BfA Beta: Changes to Animal Companion (Hati replacement), does almost everything your regular pet does

The Animal Companion talent has been in a near-unusable state for the majority of beta, but in today’s build it has received some major updates. It’s not as simple as the current tooltip indicates (a second pet that does Kill Command and nothing else).

Once all the bugs and kinks are worked out, it looks like Animal Companion will turn out to be a true second pet, even more so than Hati was.

Animal Companion does the following:

  • Auto attacks
  • Kill Commands
  • Beast Cleaves
  • Stomps (talent)
  • Benefits from Bestial Wrath
  • Benefits from Frenzy stacks from Barbed Shot
  • Uses Dash
  • Gets healed by Exhilaration
  • Appearance can be changed by swapping the pet in your first stable slot. This means in order to have 2 of the same pet, you will actually need to tame 2 copies of it.

Animal Companion does not do the following:

  • Use basic attacks (claw, bite, smack)
  • Use pet family abilities
  • Benefit from pet specialization passives like increased health or leech
  • Resurrect itself automatically, or benefit from Revive Pet (this has to be a bug!)
  • Benefit from Mend Pet (I think this is a bug)
  • Play Dead when your main pet does (I also think this is a bug)
  • Did I mention it’s buggy right now?
  • Bugs.

So what’s the catch?

When you take this talent, it reduces all of your pet damage by 40%. This applies to your main pet and Animal Companion, but it shouldn’t affect things like A Murder of Crows or Stampede.

So what you’re left with is 2 pets that each do 60% of the damage of a regular pet (or 120% total). Let’s say your pet Kill Commands for 100 damage normally. When you take Animal Companion, you’d get two pets that each Kill Command for 60 damage (120 total).

Wow! So 20% more pet damage, how could any other talent in that row compete with this?! Well, here’s the second catch: That 40% reduced pet damage is also applying to your main pet’s basic attacks. And basic attacks in Battle for Azeroth are kind of a big deal. They do a lot of damage, in both single target and AoE. So that is how Animal Companion gets balanced.

The downside is that the Aspect of the Beast talent (which buffs basic attacks by 30%) is going to lose some of its value when it is combined with Animal Companion. How much value is yet to be determined, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Killer Cobra as a good choice since Animal Companion essentially buffs your Kill Command damage by 20% with its current tuning.

Tuning is far from complete so it’s too early to call winners and losers. I just thought this was an interesting change to the talent and worth getting out there since you can’t see it in any of the current datamining posts.

What do you think?

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28 thoughts on “BfA Beta: Changes to Animal Companion (Hati replacement), does almost everything your regular pet does”

  1. Sounds like we can tame two of the same pets (say, two tigers) and use one to get the appearance for Animal Companion. But can we still run around with two Garas, for example, like we can do in Legion with the gizmo that changes Hati’s appearance? Seems not.

      1. For Gara, you don’t have to go through the whole quest twice. Just click the dagger from the final part to get phased to the void, then there is a Lost Netherwolf you can tame (this is in case someone abandoned their Gara).

  2. Maybe this has changed in today’s new build, but there is something to note in how Kill Command will crit with Animal Companion.

    Since each pet uses kill command separately they each have their own independent chance to crit, meaning if one crits the other won’t necessarily crit. This can result in more crits since more Kill Commands are being “rolled”, at the cost of decreasing your chances to deal the true 100% bonus damage.

    For example let’s say you have a 15% crit chance.
    So then each pet has a 15% crit chance or written in probability terms:
    P(pet1)=chance that main pet crits=15%
    P(pet2)=chance that secondary pet crits=15%

    Now the chance that both pets will crit on one kill command cast is:
    P(pet1 and pet2)= P(pet1)xP(pet2)= .15x.15= .0225 or 2.25%

    That looks bleak but then you have to look at the chance for at least 1 pet to crit:
    P(pet1 or pet2)= P(pet1)+P(pet2)-P(pet1 and pet2)= .15+.15-.0225= .2775 or 27.5%

    Let’s say that without animal companion KC deals 100 damage and it has a 15% chance to crit for 200 damage.

    This would mean that WITH animal companion KC has a 2.75% chance to deal 240 damage and a 27.5% chance to deal 180 damage.

    So in conclusion animal companion gives you a better chance to “get a crit” on Kill Command at only 50% bonus damage instead of the normal 100%.

    If I’m just dead wrong let me face the embarrassment now and be done with it.

  3. Finally! This has been a long way coming since the beginning. From the moment I took that talent it was clear that it was little more than a placeholder form something they hadn’t gotten around to actually implementing.

  4. Looking forward to seeing what the final implementation is, because I do like some of my hunters to have the two pets out.

  5. So the main pet should have a hard time to keep aggro if you take AC, right? Bad news for leveling.

  6. The only problem I see with killer cobra is how exactly will you weave it like you do on live now when you have to maintain 3 stacks of frenzy with little to no haste LOL!

  7. Haven’t had as much time of late to get onto either PTR/Beta to do my normal testing for each new build due to work etc. etc. But luckily got vacation days coming up with this weekend.

    If the goal is like Bendak has written above, to give you essentially an actual second pet doing most of the things your main pet does, and all this results in is 2 different sources of damage instead of 1. Then I can only say: Finally! Maybe I can “remove” or stop checking any threads I’ve created regarding this subject on the forums.

    Been running with Loque’Nahak as a pet for the longest time. Tamed him back in Wotlk and have been using the Essence Swapper to get “two” of him by my side. Just the other day I was lucky enough to come across Loque over in Sholazar once again so it looks like I can continue to have 2 with me(this time 2 real ones)!

    1. Why would you have to get two Logue? If the appearance of the animal companion takes the appearance of the pet in the first slot, then you just put Logue in the first slot. Or if you don’t want to have two of the same pets, then you put you main pet in a second and later slot. He stated that the appearance comes from whatever is in the main slot.

      1. It uses the first stabled pet, not your first active pet. It would be nice if they added a glyph that makes it so it duplicates your main pet.

    2. I’ve also been taming a couple of duplicates in anticipation for this. Have 2 Loques and 2 Arcturis bears. It’s possible they’ll make a glyph or something to do this, but tbh they’re not hard to farm if you know where to look (RP realms).

    1. There’s no addon. You need someone (or one of your own alts via group finder) on a RP realm to invite you to a group while they are in the same zone you want to phase to.

      1. Ps this works AMAZING. Got an extra loque, king krush and Skoll. And I even saw an additional krush and Loque.

  8. Like Bendak said, so far it looks like the only way to get 2 of the same pet by your side when using Animal Companion is to actually have “duplicates” of the same pet. One that you have with you and call out to fight for you, and the other placed in your first stable slot. Thanks for the tip on the RP thing Bendak, will check if I can find someone to help me.
    Would love to have another Arcturis as well.

    Also love wolves, despite the oldschool look/graphics Karoma takes on compared to todays updated textures, I still love it as well. Besides, I prefer that older coyote-inspired look over the maned wolves we got with WoD anyway. If they were to update these older wolf models I’m praying that we still get to keep the old theme just with better high-res model.

    On another note, I’ve had a bit of time now getting onto the Beta again to test the updated AC-talent and idd Blizzard has gone overboard with the things it can now do! Now it doesn’t just auto-attack but kill commands, beast cleaves, stomps as well as benefit from Bestial Wrath, Dire Frenzy stacks!, and more. One step closer to actually becoming a true beastmaster.
    Now, Blizz…give me the option to play with 5 regular pets out at once(each at reduced damage ofc = total damage the same as having 1 main pet). Why would I want this? Well, I dont really care about big numbers, I just want that strong fantasy of what it could mean to be a beastmaster, focusing either on that 1 powerful beast, or being “One with the Pack”.

  9. yeah Im on the fence still on which way to build, will probably wait till I can use SimC on my main. just got into the beta and I feel like the overall DPS is lower than legion and Im definitely having to mend pet a lot more often, hard to say how it will be with my live character though, will see soon enough. I think though that if you take Animal Companion you will want to pair it with stomp since both pets stomp when barbed shot is used. Playing around I’ve noticed a higher focus management need as well

  10. I just wanted to let you know the Hunter guides for 8.0 on wowhead are so much better than the other class guides. You guys put way more work into yours and it shows. The Talents are simmed out and it’s all there very clear. Non of the other classes have as much depth. Once again the Hunter community shines above the rest.

  11. What Brandon Holmes said!

    Thanks a LOT for providing very comprehensive guides for all 3 specs with all the little details about how changes may/will affect your play style. I am used to play Stomp build and looks like I will have to do a LOT of work to get used to watching and maintaining the Frenzy stacks on pet along with the timely usage of CDs.

    Are you planning to add that guide here as well or is it only for wowhead now?

    1. Thank you! But I only did the BM guide 🙂 The same guide won’t be posted here, but I should probably at least get a link up to it, huh?

  12. To bring up something else regarding BM in BfA, I know it can be talked to death but still, it’s always nice to hear other player opinions regarding what people want from Azerite Traits(to what degree they should impact the spec and how you play).

    Some players are strongly against future traits affecting/targeting specific talents within the spec. I’m of the opposite opinion. With the core abilities we do have there are ofc things that can be added through traits to make up for a somewhat diverse gameplay, however I would say our options here are still fairly limited considering how few abilities BM do have baseline.

    To mention a few examples of effects I could stand behind(keep in mind that these are only examples, further suggestions can/should be made, also, these suggestion does target baseline abilities as well as some talents):

    ◾A trait that if chosen, replaces Barrage(talent) with a passive trait which makes Kill Command benefit from Beast Cleave. Or, the trait replaces Barrage with a new ability only usable during Beast Cleave, where your pet(s) perform Kill Command, hitting all enemies within 12 yards and leaving a small bleed on each enemy hit. This ability should do slightly less damage in total compared to Barrage, however it should also have a shorter CD. Focus cost, around 50.

    ◾A trait that causes the “bleed” from Barbed Shot to stack if refreshed before the previous application falls off. Meaning if for example the first time you apply the bleed, it does 100dmg over 8 seconds, the second application would cause it to do 200dmg over 8 seconds. 3rd application = 300dmg, and so on…

    ◾A trait that increases the duration of your Dire Beast(talent) as well as the haste bonus effect by X seconds.

    ◾A trait that makes Kill Commands extend the duration of A Murder of Crows(talent) by 3-5 seconds(per use) if used against the target currently under attack.

    ◾A trait that increases the duration of Barbed Shot/Dire Frenzy by 1 second and also, whenever your pet(s) reaches 3 stacks of Dire Frenzy, or if it has 3 stacks and whenever you refresh the effect you/the hunter gets 3% haste for 9 seconds(stacking up to 4 times).

    Now, why would I suggest that there should be traits targeting specific talents/or talent rows perhaps? Considering the talent options for us has the potential to add up to 6 new stand-alone abilities to our action bars, adding traits that “spice up” these various abilities(as well as other passive talents) would in my opinion be one of the best ways to let people tailor the BM spec further towards how they want to play it. Only having traits that proc secondary stats or agility etc, this does not sound very interesting to me.

  13. It’s a shame that you can’t change secondary pet on the fly. All pets do the same damage now and class specific abilities don’t apply to the second, so it’s purely a cosmetic thing when it comes to the secondary pet. But it’s still important to me. :/

      1. Not at all. Hati had the new Draenor Dire Worg model, while Skoll has the old sabre worg model. So far, Hati is gone for good.

  14. Hati is “on vacation” for now since Blizz recently commented that we will see her again, and no she does not look anything like her Brother Skoll aside from being a blue Spirit color. I have Skoll and He and Hati are not identical. My question is…have they done additional fixes to Animal Companion since release. I have seen nothing yet on the patch/hot-fix notes. I really want to run it with Killer Cobra during BFA. The execute type buff we get is ok, but I rather have 2 pets as BM.

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