Thursday, January 29, 2009

Uses of Deterrence

Today's forum browsing brought me to a thread entitled, "Deterrence is pretty cool".

Initially I thought it was another hunter trying to say how great it is in Arenas (it's really not, although I've managed to use it to my advantage on some rare occasions), but to my surprise, the content was actually useful to me:

Deterrence deflects Sartharion's Flame Wall.

As a later post points out, your pet will still get hit and probably won't survive, so you shouldn't make a habit of doing it.... but I still think it's great for those emergencies when you realize you've either left it too late to move, or somehow moved the wrong way (or maybe your latency just sucks).

After more forum browsing, I've also found the following bits of info:
  • Deterrence is unconfirmed to work on Sapphiron's Frost Breath
  • Deterrence does NOT stop physical ranged attacks (no wonder I died to a Survival hunter last night with Deterrence up...)
  • Deterrence deflects Grobbulus's poison cloud (not sure if it works if you're right in the middle of it, since it's only supposed to work from front-on)

Not too bad.... maybe I should try using it more often in raids, in spite of the fact that you can't DPS in the 5sec it's up. Would be interesting to see what else it can deflect!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lunar Madness

Repair bill from Nexus: 0g

Repair bill from UK: 10g

Repair bill from DK: 20g

Repair bill from HoS: 80g

Getting to the Elders in each of those dungeons solo: Priceless
I don't recommend it though, HoS probably would have been quicker and easier with a group.... not to mention cheaper. Oh well - twas epic fun!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fishing dailies fixed

I picked up Crocolisks in the City yesterday (I've been doing that one to try and get the other 3 croc mini-pets I still don't have), and discovered that you no longer automatically get the quest item on your first cast.

I guess Blizz finally fixed the fishing quests, so if you were hoping to use the bug to catch Old Crafty, you may have missed your chance.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I haz new banner!

What to do when the servers are down? Make a new blog banner!

I've always meant the banner to look something like the above (ie. with at least the first arrow being shot from Rhok across the title), but I don't usually have time to spare for artistic projects. I'm glad I finally got around to doing it though, it looks a little better now!

Maybe if I can somehow get some kind of recording program to work with my computer (at the moment it lags me out in WoW if I run FRAPS or WeGame), that can be my next project for a rainy day....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Patch 3.0.8 summation?


I'd predicted at least a 500dps drop for my personal DPS when fully raid buffed. Last night's WWS logs showed ~700DPS less than Monday, so even if you take a couple of hundred DPS for a different raid makeup and getting used to using Arcane Shot again, I can still consider my predictions correct.

Oh well - if my guild can still down Patchwerk, I'll be fine. If not.... it'll depend whether I feel guilty enough to change my glyphs and/or spec (/gasp!) to compete with our top DPSers again (damn you, DKs.... soloing 60 raids and pwning people in Arena isn't enough for you that you have to be top raid PvE DPS too?!).

Meanwhile, I'm still undecided on my new spec:

50/16/5 is what I have now, but really the 2 points in Improved Tracking (and possibly the 1 point in Frenzy) are floaters - I could maybe move them to Improved Arcane Shot (which BRK professes to be the new "must have" talent), or I could pick up Rapid Killing again, or I could pick up Improved Stings, or I could even try Exotic. The jury is still out at this point.... I'll wait until more BM hunters (if there are any left that aren't going MM or Surv!) start discussing talents, and maybe I'll respec again.

As for other random observations of Patch 3.0.8:

  • Level 60 raids (Onyxia, ZG, AQ20 etc) drop less gold. Boo.
  • Wintergrasp has been stuffed (boo), although it may be fixed now (hooray).
  • Arenas are stuffed (boo).
  • Deterrence is amusing, but still pretty useless in PvP - I did a couple of Arena games before they got shut down, and I spent the entire duration of Deterrence turning in circles to avoid incoming damage - basically like an Ice Block that you have to work at to keep up. In one 2v2 match, the rogue/mage team just had 1 stand in front and 1 behind - I still died.

All in all, Patch 3.0.8 was pretty average for me... I could have done without it, even if hunters *hadn't* had the epic nerf. I guess one good thing is that I can now work on my old-world reputations (Timbermaw, Hydraxian Waterlords, Cenarion Circle, Brood of Nozdormu) and get the full benefit of killing grey mobs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

They weren't critter bites

I have no idea how this bug happened, but it was interesting while it lasted - almost everyone who went past stopped in their tracks to /boggle when they saw me.

All I know is: I had Slimer (my crocoslime) out and tried to summon my Disgusting Oozeling to match. It disappeared for a second after I summoned it (even though I still got the debuff that comes with it), so I summoned a different minipet. This one disappeared too, so I summoned another... and another... Finally I decided to give up, and mounted my Black War Bear, intending to do some banking. When I dismounted, however, all the pets I had summoned suddenly reappeared!

I tried to reproduce the bug but couldn't do it - maybe someone else can figure it out. It stays when you mount up (although I'm not sure if it will stay when you zone), so you can get plenty of amusement out of it!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I had a spare stable slot

Because I'm not currently using my 5th stable slot, I decided to tame a "Crocoslime" when the appropriate Oracles daily (A Cleansing Song) came up.
I probably will end up letting Slimer go at some point; Quickblade (my ravager) just doesn't seem to last long enough in Arenas for my taste and I might end up getting a crab.
However, since this is the last chance for hunters to tame this pet (the next patch will make it untameable), I thought I should at least get a screenshot of it!

I rest my case....

(Refer to previous posts)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I should have known better....

I still have blue pants and a vendor-bought gun, but after running PuG 10man Naxx today, I won end loot: Yet another pair of gloves to add to my collection.

I'm starting to think it's like my luck with BC loot, except in reverse: I ran Steamvaults enough times to be exalted twice with Cenarion Expedition, and never saw either piece of Beast Lord armour (you'd think I'd have more of a chance with 2 pieces dropping off the same boss, but noooooo). Now, bosses are throwing gloves at me and I don't even need them.

Well, at least I can sell these... they're actually one of the best (if not the best) PvE hunter gloves in the game at the moment so they're worth a few hundred gold.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PvE: Easy, or Hard?

Today's blog post is prompted by my guildie Siha over at Banana Shoulders, who rants against people who say that PvE is easy.

I wouldn't say PvE is easy, exactly... but I do think that PvE is easiER in terms of personal skill.


Because PvE is pretty much the same thing, every time. You know what to expect - watch for void zones for this boss, cleanse for this boss, kill this mob first in this trash pack, taunt at 10 stacks of debuff, heal this target.

In my guild, I've been one of the highest DPSers with my crappy non-DPS spec since level 60 raids... and up until halfway through BC, I clicked and keyboard turned for everything except kiting.

So... compared to competitive PvP, I do think PvE is easier in terms of personal skill. However... I also think PvE is hard.


Because to progress in a difficult heroic raid zone you need TWENTY-FOUR other people to be as good, or better, than you in terms of personal skill. You also need a raid leader that is good (and patient!) enough to lead all 25 people through.

This, of course, is easy for high-end raiding guilds. Someone isn't good enough? /gkick and replace them; there are plenty of applicants eager to prove their worth. That shadow priest keeps dying on Heigan but is usually an excellent player? Bring in a warlock for Heigan only, and the priest can come back in when Heigan is dead.

For most "casual" raiding guilds, this isn't an option. The guilds are based on friendships rather than skill, and there's always that one hunter who can't keep their pet alive, that one warlock that has lower DPS than the tank, that one shaman that falls asleep in raids, that one pally that turns up drunk.

We have to motivate them, wake them up, spend more time explaining, show them what to do... and if all else fails, "carry" them through content by DPSing harder, overgearing the encounter a little, or even resorting to a little raid stacking until we get it right.

We do it because we'd rather wipe a few times and laugh at people failing frogger than give up our friends... and that's what really makes PvE hard.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Real PvP - Not quite dead

I've always had a PvP server mentality. Battlegrounds just don't do it for me - you don't need skill to kill Horde in AV, and it's horribly boring to boot. Along with all the challenging solo PvE stuff I do, I guess you could call me competitive... or just bloodthirsty.

The above screenshot was one of the extremely rare times where both Horde and Alliance ignored the fact that we were on Proudmoore and duked it out around the graveyard outside Silvermoon City after a city raid... for a good couple of hours.

Or, more accurately, I voluntarily subjected myself to a couple of hours of corpse camping by a few Horde - I could rez and kill one of them, but not all. Not most people's idea of fun, I know... but I hardly noticed the time.

It's such a nice change to be able to fight on my hunter instead of my druid, or warlock, both of which I'm extremely rusty on when I play them (although being the excellent one-vs-one classes that they are, I often manage not to fall prey to gankers, even when using the wrong spells).

68 world PvP kills in one day - not bad at all for a PvE server. Pity the Horde would only stay flagged when they outnumbered us, and not the other way around. Damn chickens!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Enough gloves, already!

After dutifully joining both 10- and 25-man Archavon PuGs once a week since I hit 80 without fail, I finally got my first piece of loot from that Vault - Deadly Gladiator's Chain Gauntlets.

Don't get me wrong, I do need them. My 2v2 partner and I are getting pwned hard in arena (or maybe I should just say *I* am, since mages can take me out in the time it takes me to dismount), so the resilience is definitely welcome.


I am wearing Rusted-Link Spiked Gauntlets for PvE, which has dropped twice in my presence.
I also have Heroes' Cryptstalker Handguards, which has also dropped twice in my presence (in token form).
I also have Handgrips of the Savage Emissary, which seems to drop every time I run heroic VH... a good 3-4 times now.

If the Blizzard loot god reads this blog at all - I could really use a new bow. Or, you know, a kind guildie gave me epic quality leg armour quite awhile ago and I still don't have anything decent to put it on...

WTB pants!

Edit 10th Jan 09:

Valorous Cryptstalker Handguards.

The Blizzard loot god is /lol ing at me, I'm sure of it.

On the upside, at least it won't take up another bag slot - I can delete the Heroes version.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The things we miss

Being an Oceanic player on a US time-based server (Proudmoore) rather than an Oceanic time-based server (such as my main Horde server, Frostmourne) has a lot of advantages:

The best advantage is that at almost any time of day, there is a sizeable population online. The same can't be said for other servers (such as Nerzhul, where my main alt warlock is based), where you can /who Dalaran at certain times of day and not have a full 49 listed. The population advantage (as well as the carebear PvE status) helped Proudmoore grind SSO dailies like no other, winning the race to each Sunwell phase.

It also helps with PuGging, particularly retro raiding, as there is both a US and Oceanic population to pool interested parties from. MC, BWL, AQ40 (it took quite awhile to find a group that could get past Twin Emps!), SSC, TK, and BT were all PuGged extensively for one reason or another, and I'd still like to get Hyjal and Sunwell completely cleared at some point too.

However, being on a different clock to server time has a lot of disadvantages, too:

I have never been able to compete in the STV Fishing Contest, as Sunday afternoon for the Yankees is Monday morning for Oceania.

Rolling restarts on Proudmoore still happen between 8-11pm on Tuesday nights, unlike Oceanic servers such as Frostmourne, where (if you're lucky!) Blizzard will sometimes push back rolling restarts to non-peak times (ie 5am AEST, not US time).

...and something I wasn't even aware of until recently - we miss being able to turn on the lights in Dalaran at 9pm server time.

I know these things are such a small part of WoW, but I'd still like to experience them. Oh well, maybe one day!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

That was fun....

It took 4 wipes to get the hang of it, but soloing Onyxia could actually be pretty lucrative - she dropped over 200g worth of stuff (including vendored loot).
I donned some level 70 FR gear (about 180FR worth) to make it easier, but I have no doubt that if you were careful you could do it without.
With my guild starting official raids soon, it'll be really difficult to find time to do this type of thing again... but AQ20 and ZG are definitely on the list to try next!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I couldn't do it...

...I couldn't give up Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey.

It's just way, way too much fun having a speed buff when I dodge.

What I gave up instead (and here's where all the raiding hunters will pull their hair out in horror): Glyph of Steady Shot, one of the main "mandatory" glyphs for maximising DPS.

(In fact, the first comment on WoWHead for this glyph begins, "Needless to say, this Glyph will be on pretty much every Hunter's Glyph page.")

All three of my major Glyphs are, in fact, pretty selfish - I have:

  • Glyph of Freezing Trap - useful if the trap breaks because I have an extra few seconds time to kite the mob/enemy player

  • Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey - as mentioned above

  • Glyph of Bestial Wrath - although this provides a significant DPS boost and would be on every raiding BM hunter's glyph page... I'm sorry to say I would have considered taking it purely for the immunity to CC Beast Within provides.

So.... if my guild ever wipes on a boss at 1%, it's probably my fault (although they should be used to it by now; I don't think I've ever specced for full DPS...). Sorry!