If you have been reading the inter-nether you will know by now that Thunderstomp is being changed; it will no longer be a Gorilla only family skill, but will be a talent that can be learnt by all tenacity pets. Gorillas will have a family skill called Pummel instead, which will be a spell interrupt. Gorillas will of course be able to access Thunderstomp as a tenacity pet.
A lot of hunters have already found the fun of gorilladin grinding, but those of you who have not trained a gorilla, being bear or turtle lovers, are going to find yourselves with access to the skill.
AOE grinding is different from how we normally kill things. In my post on How to be a Good Hunter the Easy Way, I suggested you did not use a Gorilla for this reason. Some people have taken to it successfully, others have struggled, finding it takes too long to round up the mobs, or pulling aggro off their pets when they do. However, it is pretty easy to learn to do successfully. I don’t claim to be the worlds best Gorilladin hunter, but I do pretty good, so here are a few tips, to help those thinking of having a go (commentators feel free to add your own):
So which pets will be the best for tanking multiple mobs? Tenacity pets that have a family skill which is a multi-mob ability like bears with swipe and crocodiles with bad attitude, will now have 2 skills to do damage and generate threat on multiple mobs. I would suggest the bear as the best multiple mob tanking pet after 3.1. (Swipe has a shorter cooldown than bad attitude). The other pet you could consider is the Turtle. Turtle’s shell shield gives them great survivability, meaning that can absorb the damage of multiple mobs beating on them.
You will find it easier to aoe grind as a Beastmaster hunter, as you pet will do more damage, have higher health, and be able to hold aggro better. It is possible to do it with other specs, but you will just have to watch your aggro more. However, with duel-specs coming in in 3.1, you may want to have a Beastmaster soloing spec, and save a survival or marksman build for raiding, grouping or pvp. Beastmaster is still the best spec for soloing, pet tanking, and AOE grinding with your pet.
1. Rounding up the mobs. Find an area where there are several mobs fairly close to each other. As with all AOE grinding you don’t want the mobs to be caster or range dps types, but melee types that will chase after and gather around your pet once agroed. (If there is one caster in amongst the others, target the caster last and pull the melee mobs to the caster.) The way I do it is to let the pet auto cast Thunderstomp, swipe, growl, and then target a mob and use hot keyed petattack button to make it attack that mob (I have a macroed /petattack button but you can use the key binding for the pet attack on the pet bar if you like). I let it get a shot in, then target the next mob and do the same. I will run the pet around gathering up 3-8ish mobs.
1b. For lower level mobs, a quicker way to round them up is either on your mount, or by putting you pet on passive and follow, and then running through them aggroing them yourself, when you have a bunch, hit the defensive button on the pet toolbar, the pet will spring into action and defend you, growling and thunderstomping, you can hit feign death, and then jump up ready to burn down the mobs.
2. Burning down the mobs. I start with a misdirect onto my pet (see my 13 macros post for the macro I use to do this with I button press) and then burn them down with volley. Re-volley until dead. Watch your pets health and throw a heal on if you have to. Watch Omen or your chosen threat meter, or the new helpful threat messages in your combat text, and if your threat is getting too high compared to that of your pet, either throw in another misdirect (if the cooldown is up) or hit feign death.
3. Collect all the lovely loot, rinse and repeat! 🙂
Personally, my gorilla is going to be released back into the jungles of Stranglethorn (or maybe Sholizzar), and my white bear Beren is going to get more play time. I am pretty sure I will select a Beastmaster pet tanking/soloing spec as my second spec, and may also level a Turtle.