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An argument against Lone Wolf

In Warlords, we were presented with three interesting choices for talents at level 100: Exotic Munitions, Focusing Shot, and Lone Wolf.

Exotic Munitions changes our Auto Shot behavior, Focusing Shot replaces Cobra/Steady Shot and looks like it’s going to be great on “stand and turret” fights, and then there’s Lone Wolf… the talent that should not exist for our class. Lone Wolf provides you with a damage boost equivalent to the damage your pet does in exchange for not having a pet out and allows you to cast buffs on your raid that your pet would have instead.

I’m not a number cruncher, so this doesn’t take in to consideration whether or not Lone Wolf provides the greatest DPS boost at 100, I’m focusing on how Hunter pets contribute to the class from a class design and utilitarian standpoint.

Goodbye pets, goodbye part of your toolbox!

I ran dungeons with the Lone Wolf talent for two days and it was awful. I felt like I was betraying my loyal friend because a sim said I would be better off without him. And not only that, not having my pet out made me realize how much I NEED him. My pets aren’t just an extension of my ability to do damage, they’re an extension of my awesome Hunter toolbox. I didn’t realize how often I use Master’s Call until I didn’t have my pet out and needed it.

When the tank dies—something that, let’s face it, occurs a LOT at the beginning of an expansion when everyone is under-geared and unfamiliar with the dungeons—my pet wasn’t there to taunt and tank the mobs and maybe save the group from a wipe.

Having played BM almost exclusively since Dragon Soul, I’ve come to rely pretty heavily on the Spirit Beast heal, and not having it makes me feel incredibly vulnerable.

Marksmanship’s mastery Sniper Training makes kiting mobs unappealing, combine that with not having a pet to tank for you, you better be putting out some hefty damage to kill that mob before it gets close enough to hit you. Unfortunately MM is parsing substantially higher than the other specs, so this is something you really need to take in to account since most players gravitate towards the spec that puts out the most damage.

Kiting is a fundamental Hunter skill and two of the three top tier talents essentially kill or severely nerf your ability to effectively kite mobs at level cap. Not only did they take away half of our buttons in Warlords, but they’re taking away our class mechanics as well! Regardless of the direction Blizzard seems to be taking the Hunter class in, I still maintain that every Hunter should know how to kite. For a refresher course on kiting, check out this video on kiting:

Pets make us who we are as a class

Aside from the fact that our pets are essential tools to performing well, Hunters are the original pet class. We used to have to complete a quest chain to learn how to tame pets. Selecting your first pet was a meaningful choice. We used to have to feed our pets to keep them happy so they would do more damage and if they got unhappy enough, they would run away. We had to grind mobs to level them up to make sure they were ready to raid with us. We had to legitimately take care of our pets and we developed bonds with our pets as a result.

There’s not a Hunter I know who doesn’t have Petopia bookmarked. Rares present fun and exciting taming challenges for us and many of us have invested countless hours camping, stalking, and taming pets to take in to battle. Many, many Hunters, myself included, have spoken fondly of their pets like friends and feel a deeper emotional attachment to their pets than other “pet” classes.

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Hunter 101: Gear and stats

Long story short, if it’s an item in the game, it’s for a Hunter

I almost didn’t even write this post since all loot in the game is Hunter loot™. But since the other support classes might find that unfair [for whatever reason], I thought I would go ahead and write up a guide on what to look for, should you want to be a kind and benevolent Hunter and give lesser gear to the support classes.


“Hunter weapon… Hunter weapon…. oh! This was made for a Hunter.” — ancient Hunter proverb

In all seriousness, though, we Hunters are pretty lucky when it comes to gear. A lot of the gear in the game works for us and it’s relatively easy to find really good gear at low levels.

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Hunter 101: Races

When rolling a hunter, your first choice to make is which race to choose? First you need to decide what your priorities are. Do you want to raid? PvP? Mostly just quest and do solo content?

Unless you are looking to really min/max your DPS, you can be successful with any race, but there are a couple of races for each faction that make the most sense for a hunter.

This guide lists the races in order of best to worst as far as racials go.

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Hunter 101: Which pet should I get? (WOD)

One of the most frequently asked questions from new hunters is:

What is the best pet for the DPS?

You see, my little hunters, there is no one “right” answer for this. There are many pets in our hunter arsenal that are the best pet for the situation. The best pet for your DPS is dependent upon what you’re doing. I wouldn’t use the same pet for raiding that I would use in a battleground. My arena pet might be different from my battleground pet. The pet I use for questing isn’t the same as the pet I use to run 5 man dungeons, and I certainly do not use that pet when I hunter tank or do some extreme soloing.

Hunter pets are one of the biggest utilities we have to offer and the sign of a truly good hunter is one who knows which pet to use in what situation and why. Blizzard blessed us with an overflowing stable in Cataclysm… we have FIFTY pet slots now! This is a fantastic opportunity, use those slots well.

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A return to blogging

Those of you who follow me elsewhere may have noticed that I’m getting back in to the swing of blogging. That’s right, my one fan, I am back!

Mists of Pandaria was just not the expansion for me. The mandatory dailies felt like a second job, and about a month or two in to the expansion IRL stuff caught up with me, I got so busy at work I didn’t even have time to play WoW much less blog about it, and I decided to take a break and get RL sorted out so I could enjoy playing WoW again.

I resubbed in March and have been busting my butt to get caught up with everything before the new expansion! I relearned my class just in time for 6.0 to drop and completely change everything about hunters, isn’t that always how it goes?? HA! I’m so glad to be back, I missed the game, I missed my guild, I missed the community, I missed all of YOU, and of course within weeks of resubbing, the itch to blog was there again.

What’s on the agenda?

Updated guides!

I’m working on updating all of my Hunter 101 guides with WOD information right now. With the gear squish and overhaul of stats in general, almost every single one of my existing guides not only needs to be updated with new expansion-specific info, but almost completely rewitten from scratch!

New guides!

I’ve got a few new guides in the works, too. In addition to my resubbing to the game, I FINALLY convinced my boyfriend to play and he’s rolled a little nooblet hunter, which has given me a completely new perspective on the process of leveling and learning a hunter. I’m trying my best to be hands-off and let him do his own thing (I swear I am! It’s tough, but I’m trying!!!!) and as a result, I’ve got tons and tons of ideas for posts, guides, and general information people new to the class may need.

If you’ve got a suggestion for something you think I haven’t covered, let me know!

New project!

AND I’ve got a brand new Warcraft blog project in the works with one of my very best friends! I’m really excited about this new blog and I can’t wait till we’re ready to launch it, I think people will really like it!

Grand plans for the future aside, first and foremost for me was an overhaul of the blog’s layout and design.

About a week ago I started re-reading my old posts and guides to see how I could improve things and I realized the existing format wasn’t conducive to locating information quickly and easily, so with the redesign I’m focusing on making this site easier to navigate and information easier to find. I’m working on creating a more blog/website hybrid rather than using a purely blog-style layout. As I iron things out and get the guides updated, let me know what you guys think!

I’ll also be at Blizzcon!

So you can expect some pretty exciting live-blogging going on from the convention center in Anaheim. If you don’t already follow me on Twitter and Tumblr, you might want to add me so you can get all of my Blizzcon updates as they’re posted!

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Bucket List Revisited

Thought I would take a look at my original list and see what all I actually got done. The list was overly ambitious and frankly… I got burned out and stopped playing for a while. How did I do? Well… I got maybe half of this done. MAYBE.

Raiding

  • Heroic: Madness of Deathwing
  • Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider
  • Full best in slot gear on Zan
  • I Can’t Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I Am
  • Finish all non-metas from Ulduar 10m (missing 2, and they’re both easy, I’m disappointed in myself here)
  • Finish all non-metas from Ulduar 25m (completed May 8)
  • Finish last Wrath dungeon achievements (missing 1)
  • Finish last Cata dungeon achievements (missing Hex Mix, burned through about 30 hex sticks and I still do not have it. wtf???)

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Hunter 101: Which pet should I get? (MoP)

 THIS INFORMATION IS DEPRECATED, PLEASE SEE THIS POST FOR UPDATED WARLORDS OF DRAENOR INFORMATION

One of the most frequently asked questions from new hunters is:

What is the best pet for the DPS?

You see, my little hunters, there is no one “right” answer for this. There are many pets in our hunter arsenal that are the best pet for the situation. The best pet for your DPS is dependent upon what you’re doing. I wouldn’t use the same pet for raiding that I would use in a battleground. My arena pet might be different from my battleground pet. The pet I use for questing isn’t the same as the pet I use to run 5 man dungeons, and I certainly do not use that pet when I hunter tank or do some extreme soloing. Hunter pets are one of the biggest utilities we have to offer and the sign of a truly good hunter is one who knows which pet to use in what situation and why. Blizzard has blessed us with an overflowing stable in Cataclysm… we have TWENTY FIVE pet slots now! This is a fantastic opportunity, use those slots well.

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5.0.4 Hunter PvP: Because Sometimes, You Can’t Just RAF a Warlock With a Friend

Guest post by Dargonslayer, rabid PvP enthusiast. Dargonslayer is a Marksman (now Beast Mastery) hunter who specializes in the murder of Alliance scum in WPVP. She has an off spec of OPPAN GANGNAM STYLE for PVE when she feels the need to make herself cry or that things are a little too happy in her life. She mains a dapper Forsaken gentleman by the name of Strelok on Emerald Dream US. She is an extremely kawaii GIRL GAMERRRRR DON’T HIT ON ME SILLY BOYS.


So as you should know, Patch 5.0.4 hit live realms Tuesday morning. And by Tuesday morning, I of course mean Tuesday afternoon. And by that, I of course mean a little closer to “early evening.” I think we can all take solace in the fact that while World of Warcraft handles its classes like a game of Hungry Hungry Hippo in which the class that eats the most of Ghostcrawler’s attention orbs gets all the buffs and the losing classes are all nerfed into “Cataclysm Holy Priest PvP” status, Blizzard Time remains the same.

Anyways! The new patch brings one or two minor changes to everyone; those minor changes being less minor and more “dear God NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS ANYMORE.”

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5.0.4 Hunter DPS Watch

We got through the first 4 bosses in heroic DS, lots of problems with mods and DCs so raid was fairly slow tonight. Just some quick notes before I head to bed. First couple bosses I was still getting used to my new rotation so I did poorly:

But then I got used to all the new buttons and things started to look normal again:

 
It looks like I was way off on the “be prepared to sit on the bottom” thing. Can’t say I am sad to be wrong about that!

A few notes:

  • I was peaking at over 70k DPS with all my CDs up in the initial burst of BM. I can only imagine how much more I’d be doing with Stampede to add into the mix, plus I’m forging OUT of crit to hit EXP cap (which I’m slightly below due to my hasty and shoddy reforge job 10 mins before raid).
  • You can’t Kill Command on Ultraxion and I’m told it bugs out on Warmaster drakes and Madness arms.
  • I am told Lynx Rush bugs out on Spine.
  • Lynx Rush is so much better than A Murder of Crows.
  • Raiding seriously as BM is amazing.

I look forward to finishing the raid tomorrow night. I’ll have some notes on SV raiding since I’m prolly going to have to do 75% of the last half of the raid as SV due to KC bugs.

Anyone notice anything weird that I didn’t catch tonight?

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