Hunters: The true pet class

Lisselis, Night Elf Hunter with King Bangalash

Once upon a time, there was a young hunter questing in Azeroth. It wasn’t long, though, before she became very lonely. She wanted a companion, a partner to help her defeat her foes. She began searching for a pet, but it had to be the perfect pet.

Finally, she found it, stalking its prey on the other side of some bushes. She approached the beast slowly, not wanting to startle it. It saw her, and she began speaking to it calmly, trying to coax it toward her. The beast attacked her, but the hunter continued speaking to it in a calm and soothing voice, willing it to yield. Finally, the beast lay down in the grass, rested its head on its front paws, and looked up at her with big, apologetic eyes.

From that point on, the hunter and her pet were inseparable. She gave him a name, after thinking long and hard about it, fed him, and bound his wounds. In return, he accompanied her on all her missions, taking many a blow for her. They quested into the sunset and lived happily ever after.

Now try substituting a Warlock, an Unholy Death Knight, or even a Mage or Shaman into the above situation. Doesn’t quite work, does it? That’s because hunters as a class have a unique bond with their pets, and I think it’s safe to say that hunters are the only true pet class.

First, think of the complexity of pet ownership for hunters. At level 10, we are faced with the task of taming a pet, but first we have to choose a pet, and boy, do we have a lot of choices. Once we have obtained a pet, we have to increase and maintain its happiness or it won’t give us its full damage potential. Also… remember back before patch 3 point something or other, if we didn’t keep our pets happy they’d run away! Imagine a Voidwalker saying, “Screw this! I’m going back to the void.”

We also have the additional task of naming our pets. Spend some time reading hunter forums, and you’ll discover just how much thought hunters put into their pets’ names! Some hunters even choose to give their pets a name that goes along with the hunter’s name. I named one of my pets after my dog!

Once some of this initial pet stuff is out of the way, hunters can focus on the continuous pet management required as they level. Aside from keeping pets fed and happy (although changes have made this part pretty trivial), hunters must level their pets (also trivial, unless you have more than one), spend their pets’ talent points, and possibly obtain new pets for different situations. We have to know when to send our pets into battle, when to keep them by our sides, when to heal them, and which abilities they should auto-cast. Sometimes, it’s almost like playing two characters.

Compare hunters to other so-called pet classes. While Warlocks have a choice of pets, they can choose only from a pre-determined set of pre-named pets. Death Knights have even less of a choice, and like Warlocks, their pets are pre-named. However, death knights’ pets have a different name each time they are summoned, implying that it’s a different pet each time. Definitely no time for bonding there. Both of these classes also need reagents to summon their pets, which makes them more minions than pets.

Second, let’s look at the bond between a hunter and his or her pet. How many of you still have the first pet you ever tamed? I know I do. He may be stabled right now, but that’s only because he’s a tanking pet that I used for leveling and soloing.

On the other hand, how many of you have ever abandoned a pet? I never have. Even when I switched from beast mastery to survival once I hit 80, I stabled my exotic pets with hopes of questing with them again in the future should I ever re-spec. And we’ve all felt that pang of sadness and guilt when we see our pet’s lifeless body lying there as a reminder of our neglect (damn you, Ick, and your poison nova!).

I simply couldn’t imagine playing a hunter without a pet, or even playing with a pet that plays a less significant role, as is the case with warlocks and death knights. When you return from a dungeon wipe, raid wipe or a solo death (or any other situation where your pet is auto-dismissed), what’s the first thing you do? I’m going to guess that you call your pet. It’s just weird seeing your hunter all alone on the screen; it doesn’t seem right.

Of course, Blizzard designed the hunter class with pets as an important mechanic. But there’s something more, something psychological, going on there, too. We hunters just love our pets, whether Blizzard intended it that way or not. πŸ™‚

– Lisselis

18 thoughts on “Hunters: The true pet class”

  1. My first toon was a hunter and I’ll never forget my first pet, even though I’ve since switched hunters 3 times before settling in on my BE hunter, Kaindra. A bit redundant, but I’ll never get sick of the class. And even though this article is well old, I couldn’t help reading it. I love being a hunter and the bond with the pet. It kills me in pvp when they kill my pet. I’ve hand old Bangalash since 43 and he’s never left my side on a quest or raid. Hopefully in Cata they give us more stable slots, because I love the bond we have with our pets.

    • More stable slots are supposedly on the way. Word on the street is that the stable will be greatly expanded, with the catch being that we’ll only have instant access to three pets. Hunters will have an on-demand remote stable of three pets to switch out, but will need to return to a stable master to access different ones, or to switch out any or all of the on-demand pets.

      I for one am loving that idea.

      By the way… I know what you mean about seeing your pet killed. I hate that too. For me though, nothing was worse than watching Uhk’loc bite the dust. Made me sad. πŸ™

  2. I love my hunter and I would hate not having a pet by my side. When I was leveling I spent countless nights questing alone with nobody there but my pet. It was because of my pet being there, that made if possible to get through the lonely questing. I have tamed three spirit beasts and worked hard for each of them. These pets I will never get rid of as they are special in my stable. For this reason I have kept BM as my other spec. Yes I play Survival for the DPS aspect when it comes to instances, raids, etc. but I will always go back to BM for my favorite to play above anything else. I also still have Humar (mine is named Zeus) I know alot of hunter have had him, but he holds a special place as he was my first real cool pet. I thought of abandoning him in the past, but couldn’t do it because I am too attached to him. He was there through most of my leveling and will continue to be in my stable. I still play him to this day!

    • Just a quick proof that what Bozanimal is saying :

      When you dismiss a Felguard they generally say: ” You will live … for now”
      All Warlock minions have something to yell at you or they complain all the time.. Yeah they are funny but they don’t care about their master.
      The other situation that explain the “minions” thing:
      I’m sure a lot of you who as raid ToC have seen the second boss … The poor Warlock summon a big demon.. A bit too much.. Yeah he dies. The Speech explains everything about Warlock Vs their Minions:

      Grand Warlock Wilfred Fizzlebang yells: Ah ha! Behold the absolute power of Wilfred Fizzlebang, master summoner! You are bound to ME, demon!
      Lord Jaraxxus yells: Trifling gnome, your arrogance will be your undoing!
      Grand Warlock Wilfred Fizzlebang yells: But I’m in charge her-

      If you take this part and compare with the sweet hunter story Lisselis write, i guess all of you can see the difference πŸ™‚

      Nice article

  3. I have both a hunter and a warlock, and because of that I have split sides.

    Now, I agree with this article. Hunters are the only pet class, because that’s what they are – pets. Lifelong companions.

    With a warlock, however, their demons are minions. If you listen to some of the things they say when they’re summoned and whatnot, they do NOT like it in Azeroth (or Outland). They’re basically being ripped from the Nether forcefully, to do the warlock’s bidding. And rightfully so. We don’t have to feed them, we don’t have to keep them happy, because they work for US. It’s not a mutual companionship like the hunter and his pet.

    And the name thing… I always believed the reason why warlocks cannot name their demons is because the demons already have names. They’re not like wild animals, they have actual names. Another theory is that we have to know their name in order to summon them from the Nether.

    The whole thing where people call both hunters and warlocks the pet classes is just simplifying things. They are in game mechanics both pets. We have to micromanage them, they share the same pet bar, etc.

    But, the differences are why I LOVE playing both classes. With hunters you have the mindset where you and your pet are lifelong companions, and the BM tree especially shows this (Spirit Bond anyone?). But with warlocks, they are the masters of the demons, not companions. My warlock is forcing the voidwalker to sacrifice some of his life to give me a shield to protect me. You’ll never see that with hunters because it goes against the lore of the class.

    TL;DR… Hunters and pets are companions, warlocks are the masters and demons are the slaves.

    (Insert maniacal gnome laugh here)

  4. I agree with the premise, but disagree with your rationale. The demons and undead summoned by warlocks and death knights, respectively, are minions, not pets. In this sense Hunters are the only “pet” class. From a lore standpoint our tamed beasts serve us out of loyalty, love, devotion, or some combination of the aforementioned. Warlocks enslave their demons against their will, and the undead summoned by Death Knights have no will of which I am aware.

    To say that the pets of those classes “play a less significant role” is simply untrue, that role is just different from a lore and mechanics standpoint. Warlocks – in particular Demonology Warlocks – are every bit as dependent on their pets as Beast Mastery hunters.

  5. I have played a lock before, to 60. Yes they are a pet rather, but I think its only one sided, if at all. From a lore standpoint the locks only use them for their power, well maybe not the female demon (forget what they are called) πŸ˜› But that’s another story! I remember even reading about their mount, the level 20 version hating them for being enslaved, or something along those lines, I think I read it up at WoW’s site. I am not disrespecting locks in anyway, but I do not see them lore wise as a being who cares about the well-being of their pets.

    I also have an unholy Death Knight, Pebblesnatcher is a cool pet, but I hardly think of it as something I want to make a true bond with. After all, I have not had my Pebble for many moons now, and to be honest, I don’t even know the current name of my ghoul.
    The best thing about my ghoul is when I /cower at him lol, if you haven’t done it, do it.

    Again I am not trying to anger any class saying they are not a pet class, cause they are, they have a pet, period, even if it is called a minion. I think what the OP is saying that hunters are the only ones that lore wise, care and even love their pets. Again, maybe not that one demon.

    Just my 25cents (I over shot 2c) xD

  6. Wozzle was probably drunk but i can guess why he was mad. Was the point of this post to gloat to other classes because i see no useful information, infact it just seems the poster has never played a warlock or unholy dk so all his information is biased.

    Coming from a Raiding BM and a Destruction lock, i depended more on my void leveling up then any hunter pet, my void maintanked vanilla instances leveling up and it was my life if my void died i either ran or i died if my hunter pet died i used Feign death. My hunter never kept a certain pet for a long duration outside of Uhk’loc, who i dropped for a spirit beast. The hunter pet was only more important then the lock pet in the 32-58 when i aoe grinded with a gorilla back when they got Thunderstomp at 32.

    In the end i say warlocks have a stronger bond then hunter pets as hunters can just abandon their pet and get a new one or rename with owner of certificate and warlocks cant get rid of their pet once you summon your stuck with the same imp or blueberry. Even at 80 you can change your pet and pick a different ferocity for dps but warlocks look at their imp 90% of the time and have seen the same Laztip etc since lvl 4 or now lvl 1.

    • Tuskx,

      I don’t think Lisselis’ point was to gloat, but rather to try and relate a story, feeling or experience to her fellow hunters. She has some pride in her class and feels a strong sense of kinship with her pet. I’m willing to bet there are tens of thousands of others that play the game who feel similarly, including myself.

      You’re probably right about Lisselis never playing a Lock or Unholy DK, so I’m sure she is a bit biased, but…

      Ta Da…! This is after all… a hunter blog…

      I dunno… I liked her article. Sure it doesn’t really have any useful information, but of course that’s always subject to interpretation anyways. Besides… who says all posts have to be useful..!? πŸ˜‰ Entertaining or enlightening work too, right..?

      Regardless, I do respect and appreciate your input from a Lock’s perspective Tuskx.

      • Actually, I made that comparison specifically based on experience. I have an 80 DK that I leveled as unholy (way back in early WotLK) and a 75 warlock, which was the first toon I ever played. My lock has been dormant for a good 2 years now, but I recently decided to push her through Northrend. It’s pretty weird playing a warlock after having played a hunter for so long. My main gripe is that my voidwalker seems to constantly be bugged, and it’s always been that way, ever since vanilla WoW. As for my death knight, I switched her to frost by the time she hit 80 and never summoned a ghoul again–I hated that thing.

  7. Wtf u arragunt ass y do u think ur so fing superior just cuz u choose ur pet ur a fgt an come on its just a game for f**ks sake use ur fkin heard

  8. This post here is the reason I Love my hunter. I have let pets go when I had them and decided they weren’t best by my side. Or when I was to low level to have the black wolf I fell in love with in Darnassus. Many times I also have cursed at the number of stables slots we have. And to this day I regret letting my very first pet go. (another curse at the extremely Slow pets that was fixed far to late aka snow leopard)

  9. I have abandoned pets but it was a hard choice and I took them back to where I tamed them before letting them go. I blame that on Blizzard for not giving us as many pets slots as we need which is infinite.


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