Friday, May 29, 2009

Gearing up for Ulduar.... without raiding?!

My guild has been running low on numbers for raids lately; some days we're forced to run 10mans.

With that in mind, I started wondering - if, hypothetically, a brand-new, guildless 80 wanted to join our guild... could they gear up sufficiently in a short amount of time to join us in Ulduar *without* having done any raids whatsoever?


  • No 10man/25man raids and no Emblems of Valor
  • No heroic dungeon drops (said hunter has incredibly bad luck).
  • No Arena (said hunter doesn't have partners).
  • No BoE items from Ulduar drops/patterns (server isn't selling them yet)
  • Average enchants/gems (not necessarily best for the slot, but a decent choice)
  • Phyllixia's Talents and Glyphs (BM, and NOT the highest DPS BM raiding spec)



Comparison (using the Hunter DPS spreadsheet linked on the side bar):

Hypothetical BM hunter fully raid buffed - 5331.35 DPS, 25980 HP, 12341 Mana
Phyllixia's stats at the start of Ulduar - 6004. 07 DPS, 24879 HP, 14156 Mana

You have to admit - it's pretty close. Not to mention, if I switched the hypothetical hunter to a top DPS spec (Survival, with appropriate Glyphs and best-in-slot enchants/gems), it'd bump up the DPS at least by a few hundred.

Bottom line? Whether a guild will take you or not is another story... but hypothetically, it's definitely possible to gear up sufficiently for Ulduar without setting foot in a raid dungeon at all - and theoretically can be done in 2-3 weeks!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's like being famous...

I'm the type of hunter that exclaims over guild chat about unusual pets I've spotted in town.

First sighting of a hunter with Gondria, amusingly named wolf, rare-skinned parrot - all of these merit a comment, although I've never directly whispered or made any indication to the owner themselves that I was admiring their pet.

Which was why, I suppose, the attention paid to my own rare pet caught me by surprise.

Pats, cheers, whispers, all from random people - and I'm sure Spirit Beast owners would have it worse.

Not that I'm complaining, of course.... I'm happy with my slimy companion, both in looks and in utility, and I feel nothing but sympathy when I'm forced to tell disappointed hunters that you can't tame them any more.

It does, however, make me glad that I'm not a member of an elite raiding guild like Ensidia - I'm surprised they manage to play at all through all the attention from fans.

Then again... it probably does have it's perks.

(On a side note, that particular blogger, Kungen, is one of the guild leaders of Ensidia and surprisingly funny. Even if you hate Ensidia and everything it stands for, I'd recommend his WotLK levelling story, starting here, for some fairly decent amusement)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Breaking news today - hunters got a buff!

No, it's not April 1st.

Details are in this thread on the Blizzard forums, but if you have a high-end ranged weapon (including the Naxx25 gun Envoy of Mortality, Arena weapons and, of course, Ulduar weapons), expect a DPS upgrade.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pet control from vehicles

Vehicles are great.

They're fun, different, and you either get a vehicle bar with appropriate abilities, or you get extra protection while you DPS.

One thing that I dislike about vehicles (but something I had resigned myself to) was the fact that when you get into a vehicle, your pet disappears.

...not anymore, perhaps?

This hasn't happened consistently; I've also had pets disappear entirely (as if you're mounting up), or the pet *bar* disappearing but leaving the pet under your control.

I'm not sure if it's a bug, but either way if Blizz is making the effort to allow us to control our pets while being a passenger on Demolishers, I'm a fan.

Especially if I happen to be BM spec.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's a small world after all...

This bug isn't new; I've had it before and it doesn't happen often... but I always find it amusing that the in-game combat log can sometimes pick up events that aren't actually anywhere near your vicinity.

The above is an example of an Arena apparently occurring in Crystalsong Forest (think of the Line of Sight issues with all those trees! /boggle), but I've also had mobs attacking someone on the Isle of Quel'danas while flying over Zangarmarsh, among other incidents.

I'm not entirely sure what causes the bug, but I've reported it before and Blizz didn't seem too concerned... It's not game-breaking or anything, just a quirk of WoW akin to dying in Northrend and inexplicably rezzing in Westfall, I guess!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Licensed to Drive

More from the Noblegarden files:

Apparently the Bronzebeard crew don't mind if bunnies drive a catapult in the fight against Flame Leviathan, so that's what happened.

Pretty decent effort, if I do say so myself; even my mage passenger survived....

Only because you can't Misdirect while driving, of course.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

When battlegrounds aren't

The School of Hard Knocks achievement for Children's Week had some people (hardcore PvEers, mainly) complaining that it was too hard to get.

Well, personally, I think it wasn't. In fact, I'd rank it easier than some of the other event achievements, especially those that require you to log in every hour on the dot so you can get a random prize pack and hope you're lucky with drops.

(I hate having to be back in town every hour for that stupid system... and I blame any loss of productivity throughout my (usually) non-WoW time on the guy who invented it)

Not only that, but all week I've seen people helping each other get the achievement done - dropping the flag for someone else to pick up in EotS or exchanging tower caps with Horde in AV, for instance.

In one WSG match (after I'd already got School of Hard Knocks and was trying for a different achievement), I started firing on a Horde paladin who had come into the Alliance flag room alone.

It took me a minute to realize that the pally was actually picking up and dropping the flag for us, over and over.... just so we could return it.

Really, how easy is that? Our team wasn't even reciprocating, as far as I could tell (I'm pretty sure our flag runner was taking the match seriously and dutifully capped ours 3x without letting the Horde get their hands on it), so that Horde team pretty much took a loss just so everyone could get their achievements.

I gave up on trying to get Not in my House that round, but cheerily /thanked the pally for Frenzied Defender instead.

Too hard? Pfft. I did it solo without any trouble at all, with some fun PvP to boot - and I welcome any future event-related PvP achievements in the future.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Surviving PvP

The Children's Week Achievements finally gave me the incentive to really test out my new PvP Survival spec.

This being my first time playing a non-Beast Mastery spec in a serious context, it took awhile to get the hang of.... so here are my thoughts:

Survival vs BM PvP

  1. Your pet dies quicker. A LOT quicker... and you're stuck with a 10sec rez, which means if they die there isn't *too* much point in reviving them unless you can get out of the action.
  2. CCing is as useful (and fun!) as I'd expected - my best use of Scatter Shot and Wyvern was to catch and kill a druid who had just stolen the flag in WSG. I also experienced at least one 1v2 win where I slept one person while killing the other, and slept someone in the Horde base before stealing their flag.
  3. It wasn't as much of an increase in personal burst DPS as I'd thought. Maybe I'm used to seeing people's health go down while I'm under the effects of Bestial Wrath, or maybe I had some crazy idea in my head that Survival and MM would have the burst capability of a mage... but whatever the reason, trying to finish off a person on low health was surprisingly hard.
  4. Trying to Scatter Shot (or Wyvern) while running is hard when someone is on your tail. I obviously need more jumpshot kiting practice - PvE jumpshot kiting is a lot less pressure and much more predictable!
  5. DoTs are terrible for CC. Obvious, yes, but BM only has Serpent or Viper to worry about, while Survival has Explosive and Wyvern as well.

All in all, I'm looking forward to Arena-ing with this spec.... although my 2v2 healadin (with whom I held the Challenger title with for a few seasons) has called it quits for awhile and I'm stuck without a partner.

I'm trying to decide whether to find a new one (few of my guildies Arena much) or stick with my 3v3 and 5v5 teams, which are usually more difficult to organize games with.

Any Proudmoore Oceanic Alliance out there want to team up with a hunter? I'm not terribly good, but I did almost manage to hit 1700 with a BM PvE spec at one point in S4, so I'd say I'm at least above the 1500 average!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

When heroic isn't enough

These days, PuGs like to take you only if you've already successfully completed the dungeon.

A little harsh on newbies or people without guilds, perhaps, but understandable considering no-one likes to wipe continuously due to someone not knowing what to do.

However, I was LFG for Emalon 10man the other day when the following conversation occurred:

Apparently, having the Achievement for 25man Emalon just isn't enough for 10man Emalon.

With such a stellar raid leader, I wasn't surprised when the PuG failed, mainly due to one of the tanks getting flattened within a minute for some reason... he wasn't undergeared as far as I could tell, but he must have been missing something crucial somewhere.

Luckily I was able to join another (successful) PuG after defending Wintergrasp. I would have been incredibly annoyed if I'd been locked!