Monday, May 19, 2014

Revising the Blogroll


Eyes of the Beast
LOL Survival
Thrill of the Wild


Big Red Rhino
35 Yards Out
Piercing Shots
Rapid Fire
WoW Hunters Hall

Need to Add Somehow

Solar Flair

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Upgrading Your Hunter Gear -- on day one of 5.4.8

When 5.4.8 lands we'll have a landslide of gear upgrades to make:
Gear changes are coming! First, in Patch 5.4.8 (which is currently in testing on the PTR), all upgradable epic items introduced to the game in Patch 5.4 will be given the option to upgrade 2 more times for a grand total of 16 item levels. This change will be applied to all items found on the Timeless Isle and in Siege of Orgrimmar. For instance, if you have an item level 553 Greatsword of Pride’s Fall and its Upgrade Level is 2/2 making it item level 561, once the new patch goes live it will display 2/4 and allow you the opportunity to bump it up to item level 569. Whether you’re working on a newly boosted character or progressing through Siege of Orgrimmar, we hope this change will provide you with the extra punch you need to take down your foes.
I've been generally just sitting at the cap.  If I feel like I will easily make up a bunch of valor, I'll blow some on upgrading pet-tanking gear.  But now all hunters will have 15 items to upgrade.  (Legendary cloaks were added in 5.4.)  If you're already maxed-out on 2/2 upgrades, it will take 7500 valor to get all those items from 2/4 to 4/4.

It's been a while since I've dealt with valor. You cannot earn more than 1000 valor in a week and can only amass 3000.  If you spend 3000 on day one and then valor cap your 1000 quickly there-after then you can get eight items upgraded.  Then week two you can get two more. Week three, two more.  Etc.

Since it will take at least four weeks to upgrade everything, you want to prioritize your upgrades.  My order of operations is:
  1. Upgrade items I will not replace first
  2. Upgrade items I am not likely to replace
  3. Upgrade items with the biggest impact first
If you have tons to upgrade and just want the most immediate impact to be felt ... immediately, then you should upgrade your ranged weapon.  If it's replaced then you upgrade its replacement.  But if you want to be optimal and have a lot to upgrade, go with this priority order.

Evaluating this simple priority order is not simple.

My group of items in the above category 1 is a short list; I have a legendary cloak and pair of heroic-warforged boots. That will cost 1000 valor.

I have eleven other heroic items.  It is not particularly likely that I will get heroic-warforged versions of any of these, but it is possible.  Our raid is normally clearing the first 8 bosses in heroic in less than three hours.  We can clear the next two on heroic but can't seem to carry anyone for them and getting a full ten raiders isn't easy.  We are not currently doing Thok, Siegecrafter, Paragons, or Garrosh on heroic. Thok is a week or two of heavy progression attempts possibly with some locks extended. I have two normal set pieces that could be replaced by drops from heroic Thok and heroic Paragons. Siegecrafter and Garrosh are unlikely for a long while.

Getting a drop off heroic Thok is slightly less likely than getting a heroic-warforged piece.  However it's a specific drop as opposed to one that may happen to any of the other heroic non-set pieces.  All this makes me think that the helm, dropping off Thok, is more likely to be replaced than any other piece that I have.  For that reason, I should not upgrade it at this time.

Another consideration is that there are multiple rings and trinkets that are be usable by us. There are ways to juggle things around to accommodate upgrading one and getting another as a drop.  This is a pretty deep corner-case though. 

It is possible that I may get a random heroic-warforged gloves or chest drop which could cause me to shuffle my other tier choices around to retain the four-piece bonus. But generally, the other pieces that I will not replace are my heroic tier pieces: my chest and gloves. Tier pieces do not come in warforged variety. Those two pieces will cost another 1000.

To complete my first week of purchases I'll upgrade two more items.  I continue to coin bosses that drop ranged weapons and the magic trinket.  That said, it only makes it slightly more likely that I'll get a replacement weapon.  To that end, we use the third criteria: Upgrade items with the biggest impact first. The number one biggest impact is the ranged weapon.  I have 500 valor left for the first week.

Not all gear pieces are valued the same.  Yes item levels are there, but a chest piece is more important and has more stats than a ring.  For most pieces, you can see the weighted differences by looking the stats in a piece.  Agility + (secondary stats * 2) is your exact measure for non-trinkets.  And as a rule of thumb, you can just look at stamina.  This would push me to upgrade my pants or helm.  But my helm is more likely to be replaced off Thok so the pants are the choice...

...but the Assurance of Consequences trinket is exceptionally nice.  An additional 8 item levels should reduce the cooldown of abilities by more than 3% more.  That will not correspond to a 3% damage boost, but it will be noticed compared to +160 agility and a bit more than +200 secondary stats that the pants would give me.

This means that upgrading the Assurance of Consequences trinket will be my final 500 valor expenditure of the week.

In Summary

Upgrade items I will not replace first

  • my legendary cloak and heroic warforged boots
  • my other heroic tier pieces (can't be warforged!)

Upgrade items I am less likely to replace

  • my list of heroic but not warforged gear (incl weapon and trinket)
  • my normal mode tier pieces that drop from heroic modes we haven't killed (with likelihood of killing each)

Upgrade items with the biggest impact first within the previous categories

  • my weapon
  • my force-multiplier trinket

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rare Pets

If you still need some rare pet tames, you should get to know someone on a low-population role-playing player-vs-player realm (A.K.A. LowPop RP PVP).

I had a friend from such a realm invite me to group.  I phased to his realm.  Then suddenly instead of more than a dozen level 90 hunters looking for Loque, there was just me.  Oh!  And he's right there because nobody has tamed him.  Port over and grab Ghostcrawler.  All done in less than 10mins.

My mind was completely blown.  I had been after those pets off and on most weeks of this year.