If you're looking for a list of pets or other pet related information I can send you to TKA Something or Petopia. You should be able to find most of what you need. But not everything. Have you ever wondered which pet is "actually" better than another pet? Why people tell you to get a bat or boar for grinding? Why you should get a Windserpent, or Ravager for raids? Well, let's see and find out.
I couldn't find all the answers i was looking for on the Hunter Theorycraft wiki, so i went digging a bit. I found that there's a Beast Mastery Bible on the EJ forum where a lot of other information can be found as well. For example there are hunter Spreadsheets, Survival raiding, Marksmanship, and a general help thread. So much to read that you'll probably be overwhelmed.
I'm splitting this post into two parts, so that I can give you part 1 now, and focus on physical pets. Then part 2 will come sometime in the future and give you more detail, and include caster type pets. Gives you a reason to come back later ;)
A Hunter's task in raids, is to do DPS, Damage Per Second. Also misdirecting mobs and on occasion traps. Mainly however, damage. Hunters are fairly adequate DPS in a raid, but many forget, or neglect their pet. (Cruel bastards!) Any DPS is good DPS, and a hunter's pet is no exception. It's a valuable tool that you should learn to master, even if you are not a Beast Master.
If untalented and unskilled most pets will be fairly much the same. Some variations do exist however, more on that later. And important oddity are the so called caster pets, which you will want to avoid. Caster pets are wild creatures that usually have a mana bar when they are not tamed yet. Petopia gives you an explicit warning on these type of pets. The main reason is that they will have -20% armor, -20% health compared to normal pets. As pets are already pretty squishy this is obviously a bad thing.
Wowwiki lists several Pet abilities, some of these are learned. Petopia has a similar, more detailed list.
Firstly, the three leading abilities :
* Gore : 25 Focus : 1.5 sec cooldown : 37 to 61 damage +50% chance on double. Effective 55,5 to 91,5 damage
* Claw : 25 Focus : 1.5 sec cd : 54 to 76 damage
* Bite : 35 Focus : 10 sec cd : 108 to 132 damage
Utility abilities :
* Screech : 20 Focus : 1.5 sec cooldown : 33 to 61 damage + attack power reduction
* Furious Howl : 60 Focus : 10 sec cd : +45 to +57 damage on all party members within 15 yards. ((45+57)/2) * 6 = 306 effective damage.
Scaling abilities :
* Lightning Breath : 50 Focus : 1.5 sec cd : 99 to 113 Damage : + 12.87% Dmg from RAP
* Scorpid Poison : 30 Focus : 4 sec cd : 55 Nature damage over 10 sec. Stacks up to 5 times. 55 Damage per 2 seconds. +x% Dmg from RAP
* Fire breath : 50 Focus : 10 sec cd : 111 Fire damage over 2 sec : + 2.25% Dmg from RAP. Due to the long cooldown and high focus usage this skill is useless.
* Poison Spit : 35 Focus : 10 sec cd : 120 Nature damage over 8 sec. As this ability does not stack, it's effectively pretty useless for DPS.
The numbers game
So, let's add some numbers to what we have to work with then. Firebreath can be ignored, thunder stomp is useless and poison spit won't top any meters either.
25 Focus : 1.5 sec cooldown : 37 to 61 damage +50% chance on double. Effective 55,5 to 91,5 damage
((37+61) * 1.5) / 2 = 73,5 Damage per 1.5 seconds
73,5 / 1.5 = 49 Damage Per Second (DPS)
73,5 / 25 = 2,94 Damage Per Focus (DPF)
25/1.5 = 16,67 Focus Usage Per Second (FPS)
25 Focus : 1.5 sec cd : 54 to 76 damage
(54+76) / 2 = 65 Dmg per 1.5 sec
65 / 1.5 = 43,33 DPS
65 / 25 = 2.6 DPF
25/1.5 = 16,67 FUPS
35 Focus : 10 sec cd : 108 to 132 damage
(108+132) / 2 = 120 Dmg per 10 sec
120 / 10 = 12 DPS
120 / 35 = 3,429 DPF
35/10 = 3.5 FUPS
20 Focus : 1.5 sec cooldown : 33 to 61 damage + attack power reduction
(33+61) / 2 = 47 Dmg per 1.5 sec
47 / 1.5 = 31,33 DPS
47 / 20 = 2,35 DPF
20 / 1.5 = 13,33 FUPS
This skill applies a debuff on it's target which reduces attack power. It stacks with demoralizing shout so has a high utility value. the actual DPS is fairly low however.
60 Focus : 10 sec cd : +45 to +57 damage on all party members within 15 yards. ((45+57)/2) * 6 = 306 effective damage.
The actual effect of this buff really depends on your party. If you have 5 hunters + 5 pets then it provides you with ((45+57)/2) * 10 = 510 Damage depending on the crit chance of each member in your party. (Probably higher than your pet's crit chance)
As wolves can only learn Bite as a secondary skill however, the number of attacks your pet can use his energy on is pretty poor and will result in a large loss of energy and wasted damage. If you are trying to maximize a tank's threat then the wolf might be an option, but otherwise probably not. Also, the buff only applies to physical attacks.
306 / 10 = 30.6 DPS
510 / 10 = 51 DPS
306 / 60 = 5,1 DPF
510 / 60 = 8,5 DPF
60 / 10 = 6 FUPS
50 Focus : 1.5 sec cd : 99 to 113 Damage + scaling
((99+113)/2) = 106 Damage per 1.5 seconds.
106 / 1.5 = 70,67 DPS
106 / 50 = 2,12 DPF
Beyond level 60 there are no upgrades of this skill, which strikes me as rather odd. Scaling not included in this calculation. I will continue further upon this in the second part of this post.
30 Focus : 4 sec cd : 55 Nature damage over 10 sec. Stacks up to 5 times. 55 Damage per 2 seconds. +scaling
As the poison does no damage upon application, but only every 2 seconds we must calculate the damage of the DoT. Luckily this is fairly simple as long as you don't include the scaling part.
At 5 stacks this is 55/2 = 27,5 DPS
DPF calculation is more difficult. As, once the stack of poison reaches 5, you'd only need to re-apply it once every 8-9 seconds to ensure it stays active. It is however possible to be resisted so you'll want to re-apply it every 4 seconds as the cooldown allows.
You'd be using 30 Focus per 8 seconds optimally, or 60 per 8 realistically. 3,75 F/sec or 7,5 F/sec.
27,5 / 3.75 = 7,33 DPF
27,5 / 7,5 = 3,67 DPF
30 / 4 = 7,5 FUPS
30 / 8 = 3,75 FUPS
You see the actual value of this skill really depends a lot on how often you need to re-apply the poison to keep it ticking. If you fail to do so it'll reset and you lose DPS. If you can keep it running at 7.33 DPF you can use the remaining energy for other skills such as Claw.
At the lowest stack the DPS is a lot lower.
55/5 = 11 per 2 seconds.
11 / 2 = 5,5 DPS. So, if used sporadically it'll be lower DPS than Bite
Most pets are able to learn more than a single trick. However, some pets also have a damage modifier.
|Ravager(+10%), Boar(-10%)||Gore, Bite|
|Bear(-9%), Cat(+10%), Raptor(+10%)||Claw, Bite|
|Scorpid(-6%)||Claw, Scorpid poison|
|Carrion bird(+0%)||Claw, Bite, Screech|
|Owl(+7%), Bat(+7%)||Screech, Bite|
|Wind Serpent(+7%)||Bite, Lightning Breath|
Suddenly things start to get more complicated. But oh so many more options become available to us.
Lets take Gore and Bite, 25 and 35 focus, Bite having a 10 second cooldown
12.0: Restart cycle
Bite will be off cooldown, and available again. Total focus used = 210 in a 12 second cycle. It could be worth investigating whether having your pet skip 0.5 seconds on the last gore and use bite instead for a better energy-damage conversion might be better usage of it's energy. But sadly pets pretty much ignore such minor details and will just continue attacking with what is available. It's possible to micromanage their cycle, but i don't recommend you ever try to do such a thing.
210 / 12 = 17,5 energy per second used.
On it's own your pet regenerates 24 energy per 4 seconds. 24 / 4 = 6 Energy Per Second (EPS). Bestial discipline can double it's default regeneration to 48 per 4 seconds. 48 / 4 = 12 EPS.
Meaning, you are 17.5 - 12 = 5.5 energy per second short of enabling your pet to sustain it's cycle indefinitely. This can easily be complemented by Go for the Throat, however it depends on how many shots you fire per minute and the hunter's crit rating. But, more on that later.
Depending on how much energy your pet has available to him, the DPF of his abilities can be very important. Pets have a maximum Focus they can burn trough every minute and some pets with only Bite or only "Howl and Bite" are made relatively useless for DPS because they regain more focus than they can burn. Much like a rogue not using his energy before it reaches 100.
Pet happiness comes in three flavors. Strawberry, Banana, and Lime.
* Unhappy / Red is bad, your pet will only do 75% damage and slowly lose loyalty. When your pet is no longer loyal to you, he will run away.
* Contended / Yellow is ok, but you should really feed your pet. Your pet does 100% damage. Loyalty will increase though slowly.
* Happy / Green is good even though you might not like limes. Your pet will do 125% damage and steadily gain loyalty.
Pet Damage Scaling
Pets receive attribute bonuses depending on their master's stats:
* 1 RAP gives the pet 0.22 AP and 0.1287 spell damage
* 1 stamina gives 0.3 stamina
* 1 resistance gives 0.4 resistance
* 1 armor gives 0.35 armor
So, 1554 Ranged attack power would give your pet about 200 extra spell damage and 341,88 Attack power. 341,88 / 14 = 24,42 DPS for white attacks.
200 pet spell damage increases a pet's damage by about 11. Meaning an estimate of 5% of your pet's spell damage is converted to actual damage. Thus at an estimate 12.87% * 5% = 0,6435% of your RAP is converted to increased pet damage. More on that in part two of this post however. As this effect is still being researched further to provide you with more detail.
Sometime in the future
Part 2 of this post will continue at a later time, as i do not as of yet have all the data i'd like to share with you and will need to put some research into this as well.
Content I intend to highlight and research further includes :
* Caster pets. Reduced armor and stamina. Increased damage? BRK's forums have an interesting discussion going on.
* Lightning breath, and scorpid poison scaling. Not quite as amazing as it used to be.
* Melee pets and caster pets vs boss armor.
* Pet Loyalty, Pet Talents, Hunter Talents affecting pet DPS.
Note : It's perfectly possible that i've made some errors in the above calculations, feel free to point them out so they can be corrected.
* Ten ton hammer
* Pet talent calc
* Lienna's log
* Raiding with your pet
Top image by Chalo