Female dwarf dot com is not what you think it is ;)

MoP will be here in about 24 hours, so it always helps to reflect on how awesome we are as Hunters – think of all we have done for the other classes; carrying them through raids and what-not. We are pretty much monarchs… If we had a Hunter Queen, who would it bee? (lol… bee).. There is one hunter out there who has had a massive contribution to the theorycrafting scene, as well as being a solid foundation to the hunter community. When Blizz gave her a crown, it was official. Come and view the royal interview, as we bow down to the one and only Zeherah.

Female dwarf – not a naughty site!

You are well known through the hunter community for your awesome dps analyser; when did you first decide to create it, and can you tell us more about it and its functionality?

I started creating it over 4 years ago in early Wrath. I was frustrated by how poorly the Excel spreadsheet for hunters worked on my Mac and I also wanted to improve my Javascript skills because I was looking for a new job at the time. So it seemed like a good idea to try creating a web version of the spreadsheet, partly so I could use it and partly to learn new tools.

One of the benefits of using a web site interface is it’s generally easier to use than the alternative tools available since I can remove a lot of the complexity and just make it more of a basic form. It also allows users to always have the latest version without having to regularly upgrade.

However there are limits to the technology- since my server is doing the work I have the complexity and repetition of calculations so that people can get results in a timely manner and the server doesn’t get overloaded. This means certain things, like stat valuations, are less reliable than a tool which can do large numbers of simulation iterations such as Simulationcraft.

Also, since the goal is to produce the same dps results given the same input every time (which is necessary without a high number of iterations in order for settings changes to be comparable) I can’t truly model random events- I have to simulate randomness based on a reasonable approximation of how often things will happen. Normally this still gives you a good idea, but it can also create patterns which can give misleading results in some cases.

 

Tell us about Zeherah in real life – what is she like?

 

I enjoy playing MMOs and some real time strategy and puzzle games. I also enjoy reading fantasy and science fiction books (the name Zeherah comes from a character in a Sara Douglass series). I work as a web programmer for a health related company and I’ve been happily married for many years. You might also call me a bit of a hermit :)

 

What is it with the fascination of female dwarves?

 

I’ve always liked short races in games. I was rather frustrated when I played Shadowbane that they only had male dwarves available- I’ve never liked playing male characters. In WoW female dwarves are fairly rare and underappreciated. People tend to pick on them, which is really not fair given we can do really cool braid spinning.

In my guild, one of our tanks and I were the only female dwarves and we’ve always stuck together and felt the need to defend our honor. When I was trying to think of a name for the site, someone in guild made yet another jibe about female dwarves, and I realized that it’d be a fun and memorable name for the site and a way to raise awareness of their awesomeness.

Unfortunately some folks seem to be afraid to visit the site, thinking it’s a porn site. I suppose for other folks that might make them more likely to check it out :)

 

Bow to le Queen

In patch 4.3, an item was dedicated to you – can you tell us more about it?

 

It was quite an honor to have an item dedicated to me. Many folks have asked, but the answer is no, when you get an item named after you they don’t give you one for free :)

I have to wonder a bit though if the choice of model was a bit of a jibe against female dwarves from the devs- I sure hope the helm is not meant to be what they think we look like :)

I don’t think my mom was too impressed when I mentioned to her that a game item was named after me :) My brothers used to play WoW though, so they thought it was cool.

 

You would probable spend a bit of time playing each spec, but what is your favourite spec and why?

 

I’ve preferred survival for most of my time playing a hunter. In vanilla my hunter was not my main, but I played her with a friend’s guild and enjoyed her a lot. When BC hit most of the hunters in my guild stopped playing and since I was quite the altoholic and was flexible as to what to play for main, I ended up filling the hunter role.

In 2.1 when they changed things so that BM became the dominant spec it looked like it would be useful to have one SV hunter be the expose weakness person for the group. I volunteered and I really enjoyed it.

Playing SV well took a lot more work, but it was really rewarding knowing every gear upgrade was a raid dps increase, and having deterrence meant being an emergency tank in a pinch for a few seconds (which did get us one of our first kills). I started a website in the BC days with a reference of SV hunter gear and information for other hunters filling that role. It was also really the first time I started to play attention to theorycraft.

Since then I’ve always liked the SV style the best and I’ve been disappointed when it’s been tweaked to be less fun or less successful. I have historically played whatever was best for the group, but I never enjoyed myself as much when I was playing MM, and I haven’t played BM regularly in a very long time (I used to do dungeons with it back in vanilla). I like my pet, I’ve just never wanted to play a spec that was quite so dependent on the micromanagement of one, especially given all the pet bugs in the game.

 

How long have you been playing WoW?

 

I’ve been playing since the day of release. When I started playing WoW I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it- I was never into Warcraft (I prefer turn based to RTS) but it looked like fun and it was available for my Mac so I figured I’d give it a shot, and several of my friends from ClanLord and Shadowbane were planning to play.

 

You are quite a successful raider; tell us more about your guild and raid team

 

My guild has been around since vanilla and I’ve been raiding with them since their first kill of Magmadar in Molten Core. We were originally a fairly large guild with 2 40 man teams in vanilla and 2 25 man teams in BC, but over the years we’ve slimmed down. Our members are probably older on average that most WoW players and a lot have dropped out of the game as they’ve gotten married, had kids, new jobs, etc. So we still have a bunch of people, but a lot don’t raid anymore and these days we run 2-3 10 mans instead.

We’ve always been progression oriented but casually run and we’ve never run as heavy schedules as most progression oriented guilds. This limits how quickly we progress, but we have fun and it gives us more time for other things in life. Each of our groups is independently run and I run our weekend group (which raids 2 days a week), which I started in Cataclysm when I got a new job and didn’t have time for weekday raids anymore. My team is a good bunch of folks- they get along well and make my job easy.

 

You frequent the EJ and WoW forums quite a bit. In light of these interactions, what do you think about the hunter community?

 

I think the hunter community is very passionate. There’s a lot of great people who contribute in various places to make playing a hunter more fun.

 

If you could be a tree, what tree would you be?

 

Well I’m a bit of a hermit, so I don’t actually spend a lot of time around trees, but I’ve always liked willow trees :)

 

Horde is obviously better than alliance, so why are you alliance?!

 

Until recently, horde was terribly devoid of short races. So I didn’t have much choice as I prefer them. Plus the real problem with alliance was always the elves, and horde has elves now too so I think we’re even.

Also, most of my friends were playing alliance when we started so that helped decide the matter. I used to have a horde shaman on another server, but when they made it so dwarves could be shaman I switched her over and brought her to my primary server since I don’t have as much free time these days and it’s easier to maintain friendships on one server than two.

 

What is your favourite raid of all time, and favourite specific boss encounter of all time (and why)?

 

Ulduar was definitely the best designed raid of all time. The fights were creative and challenging without being ridiculous and the instance was really cool.

It’s hard to pick a favorite boss- there were bits and pieces I liked from many of them, but most raids I played so long that by the time I was done I was pretty burned out on them so most I haven’t even seen in years. It’s easier to remember the ones that annoyed me than the ones that were the most fun, which I suppose is kind of sad.

When I think back and try to remember fights from years ago, what I remember most is the funny things we did on those fights, like the time one of our less brilliant hunters lost his pet while we were wiping on Ouro because he forgot to feed the poor thing, or the fact that I had to put a mark on my head when doing C’thun on my gnome rogue because nobody could see me above the black stuff otherwise.

I did think Valithria was one of the most interesting fight designs, although I don’t know if I could call it my favorite- I just thought it was cool to have a fight where dpsing the target wasn’t the primary goal.

 

Do you have any future projects planned in the mists (mix=mists.. see what I did there?)

 

I’ve been really busy these days with work and I barely have time to play and keep the site up to date. So probably not, but you never know.

 

Femaledwarf.com is a great site to simulate your dps output

What is your favourite pet (personal pet you have, or favourite pet skin/type)

 

I’ve had my trusty pig Spike (from Loch Modan) since level 10. The poor fellow has been mostly relegated to the stables since BC (except for briefly on Valithria), but I’m excited to actually get to use him more now with the changes to pet talents. I took him to Firelands the other night and it was so nice to have him back with me.

I’m also looking forward to some of the new pets in MoP, especially the porcupines are very cute. But the jury’s still out on whether our raid comp in MoP will allow for me to bring the pet I like the best.

 

SPIKE!

Patch 5.0 is now out with people getting to try out the new system and the tweaks to the class – what is looking like the choice of choices in MoP?

 

If you means in terms of specs, it’s hard to say still. Simulations are putting BM on top, but I’m not sure if the raid data is supporting it actually being any higher than SV. I’ve had far less time to play than in previous betas so I’m mostly reliant on data from other players to judge what’ll end up on top, and that data is still spotty.

Once the expansion is out and people start raiding we’ll have a lot more data and then we’ll know better how closely the sims are actually matching up with play and fight mechanics.

 

What are you most looking forward to in the expansion?

 

The biggest things I was looking forward to are already here- the change to minimum range, the change to pet specs. I’m also looking forward to new content and a new world, but because I’ve had less free time I’ve also had less time to really pay attention to changes that weren’t directly hunter related, so I haven’t gotten as excited as previous expansions about the new stuff because I just haven’t read about a lot of it.

 

What is the best hunter ability?

 

I love disengage- it’s always fun to fly through the air. I do miss eyes of the beast- I used to pull trash after Twin Emps with my poor pig that

way- it never ended up well for him though.

 

Best.ability.ever.

What ability do you wish we could steal from another class?

 

I do think it’s a shame that rogues stole our misdirection and then got a better version with a damage buff. Perhaps we should steal the new improved version back.

 

Thanks Zeherah! Be sure to check out here Hunter DPS Analyzer, it is easily one of the greatest tools we hunters have access to. Also follow her here on twitter.

Quelys has a new home!

With the imminent launch of Mists of Pandaria lurking on the horizon, I have left my former ‘WoW Home’ at Conclave. Conclavians; I will never forget the fun we had, and I hope to still run into all of you on Dath’remar.

The guild I have moved to is Nocturnus Vexillari – the Rank 1 guild on server. With my move here I hope to be pushing myself as far as possible within the 10m raiding scene. They raid similar times/days to Conclave, so the transition should be pretty smooth.

NV- my new home

Looking towards MoP, I am excited to be raiding with this team. They dominated through the majority of Cataclysm, picking up a few realm firsts (including the only Pre-DS kill of H Ragnaros).

They are no strangers to raiding

I have gotten to know a few of them over the last couple of weeks, they are a crazy bunch of ‘nuggets’, and I can see that MoP is going to be a fun, hilarious raiding experience.

 

 

Visit NV at their homepage, I believe they may be looking for a few more positions for the core team – check recruitment needs here.

MoP Hunter pre-raid gear (version 1.0)

So after the dust settles on the marathon of levelling (yes, I shall be one of ‘those’ people who are going to stay up all night playing a game.. an AWESOME game! – in your face!) the first thing I will do (in game that is, I’m sure there will be sleep to be had, food to be eaten etc) is start to grind out my gear in preparation for the following reset when the first raid (Heart of Fear) will be unlocked.

There are some good gear lists floating around where you can see all the gear that will drop for hunters, or just all decent gear – and that is all well and good, but I like to structure lists (if not for this blog, than for myself) so I can see where I need to go, what I need to kill, and what I need to wear.

SO! here it is, the first draft of my pre-raid gear (note; this is not a best in slot list for MoP, it is pre raid).

*Just as another note, there is a quest reward neck piece [yet that will be a chunk of questing to get to it] that is epic and quite tasty, there are also some crafted items I don’t cover and I don’t include any of the valor-rep items. This is a list to dungeon grind.

Helm – Swarmcall Helm

This baby has it all, crit strike in the secondary stats and a meta socket (not to mention, the other gem slot is red, and the socket bonus is 180 agility – not too shabby).
It is dropped by Commander Ri’mok in Heroic Gate of the Setting Sun

Neck – Scorched Scarlet Key

A neck piece is a good place as any to start getting some o’ dat hit and expertise we will be required to have for raiding. The item is available from Flameweaver Koegler  in Heroic Scarlet Halls

Shoulders – Harlan’s Shoulders

Nice mix of mastery and crit for the secondary stats and a red socket with a crit socket bonus. This can be dropped by Armsmaster Harlan (they are his shoulders after all) in Heroic Scarlett Halls

Back – Aerial Bombardment Cloak

A nice splash of hit and crit make this my choice for cloak pre-raid, it drops off General Pa’valak in Heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple

Chest – Galedodger Chestguard

There are a few chest pieces to chose from, and another good choice would be Deadeye Chain of the Golden Lotus – however the red socket and +60 agi socket bonus makes this my personal pick; so throw this bad boy on your chesticles. Pick this up from Wing Leader Ner’onok in Heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple

Wrist – Bladed Smoke Bracers

Getting more expertise mixed with crit will hopefully make sure we don’t have to be over-the-top with reforging.. either way, nice amount of agi and crit on these

Look at this poser trying to be me, not to mention the lurker in the background

bracers; dropped by Sha of Violence (must be one of the ’50 sha-des of grey’) in H Ahn’Qiraj

Hands – Archer’s Precision Grips

decent set of gloves with expertise on them to get ever closer to that magic cap. Dropped by Commander Vo’Jak in Heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple

Belt – Impaler’s Girdle

You have to keep your pants on when getting down to business (raiding business, not sexy time business… with sexy time belts just get in the way) and what a better way to do that then using the Impaler’s Girdle. More expertise (you can see I have thrown that priority up there, can always reforge excess to hit) and a nice chunk of crit. Dropped by Striker Ga’dok in Heroic Gate of the Setting Sun

Legs – Hopping Mad Leggings

Easily one of the best item names we will deal with early on in the expansion, make sure you throw these ‘cranky pants’ on to cover your shame while enjoying the hit and crit stats. Also has a yellow socket with a +60 crit socket bonus, so the crit just keeps going up with deadly-esque gems. These bad boys drop from Hoptallus in Heroic Stormstout Brewery.

Feet – Treads of Fixation

Some boots were made for walking, and some boots were made for Christopher Walken. These boots were made for stompin’. More hit and crit round out the secondary stats, as well as a red socket awarding a +60 agi socket bonus. Tres bien. Walk over and knock them off Raigonn in Heroic Gate of the Setting Sun.

These are not the boots we are looking at, yet still probably hunter loot.

Rings – Signet of Dancing Jade and Pulled Grenade Pin

Expertise/crit and crit/mastery respectively, this duo will help to hit those caps while delivering some punch. Pimp out yo’ hands by picking up the Signet from Liu Flameheart in Heroic Temple of the Jade Serpent, and the Grenade Pin from Saboteur Kip’tilak in heroic Gate of the Setting Sun.

Now we get to the good bit, sexy weapon slots… (note, that does INDEED say slots, don’t freak out from your double take.. dirty minded reader you..)

Weapon – Klatith, Fangs of the Swarm

There are a few weapons available, all 463, all same dps. They are all 3.00 speed, with the only exception being Yan-Zhu’s Pressure Valve (but guns are so noisy, and gun violence seems to be an obvious problem in today’s society. So let us say NO to guns!). Klatith is packing some crit and haste, and at a 476 ilvl, it is the highest quality ranged wep we can get pre raid. It is indeed a bow, granting trolls their expertise bonus. Tabana from WHH has kindly informed me that the bonus is not bow specific, and it is indeed for just ranged weps in general. Bows are still my choice. Go pick up this pretty purple premium plum puckering princess from Raigonn in Heroic Gate of the Setting Sun.

My choice of trinkets; there are a few on offer (including one dedicated to Gerp from ‘The Instance’), yet here are my choices.

Trinket #1 – Searing Words or Flashing Steel Talisman

Neither trinket has an agi bonus on equip, yet looking at searing winds, the crit is very appetising (around 1.41% of crit provided) and the proc of 3,386 agility for 25 seconds isn’t too shabby either. The Flashing Steel Talisman has an on-use proc of 4,232 agi for 15 seconds (on a 1.5 min CD), as well as having a large amount of hit. This should allow a little bit of breathing room now we have to account for 2 caps (expertise and hit). Grab Searing Words from Darkmaster Gandling in Heroic Scholomance, nd pick up Flashing Steel Talisman from Commander Durand in Heroic Scarlet Monastery.

Trinket #2 – Windswept Pages

You can’t really look past the one good trinket that does indeed HAVE a standard agi component; a passive 847 is very, very nice. The haste proc isn’t my favourite, but it definitely won’t be a dps loss. Get a read of this (get it, windswept pages?!) from Lorewalker Stonestep in heroic Temple of the Jade Serpent.

The trinkets are subject to change, these are my personal preliminary choices, yet I am sure I will play around with www.femaledwarf.com later and find out the theoretical BiS (not going to lie, it felt a tad weird typing ‘I will play around with female dwarf’).

 

Here is a funky table where you can see all the mentioned items, the dungeon they are found in, plus the boss they drop from.

Gate of the Setting Sun will be a first visit once you have the required ilvl ;)

Dungeon Item slot Boss X
Gate of the setting sun Helm Commander Ri’mok
Gate of the setting sun Belt Striker Ga’dok
Gate of the setting sun Feet Raigonn
Gate of the setting sun Ring Sanpteir Kip’tilak
Gate of the setting sun Bow Raigonn
Scarlet Halls Shoulders Armsmaster Harlan
Niuzao Temple Neck Flameweaver Koegler
Niuzao Temple Back General Pa’valak
Niuzao Temple Chest Wing Leader Ner’onok
Niuzao Temple Hands Commander Vo’jak
Ahn’Qiraj Wrists Sha of Violence
Stormstout Brewery Legs Hoptallus
Temple of Jade Serpent Ring Liu Flameheart
Temple of Jade Serpent Trinket Lorewalker Stonestep
Scholomance Trinket Darkmaster Gandling
Scarlet Monastary Trinket Commander Durand

This second table is for all of you ‘copy-pastas’ out there (mmm… pasta). You are welcome.

 

Thanks to Samigina for pointing out that I looked over the Epic bow from Gate of the Setting Sun, Cheers mate :)