Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kheldul Brings You Tidings of Joy - Happy Winter Veil!

Merry Christmas! Happy Winter Solstice! Happy Festivus. And all that stuff!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pet Tanks Can Dodge Like Mad

Damage to tanks is supposed to be more even (less spikey) and generally lighter. In making it less spikey they killed avoidance with the Chill of the Throne debuff. Every character gets it in the party or raid. All the tanks are quite familiar with this debuff.

Pets do not get that debuff.


Go Flash! Go Fluffy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

With Microsoft Games, Everyone Will Know You're a Dog

For some reason, Microsoft wants to peel away one of the layers of anonymity in online gaming - supposedly to shame unhealthy gamers. I guess that's another reason not to get an Xbox. ;-) Here's the patent abstract:

An avatar generator for a virtual environment reflects a physiological characteristic of the user, injecting a degree of reality into the capabilities or appearance. Thereby, many of the incentives of the real world are replicated in a virtual environment. Physiological data that reflect a degree of health of the real person can be linked to rewards of capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication. Thereby, people are encouraged to exercise. Physiological data that reflect the health and perhaps also mood also improve social interaction in virtual environments. People seeking to meet and become acquainted with particular types of people are not thwarted by the artificiality of avatars. The physiological data can be gleaned from a third party health data collection repository, a healthcare smart card, a real-time physiological sensor (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, peak flow, pedometer, etc.)
On the opposite side, since I'm not short or overweight, I guess I couldn't play a dwarf.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Taking a Battering and Various News

So I saw the hilt on AH this morning. It was listed for 80,000 gold. It's the first one I saw listed. I don't have 80,000 gold. If I did, I wouldn't spend it on something that will be replaced so soon.

I did however go into Heroic PoS (great planning on abbreviations there Blizz...) and solo'd the first two guys a couple dozen times. I lost my pet twice. I was just using my wolf while in pet-tank spec. (Thanks for the Call Stabled Pet cooldown bug.) I looted a green or two. No hilts. No epix.

I want to experience the quest line. It looks quite cool. I'm not overly eager to buy the hilt even for a sub 10k price just for experiencing some content.

In other news, AH also now has the first wave of epic ammo on sale on my server. It's going for 50g / 1000. Although, I noticed one unsavory character listing some of his for 35g / 100. (Notice the missing zero.) This is still too rich. That comes to 5silver per shot. I don't know my average shots fired per night rate. Spot-checking a 7min 42sec fight, it appears that I fired 659 shots. So those ammo prices will be (have to be!) dropping like a stone in a couple weeks even without in-guild crafters.

In the "fix Kheldul's equipment through upgrades" news, my craptacular ring was replaced with the PoS ring which was then replaced with the first Ashen rep ring. This means, w00t! It also means I do the +hit gem dance again. I'll also look at other pieces I can swap in that don't have hit. Or maybe I'll just trim a little and stay at 8% this time. (I had tweaked things to be at a hair over 7% before. (Thank you space goats!))

Oh and my little side project Shammy healer is now up to a gearscore of 4400, has 2-3 cuts for each epic gem color, and has made 14,500 gold in the past three weeks by "creating value".

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kheldul's Weak Gear

Kheldul has some seriously weak gear. At least as viewed at the item level. He does have stacks and stacks of conquest and triumph badges. (So many that he filled out some of his PvP gear with them and still has plenty.) Unfortunately, there don't appear to be any upgrades.

One of his rings is level 213. He has tried to get the ToC-25 ring and the easy Ulduar-25 ring. Unfortunately his dice and/or DKP have always been found lacking. When it comes to rolling, he rolls a lot of 1's.

Both trinkets are level 200 (greatness and the mirror). Greatness is of course great. But the mirror does suck. He has a bunch of other trinkets with higher iLevels but they suck more. No ToC-25 love. None of the many drops from even Ulduar-25 either. Or even Sarth. And who is running Ulduar anymore? :(

The Herkuml War Token is certainly tasty. But honestly, would I go for it before I take new armor? 60 Emblems of Frost is a bit rich. I guess I should go ahead and grab the Triumph trinket. In order to make it work, I'll need to flip my +hit gems and macro it appropriately. I've gone through three big waves of +hit re-gem waves. When I'd really like to get some ToC-25 love. And of course, if/when I did I'd have to completely re-gem back.

In a related vein, Rilgon has some suggestions on class priority/usefulness of the Deathbringer's Will trinket.

And then there is the easiest upgrade ever. That will be pretty hot. I can't wait.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little-Known Pally Pet Tank Healing Tip for Raids

In a fight with little raid damage, a solid pally healer can solo-heal a 10man raid if one of the two tanks is a hunter pet.

Refresher on Details

  1. Multiple Pally Beacons can be placed on the same person. Hurray! for 25mans.
  2. Beacons now transmit the Healing Done which includes overheal.
  3. Hunter pet tanks get +54% healing. They get this thanks to the hunter talent, Spirit Bond, and the pet talent, Blood of the Rhino.
  4. Pallys can and do get a nice Glyph to help healing multiple targets (usually melee near a tank).
Basic 10/25man Raid Situation
1 Druid MT, 1 Pet OT, plus dps, plus healers

The Tip
Beacon the MT. Heal the tenacity pet near five others (e.g.- melee). Get insane heals on your MT. Profit.

The Math Walkthrough
Say that the base incoming heal to the tenacity pet is 18,000. Thanks to +54% healing, that becomes 27,720 total healing. That 27,720 is applied to the tank thanks to the Beacon.

I have not verified this, but -- IF -- the pally has a Glyph and IF five others receive 10% of that 27,720 (2,772 * 5 => 13,860) then the tank may receive a 41,580 point heal (27,720 + 13,860).

Sound nice?

How to Heal a Pet Tank

What You Need to Know
  1. A pet tank should not be taking critical hits.
  2. Pets have decent armor mitigation but low dodge.
  3. Pets have 90% reduction in AoE magical damage.
  4. Pets should be able to take two big hits but three should kill them. This should be one less than a normal tank.
  5. Pets have less OMG panic buttons. They have one Last Stand. And turtles have an occasional Shell Shield.
  6. Hunter pet tanks get +54% to incoming healing. They get this thanks to the hunter talent, Spirit Bond, and the pet talent, Blood of the Rhino.
What Does This Mean for a Healer?
  1. Pets tanks will take steady damage so they need steady and frequent healing.
  2. Pets can shrug off all but the worst stuff on the ground. A tank-killer 50k magical hit will only be 5k.
  3. Pets don't have many panic buttons. A normal tank can be liberal about using them because they have a couple more. A hunter may be more tentative about using it because they only have one.
  4. Pets will not become immune for a while in an OMG event and wait for you to cast a big heal.
  5. Pets add 54% to your healing. Fifty-four percent. Because they can't take more than a couple big hits, use smaller heals with short or instant cast times. HoTs are good too.
  6. Pet tanks need a dedicated healer so they get that steady healing. However they may not need more than one if they get short spam heals.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hunter Macros for ICC's Lord Marrowgar and Lady Deathwhisper

Lord Marrowgar

/target Bone Spike

As soon as he bone spikes people (1 person in 10man, 3 people in 25man) hit this targeting macro and free your fellow raiders. Make sure that your raid isn't too spread out -- otherwise you'll end up running all over the place to free people.

Make use of Deterrence when Sir-Whirls-a-Lot gets into your neighborhood in his phase two. Just don't blow it before you need it!

Lady Deathwhisper

For the adds, these are the targets we want to nuke. This macro will target them all appropriately and in appropriate prioritization. You specifically don't want to try and do physical damage to the Reanimated Fanatic which this macro specifically does not end up targeting.

/targetexact Cult Fanatic
/targetexact Cult Adherent
/targetexact Reanimated Adherent

Also, don't forget to occasionally toss a Vipersting on Lady Deathwhisper.

Improv Pet Tanking in 3.3

Hunter pet tanking doesn't need to be a huge undertaking anymore. If you have a tank gear set, a BM tank spec and a turtle pet spec'd to tank, that is great. It is pretty awesome.

But now you -- yes, you -- can with very little preparation go ahead and tank some minor bosses or adds.

Improv Tanking
Put your pet on growl. Turn off cower. Toss on your PvP set. Get your resilience to 460. If your resilience is high enough then you don't need a tenacity pet to make him or her un-crittable. The advantage of using a DPS pet is that they will have a little easier time with threat generation. Note: the tenacity pet talent Guard Dog really just helps for the tenacity pet's lack of dps-threat.

Mob LevelChance to be Crit Hunter Resilience
Needed to Avoid
Crits on a DPS Pet
Hunter Resilience
Needed to Avoid
Crits on a Tank* Pet
801% 410
81 1.2% 42799
821.4% 443115
83(Boss)1.6% 460132

Tank* refers to a tenacity pet with 2/2 pet talents in GotM.

After you've improv pet-tanked a few things, you'll probably want to grab a better pet, spec the pet as a tank for the big pet talent advantages, and maybe even put together a tank gear set. You can also want to go off the deep end and try a BM hunter talent spec and glyphs for a lot more pet survivability including the extra four pet talent points.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Pet Resilience Levels for Pet Tanking in 3.3

Pets can avoid crits from mobs and bosses either by: a) the hunter stacking a fair amount of resilience or, b) by the hunter wearing some resilience gear and the pet taking the Grace of the Mantis tenacity talent. For any real pet tanking, you need to use a tenacity pet. In the tenacity trees, GotM is a prerequisite to Wild Hunt which is not an optional pet talent. So tenacity pets get 4% crit avoidance off the bat. Now comes resilience from gear.

With patch 3.3, pets inherit 100% resilience from their masters. Previously this was only 40%. So hunter pet tanks do not need to wear as much resilience gear as before to avoid being critted. Here's how much:

Mob LevelChance to be Crit Hunter Resilience
Needed to Avoid
Crits on Pet
80 1% 82
81 1.2% 99
82 1.4% 115
83(Boss)1.6% 132

Because PvP gear is readily drawn from to put together a pet-tanking set, you will most likely over-shoot your resilience needs by a wide margin. Previous levels were easy to arrive at. Now they are just a couple pieces.

I probably wont do too many changes with regard to gear. However, these low numbers made me look into other talent options. More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Recommended Hunter Talent Specs for 3.3

Recommended Hunter Talent Specs for 3.3

Looking for a hunter build in 3.3? Patch 3.3 is a great time to re-think your talents, change your spec, and improve your dps.

Marksman 7/57/7 (MM DPS)
Marksman hunters should trade Focused Aim and Improved Barrage depending on your hit cap. If you have someone else that you can guarantee will bring a Trueshot aura buff, then you can skip that and put more into focused aim or improved barrage. If you can guarantee that you'll have a Draenei in your party then you should only shoot for +7% hit.

Survival SV 0/15/55 (SV DPS)
Survival hunters can trade a point in Resourcefulness for Improved Hawk. They can also move Aimed Shot to Improved Hawk if there are other sources of mortal strike and they don't have movement issues. I am not recommending 2/18/51 even with the T9 set bonus. It only provides a minimal DPS upgrade and gives up Replenishment.

54/12/5 (BM DPS)
Beastmaster hunters who want another instant can go with a 53/18/0 for Aimed Shot.

Beastmaster 59/12/0 (BM Pet-Tank)
Beastmaster hunters who are pet-tanking can go with the crit-train route shown above. There are two other pet tank options talent options. One is the all-around buff system, 59/12/0. You can off-tank just about anything indefinitely. You can provide FI and advanced hunter's mark. Trade in focused aim if you're hit-capped. The other option is the high stamina route of 56/0/15. This gives up a lot of threat and raid buff talents in favor of +10% stamina.

Recommended Pet Talent Specs for 3.3

Wolf (16pt, dps) - recommended for MM and SV dps
Turtle (20pt, tank) - recommended for pet tanking
Devilsaur (20 pt, dps) - recommended for BM

Other Popular Pet Talent Specs for 3.3

Cat (16pt, dps)
Gorilla (20pt, threat tank)
Spirit Beast (20pt, dps)

Hunter Glyphs

Major Glyphs I recommend:

SV DPS: Kill Shot, Serpent Sting, Explosive Shot
MM DPS: Kill Shot, Serpent Sting, Chimera Shot
BM DPS: Steady Shot, Bestial Wrath, Hawk
BM Tank: Serpent Sting, Bestial Wrath, Beast


Monday, December 7, 2009

Leather Issue

Eurip has a good post over at OutDPS about if/when it's good to roll on leather. This is an interesting topic in general and specifically. First let me go over the specifics. Everyone's BiS is somewhat different given what gear they currently have. So let me use my current gear as the starting point for this very specific view. I had been planning my upgrades last week. I went to http://www.femaledwarf.com/ did my thing, and clicked on the link to my Custom Hunterloot.com Gear Ranking. These are the leather pieces that came out best for me:

Leather Wrists
Bracers of Dark Determination (BiS Heroic for me)
Bracers of Dark Determination (BiS Non-Heroic for me)

I'm actually planning on having Crusader's Dragonscale Bracers crafted instead. Is this a dumb waste of gold? Probably not in this case. I could get the leather non-heroic ones, but I don't roll on leather against DPS ferals or rogues. And the crafted ones are a little better -- and can be a lot better if I pick up a little more incidental hit elsewhere so both my gems can be +20 agility.

Leather Hands, Waist, and Feet
Gloves of the Silver Assassin
Belt of the Merciless Killer
Treads of the Icewalker

Generally Heroic ToC items will be better than non-Heroic ToC items. For me, none of these leather pieces are BiS compared with their mail equivalents. Sure I would take a +83 dps upgrade for the gloves. I don't care too much about having a 4 piece Windrunner set. However, the mail Heroic equivalents are better.

ICC and the Future of Mail
The question of leather vs mail for hunters will become the new factor in the "Is this an up for me?" theme. When hunters lose their mana ingredient, intelligence will no longer be a desired stat. What will distinguish rogue gear from hunter gear besides the mail vs leather tag? Will shamen be the new hunter-loot! meme?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pre-Potting and the Long Jump

A problem often arises in track and field's long jump. It's the foot fault. An athlete wants to maximize the distance they jump from the white board out into to the sand pit. Usually they have well-measured strides and know exactly where to start off from. But performance jitters, adrenaline, and changes in speed can throw that off. What results is a bad jump.

In World of Warcraft, Pre-Potting, the consuming of a potion just before combat begins, is a useful skill to get a tiny boost before battle and to not trigger potion sickness. It has plenty of challenges. First, many encounters have a boss dialog with you in combat that is longer than 15 seconds. On the bosses where there is not this dialog you can effectively pre-pot. The challenge is to not foot fault on the non-combat/combat line and end up with that being your one and only potion against that boss.

The classic advice for the super-star long jumper who is foot-faulting is this: Jump a full foot early - that way if you are off a little you're fine. This is especially true in decathlons. So my wow pre-potting advice is this: Pre-pot a good two seconds early ("one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two") - that way lag in vent will not cause you to have potion sickness.