There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the perfect pet. In fact, when you are high level and trying to decide from almost 700 different possible pets, the choice can be downright complicated! But luckily, choosing your first pet is a lot simpler.
This series of articles sets out to answer the question “What should I tame first?”. It is aimed at players who are new to the hunter class — if you are an advanced hunter looking for a full-blown analysis of all the factors that go into choosing a pet, this guide may be a little basic for you.
In this intro I’ll go over the criteria that make for a good first pet. In later articles we’ll be examining the newbie areas one at a time and discussing the pets that can be found there. You can find a list of all the published articles in this series at the bottom of each post.
What’s Makes for a Good First Pet?
Let’s be perfectly clear:
Of course, no matter how many times I say that there will always be new hunters who want to make sure that they make the “best” choice. So … what factors are important in a first pet? What criteria am I using in this series to make my suggestions?
Location: New players are generally not ready to go gallivanting about the world looking for the absolute perfect level 10 pet (although advanced players on a new hunter character often are!), so each article in this series will focus on a particular newbie area. Most new hunters choose a pet from their own newbie area, but for each area I’ll mention other races that can also get there pretty easily.
Level: You can’t tame a pet that is higher level than you are, so the pets in this series are all level 10 or lower. In fact, most are level 9 or 10: it doesn’t take long to bring a level 1 pet up to level 10, but it’s not something that most young hunters want to waste time on.
Known Skills: Known or innate skills are skills that a creature already knows when you tame it. Pets that don’t have any known skills can still learn skills, but they’ll have to be taught — which means that first you’ll need to learn the skills yourself so you can teach them! (There is a handy article on Petopia that covers this process called “How to Train Your Pet”.) This can be a bit of a hassle for new hunters, so creatures that already know useful skills get higher marks here than those without. (The exception is Cower, because you really don’t need or even want Cower at this point.)
Diet: At low levels, buying or finding pet food can be a real drag, especially if there’s only one vendor in the zone who sells what you need. So we give higher marks to pets that can eat a variety of food. Plus, some foods are generally more convenient than others. Fish is probably most convenient, since you can fish it up yourself for free with the fishing skill. Meat and bread both run a close second — meat can often be found on the corpses of local wildlife, and bread is easy to get if you have a mage friend who can Conjure Food.
Looks: Appearance is always a large factor in choosing a pet. Who wants to spend all their time hunting with an ugly companion, or one that creeps you out? But choosing an attractive pet relies on your personal taste, so the best we can do here is point out some of the more interesting choices available to you.
Longevity: There are a couple of factors that a new hunter doesn’t really need to worry about, like what skills the pet will be able to learn at high level or how its stats will stack up at level 70. On the other hand, you don’t want to get to level 60 and feel that you’ve made the wrong choice (even though it’s a perfectly fine choice!). So we lump these factors together under ‘Longevity’ — is this a pet that stands up well at higher levels?
That’s a quick look at the factors that are important for choosing your first pet. In the next article in this series, we’ll be looking at recommended pets in Durotar — the newbie area for both orc and troll hunters!