I can’t remember where I read it, but I seemed to recall that the warlock talent tree was bringing back Sacrifice Demon. Those of us that have been around long enough remember a time in BC when there was a spell with such a name that would grant the warlock a power buff in lieu of having a demon. I remember using this on my warlock (Kittykat) during raids since it seemed the pets would die far too often. It was a nice change of pace. I could play my spell caster without the worry of pet positioning and management. It was nice.
If in Mists of Pandaria this ability is brought back and I can go without a demon pet, I’m guessing that there will be a spec that I pick up that allows me to do so. Demonology for when I want a pet and affliction or destruction for when I don’t. This adds a new element to game play for those warlocks that never want a pet.
Naturally this train of thought led me to the petless hunter concept…basically an archer. I’ll be the first to say that pets are great for having during leveling and running around in Azeroth, but when it comes to dungeons, I’d just as soon sacrifice my pet and play the role of the archer pew pewing from the back. Allowing survival and marksman hunters to drop the pet for a buff doesn’t seem game breaking if you’re going to do it for warlocks.
Now there will be the argument that the pet is what makes the hunter class. But this would introduce a new flavor to the hunter that isn’t available without making a Ranger or Archer class. Also it wouldn’t have to be a “Sacrifice Pet” like the warlock, but perhaps an Aspect of the Pet. Make it an aspect where your souls bind and you gain characteristics from your chosen pet. This would allow you to turn it on quickly like when a warlock sacrifices, but would also allow you to turn it back on by changing aspects and calling your pet again. Since the hunters have the system of aspects in place, it would be a nice way to weave this into the game. It could even be a buff simply by pet type not pet family; like a cunning, ferocity, and tenacity buff rather than a bear, wolf, or kitty buff. That way they don’t have to balance out so many buffs.
I know this is not going to happen in MoP, but given how we see Warlocks work without pets, I’d like to see them expand this to hunters too. I love some of my pets, but when it comes to a dungeon, I still feel pretty forced to certain pet families for buffs instead of the pets that I want (I heard this will be different in MoP too) but if I could just Aspect of the Pet with my ferocity pet and not worry about using the pet I should rather than the pet I want or for taking crap for using the pet I want rather than the pet I should, it would greatly improve the quality of my huntering.