Posts Tagged “hunter”

Did you know that Serpent Sting got a nice stealth buff?

Cause it did!

Serpent Sting’s damage has been increased by 100%, and its cost has been reduced to 15 Focus (was 25).

Huh. So between that and the recent Aspect of the (Iron) Hawk buff, hunter DPS is looking okay for me. I guess Powershot is borked, but I don’t use that one.

How are you guys holding up in game, friends?

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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Veeeeerrrry slowly.

Ahem. Sorry. That wasn’t the point of the post. >.> Although it is quite true.

Any-whotsit, I get a frequent amount of e-mail or comments asking about how one should go about leveling a hunter, and with my latest TreePost I’m also getting some questions on how one levels a Tree. So I figured I’d give it a quick rundown!

Hunter:
Hunter is something I’ve leveled a bajillion times by now and I can toss up a leveling talent spec in my sleep. It typically goes something like this: dump 5 points in Lethal Shots (because I’m a Crit Monster), and then head down a “modified” version of “Beast Master Raid”. By modified, I mean 5/5 Endurance Training (instead of 5/5 Improved Aspect of the Hawk), and 3/3 Thick Hide. I used to also do 2/2 Spirit Bond but at this point I think Animal Handler is the stronger talent, even when leveling, and with Endurance Training and Thick Hide, most things would be hard-pressed to kill your pet anyway, especially if you choose to go all out and nab a Glyph of Mending.

My current casual hunter project is a level 55 hunter named Althalor; here is his talent spec thus far. (Gosh it’s nostalgic to see 41 points in Beast Mastery.)

Now remember, you really can’t go too wrong with a leveling spec. It’s not like Elitist Jerks is sitting around theorycrafting the most efficient ways to kill ten kobolds. Although that would amuse me.

Beast Mastery is obviously not your only option here. Tawyn leveled to 58ish as Marksmanship. Leveling Survival seems to be super in vogue now from inspecting the lowbies I see running around; I worry about potential pet-threat issues once you get Explosive, but hey, it’d make a great challenge I’m sure!

“I’m a level one hunter and have no idea where to start! Help me Pikey-wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope!” is another similar question/plea I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot. My answer here would be to direct you to my 12-part “So You Want to Play a Hunter” series, which will walk you step by step through playing a hunter from levels 1 – 70.

Caveats About Said Guide: This was written pre-WotLK, so a.) it only takes you up to 70, and b.) Some of the stuff regarding things like Auto/Steady shot weaving, certain levels at which you learn things, and a few abilities are not present or are significantly different. Still, most of the lowbie stuff is relatively accurate, and it’s the best I can offer until someone ties me to my desk and kicks me into rewriting the thing for WotLK.


Resto Druid
:
Most people will tell you to either level Feral and tote around a healing set for instances, or level Balance. Pike will tell you that there is nothing that will teach you to heal the way leveling full blown Resto and living in LFG and healing instances will. This is why if I plan on being a healer at end game, I level as a healer. The experience is invaluable.

Anyways.

I do make a few tweaks here, although it depends rather on your style of how-you-will-(slowly)-kill-things-between-healing-dungeons.

If your style is to nuke things to death as a mini-moonkin, then you may want to stick to your standard resto spec, albeit maybe getting your Balance points out of the way first, or tweaking Balance a bit so you have the shortened cast time on Wrath/Starfire. Completely acceptable.

If you tend to do as I do and play as a RestoKitty, I’ll fill out 5/5 Naturalist and sometimes Furor as well. Neither of these talents are ones you will have at as a level 80 tree, however, they make leveling go considerably smoother. Some RestoKitties have even gone one or two tiers into Feral as well, though I’ve yet to try this myself.

As a RestoKitty, it may be to your benefit to keep some of the Rogue-ish gear you will no doubt acquire in your questing and travels and toss it on when you have to do a quest. When you combine that with a RestoKitty-ish spec, your solo’ing and questing– while it won’t be blazing fast– also won’t be as gimpy as people tend to assume it is, at least in my experience.

A word of warning, however: RestoKitty does become more difficult to pull off as you get higher in levels, so it may be worth your while to switch to the spellcasting method of solo’ing once you hit 60 or 70, or look into dual-specs.

Other options: RestoKin/Dreamstate typically involves going deep enough into Balance for Moonkin Form and then dumping the rest of your talent points into Restoration; something akin to this. This makes you a versatile, Red Mage-styled, jack of all trades who can heal pretty dang well and still kill things relatively quickly. I couldn’t do this myself, partially because I’m too in love with Tree Form and partially because I’m also in love with Wild Growth, however, I’ve heard that it’s very effective and might be something you want to look into.

RestoFeral is considerably rarer, and from what I can tell involves things like Nurturing Instinct and going about half deep in each tree. The lack of overlap between gear and talents would, I think, make this more unwieldy than RestoKin, but some people have done it, and it might be worth a shot if you really like RestoKitty.

Hokays! I hope that helped a bit and/or was able to clear some things up. Lemme know if I made some dire mistake (like saying Naxx boots dropped from Karazhan, not like I’ve uh, ever done that before of course >_>;;), in the meantime, I’m off to go read more Jules Verne <3

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