To take a break from leveling alts and testing activation times, I figured I'd use the parser to re-look at the pet powers in this game. I had mapped out their abilities on my own base dps sheet, but that was going by tooltips and approximate attack times. Now I can more easily analyze how each pet actually performs relative to each other.
Sooo.. I present: a thread wholly about Pets. Hurray!
(Update: for info on some Device-derived pets and for some sample Pet builds, please see the 1st reply)
(and for some info on extra things like the Backup! devices and the newer Mech Monstrosity ultimate, see replies later in the thread)= General Pet-Related Stuff =
Pet powers encompass both permanent and temporary pets. Pets are singled out from other attack powers for their unique, more-limited scaling and AI that is independent of the player. Pets can continue attack even when the player is not, can be targeted by friendly or hostile sources, and can die independent of the player.Permanent Pets:
come with their own pet bar (for issuing commands), last till they (or you) die, and otherwise follow the player when not engaged (unless commanded otherwise). Each permanent Pet power that's active adds a 10% (base) energy penalty to the player that is multiplicative (3 pets = 1.1*1.1*1.1 = 33.1% penalty, and so on); this means that having an array of them can quickly make your normal powers much more expensive. This is part of the reason why many Pet Master builds use the Support role: better energy management (with the other main reason being stronger ally/pet aura benefits).Temporary Pets
: are similar to permanent pets in most ways. However, temporary pets (as you may have guessed) have a fixed maximum duration, cannot be directly controlled, and come w/ no energy penalty when active. Temp pets also tend to have higher base dps than permanent ones, to help make up for them requiring energy and time to be re-cast, and do not have a pet bar. Their scaling, general AI, and abiltiy to be targeted is the same as w/ permanent pets - but they are considered on 'Assist' mode at all times.Vs. Entity Powers:
Pets are distinct from what I call 'entity' powers, which are summoned and also uncontrollable, but (unlike pets) scale w/ most normal player stats (though many are crit-disabled). Entity powers also cannot be targeted by players or enemies and thus cannot be 'killed' or buffed. Entity powers are things like Dust Devil, Fire Snake, Gas Arrow, and Ball Lightning. They could also be classed as 'DoT's (as per some of their tooltips), though that is not specific to entities.
[Before, I had considered Collective Will to be a temporary pet (as per its tooltip), but it is actually an entity spell as well due to its scaling not matching that of pets (like entities, it scales w/ Offense and bonus dmg, among others), and its inability to be targeted or killed.]= Pet Stat Scaling Factors =
(since the On Alert patch) In general, Pets do NOT scale w/ most Player-related stats, like most
passive dmg bonuses, +Offense, and -resist%. If it's not covered here, then it's likely something that pets don't directly work off of.
For their own scaling, Pets receive:
-> The 'all damage strength' bonuses from PSS and SSSs (not
via non-SS'd stats, and not
via Ego_Str's innate bonuses).
of the player's general (listed) critical strike%.
of the player's general (listed) critical severity%.
-> Most pets: approx. +6.3 to +2.75 maxHP per 1pt in player SSs (combines PSS & SSSs; the HP:SS range decays w/ increasing total SSs).
`-> Drones, Muni Bots, Command beasts: the SS to max HP scaling is reduced (64% to 57% of the benefit that most other pets get).
Spec- or power-specific crit bonuses (like Slaughter for combos, or Vindicator's single-target_AoE crit% options) do not
affect pets directly. Resistance debuffs that only specify working for the player (ex. Night Warrior's -resist, Detect Vuln's -resist) also do not
affect pets. Similarly, most toggle/forms (ex. Enrage, Concentration) only affect the player and not
pets (w/ Force's IDF being the exception).
- Pets have a basal ~5% crit rate that is independent of the player's own.
- Pets have three basic starter max HP ranges (Low= drones, muni bots, command beasts; High= ritual pets & march of the dead; Medium= the rest, w/ Medium and High scaling up max HP the same).
- Pets innately take reduced dmg from AoE effects, to help them w/ survival.
ofc, other things can affect pets too..Non-direct Factors that can affect Pets:
-> Aura effects (includes: slotted passives like AoPM, AoED, Med Nanites, etc.; spec passives like Sentinel_Sentry Aura, etc.) (AoED includes the Ebon Lightning proc; AoPM's stats add to the Pet's own and are treated as non-SSs for them).
-> Buffs (ex. Furious or Reckless from powers like Howl or Call To Battle, Redirect Force, sigils, IDF, shields, heals, etc.)
-> Debuffs on the same target (ex. Shredded's -Physical/Slashing resist, Devoid's -Dimensional resist, Spec tree debuffs like Trapped or Wither, etc.)
-> The Commander
spec tree (most of these bonuses are additive, but allow pets to scale somewhat w/ SSs in various other respects: damage done, max health, healing done or taken, etc.)
The Commander tree is pretty self-explanatory, but is considered to be quite valuable to Pet Master builds for optimizing pets. The main drawback is that Commander does nothing directly to boost the player's own power (unlike other spec trees), so there is a significant opportunity cost to consider. This is why builds w/ only 1-2 pets may be better off by not taking Commander spec.= Pet Power DPS Comparisons =
Groundwork: lvl 40 Hybrid FF player, no SS's or gear, no stars, and using the ACT parser (source #1
Each test was ~3 minutes long - just letting the pet(s) attack the whole time. A regen dummy (which have ~20% innate resist) was the target for each test.More details here:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1C1M2Q1K5LS7zTXAVx0iuR37lznN6u_Yxmk6uYmDajcA/edit#gid=0
Here's a quick n' dirty summary of that sheet, using some rounded values:
rank 1: 63.0 dps
rank 2: 74.0 dps
rank 3: 90.0 dps
Ritual of Arcane Summoning
rank 1: 52.5 dps
rank 2: 71.5 dps
rank 3: 69.5 dps
Ritual of Primal Summoning
rank 1: 65.5 dps
rank 2: 75.0 dps
rank 3: 95.0 dps
Ritual of Ebon Summoning
rank 1: 66.0 dps
rank 2: 72 (Ranged) 74.5 (Melee) dps
rank 3: 90 (Ranged) 91 (Melee) dps
Ritual of Radiant Summoning
rank 1: 34.5 dps
rank 2: 47.0 dps
rank 3: 54.0 dps
Support Drones (attack mode)
rank 1: 29.0 dps
rank 2: 42.0 dps
rank 3: 54.0 dps
rank 1: 50 (Bot) 96.5 (Turret) dps
rank 2: 56 (Bot) 105.5 (Turret) dps
rank 3: 59 (Bot) 128 (Turret) dps
rank 1: 61.0 dps
rank 2: 86.0 dps
rank 3: 119.5 dps
rank 1: 83.0 dps
rank 2: 82.0 dps
rank 3: 93.5 dps
rank 1: 42.5 dps
rank 2: 55.0 dps
rank 3: 68.0 dps
rank 1: 60.5 dps
rank 2: 71.5 dps
rank 3: 86.0 dps
rank 1: 75.0 dps
rank 2: 95.5 dps
rank 3: 111.0 dps
Summon Nightmares (charged)
rank 1: 90.0 dps
rank 2: 120.0 dps
rank 3: 114.5 dps
rank 1: 114.5 dps
rank 2: 135.0 dps
rank 3: 155.0 dps
rank 1: 184.0 dps
rank 2: 219.5 dps
rank 3: 262.0 dps
March of the Dead
rank 1: 162.0 dps
rank 2: 162.0 dps
rank 3: 203.0 dps
- The undead made from Resurrection Serum's Reanimator adv and Rebirth's Grave's Consequences adv function and scale as Device Pets, and not as normal pet powers, so they have not been listed here (see Device Pets in next reply).
(for notes, special attacks, parsing info, and other details that help explain some of my data, please consult the spreadsheet)Pet AI
, as many of us prob know by now, can be quite troublesome sometimes.
-> Even in isolated testing, some pets will not attack continuously because they shift between ground_hover and flying mode (which many of them have). This puts a ~0.2-0.3 sec delay on their next action, and can considerably affect their performance.
`-> One way to help influence a pet to stop 'stuttering' like this is to get them somewhat airborne, as they are more likely to switch between TPs if grounded and near their target. Leashing and re-activating the pet (w/ the command keys) can sometimes fix the behavior by forcing the pet to re-adjust its pathing. Ofc, the target itself may move and that could either correct or re-introduce the problem. (There is no sure-fire fix to this that I am aware of, unfortunately)
`-> Not all pets are prone to this behavior- the ones that are prone to it have been labelled as 'erratic' in the notes on the spreadsheet.
-> Sometimes (especially when out solo) pet arrays simply refuse to attack when the player does, even when toggled to 'Assist' or commanded to attack by the player.
`-> Re-summoning has a chance of working, but is not reliable. One more reliable way to 'goad' a slew of pets is to lead w/ a summon or temp pet like Summon Nightmares, which can sometimes kick other pets into action. Another option is simply getting the pet to take damage by something like a splash AoE, which usually works but isn't always feasible.
`-> Another viable option to dealing w/ idle pet arrays when solo is to build to be relatively self-sufficient w/o the pets (this is generally a good idea), and run in Hybrid mode with most_all permanent pets de-summoned when out solo.
`-> There is the possibility that pets with >1 model option may bug out depending on the model chosen, and perhaps changing the model set can help fix the behavior. This is just conjecture, however, and may not always work.
-> Pets take a 'snapshot' of the player's stats when they are summoned, and do not usually dynamically adjust w/ the player's own stats. This is particularly an issue sometimes when you first log in, as the game may not have loaded in of your all scaling stats to the pet, causing them to have much lower health than they should (for ex).
`-> Re-summoning the pet will 'update' them, as will changing zones.
-> Some pets have special attacks they get when ranking up that cause them to deal more AoE dmg, but this sometimes comes at the cost of lowering their potential single-target dmg. Unfortunately, Pet AI isn't too bright, so they can start using the special AoE attack over their normal attack that deals more single-target dmg, and even vs. 1 target. There's no way of directly controlling most of these attacks, and since many are on an internal cd (icd) any cd-reduction given to them could actually exacerbate the problem.
`-> If single-target dmg is more of an issue, some pets will be of less value to rank up (for ex. compare R1 vs. R3 of Muni Bots to R1 vs. R3 of Attack Toys) this could help save some advantage points for a build that has other priorities (since adv points tend to get spread thin for Pet Master builds). Ofc, if your goal is to improve a pet's AoE dmg, then the special AoE attacks may not be a bad thing to have, either.= Pet Build Benefits =
To balance some of the negatives to handling Pet AI mentioned above, here's some basic perks to having Pet-heavy builds in CO:
-> One of the biggest advantages of having an array of pets is that they can regularly distract or preoccupy mobs in large groups, allowing some heat to be taken away from the players.
`-> The Arcane Summon is especially good at this due to it using Challenging Strikes. Some pets like the Rituals, the Familiar, the elemental pets, the shadows, and the Attack Toys are also rather sturdy and pretty well suited to this task.
-> Similarly, pets often grab the attention of mobs over players when only going off of proximity aggro- ie. pulling a pack of trash mobs by just hitting one enemy means that most mobs can gun for pets nearby than for you or other players first. This can make pets act as a sort of fodder. Although this can lead to some pet-deaths, it's a nice alternate means of distraction, since many enemies like to unload at the start of aggro.
-> Another big advantage is that Pet builds can allow Support characters to attain potentially strong dps values for their role's innate damage-oriented limitations. This allows one to have strong healing along w/ a viable dps build (though at the cost of devoting many power slots to pets, and the stigma of being a 'healer' even if you aren't).
`-> Most of the highest dps pets builds use AoED and have a decent base crit rate, since AoED's Ebon Lightning interacts very well w/ pets. Other auras have their merits, ofc, but a fitting one depends on the primary goal of the player.
-> Pets allow Support-focused characters to still do some some damage and control in the background while they are preoccupied with other tasks- like healing/shielding, debuffing, and res-ing.
-> Pets can apply some potentially useful buffs or debuffs for you and the team:
-Ritual of Primal Summoning (Furious from Howl)
-Tyrannon's Familiar (power siphon)
-Command Animals (Deadly Poison; mini-Shredded @ R3)
-Summon Nightmares (Disorient @ R1&2)
-Air Elemental (Disorient @ R3)
-Attack Drones (-6% dmg resist @ R3)
-Ritual of Arcane Summoning (Challenging Strikes)
-Arctic Beast (snares)
-> Pets can CC mobs, either passively or via your command, and even while you are preoccupied:
-Travel Form removal (ex. Primal Summon, Void Horror, Command Animals)
-Knockdowns (ex. Arctic Beast, Command Animals, Air Elemental @ R3)
-Knockbacks and Repels (ex. Attack Toys!, Air Elemental, Void Horror, Attack Drones @ R2+)
-Stuns/Paralyzes (ex. Radiant Summon @ R2+, Dr. Destroyer's Head device)
-> Support Drones and the Radiant Summon offer a means of background healing that in itself can sometimes be sufficient to keep tanks up in 5-man content vs. bosses. Although neither pet can outright replace a healer, they can provide a means of 'maintenance' healing, ala powers like Conviction and BCR for players.
-> If you have a passive healing aura that's innate (ie. Seraphim, Med Nanites; NOT spec-ones like Sentinel Aura) then you can proc Honor in the Arbiter/Overseer spec trees when solo just by having pets out and nearby.
`-> Pets also offer a means to benefit from Honor by active healing of them in general.
-> While grouping, most Pet builds will be used in the Support role. Although this role hampers your own damage (and max health) a bit, it does come with its own notable perks: strong self- and group-healing, the best CC bonus of the roles, better energy management, and much stronger Aura passive effects on players (vs. the Hybrid role).
`-> If one is worried about getting 'the healer' stigma while playing in Support, then one can let their allies know that they are a pet build and not planning on being a pocket healer.
`-> Macros can be engineered to convey this message at the push of a hotkey- for ex:"/bind 8 say Greetings! I am in the Support role to optimize my pets. Although I can help the team, I am not a committed healer. Thanks and GL heroes!"
.. (minus the quotes) will have you notify those around you of this when you press the '8' key (customize the /bind macro however you want in terms of message or the key used).
-> More Pet Quirks:(moved to next reply)
(7-10-2014: Updated the spreadsheet w/ some extra testing and some device tests)
(7-13-2014: Updated the sheet w/ more tests and the post w/ some benefits and sample builds)
(7-04-2017: Updated pet scaling factors to include the general SS bonus to pet dmg; re-vamped Sample Builds to be more up-to-date)
(5-06-2020: Edited to correct some syntax, links, and typos)
(1-24-2021: Quick edit to better clarify Ritual pet powers in the Misc notes)
(10-13-2021: Added note in the Device-Related Pet section on device pets having extra classifications)