Growl Taunt After 5.1

Posted: by Frostheim


Several people have reported noticing issues with pet Growl not working, both in emails and in the comments.

I did some controlled testing of Growl last night, and was unable to replicate any problem — it worked perfectly for me every time. But enough people are talking about it that I suspect something’s up.

Is anyone else experiencing issues with Growl? Or perhaps issues with pet threat? If so, in what situation did you see the problem? On bosses? In 5-mans? Soloing?

If there is an issue, it appears that it must be tied to specific circumstances, and I’d like to find out what those are and replicate them, so we can confirm or deny for certain whether there’s a problem.

[UPDATE]: So far I’ve tested Growl on normal mobs. It works fine. It autocasts fine. When I mount and fly the autocast stays on, and stays on when I swap pets as well. Bestial Wrath with or without the Glyph of Endless Wrath does not cause any problems.

Tested with raid bosses in Molten Core. Again everything seemed to be working perfectly fine.

Also tested Misdirect without growl, and it worked fine.

My best guess at this point is that there was some kind of situational bug. If someone can pinpoint the conditions that are causing growl issues, please post ‘em here so we can dig deeper.

[2nd UPDATE]:  Okay, I can confirm that raid bosses from BC and Wrath are immune to pet taunts now (but not Molten Core, strangely). Worked fine on trash. Now to see if this is a bug or an intentional change — since we know they were messing with old bosses in patch 5.1.

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  1. hellganater says:

    My pet could not hold aggro while soloing bosses in Naxx for pets. Even with MD and feign death i had bosses on me a few times. Thought it was part of the new mechanics.

    • hellganater says:

      Oh sorry, pet was a turtle.

    • Worpheus says:

      I went to Naxx last night and had the same problem with packs of mobs and bosses. Growl was on autocast and I noticed it sometimes wouldn’t cast and I’d have to click it to work. I was also using a turtle. Several times I pulled mobs off my Turtle while using MD.

      • Worpheus says:

        WTB edit button. Quick note, I did notice that after clicking autocast off and then on again it seemed to work better – but I was pulling mobs and bosses off my pet even after growl was working “properly”.

    • Dielhelm says:

      Naxx for me too with all the pets I had. Had to MD or FD to transfer threat then I still pulled it off a couple times.

  2. Flint says:

    My Observation.

    The only place so far I have seen any issue with Growl not working as a taunt was in BT on Bosses. On the mobs it worked fine, but on Bosses I had to use MD to transfer any threat to my Pet. It seems to me that in Raids Growl is now working much like AOD works; Questing or 5 mans, and mobs it works as a taunt, but on a Boss it is not.

    Supremus: I marked and sent in my pet. Hit taunt and MD to my pet. Before MD CD was up I already hit taunt 2 more times and pulled Supremus off of my pet Turtle. I watched my aggro meter. I was at 250K my pet was at 220K. I hit my pets taunt again and I stayed at 250K my pet jumped to 222K. I then hit FD and MD to my pet throwing him to 280K dropping me to 0. Before MD was up again I pulled off my pet yet again. Again FD, MD and then the boss dies.

    Gurtogg Bloodboil: was much the same way as Supremus.

    Teron Gorfiend: I kited around so I used my wolf with Growl Off.

    Shade of Akama: had so many adds its just a mess.

    Reliquary of Souls: Pet will not hold aggro on any phase.

    Mother Shahraz: Pet Taunt did not add much aggro if any and had to FD multiple times.

    Illidari Council: A hot nuke em down trap them mess

    Illidan: Per Taunt was ineffective in each phase. Basically nuke move Nuke move and Kite when you have to.

  3. Skortaran says:

    Well, as you know, I’m one of the people who encountered an issue. I was soloing Sunwell and literally on every boss, I ended up pulling aggro off my pet. Prior to the patch, I never pulled aggro (unless I had Taunt turned off to ensure I was MT to avoid some encounter ability) but after the patch, on every boss, aggro was an issue. Many times, even after feigning I’d still have aggro. In those cases I just tanked the boss myself and didn’t worry about it but on Brutallus that turned out to be painful…

    I didn’t get the chance to test it in any other raids since I did some LFR afterwards but there was a noticeable issue with aggro/Taunt in dealing with raid bosses while soloing.

    Normally, I’d agree that it might be some specific situation causing it but having it happen on every boss in Sunwell makes me think there’s some weird mechanic issue under the hood going on.

    That said, in LFR, I found the tanks were having issues holding aggro on large packs. It might just be that the tanks were sloppy, dps was over-aggressive, or another sign that there’s a mechanics issue causing problems.

    If I get the chance, I’ll try Naxx tonight and see if it’s still a problem. If I pull aggro on Patchwerk, for example, it’ll be a clear sign something’s up. With Taunt on, I shouldn’t pull aggro on a pure tank-and-spank and, after last night’s Sunwell, I’m pretty sure I will…

    • Skortaran says:

      As a follow-up, in case it matters: marksman specced (might be a spec-specific problem…) using a wolf (primarily) and a turtle (minimally, though the issue existed with the turtle too).

      • Dranneb says:

        The taunt and aggro from growl seems to be dropping off the target moments after it is cast. It was happening constantly while I was doing endless dailies.

        I could not consistently replicate it, and didn’t seem to matter which pet I used. It just… happened sometimes.

    • hellganater says:

      I pulled aggro on Patchwerk very easily.

  4. Rognor says:

    I was questing last night as BM. Every time I pop Bestial Wrat the pet just drops aggro and the mob comes running for me.

    • Lyanana says:

      I definitely noticed this issue in Naxx last night. Could not hold aggro on any bosses, had to kite around spamming misdirect and not even that worked most of the time time. Patchwerk almost killed me because of it.

      I’ve solo’d content before and never had such a high rate of failure on pet aggro. Even feign death did not always work to cancel threat. It was super obvious on Thaddius when my pet could not hold aggro on the part where you have to kill the two adds before boss.

  5. Hrist says:

    Obviously this isn’t true for the issues people are having with questing and perhaps things have changed since I have been in those instances but I am pretty sure most of the bosses listed (specifically the BT ones) were immune to Taunt and required more skilled aggro juggling from tanks.

    Again, this could have changed, but maybe that’s part of the problem.

  6. Killenger@Greymane says:

    I ran through Naxx 10-man last night farming the new battle pets from bosses – Growl/Taunt was continually falling off and I needed to spam Misdirect (glyphed) to my tank/turtle to keep boss (and sometimes trash) aggro in check. Very frustrating.

    I was in Survival spec.

    I didn’t pay much attention while doing appropriate-level dailies, nor did I really notice when farming Molten Core.

  7. This Guy jr. says:

    I had this problem soloing Ulduar but when I changed my pet from Tenacity to ferocity growl worked again and it held aggro fine after that.

    • Skortaran says:

      Interesting. I’ll try changing my pet’s spec tonight and see if that has any impact on the situation.

    • Flint says:

      I’ll try it in Sunwell tonight

  8. Cloudbuster says:

    I soloed Gruul this afternoon and my beetle wouldn’t hold aggro with growl on. Had to FD and MD to the pet. Previously, the new taunt growl made everything stick to the pet like glue with little or no effort.

  9. Clin says:

    Personally I’ve had no problem whatsoever with growl, it has worked flawlessly, including the one time in a raid where I forgot to turn it off :(
    A lock in our guild though was having huge problems on tuesday with his minion taunting and nothing he could do would turn it off. That seems to have been hotfixed though yesterday.

  10. Ruta says:

    Are people using the Glyph of Endless Wrath?

    One thing I have noticed that when Endless Wrath is glyphed, using Bestial Wrath will activate the immunity effect (remember, pets are unable to die during that time) – and like any immunity effect (Nubadin bubble, etc) threat is dumped.

    I noticed this on a few bosses I was soloing in 5.0, perhaps that effect has passed onto more bosses in 5.1

  11. FellishBeast says:

    I noticed it when soloing Vault of Archavon, I think. It seems to be an issue mostly with bosses. I was mm or surv, I don’t remember

  12. FellishBeast says:

    To clarify, my issue was growl not autocasting even when it was on autocast. I had to manually press it and even then it was really difficult to keep them off me.

  13. shotmyload says:

    The obvious. Make sure it is on. Appears to me Growl keeps turning off everytime my pet is away. (ie. Flying)

  14. Valmordang says:

    I have noticed on the farm that misdirect is not working until the pet growls. With those annoying pests and birds that want my songbells. Also have noticed in VEB in molgules or whatever that growl appeared to miss. And missed on boss in a wipe when I tried to pull it off Druid for battle res. this is all for pet. However our guilds pally tank swears his taunt is missing.

  15. Fradin says:

    That ran another patch last night so it may of been fixed but I have not had a issue with prt threat at all

  16. Kenmasturs says:

    I was experiencing the opposite effect on Elegon. Growl was toggled off, Tank was MD’d and my pet was still pulling threat and getting 1 shotted. This is the only boss soo far that I have experienced problems with threat issues, usually on the Bm opener.

  17. Skortaran says:

    Ok, did a test tonight on Patchwerk. Taunt never once autofired even though it was set to do so. I manually clicked it and my pet as able to hold aggro but it required active use rather than automatic use. Not quite the bug I initially thought but still a bug.

    • Skortaran says:

      On the very next boss (Grobbulus), Growl not only failed to automatically fire but also, when activated manually, failed to pull aggro as well as failed to generate additional threat. Further, when I feigned death to drop my aggro to zero and put it back on my pet, my threat level remained the same.

      • Skortaran says:

        Same problems on Gluth – taunt wasn’t auto-firing, wasn’t holding aggro, and feign death wasn’t clearing threat. Thankfully my dps is high enough to take Gluth down even though he was eating zombies….

      • Skortaran says:

        As expected, on every single boss fight and most trash I noticed Growl failing to work.

        To be clear, _EVERY_ boss fight. No exceptions.

      • Flint says:

        I posted in your bug report thread.

  18. Asgard says:

    Tonight with kael’thas and naj’entus and maggy. With trash is ok.

  19. Tali says:

    Did BT/Sunwell/Tempest keep last week without an issue.

    Post patch BT – pet didn’t hold threat in a single boss encounter. Tried Naxx last night as well, worked on some bosses, not others. (need more investigation to find out exactly who it works on).

    It only happens on raid boss encounters (have not looked at 5 man encounters to see if the issue exists there) and is clearly an issue with Growl not autocasting. Trouble is, manually casting it doesn’t seem to taunt when this happens.

    Certainly starting to sound like a bug at the moment.

    • Tali says:

      SV spec here, I should also mention, so no bestial wrath for me.

  20. Sev says:

    Attempted to solo Sartharion 10-man yesterday with a tenacity-specced corehound, and Growl just would not autocast. Even with it macroed to Arcane Shot and constantly using Misdirect, I would sometimes pull aggro.

    I was using the glyph of Endless Wrath, which may explain the random aggro-pulling. Growl was definitely bugged on Sarth, but it worked fine on trash.

  21. Toka says:

    I was trying out the new ability to solo old raids and I was having a crazy hard time keeping the aggro off me on bosses. I was running Naxx at the time. I was wondering if it was just me but am glad to hear I am not the only one so now I know I am not a total huntard.

  22. Geckko says:

    I run VoA most weeks. Ran it last week no problem – pet held aggro beautifully. Tried it yesterday with SV and a tenacity turtle, and Growl failed. It didn’t autocast on Arch, Kora, or Ema. Hitting it manually didn’t seem to help, either. I didn’t have any threat meters other than Blizz’s default, but the percentages kept going up in my… favor. :P

    Went into AQ 40 tonight looking for new pets and to see if claims of C’thun solos are true (seem to be! no instagib for me tonight), and Growl failed on every boss I tried. I ran SV with a ferocity wolf. Autocast didn’t work, and I got annoyed and didn’t mess much with manual. Also, autocast didn’t work on the big Anubisath sentinels outside of the Twins. It worked fine on other non-boss mobs (or they died so fast I didn’t have time to notice it not working), but not those.

    I have not tried respeccing either my hunter or any of her pets.

  23. Taeliana says:

    So, I just fought Gluth in Naxx.

    I experienced difficulties with pet threat as well. It seemed that growl was not autocasting (despite being set to do so). And, according to recount, the times when I manually cast it, the boss was immune. Despite my spamming misdirect and the pet casting Thunderstomp (I am unsure as to whether or not the boss was also immune to the threat increasing aspect of Thunderstomp), the boss was focusing me for the entire second half of the fight.

    Interestingly, I didn’t have too much trouble on Patchwerk. However, the log from recount did show that my pet never cast Growl, even though it should have. Patchwerk seemed more responsive to my Misdirect spamming for some reason.

    I manually cast growl three times on Grobbulus, and Recount shows the boss as having been immune.

    I wonder if, for some reason, Blizzard has made it so that bosses are immune to pet taunts (perhaps in response to people complaining about hunters’ pets taunting during Stampede?).

  24. bahzob says:

    I know it won’t be of interest to some here but it also looks as if Roar of Sacrifice is broken. And just to confuse you Trueshot aura does not appear as a buff if you are solo though you seem to still get the stat benefit.

    And don’t even talk about Powershot, it seems to be a bit less broken than it was but relies on utterly idiotic things like not pressing the right mouse button when its about to go off and is still hit or miss if your target has CCs.

    Wouldn’t it be good if Blizzard could just make things work properly for once?

  25. Steelhide says:

    A few notes of my own on the subject.

    - I never gained any aggro while having MD macro’d into my shots, even while healing my. Aggro would never show after pet attained it. (note: I would pull without MD, and let pet take aggro, then I’d use MD/shot macro)

    - I thought I saw a bug with Growl not working, then noticed the error message at the top of the screen. NOT IN RANGE. Ah, that’s right, its melee range. Once I took that into account, i never saw Growl have another issue whether it be auto cast or hard cast.

    - Did a test on that crab in the Vale (Kaal’ii?) with 4+ million health. Initial attack were Arcane shot, glove tinker rockets (the new fireworks one), Trinkets boosting agility, and Bestial Wrath w/o glyph. I immediately had 250% or 2500% instantly, and just as instantly lost it to my pet on its first attack. I did not use a single MD. after maybe 5 seconds or so I put pet in PASSIVE. After that I DPS’d the mob using Arcane shot BW and Cobra Shot. I healed my pet as often as i could. I eventually got 1% threat after about a minute, and then when I was able to use Kill Shot, it jumped to 2%. By the time the mob was dead my threat went to 4%. This entire fight was about 3 minutes, and only the first few seconds did the pet attack. It was a Spirit Beast spec’d as Tenacity, it used its growl and Thunder stomp right before I put it in Passive. Again, the pet was in PASSIVE for 95% of this mob fight that lasted about 3 minutes.

  26. Banard says:

    Did you test it on raid bosses soloing? Has the bug been hotfixed?

    Tuesday i did Nax 25 man with a mage friend. He tanked because growl would just not work.

  27. Malyuta says:

    BM hunter, Ferocious pet, no Glyph of Endless Wrath.

    I went to Black Temple on Wednesday and had to use MD constantly which probably indicates Growl was not working as expected. I did a bit of testing today and I see Growl kicking in automatically, but still I have been hit by mobs more than I expected. Since I reset my client last night I don’t have threat meter yet, so I can’t tell the hard numbers.

    Another thing which bugs me for months is that Growl indicator seem to go off sync once in a while in dungeons, sometimes it shows off, but the pet still growls and this infuriates tanks. Dismiss pet and call it back helps. Happens rarely and I couldn’t figure out any pattern.

  28. Elikia says:

    Gotta say, Since patch day I’ve been trying to solo black temple for the first time and noticed the complete lack of threat from my pets. I’ve tried a worm, turtle, bear, wolf, cat, serpent and a very confused pond skater. Tried in fero, tenacity and cunning. I tried mixing up FD and MD on pulls while ordering the pet taunt my self, Nothing helped. I even went as far to switch to MM for the chimera heal cause im tanking stuff my pets should be tanking while I just sit back and spam MD/FD and do next to nothing dps. Yet still im pulling off the poor buggers.

    I’ll try a few other instances/raids later, but some things definitely not firing on all cylinders.

  29. Skarn says:

    Here’s an experience from last night:

    My guild did our standard 10-man Normal mode run of Mogu’shan Vaults last night. I started as Beast Mastery with my nifty new arcane wyrm serpent pet. I’d previously specced the wyrm for Ferocity and turned off his Growl. For one of the Stone Quilen trash packs, I swapped to Survival for more AoE damage. I kept using the same serpent/wyrm pet. I had not previously used this pet in my Survival spec, so Growl was still on. The pet proceeded to use Growl and taunt the big “protective” Quilen off the tanks.

    Growl was most definitely working in this situation! So there’s one more little bit of info for the pile.

  30. Noodleguitar says:

    I’ve noticed my pet lost all its aggro once (maybe more often) during Lynx Rush on a normal mob. I’m not sure if this is supposed to happen anyway, but if it isn’t it could be an explanation why some people report Growl problems and others have no issues.

  31. Zohl (Llane) says:

    I was soloing Hallion in Ruby sanctum (Heroic 10m) last night and had issues with it. Worked fine when i did Sarth 3d 25m about 25 minutes before. Id FD and went right back to 200% in a few seconds while in Ruby Sanctum though. Also in Sunwell it worked up to the twins. When i got to them i spent most of the fight FD because my turtle could not keep aggro, all the way to KJ. Had issues with it in BT on Mother Sharraz and Illidan in phase 3.

    Out in MoP it works fine.

  32. Skortaran says:

    I just noticed that Blizzard is beginning some rolling restarts (Friday night, 11:30 eastern). With any luck, this is one of the things they are hotfixing…

    We shall see.

  33. Geckko says:

    Ran a bunch of stuff today in SV with both tenacity and ferocity pets. I tried a mix of growl autocast and manually triggering it.

    * MOP heroic – growl worked great on bosses and trash (wouldn’t normally use it, but the tank went splat more than once)

    * BWL – worked fine on trash and on some bosses. Curiously, the bosses I didn’t see it working on were who now drop pets. Not sure about Razorgore, because I MD’d and killed him quick, but Broodlord and Chrom didn’t trigger growl. Growl worked fine on all of the dragon bosses, including Nef.

    * Lots of Wrath heroics – growl worked on bosses and trash

    * Naxx Spider Wing – growl worked on trash, but not bosses. I noticed trying to manually cast it got an immune message. Feign Death did dump aggro for me.

    * Shado-Pan finale quests – there are waves of Mogu you help the Shado-Pan kill, and then the dragon boss shows. I’m not sure if that boss is supposed to be tauntable, but growl most definitely did not work. Feigning reset it for me, too. :P

    • Geckko says:

      Oh, I also ran through normal Stonecore, and growl worked on everything in there, too.

    • Skortaran says:

      I did BWL last night also and noticed the same thing – Growl worked fine except on Broodlord and Chromaggus. Both were burnt down so fast I didn’t care but those were the only two where I pulled aggro.

  34. Areggar says:

    My last weeks solo’s on Onyxia and Malygos were messy as never. On Onyxia growl was working but seemed quite unstable. Had to give my pet quite a long start up, noticed growl not being cast once or twice , but it was working… somehow. On Malygos used MD and nuked as usually (never have pulled off threat on that boss) growl seemed to not be cast at all, for rest of the fight i was tanking myself and my turtle just snapping at bosses ass.

  35. Eillarius says:

    Same issue here guys. Growl is definitely messed up (quirky at best).

  36. Sam says:

    We did Mogu’shan Vaults yesterday. During the last boss encounter, we tried to tank one of the adds (the big one which does a stun circle from time to time on the ground) with my pet. Didn’t work at all, the pet did nearly no aggro. I wondered about this, because in Cata, my pet did tank adds just fine (i.e. the 5 immortal skeletons in the Onyxia&Nefarian encounter).
    Distracting shot didn’t work either, but it seems most raid mobs are immune to that anyways since a long time.

  37. Dielhelm says:

    Tweeted Ghostcrawler about this, he said they have heard about it and didn’t think anything had changed, but that it obviously had. He did not reply when I asked him to give Chibee the (formerly)Giant Worm his size back.

  38. yunalescaa says:

    Doing brawlers guild tonight, Growl doesn’t work on any of the bosses in there, and only way i could get MD to work was cast slightly before being teleported in.

  39. robbiedehand says:

    Yes i noticed these problems also even when manually clicking it on certain bosses it did went on cd put pet agrro never changed and the growl “buff” not showed on the boss.

  40. Cloudbuster says:

    It is not limited to old raid bosses and raid/dungeon instances. I played around with it for a bit on the Shao-Tien Behemoths in the Vale by pulling it myself with my pet on passive, building some threat, then sending my pet in. Growl was failing to autocast, and when it did cast, the Behemoth did not receive the Growl (taunted) debuff. My pet could not take aggro away from me. All threat he was building seemed to be due to his damage alone.

  41. Zohl (Llane) says:

    just did a run of swp again. worked on brutalis, thats it…. i tanked every other boss in there. Blizzard isnt responding to any posts on their website. Getting tired of this….

  42. Ril says:

    yesterday in naxx and VoA growl did not go off on autocast. had to trigger it manually as it still adds threat, not only taunt

  43. shultz says:

    Yeah – Growl is bugged alright. My first raid since 5.1 left me wondering why my pet had died 5 times on each boss. Growl was off of course. Now I know why – the last patch has broken growl. Pet=Passive mode for me in dungeons until this gets fixed. Just too much dps loss casting revive every 2 mins.

  44. Zohl (Llane) says:

    OK just did sunwell on my lock with the voidlord pet. Bosses are indeed tauntable and i never once pulled aggro on any of the bosses. Our hunter pets threat is broken in some places…

  45. robbiedehand says:

    Tried battle for mount hyjal (trying to finish of old BT attunmeny questline) and rage winter chill was a nightmare 1 shot and he ran for me manually casting growl did nothing.
    Just ended in endless whipes cause i kept coming in his range and his max healh based ticking death and decay got me every time argggggggg.

  46. Duveen says:

    Any update? Has this changed for anyone? Thanks!

  47. Elrock says:

    I noticed the problem when doing the dailies, both my turtle and wolf weren’t able to hold threat like they could b4 5.1.

  48. Shabranigdo says:

    Still happens with Malygos, no matter what kind of pet I use (Hunter BM). Doesn’t happen while normal questing or any Wotlk and lower 5 man normal or heroic instances.

  49. AeronatheBlack says:

    So I was soloing BT today, really just to see I if I could do it alone, first thing I noticed was that my pet was not holding aggro at all. I use a spirit beast cat, and even with misdirection on I pulled after maybe 1 or 2 shots on every single boss. This was a bit of a problem, almost got killed by bosses a couple of times, and can’t get passed Gurtogg Bloodboil no matter what I try. It’s really frustrating, I don’t recall having this issue while running a few heroic BC dungeons a couple of weeks ago. I hope this gets fixed, Because it’s really not fair that hunters can’t solo these raids but other classes can. It really upsets me that I have to get someone to run me through just because my pet won’t hold aggro like it’s supposed to.

    • Frostheim says:

      Growl does not work on bosses anymore — but you should still have no problems holding aggro just with Misdirection (the way we’ve had to do it for the last 7 years).

      Growl was only an actual taunt that worked on bosses for a short period, from 5.0.4 to 5.1. It’s removal from bosses in 5.1 just means that we have to go back to paying attention to managing aggro. Happily, via Misdirection and Feign Death, that is not a problem for hunters.

  50. Anary says:

    Pet looses aggro to mage and me even with Missdirect up, after 5.2.
    Useless to try do Timed ZA now without Tank.

    Seems blizzard likes to make everything into “Bring Tank or fail.”, as they did the same with the warbringers.

    • Frostheim says:

      If you’re pulling aggro from your pet with MD up, it sounds like you’re experiencing a bug. As long as MD is up, 100% of your threat should be transferred to your pet (which is eventually lost, of course). You should effectively have zero aggro as long as MD is active.

  51. impossible says:

    i have the exact opposite problem…i mainly do pvp with my hunter but sometimes i hunt the zandalari scouts for reputation insignias and on those rares my pet keeps getting aggro while kiting.
    growl is off and never on cooldown but i have to spam distracting shot to get the mob stick to me and not my pet..annoying as f**k