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September 28, 2007 at 4:22 pm (Hunter, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

If you’re here, you’re in the right place.  Bookmark for more ineffective Warcraft Hunter ramblings.

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Old Pet Skills

September 27, 2007 at 12:56 pm (Game Design, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) (, , )

Old beta pet spells

Some one on TKAsomething forums linked those awhile ago saying “look new pet skills,” and this was one of the responses:

“Never went live. They were just talked-about ideas that were deemed overpowered. Blizz’s devs realized that there are certain things they can’t give pets or (a) everyone would use the same pets for tactical reasons and (b) giving a hunter pet a CC effect is going to be unbalanced. (Let’s not argue about seduce and fairness of warlock fears, mkay?)”

<sarcasm>Blizzard has never allowed one pet to be head and shoulders above the others. Pay no attention to those that speak of and, like, such as, certain cats and bats that had super fast attack speeds, or pets that had enhanced pursuit speeds, Lightning breath and scorpid poison gains from spell damage, charge’s huge threat generation. </sarcasm> Yeah, all that stuff got changed (beware boar lovers), but I really question if it should have been.

A 1.0 attack speed is great for PvP, but that 2.5 sec bear would have had killer KCs. A stun/slow + DOT might be OP in PvP, but there’s no reason they couldn’t do something like “usable against beasts only” or some other iteration.

“everyone would use the same pets for tactical reasons”

Clearly, tactics do not change based on the situation, right? RIGHT? Who knows why blizzards thinks this way. There’s 1v1 PvP, group PvP, arenas, single pull soloing, AoE soloing, 5-man group tanking/CC, 5-man group DPS, Raiding situations. I think they should purposely go ahead with making a single best pet (via pet skills) for each situation and let the stable be the limiting factor.

An example set of skills: Bears get a knockdown attack (interrupt + 1 sec stun) on a 30 sec cooldown, Crocolisks get an instant extra attack when they dodge, Spiders get infected wound, an ability which increase physical damage done to target by 5 each time it is applied, 30sec cooldown.

Are each of these abilities OP? Not really.  Each of them is already in the game in some form, and you can never have them all at once. The 1 sec stun could be awesome in arenas, but you’re giving up a high DPS pet for that stun. You’d never use that bear for a raid as most bosses would be immune. Likewise for the croc. No sane player would attack a pet, so the ability is nullified, but the croc’s natural armor coupled with the extra DPS would make it a great soloing pet. The spider’s ability would make it highly desirable to raids, but for PvP and soloing where battles are short, there are clearly better options.

As for

“giving a hunter pet a CC effect is going to be unbalanced”

I had no idea that Intimidation was imbalanced (a CC any pet can use). I’ll stop using it right away. Adding an addition CC to a single pet family wouldn’t be imba either, so long as they were giving something else up (a sporecloud for sporebats would be a good candidate).

My favorite design philosophy is: No one is OP, when everyone is OP.

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The Obligatory 2.2 Hunter Patch Notes

September 25, 2007 at 10:09 am (Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

Changes that matter to hunters. Let me know if I missed anything.

  • Pets are now affected by Paladin greater blessings.
  • Cyclone: Paladin Auras, Trueshot Aura, and Aspect of the Pack will now be automatically reactivated when Cyclone wears off of a victim who had one of the abilities active.
  • Aspect of the Cheetah: This ability will now cause Hunters to become dazed when struck while sitting.
  • Aspect of the Pack: This ability will now cause party members to become dazed when struck while sitting.
  • Aspect of the Viper: This ability has received a slight redesign. The amount of mana regained will increase as the Hunter’s percentage of mana remaining decreases. At about 60% mana, it is equivalent to the previous version of Aspect of the Viper. Below that margin, it is better (up to twice as much mana as the old version); while above that margin, it will be less effective. The mana regained never drops below 10% of intellect every 5 sec. or goes above 50% of intellect every 5 sec.
  • Freezing Trap and Scare Beast duration against PvP targets has been reduced to 10 seconds.
  • Hunter’s Mark: The duration remaining graphic will now display properly for Hunter’s Mark after it has been refreshed on a target, and will properly consume mana when recasting it to refresh its duration.
  • Kill Command will not charge the hunter mana if their pet is on passive.
  • Kill Command no longer affects the Hunter’s current target.
  • Misdirection: Items used while Misdirection is active will now consume a charge correctly.
  • Steady Shot: The tooltip stating the percentage of Attack Power gained by Steady Shot was inaccurate and has been corrected. The damage remains unchanged.
  • Volley: This spell is now affected by area damage caps. Its bonus damage coefficients have also been increased. It also correctly consumes charges of Misdirection.
  • Hunter Pets
    • Raptors can now learn Dash.
  • Formula: Enchant Weapon – Greater Agility: This enchanting recipe is now available from the Violet Eye vendor.
  • Leggings of Beast Mastery: The stamina and armor granted by this item for your pet have been increased.
  • Rift Stalker Armor: The pet healing set bonus now heals for a percentage of damage dealt by the Hunter
  • Trappings of the Unseen Path Set: The buff on your pet from this set bonus will no longer appear to be constantly running out and refreshing.

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Where’s the Beef?

September 21, 2007 at 8:33 am (Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

The PTR has been closed and now it seems that the next content patch, 2.2, is finally on its way.  But wait a minute… where’s the content?

The patch contains the usual item, class, and bug fixes, but when you look at it nothing really new.  The only thing that could be considered a major upgrade worthy of a major patch is voice chat and video capture (for macs only).  However, chat != content.  That’s just interface stuff.

Personally, I don’t plan to use the chat.  I already turn off most default channels for a less Chuck Norris-y experience.  The only reason I would is to talk with my friends but we already have a TS server, and I can play any character on any server and use it.

I can understand why they haven’t given any new content.  The last patch was pretty full with Black Temple, new faction grinds, and whatnot, but really there wasn’t much there that interested me either.  I’ll never see the BT, and hours and hours of faction grind, just for a trinket or crossbow?  Not for me.  The netherdrake was pretty painless tho.

Anyway.  My newb characters are going good.  Got my mage to 17 and I’m really enjoying blasting things to pieces before they can even reach me.  My pali just equipped his Rakzur Club, but hasn’t had a chance to use it.  He was already 2 shotting things with his 10DPS Birchwood Maul.

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The Daily Grind

September 20, 2007 at 8:50 am (Game Design, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

I just read this article on wowinsider and had to comment on a few disagreements. All quotes are from the article.

The reason I don’t accept it is because I don’t believe Jonathan is looking at the entire game here, merely the part of it he doesn’t like, and is acting as if the entire game is grinding.

There are other rewards to be had in playing WoW which elevate it beyond mindless button mashing for the Sword of a Thousand Truths.

Now I obviously play WoW. I like playing Wow. I have played since open beta. This is the truth:

All of WoW is a grind.

  • Kill 8 boars – grind.
  • Bring me 5 heads – grind.
  • Escort the Marshal out of BRD – how many wipes did that take you?
  • Obtain teir X – grind bosses.
  • Get epic flier – grind gold.
  • Obtain Netherwing mount – grind faction.

There is nothing to do in WoW other than grind. He suggests

Quite frankly, I think Jonathan Blow is giving the artistry of the game and the immersive quality of the gameplay, the storylines one experiences, the game’s stance on redemption and corruption, and much more short shrift in order to focus on a gameplay aspect he doesn’t like and use it as a means to dismiss the entire genre of games as ‘exploitation’.

So basically, he’s saying there’s also graphics (erm artistry) and story. His example for artistry is that he went to the Deadmines and just walked around looking at all the cool little details. Now there’s TONS of cool little details all over WoW and they are really cool to find, but is that a game? No. Get a WoW model viewer and you can do the same thing. It’s just wrapping. There is no substance there that actually constitutes being part of the game.

The second aspect is story. How many times is “lorelol” posted on the forums? The example he gives of immersive gameplay/storylines is the Marshal Winsor event in SW. I have to admit it’s pretty cool. Unmasking the traitor right under the king’s nose is awesome to watch, and doing it myself was a landmark for my character. But wait… you unmasked the traitor too? What’s she still doing there after how many millions of people have exposed her. Talk about a grind: only x million more people need to unmask onyxia before they actually throw her out of SW. How many times has Rag died? Or Kael? Or Illidan?

There is no story in WoW. In a few months, we will have a new set of bosses and instances, and a new set of players will never even get a chance of killing the current round of raid bosses. Will it mater that you never defeated Kael and stopped him from destroying Outland? No. The story is only there in as much as it will support the grind. If you don’t grind there is no story, and that will be true for any MMO, because there’s no point in making a real story for just one person.

Compare that to Fable for example. Are there grinds there? Yep. Is there more? Oh yeah. Towns people react differently as your character changes. The world changes. You kill the Bandit king and suddenly every path is an ambush waiting to happen. Clear the tollway and never pay again.

Character development, growth, change are all essential parts to a story. What WoW has is very, very pretty wrapping paper for your grinding pleasure.

I guess the other aspect he didn’t mention is the social area. But honestly, install your favorite IM and you’re good to go. No game needed.

In short, you can either grind in WoW or

You can spend hours in the game doing nothing at all.

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Steady Shot for Complete Noobs

September 14, 2007 at 2:23 pm (Hunter, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

Are you having problems convincing that horrible, horrible hunter in your guild that he can improve his DPS significantly by watching his Steady Shot? Need to make it so simple a an EQII player could understand it? This post is for you.

Lets say your Steady Shot hits for 400 damage and has a cast time of 1.5 seconds. You may think, “Hey, that means it does 400/1.5 = 266.66 DPS!” Think again. How many Steady Shots can you get between Auto Shots? Well check your weapon speed on the character page and I guarantee it’s 2.96 seconds. Why? Because the slowest weapon between 60 and 70 is 3.4 seconds, and you’re wearing a quiver/ammo pouch that reduces casting time by 15% (and if you’re not you better be).

If you try to fire twice between auto shots, you’re going to delay it. That means that the actual DPS of Steady Shot is the damage divided by your personal weapon speed.

For me that’s 2.04. So that Steady Shot gives me 400/2.04 or 196.8 DPS. That’s down quite a bit from the 266 above.

Now lets say I’m feeling a bit lazy, and don’t press steady right away. Well because Steady has a casting time, that will also increase my weapon speed. By just being 1/10th of a second (0.1s) too late, my Steady would have a DPS of 1.86.9 and lose 10DPS. Wait did I just say “increase weapon speed?” That’s right, I would also delay my Auto Shot so my white dps of 271.8 would decrease to 258.7, a decrease of 13DPS. That’s a grand total of 23DPS lost just because I was 1/10th of a second lazy. Imagine what would happen if I was a whole half a second lazy…

The moral of the story is: Fire your steady shot as early as possible.

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Much Ado About Boars

September 10, 2007 at 12:52 pm (Hunter, Pets, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

Reader Gnarsh left 2 comments in my FAQ pages yesterday about boars. One example:

Boars are not great for soloing, they are the best pet for soloing. Even spec’d out 100% marksman at level 62, I rarely do enough damage to pull a mob off my boar. A Concussive Shot usually gives the boar enough time to regain control over the mob if it doesn’t die by the time it gets to me. On the rare occasions a mob closes to melee range it doesn’t take more than two or three swings to put it down. As far as ugly, if the mob thinks my pet is funny looking, he’ll only die laughing.

“…the best pet for soloing.” The plan was to publish the comment and then post my own discussing it, but that phrase gives me pause. To publish would give credence to that statement of absolute, even if it only lasted until the reader gets to my rebuff. Which leads me to the question, can it be rebuffed?

He didn’t state that other pets aren’t viable for soloing, just that boars are better. In my opinion, anything with a focus dump that can immediately use any talent generated focus will generate enough threat to solo with effectively. However, I don’t think a case be made that any of them are on par or better than the boar. With charges huge initial threat boost, most hunters are hard pressed to pull agro.

The other factor when soloing is survivability. Of the 7 pets I recommend, boars have more armor and more health than any of them.

Even Dash/Dive isn’t an issue.

Further pushing the recommendation is that the nice models occur early in the game. If you’re going to have both a soloing pet and a raiding pet, it just makes sense that you’d do the soloing pet as you leveled and then tamed a high level raiding pet to minimize grinding up levels.

The only downside is DPS, which doesn’t matter too much when soloing as most damage comes from the hunter, even a BM. Screech is also nice to have, but it’s very situational, and most times I’d just trap if there’s a second mob.

If Bliz gave your favorite pet model a 2nd version with higher armor/hp, but lower DPS, that could hold agro better than your current pet, wouldn’t you take it for soloing? Why wouldn’t you fully recommend that pet for leveling? But that’s the situation with the boar. Can you think of any pet that is superior to the boar for soloing?

For now the comment will be on hold until I can think of a way to tell min/maxers to take a boar without making those that don’t want a boar feel like they’re missing out.

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Newb Class Impressions

September 7, 2007 at 9:05 am (Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

I’ve been taking a break from my hunter to try out some other classes lately, and since I have nothing really hunter related to state, why not write about that?

First off, I tried playing my warrior again. I actually started about a year ago and had her up to level 60 with a fury spec decent PvP gear. The main reason I went fury was actually the PvP aspect. I just about went insane the first time I tried to stop a flag capture with my 3.3 second 2 hander. It went something like this: HitHimHitHimHITHIM, (Bob has captured the stables), AHHHHHH!, you hit Bob for 500 dmg. I eventually transferred servers to play the char with some friends (that needed a tank), and found that I really hate tanking. That kind of burnt me out on warriors.

I loved fury, but it really depends on having 2 good weapons, and that just doesn’t happen when you’re leveling. I also wasn’t looking forward to getting “Joe invites you to a group, “<decline>, Joe whispers hey can you tank for us? However retrying the BC content called to me, and I bought a Blade of Misfortune cheap to give arms a try. I gave up after one evening. I will try again, but trying to take on mobs with a 225 2H sword skill was not fun. The only fights where I actually killed the mob are the ones where I popped Retaliation. I used it 3x (yes a whole hour) before giving up and going to stockades to clear a few times and get my skill up. I’ll try it out again later.

I also started 3 new alts all currently 13, which I’ve been having fun with: pali, mage, and priest. The pali is pure fun. I played one up to 30 before so I know what I’m doing for now. I also had my BS warrior make tons of gear, so I’m set up with copper/silvered bronze/green iron gear into my 30s. At level 11 I was hitting mobs for 110 damage crits, and taking off more than half their health. Gear > skill. I’m probably going to go retribution and hope that the 6 sec cooldown on Crusader Strike rumor goes through. Otherwise, it will be AoE prot spec.

All I ever hear about for mages is “are you fire or frost spec?” So of course I’m going arcane (not sure where to put the other points). I started putting points in improved missiles, but I’m killing things before they even reach me so I’m not sure how wise and investment that was. I’m figuring it will pay off later. All I can really say is it’s amazing how much damage I can put out with 3 button presses. Good times.

Now for the priest. Everyone and their non-WoW playing sister knows that you should spec shadow to level. Judging by my experience as a tank, I’m not really a group play kind of guy so that further pushes me towards DPS. However, the non-conformist in me just screams whenever I even look at the shadow talents, and further, ‘evil priest’ still has less association with melting faces than pederasts for me. So what to do? Be a holy/disc DPS priest of course. The talents are there, they’re just not convenient, nor are they as effective as their shadow counter parts. So here’s what I’m thinking to start, and to finish.

Any thoughts on talent specs? Have you tried a new class lately?

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