Friday, February 27, 2009

Stomping Slime is in

Thunderstomp is now a pet talent available to any Tenacity pet. Now your bears, crocs or ESPECIALLY CRABS can join in the AE tanking fun.

Not only is above quote amusing (considering who posted it), it makes a lot of hunters - including me - extremely happy.

It's about damn time the other Tenacity pets got the same aggro-generating ability as gorillas.... and although he has served me well, Seismic will probably be released back into the wild to make room for a different pet... perhaps a Spirit Beast if I can actually find one!

As for my new AoE tanking pet... I'm really glad I took the time (and the stable slot!) to tame this:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dear mob - WoW forum thread

A thread in the WoW General forums caught my eye today, and it's definitely worth sharing:

I haven't had time to read the whole thread, but it's definitely worth reading at least the first couple of pages!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Talents that change your world

Twice now, I've scared my guildies into thinking I'd lost the plot and respecced Survival in guild chat, when it was actually the middle of a Patch 3.1 conversation and a referral to my intended second spec:

Although my "BM spec since beta" mantra will definitely stay for Patch 3.1, I'm glad dual specs are in.... because if anything would make me respec to Survival (which has always been my second favourite talent tree due to the CC/escape options and my innate tendency to spec as if I'm going to need anti-ganking abilities), this would be it:

New Talent: Trap Launcher: When activated, your next Trap will be launched instantly at the enemy target. 1 minute cooldown.

I know, it's still just the PTR and subject to change. But seriously.... How cool is that?

If I picked up WoW today as a brand new player (and therefore hadn't formed an attachment to my pets), I'd probably have found Survival more appealing - Scatter + Wyvern + Trap Launcher sound more fun than Beast Within + Intimidation... and I'd be considering a 21/50 MM/Surv build because double Trap Launcher/Wyvern with Readiness sounds positively EPIC.

Happily, with dual specs I can both have my cake and eat it too, as they say... and my guildies won't panic about me being hacked!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Gluth kiting: Rounds two and three

Unlike the first time kiting 10man Gluth adds, I didn't have a second Frost Trap (and no totem/Frost Nova etc either). Not only that, the buffage was lacking - no pally or mage. I was completely on my own this time. Hooray, a real challenge!

....Unfortunately, it was a complete failure.

Basically, I'd underestimated how fast I would burn mana, and was forced to switch to Viper soon after the first Decimate.

Now, if you're standing still and DPSing hard, Viper fills your bar fairly quickly. You don't notice your DPS drop in the brief time that Viper is up, and you're back to full strength without any issues.

When kiting and picking up adds, however.... the difference is glaringly obvious. I could NOT pull the adds off our tree druid no matter what I did while I was in Viper, and even though I switched out ASAP, it was too late - I was behind on aggro. I desperately tried to get some Steady Shots in, but the zombies promptly whacked me for standing still and we wiped (our DKs tried to pick the adds up, but with no way of slowing them down Gluth managed to eat a whole bunch).

So... not my greatest moment as a hunter.

However, I decided I'd do it differently for round three: Kite the zombies pretty far back in the room, switch into Viper as soon as Decimate hit, and let the others worry about the zombies while I worked on mana regen instead of spamming Volley as usual.

It worked!

The zombies died, I had enough mana to keep aggro on the next lot of zombies, and we were dancing on Gluth's corpse within minutes.

I don't know if I'll have time for round 4 this week or not, but at least I know the only thing I have left to work on is not getting hit. Perhaps a little more use of Deterrence is in order....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tagged: 6th of the 6th screenshot

I still consider myself fairly new to the blogging world, but I'm guessing that being tagged by Siha of Banana Shoulders means I should continue the meme: Post the 6th screenshot in my 6th folder.


Firstly, I don't have 6 screenshots in my 6th folder (I'd love to have more in that folder, but you'll see why I can't really add much to it in a minute). I only had 5.... so I'm posting my 5th one.

Secondly... I had to laugh when I found out what my 6th folder was; it couldn't have been more appropriate for this blog if I'd started the meme myself!

So: I present to you my 5th screenshot ("Rhok and Lok") of my 6th folder ("Hunter Epic Quest"):

This screenshot, needless to say, is one of my greatest WoW moments.

I'm pictured in Ironforge with Shardik, my then-raiding pet.

Rhok was finally in my hands after proving to myself (and my guild!) that yes, it *was* possible to do the quest as full BM spec, and pretty much solo to boot (I had a priest to rez/buff for two of the demons, but that was it - certainly no dueling warlocks or extra Aspects!).

I wish I'd taken more screenshots for that folder, but at the time I didn't think about it - I was too excited about finally doing the quest I'd wanted to do ever since I started playing.

Ah well - the memories still serve me well.

Oh, and as for the tag.... I think most of the blogs I read have been tagged already. If anyone else who reads this blog hasn't been, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Need for speed

Usually, my guild raids at a fairly steady pace.

People go AFK, assigning loot takes longer than killing the boss, and first-time explanations take anywhere from 10-30min (even though everyone is supposed to have read the strat and/or watched vids of the fight already).

PuGs (and some other guilds), however, are all business - the aim is to get the job done, not to socialize. Sometimes, I like doing these type of raids; they make a nice change to my guild runs, even though it can be a little boring with no-one to talk to.

Until last night, I didn't think my guild would ever really push for a speed run (at least, not in raids where some people still haven't killed all the bosses - Karazhan speed runs where people were on their 3rd alt don't count).

However, we did - and have Heroic: Arachnophobia, plus 3 wings of Naxx cleared in one night, to show for it.

I really hope we keep up the pace; it'd be nice to get to the point where we can clear everything (including Malygos and Sartharion) in our 3-day raid week before Ulduar comes in!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rusty but still serviceable

Over the weekend I went on a Naxx10 guild run - the first for quite awhile since I'm usually busy on weekends.

It was also my first time for a LONG time kiting more than one mob - I don't think I've done multi-mob kiting in a raid since Razorgore, and even then it was only 2.

From my perspective, my multi-mob kiting skills could use some work.

I got hit more than I would have liked, I was a little slow in the beginning picking them up (how healers manage to generate enough aggro for a zombie not to respond to an Aimed Shot from me almost as soon as they're out of the gate, I have no idea) and I even had the 2nd hunter dropping Frost Traps to help me out.

My guildies assured me it was one of the smoothest kills they'd done, so I guess I did OK.

"OK" isn't good enough for me personally though - I like keeping my hunter skills as well-honed as I can get them. The next run I do I'll be aiming for zero hits (or as few as possible), even if I only have my own Frost Trap to do it with!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dual spec: Advent of the Cookie Cutter?

Most people who keep up with the latest WoW developments would have read about the upcoming dual spec change.

Although I think it's a good idea in general, especially for hybrid classes, I have some reservations.

PuGs, for instance, are often picky. My guildie over at Zen Tanking has covered the main points, but my main concern isn't that I won't get invited to PuGs as a "pure" DPSer, but more that PuGs won't invite me if I'm not the top DPS spec.

Here's my issue:

In BC, there was a guy on our server running Hyjal (and later, BT) PuGs - and this was before the huge nerf. I whispered him my stats, and he rejected me.

I don't give up easily, so I managed to convince him that I stacked Agility (even though I was BM and not Surv) because it scaled with Blessing of Kings, and that was why my AP was low (it was true, but it was also a desperate gamble to get in).

It paid off. He invited me, I did decent DPS (not top, but not last either), and I was OK for all of his future raids because he remembered me from previous runs.

At least two of my guildies got rejected due to stats for the first few PuG raids (they were invited to later runs); one of them as geared as I was, with similar DPS.

My guild won't mind which two specs I choose, but PuGs have already extended from asking for spec to asking for stats; what's to stop them from asking for talents as well? Is everyone going to expect that at least one of your chosen specs is the latest FotM "cookie cutter" PvE spec?

I hope not. Fingers crossed the day that I decide to respec into a cookie cutter spec just so I don't have to justify my talent point selection to people never comes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Roses are.... dead?

I'm one of those people that likes collecting "RP" gear.

No, I'll probably never make use of the book, pitchfork, fish, witch's hat, or 40 or so trinkets with visible effects ranging from a disease cloud to a summoned cannon... but I like to have them just in case.

Because of this, I usually grab seasonal stuff as soon as it becomes available... and the Bouquet of Red Roses from last year's Love is in the Air event was no exception.

For those that didn't manage to get one in previous years, you're out of luck - this item is no longer in the game, and you're now stuck with the Bouquet of Ebon Roses.

I don't quite get why Blizzard had to remove the red version; there was no reason not to leave it in, and RPers would probably prefer the less morbid red petal effect over the black one. In any case, I'm planning to keep both... you never know when you'll need it!

Edit: The red version now drops in the same instances as the black version. Congrats to those that wanted it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The guild arch nemesis

In vanilla WoW, my guild had problems with killing Skeram.

There was no particular reason for it - we knew the strat; we'd downed him a couple of times, but we still continually wiped on him to the point where people /gquit over it, thus bringing raids to a halt for lack of numbers (BC had been announced, so the upcoming expansion and holidays also contributed).

In BC, Leo was a problem.

We may have killed him and moved on to the "harder" raids, but I still don't feel we killed him enough times with ease for the fight to be considered "comfortable".

Right now, my guild's arch nemesis is Thaddius (or perhaps the frogger gauntlet after Patchwerk, if you're counting non-bosses). Someone misses the ledge, someone dies on the first transition, someone gets DCed... and we end up wiping at a few measly % HP due to enrage.

There seems to be no particular reason why; it's not the same people dying each time. Everyone knows the right way to run around and positioning is fairly good (although I've had my share of rounds where I've muttered under my breath about melee not standing far back enough so that hunters can get the full complement of stacks), and again, we've killed him a few times. It just seems like this fight is more difficult for us than any others.

I suppose guilds with The Immortal title would find this a foreign concept, but it'd be interesting to see if Thaddius in particular causes problems for most other guilds as well (due to having to rely on others more than usual), or if everyone else's guild has a different arch nemesis (Heigan perhaps?).

In any case, I'm thoroughly sick of Thaddius, even though I used to love killing him (40man Thaddius and Heigan were two of my favourite retro fights). The day when my guild can joke around while doing it can't come soon enough.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I'm sure every other hunter blog will have their say on the patch 3.1 preview notes, and I don't plan to be any different - they're just way too bewildering to ignore.

Let's go over the ones that confuse me:
Consumable ammunition has been removed from the game.

This, I equate to: "Hey, starving child, I know you're hungry and will fix that soon." "Good news! I can't tell you what food we have, but you'll be happy to know it will come in your favourite colour!"

What on earth is the point of removing the ammo system at this point in time? It's a gold sink, it keeps engineers in business, and changing it won't have an effect on our DPS one way or another (unless Blizz somehow change the 15% quiver bonus to something different for each spec). I think it's great that they're removing it (I hate having to keep track of ammo as much as the next hunter), but I really don't get the timing.
Piercing Shots – this talent has been changed. Your Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of damage dealt for 8 sec.

Blizzard has said that they're happy with MM DPS. Why are they buffing this talent in particular? I'm not begrudging you MM hunters a buff; I just don't get why (or at least, why now).
Sniper Training – this talent has been changed. After standing still for 6
sec, you gain a 2/4/6% damage bonus to Steady, Aimed and Explosive Shot.
Unless Ulduar consists of a whole raid zone's worth of Patchwerk, who would take this talent? Every time you moved, you would lose the bonus. A fight like Sartharion, for example, involves moving walls of fire and void circles; exactly why would this talent be worth taking, especially that far down in the Survival tree? Not to mention, it's absolutely useless as a PvP talent.

Overall, I suppose it's good we're getting at least a couple of definite buffs, and no nerfs except for Sniper Training (although the talent was pretty mediocre to start with, especially for trap-dancing Survivalists... so maybe it isn't a nerf but just different).

I'm still not convinced the huge overhaul hunters are supposed to get in 3.1 will improve our situation, but I suppose I'll have to reserve my judgement for when we see the rest of the changes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

When a hunter weapon isn't a hunter weapon

Every class has a primary weapon slot(s) in terms of usage.

In terms of loot, it's usual for each class to get priority for rolling on weapons in their primary slot, and those weapons can be called "theirs" - bows are definitely a hunter weapon, for instance, even though rogues and warriors can equip them.

However, it's slightly different for the secondary weapon slot: There's no specific melee weapon type (and indeed, no particular melee weapon) in WotLK I can think of at the moment that is considered a "hunter" weapon.

One-handers bring up visions of rogues. Staves are at home sitting on the backs of druids. Two-hand swords and axes belong to the DPS plate wearers, and while we *used* to have a bit of a claim on polearms - Shivering Felspine for instance - druids now own these too.

Every "hunter" weapon is shared by some other class, and because they're only "stat sticks" for us, they're actually viewed as theirs: Journey's End? Druid staff. Black Ice? Druid polearm. Betrayer of Humanity? Warrior, DK, or even Ret pally axe.... and those are our three best-in-slot.

I realize it's rare that people will tell you off for using a certain weapon, but if hunters used to get abused for taking a staff over some poor caster when they were actually wearing Lok'delar, I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing is happening with the weapons I listed above.

Should we get our own melee weapon? Maybe, maybe not. I can see why Blizzard is moving away from having items that are only usable by one class; it's a waste if you don't have that class in your raid. But... I always thought it was nice to walk through town and immediately tag someone as a hunter from their Sonic Spear; a melee weapon that everyone recognizes as something for hunters and not for a druid or rogue.

Where's my hunter weapon, Blizzard?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

If I'd known it was worth 83g....

....I'd have vendored it earlier.
Clean out your bank, people! Even if you don't get as much gold back as I did, you can at least free a few bank slots of your Mara/MC/ZG keys/gongs etc.