Combat pets are pets under the direct control of the player. Combat pets can be permanent or temporary, and most classes are able to summon at least one. Some combat pets have multiple abilities, while others have only a basic attack, but all share the basic pet commands, allowing the player to control their movement and behaviour. Players can only have 1 combat pet active at any time, and summoning another will dismiss the current pet.
There are two primary combat pet classes: hunter pets and warlock minions. These classes have a number of available combat pets (although only one can be active at a time) and the chosen pet is permanent. Each of the available pets has its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as differing abilities. Hunters must tame wild beasts so that they can become their pets, while warlocks use powerful spells to summon their minions from the Twisting Nether. Hunter and warlocks pet summons do not have cooldowns.
Frost mages and Unholy death knights also have permanent combat pets; the water elemental and the Risen Ally, respectively. Should they die, the abilities used to summon these pets have 2-3 minute cooldowns.
Many other classes can summon temporary combat pets. Priests can summon the , dealing damage and restoring mana; Balance druids can use to summon 3 treants; shamans can use and to summon the corresponding elemental, and Enhancement shamans can additionally use to summon 2 Spirit wolves. However, most of these combat pets have a very limited duration, and with sizeable cooldowns are only available part of the time.
- Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28):
- The Aggressive pet stance has been removed and replaced with the Assist stance.
- The Defensive pet stance will now only cause the player's pet to attack enemies which attack the pet or the master.
- Hotfix (2007-03-13): Party members should now see pet health bars update properly. This hotfix will take effect after a realm is restarted following the hotfix's deployment.
- Hotfix (2007-02-26): Pets will no longer trigger the Flame Wreath effect.
- Patch 1.6.0 (2005-07-12): Pets will now enter passive/follow mode when their masters mount.
- Patch 1.5.0 (2005-06-07): Pet speed has been increased when out of combat and following their master.
- Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07):
- Pets in defensive mode that respond to attacks will no longer flag their masters for PvP. If the master issues an explicit attack command, the master will be flagged.
- You can issue pet commands while you are stunned, fleeing, etc.
- Pets and summons no longer get stuck when you get on a boat or zeppelin.
- Non-aggressive enemy NPCs no longer attack pets and summons.
- Hunter pets