Animations are the type of permanent pet available to enchanters and have the appearance of magically animated weaponry and shields that appear to swing themselves automatically. They cannot be given any of the combat-related pet commands unless the master has points in the Animation Empathy line of AA abilities. This can make animations much more difficult to manage than most other pet types.
Characteristics and StrategyEdit
Animations do not have any innate procs or unique abilities. They are pure melee pets.
Compared to the other permanent pets, animations deal respectable damage but have notoriously limited tanking ability due to their low hit point count. At the lowest levels, they can endure hits decently while slaying monsters with surprising ease, but beyond that point these pets must be watched carefully to keep them from dying, unless the enchanter does not mind summoning a new one frequently.
Until the enchanter has invested in the Animation Empathy AA line, these pets cannot be ordered to attack foes, or to back off from them. In other words, animations will only attack foes who have shown direct aggression toward the enchanter (or toward the animation itself) in some way. Since mobs do not aggro pets unless the pet strikes first, the number of available methods for making these pets attack is limited, and most of them involve the enchanter letting himself or herself get hit.
For situations in which is unsafe for the enchanter to take many hits, getting the pet to engage the enemies at all can be a problem, particularly if someone else in the group is doing the initial pulling. One method is for the enchanter to autoattack each mob from the front until the mob ripostes one of the the enchanter's attacks. This will prompt the pet engage the mob. If the mob has any kind of detrimental AoE ability, the enchanter can try to get hit by that instead. Another way is to let the enchanter do the pulling and make sure he or she gets hit at least once (but preferably not much more than that) before the tank takes hate. Any of these methods can work for enabling the pet to contribute its DPS, although some are safer than others.
By the same token, it may also be wise to leave the pet out of combat for a while during pulls in which crowd control may be needed. In the event the enchanter draws unwanted aggro early in the fight, the pet will be free to engage any foe that struck its master. Once the pet has swung a few times, the enchanter can back off and mesmerize the foe, which should now be distracted trying to attack the pet.
Since both types of pets use the pet window, it is not possible to have both an animation and a charmed pet at the same time. However, there is nothing major to prevent an enchanter from memorizing both types of spells and quickly swapping between the two, since animation pets can be dismissed and charmed pets can be gotten rid of by making the enchanter invisible. Whether or not there is any wisdom in doing this is situational.