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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:00 PM // 22:00   #1
Epinephrine
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Default A guide to pets, by Jenosavel and Epinephrine

The Pet Guide – by Jenosavel and Epinephrine

Why consider a pet? What builds can use a pet, and what level of investment is useful? How do you up the effectiveness of a pet? Where do you get a pet?

This guide is an attempt to answer all questions about pets and provide the fullest explanations regarding pets, pet use, and pet attributes. While other guides have been written on the subject they have in the past been full of speculation and not been rigorously tested, as well as lacking in completeness. To ensure the data is correct, nearly every element has been tested and notes on the testing techniques and data are available through the footnotes, so that suspect data/conclusions can be identified. Please bear in mind that guides may become out of date and take into account the publication date of the guide – subsequent patches may well change aspects of the guide.

Rather than wait till the end, we’d like to make some acknowledgments to start with: Thanks to Dragon Incarnate for the original Ultimate Pet Guide, the first work of its kind, and to Valerius for his role in maintaining Dragon Incarnate’s work in the more recently updated pet guide. A big thanks to Daegul Mistweaver for his help with damage values on various foes, which helped kick start the true damage testing; I look forward to your treatise on damage. Of course, the support of our guild (Servants of Fortuna!) through testing has been invaluable, with much time donated to our efforts and help with finding appropriate testing areas. The community has provided insights into many of the issues in this guide, and we of course thank the pet loving community for the time and energy put into pet related posting. Hopefully the new information gleaned from all this testing will be useful, and will settle many debates about pet functionality and usefulness.

We’ll start with the basics:

1) Acquiring a pet: The Charm Animal skill.

To get a pet requires the use of the Charm Animal skill; at most stages of the game this is only possible as a Ranger/* or */Ranger character, as the Charm Animal skill is a ranger skill. In the tutorial stage of the game the quest from Master Ranger Nente grants this skill, both to ranger primaries (R/*) and to those wishing to try ranger skills – as such you can charm a pet without being a ranger or ranger secondary, though only in this beginning stage of the game.

To charm an animal one simply activates the skill while targeting an animal. The animal will close the distance and begin attacking, but you should not move as it will stop the skill from completing.

Some creatures will display a notice that they are not animals; these creatures cannot be charmed. Moss spiders are likely the first “animals” that are met by most rangers that are not “animals”. At least one type of animal has a charm breaking ability – the pre-searing Black Bears have a skill that allows them to interrupt attempts to charm them. While it was once possible to bypass this through careful timing of knockdowns it is no longer possible; the only source of charmable bears is post-searing.

You cannot charm a pet if you already have a pet, and there is no way to release your pet save the dialogue with a tamer. In Tyria, Jarrel is located by Master Ranger Nente in pre-searing, and just outside the gates of Ascalon in post searing. Visiting him and selecting the appropriate option removes your current pet. He will compensate you for your pet with a token amount of 100 gold if your pet was level 20. Similarly, in Cantha, you can rid yourself of a pet by speaking to one of following tamers: Sahnlae (outside Shing Jea Monastery), Chibichi (in Bukdek Byway), Zarek (outside House zu Heltzer) or Callista (outside Breaker Hollow).

You cannot get around the single pet restriction – using Echo while charming a pet will duplicate the Charm Animal skill upon completion of the first Charm Animal, however neither copy of Charm Animal on the skill bar will work to capture a pet, as there is a pet currently charmed.

It is possible to have a pet while not having Charm Animal on your skillbar. Provided you have charmed a pet in pre-searing as a non-ranger primary, using the skill while trying the ranger skills (but not having accepted the ranger as secondary class), you can visit another trainer in an instanced area and try a new secondary (or select a secondary) – all ranger skills will disappear from your skillbar, but your pet will remain so long as you stay in the instance. Even passing to another instanced area will cause the pet to disappear; we can conclude that the existence of a pet is checked for upon entering an instanced zone. Other methods to have a pet without having Charm Animal on your skillbar are to replace Charm Animal when unlocking a skill in an instanced area or through the Ranger path quest in the Crystal Desert. No matter which method is employed to have a pet without Charm Animal present on the skillbar, the pet will vanish on crossing an instance portal.

If you change your secondary, and are no longer a ranger, your pet is still linked to you; if/when you become a secondary ranger again you can simply equip your charm animal skill and you will have your pet back, exactly as it was.

You cannot charm a creature that has already been charmed. There are some areas in the game in which enemies will charm animals to use against you. These animals can’t be charmed back, even after the death of their master.

Once a pet is charmed you can name the pet with the /petname or /namepet command; without any text following the command it simply resets the pet name to the default, which can be handy to check pet evolution, while using /petname YourPetName would result in a pet called YourPetName. Pet names are limited to 12 characters in length.

All the above applies to hero pets as well, with the exception that a hero cannot name their pet at present.

2) Location of pets.

There are several types of animals charmable by a ranger. A list of pets and their locations are found below:

Prophecies pets - These pets are found in the first Guild Wars campaign, set in Tyria

Strider/Moa: These tall birds are found in the area around Ascalon, both pre- (Strider) and post-searing (Moa); they are most likely ratites, resembling the ostrich or real world moa in that they are tall, flightless birds with well developed leg muscles, but larger like Aepyornis maximus, armed with a heavy slashing beak (a distinctly non-ratite feature). Typically several level 1 Striders are found in the area around Ashford in pre-searing, while level 3 Moas are found in the hills around the area and even in mission instances in the early post-searing game (Old Ascalon, Regent River Basin etc…). One particularly fast way to get a Moa is to enter the Fort Ranik mission, as there are Moas patrolling the area where the first Charr are found. Image.

Wolf/Snow Wolf/Elder Wolf: The level 2 wolves are found in the area around Ashford Abbey and as well in Regent Valley pre-searing. In post-searing, the level 5 Snow Wolves are found in the north Shiverpeak Mountains (Traveler’s Vale, Iron Horse Mines, Anvil Rock etc…) – the area of Anvil Rock has numerous Snow Wolves, and often one spawns right at the Ice Tooth Cave entrance, making for an easy capture. The Elder Wolf is one of the few pets post-searing that has already evolved and is available at a higher level. It starts at level 15 fully evolved, and is only found in Spearhead pass. Capturing an Elder wolf here may require a bit of luck: they are charmed quickly by the Stone Summit Rangers in the area, and once charmed by a dwarf they aren’t available to you. They sometimes spawn out of range of the dwarves, however, and can be easily acquired after combat in these cases. Wolves howl from time to time, an endearing trait to some, an annoyance to others. Image.

Warthog: The Warthog can be found both pre- and post-searing; in pre-searing they are common just north of the wall. Since there is a quest to cross the wall anyway this is as good a time as any to capture a level 2 Warthog. Should you miss that opportunity they are again available post-searing at level 5; however, they aren’t found until the Kryta/Maguuma areas of the game. My favorite place to catch one is just outside The Wilds, as one will frequently spawn by the resurrection shrine and you can thus capture it without facing a single foe. The Warthog makes whuffling noises that are much less intrusive than wolf howls, and is the smallest of the pets. Image.

Melandru’s Stalker: Likely the first pet the ranger tames, the Melandru’s Stalker looks rather like a dark panther. It starts at level 5 in both pre- and post-searing, and is found in Regent Valley in pre-searing and in old Ascalon in post searing. Not a particularly noisy animal and of medium size, it is an attractive companion to many.
Image.

Lynx: The lynx is nothing like a true lynx from our world, resembling a mountain lion but clearly an evolutionary step away from other felines – it seems to possess only three claws on its paws. Similar in size and behaviour to the Melandru’s Stalker, it is a less common choice, perhaps due to its colouration. Lynxes are found in Kryta, around Bergen Hot Springs, Beetletun, the Ascalon Settlement and various other areas, and are level 5.
Image.

Bear: Bears exist both pre- and post-searing, but the pre-searing bears are charmable only with great difficulty, and exploiting the range limit on the "Breaking Charm" skill. Bears are the largest of the pets available, being bulkier and more imposing that the smaller pets. Found in the southern Shiverpeaks, but as far north as Lornar’s Pass, bears are level 5 in the wild; to catch a bear I typically leave from Port Sledge and simply run east – there is nearly always a bear within a fairly short run.
Image.

Dune Lizard: Dune lizards are first (and only) encountered at level 5 in the Crystal Desert. Looking somewhat like a monitor lizard or iguana, they are powerfully built, low bodied lizards with somewhat short tails (for a lizard) and a crest on their heads. Heroes Audience is my favourite settlement from which to capture a Dune Lizard, there is nearly always one wandering near the entry and often within range of your Charm Animal, eliminating any risk from the enemies in the area and allowing solo capture.
Image.

Spider: The only charmable type of spider so far in the game is the Black Widow (the Moss Spiders are NOT charmable) – the Black Widows are found only in the Underworld, and are rewards from certain quests. The only animal found at high level other than the Elder Wolf, the Black Widows are always level 20 and evolved when found – it seems to be a random evolution, as Elder, Hearty and Dire Black Widows have all been found from the same spawn point. Unlike the counterpart in our world, the Black Widow is non-venomous, but makes up for it by being the size of a dog.
Image.

Factions pets - These pets are found in the second Guild Wars campaign, set in Cantha

Black Moa: Much like the Moa and Strider from the Prophecies campaign set in Tyria, the Black Moa is a tall, flightless bird, but with black plumage and spiked collars to distinguish it from the plainer sort. The Black Moa appears following a quest entitled The Beak of Darkness, in Ferndale. So far this is the only known way to get a Black Moa, and it spawns at level 20. Testing by Jenosavel indicates that it is of the Elder/Unevolved variety.

Crane: A more common bird companion is the Crane - found throughout the Pongmei Valley, Zen Daijun, Haiju Lagoon the Arborstone Explorable, the crane is an elegant looking bird, and a surprising choice for an attacking creature. They can be found at level 3 typically, but also as Elder Cranes near the Yeti in the Pongmei Valley area - these unfortunately are difficult to tame, since the Yeti typically get to them first - on some lucky spawns there are sufficient level 3 cranes near the Yeti, and you may arrive and be able to capture an evolved Crane.

Reef Lurker/Blue Lurker: The second arthropod charmable in Guild Wars is the Reef Lurker, a tamable form of crab found in Luxon areas. Reef Lurkers can be found in both a red and blue colour pattern; they are typically level 5, save in the Boreas Seabed mission, in which there are two level 20 Elder Crabs (blue) that can be tamed. Crabs are typically found in Luxon areas.

Tiger: Tigers are found both in a typical orange and black coat pattern as well as in a White Tiger form, white with black stripes. Tigers are either level 3 (orange) or level 5 (white) when found in the wild, and are in many Kurzick areas (Ferndale, Melandru's Hope etc...). Dire tigers can also be found, near the Yeti in Pngmei valley. They are generally charmed already, but a lucky spawn can have level 3 Cranes close to the tigers, in which case a Dire Tiger can be obtained.

Phoenix: The Phoenix is neither an asian inspired Phoenix not the bird of flames from Greek myths, but is a brightly coloured bird of prey it would seem. The Phoenix is only found in the Divine Path, and is level 5 when encountered.

Nightfall pets - These pets are found in the third Guild Wars campaign, set in Elona

Warthog: There is an Impressive Warthog that is not charmable, however there are also Warthogs in other areas, including the Plains of Jarin and Fahranur, the First City. Warthogs are exactly like those found in Tyria.

Flamingo: These pink wading birds are found in the early areas of the campaign, and start at level 3. They can be found in the Churrhir Fields, Plains of Jarin and Issnur Isle. Quite possibly the least threatening pet, unless your foe has a phobia of some sort.

Jahai Rat: These massive rodents are denizens of the Vehtendi Valley and the Mirror of Lyss; they are among the smallest pets in the game, similar in size to the warthog, and begin at level 3. Rumours say that they can inflict disease, at least one person has attempted to investigate this and with over 1000 attacks observed no skill use by the rat, it is likely that this is similar to the rumours of Black Widow pets inflicting poison.

Crocodile: Found in the swampy areas of Istan, the crocodile is a long, powerfully built reptile. Speculation exists suggesting that the crocodile is a replacement for the pygmy hippopotamus which was in the previews. Crocodiles begin at level 5 in the Lahtenda Bog, though the beastmaster Heket employ level 15 Elder crocodiles. It is perhaps possible to charm one of these, I have not yet tried; the simplest way is likely to get another pet to spawn in the area, and have a Beast Sworn Heket charm a jahai rat for exampl, leaving an uncharmed elder crocodile.

Lion: Lions occur as Lionesses as well, the two models differing in the presence of a mane. The lion shares the look of the tiger, lynx and melandru's stalker, and is an imposing beast. A pride of aggressive lions (level 11?) can be found in the Jahai Bluffs, by the great Zehtuka; for the most part they are however found at level 5 throughout Kourna.

Hyena: A fierce carnvore with a particularly powerful bite, the hyena is in reality an intelligent hunter, not just a scavenger. In Guild Wars the hyena has a large hump over its shoulders and spotted flanks, much like the spotted hyena. They can be found in The Alkali Pan and The Ruptured Heart, and start at level 5.

Last edited by Epinephrine; Jun 06, 2007 at 11:59 AM // 11:59..
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:00 PM // 22:00   #2
Epinephrine
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3) Statistics of pets:

All pets share the same base health progression, the same AL progression and the same base damage progression (the word base is used here as the pet evolution can change these figures, and the level of the Beastmastery attribute will change the damage actually dealt much as weapon mastery changes the damage dealt by a weapon, but does not alter its base damage). There are however differences between pet attack speeds, contrary to other published data on pets, and the damage types are here reported correctly, as opposed to the erroneous claims of the Prima guide and other sources.

The base health of all pets is 80+20/level, resulting in the following table of health values.(1) The more recently added pet controls confirms these health levels, though sometimes the display will show 219 health for example rather than 220, only to correct itself later.
http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/6...thtable7eq.png

The base damage range of all pets depends on the pet’s level, and is displayed in the following table - it appears to be roughly linear, with a pet delivering (PetLevel*0.05)*max damage. A level 7 pet for example, delivers 35% of the damage that a level 20 pet would deliver - the numbers don't line up exactly this way, but it is a good estimate, and the likely cause of the variation is that the critical hit rate increases with level. The distribution of damages (at a given level) is also available and is clearly nonlinear, likely due to the nature of critical hits. The notes include the statistical tests.(2)

The newest Prima Guide, for GW:Factions lists all pet damage as a base of 17-28 at level 20, this corresponds to the minimum damages recorded, and certainly matches the drop in probability of attack damages from the recorded damages (this graph, which shows 28 as the last commonly occuring damage level). The values of the critical hits then are somewhat surprising, as they are as high as 41 damage, while a 28 maximum damage would in fact result in only 39.59 maximum damage, rounding to 40. Assuming the same maximum critical hit damage calculation as weapons use, to round to a 41 damage one would need to inflict hits of up to 28.64 damage or so; presuming the rounding occurs at the last stage; this would work out to 40.5 damage, which could then round to 41. Testing on the Isle of the Nameless and in the guild scrimmages may shed light on this topic.



The armour level (AL) of the pets is likewise determined by the pet level. Pet AL progression is listed in this table. The figures for level 1 and 2 pets are not verified, due to the difficulty of testing the AL at such low levels, but are presumed to follow the pattern. You will note that this differs from the assumed change to pet AL – the AL bonus was added to base pet AL, boosting pets of all levels – pets receive 29.3% less damage at any given level since this (very welcomed) patch.(3)



Pets vary in the type of damage delivered. The following table of damage types shows the type of damage associated with each pet. The Prima Guide had a list of damage types which were largely accurate, but incorrect in some cases. The correct types are listed below. The entries that differ from the Prima Guide are followed by in italics. Note that no pet deals blunt damage.(4)

Slashing damage is dealt by
Black Bear
Black Moa Bird
Crab / Reef Lurker (blue)
Crab / Reef Lurker (red)
Crane
Flamingo
Hyena
Jahai Rat
Lion / Lioness
Lynx
Melandru's Stalker
Moa Bird / Strider
Tiger
Warthog
White Tiger
Wolf

Piercing damage is dealt by
Black Widow
Dune Lizard
Crocodile
Phoenix


The most striking difference in pet statistics is in the pet attack speeds. As can be seen, the pets are invariant excepting the type of damage delivered, and it turns out, attack speed. The attack speeds are recorded as such. A note – the Moa/Strider does initially have a higher attack rate than the other pets. This difference in attack speed disappears on leveling, approaching the other pets in speed. The Bear's brutal mauling slows it's attack speed, but does not add any damage.(5)


In summary; initially on release of the game claims were made that one type of pet was tougher, another faster and so on, to balance them. Gaile Gray said in an interview:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaile Gray
You’re right in noting that pets do have differences. Some have more armor, some attack faster, some have more health, etc. You will note that the specifics are not really called out in the game. That’s because, to some degree, we leave at least some aspects of the game in undisclosed state so that the community can figure things out.
As we can see however, this was an exaggeration. In reality pets differ very little, with only two types of damage being delivered, with all pets having the same exact AL, health and damage. The attack rate is the sole variable in effectiveness, and isn’t balanced by any compensating factors – a Bear is simply the worst pet due to its slower attack rating. All other pets are equally effective - to mention this again however the Black Widow does not have a poison attack - it is no more effective than any other pet.

Last edited by Epinephrine; Jun 07, 2007 at 04:12 PM // 16:12..
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:01 PM // 22:01   #3
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4) Pet evolution

Pets undergo evolution up to twice in their existence, to our knowledge. These evolutions occur at ~ level 11 and at ~ level 15. Evolutions can occur after this level, with the first stage evolutions happening right up to the level 14 certainly, and isolated instances of level 20 pet evolution have been reported. The evolutions typically happen immediately upon leveling to 11 and 15 (though as mentioned, they can occur later in some cases). Evolutions are a way for the pet to vary slightly from others of its ilk – it alters the pet statistics slightly. It would seem that the evolutions also are associated with the size changes observed – that pets change sizes with some evolutions is undeniable - a level 20 Hearty Strider is MUCH larger than its level 1 counterpart, but as pets don’t tend to stand still very well it is very hard to come up with exact figures and observations. In this section we will address the process of evolution, facts and fallacies about evolution and finally statistics on evolved pets.

Training Your Pet for a Specific Evolution

Summary
The current, common understanding of pet evolution is that your pet’s state exists on a slider. One side of the slider has the Hearty pet with high defense and low offense. The other side has the Dire pet with high offense and low defense. In the middle lies the balanced pet, the Elder. It is commonly believed that the pet taking damage and being used under a low Beast Mastery stat shifts it towards Hearty, while dishing out damage and being used under a high Beast Mastery stat shifts it towards Dire. These ideas are common knowledge for good reason: they have a lot of truth to them. Since there are numerous posts and articles already written with precise methods that can be used to train up a specific pet evolution, I will only touch on training methods briefly at the end of this section. Instead, I would like to devote this space to shedding some light on why certain training methods work and others do not. Thus, I will focus on individual factors that influence how the pet evolves.

• have the pet deal more damage than you to move it towards Dire
• allow the pet to take a lot of damage to move it towards Hearty
• healing has no direct impact on the pet’s evolution
• damage received is a key factor in determining the pet’s evolution
• use Call of Protection combined with Symbiotic Bond or Otyugh’s Cry to minimize damage taken
• how a build is used can be nearly as important as the build itself, pay attention to how you play!
• a pet that won’t evolve simply means it already has the Elder’s stats, even though it will never have a prefix
• level your pet on enemies that deal direct damage which can be easily prevented
• avoid leveling your pet on enemies that use degen or armor ignoring damage

Damage taken, deaths, or healing?
It is difficult to test whether it is damage taken, damage healed, or deaths sustained that pushes the pet towards Hearty. However, it appears to be damage taken, rather than the other two, which is the key factor. To test this, a pet was raised to level 10 as an Aggressive pet with all variables remaining constant from my previous successful Aggressive pets. This included the pet being forced to deal 100% of the damage dealt to enemies. Then, it was taken outside of the Temple of the Ages and made to stand in poison until it died. Once dead it would be revived, allowed to naturally regen its health, and then killed again the same way. Rinse, repeat. Upon turning level 11, the pet was Playful rather than Aggressive. The same test was repeated with a second pet, only this time the pet was not allowed to regen to its full health before being poisoned again. Although it sustained the same number of deaths, it took considerably less damage. Surprisingly it still came out Aggressive.

With respect to the healing of the pet, a different test needed to be done. This time, the pet was leveled to 11 by the same method as the previous two pets, but was the subject of much healing through Comfort Animal, Predator’s Pounce, and Heal Area. Although the pet was not allowed to take damage it was still healed. The pet came out Aggressive, thus proving that healing alone has no direct impact on the pet’s evolution. Most likely, previous connections between healing and pet evolution where a side effect of a pet taking too much damage.

Damage dealt by the pet?
A factor which has been attributed to a pet moving towards Dire has been a high pet damage output in relation to the damage output of its master. Note the key phrase here: in relation to its master. Using points in Beast Mastery is all well and good when attempting to move a pet towards Dire, but it may not be enough by itself. Theory suggests that the pet must put the player’s damage to shame. Dumping out any points in other weapon attributes is a common way of achieving this. Also, one might simply not attack. The pet will defend its master and itself so long as the attacking foe is not at range, and thus the player does not actually have to attack for the pet to start killing enemies.

While the damage output ratio between the pet and its master is undoubtedly an important factor, it must be noted that it is not the only factor. High damage sustained by the pet can override a high damage output ratio, as was illustrated in my first test where the pet was made to deal 100% of the damage but still came out Playful. In fact we do not know with certainty that it is the ratio of damages; the interaction is difficult to untangle as pet kills, damage and experience rate are all tied together, and damage dealt by the master by definition reduces the damage the pet deals, as the enemies die sooner.

Controlling the damage done to the pet
If damage sustained by the pet is so important in determining its evolution, what are the best ways to mitigate damage? When seeking a Dire pet, as much attention should be paid to this question as to how you will make your pet dish out damage. Since it is damage taken, and not healing or even number of deaths, that seems to push the pet towards Hearty, minimizing the damage that the pet endures is vital. Symbiotic Bond and Call of Protection are therefore immeasurably helpful. Via these two skills you can nearly eliminate all damage dealt to the pet. At extremely low levels, Otyugh’s Cry can be added to the mix to make up for a low natural Armor Level. Since Call of Protection’s effect is linked to Beast Mastery, a high Beast Mastery stat will not only allow your pet to deal better damage, but also minimize the damage it takes. Therefore a high Beast Mastery stat has a dual sided benefit when trying to train a Dire pet.

More than just the build
Another matter I would like to mention is the importance of the play style itself rather than just the build used. It may sound absurd to some, but a Dire pet can still be attained with no points in Beast Mastery and no pet attacks equipped. It is extremely difficult, but has been done. Similarly, a Hearty pet can be attained with full points in Beast Mastery. The key is in the way the player plays, such as whether it is the player or the pet at the forefront of battle. If the player charges in and makes a target of himself, it will push the pet towards a Dire evolution. However, if the player hangs back and sends the pet on ahead, it will push the pet towards a Hearty evolution. This is most likely due to the simple fact that the main target sustains more damage than the one that comes in behind; thus, if the pet is always being sent in ahead it will be targeted more often and will inevitably take more damage, pushing it towards Hearty. While this detail will not make or break your pet’s evolution, it is nonetheless important to take note of. In a situation where the pet is on the brink and you are having difficulty getting it across the line and into the category that you want, a detail such as this may make all the difference.

Unevolved Pets?
One evolution predicament that has, to my knowledge, not been previously explored is that of the unevolved pet. It does occasionally happen that upon reaching level 11, the pet’s base name does not change. This means that even after resetting the pet’s name it has neither the Aggressive nor the Playful prefix. These unevolved pets will not evolve at a later time; they are fixed at the base name for the duration of their lives. They are not secretly one of the evolutions, and instead remain without any of the modifiers associated with the different evolutions. This means that it is the equivalent of an Elder pet, for the Elder pet has no modifiers either. Knowing this, the cause of getting an unevolved pet is as one would expect. If upon hitting level 11 the pet still remains in the middle of the slider instead of to one side or the other, it will remain unevolved. The most common method of keeping the pet balanced through these early levels is to use a build which levels up the pet very quickly without allowing it to deal or receive much damage at all, such as a Necromancer minion-master who happens to bring along a pet. Another means to the unevolved pet is to make the pet deal great amounts of damage and take quite a bit of damage as well. This is more difficult, as it is hard to tell how much damage the pet should take and dish out to be balanced, and it is harder still to keep the ratio right. An example of a possible method would be to level the pet up while keeping its damage taken at nothing and forcing it to deal 100% of the damage. Then, upon each level-up of the pet, take it outside of Augury Rock and let the Hydras kill it once. Another successful method of getting an unevolved pet was to train the pet for 1 level as an Aggressive and 5 levels as a Playful. Another easy way to get an unevolved pet is simply to level the pet while it is dead; a dead pet deals no damage and suffers no damage. The range for experience is apparently unlimited – even if the pet doesn’t show the leveling it will level when you get within range of the pet again, or if you cross an instance portal/map travel.

Aggressive/Playful pets
When the first research was performed on pets they seemed to pretty much always evolve to either one of the extreme evolutions (Dire/Hearty) or remain balanced (Elder/Uneveolved); since that time there have been many game updates, and level 20 pets are being raised without the second evolution step occuring. These animals seem to fixed as Playful or Aggressive at level 20 and don't evolve to Dire/Elder/Hearty.

Choosing which enemies to level on
Most masters of pet evolution will recommend one of two areas in the Prophecies campaign in the entire game when trying to evolve a pet. These are: the Minotaurs outside Ice Tooth Cave and the Mergoyle Wavebreakers outside of Gates of Kryta. These enemies have no mystical qualities about them that make them better for training pets with. What they do offer is an easily controlled environment. Since pet training can be a delicate process with many different factors influencing how the pet evolves, you will want to control as many variables as possible to maximize your success. The enemies are no exception, and choosing an enemy with an easily predicted and countered damage type is very helpful. Warriors and elementalists offer direct damage that can be easily reduced through Symbiotic Bond and Call of Protection. They do not degen or condition your pet, which can wreak havoc with its training. They conveniently have no means to protect themselves against your own condition spreading, and come without friends of other classes to mess you up. Additionally, they are of a low enough level that your own character shouldn’t be in danger of dying from them, yet a high enough level that your pet can still level all the way to 15 on them if you so choose.

You do not need to level your pet in either of these two spots to train the pet you want, although they will make your life easier. If you choose to go elsewhere, remember to avoid enemies with any of the following: degen hexes, degen conditions, blinding, armor-ignoring damage.

Training your pet
It has been brought up recently that the approach to training a pet mentioned in the guide is focused on Tyrian players (hardly surprising, as Cantha hadn't been discovered at the time of the first guide), and many new players may not have access to Tyria (or Prophecies campaign skills). To attempt to help Canthan beastmasters we are trying to determine ways to raise a pet to Dire using Canthan skills (Hearty is easy enough to raise anyway, and once you have an Aggressive pet it can progress to Elder by switching to a less protective style of play)


Sample training builds

Hearty (any campaign)
For Hearty pets, you have the freedom to bring almost any solo build you want. As long as you keep your Beast Mastery low, send your pet in ahead of you, and let it earn some experience while dead, you should be just fine. Of course, going solo is only to increase the rate of experience gain, a Hearty pet can be achieved easily enough in a party setting as well, over a longer period of time.

Ranger/Elementalist vs. Minotaurs
Expertise: 9 + 3 + 1
Wilderness Survival: 8 + 1
Marksmanship: 11 + 1
Earth Magic: 8

Poison Arrow {E}
Penetrating Attack
Dual Shot
Ignite Arrows
Armor of Earth
Troll Unguent
Charm Animal
Comfort Animal

For a Dire pet, we are trying to list the skills/area by campaign; obviously if you have access to both Canthan and Tyrian skills you can combine the two, and select a location from either continent.

Dire (Tyrian skills only)
For training pets towards Dire, Call of Protection is nearly a necessity. Symbiotic Bond and Otyugh’s Cry will be helpful for the same reasons as Call of Protection is; however, all three may not be necessary beyond the early levels of the pet. As for pet attacks, the elite Ferocious Strike is wondrously helpful. The additional energy gained from it will allow you to use pet attacks more frequently. Another pet attack that should be considered is Feral Lunge. This will allow your pet to deal damage against foes whose armor is still too high for it. Also, if you choose to fight foes who are heavy on spell casting, Disrupting Lunge is a good skill to consider. Not only will you deal damage with it, but you can prevent damage as well. Sine the introduction of Faction skills there are several other attacks to consider as well- Enraged Lunge as a damage dealing skill, Poisonous Bite as an additional degeneration tool and so on.

Generally speaking, you should only need one or two slots for self-defense. I suggest that one of these be Troll Unguent. The other may be a stance such as Whirling Defense, or an armor buff such as Armor of Earth or Physical/Elemental Resistance.

Ranger/Mesmer vs. Minotaurs
Beast Mastery: 12 + 3 + 1
Expertise: 12 + 1
Wilderness Survival: 3 + 1

Ferocious Strike {E}
Feral Lunge
Symbiotic Bond
Call of Protection
Comfort Animal
Charm Animal
Troll Unguent
Physical Resistance


Dire (Canthan skills only)
The number of defensive options is drastically reduced for those with only Canthan skills. This makes Dire much more difficult to achieve, as it is vital that the pet not suffer much damage. With Call of Protection, Otyugh's Cry and Symbiotic Bond all being Prophecies skills, and no equivalent skills in Factions we must resort to non-beastmastery skills in order to protect the pet. As such, it may be that only some profession combinations can successfully raise Dire pets solo (or at least with regularity). Primary rangers have the greatest flexibility this way, as they can have whichever secondary is needed, while a necromancer as no choice for example but be a secondary ranger. Blindness and evasion are very solid ways to defend a pet (at least versus melee, which is what concerns us the most), and thus any build that can keep a group of enemies blinded is worth considering; the pet can of course benefit from direct damage reduction, so skills like Shielding Hands or Union come to mind as ways to reduce damage effectively, while skills like Dissonance allow protection by causing misses. It may be that a two-player approach is best for Canthans, but these at least are some ideas of possible skills. For pet based damage the Canthans have several good choices; Poisonous bite, much like Feral Lunge, adds a fair bit of damage even at lower BM levels, and the elite skill Enraged Lunge adds a powerful punch to any primarily BM lineup. In addition, playstyle is of course important - if you can get the attacks to be focussed on yourself your pet is safer, and requires less protection. Hopefully we can post a confrimed Canthan skill list for raising a Dire pet.

Dire (following Nightfall)
The easiest manner yet to level a Dire pet has been with Nightfall. The introduction of heroes makes it very simple, as a hero can serve as a portable resurrection shrine, simply by equipping a resurrection skill and having a Charm Animal for the player (or hero) needing a new Dire pet.

This method, known as "death levelling" involves the pet gaining experience from killing a player, prior to being charmed. Clear the area of any enemies/patrols that might interfere. Position a hero nearby, with no skills excepting a resurrection (not Rebirth) and perhaps a self heal (*not* a heal for other allies) and get the future pet to attack the player. To speed the process of dying, remove any armor that isn't needed, superior runes in low level armor can be used to reduce your health total as well. The animal will repeatedly kill the player, gaining experience with each kill, and since it deals damage but sufferes none is pretty much guaranteed to progress to a Dire pet. Once the pet is sufficiently levelled (you can allow it to reach 20 this way) simply use Charm Animal to capture the pet.

Elder (either campaign)
Elder pets are the balance between aggressive and defensive, and can be obtained by following first one evolutionary path, then following the other. However, since it is much harder to follow the Dire path it is recommended if you desire an Elder pet that you follow first the Dire training until you have an Aggressive pet, then switch to the other style of play. It is faster to raise a pet to 11 than from 11 to 16, and should you allow too much damage to the pet in the first stage you will be able to start afresh.

Unevolved (either campaign)
Unevolved pets are identical to Elder pets - they simply were raised in such a way as to minimise the chance of evolving. One easy way to do this is to solo (or possibly in a small team) a very high level area (preferably a large one) with your pet dead the whole time. A dead pet takes no damage (thus no shift toward Hearty) and deals no damage (thus no shift toward Dire). Such a pet sadly doesn't have an evolution noted, but can be easier to attain than trying to raise an Elder pet.

Evolutions and statistics

Evolutions are more complex than initially thought; while the health information was accurate, rather than a flat damage adjustment it is observed that the bonus in damage varies with the level of the pet in question. The health adjustments for pets are indeed:

+60 health for a Hearty pet
+30 health for a Playful pet
No adjustment for Elder pet
-30 health for an Aggressive pet
-60 health for a Dire pet


As such, the table of pet health levels is as follows(6):


As far as damage is concerned, the damage range and average damage shifts with each level, and the damage adjustment doesn’t seem to level off until level 14. As of level 14 it becomes a ~15% bonus/penalty to damage, and this rule is followed right up to level 20. The following table indicates damage ranges and average damages for the various evolutions (7).



As can be seen from the damage ranges and the average damages the effect of evolution isn’t a simple +2 to damage, but is instead approximately a +/-15% at level 20; the table of ratios shows that at low levels of aggressive/playful the damage adjustment is smaller, but grows. While the percentages aren’t exact, given the standard errors the ratios a 5% adjustment for levels 11-13 and 15% for level 14-20 lie within a 95% CI. (8)


Selecting an Evolution
What evolution should one try to attain? What are the factors to consider?

One such factor is size. Dire and Hearty pets from Tyria or Elona are larger than other pets. This is to our knowledge a purely aesthetic feature, but can help determine the choice for some. If you want a larger pet you should pursue one of these evolutions.

My (and Jenosavel's) opinion early on was that there is little reason to desire an Elder or Hearty pet, and that Dire pets were the way to go. Since health is in fact only a buffer, having a high health will only really serve against spike damage - otherwise if the rate of damage exceeds healing the player or animal will die - damage output was important, and since pets didn't suffer death penalty when we first examined the issue it seemed that for the majority of builds that Dire was the best option.

Since this time things have changed; the damage from pet attack skills have been greatly increased, and new attack skills (such as enraged lunge) have been introduced dealing very large amounts of damage. Since this damage is all "bonus" damage, it is unaffected by the evolution, and in fact in most beastmater build the actual base damage the pet deals is a much smaller portion of the total damage - hence the evolution matters less in terms of the percentage of the damage output accounted for, while health remains a good buffer. When your pet delivers a +80 damage enraged lunge, a few points of damage eaither way on the base damage seem somewhat trivial, while the extra health of a Hearty pet over a Dire pet starts to be a concern (+120 health).

In addition, with pets suffering death penalties in PvP play, and potentially in PvE play in the future, there is now a better reason to avoid a pet's death (in PvP at least). This also thus pushes for Hearty pets.

For PvP play, some builds want the pets to die, to provide corpses for wells, putrid explosions, minions and such. In this case there may be an advantage to a lower health.

In PvE play, some have noted that the enemy AI seems to select weaker targets preferentially; it would seem that having a death penalty or a lower health increases the likelihood of being the target of attacks (along with proximity and various other factors). This tendency has been reported with pets as well, though it is difficult to measure. As such, if one wishes to use a pet as a tank it may be better to use a DIre pet, with less health, since it may gather and hold aggro better. This is directly opposite what the evolution would suggest, which is that for tanking one wants the Hearty pet's larger health pool.

Selecting a pet is thus a complex issue; some may opt for the Elder, simply as a compromise between the extremes, others may value the small amount of extra damage that a Dire pet delivers, and since as yet in PvE there is no death penalty for pets we can simply use comfort animal frequently. It may have a hidden bonus of attracting more aggro, and thus serving as a better tank. Such pets may also fit PvP builds that exploit corpses better.

The Hearty pet however has more support than it once had; the loss of damage is not nearly as problematic with the increased damage output that pets now enjoy, and the extra health is handy. I think it would be fair to say that the hearty pet is the better choice for most all-around purposes, with the Dire being reserved for squeezing that extra bit of damage out of the pet, particularly out of its base attacks.

Last edited by Epinephrine; Mar 27, 2007 at 03:41 AM // 03:41..
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:02 PM // 22:02   #4
Epinephrine
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5) Combat effectiveness

Editing of the skill reviews and descriptions has taken place (from the latest update) but the tables still need to be fixed to display the new damage outputs, I'll work on that tonight
A basic pet thus attacks every ~2.14 seconds for ~24.4 average damage vs. 60 AL at level 12 beastmastery, for 11.4 DPS with no other skills used. Use of Call of Haste increases this to 15.2 DPS, so a pet can with minimal spending prove to be an effective attacker.

Here's a table showing the damage, DPS and DPS under Call of Haste for beastmastery 0-12 for a level 20 pets.


For a single skill slot this isn't bad - even with no skills in the pet at a 12 BM it would be slightly better than having a permanent Conjure Phantasm running, draining away health constantly. They have decent health, equivalent to a player of their level, with variations due to their "evolution". How much good can we get out of the pet?

Reasons to consider the pet

Pets add damage even without using energy - that extra ~11 damage a second for no energy is about the cheapest damage you'll ever find; sure, there are signets that do damage, but they can't compare. Pets also draw some fire (sometimes) and provide additional attacks, triggering hit effects for example. Many pet skills can be triggered instantly, and thus are proof against interruption/knockdowns, and can be used even while kiting or casting. If a ranger is using a bow, some of the usefulness of a pet is lost, but pets can be used to perform many of the tasks that a bow might be used for; pets’ attacks can:

• Cripple
• Bleed
• Poison
• Daze
• Skill interrupt + 20 second denial
• Knockdown (vs casters or versus fleeing foes)
• Do additional damage vs enchanted foes
• Do additional damage against foes with conditions
• Do additional damage to foes with health <50%
• Provide energy and adrenaline.

In addition, these attack skills add to the DPS the pet puts out, by varying degrees. The attack burden is an important thing to be concerned with; it is quite easy (especially with the use of skills that speed recharge times) to have an attack burden that exceeds the number of attacks available. When that happens the skills can't be triggered as often as they are ready, and one loses effectiveness. A simple pair of skills like Ferocious Strike and Brutal Strike can be used, with the elite Ferocious Strike supporting the energy cost of the Brutal Strike (with enough expertise), and when the conditions are met this can add nearly 15 DPS to the pet's damage output at 12 Beastmastery, a respectable bit of damage.

Energy Burdens are listed WITHOUT expertise - if you know the amount of reduction you have simply multiply the energy burden by the portion of cost you pay; thus, if you have a 13 expertise and are running Bestial Pounce (cost 5, energy burden 1pip) you only pay 2 energy to activate it, 40% of the cost. Your energy burden would thus be 1 pip*0.4 = 0.4 pips. Attack burdens represent the frequency of attack that can be dedicated to the skill; 1/4 means that 1 out of 4 attacks can use it, and that is how the DPS was calculated.

The skills (bonuses listed are for 0/12/16 Beastmastery)

The Attacks:

Core Attacks

Disrupting Lunge
Description: If this pet attack hits, it deals +1/+10/+13 damage. If it strikes an enemy who is using a skill, that skill is interrupted and disabled for 20 seconds.
Visual: Sparkles on the ground that form a square with a corner forward over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 5 seconds.
Analysis: A utility skill; it is useable frequently, and thus is quite spammable. While you could choose to aim for a given spell (especially vs. long casting opponents) it is cheap enough to run full time vs. faster casters and in fact skill users; that's 12 shots a minute to try to catch a skill or spell being used. Although the damage bonus is lower than some other skills, the 20 second skill knockout and interrupting ability make this a skill to bank on if you desire a suppressive style of play, and with 13+ expertise it's only 1 pip of energy. I have reduced it's rating after the March 2, 2006 update as the difference in damage output has grown considerably between this skill and other skills in the line - reserving this for interruption duty and not making it as resonable an all-around choice.
DPS (12BM) = 2.17
Attack burden: 1/3; 1/4 under CoH
Energy burden = 3 pips
Rating = ****0


Ferocious Strike {Elite}
Description: If this pet attack hits, it deals +13/+25/+28 damage, and you gain Adrenaline and 3/9/10 energy.
Visual: Sparkles on the ground that form a square with a side forward over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 8 seconds
Analysis: This skill is brilliant, and fully deserving of your elite slot in many cases. It isn't really a highly damaging skill, as can be seen by the low boost to DPS. What this spell does though is ups damage a bit while providing energy and adrenaline - the adrenaline gain isn't huge; it work to a strike every 8 second or so, which is the equivalent of 16% gain in adrenaline if you were attacking the whole time at normal rates. The energy however is quite good; for a non ranger it is a bit limited, as it only gives 1.5 pips of energy gain, though it does damage at the same time, so one can't complain. For a ranger with 13+expertise however it generates 2.625 pips of energy while dealing damage, a respectable gain. I don't know that I can give it a rating of 5, as it is not fully an energy tool, and it is definitely not a damage tool, but it is indispensable for rangers wishing to run beast skills and have energy for other activities.
DPS (12BM) = 3.13; 2.78 under CoH
Attack burden: 1/4; 1/6 under CoH
Energy burden = 1.875 pips
Energy generation = 3.375 pips
Adrenaline gain = 1/8 seconds
Rating = ****0


Maiming Strike
Description: If this pet attack hits, it deals +5/+17/+21 damage. If it strikes a moving enemy, that enemy becomes Crippled for 3/13/17 seconds.
Visual: Sparkles on the ground that form a square with a corner forward over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 10.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 5 seconds
Analysis: The change to a 5 second recharge time definitely improves this skill, making it slightly better in terms of re-applying the cripple on a fleeing target; the damage boost to the other skills however has been imrpoved, so this is still distinctly sub-par in terms of damage output. This is a decent alternative to the ranger cripples, being cheaper than a pin down and more easily applied to have continual coverage. As a utility skill I'd give it a 4, but it really needs to be used in conjunction with CoH to ensure being able to get fleeing opponents.
DPS (12BM) = 3.4
Attack burden: 1/3; 1/4 under CoH
Energy burden = 6 pips
Rating = ****0 in it's role


Melandru's Assault
Description: If this pet attack hits, it deals +5/+17/+21 damage. If it strikes an enemy with an Enchantment, that enemy and all adjacent enemies take an additional +5/+29/+37 damage.
Visual: Sparkles on the ground that form a triangle with the point backwards over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 10.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 5 seconds.
Analysis: This skill probably got more of a boost than any other skill in the line from the March 2, 2006 update. The splash damage is still somewhat of a small bonus, as it is very close range (adjacent) and only adds up to 5.8 DPS even then, but at least the main target is taking better damage, with the attack rate doubled - I haven't tested it yet, but judging from the numbers I'd rank this as high as the Brutal Strike now is, mainly due to the prevalence of enchantments. The non-boosted main damage makes me rate it lower though, since paying 10 energy for a +17 damage attack versus paying 5 energy for a +17 damage attack is a no-brainer - predator's Pounce still walks all over this skill.
DPS (12BM) = 3.4 (9.2)
Attack burden: 1/3; 1/4 under CoH
Energy burden = 6 pips
Rating = ***00


Scavenger Strike
Description: If this pet attack hits, it deals +10/+22/+26 damage. If it strikes an enemy suffering from a Condition, that enemy takes an additional +1/+12/+16 damage.
Visual: A cloud of sparkles around the pet that fall to form a hexagon over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 10.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 5 seconds.
Analysis: If I am reading this correctly, one of the skills actually reduced in potency (at least relatively) with the update. The already weaker cousin of Brutal Strike, the base damage bonus being lowered below that of skills like Feral Lunge and Predator's Pounce has killed this skill's usefulness - sure, it's easier to meet the damage bonus criterion, but the nearly imperceptible boost just isn't worth it. This is the new Melandru's Assault.
DPS (12BM) = 4.4 (6.8)
Attack burden: 1/3; 1/4 under CoH
Energy burden = 6 pips
Rating = *0000


Prophecies Attacks

Bestial Pounce
Description: Your animal companion attempts a Bestial Pounce that deals +5/+17/+21 damage. If the attack strikes a foe who is casting a spell, that foe is knocked down.
Visual: A cloud of green sparkles in the air around the pet that falls to the ground and forms a pentagon over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 10 seconds.
Analysis: As seen on the tables, the skill adds very little damage, and is chiefly a utility skill. since the timing of these attacks are essentially at best 1.5 seconds (under CoH, averaging to maybe .75) by the time you see a 1 second spell it is too late to try to interrupt it unless your pet happened to just be winding up. This skill is only thus useful as a chance interrupt vs. fast spells or to purposely take out 2+ second spells. The increase to a 10 second recharge in the March 2, 2006 update is a nice boost, but hardly enough to shift it from it's rather low-priority position in the beast skill line.
DPS (12BM) = ~1.7
Attack burden: 1/5; 1/7 under CoH
Energy burden = 1.5 pips
Rating = **000


Brutal Strike
Description: If this pet attack hits, it deals +5/+29/+37 damage. If it strikes an enemy whose health is below 50%, that enemy takes an additional +5/+29/+37 damage.
Visual: Sparkles on the ground that form a triangle with the point forward over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 10.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 5 seconds.
Analysis: This skill is a damage skill, designed to finish an opponent As is noted, it is incredibly energy intensive, demanding 5 pips of energy without expertise, and 2 pips (40%) even with 14 expertise. The March 2, 2006 update significantly boosted the damage of this skill, it now adds a considerable amount of damage, and is the best damage spiker in the line once a player is down on his luck. It is still quite expensive, at 2 pips of energy with 14 expertise, but the 11.6 DPS it can add are substantial.
DPS (12BM) = 5.8 (11.6)
Attack burden: 1/3; 1/4 under CoH
Energy burden = 6 pips
Rating = ****0


Feral Lunge
Description: If this pet attack hits, it deals +5/+29/+37 damage. If the attack strikes an enemy who is attacking, that enemy suffers from Bleeding for 3/21/26 seconds.
Visual: An upward spiral of green mist that starts out wide and tightens in as it rises.
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 10 seconds.
Analysis: Really a damage skill, but also a source of conditions; Feral Lunge is a workhorse skill of the Beastmastery line - the 2.9 DPS is pretty insignificant, but bleeding is an additional 6 DPS, and thus it is actually ranking highly at 8.9 DPS, provided it isn't overlapping bleeding from other sources. It has a comparatively low energy burden, and plenty of time in between lunges to work in other attacks, as it only uses 1/5 (or 1/7) of the pet's attacks. Because of the prevalence of the bleeding condition however I will only rank it a 3.
DPS (12BM) = ~2.9 (8.9)
Attack burden: 1/5; 1/7 under CoH
Energy burden = 1.5 pips
Rating = ***00


Predator's Pounce
Description: If this pet attack hit, it deals +5/+29/+37 damage and your pet gains 5/41/53 health.
Visual: Sparkles on the ground that form a pentagon over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 5 seconds.
Analysis: The skill adjustments of March 2, 2006 didn't hurt this skill really - it is no longer one of the top damage dealers in the line, but maintains it's effiiency and general usefulness. With a the same base damage output as the high powered Melandru's Assault and Brutal Strike, but instead of a conditional damage bonus a guaranteed heal for the pet, and at half the cost of the higher damage skills it delivers a good solid DPS boost, at the same efficiency rate as the higher damage attacks, with a nice non-conditional pet heal in the deal as well. As a generally useful skill it should easily find it's way onto the skillbar, and with the drop in the (relative) power of Disrupting Lunge I am boosting the rating of Predator's Pounce.
DPS (12BM) = 5.8
Healing (HPS) = 6.83
Attack burden: 1/3; 1/4 under CoH
Energy burden = 3 pips
Rating = *****


Factions Attacks

Bestial Mauling
Description: Your animal companion attempts a Bestial Mauling that deals +5...17...21 damage. If the attack strikes a knocked-down foe, that foe is Dazed for 5...17...21 seconds.
Visual: N/A
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 20 seconds.
Analysis: A pet attack causing dazed, without needing to interrupt a skill, and at a cost of only 5 energy; not a bad deal. It however has several limitations; a 20 second recharge and low damage bonus makes it only a utility skill, and poor synergies with other ranger skills make the use of a secondary profession knockdown a virtual necessity (since Besital Pounce and Savage Pounce need to interrupt a spell to knock down, and Pounce requires a moving target). The ease with which a ranger can cover with conditions is handy, and I can see this skill being useful in the right build, perhaps coupled with a skill like Gale.
DPS (12BM) = 0.85
Attack burden: 1/10; 1/14 under CoH
Energy burden = 0.75 pips
Rating = TBD


Enraged Lunge {Elite}
Description: Your animal companion attempts an Enraged Lunge that deals +3...19...24 damage (maximum bonus 80) for each recharging Beast Mastery skill.
Visual: N/A
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 5 seconds.
Analysis: This skill never leaves my bar if I am shooting for a damage oriented pet build; it requires a certain investment into pet skills to be effective, but when used it is scarily effective. The skill of choice to deal damage.
DPS (12BM) = Varies with number of recharging pet skills, peaks at 16 DPS
Attack burden: 1/3; 1/4 under CoH
Energy burden = 3 pips
Rating = *****


Poisonous Bite
Description: Your animal companion attempts a Poisonous Bite that Poisons target foe for 5...17...21 seconds.
Visual: N/A
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 7 seconds.
Analysis: I like this skill, it's a decent source of degeneration, and covers conditions nicely; it can be re-applied cheaply and often, but also can be light on energy use as it has a long duration. It however has no damage boost for the attack itself, so once the target is poisoned there is no need to use it again until the condition needs re-application.
DPS (12BM) = 0 (8)
Attack burden: 1/4; 1/6 under CoH
Energy burden = 2.14 pips
Rating = ***00


Pounce
Description: Your animal companion's next attack is a Pounce that deals +5...17...21 damage. If the attack strikes a moving foe, that foe is knocked down.
Visual: N/A
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 20 seconds.
Analysis: A pet knockdown that doesn't need to interrupt an attack - it does however suffer from all the limitations that Maiming strike suffers from, including the tendency to hit the foe when they have stopped to attack or cast a spell rather than when they are actually moving. The synergy with Bestial Mauling is not great, as you also need to have Call of Haste running just to get the pet attacks to be fast enough to actually catch the victim while he/she is still knocked down - and the delay in pet attacks can make it difficult to get the knockdown in the first place. I can't think of often that the knock down would be more valuable than the cripple, but I suppose that some might find this useful, even though it is not much good for DPS.
DPS (12BM) = 0.85
Attack burden: 1/10; 1/14 under CoH
Energy burden = 0.75 pips
Rating = **000


Savage Pounce
Description: Your animal companion attempts a Savage Pounce that deals +5/+17/+21 damage. If the attack strikes a foe who is casting a spell, that foe is knocked down.
Visual: N/A
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 10 seconds.
Analysis: This is a duplicate skill of Bestial Pounce; the skill adds very little damage, and is chiefly a utility skill. Since the timing of these attacks are essentially at best 1.5 seconds (under CoH, averaging to maybe .75) by the time you see a 1 second spell it is too late to try to interrupt it unless your pet happened to just be winding up. This skill is only thus useful as a chance interrupt vs. fast spells or to purposely take out 2+ second spells.
DPS (12BM) = ~1.7
Attack burden: 1/5; 1/7 under CoH
Energy burden = 1.5 pips
Rating = **000

Summary tables of skill effectiveness



Pet Skills:

The list of pet skills got a bit of a boost with the introduction of a few nice pet skills in Factions; it now includes two ways to self heal as wellas a speed buff, making for a flexibility that wasn't present before. The elite skill Heal as One can provide a decent amount of healing (granted, at the cost of your elite slot) for both the ranger and his pet, making for a more self sufficiennt build, or saving attribute points as it is no longer necessary to plan other heals.

Core Skills

Call of Haste
Description: For the next 30 seconds, your animal companions have 25% faster attack speed and move 33% faster than normal.
Visual: Sparkles on the ground that form a hexagon over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 10.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 25 seconds.
Analysis: This skill is one of the best for upping pet damage - it boosts the base damage by 33%, as well as making the pet much more capable of dealing with enemies who try to flee.
Energy Burden: 1 pip
Rating: = ***** for an attacking build


Comfort Animal
Description: Heal your animal companion for 20/87/110 points. If your animal companion is dead, it is resurrected at 10%/48%/61% health and all your skills are disabled for 8 seconds.
Visual: Yellow-green bubbles.
Energy Cost: 10.
Casting Time: 1 second.
Recharge Time: 1 second.
Analysis: This skill is almost impossible to rate. The healing on it isn't great, but then again it's the only heal in the attribute. The revive is horribly inconvenient, as it shuts down your skills, but has a great range on it. It is one of 2 ways to bring a pet back, and so is vital in PvE pretty much; in PvP it may not matter depending on the format.
Rating: N/A


Prophecies Skills

Call of Protection
Description: For the next 120 seconds, your animal companions have 1/11/15 base damage reduction.
Visual: Sparkles on the ground that form a triangle over a pale disk.
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 115 seconds.
Analysis: This skill can greatly reduce damage to your pet. If using your pet as a tank in PVE this is a great skill.
Energy burden: 0.13 pips
Rating = ***** for a tanking build.


Otyugh's Cry
Description: All animals within 100 feet become hostile to your target and gain +20 armor for 30 seconds. Otyugh's Cry cannot turn charmed animals against their masters or their master's allies. This skill has a 50% chance to fail with Beast Mastery 4 or less.
Visual: A yellow and green burst.
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 30 seconds.
Analysis: This skill is widely referred to as the worst skill in the game, and for it's listed ability it is roughly that bad. There are no random animals in PvP, making it useless in that venue, and in PvE the most you might have around is ~3, and generally of such low levels that they don't much matter; three level 5 bears attacking the level 24 Avicara band are dead in seconds, so unless you really need corpses and don't like shooting animals it is not worth using for this power. The 20 AL boost seems to affect pets however, making this a "Watch Yourself" cry for pets. It is thus a useful spell, particularly with many pets around, as it helps each of them and thus becomes quite cost effective.
Energy burden: 0.5 pips
Rating: ***00


Revive Animal
Description: Resurrect all nearby allied animal companions. They each come back to life with 50/410/530 health.
Visual: No visual effect.
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: 6 seconds.
Recharge Time: 20 seconds.
Analysis: The only way for anyone but the pet's owner to revive a pet, and it comes back at high health. It has a short range however, which involves being quite close to the downed pet, which reduces it's utility. In certain builds this skill may be wonderful, but outside of saving a slot or so in PvE for a fellow ranger I don't see this skill as very useful.
Rating: **000


Symbiotic Bond
Description: For the next 120/264/312 seconds, your animal companion gains +1/+3/+3? health regeneration, and half of any physical damage dealt to your animal companion is redirected to you.
Visual: An 8 pointed star with a hole in the middle of it around the player's waist.
Energy Cost: 10.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 55 seconds.
Analysis: This skill was thankfully changed to be a shout rather than a stance - improving it enormously! Now you can actually run a stance as a ranger (or from your secondary) and the bond to your pet can't be disrupted by a wild blow or the like. This only helps vs physical damage according to the description, and I haven't tested it myself. The skill has been given good reviews by rangers using their pet as a tank; in conjunction with the Call of Protection it makes the pets quite durable. The boost to +3 pips of regeneration is generous, I think that this skill could be quite useful for a ranger now. A tip: Balthazar's Spirit will trigger off this damage, as well as off Life Bond damage, so you can in fact get 2 energy per hit your pet suffers while protecting him from 75% of incoming damage.
Energy burden: 0.11 pips
Rating: ***00


Factions Skills

Heal as One {Elite}
Description: If you or your animal companion are below 75% Health, you both gain 25/121/153 Health.
Visual: N/A
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: 1.
Recharge Time: 12 seconds.
Analysis: I'm not that impressed by this skill, though it does allow for some decent healing at high levels of Beastmastery, and can provide a measure of independent play. At maximum effectiveness, used every 13 second it can potentially provide the equivalent of 11.8 or so health per second each; more than a mending but not an overwhelming amount of healing - though it does so without the need to invest in another attribute. To compare, a Troll Unguent is also on a 13 second cycle, and at 10 Wildreness survival provides 160 health per 13 seconds, or 12.3 health per second for the ranger - so by no means is this a major heal, though it does provide health for both the ranger and his pet. As such it has a nice synergy with Symbiotic Bond, which transfers half the damage dealt to the pet to the ranger; provided the ranger staysout oof combat then this heal can be about doubly efficient, since both the pet heal and the ranger heal are addressing an even split of damage. While the health per energy is good, I feel that the skill just doesn't quite rate as high as Enraged Lunge or Ferocious Strike, though I can see how it would be handy in a build using a pet without good self-heals. Throw in the ability to resurrect the pet and I'm sold on it, but since I need to take comfort animal along as well I'm just not blown away.
Energy burden: 1.25 pips
Rating: ***00

Predatory Bond
Description: For 5/17/21 seconds, attacks by your animal companion heal you for 1/25/33 Health.
Visual: N/A
Energy Cost: 10.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 30 seconds.
Analysis: This skill is another self-heal for the beastmaster, but doesn't affect his pet. It allows the equivalent of a powerful Live Vicariously through the pet, getting as much as 33 health back per attack; with a pet using Call of Haste to boost the attack rate this can be as much as 20.6 health per second while it is active, or roughly 14.4 health per second over time. This is thus as effective overall as a strong Troll Unguent, or as the elite skill Heal as One in terms of keeping health up (provided Call of Haste is used, and the pet is actually hitting), and is a very handy skill. It can be used to help oppose health loss from Symbiotic Bond if desired, or as a continual health gain to oppose other damage sources. Given that most beastmasters have Comfort animal for their pets this provides a constant flow of health for the beast master without using his elite slot - I think it is a better skill overall than Heal as One, given its non-elite status.
Energy burden: 1 pip
Rating: ****0

Run as One
Description: For 5...13...16 seconds, you and your pet run 25% faster.
Visual: N/A
Energy Cost: 5.
Casting Time: Instant.
Recharge Time: 30 seconds.
Analysis: The last of the new Faction skills, this is a speed buff for both the ranger and his pet. Given that pets already have 20% faster movement than players it is not nearly as needed for the sole purpose of pet speed boosts, and besides, for that role there is always Call of Haste which provides an attack bonus as well. It can serve as a speed boost for the beastmaster, though primary rangers have the option of taking Dodge for example, since they'll likely have an investment in Expertise. It does allow attacks while speed buffed though, and I could see this being of use to pet-based touch rangers, bunny thumpers or pet-assassin builds, as they all want both the pet and the player to have access to the target. For most pet builds it wouldn't be a top priority, but I can see it as being useful for some.
Energy burden: 0.5 pips
Rating: ***00


Summary: You can spend a lot of energy on a pet, or hardly any at all. The cheapest use for a pet is plainly as a tank - after all, 5 energy for 120 seconds of protection is pretty good, and symbiotic bond on top of that makes for one tough critter. Provided you manage aggro properly you can actually successfully use a pet in this way, and they can be very resilient. This is probably the most economical way to get use out of a pet. On the attack the pet can drain a lot of energy very quickly, even with expertise maxed out; you could conceivably be spending 2.4 pips on a single skill, for a pretty small gain in DPS; they aren't the most efficient critters on the planet as a damage source. If you use pet attacks, try to use the most efficient ones for the job. The Disrupting Lunge is a personal favorite, as it has pretty good odds of catching a few spells over a minute, really hampering any caster you sick your pet on. With Factions the damage capability of pets has been increased, as has the self sufficiency with the ways to self-heal using beastmastery skills - as well as adding some flexibility with new skills like a speed buff, the ability to knock down fleeing opponents and two new condition causing skills.

Last edited by Epinephrine; Jul 17, 2006 at 11:31 AM // 11:31..
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:03 PM // 22:03   #5
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Use of the pet.

Pets are a bit stupid - while I like them, I find that they really don't listen very well; they have horrible AI and lack any method of control. So, much like playing with a henchman, you have to know the rules of the pet AI to be able to use (or, place yourself around) him properly. I have a long list of changes I would recommend that ANet make to pet AI and pet controls.

Pets will respond to a call to attack, much like a henchman does; they will chase the target quite well; unlike a henchman however, they are pretty single-minded - once on the attack the pet doesn't break off easily. They also do not respond to target calls once engaged, unlike the henchmen. They have a nasty habit of standing around sometimes (if they down a foe for example), and you need to call or attack a player to get their attention back, they don't auto-target seek very well – in addition, they will simply stop attacking after a while if you aren't, making them difficult for a monk to use for example. While it might seem ideal to smite off a pet-tank, you must wand the enemies from time to time if you want your pet to continue attacking, and not run back to pace beside you whuffling or howling. The difficulty in getting a pet to switch targets makes some skills less useful - it's hard to spread bleeding for example, if the pet won't switch off the target for 6 seconds.

Controlling Pet Aggro

Most people will be aware that attacking a target will cause your pet to attack it as well. A less commonly known thing, however, is that any attack directed onto you or your pet will initiate attacks from your pet so long as the attacker is nearby. Otyugh's Cry will not initiate attacks from your pet. Although pets don't often switch targets, when they do, the order of target priority appears to be as follows:

1) the master's attacked target
2) target currently attacking the pet
3) target currently attacking the master
4) weakest enemy group (when multiple groups engaged)
5) weakest enemy monster
6) nearest foe

From time to time, pets appear to disregard this order of priority, and it may be that there is an element of randomization involved when the pet is allowed to choose its own targets. Nonetheless, this general order gives a good idea of how to expect your pet to behave.

Pets also like to cut their masters off, or to get cut off. Unfortunately, the pathing for them seems really lousy, and instead of moving around the player they will often stand behind you until you strafe, and when attacking will position themselves right in front of you, forcing you to go around your pet to get to the target.

Anyone who has ever used a pet will have been infuriated at some point by the pet blocking you in, or blocking you away from your target; this is however a two way street - pets can block in enemies as well, and since once on an enemy they tend to simply attack from their position, it isn't hard to pin a player using pets. As is often the case, positioning is very important in GW, and a pair of warriors with a single pet can quite easily triangle-pin a player. Since your pet takes the easiest route to a target the warriors (or simply offensive players, a ranger can do this as easily) need to overtake the target, letting the pet hold the closest position and taking up spots opposite the pet, 120 degrees apart to form the triangle. This is a good thing to practice in the Team Arenas; using a pet with a cripple you allow the pet to attack and loop around the victim to pin him in place - the pet will close the box and you can now finish your target off without risk of flight.

Packs of pets can also serve to slow warriors down nicely, preventing them getting to your casters; they don't have the sense to stay in a wall formation, but the sheer press of bodies can make travel difficult for many.

Skills and pets.

Obviously enough, healing the pet is helpful, as is killing the pet's attackers or blinding them, but I would like to focus on the skills that are worth using with a pet in the party, that are somehow boosted by the presence of the pet or have a new use as a result of the pet's presence. One of the first things to note is that a pet is not a party member but an ally. As a result, many spells that would at first seem to help the pet don't: Some of these are:

• Divine Healing
• Heal Party
• Aegis
• Martyr
• "Watch Yourself"
• Dark Fury
• Order of Pain
• Order of the Vampire

As all of these provide boosts at a party level they are of no benefit to a pet.

So Ranger skills that are of a benefit to a pet/pet-using team are:
Otyugh's Cry - Otyugh's Cry is obvious, an AL boost for all pets - this tend to help your team out as you will typically (using a pet build) have more pets than your opponent.
Predatory Season - Predatory Season (which I have yet to see played) will provide healing for any creature making attacks, and reduce healing on everyone; Since typically caster based teams do less attacking than melee/pet teams, the melee team derives an advantage by attacking, offsetting to some extent the need for heals. A pet-based team thus nets more health from the ritual than a non-pet-based team does.
Winnowing - Winnowing's advantage is based on numbers - with pets you will most likely have more attackers dealing physical damage, so Winnowing becomes a benefit overall to your party; lots of warriors/rangers dealing physical damage amplifies this effect.
Quickening Zephyr - Ok, an odd one to choose, but I think a valid one. Pets can provide damage without any energy expenditure, and QZ is a restricted energy environment; the less you can spend per point of damage the better, and pets certainly fall in the efficient category, if you aren't spamming Brutal Strike. In addition, the elite skill for a pet is an energy regain tool, and because you can still hit a cost of 3 energy per attack you can deliver the attack every 4 seconds (rather than 8) and up your energy regeneration by a substantial margin; enough to easily balance the QZ if played properly.

Elementalists, as they deal primarily with damage effects and defensive measures, do not have skills that benefit pets in any particular way; It may be worth noting that wards do help pet defenses, but I would hardly consider that a huge advantage.

Monks as well, while able to smite off a pet and use it as a platform for Balthazar's Aura for example, have little synergy with the pet, as their powers tend to be fairly straightforward.

Warrior skills that synergise with pets include
I Will Avenge You - As this skill is based on the deaths of allies, with a larger pool of allies able to die it gains some advantage - many IWAY teams bring pets along as free extra damage, and as sources for a bonus from IWAY.
"Charge" - Since this affects all nearby allies it can speed the pets attacks and improve their mobility.
"Shields Up" - As with Charge, this shout also aids all nearby allies.

Mesmer skills that synergise with pets
Blackout - Since this skill removes access to your skillbar, and your target's access to their skill bar it comes down to who is more effective without skills; long lasting buffs are one way to boost your effectiveness during this time, and warriors for example have more damage dealing ability without access to their skills than a caster would typically; since pets are a source of damage that requires no skill use to deal some damage they can be a helpful addition to a blackout build, adding to the damage the player can deal while skill-less. In addition, some blackout builds use echo and a high level of domination to attain a 6 second blackout, while being able to cast blackout every 5 seconds - in such a build the pet skills can be useable; the 1 second casting time of the blackout is a perfect time to trigger a pet attack and/or refresh a pet call; since these are instant casts and do not interfere in the blackout they add a bit more damage to the build.
Active interruptions - Along the same principle as above, babysitting a player with interrupts requires that you be ready to cast at anytime, and minimizes damage output during this time; a pet is a way of being able to continue to deal damage at a reasonable rate while babysitting the target; since you can still activate pet attacks you could quite conceivably deal 15-20 DPS with your pet, in addition to the 12 DPS or so from your wand.

Necromancers have several skills which work well with pets, despite the Order of Pain and Order of the Vampire not acting as damage boosts.

Corpse exploitation - as the Necromancer uses corpses for many spells, the potential supply of them from pets can be helpful.
Soul Reaping - While not a skill, the pets deaths also trigger soul reaping bonuses.
Death Nova - Pets provide again, additional chances to have deaths, and thus to have effects triggered upon death.
Barbs - Possibly the best of the damage boosting skills with pets around, this curse triggers with each physical damage attack that hits the target, dealing damage that ignores armour to the subject. With a good level of curses and several physical attackers it can deal an impressive amount of discomfort to a single target.
Mark of Pain - Another very effective spell in some situations, Mark of Pain splashes shadow damage to those around the target, again triggered on physical damage. With pets adding to the attacks on the target this can be a great damage source in any tightly packed area.
Rigor Mortis - While this simply prevents attacks from missing, the increase in number of attacks by the party counts as the same sort of synergism that winnowing offers; by ensuring that the attacks are hitting you amplify attack damage, which is high on your team.
Weaken Armor - Since all pets deal physical damage, boosting pet damage output by 41.42% seems like a good bargain. On low armour opponents this boost is larger than Barbs, on warriors Barbs is the better option.

Anti-pet skills

Any group worth their salt will have some ways to cut down on pet effectiveness. Pets are remarkably obtuse, and will continue to attack even when hexed with spells that hurt them on attacks. Obviously damage spells are useful, and anti-melee spells in general, but some anti-pet tactics to note are:

Spiteful Spirit, Empathy, Insidious Parasite - pets will continue to attack with any of these on. Particularly annoying is spiteful spirit on a pet, as the one pet can be killing all others and your warriors oblivious to the situation.
Greater Conflagration - Since many of the pet damage boosting effects are based on dealing physical damage, eliminating physical damage defuses these skills.
Healing Seed - While a staple in many monk's books of prayers, the fairly low damage that pets deal per attack (without skill use) is easily countered by a healing seed - moreover, if they are trying to exploit a Mark of Pain the Healing Seed at least attenuates that damage.
Channeling - With the number of opponents around a pet-focused caster there is no better energy source than channeling, which can easily allow 5 cost spells free.
Tainted Flesh - other disease spells are good too - with Martyr unable to pull conditions from allies, only party members, the pets continue to suffer and pass the damage to others, making disease a good way to eliminate pets.
Epidemic - For the same reason as above, spreading degenerative conditions on pets is a good way to kill them off; there is no easy way to remove conditions from numbers of pets at once.
Edge of Extinction - Pets are not human, so this effect can be used to eliminate the pets with no damage to the human members, provided you can afford the risk of having players dieing. Interestingly, a wolf=a bear=a moa bird as far as Edge of Extinction is concerned, they are all the same species, "animal".

Builds

Obviously there are many pet-based builds out there, and they have varying degrees of usefulness in the various settings of PvE and PvP. Basic tanking pets in PvE are simple to set up, so I won't bother detailing those here. A pet build can be for a single player, as a damage extension and source of conditions/shutdown, as part of a subteam, like the 2 warrior/pet setup for pinning a target, or a whole-team mentality, with everyone using what skills they can to benefit the build. Some example builds (these were Random Arena and Team Arena builds) show how one can use a pet to deliver damage and a condition (like cripple) in order to boost the effectiveness of some odd rangers; in both cases the ranger is working up close, and the pet carries his cripple.

Blackout Ranger/Mesmer
This build is meant to provide shutdown on a character through Blackout while providing damage from the ranger/pet. While Warriors also have good damage without skills they suffer from an energy shortage; Mesmers can take warrior secondary to try to run like this, but the 5 pips of energy required to maintain a blackout is pretty tough for them. A ranger was chosen to take advantage of the efficient (energy-wise) pet damage and the reduction in the cost of Blackout due to Expertise. I won't say that these are in anyway "perfect" but they give an idea of how to work a pet into a build.

Ranger/Mesmer
Domination 11
Illusion 10
Expertise 7+2
Beastmastery 7+3

Charm Animal
Maiming Strike
Blackout
Illusionary Weaponry
Lightning Reflexes
Wastrel's Worry
Throw Dirt
Resurrection Signet


Vampiric Touch Ranger/Necromancer
Again, using the Ranger Expertise for reduction of a secondary class skill, this build seeks to take advantage of the fast recharge time of the Vampiric Touch skill, while generating energy to fuel it from the pet's Ferocious Strike. The 13 expertise lowers the cost per Vampiric Touch to a manageable 7 energy, while the pet at 12 Beastmastery generates 7 energy every 8 seconds or so, paying for a good part of the Vampiric Touch costs. It operates at an energy deficit and has very poor damage once the ranger is out of energy, but in TA or RA it can do a lot of damage pretty quickly to a target, through armour, while maintaining health through the steals.

Ranger/Necromancer
Expertise: 10+4
Beast Mastery: 10+2
Blood: 11

Vampiric Touch
Throw Dirt
Touch of Agony
Charm Animal
Call of Haste
Maiming Strike
Ferocious Strike
Resurrection Signet
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:03 PM // 22:03   #6
Epinephrine
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Footnotes
(1) Pet health was tested in 2 ways – the principal method was timing the death of the pet when standing in poisoned water. This required stopping and restarting the stopwatch for higher level pets, but the results were normalized by testing our own health (a known amount) using the same method, which corrected the data (it was reading off expected values by roughly 4-5 health, but the same bias showed up when timing our own deaths). To confirm the results, the pets were retested by raising them in the poison and timing the period to death with beastmastery 0 and beastmastery 3, using Comfort Animal to raise them to 10% and 20% of their health respectively. While this broadens the timing error by making health disappear much more quickly it eliminated the periods without poison, and hence provided a second measure of pet health, which fortunately coincided with the first.

(2) Pet damage testing was done versus Jade Scarabs in the end (though it was originally being done vs. skeletons for damage type testing reasons – the conversion of damage from AL56 to AL60 was however causing some concern about rounding errors). Testing with spells and with wild blow confirmed that they have an AL of 60; in addition, they are level 20, so the critical hit rates should be normalized for against foes in PvP. The testing was done at 12 Beastmastery, in order to find the pet’s true base damage. You may have noticed that damage ranges were listed that are quite broad – if pets get critical hits they seem to vary in damage – the damage range was thus taken as a whole, and the average damage includes any critical hits that the pet generates. Damage distributions are available for each evolution at each level, to show the pattern of the data. Over 10,000 hits were recorded vs. these enemies to derive these values, so the errors are quite small. The fact that all pets (regardless of type) deal the same amount of damage was confirmed with simple t-tests of differences of means; no pairing failed to reject the null hypothesis that they come from the same distribution. Yes, I know that I could have done an ANOVA if I wanted, but I was analysing as the data came in, and I didn't really feel like doing more.

(3) The AL of pets was more difficult to confirm, but ended up being easy. First we needed to ensure that the pets have a “flat” AL, that is, the same AL vs. all types of damage. To be fair, we only confirmed that physical, fire and cold were the same, using damage from wild blow (a constant), greater conflagration and winter. Damage to the pet can be observed easily through symbiotic bond, so one simply needs to find an enemy that deals known parcels of damage. Once that was confirmed the solo Hydra outside Augury Rock was used, as it will always open with a known amount of damage from a fireball/meteor. Having tested the damage on an AL60 character, we could then quite easily calculate the pet AL at each level.

(4) To test the damage types of the pets we needed to find creatures that responded differently to the various damage types. The Skeleton Rangers outside Bergen Hot Springs were brought to my attention by Daegul Mistweaver, as he had noted that they were vulnerable to blunt damage and resistant to piercing damage. These resistances were confirmed and data was recorded vs. these foes. The skeletons (after some testing) were shown to have an AL of 56, +20 vs. piercing, -20 vs. blunt. All animals tested showed the same damage (t-tests failed to reject differences of means between them) excepting the Dune Lizard and the Black Widow, both of which scored ~30% lower damage. This suggested that either all animals do blunt with the Spider and Lizard dealing slashing, or that all animals dealt slashing excepting the Spider and Lizard, which deal piercing. The exact types were confirmed via use of Greater Conflagration; this did not change the damage dealt by most animals, but increased the damage from the Spider and Dune Lizard to the same range as the other animals. Each pet was at level 20 with 12 Beastmastery; a total of ~2300 attacks were recorded against the skeletons, providing a very clear picture of the damage ranges and distributions should anyone wish them.

(5) The speed results are from two tests, the first was timing 100 strikes - if you allow for a miscount of up to 1 strike in either direction you get an estimate of the error. The error on this testing resulted in a range of ~2.12-2.17 for each pet type (excepting the bear, which was 2.60-2.62); the other test was a count of strikes over 5 minutes, resulting in 141 strikes mostly, but once or twice on a species I'd get 140. 300seconds/141strikes = 2.13; 300seconds/140 strikes=2.14, it has a smaller error due to the longer period, say 2.12-2.15 or so, adding a strike in either direction. That's pretty much the same range. Estimating experimental error and measurement error isn't easy. I suspect we're talking a miscount of +/- 1 though. The bear counted 115 attacks over 300 seconds, so 2.59-2.63 seems like a very safe estimate of its attack speed. Animals were tested at level 5 and level 20, to ensure speed stayed the same. The sole creature that varied was the Moa/Strider, which begins at level 3 with an attack period of ~1.6 seconds, but drops from there, reaching 2.14 seconds by level 17.

(6) See note (1) for details, the testing was reproduced for Hearty and Dire evolution pets.

(7) See note (2) for details, the testing was reproduced for Hearty and Dire evolution pets.

(8) Confidence interval for the ratio of damages is calculated using the standard error of the quotient Q=A/B, where A and B are the mean damages. The standard error of Q is
SEq=Q(SEa^2/A^2+SEa^2/B^2)^0.5

Damage tables









Distribution of damage by level (links)
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6
Level 7
Level 8
Level 9
Level 10
Level 11
Level 12
Level 13
Level 14
Elder level 15
Elder level 16
Elder level 17
Elder level 18
Elder level 19
Elder level 20
Playful level 11
Playful level 12
Playful level 13
Playful level 14
Hearty level 15
Hearty level 16
Hearty level 17
Hearty level 18
Hearty level 19
Hearty level 20
Aggressive level 11
Aggressive level 12
Aggressive level 13
Aggressive level 14
Dire level 15
Dire level 16
Dire level 17
Dire level 18
Dire level 19
Dire level 20

Last edited by Epinephrine; Dec 07, 2005 at 05:54 AM // 05:54..
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:05 PM // 22:05   #7
Epinephrine
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Due to the length I had to break it up into a few replies; hopefully it is not a problem.
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:21 PM // 22:21   #8
chris_nin00
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Amazing...
I never thought beast master required charts and such

I just bring out my warthog and unleash the madness!

Outstanding job... Thumbs up!
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:23 PM // 22:23   #9
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so warthogs really dont deal blunt? man....got mine for nothing
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 10:40 PM // 22:40   #10
Makkert
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There you have it folks. The time invested by Epinephrine and Jenosavel is quite large, be sure to thank them for their hard work.
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 11:08 PM // 23:08   #11
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Thanks very much, Jenosavel and Epinephrine. This is excellent work. Time for me to study ...
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 11:08 PM // 23:08   #12
unienaule
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That's awesome. How long did that take?
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Old Dec 06, 2005, 11:17 PM // 23:17   #13
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We've been testing things for over a month now. Not sure exactly how long, but it has to have been at least before Nov. 10th, since that's when my oldest surviving message regarding this stuff is dated. Maybe Epinephrine remembers better just how long we've been tinkering away.
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Old Dec 07, 2005, 12:23 AM // 00:23   #14
mr_boo
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I just want to also formally thank Epi and Jeno for taking the time to create this guide. Personally, I've never really cared for Beast Mastery in the form of Pets, but after reading this guide, and it's pre-cursors threads, I've definitely come around and found new respect for those critters. Thanks again, you two!
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Old Dec 07, 2005, 01:26 AM // 01:26   #15
Valerius
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awesome guide guys

this puts my guide to shame :P
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Old Dec 07, 2005, 01:37 AM // 01:37   #16
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Nonsense Valerius - you've done a great job keeping the guide running all this time. There were so many unanswered questions though floating around in the various threads though, so a rigorous approach was needed to figure out exact numbers for stuff.
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Old Dec 07, 2005, 04:04 AM // 04:04   #17
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I have been thinking about the bear findings all evening (go figure ...). It seems to me that the lower attack speed of the bear might be a payoff for the larger size of the animal. As such, the only reasonable evolution for a bear seems to be the hearty one.
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Old Dec 07, 2005, 04:09 AM // 04:09   #18
Epinephrine
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It's really unfortunate that the bear is the least effective attacker - I couldn't figure any way to accurately gauge ability to "body block", so it might have an edge there, but even in AL it is exactly the same - just lower damage over time due to slower attack speed. Gaile is reputed to be a pet lover, perhaps she'll end up reading this and inspire them to balance it a bit.
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Old Dec 07, 2005, 05:23 AM // 05:23   #19
Racthoh
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Join Date: May 2005
Guild: Scars Meadows [SMS], Guild Leader (Not Recruiting)
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Wow... have to tell my guildies interested in making a pet this guide. Very indepth, nice work.
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Old Dec 07, 2005, 05:59 AM // 05:59   #20
MoldyRiceFrenzy
Wilds Pathfinder
 
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Guild: Confusion in The Ranks[tArD]
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wow u spent alot of time on this
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