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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.