This is just a short note to let you know that the venerable Ghostcrawler has posted a little something about pet avoidance, and their ability to avoid AOE damage. Here’s the link, and here’s the quote:
It is likely we will just replace the hunter pet Avoidance talent with one that increases pet dps. It is too situational to have as a talent now. Hunter pets will just take 90% less damage from creature AE the same as other pets do (meaning “for free”). We offer that avoidance as recognition that Fluffy doesn’t have the AI to get out of the fire on boss fights and likes to go in straight lines between you and a target, even if that means crossing fire.
Ninety percent avoidance should be enough to survive almost all boss AE attacks for a second or two — enough to get a heal or move your wolf (or sporebat). It isn’t intended to let your pet just ignore AE completely and stand in void zones. If you’re a pet class, you are going to have to manage the pet a little in dungeons and raids.
It was never our intent that pets just shrug off AE in PvP situations. In fact, it’s a little goofy if you think about it. We just technically couldn’t distinguish between creature and player AE before. We only go to that distinction as a last resort, since we like for PvP and PvE to work similarly. However we thought it was necessary in this case, since the complexity of boss encounters just doesn’t always leave pets with a way to avoid the AE damage. We think PvP AE damage often is avoidable (dude isn’t literally Bladestorming the entire arena at once), but we still understand that this is a PvP nerf to pets and we may buff them in other ways to compensate.
For those of you who may not have heard, the patch being tested now, 3.3, is supposed to reduce pet AOE damage taken by a little more, but completely remove the ability for pets to avoid player based AOE. It turns out that we’re going to get some more pet DPS om return, but I’ll also bet that this will be the patch where resilience and stamina starts to pass down to pets the way hit does currently.