Pet Review – Bears

July 30, 2008 at 7:38 pm (World of Warcraft)

The bear review is finally up.  I think 25 days between updates is the longest since I started the review.  I still have 1.5 levels to go and then testing for gorillas, but I think I can still get it done by this weekend.

Bears were competing with crabs for the lowest recommended spot and bears won.  Or lost depending on your perspective.  The biggest difference between the 2 was a lower DPS and armor in favor of HP.  The lower armor was nothing, but the slight 6 DPS difference was noticeable enough resulting in agro lost more often.

Of course all this gets ‘fixed’ in WotLK, so the review boils down to “I liked bears.”

In actual WotLK news, I finally got everything working.  The first thing I did was put on my testing gear and spec to see the exact changes to my pets.  Frothy went from 141.4 DPS, 5988 HP, and 12040(53.28%) armor to 148.8 DPS, 6933 HP, and 12228(53.28%) armor. That’s with Cobra reflexes, but not any of the other goodies in the new talents.  My raptor is up at 178 DPS or something with talents now.  Delicious.

I can’t tell you how awesome it was to see my crab dash for the first time.  I still haven’t used my raptor to ‘charge’ yet.

The question right now is whether agro generation is now sufficient enough to worry about survivability.

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RL Stuffs

July 28, 2008 at 8:20 pm (Hunter, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

Well I’m finally settled in Hawaii. The hotel I stayed at was 5-star but didnt have free internet access. What the heck. However my friends beach house has 2 unsecured connections which are both several times faster than my connection at home. That’s a really good thing, since it means I’ll be spending less time downloading and more time playing the beta. Yep, I got a beta key from an anonymous source.

I’m so excited.

I promise you that in my excitement I have not forgotten that the bear review has not been posted, nor that my gorilla is almost 70. I’d guess by this weekend I’ll have both those reviews posted and some initial impressions from northrend.

Playing WoW with the ocean roaring 50 feet away is so cool.

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Plugging Away

July 21, 2008 at 11:45 am (Hunter, Pets, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) (, )

I have to say I’m really happy with the way things are looking for WotLK. I’m beginning to wonder what we’ll have left to complain about when it hits. I’m extremely happy with where my pets ended up within the 3 categories bliz created. Crab and Raptors fell right where they should be, and my planned sporebat will hit the 3rd to complete my stable.

Currently my gorilla is level 67, but I’m heading to Hawaii for 19 days, so who knows. The growl nerf definitely hit me with the TSA spec, but now that I’ve found good places to farm, that’s not such an issue. I just wish horde casters were as easy to kill. I also wish I had time to play rather than having to work on keeping my house clean enough to sell. That’s pretty tough with a 2yo.

You may be wondering why I’m continuing the review when it’s obvious that most of this is going to be thrown out the window. Well even if you weren’t wondering, I am. I think if I still had 10 pets to go, I’d be done, and discussing the ramifications of new talents with the rest of the hunter community. With only 2 left, it seems like a waste NOT to finish.

But why write the reviews? Because it’s there. I’ve never heard of anyone else doing what I’ve done. Heck, it’s honestly crazy just to get 2 pets to level 70. To do 23… Well that’s cause for the nice men in white suits to come get me. When it comes down to it, I’m doing this for me. I don’t think I’ll ever finish KZ much less any of the other raids. I’ll never have T6 even if I didn’t think it was amazingly ugly. I’ll never have higher than a 1550 arena rating. I will be the first hunter I know to have one of each pet family to level 70. It’s just a bonus that other people get some use out of it.

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What a Time

July 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm (Game Design, Hunter, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) ()

So I have been away from home, have no internet connection at home and I’ll be leaving for hawaii in 5 days, and NOW they release the WotLK talents and spells.

Since I’m running on battery power and paying by the hour, I’ll be general and brief.  Things look very cool in general, and there are some very welcome changes especially in lower talents.  For deep talents: SV got some love, MM still doesn’t have any real raid utility but personal DPS should be up, and BM has a few new tricks (Invigoration + Cobra Strikes is cool), but Aspect Mastery is solidly ‘Meh.’

My biggest question is: What the heck is considered an “exotic pet?”  That may make or break BM for me.

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Grinding Without Grinding Your Teeth

July 10, 2008 at 11:44 am (Guide, Hunter, Pets, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) (, , , )

Is someone looking for a level 70 bear?  Cause I have one :)

Or had.  Bear review will be up soon, and my Gorilla, “Stubborn Monkey,” is up to level 60 without too much effort.  Plus 1 gamer point if you know the reference.  Someone was interested in how long things were taking which made me curious myself.  So I’ve been checking my /played before and after for the last 2 pets.  To go 60-70 with the bear took 12 hours and 15 min total.  That’s with travel times, sending items to bank, restocking ammo, and all that stuff, but pretty much focused on grinding (no BGs/arenas).  The Nether Ray took about 9 hours to go from 64-70.

I think I mentioned it recently, but it’s worth repeating.  Firewing Point is by far the best place to grind without worries.  However, once my pets hit 64, I’ve found they can hold agro with my TSA – BM spec against 67s.  Adding in some resistances and avoidance makes the Legion Hold warlocks in SMV viable targets.  They drop the more lucrative aldor marks and armaments (I made 600g one night), and the game has some minimal number required meaning there is always 3-4 up.  With 3 people, each can take one of the casting towers, and pretty much never stop.

That also means that they’re constantly spawning which may be right where you are.  If you can’t handle chain pulling don’t go there.  I pretty much always have a freeze trap up, a mana pot, and some bandages ready just in case I start to get overwhelmed.  I don’t bother with mend pet either.  There’s more netherweave dropping than I can sell nightly on the AH AND they heal my pet faster.  So I mend only in emergency or when the debuff is still up.

The other danger, is Morgroron, a level 69 elite.  If you’re alone, it’s fairly easy to avoid him if you really want to, but it can hamper your grinding quite a bit.  With a 64 pet and S1 gear, I could take him with some kiting at the end and a pot.  With a 68 pet, I could take him consistently without my pet dying.  They key is to  pull back your pet as soon as his AoE starts and to Mend as soon as (or before) the fight starts and renew it as soon as it drops.  Misdirection will really help your pet maintain agro through those heals, but be ready with FD should something go wrong.  With 2 level 70s, he’s not much of an issue provided no warlocks spawn on top of you.

One last grinding tip: DON’T OVER-DO IT.

I only grind for two hours, one level, or until my bags are full, whichever comes first.  I tried pushing myself to finish level 68 with my bear and it was horrible.  I took the whole next day off from WoW just to cleanse the experience fully.  Have something else to do both in WoW and in RL so you don’t get too worn out on it.

Good grinding.

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ID-10T Error

July 6, 2008 at 1:51 pm (World of Warcraft)

I just realized that for all the times I specced MM for TSA, I never put Scatter Shot on my cast bar…

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Ballad of Jayne Cobb

July 5, 2008 at 2:10 pm (Guide, Hunter, Pets, Warcraft, World of Warcraft) (, , , )

Jayne….

The boar I named Jayne….

.

His Charge was OP, but he still knows Gore

Bliz nerfed him to hell, and fans gave them what for

Their love for boars now is hard to explain

Once hero of soloist, the boar I named Jayne

.

Yes, I named my boar Jayne Cobb, just so I could put a song in the post about the review.  I finished boars a few days ago, and the review is finally up.  The random nature of gore put it both above and below Crabs in terms of threat generation, but the ability to teach them both Charge and Dash ensured they were slightly above.  After 10 levels, the first fight I tried with my testing spec was horrid.  I went back over the log and Gore did not double or crit once.  A few fights later I was totally impressed when he held agro through 3-4 crits in a row.  This is a gambler’s pet.  If you routinely roll 20s, you may enjoy it even more.

So, I’ve now tamed a bear.  Let’s hope the patch doesn’t go live tuesday.  Oh.  You thought I was doing Nether Rays next… Hmm… Wonder what happened to that.

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Pets in a Tree

July 2, 2008 at 9:47 pm (Game Design, Hunter, Pets, Warcraft, World of Warcraft)

Mania posted a pic from WWI with the example pet talent, but it shows us a bit more that just that.  Note there’s 5 tiers each with compounding 5 points required.  There doesn’t seem to be anything beyond that, when you notice how many talents have prereqs and none of the final ones seem to be required.  It also makes me think talent points might be by level, but start at level 40 or 50.  That would yield 41 or 31 points to spec respectively.  41 seems too high, but so does level 50 to start getting points.  Could also be that you get 5-6 points for each loyalty level (but I hope they do away with that).

Though there’s no tabs for the other trees, in the requirements it says “20 points in Aggressive” which means that each pet will have multiple trees to chose from.  That is opposed to the idea that tanking pets only getting a tanking tree, or DPS pets only getting a DPS tree.

You can also see the name of a 2nd talent. The prereq for “Cornered” is “Focused Will.”

I’m curious how close they come to the tree’s I created back with my normalization post.  It wouldn’t be too hard to convert those to 5 point talents.  I’m also still wondering if they’ve normalized the base stats now that I’ve said that…

Could Bliz actually be reading?!

AND THINKING I’M RIGHT?!!!!!!

Madness.

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Pigs Incoming (soon)!!!

July 1, 2008 at 3:50 pm (World of Warcraft)

I finished testing boars, so expect the review soonish. I wish I could have seen them in their heyday, I’m sure they are much reduced as there was nothing spectacular left in mine. I spent the last 2 gaming sessions looking for Heroic SP runs, and realized that I could have gained a few levels already if I just went for the non-heroic 64. So that’s what I’ve done now. Rays look like cool pets, and I wish all pets played as cool as they look.

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