Armchair Designer: Exotic Pets & Spirit Beasts

As I was showering today, I got thinking about the current problems with the hunter class in WoW. This is a perennial topic for any class, of course, even when there aren’t any major problems.

And as you know, I am not much of a power player, so my notion of problems is rather more limited in scope than many hunters, despite the frequent attempts by my loyal commenters here to enlighten me.

At any rate, I decided that I am personally pretty satisfied with hunters right now — as I usually am — with one exception. And that exception is the Spirit Beast family.

Now let’s be very clear here: I don’t think that spirit beasts are awful. I just think they could be better. And so I started plotting out ways that I personally would be happier with spirit beasts. Here’s what I came up with …

No More Spirit Beasts

First, let’s get rid of the Spirit Beast family. It’s such a weird mashup. I think it would make a lot more sense to move each of the existing spirit beasts into the corresponding normal family. So Loque’nahak and Gondria become cats, Skoll becomes a wolf, and Artcuris becomes a bear. That changes their skills, of course. (And changes Arcturis’ talent tree from Ferocity to Tenacity.)

Exotics Everywhere

But I don’t think the spirit beasts should be normal beasts, either. So let’s leave them as exotics. Yes, that gives us individual exotic beasts within a generally non-exotic family. And I think that’s okay. Even more, I think it helps restore a sane measure of individual variation within pet families. Some cats are normal cats; some cats are exotics with slightly better stats.

Of course, it would be annoying as a new hunter to have your heart set on a particular wolf and then find out when you go to tame it that it’s exotic. So we should really move the Beast Lore talent to level 10. (Indeed, it should have been moved there when they removed Pet Training.)

More ‘Spirit-y’ Pinnacle Pets

Spirit beasts are currently the pinnacle of Beast Mastery — and an outward sign that you are a serious pet collector. But cats, wolves, and bears shouldn’t be the only families pinnacle pets like this. So we’ll need to add more — one to each non-exotic family at least, and preferably one to the exotics as well. Like the current spirit beasts, these should be high level (70+ if possible), rare, and somehow spirit-y.

Skoll is an excellent example of how to have a very special look without going transparent, and I am sure that there are some really cool looks that the Blizzard artists could come up with. I imagine the artists are a little overworked right now, but I think that if we hunters knew we’d get two or three a month until they were all implemented, we’d be content enough to wait.

More Individual Exotics

But I don’t think that pinnacle pets should be the only exotics in non-exotic families. For one thing, even with one per family their rarity may still make them quite annoying for some hunters, especially with the more popular families. And lower level hunters should be able to have some fun also.

So let’s add a handful of non-spirit-y exotics to the non-exotics families as well. This gives us a great opportunity to introduce some of the currently unused or untameable beast skins, like a green carrion bird, a red warp stalker, or a blue dragonhawk.

For hunters in the know, these looks are immediately obvious and different. For non-hunters and hunters without our focus on pets, they aren’t any more confusing than learning that (currently) Gondria isn’t really a cat.

So anyway, that’s what I was thinking about in the shower today.

186 thoughts on “Armchair Designer: Exotic Pets & Spirit Beasts

  1. Scott


    “This first popped up when Skoll came around. Originally SBs were going to be mostly cat-like until Blizzard listened to players’ suggestions about extending BM to other families.”

    This first popped up when Loque was released and everyone was speculating about the fact that the name “spirit beast” seemed intentionally broad and not restricted to cats per se.

    “You just have to realize that while those skills feel “cat like” they are SB family skills, and that’s what all future SBs will have as well.”

    Just like how I once “had to” “realize” that spirit beasts would “always” be cats.

    Nope – the whole point of this topic is to speculate on ways spirit beasts could be further improved, and that includes the possible addition of new skills, as Mania commented on.

  2. Rikaku

    No. No. No. You completely mis-read what I typed.
    “Just like how I once “had to” “realize” that spirit beasts would “always” be cats.”

    I never said SB’s would always be cats. I said BLIZZARDS ORIGINAL INTENTION was for them to be feline in nature. That doesnt mean I’m sitting here going “hey hey guys its cats only!” =p

    And my comment about the SB skills MEANT that to many people are looking at the skill as “those are cat skills”. Well, hate to say, but now that they are on SB’s, they are the SB family skills.

    “Nope – the whole point of this topic is to speculate on ways spirit beasts could be further improved, and that includes the possible addition of new skills, as Mania commented on.”

    And I’m pretty sure I stated, and many others, ways that SBs can be improved and everyone else commented on the ideas just the same way. We’re not saying “No your idea sucks”, we’re saying “well if we did it this way, Problem A occurs. What if we change this, or this?”

    Don’t get overly defensive about what other people write lol, this is a suggestion of ideas blog just like you pointed out. Everyone is bound to have their opinions and their opinions commented on, just like any other post. XD

  3. Scott


    “I mean we get down to this ‘blizzard is gonna force me to use spirit beasts’ and everyone seems to ignore the fact Blizzard is currently forcing hunters to use three pets for serious rading. Cats/Wolves/Devilsaurs.”

    I get your point, but even serious raiders are limited to cats/wolves/devilsaurs/(insert “it” pet here), at least that small handful remains competitive – bump spirit beasts up on par with them and the raiding subset drops from 3 to 1, to a large extent.

    And yes there is a larger problem when only 3-4 pets are considered head and shoulders better for raiding, but that’s kind of a topic of its own.

    “So no reason to ditch Spirit Strike just because there’s the posibility that all talent trees are going to be opened up to pets.”

    The only mention I made of this would be in the scenario where the current ferocity-only spirit beast gets split up into tenacity, ferocity and cunning versions (e.g. where things like Arcturis would be relocated into the tenacity-SB group); in that case, the ferocity model would remain as-is; anyone who likes their Loque, Skoll or Gondria gets to keep the same family skills.

    But for the two being split out into tenacity and cunning (if you were going to do something like that), it would make sense to go with some other energy based move – for tenacity it could be an arcane blast with a debuff (to TS what venom web is to regular web, and it saves you a talent point on TS, etc), the cunning SB might have a mana drain with chain distribution back to the hunter and maybe up to 1-2 of his friends, etc etc.

  4. Scott

    But here’s the thing Rikaku – when you tell someone “look, this is how it is and always will be” (when the post is all about ways it could *change*), you’re not so much commenting on what’s wrong with one response as you are on the the premise of the entire post.

    Which I’m happy to discuss with you, however I need a little more to reply to, like “here’s why I think it would be a good idea for a tenacity SB to keep spirit strike” – that’s a critique that would lend itself to more meaningful discussion. Etc.

  5. Rikaku

    I have several comments regarding how to fix SB and SS all up a few posts above this one. Feel free to reply on them if you wish, but I really don’t feel like re-posting the longest one I wrote. I have commented on the premise of the post AND individual comments all throughout the blog, i can’t help it if people don’t go back and read them XD

    I am not saying “this is how it will always be”. Nowhere in my comment did I even say “always”, so you’re jumping to that assumption purely on your own. My comments are written in the *here and now*. I cannot post on what MAY happen because I don’t know what may happen.

    In the here and now, SB’s use claw and prowl. That’s ALL I said. I never said “they will always have prowl” “they will always be cat like”. So please stop making assumptions on what I’m writing and take it at face value for the here and now and not on what changes might come (in regards to my reply to you).

    Like I said, if you want to reply to comments I’ve made, feel free to browse upwards and read my suggestions.

  6. Maddak

    All exotic pets need to be normal it really is dumb to have use my precious stable space for a pet i can only use if i fully spec one way. None of the exotic pets are that much better then the normal ones anyways. For the most part they are neat or pretty. I would rather see a ton of new creature skins then one or two new spirit beasts.

  7. Scott

    In the here and now, SB’s use claw and prowl. That’s ALL I said. I never said “they will always have prowl” “they will always be cat like”.

    Okay, maybe I misread your earlier post. Let’s see…

    “You just have to realize that while those skills feel “cat like” they are SB family skills, and that’s what all future SBs will have as well.”

    “while those skills feel “cat like” they are SB family skills, and that’s what all future SBs will have as well.”

    “that’s what all future SBs will have as well.”

    “all future SBs”


    Saying all future SBs will have the same skills is the same as saying they will always have the same skills, and that’s why your earlier post struck me as a bit odd.

    That said, I realize you “are” your latest post, as with myself and everyone else out here, so no big deal – if you’re open to the possibility of SBs having different skills down the road, then there’s nothing to disagree about.

  8. Ryai

    Maddak: And what, normalize all exotics and NOT give BM compensation for it? No +4 talents, +5 pet dmg/your dmg and NO BM shot? For shame :/

    And you have at least 80. EIGHTY DPS skins for pets- once Cat comes out there will be lots of lovely skins but until then please don’t pull up the ‘Gief us shiny pets now’ rant, please.


    ‘But for the two being split out into tenacity and cunning (if you were going to do something like that), it would make sense to go with some other energy based move – for tenacity it could be an arcane blast with a debuff (to TS what venom web is to regular web, and it saves you a talent point on TS, etc), the cunning SB might have a mana drain with chain distribution back to the hunter and maybe up to 1-2 of his friends, etc etc.’

    Then you do realize Blizzard would have to do this for ALL pet families. Right?

    And the thing is, what if SS is good for a single target. I mean Scorpids and Boars can tank single targets quite well, same with Worms and Crabs. While Bears, Turtles [depending on the set up] and Crocolisks can tank multiple mobs, with either their AoE abilities or Shell Shield.

    And wouldn’t Shell Shield also be good for a dps pet? Mean 50~ dmg reduction give or take for a dps pet in pvp? Epic.

    So no this is why I don’t want blizzard to ‘make more pet racials available’ UNLESS you can pick the racial :/

  9. Rikaku

    Second (cause I was busy too XD)
    “All” and “Always” are not the same thing Scott. Simply put. Until I see a major change in content patches ala Owls being moved into Bird of Prey family change, SB will have those same skills.

    Does that mean they ALWAYS will? No. I never used ALWAYS. I mean *as it stands, the future SBs will have those skills*. That does not mean they will NEVER change. I don’t know what

    Be open minded to SB’s family skills changing? Sure I’m open to it.

    Do I think it will solve the SB problem? Not. At. All. So no, I can’t agree with everyone here. But that’s my right to opinion.

    I’m fully open to SB’s changing their skills if Blizzard deems it, but that doesn’t mean I think it will solve it.
    Cause it won’t.

    Spirit Strike is borked, it doesn’t matter if you give Loque Rake or Skoll Furious Howl. Their main skill is broken.

    Moving them into exotic members of the normal families doesn’t help. It only forces BMs to that those specific Cats and Wolves which come with an extra shiny skill.

    Pets need to scale, BM needs to be able to gem like it’s fellow hunters…there’s so much more wrong with Hunter BM and Spirit Beasts as a whole that changing just one of those problems does not solve the problem in my mind, in fact it only makes it worse.

  10. Scott


    “Then you do realize Blizzard would have to do this for ALL pet families. Right?”

    No they wouldn’t – adding a tenacity spirit beast and a cunning spirit beast would have zero affect on any existing pets (well, other than Arcturis anyway, if you count PTR as “existing”).

    Loque and Gondria wouldn’t change one whit… and neither would Skoll (since he’s obviously a ferocity creature).

    Outside of Arcturis, I was just thinking forward to unreleased spirit pets – mainly tenacity ones in fact; the more I’ve thought about it, the more I think there would be no real need to add a spirit cunning critter.

    Just give us something to meaningfully differentiate the “big” spirit beasts from the lean/mean ones.

    And now I am going to pry myself away from the laptop. Really.

  11. Palladiamors

    I think spirit beasts were originally intended to JUST be cats, but they changed their minds a bit ago for one reason or another. That being said, I think that in itself is a miracle, and asking them to change the skills for individual spirit beasts probably isn’t going to happen. See, it’s one thing to change the coding to make this pet look like that pet. Like the hydra, and the slime. Both of those are marked as ‘tenacity’ and ‘crocolisk’, so they behave like that pet family. A spirit beast is marked as ‘ferocity’ and ‘spirit beast’, and then the skin they use for each individual beastie. Making each skin look different is just an art change. The other would be an entire behavior change, and would basically be like making each different spirit beast it’s own pet family. Could it happen? If course. Will it happen? We’ll see.

    Although those of you saying that claw and prowl don’t fit a bear kind of make me laugh. I know you wouldn’t think it by looking at them, but a bear in it’s natural habitat is actually fairly stealthy. And in any sort of combat, the first thing a bear is going to do is swipe with it’s front claws.

    I don’t think anyone wants SB’s to be miles ahead in DPS. I personally am just asking for SS to actually scale, though to be honest the thought of them having duel family abilities is one that I like and have brought up before. I dunno, for me personally it is more that Blizzards reasoning as to why they SHOULDN’T be strong bugs me. Because you don’t want to force people into using a pet? Really? You know better, Blizzard. If a pet is even marginally stronger then another pet, about three fourths of the player base will go with the stronger pet, even if the difference is only .1. Granted that people would be more willing to branch out, but you’d still have the elitists going ‘You’re dumb for not using XX pet to squeeze out that .1 potential!’. They’ve just kind of relegated spirit beasts, and even exotics in general, to the ‘pretty and cool pet’ department. Some of them have some interesting effects, like devilsaurs monstrous bite kind of being raptor+1, but for the most part it feels like Blizzards current vision for exotics ((And this is reinforced with Mr. Spirit bear there.)) is for you to sit around in Dalaran so people can go “ooooooo!” and “ahhhhh!” at your Fuzzywumpkins or whatever.

    Personally, I have never used a pet because it was ‘the best’. I’ve been using a wolf since 2005….way back when spirit bond was my 31 point talent. I have a lynx…..because it looks like druid cat form, and I thought that was awesome. I have a devilsaur, because I have been screaming since 2005 and the !@#$er’s were beasts and should be tameable. I have a chimera and a spirit beast, because frankly, they look awesome. I love the beast mastery talent, I do, but it really needs some kind of buff, because those four points ain’t cutting it, especially now.

    You know what’d be an interesting buff to spirit beasts? And this is just me talking off the top of my head, but letting spirit beasts be affected by the full former duration of Beastial Wrath. Pet stays berserk for 18 seconds, the hunter just for 10. Just an odd little idea I thought I’d toss out there, maybe make it SB or even exotic only.

  12. Palladiamors

    As my double, you do realize they are releasing one spirit beast per major patch, right? And one of those was wasted on a second cat model. That being said, I think we may see a spirit beast explosion in Cataclysm……

  13. Ryai


    … no you don’t get it :/

    ‘No they wouldn’t – adding a tenacity spirit beast and a cunning spirit beast would have zero affect on any existing pets (well, other than Arcturis anyway, if you count PTR as “existing”).’

    Blizzard is, possibly, going to make all pets able to choose different trees. This means the ALL DPS/Ferocity tree of Spirit Beasts, would be able to switch to Tenacity or Cunning. Because you forget the ONLY ties to the animals they ‘represent’ is IN FORM ONLY. blizzard’s supurb lack of giving Spirit Beasts any ties to their ‘families’ or ‘trees’ is evident. Though to be honest they could rename Prowl to ‘Phase Shift’ which is what I think it’s supposed to be, since they are spirit beasts.

    Not cats, bears or wolves.

    Then there is also the fact that, yes if they do allow trees to be switched, and give Spirit Beasts THREE different Spirit Strike attacks, then that would mean all pets would need three different attacks.

    A Tanking one, a DPS one and a Cunning one.

    Which kinda defeats the point if like say you want a Core Hound to keep it’s DPS ability attack, but when you flip it to cunning it gets something else entirely.

    Palla: Yeah I was thinking that myself. Since they are keeping one spirit beast per area, and that’s fair enough. In theory they could add up to 3 more beasts in Northrend as Icecrown doesn’t really scream ‘Spirit Beast Country’ to me. Then Outlands could get a few. And same with Azeorth. I’m not saying a Spirit Beast for every zone, but 4/5, and in the end, end up with 12 pets. Maybe have a few of those as COMMON to UNCOMMON pets, aka commons and then rares on a lets say 5~10 hour timer?

    This of course goes hand in hand with the fact that existing pet families are probably getting more skins; that there are possibly new families available for all hunters to tame.

    Etc etc etc.

    tho I want Loque to remain Unique, Harkoa is a snow leopard ‘god’ and Loque is her mate.

    Unless a different colored ‘Loque’ is available that’s tagged as Offspring of the duo then I’d be fine with that. Maybe a duller grey with deeper blues or something like that.

  14. Hedgehogaj

    I have two problems with your suggestions.

    1. Merging the spirit beasts into pet families based on their appearances.
    A. They aren’t cats/wolves/bears/gerbils/jackalope/ect… They’re spirits of nature who have taken the form of an animal.
    B. Skoll and Arcturis’ abilities make sense. The flaw is that Blizz used the same name (Prowl) to describe a cat hiding in the bushes as they did to describe a creature of spirit becoming incorporeal.

    2. Having exotics within a pet family of non-exotics.
    This could work if they did it right, but the logic behind the talent is that as beastmasters, we’re more in tune with animals, and thus are capable of taming things that are far more dangerous and/or intelligent. In general lion A is no more dangerous than lion B, so they would need to make the exotics fairly unique for this to work.

    Example: Winna decided to add armor and metal claws to a corrupted saber that then went feral and ran off into the woods. (I can dream can’t I?)

  15. Maddak

    instead of exotic beast gave full bm a bonus pet move like the stun but make it a dps move that puts bm on par with the other specs. with an 8 secs or 10 sec cooldown.

  16. Ryai

    Maddak: you kinda completely lost the point. That just gives us ANOTHER liability. And why would we need another dps talent that requires the pet to be alive? I mean even on an AN run, since I have been in AN several times before and my pet never had problems, all a sudden in the first 5 minutes when I was focused on rotating steady+volley to kill the adds, my pet almost went belly up on me.

    So that would have just rendered that attack completely useless.

    BM would need it’s OWN shot PLUS something else to make up for a standarization for ‘shiny pets for all’.

    So my advice to you, is if you want dps then specc SV or MM. If you want a shiny pet, go BM.

  17. Palladiamors

    Actually Ryai, that was something that was kind of bothering me. They are talking about removing the cooldown on shots in Cataclysm, saying that the balancing factor will be focus. By shots, that means Chimera and Explosive shot. Now I realize that’d make those two 60 focus shots, but for some reason that irks me, and feels off. Both of those are heavy hitting shots, and that would potential leave BM further behind…..then again, this is just speculation. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  18. Gimlion

    AHHH!!!!! I HATE the idea of switching to focus… =( I don’t see why we need the switch, we work fine with mana atm. And personally I don’t give a rat’s *ss if we were meant to use focus in the first place, mana is NOT broken for hunters, and DOESN’T need to be changed… =/ Sorry about the rant, but I just get mad when focus is brought up every so often…

  19. Ryai

    Well it’s not why I want the removal of mana Palla but yeah can understand your worry there :s

    And Gimlion, it could be they’re focusing on the 5/man aspect or the leveling aspect. Then indeed, yes, mana IS broken for leveling hunters AND in 5/mans, but outside of that? We have AotV. There’s mana breaks. Mana pots. Yada.

    I mean when I was still able to get into VoA 25, BEFORE the addition of the more lolbosses and even 10man, I never went oom, because there always seemed to be 3 rets, 2 Spriests and 1-3 SV hunters.

    I mean I did everything I could, and it was HARD to go oom lol.

  20. Gimlion

    Yeah, but even at 5-mans I rarely ever go OOM, there are so many mana batteries running around nowadays that it’s almost ridiculous (not that I’m complaining). The main problem with the focus change is it will force us into learning a new playstyle, something, that if I wanted, I could just respec or play a different class for. That and it’ll make hunters seem like ranged Rogues with furry/scaly/ what have you, DOTs, and I am not a fan of rogues, well except the ones in my guild… =/

  21. Taedoran

    I agree but only to a certain extent.
    Something has to be done for BM and especially for SBs but i think their family should remain as it is.
    Yes, their dps should be the best or on par with the best because after spending hours looking for them it’s just not nice that you can’t bring them to raids because a common wolves outshines every other pet out there.
    Exotics in general should be stronger than normal pets, i know that some may like their normal pets but you do have not one, but two other specs to use them effectively along with signature shots (Explosive/Chimera).
    Exotics should basically be the signature ability of a BM hunter since we lack special shots as our final talent because it is indeed not fun that an overrated Cavedweller Worg is better than any exotic pet, it’s just like saying that Arcane shot in the end should be the same as Explosive/chiemra, just with a different look.
    Sadly i don’t think this happening although something should really be done for BM and choice pet balancing in general.

  22. Rikaku

    I’m with you 300%
    I HATE the idea of switching to focus. And not because it feels “roguey” or anything.


    I put that in caps because that is what makes me SO FREAKING MAD about the Focus change.

    How about fixing our stats first? Letting our pets scale first? How about that autocast bug? Seriously! There’s a million things on the to do list, but you focus on whats working just fine???
    *pant pant* ><

  23. Nimizar

    @Palla: the comment threads have been too long lately for me to keep up with, so I’ve been avoiding them :)

    I also didn’t have much to say about Mania’s idea other than “Yep, sounds like a good improvement to me”. Then the first few posts started clamouring for the bad old days of less homogenous pets and I decided to dodge the inevitable irritation (I still haven’t read most of the comments for exactly that reason, but here’s a hint for those that haven’t seen this particular rant from me before: non-homogenous pets is the way things used to be, there is a reason Blizzard changed it and if we get to choose our pet’s talent tree in Cataclysm, genuine pet choice will be the greatest it has ever been precisely because the only remaining non-cosmetic difference will be the family ability).

    I like change, it’s one of the main reasons I keep paying Blizzard my money each month. If people want a game that stays the same and never changes in ways they don’t like, there are heaps of single player games that fit in that category. Playing an MMO means accepting that you’re just one player amongst thousands (or millions in the case of WoW) and the developers are going to do what they think is best for the game as a whole without getting your personal seal of approval first. Being too reluctant to make major improvements for the benefit of newcomers is a good way for an MMO development team to ensure that their product eventually stagnates and dies.

    On the actual pet taming front, what I’d like to see are more tames where actually *taming* the beast is the tricky part, rather than merely finding it in the first place as has been done with the spirit beasts. Taming devilsaurs may be frustrating at times, but it certainly isn’t boring – the stuns and knockbacks and fears make sure of that.

  24. Palladiamors

    I’m just glad to hear from you, Nim. *Laughs* And I enjoy difficult tames. DIFFICULT is the key word, not rare. Like Gutripper. He was a difficult tame. Hence why I hate the current spirit beast implementation.

  25. Ryai

    No, I’d say King Krush is impossible to tame solo, not unless you have something to really speed up haste + TBW + a crapload of stamina AND good luck.

    I was just barely able to tame King Mosh on Ryai solo- the problem was he feared, he feared hard and randomly.

    King Krush is a tame for you + priest friend.

  26. Kroxis

    I will adapt to whatever comes. I certainly would not mind some more ‘harder” tames. King Krush was nuts to tame, especially solo. Though he was also a rare tame on top of that.

    I use my SB now for general purpose pets, and maybe for pvp untill they do something about cunning <3 my white sillithid

  27. Kroxis

    Ryai, thats how I did it. Enough haste to get tame withing TBW timer and a trash pet with a macro to cast bw and abandon the pet at the same time. Plus spec for health heh. So its not impossible solo, but required a lot of stuff.

  28. Rikaku

    I’m willing to agree that it’s not fine for some. I agree that there are mixed results of it. For me, its fine, but I know that’s not across the board.

    My issue still is with there’s lots of other major bugs and problems with Hunters. Even if you run out of mana alot, you have AotV, you have at least something to help restore it.

    I can’t even fix my autocast bug without the help of an addon!

    All I’m saying is, Blizzard needs to fix their priorities. Fixing Mana issues should be on there, but I don’t think a focus system is the answer.

  29. Comett

    I personally don’t think it’s right that a hunter should have more mana issues than a mage. Because my geared hunter does have huge mana issues in 5 and 10 mans (albeit next to no trouble in 25′s… but I think that can be said for most any class), whereas my boyfriend’s mage doesn’t need to stop and drink (or nerf dps while in viper, even if only for a minute)… at worst he’ll pop a mana gem. So I’m in some ways glad mana is getting removed, however I don’t really like the idea of focus. xD;

    This next bit is entirely personal opinion. I used to be BM and loved it, but as a raiding hunter, regretfully made the change to MM (I couldn’t make myself go surv). Now, I don’t mind MM at all, but if BM was truly corrected I’d leap back to that spec in a heartbeat. Problem? Well, it looks like raiding BM will require or rely on exotic pets – or spirit beasts. For that reason, even if BM was the strongest spec out there, I would never be able to play it to its fullest potential: I have one pet, my boy and baby Karma, a nightsaber stalker from teldrassil, who has travelled with me for over 3/4 years (I forget exactly how long lol).

    What I personally would like to see is more talents or improvements offered to ANY pet in the BM tree, not just exotics. BM already allows both exotic taming and 4 extra talent points to any pet. This leads me to see exotic pet taming as an added bonus, NOT a necessity to a successful end game hardcore raid spec. I would love to see BM work on the idea that exotics ARE pretty shiny “wow” dalaran pets, BUT still a viable raid feature – as would normal pets be. A spirit beast and a common cat would potentially hold equal dps should their trainers be specced the same, geared the same, etc. I don’t think it’s unfair to ask that, while it gets fixed, exotic pets remain an awesome opportunist feature that many people would enjoy, doubled with four extra talent points, but essentially from a raiding perspective an exotic and a normal beast would be the same.

    Let’s face it: people will still tame exotics and sb’s because of the awesome wow factor. But for hunters like me, who genuinely love that pet and want to raid endgame with it as well as consider it to be as “intelligent” and “connected” to the hunter as an exotic is – it would keep us happy. Because seriously. Beast mastery or no beast mastery, something’s gotta be said for a 3-4 year pet/hunter relationship! :P

  30. Cheesedoodle

    I’ve seen alot of posts about giving each individual SB skin its respective special ability (Loque=Rake, Skoll=Furious Howl), but think about something. Wouldn’t Blizz have to make many SB families and put each skin the right family for that? That could just take to long, or too big of a patch or something. I know of a bear that was (and may still be) an exotic but was still in the bear family that was in Ashenvale. So, putting SBs in their families according to skin could work, but as some people said above, would be too boring and some people might abandon their SBs altogether.

  31. Scott

    “Although those of you saying that claw and prowl don’t fit a bear kind of make me laugh. I know you wouldn’t think it by looking at them, but a bear in it’s natural habitat is actually fairly stealthy. And in any sort of combat, the first thing a bear is going to do is swipe with it’s front claws.”

    It’s not really claw I have a problem with – like everyone else I know bears have them and use them… it’s the idea of a bearlike critter that is not sitting on the tenacity tree, e.g. a bear with dash (they’re good at quick sprints e.g. charge, but are not the best long distance runners), who is optimized for offtanking and DPS when we all know bears were put in tenacity for a reason. As for prowl, I already said that would fit perfectly well with being a spirit…

    Loque/Gondria/Skoll obviously belong in the ferocity tree, and I don’t mind them all having the same skills – but Arcturis seems a bit silly outside of the tenacity tree; in my view having a ferocity bear – ghostly or not – underscores the basic limitations of trying to cram all manner of different pet body types into one single talent tree, and suggests the need for something like a new SB-tenacity type to house Arcturis and any other particularly/large/tankish SBs that should be rolled out in future. If not, we could get even sillier things like a turtle or rhino with dash…

    In re: spirit strike, I don’t really care much if they get that or something else; again the main thing is having access to stuff like TS, improved STA/armor and so on. I would *prefer* the tenacity-SB skill be something like arcane blast to make them that much more tank-relevant, but the talent tree is the main thing as I see it.

    For cunning-type animals I suppose it doesn’t really matter; an SB wind serpent would be fine as ferocity with spirit strike and etc.

  32. Scott

    “You know what’d be an interesting buff to spirit beasts? And this is just me talking off the top of my head, but letting spirit beasts be affected by the full former duration of Beastial Wrath. Pet stays berserk for 18 seconds, the hunter just for 10. Just an odd little idea I thought I’d toss out there, maybe make it SB or even exotic only.”

    I kinda like that actually – while sharing TBW is nice for raids, pvp and so forth, in solo PVE situations I’ve sometimes wished it was possible to selectively trigger beastial wrath on my pet ~only~, so that our dmg ratio skews that much more in its favor and helps me tank the tough fights better, and save the fullblown effect for times when pulling aggro isn’t so much of a concern, or when a warlock is giving me the stink eye.

  33. Scott

    Ryai -

    We’re talking about two different things; Blizzard may or may not give all pets the ability to switch back and forth between the 3 trees. IF they do that (if), then Arcturis is all set AFAIC, since 90% of my beef with Arcturis is that he’s stuck in the ferocity tree, which seems like a square peg/round hole thing (which Blizzard management apparently has seen fit to solve by the expedient of a really big hammer in the form of one generic SB category).

    So we’ll see – my suggestion was based on what happens if they ~don’t~ end up deciding to go with that route, and leave pets locked into 1 of the 3 trees from cradle to grave. Even if they do decide to allow pets to choose their own talent tree, what if that doesn’t happen until Cat? If the next big expansion is a year away, it might be nice to have the existing SB system tweaked a bit in the mean time.

  34. Ryai

    Scott, you do know that Blizzard has put the tenative idea of allowing hunters to specc their pets how they want. Right? Meaning Cunning or Ferocity bears. Right? I mean one of the most fun pets I’ve taken into an instance on an alt, is a bear. The downside? Sure I can spam Tstomp and Swipe for massive AoE damage, but the threat is always the change of pet grabbing aggro, as it’s still lv 74+ dungeons as she’s leveling up, and the fact that my bear can’t really specc for much in the way of dps.


    You don’t believe turtles can’t dash?

    You never have seen a turtle, in real life, -dash-? Oh sure they aren’t the fastest things ever. But they can zoom when they want to. You ever have to chase after three turtles that you and your father rescued from possible death on a road?

    Because you looked away for three seconds and they’ve shot off across the lawn in three different directions?

    Turtles can dash Scott.

    And you seem to forget, Arcutius is NOT a bear. It is a SPIRIT BEAST. :/

    cause while yes I would love for Skoll to have furious howl and Loque and STD cat to have something instead of prowl, it’s not going to happen because now that I’ve been thinking more and more of it, especially with this thread.

    Spirit beasts are NOT bears. Are NOT wolves. Or cats or dogs or birds or wind serpents. They are Spiritual Beasts.

    And as I’ve said before if you want one pet family to have specially different skills for ‘cunning’ and ‘tenacity’ ‘species’ in the ‘spirit beast’ family, then all pets will have to have changes like this or the opportunity to pick your own ability out of three, because you do realize how camped, a tenacity SB would be.

    Sense Arcutius would be the ONLY ‘Tenacity Spirit Beast’ out there.

    Or would be the ‘only AoE Spirit Beast’ out there.

    Ontop of how many are going to camp for him as it stands.. right?

    Blizzard wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole, especially after all the cries of foul over ‘we’re not gonna make hunters have grief to camp a pet!1111!111′.

  35. Ryai

    And because you replied while I was replying.

    Scott if you don’t like the SB bear being stuck in the ferocitiy tree, just grab a normal bear. Nothing is wrong with a normal bear. It has everything you can want. Two AoE’s, and yada yada.

  36. Scott


    Whatever a sympathetic blue might say, Blizzard doesn’t care how hard it is for players to tame spirit beasts – not sure how it went for you but on the server I chose to go after him on, everyone and their brother wanted one, and plenty of people are still trying for him now – I can remember clusters of hunters camped around each spawn point, with easily a couple dozen + patrolling above. I don’t mind personally; Blizzard owes me nothing, just saying.

    And as a tenacity SB, Arcturis wouldn’t be any more unique or in demand than Loque was back when he was the one and only SB. Everything’s got to start somewhere.

    “Scott, you do know that Blizzard has put the tenative idea of allowing hunters to specc their pets how they want. Right? Meaning Cunning or Ferocity bears. Right?”

    Ryai, you’re repeating what I just said – Blizzard may do this. They might. Or they might not. It’s all speculation; until this is a definite, the basic issue of tenacity/not remains up in the air. :\

    As for turtles and dash – one, the wow pet already has charge; we’re talking about something a little more sustained, but that’s a quibble – here’s the thing: how big were your turbo turtles? If they were something that had to worry about cars, then I’m going to go out on a limb and assume they had nothing to do with turtle pets in wow; to get a comparison to that IRL you’d need to look at something like a galapagos turtle, and ummm… well, go ahead and try to tell me those guys are fast runners…

    In re: bear/ghost/etc. Yes, I get what you’re trying to say about how a ghostly bear is a ghost first and foremost and as such could qualify for one generic skillset. That’s one way to look at it, and a perfectly valid one – but on this as with the other points we’re going to have to agree to disagree; personally, I like my ghosts a bit more individualized and with at least some sort of meaningful connection to the living creature they embody. But that’s just me.

  37. Ryai

    Scott: You do realize WoW turtles are not like turtles period? Sure they have a back shell, but they lack the protective bottom covering of a shell. They’re also giant creatures. They also have teeth. I think the arugment of ‘a turtle of this size shouldn’t be able to do this because I say so’ is out the window when, the turtle is the size of a small car, has teeth and is built more like an elephant than a turtle. Ok?

    And no I’m not saying ‘Blizzard cares’ I’m saying, do you really think they’re going to bend over backwards, backpedle SO SOON after they’ve cried out that they nerfed and left Spirit Beasts broken, because of possible grief for hunters? I ofc called them out on their bull crap.

    It took them 3 years to fix Dead Zone. I give them about the same amount of time to realize the error in their ways and fix Spirit Beasts.

    Getting back to the turtles: Those are actually TORTISES. But I digress, those monstrosities are that big because it’s their defensive ability in real life. That and afaik, there are really NO predators for them on the islands. Outside of man.

    Then getting back to what I said, WoW turtles aren’t real turtles so it’s not impossible for them to have Dash or sustain it for short periods of times. We’re also talking about cats who can prowl in plain sight. Wolves who’s howls don’t strike fear, but instead bolster the attack of themselves and their master. Where we can tame raptors and two headed birds. Giant dinosaurs, Chimeras- so yeah again, trying to apply Reality/Logic to a game where logic is a bit redundant is a bit well er, not so good.

    They aren’t ghosts Scott. They are NOT ghosts. If they were Ghosts then Ghost Sabres and Ghost wolves would be classified as Spirit Beasts now too- or the Ghost summons from the Oracle Dailies. Yet they weren’t and they aren’t. Spirits are different from ghosts, Spirits aren’t always ghosts or tied to ghosts. Spirit Beasts are more spiritual than ghosts.

    Tho tbh your argument, while it may have some valid points, is turning into something like a Resto Druid wanting to be able to summon Treants, just because it can turn into a tree and Treants are trees.

    If you want a bear that’s not ‘ghostly’ go tame a real one. Or go tame an undead/diseased one :/

    Cause you’re forgetting the fact that we have now all started to realize by now sinze we’ve all sat down and thought long and hard about Spirit Beasts.


  38. Nimizar

    @Cornett: wolves and cats are still decent non-exotic pet choices for BM. Blizz made it that way on purpose, precisely so players like yourself could go BM and not feel forced to use an exotic pet.

  39. Comett

    It’s Comett. :)

    But that’s the thing, Nimizar. A lot of these proposed changes make exotics and spirit beasts in particular a “better” pet choice. Giving SB’s a scaling SS and another damage attack along with claw = better than boring old rake and claw. I personally would prefer exotics to have the “wow” factor for looks rather than superior damage abilities.

  40. Jangalian

    Btw……since the Arcturis comment thread was locked down, I’ll add this here. Pemburu on the ptr alerted me that he now has lewt, specifically a blue item called “Pristine Glowbear Pelt of the Heirophant” It’s a leather chestpiece, with 477 armor, 85 stam, 56 spr, 66 sp. It’s most probably a random enchant, and will just be Pristine Glowbear Pelt of the XXXXX.

  41. Kroxis

    They all have their focus dump, and I was fine with the SB’s keeping prowl and not getting rake. I would imagine if this route was taken the “Adopted” ability might be a secondary one when available. Not sure what bears would have other than swipe. Though Arcturis having swipe instead of prowl would not seem op to me.

    IMO, the combination would only be “new” not necessarily “better” Even Comett used the phrase “boring old rake and claw”, Yes people would want to flock to it for a bit, however; things would level out after a bit.

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