Legen- wait for it…. – DARY!

There are a lot of posts going around within the fantastic hunter community focusing (focus pun intended) on the state of hunter dps.
In all honesty, looking at how we seem to be getting a few nice little buffs (see my sweet confirmation post) it is fair to say that Blizzard agrees that we may not be as strong as we should be.

Generally you see this issue within the raiding community; Melee recieved a 10% AP increase, Casters have legendaries, and Rogues are on the way to also having some orange pixels of awesomeness… The weapons that drop from Deathwing are very nice for the strength users, as the procs off said weapons seem to be a teeeeeny bit over powered – when compared to our bow proc (about double).. But hey, we get the polearm as well… /sigh

4.3.2 will be getting released this week (99.99% of sources say..), and with it come the much anticipated hunter buff.. It won’t be HUGE, but hopefully it shall give us the leg up we need to compete against the legendary wielding buggers of Cataclysm.

But now we look to the future!!! QHC has another prediction..

In MoP, the FIRST LEGENDARY of the expansion shall be… A HUNTER LEGENDARY!!!

Prediction.

Looking through the history of WoW, there have been several legendarys, and only ONE was hunter specific, being the only one we could use. Here is a breakdown of the legendaries that have appeared in World of Warcraft.

Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros

This grind of a legendary was from Molten Core in MC, a rare drop off Rag himself, plus a bunch of hard to get mats (to create the hammer) ended up providing a nice boost to Warriors, Shamans, Paladins, and Druids. If memory serves correctly (from what I have read) it was considered a very nice Tanking weapon due to the threat generation for warriors, and some guilds even gave it to rogues for a DPS boost over the tanking use – no hunter use.

Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker

This sexy sword can be crafted and equipped by hunters, but it was not a hunter weapon. Grinding MC bosses for the rare bindings was the way to get this and ended up being a great tanking weapon, still used into BC. The proc generated great threat, and it was also used by dps (any who could wield the sword). Class restrictions were removed, so now any may equip it, yet as the proc (and restriction) applied to melee.. – no hunter use

Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian

Was available from the original Nax 40 in vanilla WoW, and was for the casters; druid, priest, mage and warlock. No longer available in game, and no hunter use.

Warglaive of Azzinoth, Warglaive of Azzinoth

Two rare drops of Illidan in Black Temple, the first legendary of BC. Awesome model, but who cares, hunters couldn’t use them.. Warrior and Rogue only (now also DK) – no hunter use.

Thori’dal, the Stars’ Fury

FINALLY, we get to the one and only Hunter legendary. Don’t worry that very, very few people got to obtain it (rare drop of Kil’jaeden in one of the hardest raids at the end of a expansion), and it wasn’t exlusively hunters (it should have been due to the very nature of it being a ranged weapon). Rogues and Warriors could both get this due to it not being hunter specific. The stats were good for all 3, but of course as a ranged weapon it would be BEST for the hunter (plus we are sexy) – Hunter use!

Val’anyr, Hammer of the Ancient Kings

First legendary of WotLK. It was obtained by getting drops within Ulduar, and could be used by all healing classes; Druids, Paladins, Priests and Shamans. – No hunter use

Shadowmourne

The last legendary of WotLK through a long quest chain/grind through ICC. Warrior, Deathknight or Paladin only, and even though it was a nice looking axe – no hunter use

Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest

Now we reach Cataclysm, the first Legendary to be released is the caster staff Dragonwrath via a long and grindy quest in Firelands. All caster DPS could obtain this badboy, which saw the initial drop in hunter parses amongst the top specs. – No hunter use.

Fangs of the Father

The current legendary in Cataclysm, from a long grindy quest in Dragonsoul – Rogue only. – no hunter use

 

Now, rogues could use a legendary in every expac minus WotLK… Just pointing it out… However, you can see that to tie in lore with the weapons, it might seem a tad silly to have a hunter get an amazing sword (for example) that just sits on his back while he uses a bow/crossbow/gun. It has been suggested that we get a legendary pet, yet I cannot see that as a reality; however, a ranged weapon that procs some amazing looking beast to attack in tandem with your own pet? THAT could be neat.

Looking at who-could-use-what-and-when, we are definatly due – all other specs have now had something since we had Thori’dal. Feral druids may want a handout, but hey – they got to be a fire kitty. Maybe they could become our pets, it would be an honor for them. So I leave you with this video to sum up what it will be like in Mists of Pandaria when it is announced that we are getting a legendary.

 

Selfless

Thanks to DS being released in december, the resulting break my raid team took, and subsequent problems we have had with attendance has set us back in progression. We are currently sitting at 2/8, and personally I have missed a *bleep*tonne of raids.

Sunday night was my first night back after being away on holiday, and the team was going in for its first crack at Heroic Ultraxion. Apart from having a non-ideal soak through our enhance shammy (groups were Prot pally with the shammy, spriest/rogue, hunter(moi)/blood DK) and losing our arms warrior to connection issues, it wasn’t a terrible night.

I think something missing to raiders is the concept of progression. Most seem to only see it as killing a boss – In my book, if we have significantly improved then we made progress. We saw our best attempt at 3%.

Personally, I enjoy the fight. For dps it is a complete standstill, and there is only awareness about the Hour of Twilight cast and the Fading Light debuff – not paying attention to either WILL result in your death… Knowing the soak order is the only other ‘pay attention or else’ mechanic (if you are assigned a soak; which as a hunter you should – deterrence negates 100% of the hour of twilight damage – very sexy).

My raid team doesnt have a Ret paladin or a arcane mage (or a mage at all for that matter..). Even though I was performing considerable dps as Survival (the single target damage is fantastic), the 3% increase to the raids damage is more important – resulting in me going BM.

Now, personally my dps took a hit. Burst is still amazing :P but as you get into the nitty gritty of the fight, you see the others slowly pass you. I am no slouch as BM, and female dwarf and other simcraft show BM behind as single target dps. But at the end of the day, if it helps kill the progression boss, shouldn’t you be selfless?

With the patch not released as of yet, we are still awaiting the hunter changes. With the AP increase favouring BM more than the other classes due to their specificity with AP, I look forward to seeing if it makes BM a touch more acceptable on the meters.

PS. I need moar gear!

I told you I’d be back..

 

Well I didn’t really, but I am!

I just got back last night from my week-long trip up to Magnetic Island, good times were had, got my hug on with a Koala, swam at the great barrier reef, ate and drank enough to be awesomer..

But now laughing time is over. Back to le grindstone as I outline some upcoming posts for Quel’s Hunting Corner, so sorry for the delay! But I am back; with a vengeance. Well not a vengeance, just a slight writing vendetta if you will.

Dare I finish my about me section before the week is out?! Only time will tell.

Much hunter love, I shall be updating content soon :)

x

Sweet confirmation

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator / Skills/Talents)

  • Aspect of the Hawk now grants roughly 35% more attack power.
  • Deterrence now also reduces damage taken by 30% while active.
  • Black Arrow now ticks every 2 seconds for 20 seconds, as opposed to every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The total damage dealt by the ability is unchanged.
  • Lock and Load no longer benefits Arcane Shot, nor is it consumed by Arcane Shot.

This has just been released by blizzard, confirming the Lock and load changes, but not the bombardment changes (so we will see how the PTR goes, and I will update my site at the first glimpse of a change).

First things first; the aspect of the hawk change. Fantastic – this will be a nice change for all three hunter specs. Not to mention, yours truly suggested a change like this (although I recommended scaling the AP, rather than have it at a static ammount). Although this is a nice change, and I wont complain! Now; hoping my maths isn’t terrible and way off, this should take aspect of the Hawk from 2600 AP to 3510 AP (Including one with nature talent), nearly 1000AP increase – that right there is very, very nice. I will have to wait and see how much of a difference it really makes, or just check out how the PTR goes :P*

The change to deterrrence… This is nice, but in all honesty considering the length of the cooldown, it is not overly appreciative. I can see the use where the mechanics of deterrence might not work (eg Zon’ozz orb aoe) and the damage reduction might be nice.. but overall I am not entirely impressed – it was needed, but its not enough.

The Black Arrow changes is another nice fix; I say fix because it was better (where applicable) to use Explosive trap, as the increased ticks resulted in more Lock n Load procs = Higher dps. Nice to see that Blizz listen to the playerbase :)

  4.3 Hotfixes!!

Two important hunter-related items have been fixed;

  • Vishanka, Jaws of the Earth now invokes Speaking of Rage bonus damage that is treated as ranged damage and benefits from ranged critical strike chance.
  • Vial of Shadows proc damage should now be increased by ranged attack power for hunters.

A change to the proc of Vishanka!! This is awesome, I will have to run some logs and try it out, hopefully it increases the procs contribution to our overall dps (you see warriors and dks with their dang tentacle-sword doing 20-40% 5-10% [thanks to Genzo for the checking] of their damage on particular fights.. insane). This may make the bow even SEXIER! I was way off in my initial post, it was annecdotal and I think I was just in awe of how amazing our Warrior was in the runs, and we all remarked how he loves tentacles ;)

Vial of shadows change is another confirmation, and good to see.. now to get hold of one of those sexy trinkets… (still have not seen one, except in an LFR run..)

 

*Talking about the pure talent AotH, it will give us a larger increase due to other factors (%AP buff).

Vial of Shadows.. And Hunter talk!

There was two sexy posts from community managers on the WoW forums regarding hunter related goodness;

Just want to confirm: Vial of Shadows working only with melee attack power and not ranged attack power is indeed a bug.

Barring unforeseen complications, this will be fixed in an upcoming hotfix.

 This is good to recieve confirmation, hopefully this will be rolling out in addition to the LnL changes and bombardment changes. In pvp this is turning out to be a great trinket, so hopefully it will only get better. Also this is (most likely) a BiS trinket along with Wrath of Unchaining for PvE, so it is nice to see it will be getting a nice little buff for hunters.

I forgot to add, this is how it will be playin MM aoe after 4.3.2

The other blue post was one that commented on the LnL change, as well as pointing out hunter dps in general.

Lock and Load not being caused by Arcane Shot is an intentional change. As many players have pointed out, there is just no need for it any longer.

We also intend to make sure Black Arrow is used over Explosive Trap, probably by buffing Black Arrow slightly.

We are looking a lot at hunter DPS right now. We think it is in a good place when compared to other ranged DPS specs (in equivalent gear), but falls short when compared to ranged DPS with Dragonwrath. The guilds currently posting heroic combat logs have a lot of Dragonwraths, and unfortunately, hunters are the only ranged DPS who don’t have access to a legendary weapon. When more hunters have Deathwing weapons, their DPS will go up compared to the Dragonwrath users who won’t be upgrading their weapons, and we’ll see what hunter performance looks like.

It’s likely that future legendaries won’t be usable by so many classes and specs. For the present situation, one option is to just buff hunters to make up for their inability to have legendary weapons, but when you look at DPS casters who have no legendary, it’s a tough option to take. We’re not sure yet of the future of the attack power buff in Mists of Pandaria, but in the short term we want to make sure that there are some situations where melee can do really high DPS rather than routinely coming in below ranged DPS (which is how we felt about the last two raid tiers).

If we buff hunters, it will more likely be through other avenues.

 So this is interesting. Couple of points covered here;

  • Black arrow doesnt do enough damage, especially when the option of using Explosive trap on most fights is a dps gain (not to mention the increased LnL chance). Changes to this will clean things up, as the trap launcher is still not ideal, and being in melee range is not always viable – minus a few instances.
  • Hunter DPS is lower than that of Legendary-wielding casters. They aknowledge that hunters are the only range dps without access to the legendary, and in the higher progression raiding guilds, there is a larger number of staffs, resulting in lower hunter dps in heroics.
  • They will most likely not buff hunters with the extra 10% AP – they feel that range is generally higher than melee.

From these points, it seems that they will not buff hunters soon; they may hotfix black arrow, but I don’t see a quick hunter buff on the horizon. Purely for the reason that they hope to see how it plays out, and act accordingly via a means apart from the 10% AP. Other possible buff areas would be Aspect of the Hawk (to scale, rather than be static – maybe change with % of AP or agility) as well as/or scale Hunters mark. Both of these abilitys are hunter-wide, and although would have slightly different effects on each spec, would be a universal buff to the class.

They do mention mists in relation to the attack power buff, and also refer to short term solutions. So a buff MAY be incoming with 4.3.2, or with a hotfix, but I would say they have noticed the issue, and that they may not act on it at all. I would love to see DPS buffed (as would any self respecting hunter), but at the moment I would MUCH prefer increased survivability.

- Quelys

 

 

Holy Survival Batman! – 4.3.2

In a new patch currently up on the PTR, the nicest news I have seen in a while has been datamined;

Hunter (Forums / Talent Calculator)
Survival

This is great! no more wasted LnL procs on arcane shot, all the love shall now go to Explosive shot!

Due to dynamic gameplay and shot queues, personally I am stoked. After rolling some LFR yesterday (and heroic progression last week) there was nothing worse to be spamming arcane shot to focus dump – right as the LnL proc happened. This will mean better control, and the great LnL rotation of Explosive > arcane > explosive > arcane > explosive. Can’t wait :)

The other change seen in the patch is
Marksmanship

  • Bombardment now lasts 5 secs instead of affecting your next multi shot only.

Now I can see this being a quality of life issue, and an increase to MM aoe. Here is a scenario as I see it – You multi shot (derp), Bombardment procs, you now have 5 seconds of reduced cost multi shots. This could mean that you spam multi shot, and have plenty of time to keep Improved steady shot up, as well as generally regain focus to keep high aoe instead of initial burst and low prolonged damage. Should be nice and will be looking forward to having a go with a reduced haste, higher mastery MM build on Heroic Yor’sahj.

In QHC related news, a few more strats will finally be going down (hunter specific as usual; I prefer that my guides are not a direct raid strat, as there are fantastic guides and videos available, I may branch further into that one day, but for now it is all about hunter love). I will also get round to finishing my ‘about me’ section (can’t deny you all so much), and will hopefully begin my basic hunter guides for each spec. A lot of plans for Jan, the silly season hit hard and I have been swamped.

Happy huntering, and keep an eye out for that Old God ;)

– Quel

N’Zoth in le Hizzle

Hunting at its best – The start begins as we hunt an Old God.

You know that you have been shaking in your sleep, trapped in the emerald nightmare.. Tentacles and Eye-beams coming for you… Well never fear, Quel and his FIRST LORE POST is here!!!

For the first Lore focused piece, I decided to go for one of my favourite things within the Warcraft universe; The Old Gods. Who doesn’t like Ulduar? and I for one am sour that I didn’t raid in vanilla, I absoloutly love AQ 40, and think that the raid leading to C’Thun would have been fantastic. For actual numbers, here is an excert from “The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth” – an in game book. ‘The Pantheon shattered the Old Gods’ citadels and chained the four evil gods far beneath the surface of the world.’

Within Warcraft Lore, the Old Gods were these big bad playa’s, tearing Azeroth a new one up until the Titans locked them up and took away their toys. So far we have been introduced to two Old Gods via raids; C’thun in Ahn’Qiraj, and Yogg’Saron in Ulduar. Something important to note here is that the Dragon Aspects themselves were created by the Titans to safeguard Azeroth… With the confirmation of N’Zoth as an active Old God, and the dragon aspects now in mortal form (no longer in their protector role), what will stop N’Zoth from going kamikaze, not to mention possible other Old Gods? I will touch more on the Old Gods at a later date :)

So who IS N’Zoth?? – Well; N’Zoth is a Virgo, he enjoys sunsets and walks along the beach – and by sunsets I mean destruction and manipulation and by walks along the beach I mean ‘may dwell deep under the ocean near the maelstrom’.

At blizcon 2010, during the Lore Q&A panel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ0Z9xfFGuI&feature=related) it is revealed that there IS another Old God (N’Zoth), and that he is behind the emerald nightmare. It is also vaguely hinted that he is the one ‘signing Deathwing’s checks’. The story within Cataclysm points towards N’Zoth being the force behind the Naga (and their downfall from being the Highbourne- possible Aszhara & Xavius influences of wacky-ness).

This tiny hint is the basis for my first ever prediction here at QHC (Quel’s Hunting Corner, see what I did there?) – N’Zoth will be in Mists of Pandaria, AND there will be raids to do with Azshara and the Emerald Nightmare.

Obtaining the Nerubian Puzzle Box via Archaeology results in creepy whispers from Yogg-Saron hinting at N’Zoth (or just chilling information in general). Here are some lines from the puzzle box;

  • At the bottom of the ocean even light must die.
  • Do you dream while you sleep or is it an escape from the horrors of reality?
  • In the land ofNy’alotha there is only sleep.
  • In the sleeping city of Ny’alotha walk only mad things.
  • Ny’alotha is a city of old, terrible, unnumbered crimes.
  • The drowned god’s heart is black ice.
  • In the sunken city, he lays dreaming.
  • Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
  • It is standing right behind you. Do not move. Do not breathe.
  • The fish know all the secrets. They know the cold. They know the dark.

I know, creepy right? Just so I don’t end up with a wall of text (which this is quickly becoming), I shall leave it here. This was my brief introduction to N’Zoth, and there is much speculation that can follow as we Hunt down (pun intended) this beast.