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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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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 Guide

The pre-MOP patch is dropping tomorrow and a LOT of things are changing. It isn’t as big of a change as it was from Wrath to Cata, so you’re not literally re-learning how to play your class from the ground up, but there are some pretty substantial changes that will take some getting used to, especially if you haven’t been tooling around on the beta. Thinking back to how big of a change 4.0 was, this new 5.0 patch should be a cake walk in comparison. When you think about it, we don’t really have THAT much that’s changing… but the stuff that did change will be changing in a pretty big way.

What to do before you log in:

Update your computer’s operating system and run a software update. Your game will be more stable if your system is up to date.

Turn off all your addons until you know they are for sure going to work. Some addons cause fatal errors with the game, Recount is often a culprit for this. If your game is broken, turn off Recount. It’s always Recount. Addons to update first: Deadly Boss Mods, Serenity JS Hunter Bar.

Alright. You’re logged on. The game isn’t crashing. GREAT. What’s next?

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Why you shouldn’t use Noxxic as a hunter

I recently commented to someone that I wished people would stop pointing new players to Noxxic because their guides are not very good. I was asked:

 Can you point me to a glaring error at Noxxic? Something that a new player would look at, and be completely incorrect to follow?

This was my reply:

The only class I feel like I have any authority to comment on is hunter, so I’ll only look at their hunter guide. I recall the last time I looked at this site (in 4.2) I was startled at how out of date and wrong some of the info is… hopefully it will be better now. (As you can see from this laundry list of errors, it isn’t.)

Beast Mastery:

  • Their stat priority choice is not explained and is not entirely correct. They don’t explain why or when Mastery becomes more valuable than Haste.
  • Gems listed leave something to be desired, as they appear to be encouraging matching EVERY socket, something no one should be doing for the most part. It is not explained when a socket bonus is worth taking. (And it’s not hard to explain. A single sentence would suffice: “Only match socket colors if the socket bonus is +20 Agility or MORE, otherwise just use a pure red gem in the socket.”)
  • Engineering profession perks leave out several tinkers, do not mention parachute cloak at all.
  • Core build 1 places 2 points in Improved Serpent Sting and only 1 in Pathing. WTF? BM spec is essentially impossible to fuck up and they somehow manage to give bad advice here. Core build 2 takes a point out of an important DPS talent in the MM tree (Sic Em!) and moves it to Pathing, leaving 2 points in Improved Serpent Sting. Again, WTF? This talent is ONLY good for SV. No BM or MM hunter should be taking it.
  • Glyph suggestions are questionable, no alternatives are listed.
  • Rotation is wrong. Shot priority is incorrect, major cooldown (Focus Fire) is not even mentioned in the single target rotation, AOE rotation or as an effective dps cooldown. No pet CDs are mentioned.

Marksmanship:

  • Stat priority lists Crit ≥ Haste ≥ Mastery. At no point in time in any spec for any reason will ANY stat ever be even remotely considered equal to crit. This is a MASSIVE error.
  • Same problems with gems/professions as BM. Missing info.
  • Core build 1 is ehhh, though the suggestion of Trueshot Aura for a raiding hunter is likely a redundant buff and this point could be better spent elsewhere. Traditional 7/31/3 build places 3 points in Pathing and 2 points in Frenzy. Ranged haste >>>>>>>>> faster pet attack speed. ESPECIALLY for MM where haste is so important. Core build 2 is also meh, has the proper 7/31/3 point distribution but still puts points in TSA and 2 points in Termination which would leave you eternally focus capped in T13 gear. Bad choice.
  • Aimed Shot is listed as a preferential Prime Glyph. This glyph is never, ever good. Bestial Wrath glyph is listed as a preferred Major Glyph. This is an ability that can only be used by a BM hunter. MAJOR ERROR.
  • MM rotation is incredibly intricate and changes three times based on boss health, they don’t explain this at all. The shot priority listed is a complete mess. They tell you to “Always keep close to 50 Focus so that you can cast Chimera Shot whenever it comes up.” This is terrible focus management advice. Call of the Wild is listed as an effective DPS cooldown but it’s not mentioned for BM. Why? You get to use it almost twice as often as BM. It’s also not explained that this is a pet ability that you have to spec in to and therefore will not automatically find it in your spellbook.

Survival:

  • Stat priority is weird. This is the only spec where a specific haste value is mentioned, which is odd because haste plateaus are waaaaay more important for MM. Page says haste is ” generally the most effective secondary stat (after 8% hit cap) for maximizing DPS” which makes me do the “are you fucking kidding me” face because crit is always and forever our #1 secondary stat above anything and everything in every single spec.
  • Again, same problem with gem/profession info.
  • Core build is bizarre. Point of no Escape is listed as a core talent, this isn’t good for any encounter except maybe Cho’gall or Beth, and even then it’s a suboptimal choice. They also list a build which puts 5 unnecessary points in the BM tree to get Frenzy. They don’t explain when Hunter vs. Wild would be a valuable choice and gloss over Survival Tactics.
  • Their suggestion of when/why to use Serpent Sting glyph is odd. Unless you’re doing a fight with nonstop adds (say, H Bethtilac 25m AT CONTENT—note: SV was the suboptimal spec for this fight, MM is superior for lots of AOE), Arcane Shot glyph will increase your damage substantially more.
  • Shot priority is essentially correct. Slightly nitpicky problem, they say AOE is for 4+ mobs, you can effectively AOE 3+ mobs. This is a very, very, very, very minor thing, I’ll let it slide. They list Call of the Wild again, but fail to mention it is a pet ability, etc etc.

In no place do they mention or explain anything about your pet, which is a massive part of your role. Pet DPS cooldowns aren’t explained, nor are pet buffs mentioned. I cannot tell you how many times I talk to a hunter who has NO CLUE their pet provides them with a buff. For the BM guide, not mentioning pets is like not bothering to mention seals and judgement to a paladin. BM is “the pet spec”.

Comprehensive all-in-one guides are never as accurate as dedicated specific gudes run by people who play that class. I’d rather noxxic be a portal to better information than something that is “for the most part” correct.

Now, I’m sure the Noxxic guides are good enough to get you started, but I would rather teach people how to do things correctly from the beginning rather than teach them the wrong thing, then RE-teach them later. It’s easier to learn something new and maintain correct information than to unlearn wrong info and try to get it right.

This is ESPECIALLY true for hunters. We have an amazing community of very knowledgable bloggers with an INSANE amount of information out there for new players. Your best bet is always a guide written for your class by someone who is experienced at playing your class, rather than an overview written by someone who may or may not understand the current theorycrafting information.

If you’re looking for hunter info, pick one of the blogs in my sidebar.

If you need help for learning how to play a hunter, read my Hunter 101 posts or visit Zanbon’s Beginner’s Corner over at the WHH.

Don’t use a reader’s digest website that isn’t written by someone who plays the class. ESPECIALLY as a hunter. Our community is so big and full of information, Noxxic should NEVER come up as a suggestion.

NOXXIC!

WHO IS WRITING YOUR HUNTER GUIDES? THEY’RE OBVIOUSLY NOT A HUNTER. PLEASE FIX YOUR GUIDES.

<3 Z

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A closer look at the new Hunter talents

Now that the excitement of Blizzcon has died down, let’s take a look at the new proposed “talent trees” Blizzard has come up with for Hunters in the next expansion.

Going through all the other classes, Hunters seem to have one of the best “trees” of all the classes. Each tier has a theme, each shot has a clear purpose/use, and even though some tiers might have a couple options that look really great, there’s not a single place where I can’t decide which one I’d pick for any given situation. Looking at the Druid “tree”, which is a complete mess, we can be thankful at how straightforward and clean ours turned out!

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