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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hunter Arena Issues

Blizzard's Ghostcrawler put up a post inviting hunters to post their concerns about PvP.

Here are some of mine:

1. Keybinds

My hands are small and I'm running out of keys. At 70 my hunter had more spells to use than my warlock, and now with the new pet abilities (Charge/Intervene etc) the problem is worse.

2. Mana and burst damage

Mages can choose to conserve mana and do lower, constant DPS, or blow their whole mana pool and do huge burst. Hunters don't have this option - we go through mana quickly and do high DPS *all* the time (*if* we stand still), which is great for PvE but not for PvP.

3. Pet survivability

A lot of our "escape" abilities are linked to our pets. If a warlock demon dies, the lock loses maybe 1 "save" spell (eg. Silence from felpuppy), but they still have fear/deathcoil/CoEx etc. When hunters lose pets, we lose Master's Call and all the pet abilities, 3 or 4 of which could be considered "save" spells (Charge, Intervene, Roar of Sacrifice, Pet Family Special). BM hunters especially will only have Disengage and Deterrance left, which are only useful against melee and not casters (unless you take Scatter Shot).

4. Traps

Old issue, but they're still unreliable. If opponents are smart, they can choose to avoid it (by having someone with a DoT eat it, for instance, or just run around it). Freezing Arrow is not much improvement on Freezing Trap.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

She didn't kill me!

My Queen... I fight for you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Let's not be too hasty....

At level 74, I've run through the whole of Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord, including dungeons.

Although I hadn't really expected any upgrades from my ~T5 gear, I've seen some decent sidegrades that I *could*, technically, swap out. Particularly trinkets.


Almost everything I've seen has +haste on it.

I'm not a fan of +haste, for a few reasons:
  1. The only spell that really benefits from +haste is Steady Shot. All that +haste to affect only 1 spell (and autoshots) seems a waste.

  2. Haste doesn't help pets out at all.

  3. Unlike casters, our global cooldown isn't affected by +haste, so the fastest we can cast Steady Shot is 1.5sec.... and that's not factoring in the latency issues. The +haste cap is fairly easy to achieve, especially specced as BM, and extra +haste will be wasted.

  4. The main benefit of trading haste for extra stats *used* to be pushback for casters.... but because the pushback mechanics have changed, this no longer applies.

  5. Faster shots = more arrows (what? I'm saving up for a Mammoth, OK?!)
I haven't looked at the item lists for level 80 at all, but I hope there's some better choices for stats... More +intellect, for instance - not running out of mana after 2 trash pulls in dungeons would be a welcome change.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2 WotLK Hunter Bugs

Two bugs I'd like to point out that I've personally found annoying:

Kill Shot - the range on this shot is different to other hunter shots. I've personally macroed Kill Shot and Arcane Shot on the same button to level with, and it's been rather irritating to have to move back to fire Kill Shot when Arcane fires just fine.

Automatic mob targetting - when a mob dies, you automatically target a different mob nearby. This annoys me because if I'm spamming a shot (Kill Shot, for instance) to finish off a mob, sometimes the mob I'm hitting will die and I'll hit another mob by mistake... or my pet will start charging towards some other mob that I don't want to pull.

Adding to these is of course the Volley bug that people have been complaining about for awhile, where your ranged weapon loses excessive durability when casting Volley.

I hope Blizzard fixes the Auto-mob target issue before I start raiding.... I can see some wipes happening with that one. The others I can live with unless the raids turn out like Hyjal - I might have to start carrying a spare bow again!

Monday, November 17, 2008

[Random] whispers you: Hi!

Like everyone else, I've had my share of "dodgy" whispers.

Unlike others, I don't like putting people on /ignore, and I also hate being ignored (both /ignored and ignored), so I usually reply to every whisper I get, although the answer to "dodgy"-sounding questions tends to be deliberately vague.

Besides that, it amuses me sometimes to see how weird a /whisper conversation can get; I'm a great fan of taking screenshots, and not only of the scenery.

Anyway, on the weekend I was vendoring trash in Fizzcrank Airstrip Inn when I got a whisper that included the words: "Are you a girl IRL?"

I did an obligatory /who - female night elf hunter - and rolled my eyes before replying with a guarded, "Why do you ask?" as I hit my print screen button.

"Because I'm a girl too"

Uh huh. Like I haven't heard *that* one before...
I restrained myself from blasting her immediately however, and I'm glad I did... because the reply to, "My character is. Whether I am IRL or not isn't really relevant" ended up being an apology for offending me.

I started feeling guilty for being such a cynic, but still didn't quite believe the story. I whispered her back an explanation for my curtness in case she really was a newbie, but didn't get a reply... so I thought I was probably right, and they were just fishing.

Apparently, I was wrong.

The next day, General Chat lit up with "stupidest q of the day" and "LOLOLOL" comments. I scrolled up to see what I'd missed, and found out it was that same hunter asking the type of innocent-sounding, clueless question that only belongs in starter zones.

Am I too much of a cynic? A part of me still insists that it's probably someone's 10yr old kid brother fooling around on their account....

...but I did delete the screenshot.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Before I installed WotLK...

...someone hit 80.


Not to mention that last night, 3 hours before WotLK was officially released in Australia, Proudmoore server firsts of both Skinning and Fishing popped up.

Before someone jumps in to say, "Sif fishing", I would just like to point out that a) you can fish anywhere, including non-laggy places, b) you don't have to compete with anyone, and c) you can turn around and sell fish on the AH to people who need them for professions. Not such a bad idea after all... although I don't think I'll be doing it myself :P

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Raid Dynamics

Having done a lot of PuG raids in the past week with different guilds (yes, they're PuGs... but the majority of the raid tends to be composed of the people from the raid leader's guild), I was inspired to do a companion post to my previous one on raid leaders; this one being on the topic of how raids are run.

My Guild: Raids are casual. Teamspeak and raid chat often have people goofing around, although we do limit off-topic conversations to guild chat and shut up when our raid leader is giving instructions.

Kael PuG: Very casual. The raid leader gave no instructions except to ask if I had seen the fight (I had) and to Misdirect Capernian to a warlock. However, there were no "noobs", so we all figured out what to do quickly enough to one-shot Kael.

Vashj PuG: Casual; similar to my guild raids. The raid leader gave clear instructions, asking specific people for their cooperation but being fairly general. He also made that particular fight as easy as possible for the less experienced players by taking it on himself to stand at the top of the stairs each time to catch the cores, and only passed them to the more reliable players.

Illidan PuG: All business. No-one mucked around, and no-one talked in Ventrilo except the raid leader, who gave very detailed and specific instructions. In one silly wipe where a (usually reliable) warlock pulled aggro within seconds at the start, only 2 emotes were directed at him to acknowledge his mistake, and all the raid leader said was "Phase 1 is not a DPS race" (not in a mean way; more like a parent telling a child something important).

It's definitely refreshing to join a raid where raiders and/or the raid leader treats it very seriously. It's efficient, for one thing, and you also don't feel like anyone (or anything) isn't pulling their weight because everyone does what they're supposed to do.

However, I don't think I'd be able to do that all the time. I'm rather sociable myself and don't mind wiping a few times if we're laughing while we do it. I know I'd probably progress more quickly through content if I joined a more "hardcore" guild, but.... I think I'd prefer the social aspect in the long run.

Besides... there's always PuGs.

Monday, November 10, 2008

End of the World

Recently, the hunter forums offered up some sad news:

After soloing his way through Scholomance at 60 all the way to soloing the first boss of heroic SV at 70, Dysphoria of Hunter vs World fame has made his last video.

Dysphoria's skill, patience and willingness to explore the soloing possibilities of the hunter class has been an inspiration to many hunters around the world. On a personal note, I'm rather well known in my guild for attempting to solo stuff, but really most of the props should go Dysphoria's way because almost all the tricks I use are from watching his vids.

Dysphoria and Popo, I /salute you.

Crafty Fishing

After my success in catching Old Crafty, a couple of guildies have asked me for tips. This post isn't really any more information than you can find yourself on WoWHead and similar sites, but I've added some screenshots and gathered all the info into one post so that your venture into Orgrimmar as Alliance will be quick and easy.


First, pick up Crocolisks in the City, the fishing daily from Old Man Barlo. There is a bug at the moment where the quest item is a 100% drop when fishing in Orgrimmar, and ALSO increases the chance for Old Crafty to drop.

Don't loot the Baby Croc until you loot Old Crafty.

There WILL be a confirmation box to loot Old Crafty, even if you are alone - so make sure you don't recast without clicking "Yes" to the loot!

Next, be prepared to die at least once or twice. FD and Shadowmeld don't work on Orgrimmar guards, so I would assume Vanish/Invis etc don't work either. I recommend mounting up and getting as far as you can through the back door of Orgrimmar (accessed via a bridge in NE Durotar going across the small river between the Barrens and Durotar), preferably sans armour.
The place I fished from is in the Valley of Spirits. The dangerous part about this is that this is where any portal to Orgrimmar dumps the Horde, so there's usually a bit of traffic. However, there is a place behind the rock and palm tree in the area where you can fish and be very hard to spot (unless Horde visit the priest trainer/cloth handin person).

Here's a screenshot of the rock/tree I'm talking about:

...and another view from behind the rock:

If you're on a particularly bloodthirsty server, you may want to stop fishing if Horde port in, so that they don't hear the splashing and come to investigate. When I did it, the Horde usually went straight out the front of the hut after porting in and didn't look back, so I didn't get bothered at all.

Unfortunately for Horde, this bug doesn't work for Ironforge because the fishing daily is for Stormwind... and it's a lot harder to get into IF than Orgrimmar. Sorry! :(

Friday, November 7, 2008

Never say die!

I had expected last night's WoWing to be a quiet one; my quest log was full of lowbie quests to get through and I had been determined to clear them all instead of my usual quest-quest-hey, wonder if I can solo [insert instance here]?

It definitely started out like that, but it all ended very differently...


I had all but given up on PuGging Kael/Vashj for the vials, but out of habit I stuck myself in the LFG channel for SSC, TK and Hyjal. As I hauled ass around Redridge collecting spider legs and goretusk snouts for a Cook NPC, I got a /whisper:

"Want to come to TK? Only Kael left"

Sure, I thought. Get locked into yet another TK instance with no chance of even getting loot from easier bosses, and waste my night wiping. They must have wiped, otherwise why would they be asking for more DPS when they're at Kael? Don't join!

/whisper Raid Leader: "Are you likely to get Kael down, or no?"
"Yeah, we worked out the kinks and should get him this time"
A moment's hesitation....."OK, invite"

Of course... just when you least expect it: Kael down, and one-shot. Woot!

In my elated mood, I joined a raid on Thunder Bluff. Didn't get anything out of it (not even 5 player HKs), but it inspired me to head to Orgrimmar (alone) afterwards and get 3 more achievements done in quick succession:

On another note: Feign Death and Shadowmeld do NOT work on City Guards. I ended up with an awfully large repair bill last night... but it was SO worth it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Raid mentality

An interesting article linked by WoWInsider today caught my attention.

In it, the author offers his views on why he thinks fear and humiliation are viable tools for raid leaders, much like that tyrant teacher you lived in fear of way back in primary school.

Although I'm in a fairly similar position to the author's (I've seen more of the harder bosses in TK, SSC, Hyjal, BT and ZA by joining PuGs than with my guild), I don't believe that calling people out for their mistakes is necessary.

The reason I believe this is because I view WoW, and the raiding environment in particular, as a huge Montessori classroom, where people learn from each other, and teach each other. As with any class, the high achievers will rise to the top quickly... and when they reach the limit of what their class - or guild - can do, these people have a choice - stay and try to "teach" the rest of their guild to L2P, or /gquit and apply to a guild where they can continue to learn.

Sure, some guilds will have a class bully; someone who likes to dominate and push others around. Sometimes, it even works well for that guild. However, if raiders are ambitious and capable, they'll KNOW they've made a mistake in a raid, and take steps to correct it themselves... no humiliation required.

Happily for me, my guild is devoid of tyrant raid leaders. They do call people out now and then, but more often than not it's to poke fun at them rather than directly telling them off, and those people probably deserved it anyway. I don't think I'd enjoy raiding as much if we did have someone yelling at me constantly - I yell at myself often enough when I make mistakes, so I damn well don't need it from anyone else!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Glyph Picks

Unfortunately for us hunters, the decent Glyphs don't kick in until we can pick Northrend herbs, and the pickings right now are slim. However, I thought I'd put up an overview for those of you that may be interested.

(Keep in mind that my Glyph picks will be geared towards my spec, which is all-around DPS, utility and survivability, and are NOT the best for specializing in PvE/PvP/Arena)

Minor Glyphs

My pick: Glyph of Feign Death, Scare Beast, Revive Pet.

  • Glyph of Feign Death - our only "must have" Minor.
  • Glyph of Possessed Strength - who the heck uses EotB to kill stuff unless you're bored?
  • Glyph of the Pack - does anyone actually use this for anything other than running your party back after a wipe?
  • Glyph of Scare Beast/Mend Pet/Revive Pet - all situational. You don't need the extra happiness in PvP because when you rez your pet gets happiness back, and if you're PvEing, Bloodthirsty or Growl will be more than enough to keep your pet happy.

Major Glyphs:

My pick for 70: Glyph of Freezing Trap, Rapid Fire
My pick for 80: Glyph of Bestial Wrath, Freezing Trap, Steady Shot (if you're going for pure DPS, take AotV instead of Freezing Trap)

Lvl 70 analysis:

  • Glyph of Aimed Shot/Arcane Shot/Rapid Fire - OK. On live, if I find myself out of mana, a couple of shots in AotV brings it back up quick enough for my tastes, so Rapid Fire is my pick for the DPS Glyph at 70 (particularly as I have the Rapid Killing talent).
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Monkey/Frost Trap/Deterrance/Disengage/Freezing Trap - All decent for PvP. However, Freezing Trap is also useful when chain trapping in PvE; the others less so.
  • Glyph of Immolation Trap/Serpent Sting/Hunter's Mark/Multi-Shot - average. HM doesn't scale; Immo Trap is rarely used for anything; Serpent Sting's length only matters in long fights.
WotLK only Glyphs:
  • Glyph of Bestial Wrath - Must have for BM hunters. 1.17sec CD for BW with Longevity + Glyph is too fun to pass up!
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Viper/Steady Shot/Improved Aspect of the Hawk- All decent. However, we don't really need the extra haste for Imp Hawk (and I would drop the Rapid Fire Glyph at this point too); I'd rather Steady over AotV, and my personal choice is to have the utility of Freezing Trap over AotV as well.
  • Glyph of Wyvern Sting/Trueshot Aura - situational. If you're the CCer in your Arena or 5man group, Wyvern could be worth taking; the buff to TSA would be decent in Arena when trying to burst someone down.
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Beast/Snake Trap/Volley - no. Beast only buffs melee; snakes are easily killed by AoE so 2 snakes won't make a difference; Volley is too situational.
Happy Glyphing! :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Close, but no cigar

All I need to get a Hand of A'dal title is to kill Vashj and Kael.

All I need to get a free port to BT is to kill Illidan.

All I need to get my 20th exalted reputation is about 1.5 bars worth of rep in Hyjal.

After several weeks of PuGging my way to this stage in the above quest chains, I'm going to be slightly disappointed if I don't manage to complete any of them before the trek to 80.

One more weekend.

/grabs bow
/whistles for Shadow
/joins LFG


Friday, October 31, 2008

Phyl can cook

(so can you)!

A kind guildie (thanks Az!) who has an alt Horde-side donated the recipe for Dig Rat Stew to me last night, which now means I have every single Cooking recipe (and also every Alchemy recipe) in the game.

I've spent a lot of time and effort into collecting these recipes, so it's nice that Alchemy will have some profession-specific perks come WotLK. Until I added Lifeblood to my hotbar, every time a hunter-relevant leatherworking pattern dropped in raids, or someone would come past with their rings nicely enchanted, I felt a little left out... Not any more :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chill, mate

Although news from the Blizzard camp indicates that the zombie plague ends today, I wanted to comment on something that always amuses me when there's a one-off world event going on: people that complain constantly about it.

Because Proudmoore is a PvE realm, some people have been rather upset about the "forced" PvP aspect, and the lack of NPCs, of this latest world event. Understandable, I suppose (I'm a PvPer at heart, so being the victim of continuous ganking - or gleefully ganking people myself - doesn't faze me in the least), and most have the decency to keep complaints in-guild and not whine on the forums or trade chat... but not all.

Seriously... why?

To me, this world event was a great idea. It gives the RPers a reason for their character to go to Northrend, it gives PvPers a taste of total anarchy, it gives PvEers a couple of quests and a new raid boss and it gives everyone something new to do while waiting for WotLK:

No bankers in Ironforge? Go to Exodar.
Can't put your auctions up? Well, no-one can buy anything either.
Lowbie alt getting one-shot? Do as the PvP servers do - log your main (or get help from guildies/local defense) and clear the place out so you can quest in peace.

Hardcore raiders and PvPers were forced to do Shattered Sun dailies so that they could raid Sunwell and get Season 4 started, so to haters of the zombie event:

Chill out, and consider yourselves lucky that it didn't last as long as the SSO one.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dear Zombies

If you're going to raid Darnassus, at least have the decency to kill Staghelm while you're at it.

...Oh, and invite me, too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's a jump to the left....

...and a step that's so right!

Hunter news from WotLK beta:
  1. Ranged attacks no longer benefit from the haste effects of Windfury Totem and Improved Icy Talons. This is a nerf to hunter white damage.

  2. We are also improving the armor on level 83 raid bosses by 10%. This will be a nerf to the dps of any class that does physical damage. For classes that would slide behind with such a change, we'll take steps to adjust them -- though it probably isn't as many as you think. The raid buff stacking overhaul was very beneficial to melee (and hunters). Sunder / Expose Armor alone can be a 20%+ dps increase, which is why we decided to attack the problem from this angle.

  3. Now the armor change won't affect PvP at all and the haste buff change will only have a marginal affect in BGs and only in Arena teams that include certain comps. However, in order to make sure we didn't nerf hunters too much, we made two changes to Disengage. First, its cooldown dropped to 25 sec (from 30) which can be talented to 16. Second, it no longer requires a target, but does require you to be in combat. Now if someone closes to melee, you can leap back without having to select them first. We require you to be in combat though so we don't see a lot of hunters bouncing around IF / Org or using it like Blink to goofily speed up travel.

#3 is what interests me most; I think most people would agree that hunters were OK in PvE DPS-wise.

Disengage not requiring a target is a great move. If we don't have to be in melee range to use it, it means that we can keep *other* classes out of our melee range by pre-emptively using Disengage, before they can catch up to us.

In fact, we can basically adapt our "jumpshot-kite" method to Disengage... only in reverse!

(Being fairly uncoordinated in game as well as in real life, I'm expecting a lot of deaths from accidental cliff jumping while Disengaging to stay ahead of an elite melee mob I'm trying to solo kite, but I'm sure it'll be fun... :D)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

High Achiever

Everyone is doing it; don't bother trying to deny it.

Whether it be working through the PvP list, the raiding list, the exploring list, the quests, or the current Hallow's End list, we're all madly scanning the new Achievements tab and ticking things off.

Personally, I've been concentrating mainly on picking up low level quests and running through the lower level instances; not only am I curious to see whether there actually *are* 3000 quests in the game currently, but doing them also lets me work towards the explorer's list, the dungeons list and reputations.

I've also been quite lucky with the Hallow's End stuff - last year I'd grabbed the Hallowed Helm because no-one wanted it back then, and a couple of days ago I managed to win the roll for a Sinister Squashling.

....Not that I would bother changing my title. I'm not one for following the crowd; I'll probably end up just sticking with "Challenger"!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Releasing my inner mage

In every other computer game but WoW, I've tended to pick the casters. Sorceress in Diablo 2, mage, wizard, all that stuff.

I didn't pick a mage in WoW (mainly because of Sylvanas Windrunner), and really, hunters aren't all that different - they use mana, they're ranged... but until now, they never had any decent AoE.

...I'm really hoping Blizzard doesn't nerf Volley until I finish AoEing through all the low-level instances.

(Also.... running a BT PuG and ending up #1 DPS over the mages and druids - we didn't have any warlocks - by a good 1% while spamming Volley was absolutely hilarious, considering I don't have the best gear. Enjoy it while you can! :D)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aspects of change

Breaking news on the WotLK hunter forums!

Everyone's favourite Blizzard crab Ghostcrawler has announced that:

  • Aspects are OFF the global cooldown
  • Hunters will get a NEW Aspect called "Aspect of the Dragonhawk" at level 75 that will combine Hawk and Monkey
  • All spells/talents/glyphs that affect Hawk and Monkey will be applicable to the new AotD (AotDH?)

I know we won't get it until level 75... but I'm still /cheering like mad anyway. No global cooldown and one less ability to have on my bar to look forward to has got to be a good thing :D

Stables Shuffle

New patch, new pets! :D

I have farewelled Hydrastorm, my faithful raiding pet for BC. He served me well, and hopefully he will find his way back to his original home.

I do, however, welcome 3 new pets into my stables to join Shadow, my new raiding/DPS pet:

Seismic the gorilla - AoE grinding tank
Koopa the turtle - Single target tank
Razor the ravager - Arena PvP

Until I get Razor levelled up, Vampyr the bat shall serve as my Arena PvP pet.

Hooray for the new pet system and more stable slots! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spec for 70-80

Unlike the hordes of people that change their spec specifically to ease the levelling curve, I pick my talents to head immediately towards end-game. Luckily, BM actually *is* the recommended spec for levelling (although it's unfortunate that the same can't be said for my Destro warlock!).

Here are my picks for talents going into Patch 3.0.2, reasons behind my choices and something that may surprise those who know me: I won't be taming exotics!

End-game talents:
Level 70 talents:

Talent staples:

  • I have to take The Beast Within (BW). No question about it.
  • In the latest WotLK beta build, Readiness resets BW. This, to me, is much better than having an exotic pet - in PvE, you get the extra damage for twice as long; in PvP, you go twice as long without being CCed (not to mention you can also stun twice with Intimidation!). I only wish I could pick up Scatter Shot as well, especially since it's so low in the Survival tree... but you can't have everything!
  • I always pick up Hawk Eye - I love having the longest range in PvP, and it's also useful for kiting or staying far back out of the action in raids.

Talent Breakdown:

  1. Previously, I had always picked Endurance Training over Imp AotH, but testing the new pet talent tree in WotLK beta has me thinking I won't need it. 5/5 Imp Hawk it is!
  2. 2/2 Focus Fire, 2/2 Imp Revive, 1/5 Endurance Training, 5/5 Unleashed Fury. Not much to say for these; the choices aren't great for lower tier BM tree.
  3. 1/1 Aspect Mastery, 2/2 Imp Mend Pet - worth it for the points.
  4. 5/5 Ferocity, 2/2 Spirit Bond, 1/1 Intimidation, 2/2 Bestial Discipline - I've always liked Spirit Bond, and it's actually buffed enough in WotLK for people not to automatically dismiss you as dodgy if you take it (bonus! :D). BD - With the new pet abilities, having as much focus as possible can't be a bad thing.
  5. 3/5 Frenzy - It won't be up 100% of the time (4/5 is the usual), but I think it's enough and I want the extra point for elsewhere.
  6. 3/3 Ferocious Inspiration, 1/1 Bestial Wrath, 5/5 Serpent's Swiftness, 1/1 BW - nothing special here.
  7. 3/3 Longevity - Can't possibly pass up an even *shorter* cooldown for BW, Intimidation and pet specials (1.17min BW with Readiness and Glyph? HELL YES!).
  8. 5/5 Lethal Shots, 5/5 Mortal Shots, 1/1 Aimed Shot - Staples for the MM tree.
  9. 3/3 Careful Aim - If you think we have mana problems in BC, you haven't seen WotLK. We're going to need more +Int, and you can't go wrong with this talent.
  10. 2/2 Go for the Throat, 2/2 Rapid Killing, 1/1 Readiness - More pet focus, and 3min Rapid Fire (with Readiness!).
  11. 2 floating points in the MM tree - either Imp Hunter's Mark, Imp Stings or Efficiency; haven't decided yet.
  12. 3/3 Hawkeye - I like it, so there. :P
  13. 3 floating points in any tree - 3/5 Imp Tracking looks good, but I haven't decided on these. Is 1/2 Survival Instincts better than 2/5 Imp Tracking? Or possibly points in Invigoration (supposedly mediocre talent on beta), Frenzy (to get 4/5), Animal Handler (how easy will it be to "master" using Master's Call?) or Kindred Spirits? Or any of the talents I mentioned for the other floating points in MM? /ponder

Anyone have any ideas as to where to put my floating points? Have comments on this end-game spec? Think I'm crazy for being a self-confessed BM hunter and *not* want to tame exotics? I'd love to hear from you! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

WTB New Wardrobe

I know it's been said millions of times by others, but.... ZA gear is damn fugly.

On the upside, the ZA PuG that I got the helm and bow from was also my first kill of Hex Lord and Zul'jin (I'd missed my guild's killing of Hex Lord), so I would have been happy even if I hadn't received any loot :)

..../hide helm

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How far will your gear take you in WotLK?

The question that occurred to me as soon as I copied my character over to the WotLK beta realm was: How good is my lvl 70 gear?
No, of course I didn't level up and see what gear is replaced along the way... that would be way too easy (and time-consuming!).

Instead, I rode straight through Borean Tundra to the higher level areas... and here are my observations:

1. Phyllixia and Shadow vs Elite 74 mob: easy.

2. Phyllixia and Shadow vs level 80 melee mob: easy (I assume the skull was 80 because there were some level 79s).

3. Phyllixia and Shadow vs level 80 caster mob: would have been easy, but I accidentally aggroed a 2nd mob (a lvl 80 melee mob of the same type as shown above) and Shadow died :(

Things to keep in mind:

  • Cats are Ferocity (DPS) pets, not Tenacity (tanking) pets
  • Shadow was specced into Bloodthirsty
  • I was specced into Spirit Bond
  • I was NOT wearing my 2-set Riftstalker bonus, which would have provided extra healing (to the tune of 15% of my damage) to Shadow. I just didn't need it! :D
Acknowledgements: This post was brought to you by Death, and lots of it.

(In my defence, I didn't realize that you get to the higher level areas of Northrend via Borean Tundra and not Sholazar Basin, so I spent a lot of time trying to find the path :P)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Arena: Gear vs Skill?

This is an old topic, but I thought I'd spotlight it because I had a discussion recently with some guildies about whether people having a head start on Arena gear in WotLK would make that much of a difference.

In my opinion: Not as much as some people think.

Two videos I'd like to use to highlight my point are these:

2v3 Arena - Warrior/Druid: Rating 1650-1900
2v2 Naked Arena - Hunter/Priest: Rating 1700-1800;8628918;/fileinfo.html

Yes, they're old vids... but they still show that skilled players can climb their way up the Arena ranks whether they have good gear or not. They may not be able to hit 2000+, but they can definitely get a high enough rating for at least one piece of armour every couple of weeks... and really, that's all you need to catch up gear-wise.

If someone can do 2v2 naked against S2-geared people and get an Arena rating that in the current season would have been high enough for 4 pieces of Brutal Gladiator, I'm damn well not going to make any excuses for myself about being stuck in the 1600s due to sub-par gear! :P

Sunday, October 5, 2008

No pet food? No problem!

There are plenty of other websites out there that will inform you about the latest pet info from WotLK beta. However, I'm going to briefly review a particular aspect in the beta/PTR that I'm a fan of: Pet happiness.

Now, I raid. However, I don't like filling my bags with stacks of pet food. My current raiding pet is Hydrastorm, a green windserpent... and unlike the other raiding favourite, the ravager, Hydrastorm eats mage bread.

Once the new pet talents come in with Patch 3.0.2, Ferocity pets will be able to pick Bloodthirsty, a talent that enables your pet to gain happiness while fighting.

The setup:
  1. Fed Shadow up to full happiness (ie green).
  2. I let my pet die once (and it wasn't easy... I had to aggro at least 5 same-lvl mobs to make a decent dent in his HP).
  3. Rezzed.
  4. Shadow's happiness is now at "Normal" (ie yellow, not green).
  5. /petattack lvl 70 Wooly Mammoth Bull.

Each proc of Bloodthirsty gives +20 happiness (and heals approximately 70-80 HP for my stats), which most hunters would realize is more than a tick of "sub-standard" pet food (+17 happiness). Not only does Shadow solo the mammoth with ease (I can hardly see the shift in HP), his happiness is back to full about halfway through the kill!

Rhok on! :D

Friday, October 3, 2008

Actress for Hire, PST

Yesterday, I finally managed to finish collecting enough coins for a full Brewfest outfit.

As usual, I sat in front of my bank for 10min trying to decide what to get rid of so that I can actually fit them in.

Although I have my share of non-combat pets, mounts and tokens that will disappear from my bags in patch 3.0.2, the majority of my bank is actually filled with trinkets (over 30 at last count), various festival outfits and other items that are technically useless.

I have been known to bring out the old stuff on occasion (it was incredibly fun doing MC and Onyxia at 70 with Rhok, Hakkari blades, Lovely Black Dress, Cannonball Runner and Barov Peasant Caller), so I'm always glad I don't play a hybrid class that needs bank space for different gear sets. However, I often wonder why I bother - it's not like I've ever had a need for a pitchfork or disease cloud, but somehow, I can't seem to get rid of them.

Of course, I'm far from being the only person with bank space problems (at least I don't have a tabard addiction, for instance), but unless I decide to make a machinima and need the props, I really should sell all of that stuff. Yep.

......Excuse me while I farm for the Timbermaw trinket.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vote #1 for PuGs!

Well, I hadn't expected this so soon after putting a vote in for PuGs, but here it is:

A'lar and Rage Winterchill are both bosses that my guild has downed before, but we hadn't managed to be at the right place in the quest chain when we killed them.

Thanks to 2 different PuGs, Phyllixia is now attuned to Black Temple. Woot! :D

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pros/Cons of sticking to one class

Although I do have another 70 alt, I rarely spend time on her. Ditto my other alts, probably because most are on different servers to each other *and* my main (most are rerolls with RL friends). I have also never switched professions, or even my main talent tree.

Because of this, I tend to be a little... one-sided.

In my guild, I'm often the first to post on my guild forum with alternative kiting pathways for mobs, changes to hunter spells, tricks with traps or new ways to use Misdirect. I know not to blow mana trying to burst a mage down if they haven't used Ice Block yet, or to keep a Flare up when a rogue is around.

On the other hand... I rarely remember that mages can use Slow Fall and rogues Cloak of Shadows against raid bosses to prevent incoming damage.

The other day, I was in a ZA PuG. One of the other raid members, a tailor, used a Netherweave Net to snag the Dragonhawk trash scouts and prevent them from running away.

Now, although my warlock is a tailor and has this pattern, I'd never thought about the fact that they could be used on the scouts - a tip that could have helped my guild when we were wiping on that content.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has this problem, but I always have a /facepalm moment when I come across something that suddenly makes me realize that even though I'm an OK teacher in the Hunter subject, I'm still a student in everything else!

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.