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Roxanne Flowers

Beast o' Melee Hunter (13/0/38)

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1 hour ago, Rafale said:

it would be nice to get a hunter's tanking guide !

1. Tame a boar and name it "Piglet".

2. Tank stuff with the boar.

3. Use "Mend pet" to heal the boar.

You're welcome!

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7 hours ago, Rafale said:

it would be nice to get a hunter's tanking guide !

Agreed, but I honestly wouldn't consider myself "qualified" to write something like that (yet) simply because I haven't progressed through enough of the game yet to be able to write definitively about strategies that will remain viable for all situations, particularly the ones where you want want to be "soaking" aggro away from others.  Hunters have a remarkably poor toolkit for being able to manage aggro themselves.  To be fair, in most situations, you're better of letting your Pet tank for you (which is why so many Hunters do precisely that), since they (usually) have Growl and your Hunter has no equivalent.  Indeed, pretty much the only aggro magnet skill you've got as a Hunter is Distracting Shot ... which isn't all that useful in melee range (go figure, eh?).

So in team play, Hunters make for poor aggro magnet tanks, simply because we lack the tools to gain and maintain aggro from multiple targets upon ourselves simultaneously.  One of the few ways we can do so in melee range is use of Explosive Trap, which is hardly a multi-target Taunt type of ability, and even then we're relying on straight damage output to draw attention to ourselves.

With all of that in mind, I honestly can't recommend that a melee spec Hunter bill themselves as a Tank for group play, particularly dungeons, unless you're really well geared and have at least the 10/0/30 core talents selected to give yourself the necessary edge to make a go of it ... and even then you're going to need your party to be understanding of your limitations when it comes to generating Threat and holding aggro.  In that respect, I definitely feel that in group play, Hunters, even if Survival spec, will make remarkably poor aggro magnets for a group of Players.  It's different when it's just you and your Pet, since you ought to be in control of all of the participants on your side of the encounter, so it's a lot easier for you to play aggro magnet when it's just you and your Pet since there are fewer variables involved (Player patience being a big one).

I know that Warriors aren't the ONLY tanks in the game, since Paladins, Bear Druids and even Shamans can tank 5 to 10 man dungeons successfully.  At this time, I sincerely doubt if a Hunter could fill the same role adequately, given the demands of expectations.

What we CAN do is DPS ... even when we're holding aggro for our Pets so we can proc our retaliation skills.

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I've tanked Sunken Temple before, but that was on Kronos, with the Ravager.

It might be possible with this spec. Who knows?

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Not saying it CAN'T be done, just that being a Main Tank on a Hunter will be a bigger challenge than you'd have if using a different class for the role, that's all.  We just lack some of the skills that other aggro magnet classes get built into them.  Sure, our Pets can tank, with Growl, but that's the Pet tanking and drawing aggro, not the Hunter.

One side effect of asking this question though is that I'm trying to figure out if there's a way for a Hunter to set up a sort of Threat Rotation where they "trade" aggro back and forth with their Pet in a predictable way.  That way your Pet tanks the adds while your Hunter sequentially DPS engages targets one by one in melee rather than at range.  Obviously, this is a more complex problem than the standard "plink from a distance" strategy, where your Pet holds ALL of the aggro, but in the melee range scenario you want your Pet to hold the aggro of ALL BUT ONE, which is a bit more of a challenge to manage adequately.

Now obviously, since the beginning of this thread, I've been advocating for NOT using Growl on a Screech Pet, and instead using Cower (which, apparently, no one takes seriously) and not even bothering to train Growl onto your Pet at all.  My current build strategy for Pet Skills doesn't include Growl ... but I've still got room for it, since my plan was to only use 3 trained skills (Screech, Cower and Dive) so I've got the 4th Pet Skill slot empty, and I've budgeted all of my Training Points (except 1) on maxing out those 3 active skills plus All Resistances (rank 3) and the Stamina (rank 1) and Armor (rank 1) skills to make my Pet an all around "hardy" type.  So I've got 1 skill slot open upon which I can spend all of 1 training point on if I wanted to ... and Growl could fit into that slot and would cost zero training points, meaning it could be done.

Which then begs the question ... okay, genius ... how could you possibly use Cower AND Growl on the same Pet in a way that isn't inherently self-defeating?

Well ... this is where things start to get interesting, theoretically speaking.

The first thing that comes to mind is that in order to use Cower AND Growl ... together ... on the same Pet (wait, what?) you need to have your Pet use these skills in an intelligent and DELIBERATE fashion to support a strategy of engagement (in this case, melee rather than ranged), instead of just putting them both on Auto Attack and letting them cancel each other out.

Now, according to the vanilla database, here's the threat values for Cower ranks 1-6, and the lowest level Beast you need to Tame in order to learn these ranks.

Rank 1: -30 Threat (5-6 Nightsaber or Juvenile Snow Leopard)
Rank 2: -55 Threat (15-16 Savannah Patriarch)
Rank 3: -85 Threat (25-26 Crag Stalker)
Rank 4: -125 Threat (36-37 Ridge Stalker)
Rank 5: -175 Threat (50 Jaguero Stalker)
Rank 6: -225 Threat (55-56 Frostsaber Cub)

And here's the threat values for Growl ranks 1-7, learned from the Pet Trainer every 10 Levels.

Rank 1: 50 Threat (Level 1)
Rank 2: 65 Threat (Level 10)
Rank 3: 110 Threat (Level 20)
Rank 4: 170 Threat (Level 30)
Rank 5: 240 Threat (Level 40)
Rank 6: 320 Threat (Level 50)
Rank 7: 415 Threat (Level 60)

So obviously, at any given Pet Level, you're looking at needing to Cower TWICE in order to shed the Threat generated by 1 Growl (roughly speaking).  Now, just for shizzle, let's throw in the Hunter (melee) skill Disengage.

Rank 1: -140 Threat (Level 20)
Rank 2: -280 Threat (Level 34)
Rank 3: -405 Threat (Level 48)

And just for the sake of completeness, here's the (ranged) skill Distracting Shot.

Rank 1: 110 Threat (Level 12)
Rank 2: 160 Threat (Level 20)
Rank 3: 250 Threat (Level 30)
Rank 4: 350 Threat (Level 40)
Rank 5: 465 Threat (Level 50)
Rank 6: 600 Threat (Level 60)

These are the Threat talents that Hunters have to work with, NONE of which do any damage at all, so for people wanting to top DPS meters, these control skills do not directly aid you in your quest to secure the #1 DPS slot.  It's also plenty obvious from these listings that there is a Design Intent for it to be easier for Hunters (and their Pets) to build up Threat than it is to shed it.

So now, here's my thought ...

Using macros, shouldn't it be perfectly possible to structure a Melee Hunter's attacks such that when your Hunter uses any of your three bread'n'butter melee attack skills (Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite or Counterattack) your Pet is commanded to also use Cower on your target ... AND ... at the same time create a different macro such that whenever your Hunter uses Disengage (which only works in melee), your Pet will use Growl on your target?  In both cases, both Cower and Growl are NOT on Auto Attack ... nor is Dive ... but Screech is kept on Auto Attack so that it gets used as often as possible on the target your Hunter is fighting, to do damage to that target and debuff the Attack Power of all other hostiles in melee range of your Screech Pet.

This would then create a sort of Push/Pull dynamic in both adding to and subtracting from Threat.  It creates conditions under which your Pet is minimizing its Threat on the target your Hunter is melee attacking, while continuing to Screech at it (and any adds nearby), so as to encourage that specific target to engage your Hunter so as to proc Mongoose Bite and Counterattack.  At the same time, it creates a "tag team switch" option in which your Hunter can successfully Disengage simultaneously with your Pet using Growl to draw aggro away from your Hunter and onto your Pet, so as to free up your Hunter to do anything from Bandaging to Mend Pet to repositioning to begin attacking from range and "move" the battle to a new location, including use of Distracting Shot to pick apart the dogpile on your Pet.  It would mean that the use of Cower would decline from the Auto Attack scenario, due to "inefficiencies" of timing in the use of Hunter melee skills relative to the cooldown of Cower on the Pet.

Now, one of the factors that isn't clearly understood in all of this, mainly because both Petopia and the vanilla database are "silent" on the matter, is ... are Growl, Cower and Disengage effectively single target skills, or do they have a melee range PBAoE (like Screech does).  I'm reasonably certain that Growl is a PBAoE skill that adds Threat to every target in melee range of your Pet, but I have no information confirming that either Cower or Disengage have a PBAoE associated with their Threat reduction.

An alternative to this formulation would be to keep Growl off Auto Attack and key it such that it is only to be used as part of a Disengage+Growl macro, while keeping Cower on Auto Attack.  This would then produce a situation in which "on demand" your Hunter can try and shed the aggro of adds onto your Pet, while continuing to DPS your main target which should remain (mostly) focused on your Hunter.  In this case, use of Growl is meant to moderate incoming damage from multiple hostiles by splitting it between your Hunter and your Pet.  That way, your Pet is tanking everything that you're NOT targeting, while your Hunter "solo tanks" every target in melee in a sequential rather than parallel fashion, such that your Pet holds onto the attention of everything BUT what you're trying to DPS down.  The key here is that Cower is on Auto Attack to shed Threat against whatever your Hunter is fighting in melee, while "on demand" (rather than "on auto") Growl keeps everything else focused elsewhere (on your Pet).  With proper positioning of yourself and your Pet, you ought to be able to debuff most (if not all) of the hostiles in parallel so as to suppress their damage production and extend the survivability of both yourself and your Pet, giving you both time and opportunities to win the engagement.

Yet a third possibility would involve turning the Auto Attack for Cower ON/OFF depending on whether the last melee skill used was an offensive (Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite or Counterattack) or defensive in nature (Disengage), while making Growl still only used in conjunction with Disengage, for possibly the best/simplest melee Threat management that doesn't require extra skill slots on your hotbars.

Using this third possibility as a theoretical basis, here's how the various attack macros used by the build would need to be edited.
 

Quote

Screech: Auto On
Cower: Auto On (but subject to change by macro use)
Dive: Auto Off
Growl: Auto Off

Raptor Strike macro
/cast Raptor Strike
/script CastPetAction(2);
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script petautocaston Cower;
/script PetAttack(target)
/cast Dash
/cast Dive

Mongoose Bite macro
/cast Mongoose Bite
/script CastPetAction(2);
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script PetAutoCastOn Cower;
/script PetAttack(target)
/cast Dash
/cast Dive

Counterattack macro
/cast Counterattack
/script CastPetAction(2);
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script PetAutoCastOn Cower;
/script PetAttack(target)
/cast Dash
/cast Dive

Disengage macro
/cast Disengage
/script CastPetAction(2);
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script PetAutoCastOff Cower;
/script PetAttack(target)
/cast Growl

Pet Follow macro
/script PetFollow("Put Hunter's Name Here")
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script if UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastSpellByName("Dash"); else end
/script if UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastSpellByName("Dive"); else end

Pet Stay macro
/script if not UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastPetAction(3); end
/script if UnitIsUnit("target", "pet") then CastPetAction(3) elseif UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastSpellByName("Dash"); end
/script if UnitIsUnit("target", "pet") then CastPetAction(3) elseif UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastSpellByName("Dive"); end
/script CastPetAction(10);

Well ... just tried it in game and ... apparently the /petautocaston spellname formulation isn't supported in the vanilla version of Darrowshire, even though I'm using Supermacro and CastModifier add-ons.  I even tried...

/petautocaston Cower

... from the command line while I had the skill off auto to test it, and all I get is a chat window message implying that I've used an unregistered command and would you like to see a list of commands?  I even found This Post from January 2007 strongly implying that the command ought to be supported, but I can't get it to work.

Would anyone more knowledgeable about creating macros (that work) be able to tell me how I should edit to be able to make use of /petautocast on/off scripting in macros?  Or is this something that only came out with TBC and thus we'll need someone to come up with some sort of LUA scripting extension or something in order to be able to support the functionality of turning Pet Skill Auto features on/off using macros?

Raziya?  Help?

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So, did a little more noodling and testing this week and found out, as mentioned above, that i can't get the commands to toggle Pet skills on and off to work inside a macro (grrr...).  Also, the Pet Stay macro that Raziya provided exceeds 255 characters in length if you try to double up on the Dash and Dive /script lines.  That means that at present I'm back to using the following macro set:

Quote

Raptor Strike macro
/cast Raptor Strike
/script CastPetAction(2);
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script PetAttack(target)
/cast Dash
/cast Dive

Mongoose Bite macro
/cast Mongoose Bite
/script CastPetAction(2);
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script PetAttack(target)
/cast Dash
/cast Dive

Counterattack macro
/cast Counterattack
/script CastPetAction(2);
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script PetAttack(target)
/cast Dash
/cast Dive

Disengage macro
/cast Disengage
/script CastPetAction(2);
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script PetAttack(target)
/cast Growl

Pet Follow macro
/script PetFollow("Put Hunter's Name Here")
/script CastPetAction(10);
/script if UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastSpellByName("Dash"); else end
/script if UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastSpellByName("Dive"); else end

Pet Stay macro
/script if not UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastPetAction(3); end
/script if UnitIsUnit("target", "pet") then CastPetAction(3) elseif UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastSpellByName("Dive"); end
/script CastPetAction(10);

Just as an experiment, I tried changing up my usual opening tactics to do a ranged pull to Immolation Trap ... and quickly discovered that adding a lot of Sting and Shot skills at the beginning of an engagement is a great way to spam away almost all of your mana in a hurry (I know, go figure).  I was finding myself OoM after just doing a pair of takedowns in Stonetalon Peaks, in part because I wasn't paying attention to it (because melee doesn't put that much of a strain on mana consumption/recovery) and found myself needing to take long pauses before proceeding to the next target.  Simply as a rule of thumb, as opposed to direct measurement, it felt like my overall progression speed as slowed by using ranged attacks at the start of an engagement, simply because of the added downtime after only a couple of fights, while sticking to a melee only posture allowed me to "cruise" from combat to combat to combat with very nearly no downtime at all for mana recovery and pretty much full health for every fight.  So overall, it felt like I was racking up kills faster by dispensing with the ranged combat openers and just sticking to melee.

As an amusing side note, I spent about 2.5x more arrows on that one series of fights in Stonetalon testing the viability of the strategy than I had in the preceeding 2+ Levels of melee fighting since reaching Level 25.

So oddly enough, I'm getting some pretty strong feedback signals telling me that if I want to use ranged attacks as part of my battle strategy, I'm going to need to take time outs to drink (or just wait) in order to manage the mana costs ... while in contrast, going straight melee only (plus a Trap) has next to no such downtime issue when taking on single targets sequentially.  The "need to drink" almost constantly when adding ranged attacks to the mix made me think that I was playing my Balance Druid, due to the rate of mana consumption, rather than playing my Survival Hunter.

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9 hours ago, Roxanne Flowers said:

The Pet Stay macro that Raziya provided exceeds 255 characters in length if you try to double up on the Dash and Dive /script lines.

Dash and Dive are both four characters, so I simply edit the macro if I change pets. I don't have room for two macros, one with Dash and one with Dive.

I edit macros all the time. My outfitter macro needs to swap to the full T1 set or full T2 set depending on which I have on me, I sometimes set the Multi-Shot to prioritize rank 1, stuff like that.

...Since a pet can't have Dash AND Dive, and since it's not like a hunter usually swaps pets, like, all the time, I figured it wouldn't be TOO much of a hassle. :)

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5 hours ago, Raziya said:

...Since a pet can't have Dash AND Dive, and since it's not like a hunter usually swaps pets, like, all the time, I figured it wouldn't be TOO much of a hassle. :)

It's not too much of a hassle, but it is a complication that needs to be "tended to" rather than just doing a copy/paste and then forgetting about it.  So it's a nuisance, not a crisis.  ^_~

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34 minutes ago, Roxanne Flowers said:

It's not too much of a hassle, but it is a complication that needs to be "tended to" rather than just doing a copy/paste and then forgetting about it.  So it's a nuisance, not a crisis.  ^_~

Right-o.

For a dedicated raider or PvPer who doesn't swap pets very often, I suppose it's less of a problem. I tend to focus only on raiding at the moment, so... yeah. Been months since I touched that macro.

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Pretty much the same story for a leveling PvEer too.  The only times I don't have my Pet with me is when I'm out Taming to learn a new Pet Skill.  I therefore have only ONE Best Friend and everything else is just a "temporary relationship" before I return to my Owl that I've had since Level 10.

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1 hour ago, Rafale said:

Is this troll thread ?

Hardly.  More like a log of experiences progressing through content using an off-meta build.  So far, for leveling at least, playing as a Melee Hunter has been both quite enjoyable and also remarkably successful for me.  Your mileage may vary, of course.

1 hour ago, Rafale said:

Can we get stats of melee hunters ?

If you're looking for raiding stats from a Melee Hunter build, it's going to be a while before I can provide anything like that.  My Hunter is still only Level 32 and is currently progressing through quests in Darkshire.  At the moment, my Hunter is dual wielding a pair of Glinting Steel Daggers simply because those are the best melee weapons I can obtain/craft at my Level and they get the job done in a hurry ... although they'd hardly count as BiS for raiding purposes.

Additionally, as a result of (finally) reaching Level 32, I was at long last able to "travel the world" on a personal mission to Tame a whole bunch of beasts for new Pet Skills, including Screech 2, which I of course put on my Owl almost immediately.  The upgrade from Screech 1 (25 Attack Power Debuff) to Screech 2 (50 Attack Power Debuff) is already making a difference in mitigation to incoming damage I have to tank as a Melee Hunter running a Survival spec.

The only other stat of relevance that I can provide is that since switching to Razor Arrows at Level 25, I've only used just shy of 200 of the 1000 I'd bought over the course of 7 Levels.  I basically only use my Bow to pull things at this point, which results in mobs bumrushing into my Immolation Trap (now talented for extra damage and reduced chance to be resisted) followed by the "buzzsaw" of my dual wielded Glinting Steel Daggers laying into them with Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite and Counterattack while my Owl attacks and Screeches right alongside me.  The whole thing feels like a (fire+physical) DoT drain combo, given how fast the damage piles on, resulting in a sort of "you are already dead, you just haven't gotten the memo yet" type of performance.

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Just finished posting this in Raziya's macros thread, but I also really want to include it here too, since it is highly relevant to playing a Melee Hunter to be able to "trade aggro" between your Hunter and your Pet when needed.

JnNiDLM.jpg I wound up using my entire 255 character budget for this.

x9U2Y3d.jpg

Quote

/run local _,y = GetSpellAutocast(2,"pet") if y and UnitIsUnit("targettarget", "player") then CastSpellByName("Disengage") end
/script TogglePetAutocast(5)
/script TogglePetAutocast(7)
/script if UnitExists("target") then PetAttack(target) end
/cast Dive

So what this macro does is it first goes to my Pet's spellbook and checks to see if the Pet Skill in slot 2 (in this case, Cower) is toggled on.  The number for spellbook slots is top-down on the left then top-down on the right (basically alphabetical order in this case).  It then returns a boolean value for that which gets put into variable y.  This is then followed by an IF-THEN statement testing to see if y is TRUE (which it would be if Cower is toggled on) AND tests to see if my Target is targeting my Hunter.  If both of these conditionals are true, then my Hunter casts Disengage ... if either of them are false, then Disengage is not cast (side note, Disengage is a melee range spell, so if my Target is beyond melee range, Disengage won't actually be cast).

W13KHoR.jpg

After that the macro flips the Autocast Toggles for Pet Skillbar Slots 5 (Cower) and 7 (Growl) every time without conditionals, counting the skillbar slots from the left.  The macro then commands my Pet to attack my Target and then finally cast Dive to get to the Target as fast as possible (in case my Pet was not fighting right beside me) WITHOUT overwriting any previously established Follow/Stay or Aggressive/Defensive/Passive stance commands, so as to use either Cower or Growl on whatever I've been targeting as soon as my Pet gets into melee range with whatever I'm Disengaging from.

If I had a bigger macro budget than 255 characters, presumably I could do some sort of /run if CheckInteractDistance("target", 3) conditional check, except invert it such that the conditional would need to return a FALSE result in order to command Dash or Dive to cast, and have it checking the distance from your PET to your Target (which, presumably, is not something you can do with CheckInteractDistance since that's a Player Only function).  Basic idea being that Dash or Dive would only be cast when distance from Pet to Target exceeded the threshold value of 9.9 yards ... meaning your Pet would only Dash or Dive to cover distances of 10+ yards to THEIR target quickly, but wouldn't use it to move less than 10 yards fast.  Doing that would probably require some straight up LUA scripting to do, which is way beyond my capacities as a novice macro writer, so ... moving on.

I tested this new Disengage macro setup on an Ashenvale Wolf, so I could get aggro on myself to test the UnitIsUnit("targettarget", "player") parsing was correct and sure enough not only did my Hunter cast Disengage but my Pet also toggled off Cower and toggled on Growl and immediately seized aggro from me.  Actually commanding a /cast Growl or a /cast Cower was not necessary because that function gets handled by the autoattack "hands free" as it were.  As a side note, use of Disengage on a melee range Target will also cancel my Hunter's Auto Attack automatically, so at that point only my Pet was (still) attacking the Wolf that I'd engaged to get aggro from and then Disengaged.  So the transfer aggro from my Hunter to my Pet part of this is working out beautifully.

I then went to Darkshore to test the reverse case setup on a Critter (Rabbits mainly) to check to see if the UnitIsUnit("targettarget", "player") parsing would prevent Disengage from being used against something that was not targeting my Hunter while letting the rest of the macro execute to flip the toggles between Cower and Growl and so on.  Again, the macro performed as intended and my Hunter did NOT cast Disengage when using the macro to toggle my Pet from Growl ON/Cower OFF over to a Growl OFF/Cower On posture.  The test Critters all immediately died when my Pet attacked them, even though my Hunter "did nothing" besides invoke the macro, so that part was working.

I edited the /script if UnitExists("target") then PetAttack(target) end line for convenience so as to minimize the annoyance of getting "I need a target" warnings when using the macro to flip Cower and Growl between their ON/OFF states when I have no target selected.  If I spam this macro with no target selected, the only warning message I'll get is that Dive might not be off cooldown yet, since the macro always commands Dive to be executed whether it is off cooldown or not.

Admittedly, because of the pressure of the character limits, this macro is so ... specialized/tailored ... that I can essentially only use it with a Pet (in this case, an Owl) with skills in the configuration I've shown.  It has to be as specialized as it is simply because of the 255 character limit and needing to do a LOT of stuff all in a single keypress using a single macro.  I'm sure that with a system of "chaining" where macros can call other macros, that 255 character limit can be overcome so as to refine the automation of the conditionals checking even further to the point where you can IF-THEN check for Pet Skills regardless of which Pet you're using, but for right now, this is good enough for what I need a Disengage macro to do while playing a Melee Hunter build.  It lets me "trade aggro magnet duty" with my Pet via use of Disengage and gives me a single keybind click to flip between Cower and Growl.

Note that this macro should work perfectly fine for Hunters who work at range (Beastmasters, Marksman specs) if they have both Cower and Growl on their Pet, since the purpose of the macro is to toggle between autoattacks of Cower and Growl, allowing you to "fine tune their aggro magnetism" (so to speak).  Combining use of this Disengage macro with Distracting Shot on a target that your Pet is tanking (at a distance) could easily result in a ping-pong of aggro between your Hunter and your Pet in solo PvE play, should such a thing be desirable, with the potential to repeatedly trade aggro between your Hunter and your Pet, depending on the Player's skill level at handling their UI setup.  In some kiting situations, that might be a useful thing to do, although executing such a plan of action would no doubt be more complicated than most Players have the patience for.  Definitely an edge case possibility, since almost NO ONE puts Cower on their Pet.

Obviously, if using this macro for different Pets, particularly ones with different Skills, a customization edit of the macro's parameters will be needed in order to produce an Exact Match Fit for the specific Pet you're using.  This is why I wanted to explain which parameters correspond to what functionality as transparently as I have, because I know that there are a lot of Players out there who are not intimately versed in the parsing of macro command language and syntax (since I'm one of them!).

 

(Specialized) Disengage macro for toggling between Cower and Growl autocasting

Quote

/run local _,y = GetSpellAutocast(2,"pet") if y and UnitIsUnit("targettarget", "player") then CastSpellByName("Disengage") end
/script TogglePetAutocast(5)
/script TogglePetAutocast(7)
/script if UnitExists("target") then PetAttack(target) end
/cast Dive

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Upon further reflection (and having the time to do so) I realized that the whole GetSpellAutocast portion of line 1 of my macro here was basically superfluous.  It doesn't actually matter if Cower is on autoattack or not.  That's because what matters is whether your selected Target is Targeting You (the Hunter) ... or not.

If your Target is Targeting You, use Disengage, because your Hunter is tanking for your Pet and you want to switch.
If your Target is NOT Targeting You, do not use Disengage, because your Pet is tanking for your Hunter and you want to switch.

With that in mind, I pared the above macro down even further to 214 characters long.  And if I change all the /script commands to be /run instead, I'll save another 9 characters bringing me down to 205 characters used, with room to spend 50 characters on doing a conditional for Dive.

Quote

/run if UnitIsUnit("targettarget", "player") then CastSpellByName("Disengage") end
/run CastPetAction(10)
/run TogglePetAutocast(5)
/run TogglePetAutocast(7)
/run if UnitExists("target") then PetAttack(target) end
/cast Dash
/cast Dive

This yields a parsimonious (for this macro) character count of 235/255 and can be used with either Dashing or Diving Pets so long as Cower and Growl are in slots 5 and 7 on the Pet Bar.  This particular macro is one where if I'm wanting to do any sort of ON/OFF toggling of Cower for Growl (or the reverse) the Pet is going to have to attack my Target in melee range in order to do so.  Including the Passive command to also "disengage" my Pet from whatever they're doing before giving them a new target to attack and then Dash/Dive upon ought to make for the "cleanest" possible use of this macro for trading Threat with my Pet.

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Okay, since I've been messing with my Hunter macros since yesterday, and there's enough of a modification to them to be worthy of an update, I figured it would be easiest to just consolidate everything here for easy reference (and to time capsule them).  At the present time, I'm using 9 macros specifically on my Hunter, while most of my other 7 Alliance characters have either one or none.  Hunters are VERY macro hungry as a class for effective character management.

For ease of reference for everything that follows in the macro scripting below, this is NOW (as a result of writing up this posting which resulted in a lot of general housekeeping on top of everything else) what my Pet Skills Bar looks like in-game by default when using my Screech Pet.

G7EpDZt.jpg

For anyone new to playing a Hunter, these slots from left to right are:

  1. Attack
  2. Follow
  3. Stay
  4. Cower (toggled ON while Growl is OFF)
  5. Screech (toggled on)
  6. Dive (toggled off)
  7. Growl (toggled OFF while Cower is ON)
  8. Aggressive
  9. Defensive
  10. Passive

Screech is toggled on at all times because if my Pet is attacking I want it to be Screeching.  Dive is toggled off because I really only want Dive to be invoked when there is distance to target for my Pet to travel.  No point in using Dive while in melee range of a target.  Cower and Growl "oppose" each other in their toggle states, such that when one is on the other is off (until they both switch).  Because of this, and to avoid "Mode Confusion" I've moved Cower and Growl to be as far apart from each other as is possible within slots 4 to 7, thereby placing Cower in slot 4 and Growl in slot 7.  This then makes it very easy to tell at a glance which "mode" my Pet is in with respect to either autocasting Cower or autocasting Growl.

 

First up, the melee attack macros.  All three of these, coincidentally enough, use 163/255 characters each for casting Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite and Counterattack respectively.

Quote

/cast Raptor Strike
/run CastPetAction(2);
/run CastPetAction(10);
/run PetAttack(target);
/run if not CheckInteractDistance("target", 3) then CastPetAction(6) end

Quote

/cast Mongoose Bite
/run CastPetAction(2);
/run CastPetAction(10);
/run PetAttack(target);
/run if not CheckInteractDistance("target", 3) then CastPetAction(6) end

Quote

/cast Counterattack
/run CastPetAction(2);
/run CastPetAction(10);
/run PetAttack(target);
/run if not CheckInteractDistance("target", 3) then CastPetAction(6) end

All three of these macros are designed to make use of Raziya's formulation of Pet Attack macros for lines 2-4, although I'm using /run instead of /script in order to save on character counts just in case I ever want to add even more functions to these macros later on.  Beyond that, I'm simply pairing those functions (Pet Follow in line 2, Pet Passive in line 3, attack my target in line 4) with using either Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite or Counterattack in line 1.  The last of code determines if the target is 10+ yards away from my Hunter, and if the target is 10+ yards away to have my Pet use their slot 6 Skill, which I've standardized on being either Dash or Dive ... but if the target is less than 10 yards away from my Hunter then Dash/Dive does not need to be cast by my Pet, which will often be the case when my Pet is fighting beside me while my Hunter melee tanks.  This makes these macros functionally "Pet agnostic" with respect to use of Dash or Dive so long as I reserve slot 6 for either of those Skills, which I was planning to do anyway.  Note also that this particular formulation automatically gives me the proper tooltips and cooldown graphics for Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite and Counterattack icon on my action hotbar.

 

Technically, my Disengage macro is part of the melee group of macros, since all of the skills it references are melee range skills (both for my Hunter and my Pet) but it can also be used at range and without a target selected simply to flip the toggles on Cower and Growl.  This macro weighs in at a hefty 245/255 characters used, so not much leeway to do much more with this one.

Quote

/run if UnitIsEnemy("player", "targettarget") then CastSpellByName("Disengage") end
/run CastPetAction(10);
/run TogglePetAutocast(4);
/run TogglePetAutocast(7);
/run if UnitIsEnemy("player", "target") then PetAttack(target) CastPetAction(6) end

At first I was using UnitIsUnit for this one, but then I noticed in the Vanilla APIs that Raziya was so kind to link to that there is a UnitIsEnemy function, which when parsed right with "target" as the second parameter will return a nil value if there is no target selected.  For my purposes, this basically does the job of UnitIsUnit for checking to determine targeting matches AND limiting the valid matches to enemies only.  This means that if I have an ally or nothing targeted then the dependency prevents spells/skills from being cast.  This then guards against an edge case of two allied Players targeting each other (for whatever reason) and getting a complaint that I can't use Disengage on that target, or using the macro while targeting an allied NPC and getting a complaint that I can't attack that target (even though it would be the Pet attacking).  I can do this because both Disengage and PetAttack are fundamentally "enemy only" uses of abilities that are not germane to use on allies.

So line 1 determines both if my target is targeting me AND if my target is hostile or friendly ... and if my target is targeting me and hostile will cast Disengage (if my Hunter is in melee range of my target, otherwise Disengage will fail to cast due to range) ... else nothing happens.  Because line 1 contains Disengage in it, that then determines the tooltip and cooldown appearance of the hotbar icon.  Line 2 puts my Pet into Passive stance.  Lines 3 and 4 toggle switch Cower and Growl on my Pet.  Line 5 is a "sanity check" for whether or not my Hunter has an enemy target selected, and if so send my Pet to attack that enemy using Dash or Dive regardless of tactical positioning or distance.  If I'm switching aggro between my Hunter and my Pet, I want my Pet getting into melee range with my target to potentially Growl as fast as possible.

Incidentally, I was mildly surprised that the PetAttack(target) CastPetAction(6) combination appears to work just fine, and I suspect that there are no issues simply because commanding your Pet to attack your target does not invoke any global cooldowns, making it possible to "fall through" directly to the next call for an executable (in this case, slot 6 holding either Dash or Dive).  I tested this macro on a hostile Ashenvale Wolf at beyond Bow range to see if my Pet would attack and use Dive correctly, which they did, so this functionality is tested and working at this point.

The purpose of the Disengage macro is to "change postures" on my Pet between Cower and Growl, with use of Disengage thrown in conditionally to help facilitate transfer of aggro from my Hunter to my Pet (when my Hunter would be the target of my target) but to NOT use Disengage when trying to transfer aggro from my Pet to my Hunter.  The utility of this macro is that it allows my Hunter to switch from melee tanking to ranged spanking (and back again) whenever circumstances warrant it.  This should make my melee tanking (Cower ON/Growl OFF) much more successful and versatile, since I'll be able to shed aggro onto my Pet (Disengage+Cower OFF/Growl ON), Bandage and then after I'm done bandaging, switch back into melee tanking (Cower ON/Growl OFF) using a single macro.  Additionally, this macro can even be used while at range as a sort of (poor man's) "Kill Command" for my Pet to go into fast pursuit of a runner, or to attack from either a preset Stay position away from my Hunter or from Following at my side, regardless of range to target (due to the distance conditionals I've implemented on my Raptor Strike, Mongoose Bite and Counterattack macros to prevent use of Dash or Dive while within 10 yards of my target) with the intent of keeping the aggro on my Pet through use of Growl, instead of on my Hunter through use of Cower.  This then lets me One Button Switch from being a Melee Hunter to being a (in my case) Bow Hunter with ease in situations where I don't necessarily want to Face Pull hostiles myself or need to keep distance between myself and my Pet.

 

I use Raziya's Follow and Stay macros for what amounts to secondary Pet controls, usually to prevent my Pet from "going rogue" to attack something I wasn't intending for them to attack.  In both cases I substitute /run for /script again to keep the character count down, saving 3 characters per line and simply reserve slot 6 on the Pet Skills Bar for either Dash or Dive.  These two macros are 107/255 and 207/255 characters respectively.

Quote

/run CastPetAction(10);
/run CastPetAction(2);
/run if UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastPetAction(6) end

Line 1 commands my Pet to go into Passive mode, so stop whatever you're doing Pet. Line 2 commands my Pet to Follow my Hunter without needing to edit in my Hunter's name.  Lines 3 tests to see if my Pet is in Combat or not, and if so, to have my Pet cast Dash or Dive (in slot 6 of the Pet Skills Bar) to return to my Hunter at best possible speed.

Quote

/run if not UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastPetAction(3) end
/run if UnitIsUnit("target", "pet") then CastPetAction(3) elseif UnitAffectingCombat("pet") then CastPetAction(6) end
/run CastPetAction(10)

This is basically Raziya's Stay macro for Pets, which will tell them to Stay.  If your Pet is not in combat, it tells your Pet to Stay where they are.  If your Hunter is targeting your Pet, it tells them to Stay where they are also, allowing you to "park" your Pet in a particular spot, even in combat.  But if you're NOT targeting your Pet and your Pet is in combat, then it will have them Dash/Dive in Passive mode back to the point you originally had them Stay at as a sort of Retreat From Combat to a preset location.  The only meaningful change from Raziya's macro is that I'm assigning a specific Pet Skills slot to either Dash or Dive, in this case slot 6, so that I can tighten up the macro scripting by calling for a Skill slot instead of calling for a specific named pair of abilities from the Pet Spellbook.

Additionally, this also means that my Pet(s) have 3 of their 4 Skill slots taken up with Cower (4), Dash/Dive (6) and Growl (7) ... leaving only a single Skill slot open (5) for that particular Pet type's "signature" Skill.  Since the vanilla Stable is extremely small, where you're never going have more than 2-3 Pets under any circumstances, this isn't really a problem, since a broad diversity of Pets isn't much of an issue.  At the present time, I've still got my original Owl from atop Teldrassil, gained at Level 10, which is my mainline "all around" combat Pet for leveling ... but I also managed to find and Tame none other than Lupos in the past week, who I've now got at Loyalty 5.  Both Owls and Wolves can Dash/Dive, so "reserving" a slot for these skills on "all" of the Pets I have isn't exactly an issue.  I'm sure that once I reach Level 60 and have learned all of the Pet Skills and don't need to Tame anything else in vanilla, I'll almost certainly pick up a 3rd Pet which can also Dash or Dive, so again ... non-issue for me to reserve a Skill slot for this particular class of skill on all Pets.  You can see all of this on the image of my Pet Skill Bar posted above.

 

I use this macro for Scare Beast, and it weighs in at 63/255 characters, which by the standards of what I've been writing about until now is positively petite.

Quote

/run CastPetAction(10);
/run CastPetAction(2);
/cast Scare Beast

Pretty straightforward here action here really.  Line 1 puts my Pet into Passive mode.  Line 2 commands my Pet to Follow my Hunter.  Line 3 has my Hunter cast Scare Beast.  This then coordinates my Pet such that they don't keep attacking any Beasts that I've Scared so as to protect against edge cases of having my Pet "accidentally" do damage to my target and break the Fear effect of Scare Beast prematurely.

 

Last but certainly not least is everyone's favorites ... Feign Death and Ice Trap, which really pair together in too many ways.  Rather than combine these two into a single macro, I've simply made separate macros for each and then cleverly put them "functionally adjacent" to each other in terms of keybind locations on my hotbars so that I can easily invoke one or the other or both very simply/reliably.  This Feign Death macro uses 77/255 characters.

Quote

/run if UnitAffectingCombat("player") then CastSpellByName("Feign Death") end

Line 1 determines if my Hunter is in Combat, and only if I'm in combat will Feign Death be used.  This helps prevent "accidental" use of Feign Death out of combat when it shouldn't have been used, wasting the cooldown (and generally being a DERP move).  If I really need to Feign Death while out of combat (for like a roleplay or something?) I'll just open my spellbook and cast it from the spellbook "manually" and very deliberately.

 

This is the macro I'll be using for Freezing Trap, modified from Raziya's Freezing Trap macro to remove the proximity distance conditional, and it costs 116/255 characters.

Quote

/run if UnitExists("pettarget") and UnitIsUnit("target", "pettarget") then CastPetAction(10) end
/cast Freezing Trap

Line 1 checks to determine if my Pet has a target at all, and if my Pet and my Hunter are sharing the same target.  If my Pet and my Hunter share the same target then my Pet is put into Passive mode.  Line 2 casts Freezing Trap after making sure that my Pet won't (keep) attack(ing) the target my Hunter has selected and break the Freezing Trap effect prematurely on the target I've got selected.  This formulation then allows for a "directing traffic" situation where if my Pet is attacking something other than what I'm intending to Freeze, my Pet can keep right on attacking that target.  This means that I need to have selected the target that I do want to Freeze in order to keep my Pet from attacking THAT target specifically.  I agree with Raziya that it's by no means a perfect solution, but it's certainly better than nothing.

 

As you can see, an awful lot of the character count "crushing" on these macros has come from "standardizing" what Pet Skills I want to have on any (and every?) Pet that I Tame for use in combat, and where those skills will appear on the Pet Skills Bar.  That then allows me to, in effect, be more flexible on casting spells by name at the expense of needing to cast spells by skill bar slot.  Still, when you've got macros running over 200+ characters long, staying under 255/255 while being able to shoehorn in as much functionality as you need in a single macro can sometimes push you to make compromises outside the macro text itself.  In this case I've opted for a "structural" response to the challenge of not having enough room to "name (spell) names" in my macros to fit them under the 255 character limit otherwise.

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On 8/30/2017 at 5:40 AM, Rafale said:

Is this troll thread ? Can we get stats of melee hunters ?

Melee hunter concept does indeed work. It's actually rather fun and does decent dps albeit more gear dependent than BM. It also scales well as you level because you attack chances increase through talent and gear gains that increase dodge, parry and + hit due to how hunter melee works. It is the most dynamic game play of any hunter build as well as you must adapt strategies at all ranges and target types whereas other builds are strictly pet tank and shoot (or kite which isn't grind friendly anyway).

 

Why is it not used or talked about much? Because of how the very melee mechanic works. You must have aggro which makes raiding and group play pretty much the worst situation for a melee hunter to be in (although it works fine in 5 mans with knowledgeable players and some sneaky ways to keep traps up for added dps). It's strictly a leveling and niche pvp build. Once key talents are in place, it does impressive sustained dps when layering dots, melee and pet damage. It can seriously gibble burst a melee class in pvp if they aren't prepared for it. I've destroyed a rogue and a warrior in melee already but avoid pvp in order to level due to my restricted play time. It's defensive ability is it's dps burst mechanic.

 

Why use it? To do something different than the usual BM boredom. I find the hunter class overall has strong talent trees and I like then all. Survival is often ignored as a leveling choice evolves into more true melee in mid levels. I find it's strength is playing it as a hybrid and not forgetting you are still a ranged class at heart. Honestly playing around with 25+% dodge by mid 30's is pretty sweet. I do more melee and total damage and take less damage in close combat than my enhancement shaman 3 levels higher (both in mid to later 30s atm). The dps is less mana intensive than the shaman too.

 

It's just a damn fun and effective build (I have slight tweaks to it over the one listed by OP here but same concept) for leveling and I'll likely use a variant for world pvp later. I specifically went Orc for this because of the pet damage bonus and Blood Fury which adds serious burst to deterrence and melee stack macro. I usually go for nelf Shadowmeld hunters but the Orc benefits in actual combat are just too damn good with a melee hunter build. My gimmick is using a Windserpent instead of an Owl. I don't like the aoe ability stealing aggro, I survive just fine and will focus slightly more in BM on pet damage to maximize the Orc pet bonus with a ranged pet ability (I like to send in my pet which attacks with lightning at 20m ... which is a loud BANG) then recall it before 10m which I have already made a priest and warrior waste their aoe fear to no effect.

 

Honestly sometimes gimmick builds work and worth trying. Due to putting talents into BM I'll get Counterattack at level 41 which basically completes the melee portion of the concept. I'll also have the +3 hit talent which by itself will be a large dps gain. At 41 I'll report some numbers using likely some updated greens and hopefully a blue weapon by then with the odd enchant. I only use axes to benefit from the racial bonus. Currently at 34 I grind nearly non-stop on same level mobs at around 90-120 dps depending on how much mana I choose to dump and take very little damage. I keep up on decent greens and the odd blue worth getting as this build is more gear dependent than BM as stated.

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On 05/12/2017 at 1:54 AM, Tamanous said:

It's just a damn fun and effective build (I have slight tweaks to it over the one listed by OP here but same concept) for leveling and I'll likely use a variant for world pvp later. I specifically went Orc for this because of the pet damage bonus and Blood Fury which adds serious burst to deterrence and melee stack macro. I usually go for nelf Shadowmeld hunters but the Orc benefits in actual combat are just too damn good with a melee hunter build. My gimmick is using a Windserpent instead of an Owl. I don't like the aoe ability stealing aggro, I survive just fine and will focus slightly more in BM on pet damage to maximize the Orc pet bonus with a ranged pet ability (I like to send in my pet which attacks with lightning at 20m ... which is a loud BANG) then recall it before 10m which I have already made a priest and warrior waste their aoe fear to no effect.

I'm currently doing the same and tweaking the build, for levelling but pvp also. Would you mind linking me to yours?

I'm currently level 18 and its been going a breeze. For solo play it works fine. Avoided using the Melee tactic as much with bigger groups as it doesnt work to well, although whilst in groups it does perform well in the 'tight corridor' areas. 

I've found Alchemy+Cooking to work really well with this build, especially the lower levels. Also the low level buff scrolls sold from vendors are great.

Here is my variant for pvp aimed gameplay whilst levelling, with 6 points left over for disposal - http://db.vanillagaming.org/?talent#cVVhZZcxbiRhux

Edited by HazordAstrals

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