the CD on TBW which is excellent. More Big Red Pet Time!
- The Beast Within - Short version: Bestial Wrath affects you, too. The damage bonus is actually rather slight, in the long term, but the CC immunity and mana cost reduction more than make up for it.
- Cobra Strikes - This will up your pet's critical strike rating, by linking it (somewhat) with yours. Pets already crit a lot, so a lot of people don't max this talent, but it can still be strong depending on gear.
- Kindred Spirits - And excellent talent. The damage is a good boost, and the speed increase is useful.
- Beast Mastery - This will let you get some exotic pets, that are quite good, but are matched by several non exotic pets. The extra talent points are fairly useless for a dps pet, Although that's apparently going to change soon(TM). For a soloing tanking pet, they can actually be quite effective. A lot of people will skip this talent in order to get other ones though.
- Improved Concussive Shot - It lengthens the duration of your concussive shot by 2 seconds, making the daze last 6 seconds. All in all fairly useless for both PvE and PvP.
- Focused Aim - Potentially a great talent, however it's not that hard to get hit from gear, and it is currently bugged as it does not give hit to your pet.
- Lethal Shots - adds 5% to ranged crit rate. Hard to beat this for a tier 1 talent.
- Careful Aim - Fully maxed this will increase your Attack power by quite a lot. Seeing as we need mana, making intellect more valuable is a good thing.
- Improved Hunter's Mark - This is a decent talent, although only one hunter in a raid should be getting it. If you do get this, pair it with the Glyph that has a similar effect. Not really worth it most of the time unless there are quite a few hunters in the raid.
- Mortal Shots - A nice talent that gives a decent dps boost, although it does not affect your autoshots anymore. The value of this talent also depends on what spec you are.
- Go For the Throat - Ironically, this talent is least useful for marksmen, but it's an excellent talent for anyone. Your pet will seldom run out of focus. Effectively, this raises your pets DPS potential. At high enough levels of crit you can drop to one talent point without losing a lot of dps.
- Improved Arcane Shot - A Decent talent, useful for Beastmasters and Marksmen who will be using arcane shot where they can. Survivalists won't have any use for this, as their main shot (Explosive Shot) shares the cooldown with Arcane Shot.
- Aimed Shot - Once a must-have talent, Aimed shot has gone through a lot of changes. It is quite effective as a filler shot, since it does more damage then steady and doesn't share a CD with your major abilities like Explosive Shot and Chimera Shot.
- Rapid Killing - Not a great talent when you do the math, but it sure looks neat when grinding and your Aimed Shot does 20% more damage. It is nice for a MM build as it syncs rapid fire up with readiness. Not good for other builds.
- Improved Stings - With the changes to serpent sting, every spec will be keeping it up 100% of the time, so this is a good talent. For an MM hunter it increases the damage of your chimera shot making this a must have.
- Efficiency - This is a decent talent if you regularly find yourself short on mana. Otherwise it's not as useful, It used to be an "always get" talent when it was lower in the tree, but these days a lot of hunters skip it.
- Concussive Barrage - Trash. Complete and utter trash.
- Readiness - A great talent for one point, A slight increase in dps, and a great tool for trapping or any emergency where your skills are on CD
- Barrage - A good talent if you're using Multi Shot or Aimed Shot every time it's up, but you might not be.
- Combat Experience - 4% to agility, and it adds 4% to your intellect as well, Solid talent.
- Ranged Weapon Specialization - 5% damage for 5 points is an excellent gain to your DPS. This is the standard other talents are usually compared against.
- Piercing Shots - A meh talent. Ignore armor is really easy to get, and 6% isn't that much especially if it's not for all your shots.
- Trueshot Aura - A excellent talent, especially for one point. It will carry over to your raid. Of course it doesn't stack with the other equivalent talents, but for one point you'll always take it.
- Improved Barrage - If you picked up Barrage, chances are you'll grab this as well. The extra crit on multi and aimed is nice, and so is being able to use Volley uninterrupted.
- Master Marksman - Another 5% crit? Yes please. The mana reduction on steady is great. Even though steady is weak, you'll still be using it a lot.
- Rapid Recuperation - This is a nice talent for leveling as you get mana whenever you kill something. However for group pve it is underwhelming.
- Wild Quiver - This will add dps, but not that much. You'll probably end up taking it due to lack of great talents to spend points in.
- Silencing Shot - A very nice talent that is fantastic for pvp but does not see that much use in end game. A raiding spec would probably not take it.
- Improved Steady Shot - This is a solid talent that will increase the damage of Chimera, and so is well worth it. Every hunter will be using steady.
- Marked For Death - A great talent, 5% more damage and extra damage on crits for your most important shots, what's not to like?
- Chimera Shot - Your main damage shot, you'll be using this every time it's up. It does a lot of damage and syncs nicely with a glyph and quite a few other talents.
- Improved Tracking - A solid talent. It's essentially a 1% damage boost per rank which is the standard by which talents are judged.
- Hawk Eye - A talent that doesn't really *do* much, but is very handy. Essential for anyone who has points to spare, but not a requirement. There aren't many other places to put points though, so most SV hunters will grab this.
- Savage Strikes - is the only melee damage boost in any tree, and mainly serves as extra damage on the "drive-by" strike-and-clip maneuver.
- Surefooted - An excellent pvp talent, this will keep you more mobile and allow you to last longer. This is not a very good choice for pve though, for that I would give it an E.
- Entrapment - Another good pvp talent that has no significant impact in pve situations. You could come up with a theoretical one, but there are better talents to spend points in.
- Improved Wing Clip - Almost strictly a PvP talent, the usefulness of Wing Clip in general is diminished noticeably by the fact that anyone you would want to snare can snare you, too.
- Survivalist - Extra HP is neat, and it's a prerequisite for Hunter vs Wild later in the tree.
- Scatter Shot - An amazing pvp talent, and also quite handy for emergency situations in 5 man dungeons. In raid builds this will be skipped.
- Deflection - It's an insignificant talent for pvp, and useless in pve. It does unlock counterattack, which is also a mediocre ability, given that you have to be in melee range and being beaten on to get a chance to use it.
- Survival Tactics - With Misdirect on a 30 second CD as well as FD we really don't need the extra feigns. It is decent for pvp, as disengage is awesome, and feign death drops targets.
- T.N.T. - This is a solid talent in both pvp and pve. Stuns are always nice in pvp, and in pve the crit on explosive, which is an amazing shot is very nice.
- Lock and Load - This is a good talent that can contribute a significant dps boost if used properly There's also not much else to get at this point.
- Hunter Vs. Wild - A solid talent that boosts you and for once your pet. Pets aren't as important as for BM hunters, but they still do good dps.
- Killer Instinct - Talents deeper in the tree are based on your crit rate, and it is how Survival does a large part of its damage. 3% crit for 3 points is a good exchange.
- Counterattack - A fun talent, but generally relegated to PvP. Still, you parry more often than you might think. It's made fairly useless because it requires you to have deflection, which is a poor talent.
- Resourcefulness - A good talent for the trap cooldown reduction that often gets overlooked due to competition this deep in the tree. It's more useful in pvp and 5 mans.
- Lightning Reflexes - Stockpiling considerable amounts of agility and then adding 15% more to that is a handsome gain.
- Expose Weakness - While this talent is active, agility becomes effectively 1.25 AP per point. It's a nice boost, but one or two points will usually keep it up so don't bother maxing it out. It was much more powerful in BC where it affected the entire raid.
- Wyvern Sting - A decent duration CC, but suffers from quite a few drawbacks such as leaving a poison DoT afterwards that makes it hard to put other CC on that target. To avoid the dot it is possible to put scorpid/Viper up as the CC is about to expire as that will overwrite the damage part of wyvern.
- Thrill of the Hunt - At a crit rate of 25%, you will conserve about 10% of your mana, the same as Efficiency. With more crit, and a survival hunter will often have more, this leads to greater savings. A solid talent that will be in almost every raid build.
- Master Tactician - This has been buffed to be quite a nice talent, however it remains to be a bit unreliable as it is a proc to enhance your chance to crit. With the amounts of crit survival can get, and SV's synergy with crit it's not bad.
- Noxious Stings - Since stings have been buffed and with the steady shot glyph every hunter should have a sting up at all times. This is a very nice boost while stings are active. It's also nice in pvp due to the dispell resist.
- Point of no Escape - This is fairly useless in pve, as all we care about is bosses, and they are largely immune. Nice in pvp for as you'll have a frost trap down a lot of the time.
- Trap Mastery - While not taken that often it is a nice return for only one point, and it is probably a good idea if you plan on trap dancing.
- Sniper Training - While on paper this looks amazing, it means you can't trap dance. While this might be a good thing it also has some issues with buff ranges. Still it's a solid dps increase when used, and the crit on kill shot is always nice. At this point you'll probably have no better place to put talents.
- Hunting Party - A nice talent that returns Mana to the entire raid. Every SV hunter at this point should take this. However due to our large amount of crit, and the fact that each point is worth a lot less, only 2, 3 or at most 4 points should be put in this talent.
- Explosive Shot - Since this has been buffed it is an amazing talent that is the core of SV dps. This will do massive damage and is useful in almost every situation. Yay crits! And it has a cool animation to boost, something that (sadly) is very rare for hunters.
What are some good talent builds? - It all depends on what you want to do. Builds change a lot depending on whether you want to raid, PvP or solo.
So you'll have to do some research and find out for yourself. You'll find all the answers you're looking for when you check out the links posted under general questions.
What build should I use while leveling? I dunno. Just pick something and stick to it. If you really want to focus on efficiency, go straight up the Beast Mastery tree to Bestial Wrath. Having Intimidate at 30 and Bestial Wrath at 40 is a huge benefit in that level range, and your pet will require less maintenance as well. Furthermore, BM remains a strong tree after bestial wrath, as serpent swiftness is another great damage boost.
GEAR AND STAT QUESTIONS
What is a hunter weapon? - "Hunter weapon!" is a running joke among players, mostly started by idiotic comments on a site similar to this one called Thottbot. At some point, it became a nominal standard to call any weapon a hunter weapon, just because hunters *can* use anything but maces, and certain hunters have a tendency to roll on anything they can use.
A true hunter weapon is a decent ranged weapon, or a melee weapon that helps a hunter directly increase their ranged damage or their survivability.
Should I use bows or guns? - Dwarfs should favor guns because of their racial bonus. The same for Trolls and bows. Engineers will probably favor guns because they can make their own (improved) ammo. For anyone else, it doesn't matter at all.
At lower levels, guns generally hit a little harder and bows fire a little faster. They have the same quivers/ammo pouches, same store-bought ammunition, and neither really has a distinct advantage over the other, except that engineers can make bullets. A hunter should know how to use either, and be prepared to use whatever the best weapon is that they can pick up, or whatever they personally prefer. (For example, some players don't like the constant noise a gun makes.)
What about crossbows? - Crossbows are exceedingly rare early in the game. They work just like bows - using arrows out of a quiver - but they have their own separate weapon skill. Crossbows as a general rule are very slow. Before patch 1.10 and "normalization" that took away most of the advantage of picking a weapon just because it was slow, crossbows were extremely popular. Before level 50, you might very well never see a crossbow unless you seek them out (with the exception of the Draenei starting lands.)
Dual Wield Or 2-Hander
Which is better - a 2-hand weapon or dual wield? - Use whatever has the best stats, and don't worry too much about damage on the weapons. Since a hunter's strength is fighting at range, they do not need to focus on their melee DPS. Generally speaking, a 2-hander will have better stats, but a pair of 1H weapons offer greater flexibility. At endgame, there are enchants that can add 110 Attack Power (2H only), 26 agility, 65 attack power and 25 hit rating/+ 25 crit rating.
This comes out slightly in favor of dual wield.
In terms of actually meleeing, 2H is better during PvP when you are going to run by with a Raptor Strike and a Wing Clip and go back to ranged, because that one attack you make will be much stronger, but dual wield can do as much autoattack damage.
On that note, don't roll against a rogue or a warrior on a melee weapon that purely does damage and has no stats or other factors. You do not need a high DPS dagger with a chance on hit to do extra magic damage. This creates a lot of enmity toward hunters from other classes.
What's the best weapon? - Best in what way? There are countless high end weapons in raids. You can also get epic weapons through Arena PvP at lvl 80 and a few weapons can be obtained through Reputation. The problem is that the "best" weapons only come from endlessly raiding high-end dungeons with a group of 25 people, require being very skilled at PvP-ing or an endless rep grind.
Also, there is no "best". It all depends on your talent spec, what you do a lot, and what is obtainable for you.
Where do I learn to use (some weapon type)? - In every major city, somewhere, there is a weapon trainer. Ask a guard where this person is. The weapon trainer for a city only teaches certain weapons, but if he doesn't teach what you want, he can tell you who (in another city) does.
What are the most important attributes for hunters? - Agility (which adds attack power and chance to crit) is number one. No questions asked. That doesn't mean you should switch items because one has a single point of agility more if you are sacrificing other stats, though.
Stamina and Intellect are of some benefit to hunters. Stamina is often preferred, but some hunters argue that a hunter should not get hit, and thus more HP is irrelevant...but more mana lets them fight longer, so they try to get intellect.
Later in level, you will start seeing other qualities on equipment. Agility is good because it increases your Attack Power and your chance to crit. There are items that specifically increase one of those two factors, and are important to your damage output. Mana per 5 seconds (MP5) helps you keep your mana high while shooting and thus keeps you doing damage for a longer time. There are also Hit Rating bonuses that make you less likely to miss.
While usually the last thing hunters look at, defensive attributes like armor and chance to dodge are of some limited benefit. Agility also increases your chance to dodge, as well as your armor.
- How does attack power, chance to crit, and chance to hit work?
- What is DPS?
Attack Power (AP) and crit chance increase your damage in different ways.
AP increases your basic DPS by 1 DPS per 14 points of AP. Note that DPS stands for damage-per-second, and is a rate, not an amount per hit. So your attack power will scale to give slower weapons the right amount more that they should do. Certain abilities, such as Aimed Shot or Multi-shot, pretend your weapon have a speed of 2.8 so there is no advantage to faster or slower weapons.
Crit chance gives you better odds to get a critical hit. A crit will deal double damage, or if you have the Mortal Shots talent, x2.3 damage. A large number of crits creates "spiky" damage that can steal aggro early in the fight, and hunters that focus on "crit gear" will often have lower basic DPS since they lack attack power, but critical chance is another important way to increase your overall damage output. At level 80, it takes 45.91 points of crit rating to add 1% chance to crit.
Chance to hit affects your accuracy. Loosely speaking, you have a 95% chance to hit an even-level target. (This is actually based on the difference between your weapon skill and the target's defense skill, so higher level creatures and warriors with lots of +defense will be missed more often.) Hit rating adds to this 95%. It takes about 33 hit rating to add 1% chance to hit.
What do these stats give me?
Note: Some of these numbers change with level. Level 80 is assumed here.
Anything besides attack power scales with level. (crit from agility, crit rating, hit rating etc)
In the early levels it's hard to get AP, so mostly hunters go for agility and stamina. As you progress you will see a larger variety of items, at which point you will have to do more analysis to figure out what's better.
Here are some basic numbers:
1 (Ranged) attack power = 1/14 tooltip DPS
83.33 Agility = 1% crit
1 Agility = 1 Ranged Attack Power
1 Agility = 1 Melee Attack Power
1 Agility = 2 Armor
45.91 Crit Rating = 1% Crit
1% Crit = 1% of your tooltip DPS, or 1.3% with Mortal Shots
32.79 Hit Rating = 1% Hit
Note: To prevent misses you need +5% hit when fighting opponents of your level, and 8% when fighting raid bosses. Since Draenei give 1% hit to everyone in their group, you'll only need 4% or 8% when grouped with a Draenei.
1 Intelligence = 15 Mana.
1 Intelligence = 0.33 Attack Power for every point in Careful Aim.
Where do I view my critical rate? - On your character screen, select the dropdown for Ranged (or Melee.)
- What are the best enchants for a hunter?
- Why are there no ranged weapon enchants?
The best enchants are the ones that add to the things mentioned in the "best attributes" question. Increased melee damage and weapon procs like Crusader or
Mongoose are not worth the expense, although if you like the orange glow of a Demonslaying enchant on your spear, go for it.
Ask your guild enchanter what he can enchant that would be useful. I wouldn't advise heavily investing in enchanting before 80, because you will replace your gear every couple levels, but at 80, you might consider greater savagery (+85AP) on weapon, +35 AP on gloves, +16 agi feet and +8 stats chest enchants as a few examples.
Leatherworkers can provide you with enchants on your legs called Leg armor.
- There are two different types, 1 focusing on stamina with some Agility the other focusing on Attack Power with some crit rating (Recommended).
In Outlands and Northrend, some groups have head enchants for sale if you reach a high enough lvl of reputation.
- For hunters you can buy Arcanum of Ferocity, a head enchant from the Cenarion Expedition Quartermaster in Zangarmarsh. (Revered reputation required.)
- And the Arcanum of Torment from the Knights of the Ebon Blade quartermaster at the Shadow Vault in Icecrown (Revered reputation required)
With The Wrath of the Lich king, a new set of shoulder enchants entered the game.
- These are available from the Sons of Hodir at honored and Exalted.
- The honored version is equal to the Aldor Exalted shoulder enchant. (from the Burning crusade)
There are no ranged weapon enchants. This is where engineering comes in. Scopes can modify ranged weapons to add +damage effects the same way +damage enchants modify melee weapons.
- Scopes only affect ranged attacks (just in case those rogues and warriors ask you where to get those nice scopes.)
- Check your local engineer to see what he has to offer for your level/gold.
Once you enter Outland you will also find gear with sockets. In those you will want to add gems which contribute to your main stats. Survival hunters will go for agility while beastmasters will mainly go for attack power gems and Marksmen can go either way.
There are also gems that have half of this bonus and half of something else, and count as other colors if you need to match the colors on your item. (That is only to get the socket bonus!)
For more info, check the Gemming part of the pre-raid sticky.
- Why does weapon speed matter? - Weapon speed used to matter in wow 1.x and 2.x, with the release of Wrath a hunter's special shots no longer interfere with auto shots.
- What is a rotation? - A rotation is simply the order in which you fire your shots. Or with the changes to mechanics in 3.0 it is more precisely described as the priority you give the shots you want to fire. It is asking yourself the question of "when these shots are off cooldown, which one should I use?"
What about other slots besides ranged weapon? - Use whatever has the best stats. There is no single simple answer for this. Allakhazam is designed for helping you research items, so just look for items that have agility, attack power, crit rating, and other things that help your performance.
Before you get to Outland, this means mostly looking for random greens that have the stats you want. Afterward, quest rewards are generally superior and dungeon drops are also very nice.
What are the class sets?
- Beaststalker Armor is the basic set from the lvl 55-60 instanced dungeons like Stratholme and Blackrock Spire.
- Beastmaster armor is the upgraded version of Beaststalker, sometimes refered to as tier 0.5, or Dungeon 2.
- Giantstalker Armor is the "tier 1" set from the bosses in the Molten Core. While awesome items, you will NEED a raid to see any of these items, and chances are, that means you will need to be in a raiding guild.
- Dragonstalker Armor is the "tier 2" armor. This comes from even higher level raid bosses like Onyxia, Ragnaros, and the major fights in Blackwing Lair.
- Striker's Garb comes from Ahn'qiraj and is generally NOT considered to be tier 3 because it is not a complete set, only having 5 pieces. Also, Ahn'qiraj, while more difficult than Blackwing Lair, generally does not result in significantly better equipment.
- Cryptstalker Armor is the 'tier 3' set and comes from bosses in Naxxramas, the toughest and most challenging lvl 60 raid instance.
(Note: lvl 60 sets are now hard to acquire because the raids aren't done often and also useless at lvl 80)
Here are the lvl 60 PvP sets:
The lvl 70 PvP sets.
And the lvl 80 PvP sets:
I'm level X and I have Y agility. Is my gear any good? - If X isn't 80, or 19/29 for a battleground twink, who cares? You're just going to replace it all in the next five levels.
- Use the Spreadsheet for lvl 80.
- At any earlier level, just use your brain and compare them manually.
For example at level 63 you might have to choose between Fel Iron Greatsword
and Silver Edged Axe of the Bandit
Step One is to write the stats the pieces give on paper.
This would be +30 critical strike rating, +62 Attack Power versus +24 Agility, +36 Stamina, +48 Attack Power. (at this step, add extra's gained through talents such as Careful Aim, Hunter versus Wild and Lightning reflexes)
Step Two is to break things down to the basics:
1 Agility gives about half the crit of 1 crit rating so we will treat the 24 agility as 12 crit rating and 24 AP.
Now it's +30 crit and +62 AP versus +36 stamina, +12 crit and +72 attack power.
Step Three is to leave out all the unnecessary bits:
Since both weapons have (at least) 62 attack power and 12 crit rating we can leave that out of the equation.
So we end up with +18 crit versus 36 stamina and 10 attack power.
Step Four is the conclusion:
Here, it comes down to preference and you will have to ask yourself some questions.
Obviously, 18 critical strike rating will give you more dps than 10 attack power while 10 attack power and 36 stamina represent more raw itemvalue. So you will have to evaluate for yourself whether you have a use for that extra 360 health.
Talents of course affect these kind of equations, but you'll have to figure all that out for yourself. If you follow the steps I did above you are sure to come out with an obvious answer nearly every time.
My question isn't answered here!
If you want to know more about things mentioned here, or want to ask a question about your character ask it in The HELP ME! Thread. There we will look at your character and answer your more detailed/specific questions. If you're looking for answers on more heavy theorycrafting stuff or things that need discussion go ahead and post a new thread for it.
Without these people, there would be no FAQ:
Azuarc - for making the original FAQ which is still visible in the current one.
Mulgrin - for adapting the FAQ for the Burning Crusade.
Xsarus - for contributing to the updating of the FAQ for Wrath of the Lich King.
And everyone else who helped construct the BC FAQ and this FAQ.
This wiki is a stickied guide found here. Credit goes to Aethien for the writing of the sticky.
- ^ It is often referred to humorously as "Aspect of the Stun" since hunters have forgotten to turn it off before a pull.
- ^ Hunters are not known for their AE, but when they need to, this is an ability that should not be forgotten.
- ^ Note that the tip says slows speed TO 50%, not BY 50%. Higher levels of the skill read smaller numbers, and if not read carefully, actually seem like a downgrade.
- ^ There is currently a bug where any abilities in the spell book but not on the pet bar will turn on by themselves.
- ^ Note that agility increases your ranged attack power by 1 per point (and 1 for melee,) and roughly every 83 points of agility increases a hunter's critical rate by 1% at level 80. This crit rate conversion is specific to hunters, and is the worst of all the classes in the game.
This page last modified 2010-09-16 10:13:22.