Saturday, February 28, 2009

PTR and 401(K)

I'm trying not to look at all the crap on the PTR just as much as I'm trying to not look at what a hole has been blown in my 401(K). The viper sting change is interesting. Ammo nice. Stable nice if it isn't borked, which BRK shows it as. I don't like the +5%/+5%/+5% pet damage/armor/health normalization. It's dumb. Explosive Shot getting nerfed again? Why am I not surprised?

. . .

Okay. I can handle switching back to BM, or going back to my 1-60 tree, MM (despite it being completely different now). Wait and see... wait and see... Though until then I guess I'll not choose gear based on being SV, but rather gear based on being SV or BM or MM.

Hunter (Skills List / Talent + Glyph Calc.)
  • Ammunition: All types of gun and bow ammunition now stack to 1000. All quivers and ammo pouches no longer provide haste. 15% ranged haste is now built in to Hunter Autoshot.
  • Call Stabled Pet: This new ability lets the hunter remotely access the stable. 30 min cooldown.
  • Cunning, Ferocity and Tenacity pets now all have +5% damage, +5% armor and +5% health bonuses. This should make more pet families feel viable, while additional talents have been added to distinguish a pet’s abilities based on its specializations.
  • Disengage: Cooldown increased by 5 sec.
  • Pets now inherit more spell hit from the hunter. Pets with magic attacks should not require a player to stack additional hit compared to pets with physical attacks.
  • Viper Sting re-designed: Stings the target, draining 4% of mana over 8 sec (up to a maximum of 8% of the caster's maximum mana), and energizing the Hunter equal to 300% of the amount drained. Only one Sting per Hunter can be active on any one target.

  • Explosive Shot: Base damage lowered by 10%. Attack power scaling reduced by 12.5%.

  • Bullheaded now adds 20% damage reduction for 12 sec along with its current CC-removal effect.
  • Cornered: The crit reduction when this ability is active has been increased.
  • Feeding Frenzy increased to 8/16% damage up from 6/12%.
  • Furious Howl (wolf special ability) now stacks with Battle Shout and Blessing of Might, however, it only affects the wolf and hunter. Its effect and cooldown have been doubled so that it provides the same benefit but isn’t up 100% of the time.
  • Gorillas now have a new family ability, Pummel, which works like the warrior ability and has a single rank.
  • Grace of the Mantis and Roar of Sacrifice are now also available to Cunning pets.
  • New Talent: Shark Attack: This new two-rank talent is available to Ferocity pets. It increases pet damage.
  • New Talent: Silverback: This new two-rank talent is available to Tenacity pets. It heals the pet when Growl is used.
  • New Talent: Wild Hunt: This new two-rank talent is available to all 3 pet trees. It increases the stamina and attack power inherited from the hunter.
  • Roar of Recovery cooldown decreased to 3 min, down from 6 min.
  • Thunderstomp is no longer a gorilla-specific family ability and is now available to all Tenacity pets. It has been reduced to one rank.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hit Rating, How I Miss Thee

Well, it finally happened. I got to replace my King Dred's Helm. It's rather ridiculous honestly. I've got layers of other drops for other armor slots. But for the helm slot, I only had 5-man Heroic blue drops, which never give you a meta gem slot. I'm pretty happy to have Helm of the Grave. Sure there are at least three pieces better than it. But it does put me in a quandary. I was jonesin' for +hit before, but had managed to get there. Now, I'm in a bigger hole. This seems to be a consistent problem for me. Almost every iLevel 213 upgrade drops hit. I really don't want to swap in +hit/"boss" gear.

So at this point, I guess the somewhat lackluster Grim Toll really will increase my dps a lot. Previously, I was thinking I'd get it and then replace +hit gems with +agility. I'm a bit past even that. Now, all I have to do is get it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Suvival Hunter Talents for 3.1

I see 6/14/51 and 0/7/54 being popular. Essentially one is straight-up raid PvE dps. The other is raid PvE dps with the new replenishment. Neither end up using Aimed Shot. I've become used to having Aimed Shot around. One will use multishot, the other arcane shot for the regen.

It's all subject to change of course. And there appears to be a talent missing. "New Talent: Trap Launcher: When activated, your next Trap will be launched instantly at the enemy target. 1 minute cooldown." That could certainly put a different spin on Trap-Dancing. It is hard to see where it would fit in the tree. Maybe it is just bogus and wishful thinking of someone and got into the feed somehow.

Glyphs are not instantly clear which to use.
  • Glyph of Explosive Shot - Increases the critical strike chance of Explosive Shot by 4%.
  • Glyph of Explosive Trap - The periodic damage from your Explosive Trap can now be critical strikes.
  • Glyph of Kill Shot - Reduces the cooldown of Kill Shot by 6 sec.
Are all attractive. But so are the Steady, Serpent, and Hawk glyphs. I'm guessing that Kill Shot will be more for PvP. Doubling the Kill Shots in PvE is nice, but probably not as good as Explosive Shot. So, yes, I'm tipping my hand. I'll probably try out ES, SS, and SrpS.

3.1 Round-up: Summary and Detail of Undocumented, Documented, and Found Hunter Changes

My Summary

There are a huge number of new variables. A really crazy number. It's clear to me that Blizzard is just throwing in the kitchen sink. They don't have a clear idea how things will be min/maxxed. They'll keep their eyes open and nerf things as hotfixes.

There are many things to like here. A lot will change. Half of what we like will never get off the PTR. What you do now as a hunter will change unless you're BM. In which case, you'll re-spec a little and re-spec your pets.

From WoR:


  • Glyph of Chimera Shot - Reduces the cooldown of Chimera Shot by 1 sec.
  • Glyph of Explosive Shot - Increases the critical strike chance of Explosive Shot by 4%.
  • Glyph of Explosive Trap - The periodic damage from your Explosive Trap can now be critical strikes.
  • Glyph of Kill Shot - Reduces the cooldown of Kill Shot by 6 sec.
  • Glyph of Raptor Strike - For 0 sec. after using Raptor Strike, you take 20% less damage.
  • Glyph of Scatter Shot - Increases the range of Scatter Shot by 3 yards.

From WoR:

  • New Hunter Pet Talents
    • Shark Attack (2 ranks) - Your pet does an additional 4/8% damage with all attacks.
    • Silverback (2 ranks) - Your pet's Growl also heals it for 1/2% of its total health.
    • Wild Hunt (2 ranks) - Increases the contribution your pets get from your Stamina by 20/40% and attack power by 20/40%.



Beast Mastery
  • *New Skill* Call Stabled Pet - A pet of your choice busts out of its stable and joins you no matter where you are, replacing your current pet. Cannot be used in combat. Instant. 30 min cooldown. Requires Level 80.

  • Kill Shot no longer has a minimum range. It can now be used in melee range.
  • Wild Quiver (Tier 9) now increases your chance to shoot an additional shot when doing damage with your auto shot, dealing 80% Nature damage, by 4/8/12%. (Previously it dealt 50% nature damage and had a 4/7/10% chance.)
  • Piercing Shots (Tier 7) Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec. (Previously triggered 2/4/6% armor ignore).
  • Ranged Weapon Specialization (Tier 6) is now a 3 point talent, increasing damage with ranged weapons by 1/3/5%. (Previously a 5 point talent increasing damage by 1/2/3/4/5%)

  • Disengage cooldown increased to 30 secs. (Previously was 25 secs)
  • Hunting Party (Tier 10) is now a 3 point talent, increasing agility by 1/2/3% and your Arcane Shot, Explosive Shot and Steady Shot critical strikes have a 33/66/100% chance to grant up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 0.25% of the maximum mana per second. Lasts for 15 sec.
  • Trap Mastery moved from Tier 9 to Tier 2 and is now a 3 point talent. Increases the duration of Frost and Freezing trap by 10/20/30%, Periodic damage of Immolation and Explosive trap by 10/20/30%, and number of snakes summoned by Snake Trap by 30%. (Previously was just 1 point)
  • *New Talent* Black Arrow (Tier 9) - Fires a Black Arrow at the target, increasing all damage done by you to the target by 6% and dealing [ 10% of RAP + 785 ] Shadow damage over 15 sec. Costs 6% base mana. 5-35 yard range. Instant Cast. 30 sec cooldown.
  • Sniper Training (Tier 9) has been changed to increase the critical strike chance of your Kill Shot ability by 5/10/15%, and while standing still for 6 sec., you gain Sniper Training increasing the damage done by your Steady Shot, Aimed Shot, Black Arrow and Explosive Shot by 2/4/6% Lasts 15 sec. (Previously increased damage and critical strike chance based on your range to the target)
  • Wyvern Sting (Tier 7) now lasts 30 sec on the target. (Previously lasted 12 sec)
  • T.N.T. (Tier 4) now increases the damage done by your Explosive Shot, Explosive Trap and Immolation Trap by 2%. (Previously increased critical strike chance of explosive shot and and gave it a chance to stun the target)
  • Lock and Load (Tier 4) now has a 33/66/100% chance to proc off Freezing Shot, Freezing Trap, and Frost Trap, and a 3/7/10% chance to proc off the periodic damage of Immolation Trap and Black Arrow. (Previously worked on all traps and included serpent sting)
  • Improved Wing Clip has been removed from the game.

From the patch notes, which aren't identical by a long shot:


  • Frost Trap: If the target who triggers Frost Trap is immune to its effect, the Frost Trap area effect will no longer be triggered.
  • Talents
    • Beast Mastery
      • Improved Aspect of the Hawk now has a new spell effect.
      • Improved Wing Clip: This talent has been removed.
    • Marksmanship
      • Piercing Shots re-designed: Your critical Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of the damage dealt over 8 sec.
      • Ranged Weapon Specialization: Points reduced from 5 to 3, 1/3/5%.
      • Wild Quiver: Chance increased to 4/8/12%, up from 4/7/10%. Damage increased from 50% of an auto shot, to 80%.
    • Survival
      • Hunting Party: This talent has been reduced to 3-points, and now increases your total Agility by an additional 1/2/3%.
      • Lock and Load re-designed: You now have a 33/66/100% chance when you trap a target with Freezing Trap, Freezing Arrow or Frost Trap and a 2/4/6% chance when you deal periodic damage with your Immolation Trap or Black Arrow to cause your next 2 Arcane Shot or Explosive Shot spells to trigger no cooldown, cost no mana and consume no ammo. This now has a new spell effect and sound.
      • New Talent: Trap Launcher: When activated, your next Trap will be launched instantly at the enemy target. 1 minute cooldown.
      • T.N.T. re-designed: Increases the damage done by your Explosive Shot, Explosive Trap and Immolation Trap by 2/4/6%, and gives your Explosive Shot a 33/66/100% chance to refresh the duration of your Immolation Trap effect on the target.
      • Trap Mastery: This talent has been moved up to tier-2, up from tier-9.
      • Wyvern Sting duration increased from 12 sec to 30 sec. PvP duration reduced from 10 sec to 6 sec.
  • Pets
    • Roar of Sacrifice can be used on the hunter only.
    • Stampede (rhino) only affects 1 target, but adds a 25% bleed damage debuff (that does not stack with Mangle etc.) in addition to its knockback.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

6th screenshot

Got tagged by Lienna for the viral show me yer 6th screenshots deal. She is doing 6th and 7th, so I'll give that a shot.

Umm. So the first one was me just trying to figure out why the heck I didn't get as much honor as other people that seemed to have weaker results.

The second was just me looking at my stats as raid buffed and thinking.. hmm.. "That ain't bad."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Oracles

So I've finally ground out the rep for the Oracle Talisman of Ablution yesterday. I'm not exactly sure in what cases I'll use it. I'm thinking solo'ng, and 5mans, and some PvP would make sense. I don't want to run out of mana in any of those cases. And I'm likely to get the killing blows in many of those circumstances. I have no idea if I'll use it in 10 and 25-man PvE. Probably never in 25mans. Maybe in some 10man situations, but rarely.

Right now I've got it on as a single gear item in my outfitter bar, so I can flip it in conditionally before a fight. 5mans and soloing make tons of sense. PvP will be tougher because I'll either give up my Mirror or my get-out-of-jail trinket. In trying it out a tiny bit, I'm getting 530 to 545 mana back per kill. That's completely unbuffed and just in slightly different gear sets. It's supposedly 5%. And yes, it's each and every time without seemingly any cooldown. I'll grab my gorilla and do some AoE farming. Heck, maybe I'll dig out two Tier-5 pieces and get some infinite farming set going.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My obligatory but customized! Hit Rating post

Hit capping is the first thing every hunter should do to increase their dps. Remove 1% miss[*] and you'll up your dps by 1%. It's also generally pretty easy.

So every hunter's pet really wants them to have a +263 hit rating to get to +8% hit for bosses. You only get hit rating from +hit and the hunter talent, Focused Aim, which has three ranks. Now that seems pretty basic. There are two gotchas and one bonus:

1) Pets inherit their hunter's hit percentage in whole numbers rounded down. So if you have a 260 +hit, then you have a +7.93% hit percentage. This means your pet only has a +7% hit percentage.

2) Pets do not benefit at all from a hunter taking Focused Aim. It only benefits the hunter.

3) Bonus: If you have a Draenei in your group and in range, you get an extra 1% to hit, so you only need 229.53 +hit.

What's all this mean? For the BM hunter, you want to have a solid 263 +hit rating or slightly more -- not slightly less. They should not take any Focused Aim! BM hunters also want Animal Handler 2/2 so their pet doesn't miss due to dodges. A BM hunter's dps lives and dies with their pet's dps.

For a SV or MM hunter, your pet is already missing a bit and is a much smaller part of your dps. You should avoid Focused Aim if you can, but it's an option. As I steadily improved my gear I lost more and more +hit. (Despite gemming for it a lot.) So, I've dipped one toe in.

As far as my latest gear connundrum, I'm trying to figure out if I should make a strong grab for Grim Toll next time it drops. It would let me get a talent point back, and/or re-gem for Agility. That's pretty nice. However, there are some other tasty trinkets out there.

[*] - "Miss" as far as WWS reports go may also include dodges (or aggro-forbid, parries). True misses may also occur frequently if you're in a Archavon cloud.

OS-10 +1, OS-25 +1

So on Wednesday we got a squad together and tried OS-10 +2D. None of us had done even one drake, so after a bunch of wipes and different tries we settled on "one drake". I don't remember if we got him on the first try, but it came together pretty quickly. We had a warrior tank both the drake and the boss, and a DK tank got all the adds. (We killed the Tenebron drake, and then the boss.)

So on Thursday with less than an hour to go in our normal raid time, we finished a wing and headed to OS-25. We went straight for "one drake up"and in a few wipes got him. I'm very proud of our guild. 17 people hadn't done any "drakes up" before.

Positioning of the boss was different in 10 and 25 man. It seemed more difficult in 25man. We tanked him in the center, but it worked out. However, we didn't get Tenebron down fast enough to try "two drakes up". And I think positioning and targeting was a big part of that.

Ah, but good times.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Born to Annoy

Random DCs ensuring raids fail.

Pet Cower Random-Auto-Cast never getting fixed.

Pet Prowl Auto-Cast-On-With-Zone-In never getting fixed.

Auto-Target-A-New-Target-On-Attack-Button-Press for CC-less fun.

Doing more dps by trap-dancing than standing at 31 yards.

Devilsaur hitboxes larger than 1.0 Heigan value or 0.75 OS-25 lava wave diameter.

Kill shot still not working under 8 yards.

Not getting to see my devilsaur, Chuckles. /sniff.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Rather awful night last night in Naxx-25. We were not clicking, the engine was flooded and the tires were ribbons.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Pew-pew! Not an especially easy number. But I was impressed how well Kill Shot resembles its name. Not instaGlib, but pretty nice.

25000 Honorable Kills

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Magical Kill Shot Macro Ingredient

Kill Shot is the shot you always want to use if it's available -- and every time it's available. There's an easy way to do this. Make all your primary and [heck] secondary shots into macros. Don't just have a plain ole Arcane Shot as a button. Make a macro that is:

#showtooltip Arcane Shot
/cast Kill Shot
/cast Arcane Shot

(Of course I've gone as far as removed Arcane Shot from my list of shots, but I have a similar macro for Explosive Shot.)

Kill Shot is kinda magical as far as macros go. It doesn't work the same way as others. You can add it before something. If it's not possible because it's on cooldown or because the mob isn't low enough on life, it will just fail gracefully and let the rest of the macro proceed. So you can drop it in anywhere you want. The following one has it, and also Kill Command near my spam-able Steady Shot macro:

#showtooltip Steady Shot
/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/cast Kill Shot
/cast [target=pettarget,exists] Kill Command
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/cast !Auto Shot
/cast Steady Shot
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Slightly different talents, different rotation

I bit the bullet and took one point in Careful Aim and took Aimed Shot. WWS... it seems better. I'm Callisto -- presuming it doesn't change the name around. However, different buffs, nobody else replenishing, etc. I wasn't really trying to max dps, I was mostly trying to get a feel for the cooldowns and whether to pause for specials or slam each as its up. I'm thinking I may slam if I'm not trap-dancing. My LnL doesn't proc anywhere near as much as I'd like. So waiting a little bit to clear it out isn't the worst.

Razuvious is a good one.. I was at 31 yards the whole fight and must have had my friendly Draenei in my group for the +hit. The Four Horsemen isn't a great one to look at. I was in the back tanking with my pet (wearing PvP gear). We started quite late and had several prolonged DCs, so we didn't really go anywhere.

Boy I sure could use a new helm.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Loots and Brief Hiatus

Tues Raid: Strong-Handed Ring and Aged Winter Cloak.
Thurs Raid (today): Museums, Theatre, and Good Eats in NYC.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Trimming the Buff List

I only play with a 19" 4:3 monitor. When I'm in a 25man, the buff list gets pretty big. I have a bunch of new buffs occur during combat that I already have Power Auras or NeedToKnow set up to visualize. Specifically: Lock and Load, my Meteorite trinket procing, my Replenishment, Expose Weakness, etc, etc, etc.

I would like to exclude those buffs from showing up in any buff list. I already have them covered. What addon can help me here?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wrong Emblems

Monday, February 9, 2009

Minimum DPS

What should the minimum DPS be for a DPS slot in Naxx? Yes, clearly some people can do 3k dps but still be below people doing 2.5k on the damage meter. So.. "DPS" is a rating with some caveats. I'm thinking 2k dps on a boss in a 25man is about as low as you'd want to go.

What caveats are there? There are probably quite a few. De-cursing is huge and creates a huge dps hit for those doing it. Is Replenishment worth mentioning? It's incidental, but worth a few talents for hunters. I'm not sure if it creates a dps rotation loss for pallies or spriests. The occassional heal by a non-heal-spec'd dps... just having a lay-on-hands at your fingertips takes up a mental clock cycle. Popping out for a brez? Pet un-friendly fights are a big hit. Fights that move a lot are a hit for DKs.

So essentially there are three categories of dps caveats. 1) Doing something else that if not done causes the boss not to die (e.g.- de-cursing), 2) Specs or rotations that are somewhat raid utility but don't crimp your personal dps too much. Think replenishment. Don't think person who is still in a full PvP spec. 3) Certain bosses where one class/spec does poorly.

Blizz BM Talent Tweaking

  • Kindred Spirits (Beast Mastery): This talent now grants 20% pet damage at max rank.
  • Serpent’s Swiftness (Beast Mastery): This talent now grants 20% pet attack speed at max rank.

Hmmm. I wonder if Unleashed Fury is also going to be re-buffed. o.0

A free talent respec (or two!) would seem justified after all these shenanigans. I do desire the talent switch-a-roo sooner than later.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pretty Bird

Okay, not exactly a bird. But I was still struck by how nice these things looked. It had been a while since I was on one.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My Hunter Misdirect Macro

a.k.a. The Misdirect (MD) Macro You Should Already Have.[*]

For raids, you'll generally want to have your /focus set to a tank. This allows you to one-button-press establish a MD to that tank. If you're the only hunter, you get the MT. If you have help, doing the OT is sometimes more work than MD'ng to the MT and sometimes just not necessary. Using a focus as the primary targeting mechanism lets you easily oh-sh17!-MD mobs with much more efficiency. On a boss-fight, it lets you easily stack threat on the tank to give them as much head-room as they may need. If you're using MD and have to then click the tank or even mouse-over their raid icon, then you're spending too much time doing it.

  • Press/Click: does a MD to your focus target. If you don't have a focus target or your focus target is dead, it gives you a normal MD cast.
  • Click+Shift: does a MD to your pet if its out and alive, regardless of what pet you have out. If you don't have one alive and kicking, it gives you a normal MD cast.
  • Click+Control or Click+ALT: Even if you have a focus, it will allow you to manually control where to apply the MD. This is good if you need to balance out a second tank in a boss threat list.

The Macro:

/cast [nomodifier, target=focus, nodead, exists, help] Misdirection
/cast [modifier:shift, target=pet, nodead, exists] Misdirection
/cast Misdirection

Follow-on questions for the reader:
a) Do you understand threat and have a good threat meter like Omen3?
b) Do you know how to set a /focus and /clearfocus? They're all easy to try and research.
c) Do you think it's crazy to set your focus to your own tank? Clearly there are some good occasions to set your focus to a hostile mob, but those are fairly rare and more suited for PvP.
d) Do you want to announce or emote something? You can, but unfortunately not conditionally. You could add something for your standard tank MDs:

/stopmacro [target=focus, noexists]
/e will be misdirecting %T to %F.

or -- and this one has a bug[**] -- even something like the following for also including the raid icon:

/stopmacro [target=focus, noexists]
/script r=GetRaidTargetIndex("target")SendChatMessage("is misdirecting "..(r and r>0 and ICON_LIST[r].."12|t" or "").."%t to %f", "EMOTE")

[*] - Yes, you can have an addon to accomplish similar stuff. If you are trying to slim down on your addons, this is an easy one to have as a macro instead.

[**] - Bug is left to the reader / macro-hacker to discover.

PvP Hunter vs Shammy - Pet Macros

Here's a nice macro to have as available on standby for mouse-clicking. Since it's only good vs Shammies who are dropping totems it isn't worth putting on a main bar. Generally, you can kill any totem except the Stoneclaw Totem. This works as a priority system, up to the macro size limit of 255 characters. You can re-arrange some... and "Mana" while it covers mana tide and mana totem both, could target a pet named Mana.

/petattack [target=Grounding Totem, harm]
/petattack [target=Mana, harm]
/petattack [target=Tremor Totem, harm]
/petattack [target=Healing Stream Totem, harm]
/petattack [target=Windfury Totem, harm]
/petattack [target=Flametongue Totem, harm]

There are 255 characters above. It might be shorten-able via:

/petattack [target=Grounding Totem, harm] ; [target=Tremor Totem, harm]


Friday, February 6, 2009

Glass Half-Empty

There's plenty of room for disappointment. Talents, spell coefficients, etc. Just wait. Blizzard doesn't let us really try things on the PTR. They told us our PTR testing of 3.0.8 wasn't real. They make hotfix nerfs. I'm fairly convinced that Blizzard's only reliable testing and analysis comes from live production stats. i.e.- "The Big Lab".

In the meanwhile, I hear a lot of hunters have decided to become untalented, dropping to a 0/0/0 spec in a sign of protest following the hotfix nerf.

I can understand the feeling. The amount of change and feeling of persecution after working gathering and preparing and just getting slammed on the head instead of a feeling of some level of progress. It is very tempting -- and mature -- to put your hunters on hiatus until the dust settles.

I seem to still be able to significantly contribute to raids so I'm still probably a straw away from breaking my back.

Post Stealth Explosive Shot Nerf WWS

Too many variables. I have different gear than when I last hit on Patchwerk. I have different raid buffs. I had a different positioning strategy. So even looking at the individual Explosive Shot damage isn't possible.

WRT positioning, I decided to forgo my Heroic Presence friends and move to where I was within 30 yards of my Feral friend and other melee-based buffs, but greater than 30 yards away from Patchwerk. For me, this put me all alone almost in the slime by slime-frogger.

I didn't do too badly. I think the loss of 1% hit was more than mitigated by the large extra crit % buffs. I still need to remember I wont always have a Heroic Presence friend.

Changes in 3.1

•Consumable ammunition has been removed from the game. Arrows and bullets no longer stack, but are not consumed. Ranged attack speed bonus gained from quivers and ammo bags will be preserved in a different capacity.

•A new tier of hunter pet talents have been added. In particular, this allows Beastmaster hunters to improve their damage per second (DPS) with their 51 point talent.

•Hunting Party – this talent has been reduced to 3 ranks and also grants a passive bonus to the hunter.

•Piercing Shots – this talent has been changed. Your Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of damage dealt for 8 sec.

•Sniper Training – this talent has been changed. After standing still for 6 sec, you gain a 2/4/6% damage bonus to Steady, Aimed and Explosive Shot.

•We are also looking to add additional trap functionality to Survival.

These are broad strokes.

+ Ammo seems like marketing and the design team throwing us a bone. Sure it will save a pile of gold that other classes don't really even know about.
+ The bleed effect for MM is hopeful.
+ The change to sniper seems to indicate:
- Limited use in PvP
- Reduce trap-dancing except when you have perfect position (i.e.- can trap without moving)
- Let you receive melee aura buffs easier (i.e.- boss at 31 yards, but feral at less than 30 yards)
- It "feels right" for "Sniper Training" which is something Blizz always shoots for. Then again, they've tried to make it work with Steady Shot and Aimed Shot before.
+ BM gets to dps a little more, but not through collaboration with their hunter's talents.

That said, I'm sure they'll screw around with almost every talent, talent location, and spell coefficient. And ammo damage is in every formula.

One Button Melee Macro

For those times when things just get a little too personal:

#showtooltip Raptor Strike
/castsequence reset=3/target/combat Wing Clip, Raptor Strike
/cast [target=pet, dead]; [nopet]; [target=pettarget, exists] Kill Command
/cast Mongoose Bite
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Thursday, February 5, 2009

PvP Focus Macros

Sometimes you don't want your "/focus" to be your tank. That's when you're in PvP and you don't have a tank per se. If it's a fairly controlled pvp environment with a limited number of opponents[*], you may desire to set your focus to an enemy combatant. Once set, you might like to have the following replace your normal buttons of the same names:

#showtooltip Scatter Shot
/cast [target=focus, harm, nodead, exists] Scatter Shot;
Scatter Shot

#showtooltip Silencing Shot

/cast [target=focus, harm, nodead, exists] Silencing Shot;
Silencing Shot

#showtooltip Viper Sting

/cast [target=focus, harm, nodead, exists] Viper Sting
; Viper Sting

[*] - No, I wouldn't dream of calling this arena. ;-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The downs and downs

I was going to title this "The ups and downs", but from my standpoint, this is about nerfs and nerfs. Everyone and their mother were BM. BM gets a heavy nerf. SV gets a buff compared to its previous sorry state. The tiny SV population gets invaded by the fleeing huge BM population. People re-itemize for haste. (I did.) Some people re-gem and re-enchant. (I didn't too much.) Now -- and I mean now -- SV takes a hit:
We made a hotfix recently to lower the coefficient of Explosive Shot. Sorry we didn't get a chance to announce the change ahead of time. We don't typically do patch notes for hotfixes so we don't have a system in place to always broadcast these before they happen.

We are in the process of making some changes to get damage done more in parity (in PvP and PvE). If there are other classes far ahead of you on the damage meters, chances are good they will see some nerfs to their damage soon too.

Overall, we are trying to make changes in a more timely manner so that players won't feel like they are stuck with a bug or other issue forever. We won't be able to get every issue fixed overnight, but it's a start.
Early theorycraft is that this will be a sizable nerf to Explosive Shot. Overall maybe only a 4% dps loss. Of course anyone really working on improving their gameplay will feel like they were just Mind Controlled off a cliff. No wait.. that's often funny. Mmm.

Gear Shufflin'

Swappin' in my freshly enchanted Bands of Anxiety so I can get some more +hit. Put Icewalker on my new Crippled Treads instead of agility, just for the little bit of +hit. I still don't really know where I dropped so much +hit. I know my swap-out of my blue polearm hurt a little, but not sooo much.


Mmm. My UI still is a bit screwed up. Ya think?
How the heck do I play this way??

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Have you fallen into the achievement complete-ness phase? I felt like finishing off the Northrend heroics on Sunday. For whatever reason I hadn't run HoL in heroic. The other hold-out was Heroic: Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom. That made sense, because I had "finished" it a bunch of times but skipped the two optional bosses. It also makes sense because you "only" have 60minutes to complete the quest at the final boss.

Anyway, both are now done and I feel better. Most of it was just wanting to see all the content. But that's a little incorrect since I saw all but the toadstool boss in Old Kingdom. Now I look at my dungeon achievements and see all the Burning Crusade heroics that I ran endlessly. Most of them are listed as incomplete -- according to the achievement system. The same with old world content. The same with raids. I have 145+ days "/played" on this character. Much of that time was in 5man or raid instances.

I ran MC last week just for kicks. It was fun to completely plow. But doing all those instances again for the achievements probably wouldn't be "just for kicks". It would be for completeness of a silly game construct. It would be pretty cool to see honest achievements like Solo'ng particular instances. That would be a nice add. However, because it's so time-consuming I'm sure they'll add it immediately after a large number of people solo harder stuff. Thus requiring those solo hot-shots to re-do their work. :-)

BTW, there's an interesting thread about solo'ng instances over here.

Monday, February 2, 2009


This is interesting.

Replenishment and State of Mana Regen (Source)

We consider Replenishment mandatory. What I mean by that is we assume that you have Replenishment available to your raid. It is technically possible to go without it, but you will need to overgear the instance or otherwise compensate for it in other ways.

That doesn't mean we will or will not nerf Replenishment. But we don't want it to feel optional (assuming you are in reasonably challenging content) and nerfing it too much might have that effect.

More on Replenishment (Source)

From our POV, we assume you have Replenishment just like we assume you have a tank. You can get by without it, but it will be challenging (assuming you're on content that actually challenges you). Bloodlust is below that. It's very nice to have, but not mandatory most of the time. If you are learning brand new content or hard modes then I would definitely recommend bringing a shaman.

Keep in mind that Bloodlust's benefit is currently overweighted because the fights are so short. On a 2 min Patchwerk fight, you can have Bloodlust up 33% of the time. If that was a 5 minute fight, it goes down to 13% of the time (and the cooldown prevents you from keeping it up more).

Ret pallies aren't in terribly short supply. There is usually one around. For a 10man, it may be a stretch though. SPriests aren't too common in my guild. Priests do a lot more holy as far as I've seen. So, hunters it seems need to have SV as a talent option depending on the raid makeup.

I am learning to like SV. Replenishment has always been an important reason for me to go into SV. I had considered doing it long before the BM axe fell. Two questions plague me though:

1) I'm not exactly sure how to separate out my replenishment contribution to the raid however. Does anyone know how to single it out in a WWS report? Is it mixed with spriest and ret pally contributions?

2) What is my replenishment uptime? I'm spec'd 3/5 in Hunting Party. And I'm definitely wondering if I can shave it down to 2/5. I'd like some directly observed evidence though. Either a Replenishment UI dongle that works, a WWS report, or a Recount.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

New PvP Gear

I keep hitting the 75k honor cap. So I have to spend. This time I bought some Hateful Gladiator's Sabatons of Triumph. But I also got a non-honor helm, the Titan-forged Chain Helm of Triumph. I still need to enchant and gem it. The same with the shoes.

That actually gets my resilience up around 235. I enjoy Strand of the Ancients and Wintergrasp. Both offer fighting from a tank which is great... I mostly try to ride shotgun in a tank and hit concussion shot and taking people out over and over as they're racing to the tank. So I could go total glass-tiger I guess if I keep up with that and forgo any resilience. We'll see.

Still no PvE helm upgrades.