Monday, December 10, 2012

Brawler's Guild Talk and Tips

The Brawler's Guild is quite fun and an adrenaline rush.

The fights start off comically easy.  If you've got enough skill or gear you can plow through them.

Then they start getting abilities similar to rares.  The only difference is that there is a general enrage timer (the fire storm you may have seen).  So there's a DPS requirement.

Then they start getting special abilities that aren't at all obvious.  You will die learning the fights or you can hit up for a little rundown on their abilities.  The comments are generally good around what the boss will do.  That said, don't bother with what other classes are doing. Hunters are different!

I'm only rank six at this point.  I only play doing this for a level or two at a time.  I got an invite from a guild friend.  When I get rank seven I'll pass one out to another guild friend.

I've stayed BM for all the fights so far.  One of my biggest challenges has been that my pet will keep aggro even with a dps pet (without growl) and cower-clicking.  Combine that with a situation where my pet bar sometimes disappears and I can't even macro-cast phoenix on my pet.  Quite irritating especially when my opponent is down to 25% health.  A few restarts and deep breaths and we're good.

So first some general tips:
  • Join a buff group.  There's usually a raid available and you'll get healthstones and raid buffs.  Drop a feast and you're a champ.
  • Be supportive of the others and you'll get their support instead of cat-calls. ;-)
  • It's an adrenaline rush and pretty stressful.
  • You need to concentrate even more than if you're raiding -- if you want to win.  There's no slack time.
  • Use all the tools in your toolbox.
  • Flask up on the tougher fights.
  • You can pre-pot.  I don't have a timer, but I click it after quickly dropping one or two traps and it usually doesn't count toward the fight.  Make sure to use the cheap Brawler-only potions!  
Now some hunter tips:
  • Some bosses will be easy for hunters and hard for others.  The opposite is also true.  Learn and adapt.
  • Always drop traps before the opponent comes out.
  • Spirit mend is great.  Spirit mend on yourself during a Stampede is [Great]x5.
  • Some bosses are good for pet-tanking and make it trivial.
  • Some bosses and even some AoE will destroy your pet.
  • Always wait for your Stampede and Rapid Fire CDs to be ready before battling.
  • There's no excuse for not moving and both kiting and dps'ng.
  • Feign death and a dismissed/dead pet will pop you out of the brawl.
  • Bind a Brawler agility potion quaff into your best DPS CD macros (e.g.- Rapid Fire). 
  • On the harder fights, review your Talents each go around.   Would Binding Shot be extra nice over just a slow trap?  What about Wyvern Sting and an ice trap?  Or is the interrupt required?
  • I've come to really like Spirit Bond for brawls.  Iron Hawk is good for when you have a real healer.  That said, I'm also liking Animal Bond for my pet and the Spirit Mends he gives me.
  • Consider all the other Hunter Talents available and how they can be used on different bosses.
  • Review the list of Glyphs as well.  For instance, if you're going to have a pet tank something impressive, then the Glyph of Mending is a very good choice.
  • Consider all the pets you can bring and all their abilities.  It isn't a short list.  Use your tools!
That's all for now.

PS:  I suspect that if you are queued, grouped, and throwing some rotten fruit, then you can get pulled into someone else's brawl.  There might be a requirement that the group is cross-realm via a CRZ.  That sounds good and OP, but your boss will also show up!  I captured one on video and will post it when I get a chance.  It happened to me three times in a row.  It is quit e annoying because while I tried to just help the person who already had been battling for a minute, my brawl competitor annihilated both of us.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Moar DoTs!

Serpent Sting should move up in your multi-mob priorities. Previously, it was a questionable exercise if you should slap a SrS on anything other than your main focus.  Generally it wasn't worth -- especially with the old awkward focus cost of 25.  But now that Serpent Sting does twice as much damage and costs only 15 focus it should be used.

My simple Serpent Sting macro:

#showtooltip Serpent Sting
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Serpent Sting

I had admittedly have limited data.  I hopefully will have some more by next week.

We raided Will of the Emperor for the first time last week and then hit it again (and got him) on Monday.  Last week we only had two somewhat lame attempts as it was pretty late.   (And one of our tanks has three green pieces of gear!)  The differences and caveats between the two nights were:
  • I used Serpent Sting a lot more.  I didn't DoT every single mob but close.
  • Serpent Sting does more flat-out damage.
  • I used my mouse-over macro and didn't have any good DoT tracking.
  • I probably refreshed SrSs I shouldn't have.
  • I was a bit more capable the second night.
  • But I had the same gear.
  • Normal v Crits, Tick count, and percentage of damage for crits and non were all about the same.
In the Pre-"Moar DoTs" world, Serpent Sting accounted for between 10% and 16% of my damage.  In the new "Moar DoTs" world, Serpent Sting accounted for between 23% and 24% of my damage.  The raw damage per tick doubled.  But because we're talking about percentages of 100% that wouldn't double the percentage of my damage.  (It would be less.)  But the number of applications of it was rather large.  I was really pushing that of course.

There were a fair number of times where I tried to SrS a few mobs and at some point in the DoT'm up process I was below 15 focus.   I don't have a good way to track DoTs and recover or reapply them. So while it's cheap, it's not free or particularly easy.

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Improved Aspect

This is just for fun.  Sorry no cleave aspect dreamcrafting.  Relax and enjoy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Picking the Best DoTm Up Approach

With the recent hotfix buff(*) to Serpent Sting (SrS) I'm considering what to change to best take advantage of this.

I have three thoughts on this so far.  If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know.

1) Do nothing and enjoy a small lift in damage.

2) Go back to SV.  This might be harder to stomach than I originally intended once I flipped to BM.  I really like the ability to spirit mend myself and my pet.  That said, Serpent Spread would be quite attractive on some fights especially if (and only if!) it is close to BM on single targets.

3) Make a mouse-over SrS macro.  I'm thinking this would need to be a different key instead of a target/mouseover multi-type macro.  I use my mouse a lot and wouldn't want to accidentally SrS a random mob while the other part of my brain is doing a normal opening rotation on a mob!  Unfortunately, like most BM hunters, I'm a bit loaded on keys and keybinds.  I have F1-4 almost as finger twitches for disengage, fetch, spirit mend (me), and tranq.  I have 1-9,0,-,+ all full.  I also have 'r' for arcane shot and 't' as an ingrained twitch for interrupting.  I already feel full as far as buttons go, so I'm thinking of looking at special mouse buttons and mouse-over.  I could give up fetch, but it is pretty damn handy.  A mouse-bind seems logical.  I probably should have it for other things as well (i.e.- fear beast, tranq, spirit mend, master's call).  Unfortunately, I have an over-sized ergo mouse(**) without a lot of button options.

No matter which routes we chose, we will all want to make sure our enemy health bars show SrS in some easy to consume way so we can keep the stings up.

(*) - "Serpent Sting’s damage has been increased by 100%, and its cost has been reduced to 15 Focus (was 25)."  Th ere is also a normalization for SV's ISrS but it looks like Serpent Spread is still good.

(**) - Moderate to severe carpal tunnel in both wrists will put you on that path.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Scenario Hunter Epics

If you haven't tried scenarios they're pretty decent content and a good way to get an easy 40 valor.  I got all my transmog gear from them.  (It's the red colored version of the standard yellow gold 440/450/463 gear.)

With the release of patch 5.1, you are awarded a different box with potential for much better goodies.  Specifically, 476 epics and 463 blues.  It's too early to know what percentage this stuff will return and Blizzard isn't saying.  But there's a bunch.  All with those random "of the" enchantment flavors.

Will half of these have int on them and the rest have strength?  Probably not, but I wouldn't expect them to be ideal or rain down on you in buckets.

My Raiding Guild May Be Turning a Corner

With the beginning or MoP, we had our main tank and one of our excellent healing-only healers take a break from raiding.   One isn't even level 90 yet.  We have tried to replace them a few times but it's been difficult.

This week we brought into MV a new off-tank with 3-4 greens and trialed a few healers (one a dps who re-rolled a pally just to help out).  It was pretty rough.  It's unclear if we've turned a corner on the healing; Across the board we seem to have connection issues or lag issues or skill issues or a combination.  The off-tank is learning quite quickly which is great.

It still took us 1.5 days to get to Elegon and then we wiped there a bit.  We had been doing 4 orbs the first time around and 4 orbs the second time around.  We had one of those crushing single-digit health percentage wipes during the healing-intensive part.  So then we decided to try and get to 5 orbs the first time and 4 the second to buy a bit more killing power.  That did the trick.  We killed him a good 15 seconds quicker than the previous attempts had been tracking.

I still need to get our off-tank to count better before pulling bosses so I can pre-pot like I do with the other tanks, but a kill is a kill.

I'm concerned that we out-geared this boss from a DPS standpoint and still don't have the tank to take less damage and the healers to handle even a well-geared tank.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hot Hunter Hotfix on Patch Day

The same day that 5.1 is coming out with a Lynx Rush burst nerf, Hunters are getting a +5% AP buff.
Aspect of the Hawk and Aspect of the Iron Hawk now increase ranged attack power by 15% (was 10%).  (Source)
What this means: We used to get a +10% attack power boost in either regular AotH or AotIH.  Now it's +15%.  You still have to choose if you want the blanket 15% damage reduction AotIH gives you, the pocket healthstone Exhilaration gives you, or the constant +2% health restore that Spirit Bond grants.  For raiding where you do have healers for a reason, the damage reduction path is almost universally the way to go.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bringing the Hammer

It was a four day auction.  I generally consider myself not lucky.  So I fully expect I will get a Sha-Touched weapon to drop within the next week.  In my mind, the result wouldn't be that I'd have two great weapons;  I'd beat myself up for wasting a few months of gold.

Good Hunter Question

Go on over to the Warcraft Hunters Union to participate in the "Are Hunters Doing the Wrong Type of Damage" discussion.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Your Valor Grind and Patch 5.1

Hunters rejoice!  Or if you were looking forward to getting off the valor treadmill, drown your tears in a dark ale.  Or three.  You're going to want a lot more valor -- and soon.

With 5.1 we have the ability to upgrade existing equipment.  Some equipment can be upgraded two levels and some only one.  If you're still stuck with some blue gear, you can get away with just spending 1,500 justice points to upgrade one i463 item to a i471 piece of gear.  You don't get to choose which stats get upgraded.  This will keep everyone on the treadmill for a lot longer.

If you scoff at the minor upgrades you can achieve with that valor expenditure, don't fret.  Blizz has you covered with more dailies and another faction grind.  I'll be happy for the variety myself.  For 6,500 valor and appropriate faction rep, you can outfit yourself with some lovely epic i496 gear; a nice ring, an on-use trinket, some decent shit-kickers, and a non-bullet oriented belt.

Of course all of that gear is upgradable twice as well.   Spend 750 valor and bump up a piece of i496 to i500.  Spend another 750 valor and it and its stats are that of a i504 piece.

Aww hell.  My ptr links are pointing to the wrong places somehow.  I had them all gathered up nicely and it's been changed somehow.  Ahh! has something corroborative.   They're buried in a large screenshot gallery otherwise I'd just link to the story. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012


A different kind of Halloween treat.  I did run this specific instance a decent number of days.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Bestial Wrath no longer grants Hunter pets immunity to crowd control effects, and instead now breaks existing crowd control effects when activated.

If this actually goes through, this is a pretty ridiculously heavy nerf to PvP.  I can't burst at all with my beloved SV spec and MM is pitiful and useless.  So BM is the thing.  But my pet is my damage.  My pet can be CC'd and indefinitely chain-feared .  Except during the small window of time I can Bestial Wrath.  Well, no more. Now it's a trinket that I can use if I'm not CC'd.

This is a huge nerf.  Yes, there's bullheaded.  But really, it's like we're multi-boxing with all these counters for our pets instead of driving our damage through our pet.  BM has a ridiculous number of buttons to press compared to other classes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fuel, Farms, Fun, and the Bleak Future of Dungeons

I'm not exactly sure how Blizzard made cooking so fun.  I think it may be that they were completely okay with adding a crazy complex smorgasbord of stuff as long as the end products never unbalanced the game.  And it is crazy complex and lovely.  And I think we players have been have had some complexity removed from the game, so its refreshing to have something too difficult to explain in a couple sentences.

I think the best part of cooking is that it keys into the whole personal property thing with your own little personally improvable farm.  I really really do have to hope that this can lead to other property; Guild houses, player housing, etc.

I know housing would be the antithesis of getting players out into the world, but it would be a helluva fun.  The one thing I don't like about all these dailies is that they are essentially making a one-player game in a multi-player game.  Yes, they get people out in the field, but they don't get people working together.  So perhaps guild houses could have associated guild dailies.

I like running dungeons.  But running dungeons is not getting people out in the world.  It is slotting them into an instance.  Running dungeons feels like it may be coming to a close.  There are not enough incentives.  I personally want to get valor by completing heroics.  (And I could use a couple more i463 drops.)  But last night seems to be a foretelling.  We had no problems, no wipes, no issues.  But I went through three tanks in my LFD random just to kill the last two bosses in Scarlet Monastery and three tanks in the Brewery.  Their gear didn't drop or it did and they left.  Or they didn't want to possibly roll against someone else for gear so they demanded to be kicked even when we couldn't.  It was very tiring waiting around and knowing I don't have an insta-queue. I think after I'm done with gear there will be far far more efficient means of getting valor.  I suppose I'm also a little jealous about my inability to be a Primadona tank while playing my hunter.  (Though the way some of these guys tank I think my turtle would be fine if healers noticed pets.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Gearing Up

I missed out on about a week of MoP so far because of travel, so I'm not exactly cutting edge.  Still I thought it might be good to have a rundown on what and how I've been gearing up.

Step 1: I bought the crafted gun (not terribly cheap) and a few cheap items off the AH.  I didn't dip into PvP gear right away.
Step 2: I visited one of the MoP Justice vendors and dropped as many Justice points as I could and filled the really bad holes first.
Step 3: I realized ZOMG Brewfest trinkets and did that until I had the appropriate one and another just for the possible need. You can do this at level 89.
Step 4: I kept queuing for instances and doing quests.  At some point my queuing started becoming heroic queuing.  My goal for quests is to clear out as many zones as possible.  Since there isn't much of a cap on dailies, I'm not particularly worried about falling behind there.  I managed to get about 7 hours in one day and got a lot of nice 463 upgrades.
Tip 1: I had just bought a new Justice item and got into an instance in 15mins.  We cleared it pretty quick and I got an upgrade over the Justice item I had just bought.  I was a little bummed because I had enchanted it.  But then I noticed that I still had an hour to return it to the vendor for a Justice point refund.  And it worked.  I'm sure the same thing can be done with PvP gear.
Step 5: I filled in a weak spot with a PvP boot upgrade, nudged up my iLevel with one final Justice purchase, and managed to finally get a heroic helm (with the meta gem slot).  This brought me to i459.
Step 6: Gem, enchant, and reforge everything.
Tip 2: You can equip junk you will not use in a LFR raid just to be eligible to queue.  I swapped out my i463 heroic agility trinket for an inappropriate i470 Brewfest trinket and was able to queue for the LFR instance.  I suspect that the overall item level of a character is rounded down.  In any case, as soon as I was in, I switched to the right trinket and it didn't boot me or anything.
Step 7: I ran the LFR bosses and scored a belt.  I'm not sure if the quality of LFR is good now but it didn't hurt that I was with a guild tank another good DPS and good healer.
Step 8: Fight the Sha worldboss with 39 other people.  Win nothing, but collect the quest item from the boss to get a nice pair of boots.
Step 9: Ran a whole bunch of quests and closed out two more zones and opened up the Golden Lotus Faction and the Gate.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Starting Golden Lotus Faction

Notes for myself from a blue post via MMOChampion.
We've seen some confusion about how to gain access to the Golden Lotus faction dailies in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. In case you've been having trouble getting where you need to be, below are some detailed steps to ensure you're on the correct path.

Spoiler Warning! This guide shares some details about the associated quest chain that takes you to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and the Golden Lotus. If you'd prefer to naturally find your way there during your adventures, the first couple of bullets should be sufficient for pointing you in the right direction.

Here is how you get into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms:

If you have any questions or concerns, or if you're still experiencing issues accessing the Vale of Eternal Blossoms or the Golden Lotus daily quests, please let us know.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hunters are Healers Too, Part Two

Many good things came too MoP.  A big one is the bug fix where hunter pets are now called with 100% of their health and stats.  Many other things changed.  Pets no longer have a pick-list of talents and hunters can no longer tweak a long list of little things to be better "pet-tanks" or "healers".  MoP takes broad brush strokes and different spells.

I'm thankful that the Hunter Healer macro I put together still works.  I'm impressed with the results.

In order to use this macro without change, you'll need five spirit beasts all in your callable stables.  If you don't have five, don't worry.  You can still enjoy the knowledge and you can modify the macro to your needs.  The trick with having five is that Spirit Mend has a 28 second cooldown.  But the cooldown is specific to the pet and the cooldown continues if the pet is active or not.  So we cycle through each pet: casting spirit mend, dismissing, and calling the next pet.

/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/cast [@mouseover, pet][pet] Spirit Mend
/cast [pet] Dismiss Pet
/castsequence Call Pet 2, Call Pet 3, Call Pet 4, Call Pet 5, Call Pet 1
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Each dismiss takes two seconds and if you are cycling through and not attacking anything and just healing then you'll hit the cooldown.  If you burn through your first five pets and heal as fast as possible then when you're back to the first pet Spirit Mend will be on cooldown.  But if you're attacking, and letting your pets attack as they come in, and moving around, then you'll never hit the cooldown.  Of course if you're attacking then you'll get more +RAP things to proc so your healing coefficients will be better.

Spirit Mend heals (1371 + ((RAP * 0.35) * 0.5)) plus an additional (527 + ((RAP * 0.35) * 0.335)) over 10 sec.

Here's Kheldul showing this off in an updated hunter healer macro video.  In it, keep an eye on the buff bar as the pets heal Kheldul.  You'll be able to see spirit mend HoTs rolling.  Three separate HoTs are certainly shown.  Four HoTs seems possible.

Knight Mail Transmog Set

On my hunter, I have a transmog set that looks like plate. Not so coincidentally, it happens to be my pet-tanking set.

The base components of this set are from the "Knight's" set:
Knight's Breastplate
Knight's Legguards
Knight's Boots
Knight's Gauntlets
Knight's Girdle

The true gems are from other sets however:
Champion's Helmet
Ornate Pauldrons (shown) though if you want a softer look, the Ancient Pauldrons are nice.
Gossamer Cape

Now come your accessories and trimline:
Ranged - Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle (shown) though Rifle of the Platinum Guard is a very close second.
Tabard - Stormpike Battle Tabard (shown)
Shirt - White Tuxedo Shirt (shown).  The shirt does show through in many places.
Bracer - Any bracer. Color can show as a short banded cuff above the gloves.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hunter Fetch Macro with AutoLoot

Frostheim has a nice article that has many areas worth considering for hunters leveling up.  I do disagree with many of the points, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth considering.

I want to do maximum damage with the spec, talents, and glyphs that I'm most comfortable with.  I may switch a talent up if I am stopping to heal up, or respec a pet to tank on the fly, but I'm going to plow damage with SV.

I am going with a different set of Glyphs for leveling.
Glyph of Mending - to keep my DPS pet killing
Glyph of Camouflage - sometimes its easier to get XP from quests and skip the mobs
Glyph of Marked for Death - for fast kills (I normally have this one)

I'm also going with the Glyph of Fetch.  I spent a long while trying to get a macro to work smoothly with my play style, that didn't get hung up in weird ways, and that didn't require me to turn on auto looting from the general menu.  Here is all that in one macro:

/console autoLootDefault 1
/run if not _Y then UIParent:HookScript("OnUpdate",function() if _Y>0 and GetTime()>=_Y then _Y=0 SetCVar("AutoLootDefault",0) end end)end _Y=GetTime()+5
/cast [@target, exists, dead] Fetch
/cast fetch
Now if you normally walk around with AutoLoot on, then you can go with a much simpler macro and forget about those first two lines.

Because there is real time between when Fetch is cast and when the loot window comes up you need to have a delay.  Getting any sort of delay logic into a macro is convoluted at best these days.  It took me three hours to figure out the issues, crawl down dead ends and get it all to fit in 255 characters.  I hope you enjoy.

I recommend you keybind your new loot command to something easy to hit.  For me, that's F2.  Here's a simple view of it working.

Oh! and if you're in a group with group loot on, you'll need to target a lootable corpse instead of just the last one you targeted.

Edited to add: Slightly newer more verbose video of it working.

Friday, September 14, 2012

REVISED: Heroic Madness of Deathwing Hunter Tips for 5.0.4

With one raiding week left, Blizzard has made Heroic Madness much easier.  Previous to 5.0.4 it wasn't a cake-walk but it was one of the easiest fights.  Immediately after 5.0.4 it was almost impossible for some 10man raid makeups because of bugs.

It's not clear if they fixed all the bugs or if they just nerfed around the edges.  The bloods start out as normal moving mobs and appear to be slow-able still; It isn't clear if they made everyone's slows work again.  Pet pathing issues are fixed as far as I'm concerned; I didn't have my pet run out of range and dismiss himself on almost every platform.

There are many bugged issues with the current Heroic Madness of Deathwing encounter.  Slowing the bloods still may or may not be a bugged encounter issue.  There were always reports of some slows still working.  We used everything that we could.  Because nobody ever got failure messages in previous bugged attempts we have no idea which -- possibly all -- worked.  We can hope that it gets fixed soon if it isn't already.

I used a completely new talent and glyph setup just for this fight.  I expect that phrase will become cliche in MoP.  We had way more DPS than we needed for the fight, so pulling back on some was an easy choice.  Everything about the spec is to defeat the bloods that heal Deathwing ASAP:
  1. Glyph of No Escape and Ice Trap - not sure if the traps slowed them but it's the obvious choice.
  2. Binding Shot Talent - also not sure if it worked or not, but I always shot it.  I finally got an immune message on this.
  3. Thrill of the Hunt Talent - totally can change your rotation but excellent for more multi-shots.
  4. Lynx Rush Talent - great for bloods if you don't have focus available.
EDITED TO ADD: At this point it's not worth really taking #3 and #4.  It can help, but with #3, SV is contending with the 5.0.4 bug that has the instantaneous damage from multishot's serpent spread serpent stings not being applied.  Lynx Rush can help with a little bit and really aMoCs isn't really useful on this fight.  But now the bloods move reasonably slow so you can steady/cobra between multi-shots anyway.
Add to that list these standards:
  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera Talent - I disengage on this fight a surprising amount.  I don't recommend it -- and I probably could argue myself out of doing it.  Except I'd still do it.  But you don't take this talent for the disengage.  Use it for deterrence when you get infected with a blood or when you get targeted with shrapnel - the Dream was bugged last Thursday.
  2. Aspect of the Iron Hawk Talent - The standard PvE talent if there was one.
  3. Glyph of Deterrence - 50% damage reduction is a nice thing when you're infected with the blood.  You have to pop deterrence on the last platform if you get infected and if you've got your cancel aura set up then you should pop it every time you get infected.  It's only a couple seconds of downtime and takes a lot of sweat off the healers.
You do a surprising amount of standing around doing nothing on Deathwing's platform between each 5% round.

It feels quite rewarding to have finished a tier - albeit terribly nerfed - within that tier.  I suppose not being able to use Dream for Corruption tanking and Shrapnel -- and having incredibly difficult to slow bloods -- compensated for that nerf.  We never had DPS or healing issues.  It would have been more interesting to have those challenges. ;-)

EDITED TO ADD: It still feels rewarding to kill heroic madness.  Some of it is that I've only done it four times so far.  Some of it is that we're cycling in more and more new people for the kills.  And we're challenging ourselves to do it in different rainbow orders to help some other people get more achievements.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hunters Need To Know

Yes, I actually bought a fraps license and figured out what was wrong with my microphone boost.  All this to bring you a YouTube video describing my new NeedToKnow setup!  My bars show the uptime of our spells and the remaining CD all in one bar.  They're not complete; Call them a first draft.  But they are pretty important.  In order to have competitive damage numbers you need to use new MoP/5.0 hunter abilities mixed in with the old.

Black Arrow N2K Import String:
bv1:{VOn=true,Typ=CASTCD,sIc=true,TF=Fmt_Float,Clr={r=0.80392156862745,g=0,b=0.88235294117647},VCl={a=0.30000001192093,b=0.89019607843137,g=0.87843137254902,r=0.77254901960784},BCl={a=0},Aura=Black Arrow,VEx="4"}

Dire Beast N2K Import String:
bv1:{VOn=true,Typ=CASTCD,Aura=Dire Beast,sIc=true,TF=Fmt_Float,Clr={r=0,g=0.43921568627451,b=0.78823529411765},BCl={a=0,b=0.88627450980392,g=0.85490196078431,r=0.90196078431373},sCt=false,VEx="15"}

A Murder of Crows Import String:
bv1:{VOn=true,Aura=A Murder of Crows,sIc=true,TF=Fmt_Float,Clr={b=0.87450980392157,g=0,r=0.43137254901961},VCl={a=0.30000001192093,b=0.78823529411765,g=0.77647058823529,r=0.75686274509804},BCl={a=0},sCt=false,Typ=CASTCD,VEx="90"}

Friday, August 31, 2012

Our Madness

Our guild took down Heroic Spine for the first time on Monday.  Then 5.0.4 landed on Tuesday.  Then we took down everything including Heroic Spine on Wednesday in two hours (we wiped in a few weird places for weird reasons).  We put in two attempts on Wednesday on Heroic Madness but the bloods kicked our ass.  Then Thursday we hit Heroic Madness again.  For three hours.  We couldn't understand a lot of why things just weren't working.  We even got him down to 6% once.  Finally we noticed that it really was broken.  It was nice to think we weren't idiots.  Here's how broken it is:
  • Bloods come out every 5% of Deathwing's health.  If they get to him, they heal him significantly.  None of our group's multiple slows worked on the bloods on the final platform.  Hunter, DK, Rogue, Mage, and Druids.  No immune messages or the like.  They just bee-lined to Deathwing and healed him with us just getting frustrated.
  • Dream didn't do anything against Corruptions or Shrapnel.
  • Hunter pets disappear from doing long distance pathing to things not a long distance away.  (Not the Kill Command bug.)   I also saw my pet in the water behind a corruption on the third platform instead of attacking from the side (on ground).  This is manageable as DPS isn't really any problem.
  • We had two people with lag.  One was playing with hotel internet.  So while this was nice, it was also nuts: We were also able to get more than one battle rez off in a 10man.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

ROFLSTOMP DS and Shot Priority Complexity

Ten of us managed to update/change our addons, select and learn our talents and glyphs, reforge our gear and try to raid.  We started our raid a little late but in a little over two hours we learned that some people don't know how their character works now and some do.  We also learned that a 35% nerf to DS can overcome everything.  We cleared everything on heroic up to and including spine.  We took two people who weren't in our original heroic spine group before and got it on our third second attempt.  Not that the heroic spine fight is exactly the same anymore.  Because of the cleansing changes -- and despite the raid mechanic changes -- you have to cheese the cleansing a little with positioning, but it was probably easier that way originally too.

As a Survival hunter, I found that if I did my old rotation employing all the previously known spells (SrS, BA, ArS, ExS) I did significantly less damage.  When I added in Dire Beast and aMoCs I was coming close.  When I threw in Rapid Fire and Readiness I had the ability to burst.  I didn't realize how much I missed the ability to burst.  I didn't even need to use the valor trinket to feel like a king.  I like my wow 5.0 talents and glyphs.  I really like the defensive attributes around Deterrence (100%/50% resist and 1min CD).  Marked for Death isn't a bad thing either.

Now all of this is a much bigger job.  Much more complexity!  I look at that with approval.  If better hunters can do more in a better way and get more damage that's a good thing.

If you think of A Murder of Crows as a DoT, you can also think of Dire Beast and even your own pet as DoTs.  Add SrS, BA, and even ExS and you've got six DoTs.  Thankfully, you don't really need a bar to watch your pet (though honestly they're pretty complex).  Our biggest DoT (ExS) doesn't need to be watched anymore thanks to how they can all be dumped in as fast as is smart.  Still we have many more DoTs and cooldowns to watch.

I put together a pretty nice NeedToKnow configuration to watch all this stuff, which I'll share in another post soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Down to the Wire

With only a few hours until wow-5.0 lands and everyone has to re-learn their character abilities...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heroic Spine Hunter Macro

There is an odd situation with targeting the Burning Tendons via a macro on Heroic Spine in DS.  /target Burning Tendons will not work under a variety of situations.  I have a bunch of hypotheses as to why.  But there is a simple solution which is rumored to always work: /target boss2.

Below is the macro I'm going to be using now:

/target boss2
/cast Hunter's Mark
/use Kiroptyric Sigil
/cast Call of the Wild

There are some very nice DPS tweaks for hunters already listed at the Wow Hunter's Hall.  At this point, I think that swapping our stat-stick is a bit agressive and unnecessary given the substantial nerfs to DS now.  I'll stay SV.  I will most likely do the pet dismiss rotation.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Looking at Heroic Spine

This week we got a good raid together two nights and got Heroic Warmaster down.  The random fire is a bit annoying but it wasn't anywhere as bad as I thought it might be.  I think it was a total of 50 some wipes.  That was a nice change from being defeated by the Summer Attendance Boss.

We poked heroic spine a few times with barely any prep.  I lamely pieced together a macro to save a second or two on damaging the tendon (below). I plan to stick some other pet abilities in there.
/target Burning Tendons
/cast Hunter's Mark
/use Kiroptyric Sigil
It seems that there isn't too much specific that ranged DPS needs to do.  Burn the tentacles quickly in order.  Nuke the bloods when we're gonna flip.  Drop the almag and free the grip right as it happens... but time it so the almag doesn't reveal the tendon too early.   Then burn the tendon with as much crap ton damage as possible.

Is there anything specific a hunter can or should do?

See here for a macro.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Red White and Blue Day


My Pet-Tanking Gear.  Somewhat modeled after a green turtle.

My New Pet-Tanking Gear.  Modeled after looking like a tank.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Need MOAR Hunter Music

Support Frostheim in getting us some more hunter music videos!

If you love these, and want to contribute to the cause, give a little love.  I did!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Random Pics from the All-Hunter 25man

Lots of green.  Not enough healing and pet-tanks don't register as melee and get one-shot.

Chimaeron wasn't too weird.  I stayed as heals on our tanking pet.

Tried a few different strategies.  I flipped to tank. We got him down to 375K health the first time (and were 24manning it).

It was clear Maloriak was going down.  Really quite fun to tank.

Good times.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hunters are Healers Too

Updated for Mists of Pandaria here.

Spirit Mend is a nice little spirit beast heal with an Achilles heal.  It has a 28 second cooldown.  An anonymous commentator suggested chaining those pet heals by using multiple pets.  I spent a few days off and on checking and Kheldul now has five spirit beasts.  Spirit mend is based on ranged attack power (RAP) and he has about twenty-three thousand RAP.  This lets him get up to about 4,800 HPS.

It took me about half an hour to get a nice elegant macro that accomplishes what we would need to make a mediocre healer.  It uses mouseover macros for the heals.  This mirrors how I work on my healer alt.  Use raid frames and hover over a name and click the macro button.  You'll want to start out with your first pet already out (and attacking!).  Adjust the castsequence for the number of spirit beasts you have and which stable slot they're in.

/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/cast [@mouseover, pet][pet] Spirit Mend
/cast [pet] Dismiss Pet
/castsequence Call Pet 2, Call Pet 3, Call Pet 4, Call Pet 5, Call Pet 1
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

I was stoked enough about this to grab the demo version of Fraps and ffmpeg -- made a movie clip.  Unfortunately my mic died a week ago and hasn't been replaced.  Otherwise, I would have been more motivated and gotten the pay-for-version of Fraps...  In any case, I hope you enjoy.  The video is when I only had four spirit beasts and it has been noted that I was suffering from a bug.  (Details below.)

In the above video I cycle through the pets pretty quick.  There is a drawback that hits a Blizzard bug; Like a pet's stamina, the pet doesn't inherit the hunter's RAP immediately.  If you wait until the pet has full health and then hit the heal you will get a much bigger heal.  The problem is that it's not a fixed amount of time for the pet to inherit the hunter's stats.  It can be 80ms, 500ms, or even two seconds.

If you have five spirit beasts and you pause a little bit while waiting for your pets stats to snap in you can pretty much cycle through all five pets without needing to wait for the 28 second CD to return.

You can check the numbers I ran on spirit mend with five spirit beasts for healing hunters with spirit bond and for non-hunters.  It shows a hunter with 23,000 RAP can sustain around 4,800 HPS on a non-hunter and about 10% more for a hunter with the spirit bond buff.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chain Spirit Mending

I did some more work and have amended all my previous remarks.
Here's the new story.
Here's the update for Mists of Pandaria.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Looking for Pet-Tanking Trinket Recommendations

I'm looking for better trinket options for pet-tanking than these (slot1 / slot2) stamina ilevel 365s.  My unbuffed pet health is quite good (185K) but I don't think I should give up 1,000 stamina.  I am considering the alternative stamina trinkets and pondering how -- and how difficult they would be to get.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spirit Mend

Updated for Mists of Pandaria here.

Because of talk of a cross-realm all-hunter raid, I started asking myself, "How good is Spirit Mend?"  I have four of the exotic spirit beasts that provide that pet ability, so I did some experimentation.

First off some basics.  I had my normal raiding gear on without any buffs.  I was of course BM-talented so there are a few tweaks there.  Most notably the BM bonus of Animal Handler, the BM-only talent of Longevity and the trans-tree mandatory talent of One With Nature.  This gives me 22,771 Ranged Attack Power (RAP) and makes the cooldown of spirit mend 28 seconds. The formula for Spirit Mend is:
(1237 + ((RAP * 0.35) * 0.5)) plus an additional (475 + ((RAP * 0.35) * 0.335))

So filling in for 22,771 RAP we get:
5,222 plus 3,145.
Now of course I did some practical tests.  Those tests demonstrate that I am missing a few components and that I don't understand HoTs.

I consistently got more than the initial 5,222 heal on random people in the city.  (Specifically, not me or my pet.)  I got 6735, 6469, 7200, and 6546.  They are around 30% better than expected. The only thing that I can think of is that the RAP shown on the character sheet doesn't include Animal Handler or One With Nature, or they are double-dipping somehow.

The HoTs I got were 4159, 3945, 4436, and 4033.  Again more than expected.  What I don't quite understand is that those numbers are per tick and it ticks every 2 seconds for ten seconds.  So five applications of a 4K+ HoT.

I was able to go a bit nuts.  If I popped an agility trinket (worth +2290 agility) and cast it on myself (with the healing talent buff Spirit Bond, I got a nice crit for 14402 + (4435 x5).  The initial heal appears to be a crit and the HoT is not.

When I added in roar (+549 agility) on top of casting it on myself, and popping a long CD trinket I got two decent numbers and a crit (exactly double one of the values):
18028 + 5650x5
7552 + 4671x5
9014 + 5650x5
In the best of circumstances and pulling all the plugs, Hunters have very very weak heals.  If the heal is applied to a pet-tanker pet they'll get +10% from Spirit Bond and +40% from Blood of the Rhino.  Those are nice bonuses and mixed with Mend Pet will keep a pet-tank up for a nice long time.  The problem is that a Spirit Mender will only kick out those heals once every 28 seconds.  So they will usually be on the pet-tank or themselves.  The rest of an all-hunter raid will need to be self-sufficient with Marksman self-heals.  A 6.5K heal with a 4K 5 tick HoT every 28 seconds will not be helping much at all on a raid-damage fight.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Heroic Hagara for Hunters - with macros!

Heroic Hagara presents a lot of good reasons to bring a hunter.  But it does take a lot of work.  As a hunter you can do things right and make the encounter a lot easier.  You can also do things wrong and wipe the raid.

Speaking generally, she took us more work to get down in 10man than she should have.  (She was our fifth heroic boss downed.)  We had two fundamental strat issues that we didn't have right and that made it incredibly difficult.  (More about those issues at the bottom.) Of course along the way we did a lot of things right.  So while I have only been killing her for three weeks I have a lot of practice with the hunter pieces.

Hunter Duties in the Boss-Tank Phase

In this phase you should be a normal ranged DPS.  You still have to think.  Spread out for better beam coverage.  Coordinate and do a beam dance with another ranged.  Get out at 2 stacks.  You'll likely pick up 1-3 more as you're trying to escape.  Get back in immediately when your stacks drop.  If you're targeted by all the beams, move to minimum range of the boss so others can more easily cover beams targeting you.  If you're targeted for an Ice Tomb, move to the assigned position for tombs.  This is normally not right behind Hagara.  It is often to the side.  You want melee to easily free you and still dps Hagara.  But Ice Tombs create a line-of-sight block and you don't want to make healers move 30 yards just to heal the tank.

Hunter Duties in the Frost Phase

When the frost phase starts you should flip on Aspect of the Pack.  It's also nice if you have the  Glyph of Aspect of the Pack which extends the pack by 15 yards.  Pack aspect will not cause stuns in this phase.  Your group will love you.

You also need to do two things with your pet.  First, you need to call it back to you.  I have the default setup and hit control-2.  If you don't then your pet will die from watery entrenchment while attacking Hagara.  You also don't want it going back to attacking Hagara after downing a binding crystal.  The second thing you want to do with your pet is to have it always attacking a binding crystal even if you can't.  Your pet will not be affected by the ice wall and can survive cutting through the middle zone of watery entrenchment.  The pet just can't stay in there.

Generally we will have melee start on one binding crystal and have range on the next one out, but we keep everyone together.  We move as a group and have people affected by the frost flake stacking slow debuff dip into the middle area.  Once inside we cleanse them.  If they are cleansed while they have the watery entrenchment debuff that you get for stepping in the middle then no slow trap area is created when they're cleansed.  If you have the stacking slowing debuff and it's not being cleansed and you have entrenchment, then you can cleanse it yourself with Master's Call.  You can do this for others if you're handy with Master's Call.  Generally, you want to leave this to healers.

You want to always be DPS'ng crystals.  Use kiting angles to move and fire.  You are the leader and make sure that the rest of the raid keeps up with you.  You'll want to stop and fire steadies or cobras.  Make your movement clear.  Melee tends to want to stay on a crystal too long.  Yell at them.

Various times you may find it useful to hang back.  If you only have one crystal or if too many people have fallen behind.  It is fine to dip into the middle to dodge the ice wall.  You just don't want to do it too often.  You can also disengage through the ice wall.  This is pretty dicey and unforgiving though.  Neither your start or end position can be in the wall or you'll take the massive damage.  You also have to factor in the latency of your connection.

After the frost phase ends you really really want to flip out of Aspect of the Pack.  I hit my DPS power-up while she's stunned with the 100% damage bonus.  This includes a flip to Aspect of the Hawk.  Here it is:

/use Kiroptyric Sigil
/cast !Aspect of the Hawk
/petattack [@target,harm]
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] Rabid
/cast Roar of Courage
/cast Furious Howl
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Hunter Duties in the Lightning Phase in 10 Man Heroic

The lightning phase is boring if you're not chaining lightning.  Chain lightning!

When the phase starts you need to do some pet micro-management.  You do not want your pet by your side or anywhere near the elemental or charging conductor.  You also want to flip to Aspect of the Wild to lessen the damage from the lightning.  Attacking Hagara will not cause her any damage but it also will not cause any damage to your pet.  It's a good way to get the pet out of the way.  I was surprised that I could reduce it all to one macro (which I have some crazy lightning as the icon):
/petattack [target=Hagara]
/cast !Aspect of the Wild
This switches your pet to passive so the pet doesn't attack your target or attack any target that is attacking you.  It also has the pet get out of the way by attacking Hagara.  And of course flipping on some protection from lightning.  It does work in only one click.

Click the macro and DPS the elemental.  Make sure not to be in the path of the chaining in case one of the storm pillar AoE [missiles] comes down on you.  You'll need to run that path.  After the storm pillar lands move into position to chain the lightning.  You and your teammate keep a good spacing and chain half of it and keep going until you meet the other team.  You can use deterrence for some meager damage reduction. It doesn't affect the chaining.  Your pet can chain the lightning as well, so you really want it out of the way.  It's not an efficient way to speeding anything up.  It will just add damage to you.

After the chaining is done and Hagara is free to be attacked, reset your pet and your aspect.  I do this via my DPS power-up macro (same as above).

Fundamental Strat Issues in 10 Man Heroic

Our first fundamental strat issue was that we originally never tanked her towards the edge with the only thing on her front 180 degrees being the tank.  (With the beams to her rear of course.)  We had tanked her in the middle. We do the beam partner dance okay but stacks of 5 and an Ice Lances will often kill.

Our second fundamental strat issue was how we linked the lightning.  In heroic 10man there are EIGHT crystal conductors.  In normal 10, normal 25, LFR, and heroic 25 there are only FOUR.  So there weren't many strats for this that we could look up.  You do have to run a lot to chain it.  What we had been doing was using four teams of two linking the lightning.  We'd pre-position two groups at the left and right back second set of conductors and have two groups chain the first four conductors.  Then the second teams kick in.  The theory being they'd take too much damage if it was the same.  Well it turns out that it's a lot easier if you just have two groups of two work clockwise and counter-clockwise respectively.  Healing can be more concentrated on those four and if you want, you can use three healers and let them focus on healing instead of chaining.  There are many tricks here (blink, sprint, heroic leap, disengage), but you don't need tricks to get it done very quickly.

Our third issue -- though nothing we did wrong in particular -- was that we would often have different tanks with different abilities.  During Hagara's focused assault it is nice to GTFO of it.  In heroic you can't just back up.  So with our warrior tank, she'd have a heroic leap, intervene, and defensive CDs.  Our feral would generally just have the defensive CDs.  Our DK would have a huge blood shield and defensive CDs.  The warrior had lots of options, but re-positioning after was an issue for the ice lances.  Additionally, we'd have help from the raid.  Beyond the normal bubbles and what-not, we'd have a priest pull them out of it and have a holy paladin taunt.  Spam heals in 10mans just don't guaranty the tank will live.  So far it seems like the DK tank is the most easy to keep up.  Raid support is just gravy.


You can tell which phase (Lightning or Frost) she will send you to by the magic on her axes during her normal tank phase.  They'll either crackle with lightning or a cool frost.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cataclysm Raiding: Tired or Wired

Wednesday night we kicked off our raiding week.

I picked up "OS" off-spec gear.  I take it when nobody else needs it for their main spec or off-spec.  I got three pieces.  Heroic pieces.  I am upgrading 397 tier pet-tanking gear to heroic 410 pet-tanking gear.  /face-palm?

We raided and one-shot the first three bosses on heroic and then two-shot Hagara.  It was only our third kill of her.  We had previously done everything right except a for two things that seem like they shouldn't be an issue.  1) We didn't previously have the boss positioned on the edge facing away from everyone except the tank.  Ice lances used to shred us.  2) We used to have eight people chain the lightning (in four groups of two).  It is far, far, simpler to have two groups of two chain the whole thing, one working clockwise and one working counter-clockwise.  I'm always one of the four and enjoy when my group does one or two more than the other group.  Oh, and your pet can help or hurt chaining you.  I have a how-to I need to share for heroic Hagara.

After Hagara and Ultraxion, we realized we only had 45mins to try hitting heroic Blackhorn.  We also realized the other two raid nights had no tanks available.  So we all logged onto our alts and finished the instance in normal mode.

I have to say it was quite fun and enjoyable.  But I'm not sure if I'm tired or wired.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tame Beast

Tame Beast is how hunter get new pets.  The channel time is ten seconds.  This is the challenging part and it's what makes some pets challenging to acquire.

In theory it could be used as a [bad] form of CC.  Yes, let me state that again with more specifics.  Before a pull a hunter could not have an active pet out and could have a spare stable slot.  If one of the mobs was a beast, she could in theory tame it and use it like a normal pet.  The issue of course is that Tame Beast doesn't work like CC.  The start of the very long channel initiates combat.  That channel is broken from any damage.  It is also broken if the pet focuses its attacks on someone else.

So in theory, a hunter could start a tame, lead it to a trap and then once tamed, use it to finish off the other mobs. (Or immediately dismiss it.)  The problem is that this theoretical and not

Let's pause for a moment and think about heroes from movies who were "hunters" or "beast masters".  They could soothe pets to sleep.  They could exert mental control over beasts and get them to do things.  They didn't simply tame one and "train" it or "tame" it and keep it forever.

Priests can Mind Control humanoids.  Druids can Hibernate Beasts and Dragonkin.

Hunters need a Control Beast ability.  What should it look like?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dressed for Success

A couple weeks ago Kheldul came across the Stylin' Adventure Hat.  The concept was good.  A hunting hat.  It's mail.  Transmogrifyable.  He thought it was neat and was taken by the abstract notion until he looked in a mirror and saw a dwarf pimp.  Not a good impression.

The big game hunter hat with wide sun-protection brim.

Then Kheldul came across a very interesting rare spawn and got a very interesting drop.  Very interesting.  So interesting that he decided to transmog his wolfsniper rifle into a steam-punkish zapper and clean up his comb-over.  He now was considering going all steampunk.

A snug fit. Very monogoggle.

Kheldul is not an engineer.  The solution to the monogoggle issue was not at hand.  All mail goggles are made by engineers and only wearable by engineers.  The simple solution would be to drop mining and level engineering.  But that would be too simple.

Kheldul did some research.  He found that the 25man Ulduar Flame Leviathan boss has an interesting and unique drop.  He drops the only mail goggle/glasses in the game that are wearable by non-engineers.  So that's where he was last night.  They appear to fit quite well.  For now.

Kheldul cares about proper eye protection.

Monday, April 16, 2012

SV Gets Its Mojo Back

w00t Ghostcrawler on the black arrow issue I mentioned.
"We agree with you that the redesigned Black Arrow hasn't worked out well yet, and even overlaps a little with the new Powershot talent. We are likely to revert Black Arrow to the 4.3 design."

"We would re-implement Serpent Spread."
AoE damage sucked a bit.  In my MoP beta runs everything except bosses die too quick to notice.

Now all we need is some focus on focus.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Focus Regen in MoP

Next to nobody right now is testing hunters' focus regeneration in MoP.

This is because just about everyone and their mother has the tier-13 two piece bonus.  That bonus completely (completely!) changes focus regen.  I'd say a reasonably large number of hunters participating in MoP have the four piece bonus.  That 4pc bonus is like a little heroism/bloodlust.  Focus regen is through the roof during those periods.

When various class mechanics are polished and testers are in the home stretch in level 90, hunters will experience an "Oh! Wait a minute here now."  It will be an eye-opening event.  I fear that may be too late for Blizzard's taste to put another coat of polish on hunters.

Pre-tier-13 we would gather the extra focus by aspect-twisting to Aspect of the Fox for greater focus regen and twisting back for all true damaging shots.  This was from the One With Nature talent.  But I've never been a fan of aspect-twisting and that talent doesn't exist in MoP.

Next on my list... trying the new Pre-made Panda Hunter.  Hopefully I have enough copies left.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Madness of Deathwing Bow Is Really Good

Yesterday I got the Heroic Horrifying Horn Arbalest off of Zon'ozz.  It's a item level 410 weapon with over one thouuuussand base damage per second.  My current bow from Normal Madness is only 939 base damage per second.  So I do a little happy-dance, slap on a woodchucker scope, and transmorg it into a gun.

Then something gives a little tug at the back of my mind.  "Is it actually better?"

I hit up and plug in everything revert the weapon and... it looks to make my dps better by 0.081%.  Yes. Notice the decimal point?  That's not even one-tenth of one percent better.  And this is of course factoring in all the perfect buffs and debuffs.  Without that perfection the margin would be even smaller.  It is also not taking any movement into account.  At all.  With the movement the proc DoT from the Madness of Deathwing bow will tick while I move.  The higher item level crossbow will not do much.  So if Zeherah's summary modeling of the proc is good, then the Madness bow is better.