Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cataclysm Pet Control: Part two - Aggressive, Defensive and Passive

Part one of this Cataclysm pet control guide covered the pet commands Attack, Follow and Move To.

Once you have that under control, we move onto the pet "stances" - Aggressive, Defensive and Passive, in that order as the three right-most spells on your pet bar.

As for Attack, Follow and Move To, the default key bindings for these spells are rather awkward to reach, so you may need to re-bind them to a different key and/or make a macro:


Using Pet Aggressive

Having your pet on Aggressive is usually not a good thing, as it will randomly attack anything within a small radius without you having to control it. However, there are situations where it is useful.

In PvE, this usually means places where there are lots of adds and you don't have to worry about either loot (you need to "tag" each mob with a spell to get loot from it) or pulling aggro.

An example of this would be Admiral Ripsnarl in The Deadmines, since your pet will often start attacking the elemental adds before they even appear on your screen. However, I wouldn't recommend having your pet on Aggressive in raids and dungeons unless you're absolutely confident that you can control it (and not forget to switch it back to Passive/Defensive later!).

The most useful PvE use of Pet Aggressive is to nab highly-camped mobs - parking your Aggressive pet on top of the spawn point will usually help you tag the mob before anyone else in the area unless there are 20 mages spamming Arcane Explosion around you.

In PvP, having your pet on Aggressive is incredibly useful for flushing out stealthers - your pet will usually be able to see rogues and druids before you do even if you have Track Hidden and a Flare up, so it's best to use it when you know those classes are around.

Using Pet Defensive

If you're comfortable with controlling your pet, it's easiest to leave your pet on Defensive most of the time. This ensures that when you're attacking, your pet is also attacking.

However, you still have to keep an eye on your pet and make sure it's attacking the mob you want it to - as I mentioned in Part one under "Using Pet Attack", pet AI isn't exactly genius. Some fights are better done with your pet on Passive, even if it means more micromanagement; your pet will often turn and attack a mob with an AoE attack that hits your pet rather than sticking to the mobs you're attacking yourself (your pet will usually hightail it for the goblins throwing bombs at you in the Helix Gearbreaker fight in Deadmines after the oaf dies, for instance).

Using Pet Passive

This is what I would recommend you have your pet set to all the time if you want to be safe. The only downside is that if you're not on the ball with Pet Attack, you'll lose DPS.

Pet Passive is also useful for pulling your pet out of danger. In particular, it can be used in conjunction with Master's Call if you need to get your pet back fast - pulling out of Sartharion flame walls, for instance. On the flip side, it can be used to get your pet back into range for Master's Call - often in PvP your pet will be too far away to cast it, even though Blizzard did increase the range for casting to 40yds recently.

Finally, as mentioned in Part one, you will need to have your pet on Passive and Stay if you want to Misdirect them and don't want them attacking when you shoot.

That's it for Part two - hopefully reviewing Part three onwards won't take too long! :)

1 comment:

Bristal said...

Another useful place for pet aggressive is on fights where multiple spawns form that have to be AoE'd down before they reach anyone, like the first boss in Stonecore.

It's amazing how quickly a cat on dash and aggressive can help take out those nasty floating stars.