Tuesday, August 31, 2010


"So Cheres you've beaten the Lich King, what are you going to do now?" Meh I have no idea.

Usually around this time I get xpac fever. I've done all that I really wanted to do in the game, the expansion pack is far down the line and I'm semi bored. This time there are no new games that I'm really interested in visiting and outside of EQ2 I have no real interest in the old ones.

My usual playing partner has moved on to other things.  My last real tie to most of my gaming life is gone.  I have to figure things out by myself for the first time in a very long time.

I'm in a guild of players that I genuinely like as people. I haven't had that since Dark Age of Camelot and my guild Tuatha de Danann.  Unless they all left to try something new I'd feel no need to stray to another game for the next few months.

My guildmates are going to work on the Glory of the Ulduar Raider achievement.   I'm sadly not very interested in this.  I don't like protodrakes and I don't really like Ulduar.   To me its like AQ40 minus the useless trash, its big for the sake of being big.  The fights are challenging but they're just not fun.  I am a dime a dozen dps class so I don't think anyone will notice me hiding in the rafters much when the invites go out.

Some of my guild have stared Horde characters.   I keep meaning to roll one over there but I'm having trouble picking a class and its not all exciting and new to me the way it is to most of them.  I played horde from release through this expansion, I actually have a level 80 horde hunter.   There's no real "new" feeling to it for me. But I'll wind up rolling something over there just for the social aspect.

I have started secret alts in the past, its actually how I got this hunter.  I'd roll an unguided character just so that I can play at my own pace and in my own way.  I like reading quests and I really like killing people.  Instead of running around with no guild I'm leveling a warlock primarily through battlegrounds.  It gives me the ability to play alone but still chat with everyone. 

So I guess I'll just do many little projects instead of one major project and bide my time quietly till Cataclysm.  Although if I get a beta invite that flash of light will be me heading to the test server. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Who needs tanks?

I wish I had better jump shot skills

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gearscore is so yesterday

Last night I was healing a guild ICC10 group. Someone asked about the Lich King encounter and what kind of gear score is required. I swear if it was possible I would have gone through vent and strangled him.(btw this person should be far more concerned with his dps, he was riding just above the tank)

Once more, with feeling.

The Gearscore mod is highly flawed. It doesn't track enchants, experience or the accuracy of stats on the player. All it measures is iLevel. And any Hunter who knows anything about gear knows that Darkmoon Card:Greatness is better than basically every trinket under ilvl 245, and things like Herkuml War Token are inferior to 245 and even most 226 trinkets.

Someone just pointed me to a bright and shiney new method of warcraft evaluation.  Elitist Armory.  Its a web based tool that is a hybrid of the Elitist Group mod and the WoW armory.  Elitist Armory is everything Gearscore could be if it wasn't a lazy mod for lazy players.

For kicks, giggles and examples lets look at my Elitist Armory page.  You can see a ton of information about my character.   Both of my talent trees, my professions, the average item level of my gear not counting trinkets, and the accuracy of my gemming, enchants, and gear as it relates to my class and spec.

But beyond that, we get into the meat and potatoes of EA – the Raid Experience calculator.   This is highly cool.

If you’ll look (at time of writing), I’m 100% experienced in ICC10 but only 89% experienced in Ruby Sanctum despite having 2 Halion kills.  Why? Because EA’s Raid Experience index doesn’t just care about kills and achievements, it actually rewards repetition, rates harder encounters (LDW, PP, Sindy, etc) worth more points than lesser encounters (the whole Lower Spire on normal, etc.), and gives you a composite index as it relates to a value at which one should be expected to be 100% experienced with the instance.

Elitist Armory is unique in this experience is rewarded, not just “link achievement”. Running the instance weekly and gaining more and more intimate knowledge of the encounters builds my experience rating, until it caps at 100%, at which point I should be considered autonomous and able to work on my own in this instance.

It also has the usual “look at their gear/gems/enchants” stuff that you’d expect from an armory, experience ratings for 5-mans and older content, and a whole bevy of information to give you a REAL way to determine a raider’s aptitude, instead of just saying “oh that hunter has 5896 gs, take him”.

It’s a major step up in information analysis for current and aspiring raid leaders.  Spread the word, there's a new sheriff in town.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cata Call Pet

Beta Hunter Movie Guide from BRK.  Because I'm not in beta.  Still.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lich King for Dummies:Hunter Edition

Okay I lied about that whole waiting to take a second shot at it.  I've thought about it and with as many failed attempts as we had I figure dumb luck didn't kill the Lich King

First phase is pretty simple, at its core its just a tank and spank fight.  Hunters have three jobs during this phase.
DPS the Lich King
Use both your Rapid Fires in this phase.  If you have no Shaman blow them at the very start.  The plan is to get out of this phase as quickly as possible so you have more time to take some care with the other messier phases.

Move to the trash when you get Necrotic Plague
Sort of self explanatory.  Run to the off tank and disengage back.  Do not try to squeak out another steady shot.  Just move.

Tranq shot the Enraged Horrors.
Tranq shotting the Shambling Horror enrages is important.  They only enrage for a short time but two enraged Shambling Horrors at once can be a bit taxing on the healers.  It requires a fast reaction time doing it manually will just not work.

There are two macro options: the icky way and the mouseover way. 

The icky tranq macro lets you just push a button to automatically target the Shambling Horror, fire your tranq shot and instantly pop back to the Lich King.  But Cheres that's so easy peasy, we will use that!   Um no.  The danger is if there are multiple Shambling Horrors up, it may not target the one that's actually enraged, in which case the enrage doesn't get dispelled.  Its a bad macro but here it is anyone if you don't quite believe me.

#showtooltip Tranquilizing Shot
/tar shambling
/cast Tranquilizing Shot
The correct way is to use a mouseover macro.  With a mouseover you just have to hover your mouse over the correct Shambling Horror and push your macro button.  This will fire just the tranq at the correct horror and let you continue to dps the Lich King. 

#showtooltip Tranquilizing Shot
/cast [target=mouseover, exists] Tranquilizing Shot

At 70% health you hit the second phase.  Second phase is also pretty straight forward.  Run to the edge of the platform very fast.  Do not try to get in another steady shot.  At the edge you will be dps'g down Enraged Spirits, copies of you or your raidmates bound and determined to kill everyone. (zomg angry trees!)   You should be able to use Misdirection on every other Enraged Spirit to help out your tank.  You don't want those things floating all over the place. 

Since we have so many insta attacks, hunters are often assigned the job of killing the Ice Spheres.  Its a mostly easy job they are squishy so they die quickly.  You should be able to alternate dps between the Ice Spheres and the Enraged Spirits.

Very important tip
Don't disengage off the platform.  Its just like Nexus, if you fall off you die.  Don't roll your eyes at me.  You know you've disengaged to your death at least once during that run.  Just wait for a Mage to blink and fall off the side and feel superior.

After 60 seconds of this we hit Phase 3.  Which is called Phase 2 by the mods.  Why?  I have no idea but its sort of stupid and someone should be fired.

This is the meat of the Lich King fight, where you get to meet Defile, the horrible darkness that spawned the Old Gods.  Defile is the capo di tutti capi of void zones.

This is the most difficult phase of the encounter, and the most unforgiving.  One person making the wrong mistake can easily  kill the raid, so pay attention and react quickly.  You'll start the phase by finishing off any remaining Enraged Raging Spirits and then position yourself for the Valkyr and Defiles.

Defile from a Hunter POV
We're a ranged class, which makes Defile a little easier for us since already out of the way of melee and probably most other ranged classes.  If Defile is coming before the val'kyr, stay at range, don't run to the center when you're just going to have to run back out.

When you get those tight situations where Defile will happen just seconds after the valkyr, disengage out the instant the val'kyr pick their targets and before Defile goes off.

Once you are chosen as the target of Defile, do not use Disengage.  The game does not track your movement when you're in the air.  This means if you're targeted for Defile and you disengage out, there's a good chance the Defile will drop where you started your Disengage.  Do not use Disengage to get out of a Defile dropped by the person next to you.  You'll still be taking damage and buffing the Defile while you're in the air.  I made this mistake once and managed to cover the entire platform with Defile.  Its not pretty.

Val'kyr from a Hunter POV
As the only ranged class that cannot effectively attack from melee, hunters are pretty screwed with the val'kyr.  Remember that you can stay just outside of melee range until the last second and then run in those last 5 yards.  Also keep in mind that Volley will do more damage to the Lich King than your melee attacks.

Use your next couple of Rapid Fires for the Val'kyr.

If your raid is struggling on the Valkyr, you might want to grab two ranks of Concussive Barrage for an extra slow.  It doesn't count as a stun so it won't affect diminishing returns on that front.   Don't bother with Improved Concussive Shot, its not really worth any dps loss.

You can also bring a  ravager pet to have the occasional extra stun for the Val'kyr.  I didn't.  Honestly if you have a rogue, some paladins and/or a feral druid you don't need to change out your pet.

Once the Lich King is brought down to about 40% health, he'll run to the center again and start channeling Remorseless Winter.  Run to the edge of the platform at this and get ready to hop to the outer edge when it reforms.

This second transition phase is pretty much like the first. It lasts 60 seconds.  You have to deal with the Ice Spheres and Enraged Spirits Set up your MD rotation, use your next set of Rapid Fires and get the spirits down as fast as possible.

The dps team is on the ball and you'll only be dragging one Enraged Spirit into the next phase, but it's very possible you'll have two of them. At the end of the 60 seconds you need to run in as, again, the outer edge of the platform falls away.

Next phase (phase 3, phase 2 3/4, second defile phase, stupid numbering system phase) is similar to the first defile phase sans the Val'kyr (yay...or no yay).  Make sure all Enraged Spirits are dead.

Incoming we have Vile Spirits (very appropriately named).  They have more health than you'd expect and hunters aren't great at burning them down as a big bunch since our Volley doesn't hit them way up in the air. However, kiting them around and killing them as single target is something we do very well.  Do not Multi Shot, you will die. 

The important thing here is to make sure that they never reach the melee cluster.  If you see some heading that way, use Distracting Shot and any other shots possible to pull them away.  A Vile Spirit exploding on the melee cluster is bad, but several of them exploding is a wipe.  The sad reality is that your dying to keep them away from the melee might just save the raid from a wipe.  Just hope there is a battle rez still left for you.  Oh and Deterrence will not prevent Vile Spirit damage to you.  That's right 100% chance to avoid bupkis.

Whether or not you're on Vile Spirit duty, you want to maintain as much dps on the Lich King as possible. Always dps him from range, so that when you get Defile it's easy to go dump it someplace safe.   Do not use Disengage for anything to do with Defile.

It is possible that sometime during this phase you will get pulled into Frostmourne's room.  If so, you have only two jobs:
  • DPS the Spirit Warden.
  • Interrupt the channeled Soul Rip.

Save a Rapid Fire in case you get pulled into the room , it just makes it all go faster.  If you don't get pulled in, use it when the Lich King gets down to 15% to help push him over the edge.

They key to killing the Spirit Warden is to interrupt the Soul Rip. If you are MM use Silencing Shot.   You will have to remove Silencing Shot from any of your macros that tie it in with other shots.  If you are BM, you can use Intimidation to interrupt the channel.  If you are SV, then you will need to bring along a pet that can do the interrupting for you.

Once you have pushed the Lich King down to 10%, the he kills you all.  You and your little dog, too.  This is the WTF panic phase.  Don't be a noob and release.

The last phase is the IWin phase.  Terenas Menethil  brings you back from the dead (you but not your pet, stupid programmers) and you can dps the last 10% free of consequence.

There is some role play and a spiffy cinematic at the end of the fight.  Don't be a dweeb and think you're too cool to watch some girlie lore stuff.  You aren't.

This fight is not really about topping the meters (though you should always try to do so), it's about killing the boss.  Despite the many aspects of this fight that are very unfriendly to hunters (shocking an unfriendly hunter encounter!  /emo) we add fill many important roles: Tranq shot, Misdirects, Icy Sphere management, excellent movement tools that make the fight easier for the whole raid.

Hey there Arthas, all your base are belonging to us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dragons Scavenger Hunt Rules

Quests must be done by the entire group. You may split up to collect items but you must all be present at both collection and turn in of your task at each checkpoint.  

You may not communicate with other groups.

You may not use a 2nd account.

All quests must be completed to progress 

Certain class abilities are banned as it is impossible to balance teams around them:
Mage Portals
Warlock Summons 
Paladin Crusader Aura
Hunter Aspect of the Pack/Cheetah 
Astral Recall or items of similar effect

Flying mounts can be used in zones that permit them.

You may use the internet to help complete quests

Hint - A pen and paper is probably a good idea to have handy and you will need some bag space, so come prepared 

Once in your groups and away, please nominate a group leader to hand in any quest items/be vocal for the group

You must turn Cartographer, Carbonite and any other guild tracking map mods off for the duration of the event.

    Last but not least

    Well the rest of my guildmates have blog entries on our Lich King kill in one way or another.  I don't have much to say strat wise on the fight just yet.  I'd rather get it done right twice before I spew out something that may have just been an accident on my part.

    It is a fun fight to me, worthy of a foe of his stature.  I look forward to getting a new shot at him again sometime.  I'd actually love a chance to heal it.

    Ending Huntardism in our lifetime

    The term "huntard" originated in vanilla WoW when all of the gold farmers were hunters.  They leveled in instances and showed little to no real understanding of how to play the class in a group situation.  Use of the term has died down a bit but it still exists. Sometimes these bad players are just teenagers with the attention span of a gnat.  Other times they're lard eating, white trash, Legolas wannabes.

    The classic huntard behaviors don't afflict only those with questionable intelligence.  It often infects newer players who just honestly doesn't know any better.  They've received some some crazy and foolish advice and not knowing any better have done their best to follow it.  All is not lost, 90% of huntardism cases are curable.

    A mistake here and there isn't an indication that someone is suffering from huntardism.  That is part of what makes this disease so difficult to diagnose.  It's only when we see a pattern of stupidity that we are able to diagnose the condition.

    While there are a limited number of ways or styles of playing a hunter correctly, the huntard can find infinite ways to just plain do it wrong.  The classic huntard warning signs include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • pet running off and pulling random groups of mobs
    • pet sitting by the hunter's side, unused
    • doesn't even have a pet
    • hunter insisting on pulling groups on his or her own, typically without consulting the tank
    • standing in void zones, usually followed by cursing the healer for his or her death
    • posting damage meters
    • jumping off ledges of all kinds while ignoring the pet pathing ramifications
    • untrained skills
    • at level 80 has not spent talents down to the bottom of any tree
    • bonus points for a tri-spec hybrid
    • gemmed for strength or spell power
    • name is a variant of Legolas

    If you suspect a friend or loved one is a huntard you need to talk to him about his problem.  It is not helping him, or anyone else, to let this disease run unchecked.  But the way you go about telling him is very important.  You must be non-confrontational and create a safe, loving atmosphere.

    This is where so many people with good intentions miss the mark.  They see someone exhibiting huntard symptoms and, in an awkward attempt to cure them, shout that they are a huntard, a dumbass, a noob, or that they suck.  Huntardism is a disease of the mind, and it reacts negatively to these kinds of direct confrontational approaches.  In extreme cases, it can even aggravate the huntard symptoms and cause an outbreak of dormant ones.

     When doing a huntard intervention take the following steps:
    • Never confront a huntard by assuming that he's knowingly doing something stupid.  Always ask him first why he is doing a certain thing. Every now and then, there will be a reason.  Please note that I said a reason, not a good reason.  Maybe those strength gems are because he lost a bet.  His reason will give you'll get a unique peek at the crazy going on in his brain.  By understanding the thought process you can better understand how to help get him back on track.
    • Once you know why the huntard is doing the strange things he does and you've confirmed that there is no good reason, explain to him the correct way to do whatever he's doing.  It's important at this stage to keep things as simple as possible.  Do not try to explain a lot of different alternatives and do not try to expand into other areas where he probably needs help.  Stick to one problem at a time.  Explain what's wrong with the way he is doing it, and explain how this other way works better.  If there are multiple better ways, just pick the simplest one and get him started on that.
    • If you've done your job well you now have the trust of this young, impressionable huntard.  He's probably experienced a lot of people yelling at him and calling him a noob, but you were different.  You took the time to talk to him, you asked him questions and found out what he was doing and why, and then you patiently explained a better way.  The final step here is to direct this player to your favorite hunter resource site on the web. This is the "teaching a man to fish" stage.  Most likely you don't have time to teach him everything there is to know about being a hunter.  Instead steer him to somewhere he can do his own reading and his own learning at his own pace.  Just be sure you're directing him to someplace kind to the unlearned.  Never ever send a newly recovering huntard to Elitist Jerks.
    Not every intervention will work, and not every huntard is ready to change. But with time and patience we can look forward to the day when this disease has been wiped out and is nothing but a footnote in the medical journals.

    Sunday, August 1, 2010

    If you're bored

    Courtesy of sorry caps

    Post yours in a comment or in your own blog.

    1. Raider, farmer, PvPer, or altoholic?
    In order of love, PvPer, raider, altoholic

    2. Favorite raid or dungeon?

    Shadowfang Keep for dungeons.  Ruby Sanctum for raid

    3. Number one choice for a new playable race?


    4. Class you suck the most at?
    I'm the worst mage ever evah

    5. Original UI or modded UI?


    6. Profession you've never levelled past 200?


    7. Favorite flying mount?

    Black Drake

    8. Nozdormu -- friend or foe, you figure?


    9. Useless item you have in your bank that you'll never get rid of?

    Epic staff
    Both priests

    10. Most expensive thing you've ever bought?

    Epic flying on my druid.

    11. Favorite starting area?


    12. Inane goal you worked hardest to achieve?

    Exalted faction with the Stormpike Guard before crossrealm battlegrounds, when you had to loot bodies and turn items in for faction and the games lasted hours at a time.  On 2 characters.

    13. Darion Mograine VS Tirion Fordring, gloves off -- winner is?

    Mograine.  Fordring has proven himself to be useless

    14. Game music or your own playlist?


    15. Particular option or setting that you always toggle on a new alt/server?

    Turn off cloaks

    16. Highest amount of levels gained in one play session?


    17. Thing you'd most like to experience or see in-game?

    Killing the Lich King

    18. Worst PuG moment?

    Fury warrior tanking.  

    19. Best dungeon/raid moment?

    First kill of Nefarian

    20. Worst quest ever that you totally hate doing?
    Goretusk Liver Pie  The pigs have no livers

    21. First thing you do when you hit 80?

    Fix my spec

    22. Character (of yours) you would RP as if you had to?

    Urf.  My lock I guess

    23. Keyboard, mouse, or both for using abilities?


    24. Thottbot or WoWhead?


    25. Acronym you've seen in chat but don't understand?

    Don't think I've seen one lately I didn't understand.  That's sad.

    26. Plot point you'd like to see resolved someday?

    Where'd Mal'Ganis run off to?  I mean Arthas was going to follow him to the ends of the earth and then....bupkis.  And don't give me that "we dealt with him in WC3" nonsense either

    27. Biggest thing you're looking forward to in Cataclysm?


    28. Guild event you'd like to see?

    I'd like to see my guild kill Helion in 25 man

    29. Level range you hate being in?

    58-62.  Hellfire makes me sick

    30. Favorite map to quest in?

    Silverpine Forest