Tuesday, June 30, 2009

PTR Raiding Changes

Raid Lockouts
Are you struggling on the last bosses on Monday night and you wish you had an extra week to work on them? /raidinfo shows you how you can keep the raidId around. If you're farming loot you probably wouldn't want to do this of course.

Tier Token Drops

Tier-9 tokens will drop in a similar way as now. A small handful of classes are able to use each one. However, the new thing is that a token can be used to buy any of the tier pieces -- not just a specific tier piece. Win the token, go decide which piece you want to get. I'm a bit torn on this. I don't know how T-9 bosses are arrayed. It will make farming bosses less tiresome. However it will make obtaining the helm a far less meaningful, right? Now it does reduce complexity. There are five pieces available in tier-9.

Tier-9 Set Bonuses


  • 2 piece - The damage done by your Serpent Sting ability can now be critical strikes.
  • 4 piece - Each time you hit with a ranged attack, you have a chance to grant your pet 600 attack power for 15 sec.
Umm. Wow. This is a very nice change from the crap they had as Tier-9 "set bonuses" before. All classes will generally have a SrS up. SV will generally crit a little more than the other classes. However, I really read the two set bonus as another buff to Marksman. SrS is their bread and butter. And of course the four set bonus is all about BM.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Super Cheap Ammo

The Ultrasafe Bullet Machine and Saronite Arrow Maker schematics have been simplified to create a full stack of the appropriate ammunition. No longer requires an anvil. Reduced the materials required to make this ammunition.

My read on this is that less materials are required and it produces 5x the amount of ammo. So say instead of 25g in mats for a machine, it's only 20g in mats. Then it produces 5x the amount, so it's really 5g? It sounds like these will be cheaper to use than filling up stacks of rep vendor Timeless Shells. That would really help reduce one of the consumable costs of raiding. Ahh, but I'm probably misinterpreting it. I bet instead of ten by 200, it just makes two by 1000. ...As if that's helpful.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

PTR Video: Koralon the Flame Watcher

Koralon the Flame Watcher on the PTR. 10man. It does look to throw out some serious damage. It also appears that we'll want to have a few melee step up for the cleave to help out the tank spread out the damage. I imagine the 25man is a bit harder, with more fire, more damage to the raid, less room to move around, and the cleave has to become an interesting mechanic.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hunter Pet Tanks Get Un-crit-able in 3.2

Thanks to some great 3.2 PTR testing of Durante, he was able to generate the numbers you need to achieve in Resilience plus some number of points in the Grace of the Mantis pet talent. Here is a direct link to his findings over at Big Red Rhino. I'm copying a portion of the info here. I've had some difficulty bringing BRR boards up lately and don't want to have this lost.

Presumes the pet has the full 2/2 Grace of the Mantis Tenacity talent.

Mob LevelChance to be Crit Hunter Resilience
Needed to Avoid
Crits on Pet
80 1% 205
81 1.2% 246
82 1.4% 287
83 1.6% 328

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ways to Drop Hit

So Tuesday, our guild got together for a 25man. It had been a long while. We had taken Kologarn down around two months ago in 25man, but then we had a couple people abandon the guild and a few others summer-afk. And Kologarn had been a six or seven wipe event.

Well this time, we came in and got FL with one tower up. It took three tries as we had some new people and people just weren't used to the extra damage he does in the first hardmode. Then we went and one-shotted XT-002, Razor, Ignus, and Kologarn. It wasn't completely surprising. Most all of us have done these things in 10mans. But it was nice to actually see it happen.

So, I'm over the hit rating by 78 points thanks to Twisted Visage. The thing is a monster. All my other stats went up. A lot. +hit is pretty typical of the Ulduar upgrades. So I need to smartly trade some. I have a crazy amount of gear to choose from. However, I'm lacking in the ring area. I'm also not so amazing in the trinket area. I have a bunch of the Wintergrasp trinkets. I may actually try them out. The problem is that my big +95 hit trinket is the Pyrite Infuser, which has a wonderful proc. Checking Shandra's spreadsheet (previously known as Cheeky's Spreadsheet) I see I'm really really lacking good rings and trinkets:

I've long sought out the Furies trinket. I've never won the drop. That would be an ideal replacement and would be all money -- bumping down my +hit. Sadly, I never got the other two Naxx-25 drops either. There is always a HUGE amount of competition rings and trinkets that are good for hunters. It's no wonder with so many classes needing the same things. I could QQ more here but I don't think planning to get an Ulduar ring or trinket upgrade is likely. So that's not a way out of my mess.

My current ranged weapon has +24 hit rating. When I put the spreadsheet into not caring about hit I get the following:

Now as far as upgrades go the real meat is in the top 5. This is because only the iLevel 226 ranged weapons and above got adjusted to help hunter dps scale better with better gear. However, I do happen to have the Naxx-10 gun. It doesn't have any +hit and is only slightly inferior in raw dps. So with the stat balancing it comes out 20.75 dps more. And it sheds me of 24 embarrassing +hit.

So that leaves me 54 hit rating over the cap. Well it turns out that I have options in the belt area. While under the hit cap my Torn Web Wrap was a touch superior to the Ulduar-10 drop, the Belt of the Blood Pit. The former has 29 +hit and the latter has none. Not as nice as the leather-working Belt of Dragons of course, but I already have it and the mats are a bit beyond our guild right now.

So that gets me down to 25 over the hit cap. /sigh. I'm still looking at needing a ring upgrade or a trinket upgrade. If I get a ring upgrade I can trade in some more +hit. If I get a trinket upgrade I can trade in my pyrite infuser. Unfortunately I just spent over 1,000 gold on enchanting the Twisted Visage, so just going out and buying greatness isn't in the cards. And honestly looking at the other trinkets I either use in PvP (disks and titan rune) or farming (oracles), they don't really seem to pan out. Although, the titan run could be useful to break out of PvE fears and stuns.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What Has Kheldul Been Up Two?

[A followup to What Has Kheldul Been Up To?.]

Kheldul is now an official Crusader. I had thought that crusaders didn't necessarily have any particular expertise -- that the title referred to their journey and not how far along they were in that quest. But hey.

My PvP set has improved. I'm now over 800 resilience. I've actually already peeled some of that resilience down for more crit and agility. I've been replacing purple PvP pieces with better purple PvP pieces. I've also been max-honor-capped at 75k honor for a while now. Unless I start arena battling then I'm gonna stay there. :-/

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Survival Hunters and the PTR 3.2 Patch

Bountiful Traps! This is great, right?

Traps now have separate 30-second cooldown categories: Fire (Immolation Trap, Explosive Trap and Black Arrow), Frost (Freezing Trap, Frost Trap) and Nature (Snake Trap). A hunter can have one trap of each category placed at one time.

Unlinking the flavors of traps will be nice for Survival for one reason: The stupidly shared cooldown of black arrow and all traps. I say "stupidly" because it just made no in-game sense. So now it will only be tied with fire. So yay. SV can dps and drop a frost trap on AoE mobs or freezing arrow a stray mob for CC.

LnL will be proc'able more, right? No, probably not. It remains to be seen, but they seem to want to control that pretty heavily with a hidden cooldown. I'd really like to have a mod track that cooldown. The hidden cooldown they are at least telling us about in advance so we don't think it's a dps increase:

Lock and Load: Now has a 22-second cooldown. The Lock and Load effect cannot be obtained on targets immune to snare effects when Frost Trap is used.

Well, more CC, right? Umm not exactly. One of the arts of the hunter class was chain-trapping.

The time that traps will exist in the world after being put down has been reduced to 30 seconds, down from 1 minute.

Well, more fun in BGs, right? Umm not exactly. You run out of the bushes in your favorite BG and drop your favorite trap(s) and run back into the bushes. Every 29 seconds (minus one sec for each trap beyond the first). So... no you don't put down traps and go off and hide. You drop traps at your feet and don't move. Yep, read it again.

The time that traps will exist in the world after being put down has been reduced to 30 seconds, down from 1 minute.

So as fun as dropping different traps will be, you will really just be dropping them at your feet. Not exactly trapping, right?

And you wont be doing it while in combat. Trap dps and utility pales in comparison to actual shots, disengage, trinketing, etc.

Friday, June 19, 2009

What Has Kheldul Been Up To?

I've shot up the walls of Ulduar and picked up a new rifle. I've disarmed the folks in the antechamber.

I did some jousting. I didn't realize there was another level still -- with a title! I thought I had to wait until 3.2 for the story to continue up there. Interestingly, I'm 3k rep away from that. So, I guess I'll pick it up again.

Along the way I made some lasting friendships with factions, including the big guys.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hunter Pet Tanks and the PTR 3.2 Patch

All pets now receive 40% of their master's resilience and 100% of their master's spell penetration. In addition, if a player is at their appropriate spell hit chance or hit chance maximum, their pet will be at the maximum for spell hit chance, hit chance, and expertise. If they are below the maximum, their pet will be proportionately below those maximums.

Resilience will help go a long way toward reducing or eliminating crits on pets. And PvP gear is usually a decent way for mail wearers to stack up on stamina.

The change on expertise is interesting. It is a touch difficult to parse because it's a run-on sentence. But what I see is that if I'm hit-capped, then my pet will be hit capped (and spell-hit-capped) and expertise-capped. This seems to mean BM hunters wont have to take Animal Handler. So from a Hunter Pet Tank stand-point, these are two talents we might want to use elsewhere. Of course PvP gear isn't the most +hit intensive gear around, but Focused Aim would be a better choice now. Again, I'm talking about Pet Tanks here.

Catlike Reflexes now also reduces the cooldown of your Kill Command ability by 10/20/30 seconds.

This is a buff to BM dps. It's especially a buff to hunter pet tankers since we already take Catlike Reflexes for the 9% dodge. Now we'll get Kill Command every 30 seconds instead of every minute. That's very nice for threat generation. DPSers will probably take the two points from Spirit Bond and put it in this now.

Beacon of Light: The healing amount on the Beacon of Light target is now based on the total healing done (including over-healing) instead of the effective healing done. Radius increased to 60 yards. Multiple Paladins can now have this active on the same target. Buff indicating a player is within range of the Beacon target is no longer displayed.

The above Holy Pally ability is usually used to heal and supplemental heal a tank. The first look at it is "Wow! They will be able to Beacon the same person." Second look is, "Wow! Overhealing will count." My look is "Wow! It's based on Healing Done." My only question is, "Can this be used on a pet?" If it can, then this may be interesting. Hunter pet tanks had been taking Spirit Bond and the pet talent, Blood of the Rhino for the healing increases. Well those are a +10% and +40% to "all healing effects". So the hunter pet OTs. The MT gets heals off the hunter pet equalling 150% of those heals?

Mmm. I suspect this wont work for some reason. However, if it does I don't see them nerfing it. In order to use it beneficially, you really do need a BM tank pet. In order to not waste a perfectly good beacon, the pet should be taking damage. Otherwise you'd be better off using a heal on someone else. I don't see people throwing heals on dps Tenacity pets just to get big beacon numbers. 1) You'd have to use a core hound. 2) Assuming the pet is at full health, the pally would only achieve 150% healing, whereas if they use it on someone who could take the full heal, they'd get 200% of the healing effect.

The Unwanted PvP

I am on a PvE server. Somehow I ended up PvP flagged and couldn't seem to turn it off. It stayed on when I got on a taxi. It didn't /pvp toggle off in five minutes. Having zero addons didn't have any effect. Right click on my character portrait showed it disabled. It would stop when I zoned into an instance, but sometimes it would manage to flip on inside and cause the old pvp disease. When zoning out of an instance I'd immediately be flagged PvP. It happened everywhere and anywhere.

This went on for almost a week.

I somehow figured it out by myself. It was thanks to this quest.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drool Over Patch 3.2?

From the worldofwarcraft.com site itself:
  • New Heirlooms
  • New Argent Crusade Banner
  • New Argent Crusade Tabard: Ports you directly to the Tournament grounds.
  • An Upgraded Squire: As any good squire should, this upgraded squire now has a mount and can be called forth every eight hours for three minutes of duty. The upgrade cost is 150 Champion Seals and your squire will also offer one of three services: bank, mail, or vendor access.
  • New Mount: A new Argent Crusade paladin-only charger will be available.
The new heirlooms they have will be chest pieces which will have a +10% experience point gain. The gain is supposedly going to be stack-able with the shoulder +10% experience point bonus. I bought my lvl 72 Shaman both the +spellpower mail shoulders as well as the +attack power mail shoulders. The Shaman is dual spec'd resto/enhance. Now I'm feeling a little dumb.

However, that's not what I'm drooling over. I'm loving the idea of a squire who is useful and performs services for you. Bank! Mail! Vendor! That's pretty awesome. Sadly, it's only for you. But hey, that makes sense too.

Survival DPS on Hodir

I wasn't being a pig about dps. I didn't have a feral buff or good totems. We were just trying to take him down cleanly. I was using toasty fires, and the electrical crit buff, and a few rare occasions the boomkin pillar. Again, I wasn't being gross about it. I'd grab the electrical buff if it was within 10' of me. I'd run to the toasty fire to help contribute some boss debuff stacks for the ranged casters (with my ES "spell"). I'd move maybe 5' to get in a haste pillar.

Explosive Shot is pretty nice. As you can see ES crit 64% of the time which accounted for 87% of all the ES damage.

Images and combatlog analysis courtesy of World of Logs.

Two notes:

1) For the record because of the way the buffs work on Hodir, boomkins can completely rock and shatter the dps charts. With all three buffs and a full fire debuff stack on the boss, they can hit 12k dps.
2) Like Thaddius, pets don't enjoy many buffs and so pet dps classes will lag behind other classes by comparison.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Revising the Blogroll

Additions to the Hunting Party:
Slow Wolf - Klinderas' blog.
The Brew Hall - How can you not like a dwarven hunter?
OutDPS - Thinks similarly to me.

Deletions from the Hunting Party:
The Mystic Hunter
The Boozsha Chronicles
Lienna's log - Seemingly abandoned. She was my source for SV material before I switched to SV.
BigRedKitty - R.I.P. - Loved the style and voice that blog had.
Mend Pet - Just not about hunters any more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Freya Crazy

Crazy insane. This time they had two hunters in the group.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Big Red Button

Never hit the big red button marked, "Do not press!" ;-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Isle of Conquest

Blue Poster
# 0 - 12/06 The Isle of Conquest Preview - June 12, 2009, 10:18 am
An island somewhere off the shores of Northrend. A rock, hardly worth a second look. But as insignificant as it may seem, this is no ordinary place. A sound of thunder as waves crash endlessly against rocky cliffs; a sound of fury as swords clash on the blood-stained fields of this island on the edge of forever.

Welcome to the Isle of Conquest.

The ongoing struggle between Horde and Alliance has turned many once peaceful (and some not-so peaceful) places into theaters of constant war. The Isle of Conquest is the latest such place, set to be the location of a battle of epic proportions over the island's precious resources.

An Alliance and a Horde general are fighting for dominance, overseeing the action from the safety of their keeps. Whichever side manages to eliminate the enemy general first will triumph on the island; failure to protect your leader will bring shame, dishonor, and defeat. There is no peace accord here, and it’s an all-out war between the factions.

Once More into the breach...

Isle of Conquest, a new battleground scheduled to make its debut in the upcoming content patch, Call of the Crusade, will pitch teams of up to 40 players against each other in a massive battle over this small island off Northrend's northern coast. To win, your team will need to make use of the island's unique strategic locations including an oil derrick, a siege workshop, and a fully equipped airship hangar. You will deploy devastating siege weaponry on the field; Light have mercy on anyone caught between you and your ultimate target, the general holed up in the enemy keep.

There are five points of interest on the Isle of Conquest for the factions to battle over. Each one offers its own benefits and strategic value. Which one will you claim for your side, and will it be enough to ensure victory?

Capture Locations

Consider your options before storming out of your keep to confront the enemy head-on. Spread throughout the Isle of Conquest are several capturable locations (as seen on the map), each granting a unique strategic advantage to your team.

The Oil Derrick: Located on the northwestern end of the island, this smudge in the Frozen Sea produces enough black gold to run a thousand siege engines. Taking this resource garners precious reinforcements and a continuous flow of honor to the side that controls it.

The Cobalt Mine: This snow-covered assembly, located on the southeastern end of the island, hides untapped supplies that must be harvested. Taking this resource grants reinforcements and a continuous flow of honor to the side that controls it.

The Docks: The western shore's docks will further expand your selection of siege weapons with the devastating new Glaive Thrower and the Catapult. Unleash the destruction of the Glaive Thrower upon the walls of the keep, or launch your invading party over the walls to assault the keep from within.

The Airship Hangar: This sturdy steel structure stands on the peak of Mt. Conquest overlooking the eastern side of the island, allowing players to board the airship docked there. This devastating weapon of war is capable of raining death upon the heads of your enemies and destroying enemy defenses. Once onboard the airship, players will find it comes equipped with parachutes enabling a strike team to drop into the enemy keep from above.

The Siege Workshop: Situated right between the Alliance base and the Horde base, this siege workshop occupies a strategic hot spot. Seizing it grants the controlling party the ability to utilize an arsenal of siege vehicles perfectly suited to reducing the enemy keep’s walls to dust and ashes.

Graveyards: There are five graveyards in the Isle of Conquest that are attached to different points of interest on the map: the Horde base, the Alliance base, an oil spill island in the center of the map (attached to the siege workshop), the northeast corner (attached to the airship hangar), and the southwest corner (attached to the docks).

Main Objectives

The Keeps: The Horde and Alliance keeps sit at opposite ends of the island. These citadels host four easily accessible defensive cannons set on the ramparts, capable of unleashing hot fury onto oncoming attackers. Additional explosives sit safely stowed in the base of the keep along the back wall. At least, they’re safe as long as they don’t fall into enemy hands. If they do, though, they can be employed to bring the stone walls down from within.

The General: Holed up behind the keeps' massive walls, the generals command their forces from a position of relative safety. Should the keep fall and the general be slain, the Isle of Conquest will fall to the victor.

Reinforcements: Isle of Conquest uses a reinforcements system similar to that of Alterac Valley. The clock is ticking and every individual counts. If too many of your comrades fall to the enemy the battle will end in defeat. Killing enemy players will reduce their reinforcements by one for each kill, Once your faction’s reinforcements reach their limit, so too does your bid for control of the island and the wealth of resources you’ve fought so hard over.

An island somewhere off the shores of Northrend. A rock, hardly worth a second look. A test of strength. A chance to prove your might, to crush your enemies, to make a difference, a chance for endless glory and conquest.

Will you seize it?

Community Team - English

The Epic Mug of Vaneras - The Alebringer: http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z57/Vaneras_bucket/EpicMug.jpg

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Imagery

I worked on a new little widget for the top of the blog. I get it to work nicely on my own site. But within the context of this blog it's a little rough.

Anyway, it uses a neat bit javascript I found to do layered perspectives. It's a little subtle on the mouse-over, but it's there. I will probably work on the weight of the images used too, but the resolution may be too much to give up. And alpha layers in multiple PNGs don't come small. :-(

Hope you enjoy it. I was up until after midnight making it.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Dailies can be a bit of a grind. If you can get a group of one or two they can be very easy. Unfortunately when I was doing mine I had no such group. /general was dry. So I flipped to pet tank and solo'd Threat From Above. I didn't get it the first time, and I was a little surprised. After I rez'd my pet I figured out why. My pet didn't have any talents set. :-( I wouldn't say it was easy once he had talents set, but it was simple to keep him alive. I also flew down and did some massive AoE tank/dps and killed a few groups of scourge. I nailed more groups than I needed because it was so eye-openingly good. Just a little more Exodar rep needed...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Little Non-Lag Will Do Ya

So I usually just DO NOT do the "harder" jousting. The latency seems to really kill me. Tonight I was around only 200ms so I decided to give it a go. It was crazy-easy. Crrraaazy. One, two, three, four. I almost didn't need to even heal up after each victory. Because it was so crazy an experience for me, I took a screenshot to remember it by. Yep. I had over 20k health still on the last guy. I did better on the first one. But I was so godsmacked by it, I just stared at my screen blinking away the disbelief.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gear Sets

I'm a gear hound. I have all sorts of situational gear sets. I've always been like this. I used to use ItemRack. Now it's Outfitter.

I have on my person at all times gear for; my main DPS set, my experimental DPS set (usually not hit-capped), my PvP set (currently around 800 resilience), my mana restore trinket for farming, my pet tanking set, my pet instance solo tanking set, my tuxedo set (for weddings and other formal events), my party set (dual beer mugs, nice glasses, etc) and my frost resist set. Of course my frost resist set should have a major and minor setting.

That sounds like a lot, right? Well there used to be more overlaps in sets. Now there is less. But back in the lvl 60s and 70s, I had graduated Fire, Nature, and Shadow resist sets (high and medium resist levels). I had a melee set. (Remember hug-the-Annihilators in MC?) I had mana regen sets. I had a set for raid dps. I had a set for normal instances. And then I also had party sets.

Yes, it was insane. But I could range tank stuff that only did Nature damage. Or Fire damage. It was pretty cool. People knew. People rolled their eyes. But it was actually somewhat practical. Thanks to the long-spaced in-combat pulse, I could pull all the aggro I could on the nature-damaging shaman helping High King Maulgar and range tank him. Then when he was dead, I could FD and quickly hit my ItemRack dps set, spring up and dps HKM. Most of the time that would work pretty well.

I could also tank Fire Lords back in the MC days. That was a hoot. I went back to MC early in the lvl 80 phase. I still had my Fire Resist set. I put it on and melee'd Baron Geddon and never left for his pulses. I just resisted everything.

So I tried out my current experimental raid DPS set in Ulduar last night. It was a continuation so we had some harder bosses. My experimental set has two T7.5 and one T8 and one T8.5. It also flips out a chest for a slightly better chest with less hit since the T8 has some hit. So I get the pet bonus and the serpent sting bonus. I get a little less crit. I am around +7.5% hit. I have a fair amount more AP. No, I know I'm not Marksman spec. So I wasn't expecting much from the experiment. I was monitoring it closely with Recount. Here are the results:

Non-experiemental, hit-capped, easy bosses, some movement:

Experimental, slightly less than hit-capped, harder bosses, almost constant movement:

I was not expecting them to be close. I thought the tier-8 would LOSE. Given the movement challenges, and looking at the numbers, the SrS wasn't too bad. I am tempted to see what my numbers would look like as Marksman.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Random Mention: Trivial Pet Tanking

When I'm doing the Threat From Above group quest, it's pretty rare that there will be an actual tank. So I'll click my Outfitter button that equips two pieces of Tier-5 gear for the free mending and announce to the one or two other people in group, "okay looks like I'll improv pet-tank him". Hunter mark him. Flip a MD. Throw him in. Start a mend HoT. Wail with the MD.

I do this while still as Survival spec and still with my wolf. I know this isn't rocket science. It's a random mention. ;-)

Oh, and I upgraded my Tier-5 shoulders and gloves so they have nice stamina gems and dps enchants. I did that for normal hunter tank spec stuff. You certainly don't need to tank for the Threat quest. There is room for kiting. But tanking is cleaner, easier, and quicker.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Patch 3.1.3

Patch 3.1.3 is out today. Some goodness for hunters.