Dr. Boom is a non-elite quest boss with about 500,000 hitpoints; he does not move or use ranged attacks, making him a popular target for casters and Hunters to test their DPS output, as well as a target for leveling up ranged weapon skill.
So we can see that he is handy for a few things, aside from a quest. He is very handy for leveling your weapon skill (if you are not quite a high enough level for Netherstorm yet, you can always hit up those guys in Blasted Lands that don't die.) And he is handy for ranged DPS classes who want to test their defining role: DPS.
Now, as BRK once said in one of his posts... hunters can't really get the full story because you can't use your pet on Dr. Boom. So even though you can get a good idea of your ranged DPS sans-pet... it's discounting 35% of the story (or however much your pet contributes to your DPS.)
Still, I found myself heading over to Dr. Boom today. Why? Well, initially it was because I have a third use for Dr. Boom.
Namely, he allowed me to answer the age-old question... What happens when Improved Aspect of the Hawk procs, and you use Rapid Fire, Abacus of Violent Odds, and The Beast Within... all at the same time?
Well it doubles my vanilla DPS, that's what:
(Note: I also tested using Bladefist's Breadth in place of the Abacus, since I typically have both equipped. The resulting DPS increase is not quite as much as it is with the Abacus.)
But wait! That's not my total DPS... that's just Tawyn's DPS. I am a hunter, afterall. I have a pet.
Now Tux is only going to be effected by Bestial Wrath and not all the other fun stuff like I am. But still...
So now we have a bunch of numbers showing my DPS and Tux's DPS, before and after using a bunch of buffs/trinkets. Remember, this is all "white" DPS: no special shots, no Kill Commands, no Ferocious Inspiration, no Frenzy for Tux... not even Hunter's Mark. So the actual number in real combat would undoubtably be higher.
So why am I posting all this then? Well I'm not one for hardcore math or theorycrafting. But here's what we can see right off the bat:
1. Unbuffed (except for Aspect of the Hawk), Tux is doing 32% of our vanilla DPS.
2. If we pop The Beast Within, Tux moves up to doing roughly 41% of our vanilla DPS.
3. If I use a bunch of speed-increasing trinkets/procs and The Beast Within, Tux is still doing about 26% of our vanilla DPS.
Obviously this isn't telling us the full story; as I said before the numbers would change as we throw in stuff like Frenzy and Ferocious Inspiration and various special shots and Tux's Claw. Also the numbers would change if I were to pull out my kitty Locke who does slightly more DPS than Tux does. The main thing I am trying to say here is: Your pet is important. If you are a Beast Mastery hunter and your pet dies, your DPS is going to be gimped down to about 70%-- or less-- of what you normally do. Furthermore you will be bringing no more Ferocious Inspiration or Kill Commands to the table.
And even if you pop all of your trinkets/buffs (minus the Beast Within), and double your white DPS, you still will not be able to make up for the loss of your pet.
Now there are times when things happen and losing your pet on some superhard boss fight might be inevitable. In these cases you can only hope he does the best he can, because not using him at all is exactly the same as him being dead. Well, except not as sad. *hugs pets*
But there are things you can do to increase your pet's survivability. Here's a short list:
-Various other stamina buffs or scrolls (I love using scrolls on my pet).
-Spec'ing him with Avoidance Rank 2.
-Spec'ing him with the appropriate resistances for the instance. BRK wrote up a handy list for Karazhan and various five-mans here.
-Keeping a Mend Pet up. Kestrel has a really nifty macro that lets you keep both Mend Pet and Scorpid Sting up at the same time.
-Knowing what you're fighting. You should pay attention to the people who have been here and have done this before. Pay attention to the things they're telling the melee DPS classes. If you're in Mechanar and they say "Rogues, you have to run away when he 'raises his hammer menacingly'", then you need to mentally add "And pet." If you're in Shadow Labs and they say "Melee classes have to run away when Murmur does his Sonic Boom" ...yep, that includes your pet. Watch for what the melee guys are watching for and recall your pet to your side at the appropriate time. Then send him back in when it's safe.
Is it hard to do? Yep. But is it worth it to not only have that extra DPS, but also provide that constantly-ticking Ferocious Inspiration to your party? You betcha!
Happy Huntering, and give your pet a pat for being a good boy (or girl).