Category Archives: hunter

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!

Musings of the BM Kind

It’s been a few weeks since I seriously sat down and played one of my hunters. But I’ve seen a few Beast Mastery related topics sort of floating around the blogosphere/Twittersphere/MMOChampion-sphere so I figured I’d toss a couple of my thoughts out there.

“Beast Mastery is as competitive as Marksmanship and Survival” … really it depends on what you mean by this, since “competitive” can be used in several different ways. What seems to be at odds here is this idea vs. “A good Beast Master can beat a bad MM/SV, but a good Beast Master cannot beat a good MM/SV.”

In this case, I tend to fall more toward the latter camp, based on both math and experience, but I’m pretty lenient with it.

In fact, I’d probably tend to say “A great Beast Master can beat a bad MM/SV and can also beat a good MM/SV.”

A lot of very good Beast Masters say that they beat MM/SV hunters all the time. I think that this is because most of the MM/SV players you will meet in an average PuG or maybe even some of the ones in their guild are so-so, or maybe good, but not great. But were an equally-skilled and equally-geared BM and MM/SV hunter to meet I’d probably put odds on the MM/SV.

Of course, there are a lot of factors at play here, for example: is the fight pet-friendly? Does the fight involve a lot of running around on the hunter’s part while the pet can just sit there and nom the boss? Or does the fight toss around buffs that benefit the hunter and not the pet? (Twin Valks, I’m lookin’ at you.) All of these things will make a difference. DPS doesn’t exist in a vacuum except maybe on Patchwerk.

Now, a question like “is BM raid viable”, though, depends on your guild and on your personal expectations. For my guild, BM is raid viable. For yours, maybe it’s not. It all depends!

Why hasn’t Blizzard buffed Beast Mastery yet? I see this question a lot. I do have a theory. Over the months there have been a lot of blue posts that seem to insinuate that Beast Mastery is still very popular. Now, I’ve no doubt that this is because a lot of hunters run with one BM build for solo’ing/dailies/playing with exotics/what have you. But Blizzard also seems to have insinuated that Beast Mastery is still a popular raid build, contrary to what many people expect, and that it is only getting more popular as time goes on.

Now combine this with blog comments I’ve seen or even PuGs I’ve encountered in game, where you’ll see four or five hunters at a pop all collectively pining for the days of Beast Mastery, and my own personal theory is that Blizzard is sort of afraid of Beast Mastery’s longstanding popularity. In other words, if they really stick it up there on equal footing with MM/SV, they worry that the pendulum will still swing heavily towards BM, just because it’s that popular.

Now, I don’t have the numbers on this, only Blizzard does. And I don’t know the thoughts of all the millions of hunters that play this game. It’s my theory, though.

Should I use Kill Command and Bestial Wrath at the same time?: I do. It’s one of the big reasons why I’m keeping the Bestial Wrath glyph, even if the Hawk glyph is better.

Should I gem for AP as a Beast Master?: The DPS increase between gemming for AP and gemming for Agi is minimal enough that I gem for Agi, myself. But neither is a bad choice as BM.

Should I use Aspect of the Beast during Bestial Wrath?: I’ve played with this before. The overall consensus from my own testing and from the spreadsheet says that it’s a small DPS increase. Small enough that it won’t kill you if you choose not to do it. But if it’s a relatively easy fight and there’s not much going on and you want more to do… sure, have at it! Just remember to switch back to Hawk when you’re done.

Should I use Multishot in my Beast Mastery rotation?: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

But what about Multishot breaking CC and…: I miss the days of CC as much as the next person but the truth is that in today’s WoW, it’s really not something you have to worry about anymore. I can count the number of times I’ve caused a problem with Multishot on one finger. And that finger goes to those pain-in-the-butt pulls in Ulduar leading up to Iron Council/Kologarn. Something was sheeped and I shot it. After that I simply banned Multishot from my rotation in that hallway, but continued to use it elsewhere.

Just use your common sense (don’t use it if you do see something being CC’d,) and you’ll be fine. ^_^

/ramble-mode off

“Are you asking for a CHALLENGE?”

Vegeta, what does the scouter say about his power level?

…okay, that doesn’t have anything to do with the post. CONFESSION TIME THOUGH: I watched DragonBall Z obsessively back in the day. Absolutely obsessively. Of course, Cartoon Network would do that thing where they would get to the end of the Frieza saga and then because they didn’t have the rights to the rest of the show or something, they’d restart from the beginning. Somebody recently told me that they still do that. Hrm. Just as well, it spurred me to go play “Ocarina of Time” instead, which was much more worth it.

Right, right, sorry!

This blog post is about a CHALLLEEEEEENGE which was issued to me by the incomparable Tamarind over at Righteous Orbs, a blog that you probably should be reading if you aren’t already. His challenge to me was as follows:

“What are the moments that have made you think “yes, this right here is why I play a hunter” and what are the moments that have shaken your faith?”

I really had to think about this one for a while. First of all, it’s kind of a tall order sort of question. Secondly, I have to admit I’ve really been cheating on hunters a lot lately. There’s my pigtailed-lock and her blueberry, who make me sputter things about “THIS IS THE FUNNEST THING EVER” anytime I play them, and then there’s my Forest o’ Trees and lately there’s Dynamite Bear. Oh, I haven’t mentioned Dynamite Bear yet? Basically it dawned on me that I have two resto druids and both of them are dual-spec’d Balance and I’ve never played a Feral Druid before, so I did what every blue-blooded Pike would do and I rolled an all-new character.

He (I’ve been rolling a lot of male toons lately… change of scenery I guess) is an engineer specifically so he can hurl dynamite at people. In bear form. Seriously, guys. If you saw a bear running after you and then it stopped and chucked a bomb at you, what would you do? Yeah. See my point? I <3 Dynamite Bear.

So I was pondering this question about hunters and I decided I'd sleep on it and that night I had a dream that I randomly had a pet tiger and when this solicitor showed up at my door, I grabbed a gun that I had nearby and started kiting the guy down the hallway.

...I'm not making this up, I totally had this dream. I had Arcane Shot and Serpent Sting in my dream, too.

This is why hunters are The Class.

When I first started playing WoW, one of the things that sold me on hunters was that they were all about throwing themselves into situations that no one else would dare attempt and then pulling everything out of their bag of tricks just to survive.

One of my best memories of hunteriness was when Lunapike was level… 67 or so and I solo’d this level 70 group quest chain. I killed a level 70 elite by kitting him into a trap right when my pet was about to die so I could bandage my pet back up and then I repeated this for several cycles: pulling, kiting, trapping. This was back in Burning Crusade so it was before things like Tenacity pets or the Glyph of Mending. And did I mention this was all in a tiny space indoors? This was hard. And it felt awesome to pull it off. That, to me, is what Huntering is all about.

Oh, and pets that you can name? (or waste money on Certificates of Ownership on before finding out that the name you wanted to rename your pet is “reserved”?) Yep, just hunters.

Have there been frustrations? Oh yeah. Frustrations about my spec pop up occasionally, as do frustrations about endgame-raiding expectations and that sort of thing. I must admit, though, the frustrations have been few and far between, and unlike other horror stories I’ve heard of Beast Masters getting made fun of or kicked out of groups, I have never ever been mocked for my spec. And this is coming from someone who did a million PuG raids and heroics as Beast Mastery right after The Great Nerf of ’09. <3 my servers, I guess!

So, I suppose that would be my answer, as rambly as it may be.

WELL! I ding’d 26 IRL today, which means I was able to wrangle the day off from work, so I’m off to do exciting things like edit my novel, listen to Men Without Hats, and dink around on alts. Blizzard seems to have decided to forgo Server Maintenance today in honor of my birthday, which I’m cool with, so Dynamite Bear and I have places to go and people to see.

Preview: Hunters and Patch 3.3

Word on the street is that patch 3.3 is hitting next week. In honor of said rumor, here’s the Hunter-related 3.3 patch notes thus far:

* Call Stabled Pet: Cooldown reduced from 30 minutes to 5 minutes. Cannot be used in Arenas.
* Deterrence: Now also increases the chance for ranged attacks to miss the hunter by 100% while under its effect.
* Misdirection: Redesigned. Instead of having finite charges, it now begins a 4-second timer when the hunter using Misdirection performs a threat-generating attack, during which all threat generated by the hunter goes to the friendly target. In addition, multiple hunters can now misdirect threat to the same friendly target simultaneously.
* Talents
o Beast Mastery
+ Intimidation: If the hunter’s pet is in melee range of its target, the stun from Intimidation will now be applied immediately instead of on the pet’s next swing or attack.

* Pets
o Avoidance: This talent has been replaced by Culling the Herd. Hunter pets now innately take 90% less damage from area-of-effect abilities like all other class pets. This does not apply to area-of-effect damage caused by other players.
o Cower: Redesigned. This ability no longer affects threat, and instead reduces damage taken by the pet by 40% for 6 seconds with a 45-second cooldown. While cowering, the pet’s movement speed is 50% of normal speed. Cower now only has a single rank and is available at pet level 20.
o Culling the Herd: This pet talent has replaced the Avoidance talent in the pet trees (Hunter pets now gain that benefit automatically without expenditure of talent points). Culling the Herd increases pet and hunter damage by 1/2/3% for 10 seconds each time the pet deals a critical strike with Claw, Bite, or Smack.
o Demoralizing Screech: The attack power reduction from this ability has been increased by 40%, equaling the maximum possible attack power reduction from the abilities of other classes.
o Improved Cower: Redesigned. This ability now reduces the movement penalty of Cower by 50%/100%.
o Pet Leveling: Hunter pets now need only 5% of the experience a player needs to level, down from 10%.
o Venom Web Spray: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
o Web: Range increased from 20 yards to 30 yards.
o Wolverine Bite: This talent is now enabled when the pet lands a critical strike rather than from the target dodging the pet’s attacks. In addition, this talent no longer has a prerequisite.

And all that is in addition to various minor changes (tooltip changes, etc.) as well as fun new items and the like.

Pike’s thoughts:
– I didn’t see the Call Stabled Pet change as being super vital, but I like it nonetheless. That is also basically my thoughts on the Intimidation change.

– I like the Misdirect change

– Culling the Herd is huge and is gonna give all hunters everywhere a DPS boost of a few hundred or so. Which is awesome. It also means it will help Beast Masters edge up a bit against other classes (but not so much against other specs of hunters who will also get the same DPS boost).

– Pet Leveling: There’s something truly wonky about pet leveling where depending on how/what you’re doing to level, your pet either already levels stupidly fast, or somehow falls way behind. The new change is going to minimize the latter but make the former even more silly. Mostly I think this was in response to hunters leveling with heirloom stuff and more than one pet and/or Recruit a Friend. I approve of the change overall though I think it’s just a matter of time before Blizz dumps pet leveling entirely, whether you’re for or against that idea.

– The other stuff I think I have to see an action before passing judgment (like the Cower change, though I like it on paper).

– I am sad to see that there seems to be no sign of the promised “pet stat scaling!!” that Blizz was hyping up a while ago and that Beast Masters were clinging to as their last shred of hope regarding catching up to the other specs before Cataclysm. But… meh. I did see a promising Blue post the other day (regarding rogues actually) where Blizzard stated that making all specs of “pure” DPS classes do roughly equal DPS was still a goal, just a long-term one. We just need to have patience!

BEAST MASTER HUNTERS: THE PURPLE LINK. WE CAN RAGE IF WE WANT TO! (Look, he even uses The Beast Within on panel four!)

Speaking of DeviantArt, I have one now. I’ve been on a creative binge lately and in addition to writing, I’ve been drawing and sketching a lot– or at least, attempting to do so– so if you wanna follow along I’m right here.