Kaet: On Hold

I played Kaet just a bit after Patch 2.3 came out — she picked up a few levels and learned Claw 6 — but now I’ve put her on ice temporarily. The problem: with the increased quest XP for mid-levels, she’s outpacing her pets much too quickly. Oh, I can keep one pet more or less even with me — except that in the past few levels I let them drop behind as I learned new skills and whatnot. But even concentrating on just one crab I can’t catch it up even with me. And the other two are falling further and further behind.

The next minor patch, 2.3.2, will fix this problem by requiring less experience for pets per level. But in the meantime it’s better if I don’t exacerbate the situation by playing. So what have I been doing instead?

Mostly working. Boring, but necessary. And trying to keep up with the blog and e-mail in the tiny gaps between working. And, every so often, when the planets align and I have an hour all to myself … I’ve been doing the unthinkable. I started a mage.

It was my husband’s idea. He believes that I need more experience with other classes to truly appreciate hunters. He reviewed all the classes to pick a good one for me to try, not too like hunters but not so unlike as to to immediately frustrate me with a completely different playstyle. And for some completely unknown reason I agreed to this: I agreed to play this baby mage to at least level 25.

I’m halfway there already, and I can tell you now — I don’t like it. Maybe if she had a pet … but she’s so fragile, and she has to sit and drink all the bloody time, and even with the ability to sheep and do the frost explosion thing that traps people I have to be exceedingly careful about taking on more than one thing at a time. The actual combat is the same set of keys over and over again — unless something goes wrong, and then it’s frantic stressful flailing time. (You can level the same criticisms at a hunter, of course, but somehow it feels completely different to me.)

But there is one good thing about this mage: it’s keeping me from starting another hunter alt while I wait for Patch 2.3.2 to come out. I said I’d concentrate on Kaet until she’s 70, and I plan to do so … but I miss her and her shiny happy crabs something terrible. This mage is no replacement.

29 thoughts on “Kaet: On Hold

  1. Someone

    I think the best choice would have been a lock! They have pets and it’s so cool, especially after you get VW, to DoT a few mobs while your pet tanks them and see them fall one and another and another… Sure, it’s a lot closer to a hunter, but, being more reliant on DoTs and curses and life-draining, also makes for a different playstyle!

    As for mages, my own mage is stuck at 41 since eons ago! But 25 is maybe a tad too soon to enjoy a mage properly… Mage’s true power only comes with AoEing a dozen or more mobs at once, and you only get the talents/skills for that a bit later, like 30ish or so…

    My first char was a Human Mage, and after trying REALLY hard to get into Loch Modan for a level 14 or so mage robe quest, I eventually gave up cursing Blizzard right and left for not providing an “easy” way from Human starting lands to Loch Modan! Guess my surprise when I discovered about the Deeprun Tram much later! :)

    And things weren’t much better on my druid: at 16, I had to go from Night-Elf lands to Westfall as a part of a druid class quest for aquatic form… Now I do that run with my eyes shut and even at lower levels with not much problems as I almost know by heart where the red/skull mobs are! :)

    If you want to really enjoy your mage, force your husband to play a priest and start AoEing stuff! At 14 you get your first AoE spell which, although not much good, is a good start coupled with some Mind Shields or whatever it is that priests can do to you! ;)

  2. Pike

    Oddly enough I rather like mages. I’m not sure why, there’s something about them that’s fun to me. My level 18 mage is my highest level non-hunter character (and the fact that she’s a mere level 18 should tell you a little something about my own lil’ hunter obsession) and I fully intend on getting her to 70, eventually.

    I’m very picky when it comes to classes. Melee and tank classes I 100% cannot play. Warriors, rogues, feral druids, ret pallies, enhancement shammies… they drive me insane, and not in a good way. I have no idea why. Gimme ranged classes and casters any day.

    I think warlocks are interesting but I can’t really play one, even though I’ve tried. Partially it’s because my boyfriend’s main is a warlock so it feels a lot like it’s “his domain” and I’m fine with keeping it that way, and partially because I kept trying to use my Imp like I would use a hunter pet and it wasn’t working very well, and that frustrated me.

    The classes I have had the most fun with so far (aside from hunter) are mage, shadow priest, and balance druid. But again, none of these characters have ever gotten past 20, so don’t take my word for it… heehee =P

    By the way, any word on when exactly the new patch comes out? I’ve got some of my baby-hunters on hold, as well, for the same reason, and I’m getting antsy to play them again…

  3. Pidge

    I’m going to agree with other commenters: you sound like you’d be a lot happier trying a warlock than a mage.

    I started with a hunter for my first 1-1/2 yrs (and then did a 2nd hunter for some strange reason), then branched out and levelled a mage to 70, and am now working on druid (48) and a warlock (22). I still have a lot of love for my 70 hunter, but it’s refreshing to play with a new set of strengths and weaknesses now and then.

    The hunter was definitely the easiest to level (tanking pets, ice trap, and FD can get you through a lot of situations).

    My experience was that the warlock is very similar since you have a pet to run interference, but the mechanic of juggling dots, fearing and drain-tanking are quite different and require a different playstyle.

    The mage and druid took a lot longer to warm up to (especially the mage who died or ran away a LOT in the early levels), but if you persevere they become real powerhouses later.

    Depending how you spec, mages offer amazing control or serious burst damage, especially against lots of foes (and talents like teleport and create food/water allow mages to be self-sufficient and get around the world very quickly — which helps levelling by completing fed-ex style quests much, much faster). I’ve got a arcane/fire specced mage and while not the most effective, it’s an incredibly fun spec for someone who primarily solos. Oh, and it’s so nice to have a real AOE attack instead of wimpy Volley.

    The feral druid was the biggest leap for me, since it was the first time I deliberately tried to get in nose-to-nose with mobs. During the lower levels it was a bit repetitive, but I never died. Now it’s fun to switch up between tanking, melee dps’ing and stealthing — which lets me some things that the hunter and casters aren’t well suited for.

    This will probably do it for (I’n not even all the excited about the death knights), but I definitely don’t regret trying out some new classes. It certainly gave me a much greater insight to the concerns of other players I group with.

  4. Beran

    Ok, my main was balance druid, but after Burning Crusade i tryied to make pally, and i have find that i dont like it, so lvl 12 was enough to and him… After that i plyed some warrior up to lvl 35, when i started to hate that i cannot go any instance without tanking… Oh, i hated tanking so much! everything was always my fault, even if healer come AFK and nobody noticed it…

    After that, great Huntermania catched me and never droped… I made hunter, lvled him with Roting Agam’ar from RFD most time and he become my new main, and it is best class i ever played! Ok, i made few alties, but no obe is above 20… little boring with compare to hunter

    So now it looks like i have Hunter little below 60 and balance Drood little below 50, but i am scared i will never play drood again… i rather play shammy, i mean that caster one :-) (yep, i dont like melee classes, too)

    For the Horde! (not Forsaken…)

  5. Beran

    OT: Please mania can you tell me why time shows 3:34 pm in comments, when i have 21:34? You don’t need to answer, i know that here in europe we are using europe time, while in USA… uhm, in USA you are using that strange PM and AM which i never learned to use and understand :-)

  6. Anbhas

    May I suggest a druid? I played a hunter since I started, but only recently started playing other classes. So far, druid is my favorite. It’s a stark combat tactic from hunters, but the familiar pet theme is there. It’s almost like I’m playing from the pet’s point of view.

    Though I must say, it is quite a challenge to master the shifting between forms. It’s much easier now that you can change from form to form without going back to the caster state, but it’s still difficult (fun though!).

  7. Palladiamorsdeus

    For the opposite of a hunter, go paladin. My first two originals, waaaayyyyy back in the day, where a paladin, and a hunter. Edgaer and Illidius, respectively. For a similar experience (Albeit one that is likely to make you angry) go warlock. For a more frantic feel, go warrior or rogue. If you can stomach them until twenty, druids can be a lot of fun (Don’t worry about going feral, you learn Barkskin later that makes up for the increased chance to avoid spell interuption on the restoration tree) Mages can be fun, if you like to kill things before they reach you/freeze things in place and run like billyo. You’ll have to ask some one else about priests, no offense intended to them, I just can’t get into that class. Good luck, Mania!

  8. Palladiamorsdeus

    Oh, and Anhbas, switching between forms isn’t that hard, and it just got WAY easier. Its easiest just to keep numbers in mind. At two enemies, cat form is fine. Three enemies, switch to bear form. At level fourty seven, my druid has taken on and taken out five level fourty seven enemies, and I never really felt preasured. The key is frenzied regeneration and swipe. Swipe swipe swipe. Oh, and demoralizing roar. That helps a bunch. After you learn barkskin it just gets silly. This nice little ability decreases the damage taken by 20%, and you can’t be interupted while casting. It also pops you out of your current form and puts you back in caster form, allowing you to get off all three of your major heals. Innervate insures that your mana stays up. Pounce from cat form is a four second stun AND eighteen second bleed effect. The list goes on, the problem is having the patience with the class.

  9. Palladiamorsdeus

    GAH, triple post, I am sorry! Just another generalized warning for any class with DoTs, including hunters. Blizzards math sucks. Or they just don’t think to point things out. While they have updated the tooltips to include the overall damage done, the numbers they have are generally wrong. The exception to this seems to be pet abilities, which don’t even get an overall. For example, my scorpids tool tip says 55 damage dealt over 10 seconds, 11 damage a tick, right? He ticks at 32 single stack, and ending at 120 every two seconds at five stacks. So it lists baseline, but not the AP increase. No love for the pets.

  10. Visi

    Make a Paladin. I probably tried everything else whilst getting my hunter to 70, and I couldn’t stand any of them. But then, I made a paladin as a bank alt, realised I needed level9 for a matching belt, and am still playing her at 50.

    They can heal themselves, they can heal other people, and you’re made of plate! Also, they’re wonderfully overpowered for the first 20-30 levels of their life, (and maybe later on too) giving you enough time to get fond of it.

    (24hr clocks are nice!)

  11. Anbhas

    Palladiamorsdeus (nice name),
    Yes, now that I have had much practice with my druid (65 levels! :O there are times I’m shocked I made it that far), switching forms is easy if not instinct. But for the first few levels after having cat form (the first time I had a good selection of forms to choose), it was difficult. Your mind might know which to choose at what time, but the real trouble comes when your mind says “change!” but your hand says “huh?”. It’s something that in theory is easy to do, but requires some patient training with your reaction time. As well, it takes a good deal of knowledge of the class and your own personal character to know -when- to jump out of your form.

    I’d be fighting a few wolves, realize I’m low on health, and (in my mind) switch out, war stomp/barkskin, and heal.

    -In my mind-…

  12. Zball

    My first character (and my first 70) was a gnome mage. I love the little guy. It’s boring and frustrating for a while, but once you hit level 40 and begin AoE grinding there is no experience quite like it. If you want some survivability, go frost. Heck, you eventually get a pet if you stick it out long enough.

    All the hunter skills you’ve learned should come in handy. Kite, keep them at range, freeze them in place, sheep/trap that second add. It does work.

    Then again I’m biased. I love mages. ^_^

  13. Ragabash

    I usually grow bored of playing anything other than hunters. But one day I got this crazy idea in my head that I needed to play a druid. Not a feral druid, since I get bored of melee, but a caster. So I started a little tauren drood, and began lvling her as balance alongside my hubby’s little warrior. At about lvl 20, I noticed I really liked healing. At about lvl 23 I respecc’d to resto, and I’ve been having fun following my hubby around healing him. I even get excited to do instances just because I get to heal. I never thought I would like healing, as it’s so drastically different than playing a hunter.

    My current hunter is still my favorite character though. I don’t think anything will truly replace the class for me.

    And, ugh, I could never get a mage past lvl 15 or so. I get too frustrated at the squishiness / drinking problem. ;)

  14. Palladiamorsdeus

    Ugh, I know Anbhas, I am the worst for that in PvP. “I am going to go caster form and heal that guy….. wait, why does it say cannot attack that target?” I am actually going to go one up on you. Druids from about 24 to 36 are kind of rough to play. Its during that time that you don’t really have anything stellar. You get ferocious bite and cat form backstab on your way up, and finally it culminate in pounce…. but before that point, its sort of a patience grind. But you know all that! *laughs* Its more for anyone else trying the class. As for mages, they really do take a different mind set. No offense Zball, but kiting as a mage is only slightly similar to kiting as a hunter. PvE, hunters have a serious buffer in the form of their pets. Higher end frost mages may get elementals, but, while useful, those do not compare to hunter pets. A mages main strength is in their ability to hammer the crap out of things before they can do any real damage. It varies a bit from tree to tree, with frost being more of a defensive tree, focusing on slows and immoblizes, but a frost mage still puts out impressive damage. Hunter kiting is more about whittling down an enemy…. and a lot of praying, I find….. nothing worse then having a rogue pop sprint just to chase you down….. but I digress. In general, you can tell if you like a class or not within the first twenty levels. And really, druid and paladin aside, thats generally pretty accurate. Druids don’t really start until you have all their forms, and paladins….. I love my paladin, don’t get me wrong, but seriously, the class doesn’t come into its own until Outlands, where you get support for their magic oriented abilities. In other words, most of the classes attacks. Used to, Seal of Command and a strength or AP oriented paladin where the classes only options for dealing damage. Believe me, pre-BC, plate with magic AP was nearly non-existant. But at 58 and beyond now, you actually have options for every tree. Problem is, obviously, first you have to get there. The class is INSANE for survivablity, mind you, I have taken on ten things around my level at once, and thirty minutes and two respawns later, won. Its just not an easy class to play well. …… end rant…. *hides*

  15. Palladiamorsdeus

    Ragabash, druids are my favorite healers. I’ll take a druid over a priest any day of the week, as long as I am on my paladin, or have another person with a revive. *Chuckles* Funny story, back when Stratholme was still a ten man, I five manned it, me (Sixty holy paladin), a sixty hunter, sixty rogue, fifty eight warlock, and a 53 restoration druid. Ahhhh, fun times…..

  16. batgrl

    I’m just going to echo what others have said – try a lock. I enjoyed the spells and the minions – and part of the fun is that they come with their own names. Though of course I regret that on my alt that has the minion named Pizpad. Bleh. But for soloing – it is so nice to have what is really a second character to play with you. When my priest is trying to solo she often wishes the Shadowfiend was a little more petlike. Not to mention the class quests to get your minion are much fun.

  17. Maevet

    other than grabbing a ghost saber after Skaja(orc) hit 19, I shelved her and Uhma(Belf) until the pet xp patch drops. in the mean time I’m leveling my 2nd hunter since the XP boost doesn’t effect the 60-70 range, and leveling a pally. Which in side note, I’m enjoying more than I did my warrior(rip)

  18. Jayhawk

    Actually, the first character I got to 70 was a mage, Nuage. Of course, she was lucky as that she leveled all the way with a pally friend that did her best to keep her alive (and failed miserably at trying to keep aggro ;))

    I guess that makes all the difference. I got a solo mage (L8 Blood Elf, but haven’t spent much tenderness, love and care on her. Probably because I got too many other things to do, quests to finish, reputation to grind, recipes to farm…oh well, you know the drill.

    However, I did solo a (shadow) priest to 70 and that was quite a different experience. She sees to be a lot less fragile than the mage and can still dish out quite a lot of damage. No real crowd control though…

    You can always try a druid and be your own pet?

  19. Danifae

    After my Hunter got to 70 I tried playing a Warrior. It’s a very fun class to play (she’s 70 now as well), but only if your gear is top notch. If you don’t, expect to be running from mobs and dying quite a lot.

    After my Hunter and Warrior I wanted something else. My husband plays a Paladin and I decided I wanted to play one too. And I must say: I absolutely adore the class.
    She’s level 32 now and she can do everything. I can make people happy by buffing them, saving them when they are in a tight spot and if I’m late I just res them :-)

    The class holds its own when playing solo. In combat you have an answer to everything and dying is rare indeed. And even drinking is not much of an issue. I can go without drinking for quite some time.

    Downside is that your damage is not that great, but hey, with all the healing power and tricks you have up your sleeve you still get there ;-)

    So far I can absolutely reccomend the Paladin :-)

  20. Buxton

    Hi there,

    Nice story of your trials and tribulations. I have a number of hunter alts, but find them most fun when they focus on one pet with which they harmonise. I also try to put in some “rules” to make him a bit different.

    For example, my Dwarf hunter has a pink tallstrider called Wellington (‘cos its a wader;) and has a pink mageweave shirt to match. He only uses guns and 2 handed weapons.

    My troll has a blue (to match his skin) crab which is a wonderful companion. He uses a bow ranged, main hand sword and an off hand axe to match the crab’s “weaponry”.

    Regarding other classes, my main is a Druid. Great class, but less relaxing than hunter. I have a warlock alt too, which is OK but not quite as much fun as hunters are (except for the pet levelling…)


  21. Psycho & Chaos

    I completly understand where your comming from. I noticed this but am in a position that I need to continue leveling so pausing isnt a option for me. The only thing I need to do is remind my self that I need to go out and train my pet wiht the world found skills. Other than that hopefully with the new patch comming I can bring my ravager back out and level him up quick.

  22. Znodis

    Wow… dunno if you’re going to get through all these comments Mania.

    I recently did a round of alts and with the new changes I’m really liking my shaman and paladin. My mage would come in 3rd, but is definitely a character I’m going to continue. The think I really found enjoyable was killing things before they could even reach me. The first time I did it I think I even let out an evil laugh Mwahahahahahaha!

    There shouldn’t be any panicked button mashing: Frost Nova is the equivalent of FD and you get it at level 10 instead of freaking 30. Pull too much, pop it, and just strafe away. There’s no pet, or traps to bail you out. You are a glass cannon so just run. Don’t be a hero Billy!

    I will also say this: melee is much easier to twink out than magic. Think about it. A single rare/epic BoE will give you +4-7 white DPS around level 20-40. That damage usually increases other abilities as well. Now do the same with a caster, think of how many pieces of +arcane/fire/frost you’d have to find or buy to add 5 DPS to a single spell school at that level range. Most of that is green with no other stats too since it only seems added spell damage to random stat gear at that level. This is the main reason I’m finding my ret pali, and enh shaman so fun. They just kill things.

  23. Sedna

    Oddly enough, I’m having a blast (ha!) on my Mage alt, who’s around level 51 and Fire-specced. Yeah, sitting to drink and eat every other kill is kind of a pain, but it’s balanced out by being able to crit five times in a row on some poor furlbog. If lighting cannibal trolls on fire is wrong, then hey, I don’t want to be right. If you get in trouble, Frost Nova, Blink, and Mana Shield if necessary, then run like hell.
    I also broke out a druid, and it’s a different class to play, but still a lot of fun. I got into a tussle last night with four dwarfs (NPCs) a few levels higher than me and came out alive, mostly because I switched forms as needed (cat for high physical damage, bear for survivability, default/caster for Wrath/Moonfire spam and heals).

  24. Celeglad

    Hey Mania, sorry I’ve been MIA for a while… Interesting to hear everyone’s opinions on non-hunter alts here, and I think I’m about to throw in a whole new aspect here- Shamans. You see, I have 2 mains. One is of course Celeglad, my beloved 62 hunter who just recently tamed that beautiful green-and-purple Ravager in Hellfire. (Named him Hades, I have a thing with naming my pets after the Greek pantheon. Cat=Artemis, Gorilla=Hephaestus, Nether Ray=Hermes, etc. Now if only we got those other 9 stable slots… XD)

    Anyway, getting back on topic here, my other main is Thunderkitty, a 61 Resto Shammy. I’ve leveled her almost exclusively from about lvl 25 with my girlfriend, a Subtlety Rogue, and it’s been great fun. With the right totems, a Resto Shammy is almost as indestructible as a hunter, and the sheer versatility of the Shaman class gives even a pure-spec a huge bag of tricks to work with in battle. Now leveling with a Sub. Rogue, I’ve had to learn a good deal about healing while being attacked- she can’t hold aggro off of me to save our lives, no pun intended. :p After a hunter, a Shammy always feels like it’s wearing a step lower armor than it is, as the high int needed even by melee shammies to perform effectively often puts the hurt on the high stam and strength/agi hunters are used to. Once you learn your way around them though they’re amazingly fun, and with a few points in Elemental spec they can even become great long-range attackers as long as you have a tank to fill in for your pet. ;) Anyway there’s my two cents, take it or leave it. And either way, let’s hope the patch gets to us soon! :)


  25. Messyah

    Well, if you can manage to level a clothy, you know you are a damn good player. On the other hand, if you find yourself needing the “crutch” that is a pet, then perhaps you should stick to hunters and warlocks, or perhaps a Paladin with their hand of god bubble ability. LOL

  26. Ovidia

    My first toon, when I started playing this game 2.5 years ago, was a Warlock. I got her to L40 before they nerfed Warlock pets and I rolled a Hunter instead. I got my Hunter to L42 before I got kind of bored (this was way before the BM Hunter = God period) and so I rolled a Mage. I did this because I wanted to play a class that wasn’t so self-reliant and that would force me to group up with people. And I fell in love with magecraft largely for the “chicken” aspect while soloing and the massive amounts of mayhem you can create with AoE.

    Locks and Hunters are relatively similar in play style, but their itemization needs are different and you don’t get as much pet micromanagement as a Lock. So while it is fun to look at new types of armor (and as a female player, I love cloth robes and stuff) and learn about a different set of stats, you don’t get to personalize your pet like a Hunter does.

    If you want something different, I would suggest that you look at a hybrid like a Paladin or a Shaman or a Druid or even a Priest (the semi-hybrid class). After my healer friends told me that I could never heal, I rolled a Druid and a Priest and ended up making the Priest my main. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed healing after a year and a half of raiding as a DPS class and I found that it gave me a new appreciation of the game that was greatly needed. And the nice thing is that with all of those classes, you can switch back to a DPS role, if you need to do something familiar.

  27. Ovidia

    Oh–an addendum to my post above.

    I finally went back to level my Hunter to 70 after 2.3 came out and I am totally loving her again. BM Hunters are so completely overpowered for solo leveling!

  28. Keleri

    I’ve been totally spoiled by my pet classes (I have a warlock and hunter at 70) so leveling up anything else is quite the chore. It’s just not the same to have to eat/drink every couple mobs when you could be taking down four or five without breaking a sweat. :< I strongly recommend you play a warlock, though–mine was even easier to level than my hunter, especially when she started getting +spell damage. Moo ha ha!

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