Well, that was educational.
I went back to beastmaster. SV still tempts me, but it won’t be SV/BM – or at least it’s highly unlikely.
My pet’s DPS dropped by about half, but survival (armor, health, etc) didn’t make a corresponding increase. As a consequence, when using Lyallii as a tank, I had to drop my OWN dps by half. Which was hard, given my capability had gone up by at least 25%. Actually, given how often I was critting, it came closer to 35%.
Now, if my pet’s doing 100 and I’m doing 125, then the respective potential changes are ~50 and ~170. So I went from 225 to… 225, all out. Or 115 if using my cat as a tank. (note my actual numbers are a lot higher, just using these for examples). OK, I could live with this if my uber trap/kite skills meant I could deal with more mobs, or deal with them more effectively. And that came up…
No. Oh, I was better. My traps lasted just a little longer. I was bit more effective at kiting, especially when IWC would actually stop the mob about 15% of the time. But with BM, I’d make my first trap, wait a bit, turn Lyallii loose on one mob, then have it shift to a second mob and start pet mend and shooting. Shortly after that mob three would realize I was there and come in to eat the trap. Move over, drop second trap, right around here the target dies and Lyallii and I shift to mob 1. Shortly after that the third mob leaves his iceberg and runs into the new one. Right around the time it breaks, Lyallii and I finish the second mob. If it’s still up I wing clip the mob and run toward Lyallii till either second mob dies or my cooldown’s up, and that means mob 3 is re-engaged. Third mob faces spitting kitty and pretty soon decides I’m NOT the more dangerous beastie on the floor, at which point I move to range and finish. But that’s BM. With SV, two mobs on Lyallii means kitty dies.
So what happened for that pattern was start, and immediately grab the attention of TWO mobs. Trap one, plant trap, trap two, start beating on Lyallii’s target. Ice one breaks, wing clip and run AWAY from lyallii. Second mob comes out of ice, drop trap to grab one, wingclip second and run toward kitty who is still killing number one – remember, lower dps AND I’ve not gotten a lot of support in there. So still kite two till kitty is done and grabs number two. At which point it’s run back to number three (who is free soon if not already) and start the trap/kite routine once more.
In general, I could kill a threepack in ZF as a level 51 either way. With BM, I pretty much never died. With SV, I died about a quarter of the time. The reason was that Lyallii tended to die in the middle of the fight with the second mob unless both one and two were casters – not witch doctors (stupid leather armor) and DEFINITELY not if two or more were blood drinkers (warrior types).
FWIW, if I were grouping a lot I’d go SV. Between cat, traps, and kites, keeping two and even three mobs out of the way of the rest of the party till they were ready would be, well, a piece of cake, making up for my relative lack of DPS. (Or more appropriately, allowing me to open up more – to include crits – on the TANK’s mob when I wasn’t busy keeping extras out of the way.) I’ll say it again. In the 50s, a hunter should be able to CC at least two mobs, three with stretching.
As to the rest of my lessons learned…
In deadmines, (Oh, I insist on practicing at the easy level first), I discovered that bosses break freezing traps. All the non-immobilization traps are effective, but Every Single Boss ignored EVERY single freeze trap. So, no plans that include freezing bosses. Frosting them, immolating them, exploding… all good.
I discovered that a 51 hunter can do almost all of ZF solo. I did not do the pyramid engagements (no big hydra, no waves of fools charging up the steps, no dealing with a bunch of hostile NPCs), and forewarned I didn’t try to grab the basilisk that summons more and more. But if a hunter is patient and careful every other boss dies. There are a few four-pulls. I died on the first couple. Then I got smarter, and learned to kill one mob then dismiss pet then FD. And that turned it into a three-pull which was, well, I said already.
After leveling priests for so long – heck, STILL leveling yet another priest – I want to cry. There shouldn’t be this much difference in ease of leveling – in ability to power through mobs. Sure, I’m about ten levels higher, but if I took my shadowpriest into an instance ten levels below me – barely green mobs – the multipulls would eat my lunch. And as for bosses – snicker.
Oh, if I get few enough interruptions, the next macro/script lesson will be today. Given the above has taken almost 24 hours to get finished….