WotLK/3.0: Caster Stats Gone For Good!

Kaet & Lady SathrahSo I’m slowly catching up with the pet news from beta build 8962 (which I barely got to see) and 8970 (which I missed entirely).

There are a lot of exciting and interesting changes, no doubt.

But my favorite change by far? No more pets with inferior caster stats!

The beasts that used to have caster stats still have a mana bar in the wild, and they will use it to cast spells at you when they attack. But once you tame these beasts, all of their stats become exactly the same as a regular pet of the same level.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the end of caster stats. Not only does this simplify the Petopia database, but it opens up a whole bunch of pet appearances that were previously only available if you wanted to deal with the considerable downside of casters.

(A number of people mentioned this in comments or e-mail, but I want to thank Valashe of Cenarion Circle especially. This orc hunter sent me 15 screenshots of various ex-casters and their normal counterparts illustrating the changes, and saved me countless hours of tedious work. Thanks, Valashe!)

47 thoughts on “WotLK/3.0: Caster Stats Gone For Good!

  1. Susurrant


    I’ve always wanted the netherskate appearance – now that it’s non-caster, I won’t be gimping myself by getting one!


  2. Kalasha

    Lovely, an end to a useless game mechanic, always reason to celebrate ^^ It’s also nice for all those MM and SV hunters out there who have to miss out on the exotics but at least now can get that shiny netherstorm ray they always wanted.

  3. Yossir

    This is very good. I might pick up a nether ray now. And Kalasha, I’m an SV hunter and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. I’d take an AoE Fire shot over a flashy pet any day.

  4. Seidouyumi

    Casters are gone. Green Teufelssaurier, er, Devilsaurs. Rake for Cats. Reduced cooldown on Thunderstomp. Lots of great stuff going on.

  5. Seidouyumi

    Daz, most of those are in the main site. They’re just listed as being caster in big bold red letters next to their name saying CASTER.

    BTW, Mania, I’m glad you’re getting some rest. You take care of yourself, ok. I know how hard moving can be.

  6. Kristy

    Yossir: I know that’s what all non-Beast Masters think. :-P..

    Anyways I’m glad they are adding variety, to current Exotics. I hope they continue to do so.

  7. Nachtwulf

    Now that my transfer to the PTR has gone through… I ran RIGHT OUT and tamed Count Ungula. :D

    Nether rays make me happy. They always have. I even used one of the blue/silver ones for awhile DESPITE it being a caster, but eventually had to give it up.

    But yes, this means you can actually have a pretty red/gold dragonhawk and not feel like a nub. BTW, speaking of… I’m curious. Are the two low level dragonhawks ACTUALLY different colors? I always thought they were the same, but they’re listed separately on Petopia.

  8. Mania Post author

    I thought they were the same for a long time, but a hunter sent me some good screenshots that convinced me otherwise. I went out and tamed them myself and compared and yes, they are actually very slightly different. I suspect that they weren’t intended to be — there are duplicate or almost duplicate skins lying around in WoW’s data files that seem to be left over from something. And then some designer comes in and uses one or another at random, and now you have very slightly different dragonhawks …

  9. Ansawa

    They are two different variations on the gold dragonhawk skin. :) The feral ‘hawks (not the hatchlings) are darker, while their younger counterparts are a brighter gold.

    Yaaaay for no more casters. ♥

  10. Sukulatae

    I was just looking at those pretty gold ex-casters, and it seems the difference is wing color vs wing bone color, if that makes sense. I’ll look again ingame, I’m slacking at work and can’t get into the game atm.

  11. Dierna

    Caster pets are gone? Great!
    Not so great -> Beast Mastery increase your total amount of Pet Skill Points by 4
    Pets lost one Point
    saw that on wotlkwiki.info and mmo-champion.com at the talent calculator

    mfg Dierna

  12. Seidouyumi


    That happened before the PTR went live. We had a huge debate going on here about it. Some said it was going to destroy the 51 pt Talent, and other said it was alright and not a big deal.

  13. Shinryu Masaki


    I was the one who sent the screenshots. =P I noticed it while playing around on my low level tauren hunter. I went to Eversong to tame a Dragonhawk to learn Fire Breath. Since there’s a few of them right outside Silvermoon City, that’s what I tamed. But when I came back to town I crossed path with another hunter, and saw his Dragonhawk was more yellow, while mine was more brownish.

    I then went on my 70 hunter, tamed both and took screenshots to compare them. From what I can tell, it’s the lighting color of Eversong Woods that makes them look the same, but under normal lighting the colors are clearly different, especially when seen right next to each others.

    And I am really thrilled that the caster stats went to hell and will never come back. Too many pets suffered from that, and made people who didn’t know about it think those pets where garbage. This is really a good news.

  14. Veyska

    About the two near-clone dragonhawks, I’d noticed that difference a fair time ago playing around with pet models in WoW Model Viewer. Feral ‘hawks have softer shading and a darker body (“old gold”?), Crazed ‘hawks (and the ZA ones, but don’t know if those’d be tame-able and the BE zone ones are easier to get to anyhow) have brighter gold bodies (“brass”, to differentiate) and sharper contrast. Just my random two cents, still a bit spazzed from finally getting my Brewfest Kodo… ^-^

  15. Palladiamors

    *Chuckles and points to the forums* I checked out Nether Rays a few days ago to see if caster stats were gone at the request of Shippleton. Fun times!

  16. Mania Post author

    Thanks, Shinryu. I thought it might have been you but I didn’t want to get it wrong.

    Palladiamors: Whoops, I missed that! I still haven’t caught up on the forums but I browsed for titles and overlooked that entirely. :>

  17. Lovemypet

    Hmmm. I’m tempted to say it would have been better if they’d fixed casters, instead of eliminating them, but I don’t see how that could be done.

    This is related to the whole idea of “fixing hunters” (Somebody quoted Blizzard as saying this is what they want to do). The problem, as I see it, is that this can’t be done, either.

    Hunters are divided characters, necessarily. An appreciable amount of the hunter’s power lies in her pet. Without her pet, a hunter is the feeblest of all clases – and this is justice, because the hunter’s pet is so powerful. If hunters were playable without pets, then they would be unbeatable whilst their pets were still alive, and everybody and her sister would play hunter.

    We all know how easy it is to take out warlock and hunter mobs – as long as you notice the pet, you can kill it quickly first, effectively maiming the mistress. In PvP, I hear, players just ignore the pet and kill the hunter if possible, at which point the pet disappears. Both strategies rely on killing only half the team, crippling the remaining half, and there doesn’t seem to be any solution to this. Hunters are inevitably weakened by having their hp and dps split between two entities which can be killed separately.

    The PvE solution to this is Growl – an ability which distorts the mob’s AI, making it do something tactically unsound, which is to waste its dps on the (healable) pet. When you think about it, Growl is a bit silly, and of course it doesn’t work in PvP. It is, however, the hunter’s most crucial ability, and the fact that it’s not useful in raids relegates the hunter to the least desirable of large-group players. How often do you see “LF hunter” on the trade/LFG channels?

    As a solo player, I’m quite happy with my 2 hunters (70 Troll and, now, 68 Draenei). I really don’t want to see them changed radically to try to “fix” this problem. If it IS a problem, then it can’t be fixed.

    I’m not sure why the above reasoning doesn’t seem to apply to Warlocks, but I suspect that the balance between a Warlock and her pet is a lot different. I’ve only played Warlock to level 20. I have a level 5 Warlock whom I intend to level to 70, but at the moment I’m wondering whether I wouldn’t prefer to start a new hunter when patch 3 comes out, since I don’t play the PTR ot beta.

  18. Sedna

    That’s it. Just a big yay that the practical pet choices are now expanded (and we’re not stuck with a green skin for nether rays).

  19. Wolfington

    I always said the brownish hawks where “tarnished”.

    Anyway, super big Hurray!!!!

    the gold hawks where always fav’s for me, and most of the Windserpents around THe Barrens and Thousand Needles (white frostserpent FTW!) are casters.

  20. Dweezill

    OK, if “casters are fixed when you tame them, what about the ones you already have as a pet? Do they gte “fixed” in the patch, or will they stay the a caster.

    Lovemypet… I see what you are getting at. yeah, hunteras are great at PvE. BUT, when it comes to PvP, hunters are at a huuuuge advantage. They are diffinately frail, and once another players is in melee range, it’s really hard to get back to range. I know Disengage will help that, but all the other classes have some kind of ability that helps get other players back to range. Rogues can SAP so they can get close for the kill. Warlocks can FEAR to get players away from them. The way I propose it… have GROWL work on other players as well. Even if it only distracts for a few seconds, that is enogh time to get back to range. I have said it so many times before: it doesn’t matter how great your pet is, in PvP, hunters don;t have much of a chance because they are too fragile to get out of melee range. It’s frustating knowing that you are doomed if another player gets into melee range. So, have growl work on players too. Anyway, back to the main subject:

    Yeah, I am allfor “caster stats” going away. I’ve been using a “caster” dragonhawk since level 11 and I am now 60. I really hope his stats change as well,so i don;t have to9 go out and retame one.

  21. Dweezill

    Sorry, for the double post, but the last post was supposed to say< ” in PvP, hunters are at a huuuge DISADVANTAGE…”. Sorry about that.

  22. Palladiamors

    Not a problem, Mania!

    Lovemypet, there is a difference in standard warlock demons and hunter pets. The synergy from minion to minion is different, while you can play live hunter pets all in pretty much the same fashion. Beta hunter pets fill different roles still, but can act well in any role. Warlock pets are role specific. Voidwalkers tank, succubus’s crowd control ((Or DPS to a degree if you go down destruction a bit)) imps buff and provide some ranged damage and critical chance now, fel hunters are anti-magic/mana return now for affliction, and fel guards are the closest thing warlocks have to hunter pets, being well rounded for DPS and tanking.

    The coming changes to hunters pets puts them in similar position, only without the sheer frailty of three of the five. We’ll see where this goes, though so far they are not as effective as their counter parts in CC or ranged damage.

  23. Palladiamors

    Dweezil, it all depends on the PvP encounter. In larger scale battles, as a hunter I am far from at a disadvantage. On the contrary, I am a wrecking ball of mass proportions that needs to be killed. On the other hand, in small scale, where targets aren’t all over the place, yes, we’re at a disadvantage, and one that just continues to grow. In the olden days, a hunter could have a melee target half dead well before they reached them. Now days, however, everyone has a massive amount of hit points, hits like an angry truck, and seems to take a lot less damage on average. Kiting is out now days too, for the most part, with skills like intercept, shiv, shadow step, divine shield, and even earth totems for enhancement shaman. We got… an improved disengage. Hm. Let me warn you now, using disengage on the wrong terrain can either toss you place you didn’t expect to go, or hop you roughly two feet. Very hit or miss, and our new freezing trap is a bit more of a help.

    We’ll see where PvP goes.

  24. Nimizar

    The major PvP problem hunters have is one we have had ever since arenas were introduced: we’re absolute powerhouses in battlegrounds where the fights are mostly in open terrain, there are plenty of targets at range for the hunter to pick on and it is difficult for the opposition to get time to focus on either the hunter or their pet (i.e. the larger scale battles Palla refers to), and cellar dwellers in arena representation, since pets will typically be insta-gibbed by a DPS train, and there are plenty of obstacles for experienced arena players to hide behind and shutdown the hunter’s own DPS.

    With Aspect of the Viper looking like it is going to go live as pure active regen (according to Koraa’s most recent post), I expect hunter arena representation to go from 9th of 9 classes to 10th of 10 classes. We should still be fine in PvE and battleground PvP though – there is plenty of DPS time to get mana back when each shot is restoring 5-6% of your total mana.

  25. Lazona

    Best news EVER…besides Corehounds being tameable at last. I’m going out and scaring the pants off of low level Blood Elves and getting myself a fiery little dragonhawk. I love those golden ones so much X3

    But yes, Red Netherskate will also be a consideration for my Belf Huntress. An end to a useless part of pets, let the celebrations begin =D

  26. Dweezill

    yes, you are right aboutbattlegrounds. I was referring more to PvP in the environment. I am pretty well decked out and can’t handle a rogue who is 3 or 4 levels below me. If the rogue is invisible and saps, I am half dead before I even get to attempt to fight back… and then it is nearly impossible to get at range. It could be just me being terrible, but I think it has moe to do with the mechanics of the classes. same is true with warriors. If they charge in, once they get to me,I am done. Just think there should be a more reliable way to kepp opponents at distance. If pet’s growl would distract for even a few seconds, that would be a great way to let us get at distance, and it would make a growl (as is, it is worthless unless you are fighting a mob) a valuable skill to have.

  27. Dweezill

    Sorry for the double post again….

    Seidouyumi… what is the cooldown for Thunderstomp now? Been using a Gorilla a lot lately and would love to know what the new cooldown is. Ipersonally think Thunderstomp is an awesome ability and would love to see the cooldown time lowered. It’s not like it hits with a lot of damage anyway.

  28. Kanaan

    Omg! omg! omg!!!!!! YAY!
    The first thing I’m doing when LK goes live is releasing my owl and retaming an orange dragonhawk! It was my first pet so long ago as a little belf and I was quite sad to let him him go when he couldn’t tank for me anymore at lvl 25.

  29. Tashi

    Everyone’s thinking what I’m thinking… and that is…
    Netherskate + Red Nether Ray Mount = Pure Awesomeness
    I’ve wanted Netherskate since I’ve seen him, but due to his caster stats I knew he just wouldn’t measure up to my other pets. I began thinking of names already! But now that caster stats are gone, I can have my precious little nether ray.
    Thank you Blizzard!

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