1. KNOW YOUR PETS
It is essential you become familiar with all pet types. The only pet you can skip is Rage of Zomm which has almost no use [EDIT] – NOT TRUE ANYMORE, becomes useful since it has been turned into a secondary pet, listed as ‘swarm pets’ in your spell gems menu, grab it ! I prefer the DDD one though, it lasts longer (30 seconds versus 18 sec), taunts slightly better, has more hps –I think- and costs less mana, but needs further testing/parsing which is difficult with short term pets. There is plenty of litterature about pets, you can use the excellent p99 wiki ressource and update the info with this thread (for example, the TLP servers use the post-SoF fire pet which is very different from the initial fire pets after level 52).
Though you will use the water pet the most till level 50, you'll learn how to use a specific pet for a specific situation. Being a mage starts with asking yourself "do I have the right pet for this situation/group ?". As a rule of thumb, avoid earth pets in groups unless it is the tank, root messes aggro [EDIT – root aggro has been changed recently, mob will hit both nearest and most hated target, so there might be circumstances where pet is ok even with a PC tank, haven’t tested much tbh, I always had epic out from Kunark to Luclin on TLPs and fire for raiding] and will drive your tank crazy as he/she will have to stand right on top of the mob ; beside, earth has the lowest dps. And turn taunt off in groups unless, again, your pet is the tank.
[EDIT October 2017] – Since a couple of months, I have made myself an /assist %m hotkey which is super useful. You know of course that %m in a macro means your pet. Previously, I usually toggled with the assist button between pet and it’s target. But with a hotkeyed /assist pet command (on Adon’s keyboard it’s 0 NUMPAD because regular 0 is the normal assist hotkey) it becomes much quicker to target your pet’s target while you were busy doing something else, like sending a secondary pet (I don’t like calling them ‘swarm pets’ as it leads to confusion with the Host of the Elements AA line) on an add, damage shielding a tank, nuking or debuffing your assist mob, etc. Please note the /assist pet command doesn’t work on charm elementals, you’ll have to click the HoTT in pet window with the mouse.
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