Goodbye, Mr Frostheim

So news has now spread around that Frost is officially hanging up his writing… pen?.. typists fingers? and will no longer be blogging, not just on scattered shots over at wow insider, but also at the beloved Warcraft Hunters Union.

Frostheim seems like he did indeed develop a large fanbase, and with that came plenty of haters – I personally was a fan of Frost’s humor and the amount of effort he put into the development of the hunter community. I am not against saying he was a large contributing factor to why I began blogging (and also why I became so attached to my hunter!)

I was lucky enough to be in contact with Frost pre-MoP to ask him a few questions, the result of which was Frosticles- the Frostheim experience in my hunter interview section, if you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest checking it out!

He shall remain in the game, and I wish him the best of luck with all of his future projects. I will always pay my dues :)

Here is Frostheims farewell post – good read

Just.. No.

So while my surface analysis of the upcoming PTR changes continue, we have been hit with (an unavoidable, to a point) a pretty significant nerf.

Well. Shit.

Let me start by saying it is good that they are looking at readiness. It was provoking so much QQ amongst the PvP player base since it became baseline. It is indeed powerful, and with the burst of BM, doubling up has been kind of silly (although amazingly fun). I understand that a nerf to the damaging abilities affected by readiness is a move in the right direction for PvP.

Now that I have put ^that^ out there, let us look at the real implications. In PvE we have some issues – getting double crows/Black arrow up on targets, doing back-to-back Bestial Wraths, back-to-back Chim/Exp shots… All gone. Most of the hunter community on the Blizz forums are pretty confidant that a buff is coming to compensate, and if implemented right that will result in a buff overall, as sustained damage being buffed will negate the loss of slight, small-window burst. Overall? I am not happy, but I will deal.

Now PvP. For those who are familiar with me, I do enjoy PvP, I just don’t commit a lot of time to it (and when I did, it was generally random BGs). However my track record is not the worst, and I have played long enough (and, dare I say I believe I am skilled enough at the hunter class) to know that this is a significant nerf to PvP – not just on the burst front.

Burst is not the only way to kill people – good PvPers don’t need double BW to destroy someone, so leaving ‘defensive’ abilities (plus our one and only universal hunter CD rapid fire) on readiness makes sense right? of course it does. The nerf, however, does not include significantly important abilities;

Masters Call, Silencing shot, Scatter shot, Traps, Binding shot, Wyvern sting (god forbid you run around with that bad boy over silencing this patch). How are these not defensive abilities that should be covered?

I really hope this is one of the changes that is still in the early stages, as these IMPORTANT abilities really need to be part of readiness. So you can’t KC twice in a tiny window of time, get over it – however using a THREE MINUTE CD to fire off two silences that have such a long CD themselves these days is not an unrealistic expectation. Readiness is (and should be) a utility CD, not a DPS one [the PvE'r in me is hating on this paragraph right now] and if it is GOING to be a utility ability, it has to affect all appropriate spells.

Quel out, dawg.

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 :P
I’ll save that can of worms for another day..

Wish us luck pushing heroic twins!

 

Coming late to the button-bashing party

The last month or so has seen a massive increase in hunters beginning to take notice at the amount of abilities we have, mainly after reading Ghostcrawlers opinion on the matter. After playing my hunter for so long, I find it weird that some people are all of a sudden bringing up that we have too many buttons.

To a point I can concede that we have a fair few abilities, however what makes it to the point that it is ‘too many’. I feel with the proper practice within the game, as well as a good understanding of keybinds and macros, the daunting task of finding a home for all of your abilities shrinks drastically.

Assign keybinds via the in-game menu

Assign keybinds via the in-game menu

I use shift as a button modifier, and cannot recommend it highly enough. I use control as well, but not as frequently. Having things like multishot (which quite frankly, even though being our main aoe, is a situational ability that depends on the amount of adds present*) bound to a shift-modified button can drastically lower the rent space of your keyboard. I have mine bound to Shift+2, and find that it is perfect for maintaining a tight switch between aoe and single target. I find R, T, F, and G to be great locations for some of your instant cast abilities – although it is all about being comfortable with your own play and keybinds. No matter what anyone says, at the end of the day there is no ‘right’ way to bind your keys (however spreading them far in hard to quickly reach spots is obviously a no-no..), everyone is different.

*obviously you would use multishot a lot in heroic dungeons, yet in a raiding environment you don’t need to multishot on every fight)

Macros can be your friend. Some abilities can be placed on the same bind (such as Bestial Wrath with a number of other abilities, depending on what you prefer. I macro mine with A Murder of Crows to compliment the damage increase). A widely accepted notion is to macro all of your ‘large CDs’ together – and that is fine for anyone starting off. Some macros in particular will work better than others, and I suggest looking into the various guides found around the interwebs (try searching through the WoW forums as a starting point).

Open up the macro menu by typing "/macro"

Open up the macro menu by typing “/macro”

The last point I have towards the influx of abilities refers to your hardware- I don’t think you should go out and spend copious amounts of cash to play this class to the maximum, yet I could see how having these can present a quality of life improvement. I personally use a basic keyboard, and a cheap mouse that has 2 extra buttons – one on either side. These are far from top of the line (gaming wise), yet I seem to be able to maintain a decent level of play. The mouse alone is something that I find a godsend – the extra two buttons allows for 2 extra macro/keybind homes, taking the total number of abilities I facilitate with my mouse to about 9 (if memory serves me right). It is possible to have more or less, but I find having certain abilities literally at my fingertips as a bonus. One example of a bind to my mouse is Disengage. Considering most progressed players steer their character with their mouse, having disengage bound to the mouse in particular helps me to use it more accurately as a movement ability.

As they look into some abilities, hopefully they will tweak as necessary, but don’t go overboard culling our tools just because some people are carrying on about the massive amount of buttons (predominantly after one developers comment).

Stay classy (mainly hunter-classed)

Mogu’shan Vaults Heroic Compendium

With heroic Mogu’shan Vaults under my belt for the last few weeks, I feel it is time to throw up some encounter specific tips and tricks for this plethora of bosses :)

This was thrown together a tad quick, and I will add anything I forgot when I browse over my handywork tomorrow. I will also update/tidy this as I see fit :P I will add in a talent choice/glyph choice soon <3

Feng's hangout, pretty rad dude

Feng’s hangout, pretty rad dude

Stone dogs

spec of choice: Survival
Heroic mode notes:

  • Posthaste can provide a needed speedboost while running tiles; however, I suggest taking crouching tiger, hidden chimera if Cobalt is up.
  • Masters call removes the petrification debuff, so can be useful if you are running the tiles later into the fight and are becoming slowed.
  • Deterrence completely negates the Cobalt bomb explossion and consequential root. Try to clear as much as possible for the raid.
  • Make sure you keep rolling a multi shot onto the two dogs you are targeting
  • Try to maximise Readiness by using aMoC on a dog right before, as well as a BA – have both rolling as the tile stacks increase.

Fengizzle ma Nizzle

spec of choice: BM
Heroic mode notes:

  • Deterrence works on a myriad of abilities here, including arcane velocity and epicentre. It is pretty minimalistic in movement, so I suggest picking up crouching tiger hidden chimera to be able to take the pressure off your healers where applicable.
  • When the adds come out in his shield phase, make sure you have a frost trap up where the raid is stacked.
  • The adds can also be affected by binding shot, and if your raid aoe is low, it would be advisable to pick this talent up.
  • If your raid aoe is REALLY low, I suggest running survival for this fight.
  • Survival overall is a fine option, but the majority of the fight is single target, and thus BM is the best choice.
  • Disengage for movement where applicable – including after arcane velocity, to drop wildfire, to move away from the shield before adds.
  • You can also use deterrence to soak lightning fists if you do not have an alternate option.

Garajal

Spec of choice: BM
Heroic mode notes:

  • You want as much time in the ‘real world’ as possible to maximise your boss damage.
  • Try to utilize your explosive trap if you go to the spirit realm, as well as micromanaging your pet onto the severer of souls.
  • Line up your glaive tosses in the spirit world to maximise damage, and try to serpent sting a few before heading back to the real world.
  • You can use spirit mend in the spirit world for extra stacks of the damage buff if you are lucky enough to be using a spirit pet.
  • Deterrence can help the healers if damage gets a bit too high when you are voodoo’d.

Reset Kings (so glad they hotfixed that..)

Spec of choice: BM
Heroic mode notes:

  • You are able to go all out at the start, so feel free.
  • Deterrence can block the flanking orders if you get in a tight spot.
  • Micromanage your pet to easily swap between bosses (if two are up and one is putting up a “NO DO NOT ATTACK” shield/buff)
  • You can use Bestial Wrath to get out of pinning arrows ASAP, allowing you to run around with an arrow stuck to you which people will still kill regardless that it does no harm…
  • You can tranq off Meng’s delerious buff, as well as Zian’s shield of darkness, however I would refrain from doing this just in case you set the shield off.
  • You shouldnt have too much trouble with cowardice stacks, but just be wary not to go insane on Meng.

Elegoner

Spec of choice: BM
Heroic mode notes:

  • Stand on the edge of the circle so you can simply jump and reset your buffs.
  • During the spark phase, get in a similar position relative to your assigned spot and throw an explosive trap near the spark spawn point.
  • Make sure you are full focus and then switch your pet asap and get a KC off. Do not waste a focus on a sting, just use as many instants as you can before needing to cobra.
  • The later ones are the ones to use your CDs on (BW etc) as they are much slower early on.
  • As pillars come up switch asap, helping as needed (try to be between two pillars) after they drop you can focus a single add (try not to aoe unless your tank has a comfortable lead with threat).
  • As soon as the fight reenters phase one, disengage back to position and resume pwning face. Rinse and repeat, but save big CDs for the final “stack and burn” phase (Stampede/crows etc).
  • In my group we had trouble with me deterrence soaking the big add explosions (it was unreliable, unsure if this is rectified now), so try to avoid it if you can and focus on maximising DPS

Willies of the Emperor

Spec of choice: Survival

Heroic mode notes:

  • we are actually a major utility on this fight, don’t expect to be destroying the meters (if you are, your guild is nice and isnt making you kite and soak).
  • Survival with entrapment makes this very easy, with chain Frost – snakes allowing easy control.
  • Pick up binding shot but try not to use it early when everyones stuns (and your traps) are going off.
  • Keep your pet on passive and throw it on one of the main bosses to maximise uptime.
  • If you have to, disengage over and throw a concussive shot on the courage.
  • With crouching tiger hidden chimera you can soak every second set of rage sparks, with readiness being used primarily as a defensive CD for an extra soak, rather than to max dps.
  • If you DO have to use readiness for a soak, throw up Crows on a boss, readiness then get it up on the other. Same with Black Arrow.
  • Try to keep stings up on the boss, but your main focus is controlling the adds – your raid team will thank you for it.

    Yeah, that's right.

    Yeah, that’s right.

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 :)

 

Video guide – HM Morchok

So I have actually started something that I have mentioned on this blog!
I am aware that many people have destroyed Morchok aaaaages ago, and with the 25% nerf this guy is a joke – However, if you are a new hunter or your team is only just stepping into hard modes (hell, even if you are new to raiding) then hopefully this ‘guide’ [I use guide in a loose sense..] may be of some use.

Pretty much I am using this as an opportunity to get used to fraps and editing before MoP hits, hopefully I can get some of our early kills and throw them up.

Enjoy!

 

 

My first H Morchok kill with team BTK <3