Patch 2.4.2: No Changes to Growl Scaling

The patch notes for Patch 2.4.2 say that: “The pet ability Growl will no longer scale with pet Attack Power and now scales with the hunter’s Attack Power.”

The patch notes are wrong. Growl still scales with the pet’s Attack Power just as it did before.

Now there has been a major change involving Growl: The extra bonus attack power that a boar gets from the skill Charge no longer causes Growl to scale. Yes, this is the promised ‘boar nerf’. But that change has it’s own (badly-phrased) patch note (“Boar Charge: This ability will no longer make Growl cast immediately after it generates [sic] excessive threat.”)

But the note about Growl scaling with hunter’s Attack Power? That’s just wrong.

Myself and a number of other hunters (including Nimizar, Ashraf, Znodis and others) did extensive tests on Growl on the PTR. I made a false start with my first testing method, but after I settled on a valid method I gathered a lot of data that indicated no change to Growl scaling.

It was always possible, of course, that Blizzard had made a change to Growl scaling that didn’t make it to the PTR but which would nevertheless be in this patch.

So last night, in preparation for Patch 2.4.2, I performed the following two tests on the live realms. This morning, as soon as I could log in, I performed them again. Note that both tests involve the same character (Mania) with the same pet (a level 70 cat) using Growl (Rank 8), and that there have been no changes in equipment, skills, buffs, or even location. (I logged out last night immediately after my tests, then logged in this morning and immediately repeated the tests.) In addition, all tests were done at maximum range.

Here’s the results:

Test Hunter RAP Pet AP Growl Threat
Pre-2.4.2 1831 706 664-673
Pre-2.4.2 1831 831 1202-1211
Post-2.4.2 1831 706 664-673
Post-2.4.2 1831 831 1202-1211

(Growl Threat is expressed as a range since my testing method has a threat resolution of about 9 threat.)

The most important thing to note with these numbers:

  1. Hunter RAP didn’t change between the two tests (either before or after the patch).
  2. Pet AP changed by the same amount in the second test before the patch and the second test after the patch.
  3. Growl threat changed by the same amount between the two tests both before and after the patch.

Clearly, Growl is still scaling with the pet’s Attack Power and not with the hunter’s Attack Power.

In addition, Growl is scaling in the same manner that it did before, as described on WoW Wiki. The formulas are all still the same.

So the only real change to Growl in Patch 2.4.2 is the unfortunate nerf to boars: the extra attack power from Charge no longer adds to the threat generated by Growl. But the second patch note, the one that says that Growl scales with the hunter’s attack power — that’s just wrong.

I posted my results to the Bug Report forum. Hopefully we can get more response there than we did on the PTR forum.

In addition, it is useful to note that the bug with inconsistent pet skill priorities has not been fixed with this patch.

Hortus was kind enough to respond to the thread on the Bug Report forum. He said:

There is still a bug with Growl that is allowing it to scale with some pet attack power buffs as well as the hunter’s attack power. This will be fixed in a future patch, until then enjoy the extra threat from these buffs.

[edit #2]
Hortus responded to the bug report again and then locked the thread.

As I have stated many times before Growl scales correctly with Hunter attack power. It has been verified with internal tools multiple times buy myself and other testers both in 2.4.2 and 2.4.1. It may not scale at a rate that you like but it does scale at the rate the developers currently want (and no I can not reveal that rate).

If you feel it should scale differently then you will need to post about it in the suggestions or class forums. Repeatedly posting about it here in this forum will not result in any positive changes but it will result in your posting privileges being removed

Right now Growl is ALSO scaling inappropriately with attack power buffs applied to your pet (such as Blessing of Might) this is a bug that is currently in your favor, it will likely be fixed in a future patch so enjoy it while you can.

As someone who cannot reach the scaling point of Growl without using pet buffs, I am especially sad to see that Growl “scale[s] at the rate the developers currently want”.

43 thoughts on “Patch 2.4.2: No Changes to Growl Scaling

  1. Lady Jess

    thanks for the update, my cat seems to be holding aggro better…maybe just a fluke. By the way did you mean growl scaling HAS changed or HASN’T? Wasn’t sure if it was a mistype or I’m just lost as usual:)

  2. Mania Post author

    Lady Jess: I actually meant threat, not scaling per se, and you made me realize that that section was rather unclear so I rewrote it. Thanks!

    I’m seeing some reports that Growl feels better now. That may well be true, although I haven’t had a chance to actually play with it yet. Regardless, it’s unrelated to growl scaling with hunter RAP (since it doesn’t). *grin*

  3. Yutta

    I don’t see much difference at all. My level 70 Pig still stuns the mob while charging, then immediately growls and takes aggro. It growls every 5 seconds as soon as the cool down is up and maintains threat and aggro. I can pull aggro if I slap the mob hard. A slight pause in my manual shot rotation lets the pig grab aggro again.

    The same thing happens with my level 70 cat … after dash it growls and grabs aggro.

    Both animals crit often and usually have plenty of focus with go for the throat dumping focus when I crit.

  4. Corbenn

    After the tantrum Hortus pulled on the test realm forum, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a response over on Bug Reports.

  5. Sin


    All three of my pets, including my newly tamed Dire Raven, are holding threat against me quite a bit better now. Not only that, if I DO pull aggro and the pet hits it’s growl right afterwards, it’s sometimes just enough threat to snap attention back to it again….only sometimes, however.

    As far as I’m aware, Antiarc’s not updated Omen to reflect the new Threat numbers if there was any change made. Just as a loose guideline: BM Spec, My RAP = 2033, 29.5% crit.

  6. Mania Post author

    Hortus responded again, and again I have edited the post to incorporate his words.

    And now I’m going to go take a little break and cool down.

  7. Beaverius

    Ugh, thanks to Hortus for locking the thread again when they are proved wrong and called out for it. This is getting old.

  8. Tarjin

    You mean my pet will be generating less threat in the future? I already can’t crit if I want him to hold anything. The devs must not want hunters using pets to tank solo if they are happy with their internal scaling.

  9. Deathbang

    Can’t say I’m honestly disappointed with the boar nerf. I think pets should be different than each other(but I disapprove of some being useless) but making boars that much of a better tank is just plain cheap. I bet I’ll be seeing more ravagers and cats around and I can’t say thats a bad thing. (DPS for the win)

    I do offer my sincere apologizes to all the MM hunters who’s pet can no longer hold the aggro of a level 1 because of the massive dps you dish out. I’m pretty sure that the purpose of this “growl change” was to fix that problem for you. Since blizz didn’t go through with it, well aggro managing is goign to be very dificult.

  10. Amber

    So what it looks like, overall, is proof once again that Blizzard can’t QA patch notes if their lives depended on it, and probably no one in the dev team is telling Hortus anything.

  11. Eric

    Indeed we have a currently over-buffed growl. Sadly, it’s working as I would expect it to (you know, “working” at all..)..

    I have 2200 rap and 31% crit and I cannot pull threat with a full 1:1.5 rotation. I love it. I will be sad to see it go. :(

  12. Excerion

    Be it a buff to hunter’s pet or not, It is only meant for BM or MM hunter who are stacking AP.

    As for me, a SV hunter, My pet can never hold threat as i stack Agi not AP, having 1797 RAP and 34% crit, I pull agro in 3 auto shot (nothing else)

  13. Jayhawk

    Thanks Mania
    2.4.2 will go live here (on the other side of the pond) today. I’m very curious to see what it feels like. I must say, I don’t have a high opinion on this Hortus guy, based up what I see of his post…

    Hope you managed to cool down *hug*

  14. Mr. Perfect

    Isn’t it interesting how things that work in the hunter’s favor are “bugs” and will be “fixed”, but things that have no effect are working as intended? Cynicism++

  15. Suzi

    I have a lot of respect for the people that work at Blizzard – they often get a rough ride when they’re only doing their job. But, quite frankly, Hortus is my least favourite. He wouldn’t listen while testing, he hasn’t listened now.

    Hortus strikes me as someone that wishes he didn’t have to deal with the WoW community. It strikes me as odd considering the hunters posting have been civil and concise, with data to back up any findings. I think that makes this more disappointing than any changes / non-changes.

  16. Varsar

    When they fix the bug where Growl no longer gains from pet AP I’m going to consider deleting my hunter. As it is I can barely hold aggro with my pet unless I use intimidate and having given my hunter a good run today after the patch i see it is a matter of a few crits that make the difference of me getting aggro or not.

    it’s getting kind of stupid

  17. Pingback: Cambiando sin cambiar los cambios que cambio | conOsinSemilia

  18. Nimizar

    I started yet another thread in the Bug Report forums, pointing out the blatant stupidity of saying “some buffs to pet AP still affect Growl threat”. Every single pet AP buff in the game other than the boar’s Charge buff doesn’t really meet my definition of “some”.

  19. Nordhbane

    Mania, would you be able to reproduce your testing, but instead of changing your pets AP, change your hunters RAP? Perhaps by using Leggings of Beast Mastery you can lower your own AP, while still maintaining the same for the pet.

    The results from that would be interesting, and would definitely show whether or not RAP changes the threat for growl or not.

  20. Brian

    I understand Hortus getting frustrated over all of the grief about changing something, but I wish (s)he(?) had the sense to tell that you aren’t complaining about the change, just pointing out that it doesn’t jive with actual play. It would have been so much more productive for him to reproduce your exact scenario and comment on it, or point out what might be flawed in your methods (which I think are brilliant, btw).

  21. Nimizar

    For what it’s worth, Hortus’s handling of this whole issue actually annoyed me enough to get me to write to the CM feedback email address about it (I’d previously only written to that address to say nice things about people). I don’t actually care if Growl scales with pet AP or with hunter RAP, but I do care about the fact that the CM’s have explicitly described it scaling in a way that bears ZERO resemblance to the way it actually scales in game, yet have never corrected themselves, or stated “oh, it’s meant to scale that way, but it doesn’t at the moment, we’ll fix it in a future patch”. All we have is Hortus’s “enjoy your extra threat while it lasts”. It isn’t extra threat, because a lot of hunters still don’t get their pets to the 735 pet AP needed to make Growl scale at all!

  22. Dekiraa

    First time poster here.

    I really can’t say I’m surprised that there wasn’t a change after the testing done on the PTR by Mania and others. Whatever the change actually is, the developers seem satisfied and we’ll have to adjust. For me, that means my solo play is centered around burning down mobs and putting my wing clip / raptor strike macro back on my action bar. I’m lucky enough to have the mp5 to do this and not ever have to stop and drink. What’s really nasty about this all is that it deeply impacts those still leveling and those in PvP gear.

  23. Ghanur

    Blizzard pulled a “Verant” on this!

    They don’t communicate, they don’t listen, and the customer is always wrong!
    Hortus seems to be an alter-ego of Brad McQuaid – clueless, and an ego as big as a planet.

    Yeah! I’ll never get anough RAP to get the growl scaling working (no chance to get my hands on those necessary epic items) – autoshot and the normal crits (BM spec) and my cat loses aggro. And Hortus claims, that the threat will be made far lower than now! Hunter is unplayable in PvE – for Hortus this is “working as intended!”(c)

    Way to go – there are far better options to spend my money, Blizzard will never see a single cent from me in my life.

  24. Brigwyn

    Mania –
    Have you found what Hortus said in his last post to be correct??
    “Right now Growl is ALSO scaling inappropriately with attack power buffs applied to your pet (such as Blessing of Might) this is a bug that is currently in your favor, it will likely be fixed in a future patch so enjoy it while you can.”

    If so, I wonder if this applies to all AP buffs (e.g. kibler’s bits, FI, TSA, etc..)
    - Brig

  25. Hunter

    “For what it’s worth, Hortus’s handling of this whole issue actually annoyed me enough to get me to write to the CM feedback email address about it “

    Yeah, that’s what I did, too. I’m lazy as hell, and Hortus actually got me motivated to complain about him.

    Mania for president.

  26. sara

    I’m sure this’ll make me unpopular, but I actually see an improvement since 2.4.2 went live. I’ve been questing in Netherstorm (lvl 69) and my carrion bird holds aggro like a champ! I can get in at least one serpent and 2 aimed before i start pulling from her, and then it’s the aggro dance, not straight pull. Mobs are dead before they get to me. I do use KC when it’s up and an occasional intimidation, although nothing like I had to before 2.4.2. I realise that this is not “working as intended” or whatever and they’ll probably “fix it” later on, but compared to 2.4, I find it to be improved…

  27. Nimizar

    @sara: Screech is pretty good threat, so when that’s the ability competing with Growl for focus (owls, carrion birds, bats), then the threat-pet-second loss from the prioritisation problems with Growl is a lot less than it is with other pet families. There’s also the fact that the prioritisation bug itself is a chance-based thing – sometimes you’ll just get lucky and have Growl go off close to its cooldown time.

    @Brig: aside from Boar Charge, all the pet AP buffs tested on the PTR that actually increased the pet’s AP as shown on its stats page (kibler’s bits, Trueshot Aura, LW drums) also increased Growl threat. Other effects that increase damage without increasing listed AP (FI, IHM) didn’t (although only IHM was tested explicitly).

    @Everyone: don’t get *too* annoyed with Hortus over this, folks. Yeah, he’s completely stopped listening, but he *did* spend quite a bit of time on Growl issues right after 2.4 came out (unfortunately not enough to actually find the source of the reported problems), and Blizz QA have some fairly major game-breaking issues to deal with right now in the form of UI lockup bugs and horrendous latency on the realms with high Oceanic populations. That said, I still think he’s been out of line in the way he has attempted to shut down further discussion of the issues with Growl threat (and the incorrect information being posted by the Blizzard reps).

  28. Rikaku

    Really these changes have made Hunter PvE playing almost as fun as sticking a fork into your eye. My pet doesn’t hold aggro at all, the PvE world is going down the drain while Blizz just stands there being all “OmigawdPvP!”~
    Now, I’ve dealt with nerfs the past 3 years I’ve been on this game, especially as Hunter. This lowering Growl’s effectiveness even more is downright killer. I’ve always thought that BM talents should have an improved growl talent or something, well here’s hoping that happens in WotLK. Oh yeah, and a higher rank of Furious Howl (nice missing that when theres hundreds of wolves in Blade’s Edge and Terrokar Blizzard!)
    Until then, I’m playing my Paladin. At least Blizzards throwing love their way.
    And as for Hortus
    Now I get it that he’s probably tired of the Growl/Hunter talk. But that’s part of his job, dealing with stuff. I haven’t seen this many people on a forum even post their issues or problems so nicely and well-thought out anywhere else before. So I really don’t care if he’s upset that he has to deal with a thread about Growl scaling for the 600th time, I’ve seen other Blues deal with a repeated thread topic for the 1000th time with more grace. I think it’s time Hortus stopped being a jerk and stop threatening to have “previlieges taken away”. What is this? Grade school?
    Hortus, it’s time to take a vacation and a chill pill. Seriously.

  29. albin

    I find it complete crap about this nerf i can even auto shot with out pulling aggro how is a hunter to farm if they cant use any special attacks charge and growl generated up to 5.5k aggro now th charge then growl generates 1.1k i think its a bit much. I just waiting for the day to come where hunter arrows are magic or physical damage in stead of neither.

  30. Corbenn

    I just waiting for the day to come where hunter arrows are magic or physical damage in stead of neither.

    *is confused*

    All of our shots *are* physical damage, except for Arcane Shot which is magic (Arcane) damage.

  31. Nimizar

    @sara: welcome to the joys of intermittent bugs – post patch, some folks appear to be experiencing the Growl prioritisation bug for the first time, while others appear to have found it has gone away. (That’s assuming of course that there isn’t some other problem with Growl, but Hortus *did* do a pretty good job of testing its scaling in isolation from other factors, as did our various scaling tests on the PTR. So until they fix the prioritisation problem, I’m not personally going to go looking for additional potential problems with pet threat-per-second)

  32. Bikutanda of Nazgrel

    I have been a BM spec Hunter from the start. I have a Wind Serpent, a Cat and a Scorpid. The Wind Serpent manages to hold better agro over the other 2.
    At level 70, I would pull agro with plain autoshot. If Kill Command popped, if I crit, I would pull agro.
    I respecced to MM this weekend, and hardly ever pull agro off the pet. I have TrueShot up. I can use a aimedshot/autoshot rotation, crit madly, and maybe pull agro.

  33. Grego

    I honestly am leaving WoW for AoC. My wife and I came back for a few months and were having a great time but these last few patches have been seriously atrocious. First it was 2.4 and I had to drink all the time. That’s fixed but now my pet doesn’t hold aggro to save his life. I’d be willing to wait until another patch for a fix but it’s been clearly stated that it’s ‘working as intended’.

    The worst part is the hunters who are oblivious to the problem and calling out ‘L2PLAY’ while grinding PvP gear in arenas or instancing or raiding. They aren’t seeing these issues since they aren’t using growl. I play exclusively with my wife who is a shadow priest and we’ve only been 70 for a few weeks (moved to a new server). If I feign the aggro is on her with no chance of my pet getting it back. Even an intimidate won’t hold aggro enough. It’s ridiculous that I alone can’t use a simple steady shot rotation and not pull aggro.

    One of my friends started leveling up a hunter and while he loves it he says that his pet went from good to crap almost instantly. He’s level 28 and while he’s used to kiting (main is a mage) I told him to love it because that’s what he is going to do for the next 42 levels. It’s too bad that after putting in such a huge buff to leveling for all classes that they’d nerf it so drastically for hunters.

    Sorry for the rant, I’m sure a lot of people are in the same boat. It sure felt good tho.

  34. nickgumshoe

    Guys if I may make a suggestion to those of you who have aggro problems. This is what I do, send in my pet and let it get the first hit, then what I do is just spam my ss/auto macro (kc also helps a tremendous amount with aggro) untill its dead. It doesn’t pull aggro unless I crit like 4 times in a row and the mob is usually like 90% dead if I crit that much. Another thing is that its very mana efficient seing as ss only uses like 100 mana per shot or something. I also keep aspect of the viper up while I do my dailys/solo, this helps me to where I NEVER have to drink when I’m out doing my thing (it also helps becuase w/o AotH on I do a little less damage, thus creating less threat). I run in my pvp gear becuase I play on a pvp server and I get tired of being ganked and with my pvp gear on I have 11 epics on so you can imagine how much damage I pull off with my s2 gun. Please please please try this it really solved my aggro problem completely. (I also use a wind serpent when soloing… not sure if this has much of an effect, I know people use cats a lot but I just find the serpent to be better)

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