While I was waiting on Patch 2.3.2 with its faster pet leveling, I spent a lot of time with my newest hunter, Maja. About a week ago she hit level 40 and promptly bought a black hawkstrider. (The original plan had been to purchase an skeletal horse instead, but try as I might I am still 5500 reputation short of Exalted with Undercity. So it’s a chicken for now!) But level 40 seems like a good time to pause and take a comparitive look at the stats and utility of her two pets: Sarcasm the tallstrider and Scorn the hyena.
(If you read this blog regularly, you may wonder how I got to 40 so quickly. I didn’t, really — I just neglected to publish the previous posts on Maja until a couple of weeks ago. But she’s been steaming along at my normal leveling rate — that is, rather slowly (but surely!) — for awhile now.)
And how have the pets been doing? Very well, over all. I went to pick up a Kolkar Packhound as planned at level 13. It was a real mess, though — I had forgotten that these guys are found in a patrol with three hyenas and a centaur. I had to tame a temporary raptor pet, then find a patrol, then pick off the centaur and two of the hounds, one at a time (generally with a death between each!). Just to make matters worse, the hyenas got bugged serveral times and I had to wait for them to reset. I was actually level 14 before I managed the tame. But manage it I did, and I named my lovely hyena Scorn.
Then at level 20 my beautiful pink tallstrider Sarcasm went through her first molt and came out with gorgeous turqiose plummage. (In non-RP terms, I headed to Darkshore and tamed the Strider Clutchmother.)
As I mentioned, I taught the tallstrider Great Stamina to increase her health, and taught the hyena Natural Armor to increase his armor. From 14 to 38 I saw no appreciable difference between these pets, and neither one gave my any problems whatsoever. I was largely completing orange quests and only very orange or red enemies gave me any problems with aggro. (For reference, my normal method is to mark, send in the pet, then Serpent Sting while the pet is closing. The mob comes for me, then gets hit with Growl on the way and snaps to a halt. With orange enemies, I have to let the pet get all the way in and either Growl or (if that misses) attack for a few seconds.)
I was also expecting to see a difference between these pets and Kaet’s crabs in one way or another — either because crabs do less damage or because crabs have Claw while these two have Bite — but I saw no real difference there either.
Around level 38 I started having trouble keeping both pets leveled with me. I had thought it wouldn’t be so bad with only two pets, especially if I was careful not to build up too much rest XP, but … when I hit level 40 my pets were level 37 and 38 and they weren’t catching up. So I decided to shelve the project until Patch 2.3.2 came out. Before I did, however, I headed down to the Scarlet Monastery to tame a Scarlet Tracking Hound. Err … rather … to help Scorn through his first molt. He came out a rich, deep red (but also level 33).
So then pause until Patch 2.3.2 went live. I logged in Maja and leveled both pets up to 40 in just a few hours. (Ah, that’s much better!) Anyway, here you are: a direct side-by-side comparison of the stats at level 40. Keep in mind that Maja herself is level 41 and using a modified Beast Mastery build. The talents that affect that pets’ stats at this point are:
- 5/5 Endurance Training (+10% pet health)
- 3/3 Thick Hide (+20 pet armor, +10% armor scaling)
- 5/5 Unleashed Fury (+20% damage)
Both pets are trained with the following skills (as well as the ones mentioned in the table):
- Bite 5
- Cobra Reflexes
- Dash 1
- Growl 5
Oh, and both pets were happy when I recoded their stats. At this point, both pets share the following stats (and so I’m only going to list them once). Note that Power is listed in the format base (which comes from the pet’s Strength) + hunter scaling component.
|Damage Per Second||46.7|
So how are these pets different? Well, first I compared them with just Great Stamina on the tallstrider and just Natural Armor on the hyena, and then to get a more realistic playing comparison I trained both with both skills. The chart below shows the difference in health and armor.
|Tallstrider w/ GS6||Tallstrider w/ GS6 + NA6||Hyena w/ NA6||Hyena w/ GS6 + NA6|
|Reduces Physical Damage/td>||43.02%||47.11%||47.95%||47.95%|
I’ve listed exactly what the pet panel shows here, but keep in mind that the format on the pet panel is not always consistent. For armor, the format is base (which is the same for all pets this level) + modifiers (which includes the family modifier, pet skills, hunter talents and buffs). For stamina, the format is pet stamina (which includes the base, family modifier, pet skills and hunter talents) + hunter scaling component.
Of course, while the numbers are interesting the real point is how the pets play. And even with the tallstrider trained for health only and the hyena trained for armor only, I’m just not seeing a difference at this point.