Monday, September 29, 2008

PuG your way to the top

Proudmoore, being a well-established server, has a great PuG community. So much so, in fact, that in the past few weeks I've been able to PuG raids - 25man, 10man or even pre-BC 40man - that I don't have access to in my guild.

If you're a tank or a healer, this may not be great news to you. Guilds in general are often short of one or the other, and will occasionally take a PuG to fill their last slot(s). However, I am a hunter - a female night elf to boot - and the past few weeks of being picked up for PuG raids has been a blast.

Since my guild stopped officially raiding, I have PuGged:
  1. MC and BWL for 2 pieces of Draconic for Dummies (for the AQ scepter quest chain)
  2. Naxxramas for 3 pieces of hunter T3, including the badass-looking Cryptstalker helm
  3. Tempest Keep - A'lar and a few attempts at Kael'thas
  4. Mt Hyjal - Azgalor and a few attempts at Archimonde
Now, my guild didn't do Naxx at level 60. We have also never seen Kael'thas (we were at 3/4 TK), or Azgalor/Archimonde (we were at 1/5 in Hyjal).

I know a lot of people hate PuGs and avoid them like the plague, but I say give them a chance - you may spend a lot of time wiping, but then again, you might not!

Tips for PuGging:
  • Be prepared: This means consumables, Ventrilo/Teamspeak, and at least a threat meter for addons if you're DPS.

  • PuG often: If PuG leaders see you a lot, they're more likely to remember you and give you an invite. Keep an eye out in trade, general and LFG chat channels for groups.

  • Check your realm forums: People often organize events on the forums, because it's hard to get 25 people together on the fly.

  • Know how to play: If you're a hunter and you can't chain trap or kite a mob for 10min without dying, do some practice. You're going to need something to impress the PuG leader, especially if you're undergeared or an unusual spec.

  • Behave and be polite: People aren't going to invite you if they don't like you, no matter how epic your gear is.

  • Shut up and listen: Don't talk/type when the raid leader is, and always listen for instructions. The raid will NOT be impressed if you are AFK for a ready check, or if you fail to Misdirect a mob to the right tank at the right time. This is especially true for the harder 25man raids where one wrong move is a wipe, and instructions can sometimes be a passing comment in a LONG speech before a boss pull - you CANNOT afford to tune out, or you risk your reputation.
Happy PuGging, and here's hoping I can get my Hyjal and BT attunements done! :)

WTS Arena points

My highest rating this season was enough to get me 3 pieces of Brutal Gladiator, but although my 2v2 team has been close (~1690+), I've haven't managed to hit 1700 for the head piece. Since my 2v2 has stalled for the time being while my paladin partner tries out a new game, I have some excess Arena points... and nothing to use them on.
  1. I can't buy the S4 head piece (and really, who would want to wear the hunter one anyway?) or S3/S4 weapons/shoulders unless I manage to get a higher rating.
  2. I already have the S3 head piece, and it's very googly, thank you.
  3. S2 gear is purchasable only via honour points.

I *could* respec slightly and get another partner; there are a couple of people in my guild that I may be able to reach 1700 with. Doing Arenas with a brand new partner would be hard, though; it takes a LOT of practice together, and I've only ever done 2v2 with a priest and paladin. I don't really know if it's worth it, especially since patch 3.0.2 is coming in soon and will bring everyone's 51pt talents with it.

I guess I could always buy something to level my throwing skill in WotLK...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dark at Heart...

My journey in the World of Warcraft really started in Warcraft 3. The story in WC2 had hooked me in enough to want the sequel, but at that point it was still "just another computer game". The introduction of heroes, however, really sparked my interest; I'm not enough of a role-player to be on an RP server in WoW, but I *am* enough of one to be attached to particular characters and their story.

As I played, a few characters stood out for me - Tyrande Whisperwind, the reclusive but powerful night elf priestess/ranger of Elune; Rexxar, master of beasts; Jaina Proudmoore, the career-minded young archmage and peace keeper.

Unfortunately for me, the one character I really wanted to play when I loaded the beta version of WoW up wasn't there: a version of the dark ranger, Sylvanas Windrunner.

The choice I made to become one of Tyrande's loyal hunters (blood elves weren't an option back then, or I would have considered one of those instead) has always bothered me slightly; given a second choice I might have packed my books for Theramore for some freezing instruction from Jaina, but although a human mage was an option, I feel no loyalty to Stormwind.

Now, more than ever, I kind of wish I *had* joined the Forsaken. A quest line has emerged in WotLK beta (spoiler: that heavily involves Queen Sylvanas, and makes (to me, anyway), Horde look so much more appealing. I'm not going to give up on Phyllixia - I have, after all, invested a LOT of time in making her who she is - but I'm sure even Tyrande will understand if I feel like spending more time in Theramore.

Double the Red?

I'm in the WotLK beta. This morning when I woke up and checked the beta forums, I found this:

Aimed Shot - This shot will now be instant cast, its damage/effect/cooldown will remain unchanged.
Scatter shot - This will now be an 11-point Survival talent.
Readiness - This will now be the 21-point Marksmanship talent.
Trap Mastery - This will now be the 41-point Survival talent. Granted, not very sexy for a 41-pointer but we'll do some changes there in a future patch (after WOLK ships).
Surefooted is swapping places with T.N.T. (so Surefooted is now in tier 2)

These changes will be live in an upcoming beta build.


Questions that come to mind:

1. Will 50/21 BM/MM (ie BW, Readiness, BW) do more DPS than a 51pt BM build? Exotics are looking less exotic than ever, and although I'll still probably end up with most of my talents in the BM tree, I just don't know if having a Devilsaur by my side instead of a Cat will be worth it.

2. As one of the posters further down the thread noted, with Aimed being instant cast, does that mean Aimed will be back in the DPS rotation? Steady was supposed to take the place of Aimed; this could bring us right back to where we started.

3. Hybrid build FTW? I'm not really a hardcore theorycrafter, but even I can see that all 3 of the 51pt talents are falling rather short... Why take 51pt BM (Beast Mastery) when you can take BW/Readiness? For PvP, why take Chimera (51pt MM) or Explosive (51pt Surv) when you could take Intimidation/Readiness/Scattershot, or Silencing/Readiness/Scattershot?

I'm really going to have to rethink my talent choices now... I'd been optimistic about the possibility of introducing a Devilsaur and Rhino into my stables, but a Longevity/BW/Readiness build is looking very, very appealing...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hello, World.

Welcome to Hunters Rhok! Your host is Phyllixia, a night elf hunter on Proudmoore.

A few things to note about me:

1. BM spec since beta - I am rather attached to my pets, and haven't had less than 11pts in the Beast Mastery tree.

2. Do as I say, not as I do - See #1. My talents points are allocated to wherever I feel like, and not to the best raid/PvP/Arena spec. I will quite happily tell other hunters how to get the best out of their gear/spec, but my main goal is to have fun - as long as I can perform well in relation to the other raiders, I think I'm entitled to a few "fluff" talents ;)

3. No, I don't use [insert mod here] - Macros, sure. Hundreds, in fact. Mods, no - Itemrack and Omen are fine, but any others I may have installed (DBM being "compulsory" for raids, for instance) have all their options turned off.

4. If you don't have Rhok, you don't - Full stop.