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Thoughts so far… a post-return update

So I am really behind in WoD… Like… REALLY behind.

Starting late in an expansion is not a massive deal, however once you factor in garrisons and the legendary quest you can understand the predicament. I was only able to start farming savage bloods just before patch 6.2 came out for example.

All of that aside, I thought I would bring my impression of raiding to this blog – As mentioned previously I have transitioned back to my original home of Dath’remar. Unfortunately I am running as an alliance at the moment, and it hurts my soul a bit (Alliance are too clean cut for my liking).

Now the team I am running with had killed a few heroic bosses in BRF, so I was carried through several normal while gearing up. I have to thank my extensive raiding hours from Cataclysm/Mists of Pandaria for allowing me to not be liability. I was able to hold my own regardless of my blue gear (featuring green items). I am finally geared up enough (luckily reaching 6th in the guild thanks to some very lucky rolls in HFC) to contribute to the level that I am accustomed to. The biggest advantage was gaining a new weapon (thankyou Tannan crystal exchange!) – but I digress.

The team is what I would consider a casual raid team. Now this is not what you may think, as I believe a lot of negative connotation surrounds the labelling of guilds. I consider it casual not because they are ‘bad’ or that they don’t make enough progression, I would attribute it to the allowance and acceptance of members. I remember my first raid with the team in normal BRF, and there was another hunter who had the worst attitude I had heard over vent in a long time. There is no point boring you with details, but suffice to say attitude issues like this are not accepted in more ‘hardcore’ guilds. The acceptance of varying geared toons is also a point of interest, as well as performance oversights. I don’t think this is a bad thing – I was carried through their raids until I acquired the gear needed to sufficiently assist – yet having people not min-maxing is an interesting thing (and to an extent, my religious obsession with min-maxing has declined significantly). There have been issues in some kill attempts of bosses, yet players don’t get targeted as specifically about rolls, nor would they be subbed due to performance, and that is nice. I like the variety of people in the team, and the range of skill is diverse. There are raiders who have raided as intensely as I myself have, if not more. There are also those who just love the content and are content (see what I did there?) to maintain their current ability.

Week 1 normal progress with Twizted
Week 1 normal progress with Twizted


Suffice to say, I am having fun but I would be dishonest to say I have not been frustrated before.

Now all of this is fine – we work through normal modes.

Normal modes are a joke to me. They took original normal modes and lowered most expectations, effectively making a new level that exists between LFR and the old version of normal… Flexi?
The heroic modes are the level in which I think the old ‘normal’ version belongs. It is nice they don’t share lockouts though!

I still have that sense of accomplishment when we down a boss, regardless if it is behind what I am used to. It was about a year since I have raided at any reasonable level so I am glad to see I still get that feeling from raiding. Twizted feels like a group of misfits to me – I like that. Will I ever return to my old ‘hardcore raider’ status? I don’t know.

I like to think that I am still a decent player of this game, for some reason that is important to me. Maybe it is the time investment, maybe it was the old elitist mentality… I am not sure. I am unable to measure that level of success in this guild, so I will just have to be the best player I can be.



As of today I have cancelled my WoW subscription and will no longer be blogging. I may come back to it one day, but at this point in my life I don’t see it being likely.

If you ever enjoyed anything I wrote, cheers.

Happy huntings



This is the Etc. he was talking about!

 Mushan is an awesome hunter blogger – make sure to check out his amazing site (that always has something fun or interesting to read!).




Mushan! Thanks for taking the time to have a chat with me!

Thank you, Quelys! I was so surprised and excited when you asked to interview me. It’s truly an honor!

So real-life Mushan; lover or fighter? What are you like?

Lover. In the flesh, I’m a regular guy working a regular job. I’m an introvert, but I like to talk, if that makes any sense (erm, read my blog!). I’m very much a pacifist. I place a high value on relationships. I play some guitar; I like to get outside as often as possible. I love to read – often to the detriment of a good night’s sleep!

I really enjoy your blog, there is constantly new posts to entertain your visitors – can you tell me a little more about it?

Mushan, Etc. is my second WoW-related blog; my first was started back in 2009. It was the smallest of blogs, but it was a growing experience for me. I canned it back in 2011 and started a general, non-gaming blog, which I posted to for a year or so.

I struggled with that blog, though. After a while, I found that I wanted to write about WoW, but I had made a commitment to myself that I would not do so on that particular blog. I was still playing the game all the time, and I was still reading WoW blogs and articles and all about hunters. So while that blog was going weeks between posts, I was fantasizing about starting a new blog.

Eventually, I started a brand new WordPress account. I wrote up some ideas for posts, picked a design… I took my time putting it together, and debuted it in April 2012. And my writing has largely been along the lines of what I’ve wanted it to be: stories of my adventures, fun bits, screenshots, commentary. The only thing I haven’t really approached is this idea of telling the story of an adventure, like a leveling adventure, in chapters or something. But at this point, I’m fine with that. I’m very happy with how the blog has turned out.

Mushan, Etc. sits sort of in the middle of the hunter-sphere. It’s not a theorycrafting/guides blog, it’s not a pets blog, it’s not a huntering-only blog. It has some topical variety to it, which gives me freedom to write about whatever I wish, within the loose definition of a WoW blog.

I have noticed in recent times you have been playing your alts (probably a liiiiiittle too much) that are not hunters – EXPLAIN YOURSELF! 

Haha! Yes, you’ve found me out. I… (*adopts Koltrane voice*) I have a lot of alts. 

That said, I don’t think I have anywhere near as many as some others… I don’t have any significant toons on other servers, for example, so as far as that goes, 99.9% of my play time is spent with the toons I have on Dalaran. 

I have seven level-90s. I’ve taken all four roles into, at minimum, LFR: melee-ing (quite badly!) and tanking on my warrior, healing on my druid, and at range with my hunter(s) and mage. I have a paladin – my oldest surviving toon, actually – that exists almost exclusively because I don’t feel like leveling Alchemy again. And most recently, I finished leveling my Blood DK, which I’ve enjoyed quite a bit.

Out of all of those, I play hunters far better than any other class, and can play the mage fairly well, although he’s been sitting idle for months, due to time issues. I’m somewhat competent with my Prot warrior and Resto druid, and enjoy them both. Beyond that, the other toons I have are mainly to cleanse the palate and have fun with.

I guess that if I were “hunter cool,” I would have 11 (or more!) hunters. I have “only” three at the moment. But the variety adds to my enjoyment of the game, and when I jump back on my hunter after playing an alt or two, it always feels like home.

I do think I deserve some credit for having two level 90 hunters though!

From your recent posts, it seems that you have made a few great friends playing WoW, and unfortunately may have lost some of those friends. What do you think about those who try to place a negative outlook on online friendships?

It’s an interesting age we live in, isn’t it? Who would have thought, when we were kids (and by we, I mean people who’ve been adults for 10-12 years or more), that it would be very easy to form and cultivate long-term and meaningful relationships with people we’ve never physically met, or even talked with on the phone?

The two subjects that I wrote about within the past couple of months were people that I had never met in real life, and, in the case of one of them, I never even heard his voice. But I was deeply affected by these events. 

The death of the first man was shocking, sad, and needless. He was a man in his prime, with a loving family, serving his community. We had a lot of respect for one another, and while I didn’t know him well, I grieved for him nonetheless.

The second person is a personal friend. We had mutual admiration for each other. And the uncertainty over his current situation is disconcerting, to put it extremely mildly. Whatever happened, I’ll always have great memories of our friendship.

Were these real friendships? Do they matter? Absolutely. One of the things that I’ve written about is how awesome it is to feel a part of the WoW blogging community. The same is true in the cases of in-game relationships. I’ve only met one of my fellow raiders in real life (and live with another…), but I’ve been good friends with many of them for a long time. There is absolute validity in that, and the online nature of those relationships does not diminish the level of importance and genuineness that they have.

I don’t know why anyone would deride online relationships. It happens quite often, though, and I usually assume that it’s caused by immaturity, or, at least, uninformed assumptions and behavior. I think that there is still a stigma about online relationships: that they are the province of the person who spends his or her every waking hour online, to the exclusion of the outside world and community. In other words, people who are “losers living in their parents’ basements.” As much as that may or may not be true in any one individual’s case – because those people are still definitely out there – that stigma is still applied universally by too many people.

To try to actually answer your question… I think that the truth, as in other areas of life, is that balance and moderation are key, and I think the vast majority of people understand that. However, that stigma is something that may persist in the minds of some people forever. And that’s unfortunate.

A lot of our fellow hunter bloggers (and realistically, some of the major faces of the hunter class) seem to be retiring – what are your thoughts on this?

Well, it’s sad from a personal perspective any time someone retires from the community, because that person’s input and influence, or at least the consistency thereof, is gone, and in many cases it leaves a vacuum, both tangibly and intangibly. 

In my view, the biggest losses recently have been Tabana and Frostheim. Neither was surprising to me, but both are/have been a shock to the system. 

In the case of WoW Hunters Hall, which was the brainchild of Frost and was amazingly curated by Tabana, that site became the hub of the wheel, connecting the spokes in the hunter community. When Tabana went on indefinite hiatus, there was never resolution as far as a potential replacement, and it has fallen into dormancy, which is a shame. It was an amazing resource covering almost every aspect of the community. I definitely miss it – and I miss Tabana. She definitely left her mark on the hunter community through her work and personality.

Frostheim is another level, though. When you say “major faces of the hunter community,” his grizzled mug is close to the face, to me. He has so much exuberance for the class, along with charisma, which showed in both his writing and his podcasting, that he has inspired a lot of people, myself included. He leaves big shoes for the next Scattered Shots columnist, a void on the Hunting Party Podcast, and WHH is, of course, a big question mark. When he announced his retirement, it felt like part of the hunter class was retiring, because part of my enjoyment of the class has been enjoying his writing and podcast work for so many years. 

I’ve been through this before. During Wrath, I got into blogs in general by looking for information on feral/tank druids. I found Big Bear Butt that way, and Vallen (Feral Aggression), Karthis (Of Teeth And Claws), Kalon (Think Tank), Alaron (The Fluid Druid), and others. And soon they began to fall off – first, Karthis quit the game in Wrath, then Kalon, and then Vallen in Cataclysm; and Alaron has been in and out. And those are just the big ones, for the old feral spec(s). The attrition is incredible, when I look at it that way! But today, Alaron is still around, and so is BBB the druid-hunter-lock, and while Reesi no longer tanks with her druid, The Inconspicuous Bear is still a go-to site for Guardian druids thanks to Arielle. And there are many other resources, including long-time ones. So that community is still there: it’s just different.

And we’ll see the same thing. The hunter community has proven to be both huge and resilient. While not all of the players are the same – and while we’ll greatly miss Frost, Tabana, and others who go dormant or retire – the community rolls on. It’s been this way for a while – we haven’t really had Brigwyn or BRK, but we still have this amazing hunter community. This will definitely continue; we’ll get some new blood, some will retire or fall off, but this is how it goes with a long-lasting game like this.  

You have been raiding with two different guilds recently, what is that like?

It has been a learning experience. Recently, I’ve been raiding four-five nights per week. I’ve found that raiding five days, progressing normals with one team and working on heroics with the other, is a stress that I don’t necessarily enjoy having. 

have enjoyed the opportunity to progress, though. As of today, I’ve gotten to kill H Jin’rokh, H Horridon, and H Ji-Kun several times, and put some time in on H Tortos. We’ve cleared normal ToT in my main run, so it has been nice to see some more challenging, heroic content, and to perform well doing so. It’s reaffirming from a confidence-in-my-ability standpoint.

Any tips for people trying to assimilate into a new raid team?

My experience is mainly with joining with a team that has progressed further than my main team. With that in mind:

Be prepared, in every way. Have your gear 100% raid-ready, regardless of whether you’re at their level or they’re going to be “gearing” you for a couple of runs. Find out which progression fights they are planning to do, and research them. Know what’s coming.

The less explanation you require from the rest of the team, the better. Basically, you want to make it so that, at worst, they don’t mind having you on the team, and, (hopefully) better, they’ll be glad they brought you along. 

Being prepared, and playing well, can break down a lot of barriers!

Apart from raiding and blogging, do you actively participate in any other aspects of WoW?

Well, I do like achievements. That said, I’m not an achievement whore. I don’t go all out for them, unless they’re fun or challenging to achieve. For instance, I did most of the holiday achievements back in the day, but I won’t touch Noble Garden, Children’s Week, or Love is in the Air for any in-game price, unless I’m getting a gear upgrade out of it.

I’ve learned that if I’m not having fun, there’s no point. And I get less enjoyment out of the achievements that are easy – “Yay you went to Darkmoon Faire!” – than the ones that take some time or effort or some cool feat. So I do have a decent amount of achievements, but I don’t chase them like I could.

Anyway, I did just start doing some Brawler’s Guild, which is fun. I’ve PvPed occasionally, although PvP seems to have gone through so much upheaval this xpac that it feels shattered. So I’m not really into PvP right now.

Trying to answer this question, it looks like I don’t do much, for all of the time I spend playing! I suppose I’ll credit that to my declining interest in PvP – I used to do that a lot. I spend most of my time in-game prepping for upcoming raids, playing alts, keeping my farms in order, and hanging out with friends doing whatever.

I do enjoy soloing stuff, and I’ve written about that from time to time.

Do you have any attachment to any of the pet pixels you have tamed over the years?

My favorite pets are cats. I have Pogeyan – a rare from Stranglethorn – and a frostsaber from Winterspring that I named Kharta. And I made it a point to get one of the tigers from Neferset City before completing the final battle there. I named that one Hera – very bright orange, with a red glow to its eyes. I also picked up Pitch from Sholazar, who I renamed Numa after the word for “lion” from the Tarzan books, as well as a white lion from somewhere. I really like cats as pets.

I like almost all of my pets, actually. But none of them are exotics. Pet-collecting hasn’t been something I’ve cared too much about as a hunter. I know that’s anathema to say, but it’s true. Pets add great flavor to the class, and I do enjoy them, but their functionality is what I enjoy the most about them. I’m the furthest thing from that guy who will camp a spawn point for a pet… I don’t have the interest, so it’s not worth my time.

If you had to choose, what would be your favourite raid and encounter in WoW history? (you can pick more than one)

I started raiding at the end of March, 2009, so I don’t have the experience with earlier encounters. Our guild was running Naxx 25. I was a terrible player then. But I learned how to raid there, so that was an early favorite. 

From there, we split into 10s and had two teams in Ulduar. I really came into my own at that point, as a raider. I loved that place, and still have fond memories of it. There really hasn’t been a raid location as wondrous as Ulduar since then, in my opinion. Epic, huge place; great boss fights. 

As for encounters… when it comes to raiding, there’s a line of demarcation for me, because I switched class and role (from melee to ranged) in Cataclysm. I thought Lich King was and is an amazing encounter, but I did that fight, and those before it, as melee. After that, I became a hunter, and as such my favorite fight was probably Ragnaros in Firelands. That one stands out to me: it was a long fight, I was moving all over the place, switching Aspects (to and from Fox) a lot… I was pet-stunning adds, I was picking off adds… doing big damage… it was a great encounter for hunters, in my opinion.

There have been other great hunter-friendly fights, obviously, but that one stands out as pretty epic, and my favorite fight in a long time.

What is your favourite boss encounter of Mists of Pandaria?

Hmm… That’s a tough one. I’m not sure that I’m particularly attached to any of the fights in MoP so far. I thought Lei Shen was pretty cool, but that’s also because, when my guild finally downed it recently, it was the most epic feeling I’ve had yet as a raider in Mists.

In your opinion, what is the best hunter ability?

Disengage and Feign Death. I use them all the time while soloing old content (etc.), and really like how powerful they are.

Hardcore, casual, casually hardcore… how do you see yourself?

Well, I’m not “hardcore.”

I would, however, consider myself hardcore about certain aspects of how I play. I am fairly fanatical about gear, for instance. I love gear – I even like leveling without heirlooms because I like getting new gear as I level! Anyway, I make sure that, in whatever I do, my toon is in the best position to do well. And I tend to over-prepare. I like to know what I’m doing with the class I’m playing, even if it’s just tanking a dungeon. At the beginning of an expansion, I’ll watch heroic dungeon boss videos – that’s something I started doing in Cataclysm. So that kind of mindset dominates how I play. Perhaps that comes from an innate fear of screwing up, of being “that guy.”

With that being said, I play with that somewhat-hardcore intensity, but I’m fairly casual with respect to the level of content I complete. I raid with what would generally be considered a casual guild – nowhere close to realm first, even. And I enjoy playing and progressing with the people I’ve played with for so long. 

So other than the fact that I’m not a hardcore raider, I’m not sure I know how to better answer the question!

Survival, BM, or MM?!

MM from back when I leveled Mushan at end of Wrath until the start of 4.3; SV from Dragon Soul on. I’ve never looked back – I love SV! 

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! Any shout outs?

Shout-outs to my long-time raiding friends! Secure, for teaching me how to raid (and sticking by me at the beginning!); Siville, for encouraging and befriending me back when I was just starting; and Squido, Sombramuerte, and Hassar, for having made raiding such a fun and rewarding experience through the years!

And thanks to you again, Quelys, for these excellent questions. As I said, it’s an honor!


An elitist analysis of elitist jerks by an elitist jerk, you jerk*

Back in the day I was a frequent visitor to Elitist Jerks and their quite helpful forums. As a budding young hunter, I was always eager to check out the gory insides of theory-crafting, and the hunters there are some of the most qualified for these particular number crunch obsessions.

I swung by EJ today to have a look, and was quite surprised that one of the first things I read (in the BM guide) I did not agree with.

After all – opinions are like rear orifices; everyone has one. And just because mine differs from the authors, does not mean I am ‘right’.

Quel in the action of putting his opinions on the interwebz
Quel in the action of putting his opinions on the interwebz

The problem I had was with the choice in T15 talents –

Level 15 Talents

Posthaste > Crouching Tiger > Narrow Escape
Posthaste is useful for gaining speed bursts on bosses like Ji’kun, Lei Shen, etc., usually to get better positioning for boss mechanics. It can also remove movement impairing effects like Sandtraps on ToT Council. Crouching Tiger is useful when boss mechanics line up in a 60s window and you wish to aid your healers (e.g. H Jin’rokh ionization, Megaera rampages, Lei Shen Static Charge). Narrow Escape could theoretically be useful for kiting, e.g. bats on H Tortos, but allowing a group of enemies within 8 yards is generally discouraged. None of these talents should affect dps, are situational and come down to preference. The relationship above is an expression of which talent choice you will find the most useful the majority of the boss fights in ToT raiding.

So after raiding heroics since week two of tier 15, I can say that I find this false. Heroic Ji’kun is indeed a perfect example of how good post haste can be. For those who may not fight this boss ever, or often enough to remember, he does an ability called downdraft. This causes all enemies to be pushed back away from the center of the main platform. Having posthaste can ensure that you have a speed boost available for every single downdraft…

Having a speed boost tied into disengage is no ability to shy away from, yet at the bottom of the quote is where I have my problem: “…is an expression of which talent choice you will find the most useful in the majority of the boss fights in ToT raiding.”
This is simply not true. Having reduced CDs for both our only realistic defensive cooldown, as well as disengage (our most awesomeness ability ever) is usually too good to pass up.

Heroic Jin’Rokh having CTHC is much better – reliable deterrence CD to avoid the applied debuff, you shouldn’t need a speed boost – even for dodging orbs.

Heroic Horridon, having a speed boost does nothing for this fight, disengage is once again always handy (target for charges, quick movement from adds/out of poop etc)

Heroic Council, speed boost does nothing here either, once again for ease of movement and defensive capabilities, CTHC takes the cake. You don’t need the root-removal thanks to that wonderful ability Master’s Call.

Heroic Tortos could see a slight use for the speedboost in running away from the falling rocks; however, CTHC means that you can have deterrence up more reliably for when he does his annoying stun-stomp. Negating some of the damage of this allows you to keep your shield up, providing better uptime on targets you want to kill.

Heroic Megaera shows that the speed boost is not useless, but it is not often you will be the target of the ice torrent. You don’t want to disengage for the speed if you are running cinders, as you could jump over the ice you need to clear! Having deterrence CD reduced means that is up more for rampage and you can return to your proper position faster with shorter CD disengages.

Heroic Ji’kun – already mentioned that posthaste takes the cake here.
Heroic Durumu – neither have massive benefit, if you are slow running a particular colour (say you were on the red beam), then just move closer to the boss… it is a simple ‘lower the radius of your toon’ problem there. Deterrence can be great for soaking the life drain.

Heroic Primordius has no benefit for either talent.
Heroic Animus does not favor either talent.

Heroic Iron Qon
is a great example where CTHC is awesome. The end of the fight can be tight for less geared teams (especially with weaker healers) so having deterrence up can be a life savior. Having a speed boost would only be a bonus during the wind storm, and that would only be beneficial if the tornadoes weren’t a factor (you are more likely to disengage into them then out into safety).

Heroic twins is probably the only other fight where there is a MASSIVE benefit to having posthaste – yet also very situational. As hunters we can Crows both bosses at the start, maintaining threat so we can kite to reveal adds. speed boosts just mean you are much more efficient at this job.

Heroic Lei Shen; post haste can be good for the push back, yet that depends on the small chance of you being targeted. Also being positioned correctly negates this (you can disengage back towards the boss while being pushed back, and with the disengage glyph it trivializes the push back for us). Using it in phase 3 can be very useful as well. Posthaste pushes ahead of CTHC slightly.

Ra-den. There is no benefit for speed at all on this. Positioning is really tight, and you only have to rotate potions every so often. Having deterrence more reliably up for the orb soak is much more useful.

So 3/13 posthaste, 10/13 CTHC – far from posthaste being the most useful in ToT. You will never need to root adds, there are better stuns available from a plethora of classes.

The only other issue I had with the talent suggestions was the AoE suggenstion for T90;

Level 90 Talents

Single Target: Glaive Toss > Barrage > Powershot
AoE Targets: Barrage > Powershot > Glaive Toss

Why you would take powershot over GT I would not understand. Barrage is definitely better for AoE situations, but GT damages all targets it passes… Powershots high CD and cast time (rather than instant) makes it a terrible choice [once again, in my opinion].

Apart from this tiny thing, the rest of the guide is really solid and a great read for hunters of all ages :) – the general guide, macro additions, and every other tid-bit is a fantastic resource.

To visit Elitist Jerks hunter forums, click here.


* I do not claim to be elite, or elitist, and do not consider any of these people to be jerks (or in saying that, any reader). I just like terrible blog titles.


13/13 Heroic ToT clear!

Fantastic raid last night.

Sunday saw my raid team Nocturnus Vexillari get oh so close to heroic Lei Shen, but no dice. It was a painful night where the last pull of the night saw us end on a 3% wipe!

Leading into Monday, I was quietly confident, and very excited to knock this guy over. We (as a raid team) have suffered a great deal this expansion, and this tier was no exception. This tier alone saw us lose 3 core members two weeks into ToT (they jumped ship to form a ‘better’ guild, one which swiftly imploded as we steamrolled past them in the early heroic push), have a healer jump ship to another guild on Barthilas, have several failed trial players, had one healer disappear (just stopped logging on – he has a young family and I assume he is attending to them), had two of our best DPS retire (our OP fire Mage Kell and our love/hate relationship having Warlock Benafflock [lol]), our OT went over seas for a few weeks on a scholarship, and to end our woes (this is JUST the current tier, btw) I moved houses and had to wait for 4 weeks while my internet connection was sorted out.


To see that we not only recovered from this, but went on to finish the tier at a reasonable pace feels good. I must really give props to our officer team – Duskwalker, Killdruid, and Insanic. I could easily see any other group imploding. Since joining the Nocturnus Vexillari at the end of Cataclysm, I have raided with some very talented people, and with our 12ish strong current team, only 5 of the original core team members remain (including myself). Apart from the aforementioned officers there is myself and my partner in crime, Caddarly the dastardly Shadow Priest. These four other guys really made the team worth being in, and gave me the confidence to stick out the hard times – so thanks guys!

We have several new people in the team, and they all seem to be a wicked crew. I hope we can continue to grow as a guild and establish a team to be reckoned with come next raiding tier – it has already been noted that our OT is not allowed to go overseas and I am not allowed to move home 😛

We had a few close wipes on ol’ Lei Shen (1.8% wipe comes to mind.. /shudder) before finally taking him down. We moved onto Ra-den and spent the rest of the night working on him, dropping him with around 6 attempts remaining. I must say, it was great to get Lei Shen, but the setbacks made it feel less… ‘special’. Sha of Fear was still a massive highlight, and I feel that some of the other heroic bosses were much more satisfying kills than Lei Shen.

I will add a few photos later, as well as throw up my Heroic tips and tricks guide! (as usual, just in time for the next patch)

Patch 5.4 PTR notes

Sweet datamining goodness!

Sorry I have been away for so long folks, between raiding and RL I have had minimal time to write, not to mention I haven’t been overly inspired to write.

I think I just need to start doing several small posts, I set out for this blog to be a self reflection of my time and experience in world of Warcraft, yet I feel I got carried away with providing useful information, such as guides etc.

HOWEVER! The next major patch is currently in development, with some official PTR notes as well as some datamined goodness! Today we will be looking at the official PTR notes.


It is important to remember that this is subject to change.

First of all the arcane shot change – I feel this may coincide with our new (datamined) 2pc bonus that makes use of arcane shots – but more on that in a later post.

The change to Iron Hawk seems to be a PvP change, and as an avid PvE’r, I do not feel entirely comfortable with it. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that other classes that had similar passive reductions have been reduced** (although, from a hunters PoV [PvE wise], other classes still maintain other options. I was discussing this change with my shadowpriest friend during our raid last night, and was saying that at least he still has the option for heals* and bubbles on himself as a defensive ability – all we have is Deterrence.

*It was brought to my understanding by the same shadow priest that their heals are pretty much worthless. However, worthless or not, the ability to get a cast off is still AN option, however futile.

**Other classes have had the damage reduction removed totally… meaning it is nice to see we get to keep survivability, making the above paragraph pretty silly… Although, it was clarified that… “To those wondering why Aspect of the Iron Hawk was only reduced in damage reduction rather than removed, this is because it’s a talent and it still needs to have a purpose. We are happy that this change will mean that the other talents in that tier will be more attractive now.”

The changes to binding shot and silencing shot are good and bad… It is frustrating that due to the imbalances found in PvP, PvE’rs lose their utility. In saying that, I don’t think all hunter specs should be able to perform all abilities and fill all situations – if that was the case then each individual spec would lose its flavour. The reason MM was the only ‘viable’ choice for PvP in the last few expansions was due to silencing shot being available to only MM. The new talent system took away that spec specificity for the MM hunter spec, and allowed the updated burst of BM to take control. What was found, is that a pet with a cc talent, plus intimidation, as well as silencing shot, was too powerful when combined with our baseline scatter/traps. The move of binding shot to MM and the placement of intimidation as the new tier 30 talent was undoubtedly to help lower the control BM had (or at least the ease of it) and increase MM’s viability (by allowing them to have an extra CC).

The desired effect didn’t exactly take place, as BM remained as strong as ever in PvP due to the change of blink strike to blink strikes. This allowed pets to pretty much have 100% uptime on a target, and clever use of stampede would allow stacking of desired pet abilities.

With this history lesson aside, I quite like the decision to shift silencing shot back to MM and make binding shot available once again [now now, don’t go crazy and be all ‘but all hunter specs need an interrupt!’ I know they do.. just read on lol]. I like using binding shot a lot more than silencing shot (in PvE that is), and I think this allows MM to slowly claw its way back to being the PvP spec of choice. No gimmicky burst, just calculated play and great utility use. If scatter can interrupt mobs in PvE, then that would be great – allowing for ease of soloing and raiding/dungeons as any spec while providing a pretty meaningful mechanic. Perhaps scatter should have an interrupt (eg on bosses) aspect built into it, where it doesn’t silence or lock out of spells (for pvp), I would hate the idea of having another button chucked into the mix.

I DO think that hunters need a baseline interrupt – using one of our existing shots to take that position would be the best way to do it. Leave silencing shot for MM, as that can be their niche (the interrupt wouldn’t be a full silence). As mentioned above, scatter could be an option (although you can see the problem with this due to the use of scatter trapping), so that wouldn’t be the ideal choice.
The more I think about it, Widow Venom would be great. It is an ability that all hunters have (but barely any actually use), it is pretty useless, as class comparison has heal debuffs built in to damaging abilities. If Widow Venom became an interrupt AND a healing debuff, then we could see some use without having to add in MOAR buttons.

I am sure there are many things that may be tweaked/added/removed in the coming weeks, but let us not forget that this patch is indeed a new raid patch! Major content is always up for discussion. There has been amazing hunter feedback/suggestions across the past few months, and I hope I can get around to talking about my favourite/least favourite of these in a few weeks.

Next post will be a breakdown of the datamined notes courtesy of MMO-Champion!
Happy Hunting.

Hunter hotfixes – nerf…buff?

Hotfixes have been released for 5.3 relating to hunters (have been in effect this week). The changes are as follows;

 Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)

  • General
    • Arcane Shot now deals 10% more damage. [Requires a realm restart]
    • Cobra Shot now deals 10% more damage. [Requires a realm restart]
    • Hunter Pets summoned by Stampede now only use auto-attacks against their target. [Requires a realm restart]
    • Steady Shot now deals 10% more damage. [Requires a realm restart]
  • Talents
    • Blink Strikes now has a 10-yard minimum range, and the teleportation effect cannot happen more than once every 20 seconds. [Requires a realm restart]

Hunter Hotfix Concerns

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
The changes we have coming for Blink Strikes are intended to assist with the regular complaint we hear about peeling Hunter pets. The change will mean that Hunter pets will only be able to Blink Strike once every 20 seconds and there will be a 10 yard minimum range to avoid the pet using it off cooldown when it’s already close to the target. We hope that this will help with Hunter pets utilizing large amounts of glue to stick to their targets.Our plans for Stampede are actually quite simple to explain; we are removing the ability for the pets summoned through Stampede to use any abilities. The end result of this change should be that the pets a Hunter summons from Stampede will only be able to auto-attack. As you are all aware, these changes will result in a quite the reduction of net damage for Hunters, because of this we have also done a minor 15% buff to the damage of Arcane Shot.

So we asked for hunter nerfs since their damage is ridiculously overpowered and instead they’re pretty much getting buffed? Not sure if I’m catching your drift.
The damage gained from the buffs you can receive from using Stampede is no longer possible, which lowers Hunter damage. The pets summoned by Stampede can no longer bite/claw/nibble/tickle, they can only use auto-attacks, lowering damage during Stampede. Blink Strikes now has a 20 second cooldown making the pet easier to peel instead of them blinking all over the Arena to their target. These are all nerfs which are heavily targeted at pets which mainly effects Beast Mastery Hunters.

In regards to the “triple trinket” that BM hunters have; we have no plans to remove Bestial Wrath from Readiness at this time. Please continue to present your feedback on these changes though as we’re always interested to hear your opinions on them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

We’re aware that the latest round of hotfixes caused some confusion for many Hunters, and want to offer some insight into the logic and reasoning that led to these particular changes.

Patch 5.3 resulted in Hunters feeling a bit stronger in PvP than in 5.2, where we feel they were in a much better place overall. Stampede in particular has been proving troublesome. We originally designed it with an “empty your stables” theme primarily for flavor–we wanted you to be able to see all of your favorite pets. In practice, it turned into more of a “deck building” mini-game, where Hunters were managing their entire stable to bring as much crowd control, raid buffs, etc. as possible. That’s opposite of our intentions with the Mists stable redesign; we want you to be able to pull out whichever pet you feel is ideal for your current situation. If you’re instead filling your stable based on whatever’s ideal for Stampede, you lose that entirely.

Furthermore, this min-maxing led to Stampede being a bit stronger of a DPS cooldown than we’d really like, especially for Beast Masters (who are already quite bursty in PvP). The hotfix lets us tone Stampede back just a little, and once again allows Hunters to keep whichever pets they like in the stable.

With Blink Strikes, our goals with the original 5.3 changes were to reduce Hunter burst for PvP as well as give them a passive talent option. Generally speaking, we prefer active talents to be slightly superior to passive talents in the same tier. No one will choose an active talent if it requires more work for the same reward. So, we wanted Blink Strikes to be DPS-neutral. Instead, it ended up being a PvP buff, hence the hotfix.

Regarding the changes to Arcane Shot, Cobra Shot, and Steady Shot, we had originally only buffed Arcane shot, but there was some risk that it would change Hunter rotations, which wasn’t our intent. We simply wanted to compensate for the Stampede and Blink Strikes changes. Ultimately, our goal with all of these changes is simply to tone back some of the outlying behaviors that were causing Hunters to feel a little too strong in PvP in 5.3, without much impact elsewhere. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

So… interesting.
As usual, my main concern is PvE (as that is where I spend the majority of my time). I can appreciate and understand changes that are made to the hunter class in relation to PvE OR PvE, however I dislike it when one of these aspects of the game dominates what will be changed (as it obviously inherently affects the other).
The changes to blink strike, I understand. Not being able to peel off a hunter pet wouldn’t be fantastic if you are getting tunneled by a BM. ALTHOUGH, what happened to more effective CC options? roots/stuns/snares.. they aren’t broken (as far as I am aware) when a pet uses blink strike. It was a passive ability, and it may not have been tuned appropriately, as apparently it was a PvP hunter buff this patch.
The changes to arcane shot and cobra/steady are supposed to combat the changes to stampede, where your pets now only auto attack. I love the fact we have good sustained damage, yet I also like having a CD that packs a punch.. I am not overly happy with the change, but as long as overall the buff is sufficient to keep our dps similar (or in a perfect world, higher.. *wink*) then it will be fine. My raid dps was great on Wednesday, but I guess it is hard to say if that was gear, amazing skill (most likely amazing skill, really), or these changes…
I guess I can be happy that they continue to look at hunter dps, and that hunters are getting sufficient changes. I will be talking on the datamined/blue post hunter info for patch 5.4 in the upcoming days.

Interesting changes ahead

The 5.3 patch notes can be found here

5.3 has landed, and as I prepare to log in tonight and once again begin the heroic progression in ToT, there are a few changes that have been made that I would like to reflect on/

First of all – a buff! YES, that is right…. a BUFF!

Aspect of the Hawk now increases ranged attack power by 25%, up from 15%.

Aspect of the hawk/Ironhawk will now increase our AP by a further 10%. Now this may be a slight tweak to bring us further in par with hard hitting locks and other classes, after all; in a 25 man heroic setting it doesn’t look like we are fairing too well. From a purely anecdotal and personal standpoint, I think this is great. There are a few fights where I am not sitting too badly amongst my team dps ranks. There are a few fights when we can hold our own (in a 10 man setting, of course – I don’t have experience in current heroic 25 man), yet there are some fights where we get utterly destroyed. I look forward to testing out this slight buff and seeing the effect it has on my own personal dps.

A brief (and I mean BRIEFanalysis of raidbots can quickly see where we approximately sit in terms of dps on particular fights, as well as a general ‘overall’ rank.

Overall median dps in 25 heroic
Overall median dps in 25 heroic


Hopefully I can do a better analysis in a few days (before we get too much WoL data with the new changes). We aren’t sitting very well in the heroic 25 man standings, I chose to look at the median dps, as this negates any outliers that may skew the data. Obviously such an overall view is very superficial, and doesn’t reflect the performance on a fight-by-fight basis, and there are a lot of 10 man heroic teams out there that this may not be relevant for!… yet this is still an interesting starting point to see how we may change in the coming weeks with this slight buff.

The only other change I have been mulling over (that I really care about) is the change to Binding shot. As a predominant PvE’er, losing this utility shot is not a great change. They could have reworked intimidation some other way to counter BM control. The best choice would be to make silencing shot baseline and remove intimidation 😛
I’ll save that can of worms for another day..

Wish us luck pushing heroic twins!


The time consumption of everything!

Let me first apologize, I feel that for the last year (and yes, Quel’s hunting corner is indeed over a year old) I have been making and breaking promises almost constantly. Now it isnt that I dont like writing; as my guild can attest, I have no problem talking someones ear off, and as someone that has spent a vast amount of time contemplating and procrastinating, I do not have a problem cataloguing my thoughts.

The problem I am faced with at the moment is life – but not in a bad way.

I am not sure about the age of my fellow bloggers and hunter pals, I know some are older, and inevitibly some may indeed be younger. I started this game at the ripe old age of 19 (I think), and that is indeed a good age to start in my opinion; I was not a young little dirt bag ruining the game for others with QQ and bad mechanic understanding (although, I have met some exceptional young players, I doubt that I would have been one of them). I was attending university at the time, and didnt ever play WoW to a large extent until I had a patella realignment (for those who arent overly familiar with bones, that is a movement of the knee cap). This was a chronic injury that I had to get fixed, and the result was an increasing amount of time sitting (and mostly lying due to keeping my leg relatively straight) around at home. This was during my university break, a fantastic way to spend an Australian summer.

With some creative furniture arrangement, I was able to play through the early days of WotLK, slowly falling in love with the game and the general grind. I discovered Achievements and all the addiction that was associated with them. I was a WoW nerd and fine with it.

That was all well and good when the majority of your time was spent avoiding study and working casually to pay for weekend madness with friends. Yet I am past those years now.

I am swiftly approaching my mid twenties, and have started my first (proper) job. My first step in my career as a college teacher. I am full time, meaning I am responsible for 5 different classes, and I love every minute of it. This does allow me some reprive, as I cannot wait until I can enjoy school holidays from the other side of the fence 😛

Why unload all of this life story? Well apart from letting you know more about the awesomeness that is indeed “Quelys”, I want to outline why things have been slow here.

I currently raid in a fantastic Australian guild. I made the move from my old home in Conclave to Nocturnus Vexilari – the number one guild on my server (a server that indeed has seen better days). We are not ‘hardcore’ raiders, yet we managed to kill Sha of Fear heroic before patch 5.2. With my now busy schedule of teaching, I have to make sure I not only maintain a good attendance and commitment with my guild (I love raiding, and I love this game – especially hunters, so this is something that is important to me), I also have to make sure I remain an involved and interesting teacher, and leave enough time for a social life outside of games for my less digitally inclined bretheren. All of this pretty much puts me in a sour spot for blogging.

Term one for Australian schools is coming to a close soon, and I hope that now my first term at this new job is out of the way, I will finally start getting a hang of all the ins and outs. This should allow for a more relaxed time, and increase my amount of posts.

I have a couple of posts in the works at the moment, and just brainstormed a few more… Some of these are;

– Heroic Jin’rohk guide (we killed him first week)
– Normal mode compendium, similar to my MSV compendium (the HoF guide was half done, then I let time get away from me).
– Many other aweome posts that I dont want to reveal too much about!

With my compendium post, what I like to do when researching new fights is run through strategies, videos and ability lists that are available, and use all of this information to create my own mini-list that is encounter specific. This covers encounter specific information for me (I ignore tank swaps etc, that doesn’t change how I will pew pew), and spec choice that will most likely be optimal. Hopefully I can expand on it and throw it up soon :)


Regards, ye shooty lover people!


I am pretty :)
I am pretty :)

The Thunder King Cometh

Blizzard have released the official trailer of patch 5.2, and I must say this is what I love about Blizzard and their games – it makes you really want to play it. Hopefully this proves to be a formidable test for raiders, don’t forget there is only about two weeks before this bad boy is released (general guestimate, not a legitimate date).

My personal raid team is working on Heroic Sha. Unfortunately we hit a bit of a wall with the loss of a couple of DPS for a few weeks. To put it in perspective, when we had our full strength team two weeks ago, we had a 17% wipe. We are now just managing to reach that same level, so it is a bit annoying – yet that is the nature of such a social game. Storms have been ravaging Australia, which has meant a few of our raiders have been fighting the disconnection boss (Australia’s net is notoriously bad, that is until the National Broadband Network is finally rolled out nation-wide). All of these problems is something we will hopefully get passed, I myself have missed more raids than usual due to events that seem to crowd February (Soundwave, Valentines [wink], late meetings at work). This

Sunday we will have our full strength back in one place, with heroic terrace already cleared to Sha. It is safe to say I am extremely excited to get in there and see what this new sha-touched weapon can do! I hope your teams aren’t suffering as much as mine is, and you are progressing well! My HoF guide has had to sit to the side for a bit due to the hectic few weeks I just had, but hopefully that will be up (and I will throw the TotES guide up also) by the close of this week – hopefully not more empty promises!

As we approach closer to the patch date, are you getting ready? Will your raid team move swiftly into the new raid? I hope so!

Happy hunting!