One of the more surprising lines in the PTR 2.3.0 patch notes was this one:
Pets will try to get behind their targets when engaging in melee combat.
That’s good, right? If your pet is behind the target then it can’t be parried or something … err … right? But what does this really mean? How does it work? Will your pet just circle and circle, trying to get behind the enemy as the enemy swings to face it?
I had a chance to check out this out on the Public Test Realm today, although not for very long. But I did at least test two of the basic situations a little.
Situation #1: Pet Has Aggro
For the first trial I used my normal strategy — Hunter’s Mark, send in the pet, sit back and potshot the enemy while the pet holds aggro. In this situation, I didn’t see any change in behavior. In particular, my cat Cloud was perfectly happy to remain head-to-head with the enemy.
Situation #2: Hunter Has Aggro
For the second trial I made sure that I would keep aggro. I turned off Growl (and Bite and Claw) and I initiated combat with the enemy myself. My cat jumped in to defend me when I was attacked, of course, but I noticed that he manuevered slightly to the side of the enemy first. So I moved over to where Cloud was standing so that he was now head-on to the enemy (although I still had aggro). At this point Cloud stopped attacking, walked slowly to the side so that he was at right angles to the enemy, and then started attacking again.
Of course, without more testing I don’t know how helpful this behavior will be in group and raid situations (and since I don’t group or raid I won’t be doing that testing myself). But I wasn’t terribly impressed with it as it stands now. My pet repositioned himself very slowly, at a walk, and during that time he wasn’t attacking. But perhaps on larger enemies this behavior makes more sense.
If you’ve had a chance to try this on the PTR, please drop a comment and let us all know how it was working for you!