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