Category Archives: hunter

Focus Fire and When To Use It: A Beast Master Hunter Guide

Focus Fire.

That little yellow glowy button is one of your biggest boosts to DPS, and learning its nuances is something that you’re going to want to do once you hit max level and start looking into things like raids.  It can be kind of tricky to master, and there are quite a few little variables involved, but hopefully I can help to clarify a bit.  Here, then, is when to use – and when not to use – a Beast Master Hunter’s second best friend (your pet being your best friend, of course):

big focus fire

WHEN TO USE FOCUS FIRE:

1. Use it at five stacks, of course.  The button will glow and you won’t miss it.  There is an exception, which I will cover later.

2. Use it with Bestial Wrath.  It doesn’t matter if it’s only one stack.  If you have a build up of it, use it.  It’s also not a bad idea to pop it for other large cooldowns, such as Stampede.

3. Use it when you are about to AoE.  That means Barrage and Multi-shot.  And lastly,

4. Use it if it’s about to expire.  If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it, and get no benefit!

Now then, let’s discuss the other side of the coin:

WHEN NOT TO USE FOCUS FIRE:

1. If you’re almost, but not quite, ready for Bestial Wrath.  Say you have somewhere between 10-20 seconds left to go before Bestial Wrath is off cooldown, but your yellow glowy button is telling you to click it.  Do you?  Nope.  Because if you do, then it will be expired by the time Bestial Wrath is ready to go!  Instead, wait until your Bestial Wrath is about ready to pop (below ten seconds left on the cooldown.)

2. If a boss is invincible or shielded or otherwise unavailable or something for a short amount of time and your Focus Fire won’t expire by the time you can use it again.  In this case you’ll want to tactically delay it – the same as any other cooldown, really.

…and that’s about the only times you shouldn’t be using it.  Because Focus Fire is just that good.

Okay, that about does it for today’s Hunter Kindergarten Guide!  If you have any questions, comments, or other concerns, feel free to post a comment or bug me on Twitter!

 

I Am Going To Play a Hunter Forever. Probably. Maybe.

Did you know that in just a couple of months this blog will be eight years old?  Yup.  I have been blogging about this dumb game almost as long as I have been playing this dumb game.  And the entire time, I have been maining a hunter.  Sometimes I play another class as an alt or something (like that druid I raided with in WotLK) but that’s just, you know, an alt.  Not a main.

When I started playing World of Warcraft all those years ago I rolled a hunter because why not; and now here I am nearly a decade later still playing a hunter.

WoWScrnShot_051815_163348Sometimes I think it’s my lot in this Warcraft life; to play a hunter forever.  Which I am fine with, of course.  But then I remember that I also once thought I would never switch mains and yet here I am playing a completely different character.  (Same class, of course, but.)

So things can change.  My life in Azeroth can change.  I can’t guarantee I’m going to play a hunter forever because hey, if I changed mains then I can change classes too.

But I’m probably going to play a hunter forever.

Why?  Because I’m Pike.

Pike groks hunters.

The Proven. Gorram. Assailant.

CElkPDoUgAAyEs1.jpg largeThis is a title that you get by successfully doing 30 rounds of Proving Grounds on Endless.  I.e., the health of the mobs goes up a little on each round.  Forever.

And I’ve been wanting that title bad, so bad.  Mostly because I saw it as a personal challenge to see if I can still hunter all these years later.  So I practiced and memorized the mobs and figured out when to pop my cooldowns and today it happened.  30 rounds of Endless (I actually went on to get to 37) and I snagged my title.

I AM A HAPPY, HAPPY PIKE.

Once you figure out the pattern it’s not terribly difficult, to be honest – well, no, let me rephrase that.  It is difficult.  But I feel like with practice YOU can do it too! Anyone want tips?  I can always write up a Beast Master’s Guide to Proving Grounds if anyone’s interested.  Heck maybe I’ll do it anyway cause why not.

Proving Grounds: How High Can You Get?

how_high_can_you_getRecently I’ve been spending some time in Proving Grounds, desperately trying for that 30 waves on Endless Damage achievement.  So far the highest I’ve gotten is 17, which I guess isn’t terrible, but I MUST have this achievement!  I want to prove to myself that after all these years, Auntie Pike has still got it.

Have you tried Endless?  How high can YOU get?

P.S. Who else loves the original Donkey Kong?  Sometimes I’m actually okay at it.

Another One Bites The Dust: Farewell Aspect of the Fox

Oh Aspect of the Fox, we hardly knew ye.

Patch 6.2 has hit the PTR and Aspect of the Fox is being removed.  I don’t really have any personal opinions on this.  Aspect of the Fox was always that weird situational aspect that I never used anyway – originally because it wasn’t as good as Hawk, and now because I usually forget it exists.  (I always did find it amusing that Blizzard opted to take away situational utility Aspects like Wild in order to replace them with, well… more situational utility Aspects like Fox, but hey.)

Anyways, the main thing now is that we are left with two Aspects: Cheetah and Pack.  I don’t think those are going away anytime soon, but a rename wouldn’t surprise me since Aspects appear to be basically done.  Never fear!  There will always be Aspect of the Hare.  Right?

Anyways, as of right now the more interesting hunter tidbit is this one:

please be real

…which is probably not going to be the live numbers, but hey, I can dream of a neverending Bestial Wrath, right?

A Super Serious and In-Depth Look at Hunter Aspects, Circa Space Year 15

It’s 2015 and Blizzard has graciously provided hunters with a whole whopping three aspects to use.  They are as follows:

  • Aspect of the Running From the Auction House to the Mailbox
  • Aspect of the Oh Fug I’m Scared To Use This One In Case I Forget To Turn It Off And The Group Hates Me
  • Aspect of the Look, I Can Summon An Adorable Tiny Fox

Each aspect has interesting and helpful abilities to make your life in World of Warcraft easier.  Here’s a closer look at them:

Aspect of the Running From the Auction House to the Mailbox: This is a fantastic aspect that accomplishes exactly what it says.  It’s also useful when you’re in your mine in your Garrison… oh wait, that coffee buff exists.  Well, it’s helpful in other parts of your Garrison when… oh wait, the Shamanstone buff exists.  Well you know what, it’s helpful sometimes damnit!  8/10

Aspect of the Oh Fug I’m Scared To Use This One In Case I Forget To Turn It Off And The Group Hates Me: Seriously, I’m terrified to use it.  1/10

Aspect of the Look, I Can Summon An Adorable Tiny Fox: A point gets docked from this aspect’s score because you have to use a glyph to achieve full functionality, however, once that’s done you’re all set with one of the cutest aspects this side of Azeroth.  It’s a great party trick, just like Eyes of the Beast Fireworks.  9/10

Next up on Aspect of the Hare, the Blog With the Nearly Obsolete Name: A look at aspects from days gone by, including classics and fan favorites like:

  • Aspect of the [REDACTED]
  • Aspect of the [DATA EXPUNGED]
  • Aspect of the Wait, What Expac Was This Removed In?
  • Aspect of the Actually I Think This Is a Glyph Now

No More Mr. Nice Pike.

I’ve mostly been taking Mists of Pandaria nice and slow, as the pandaren themselves like to say. I’ve been inching my way through dailies and doing a couple of scenarios here and there and doing old content for transmog and unsuccessfully trying to convince myself that I don’t roleplay. *cough* I haven’t really focused on gearing or anything because I can always do that later, right?

Today, though, Mister Adequate and I tossed ourselves into a heroic just for fun. And we wound up with a Grade A Jerkball Healer who enjoyed telling us that we were the “worst DPS this expac” and other things even though there were no wipes or major issues. He also then promptly needed on things that he did not need and which would have been upgrades for Mister Adequate (Jerkball won the rolls, of course). Yes because obviously that’s how you help lower-geared players gear up! Nice logic there, broseph!

Anyways, then it got me wondering. Was I doing anything wrong? I knew my own DPS was low, but I figured it was just my gear. I can still hunter, right? I have been huntering since 2007, after all. Perhaps I had lost my magic touch? Perhaps I should hang up the gun right there and retire from Massive Quantities of Sustained Ranged DPS forever?

Suddenly I had to find out.

I rushed off to the nearest training dummy and pounded away on it for about five minutes. I carefully weaved my shots and timed my cooldowns and watched my procs and my DoTs. Then I took careful note of Recount, and rushed off to a place I literally have not been to since I was raiding in early Wrath of the Lich King: FemaleDwarf.com, the Hunter DPS analyzer.

I loaded in my Armory, set my shots the way I was doing them, and hit “Update DPS”



Well, what do you know.

My recount is within ten DPS of what FemaleDwarf was telling me was my theoretical high.

Huh.

So I can still hunter.

Something clicked inside me. I need to show all these jerkball PuGs exactly what the Worst DPS This Expac can do.

So I ran to the auction house. I spent about 5000g on every available MoP hunter enchant. I enchanted blues and greens; I didn’t care. Everything got enchanted. Then I bought a bunch of flasks. Then I went back to the training dummies.

My DPS has gone through the roof.

It’s time.

No More Mister Nice Pike.

Tomorrow everything gets reforged. It’s going to be beautiful.

State of the Hunter Address October 2012

Sometimes I wear a mask for a while.

There was that warlock that I leveled to 64 or something, and there was the druid who hit 80 and whom I raided with. Then there were all the other druids I promptly rolled. Then there were all those other classes I rolled which never hit 50. I think the closest was a 42(?) rogue.

And you know, it’s fun. And I’d like to think I’m an okay druid.

But then I take off the mask and become a hunter again and I’m in my element, doing something as natural to me as breathing. This is the part of the game that’s in my blood.

Hunters have changed a lot over the last five years. The skill of watching your pet’s aggro when you solo– and your own aggro in a group– is mostly gone. The art of chain trapping is largely gone now that traps last over twice as long as they used to and are rarely used anyway. Ferocious Inspiration, once a Beast Master’s most iconic talent outside of Bestial Wrath, is gone. Steady Shot and Arcane Shot swapped places as the Shot We Liked and then we dumped Steady altogether for Cobra. Shot weaving is gone. Mana is gone.

Blizzard doesn’t seem to know what they’re doing with Aspects. At one point we had a whole bunch of them and it felt like an important part of the class, but now we’re down to “Aspect of the Always Use so It Should Really Just be Baseline”, “Aspect of the Running From the Bank to the Mailbox”, and “Aspect of the PvP Maybe or Something?” and the latter is about to be removed.

Hunters of all specs languish at the bottom of DPS simulations, and Beast Masters are so bursty currently that PvPers are complaining and we’re probably first in line for the traditional x.1 nerfbat.

It’s a tricky business.

So what are people doing? Retiring the hunter until Blizzard figures out what they’re doing with the class? Perhaps. As for me, I couldn’t ever permanently put on another mask. Five and a half years of playing a single class drills instincts and habits into you that you wouldn’t have playing something different, and perhaps it puts a certain mindset into you, as well.

And so I’ll keep doing what hunters have always done. Surviving.

All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies.
And whenever they catch you, they will kill you.
But first, they must catch you. Digger, listener, runner. Prince with a swift warning.
Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed.

Pet Cast Time Latency

I’m assuming most of you who read this blog also read OutDPS, however, if you are one of the three or four people who doesn’t, I’m going to take a quick minute to bring a post there to your attention:

It appears that simply letting your pet auto-cast its attacks lags a bit and results in a DPS loss. You can find the details (and advice on how to fix it) right here.

Also note that this effects all pets, including warlock and mage ones.

Just a heads-up from your Friendly Neighborhood Pike!