Category Archives: patches

Three Reasons Patch 6.2 Is Looking Good For Us Anxiety Types

I have talked before about fighting the Anxiety Raid Boss, which is something I’m working on slowly overcoming.  Now 6.2 is still a ways off, so this might be an early call, but I can see at least three things in it that are shaping up to potentially be good news for those of us who continue to struggle with gaming anxiety in WoW.  Here’s what I’m seeing:

1. More Solo and/or Small Group Stuff: This is coming in two flavors: garrisons and Tanaan Jungle.  First, garrisons.  I realize that opinions on garrisons have been somewhat divided, mostly over the “it takes you away from the world” point.  Frankly, though, and I don’t know about you guys, but I like having a sort of “quiet zone” available in game where I can do solo things by my lonesome every so often.  Garrisons are perfect for that!

Next: Tanaan Jungle.  An all new ZONE to solo!  Or duo!  I love duo’ing stuff with Mister Pike.

2. Timewalking Is Hugely Comforting: Scared of trying heroics because you’ve never done them before?  Don’t worry – here are some “heroics” that you HAVE done before!  The idea of doing a dungeon that I already know very well and am familiar with – and possibly getting gear upgrades from! – is really soothing to my anxiety riddled mind.  Some people have been knocking this for being “recycled content”, but some for some of us these are actually going to be a huge enhancement to our WoW experience, whether because of anxiety, nostalgia, or both.

3. Mythic Dungeons, For Those Who Like Smaller Groups: If it’s not the heroics that set your anxiety off, but the raids instead, then Mythic Dungeons are looking to be a great alternative.  Go in with four friends for a smaller and more personal environment that still provides upgrades.

So yeah.  It’s still early, of course, but good things are on the horizon!

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?

This Needs to Be FRAPS’d.

So, the new instance, Halls of Reflection?

You know that part where the Lich King chases you?

I am SO going to FRAPS it and set it to this.

Just sayin’.

Seriously, that song was going through my head the entire time >_>

So, my 3.3 experience has been pretty good so far. Loving the new Misdirection. Loving the new Cower. Noticing that Wash is suddenly critting so much that I find myself wondering if Blizzard secretly snuck in pet scaling (at least for critical strike) and didn’t tell anyone. If this is the case I may have to revise my talent spec to put at least one point in Invigoration to take advantage of it.

Loving the new LFG especially on my little alties. At this point I have little interest in Emblems of Frost or new gear, I’m just glad to be back in a world where people are hyped up about instances again! <3

P.S. For anyone curious, I have tested it, and Ferocious Inspiration and Culling the Herd do indeed stack.

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.

Two or Three Huntery Things About Patch 3.2.2

Just a few hunterrific things you may or may not have noticed with this latest patch…

1.) Bestial Wrath Graphics Change:
This was pointed out to me by a guildie who wanted to know if my Bestial Wrath went “RAWR” anymore, because his didn’t. I tried it and immediately assumed it did, however, this was because my pet was by my side. See, now your pet will still go RAWR, but the hunter will do a Swirly Ball– a la Old Rogue Detect Traps– and make a cleansing noise. This falls in line with Blizzard’s intention of turning The Beast Within into a “defensive ability” in PvP. However, I still firmly consider it to be 100% offensive in PvE, and I sorta miss my personal RAWR! in all its ragey glory.

BWSwirlyBall

At least Swirly Ball is sparkly.

Pike’s Final Grade: B-

2.) Feed Pet Graphics Change

You now visibly toss your pet a snack, and your pet makes a cute noise and jumps up and catches it! It’s the cutest thing ever and I love it to bits. Too bad thanks to Bloodthirsty and the Mend Pet glyph, I hardly ever feed my pet anymore…

NewFeedPet

Pike’s Grade: A+

3.) Pink Elekks are Not Tamable

Self-explanatory.

WoW_PinkElekkBeastLore

Pike’s Final Grade: F. But at least we get the minipet, right?

Hellooooooo Beast Mastery

So I’ve done a bunch of heroics so far today. One of them was Heroic Violet Hold, which I’ve done a lot and frequently use as a sort of DPS test strip.

Ya know what I was getting when everything (Bestial Wrath, Call of the Wild, etc.) was popped, and with otherwise no outside buffs? 3800 dps. Ya know what I normally get on ten-man Patchwerk when fully raid-buffed? 3800 dps. All and all I was consistently seeing between a 400 and 500 dps increase simply from the buffs to Animal Handler and Wild Hunt. (I don’t think the new Catlike Reflexes will be worth dropping points from other things to put points into… but I’ll probably test it and/or spreadsheet it at some point.)

Eeeeeeee I can’t wait to see what I’d get on ol’ Patchy now O_O

In other news, have you ever seen your pet crit for well over 1000? Multiple times in a row? You’re about to.

It feels so good to be a Beast Master again and not feel like I’m dragging everyone down. No more having to spec Marksman– as much as I did enjoy it, it wasn’t the same– in the name of the raid. We’re Big, We’re Red, We’re Back.

*happy Pike*

Of course, the big question is whether we still lag behind the other two specs in a raid situation. My initial inkling is that we do, however, I don’t think we will as substantially as before. It all remains to be seen, though. I was invited to a guild 25man Ulduar on Friday, but I work that night, so I’ll be unable to go test. All’s well, though, I’m probably way undergeared anyway… best get my feet wet in a ten-man first. *nod*

Preemptive Edit: Because I have a feeling people are going to ask, here’s my spec.

In Loving Memory

Today is Patch Day, and I’m actually quite excited. Normal flying mounts at 100% speed instead of 60% (Lunapike rejoices), druid form updates, experience in battlegrounds, and a whole host of other things I am excited about. Gotta admit though, the lack of mention of either Wild Hunt or Animal Handler– both of which were supposed to receive nice buffs– in the official patch notes is making me nervous.

Really, the only thing I can think of about this patch that I’m not looking forward to is the change to traps that is going to make chain trapping much more difficult. Some people have said, “It doesn’t matter, hunters don’t trap anymore anyway,” and in a way, this is true, but in another way, it saddens me a little to say farewell to something so fun. And so, have the classic “Pike is Bored” movie I made long, long ago, in memorandum:

Gosh it’s weird to watch me in be in Viper the whole time. Remember that? o.O

Good news everyone!

goodnews At some point between the last time I seriously PvP’d (’bout a year ago) and now, Bloodlust Alliance figured out how to win Alterac Valley!

=D

…okay, so, while that is good news, it’s probably not the good news you came here to read. Fortunately, I have other good news. The latest rumblings on the PTR are the impending change to Animal Handler. This talent has changed much through the years. Initially it gave your pet some extra Hit, which was rendered obsolete with hit scaling. Then it gave your pet expertise, and that, too, is about to be made obsolete. So now what’s it gonna do? Increase your pet’s Attack Power by 5%/10%.

For the record, that is awesome. And though I have no hard numbers, if Blizz delivers that plus expands on pet scaling like they said they wanted to in time for 3.2, combined with the impending weird Kill Command reduction on Catlike Reflexes and the Wild Hunt buff… I’m guessing that Beast Mastery is pretty much “fixed”.

Gotta say I am a bit worried, though. Remember why Blizz nerfed us last time? A lot of it was because pets were doing over 50% of our damage and they said that was too much. To which I actually agree– I love having a pet doing, oh… 35, 40% of my damage, but anything over 50% makes me too uncomfortable. Anyways, Blizz nerfed the pets, while forgetting to, well, really buff the hunter to counterbalance it.

Anyways, with all these new changes I don’t see any way that a Beast Master pet won’t be back up to 50% or more of a Beast Master hunter’s total DPS, and I worry that Blizz will have their nerfbat at the ready again. But who can say, really? It’s one of those things where we’ll just have to wait and see. At least the Blues know we could use some love, and that’s always a good sign.

Burnout? What's That?

It’s really funny to me when I think back to just about a month or so ago when I was feeling sort of meh-ish with WoW, and then I compare that to right now where I feel like I can’t play enough.

What was I thinking? I have to stuff to PuG and specs to play around with and old dungeons to solo on my hunter! I’ve got five-mans to heal and rep to grind on my druid*! I’ve got lowbie alts who have billions of levels just sitting in front of them, waiting to be claimed!

I have raids to stealth through in the name of photo ops!

WoW_MoonkinFun1

On top of that, I am actually immensely excited for the next content patch. Back when they were first announcing stuff for it, I was kinda disappointed, solely because I was hoping this would be the patch where Beast Mastery would be brought up to par with the other specs but so far there has been little news on that front. Then I decided that that didn’t matter because I was having fun anyway, and now I’m just excited.

I mean seriously: leveling in battlegrounds! New n’ Improved, Lemon-Scented druid forms! (New look, same great product!) Being able to turn your XP gain on and off with a switch! (this has made the significant other very happy; he has a gnome warrior who he has been casually leveling and he is now revitalized in this goal to tank everything. in. the. game. At the right level.)

And guys. HOGGER AS A LEVEL 80 BOSS. And VanCleef. And all those old bosses you loved to hate from back in the day. This is something I’ve been wistfully dreaming of for months and it’s happening. And the best part is: I will actually get to see this content because it’s a five-man. You know how many people are in my little group of closest WoW friends? About five or six, depending on who is taking a break/is crazybusy with IRL at the time (we all sort of naturally take turns being in that position). You know how difficult it was for us to juggle everyone’s schedules and bring in reliable people from “outside” simply to fill out a ten-man?

Now don’t get me wrong. I love raiding and I have tons of respect for serious raiders and if I had the schedule to do it, I totally would.

…but I don’t, and as such some of my best memories in the game are doing things as, you know, a little group of the five or six or us, on those special nights when we all realized we had an hour or two to ourselves which resulted in “Hey, guys, we’re bored, LET’S GO DO SOMETHING CRAZY”. New five-man that pretty much dipped into the “I Can Only Dream” portion of my brain for inspiration? Very yes. Please don’t be wrong on this, MMO-Champion!

So yeah. Awesome exciting times in WoW lately. What is this “burnout” of which you speak, Month-Ago-Pike?

* As much as I hate most dailies as a rule, on the other hand, there is something deeply satisfying to me about grinding rep, in a weird sort of masochistic way.