Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A minor quibble...

I think it's great that the new vendor ammo is the same price as the old ammo....

...I just wish they had different icons.

One of these days I'll find myself in a 1% wipe because I accidentally bought the wrong arrows.... and was scrambling to equip the inferior type before we all died!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

From Phyllixia and her faithful companions:
Quickblade (ravager), Seismic (gorilla), Koopa (turtle), Vampyr (bat) and Shadow (cat).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Endless? More like USEless!

I ventured into 2v2 Arena today, the first time since the end of Season 4.

To my disappointment, Endless Healing and Mana potions have the SAME cooldown. What's up with that???

I thought they were relatively pathetic to start with (600 mana? Really?), but only being able to use ONE is even worse.

I wish I'd known that you couldn't use both; you can't vendor them and I'd have saved myself 10 Runic Mana pots!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rite of passage

A guildmate of mine, Anthor, has had the Rhok'delar quest in his log since before I started raiding... and probably just before I joined the guild.

In fact, this blog owes its name and theme to the fact that our entire guild constantly makes reference to the fact that he failed as a hunter by not finishing the quest... even at level 70, with in-combat trapping, being 10 levels higher, etc.

Today, I am happy to say:

Anthor, HUGE GRATZ to you for finally getting Rhok. You are now a real hunter!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gorilla = OP

I have just finished levelling up my gorilla, cat, and turtle to level 80; mostly soloing, with some (normal) dungeon runs. Here are my observations:
  • While soloing, I will pull aggro off my cat, even if I use Misdirection or Intimidation, and stick to Steady Shot.

  • In dungeons, the cat is great single-target DPS (as it should be), but squishy if focussed on (as expected).

  • While soloing, I will pull aggro off my turtle, even if I use Misdirection or Intimidation, and stick to Steady Shot.

  • The turtle is a decent tank and can last awhile, but *only* if he can hold aggro.
On the other hand...
  • While soloing, I will not pull aggro off my gorilla while soloing unless I spam abilities like crazy.

  • The gorilla has some pretty epic DPS in dungeons if we're AoEing (and let's face it - nobody bothers to CC anymore unless you're undergeared and running a heroic).

  • The gorilla has also saved my normal Violet Hold run from wiping by tanking a boss for awhile (I and the healer were the only two left).

Why is it so hard for other tenacity pets - such as poor Koopa the turtle - to keep aggro?
Why is the gorilla actually a viable choice for a DPS pet when it's supposed to be a tanking pet?

I used to raid with a bear in MC/BWL.
I used to solo elites and farm with "DPS" pets (cat, windserpent or bat usually), and they did fine if I alternated MD/BW/Intimidation.

The new pet system, complete with 2 extra stable slots, was supposed to bring MORE pet variety, not less.

Why, then, am I finding that I still only need 3 stable slots - for raiding (cat), arena (to be determined) and everything else (gorilla)???

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where did I put my keys?

After taking out attunements for various raid dungeons and reputation requirements for heroics, Blizzard is going one step further and making old dungeon keys obsolete.

I think it's a good idea overall - I'm a key hoarder and it'll save me some bag slots, as well as the fact that I won't have to remember to grab them out of the bank before heading to the dungeon.

It does make me wonder, though... Blizzard currently takes the stance that they don't want to spend time making content (eg. long quest chains) that are class-specific, or any other content that only a limited number of players have access to.

But... I can't imagine people who would make much of an effort to do difficult quest chains for dungeon keys that aren't needed any more... Basically making the content more limited than the class-specific quests, because people still do those (eg. the shaman totem quests, warlock demon quests, or the epic Rhok quest).

Personally, I think Blizz could - and should - make more content like this. Class-specific, or at least with rewards that are so desirable that even if you're 20 levels too high, you'll go back and do them.

As for the old, already-existing content... why not have a class-specific or attunements Achievements pane that doesn't give any points, similar to the Feats of Strength? Blizz spent so much time on the Onyxia attunement, for instance, that it seems a shame for people not to see it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Future Me was right?!

When I first encountered "Future You" in Dragonblight, I was prompted to make the above comment. Everyone knows that hunters don't melee, right???

....Well, apparently they might now.

Tacked at the end of a post about the new Deterrence change was this comment:

Now long term, something we are going to explore a lot more is just plain juicing up hunter melee capabilities. You've got mail and you've even got some melee weapon strikes. If those were actually scary abilities, then a melee (or caster) class that closes with you risks taking a beating. The hunter could choose to flee or stand and fight. We're not talking about giving hunters a viable melee option (like Survival has flirted with a couple of times). But imagine your melee damage was 80% of your ranged damage. Ranged would always be preferable, but melee would be a decent last resort rather than pretty pathetic (as it is now). I want to stress that this is a long-term change, not something you'll see in the next patch or two, and I'll be the first to suggest that it may not work out. But it is an idea we're discussing.

I found this rather interesting. Hunters were supposed to be the ranged-only class, the one thing that made us unique when other classes got given pets. One of the reasons I picked a hunter in the first place was because we were ranged; I don't usually like playing up close.

However.... *if* Blizz did decide to up a hunter's melee capability, playing a hunter could change quite a bit. I'm not sure it would work - if anyone is in our melee range it would be a rogue, death knight or warrior, and they're less likely to be hurt by our physical DPS anyway - but I'd be interested to know exactly how Blizz is going to help hunters in Arena in the coming season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My spec is ruined

I knew PvE hunters were due for a nerf. I fully accept that our current stand-and-shoot DPS is second to none.

However.... the latest post by Blizzard has ruined my current Bestial Wrath/Readiness spec, which I spent AGES carefully planning out, and which I had hoped to be decent in Arenas as well as raids.

Why couldn't they have left it at nerfing Steady and Volley??? If this change goes through as is, I'm going to have to think about whether I really want Readiness (a second Rapid Fire, Deterrence, Trap, Disengage etc), or give up Readiness and Rapid Killing for Scatter Shot, or give up both and go Exotic.

I'd probably say no to the latter, especially since Kindred Spirits will be nerfed (the last two tiers in the BM tree were never that great to me to begin with), and Readiness vs Scatter may depend on how useful the buffed Deterrence is.

The description of the buffed Deterrence to me sounds a little stupid as it stands - we can't attack, so the only thing we can really do is run. BUT.... if we turn around to run, we don't deflect the damage. What are we supposed to do, just stand there? Back up slowly like a noob instead of using our mouse to turn and run?

As for the rest of the changes, fair enough. Nerfing some PvE-stuff and buffing some PvP-stuff as expected; I'll let the theorycrafters find out how much of a nerf/buff that is. All I care about is having an all-around, decent DPS and good survivability/utility spec, which Blizz is now forcing me to rethink.


Monday, December 8, 2008

WotLK Raiding: Where's the thrill?

Over the past few days, I've killed the first 2 spider bosses in Naxx (10), Sartharion (10) and Archavon (heroic 25), the former two with my guild and the latter with less than 25 in the raid.

Considering I'm still half geared with level 70 items, I can see how Ensidia, the new combined SK/Nihilum guild, was able to clear the WotLK raiding content so quickly.

I realize that Blizzard wanted more content for the casuals and I think it's a great idea in general, but that "epic" feeling of facing a difficult encounter (Kael and Vashj, Naxx at 60) hasn't hit me yet.... mainly because the strategy employed for almost all dungeons (normal, heroic or raid) has been to just tank everything and AoE it down.

One could argue that Achievements are where the real fun is, but to me they're only something to brag about because they're not really part of the original encounter.

Luckily, I'm still only in Sholazar Basin with my questing, and the thrills are coming thick and fast from the lore direction. Here's hoping that by the time I clear the quest log, the wow factor will be back in raiding - I'd be disappointed if soloing BC heroics or Onyxia ended up being more exciting for me than downing the newest raid boss.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Guide to WotLK DPS Spreadsheet

Since I've hit 80 and starting to face gear choices again, I thought I'd do a noob's guide to the latest hunter DPS spreadsheet. It takes some setting up, and may seem overwhelming for someone who hasn't seen it before, but trust me - it's worth it!

I've written an introduction to the basics below; if you want to use the more advanced functions (shot rotations etc) you can find more info on the Elitist Jerks forums.

Guide to setting up the WotLK Hunter DPS Spreadsheet

1. Pick a day when the official WoW armoury is working, and you can see your character info.

2. Download the spreadsheet from the EJ forums at (note that this *used* to be called "Cheeky's DPS Spreadsheet", and was taken over by Shandara)

3. Overview Tab
Change the character name, server, and server set (US or EU) to your own.
Choose a name for your profile(s) (eg. "Phyllixia raiding", "Phyllixia PvP").
Pick your gathering skill (either Mining or Skinning, if you take them).
Pick your glyphs

4. Gear Tab
Scroll to the right and click on "Load Gear from Armoury". Make sure that it's the correct character name and realm.
Check your race is the correct one.
Your gear should have loaded - check that it's all the correct gear (sometimes it will miss something, or the item hasn't been put into the database, or you logged out in your Winter's Veil outfit etc)

5. Custom Gear Tab
If one of your items isn't in the database, or you want to create your own item, input the stats here. You can then go back to the Gear tab and select "Custom" in the appropriate slot.

6. Talents Tab
Click "Read from Armoury", again making sure it's the correct spec when it loads.
On the right is pre-loaded talent specs, which you can use and customize in the Overview tab if you often change specs (eg. for PvP and Raiding)

7. Buffs Tab
Pick a buff profile (none or raiding)

8. Pet Tab
Pick your pet and their talents.

9. Go back to the Gear tab, and click "Save Profile". This will now save your current gear (as well as your spec/pet/glyphs etc) as a default set. Whenever you get a new piece of gear and you want to know if it's an upgrade, compare the "Total DPS" at the top of the Gear tab with your old and new item. If you forget which items you've switched in, you can click "Load Profile" to go back to your original default.

10. Whenver you change something for good (eg. you get a new piece of gear, or you changed glyphs), remember to click "Save Profile" so it saves it as your new default.

11. Gear Planner Tab
If you're looking for where you can get upgrades, check out this tab. It highlights the item you have equipped, and shows you the top 10 items per slot in terms of raw DPS.

Now go forth and DPS!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

For the Alliance!

As Alliance and a huge fan of world PvP, killing the leaders of the Horde was extremely fun.

As a WC3 fan, killing Thrall, Cairne and especially Sylvanas was a bit of a downer.

In any case, For the Alliance! was a lot easier than I expected to obtain... so I decided to put up a quick recap for those who may still want this Achievement:

General Tips

Boss respawn time is a couple of hours.

If a different raid killed the leaders earlier in the day, you may need to wait. Cairne took maybe 2hrs, Thrall was back earlier.

You don't need a full 40man raid.

Unless you're doing it at peak play time and you expect a lot of people on the opposing faction to come and fight you, you can do it with less. We did have a full raid, but most were under 80 (our main tank was a 79 pally). Undercity and Silvermoon were deserted (we didn't even manage to kill 5 players in those cities).

Group up OUTSIDE the city to buff.

Put a raid symbol on someone's head, and make everyone follow them in in a tight bunch through the city. Don't stop until you get to the boss.

Use your mammoth.

Party (not raid) members can use someone's Traveller's Tundra Mammoth, and you won't get dazed/knocked off your mount on your way to the room.

AoE all the guards/players down in the room before starting on the boss.

Guards are level 75, so they go down quick. Players are more annoying, so target them first.

Turn off spell effects

If you're playing WoW on an ancient calculator like I am (I had about 5FPS), turn the graphics down before you start. It's not as bad as the BWL suppression room, but getting there.

People on the Battle for the Undercity quest chain will NOT be able to help in Orgrimmar/Undercity, but will still get the Achievement.

If you're on the quest chain, you'll be in a different version of Orgrimmar/Undercity to the rest of your raid. However, you'll still be able to get the Achievement if you stand in the same room.

Cairne Bloodhoof

Fight in his tent, otherwise you may get punted off TB. You'll need more than 1 tank to spam taunts, because you'll lose aggro pretty often. There is some AoE/raid damage (especially when the tank loses aggro), so the more tanks spamming taunt the easier it is.

Thrall (and Vol'jin)

Go through the back entrance. Both Thrall and Vol'jin are pretty easy (unless the Horde at the Orgrimmar AH want some PvP), although dispellers will need to watch for Vol'jin's Hex. Some raid damage from Chain Lightning etc, but not too bad. We killed Thrall first.

Lor'themar Theron

Easiest of the 4. There are extra NPCs around (including the guards), so kill them first.

Sylvanas Windrunner (and Varimathras?)

Use the sewers for entry. Sylvanas is probably the hardest out of the 4 because of the guards and Horde battlemasters. She has a vanish-blink type ability which makes her hard to tank, although disarm apparently works well to counteract this.

1 of the NPCs (not sure which one) also has an annoying AoE fear, so you may want to kill the battlemasters first.

RE: Varimathras.... Because I've completed the Battle for the Undercity quest chain, Varimathras wasn't there for me at all. I don't know if he was there for the people that hadn't completed the quest chain or not, but he didn't seem to be an issue.

At the end of it all, you get a Black War Bear mount. In my opinion Alliance have it easy; Horde have to go through either (or both!) Stormwind or Ironforge in full view of the AH.

For the Alliance!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Water Dodging

Sick of being chased by sharks while swimming?

Grab a Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey.

Not only does this glyph give you 6sec of 30% increased movement speed every time you dodge with AotDH or AotM up, you apparently also get water walking to boot.

Yeah, it's a gimmick bug; pretty useless for anything unless you happen to come across someone of the opposing faction in the middle of a lake, or maybe if you're trying to avoid mobs while swimming around for quest items, but knowing Blizzard, it's something they'll fix next patch instead of fixing the more annoying bugs we have at the moment.

Make use of it while you can.