Thursday, July 29, 2010

Its not about teh sword, part II

We recently lost a player in our guild due to the concept that there is no gear check for our raids.  Now my guild leader has shouted from the rooftops that gear shouldn't be a deciding factor in our raids.  He's completely right about that. There is a mage on our server with a 6k gear score that can't find his ass with a map and a flashlight.  The guild  Undergeared  is running ICC in blues.  How is this at all possible?  Can something besides gear really matter?  Fire and brimstone coming down from the sky! Rivers and seas boiling!  Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

Most every time that someone is out dps'd by someone in the same class the response is, "But they have better gear!"  When was the last time you heard "oh they must be a better player"?   Lets face it we all think we're highly skilled players. No one likes to admit that maybe we could stand to learn a few things or fix a few things. We're uber damnit!

The Unimportance of Gear
How much better does dps get with each full tier of upgrades?  The easiest way to answer this is to use  Zeherah's DPS analyzer This is not about predicting actual dps numbers its just about analysis.  Where it says that an upgrade will give you a 20% increase, you'll usually see that 20% increase.

DPS by item level (Raid buffed)

Item Level  DPS
  Blues     6,013
  213   6,813
  226   8,334
  245   9,268
  264 10,869

This shows us that going from the worst level 80 gear to the best level 80 gear is not going to double your dps.  Each full tier of gear is giving around a 12% - 20% upgrade. This means that if you're doing 6k dps in mostly ilvl 245 gear, you can expect to do around 7k in mostly ilvl 264 gear.

Now something to remember, the better your skill is, the more dps you'll get out of your gear. Two hunters will not necessarily see the same dps increase from getting Deathbringer's Will. The better player will get substantially more out of the same gear.

Everything in WoW is an extreme  You're either a skilled hunter or a useless huntard.   There is a middle ground, the line that separates the two; competence. I think most people, hunters and non hunters alike, confuse hunter competence with hunter skill.

The majority of hunters are competent.  They have a good build, good glyphs, the right epic gems & enchants, a good pet with a good spec, and know their shot priority. They have some basic macros and understand the mechanics of the game.

In other words these hunters spend a couple hours on the web, find a reliable source of hunter information, read and understand it, and then copied all that information onto their character.  They can probably pull  about 6-7k dps in the 25 man ICC Lower Spire bosses.  Upgrading gear a full tier will net the competent hunter about 900ish dps.

All of this does not make a skilled hunter, just a competent one.

Everybody got to elevate from the norm
There are no stand still and shoot fights in ICC, or in RS.  There are very few fights where you shoot at only one boss.  For the competent hunter moving around and target swapping will lower their hunter's dps, especially with Marks.   Movement should never interrupt the timing of your shots -- every 1.5 seconds another should be going off.

Here are the key skills that separate a skilled hunter from a competent one:

Jump-Shot: The quintessential hunter skill that lets us shoot any instant shot on the move, regardless of our orientation.  Jump shot lets you hit things in front of you, beside you or behind you.

Disengage: This is an under utilized hunter ability in raids. Disengage lets you cover a good distance fast, and you can shoot while disengaging. With a bit of practice, you can Disengage in the direction you're running with a jump-disengage. It's harder to learn but well worth the effort.

Shoot and Scoot: This has been a movement trick of hunters since vanilla. The concept is when you're moving you stop for a fraction of a second any time your auto shot is available so that you don't lose auto shots while moving. I use an add-on to track the auto-shot timer, some people can use the sound of their weapons. 

Understanding Boss Fights: One of the most important aspects, along side movement management.  Most boss fight elements are predictable and can be planned for, and understanding and thinking about how to maximize abilities on a boss fight is key to maximizing dps. This includes knowing the best time to burn cooldowns, knowing what abilities not to waste on adds, having shots ready on stand-by, and maximizing multi-target dps.

A skilled hunter is intimately familiar with the hunter class and has practiced skills like jump-shot, shoot & scoot, and disengage as well as truly studied the boss fights with an eye to dps optimization.  They are probably pulling 8k+ on ICC Lower Spire bosses in the same gear as a competent hunter. Upgrading their gear a full tier will net a gain of about 1,200 dps.   More than that of the simply competent hunter.

Which am I?  I'll toot my horn, I am an above average hunter.  I think I could work harder to be better.  There is one hunter in my guild who is far better than I am (his name rhymes with Worfin).    His skill is not held back by his gear.  He doesn't play much these days and that's a pity because he makes me work harder at being better.  I have a sneaking suspicion that I do the same for him

Skill vs. Gear
Gear is simply a measure of dps potential while skill is the ability to reach that potential.  In a world of mediocrity we associate poor performance with a failing of gear, rather than a failing of ability.  You can do ToC in all blues.  You can beat Festergut's dps check in Ulduar gear. Skill is more important than gear.  Concentration, situational awareness, and the condition of your lucky raid underoos will contribute more to your overall dps than a few pieces of upgraded gear.

So if you are having trouble killing Rotgut or Helion look in the mirror.  Its about you and your skills, its not about your epix.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On your marks...get set...Go!

Many Marks Hunters don’t know how to properly engineer the first few moments of a raid encounter. I'll be honest I fall down on the job many times.  Its a lot to remember, its a lot to execute.  But the more you work it the easier it gets.

First thing is first, communication in your raid.  You need to be aware of when your tank intends to pull.  Its also important to know when they plan on burning Heroism/Bloodlust.  Nothing is more depressing then hitting Rapid Fire and then hearing that sound...the sound of arggggggggghhhhhhhhhh I just wasted a cool down.

Before the pull begins, you should have your  Hunter’s Mark up.  Wait to put it up for as long as possible because in a short encounter you don't want to waste a global cool down throwing it back up.   If it’s a longer encounter, you’ll need another – find a situation where you can sacrifice a Steady to renew it, or even better, find a situation where you can't DPS like right before Putricide’s Tear Gas and do it then.  Also remember if someone in your raid has Imp Mark you no markie.

Okay back to the start of the fight discussion.   You’ve marked your target and you’re ready to go.  Fire off Misdirection on the tank who is pulling.  This puts you on the clock and you must pull in the next 30 seconds or you’re gonna have insane aggro problems.  I get very nervous about it and pop my MD after the tank has pulled.  Not wise but I have timing issues.  When your tank begins their usual count-in to a pull, get your Speed potion ready.  You absolutely must make sure you pop this before combat starts. If done properly your potion cooldown will still be ticking even though combat is engaged. This is known as pre-potting. Remember that it is worth it to sacrifice a second or two of pre-potted time by using the potion early than lose your second potion by popping it too late. Learn your tanks styles and mannerisms and learn the encounters to know if there’s RP before the encounter that basically gives you a cue.  The start of the Jaraxxus fight in ToC is a good example of pre fight RP

Combat has now engaged. The first damage action you take is to put Serpent Sting on the mob. All supporting buffs are will not be up yet, but do it anyway because you’ll be refreshing this sting. About a half-second before the GCD ends, blow your cooldowns. Call of the Wild, Rapid Fire, everything. Remember that these next 10 to 12 seconds are being buffed by your pre-pot so you want to maximize it.

With cooldowns running, your GCD has now come up so fire Chimera Shot. You've already started your Misdirection with your Auto that fired due to Serpent, but you’ll get this Chimera and the immediately-following Aimed in before MD expires. You’ve now been in combat for 4 or 5 seconds so on your next global cool down  fire a new Serpent Sting. Why? Because your DKs, Moonkin, or Warlocks should have applied their 3% magical damage increase (Ebon Plaguebringer, Earth and Moon, or Curse of Elements). You need that 13% boost to Serpent Sting, and you want to fire it now while you’re still in your pre-pot.

The timer is at six seconds so go ahead and get off  three Steady Shots. That puts us at 10.5 seconds. Wait for Chimera and Aimed Shot to come off of cool down, then fire them as they do. Do not try to squeeze in a fourth Steady it’s better to wait for a Chimera and Aimed pair than to push them back for a Steady Shot. Assuming you’re hitting your GCDs properly you’re going to be at around 14.5 seconds and Rapid Fire should be fading within the next second. The next GCD after your Aimed Shot all of your big damage abilities will be on cool down so hit Readiness.

16 seconds in the fight and everything you need is online again. Pop Rapid Fire as soon as you notice the buff fade. Then start your rotation again Chimera, Aimed, and 4 Steady Shots. Your pre-pot will end right about the time you hit Readiness and by then you’ve gotten its value – either a handful more Auto Shots, faster Steadies and ridiculously high crit-rate Serpent Sting ticking on the target that will be maintained with Chimera Shot through the end of the fight.

Three minutes later, your Rapid Fire and Readiness are going to come off cool down so rinse and repeat.  No doubt this is a lot to remember but practicing on a target dummy and keeping a little note by your monitor helps.  Marks is a tricky spec and it takes some attention and care to play it to its full potential.  Do your raid a favor and put in the time to get it right.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Math Geeks Rhok

Math is life for Marks Hunters and there is no getting away from that.  People ask me "what gem should I use in this new pair of pants" and I can't possibly answer that on the fly.  Its not as easy as it once was back in the days of SV.  Now you have to take the time to figure out what is best for you based on your current spec, gear and rotation.

The be all end all hunter analyzer has always been Shandara's Spreadsheet.  But what if you have a Mac or don’t have Excel 2007 or 2010.  However will you handle your hunter math?

Well you will use Zeherah’s Hunter Calculator at What is the Calculator and why use it?  Because it is the Spreadsheet, in an online format.  Zeherah and Shandara work closely together and any updates from the Spreadsheet are almost always on the Calculator the same day.

When you first visit, you’ll see a button in the upper left that says Armory Import. This will let you upload all your information – talents, glyphs, gear, enchants, gems, pet talents – from the WoW Armory.

Once that happens, all your information is loaded into the Calculator for tweaking.  Your shot "rotation" is as important as your gear.  So next set up your shot priority. Here’s mine:

Basically works how it says on the box – higher priority abilities are fired first, lower priority abilities are fired later if they’re not ready. Serpent Sting is always first if you’re Marks!

The next step is raid buffs and debuffs – remember that these can swing the tide of a Hunter’s DPS more than anything else! Things like Judgment of Wisdom or Mangle can be worth several hundred DPS on their own. Go to the Buffs and Debuffs tab and carefully fill in only the buffs and debuffs that you know are present in your normal raid composition. 

I changed my latency to 90ms since that's in the ballpark of what I average in raids, use what works better for you. Make sure that Don’t Emulate Known Bugs is UNCHECKED so the the calculator will use things like +Crit or +Damage% buffs on Serpent Sting using Chimera. You can also turn on Display Debug Data , to get a more in-depth list of what happens in the simulated fight than normal. I like to use it, you don’t have to.

Now you're ready to hit Update DPS.  Oh the excitement!!

There are a lot of things to see here – your DPS, your DPS-Stat equivalencies, your overall stats calculated mid-combat...admit it you're geeked out too.

Now, let’s say that you want to change some gear and gem it.  Maybe you're like me and you're hoping to get the T10 chest if the stupid ever loving trophy would drop.

Make the change, scroll down and hit Update DPS.  Oh I can hardly stand the wait!

Lookie there a 150dps increase by upgrading to the T10 chest piece and swapping Agil for ArP.  I'm going to sit here in the corner and have an emo fest.

There you have it, the power of math through Zeherah’s Hunter Calculator. All the functionality of Shandara’s Spreadsheet, but in a usable form for Mac users, people without Excel, or people who can’t stand the spreadsheet’s layout.

Math is life for Marks Hunters.  Embrace your geek.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

PvP: 101 Arathi Basin

The Arathi Basin battleground is physically located in the Arathi Highlands at Refugee Point for the Alliance and behind Hammerfall for the Horde.   The Forsaken Defilers and the League of Arathor have set up camps to wage war over the natural resources contained in the basin. 


AB is at its heart "he who has the most toys wins" game, its a resource accumulation battleground. The goal is to gather 1600 resource points with the first team to reach that number winning the match and ending the game. There are five resource nodes which can be controlled by capturing the associated, nearby flag. The nodes are, The farm, the Lumber Mill, The Blacksmith, The Mine and The Stables.  The more nodes you control the faster you earn resources.  


All nodes start out in a neutral state, with no owners.  Once a flag is tagged, teams must protect it for one minute until it comes under their control.
After the flag at a node has been captured it will officially belong to that team.  You must defend your node because the other team will try to activate the  flag and throw the node into a conflict status.  You then have one minute to reclaim your flag before the other team gains control.

A node in conflict will provide no resources to either team, and players will no longer be able to rez at that node’s graveyard.

AB is a 15v15 battleground with level ranges 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80.  Again communication is key.
This is an even larger map than WSG and will take longer for your teammates to come help you.  Be sure to be clear about what node you are at, try to give a number of attackers and give your teammates enough notice to get there before the evildoers snag your node.

The skinny on those flags at the nodes. 

  • The action for capturing a flag is identical to opening a chest
  • It is an 8 second channel to capture a flag
  • Like any channeled ability in PvP, you can be interrupted by just about anything.
  • Invulnerability buff effects prevent a player from capturing a flag.
  • Whenever anyone tags a flag it announces it to the whole battleground.
  • All captures, assaults and defenses are also announced to the whole battleground.
One of the best pieces of advice I can give to new players is to always fight near a flag, never on the road.  Fighting on the road achieves nothing except to leave your flag unguarded.  Making sure a flag is never left alone and is of primary importance.  Blizzard has added an incentive to players to protect the flag with the Honorable Defender buff. This increases the honor gained from killing enemy players by 50% as long as you're within reasonable range of the flag.

It's always ill-advised to leave a node unguarded, resist the urge to go where the fighting is.  Sometimes a player's worst enemy in Arathi Basin can be boredom, which can strike the defenders.  Decide for yourself which matters most, winning or your honorable kill total.

Having more nodes is better. While controlling three nodes is a slow and steady way to win the game, there's always the danger of losing a node and having the tide turn.  If its safe then go try to get another node.  But take care of spreading your defenses too thin, especially if you are in a pug.

There are some spiffy honor awards to come from the AB quartermaster.  The Alliance vendor for these items is Samuel Hawke  Alliance battleground entrance. The Horde vendor for these items is Rutherford Twing  outside the Horde entrance.

There are a number of quests involving fighting in Arathi Basin, some of which need reputation with the battleground faction. You can get them from one of the NPCs near the battleground entrances.
The first quest will usually be The Battle for Arathi Basin.

Arathi Basin is a fun, fast-paced game that, if you play it right, might even end up with very little PvP at all.  Even at level 80 its a good starter battleground for the newbie to PvP.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Beta Hunter Talents - Yawn

Well I've looked and I've peeked and I've whined that I'm still not in beta to test.  So I guess its time to chime in on the new talent system.  I'm not very inspired but its early in beta yet.

First the fun news...all Hunters will get Scatter Shot That's a nice little perk. Thanks Blizz.

So the thing that hit me smack in the face was that we've lost Mortal Shots and Lethal Shots.  Almost every spec setup in the game now takes at least Mortal Shots most take both.  This deserves a little QQ.  These are talents we've had forever, we've been crit machines since way back when we were /autoshot /afk..  Since I can't shoot at a target dummy I have no idea how this affects our DPS.

Okay so at level 10 you pick a tree and you are stuck in this tree till you hit the bottom talent.  Not a huge deal now that they ripped MS and LS.  The other trees won't be bouncing into MM and then back again.

First off each tree gets its own special ability. Fancy stuff.

A master archer or sharpshooter who excels in bringing down enemies from afar.
Aimed Shot

A rugged tracker who favors using animal venom, explosives and traps as deadly weapons.
Explosive Shot

Beast Mastery
A master of the wild who can tame a wide variety of beasts to assist him/her in combat.

In the land of PvE BM loses the most with MM coming in second in the land of Meh.  I can hear you now..."But Cheres why do you Meh over Aimed Shot?!? It is a powerful PewPew!!  The peoples they will cry for your nerf!"  Yes it hits very hard but its a 2 second cast time with a cost of 50 focus. The defining ability of the MM tree is Chimera shot which also has a cost of 50 focus.  There's just no way Aimed Shot will make it into the rotation of a MM hunter.  It will get used more when you hit the bottom of the tree and can proc a free shot.

I'm a Marks hunter, it is my blog and really it is all about me so lets peek at that talent tree and see its ups and downs.

Go for the throat.  It procs on auto shot crits not just any ranged critis.  But losing MS and LS this may very well be a waste of time.  Maybe just a typo on the tooltip?  Since I'm not in beta I can't test this out.  See a theme?

Careful Aim Only works on targets above 90% health?  Really?  Why?

Concussive Barrage / Dazzled Prey  Combo.  A One/Two punch of WTF I can't use this in PvE.

Resistance is Futile  Nifty for PvP and for some PvE solo work but last I checks raid bosses don't run away.

Those talents are a huge amount of bloat in the tree.  Need to take some of these raid useless talents to get down to the bottom.  Why not let us keep something like Piercing Shots to use up some talent points?

So this is what I've come up with for a Marks spec it doesn't suck but I hate the wasted talent point burn.

I hope that Blizzard has given themselves enough time to rethink some of these talents and change them.  Or at least I hope that they send out my beta invite so I can get in there to test this stuff for myself.  Time to check the email again!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pets, its a hunter thing, you wouldn't understand

I'm not in beta and this gives me great pain.  But the information is out there from people who are and today I'm just going to put it up for people to see.  I'm just not quite there yet in my grasp on the hunter talent changes so instead its petspetspets. 

The model shots come from MMO Champion.  I'm only using one color per new class because otherwise its too big. 

Spikey Crabs

These guys are kinda badass looking no?  Still tenacity pets


I want one just to have it but unless I'm doing a remake of Hound of the Baskervilles then it will just be a stable pet.  Its considered part of the wolf family which makes sense because it makes no sense at all.


Very cute and fluffy.  So not the tough companion needed on the long hard road to defeating Deathwing.  But very very cute.  Also part of the wolf family.


Yes that's right I said monkey.  Part of the gorilla family, which is now I guess the primate family.

Here's a little video from Frostheim of WHU showing you his new monkey pet

Now the big change is that at level 1 all hunters start with pet.  Here's a basic guide on baby hunter pets done by BRK.  If you haven't seen a BRK video before or read his stuff then, um, yay he's nuts. But he really knows his stuff.  This covers the abilities of the baby pets as well as the starter pet types for Dwarves, Tauren, Undead, Human

Video 2 of the baby pets.  Covers pet trainng at 10, the new pet movement, focus issues, the Worgen dance and pets for Draenei, Blood Elves,Worgen

Video 3 of the baby pets.  Covers goblins and their starting area as well as pets for Orcs, Night Elves, Trolls and Golbins plus a huge spoiler for the Goblin starting area.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Helion: Why? Because he's pink

On Saturday 10 of my guild entered the Ruby Sanctum ready to go Dragons v Dragon with Halion and his Lieutenants.

This is the last raid dungeon before Cataclysm so I went in expecting some things to be a bit different and I was not disappointed.  This is not your round up and volley instance.  There is no 25% buff.  There is actual thinking and threat management and ability knowledge required.  I about wet myself from the thrill of it all.

Trash Mobs

Charscale Elites: Easy peasy tank and spank

Charscale Assaulter: These are the big guys that wander around on two legs and swing a glaive and look to be ready to mess up your night.  They do a frontal aoe stun as well as a hard hitting cleave so it’s extremely important that you do not pull aggro.  Misdirect, Feign Death before you pull aggro, stop, DPS, do not pull aggro.  If you feign death after the boss faces you it is too late.  The DPS standing behind this mob just died.

Charscale Invoker: Four legged casters.   The biggest worry is Flame Wave which causes silly amounts of damage.   If you are MM help the raid and interrupt the spells.  Make sure you have a cast bar up for your target, it has a 2.5 second cast time so you have really no GCD issues.  If its not interrupted all your melee will go flying back, possibly pulling an additional pack from way over there. Interrupt the Flame Wave at all costs.

Charscale Commander: They hit pretty hard, dish out a Mortal Strike which tanks and healers the world over just love and do a fun AE ability that increases damage dealt by all of their other dragon-y buddies within 8 yards.
Groups with the Commander will give you the most trouble.  They were almost a mini boss of their own.  Whatever the designated kill order, follow it.  Do not AE, do not AE and do not AE. 

Baltharus the Warborne

Your first boss will probably be Baltharus the Warborne, a huge dragon guardian that can pack a mean punch to raids that do not know the fight.  

Blade Tempest - Rapidly twirling blades deal 70% of weapon damage to enemies in front of the attacker every 0 sec everyone within 15 yards every second for 4 sec. 

Cleave - Inflicts 110% of normal melee damage to an enemy and its nearest allies, affecting up to 3 targets. 

Enervating Brand - Brands an enemy target, siphoning power from the target and any allies within 12 yards of the target. This effect occurs every 2 sec, and reduces affected enemies' damage by 2% per application, while increasing the caster's damage accordingly. 

Repelling Wave - Knocks all nearby enemies back a great distance, dealing 4163 to 4837 Fire damage and stunning them for 3 sec.
Not much for a Hunter to worry about as most of the abilities affect nearby enemies and enemies in his frontal cone.  But as with trash you pull aggro you just killed the raid.  Do you sense a pattern here?

When his health gets down to 50%, Baltharus will summon a clone of himself.  His clone drops all marks, debuffs and stings.  All DPS must focus fire on the main Baltharus so assist your main tank or your main assist.  Don't make the decision on your own.   Once the boss is out, his clones vanish as well.

Saviana Ragefire

Mostly a tank and spank fight.  Her main attack involves breathing fire with a frontal cone and a conflag attack that hits 2 raid members that does AoE damage.
She can be tanked as usual and must be faced away from the raid. Saviana constantly casts Enrage on herself which allows her to AoE more effectively. It is the  Hunter's job to dispel the buff with a Tranquilizing Shot immediately to avoid massive raid damage (A hunter that helps the raid asides from DPS? Shocking!).

From time to time she will mark 3-5 raid members as she flies over the nearby lake. This will be your signal that she's about to Conflag. Whether you have the mark or not, it is important to steer away from raid members to avoid AoE damage. Once you get used to her fight pattern, the encounter is a cakewalk.

General Zarithrian

The fight consists of only one phase, but raid awareness and ranged mobility will be more vital compared to the first two bosses as the General will constantly summon adds that casts AE damage.
Our raid handled the adds very specifically.  I frost trapped one side, the dps took down the other side.  The trash adds can be silenced which makes it easy to drag them over traps in case your frozen arrow misses.  When your done locking down one add, go dps the snot out of the second add.  Rinse and repeat.  The adds have the potential to become a threat bigger than the boss itself so stay awake and burn those adds down.


Halion has a total of three phases, each having a different DPS strategy that a Hunter should understand. The first phase will be a tank and spank with avegage raid awareness. The second will be the Twilight phase where mobility and distance is more important than anything else and the third phase which involves balancing DPS between two  realms, the physical and the twilight.

In the first phase, Halion displays all the abilities any self respecting dragon should: tail lash, cleave and fire breath.  Stadning on its sides is once again a good plan.  He also puts a debuff on random players called Mark of Combustion.  When the debuff ends or when it is removed, a patch forms under the player's feet that deals damage to players in it and players will be pushed away from the patch. Players afflicted have to move to the edge of the stage then get the debuff removed, before running back to the raid. The size of the patch depends on how long it took to dispel it.  Disengage to the back of the circle and wait to be dispelled.  If you can't reach to shoot at the dragon get over it.  Just wait till the healers get to you.  Last little trick in this phase is the Meteor Strike.  It targets the ground underneath a random raider and drops a meteor on that location after about 5-6 seconds. The meteor does quite a bit of damage and shoots out lines of fire that resemble an 'X'. Those should be easy to avoid - whenever one of them comes up, simply have the entire raid shift.  You need to be aware of this hitting anywhere near you or near the tank.  If the dragon is moved you may get hit with the tail.  Can't just plant your feet and shoot. 

Once you get Halion down to 75% he disappears into the twilight realm for phase two.  Your follow him into the portal and its very similar to the physical realm fight.  Halion will Dark Breath instead of its Flame counterpart; he will do Mark of Consumption, which sucks people in as opposed to knocking them back; he also has a Shadow raid-wide damaging aura, Dark Shroud.   The second phase requires a huge amount of raid awareness and mobility.  Two orbs on opposite sides of the ring slowly rotate around the boss and give off damage everytime you come into contact with them.   A few minutes into the phase, these orbs will fire a line of shadow beam that connects them as they continue to rotate. This Twilight Cutter gives huge amounts of continuous damage if it is not avoided, so mobility is not an option, it’s a requirement.  If you manage to survive and bring him down to 50%, congratulations, you’ve got one phase left!

In the third phase Halion exists in both realms, and the raid must split into two; one fights him in the twilight realm, and the other fights him in the physical realm.  Those in the physical realm deal with his phase one abilities while those in the twilight realm deal with his phase two abilities.  In this phase, Halion uses Corporeality, an ability where he gets stronger in one realm if he receives more damage from the other. The basic idea here is to keep DPS in balance in both realms.   He deals normal damage when his Corporeality is about 40-50%, so someone will be staring at that bar making sure it stays in that range throughout the encounter.  If your realm is told to slow down, that means you.

If you can shoot and move, if you watch omen as much as recount, if you have some situational awareness skills then you too can be looking at skinning a big pink dragon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

PvP 101: Warsong Gulch

We've started to do a little PvPalooza in my guild one night a week.  Its really just meant to be a fun group experience, no one goes out there thinking we're going to roll the Horde.  Most of my guild breaks out in hives when you mention PvP but I was still a bit surprised that some knew nothing about the different battlegrounds.  With Cataclysm bringing us rated Battlegrounds it seems as good a time as any for a little pee vee pee primer. 

I'm going to do them one at a time because there really is some fun to be had with all of this so the information is best transmitted in BG by BG bites.  So without further ado welcome to where it all starts, Warsong Gulch

The Warsong Gulch battleground is physically located between the zones of Ashenvale and The Barrens, although only a few vanilla players leveling a character will venture out to the old entrances.  This battleground is located in the area where Grom Hellscream and his Orcs ravaged the forests in the third war for lumber.

WSG is essentially a game of capture the flag. Two flags, two bases, and your main objective is to bring the opponent's flag to your base three times. The first team to three wins.

You must protect your flag at all times, you will be unable to capture your opponent's flag while yours is out in play.  Because this game had turned into an all night turtle fest a timer has been put in.  The game will end after 25 minutes.  In the event the game is tied, the last faction to cap wins.

WSG is a 10v10 battleground with level ranges 10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80.  The game will close down if there are less than 4 players on any side.

Communication is key in battlegrounds.  These are big maps and no one person can see everything at every moment.  Be sure you have your battleground mini map open.  (shift M)  You will be able to track your team mates, your flag carry (fc) team and the enemy flag carry (efc) team.

There are many different sites out there with detailed strategies and tictacs.    Here's my 2c on the matter.  Send 3 people to get the flag, the best choice for a flag carrier is a druid.  They can shapeshift till they puke making them near impossible to cc, and bear form makes them harder to kill.  Leave 2 people in the base to stall the efc.  Classes with slows and dps like mages, hunters, shaman, are best for this.  Everyone else gets into the pool and cleans out the mid field.  Don't let anyone tell you anything else, he who controls midfield wins. 

There are 3 ways in and out of any flag room, up the tunnel, up the ramp up top, up the ramp bottom.

Scope them out a bit and know what is where.  You will need to communicate where you are taking the flag (Ramp side, Graveyard side) or where the efc ran with the flag (Tunnel).  I've carried the flag and I've defended the flag and I can tell you right now, don't use the tunnel.  99.99% of the time its bad idea genes. 

The skinny on those flags. 
  • If you right-click on the enemy's flag you will pick it up.
  • If you right-click on the enemy flag icon while you're carrying it you will drop it.   Good for passing the flag to sturdier folk.
  • Invulnerability buff effects and stealth spells prevent a player from picking up a flag. Using these effects while holding a flag causes it to drop.
  • You cannot mount with the flag. 
  • If you kill the efc the flag will fall in front of your face, right click it to return it to your base.

Last little thing is the power ups.  There are three types in WSG.

Berserking - Increases all damage caused by 30%, all damage taken by 10% and increases your size by 10%. Lasts 1 min.

Speed - Increases movement speed by 100% for 10 seconds.

Restoration - Restores 10% of your health and mana every second for 10 seconds. Attacking or being attacked will cancel the effect. 

You get honor for each cap your team makes as well as random kills in and around the battleground.  There is honor at the end of the game with the winner getting more points than the loser.  As of a few patches ago you can get experience as well as honor in battlegrounds.  The experience and honor scale with level. 

There are some pretty sexy sub 60 honor rewards to be had from wsg.  For the alliance see Illiyana Moonblaze at the battleground entrance in Ashenvale.  For the horde its Kelm Hargunth at the battleground entrance in the Barrens.

At 80 WSG is not for the faint of heart.  The players there are at resilience cap, they've got all kinds of shiny armor, trinkets and weapons.  They do not play games.  If you heal they will bring the pain train.  This is not a safe place for amateurs anymore.  But for an organized team with a plan and some skill it is an amazing amount of fun.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Casually Hardcore

I have played in a hardcore guild before and now I play in a casual guild.  Here's the thing my playtime is casual, I only raid a few nights per week.  But my attitude and effort in raids is decidedly hardcore.  Casual does not mean "noob" or "terribad" or "fail".  

There is no excuse for any guild, of any size or state, not to progress as far as any of the hardcore guilds out there.  There's just a few things that need to be taught, emphasized and enforced for a casual playtime guild to see a higher level of success.

The good of the team is more important than the good of the individual
The raid team comes first.  That's true for any effort where people get together to achieve a goal.  The hunters in my guild are amazingly unselfish when it comes to our raid consumables and gear.  We tend to think of ourselves as one entity rather than a few individuals in a raid.  The Dragons are far better off because of our team effort, imagine if we were all trying to kill each other over a bow...oh wait. 

It's just a flesh wound
The player with a hardcore heart does not fear the wipe.  To wipe all night long, to wipe and wipe but learn from it, and improve each time. To keep going, keep learning and keep wiping.   The ability to wipe many times without giving up, without tantrums, without drama, and without changing strats every two attempts is the heart of the raider.  

Adapt, Overcome, Improvise!  
This was the motto of the raid leader in my old hard core guild.   Sometimes stuff happens.  People get stuck in cracks of the walls, more trash pulled than expected, respawn happened on your head.  The main tank just dc'd.  Whatever happened just figure out what you need to do to keep going.

Screw you guys I'm goin home
With some casual guilds (and yes my own guild has succumbed to this at times) you wipe a few times and you give up and go do something easier. There is no learning in that. Giving up certainly happens nowhere in the process of paying your dues.

An A for effort
Sometimes, and not for lack of trying, you just don't have what it takes to beat that boss.  Maybe its gear (often its not), maybe its focus (more than often it is) maybe its raid balance or maybe Mars is in retrograde.  No one can fault you for fighting the good fight and just because the boss is alive does not mean you failed.  It just means you need to retreat, regroup and come back out swinging stronger next time.

You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
Sometimes you do crappy boring jobs in a raid.  Sometimes you have to die so the raid can continue the encounter.  If the boss dies then its all good.

Does it say doormat on my forehead? 
The problem with treating 25 man raids as "casual" is that you will find that you have maybe 12-15 people who move heaven and earth, people who mean business.  They have flasks, elixirs, food and potions  They have run heroics till they puke to have at least some of gear needed to be effective.  Its all enchanted, even if it sucks, and there's not one empty gem slot.  They are there to chew gum and kick butt and they're all out of gum.

Sadly the rest of the people in the raid will have gum.  They will have lots and lots of gum.  They do precious little for themselves and expect to be carried.  They're the first to roll on items and the last to pass on it for someone else.  They have the focus of gnats and approach the raid like 5 year olds playing soccer. Listen people this may be only a few hours of a day but Go Big or Go Home.  It may just be a game but please don't waste everyone's time.

I have five 80s now.  Only two are raid worthy and they will be the only two that are raid worthy.  My guild gains no real benefit from me having any more raiding 80s.  I don't want to take gear from someone who needs it for their main.  I don't force my priest on the guild, she's there if needed.  I get not liking your class and wanting to try something new, but if this is your 4th something new please just pug raids for gear for a little while.  If you just gear one or maybe two characters the guild will see more progress.  We're all tired of ICC25 lower spire, bring your main and lets kick some blood prince booty.

I've never once mentioned gear score.  This isn't about gear, its about effort and focus.  I'm not expecting everyone in a raid to live, breathe and eat raiding, my guild is casual after all.  But when raid time starts I expect that everyone on my guild's team be casually hardcore.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ghostcrawler explains why

Ghostcrawler posted in the Cata beta forums about some of the hunter changes and the thinking behind them.

Focus -- We'll be messing with ability costs for some time. Depending on your weapon, autoshot costs can be higher than "focus dump" abilities, which clearly won't work. We're working on a DPCT priority list that makes more sense. As far as regen goes though, we think the current rate is about right. We don't want the rotation to become erratic and we like the gameplay of building focus through shots. In situations where you just can't stand still, such as kiting, you can use the new Aspect of the Fox. We've tied the focus regen for using cast-time shots during Aspect of the Hawk, otherwise there would be no reason to be in anything but Fox. Focus is more of a combo between rage and energy, since you build it and use it up. The skill of playing a hunter involves keeping your focus high enough -- as it is somewhat random due to procs -- but use it before you overflow. 

This will delay the number crunching quite a bit.  I wonder what "some time" means.  Will we be a nice and settled by the time the xpac goes gold?  It does sound like they expect us to do far more aspect twisting than we are doing now.   I smell new mods!

Shots -- Each hunter talent tree has a "signature" focus dump: Survival has Explosive Shot, Marks has Chimera Shot, and Beastmaster has Raccoon Shot... I mean Kill Command. These all have cooldowns, so if you are at 100 focus, use Kill Command and still have focus left over, you can use Arcane Shot next. This is why Explosive and Arcane no longer share cooldowns. Once you figure out which abilities to use for each spec, the number of abilities you need to manage should feel less daunting. For example, Marks would use Serpent Sting, Steady Shot, Arimed Shot, Chimera Shot and Arcane Shot on a boss fight, and Serpent Sting gets refreshed automatically. Think less in terms of shot rotations and more in terms of prioritizations.

Well we're not going to change too much, we'll still have a priority list and not a strict rotation.   It should keep the faceroll DPS far below anyone putting in an effort.   Its also nice to see BM getting some love.  Its been the red headed step child for most of WOTLK and it looks like they are trying to make all 3 trees viable for raiding.

Pets -- We haven't done our design pass on them yet. The design is for them to no longer receive raid buff since they get complete scaling from the master (and we don't want them to double dip). Their abilities will be divided into 3 categories: basic focus dumps (e.g. Claw), specials (e.g. web), and exotic abilities for the BM exotic pets. Specials never cost focus and basics have short cooldowns but meaningful damage. All pets will do the same dps. We don't want "wolf or die" in Cataclysm (and before that it was cat). Each pet family will bring a unique raid buff, allowing hunters to be wildcards for when you are lacking something. The ease of swapping pets will facilitate this further.
Another unfinished hunter item.  Makes me a little nervous but I'm hopeful we'll be able to get enough testing in before release.  I say we in the hopes that the gaming gods send me a beta invite.  

Pets sharing buffs with the Hunter means I no longer have to whine for kings on my pet.  I will no longer have to ask for a rebuff on my pet.  It sounds like my pet will no longer need its own food (hooray!)

The unique specials sounds interesting.  Means maybe I can break my cat back out sometimes.  The extra slots are going to come in handy for all of this.  Some pets may be more beneficial to certain encounters than others.   I'm very curious to see how it will all fall out (gaming gods, beta invite)

Cobra Shot -- We're not happy with the damage yet. We want BM to basically not use Steady ever again. Marks may use Cobra in PvP situations where spell damage trumps physical damage.

Its nice to see MM get a decent spell based shot for PvP.  All the other kids laugh at us when we use Arcane Shot.  

Kill Command -- We like the Frenzy / Focus Fire mechanic, but are likely to make it it's own clicky and not tied to Kill Command. Kill Command itself will be the signature focus dump for BM. For other specs, it will be more situational, such as dealing damage to a target out of your (but not your pet) LoS. Marks also has the Resistance is Futile talent to give it some more use. 

Just admit it, you're jealous that we have a talent called Resistance is Futile.  

  • Resistance is Futile: When your marked target attempts to run, flee or move, you have a [10%/20%/30%] chance to cause your next Steady Shot or Cobra Shot within 8 sec to critically hit on them.

Aimed Shot -- We are returning this ability to be an opener once again, like Ravage or Ambush. In longer fights, Master Marskman can proc instant Aimed Shots, to keep the ability relevant.

AE damage -- The design is that you use Multi-Shot on 2+ targets, and Explosive Trap and Volley on 4+ targets.

Venoms -- The focus cost may be too high. However, don't expect to have to use these on every target. Part of separating Serpent Sting from the Venoms so that they could be more situational. Even Serpent Sting isn't necessary on every target, especially those that will die quickly. Instead 2-3 Steadies with an Arcane or Kill Shot should do the job. Hunters are used to using every ability on every target because there is no real resource cost with mana. Now priority and efficiency become important.

Ultimately, we think these changes will solve some of the problems the hunter class has had as well as making them more fun to play, or we wouldn't be going through so much re-design. :)

Venoms and stings sound interesting.  It will give hunters a bit more utility while not having a massive DPS loss.  

I'm just glad to see them come out so quickly after the hunter info was made public to explain what's going on.  Gives me more hope that the class will be something amazing come Cataclysm. 

Hunter Starter Pets

In Cataclysm every hunter will have a pet starting at level 1.  From what I've read right now the hunter pet is in perma defensive mode, you won't have any "control" over a pet until level 10 when you tame one of your very own.  The pets are race specific.

Alliance Level 1 Hunter Pets

  • Dwarf:  Bear
  • Night Elf:  Nightsaber
  • Draenei:  Moth
  • Human:  Wolf
  • Worgen:  Mastiff 
Someone better let me tame a Mastiff or things will get highly ugly.

Horde Level 1 Hunter Pets

  • Orc:  Boar
  • Troll:  Raptor
  • Tauren:  Plainstrider
  • Blood Elves: Dragonhawk
  • Forsaken:  Bat
  • Goblin:  Crab

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's not about teh sword

Gevlon, of the Greedy Goblin formed a guild on the EU servers called Undergeared.  He had a theory that skill is far more important gear.  He formed the guild with the thought that they'd blow through raid content in only blues, no epic enchants or gems and no vent (wtf no one call TELL me I'm in the fire?!?)

The goal of the Undergeared project was to prove:

  • "I don't have gear" is a lie, the normal content needs no gear (beyond readily available to any lvl 80).
  • "I have RL, I can't farm like Ensidia" is a lie since no farming is needed.
  • "I was unlucky with void zone" is a lie. While luck chooses who get void zone, but staying in one is not matter of luck.
  • "I have no time to raid 5 days a week" is no excuse for being useless. We play 1 day a week.

He's recently done an interview with Frostheim of WHU and its good reading for anyone who runs a raid.  Undergeared is at 8/12 in ICC which is just plain nutty for a 10 man raid in blues. It's even more nuts if you consider they only raid one day a week.  It makes you think about downgrading some gear and having a shot and seeing where your skills stand.

Undergeared vs. Blood Princes

Man that is a smooth and jiggly free hunter encounter with no outside UF mod at all. 


Undergeared saves Valithria 


Monday, July 5, 2010

Raiding Hunter Basics

n my guild I raid with a few really skilled people running hunters as their mains.  Then there are some people who just don't get it.  They think of the class as point and shoot.  Much of it is just a real lack of information.  There are some things you really must know and understand to be a productive member of a raid.

Think this as a compilation of little things for raiding hunters.  I'm going to be limiting this for the most part to MM or SV hunters, I've never really played a BM hunter so my knowledge of them is mostly second hand. 

Spec and Glyphs

Spec what you want.  If you're happy with your DPS then you're doing it right.  In all honestly MM and specifically ArP specs will significantly out DPS any other spec but they are highly gear dependent specs.  Glyphs vary based on spec and gear so take some time to research it all.

Raiding Pets
At level a 80 BM hunter gets about 40% of their DPS from their pet. MM and SV only get about 10% of their dps from the pets.

Get a wolf because as MM or SV Furious Howl will give you more personal DPS than a Cat or Raptor.  People have run the numbers and proven that the the wolf is best but you're free beat on a target dummy and discover it for yourself.

Enchants and Gems 
Agility is your friend.  If its red, go +20, agility and if its yellow get the +10 agility +10 crit gem.  If its blue use a Nightmare Tear, if that's used, use a red.  If you are trying to gem for an ArP build then lets be honest a basics guide isn't for you.  For the meta get the agil % chance to crit gem

Enchants are the same across the board

Head Arcanum of Torment

Shoulders Greater Inscription of the Axe
Major Agility
Chest Powerful Stats
Greater Assault
Hands Major Agility

Eternal Belt Buckle
Legs Icescale Leg Armor
Superior Agility 

Ranged Heartseeker Scope

1 H Melee
Superior Potency 

2H Melee

I am working on my ArP build.  You can peek at me, my gear, my spec and my pet in the top left hand corner if you're curious how it all looks together.

Go big or go home.  Shatter Rounds or Iceblade Arrows.  They are cheap to have made and the DPS difference between these and the store bought is massive.

Raid Consumables 
No more fish feasts for you.  Blackened Dragonfin for you and Mega Mammoth Meal for your pet.  Elixir of Mighty Agility and the Elixir of Mighty Thoughts are best for your flask/elixir use but they can be expensive especially if you're in a progression situation.  Flask of Endless Rage is fine to use

Hunters don't have rotations, we have priority lists.
For SV its Kill Shot/Explosive Shot/Black Arrow/Serpent Sting/Aimed Shot/Steady Shot
For MM its  Kill Shot/Serpent Sting/Chimera Shot/Aimed Shot/Arcane/Steady Shot/Silencing Shot

Starter Macros 
/cast [target=focus, help] Misdirection
/cast [target=focustarget, help] Misdirection
/cast [target=target, help] Misdirection
/cast [target=targettarget, help] Misdirection
/cast [target=pet, nodead, exists] Misdirection

Aspect Swapping
/castsequence !Aspect of the Dragonhawk, !Aspect of the Viper

ICC Lower Spire Trash & Marrowgar's Bone Spike
/tar Bone Spike
/tar [noexists,dead] Web Wrap
/assist [noexists,dead] focus
Covers it all macro for assorted ICC Encounters
/tar Kinetic Bomb
/tar [noexists,dead] Blood Beast
/tar [noexists,dead] Volatile Ooze
/tar [noexists,dead] Gas Cloud
/assist [noexists,dead] focus


  Use it to analzye your DPS. Dig deep into it, see what you did well, see what shots are doing what damage.  See what your pet has been up to.  Just use it to break yourself down and build back up again.  But remember, us it as a tool, don't use it to be a Tool.

At the very basic level you need this to beep at you and let you know its time to dump aggro.  I'd suggest setting it at about 85-90% of aggro to start beeping at you.  Mine is higher but I DPS behind amazing tanks who seem to not worry too much that I'll pull the boss. 

Deadly Boss Mobs
A heads up for bad things incoming is never a bad idea.  A nice loud noise should shock you out of some fire.  If you don't use it, get out of the raid.

Power Auras
I just got this, I am pretty sure I'm not taking advantage of all the bells and whistles of my spec.

This will help you work with your priority list and has timer bars for specials.  If you are going SV it helps to make sure you aren't wasting DPS in a LnL proc.   I think much of its functionality may overlap with Power Auras.  I'll find out quickly I'm sure.

I'll work up a more sophisticated list but for now I'll stick to learning how to function with my new keyboard and my new mod.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cataclysm and Hunters. Focus This!

Well everyone else with a bow and some arrows seems to be talking about this.  I'm not sure what else I'll really add to the subject besides my own smart ass commentary and bias.  Smart ass commentary in italics

Please keep in mind that its really early beta and there's still plenty of time for the nerf bats so don't get your self all attached or in a twist about any one thing.

General Hunter Changes 


Guns, bows and xbows will now do damage without consuming any ammo at all.  The ammo slot on the hunter paper doll will be removed.  Any ammo still in a hunter's inventory will become gray vendor trash and all quivers will become large bags.  One large bag per hunter. 
That sound you hear is me falling to my knees, crying and thanking the gaming gods for finally answering one of my prayers. 

There will be two types of pet storage, active and stored.   Your 3 active you can still swap out in the field using call stabled pet but to use a stored pet you have to visit a stable master. 
This just isn't a BM shiny pet feature.  There are some of us with 3 tank pets or 3 pvp pets or 2 dps pets or some odd combination of pets.  Different pets fill different niche roles.  Plus some of us become very attached to our beastly friends.

They are also giving hunters a pet at level 1 but you still can't tame anything until level 10.  Pets will also get new buffs and debuffs.  I have no specifics on this.

Melee v Ranged
Mongoose bite is gone.  Hunters will start the game with a ranged ability besides Auto-shot.  They want us to be ranged and are taking away melee toys.  I'd expect more changes in that direction.

Hunter Ability Changes (no talents)

Stings and Venoms
Serpent Sting will be our only “sting” and it will work as it currently does.  In addition to Serpent Sting, we’ll have various venoms but only one venom can be up at a time.  So you can have Serpent Sting up and one venom of your choice.

Scorpid Venom Reduces the targets armor by 4% for 30 sec. Subsequent Steady Shot or Cobra Shots increase the effect by 4%, stacking up to 3 times. Only one Venom per Hunter can be active on any one target.  30 Focus  5-35 yd rng  Instant
Sexy looking especially for ArP builds at first glance.  Will probably not stack with Sunder Armor making it totally useless in a raid for most people.  We haven't seen a warrior in a 25 man in my guild in at least a month and  I can't tell you how long its been for 10 man raids.

Viper Venom Increases the casting time of all spells done by the enemy target by 30% for 30 sec. Only one Venom per Hunter can be active on any one target. 30 Focus  5-35 yd rng  Instant
PvP ability for the most part

Widow Venom A venemous shot that reduces the effectiveness of any healing taken by 25% for 30 sec. Only one Venom per Hunter can be active on any one target. 30 Focus  5-35 yd rng  Instant 

Trap Launcher
The next trap can be shot to a location within 40 yards. This provides the current Freezing Arrow treatment to all traps and, as a result, we will be removing the current ability Freezing Arrow. 1-minute cooldown. No global cooldown.
Now I can shoot snakes at you, flapping your arms way in the back there Mister Healing Priest

You camouflage, causing you and your Pet to blend into your surroundings. After 3 sec., you will enter a camouflaged state for 1 min, making you untargetable and providing stealth while stationary. While camouflaged, you and your pet’s movement speed is reduced by 30%, but the damage done by your next attack is increased by 15%.  You can lay traps while under the effect, but any damage done by you or your pet will cancel the effect. Cannot be cast while in combat.  45 Focus, Instant, 1 min cooldown 
Hi2u PvP cries for nerf. Other classes tears taste yummy. 

Aspect of the Fox
The hunter takes on the aspects of a fox, increasing your focus regeneration by 20% and allows you to Auto-shot while moving. Instant, 1 sec cooldown
Focus regen was the one thing I was worried most about.  It lowers DPS because we're out of Hawk but it feels no different then the aspect twisting we do now.  Auto-shot while moving?  Most of us can do this already.  For me its a dumbing down of the class. 

Aspect of the Monkey/Dragonhawk

Dragonhawk is gone and Monkey is a BM talent.

Cobra Shot
Deals weapon damage + (6% of RAP + 950) in the form of Nature damage and increases the duration of your Serpent Sting on the target by 3 sec. ( used Aspect of the Hawk : Generates 9 Focus. ) 5-35 yd rng  1.5 sec cast
Steady shot seems to not have been working properly in alpha so there are no hard numbers but my guess is that the plan is for MM hunters and their ArP build to use Steady Shot and SV and BM hunters will have this shot which more suited to their specs and gear needs.

I'm leaving the talents for another time.  I want to digest them a little and not just knee jerk tantrum about them.  Anyhoo this last bit is the part most people are curious about anyway.


Cobra Shot: 0 focus  -  1.5 sec cast – no cooldown – generates 9 focus
Steady Shot: 0 focus  -  1.5 sec cast – no cooldown – generates 9 focus
Arcane Shot: 50 focus – no cooldown
Chimera Shot: 50 focus – 10 sec cooldown
Silencing Shot: 0 focus – 20 sec cooldown
Explosive Shot: 50 focus – 6 sec cooldown
Kill Shot: 20 focus – 6 sec cooldown
Distracting Shot: 0 focus – 8 sec cooldown
Concussive Shot: 35 focus – no cooldown
Tranq Shot: 35 focus – no cooldown
Hunter’s Mark: no focus – no cooldown
Venoms: 30 focus – no cooldown
Serpent Sting - no one has any info that I can find
Aspects: 0 focus – 1 sec cooldown
Traps: 0 focus – 30 sec cooldown
Kill Command: 50 focus – no cooldown
Misdirection: 15 focus – 30 sec cooldown
Deterrence: 0 focus – 2 min cooldown
Feign Death: 0 focus – 30 sec cooldown
Multi-Shot: 60 focus – no cooldown – now instant
Aimed Shot: 50 focus – no cooldown – 2.5 sec cast was instant
Mend Pet: 25 focus – channeled...Again?!? WTF Blizz

So far seems like nothing drastic, nothing we all can't live with. Its for sure not the nerf people feared.  Besides...