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Hunter pet abilities and player interaction
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In the process of trying to set up my pet action bars I've become a little puzzled about each pet's battle abilities and how they are used. On the class guides I have read I can't seem to find any obvious reference to this. I am NOT referring to pet stances, when or why to turn Growl off,follow vs. moveto vs. attack, etc. Got that. But rather basic attacks vs. special attack vs. exotic abilities, and whether each is passive as far as the player is concernced or requires active engagement by the player. Take chimaera pet for example -
Basic Attack = Bite
Basic Ability = Cower, Growl
Special Ability = Frost Breath
Exotic Ability = Froststorm Breath
Cunning Ability = Bullheaded, Dash, Roar of Sacrifice
Some of these abilities are animated or "wreathed". I presume that these are ones that will auto trigger when necessary? With respect to the ones that are not "wreathed", should I take that to mean that these are "on demand" attacks requiring active player input and adjust my pet action bar accordingly? If this is indeed the case, then how high (and how easy) a priority do you experienced hunters find it to jam these pet abilities into your otherwise busy rotation/priority system?
Thanks everyone for feedback
You got 4 slots available. You can move any pet ability to one of those 4 slots. All of the pet abilities can be macroed and used out of player interface. All pet abilities are visible and usable out of pet spell book as well.
Rclick - toggles autocast (you can macro it with /petautocaston Growl and /petautocastoff Growl)
Lclick - activates the ability one time
I dont use cunning pets so dont use cunning abilities (you can press N, pick pet and respec it ferocity with one click).
On chimera i typically have from left to right: heart of the phoenix, rabid, Froststorm Breath, growl (depending on situation rabid and growl on autocast). The "hidden" abilities (in pet book, press P and pick pet) i got autocast on everything.
Froststorm breath cant be autocast (plus its a channel) so you may want to macro it to your multishot or something. Growl is a taunt now. Cower autocast will activate the skill if pet HP drops below 40%, Bite is a focus dump and will activate unless there is something better to use, Frostbreath will trigger on cd. Bullheaded will autotrigger whenever pet loses control, Dash is autocast on cd, Roar of Sacrifice cant be autotriggered.
If this is indeed the case, then how high (and how easy) a priority do you experienced hunters find it to jam these pet abilities into your otherwise busy rotation/priority system?
The focus cost is taken from pets focus pool and none of the hunter pet abilities triggers a gcd for hunter, so there is nothing to jam into rotation really. Pet AI manages to prioritise the on use skills over cd skills over focus dump skills so there is not much management needed there either.
I am using this MD macro, which kinda helps with the growl deactivation when in 5mans/Lfr/raids:
I still like to have growl easily accesible in case i needed some bouncing action on the case of tank death (growl + distracting shot + feign death).
Basic attacks are the pet's focus dumps; they should always cast those when necessary. Special abilities are exclusive to the pet's family, while exotic abilities are additional special abilities for BM hunter exotic pets. The wreath that you see does indeed mean that it will autocast-- this can be turned off by right clicking the action. As with normal bars, you can shift-click to change what is on them, ie. there's no need to have your autocasting pet abilities on the bar. Things like cunning abilities are exclusive to the pet's spec, which can be changed in the talent tab. When the ability is wreathed, you don't need to worry about it, but I find it best to turn off long-CD powerful abilities like a Spirit beast's Spirit Mend so that I can cast them in a pinch. I usually wait to use it until when I'm in the middle of casting Cobra Shot, so I can use the ability without wasting any time.
Thanks guys, this is pretty much exactly what I needed to know
If you're like me and wish to see all the abilities, and if the autocast or not, you can simply remove the commands 'Move to' and the 'Defensive' stance, seeing as you might not use those a lot (at least I don't), and you'll have two more slots to put pet abilities in :)
Defensive stance is quite a good thing to keep on the bars along with assist - keeps your pet from running off on every add they see just because you did some damage
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