View Full Version : Thoughts about Animal Handling

04-20-2018, 03:27 PM
(Also posted this feedback in-game)

I have worked on this skill to raise one of my pet's Bond level to the max (70) and get a feeling of the changes. This has been done with no AH gear so I can't report on the skill power compared to other, just the mechanics.

I have noticed that, when I use Recall Beginnings, sometimes the pet follows and sometimes stays behind (or gets lost). I've tried to put it in follow, Stay or Guard modes, but it doesn't make a difference. Perhaps it's an odd pathing 'bug'. Anyway, most of the time the pet will not reappear near me and I have to click it off then summon again. It's a minor issue though.
Very often I want to see what my pet is doing so turn around, but also want to monitor what my next target does. I use the Alt key, to see the distance to the target. However when you turn around the target box is gone and so is the distance. It would be nice to have the distance also visible in the target info (health/armor/rage etc). Again just a low priority suggestion.
The UI indicates the current mode in the pet window, however it's in plain text. I read icons faster, so it would be nice to have the icon corresponding to the current mode highlighted somehow (still a low-priority cosmetic request).
I've been hunting in Amaluk Valley Cave, where mobs get easily stuck in pits. So does the pet, so it occurred to me we might like an ability to summon a pet to your side, perhaps with a limited range to avoid exploit. As previously mentioned you can click the pet off and summon it again. But you loose potential buffs on it, maybe that would be useful just because it allows you to keep the pet.
If I mezz a mob, and the pet has it on a list of targets to attack, it will attack and break the mezz. It makes crowd control a bit hard because in Guard mode you can't mezz something that's on you, and in Assist mode, well mezz is an attack... This is really an issue if you rely on mezz to survive.
I'm not sure if intended, but pets can become vulnerable. If they should not be, it's a bug. If that's intended, perhaps a mod to protect your pet from this weakness would be desirable.
I think the original mob's name is lost if I rename it. So if I rename my Hearty Cave Rat 'rat', and later some asks me where rat is from, I might not be able to answer.
My biggest issue: the Assist mode does not seem to work as described. The description states: "Pet will follow you. It will attack anything that you attack. It will also defend itself, but only if you are not fighting anything.". Well, in practice the pet will not only attack what you attack, but whatever attacks YOU. For example, try approaching a Rakshasa Mage in Ilmari (aggro range: 40). When you get close, before you can do anything, the mage will start nuking you, and lo and behold, the pet will immediately rush it. In its current form the Assist mode is unfortunately deadly for the pet --and the group if in a dungeon. I believe this is a bug.
Sic'Em makes the pet switch from, say, Follow mode to Guard, which is fine. However, I was expecting it to return to Follow once the fight has ended, but it doesn't. This means one might constantly have to switch between Guard and Follow when hunting in a dungeon (although Assist might be the correct mode to use, but see above).
Unless I'm in area where me and my pet can survive any type of fight, I constantly want to switch modes, between Stay, Follow and Guard/Assist. It would be really useful to be able to bind keys to these modes.

04-21-2018, 06:15 AM
Good list of suggestions. I've been leveling animal handling with archery for a new experience and I'm enjoying it.

The mezz issue sounds like quite a problem. That should be address. Breaking CC's can be so bad and in a group it might be devastating to the point where you are forced to put away your pet.

I think the user interface for pet's needs huge improvement. I would like to see what my pet's target is and also what buffs or debuffs are currently affecting my pet. I hate not being able to tell that. It's also a frustration of mine with the player UI / target frame UI.

If I think of more as I level up ill try and add them to your list here.

05-21-2018, 01:55 PM
This is an update after gearing up AH for a tank-oriented style. I decided to see how good it is by trying to solo Gazluk Keep with a pet tanking.
I chose Sword as the second skill to control rage while doing some medium damage, with the idea that it would both lower the need for healing the pet, do some damage, but not over taunt the pet.

This is a delicate balance because without taunt mods, the pet can't keep aggro. But without dps mods, it can't keep aggro either or the figtht lasts too long, and you also need many healing mods to make it survive a fight in GK.
All in all, I managed to make this build to work.

I used the following pets:
. Grottofang (Stun, some self healing)
. Hissy (Indirect Trauma damage, root)
. Hearty Cave Rat (Evasion, Reduce Rage, heal owner)
. Giant Razorslash Panther (Damage debuff, root)
. Tundra Bear (taunt)
All at max level, all almost at max bond level except the panther.

They more or less performed identically, although I had to manage the fight in a way appropriate to the pet style.
The rat ability to heal me and reduce rage was useless in this situation, but with evasion and apparently some decent damage it did ok.
The panther was just too weak, and both the panther and Hissy had trouble landing a root even with explicit Clever Trick.

There doesn't seem to be an obvious choice of tank (at least among those I tested), which is a good thing.

Some issues:
. When reviving a pet, sometimes the pet stays with dead particles animation. Clicking it off and resummoning brings back a damaged pet, so not sure what the bug is exactly (but minor).
. That'll Do is basically useless at these levels, whether you fight one hard mob or several easy ones. The natural regen of a pet after a fight is enough.
. Until the Assist mode is changed, I have to manually switch to /stay every mob.
. It would be great if healing the mob would heal the tanking pet instead, as it does for players.

Note: the choice of GK as the place to experiment doesn't mean I expect all builds to be able to solo there, only that, if they can, then they are probably intrinsically viable.

05-22-2018, 11:40 PM
+1 I agree with the issues you have found :-)