Category Archives: hunter

Real Talk. Beast Mastery in 6.2…

…is basically the same as it was before.  Let’s take a closer look.

hunter notesAspect of the Fox is gone.  I used it on occasion but usually forgot it existed.  So /shrug

Tranquilizing Shot is now on a cooldown, unless you are glyphed.  Whether you prefer to use the glyph or not probably comes down to your own personal preference and the encounter.

And that’s it!  That’s it for Beast Mastery, unless you PvP, in which case you will notice that A Murder of Crows and Barrage now do less damage to player characters.  Not very fun, no, but whatcha gonna do.  We’re hunters, so we’re just gonna keep moseying along.

Now remember, things haven’t changed for us, really, but things may have changed for other classes and specs.  Marksmanship got a buff to Aimed Shot and a lot of the other classes were tweaked, so Beast Masters may not see themselves in the same spot on Recount.  We’ll just have to see how things shuffle out.

AS AN ASIDE, I’m seeing a few theorycrafting places report that Steady Focus is now preferable over Dire Beast.  I may have to test this and then report back.  Either way it should be close, so personally I wouldn’t fault you for using either talent.

**EDIT**: I have been informed in the comments that Focus Fire appears to be bugged.  My own quick testing seems to be confirming that it’s not acting right.  So stay tuned for that and be aware!

Are Hunters Easy?

Since basically Vanilla, hunters have always been the class that is stereotyped as easy to play.  The AFK/Autoshot class, the Spam Buttons class, and so on.  When I first made this blog waaaaaay back in the day, I liked to focus on the idea that this wasn’t entirely the case.  Things like trapping and pet control and rotations were actually very complex and required a fair amount of practice to become skilled at.

These days, a lot of this stuff has become very streamlined.  Trapping is rarely needed and when it is it lasts much longer, can be launched with trap launcher, and so forth.  Rotations are priority based and no longer have to be carefully timed and woven inbetween auto shots.  And so on.

So this raises the question: is the modern hunter class easy to play?  Is there truth in the stereotype?

Maybe.  The basics feel easy enough to me that I don’t know if I need to write any guides anymore – but then again, this could very well be me being biased due to the simple fact of having played one class in one video game for a decade, so it comes easier to me by default.

This is a screenshot that was taken... I dunno, several years ago.  After transmog was introduced (obviously).
This is a screenshot that was taken… I dunno, several years ago. After transmog was introduced (obviously).

Beast Master Hunter, at least, does have some subtleties to it, though.  I went and wrote a guide about the nuances of using Focus Fire because it’s actually pretty complex.  It’s one of the more complex hunter mechanic thingies that I’ve seen in a long time and it makes me happy.  There is also the whole thing with priorities and when to use what, which, again, I personally feel is pretty intuitive but it may just be me because I have seen some people with questions about it.

So are hunters easy to play?  I don’t know.  I do think that they’re a very forgiving class right now because they are very strongly tuned.  But I don’t know if forgiving equals easy.  Maybe it’s not even an important question.  Maybe the actual important question here is “Are hunters fun?”.

And the answer to that is going to come down to you, personally, but for me, well…

Yes.  Yes they are.

Even ten years later!

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.