The wolf family includes both wolves and worgs … but for some unfathomable reason not hyenas.
What do wolves bring to the game-table as offerings to encourage us to enslave them into hunter servitude?
They have no negative stat attributes
They have +5% armor
They only eat one thing & that thing is meat (a KISS baby pet!)
Wolves come with Furious Howl
They Have Dash
They Have Bite
They have Growl and Cower, what pet doesn’t
They are very visually appealing and come in some great colours.
The Wolves howl and scratch and sniff.
The wolf Spot can do all this AND bark when you click on him.
And the Worgs… well really the Worgs just stand there. Sometimes, if you sit very still and watch very quietly they will flick a tail or shudder to prove they are still alive. Mostly though that Worg will just stand there.
They move fast, as they are able to learn Dash. Anything with dash & the BM talent ‘intimidation’ is great for cutting other off other players. (To quote a whisper I got once in Eye of the Storm after smacking Reaver into a rogue to stop him beating on a hordie at Mage Tower “I didn’t know wolves could learn charge??” I of course explained that it was just the combination of dash and intimidate … err not piggy-charge. I should have said “yurrrp – my pet r0X0rz j00r b0x0rz baby!” /flex)
I like Bite because it can have nice crits (although gore/claw [link pending] debate needs to be considered.)
He is a balanced pet. He is so balanced you can take him farming while you wait for your BG to pop, and with AV a standard 30-40 minute wait for me nowadays, this is nothing to sneeze at.
Furious howl can add damage to the whole party, if they are within range.
The +5% armor can add to his survivability against melee classes
As far as number crunching damage goes, you are going to want a DPS pet … and this wolves are not. Take a BM-Hunter pet that can learn claw or gore, a pet that has the extra focus regen and it is going to out damage the Bite & Furious Howl combo.
Furious howl stopped at “Rank 4 – requires level 56” It really needs an Outlands equivalent to be useful in end game PVP.
Pets don’t get any of your resilience. So your wolf is going to be easier pickings than you in PVP despite the +5 armor if your opponents decide to get rid of the furry sidekick.
PVE– Best pet! He can tank and he is not going to let you down when some @sshat tries to gank you while you are fishing/questing/farming. That Furious Howl he has is meant to make people want to group with you more than… say… that other hunter over there with the bear. This isn’t the case really. I have never had anyone say “Hey! you have a wolf lets group – wolves do awesome things to my damage!” snort… however Furious Howl gives you a little added damage for soloing. (In the old days when pets used to run along side your mount having a wolf was great – he would howl whenever some nasty mob hit me & attract all the bad attention, leaving me free to gallop off into the sunset. Alas it is no longer so.)
PVP Arena– They probably won’t laugh at you as much as they would if you had taken in a Dragonhawk…. Once again the big three arena pets are Scorpion/Ravager/Cat – unless you are incredibly creative and have come up with tactics outside the norm.
PVP BGs – You will still see a few wolves in the battlegrounds, probably because they are such good all-rounders that you don’t have to make a stop by the stables before you accept the ‘Enter Battle’ message.
You can pretty much take a wolf anywhere without being laughed at – even when there are pets that are more specialized for the task. Ahhh wolves, to quote a random forum post guy, “I remember when every self-respecting hunter had one.” I mean you could find wolves that were almost as fast as the fastest cats, and rare wolves that had nasty shadow damage and retained weird resists (all patched away.) The wolf was an all rounder with a group buff that caused a little AoE aggro, he was a nice beastie to have in your pocket.
But these days they are not as popular or effective as the “Big PVP 3” …even I am moving on and taming a cat.
The day will come when I have to put Reaver out to pasture and bring in the Scorpion / Ravager.
EDIT: An amusing (if old – its lvl 60 play) take on something the author calls ‘Wolf Pack’ DPS