At the risk of sounding horribly banal, I do really like cat pets. Perhaps not as much as The Kitty Collector does, but I still like them a lot. They're classy, come in a lot of varieties of color and overall "type", and they're cute when they stretch and yawn.
But when it comes down to it, I think my favorite pet family may very well be...
Windserpents are sleek. They're mystical. They have the whole Quetzalcoatl thing going on. They're sort of like dragons, but sort of like snakes, both of which fall into the "Things I Like" category.
They are tamable by hunters, and each of my "main" hunters has one: Lunapike tamed Arikara, summonable by a quest in Thousand Needles, who retains a lovely quality to bamf in with a poof of smoke when summoned. And Tawyn solo-tamed a ZG Soulflayer in what was quite a little adventure-- I then painstakingly leveled this pet up from 61 to 70 mostly via the Quel'danas dailies.
One thing I have noticed, though, is the amount of people who will ask me why I use Windserpents. I have had comments and e-mails to this effect, and people who approach me in game and, like a parent giving their kid "the talk", gently tell me I should be using a cat or ravager instead.
So I'm here to tell you some stuff about Windserpents and why I use them. There are two big reasons.
1.) I like them. And come on, why are you a hunter? So you can get a pet you like, foshizzle. I do not judge hunters on pet type. You should be using what appeals to you, first and foremost.
2.) There is a point where Windserpents start to out-DPS cats/ravagers/raptors.
"...hold the phone! What did you just say?"
You heard me. I don't know how many of you watched SK-Gaming's Kil'Jaeden Kill Video but you may have noticed that two of the hunter pets in that movie were Windserpents. You may have similarly noticed that a lot of these Black Temple/Sunwell/super-endgame movies involve Windserpent pets. Why do you think this is?
Let's look a little deeper.
The reason why cats/ravagers/raptors do lots of DPS in a raid, is because a.) they have a naturally high damage output, and b.) they have an easily spammable focus dump move in the form of either Claw or Gore, each of which costs 25 focus. Gore has a chance to do double damage on occasion, which is why if you are a min/maxer, ravagers are superior to cats and raptors.
Now let's look at Windserpents. They come with a high natural DPS, but not quite as high as cats/ravagers/raptors. And their focus dump move, Lightning Breath, costs 50 focus rather than 25. So this, at first, puts Windserpents at a distinct disadvantage.
But wait, Lightning Breath does a lot of damage. A lot more than Claw or Gore. And you should see it when it crits.
And if you have points in both Bestial Discipline and Go for the Throat, and you are critting enough, you will reach a point where you will, on average, be feeding your Windserpent enough focus for him to keep spamming Lightning Breath and that is when your Windserpent will begin to out-DPS a ravager.
When you reach this point is somewhat hazy and gear-dependent but it is generally accepted that somewhere between 30%-35% crit your Windserpent should start to pull ahead. If you are a newer or still-leveling hunter, you might think that sounds like a rather forbiddingly high crit chance for a non-Survival hunter. But it's definitely not hard to obtain even in the early raids.
This is me, fully-raid buffed, in my latest Karazhan run:
And that's without a feral druid (extra 5% crit) and without a shaman's Grace of Air totem.
Now, I don't have any numbers or hard proof, but I can tell you that going to Karazhan with Eltanin the Windserpent certainly feels like I am doing a little more DPS than I usually do with Locke the Kitty. Am I really? I don't know, and it's hard to say. A DPS test like this would require much repetition like any science experiment to hammer out some nice solid number averages.
But I do know that Windserpents do a lot of DPS.
And I do know that if you ask me in-game or in an e-mail why on Azeroth I'm using a Winserpent... if it's on Tawyn, it's because when I'm raid-buffed, my Windserpent does just as much DPS as my kitty, if not more, and if it's on one of my lowbie-hunters, it's cause I just plain like Windserpents.
And that, as they say, is that.
(Closing notes: If you are seriously interested in trying out the Windserpent-goodness for yourself, keep a couple things in mind: Firstly, some Windserpents have undesirable "caster" stats, so stay away from those-- Petopia will tell you which is which. Secondly, you may notice certain Macros that include Lightning Breath, you may want to look into those if you are into the whole Macro thing-- it makes it so your Windserpent does not move to cast it. Thirdly, Lightning Breath has been shown to interfere with certain elemental Shaman things, so if you run with one of those, you may want to bring your kitty/bug instead.)