Pet Specialization/Talent system revamp

Like many others have mentioned on these forums, I think the current pet spec & talent system structure/design have certain flaws which are limiting to the player experience. I’m not saying that there’s a perfect design that fits all, but I wanted to touch on the subject, and provide some visuals/suggestions for a way we could go with it in the future.


As always, everything below is subject to change.

Below is an image of a concept talent tree which can be imported into the program TalentTreeManager(TTM), and then used as any common talent calculator.

Code to import into TTM: https://pastebin.com/L8JCeF70

The base idea is that they should remove Pet Specializations, how they currently work. They should replace them with a talent tree which is accessible in the same space as the current interface.

  • They should stick with the idea that certain pets are tied to a particular specialization(Ferocity/Tenacity/Cunning), but without the current restrictions we have where pets are completely locked in.
  • Any pet tamed should come with a Basic Ability(Bite, Claw, or Smack) appropriate for its family type, along with potential flavor abilities. Certain Exotic pets currently also have bonus abilities, which they should keep.
  • With the new design, a Ferocity pet for example will get the tree visible above here, and will have the Primal Rage talent(ability) preselected, for free.
  • Like with class talent trees, you would then be able to spend talent points on any of the available talents in the tree, including the other two in the top row which are typically associated with pet types which are not tied to Ferocity. If you instead tame a Tenacity pet, that pet would then have the talent Fortitude of the Bear preselected, instead of Primal Rage, while still having access to the same talent tree.
  • In addition to the preselected talent, the idea is that you should have 12 talent points to spend on other talents. As far as I know, the program doesn’t support a function to alter how many talent points you have in total, so you could technically spend more than 12 points, but that wouldn’t be the intent.

For anyone who prefers not to download the program and import the concept, you have tooltips for all talents below here. As shown in the image above, going from top to bottom.

Row 1:

Primal Rage

Instant - 6 min cooldown

Increases haste by 30% for all party and raid members for 40 sec.

Allies receiving this effect will become Sated and unable to benefit from Primal Rage or similar effects again for 10 min.

Fortitude of the Bear

Instant - 2 min cooldown

Increase the maximum health of you and your pet by 20% for 10 sec, and instantly heals you for that amount.

Master’s Call

Instant - 45 sec cooldown

Your pet removes all root and movement impairing effects from itself and a friendly target, and grants immunity to all such effects for 4 sec.

Row 2:

Predator’s Thirst

You and your pet gain 10% Leech.

Endurance Training

You and your pet gain 5% increased maximum health.

Pathfinding

You and your pet gain 8% increased movement speed.

Row 3:

Improved Primal Rage

When Primal Rage is activated outside of instanced content, you and your pet will not be affected by the Sated effect. Also increases the base duration of Primal Rage by 10 sec.

Avoidance

Reduces the damage your pet takes from area of effect attacks by an additional 80%. Reduces the range at which enemies detect your pet.

Improved Master’s Call

Increases the duration of the effect provided by Master’s Call by 2 sec. Reduces the base cooldown of Master’s call by 5 sec.

Row 4:

Tireless Pursuit

Increases your pet’s movement speed by 30%.

Dash/Dive

Instant - 20 sec cooldown

Increases your pet’s movement speed by 80% for 10 sec.

Row 5:

Triggered Defense

When falling below 40% health, the pet takes 60% reduced incoming damage for 15 sec.

This effect can only occur once every 120 sec.

Pack Tactics

Increases the base Focus of your pet by 10, and passive Focus regeneration rate by 15%.

[Choice] Defense/Dodge*

Instant - 1 min cooldown

Reducing damage taken by the pet by 50% for 12 sec.

Or…

Instant - 1.5 min cooldown

Increases the pet’s chance to dodge attacks by 30% for 20 sec.

Row 6:

Ferocity

Reduces the Focus cost of your pet’s Bite, Claw or Smack ability by 5, and reduces the base cooldown by 1 sec.

When your pet’s Bite, Claw or Smack ability deals damage, you and your pet deal 2% increased damage for 10 sec, stacking up to two times.

Blood of the Rhino

The pet gains 10% additional armor and increases the effectiveness of healing received by 20%.

[Choice] Mortal Wounds/Slow**

Instant - 6 sec cooldown

20 Focus(Pet)

Infecting the target with Mortal Wounds.

Mortal Wounds
Grievously wounds the target, reducing the effectiveness of any healing received for 10 sec.

Or…

Instant - 10 sec cooldown

25 Focus(Pet)

Slows target movement speed by 50% for 6 sec.

Row 7:

Primal Resistance

Reduces all magical damage taken by your pet by 5/10%.

Adaptation

Reduces the duration of all stun and movement impairing effects on your pet by 10/20%.

Row 8:

Lick Your Wounds

Instant - 3 min cooldown

Your pet heals itself for 100% of its health over 3 sec.

Note:
Functions like a heal-over-time effect, not channeled like in the old days.

Cornered

When falling below 30% health, your pet gains 25% increased damage for 5 sec, and cannot be critically hit for the duration. Can only occur once every 60 sec.

Row 9:

Heart of the Wild

When your pet dies, it will miraculously return to life with full health.

Can only occur once every 8 min.

Intervene

Instant - 12 min cooldown

40 Focus(Pet)

Your pet runs at high speed towards a friendly target group or raid member, intercepting the next direct attack made against them within 3 sec. 100% of the damage will be taken by your pet, instead of the target.

Warning! This could kill your pet.



Some notes about a few ability types mentioned above

*Defense - Which ability that shows up here depends on what type of pet you have active. Some examples are

  • Boars get Bristle as their choice
  • Mechanicals get Defense Matrix as their choice
  • Core Hounds get Obsidian Skin as their choice

*Dodge - Which ability that shows up here depends on what type of pet you have active. Some examples are

  • Foxes get Agile Reflexes as their choice
  • Serpents get Serpent’s Swiftness as their choice
  • Dragonhawks get Dragon’s Guile as their choice

**Mortal Wounds - Which ability that shows up here depends on what type of pet you have active. Some examples are

  • Hyenas get Infected Bite as their choice
  • Scorpids get Deadly Sting as their choice
  • Carrion Birds get Bloody Screech as their choice

**Slow - Which ability that shows up here depends on what type of pet you have active. Some examples are

  • Basilisks get Petrifying Gaze as their choice
  • Chimaeras get Frost Breath as their choice
  • Crabs get Pin as their choice

In short, no matter which pet you have, there will be a choice here for an appropriate ability.

5 Likes

Anything that lets pets just be fully customizable is good. I dont like being shoe horned like we are now D:

4 Likes

Considering their idea of how things must be easier to determine what they actually are/can do, I hesitate to say that we will ever get the freedom of choice of pet specs. Or even taking it a few steps further, if we could potentially even pick individual abilities through talents. But it is something to hope for, still.

that’s the thing though, I don’t think most new/beginner players will be able to look at say a raptor and be like “oh this is a cunning pet with a mortal wounds debuff”. I think that’s something to consider for sure, but player expression is more important imo

1 Like

A pet should be allowed to be whatever it wants. Society needs to stop putting labels on them, and telling them what they cant be.

4 Likes

Revamped pet system for the people! What do we want? Revamped pet system! When do we want it? Patch ASAP!

2 Likes

I love this. I doubt blizzard would implement it but one can hope.

1 Like

Agreed.

For the people that actually care enough to figure out what, for example, hunter pets are able to do, they will either look it up beforehand, and/or will get an addon or similar which displays the info somehow.

For those that don’t, it probably doesn’t really matter anyway.

Limiting pet options, implementing restrictions to customization, for the purpose of a single type of content, is far from ideal.

I’m pretty tired of PVP holding so much player expression hostage if I’m being TBH

4 Likes

Hard disagree on some major points here.

  • Primal Rage needs to be removed from pets. This is an unnecessary restriction on pet choice for BM and SV, and a handicap for Lone Wolf MM when you need to bring Lust. I’m aware the intended changes open up pet choice significantly, but the MM handicap is an ever present concern.
  • Existing pet spec passives should be available to Lone Wolf as well.
  • Improved Primal Rage should be removed. It can’t be made worthwhile in competitive content because that would make other Lust abilities de facto useless.
  • Avoidance is required. Pets literally can’t function in raid content or even a lot of dungeon content if they take normal AoE damage. It should be a base passive for all pets.
  • Also not a huge fan of how you’ve gated the stronger talents. Gating your best DPS talent and your most important PvP talent behind active defensive abilities is frustrating and requires you to waste points, never mind the problem of having access to multiple different family abilities simultaneously.
  • Not having access to these family abilities at all until a relatively high level is strange. This is taking the existing baseline functionality of the pet at level 10 as we see it on retail, and spreading it out across 12 points. How often are these points awarded?
  • You’ve eliminated the Magic Defense and Pet Dispel abilities entirely - is this intended or an oversight?

Honestly, I wouldn’t go for anything remotely this complicated. We don’t need it anyway.

I’d do this:

  1. Move Primal Rage to Hunter. Replace with DPS cooldown. (Lynx Rush)
  2. Move Leech/Health/Movement Speed passives to Hunter aspects. These would be akin to Paladin auras. Short shared cooldown when swapping, otherwise unrestricted.
  3. Give pets a spec choice (for the major ability) and a PvP talent esque selection for the 7 different family abilities.

If you are dead set on a talent tree, I would do something like this:

4 points to spend, earned at levels 10, 15, 20, and 25.

Unless otherwise specified, all talents below are identical to Ghorak’s tree posted above:

Row 1

  • Lynx Rush

Lynx Rush
Instant - 2 min cooldown

Your pet rapidly charges from target to target, attacking 9 times over 4 sec. Each attack causes the target to bleed for (damage) over 15 seconds, stacking up to 9 times.

The pet must be within 10 yards of the target to Lynx Rush.

  • Fortitude of the Bear
  • Master’s Call

Row 2

  • Pack Tactics

Row 3 (Family abilities)

  • Choice Node:
    • Activated Defense
    • Triggered Defense
  • Slow
  • Pet Dispel
  • Mortal Wounds
  • Choice Node:
    • Magic Defense
    • Dodge

Row 4

  • Choice Node:
    • Rabid (same as Ferocity)
    • Heart of the Phoenix (same as Heart of the Wild)

I appreciate the feedback Adreaver. A few notes…

Well, it would mostly only be relevant in 5man content, and it isn’t really a big deal(?). When lust is needed, pop out the pet, use lust, dismiss pet whenever deemed appropriate.

All at the same time? Or do you mean something like old style LW in WoD where you could pick certain perks? If so then, sure I guess. Not a fan of the implication of swapping those multiple times throughout an encounter though. Meaning, swapping to bonus health for specific mechanics, then swapping back to leech, etc.


I know, hence why it’s readily available from either side of the tree.

Like how the class/spec talent trees are designed to hold certain abilities or effects which were formerly baseline or similar, I put this Avoidance talent in there as an optional choice for any time when it is in fact NOT needed, and because it makes it more visible to newer players.

It’s not really gating, as much as it’s about choosing what you want for your pet. Sure, it might cost you another talent point to get to for example the big PvP node, but you will also get a nice defensive perk for your pet in the process, something many pets which currently have for example Mortal Wounds, do not have as well.

Also, which dps talent is gated behind an active defensive(ability) talent?

I haven’t set any level requirements. Obviously, you shouldn’t need to level a pet to the newest cap of the expansion in order to reach a capstone talent in the tree. But beyond that, I haven’t specified any level requirements because that’s TBD.

On that note, here’s an image of what a level 11 boar has access to at this stage:
Aside from Basic Abilities + Avoidance, you have the passive effect tied to the pet spec. You don’t have the special pet family ability(the earliest one you can get is level 8 I think, the rest is level 14-18).

You also don’t have things like Primal Rage/Fortitude of the Bear/Master’s Call.
FotB doesn’t have a level requirement, but Primal Rage currently requires level 48, while Master’s Call requires level 28. In other words, with my tree, you’d be able to get those much earlier than you currently can.

You mean those of Dragonkins + for example Spirit Beasts? No, I intentionally left them out as they’re tied to their respective families more so than what you see in that tree(mind you some of the names that I just haven’t changed yet).

In other words, I intend for those to stay as they are, with their respective families. If need be, based on the intended rework I’ve suggested above, you could make the Magic Defense for Dragonkin into a passive, with the percentage value adjusted to suit the converted state. Where they’re just naturally more resilient to magic.

You intend for those to be group/raid wide? That would probably be waaay too good. Or did you mean for them to be just for personal application still? Sorry, not all too familiar with paladin auras these days.

Not sure why you would want another offensive cooldown put in. Looking at the hunter class + BM spec tree as an example, we have quite a few already to put on our action bars.

I don’t think making a choice node with 1 dps talent and 1 utility talent is the best way to go.

And then you are wasting the cast time and GCD of Dismiss Pet, not to mention handicapping yourself for the 20 sec it takes for the buff to ramp back up.

This is a penalty that no other class or spec providing Lust has to deal with, and it is not reasonable that this continue to be an issue for MM.

I meant the duration. Ignoring Sated would be great, but you explicitly disable it in instances. If it also doesn’t increase the base duration in instances, then it isn’t a problem competitively, but it also provides literally zero benefit, while Avoidance (which has the same parent and child nodes) is a must-pick in all scenarios. That’s also a problem - if a talent is meant to be a choice of several options and is always the best choice, why do the other options exist at all?

Right, but on the DPS side, you have to take a pet heal you likely won’t be using (because your pet either doesn’t get hit or dies immediately in group PvE) to get to Heart of the Wild. Pet defensives, especially passive/triggered ones, are useful on their own in PvP as it keeps the pet alive (and thus able to use it’s utility abilities).

Honestly though, remove Intervene, make Heart of the Wild a single capstone for the whole tree. Intervene is a PvP talent anyway.

Heart of the Wild, gated by Lick Your Wounds.

I may be misremembering (and will be rolling up a new Hunter to check) but IIRC you have most of the pet stuff (including family abilities, minus the big cooldowns) by the time you do the dungeon at the end of Exile’s Reach.

Yes. Dragonkin are the only family with Magic Defense, but Pet Dispel is available from 8 families across all 3 specs.

No, I meant in terms of how they are applied.

It’s a buff, like a Paladin aura, rather than a Warrior stance or Druid form.

Applying group/raid wide * would be interesting as a means for Hunter to provide a less clunky buff than Hunter’s Mark. Hunter’s Mark could return to being strictly for anti-stealth.
* The health is fine as is, maybe make it exclusive with Power Word: Fortitude for anyone other than the Hunter. The move speed is probably fine as is. The leech would need nerfed to like 2% or maybe only party-wide.

It would be on the same Command Pet button as Fortitude of the Bear and Master’s Call. There is no additional keybind required.

Fair. You could have them sequentially, with Heart of the Phoenix on row 4, and Rabid moving to row 5. Maybe only BM gets 5 points, and MM/SV get 4.

You could also eliminate one (or both) of them depending on how strong you want the pet to be.

Over designed IMHO. Just make the pet type apply as an Aspect and automatically unlock the rest. So you could choose Aspect of Ferocity to gain Bloodlust and Leech, or Aspect of Cunning to gain Master’s Call and Pathfinding.

This way you can change Aspects on the fly, especially when you need to break CC or tank a few more hits. You don’t have to open a menu to swap talents, you click a button for it. Done and done.

There is honestly nothing more that I want for this game than for cats to have mortal wounds and master’s call.

That is all. I would love for there to be more customization.

2 Likes