Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Example Beastmaster Hunter Pet Tanking Gear for Patch 3.2

In my Hunter Pet Tanking Gear post, I outlined six gear prioritized objectives for a hunter pet-tanking set. There of course may be circumstances where you just want to go all-out stamina. I'd argue you still need to meet the hit-cap, resilience cap, and not slide too far out of mail for its armor value. So let me show you how I accomplished it for my set.

Meeting Objective 1: Your gear needs to be fully hit-capped. I used a variety of PvE and PvP gear that had +hit on it. This wasn't particularly difficult to do. I first found all my decent +hit gear and looked at in terms of the other important elements; does it have gem slots? how high is the stamina? does it have good AP? will it help my resilience? I set the best of the items aside in a bag. Luckily, I had more than enough to get up to 263. A few of the pieces appeared to be must-haves. This included my Ignus rifle. (+hit, +stamina, and dps makes it too juicy!) I slotted them into my Outfitter set.

Meeting Objective 2: Your gear should have 328 Resilience. [The resilience level needed in 3.3 is now just 132!] My PvP set is pretty good. I can run between 800 and 900 resilience. I've upgraded plenty of PvP epics to better PvP epics. I've actually gotten a little lazy about it and have some enchanting to do. To meet this goal, I went with four pieces of armor and two rings. Picking them was tricky. I flipped things a few times while I was trying to make the other Objectives work out. The easy winners were my right and left rings. They have all good stats for tanking. Nothing wasted there. I also knew that I really should use the gloves I got as a VoA drop. Well doing that meant that I should also try for the set bonus to get an extra 50 resilience. So I tentatively put a few other pieces in as well as my cloak and helm. The cloak was all good stats and a lot more stamina than my other dps cloaks. The helm was the same. Of course they didn't help my set bonus and I was waaaay over the Resilience I needed. So I decided to let the other priorities help decide.

Meeting Objective 3: Equip two pieces of Tier-7.5 gear for the +5% pet damage. This was a much harder one for me. I have full T7.5, but I use some of it still. And I can't possibly re-enchant and re-gem something for tanking that I need for dpsing. Well. I use T8.5 for gloves and chest and I use T7.5 for helm and shoulders. So at the moment I had gloves, chest, and pants available. And I really never used the pants. Additionally, I never used the chest. There were many other items that were better for my survival spec. The chest was almost the same. And I knew I really wanted to use the gloves I already had slotted for tanking. The chest and pants had pretty decent stamina and of course had slots. So I went with them. Eventually when I had it all worked out, I gemmed and enchanted them. This helped me remove two pieces of PvP gear from the set too. And I was still well over the Resilience cap.

Meeting Objective 4: Get to about 25% crit. This was a bit harder. I had to address my overload of PvP gear now. I had a bunch of things I did like. I had the nice boots with a resilience gem for my PvP set still in there. They were pretty lackluster compared with some of my other boots I still had around. And it wasn't getting me that +50 resilience set bonus. I had Noth's boots and XT's. XT's were great for dps, but took a stamina hit in the chin. Noth's were just one stamina less but still nice for agil, crit, and AP. Score. My PvP neck wasn't doing me too much good compared with my quest neck. It was a tough call, but I went with the quest neck for the red/blue gem coverage for my helm. This only left my bracers, shoulders and belt as PvP gear. Ooops! I have to keep the shoulders to get the set bonus. So in they stay. Hey! But I was already really close to 25% crit. So I left the bracers and belt question on hold.

Meeting Objective 5: Stack Stamina. Really. Hmm. So I wasn't terribly high on the stamina pole. I still had to re-gem and re-enchant. Okay. But I had a bunch of belts to choose from. My PvP belt, my Thorim belt, and my Naxx belt. I didn't need much from the PvP belt other than stamina and really that's all it gave. I was flipping between the Thorim and Naxx belts for dps +hit considerations. Ahh. +hit! I forgot about Objective 1. I was no longer swimming in +hit. I in fact needed some. So I either needed it from bracers or the Naxx belt. But that belt.. mmm. I didn't want to shove a stamina gem in it. Looking over my bracers, I had a whole bunch. But interestingly, I had one that had the +hit I needed and had decent stamina. Score! So what to do with the belt. Hmm. Well, I had achieved all my previous objectives. And I really needed stamina, so I looked my belts over again and noticed one that I carry around all the time. Ah! And I could stack some serious gems in it to get me a +201 stamina.

Meeting Objective 6: Stack raw Attack Power. So I had two or three slots left. My melee weapon(s) and one trinket. I chose my Heigan stick for it's stamina. The Ignus rifle still looked good even compared with my newer power cannon. Looking for more +hit would be tricky, and downshifting stamina even trickier. So my trinket. I had already reserved one trinket slot for either the infuser or grim toll for a large part of my +hit requirement. Grim toll procs Armor Pen which doesn't pass down to a pet, where the Infuser proces AP, which 22% does. And the Infuser has more +hit, so decision made. I don't have a large depth of other great trinkets to pull from. I went with one trinket that would help me dps a little but sadly not pass down much to the pet. I think I may change this up and go with my first emblem reward because what it procs is much better for the pet. I'm also considering using one of my PvP rewards to help with initial aggro. Having a large proc-based thing is okay for dps, but tanking you kinda want to have predictability.

So once settled on gear selection, and knowing what if any gear was dedicated to pet-tanking and what was also used in PvE and PvP, I began to re-gem and re-enchant. I may swap trinkets a little bit. I may re-think the neck piece. I still need to fix a few enchants, but I'm pretty happy with how it has turned out.

I'm at 24k health and 10k armor unbuffed. My pet as raid pet-tank spec'd with buffs is over 35k health. Unbuffed, my AP is 3142 with a crit of a little over 25% with 285 hit and 335 resilience. I'll have to get more pet raid stats sometime soon.

I don't claim my pet can tank like a tank. He's very special use. Healers need to heal him differently. DPSers need to dps with much more care. He has a hard time with positioning, kiting, and moving in general. He can not taunt most bosses. He may not be able to beat enrage difficult timers. But he can help. With the right hunter talents and glyphs, tenacity pet talents, pet selection, and pet-tanking gear, he can off-tank like a champ and build up enough threat to not be challenged. He can deal with adds. He can avoid 75% of AoE damage right off the top. He can shrug off a huge amount of damage. And he is crazy-easy to heal. And he's a lovable pet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Improved Javascript Perspective-Playing Titlebar

I reduced the size of the files I use to make the Javascript titlebar for this blog. By 90%. Why? Well, I had forgotten to do it. I meant to really. But things just get away from you when you get older I guess. Anyway, it should load a lot faster for people.

Why'd I remember to do it? Well, I added a layer into it. He's hiding though.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pet Tanking Talent Choices

20 Talent Points Not 16 Talent Points
First off, let me say that you don't need to be BM to have a tanking pet. But if you're planning on solo'ng anything difficult, or planning on tanking a heroic or raid, you need to have your hunter with BM talents. I'll cover those in another post. Suffice it to say, your pet will have 20 talent points to allocate, not 16.

Tenacity FTW
Tenacity pets are the tank pets. You don't use a Ferocity or Cunning. Tenacity pets have talents that allow them to, if used correctly, tank mobs. Don't expect to use a non-Tenacity pet as a tank. It will only get you so far.

Re-Talenting in the Field

If you're a dual talented 51-pt BM and some non-51st-point-BM talent build, it's easy to re-talent a pet on the fly without visiting a pet trainer. Just go BM and spec your pet with its four extra talent points. Then flip to your non-BM talent tree. Re-summon the pet. It will have no talents. Flip back to BM, talent the pet up, and suck down some mana.

If you aren't dual spec'd with this as an option, maintain tank pets for different situations. You can flip them in the field every 30 minutes.

Tanks would kill for the ability to re-talent on the fly. What they can do now is swap gear. And maybe the crazy tank is dual spec'd in two tank talent allocations. I doubt anyone is that crazy. But then again, there are hunters who think they can have pets tank.

Abilities (Talents) You Can't Allocate
Pets come with at least one special ability. Generally speaking you want a Turtle as your tank for it's shield ability. A Gorilla with its interrupt may be a good situational use pet tank. Gorilladins were the first favored tanks because they and only they had thunderstomp. But now they only have their interrupt. Worms have something approximating a sunder. Beloved bears have swipe, a second multi-target threat builder.

In my opinion, turtles are the best all-around heavy-tanking choice because of their shield. All the others are fun choices and still viable -- especially for certain situations.

Pet Talent Builds for the Job
  • Soaker Raid Build: The pet doesn't need to compete on threat vs anything except proximity healing. Optimize for stamina and armor. Thunderstomp is there for a little extra threat generation. The same with Guard Dog. If you think you can even skimp a little on those go then steal one point and put it into an armor talent.
  • Solo Tank Build: The pet doesn't need to compete with threat because you're the only threat competition. And you can feign death, right? This is optimized for health regen and avoiding damage. It's good for doing AoE packs, minor bosses, or solo'ng old content.
  • Five Man Heroic Build: The pet needs a lot of bells and whistles. This has a good mix of bail-outs for group members and it generates threat pretty well.
Situational Supplemental Talents
  • The Lionhearted talent is completely situational. If you don't have a priest or shaman it can help. However, 30% less stun or fear is still 70% stun and fear.
  • Great Resistance is also situational. If you know an attack will be almost entirely fire, frost, nature or shadow, then flip three points from armor (aka physical or white damage resistance) into Great Resistance. It can only help. But you better know that white damage is almost non-existent.
  • The Five Man Heroic Build does not have Intervene. If you want to use Intervene you'll want a macro for it. /targetpettarget ; /cast Intervene. I find it cumbersome. Some people recommend that you consistently cast it every CD on your healer. That sounds crazy to me and a waste of 20 focus. I have too many buttons on my bars already so I simply avoid it by trying to stack more threat at the right time on the right mobs.
If it helps, you should print out the three pet talent trees filled out. Keep them near your computer. Practice flipping them in-game and re-talenting quickly. In a group you don't want to be taking the same time it would be to hearth back to a major city and re-talent.

EDITED TO ADD: Re-talenting in the field is no longer possible!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hunter Pet Tanking Gear

First, let me warn you: Hunter pet-tanking gear selection is probably more complex than gear selection for a normal tank. Be ready. Be analytical. Get your brain around all the factors. Second let me say that you probably will not want to tank anything important until 3.2 comes out with it's many changes. Now that that is out of the way let's get into the details.

Objective 1: Your gear needs to be fully hit-capped. This is not negotiable. Your pet needs 100% hit. A tank that misses is going to cause problems. Hit is carried directly down from a hunter's hit to the pet's hit. This includes Careful Aim bonuses, which will be carried down. But more importantly, if your pet is fully hit-capped, they will also be Expertise and Spell-Hit capped. So, no bad parries or pet spell specials flubbing. And if you don't typically melee a boss from the front, let's just say you don't want a boss to get a parry on you. These changes will only apply in patch 3.2 and later.

Objective 2: Your gear should have 328 Resilience. [You only need 132 Resilience in 3.3 now!] You don't need more than that. This applies to tanking level 83 sub-bosses and bosses. If your pet is properly talented and you are properly talented, then with 328 Resilience your pet will be un-critable. Again, this only kicks in when patch 3.2 lands.

Objective 3: Equip two pieces of Tier-7.5 gear for the +5% pet damage. This is desirable if possible. I did it with spare pieces and stacked stamina in them. Tier-7.0 is okay too. If you can't do it, or would interfere with your main dps set, skip it. Just realize that your pet tank will have a tough time keeping on top of the threat list. Pets are a tough sell in my mind as a MT. Their taunt doesn't work on some bosses. I can make a convincing argument for them as OTs. Not getting the +5% bonus will leave dps sitting on their hands instead of pewpewing what you're tanking.

Objective 4: Get to about 25% crit. You need to keep your pet rolling in focus and keep your talents cascading over each other. Crit is the path. This is most critical for solo and five man content. Ten man and twenty-five man content will provide you with more buffs. For those larger raids you may cut a little of this and focus on Objective 5.

Objective 5: Stack Stamina. Really. The pet needs all the pass-through stamina it can get. Even with Great Stamina, Blood of the Rhino, Wild Hunt, and Endurance Training, it wont feel like enough. What saves pets are the ability to shrug off 75% of AoE damage and their incredible bonuses to incoming heals. They still need to be able to survive normal damage while healers are ... indisposed. And if you're stunned or silenced, chances are about 100% that you can't make your pet do it's emergency tank buttons. All that said, please notice that this is Objective 5. It is not objective 1. You need mitigation and focus and everything in Objectives 1 through 4. Don't make your pet the dumb Feral tank that has 50k health but avoids no damage and drains the healers mana like a whirlpool.

Objective 6: Stack raw Attack Power if/when you've met Objective 4. Otherwise, throw in the Agility. Pets get 22.0% of your Attack Power. Make it count.

Gear is a never-ending voyage. I love it. Gearing for pet-tanking is a whole another world. I hope this helps if you take the plunge.

EDITED TO ADD: If you found this useful, try reading Example Beastmaster Hunter Pet Tanking Gear for Patch 3.2 andPet Tanking Talent Choices.

BTW. I love looking at other hunter's raid screenshots. I was just screwing around in Thursday's Ulduar run and took the above picture. I mentioned it to the officers (two being two of our tanks), but not the rest of the raid. A pally healer was confused by the big red turtle with a big red shield over it. Flash had about 35k health raid buffed. He kicked it up a few notches with Last Stand. And yes, I followed my above Objectives in order. I'm sure I could have gotten him a bit more higher in the health department. The wow's from officers were when he was still around 35k health.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Example Hunter PvP Gear and How To Get It

I'm not a hard-core PvPer. You can tell with You see, I don't have a talent build specially for PvP. If I was a hardcore arena competitor, I'd have a special PvP talent build as one of my dual talents. I don't do arenas. I do PvP as a non-scheduled mostly-solo event. I do BGs. I've done them a lot. I've reaped their rewards and felt their pain. I did them at level 60 when you had to visit the battleground entrances out in the world. I did them at level 70 when you had to visit a battlemaster. And I do them at level 80 with the 'H' key.

My 'H' key shows it all this quite starkly. It also shows a frequent situation I fall into. I get honor-capped a fair amount.

BTW, the 'H' key has one stat that doesn't seem to be available through wowarmory's stats page, Lifetime Kills. I also kinda wish it showed Lifetime Honor. ;-)

In any case, let's talk about hunter PvP gear.

The best route IMHO for a hunter to get some fine PvP gear is to play all forms of PvP. Do what you like of course. For me, I haven't found a good arena team mostly due to scheduling and my current in-ability to commit to a time for arenas. I did a little arena stuff in the first and second seasons. I haven't since. If you can find a couple partners and schedule time for them, do it. You'll want to pull a 1600 rating at least. Hunters do have to work a bit harder in arenas than others. And you don't want to walk into an arena without some decent gear already.

Why would you want to go into arenas? You can buy outstanding PvP gear with honor as long as you meet the minimum arena ranking.

But first you should have some PvP gear. You can get honor gear pretty easily by doing battlegrounds (BGs). I find that Strand of The Ancients generates the biggest bang for the buck. That's followed up by Alterac Valley (AV) and Eye of the Storm (EotS). Arathi Basin (AB) and Warsong Gulch (previously WG) tend to yield less honor per hour. This all shifts a little bit to the "Holiday BG" if you're playing Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. You may also want to speak with the battlemaster for a daily pvp (win) quest. It's worth honor and gold. And if you do a mix of BGs you can turn in a token of each for extra honor as a repeatable quest from the battlemasters.

World PvP zones like those in EPL, various parts of Outlands and Icecrown are not worth doing on a PvE server.

Wintergrasp (WG) on the other hand isn't too bad for honor, especially with the weekly quests. Beyond that, you should do WG every time it is up. You don't necessarilly do it for the honor. You're doing it for the wintergrasp tokens. They can purchase excellent PvP trinkets and a nice four piece suit.

Here is your complete list of honor mail armor items that do not require an arena rating to purchase. They cost a variety of currencies. Some are from heroism emblems, some are from wintergrasp marks, some are from honor and nothing else, and some are from emblems of valor and emblems of conquest.

If you aren't like Kheldul and have managed to get a nice arena team and rating, then you have access to a large array of items for purchase. Thankfully, you can also get some of these (sans arena rating) through the the VoA raid and emblems.

Now the list doesn't end with just mail armor. The rings, neck pieces, trinkets, cloaks, and weapons are all quite nice too. Trinkets should come from Wintergrasp. Skip the honor-based ones. Rings should come from honor. Also grab a decent neck and cloak.

The first and last items you need are weapons. You'll need to use something from PvE to start. You probably will do better with something from PvE anyway. Why do I say this? Well. There are only two classes of PvP ranged weapons available. One requires an arena rating of 1850 and the other 2350. You can get a bow, crossbow or gun. (Dwarves, go gun. Trolls go bow.) 1850 is realistically achievable. But you'll need a good ranged weapon to get there. And it will probably be better than the 1850 rated weapon!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hunter DPS Gems and My Gem Blunders

Blunder number one occurred last week. I got a new set of hot pants. After the raid, I got an armor kit for them and gemed them with a good red choice and a good (new) purple choice. The two got me the set bonus of +6 agility. So, I was choosing to go with the set bonus at the loss of two agility for the gain of 12 stamina. 12 Stamina for Survival ends up being 13.1 Stamina and provides 3.96 AP to my pet and 3.96 RAP to me. So more RAP than if it was full Agility. More stamina for wiggle room. A tiny tiny amount less crit and dodge. Sounds fine. Ideal even!

Well. No.

I didn't notice that I had nuked my helm's meta gem requirements. So I fixed that up after our Tuesday raid. I probably also didn't notice it Tuesday because I was master looter running our DKP (Ni Karma) system for the raid. Heck! I didn't even notice I was still wearing my high item level set when I ran over to Razorscale after master looting FL.

So that leads into blunder number two. At least as far as gems go. I still have not one, but two Balanced Twilight Opals slotted. One in my helm and one in my neck piece. These had been the good option in some circumstances. Back.. oh before 3.1. But since 3.1 there has been a much better choice: the Shifting Twilight Opal. So, I need to get a few of those gems cut.

I could do a huge write-up of gems and include pictures and mouse-overs and what-not. But really, there's a comprehensive text-based review and recommendation over at Elitist Jerks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hunter Q&A Link

Interesting stuff.

My Turtle Pet Tank

Flipping to my BM pet tank talent is now a joy. Why? Because I'll summon Flash too. Flash is a rockstar. He's also a turtle. According to a recent analysis -- and re-analyzed by ihlos -- Turtles make up 0.80% of hunter pets. Yes, less than 1%! They are the least owned pet family. Flash doesn't do much damage at all, but boy can he take some damage. Having a real honest pet tanking gear set is also really nice. I'm glad I spent the time doing it. I also can flip in the T5 gear over top of it if I'm solo'ng large things or without any sort of healing. Oh! And Flash can make solo'ng large things fun. My gear lets me push a lot of healing to Flash. Add in Mend Pet and I'm hitting overheals. He can take the groups of 7 or 8 level 80 undead mobs in Icecrown easily. And he's got lotsa knobs and switches. Bestial Wrath. Intimidation. Last Stand. Shell Shield. Oh! Shell Shield is so much nicer than the croc's Snapback ability.

I'm still doing Crusader dailies for the tokens. I still "/General LFG Threat and Citadel". But I really only want the company for the Citadel quest.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Giant's Bane

Thanks to Kologarn for dropping our third Giant's Bane. And many thanks to our Elvish Huntress for passing it to me. I do suspect she'd rather have the cat lady's equipment. Whereas, my Dwarven arse prefers something with a kick. Our guild now has 3 hunters geared with good ranged weapons. So we're 3/4 in my guild quest.

Also, my previous gun is now mounted and trigger locked in my vault's gun rack.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Turtle Grinding Levels

Flash is one and one-tenth levels away from level 80. Many mobs have fallen. His prot shield is kinda cute.

That is all. Oh... that and no gun from Kologarn or KT this week. I do need to start doing 10man XT-002 hardmode for another shot at one. Naxx-25 was okay. We got a bunch of new people geared pretty quickly. I should have whipped out level-75 Flash for that run, but hey... I think I even flasked up for it.

EDIT: Flash is now level 80.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flash has Arrived

Flash the Turtle met my acquaintance last night before I ventured into Ulduar. He claims to have a hard shell and be able to tank bosses. I'm dubious given that he's only level 75. He says he can work on that. And given certain synergies, the shield will be deployed much more often. He's spunky I give him that. We'll see how well he really can do.

In related news, Chuckles ran off back into the jungle looking to start a family. He will be missed. I hope he finds a special someone that appreciates his sense of humor.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Putting a Pet on the Chopping Block

I've made some serious investments in my pet-tanking set. I spent about two hours min-maxing gear. I've got a fair amount of health. I still have good reasonable dps. I have two different set bonuses including the +5% pet damage. I looked at every piece of gear in my vault. I re-enchanted gear. I put in seven new Solid Sky Sapphire gems. I managed to not affect my main raid dps set or my main pvp set. Unbuffed, I've got 24k health, 3.2k RAP, and 25% crit. I'm also hit capped. And with 3.2's Resilience changes, my pet will be crit-capped.

I'm still a little uncertain on the trinkets. I am going with my new Darkmoon Card proc'ng agility, and the Pyrite Infuser proc'ng AP. The card procs often and from all sorts of stuff. It's hard to say no to. However, for tanking purposes, it would be nice to have an on-Use trinket that specifically adds to AP. It will still be great for Kheldul, but only will directly give the pet 22% of 90AP. Indirectly the pet will have more focus from Kheldul's crits. The Infuser is also questionable. Its proc is far less consistent and is based on Kheldul critting. Which a base 25% crit isn't too great to get rolling. I do need the +hit, but I don't need all of it. I'm at 285 and only need to be at 263. Grim Toll doesn't do anything for me. Yes, I'd shave my +hit and it would proc more, but armor penetration doesn't pass through to the pet. I have other options that involve moving around at least four pieces of gear to use a different on-use +AP trinket, but the benefit seems marginal.

So what's left? Well the subject of the post says it. I need to say goodbye to one of my pets. I need to take the serious move and get a tanking turtle.

I have Malcolm the limited edition ghost hydra crocolisk. He's really pretty special looking. I get compliments about him all the time. Crocs have the nice snapback ability that makes them pretty good AoE tankers. Things don't get away from them easiliy.

I have Jason the Gorilladin. I'm fond of him. He's a good guy. But he doesn't come out and play much. He looks great. Silver coat with green eyes. He acts great. I have used him a few times for his pummel ability. Kinda special case though. He was much more sexy when only he could thunderstomp. He's an interesting choice for PvP too.

I have Pedicure the snow cat. She doesn't come out much anymore. However, 3.2 has cat damage getting buffed, so when the numbers settle down and 3.2 hits she may make a raiding return. But will it?

I have Chuckles the incorrigible T-Rex. He is a child pleaser. I can't really dismiss a pet that the kids know by name, can I? It would be great if/when BM can do raid DPS and if/when the tyranosaur didn't have a hitbox twice the size of a boss.

And then there's my lovely Aranroth. He's the best looking wolf model IMHO. He is also too valuable at the moment to even think about giving up.

I had to level all of them up from 75. Chuck is a little annoying for many reasons. But he is pretty damn fun when he is out. Unfortunately, I have to be BM for him to be out, and if I'm BM, then I'm tank spec'd, which doesn't jive with Chuck. So he's little more than a toy.

Jason is kinda cool, but he is replaceable. The same with Pedicure. However, I'm talking about getting another Tenacity pet. So dismissing the cat just feels wrong.

Malcolm isn't going away. He is not replacable. Aranroth isn't going away either. He is in constant use.

I haven't made my judgement yet, but one pet will not be sleeping in a stable tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Gun Rack

In real life, I don't have a gun rack. I grew up in an somewhat urban setting and only shot .30 caliber rifles a few times. In Warcraft, it's a different story. I had wished for a while that I could open up my bank vault and show off my gun rack. It had been impressive. As you can see, to the left, it's now a shadow of what it once was.

Let's jump right back in time. My first prized gun was amazing. It made my first epic gun, the Dwarven Hand Cannon look sad. I never really used that epic gun. This is because my first gun was exquisitely crafted; expensive and beautiful back at the time. It was the Flawless Arcanite Rifle. I am a Dwarf, so I was obsessed with guns. Back in the day, Dwarves had a plus to their guns skill instead of a +1% crit. Plus to gun skill was better and more meaninful. And this sweet rifle had a +4 to Gun Skill. Boosting your skill in ways that didn't otherwise nerf you was a killer way to increase your damage output. They changed its stats since the level 60 days. But of course that rifle just looked cool. And as a bonus, I have the Molten Core scope on it. It was better than the Core Marksman Rifle back in the day. I used that puppy so much. It also cost me a ridiculous amount to have crafted. I no longer have it in my gun rack. I was sickened when they removed the Gun Skill benefit on it.

My second beloved gun was the wonderful Dragonbreath Hand Cannon. It had it's pluses and minuses, but overall it was just a thing of beauty. They've tried quite hard to make things neater than it. In my mind, they've failed. How friggin' cool is it to take a dragon head, make it into a gun, and get it to fire fireballs?

Next up on the cool kid list, was my Kara Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle. It took me a long while to get it. If you don't recall, it dropped from the BBW ("Big Bad Wolf") as one of three possible Opera events with a roughly 25% drop rate. So, that's around an 8% drop rate. I cherished it. I used it for a long while. Interestingly enough, just a week after it dropped for me, I got an epic random world drop. It was the first epic random world drop that was usable by me. And it would have been very useful if I hadn't just gotten the sniper rifle. It was Don Santos' Famous Hunting Rifle. And it found someone else to love it, via the Auction House.

I believe I then started using Tuskbreaker, but it's really hard to recall the progression. Tuskbreaker was neat looking. I do use crossbows and bows. I just don't prefer them. It's also hard to remember, because the stats or possibly the importance of stats changes over time. And I think it was quickly replaced. It wasn't replaced by the Wrathfire Hand-Cannon. I never really tried to get it to drop. (God, I hated Shadow Labs.) But it dropped when I was running someone through. Neat looking, but I let the tank take it.

Then came the climb to 80. Along the way were a few blue quest reward guns. Fury of the Raging Dragon and Hemet's Trophy Gun. Sadly, they were the same model.

Once at 80 I got a slew of Prison Warden's Shotguns. I was overly-hopeful that we'd get a dual ranged wield. Not exactly the nicest looking model around, but anything with Shotgun in it has got to be something that stays in the gun rack.

Next up, was my Nerubian Conquerer. I got it the second or third time we took down KT in 10man. It's still pretty trusty and what I'm currently pointing at the bad guys. I swap it in and out for the Rifle of the Platinum Guard depending on what kind of +hit I need or don't need.

So what's missing. Well first off let me say what is not missing. The Nesingwary 4000 is not missing. I never needed to go that route. It's like a Gnomish manufacture, through and through. I wouldn't trust it. The same goes for the Consortium Blaster.

The Blunderbuss of Khaz Modan is also emphatically not missing from the Gun Rack. Yes, I could have it for a few Champion Seals, but umm. No. I'm a Dwarf with a gun rack. I'm not an ugly museum piece collector or a wanna-be King.

Okay. So here's what is really missing. I need and am now actively pursuing a Giant's Bane. Two guild hunters have them to date. Two still could use them. I never got a Envoy of Mortality. It's a cryin' shame, but not surprising given our earlier Naxx raid schedule. Oh, and I never got a Gurubashi Dwarf Destroyer. But of course the Gun Rack would quite willingly accept a Magnetized Projectile Emitter donation.

What's in your gun rack? What has eluded your acquisition?


Minor adjustment. Mirshalak's Lair is defunct.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

True-Aim Long Rifle

A very interesting item from the 5-man heroic. Note the speed.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Darkmoon Fair Leaving Thunderbluff

I noticed that the Darkmoon Faire was folding up its tents. I didn't feel like waiting a month for it to arrive somewhere. So, I hit AH up for 4,500g, rode over to Thunderbluff, and now I'm poor. Like really really poor. But one should remember that gold sitting around doesn't accrue interest. Gold spent can yield slightly more gold though. I'm investing in my earning potential. And I got a great trinket that I've had my eye on for months.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Quest for Greatness

The Quest for Greatness comes down to getting enough gold together to buy a reasonably priced trinket. I have one that gives me a huge amount of hit and has a nice proc. The other is quite old an decrepit. It just doesn't do the job. I need THE trinket. I have other neat trinkets. Like the unlimited farm trinket. And the sometimes useful in PvE PvP-trinket (I used it on the cat lady last night to some limited de-fearing.) But I don't have the Sarth trinket or the Naxx one. If I had either of those, I'd be in less of a trinket hole.

So I need 1k gold or so. I could get it now, but I'd be nearly depleted. I need to maintain a funds cushion for rainy days.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lotsa 3.2 PTR Love for BM

They are making Animal Handler a useful talent, given the incoming pet scaling changes. That's a nice buff. They are making Cats a bit more competitive. They are giving Wild Hunt some more beef. All goodness for BM hunters, and some of it is partial goodness for all hunters.

Beast Mastery
  • Animal Handler now increases your pet's attack power by 5/10% instead of increasing its expertise by 5/10.

  • Deterrence now deflect all spells. (Old - Only spells cast by targets in front of you)

  • Rake (Cat) now deals 47 to 67 bleed damage and an additional 19 to 25 damage every 3 seconds at max rank. (Up from 19 to 25 additional damage over 9 sec)
  • Roar of Sacrifice cooldown has been reduced from 2 min to 1 min.
  • Wild Hunt now increases the contribution your pet gets from your Stamina by 20% and attack power by 15%. (Up from 10%)


Spreadsheet Sweeeetness

Zeherah web-ified Shandra's Hunter spreadsheet. It's slick. It's cool.
Go try it.

Hat tip to OutDPS.


Huntard is clearly a syntax construct of Wow. And as such game-slang, it carries the label "it's just a game". Perhaps it's that reason, that calling a hunter a "huntard" is accepted. I however read it directly as "retard (who of course is a hunter)".

I find the word, "Huntard" offensive. Calling someone a "retard" is pretty extreme in my book. And as the gamer populations matures, that seems to be a more common feeling.

So why is "huntard" accepted? Am I thin-skinned?

(And no, for the record, I don't have any family or friends with any cognitive deficits.)

One More Meta-Item I Want in 3.2

I'd like the Tome of Cold Weather Flying for 1,000 Alex. Yes, level 68. Yes, that's twelve levels lower than max level.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two Meta-Items I Want in 3.2

The first item is really for leveling my Shammy, but I see it as another plus if we get a level 90 cap any time soon. Being able to share the heirlooms is quite nice. I already have two sets of mail shoulders.

The second item is strictly for Kheldul.