Just a quick post today. I know I have been slacking on this blog, but that is about to change. In the coming days, I will be updating the guides for MoP, starting with Survival and BM PvE, followed by MM probably, as well as trying to get more information posted, once I have the time. In the meantime, stayed tuned!
Posted by finalflame83 on August 28, 2012
News from Beta seems to be slow going right now when it comes to hunters. While I haven’t played beta much yet, mostly due to very low FPS, I plan on starting to get back into it and leveling, you guessed it, a hunter. I would love for people to ask questions below if you have any about hunters in beta, and I can try to look into it.
So, got a question that’s been bugging you that you can’t find answered anywhere else? Ask it!
Posted by finalflame83 on July 3, 2012
Taken from this thread, talking about expertise, mainly in PvP:
Shots that cost focus should give a partial refund when they miss. If that isn’t happening, we’ll fix it.
We don’t think Steady and Cobra Shot need to provide resources even when they miss. We’re not going for a design where hunters can be certain to always have maximum resource income in PvP. As long as they have enough focus, they’ll be fine. If we see evidence that hunters are focus-starved, we’ll adjust accordingly, but we haven’t seen that so far. There hasn’t been a ton of PvP testing on beta yet. There has been a lot of speculation, and while that is still valuable feedback, it is understandably less valuable.
If Shred and Backstab were so reliable in PvP, I don’t think there would be such a storied history of druids and rogues asking to buff alternatives to the positional requirements or just removing the positional requirements for PvP. In other words, I think “melee can nearly always attack from behind in PvP” is overstated.
If hunters get close to hit and expertise caps, they should do fine even against Agi users with high dodge chances. They won’t do fine against a rogue that pops Evasion, but Evasion is intended as a survivability cooldown. Different classes are different and cooldowns and durations all vary, but I don’t know that rogues have a great counter for Deterrence either.
The loss of minimum range is a huge hunter PvP buff. I don’t think we’ve seen the full ramifications of it yet.
For those of you who have been hiding under a rock lately, or who do not follow any of the information coming out of beta, hunters attacks can now be dodged like all melee classes, meaning we will need to meet the expertise cap to avoid our attacks being dodged. This will effect us in both PvP and PvE scenarios, bringing us in line with the melee classes/specs. It makes sense that they are implementing this, as all other damage dealing classes have either 2 caps to hit (physical hit and expertise) or a larger hit cap (spell hit), while hunters only have the 8% physical hit cap.
Posted by finalflame83 on June 19, 2012
Blizzard is doing something new come MoP. They are making a Legendary weapon that ANY class can use. Yes, that means Hunters as well! While there isn’t a lot of information on it yet, mmo-champion has a bit of information on it at bit.ly/JIrsud. By the looks of it, there will be a Gun available. This will be the first Legendary that Hunters will be able to use since Thoridal in Sunwell. Unfortunately, not much else is known about the questline or available weapons at this point. Still, this is something for us to look forward to!
Remember to check back here for more information about it, as information will be posted as it becomes available.
Posted by finalflame83 on June 15, 2012
Let’s talk about the new Talent system Blizzard designed for MoP. This is a radical change from what we have used in the past. Instead of going down specific talent trees, putting anywhere between 1-3 points into a talent to get either a new ability, a buff, or something else, you have 6 tiers (at level 90) of 3 abilities, and you get to choose one ability per tier. The point of this new Talent system is that you no longer have a “cookie-cutter” talent spec that 95% of players are going to use for a particular spec. Most of the talent choices now are a matter of personal preference. Let’s go over what they have in store for us so far. (Note: Talents current as of June 14th, 2012, build 15752)
Tier 1 (Level 15)
Posthaste – Your movement speed is increased by 60% for 4 seconds after using Disengage.
Narrow Escape – When you Disengage, you also activate a web trap which encases all targets within 8 yards in sticky webs, preventing movement for 3 seconds.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera – Reduces the cooldown of Disengage by 10 seconds, and the cooldown of Deterrence by 60 seconds.
As you can see, this tier of talent choices focuses on your available defensive cooldowns. Which talent you choose is preferential.
Tier 2 (Level 30)
Silencing Shot - A shot that silences the target and interrupts spellcasting for 3 seconds.
Wyvern Sting - A stinging shot the puts the target to sleep for 30 seconds. Any damage will cancel the effect. When the target wakes up, the sting causes 3,276 Nature damage over 6 seconds. Only one Sting per Hunter can be active on the target at a time.
Binding Shot - You fire a magical projectile, tethering the enemy and any other enemies within 5 yards of the landing arrow for 10 seconds. If targets move 5 yards from the arrow they are stunned for 5 seconds (3 seconds PvP) and will be immune to the effects of Binding Shot for 10 seconds.
Two of these choices should look familiar to you, unless you have been playing Beast Mastery since you started playing a Hunter, or have not leveled one near max level yet. What Blizzard has done is taken some of the utility talents out of the trees and given all hunters the chance to take them, such as Silencing Shot being used by BM hunters instead of just MM.
Tier 3 (Level 45)
Exhilaration - When you Disengage, you are instantly healed for 5% of your total health.
Aspect of the Iron Hawk - The hunter takes on the aspects of an iron hawk, increasing ranged attack power by 10%, and reducing all damage taken by 15%. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. Replaces Aspect of the Hawk.
Spirit Bond - While your pet is active, you and your pet will regenerate 1% of total health every 2 seconds.
This tier is dedicated to your survival. You can either choose from self-heals or reduced damage.
Tier 4 (Level 60)
Fervor - Instantly restores 50 Focus to you and your pet.
Readiness - When activated, this ability immediately finished the cooldown on all Hunter abilities with a base cooldown less than 6 minutes.
Thrill of the Hunt - You have a 15% chance when you fire a ranged attack that costs Focus and Kill Command to cause your next ranged attack that costs Focus or Kill Command to be free.
This is the first tier with clearly DPS cooldowns. All three choices come from already existing mechanics for Hunters. Fervor being a BM talent, Readiness being a MM talent, and Thrill of the Hunt being our 4 piece tier 12 bonus.
Tier 5 (Level 75)
A Murder of Crows - Summons a flock of crows to attack your target over the next 30 seconds. If used on a target below 20% health, the cooldown will be reset.
Dire Beast - Summons a powerful wild beast to attack your target for 15 seconds. Each time the beast deals damage, you will gain 5 focus.
Lynx Rush - Your pet rapidly charges from target to target, attacking 9 times over 4 seconds, dealing its normal attack damage to each target. The pet must be within 10 yards of the target to Lynx Rush.
Another DPS cooldown tier, this time with entirely new talents to choose from.
Tier 6 (Level 90)
Glaive Toss - You hurl two glaives toward a target, each dealing 682 damage to each enemy struck and reducing movement speed by 30% for 3 seconds. The primary target will take 4 times as much damage from each strike. The Glaives will return back to you, damaging and snaring targets again as they return.
Powershot - You wind up a powerful shot, which deals 400% weapon damage to the target and 100% weapon damage to all enemies in between you and the target. Enemies hit by Powershot are also knocked back.
Barrage - Rapidly fire a spray of shots forward for 3 seconds, dealing a total of 288% weapon damage to the enemy target and an average of 72% weapon damage to each other enemy target in front of you.
This tier is about AoE. Again, we are given new talents that we have not seen before to choose from.
As you can see, some of the talent choices are ones that we have experienced before and just didn’t have the opportunity to grab due to our spec choices, while some of them are entirely new to us. Blizzard tried to do a good mix of both new and old to satisfy all players who didn’t want to see us losing some of the better choices that we had, but who also wanted new abilities to play with. No more boring passive bonuses that you won’t directly see the effects of. All of our choices are useful abilities that you will get to see and use more often than you did with the old system.
Posted by finalflame83 on June 14, 2012
Nothing long today, just a few little things I wanted to post that I’ve learned over the past week or so.
Make sure you aren’t missing Serpent Sting on a boss
This is most important for survival hunters, but also effects other specs as well, just not as big. Last week, I realized I went most, or at least some, of the Heroic Morchok fight, my first fight with UR, without Serpent Sting on the boss, mostly due to nerves and other things. The problem was that I didn’t notice it until the fight was about over. This week, I added an aura in TellMeWhen to show when my Serpent Sting was NOT on my target. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out the way I planned. Halfway through the raid, I realized I had forgotten to tell it to show me ONLY my Serpent Sting, so really, this aura was useless. I realized how much that hurt me after the raid, when I looked through logs to see why my damage was so poor on normal Warlord. We had a, shall we say, interesting pull at the beginning, which caused some DPS downtime for me. During this, my Serpent Sting fell off, but because of the failing aura, I did not notice this. This caused me to move from my average spot of 7th or 8th in the charts to 14th. I lost the 10% damage buff provided through the noxious stings talent, as well as Serpent Stings damage, the entire fight. Ouch!
Don’t be afraid to laugh at stupid mistakes
Imagine this. You’re on normal spine, your raid goes to roll Deathwing, and suddenly, 20 people all fly off at the same time. Yeah, this happened last night, and it is in the running for most hilarious wipe I have been a part of in a DS raid. I got a good laugh out of that. Seriously, when 80% of your raid makes a stupid mistake, you just gotta laugh it off. If only I had taken a screenshot of that…
As I brought up earlier, logs can be very useful. In this case, it make me realize that I really screwed up on Warlord. Had we not been running logs last night, I probably would not have known what my mistake was, and I would have thought that I just really sucked on that fight. Also, don’t just look at your logs. See what other hunters in your raid are doing that is different than you. Do they have a higher uptime on trinkets or debuffs? Are they double-potting while you aren’t using any? Look for room for improvement.
Don’t wait to pre-pot until the last second of a countdown
Our GM likes pulling at one second left in his countdown. I like pre-potting within the last second of a countdown to maximize uptime. These two styles clash, with me being the loser, as I learned a few times last night. It’s better to pop the pot a bit sooner before the fight with less uptime on that potion than waiting and potentially using the potion just after getting into combat, meaning you cannot double-pot that fight without dying (and I would not recommend that route).
Posted by finalflame83 on May 31, 2012
Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I can be with trying to create the perfect UI. Over the years, I have downloaded and tried probably close to 150 to 200 different addons, trying to find the ones that I enjoyed and that worked for me. Some people like using the default UI, some people like using just a small handful of addons, and some people like using a lot of them. I fit into the last category. The problem with using so many different addons is making them work together, functioning well enough that it does not hinder you. It can take some time to get that UI set up the way you want it.
Why am I bringing up the UI on a hunter blog? Having a good or bad UI can make or break you. All it takes is for you to not notice something because it is hard to notice with your current UI, and either you could be dead, or your DPS could take a nosedive.
Everyone is different when it comes to UIs. There are a few good compilations out there that are already fully or mostly set up so that it takes only a little effort to have it up and running. Some people would rather set up a fully customized UI look that fits their style. Having tried some compilations in the past, I personally prefer setting mine up custom. This is a picture of what my current UI looks like on a training dummy.
(click for enlarged picture)
While this does not show everything, it should give you a basic idea of what I stare at when I raid. I use a LOT of addons, but I am able to make them all work together so that it functions well, and I also enjoy the look of them. While the UI is not perfect, it works for me.
Having used a lot of addons for so long, I have found that some are more essential than others. About a year ago, I had some issues with an addon making the game not load. Until I figured out what it was, I had to go with the default UI. During this, I realized that there was a handful of addons that I really needed to maximize my performance, and to enjoy the game. These are the main addons that I suggest for any raider.
Any sort of boss mods. The big three are Deadly Boss Mods (DBM), Deus Vox Encounters (DXE), and BigWigs. I have tried all three, and eventually settled on BigWigs, as I did not have to do a lot of customization to get it set up the way I wanted. All three are different, in both looks and functionality. I have seen things that DBM calls out that BigWigs does not, and vice versa. I suggest giving them all a go in an LFR to figure out which works best for you.
This addon places small timers over buffs, debuffs, and spells that tracks the time until they expire or are available again. This makes it easier to know when a cooldown will be ready, rather than either guessing based on how close the bar looks to being done, or having to mouseover an ability to read the timer. This is also compatible with other addons.
This is one of my favorite addons. It may be the only addon I’ve ever suggested to my guild that people really liked. This addon will let you create icons that can track numerous things such as buffs, debuffs, ability cooldowns (including internal), etc. You can see this in my screenshot telling me that my trinket is usable. I also use it to track Rapid Fire duration as well as Hunter’s Mark, and used to use it to track Serpent Sting and other important buffs and debuffs.
This addon is used to track cooldowns. I prefer this addon over looking at my action bars for a few reasons. All I have to do is look at one end of the bar to see what abilities are about to come off cooldown rather than searching my action bars for a few different abilities at the same time. Also, it has a splash feature that will make the icon splash on your screen when something is available. That is very useful when you are having to pay attention to the field rather than being able to look at cooldowns.
A simple cast bar. I prefer using an addon for my cast bar rather than the default mainly because of size. While I don’t need a huge cast bar, I prefer one that I can see out of the corner of my eye so that I know when to queue up my next shot. If I have to look at the field, I can’t be looking at a tiny cast bar at the same time.
Tidy Plates & Threat Plates
Some people prefer to play without nameplates on. Personally, I can’t stand having them off. If there is a large mob of adds, I like being able to see which ones are at high health and which ones are at low health, as well as which ones I am close to pulling threat on.
There are other addons that are very useful, such as Omen for watching threat, or Bartender for extra action bars that are movable, but I do not feel that these are required, as the default UI has these functions partially built in. That being said, I have yet to see a guild that doesn’t recommend or require you to have Omen or another threat meter, so it is suggested that you have it anyways.
These addons can take some time to set up just the way you want it, so if you plan on ever re-doing your current UI, I suggest making sure you have at least an hour or more to devote to setting it up and testing it, making sure it works just the way you want it, and that you did not miss anything major.
Now, my question for you. Are there any addons that you feel are fantastic for hunters that I didn’t mention? Got a UI screenshot you want to share with other hunters? Post your responses in the comment section below.
Posted by finalflame83 on May 29, 2012
Time to discuss one of the things that makes being a hunter so great. A nameable pet!
The great thing about a hunter and his pet is that you have numerous options when it comes to picking one. What type of pet (bird, bear, cat, etc.), the talent tree that comes with the pet (ferocious, cunning, and tenacity), the color of the pet, even the buffs that the pet will bring to the raid. That last part is what can make having at least one hunter in a raid essential. The fact that you are able to bring a wide variety of buffs to the raid depending on which pet you decide to bring.
A pet can do a lot of the hunter’s DPS (the bulk of it if you are playing Beast Mastery). If you do not have a pet out during a fight, your DPS will suffer. The biggest thing that will affect your pet’s DPS is the talent tree. Pets have a talent tree just like we do. Depending on which pet you get, you will either get the Ferocity, Tenacity, or Cunning tree. Tenacity is typically used as the tanking tree, which is useful for soloing mobs out in the world, or if you care to solo some bosses (Algalon anyone?). Cunning is typically preferred for PvP, although due to a mix of being able to deal a decent amount of damage, as well as take some damage, these pets are not a bad choice for casual raiders. Ferocity pets are regarded as the best pets for raiding, as they are able to deal, on average, the most damage. However, they do not handle taking damage well, and it may be slightly harder to keep them alive.
Typically, the tree that your pet has depends on the type of pet it is. For example, bears and turtles usually have the Tenacity tree, wolves and cats get the Ferocity tree, and spiders and birds get the Cunning tree. However, this is not always the case, which can make your choice of a pet easier. For example, the challenge tame Ban’thalos, the Spirit Beast bird that flies around Mt. Hyjal, has the Ferocity tree, making it a great pet for hardcore BM raiders who want a Spirit Beast or a bird as a pet.
There are numerous different types of pets that are tamable around Azeroth, and all of them bring different buffs and debuffs to the raid, which can give hunters the job of filling in for other classes. For this reason, it is suggested that you keep a variety of pets on you in case one is needed, or at least have a backup in the stable. Some examples are ravagers (reduced armor debuff), core hounds (Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp), and cats (strength and agility buff). Because so many different pets share the same buffs/debuffs, and they come in so many different colors, it enables you to get a pet that not only the raid needs, but that you enjoy looking at as well.
Beast Mastery hunters get a few extra bonuses for their pet. They get extra talent points for their pets, as well as the ability to tame “Exotic” pets. These pets are different from your average pet in that they sometimes come in different, unique colors, and sometimes come as a Spirit Beast. Spirit Beasts, in addition to a very unique look, have an ability that can be used to heal both the pet and the hunter on a 40 second cooldown. This buff becomes very useful, as when you are playing Beast Mastery, the only spec that can use Spirit Beasts, the pet does so much of your damage that a dead pet would drastically lower your DPS.
The unique pets, and the buffs they bring, are part of what makes playing Beast Mastery so fun. Not just any hunter can have a pet with the colors that Beast Mastery can have.
A great part about playing a hunter is the choice that you have in picking a pet to use. No other classes are able to make this choice like a hunter can. You have a wide variety of pets out there that will bring different looks and different utility to the raid, giving you lots of options as to which pet will suit you best. Now get out there and find the right pet for you!
Need help finding a pet, visit Petopia.
Posted by finalflame83 on May 24, 2012
Today we’re going to look at the century old (ok, maybe not THAT old) debate as to which hunter spec is the best for raiding. This is a question that pops up very often in various places.
Each spec has pros and cons to it. Survival is very nice for AoE heavy fights, while Marksmanship excels at single-target fights where there is no movement. Beast Mastery, while slightly behind Survival and Marksmanship in terms of DPS, is still viable on certain encounters in Dragon Soul. Here are some of the pros and cons of each spec.
This spec excels in fights where a lot of AoE is required, as well as in movement-heavy fights. Our Serpent Spread talent makes our AoE one of the most powerful in the game, combined with Explosive Trap. The Survival rotation can easily be done on the move, as we only have one shot with a cast time, and that can be cast on the move with Aspect of the Fox if you are willing to stance dance. The Survival single-target rotation is not complex, and very easy to perform.
This spec primarily excels in single-target fights that require little to no movement. This spec uses a lot of Steady Shots and, depending on your gear and play style, hard-cast Aimed Shots. In order to pull off near maximum DPS, you need to not be moving. While you can cast Steady Shot on the move with Aspect of the Fox, you cannot do that with hard-cast Aimed Shots.
The Marksmanship rotation is more complex than the Survival rotation. There is more involved, as well as more different rotations based on the bosses health, as there is a 100%-90% phase, as well as minimum change during 25%-20%. Marksmanship AoE, while not terrible, is not as strong as Survival’s AoE abilities.
Beast Mastery is still widely regarded as being the worst hunter raiding spec, and there is some truth to it. That does not mean, however, that it is not a viable spec. Beast Mastery still brings a lot of utility that the other specs do not. This included not only individual buffs that different pets bring, some of which are exotic and can only be used as Beast Mastery, but also Ferocious Inspiration, the hunter version of Arcane Tactics, the 3% raid damage buff. If you are able to play Beast Mastery to the max, then it might be worth it to play that spec if your raid is missing this buff. If you are only playing Beast Mastery and doing average DPS, it might be worthwhile for you to play your better spec, and out-DPS the gain that everyone else would have gotten from that buff by yourself.
Beast Mastery does not perform well in AoE-heavy encounters. However, it can hold it’s own in single-target fights. Beast Mastery is also not hindered as much from having to move as Marksmanship. Beast Masery does suffer when there are numerous target switches, as your main ability, Kill Command, requires your pet to be in melee range of your target. This means you might have to wait for your pet to run across the room to get to your new target. While this is not as big of a problem if your pet knows the Dash talent, when you have to do it often, it will be on cooldown and unusable.
This covers some of the basic pros and cons to each spec in current end-game raiding. Ultimately, player skill and familiarity with a spec should be your main reason for choosing a particular spec. As long as you like your spec and learn to play it well, you can still top the charts in Dragon Soul regardless of spec.
Got anything to add? Feel differently? Let me know by commenting.
Posted by finalflame83 on May 22, 2012
Welcome to NOXIOUS STINGS! Right now, you may be asking yourself “Why the hell am I here?” or “What exactly am I looking at?” Good thing I’m here to answer those questions.
NOXIOUS STINGS is a new World of Warcraft Hunter blog that I am starting up, as something to do in my spare time. While there are other hunter blogs out there, I can’t say that I really enjoy reading them constantly, although some of them do have useful information that I get from time to time.
Now you’re thinking “How are you qualified to create a hunter blog?” Here is a link to my armory: http://bit.ly/Kt5cTO . As you can see, I have a Survival Hunter that is my current raiding main, as well as my favorite class and spec. I do my best to play my character to the max when I raid, while at the same time enjoying myself. I find the hunter class very fun and enjoyable for many reasons. I’m not the best in the world, but I’m fine with that. My goal is to enjoy myself while being the best that I can be.
In the coming days, weeks, months, I will do the best I can to convince you why you should be playing a hunter (if you’re not already) or why you should KEEP playing a hunter, or even try to make you a better hunter. Stay tuned.
Posted by finalflame83 on May 18, 2012