Thursday, November 20, 2008

Initial wrath thoughts

Well, first of all: Holy crap, 1.5 million Xp to level! :D

Second, wow, wow and wow. I truly think blizzard got this expansion right. Beautiful scenery and much more involved quests has created a new fun experience for the game. I have had this much fun since I created my first character!

My favorite experiences thus far:

- Cruising in on the stormwind pimp boat and seeing the Fjord for the first time.

- The Fjord quests! Talk about a new type of fun. Training a hawk, flying on an arrow and turning into a bird were my favorite!

- The Tuskar. I don't know what it is...I just want to be their friends! :)

- Riding on my first mammoth. Talk about cool. Did you know you can use the vendors on them!?

- Leveling the gorilla is crazy fun. 7 mobs? No problem.

- Actually taking time for screenshots and looking at the scenery. Waterfalls, cliffs...finally some stuff worth the time to look at.

- Getting the "Touring the Fjord" achievement passively. That's the achievement for doing nearly all of the Howling Fjord quests...yeah, that place is that fun!

- Being the only person who leveled herbalism in outland for 30 minutes to 400...thus being the only one able to herbalize most herbs the first few days! (maxed already!)

- Seeing Sadie in the snow! Where she belongs!

I am sure many more good times are ahead. I definitely rate Wrath as a 10/10 thus far. Now I just have to find time to play more!

Also, Death Knight is crazy fun! Delos has a great review drawn up for all to see!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Preparing for the Wrath ! ! !

So, the big day is like 36 hours away now. How excited are YOU?! Like, 'a gerbil with a new tube to run in' excited -or- just a 'toll booth worker being paid with a $2 bill' excited? Either way, I think we can all have some level of excite for new content to our game!

I personally have a lot I look forward to doing!

- First, I am going to be the explorer. No wowhead searches and google searches to help me on my quests. I am gonna go old school and simply track and find what I need to find.

- Try out Death Knight, our new class! This class seems quite interesting and it will be interesting to see how much fun it may be. I am hoping it is extremely difficult to play!

- Continue to save gold and reach 15k and 20k for the first time! (current I sit at about 11.5k...somehow)

- Level 4 pets at the same time. Come on, it can't be that hard...

- Decide on my permanent pets...Cat, Gorilla...who knows what else! Chimera maybe?

- Level my Pally as retribution, protection and holy to learn the new design of all the builds. And hopefully find the one I like the most!

- Somehow level my druid and my DK??? Ha!

Well, other than that, I pretty much have no other plans! My main goal is to enjoy the WoW the way I used to. Before grinding became the staple of my game play. Whether it be pvp grind, arena grind, raid grind or daily quest grind...it becomes a revolving door sometimes. I want to remember why WoW is fun again! :)

So, midnight nerdathon is almost here! Wownerds unite! The Autobots look ready!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The grey period

So, in this time before wrath I find myself with a lack of motivation to do...well, anything really. I have played my alt druid a little (trying to somehow get to 70 before wrath - 63 now), but other than that...nothing. I have got rich on transmutes and my big sell off at least!

That seems to be my only real goal for wrath; get as much gold as I possibly can. I figure, gold will be needed for something I want! So, selling things off is really all I have tried to do. I realized I was a bag lady on like 6 characters. So, it was time. I did save my mining materials in case I ever get the desire to be a blacksmith. Unlikely, but if that changes...I'll be ready...

I will eventually start sharing my hunter findings and understandings...when i am 80! I see no reason to go much further than general takes on things. Like my post on explosive shot. That is really all I want to do for now. level 80 quests, arena and raiding to come, but for now...we are in the grey period! The period that has drained motivation and somehow made a zombie horde the most intriguing thing we have seen in the last month.

That and the crazy achievement system that has people riding around Desolace for 45 minutes. Am I the only person out there who isn't completely obsessed with achievements? I will tell ya, I enjoy seeing the many places of WoW for the first time...I do not intend to ride around aimlessly to see each spot just to show people I did it. If I get achievements doing things I like, great! If I have to do something annoying and tedious to get them, I will pass, thank you!

So, I figure I should have some wrath goals!

1. Raid as Survival, Marksman and Beast Master and find the one I like this time around. probably survival, but I make no promises. At the very least, I will be very well educated on all 3!

2. Be a part of a casual, fun and shenanigan filled 10-person raid!! With Delos and Caitles!!

3. Acquire 5 pets I truly love and enjoy to play with. Sadie stays, the rest are all going to have to battle for stable slot supremacy!

4. Give Death Knight a serious try. Likely get to 80 and see if I like the style. Then when I find out everything I can...go PVP and own the millions of Death Knights out there with my hunter!

5. Somehow level my paladin and Druid to 80...haha!

6. WTB1337hax - I will have 10k+ gold to offer for these! (one that allows me to have the Glyph: "Gives your arcane shot a chance to delete target players hard drive")

7. Lose Sadie in the snow...several times!

8. Find a new love for WoW. My desire has been fading and the expansion may be able to bring back the fun feeling of playing WoW...as opposed to the obligation feeling that has made me start to resent the game.

Well, that seems like a good base of goals. I am sure you all have fun goals too!! feel free to share!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Gold rush!

Occasionally I am inspired to write about items other than Hunter related topics. This is on of those times (sorry to you hunter loving hunter-er's). This post is about...MONEY!

So, I have for a while now, been thinking I wanted to go through all of my characters and do a cleaning house event! Take everything I do not need, won't use in wrath and have had too long to keep saying..."I am sure I will find a use for this eventually...". So, I did it!

Let me first say, gold is not usually something I have in abundance. I am a gear monger and a pvp monger. In addition, I am extremely meticulous about having every possible raid consumable I can find!! ALl that being said, i am usually broke!

My main income source is transmutation (Alchemy). I create a gem every day (sometimes more if I am lucky!) and sell it for about 150g. Wait a minute! In the patch...transmutation cooldown was removed! Holy crap! I have the materials for an insane amount of gems!! So, half hour later...I have 60 high end gems to sell! :)$:)

So, for the first time ever I was ready to make mass gold. To accompany the gems, I had my buddy Delos disenchant about 60 items on my bank character for me. Lastly, throw in all the junk of all my characters that I needed to sell, PLUS all my herbs since I will just get new ones in wrath and....

** 3k GOLD IN 1 DAY!! **

This may not be much to everyone, but considering my max amount of gold at any time has been about 5k...this is a pretty amazing day. Not to mention only half the gems have sold and I have a few more old items left over!

So...if you see me on a mammoth in Wrath...don't be surprised!! I mean, what else would I possible save the gold for!!??

Friday, October 17, 2008

Explosive shot...

"Wait, I will be able to set things on fire...for multiple seconds?? That seems very....interesting...and wtfpwnage-like"

So, as we all know...survival hunters can set people on fire now. Woot?...meh. I have to say, I was quite excited to set a few horde on fire as soon as I built my Survival talent line up. Much to my dismay, the climax was as eventful as a presidential debate.

Here is the low down. I have 2300 ranged attack power in my Survival build. Here are my hit results:

Non-crit:
300-500 damage per hit
900-1500 total damage

Crits:
775-925 damage per hit
2,325-2,775 total damage

In essence, I was doing from 900 to 2,800 damage per 6 seconds of cooldown. I was actually hoping for a bit higher number. I mean, 2300 attack power is hard to achieve...but what can you do.

Some important things about explosive shot:

- The AOE effect hits soft AND DOES break crowd control
- Each fire hit has its own critical strike chance, meaning:
You can hit for: 400 - 800 (crit) - 400. All on one shot
- If you can find a condensed group, the AOE does make for some impressive burst
- Explosive shot can easily replace arcane shot in your rotation

Some interesting things about my survival build (0/10/51 - 10 for the 10 crit points in Marksman)
- My crit rating was 35%
- My damage meter said I was criting 58% of the time!!
- The build seems focused on critical strikes and...well...that seems to be it. Decent trapping and cc ability with wyvern sting...but really all about critical strikes. That is gonna make those points to improve your feign death seem so much better in raids now without blessing of salvation!

The last item is kind of peculiar. I essentially could not find a chance to use steady shot in most instances. When I add Aimed Shot in wrath, I doubt I will ever need steady shot. It's personal, but between Multi-shot, serpent sting and explosive shot...I never had down time.

My tips:
- Watch the cooldown and use the shot every time
- In instances and raiding, make sure you actually wont break cc; this skill if used wrong will lead to a severe case of huntarditus, that will be detrimental to your raid livelihood

Though I was not impressed with the number, it is still doing more damage than everything else. So...I like the shot, but not enough to say survival is my end all spec in Wrath. I am intrigued by the Marksman tree and that will be tried next. Also, BM had such a great fun factor...I can see BM getting some miles in Wrath as well.

Don't fret though, survival will get it's fair chance in wrath! I will raid, instance and quest with it to try it out fully. Also, explosive shot was designed as a level 80 skill....so maybe I will like seeing 3 crits over 1k in wrath! :)

Edited after further research - 11/10

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What did you do?!

Ok, so we all know that PATCH DAY!!! just came. :) So, what did you do? What did I do? Well, I tried 500 times to log in and then fell asleep! The next day though . . .

In order of Occurrence:

1st) Log into Nomakk, spec BM and start my hunt for some exotic pets! Let's be honest I love survival, but I play the hunter class for good times and shenanigans with my pets! So, it's off to Un'goro for a T-rex aka Devilsaur. Ironhide!! That's right, the big black dino that ate me when I was a young hunter gathering hundreds of crystals! "They are so shiny, how do I NOT pick them up!?"

So, the T-rex is mine! Some interesting things to note:

- He gets bigger when "Monstrous Bite" happens - This is a skill that damages the target and increases the Dino's damage by 3% (stacks up to 3 times) for 10s I believe.

- He is huge as a big red. I mean...like bury the horde mailbox huge.

- Turn your sound on! He sounds vicious! And blood drips from his mouth when he bites and gets the 3% damage bonus.

- Overall...I love him!

I have to say, I really enjoyed searching out the T-rex. There were all kinds of hunters in Un'goro and it was fun to chase and search. I started helping others find theres too. It reminded me why I play a hunter. It also led me to believe I could be BM and be happy in wrath...but don't tell anyone!

2nd) Go to Winterspring and get me a Chimera. Not nearly as fun...but it looks cool. I think tonight when I look for a cooler Chimera I will have a better time!

I did drag the Chimera through stormwind (fyi, the harbor is very well done, A+). Many people stopped to look and through some /cheer towards her (yeah, Chimeras feel like females for some reason). A few hunters even asked me "What else do you have?". Which of course led me to pull out my T-rex! Hunter adoration to the extreme!

3rd) Log off hunter, log on to Paladin. Time for the extremely over-charged retribution tree! I have to say, Divine Storm is probably the coolest ability (looks-wise) that I have seen in WoW. I felt under-whelmed, but i was also using a 1-h weapon + shield, which makes things hard as a weapon based dps class. Regardless, I loved the play style and design. I will surely be ret for pve in Wrath.

4th) Respec my Pally back to Holy. Shockadin time! So, the Holy Shock spell went from a 15s cd to a 6s cd...time to own faces? Kinda...I did some battlegrounds, but I found I was frustrated with the over-powered warriors hitting me with 2 2-h weapons. I thought it was quite lame that they could own me so bad. I used to eat warriors for lunch...now i am lunch...not fun at all.

Maybe my hunter should be able to use 2 pets? Or my paladin able to use 2 shields in 1 hand and a 2-hander in the other...yeah, that's seems fair. Sorry, i have slight hostility for watching a warrior kill my 10k hp in under 5 seconds last night. Let's see, I have over 10k hp, 350+ resilience...yeah, under 5 seconds. Hopefully he was lucky, but if that is the new design, WoW pvp will be a thing of the past for me.

5th) umm...this will be tonight? I think tonight is Survival or Marksman try night! Time to see what these new trees look like!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Some love for my fav's

Another picture I managed to capture!!









So, since I have never done this, I figured it was time. I would like to acknowledge the blogs I like to read the most!

Aspect of the Hare
She just got a new site and things are in full swing already! Consistent updates, quirky charm and a love for her class unlike any I have seen! Definitely an enjoyable read! Also, she has a superb guide built to guide you hunter's in hiding all the way to eternal glory (or level 70 at the very least).

One Among Many (Just a wow girl)
This is our resident altalicious pseudo-hunter! She would be full blood hunter-er, but she has defected to classes of Nature!! I will Aspect of the Wild her back to the promise land! Any who, she is fun to read and like to draw moonkins in the least intimidating way ever (aka, cute). Also, I play WoW with her from time to time...nothing like instant nostalgia!

Lienna's Log
A new one that I think will be a regular read from here on out. Can't tell you much about it except it is well written and intriguing enough to read beyond my normal 3 main blogs I check regularly!

Laser Chicken is always a good witty read...thought its hard to tell if he is retired from the blog world!

Arms and Fury is a nice warcraft + real life blog. Sometimes it is great to read about the in game and real life goals, side by side!

Two and a Half Orcs is charming and well written by like 35 people...or two. Either way, fun to read and a nice pleasant adventure to read along with!

Mirshalak's Lair Is another hunter lover who is in love with survival more than most! You want to talk survival? Then you want to talk to Mirshalak!

Turns out I like the females blogs! Who can argue with that? Regardless, I hope you all can find one or two blogs you may not have seen (and enjoy them of course)! Meh...no one reads my blog anyway, but it's ok to be sharing, right? :D

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hunters love and/or hate Paladins?!

I have noticed a trend in my Warcraft life...Hunter's with Paladin alt's! In many many occasions I have seen hunters on their alt while on my Pally....and they were playing a Pally too! I wonder what creates this trend? I have a few theories, as you may have guessed!

1) Blessing of freedom! Every hunter would love to be able to run free!!

2) Immortality! I don't know about you, but sometime in my 30-level pvp days, I fought a paladin who thwarted my killing efforts with his magical bubble! So, I asked around: "What can get past that bubble thing?" - "How do you kill a bubbled Paladin?" Do you know what the answer was?? You can DO NOTHING!! "Holy crap that's OP" I would cry in my sleep. Every hunter has moments where bubble would been stellar (true for all classes I suppose)

3) Kill difficulty. Ever tried to own a Paladin as a hunter...a good Paladin? One that used freedom, bubble and hammer of justice in a way that made your life truly painful? Yeah, it is those moments where you think to yourself: "I should either throw my keyboard through my screen....or create a Paladin alt and see what it's like!"

4) WTFHAX. So your in BRD, you walk into the main circular rotunda and someone just walks all the way in...Whoops!! Then you proceed to see "Resisted" when you click "Feign Death' and bloop, you die. Why does that Pally have green hands? Why did he just write in chat "Later jerks!"? OMG! He just stood in the middle of 9 guys and hearthed to safety! What a douc...genius! Oh crap...he dropped group! :(

5) Holy Shock. See Below.

So, in my days, I decided to "twink" my characters every 10 levels (get awasome gear for the top level of a pvp bracket, for you that are wondering "wtftwink?"). this desire comes from my extreme love for pvp. Now a true Twink spends hundreds (maybe thousands) of gold on a 'perfect' twinkage. Personally, I would just grab some blues and greens from the AH for lvl x9 (29, 39, etc.) and enchant is decently. Even my main went through this.

The ripple effect from this methodology is that when I twinked, I would park myself at that level, thus if I didn't want to PVP...see where I am going? The twink days led me to level an ALT. My alt was that Paladin I hated for being able to bubble and run free whenever he pleased.

This created a situation where I almost always had a twink and a leveling character at any given time side-by-side (a druid later joined the rotation when I maxed my hunter). In turn, I would also PVP with said Paladin constantly...probably 70% of the life of that Pally has been spent doing PVP. My build? Holy.

I have been in love with the idea of a Holy killer since I read about the Holy Shock ability. This type of player is referred to as a Shockadin. Which I have always been (I leveled from 55-60 as ret, but we will forgive that...it was post-BC). So, essentially I was a healer who could kill people. More importantly, I was a healer who could take the fight into his own hands, which in my battle group is very important.

One would think people would protect their healer (most times I would be the only one). No, it turns out. I would constantly get jumped and destroyed as my teammates ran away or ignored me to kill 1 pesky mage! This type of playing made it so easy to become an offensive Holy Pally at level 40 (the level you get Holy Shock).

For those of you who don't know, holy shock is a Holy Paladins only instant heal, BUT it can also be used to strike an opponent for Holy Damage! So, essentially, a Holy Paladin could judge Righteousness (an offensive judgement spell) and then Holy Shock an opponent in rapid succession (judgements do NOT trigger your global cooldown). At 49, I would hit people for 40-90% of their HP in a matter of seconds.

So, twinkage lasted a while, and then we are to today, where I am now 70! Inspect "Estario" on armory if you like! The lifestyle has survived! Shockadin in brutal gear!! Basically at 70 I buy mostly spell damage gear and then gem it for Healing (except the weapon, that +healing was too dramatic to make up and by god I am a healing class at the core!).

The final say - I love the Paladin for being a Hybdrid class. That may be why Hunters use Paladina as an escape. As my Paladin I can go out and be a straight up killer or sit back and heal the killers on my team who ignore me! I have a choice. My hunter, kill or go home, that is my job! To sum it up, I am a hunter and I love to play my Paladin!

I wonder how many hunters turn to druids, paladins and Shamans...

Have you Shockadin'd lately? Ever? Try it!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Flaskin up! A PVP tale

Well, this could be seen as a PVP tactic, idea or strategy as much as it can be looked at as a tale. Ok, I am rambling now. Regardless, I would like to share a story of something I like to do to enhance my battleground experience! As we all know, Warcraft PVP is quite the revolving door. Same stuff, different day, right? well, time to spice it up!

I decided a few days agao to go all out for some battleground domination. Basically, I wanted a "I can take on 1v2 fights and win" type of day. So, off to the auction house I went! Purchased:

- 1 fel Lotus - for my "Flask of Chromatic Wonder"
- 30 Super healing Potions (on this day, it was cheaper to buy them, instead of craft them)
- 10 Major Mana Potions (major = 65s each!!)
- 1 Super Mana Oil
- 1 Stack of Spicy Crawdad

So, I have the goods and such to feed me during my epic battle. Now, I had to decide on a spec for this adventure. I decided on BM and I will tell you why..."World of MeleeCraft" was NOT going to ruin my expensive day of fun! As a hunter, the last thing I want is to buff myself up only to get owned by under geared melee classes. So, BM was the choice.

The build is one I like to use as bm, it was 42/11/8. I go 42 for maximum pet dps output from the beast mastery tree. The 11 in Marksman is for aimed shot. I accompany this with 5% crit and 20% chance for concussive shot to stun. I no longer need to mana reduction points, as Viper is more than enough with the mana oil and flask. The final 8 points is for entrapment. Nothing is more pleasing watch people try to chase you through entrapment laden traps (as you pummel their soul).

Just a side note, a lot of people may wonder, "Why not get the +crit damage talent points??". Well, with my current gear, my damage output is not suffering by skipping them. That being said, my survivability is vital to killing multiple opponents consecutively. This build allows greater survivability with still very solid damage.

Got the consumables, got the build, now what? Trinket choice! I figured, one offensive and one defensive trinket would be best. This way I don't get too far to being a defensive bunny rabbit who can't kill or an offensive cheetah who can't run the full race. So, I picked the Blood lust Broach (+72 ranged attack power) and my Alchemist stone. Since I am using potions, the Alchemist stone is almost a must. The 40% additional healing on my potions is just crazy. As I have 30 potions, it definitely made sense.

So, I played for the 2 straight hours of the flask. I mixed all the battlegrounds, focusing mainly on AB because it presents the most opportunities to shine without help (especially in my battle group where calling for help is about as helpful as motor oil is for cooking. My shining moments of the night:

- Defending the Lumber Mill in AB alone for an entire AB match. I was able to muster 15 kills and 13 killing blows to 2 deaths (a pretty nice ratio). After each death, I went back and luckily the group had left a guy to be sacrificed! :)

- Fighting a mage, rogue and Ret pally (attacking our tower) in eye of the storm and killing all three. It is amazing how much can be accomplished with bestial wrath. Just an FYI, to solo this group your kill order is: Mage, Rogue and then paladin. Save the pally for last because they are the easiest to solo once you have endured so much damage. if that pally tries to heal, let him. he is ret and his heals are lame and you can save yourself his hurtful hits while you pump the damage out.

- In a particular AB, two warriors led the horde in damage done. They were always together and hit the same target. At one point they rushed me defending the mine and during my big red I was able to kill on and drop the other to 20% hp. if it wasn't for his 4k mortal strike (409 resilience my butt!) I would have had him as well.

- Destroying every rogue I saw. Not really an accomplishment, but it made me feel better. When BM, find and kill rogues!

- In an AV I multi shot a group and got these three hits: '2306' '2210' '2175'.

- In two separate AV's I was able to hold Stonehearth bunker so long (alone) that the alliance had a 300 point lead.

A lot of you may be wondering why I did this for solo accomplishments. Well, as you may have noticed, my goals were not for top damage and top killing blows, but for objectives to win. The reason these have to be done solo is not because I am a nomadic rogue, but because my battle group really doesn't answer calls for help. So much for being part of the "Alliance". So, after a while, you start to think of creative ways to still do big things that help to win. I can;t remember my exact win to loss ratio, but i know I won 3 AB's. If you ask any alliance in my battle group, that pretty incredible!

So, flask up and spend some gold and try it out! See what you can do!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Deterrence!

Ever wonder the best way to beat those pesky Warriors and rogues? How about a nice little combination of annoyance combined with shock.

If you have ever went 11 or so points into the Survival tree, then you likely have utilized the skill called "Deterrence" at some point. This is a skill that...well...provides you with all kinds of good times! In a nut shell, Deterrence is a skill that for 10 seconds grants you 25% dodge and 25% parry. If you are full survival, this should get you to at least 50% dodge and 30% parry or more!

If you see THIS, it is an excellent time to use deterrence!
In PVE
In PVE deterrence is an excellent tool to have at your disposal. When grinding solo, wouldn't it be nice to have an escape when you "accidentally" draw too many mobs and would prefer to not kill your loving pet? Simply take agro! Throw down the deterrence machine and continue to fight your pets target at range while avoiding almost every attack from the extra enemies. Bring your buddy back to take the targets back and then proceed to kill them knowing the 10 seconds you absorbed from your pet likely saved you down time and your pets frustration with your carelessness.

If you are trying an extra difficult elite mob or rare spawn, this is also a great way to save your pet and your chance of killing the mob. Let your pet start in, but dps down the mob hard and ignore the agro table, keep mend pet rolling during this burst. When you draw agro, drop a damaging trap (ice likely not possible) and start up the deterrence. Hold the mob while keeping mend pet rolling. This will provide a nice 10s recovery period where you continue to damage the target and they aren't demolishing your poor little buddy. Feign death and drop back and then tell all your friends what you can solo!This technique is especially geared towards a mob that cannot be crowd controlled and/or slowed; if they can be, simply use it in an emergency situation.

What about in raids, instances or heroics?! Well, I will tell you a nice story about a time I went and saw The Dragon killer. Well, we have him at 3% and the second tank died is the premise. Luckily (debatable) I was next on the agro list after both tanks. I decide to not feign and see if 2 dps and 4 healers can finish him with a hunter tank. I switch to monkey and let him come. I release deterrence and for 10s I take 1 hit for 8k but with 4 healers it is quickly absorbed and I live!! Gruul is at 1% when deterrence ends so I just stay in monkey and wait for a huge blow to pop my super healing potion. In the end, we killed the final 3% of Gruul with a hunter tank, mage and 4 healers.

Lets all be happy Atreyu had Deterrence popped at the most important moment!
So, know that as a hunter you can save groups on boss fights. Especially, if you have a resto druid! In 10s the druid can res the tank and full heal him and you can stand strong and prevent a whipe and possible long walk back (Coilfang anyone?). Just be smart and remember you have the skill. What do you do if a trap is resisted in instances? "Trap resist, need help!" or the more dreaded: "Trap resist, I had to feign" The latter being what is usually said after a whipe.

I will be honest...sometimes Deterrence won't help . . .
In this case, it will! If you have deterrence, you simply use it, and for 10s you can recover from a trap resist. Either you get your trap cooldown to finish or the tank has good time to react and you can hold until then. Basically you become a very reliable source of safe and what the group will see as near flawless crowd control. If your group doesn't compliment or say anything at all about your trapping, then you did it right! :)

In PVP - Battlegrounds
Every non-bm hunter has been there. "God, I hate rogues and warriors! How can they get so many ways to catch me!" I have been there many times. It is this fact that sometimes can make deterrence worth it if you are a pvp'r. In battlegrounds Deterrence is sometimes a real way to beat strong rogues and warriors. If you have any doubts, let me share a story with you...again.

One pleasant day I was taking a stroll in WSG as the flag carrier due to no stronger alternative. I get jumped mid-field by a pair of rogues. Now, this usually spells doom for a hunter, but I stayed patient and dropped a frost trap. Faced the rogues and fought. Deterrence and I am at 80% hp; pop Readiness, drop explosive trap and keep fighting. Second deterrence and I am now at 50% hp and the 1st rogue dead. Second rogue is alive at 30% hp. It is at this point that I see 2 more horde mounted coming my way. So, I sleep the rogue in a haste and make for my tunnel. I am met by a resto shaman and we proceed to score.

Imagine if Neo didn't learn Deterrence...we would all be batteries!


In that situation, it was the difference between a point or another dragging effort to score without a decent carrier. Try to watch for the right moments. It is not in your best interest to waste deterrence if you are fighting say, a warrior and he has 2 healers. Be selective and it will pull you out of tight situations. Focus, keep the target in front of you and watch the hp bar hold!

In Arena
Many battleground strategies are the same as the arena strategies. The glaring exception being you can easily plan when to use deterrence. In my opinion, you should save it for the moment of truth. The moment where you have used all cooldowns and all possible escapes and now you must stand and face that warrior. Drop that frost trap and raptor stike his head in. It is far more valuable to stand and fight (even if the damage is minimal) while your team can recover. Also, you may have a cooldown refresh in those 10 vital seconds!

If Gandalf had kept his enemy in front of him, he could have dodged that last attack and won that match . . .

Luckily he learned from this and used Deterrence properly in his final battle with the Big Red Demon.

In conclusion, try to practice using deterrence and keeping folks in front of you. Many warriors and rogues stuck in slowing traps will be blown away by you surviving and dodging like a mad man!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The purple Hunter

So, as the last few week have gone by I have sometimes come to overlook my current gear. To be honest, I probably shouldn't. I mean, it felt so easy because of how lazily I acquired it all. I tend to like doing bg's a lot (especially when I make 25 Super Healing Potions and flask!). All though, I am sure Warhammer pvp will be more fun...given the focus it has on it. Regardless, I would say I am doing pretty well!

3/5 Brutal Gear
1/5 Vengeful (Head)
1/5 Merciless (shoulders)

4/5 Guardian (Need = Boots)
1/5 Vindicator's (Ring, which is the max anyway. I have the Guardian ring)

Trinkets:
Medallion of the alliance (epic = 45 resilience)
Talisman of the Alliance (900 hp heal + 34 Resilience)
Bloodlust Broach (+72 Ranged attack power)
Alchemist Stone (+15 Stats) - For BG's when I plan on using Potions

Weapons:
Vengeful Waraxe
Playschool Badge crossbow
!

So, all in all I am doing quite nicely. I have 375-409 resilience and 35-41% crit rating. Not bad at all me thinks!

In addition, my Holy Pally (who is a down right PVP-whore) has started to look half decent!

2/5 Brutal
1/5 Vengeful (Head)
1/5 Merciless (shoulder)


2/5 Guardian
1/5 Vindicator

Merciless Weapon and Shield

So, considering two weeks ago he had 120 resilience and now he has 265, we are doing pretty well. I have truly stuck to my shockadin plan, taking dmg/heal armor, but using +heal gems. So, essentially I have a Holy Paladin with +750 dmg and +1400 healing. I know my healing has been gimped, but alliance in my battle group is awful. So, I need to eb able to kill folks. It nice in battlegrounds where I can demolish non-warlocks pretty quickly and heal to kind of "cheat" as being both good dps and good healing.

The next step: Await my teammate Delos to get active in arena again...I am pretty confident our success is going to be very high this go round! It will be the return of Moonkin-Hunter and Paldadin-Rogue!! :) Wish us luck!
Picture credit goes to yours truly! :D Think I have got the eye for it?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Arena newbie - Hunter Guide

So, it's time for arena on your hunter, aye? I bet you think since you lead in killing blows all the time in WSG, you will totally own in arena too! Well, sadly, you couldn't be more wrong! Regardless, do not be deterred. With practice and spec manipulation, in time you will likely find some success in arena! Here are my tips for success when you take your first steps into arenahood.

1. Get the blue pvp set! I know sometimes grinding the reputation needed for items is tedious, but this set is cake. it only takes honored reputation and it is vastly superior to the blues and greens from most dungeons. Resilience is the key. if you have -0- then expect to drop like a rock. if it is 150+ then expect to last and be able to fight. get to 300 and you are able to truly compete (400 and you now have only skill to work on).

2.. Gem for your build. In the beginning, you will likely not know which build will succeed in arena. So, gem the blue set and then play with the three tree's to see what works. Early on, you may want to make sure all of your gems have stamina. 10k hp is a great early goal. When I first began, I used gem's that were x + stamina (x being agility, critical strike chance, etc.). Arena is not about how much damage you can do as much as it is about how long you can be in the fight. Doing huge burst is great, but if the other team survives it and you die, then what good is your +attack power gems and only 8k hp?

3. Aspect of the Viper! I see a lot of hunters using Aspect of the Hawk in arena. Ugh...that's all I ever say. Please remember that Viper is how you survive a DPS+Healer team. Stay in hawk and you are doomed. Remember, a hunter can only do as much as his or her mana pool allows. Why risk losing your fuel source!? I personally have given up Hawk and reserved it for 2v2 arena teams with a second DPS class as my teammate. Having mana is more important to me than 150 attack power.

You may say you switch to Viper when you need it and it is a waste early, but after doing hundreds of arena matches, that tactic is not for me. I really...REALLY want mana when it comes time to close a match. Nothing worse than getting down to a 1v1 scenario and you have no mana (especially if you know you could win with mana). Also, how many times have you forgot to switch your aspect to viper until it was too late?

4. Do not be afraid to experiment. if you are truly a beast master and nothing will ever change that, then more power to you (with practice, you can be great with any build). I encourage you to go out, farm 500g and start playing with your class. I have learned all 3 hunter tree's well and feel comfortable in arena as any build. I would never have discovered the fun of the 0/27/34 build without arena! Also, maybe you don't like to crowd control, maybe you aren't good at kiting (these are traits of a someone who should really try out BM).

5. Expect things to be hard. I have 400 resilience and 12.8k hp and I still have trouble in arena. Hunter are severely handicapped in arena. The hunter problem is really only in 2v2 arena. So, if you want a better chance at instant success, you may want to try 3v3 or 5v5 right off the bat. Especially 5v5 arena! You get more points faster and hunters are excellent dps for a 5v5 team.

6. Find a solid and reliable teammate who you can work well with. If you decide to do 2v2 as a focus (easiest to focus on and organize) then find a teammate you can work with. Personally I like to run with Retribution paladins, amazing rogues and Sl/SL warlocks. Moonkin and elemental shaman are my preference, but I can never find them!!

To be honest though, any strong teammate is best to practice with when you first start and see what you can do. A lot of people will say "hunters are definitely best with X", but I implore you to find this out for yourself. Trust me, 2v2 is hard enough without having the daunting task of finding a very specific teammate who may be some stranger that you may or may not work well with.

7. Do not be afraid to spend arena points on the "lower" arena items. Right now that would mean buying vengeful instead of Brutal gear. By all means grab the gloves when you can, but do not feel defeated to buy vengeful if your not getting the ratings for brutal. vengeful is amazing gear and it will help you get the ratings. Trust me, the vengeful will help so much and you will get higher ratings, more points and the brutal will come in time.

8. Practice is my final piece of information. The more you play arena, the better you will be. I assure you that if you find a teammate that you work well with and the two of you practice, then you will eventually become awesome!

As always, if you have any questions, please ask!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Arena Segment: Hunter vs Rogue - Part 2

Rogue Skills:

Shadow Step
I am mentioning this skill simply because of the current latency issue it takes advantage of. Shadowstep ignores the flare, this is another excellent reason to use frost trap. They will likely see you drop a trap and then use cloak of shadows + shadow step. If you planned right, they will shadow step into a nice frosty mess to try and get out of!

Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot
The key to fighting a rogue is patience, not panic. Rogues need to hit a hunter many times to kill them. So, you must limit how much they get to hit you. If you get cheap shot, relax! Wait for the kidney shot and trinket at that point. Immediately flare and frost trap and start following your rogue killing rotation. Do not, I mean absolutely do not trinket out of cheap shots unless you will die within a few hits. Kidney shot is usually five seconds which can equate to a ton of damage.

Blade fury and Adrenaline rush
Make sure if you notice the rogue using these skills...RUN. Do not let the rogue pummel you. Escape at all costs and when the rush is over you should have the non-subtlety rogue wrapped up.

Some racial tips:
Dwarves: If you are a beast master dwarf, you should never ever lose to a rogue, even if he has all of his cooldowns. Your escapes are amazing and all rogues should fear the dwarf hunter. Stoneform, simply save it for after your wrath or after your trinket, it is another free crippling escape!

Tauren: War stomp -> Feign Death -> wing clip. Enough said. Watch the crippling poison timer if you are in monkey and standing in your flare toughing it out in melee! ;) When it's low, simply use the combo I listed and watch the rogue fade into the distance.

Orc: Enjoy all the cheap shot/kidney shot resists!

Night Elf: Try this some time. When trying to find a rogue flare first and stand in the middle. Shoot a volley out and then shadowmeld. With five seconds left on the flare, un-stealth and get ready to move a bit to the next flare spot. Then shadowmeld again. Rogues cannot shadowstep when you are melded. If you time this right you can leave rogues with very small windows of opportunity to shadowstep to you. Most times it will create enough time for the stealth eyes to pop up for you!

Draenei: Try using scatter shot, intimidate, entrapment, or even feign death to use your heal. Also, try using it early and not late. use it when things are not desperate to widen the damage gap between you and the rogue.

Trolls try to use berserk when forced to fight in melee to up your chances. Blood elves...I got nothin' (casters you can mess up their day....rogues...use all of the above!)

If you want to try to be good at fighting rogues but know you won't remember everything I wrote...here is the top 5 items I recommend starting with.

1) When you cannot get away after doing everything you can...FIGHT!! You have weapons and a few melee skills. Pop in monkey and do you best to do as much damage while awaiting your next possible escape! I have hit a rogue for 2k before with my axe!

2) Use Frost trap

3) FLARE! FLARE! FLARE! When? During the ENTIRE fight!! Eliminate vanish from the rogues arsenal!

4) Feign death before the rogue reaches you. Wing clip and run. This is an epic way to get an aimed shot onto the rogue and then not get hit after the long cast! Also, it helps if your ability to kite the rogues are limited (another hunterology post coming soon!).

5) Be patient and confident. I used to fear and loathe rogues! now, only the truly elite and fortunate ones beat me. I am happy to see most rogues and I make them say "God I hate hunters" =D Take things slow, once you start feeling like rogues aren't so bad you can take your time and slowly and patiently kill rogues. (stop trinket wasting out of cheap shots!)

As always, ask any question you have! I always like to hear other ideas too!!
Check out Part 1 here

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Arena Segment: Hunter vs. Rogue - Part 1

Ok, if you have ever played a hunter in arena then you know the pain of fighting rogues. I figure non-bm hunters nearly every BG experience think to themselves "I hate rogues" on multiple occasions. So, since rogues are not the thorn in my side they used to be (actually i don't mind them at all now) I figured it was time to share my hax...I mean strategies! :) Beast masters likely don't hate rogues, so you all can keep the wrath burning through every rogue you see! Some of the tips may help when the wrath is cooling down though!

The truth first. Rogues are far superior built for 2v2 arena, so if you are going to beat one, you must be better. No ifs, ands or buts! Unfortunately, when the rogue has a healer, you will have to be near flawless to beat them. You damage source is limited by mana and the rogue has infinite damage. That's just the reality.

Flare! Flare! Flare!
I cannot stress how important a flare is these days. You may say to me "I always use a flare, it the vanish that gets me!!" if you say this, then it is time for you to realize that when fighting a rogue, flare is your most important asset. During the engagement you should be renewing flare. Ever seen a rogue Vanish in a flare?...me neither. They throw smoke and then stand right next to you for a couple seconds pondering their life.

The flare is not just to prevent and opener, it is to save you from multiple cheap shots and vanishes. In an arena where a rogue can possible Vanish twice in a a short period you must combat them with good consistent flare placement for your entire engagement! No Exceptions!

Stop Ice trapping them!
Ice trap is not what it used to be, especially in arena. Everyone has the trinket and the rogue can likely kill you with 1 trinket use especially if he knows to shiv a hunter with crippling poison. Also, most rogues have a healer who can dispel your trap, which even lessens the effect it has! So, that leaves you with 4 more choices: Fire, Explosive, Frost and Snake.

Fire and explosive may as well be removed from the lost because of cloak of shadows (read below for explosive trap possible use). Frost and snake are your best traps to use. This one is personal. Snakes is nice because of crippling poison and a small amount of damage via dots...also nice. Considering that when fighting rogues you are now keeping a flare down...and you have serpent sting, that may not be as advantageous as frost.

Frost trap is amazing for the sheer use of the trap. You can use a frost trap for its entire duration and keep making the rogue slow while you circle the trap area (with a flare in it!). Occasionally you may have to worry about a paladin giving freedom, but remember that arcane shot removes it and you likely have already removed all other buffs with an arcane shot or two prior to getting in the trap. Regardless, the trap will still be there, if the rogue trinkets out, he will immediately get caught again.

If you have entrapment....then you will truly know what it's like to be a "mace-stun-esque" hunter. Watching a rogue struggle in a frost trap is a thing of beauty and it will help you forget the pain of crippling poison.

Side note: Explosive trap does have 1 great use. In this day and age, rogues own hunters in cool downs at their disposal. So, in longer fights where it is just you and the rogue and you are out of escapes and you have to take the rogues damage, simply use explosive trap. Hopefully by this point the rogue is near dead and the initial hit will likely catch him off-guard and hopefully help you win the melee fight!

Speaking of melee . . .

Aspect of the Monkey
The most under-utilized tool in arena. If you are fighting a rogue, eventually he will get crippling poison on you and you will be out of escapes. it is at this moment where instead of walking away slowly dying, that it is time to own the moment. Switch to Aspect of the Monkey and be the melee hunter you always dreamed of being! Consider that whatever you are waiting on as far as cooldowns go, is more likely to come to pass if you live longer. Face front, drop a frost trap to keep the rogue in front of you and melee your hunter heart out.

I don't know about you, but I have 26% dodge in monkey and 0% dodge when walking away from a slicing rogue! You survive during you melee battle; now scatter shot cooldown ends or you finally have some other escape! You switch back to viper and own the rogues face! (my post tomorrow will reflect on why I use Viper over Hawk in arena).

Serpent Sting
Not much to be said here, keep it on to make the vanish tactics to a minimum. The damage is not as important as the stealth prevention (remember....flare while fighting!).

Hunter's Mark
This skill is definitely still useful, but remember that serpent sting is more important in most cases. Hunters mark has less effect when you consider shadow step. The serpent sting will break stealth and hopefully it happens before the shadow step.

Feign Death
We all know the beauty of Feign death in PVE, but my-my-my have you used it in pvp? Hopefully the answer is yes! There is nothing better than a nicely timed FD that leaves the rogue way behind you. An excellent time to use it is when the rogue is approaching you at range. Just as he gets in striking range do a feign death immediately followed by a wing clip. This also works if the rogue shadowsteps to you. Feign right away and wing clip him and gain a ton of ground. if you planned ahead you will also have a frost trap and flare to run through! :)

Volley
In every arena with a stealth class I always pop my flare and stand in it. The next step is to volley in some random location to find someone in stealth. I would say 15% of the time i snag someone. Just think, 15% of the time you find the rogue first! Most times the rogue will panic and burn a vanish right away helping your cause even further! I use rank 1 to conserve mana, so look at it as your second flare every minute.

Check out Part 2 here! Inspiration for this entry came from Mirshalak!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Marksman PVP



Recently I have been trying the Marksman build for pvp. I was marksman for a year before switching to survival a year ago. I have started to try it out again...to be honest, the inability to excel in arena is why. Survival hunter's in arena are gimped by their CC sharing the same depreciating returns. I have elaborated on this before, but it is the dumbest class design I have ever seen. To have a trap and a sleep share the same diminishing returns and then give a 41st point that refreshes their cooldowns? Wow...just wow.

Here are some keys I have noticed:

- Silence Shot is epic. I can really mess up a resto-druid or priest who has grown over-confident. I am always in a good mood when I get an aimed shot off; I know that person is likely doomed from that point on because of my ability to stop any decent heals. Another excellent use of Silence shot is right after a viper sting on anyone who can cleanse it. Usually the sting lasts it's full duration because after the 2s silence the stung target has to deal with...

- Improved Stings! These points are mandatory for pvp. 30% resistance to removal...yes please! Also, the 30% more damage and mana drained is just gravy.

- Attack power is crazy. In my Survival build I have 1515 RAP and 41% crit. In my Marksman Build I have 1840 RAP and 34% crit. Which is better? Hard to say, but my sustained Marksman damage is quite nice. These numbers are all in Viper by the way. It is debatable whether a Marksman or Survival hunter has better burst though.

Marksman vs Survival in PVP - two major differences

1) Silence Shot trumps Wyvern sting. Both hunters can trap effectively, but Wyvern sting is almost always a waste as it is broken by a teammate or your traps diminishing returns makes it a 4 second crowd control. Silence shot is repeatable every 20 seconds and you can use it with great results all the time. The shot is both reliable and an excellent utility. If you consider your burst as a Hunter, it is vital to be able to stop heals and Marksman can time the interrupt to be right where it causes the most pain.

2) Survival has better sustained burst. It is probably a great unknown that Survival can outburst a Marksman Hunter in arena. It is quite simply the 5-7% higher crit rating and getting to roll 2 rapid fires into every arena exchange or have an extra rapid fire every 5 minutes in battlegrounds. I would say that 65k damage in 30 seconds of battle is not out of the question for a survival hunter.

My 5v5 team last night features me as survival and another hunter as Marksman. When neither of us was under attack, I consistently out damaged him by 15-20k damage. Now, his silence shot may have been more vital, but you have to consider that 20k damage is nearly 2 kills worth of damage. Rapid fire when not under duress is amazing for destroying someone and makes getting the aimed shot debuff on a target so easy.

My current verdict is that I prefer Survival in 5v5 arena and battlegrounds. I can CC at my own discretion while still pumping out heavy damage. In 2v2 and 3v3 arena I prefer Marksman because I really need silence shot in those exchanges (and improved stings in many cases). Less important, but just as good to note, Survival is more fun! It is always an amazing moment to be standing in the field of strife with 4 or 5 people trying so hard to kill you as you are truly making their day feel like forever. Sleep, entrapment and deterrence, oh my!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Great return!

So, I took a long (impromptu) vacation to escape from my life for a bit! Now I am back and ready to blog, craft and anything else enjoyable for the time being!

Short Non-Warcraft notes:
I went on Vacation at a beach and I can tell you, seeing storms coming over the beach is an amazing experience! The photographer in me cried out for me to at least TRY a photography side job. It's a dream that hopefully I can pursue one day soon!

Being with kids makes me not want them. I mean, I am sure one day I will want them, but that day is NOT soon. I love my nieces and nephew, but I am happily waiting for my turn!

I really want to find a new thing to do in WoW. I have found myself doing some PVP and such, but lately I haven't found any motivation to do much. Grinding is definitely not my idea of a good time. I wish I had the Alt-itus, thats for sure! Either way, I am sure I will find something fun to do soon. Maybe an odd pvp spec based on 1 goal (like WSG flag Carrying or Solo AV tower defense). Also, that 49 druid is looking quit tempting these days (twinkage fun is fading quickly). Idea?! Please share them!!

More to come guys, thanks to all of you who continue to visit! I promise to post more now that life will return to normality!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My arena teams!

So, I am back now! :) All settled in (pay no attention to all those full boxes in the second bedroom) and ready for some blogging + warcraft good times!

I figured with season 4 now in full swing I would share my past arena teams and how they fared! I will rate (1-10 scale)Burst, Survivability, Control, Synergy and Ability to succeed. I will rate my experience and then what I feel it would be like with great gear.

Score Key for what rating one might expect:
0-19 < 1400
20-29 < 1500
30-35 < 1650
36-44 < 1800
45-49 < 1900
50 = own everyone

1. Marksman Hunter + Moonkin
- Bursting: 7 - 10
- Survive : 5 - 7
- Control : 6 - 6
- Synergy: 4 - 4
- Success : 3 - 3
Tally: 25 - 30

2. Survival Hunter + Moonkin
- Bursting: 8 - 10
- Survive : 7 - 8
- Control : 8 - 10
- Synergy: 6 - 7
- Success : 6 - 8
Tally: 35-43

3. Survival hunter + Resto Druid
- Bursting: 4 - 4
- Survive : 7 - 8
- Control : 5 - 6
- Synergy: 2 - 4
- Success : 2 - 4
Tally: 20 - 26

4. Survival hunter + BM Hunter
- Bursting: 8 - 10
- Survive : 4 - 5
- Control : 4 - 5
- Synergy: 2 - 2
- Success : 2 - 4
Tally: 20 - 26

5. Survival Hunter + Subtle Rogue
- Bursting: 5 - 6
- Survive : 9 - 10
- Control : 4 - 5
- Synergy: 3 - 3
- Success : 2 - 3
Tally: 23 - 27

6. Marksman Hunter + Combat Rogue (Current)
- Bursting: 8 - 10
- Survive : 5 - 7
- Control : 4 - 5
- Synergy: 7 - 8
- Success : 3 - 6
Tally: 27 - 35

7. Shockadin Healer + Subtle Rogue (I am the holy pally)
- Bursting: 3 -6
- Survive : 7 - 9
- Control : 3 - 4
- Synergy: 4 -5
- Success : 4 - 8
Tally: 21 - 32

8. Shockadin healer + Arcane Mage
- Bursting: 6 - 7
- Survive : 4 - 6
- Control : 4 - 6
- Synergy: 3 - 5
- Success : 4 - 5
Tally: 21 - 29

9. Shockadin healer + Frost Mage
- Bursting: 7 - 9
- Survive : 6 - 9
- Control : 5 - 7
- Synergy: 8 - 9
- Success : 6 - 8
Tally: 32 -42

10. Shockadin Healer + Moonkin (current)
- Bursting: 5 - 10
- Survive : 6 - 9
- Control : 4 - 6
- Synergy: 8 - 10
- Success : 6 - 9
Tally: 29 - 44

Hunter Summary: In short, being an arena 2v2 hunter is hard. i have yet to meet a 2v2 hunter with over 1800 rating. i have seen them with nice 3v3 and 5v5 team ratings though. It is very hard to roll with healer + hunter unless you are both geared extremely well and practice regularly. Without dedicated practice and such, the hunter really needs a hybrid or second strong dps partner. Honestly, if you want to succeed with as little work as possible as the hunter, then simply go to the 3v3 format!

If I had to recommend teams to avoid: Any team, where you are reliant on the healer. Mana burn, drain and sting are so deadly to a hunter team and it makes your ceiling low (again, unless you pour your heart and soul into memorizing what to do). I am casual, so these teams are simply frustrating. if you did take a healer, then go with a paladin. They aren't easily taken out and blessing of freedom can really make life easier.

Teams I would highly suggest trying are good hybrid teammates. Elemental shamans and moonkins especially. Nothing like someone to help burst and throw some game changing heals + poison cleanses your way! Also, the Hunter + Warlock team would be quite intriguing to try.

Shockadin healer Summary: First let me say that I love being a killing holy paladin. I could never be a traditional Holy Pally (in 3v3 I may try my best to do so). A Shockadin Healer is a Paladin who goes 41/20/0 - or - 40/0/21 and Heals while being a good source of dps help.

I would avoid trying to convince a healer you are worthy of their heals! :) No matter what you do you are still a minor DPS source most of the time. What a shockadin can do well is interval bursting. Basically every judgement + Holy shock moment you can spray anywhere from 1500-4000 dmg on an enemy in 1 Second (since judgements do not count towards the global cooldown). So, find another dps, you are still technically the healer.

Teammates I recommend would definately be your high + limitless DPS folks. Such as Warlocks using the Imp as a mana battery, Rogues, and DPS Warriors (centers?). Above all, I would actually search out skilled DPS partners. I mean, any skilled DPS will work as long as they know how to both fight for a quick win and fight in a long drawn out battle of attrition. The best advantage you have is that you are helping DPS while still having the healing gear!

I will do a 3v3 summary as well! Watch for it. :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New house!

Just a quick update! This past weekend we closed (my girlfriend and I) on our first house! It is a beautiful English inspired old style brick condo (2BR 2 bath) in a wonderful area. Some thing to note:

- Sleeping on a mattress in your living room instead of moving the bed frame = priceless (and very underrated)

- Carrying furniture up to a third floor = hire movers next time

- Shopping at best buy after you just got paid = not smart

- Moving in with a crazy woman = exciting? :)

- Trying to convince a woman of the worth of your futon = impossible? (sorry guys, even with a $200 frame and $200 mattress...still worthless!)

More updates will come soon as we are nearly settled! :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Random PVP storytelling

So, I have to make an admission...I love Eye of the Storm.

"But Nomakk, you lose 70% of your matches!!"

This is true in our battle group actually. That is why I love it though. No expectation of victory. I kind of assume a loss and do my best to make things very hard on the horde. You know, like attacking their base that has 3 guys and killing all 3 only to be shortly decimated by 10 guys. It's ok, I always enjoy being able to have so many 1v1 and 1v2 encounters in one BG. Most other BG's are too small, thus help for the horde is usually a few small steps away.

By the way, who misses the epic battles that used to be AV. I lost the other day in 7 minutes. I remember a time when it took 7 minutes to do your first three quests. It used to mean something to get elite guards and air units and Ivus! It was fun and truly felt Epic. Back then, you could do 5 Av's in a row and they all would be completely different battles. Now, you could do 5 that are exactly the same. Hopefully we get some depth in our BG rotation in WotLK.

Is it just me....or does every class hate fighting warlocks? Maybe rogues and warriors don't hate it as much. Then again, how does it feel to own someone as a warrior and then sit with dot's and die shortly thereafter? Isn't it like the best moment when you realize you are fighting a "shadowmage" who is trying to shadow bolt you?! "This must be my lucky day!" It just seems that like no matter which character I am playing, be it hunter pally or druid...I hate fighting locks the most.

To my hunter friends, have you ever got the flag in Aspect of the Beast and found a nice safe location to hide? You would be shocked at how long it takes to find you. A couple WSG wars back I held the flag on the horde roof for about 15 minutes (while getting to shoot them downstairs when my guys invaded) and then 1 guy came up. After dispatching him the radar said "Wrath of the Horde incoming" so I broke out the second level. I will tell you, when your getting smashed by the opposing side, this is a great way to really slow things down and let everyone settle in. break that rhythm up that they have going. I suppose with the new flag system it won't work as well now :(

Speaking of fun, I have started doing more BG's on my 70 Holy Paladin (easily a shockadin most of the time). I love playing him because when my teammates ignore my heals (all the time) I just switch to being offensive and kill folks. I find that being such a offensive character for so long in the hunter, that I am compelled to kill Hordies as the healadin. Especially since it almost always catches them off guard. Holy shock for 2k+, seal for 2k+? Hammer of justice that heal? You have just been introduced to a healer who can kill joo! =D

Pvp may be a grind sometimes, but if you buy a flask get 20 Super healing potions and sell your left thumb for a healer friend...you will love each minute of that grind...or at least the 2 flask hours of it! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Arena Segment: Tips to fight the Healer + DPS Team

So, one of the more exciting and difficult challenges in your WoW life is when you enter an arena to discover a healer + dps team. These come in a variety of combinations, so we will just keep it general and not address each combination directly. Let us explore two different strategies:

#1) Your team is also Healer + DPS.

This is a difficult fight for a hunter for one main reason: Mana. Most HD (Healer/dps) teams have someone with limitless attacking capability. So, your time is limited in each encounter. Here are some general tips to try and follow:

A) Keep the mana sting up at all times. To avoid instant cleansing you can spec into imp sting (highly recommended for an HD team entering arena). Most matches it should be on the healers. The exceptions to me are when the other team has a mage or hunter. Those two mana pools can be drained and make the healers ability no longer important since they cannot kill you.

B) Use LOS against them! Healers will surely LOS you and this is so great if you use it correctly. Make sure when they LOS you that your healer is dragging their dps to a land far far away. Then when that healer starts to pursue, BAM! Hit em with your CC, rapid fire aimed shot, etc. Also, line of site their dps right back. Of course, vs a warlock this won't work. Against moonkins, mages, other hunters, elemental shamans and pretty much any melee this can work nicely. Drag them around a pole as your pet beats on them and your stings tick. The longer this lasts, the better for you.

Also, make sure those mana burning priests cannot get any burns on you. Stay near a pole and dance back and forth trying to land a shot or two and then avoid the burn. Priests can drain a hunter faster than should be allowed, so never try to stand and take the burns.

C) Be diligent on CC. Remember to fear beast when you can, sleep when you can and trap when you can. Try not to get away from this. Even after all the nerf's, crowd control is still boss. Most dps won't survive the full 10s without their healer. Especially if it is the fifth time you have done it to them! :)

D) Fight in Viper...ALWAYS. This cannot be stressed enough. Viper in arena. Smash it into your head.

E) E-bay - Buy yourself a warlock and then find a resto druid. This will make you forget you are playing a hunter/healer team and without gear or much skill you will make your way to 1700 in no time! Sorry, I am terribly bitter towards locks in arena and pvp :(

Ok, what if you have a DPS + DPS team? Forget support, brute force FTW! Here are some good tips for a double CC team...did I say double CC, I meant double DPS! :)

A) CC like mad - Especially if your partner has no ability to heal at all (rogue, warrior, etc.). Usually one or two timely crowd controls means someone dies. This is extremely difficult vs teams that can remove your traps. If possible, trap the person who can remove your cc to solve that issue.

B) Aimed shot - Usually I like to say only use Aimed shot under a rapid fire, BUT the exception to the rule lies here. An aimed shot can mean that you do indeed win via brute force. Force that healer to try and out-heal your dps with that reduction. I would NOT recommend any aimed shot if you are under attack unless you can do it without interruption. Let's just hope they focus your teammate!

C) Don't let them use LOS to beat you. Make them use LOS to lose to you. Let that healer hide, drag his dps away and burst him and when the healer pops back, CC them right away and burn that DPS down. This will be especially hard with resto-druids, so try other approaches on them. A lot of times you cand rag the dps over and when the druid comes to save him, immediately start your aimed shot on the druid. You accomplish two things, your debuff on him while he is healing his partner and catching him in leather armor. Now he has to decide who to heal and that choice could really sway things in your favor.

D) Pay attention and learn. Some teams will seem unbeatable to you at first. Especially warlock-resto druid. Try to pay attention to what works and try new stuff. Kill the locks pet a few times. Try to rapid fire down the lock. Whatever the case may be. Make sure you watch and learn. So, next time you can try again with something new until you find what works for your combination. Just because hunter A beats mages with LOS, doesn't make it fact. use what works for you through some trial and many many errors.

Being a hunter in arena is hard work. Do not expect easy success until you are geared well. Also, be patient. It is gonna be hard for most hunters in arena. Try to work with your spec and mold yourself for what you need help with. Sometimes, it is as easy as getting wyvern sting :) Go in to arena to have fun at first. After you get geared up and "seasoned" ...then go for the glory!

As always, ask any questions you may have! I will try to go into more specific combinations eventually, I swear!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Arena Hunger!

So, on the eve of season IV....what are your plans? Religious BG grind? Squeeze on more awesome week of arena out? Get out your Halberd of Smiting and solo raid Undercity?

Whatever the case may be, this is an exciting time! New games, new teams and new 1337 epix! Brutal Epix I could say! What will you do to inaugurate the new season? Start a petition against intercept? 500 games in 1 night? Try to drink a gallon of milk in 30 minutes? Good luck!


I know my plans...enjoy the good times. These are times when WoW is fun and exciting. AH prices sky rocket, enchanters go into hiding and everyone states "druids are OP" to the newly adorned champions of arena.

My plans for season IV are pretty exciting (to me anyway). I plan to buy so many purps that my pet bear smells schnozberries. I have been fortunate enough to be happy in my merciless gear (2 Vengeful pieces). I say that because it has allowed me to bank tons of honor and arena points. To be more specific 4700 arena points and 75k honor. You may be thinking "Nomakk plays too much WoW" and you may be correct. Let me just say....season 3 was long. Very long. Long enough to not need gear for most of the second half.


Let us all be honest, if you maintained a 10-game per week schedule, then you likely accumulated your gear quicker than half the season. This is now much harder to do (luckily IMO). I look forward to pursuing higher arena ratings and 'earning' the gear I would love to adorn. It is exciting to know that the gear will come with a bit more struggle. More heartache and pain to wear the purple gems of Azeroth.


This season's goals:
2v2 - Achieve Survival Hunter + Moonkin glory. Aiming for 1800 conservatively and 2050 aggressively. I am sure if we actually play more, we will surely get to a much higher rating.


Paladin - Build a shockadin team with my roommates magery ways. I would hope to hit 1700 here and to save myself any let down, I am going to say we won't make it (but we totally will/better).


3v3 and 5v5 - these deserve no goals because they get so little attention! (for now)

What about you? Going for 2200? Just want 10 games a week on your 13 alts? Let's hear it!

May your enemies remember you always.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fresh start!

So, last night I released myself from my guild. In short, I was finally broken down to being completely empty on hope. Hope that they would be good people...friendly people. I guess I wanted so bad to be a part of one of those guilds that just loves to play together. A guild that doesn't mind laughing at a hilarious wipe or an accidental entire raid with your fishing pole on. If I wanted to be treated like I was in jail, then I could easily buy a ticket to visit the facilities!

Drama: So, I took a week off last week, I simply said "It's not fun, when did it become all business" and then this week after some discussion with some guildies, I figured "one more try". So, I sign up and here is the message I receive (no joke): "hey Nomakk, I saw you signed up this week. You have been replaced with a new hunter, so you likely won;t be able to raid with us anymore." So, I responded: "Lolligans! Are you kidding? I can't take 1 week off....our 'officer' hunter took 2 off and his spot was waiting for him...". Finally, the last line before my departure: "I assumed you were done raiding forever because it wasn't fun".

Yeah, how is that for gratitude? Let's ignore the fact that I spend 100g for my respec's each week. Let's forget that I spend hundreds of gold on consumables each week. At the very least, recognize that our 2 young hunters are as good as they are thanks to my help and guidance. These are young kids who were depressed with the wws report each week. I helped them build better spec's and re-gem and work on shot rotation. No one saw it, I just did it. They needed and wanted to be better, so I helped them get there.

I don't want to entirely rant. So, moving on!

I actually feel liberated, not sad by the change. I no longer am constricted by a guild of selfish and greedy individuals. Control freaks are painful to raid for. Now, I can finally search out a guild that wants to have fun. Build progression through good times and shenanigans. The search is on! I will find a home!! :) or maybe a home will find me?? (fingers crossed!)

I say to any of you being enslaved from the fun by your guild..."Damn the man!". Free yourself and find a new path! Hopefully a sarcastic laden one with crazy folks enjoying the GAME! Viva La Resistance!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Milestones

How much agility can a Survival Hunter reach?! Is 1,000 unbuffed agility possible? Unlikely, but maybe!

Last adventure in my raid I was fortunate enough to have a feral druid + Enhancement Shaman (dream come true? Yes!). Needless to say I benefited from it very nicely (as did my raid). So, here is the current status of my stats( for expose weakness dps increase, I used our 16 physical dps for the night:

Unbuffed:

Agility: 829

Ranged Attack Power: 2020

Ranged Critical Chance: 34.17%

Expose weakness debuff: Increases attack power by 207.25 or contributes about 14.8 dps.

Expose Weakness dps increase: 236.8


Raid buff without Shaman or Feral Druid:

Agility: 1030

Ranged Attack power: 2601

Ranged Critical Chance: 40.5%

Expose Weakness Debuff: 257.5 or about 18.39 dps (14 attack power = 1 dps is what I am using)
Expose Weakness dps increase: 294.29

Raid buffed with Shaman using grace of air and a feral druid:

Agility: 1142

Ranged Attack power: 2768

Ranged Critical Strike Chance: 46.3%

Expose Weakness Debuff: 285.5 or about 20.39 dps

Expose Weakness dps increase: 326.29

After we got our WWS last trip my dps was 1038. When you consider the expose weakness effect, I essentially contributed 1038 + 326.29 = 1,364.29 dps for the raid. I also managed to lead in damage, though coming second to the BM hunter in personal DPS (1075).

I have begun to wonder if I can get to crazier Agility totals. I mean, 829 with only a few pieces of gear beyond Kara and nothing beyond SSC outside of some badge rewards. It will be interesting to see if I can get to 900 unbuffed agility and 36 or 37% unbuffed critical strike rating.

How was my agility 1142? Here is the list of consumables with agility that I used:

- Grilled Mudfish: +20 agility

- Major Agility Elixir: +35 agility

- Scroll of Agility V - +20 agility

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sadie

As some of you may have realized, my first pet and spirit bound friend was Sadie. A level 8 Snow Leopard from the snows hills somewhere between Ironforge and Anvilmar. When I found her, I immediately knew she was meant to be with me for my trials, wars and quests. She was timid at first and took me to her den, where I had to convince her mother that she was meant to travel the world with me. Her mother was sad, but could see the connection.
Ever curious and always enjoying her travels, Sadie immediately became my friend and ally.

Even as a small kitten she was feisty and ready to take on the troubles of the world.

In time, she faded from her rebellious nature and grew stronger and closer to me. She started becoming loyal and grew into my best friend. Even in her sleepy adolescent years!

From the kitten would come the Saber. Just like a whisper of the snow storm, she would emerge grown and ready to explore the reaches of the world.

Through time Sadie would become powerful and capable of handling her own. She started to have a ferocity and a growl that tormented enemy after enemy. Her presence was one to be drawn to and enemies fought her in fear as she pulled them towards her. We became a deadly duo as we faced the perils of society and war.

Sadie always kept her playful touch, no matter how hard things got!

There were tough times, times where we felt like we should stand down and stop pushing against the walls in front of us. The travels and battles always made Sadie look a bit different.

Sadie stayed strong, thus we were strong and we overcame adversity to conquer our missions and earn the respect of countless factions and cities. We became revered in some societies and our presence was honored in others. Whatever the case, her gaze seemed almost...somber and humble.

Sadie became my best friend, the second half of my journeys. She stood tall and prideful by my side. No fear in her eyes, even standing on the doorway to join the fight in Outland. Dirt on her face and a spirit in full supply, she was ready to be a part of what this new world would bring. Battled and bruised, dark with ash or freshly white from a swim, she is ready.



Through all our tribulations, we faced so much and have seen what most snow leopards and young night elves can only dream of. By my side, with me, I know she is ready.

We are ready to finally take the battle to her native soil. As our next journey takes us to the doorsteps of the Liche king. Sadie is ready to feel the snow under her paws and the cold wind whistling in her ears.
We step on the frozen lands of Northrend soon enough...and she will be more at home and my fierce ally, friend and warrior Saber. More dangerous than ever before...keep an eye on the snow.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

When did it become all business?

Have you ever been with a group that is taking WoW a little too serious? A group that points out each raid members mistakes and lashes out at people for those mistakes. A group who leaves you out of a raid for showing up 3 minutes early instead of 10-30 minutes early? How about a group where only officers are praised and everyone else is treated like raid fodder?

As you may have guessed, I am talking about my current guild. It saddens me that my old guild chose to merge with a new guild that said they were "just like us". Well apparently they didn't know what that meant. We were friendly and nice to each other. We actually liked to play with one another. I mean, when does the game become all business?? Is it crazy to want to be in a guild where people are genuinely nice and friendly? People like both progression and sarcastic banter? It is almost as depressing as seeing this stance for the first time.

Our guild is the type that have a filter in Vent and ignore the 18 of us in there so they can talk only among officers (not just for strategy, but for the entire raid). That kind of guild. The kind of guild where, when you make a suggestion they say "please see your class officer to discuss that" when the issue has nothing to do with your class. Let me also say that I always bring my own stuff. I know this seems small, but when everyone else depends on consumables from the guild and I bring my own (even friggin scrolls) then I think that is saying something. 1337 dps and I am cheap to have around...what more could you need!? =D It more than my own ability though. It is a culture of controlling the raid fodder. That's all everyone is to the officers, cattle to fill out the flock.

Ok, I could go on for days, but I will stop there. My current dilemma is whether to keep raiding, quit raiding and do other things or just plain quit WoW. It has come to the point where I am sitting in a raid with my hand on my forehead like I am being told my dog needs a $20,000 surgery. I want to enjoy this game again, not feel like i am showing up to a 9-5 where I call people to do surveys about which soap they use (true story). I mean, I know I am not the guru of WoW, but I do my research and have a good understanding of my class and how a raid should be built. Noah wasn't the best carpenter, but he had a good idea how to get the job done. You wouldn't try to explain to him what a hammer was.

I am taking a first step tonight. A new guild has said I may join them for a trial raid run this week (maybe only one night). The idea is both intriguing and frustrating. I want to leave my guild, but I do not want to look like I am being a complete jerk. Oddly, I do enjoy some of the company of the guild (mostly people who came with me in the merger). It is just the core group is a real pain to do anything with and not be treated like I am primitive to their awesome advanced knowledge. So, should I just say "I am trying out a new raid/guild" or should I fluff in case it doesn't work out ("I am just helping a friend's guild out"). I guess it doesn't matter. I do not want to quit the game because I do not like my guild. I would rather quit for WoW2 or something equally as fun...like this!

Either way, hopefully the new guild likes a survival hunter and the old guildies that I get along nicely with won't be too upset (maybe they will leave too!). I do take solace in the fact that I am not alone, other guild members feel this way, but they are afraid to say anything for fear of persecution. It is time to take a stand (uprising?)! Sadly, talking will not help, tried that already with no results (actually I was told to not bother myself with officer concerns; apparently I do not have my shweet offishers badge).

By the way, who wouldn't want a survival hunter in their raid to expose the weakness! What would you do!?