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Hunter and Pet Skills
During game play, hunters are in the position to shoot at long range, and can set traps which cause the enemy to burn, freeze or be poisoned by snakes. Hunters can build their melee range skills or close range skills, by training in weapons such as fists or swords. With their trusted pets, hunters can send the pets to battle first, and then shoot long range poisoned or arcane arrows at humanoids when the monster’s health begins to drop. The hunter is given the skill of training and taming beasts at level 10, and the pet levels along with them throughout the game. Hunters also are given the chance to name their pet once they tame them.
As of one of a recent patch, pets gain skills without the hunter taming a beast to learn the skills. This cuts time and steps by a lot. All pets have passive skills, but different classes of beasts acquire skills like claw and dive. The different traits of beasts can make game play interesting. Most hunters have an array of pets to accompany them. One of the roles of hunters involves the ability to do solo quests that other classes need assistance with. This is because hunters are accompanied by their pets. Though pets cannot do what another player can, pets create a lot of damage.
The screenshot is a level 65 boar, tamed at level 10.
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Hunters in Groups
Every race except gnomes, humans, and undead can be hunters. The class of characters has their passive skills, as do the beasts that accompany them. With skills, hunters can and do solo quests successfully. The addition of pets means that hunters can be quite deadly towards enemies.
A group counts on hunters to pull in dungeons, shoot long range, and have pets assist them. Sometimes it is better for a hunter to dismiss their pets while in groups due to extra monsters that the pet may accidentally wander into. In this case, hunters still send arrows, but know to stand back enough to not be hit with large attacks. After level 40, hunters can feign death, which is faking death, and can use this tool to survive when the rest of their group does not. When the hunter selects feign death, enemies often think he is really dead and leave.
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Hunters can specialize in three talent trees: Beast Mastery, Survival and Marksmanship. As of 10/14/08, if hunters specialize in Beast Mastery, they earn the right to tame exotic pets from Wrath of the Lich King and Shadowmoon Valley. On a humorous note, hunters can tame the large rhinos in Borean Tundra. These are very large, and take up entire room at the inns. Hunters can also tame spiders, moths, and common animals like wolves. The role of the hunter is often a fun role due to all the different tamable beasts. Hunters can stable 5 pets, and can easily switch between them for the appropriate battle. Players need to work with different beasts, to find the right match for them.
The corehound is from a quest in Shadowmoon Valley. The corehound is an elite beast, and can be tamed after mastering the Beast Mastery talent tree. The corehound is very challenging to tame, but knows the skill, "Lava breath". He is just one of the exotic pets in the game.