Thursday, July 26, 2007

BigRedKitty: What Kind of Hunter Are You?

Just this week, after having some fun in an Alterac Valley battleground, we exited the battlemaster room in Ironforge and were quietly chillin' beside the canker sore in the floor -- you know, that red-hot pile of rocks that has poked up through the ground and become an OSHA-nightmare for King Bronzebeard. Dang thing isn't even roped off or a sign posted or anything. You're trying to buy some Roasted Quail from the wandering meat merchant and BAM you're taking damage. You ever wonder why there aren't any goblins in Ironforge? They'd set up a fly-by-night legal firm and try to get a class-action suit filed with everybody who has been burned by that lava-mound as litigants, that's why.

Bronzebeard may not be able to keep track of his daughter or keep the boiling lava from running every which way, but the man's no fool.

So we were chatting with the guildies and making life miserable for a few of our friends when a little level fifteen dwarf hunter comes running up to us.

"WHOA! That's the meanest-looking Hobbes I've ever seen! HAHAHA!"

Our level-70 haughtiness kicks in immediately, natch, and we pop Bestial Wrath.

"No, this is the meanest Hobbes you've ever seen," we state smugly. The guy actually backed up; he had never seen an enraged pet before, we believe, and wasn't quite sure what to make of it. So of course we smash Eyes of the Beast and start chasing him around while yelling,

"Come back here, morsel! Little dwarves make great Snausages! Yum!"

And as the entire military wing of Ironforge begins to watch, applaud, laugh and cheer, he assimilates the idea that no harm is going to come to him. Bestial Wrath fades, Hobbes returns to our side and our new friend asks,

"That was incredible! What spell was that! Can I do that too?"

"Well, not for a few levels, but let's see your pet and we'll tell you how he'll look when you finally get to try it."

"I don't have a pet."


"You don't have a pet?"

"No. I don't know where to buy one."


What would you do in this situation, hmm? Laugh, cry, perhaps give him a /wetwilly emote? Before you answer, and before we tell you what we did, let's take a trip back in time and see how many head-smackingly stupid things we did as we learned how to play a hunter.

How many of you lost your first pet because you didn't feed him? Raise your hands and be honest. BRK is part of that population, you bet. Totally gone, just disappeared he did. We found the quest-giver, tamed a bear and thought that was it. Never gave a thought as to why said bear had a little unhappy face, but in the middle of a Frostmane Troll quest, he just -- poof! -- disappeared. We had no clue until we asked an more senior hunter what we could have possibly done to offend our little bear. Feed your pet, what a novel concept.

"My bear won't tank anything!" I wailed in guild chat. I'd had the bear for three levels and I was basically fighting the same way I had back in the dwarf/gnome kiddie-pool starting area, with the exception of sending my pet to attack first. But the bear couldn't keep mobs away from me; I was always pulling them and having to break out my axe and chop the dang things down.

"You've got Growl on, right?" An experienced hunter replied.

"Growl? What the bloody heck is that?"

And thus we were introduced to the concept of a pet trainer, quite bluntly, as he laughed himself silly while telling us what to do. We found the pet trainer, trained the highest level of Growl we could, made notes of all the other spells our pet would be able to learn and at what level. No more being a doofus for us!

Deadmines, our first instance at level 18. Googlybear was primed and ready, we had our ammo and we wanted to look good. We were with another hunter, a night elf, we want to say he was level 20. He asked us,

"Hey! Did you get Bite 3 in Loch Modan yet? I'm going there after this instance to train it up."

"Bite 3? What's that? We have Bite already."

"Dude, there are different levels of Bite, you know that, right?"

"Levels? Like Growl?"

So after we fished Deadmines, we followed the night elf to Loch Modan and trained Bite 3. To this day we don't have Bite 2 in our spellbook, and if it hadn't been for that night elf, we might not have Bite 3 through 9.

Skip forward a bunch of levels to somewhere in our 40s when we got a rare world drop, a blue polearm that we had seen in the Auction House for more gold than we ever thought we'd have. Our leatherworking was going nicely so of course we had bubkis for cash. Equipping our fancy-dancy melee weapon, we set off for our first Big Enchant. We knew our guild enchanter a little and hoped she'd hook us up.

"Do you have the time, and perhaps the mats, for a weapon enchant?"

"Sure!" she said, "What are you looking for?"

"Fiery Weapon!"

And she slapped it on us nice and quick, and that polearm glowed like all those others we had seen. It was purty, it was. And it added fire damage to our bullets, too! Dang we looked good.

And as we stood at the entrance to the Stormwind bank admiring our handiwork and bravado, another hunter, a level 60, whispered us,

"Why did you just get Fiery put on your weapon? You know it only procs when it's used in melee, right?"

"Say what? Melee only?"

"That's right. It adds damage to your melee attacks, not ranged. Did you think you were getting Fiery Bullets? Get an agility enchant on that if you can."

Of course we thought we were getting Fiery Bullets! Actually, we still want them.

But anyway, we wanted an agility enchant now, but of course we couldn't afford it as our leatherworking was consuming all our gold. So for the next five levels, we ran around Azeroth advertising our supreme hunter-idiocy with Fiery on our polearm.

Level 55, baby, and Lower Blackrock Spire was on the agenda. Our first 10-man raid and we wanted to impress. We took Googlybear and followed everybody into Blackrock Mountain, up the chain, under the rock, and jumped onto the balcony the first time. Nice! We get assembled and set off killing the trash in the lobby. Up the stairs on the right and we jump down.

And Googlybear comes running through the little tunnel on the left, bringing five or six elite mobs with him. We wipe in spectacular fashion.


Well there was only one hunter in the raid, so it was pretty bloody obvious who hadn't put away their pet, wasn't it. Of course, nobody had told us that we were supposed to put Googlybear away; we had never been to LBRS before and had no idea that he'd take a path infested with elites when we jumped down. But we looked pretty incompetent anyway.

We hit the big time at level 60 with our first Molten Core raid. We were totally ready to blow the doors of the damage meters. Yes, our guild was sending 10 people to fill out this other guild's 40-man roster, but we were the Hunter Class Officer and the total schiznit. We had mastered Upper Blackrock Spire and a couple of bosses in Zul'Gurub. Our confidence was high, our gear pretty spiffy with five pieces of Beaststalker gear, and our Flawless Arcanite Rifle was the envy of many. On the first pulls we were right up there with some warlocks in topping the damage meters, so we were patting ourselves on the back pretty frequently.

After taking down the first Core Hound, the raid moved forward. We were concentrating on the tank and mastering our new CT Raid addon when we saw the raid leader's text blast on our screen,

"We're not going ANYWHERE until someone loots that damn dog! I've said it three times now, so whoever you are, loot it NOW!"

Loot the dog? What? Where? Oh look at that, it's sparkly. So we looted the dog. Oh! and we can skin it too. Don't know why it's such a big deal to loot a...


OMG what did we do now? It's skinnable, I'll get a little leather. You want the leather for yourself, fine. Sheesh.

And then we saw the Core Leather get looted. Ohh... so that's where that stuff comes from. No wonder we got slapped; that stuff's expensive.

We downed Lucifron and made our way to Magmadar. We had just received Tranquilizing Shot from Lucifron and were pretty happy that we got a drop on our first run. It was soon explained to us that we needed Tranq Shot to keep Magmadar from gaining Frenzy. OK, we can do that. We put Tranq Shot on our action bar and declared ourselves Ready to Go.

The fight began and we immediately smacked Magmadar with Tranq Shot. Good Work! He won't Frenzy now. About a minute later, his horns turn red and the tank starts taking a serious beating.

"TRANQ SHOT NOW!" the raid leader frantically screams. But we can't as it's cooldown isn't up. We wipe, and hard. And we learn that a 40-man wipe is pretty impressive, especially for a hunter who has Feigned Death and gets to watch the whole thing unfold infront of him.

So there we are, sitting in Ironforge, with this level 15 hunter who has no pet. And we remember how we started out, from losing our first pet to personally, although unintentionally, wiping an entire 40-man Molten Core raid. And we smiled.

"Come with me," we said to the little hunter. "I can show you how to get your pet."

"Really! That would rock!"

So out the gates we ran and headed toward Kharanos and the hunter-pet quest-giver, a level 15 hunter and his level 70 guide whom he didn't know five minutes ago. Now of course we didn't tell him how to do the hunter quests, but at least we set him on the right path.

We wonder if he got a bear.

Daniel Howell continues his quest to ensure every hunter has a happy pet as the hunter-pet duo extraordinaire known to lore as BigRedKitty. More of his theorycrafting and slanderous belittling of the lesser classes can be found at

[Fan art by Moony]

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