Thursday, December 30, 2010

Marks in Cataclysm....so far

So the good news is that hunters are no longer fubar and suck massive wind.  Things did get adjusted and evened out a bit at level 85.  

I'm still playing a MM spec. Its not an easy spec to play and that's most of what I enjoy. It takes a certain type of insane to chose this spec, especially when SV is so far an away a dps powerhouse. BM is a more "melee" driven spec with the pet being the primary weapon and SV is a mostly magic based talent line.  Marks hunters are the physical ranged dps class.  We are the weapon driven class, we live and die by our bow or our gun.

Talents/Glyphs
My primary raiding/heroic MM talents are pretty much standard. I decided to stay away from the AE driven talents and focus more on increasing my single target dps. I really don't wish to have a raiding spec set designed around trash mobs. 




After a bit of reading, research and testing I decided to try a little fun with my spec.  I picked up silencing shot, which I think is still a must have even without the damage component.  Our ability to crowd control and move casters from range sets us apart from the other physical dps classes and will come into major play in this xpac.    I decided to take the suggestion of putting a point into Resistance is Futile and I have not been disappointed.   Even with the low percentage rate it procs a fair amount in heroic boss fights and focus free dps is never a bad thing.

 MM glyphs are pretty straight forward with just two things to consider when picking outside of the norm.  If you find that you are using Silencing Shot to interrupt often, the Glyph of Silencing Shot is an outstanding choice.  If you aren't going to be at the top of the list for interrupts then the glyph is worthless.

 The Glyph of Chimera Shot is somewhat sticky.  Its a larger and more consistent dps gain than you get with the Glyph of Kill Shot but only if you are able to use it properly.  If you aren't consistently hitting your Chimera Shot a second earlier then you get no benefit at all from the glyph.   I'll be honest, my rotation is nowhere near smooth enough yet that I can pick this glyph up and use it for myself.  Eventually I'll get there but right now it just isn't working out for me.

Rotation
Here's where it starts getting fun.  MM is a prioity rotation....with added thinking!  Holy crap they're letting hunters think and make decisions for themselves, oh the humanity.

We start by putting up Hunter's Mark and be in Aspect of the Hawk, then get Serpent Sting up on the target for your first shot.  This is not a rotation this is just every single boss set up.  Every single time.

MM standard priority is this:
Aimed Shot  on procs
Steady Shot in twos

Chimera is our signature shot, our biggest damage shot. It refreshes Serpent Sting and takes priority over everything, even Kill Shot.  Don't get so lost in your rotation that you don't have enough focus saved up by the time Chimera Shot is off cool down. Aimed Shot is used only when it procs as a free instant shot from Master Marksman.  Arcane Shot is the focus dump shot.

I know what you're thinking.  Pffft Cheres my grandmother can do this rotation who are you kidding.  Well my friends this is where it gets fun.

Steady Shot is a two second cast shot that returns 9 focus.  With the Improved Steady Shot when we fire two Steady Shots in a row it procs a 15 percent haste buff .  You want that buff up as close to 100 percent of the time as possible.  Improved Steady Shot does not proc if you have any other shot hit in between your two Steady Shots and missed shots do not count.

Break the pairs up only for Chimera Shot.   If an Aimed Shot procs after firing a Steady Shot wait to fire it until you get off that second Steady Shot.  Wiser minds than mine say to fire two steadies, an arcane, two more steadies, then another arcane. But there is no single set in stone rotation.

But wait.  It gets better!   

Marks has two talents that combine to bring buckets of damage to just the first 20 percent of its rotation. Careful Aim boosts the crit chance of Steady Shot by 60 percent while the boss is over 80 percent health. 
While the boss is over 80 percent health remove Arcane Shot from your rotation. You'll be spamming tons of Steady Shots but a side bonus is that your free Aimed Shot will proc a bunch.  

You should be aiming for at least four Rapid Fires every boss fight combining Readiness with Rapid Fire.  Be sure to use those first two Rapid Fires in the very beginning of the fight when you're using almost nothing but Steady Shots.  Rapid Fire makes your Steady Shot cast time very low so for that brief period when Steady Shot is boss you get off as many as possible.

Time your second round of Rapid Fires to coincide with Heroism / Bloodlust or a trinket proc, and hopefully for a period of the fight when you can stand still-ish.  You can cast Steady Shot while moving but you get more dps if your feet are planted.
  
But Cheres, I could just use Aspect of the Fox!  Yes you could.  And I could fly to your house, punch you in the face, put you back on Hawk and fly home.  You should know how to move and shoot without taking a dps loss.  Don't use a crutch meant for lesser beings. 

MM Stats and Gems

Agility is still our best stat.  Here's a quick and dirty rundown of stat priority.  It is not set in stone, its just a place for you to get started.

Agility
Hit 
Crit 
Mastery
Haste 

Meta socket Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond.  We have been promised a fix to the gem requirements.
Yellow socket if the bonus is 10 agility or 20 of another stat Deadly Ember Topaz
                        if the bonus sucks Delicate Inferno Ruby
Blue socket one for meta requirement Glinting Demonseye
                     if bonus is 20 agility or better Glinting Demonseye
                     if  bonus sucks  Delicate Inferno Ruby

If they don't fix that meta gem then of course fit the square pegs in the round holes as best as possible.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Happy Holidays gamer types


Third time's the charm

I've always known my guild was different.  We read quest text and warcraft novels.   I think we have a dozen Loremasters, myself included.  The lore interests us, heck we're Metzen's personal fan club.  And we like our achievements.  Oh boy do we chase them down like dogs with a bone.  We get nothing from them aside from our own sick, twisted, geeky need to have the boxes colored in. 

This past week we took our geekdom to new and exiting heights.  We are the number one guild on our server for achievement points!  What does that mean? Absofrekinlutely nothing to most of the warcraft world.  But to us it was some of the most silly fun we've had in the game and really great break and breather from the level cap/heroic gear dash.  It was also a great indicator of those who are willing to give one for the team and those who are there only for themselves.  I made mental notes if none of the other officers did.

It may not be the most important use of your game time but consider racing your other guildmates in LK heroic content.  Make it a real challenge, no tanks no healers.  Losers have to run The Oculus.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

One Down

Found and tamed Terrorpene this morning.  I haven't quite found the right name for him.








No luck with the lion yet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ding

I hit level 85 yesterday and have started the gear grind. 

I am now actively stalking, camping, tracking two rare look pets for my stable.  First is Terrorpene, a lava turtle who is joyfully immune to traps and spits fire from a distance.  That should be a fun tame eh?  The other is is Sambas, a stunning and badass lion.  I don't actually need these pets, I just, hey I have the stable slots don't judge!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Newbie Hunter Guide, Cataclysm Style

This expansion has brought more hunter races to the table.  Many people are rolling new hunters to take advantage of the new combos.  I've been getting quite a few questions about specs and leveling and glyphs so I figured now was as good a time as any to go down the list of things any new hunter will need.



The First Ten
You start off life with a pet and some weapons, each determined by your race.  Don't get too excited about the pet, it’s more of a helper than a real partner.  You have no control over it; it will hit what you hit period.  Please learn now that fluffy has an aggro range like nothing you've seen before so pull safely until you are used to it.  The starter pet should never be confused for a tank since it will not generate any threat until after you've started to attack.  All you can do in these first few levels is get max distance and burn the mobs as fast as possible.  Pull with Steady Shot and follow that up with Arcane Shot.  You should be able to eek out 2 or 3 Arcane Shots before the mob is dead.  Honestly if it’s not dead before it reaches you then you are not at max distance or you've pulled something far too high level to be efficient.

Leveling Specs & Glyphs
At level ten you get to start building your leveling spec.  I really, really hate answering "Cheres what do you recommend I spec my hunter to level".  Most hunter specs are personality driven (for good and for bad) and you really have to try them out and get a feel for what kind of hunter you are.

Here's the short answer.  Beast Mastery is the fastest, easiest leveling spec by miles.  Here is a lovely Spec/Glyph link for you to use.

7uyI will be honest, I have always disliked the BM spec.  It just does not suit my play style or my personality.  Next in ease would be a Survival Spec.  This will give you really nice hunter generated DPS is still a nice learning curve spec.   I spent a good deal of my hunter life as a Survival spec.  I was Survival in vanilla when everyone was Marks.  I think it has a good deal of fun in it and a nice survivability rate.

I went to MM full time in WOLTK and have never looked back.  I love how it plays, it just suits me better.  I have started an Undead Hunter (dontcha wish your hunter was hot like me) and I'm taking her down the Marks tree.  I wouldn't use her spec, I've since changed my mind about how it should look, but I am here to tell you that it is highly viable to level, and level well, with a MM spec

Your New Best Friend
Oh how we hunters love our pets!  They are our defenders, our partners, our companions.  They are the wind beneath our wings.

Rule #1 with a pet is feed it often.  The happier it is the more damage it does.  You can check what foods your pet eats on its paper doll or go to Petopia.  Some pets are very picky eaters so keep that in mind when you go out to tame a new buddy. 

Your pet will have one dps ability, one threat generator and one detaunt.  When it gets high enough level it will also get a new special ability specific to its family.  In general, you just want to your pet's dps abilities on auto-cast.  Use growl (threat) when you solo and cower (detaunt) when you're in a group.

Your pet has three behaviors that affect how it attacks:
  • Passive Your pet will not attack anything under any circumstances. If you click on passive while your pet is attacking, it will stop attacking until it gets new orders from you.
  • Defensive Your pet will attack anything that you're attacking and will attack anything that damages you or the pet.
  • Aggressive Your pet will attack anything that gets near it. Just like a mob, it now has an aggro radius.  


I play with my pet on passive and send it individually to the mobs I am attacking.  I have a pet attack macro bound to my mouse button so it takes no real effort.  To me defensive makes a bad tab target situation worse.  Aggressive will very nicely and efficiently pull a zone, or a dungeon.  Whether you both survive the pull is another matter.

One important note on pets:  You will not get xp, rep or loot for anything your pet kills entirely on its own.  

Pet Tanking
Your pet is your tank. Get used to that concept. When you're fighting, let your pet attack the target first! You will always want to lead off with Kill Command, which along with your pet's auto-cast Growl will help your pet establish firm aggro right off the bat. Thereafter, you assume your DPS and healing roles. Keep Mend Pet up while your fighting (it doesn't cost you anything), and take down your target with a mixture of Arcane Shot and Steady Shot.

Quest mobs rarely stay alive long enough for Serpent Sting to be worth your while; likewise, you don't want to blow the large focus cost of Kill Command on something that's almost dead -- save that focus for the next mob in line. If you're fighting an elite or a mob many levels higher than you, then Serpent Sting and reusing Kill Command are well worth your while.

Pet Threat
Your pet is your tank.  Your pet is your tank.  Your pet is your tank.  Therefore treat it as you would treat a player tank.  No wait, treat it nicer than that.  
Your pet generates threat three ways: using Growl, which generates a set amount of threat; using Kill Command; and by the normal damage that the pet causes. Your pet's Growl is not a taunt.  Pet growl is not a taunt.  Once more with feeling.  Hunter pet growl is not a taunt.

One of the keys to making sure your pet generates as much threat is possible is for you to be hit-capped. Yes, even while leveling, this is important.  Your pet inherits your hit rating and through that hit rating it generates its own expertise rating.  If you're at the hit cap for the mobs you're fighting, then your pet will not miss or bee dodged or parried.  That can increase your pet's damage while tanking by 20% and as we just learned that increases our pet's threat by 20%

Just a suggestion from long term experience.  If you are attempting a difficult mob, let the pet get off two growls and throw a kill command before you start to dps.  Extra insurance never hurts.

What's the Best Pet
When it comes to leveling, you can really use any pet that you want.  Since your relationship with your pet is so important, thought should go into things like, looks, animations and sounds.   Wolves stop, scratch and howl.  Cats stretch and roar.  Worgs run funny.  Warp stalkers are just, well, annoying.

All pets fall into one of three talent tree types.  
  • Cunning pets talents and skills focus on utility and mobility making them exceptional PvP pets.  But they're also a nice balance of dps and tanking which makes them lovely solo pets.
  • Ferocity pets talents and skills focus on increasing both pet and hunter DPS.   They're highly popular raiding pets but handled properly can be very good solo pets.  
  • Tenacity pets talents and skills focus on tanking.  Tenacity pets have tanked 10 man ICC bosses.  They are outstanding solo play companions

Do I need Haste?
Keep it simple for now.  Agility, hit rating, stamina, attack power.  Everything you are killing now should be dying in less than a minute so avoid haste.  It just doesn't give you enough punch to give up another stat.


Follow me!
Real hunters are a scary bunch.  We want to kill more, kill faster, kill harder.  Where's the challenge, how far can I kite this mob.  How many corpse runs till I can solo this raid dungeon...
We have the ability to handle big groups, slow things down, stop them and when things go horribly wrong, to fall down and play dead like a girl.


Push your hunter, I promise its fun!  Kiting mobs is a blast.   Before Blizzard decided our fun could be far too destructive hunters would compete to see who could kite boss mobs the longest.  When an Alterac Valley match would take two days, I'd kite Korrak the Bloodrager around into enemy territory and feign death as soon as enemy mages started to AE. 


Take the time to kick the tires and open it up on the highway.  The hunter class will never disappoint.  Have fun!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A lone hunter.....

I wasn't one of those up before the sun playing the game, I wasn't even playing it at noon.  I did get a few hours in and so far I'm having a good time.  I decided to play my hunter solo just so I can get a feel for how things are at my own pace and not many people like to hang around while I read quest text.

So here's the deal with my thoughts on leveling my hunter.   I don't enjoy leveling as BM and with the misdirection change I have no worries that my pets will have aggro issues.  The healing component of Chimera Shot is just too nice for solo play to pass up.   I changed my MM spec from a raid focus to a solo focus.  The combo of Rapid Killing and Recuperation talents means less need to use Steady Shot for focus generation in a fast shooting environment.   They should also give me the freedom to chain pull and attempt bigger pulls.

My rotation will also be different of course.  So far I just use instant shots and send my pet in.  Hell I don't even wait for the pet to get aggro all that often.  Things die before they get to me so all is good.  As the mobs get harder I will have to be a bit less lazy but that's why Blizzard invented Misdirection

For pets I've broken out my cat again.  I missed Maethor, he and I have leveled together since I tamed him way back when I was level 23 or 24.  I never used another pet till I hit WOTLK and wolves became king.




Its comforting having him around.  Hunters are so very odd about pets aren't we?  I am bringing the turtle as backup for harder mobs and bigger pulls.  

I started out leveling in Vashj'ir.  The 3D aspect of the underwater zone took a bit of time to get used to but all those free, dead beasts lying around means I'm skinning capped! Booyah!  I will probably stay down there and level since I'm enjoying the storyline and I have a pretty sea horse. 

I'm not so worried about the gear.  So far nothing's really been much of an upgrade and if this is anything like the xpacs of old my stuff should carry me easily to level 83 without any worry.

I have to say that I like leveling this version of the hunter more than my previous mana using incarnations.  Its much more what I hopped the class would be like when the game first started.   A lone hunter traveling Azeroth with her beloved companion taking down foes and ridding the world of evil and and stuff.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Welcome to the Machine

I am not usually one to give away quests in detail but this is different.  This quest just proves that Metzen and his staff are geniuses.  I'll admit part of the reason to blog this is to preserve it for myself.  I'm not giving it all away, just enough to give you the gist of how full of win this quest is!

It is not a follow up quest, anyone can go and pick it up at the border of Silverpine and Hillsbrad.  You should go get it.  Seriously.  Your life will not be complete without it.

When you get there they put you straight to work.  As a quest giver!  This made my inner geek jump up and down inside and yell "THATS RIGHT!".  You are asked to give out three quests.  Your first quester arrives shortly...




Yep you read it right, its Dumbass.


Dumass says: HI! HI! HELP! 

Dumass says: HI! HI! HELP! 

Dumass says: HI! I'M NEW! BIG WHITE LIGHT CREATURE WITH WINGS MADE ME ALIVE! I SERVE THE BANSHEE QUEEN! YAY! 
HELP! 
HI! 


Just admit it you know Dumass.  This patch unearthed Dumbass.  It turns out Dumbass is in all of our guilds.


Next on your list of quest seekers is Orkus.




Kingslayer Orkus says: I have seen the fall of the Lich King. Creations of the titans have fallen before my mighty axe. When called upon, I alone spearheaded a victory for the Argent Crusade against the beasts of Northrend. Now, I come for the ultimate challenge. What does Hillsbrad Foothills have to offer Kingslayer Orkus?


Um... Apparently there are bloodthirsty worgen running rampant in the south. Maybe you could help with them? 


Kingslayer Orkus says: Bloodthirsty you say? Is there any risk of death or dismemberment to me?


None.

Kingslayer Orkus says: Then Orkus WILL DO IT! YES!



I know this guy.  I used to be this guy :\




Last and by no means least, your third quest seeker....




That's right its Johnny Awesome.  


Johnny Awesome says: That's all? One quest? Surely you jest. Are there not bear asses to collect? Perhaps a rare flower that I could pick from which you will make some mildly hallucinogenic tonic which you will then drink, resulting in visions of a great apocalypse? Perhaps the local populace of mildly annoying, ill-tempered gophers are acting up and need to be brought to justice? No? Nothing? 


This guy and his follow up quests alone are worth the past 6 years subscription fees.  


I will spoil it no further but honestly, stop whatever you are doing and take your horde character (min level 19) to the road where Hillsbrad meets Silverpine and do this quest.  Now.  Stop reading and go do it.


*FULL QUEST, TOTAL SPOILER*

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Holidays

I am thankful for my expanded stable slots, scatter shot, focus over mana and my guild.




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It is done

So the world as we know it changed when the servers went down.  I had fully intended to run around Azeroth and get some screen shots but I managed to pick up a flu bug so instead I went to sleep.

I'm more than a little sad thinking about logging into the game today.  I've been playing/testing in Azeroth since the first phase of closed beta.  Back then The Stockades was endgame content.


I developed altaholicism back in beta.  Then I called it "testing"


Why two rogues you ask?  Well because they locked down all phase one characters when they started phase two.  Bastards!  Why no hunters?  They hadn't gone live yet.

My very first warcraft hunter and her pet.  I always had a thing for the lions






But to do the old world its just tribute I leave you with these two videos.  








Good night Mrs. Mankrik, wherever you are!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Turtle of Doom

Now I have a tanking turtle, Bowser.  He's lovely and sweet and takes a punch like no one's business.  But he's not intimidating.  In fact most people laugh at him.  But in Cata all that will change.  There is a new rare spawn turtle named Terropene who can be found in Hyjal.  Oh yes, he will be mine.



Fire drips from his mouth and spouts from his smoking horn!  How bad ass is that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Have Pet, Will Travel

So one of the more interesting changes to hunters has been the pet buff.  For those of you that play the way less cool, non hunter classes, our pets can now provide a party/raid wide buff.  Each family of pet provides a different type of buff.

Petopia has a really well done list of all the pets and all their special abilities.

Every hunter now gets to carry around 4 pets at any given time and the stable has been expanded to 25 slots.  That means you can have a pet for nearly every situation plus a few just because they're pretty.

For now lets just concern ourselves with our pets in a raid situation.  Here's a quick list of quality raiding buff pets that should be a part of a hunter's stable.  As usual, exotic pets are only available to Beast Mastery hunters.

Ferocity Pet Buffs
  • Agility and Strength: Cat, spirit beast (exotic)
  • Burst Haste: Corehound (exotic)
  • 5% crit: Wolf, Devilsaur (exotic)
  • 12% armor debuff: Raptor
  • 30% bleed damage: Hyena
  • Cast speed reduction: Corehound (exotic)
  • 10% melee attack speed reduction: Tallstrider, Fox (Cata)

Cunning Pet Buffs
  • Health: Silithid (exotic)
  • 12% armor debuff: Serpent
  • Cast speed reduction: Sporebat
  • 4% physical damage taken: Ravager
  • 8% spell damage taken: Dragonhawk, Wind serpent

Tenacity Pet Buffs
  • 5% stats: Shale Spider (exotic & Cata)
  • 12% physical damage: Bear
  • 30% bleed damage: Rhino (exotic), Boar
  • 4% physical damage taken: Worm (exotic)

Now its all well and good to say "okay Cheres I'll go tame a cat, a silithid and a wolf and I'll cover all the important things".  Not so fast!  Buffs by a pet are always inferior to buffs from a player.  Why is that you ask?  Because no one will heal your pet.  Ever.  Not even by mistake.  Your pet is like a rogue, it refuses to see that its in the fire taking damage.  Also like a rogue your pet will die more often than not.  There is a better than good chance that the healers will heal the Druid who buffed the raid.

You need to have a working knowledge of what other classes bring to the table and work your pets in around that.  Here is a list of every raid buff available to pets and the player classes that also bring them to the dance.

  • Agility and Strength cat, spirit beast (exotic), DK, Shaman, Warrior
  • Burst Haste corehound (exotic), Shaman, Mage
  • Health silithid (exotic); Warlock, Warrior, Priest
  • 5% Crit wolf, devilsaur (exotic), Fury Warrior, Feral Druid, Sub Rogue, Ele shaman
  • 5% Stats shale spider (exotic), Paladin, Druid
  • 12% Armor Debuff serpent, raptor, Warrior, Rogue, Druid
  • 10% Physical Damage Debuff bear, Warrior, Druid, Prot Paladin, Warlock, Blood DK
  • 30% Bleed Damage Debuff rhino (exotic), boar, hyena, Arms Warrior, Feral Druid, Sub Rogue
  • 30% Cast Speed Reduction sporebat, corehound (exotic), Warlock, Rogue, Arcane Mage 
  • 25% Healing Taken devilsaur (exotic), Arms & Fury Warriors Hunter, Rogue, Frost Mage, Shadow Priest
  • 10% Melee Attack Speed Debuff tallstrider, fox, Warrior, DK, Feral Druid, Prot Paladin
  • 4% Physical Vulnerability worm (exotic), ravager, Arms Warrior, Combat Rogue, Frost DK
  • 8% Spell Damage Taken dragonhawk, wind serpent, Warlock, Unholy DK, Balance Druid, Assassination Rogue

Make sure you realize that three of these buffs buffs are provided only by exotic pets: burst haste (heroism/bloodlust), stamina (pw:fortitude), and 5% stats (kings/motw).  To have them you will need a BM spec.

See now you say "but Cheres it takes so much work and time to go out, tame a pet, name a pet and then level it to 80!111ONE11!!."  Not so much.  If you are level 80 any pet you tame will become level 77 or its natural level if that is higher.   Four random dungeons later your pet is level 80.  There goes your excuse.

Here's a short list of pets to tame for raids so you're not out there all over the place taming everything.
  • Cat
  • Corehound
  • Silithid
  • Wolf
  • Shale Spider (cata)
  • Raptor
  • Bear
  • Hyena
  • Sporebat
  • Tallstrider or Fox
  • Ravager
  • Dragonhawk or Wind Serpent 
I'm personally about halfway through the list.  I'd be done but I got distracted by the need to run ZG as often as possible and the joy one can only find with an Ele shaman.

The best part of all these pets and buffs is now we're even more useful in a raid!  Hot damn!  Our utility is further expanded!  We are even cooler than before!  Take that mages and your stupid nutty crits!  But you have to be in it to win it.  You need to not only tame pets but prove that you know when to use them.

I'll be honest I've seen a few hunters that have not bothered to work on their pets.  You can still see a raid with 3 wolves in it.  Some use pets that bring absolutely nothing to the table by way of buffs.   That's no different than not bringing any consumables or forgetting to gem some gear.  They aren't bringing their A game to the raid.  Simple as that.

Embrace more of the new you.  Fill up those stable slots!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More changes in beta

Courtesy of MMO Champion

Remember these are on the xpac beta, not PTR.  As usual, I'm in blue italics.

Beast Mastery
  • Widow Venom now reduces healing by 10%, down from 25%.  Its now in line with all the other healing reduction type abilities
  • Kill Command now deals 43% of Ranged AP + 848 damage. Up from 35% of RAP + 772 damage.  That's a huge and needed buff to that shot.  Its now on board with Steady and Cobra Shots.

Marksmanship
  • Steady Shot now scales from 2.1% of Ranged AP, down from 10 of Ranged AP.  From what I understand this is how its working and the tool tip was wrong.  So not a nerf but a tool tip fix.
  • Chimera Shot now deals 28.8% of Ranged AP + 973 damage. Up from 24% of Ranged AP + 401.  Um, yay!

Survival
  • Explosive Shot now scales from 22% of Ranged Attack Power, up from 18%.
  • Black Arrow doesn't seem to scale from Ranged Attack Power anymore, or maybe Blizzard just removed the scaling value from the tooltip.
Pets
  • Demoralizing Screech no longer deals damage or reduces the attack power of enemies in range. Now reduces the physical damage caused by all enemies within 8 yards by 10% for 10 sec. No longer has a focus cost.
  • Froststorm Breath base damage reduced from 244 to 41.
  • Monstrous Bite now reduces healing by 10%, down from 25%.
  • Burrow Attack now scales from 76.8% of Ranged AP and deals 1432 damage, up from 9.6% RAP + 257.  ← Hi2U sexy. 

Oh come on, really?

This is my Tier 11 set. 




I don't even know where to start?  The hat is just another in a long tradition of WTFISTHAT hunter helms.  But oh my effing god it looks like a gorloc skull.  Um, ew.

Lets not discuss the day-glo colors since everyone has essentially the same shades.

The rest of it is...I'm not sure what word I'm looking for to describe this.  What the hell are the rocks on the shoulders supposed to represent?  Uncut agility gems?  I see the giant gem slot in the middle of the chest and on the boots too.

This is what I will be stuck wearing for months and months.  I'm going to sit in this here corner and cry for a while.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blizzcon and Hunters

My name is Greg, I'm one of the lead designers of World of Warcraft. I'm a Libra. I like long walks on the beach, drinking gin, and nerfing paladins.

Ghostcrawler is my new hero.  This is just the bit pulled out of the giant Q&A that relates only to hunters.  My fabulous running commentary is in blue.

Q: When the death frost enchant first came out, I died a bit inside. We're seeing all these chance to proc on a melee attack or a spell, and I'm just wondering are hunters ever going to get a fun melee enchant, or are we going to be stuck with an upgraded version of an enchant that we've had since like patch 1.5?

A: So I have some bad news, unfortunately. For a while, you're going to be stuck. But one of the things that we're looking at going forward is sort of evaluating the scopes, because those are pretty boring right now to be frank, and we want to make the scopes cool and interesting. So if you do get one of those proc enchants coming along the line that's going to be where it comes into the game. And it will be just yours, nobody else can use it, and it'll be that cool thing.

A scope with a real use.  Actually exciting

Q: OK, hunters, Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the Pack -- it's been in the game for a long time now. This is somewhat of a credit to you guys, you've given all the other character classes wonderful tools where a lot of hunters now no longer feel it's necessary to have a gimp to a skill like this. We all feel it's antediluvian, you know; remove it from the game, please. That way it would add more dynamic to the hunter class. Aspect of the Pack would be used in other situations.

A:The reason why Aspect of the Cheetah and Aspect of the pack aren't like -- or that they have the daze I guess is what you're referencing -- is that if they didn't have the daze then you could just kite stuff all day long in PvE and it's also used like --

Q:you put mobs on leashes, you cannot kite stuff all day long. That is no longer true. And mobs you can kite, it's irrelevant; you could kill it anyway. Who cares?

A:I don't know, I think I'd be able to kite stuff and kill stuff solo as long as the boss doesn't hit me.

Okay first  "we"?  You and the mouse in your pocket?  The rest of us aren't belligerent idiots.  I mean good god we all know that there's good reason for the daze.  Who the let this moron roll a hunter let alone ask a question?

Q: From a technical standpoint we seem to be the only ranged class in the game that has a minimum range. This seems to come into effect quite a bit in our raids where everybody in the raid -- ICC first couple of bosses -- everybody in the raid stacks up on the boss at max hit at the edge of the hitbox, except the hunter -- you stand about five feet back and die.

A: If your raid liked you more they'd save you.

You reading that guildies !  The devs blame you for my death on a spike inside cold flame because I can't get any closer to the boss and do damage.  

Question: My question is just -- mages, warlocks, priests -- they're all ranged classes but they can stand directly in front of you and repeatedly use what would be a ranged attack. Why have hunters been singled out? Why are we not allowed to do the same thing with our bows or our guns? It makes no sense.


A: It's part of the overall flavor of the hunter class unfortunately, and it goes hand in hand with using ranged weapons. That said I'm very sympathetic to the reality on fights like Lord Marrowgar, and other bosses that have very large hit boxes -- which works to the advantage of melee because it lets you spread out -- but effectively it's subtracting from the viable range for hunters. That issue in particular is something that we've discussed addressing because it is intended to make life easier for you, not harder, and life would be easier for you on Marrowgar if you were smaller and that's just not how it's ideally going to work.

Q: Is there supposed to be any form of a balance for the fact that it is a negative to the way our class plays is that we must be at that range or our DPS goes to pretty much nothing once you get into melee. Is there going to be something that cancels that out and makes us a slightly more viable ranged class than somebody who doesn't have that negative.

A: At the same you can shoot while moving and a mage can't channel his spells while moving, so there's trade offs right? Or a rogue or a cat they can't do anything when they have to run around the room, and you can. So there's different classes have different strengths in different situations.

Hunters also have a lot of abilities to get our of melee range, that's why disengage was made as a jump away from your target kind of ability, to get away from the shadow priest standing on top of you. But pretty much any ranged class if a melee's on top of you, you know, you're not doing your highest damage, right.

Okay so how I read this is yes we know the hit box is HUGE.  Yes we realize you get stuck way outside.  No we prefer that the melee dps be happier.   They didn't address situations where we have to be stacked tight inside a mob's hit box (the Lich King fight is a prime example).  I mean I could melee but I'm pretty sure Arthas would wet his pants laughing at me. 

Frostheim from WHU managed an interview with Ghostcrawler!  Oddly its only hunter related, no dwarf questions at all.  So very unlike him.  But he did get some answers on a few major issues.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Postcards from Azeroth

Not sure if many have seen this but this blog is pretty damn cool.

Postcards from Azeroth

They take screenshots from the game and post them up in postcard form.  Take a trip over there are some really amazing ones.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

I think its okay to hate me now

I am now the Dinaer of the Horseman mounts.  My druid got the drop her first run last night. 


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful..

Hate me because the Horseman dropped the reigns to his mount in my backpack!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Emo Hunter is Emo

I started out this new patch very excited.  I ran around taming, naming and leveling new pets.  I took the pug ride on random dungeons and thought, hey this focus thing is sorta neat.  I even did some of 25 man ToC and I was very happy to see that I could manage my focus bar very well.  Oh it was going so well.  And then it happened.

ICC 25, or the land where hunter dps goes to die.  Some of it is my fault, I just cannot get past this priority shot mental block.  I also seem to have lost the ability to notice when Serpent Sting is about to run out.  But even more than that is the damage nerf to the class.  I'd heard about it and I thought everyone was just over reacting.  But damn.  I cannot break 7k DPS and (no offense to my mage friends and loved ones) casters are face rolling their way to 15k. 

The rational side of my brain knows that this will be adjusted.  It knows that the damage meters aren't everything.  It knows that I still have much to relearn about the class.  But damn I wasn't even in the top 10. 

Nothing to do but suck it up, retrain my brain on a priority list and wait for the changes.    I guess I'll head out and listen to the Smiths while I shoot at a target dummy.

Meh.  Wah.  Meh

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Aspect of the Hawk has landed

So today is the day when the whole world changes for the Hunter class.  New specs, new stables, new stats, new mechanics.  Its like the first day of school without the "forgot my homework in my underwear" nightmares.

So what will I do when I get home?  Probably play Starcraft II till the servers are stable.  When I can log in what will I do first?  That's right I will make sure my addons are up to date and functional.  If Bartender is not up and running I will go back to Starcraft until it is.  Yeah that's right I'm a big loser and can't play without my addons.

Okay so when my UI makes me happy I will aspect of the pack it to a hunter trainer.




Hm should probably avoid training in Stormwind or Ironforge.

Once at the trainer I will train all the new and shiny things.  New stable!  I'm actually highly geeked up about the new stable.  I like pets and I always wished I could have more and now I can.

Next comes talents & glyphs.  I think I'm mostly settled on what I will start with and then tweak it from there.

Cheres 4.0.1

I decided to take the new Silencing Shot for raid utility and I picked up Marked for Death because anything that will keep me from blowing a global cool down in a long boss fight is a good thing.  My glyphs are mostly self explanatory, I'm still on the fence between the Arcane Shot and Chimera Shot glyphs and am going to punish myself accordingly for not testing it out more on the PTR when I had the chance.

I think this is a good time to take a moment to reflect on what we as hunters are losing.  Ammo and Ammo bags will no longer be part of Warcraft.




I've sort of, kind of, maybe figured out what to do with my gear in a general "I have a gear stat issue" sort of way.  I'm hoping to use the rest of my slacking off at work time to get a game plan for this.  If I'm a good girl and get all my homework done I can go out and play with the beasts to fill up my stable!

But Cheres what about focus?!?!   The whole world is different!!  When do we spam Steady Shot?!?!  I've heard many a comment that focus is a game breaker and "well I'll just go play my X instead".   "Hunters are broken I'm going to light up the world and Recount with my other characters!"


Please do go play your X instead.  You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.  Leave focus to those of us who have some.

Monday, October 11, 2010

4.0.1 Incoming

Hopefully not tomorrow because



What's my spec going to be.  No friggin idea for sure.  I know its MM but I'm really having a hard time settling on anything specific.  The target dummies are always at high health so getting a truly accurate test of DPS is only going to happen in a real raid situation.

BTW anyone wanting to go BM or SV for raiding, don't. Cobra Shot is not going to be in the game and your DPS will take a hit.  

I know and am prepared for a massive drop in my DPS.  Every reputable Hunter blog is mentioning this.  My ego will get over it eventually, I've played the class when we were lolhunterdps.  Its just sad that they felt it was important to hit us with the nerfbat to the tune of 1k dps when the other classes are seeing increases.  I'm sure it will be adjusted by the time I'm raiding in the xpac. 

No mana yay!  But I'm still very meh about the learning curve with focus.  I am bad and did not spend nearly enough time on the PTR and my raids will suffer as I try to figure out what goes where and when.  I'll just find a way to blame the rogues.

No more Ammo!  FRIGGIN YAY!  To prepare for this I've stopped getting arrows. With no more ammo means no more quiver!  YAY!  I await with much excitement my shiny new 24 slot bag. 

Pretty big gear change in store, no more intel, no more AP and no more ArP.  I will be sporting a metric butt ton of haste since I have a butt ton of ArP and a higher crit rating.  Gems change too.  ArP gems will turn into crit rating gems and so I'll be way over crit cap when raid buffed.   Reforging is coming so I'll be able to adjust some of my gear as well.  I really should have started reworking this a while ago so now and I'll pay the price when I'm crying in my DPS spreadsheet. 

I've tamed a raptor and I'll level him to 80 but otherwise I'm done with pets till the new stables arrive. 

I really hope the patch isn't tomorrow.

Oh I found something funny so I'll wrap this posting up with a totally not related picture.




Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pets and Raids

I've managed to get quite dizzy thinking about all the pets and the raid buffs they bring.  I think I may wind up spending the first week of the new patch taming and leveling a ton of pets.

Here's the short list I'm looking at:

  • Cat Str/Agil - Have
  • Wolf 5% Crit  - Have
  • Bear - Debuffs physical damage caused
  • Raptor - Debuffs armor
  • Hyena - Increased bleed damage taken
  • Sporebat - Cast speed reduction
  • Tallstrider - Attack speed slow
  • Ravager - Physical damage vulnerability
  • Dragonhawk - Spell damage taken
I have 1 free slot and 1 yet to be purchased stable slot left.  Not sure its worth it to spend the money to buy that last one or just wait.  

In the meantime I guess I will take some time and pick out pets and think of their names.  I mean that's just as important as anything else in 4.0.1 no?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Moments of Silence

Have had a few things going on in my non gaming life that made me put gaming on the back burner.  That's all ending and I'll be back to being annoyed that I never got into beta soon!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shared Topic: The Best of Wrath

The shared topic on Blog Azeroth is our favorite _____ in Wrath.  I'm going to take a cue from my guild mate and expand it just a bit.

Gear:

I really do love my armor set, I think its amazingly cool and very hunterish.




There's just one small problem with it. The helm is a bird house with a horn.  Why...just why.



But lets be honest, hunters don't play for the armor.   We play for the weapon.  I know everyone has it by now but I love my bow.  Even down to the tooltip it oozes cool.















How can you not want to play the coolest class in the game after this?

Mount:

Now that San has his I can safely post my favorite.  I've wanted a black drake from the moment I first saw one.  Honestly when the xpac started I never expected to be in a position to get it.  It did come with some guilt, I didn't realize at the time that some were going for the 100 mount achievement and that I should probably not have rolled on Bob.  But destiny will not be denied and now we live happily ever after.




Dungeon:


Yes yes Gundrak is an odd choice.  But seriously, Ice Trolls with god complexes what's better than that.  Its a fast and flowing instance with in reach achievements.   The fights require situational awareness and really for the first time in Northrend it requires some skill with your class.

Raid:

I need to say this and be highly unpopular.  I really hate Ulduar, the raid and both five man instances.  Don't get me wrong its all visually stunning and the lore is amazing.  But the fights are so bloody hunter crappy I can hardly stand it.  I just never found it to be any fun. 






Naxxramas.  The big daddy of "vanilla wow", the last of the 40 man raids.  I didn't get far into it then and it was a disappointment.  I was so pleased to see it resurected in WOTLK where it fit in perfectly.    Its a nostalgia pick but hey I'm female and can pick stuff just because if I want.

Zone:

Oh I so love Grizzly Hills.


Don't get me wrong after about 10 minutes I turn the music off but the rest of it just rocks.  The return of Harrison Jones, the Shade of Arugal, the bear god Ursoc and the poor, imprisoned troll Drakuru.

Its such a pretty zone, a forest in the winter.  Big full pine trees, clean white snow, crisp cold waterfalls.  Its like a vacation in Northrend. 

Quest Chain:


Guru of Drakuru

I know its technically two chains but you just can't not do both.


Admit it, after you finish the Grizzly Hills portion you said "hey dude WTF?!?"  It was so fulfilling to exact revenge in the second set of quests.  Gotta love it.


This has been a really great expansion, its lived up to the hype.  I could go on and on but I have a date with the PTR and some Cataclysm testing!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I now rock the Rhok (Now with Shiny Screenshots!)






Tonight I rammed through the quest for Rhok'delar.  Sort of anti climatic since I'm in no danger of dying to the demons.  They should ramp those demons up a bit, be more fun.

But I'm happy to have it :)






















In a strange added bonus, turning in my black sinew implies I somehow killed Ony at level 60...at 80...in a world where the level 60 Ony no longer exists.

The waiting is the hardest part

So going on day two of the attempt to download the PTR client.  Can't character copy yet but I can at least start a baby hunter and learn focus from the ground up.  However the client is flipping HUGE.  Hopefully it will download a buttload while I'm at work.  Did I mention its huge?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

PvP 101: Alterac Valley

My little warlock just hit the 50s and finally aged into Alterac Valley.  This is the one battleground that I find to be more fun prior to hitting 80.



The Alterac Valley battleground is physically located in the Hillsbrad Foothills at the foot of Alterac Mountains.  The Frostwolf Clan is lead by the blind Shaman Drek'thar, who taught Thrall the ways of Shamanism and helped found Orgrimmar.  The Stonepike Guard is lead by Vanndar Stormpike, a Mountain King.   AV is the long time home of the Frostwolf Clan but also the sight of many thought to be lost dwarven artifacts.  Both sides struggle to remove their opponents from the land entirely. 














AV is a 40v40 battleground with level ranges 51-60, 61-70, 71-79, 80.  

The game can be won in two ways: killing the enemy generals or whittling down enemy reinforcements to 0.   Each side begins with 600 reinforcements, which can be reduced by achieving certain objectives.

The various reinforcement-affecting objectives are as follows:
  • Killing the enemy Captain takes away 100 reinforcements. Captain Balinda Stonehearth is the Alliance Captain, while Captain Galvangar serves the Horde.
  • Burning down an enemy bunker or tower takes away 75 reinforcements. There are four towers per side, for a total of 300 reinforcements. Additionally, burning down a bunker or tower eliminates an Alliance Marshal or Horde Warmaster respectively. These elite NPCs serve as the Generals' bodyguards and increase the Generals' total health by 25% each (for a total of 100% additional health if all four are up).
  • Killing an enemy player reduces enemy reinforcements on a 1:1 basis.
Capturing a mine will grant 1 reinforcement every 45 seconds per mine controlled.

AV has the most asymmetrical battleground map in the game.  Both factions swear that the other has some sort of geographical advantage but I've played both sides, I see none. 




Don't worry about being confused for your first few games. The map is large and can be very confusing for new players. Take some time and get to know the landscape, particularly the locations and names of key points such as graveyards and bunkers/towers. Don't worry too much if you lose your way going to a place, and it's generally a good idea to follow the crowd for the first few games just to get into the flow of things.

Most players already familiar with AV will abbreviate all objectives and tend to be massive tools when it comes to explaining what they mean.  Here's a list of the more popular abbreviations.

Horde Related

  • Relief Hut - RH
  • Frostwolf Graveyard - FWGY
  • Tower Point - TP
  • Iceblood Tower - IBT or IB
  • Iceblood Graveyard - IBGY
  • Captain Galvangar - Galv
  • Drek'thar - Drek
Alliance Related
  • Stormpike Aid Station - Aid Station
  • Stormpike Graveyard - SPGY
  • Icewing Bunker - IWB
  • Stonehearth Graveyard - SHGY
  • Stonehearth Bunker - SHB
  • Captain Balinda Stonehearth - Bal
  • Vanndar Stormpike - Vann
Other abbreviations
  • Snowfall Graveyard - SFGY or SF
  • Starting points - The Cave (which spawned the term Cavedwellers)

It might seem overwhelming to have to learn so many terms and objectives, specially after the simple Warsong and Arathi maps, but it gets easy after a few games. There are many specific strategies to win Alterac Valley but there are a couple of important things to remember.

 
Defend what you tag
Players should never leave what they tag.  Just as with Arathi Basin, where it's a bad move to leave a flag unguarded, graveyards or bunkers and towers should be defended until they are captured or destroyed.  Careless defense of tagged objectives often spells the difference in close matches.

Be useful

This might seem like a no-brainer, but there are lazy players who tend to just 'soak' honor by entering Alterac Valley and not participating actively in the battle.   Report players them by clicking on their 'dot' in the map and selecting 'Report Player AFK'. There are many ways for players to be useful in Alterac Valley, from defending nodes to capturing them, as well as good old-fashioned killing enemies.  If you can, cap the mines. 

There are many honor rewards in this battleground.  The Alliance vendor for these items is Thanthaldis Snowgleam  Alliance battleground entrance. The Horde vendor for these items is Jekyll Flandring outside the Horde entrance.


There are a number of quests for completing AV objectives.  You can get all of these quests outside the battleground entrances, including inside the cave.  These quests go a long way to helping leveling up a character.


Alterac Valley is a player's first taste of large scale PvP encounters.  It takes a coordinated, concentrated effort to win efficiently but it's totally fine as a beginners to feel your  way around the map as there are many opportunities to be useful.  So queue up, get in there and contribute to the organized chaos!