Saturday, October 22, 2011

Diablo 3

I probably should have used my time better.  I pushed all the lore stuff.  I look forward to playing a chick that can run in heals and dual wield crossbows

Panda monk

Got my 10 mind of playtime.  The class is fun.  The race is....meh

A Noob at Blizzcon

I had originally intended to do much of this via cell phone, but in true Droid form my battery died because I tried to do more than one thing.

I admit it.  I giggled a little when we got close.  For the most part everyone looked about as I expected, like everyone I ever see inside a Game Stop.  There were a few families there which I though was pretty cool.

I have to give the logistics team serious kudos, all the lines moved with serious speed from the check in, to the contest booths to the Blizzard store.

Speaking of lines, Blizzcon is officially the only place on earth with no line for the woman's bathroom!

Most of the convention is very dark.  The lighting is designed around the many video and computer screens.  Plus I am convinced they think we all really do play in the dark in our parents basement and that the light makes us confused.

Hey 34064 I'm looking for you!  Lets win us some nvidia stuff.

Chris Metzen is just as cool up close as he is from afar.  We saw him with his little girl.  No I wasn't stalking him, was just random.  I'll be stalking him later I'm sure.

You could hear a pin drop when they started to play the Mists of Panderia movie preview.  When the new race and class were announced the building shook from the cheers.   You would have thought they offered us free play time and beta keys...oh wait they did that earlier.

Pet battles?  Really?  Worst.timesinkidea.ever.

I still find it a little unsettling to look at someone who is telling me how they are having trouble with their dps because they don't have a decent off hand.  Its just so odd.  But if I close my eyes I can pretend I'm having the conversation over vent eh?

The costume contest was very cool in person.  You could really see the work people put into it.

And lastly and most importantly.....NO MORE DEAD ZONE!!

I'm off to get ready to stand in line and play new Blizzard games!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Arrived in mostly in one piece and sitting at the main stage waiting for the opening ceremony to start

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

4.2 Hunter Gear

I'm hearing rumors that the patch is about two weeks away so I did a little Wowhead digging and work slacking and here's my look at the coming hunter gear.

Easiest place to start is the T12 gear.  Please note that unlike the past history of XXStalker gear this is not Walker gear is Waker.  Flamewaker's Battlegear.  The two piece bonus is very sexy yes.  The four piece bonus is really only lighting up your life if you are MM. 


The  T12 set piece has the the +30 agility bonus that Bandit Prince does not.  Plus no ew factor.

Both shoulder options are near identical. While some hunters may prefer the Flickering Shoulders crit to the haste provided by the Flamewaker's many will probably just end up with the set piece.

The Sleek Flamewrath Cloak comes from friendly rep with the new Avengers of Hyjal faction and is really just a placeholder.   The Dreadfire Drape with its two red sockets is clearly far superior.

In the chest slot, the non-set item offers us a large hit number along with crit but our set piece chest has an agility socket bonus. Its up to you but you can reforge for hit.


The choice between these two bracers pretty much comes down to whether or not you'll want the hit rating of the Hide-Bound Chains.


The new Dragonfire Gloves will be craftable with leatherworking but they have no gem slot. The Grips of Unerring Precision come out on top of the gloves DPS race with a red socket.
Both of our leg options have hit rating identical sockets and socket bonuses. The Flamewaker's Legguards are going to be the better option for most hunters, offering haste instead of mastery.


The Ancient Petrified Seed is a rep reward for being revered with the Avengers of Hyjal faction, and it is the least appealing trinkets.

From what I have read, Fluid Death has held its own against these trinkets until you hit the heroic versions.  Then it falls far behind. 

Melee weapon

On the stat hanger front, the Ranseur of Hatred is a better option since crit/haste is usually a better combination than crit/mastery.

Ranged weapon
Arathar is a half an ilevel higher.  My guess is that Rag drops that bow. 

Scope For the love of all that is good and decent please let this have an animation worthy of  its name.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

EZ Mode

So my guild is level 25 and I went up to winterspring to peek at maybe, sort of, kind of looking at the frostsaber reputation grind.   How was I to know it was now a 20 day daily quest.  Okay so it was 20 days and not a horrific grind of blood and tears.   I've done enough stuff in this game the hard way,  I feel the appropriate amount of guilt.  Really.  I swear.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

By fire be....tamed?

As per the updated 4.2 patch notes

8 new rare tamable beasts have been added, each of which provides a unique taming challenge. Will you be the first hunter to tame Deth'tilac, the rarest and most powerful of them all? Players will need to progress through the Hyjal Regrowth and Molten Front daily questing areas in order to unlock access to the full gamut of taming challenges.

I am officially going BM for my off spec now. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I may never be prepared

I know the patch is coming, I just can not bring myself to get excited enough to be prepared for it this time.   But do I really need to worry this time?

Is that a sigh of relief or was that a meh?

As hunters there really is not a whole lot we have to do to get ready for 4.2.  There are no huge talent or ability overhauls.  There are no sweeping nerfs or balance shifting buffs.  Hunters will basically be the same class when the servers come back up as they were when they went down.  This unusual calm in the recent patch-to-patch roller coaster ride for classes is a bit of a welcome relief for some of us who have to help fix the error of our raid companion's ways.

Don’t Stockpile Valor Points


Unless you want a 4k Justice Points.  All Valor Points currently in possession are becoming Justice Points.  So any Valor you have when the patch goes live will not get you a head start on ilvl 378 Valor purchases.  The extra Valor isn't converting past the normal 4k cap on the PTR, so anyone whose Valor and Justice Points sum to a total over 4k will simply lose the excess points.

If previous patches are any indication this new patch will be a great time for gearing into ilvl 359 and quickly getting alts to fill in holes in raid teams.

Do Stockpile Crafting Materials


If you are looking to have the new agility BoEs made quickly.  The new crafting recipes for the ilvl 365 gun and the  ilvl 365 agi two-hander will require expensive materials and they will only go up in price once the patch hits.  So start gathering up any mats that you will require now.   The demand for materials will force existing crafted items up in price as well so you might be able to save some gold by buying your new leg armor pre patch as well.

The role of Chaos Orbs (the gun and polearm both require five) remains uncertain.  Blizzard has merely said that they plan to make the orbs BoE in “a future patch” and not 4.2 specifically.

Tenacity Pet Intervenes as a Viable Raid Tactic


In 4.2 Tenacity pets will only take up to 50% of the their health as damage resulting from the use of Intervene.  Why does this matter?  It means that tenacity pets can successfully and repeatedly be used to soak spike tank damage, such as Chimaeron’s Double Attacks.  Previously our pets would just die, but with the 50% cap, Intervenes can possibly save lives in encounters where spike melee damage on tanks is a greater concern than hunter dps.  Turtle is very excited about this change.  He never gets to raid.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reason # 56735137 Why hunters are better than everyone else

Data mined on the 4.2 PTR

Pft with your silly little poison sticks and balls o' fire.  That's right.  Rabid critters. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Best Race, For the DPS

When people ask "what is the best race for a " they are really asking about racials; the bonuses each race gets and how these work with the hunter class.

It's important to note that racials are not balanced, and have never been balanced. This is not a QQ entry, its just a basic listing of the racial as they exist in the game. Keep in mind that at best these racials add maybe 1% to a dps total. Play the race you like the best for whatever reason you have. Both my hunters are at the bottom of their factions for racials and I'm always one of the top dps in my raids.

Alliance racials

Worgen have two awesome racials that make them the clear winner for Alliance hunter racials:Viciousness and Darkflight.

The 1% crit gained from Viciousness is a really nice dps gain across the board for hunters, and unlike the dwarf ability, worgen gain this regardless of what weapon they're using.   Added to this killer dps gain is Darkflight, a highly handy raiding ability.

Draenei Space goats come up next on the Alliance end, with Heroic Presence and Gift of the Naaru.  The heal is nice but the extra 1% hit is almost as good as the worgen's 1% crit. Plus if you end up over on hit rating you can reforge a bunch of that away.

Dwarf Gun Specialization is starting out this xpac worse than ever with a serious lack of epic PvE guns. Stoneform has the occasional use for survival but doesn't really add too much to the bottom line.

Humans have nothing really great for hunters. Every Man for Himself can be useful at times, but meh

Gnomes cannot be hunters. Thank god for small miracles.

The Night elf racial  Shadowmeld doesn't really help your raid kill bosses, so about all elves have going for them is Wisp Spirit. Considering the number of night elf Legloas' out there in the game it seems somehow appropriate that elves' racial should only work after you kill them.

Horde racials

Orcs lead the horde pack brining both Blood Fury and Command to the table, a brutal combination of pure dps racials.

The 5% pet damage from Command is obviously amazing for BM hunters, since it applies to Kill Command, but keep in mind that even SV and MM pets are doing thousands of DPS these days. Add to that over a thousand attack power usable twice a fight (in conjunction with Rapid Fire) and the fact that none of their racials are dependent on a specific weapon, and orcs lead the Horde in hunter racials.

Troll Trolls, once the laughing stock of warcraft racials, now sport Berserking and Bow Specialization making them a strong choice for a horde hunter.

Goblin Both Time is Money and Rocket Jump are valuable and desirable PvE racial abilities.

The benefit of 1% haste is a bit variable; it's always good, but since the value of haste fluctuates heavily based on spec, gear and the Moon in Aries, sometimes it's great and sometimes it's just okay. Rocket Jump, like any movement-boosting ability, can be life-saving in a progression raid. Not to mention it's just cool.

And so ends the dps portion of our discusion on Horde racials.

Blood elf Blood elves have Arcane Torrent, which nets them an itsy bitsy bit of focus that technically adds an itsy bitsy bit of dps. That's about all they bring to the party.

Tauren The base health increase from Endurance can be far more useful then War Stomp stunning mobs for a boss fight.

Undead Will of the Forsaken and they just look cool.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

T12 Armor

Circumstances beyond my control have prevented me from having too much T11 gear but the T12 set seems to be a huge step up from day-glo murloc

It does seem to continue the grand tradition of "wtf is that coming out of your head" hunter helms.  This is oddly comforting.

Monday, May 2, 2011

4.1 Hunter View

I'm a little slow getting back to the party but a new patch is a good place to start

  • Deterrence no longer requires a melee weapon to be equipped

  • Explosive Trap now has a new spell effect

  • Master's Call now has a new spell effect

  • I'm always in favor of PvP survivability and shiny particle effects.  But I'm an easily distracted female

  • Multi-Shot damage has been increased by 250%.

  • After seeing this perform in raids I am officially going back to a Marks spec.  Decent AE damage with higher single target damage, oh I'm so there.

  • Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter's level, rather than 3 levels below.

  • I was fine with things before.  I was also fine with how pets were when the game released so its probably best to not go by me.


  • The Happiness/Pet Loyalty System has been removed. Hunters will no longer have to manage Happiness for their pets, and the previous damage bonus for pets being happy will now be baseline for all tamed pets.
      • Bloodthirsty no longer generates Happiness.
      • Carrion Feeder no longer restores Happiness.
      • The Feed Pet ability now instantly heals 50% of the pet's health. Cannot be used in combat. Requires diet-appropriate food.
      • Guard Dog no longer causes Growl to generate additional Happiness

  • See above

    • Glyph of Mend Pet is now Glyph of Lesser Proportion, which decreases the size of the pet slightly.

    Hunter Bug Fixes

  • Hunters will no longer automatically acquire a new target if the current target dies in the middle of a cast.

  • Aimed Shot and Steady Shot should no longer start casting Auto Shot on a new target when the "Stop Auto Attack" option enabled.

  • Auto Shot now automatically turns off until reactivated once Freezing Trap is cast on an enemy player

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.  Oh and thank you.  I admit it I can be a bit of a button masher towards the end of some bigger trash.  I've  had to come up with all manner of ways of stopping auto shot.

    • Deterrence: The area damage of the paladin ability Hammer of the Righteous will no longer hit hunters with Deterrence active.
    • Distracting Shot and Multi-Shot are now properly 40-yard range.
    • Intervene (Tenacity pet ability) range has been increased so that the pet will properly intercept attacks.
    • Multi-Shot now properly has a 1-second global cooldown.
    • The pet action bar should no longer sometimes become locked on its own.
    • Scatter Shot's disorient effect should no longer sometimes be broken by the hunter's Auto Shot.
    • Summoned pets now start with 100 focus, up from 0

    Hunter Known Issues
    • The exotic pet ability Burrow Attack does not have an animation for certain types of worm pets.
    • Pets do not initially spawn in with the correct amount of health.

    Last and certainly not least; the Corded Viper Belt has had a red socket added with a +10 agility socket bonus. This catapults this leatherworker crafted item to the hunter best in slot ilvl 359 item.  

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Cataclysm, Tanks and You

    While it’s true that healers have the toughest job in Cataclysm, tanking still ranks above DPS in terms of difficulty.  Tanks are expected to know new fights inside and out, and a lot more hangs on their actions than on a hunter’s.  They have to balance three stat goals (mitigation, damage absorption and threat) as opposed to say just "agility 4tw"  They usually coordinate CC, positioning and kill orders themselves.  They have to compensate for the abundance of facerolling and ”it’s not my fault” attitudes that will always exist in the game.  It’s not an easy job, tanking, so what can we do to help?
    First,  remember the basics:
    • Keep your pet under control.
    • Assist the tank or your designated Main Assist
    • MD to the tank at the beginning of every pull
    • Feign Death before you steal agro.
    • If you steal agro, it’s your fault 

    Working With Tanks

    Establish a basis for communication with the tank.  Unlike with healers, hunters and tanks actually have a lot to say to one-another and so it helps for us to be on the same page.   We have to know what each other’s abilities do; for example, it really helps if a tank knows that traps can be broken, that they work on almost anything, that they can be chained, that Ice Trap is actually not the same thing as Freezing Trap, etc.  Because of all this, it can be good to make sure at the start of a dungeon or raid that you and the tank understand one another.
    Offer your services.   A lot of tanks don’t have a full sense of what hunters can do in terms of crowd control, kiting, threat management and dispels.  Instead of the huge asset that we can be, we’re more likely to be viewed as generic dps who hopefully won’t wipe the group due to incompetence. 
    Use Misdirect is it was intended, to give tanks an opening boost on threat.  While that threat gain is nice for any pull it is particularly helpful for multi-target pulls.  The less work a tank has to do hunting down stray mobs with taunts, the more threat he generates overall and the less likely he is to lose mobs later in the fight.  A tank’s attention and time spent on taunts, Intervenes, Hand of Salv and the like cost him threat and mitigation.  The more we can do to help tanks focus on their optimal threat/mitigation rotations and positioning, the smoother things will go for the whole group or raid. 
    Wait a couple seconds before you start doing damage.  It’s not going to hurt your dps and it’s going to help the tank establish a solid threat lead.   A decent threat lead for your tank lets you go all out when you do start dps and gives the tank enough breathing room to focus on mitigation.  Waiting a couple seconds also helps the tanks overcome rng.  Unlike the always hit capped hunter the tank is most likely not hitting with all their swings.  If the tank and they misses all of their opening attacks any dps who did start blasting straight away will find a boss bearing down on them.
    Feign before you steal agro and stay feigned until you see your threat disappear.  Pulling a boss out of position is bad.  Getting up and resuming dps only to discover  that FD did not actually have enough time to wipe your threat is very very bad.  Omen does a nice job of displaying how much threat is buffed threat and so you can predict whether the thread fading will put you ahead of the tank. 
    Once the tank has a solid threat lead they are not very likely to lose it.  You may need to watch the threat meters closely at the start of the fight you can probably stop worrying about boss threat by the middle of the fight.  This really turns out to be a big DPS boots because you no longer have to waste a precious global cool down past mid fight. 
    Scrubbing Bubbles
    Taking the time to work with the tanks will make you raid much more successful in the long run.  After all, Tanks work hard so we don't have to.  Yeah okay its been a while if I want to end corny I'll end corny.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Uphill, with no shoes

    I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since closed beta in 2004.  Many can say it but I have proof in pictures and the fact that I think it was just me and all of SoK in that push.  I've purchased all versions of the games as collectors editions because I'm that much of a geek for the game.  I've leveled many characters and played one of them at the hard core progression end game level.  I've had many a 2s team in the arena, one season gaining the Challenger title somehow.

    WoW has changed over the years. Newer players have no idea what its like to raid Blackrock Depths with 40 people.  Not many remember having to to farm Scholomance over and over for that Tier 0 helm.  Even fewer remember the original Tarren Mill/Southshore PvP wars.  Sometimes we'd go kill the Alliance leaders just for something to do.  It’s stuff people love to talk about but few who were actually there remain.

    Alterac Valley matches often lasted days. You could join, fight for a while, go to work or school, come home and rejoin the same match. Before cross-server dungeons and battlegrounds your server was a community. You knew people from fighting them and competing with them.   The hunter I play now was rolled to get to hang with the people I was killing in AV. 

    Questing has been streamlined. There are shiny arrows, turn-ins mid-quest chain and sparkly objects. It’s easy to get in a new zone and quest everywhere.  Gone are the jokes of “Where is Mankrik’s wife?”  Now she would have had a gigantic arrow floating over her poor lifeless body. Secret quest hubs don’t exist.  When you finish a zone, you know it’s finished because the quest chains end.  There is no secret Pirate Cove any longer.

    The guesswork is out of the game now. Calculations are precise and accurate. There is a mathmatical “best spec” no matter how Blizzard wishes it wasn’t so.

    Ranks of spells are gone. The game has a pop-up notification when you have new spells to train and new talent points to spend. You can teleport to dungeons without ever knowing where they are actually located and the dungeons have maps!

    I miss some of the magic and feel of the original game.  There's no real sense of server community, my dog can level to 85 in a week and there are no more surprises.  

    I know, I know.  QQ Moar

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Hunter Webcomic

    Finally some good webcomics!  I've added The Lyiar Archives to my blog roll

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Tax Season and Blogging

    It seems they don't mix very well.  It turns out I wrote more often at the office then at home and I hadn't realized how much time had gone past since I had much to say.

    Everything that could be said about the latest patch has been said by others so I'll not be going there.  My guild has been raiding and I have thoughts on that.  This is probably where I'll head when I can get the time to have a clear thought.

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    WTF? Learning from death in raids

    Causes of raid death are less obvious and more complex in this particular expansion.  Health pools are so large that it’s usually multiple things that kill us over a longer period of time.  Heals are so hyper conservative and small relative to health pools that it can sometimes be hard to say whether or not you asked too much of the healers.  Wrath’s spike damage often made causes of death obvious, we didn’t have to think much about what went wrong and what we could do instead.  How can we understand why we die and what we can do better in the future?  How can we figure out what went wrong so that we can learn from it?

    You really only need three tools to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it: a standard UI with Recount, a helpful guild and basic raid awareness.  So there you are shooting, casting or poking at a boss with sticks and you die.  First thing to do is check your raid frames.  Why?  Well you may have been out of range of any healers, or the healers near you may have been out of mana  Did anyone else in your range die?  Checking the usual things first leads to the quick and easy answer as to why you are kissing the floor.

    If you're still clueless as to cause of death check your Combat Log.   Filter the log to self to keep the details specific.  The log will tell you in chronological order what hit you, what healed you and what you resisted immediately preceding your demise. The problem with the combat log is that its straight forward data.  It doesn't really provide the big picture.  For that you'll need Recount.

    Recount has more uses then just tracking your l33t dps.  It also records cc breakers, dispells, interupts, over healing, damage taken and by what.  Checking recount will provide you with some perspective on what happened over the course of the fight and from that you can usually see where things went wrong.  When used with simple observation (where) and your combat log (when), Recount can help fill in the who and how in cause of death.

    Raw data without context lacks meaning.  You must know the fight not only from your perspective but that of the other 10 or 24 people in your raid.  Did the tanks swap aggro and in that same moment did you generate enough threat to have the boss spit fire at you?  Did you take avoidable damage? 

    Death in a raid is not so much a matter of just damage but of the deficit between heals and damage.  Check your healing count.  It will show you how much healing you received and from who or what.  (Touch the $#%%$@# Lightwell).  If it appears you received no healing or sporadic healing its okay to ask why.  Just don't be an ass about it or you will not have to wonder why you received no healing in the future.  Asking others for insight can yield answers you may not have been able to come up with on your own.

    Using careful and thoughtful elimination of possibilities to figure out why you died shoud help both you and possibly the raid avoid the problem again in the future by shedding light on it.  This sould be the goal of post-death analysis: not figuring out what went wrong to place blame, but to learn about how to avoid death in the future and increase the raid’s chances for success.  It’s important to make deaths instructive; it is important to not die in vain.

    What have I personally learned from my many deaths and subsequent analysis? 
    • Take some healing into your own hands.  Optimized healing these days relies on all players using healthstones, lightwells, aoe ‘circle’ heals and, yes, even bandages to heal themselves. 
    • Watch your positioning relative to healers.  It’s not as simple as merely being in range of the raid healers.  Most multi-target heals spread relative to their target, not the caster.  You can be within range of a raid healer but if the central target of a multi-target heal is 40 yards to the other side of the healer, you’ll take no piece of it.  Because of this, it helps to be within 40 yards of as many ranged raid members as possible.  Also know that healers will put lightwells and healing circles where they’ll do the most good.
    • Avoiding damage is more important than doing damage. There aren’t many situations in Cata raids where it’s better stay in the fire one more second to finish a cast than step out of it.  Requirements for avoiding damage and not over stressing healers are not forgiving in Cata.  Healing is much different in and it’s hard to overstate how important avoiding damage is.  All that said, you of course still want to optimize dps given that you’re getting out of fire first
    • Mitigating damage is more important than doing damage.  Mitigation is no joke for the same reason that avoidance it is no joke.  Use the damage avoidance tools your class has.  Check talents, glyphs and what others in your class are doing to learn more.
    Of course, these new emphases don’t change the old ones.  Know the fight inside and out.  Watch your threat levels. Keep your healers safe. Use CC and kiting when appropriate, etc.  Some things just don’t change.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Postcards Needs You!

    Any budding game photographers out there?  Postcards from Azeroth is taking submissions.  Hope its okay that I swiped your ad Rio :)

    Postcards of Azeroth: Taking screenshot submissions in February 2001

    The Dragons are l33t hunters

    We have the best pet...for the dps

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    First time out raiding

    My guild has finally started raiding. We've got a group of 25 people who've put in some time and effort into being ready for raids. Raiding now has 2 enrage timers, the boss timer and the healer timer. What this means is that as hunters we must:

    1) know the mechanics of the fight
    2) avoid taking damage
    3) do as much DPS as possible within the mechanics of the fight and not taking damage.

    What I learned from our first night of attempts on Magmaw is that I had to respec to Survival. The extra 2K dps helps the raid more than my pride at being a unique MM snowflake.

    Magmaw is a huge AOE fight. Survival, even with the upcoming nerfs, is the king spec for AOE fights. Therfore Cheres sucked it up and has a spiffy SV spec.   To help defeat Magmaw's little parasite pals I dropped two points into Point of No Escape and used Glyph of Ice Trap  We also tried some pet tanking and that helped manage the parasites but we seemed to lose hunter dps on the pets.

    We did not get Magmaw down but I feel comfortable enough to say it wasn't because of me.  I had eventually gotten a hang of the pillars of flame, I found a way to avoid being slapped by parasites and I became a bit more comfortable with my new spec.

    This week I'll have a better handle on the fight and I'll reforge my gear to better suit a SV spec.  I'll be in Darnassus on Friday working on my rotation while moving and aspect swapping.   and I'll work on my aspect swapping.  I'm pretty sure this week I'll just bring a Sporebat  pet to top the charts.   Hopefully I'll be a much more efficient and productive member of the raid. 

    Best Hunter Pet

    Newest video from Warcraft Hunters Union

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Wait so now you want me to stand in the what?

    For a long time the standard rule of raiding was "if the ground changes color MOVE".  It was a nice rule, simple, easy to remember.  However in the time honored tradition of tweaking the player base for their own amusement, the Blizzard developers have thrown us a loop in Cataclysm.   Suddenly there are good circles, things you should be standing in.  

    Take a look and learn your new happy places.

    Effloresence, Resto Druid

    When you heal with your Swiftmend spell you also sprout a bed of healing flora underneath the target, healing all nearby friendly targets within 8 yards for 30% of the amount healed by your Swiftmend over 7 sec. Healing effectiveness diminishes for each player beyond 6 within the area.

    Holy Word:Sanctuary, Holy Priest

    Blesses the ground with divine light, healing all within it for 298 to 355 every 2 sec for 18 sec. Only one Sanctuary can be active at a one time.

    Power Word:Barrier, Disc Priest

    Summons a holy barrier on the target location that reduces all damage done to friendly targets by 30%. While within the barrier, spellcasting will not be interrupted by damage. 

     Healing Rain, Resto Shaman

    Calls forth healing rains to blanket the area targeted by the Shaman, restoring 690 to 820health to allies in the area every 2 sec for 10 sec.  Healing effectiveness diminishes for each player beyond 6 within the area.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Avoidable Damage:Its more than just fire

    I've had about a week or so of wicked long heroic dungeons on my priest and I'll be honest its starting to affect my confidence as a healer. 

    The DPS classes have to do more in this xpac to make the encounters successful, they have to be aware of what's going on.  They have to avoid taking damage.  If the heroics fail its really our fault, not the healer, not the tank.  So what should we be doing?

    Don't Stand In The Fire.

    Okay, I'm done.

    You think so eh?

    Is this your sole definition of avoidable damage?  Yes is a recurring joke but sadly many players in the game seem to think that if they do not stand in the fire/void zone/freezing circle that they are doing all they can possibly do to avoiding damage. 

    Its more than just moving out of fire.  There are other forms of avoidable damage that people seem to think does not apply to them.

    Don't stand in the fire.
    This should go without being said.  It is the cardinal rule of avoidable damage. If it is under you and it is doing damage move.

    Avoiding Damage > Mechanics
    I'm looking at you Altarius.  Being upwind, good thing.  Taking 100k damage to get upwind, not a good thing.  Sometimes lower DPS is okay.  A dead mob > damage meter epeen waggle.

    Aggro is not your friend.
    Pulling aggro from the tank is avoidable damage.  Get Omen and actually use it.  As ranged dps I won't pull aggro from a tank until I'm up over 130% of their threat.  I  have omen set to a100-110% warning, depending on my experience with the tank, to keep me honest.   If you have an aggro dump, use it BEFORE you pull aggro. 

    Move before the fire is under your feet.
    There are many things you can see coming such as the spikes from Earthrager Ptah and the fire spout from the Flame Warden in Halls of Origination.  If you can see the damage coming before it gets to you there is no excuse for waiting until its under your feet to move. 

    Avoid Debuffs
    Not all damage is, well, damage.  Forgemaster Throngus in Grim Batol has a casting speed debuff,  Asaad in Vortex Pinnacle has a root, the Crystalspawn Giant casts Quake.  Pay attention to those things and avoid them by jumping or simply moving.

    Move, Move, Move

    Sometimes you just need to run.  During the Dragha encounter in Grim Batol, if an elemental fixates on you run away. Its gets no easier to avoid damage.  Do not try to get in one more shot, just move.

    Encounter Mechanics
    Just knowing what to expect is often enough to avoid damage.  If you have never done a boss and don't want to admit it then fake a bio break and open a browser and take a quick look.  Its not the same as practical experience but at least you'll have a good idea of what is about to be thrown at you.
    Preventing avoidable damage in your raidtime.

    Anything that can be interrupted is damage not taken.

    Something stunned can not do damage.  It is very easy to avoid damage when something isn't doing damage.

    Slowing down one of the mobs heading for the healer is a good thing.  Buying the tank 10 seconds to grab aggro is a good thing.

    Crowd Control
    I said something wise...I should repeat it because it was wise.  It is very easy to avoid damage when something isn't doing damage.

    The biggest difference between good runs and bad runs is people avoiding, or not avoiding, the avoidable damage.  I can tell you from my recent experiences healing that people that do not avoid damage make a healers life a living hell and basically doom a run to failure.   So please, don't stand in the fire & stuff.  Especially the stuff.

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Attitude Problems

    I am sorry if this ruffles any guildie feathers but I am feeling a need to express myself and justify some of my actions.  I will also be honest and up front about myself.  I tend to tease some of my younger guild mates but they know I adore them and almost never refuse their requests.  I would bend over backwards to help any of The Dragons, almost.

    Recently someone within our guild made a statement towards another guild mate that brought out evil bitchy Cheres.  I took offense to the statement and felt obligated to respond.  I can be a bit, what's the word, harsh at times and despite my reputation I take no real joy in that.

    What bothered me most was the elitist attitude displayed by this person. It was their nonchalant attitude about others that rubbed me all the wrong way. I know there are always outside the game issues but the problem is the fact that this persons head is a tad too large. To make things worse, this air of superiority is fueled more by association and class luck than skill.

    We have all seen those elitist types who talk big but can play. They talk the talk and they walk the walk.  We have a few of them in my guild.  Hell I'm sure I'm perceived as one of them.  But while many people might be turned off by the attitude they at least have the skills to back it up.  This person is a decent player with a barley tolerable personality and is far from a must have raid member.

    So where does the elitist attitude come from? They take ownership of the overall accomplishments of the team and the relative ease of the class they play and its spec. Outsiders would have no way of knowing what role this person plays or how much or little they contribute to the success of The Dragons. Being on the inside, I know exactly where this person stands and it is not nearly as high as they have fooled themselves into believing.

    So why do I care? What bothers me most is how condescending this person is to their own guild mates. If this person is that forward in guild chat what are they like in tells or with pugs? What types of abuses has this person perpetrated outside of guild chat because they felt entitled and superior? The more I thought about it the more it aggravated me.

    I may be an officer but I hold no real position of influence over this person. Nothing I say or do will have any major effect on that person. When I spoke up, it was because I wanted that person to realize that at least one person in the world recognized what was happening.

    Sometimes in life we all need a cold splash of reality to wake us up. During this particular incident I felt an immediate reaction to hand out the attitude adjustment. It may not have been my place, but sometimes you just have to step up and say something.

    If you are an asshat, I am going to call you and asshat. If you are not as good as you think you are and you are treating others like they are below you, I will call you on that too.  No one messes with my guild mates, not even my guild mates.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Hunter Consumables for Cataclysm

    Cataclysm has brought with it some really nice changes for hunters when it comes to consumables. I used to bring elixirs to raids but those plus my pet's buff food and arrows and life as a raiding hunter got expensive

    But that was then and this is now.  And now is good for the raiding hunter. 


    In Cataclysm all the flasks provide the base stats while elixirs provide secondary stats such as crit, haste, hit and mastery. For Hunters the agility flask means we can die like everyone else!

    Scrolls count as elixirs now and won’t be overwritten by other buffs like they used to. Lets say you are on the last attempt of the night and your flask is down then using a scrolls is an inexpensive alternative to dropping a one hour flask.


    There's no need to worry about going over the haste-cap with Potion of Speed anymore!  Potion of the Tol’Vir gives us a straight up agility boost for 25 seconds.

    It’s always good idea to bring a health potion or two just in case. The healers are more strained in and it will be very rare to see everyone in the raid at 100% health.  Its possible that during some encounters will die without some extra self-healing like a heal pot or a Healthstone.


    In Wrath of the Lich King it was not worth it for MM or SV to use the Fish Feast. In Cataclysm they decided that Fish Feasts should be the best possible thing for everyone to eat so now all the Fish Feast equivalents provide “+X of a useful stat”.

    Seafood Magnifique Feast isn't on my list.  For most guilds this is a rough one to get.  To get the recipie your guild must complete the achivement That's A Lot of Bait.  That's a lot of fishing. 


    Other buffs

    The old scrolls & drums are not needed provided you have done your pet research and filled your stable with buffing pets.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Cataclysm, Healers and You

    I've been out playing my holy priest lately.  I like to bring multiple choices to the table for whatever my guild might need.  I have to tell you that even with a guild run that healing can be extremely difficult.   I was discussing this in vent last night with some of my guild mates, one of which is a beast of a healer.   Things have changed and the attitude of DPS towards healing needs to change.  Here are things we as hunters need to know to make life easier for our selves, our healers and our raids.

    Health Pools are Huge
    Tanks are sporting 150-200k HP.  Hunters are running around with 100k+ health.  People are dying slower so they can be healed slower.  Healers can use (re:must use) more mana-efficient spells instead of the most time-efficient ones.

    What does this mean for you?
    • Don't expect to be at full health all of the time.  The healer may just use aoe or proc heals to take care of us. 
    • Slower heals means no heals for pets.  Not that we got a ton before but now the druids aren't dropping HoTs on everything that moves.  If you need your pet alive, you need to do it yourself.

    Health Pool Increase ≠ Healing Output
    Health Pools have increased upwards of 200%.  Healers are seeing a HPS increase of about 60%.  Healers are having to do more to achieve the same results than before.  

    What does this mean for you?
    • Try even harder to avoid taking damage.  Being knocked down to 30k health because you were standing under a falling rock is harder to heal than it used to be.  There's almost no excuse to be takin extreme damage, its easier to avoid taking damage now than in WOTLK.  There are many dungeon bosses where it is possible for a hunter to take no damage at all.
    • Just because you may now be spending more time at reduced health it doesn’t mean that healers have become worse players.  It just takes more time and often also effort to get your health up than it used to.  Do not blame your healer for your inability to get out of the fire.

    Efficient vs Emergency Heals
    Blizzard loosened restrictions on heal timing (damage is now less spiky) but they kept healing difficult by making mana matter.  The spells that heal the fastest also cost enough mana to not be sustainable for long periods of time.  For example, Flash Heal,  is a  fast and sizable heal, but using it for all purposes will force a priest to go oom long before the fight is over.  Emergency healing really is only for emergencies.  The majority of a healer’s casts have to expend as little mana as possible in order for healing to be sustainable.  Efficient, sustainable casting typically heals for small amounts and takes longer to perform (Heal as compared to Flash Heal).  In other words, efficient healing costs in time what it gains in mana. 

    What does this mean for you?
    • Don’t expect fast heals.  If a healer can heal you slowly, you should be happy because it means the healer is more likely to have enough mana to finish the fight.
    • Don’t expect blanket heals; the old tactic of HoTs and bubbles for everyone is no longer viable.  Preemptive healing has to be cut down on because overhealing is a genuine concern.
    • If you’re needing and getting fast heals on a repeated basis, you’re jeopardizing the healer’s ability to finish the fight and you’re doing something wrong.
    • Healer mana is now a meaningful limit to fights.  In most situations avoiding damage is more important than squeezing in an extra shot while in the fire.  Higher dps ends the fight faster, so optimized dps given avoided damage is the goal.
    • Don’t always expect high hps from your healer.  Considering the pressures for healing efficiency and mana conservation, hps can no longer be viewed as an accurate catch-all measure of a healer’s worth.  In fact, if the members of the raid are good, the hps will be relatively low.

    Healing the Unhealable: How can you help your healer?
    • Avoid the avoidable.  This is huge and worth repeating over and over again.   Any damage you don’t take is not only mana directly saved, it is also time saved in terms of cast bars and global cool downs.  
    • Keep adds off the healer using those fancy hunter tools.  Misdirect, Traps, Scatter Shot, Distracting Shot.  This is all huge because of the increased amount of time that all healers have to stand still for long cast bars.
    • If your tank seems to be lost in some sort of AE pull haze offer to use crowd control.  Crowd control dramatically reduces incoming tank and party damage per second, and it makes healing much easier.  Feel free to be pushy about it.  
    •  Heal yourself when you can.  This may be an alien concept to most hunters, but there are plenty of options for it: lightwells, health stones, bandages, health potions, etc., all make things easier on the healer and take very little effort to make use of.   
    • Its okay to stand in the AE heal circle.  Blue for shaman, gold for priests, green for druids.  If it makes a happy sound and increases your health its a good place to stand.