Archive for the 'Hunter' Category

14
Jun
10

Three down, one to go

This one was much easier than the last

Today when I logged on, I was bored with ICC cleared and nothing to do on my hunter since she got saved to a fail ICC, so I figured I would watch some TV and maybe look for Skoll (one of the four spirit beasts in the game currently). As you may know I have made searching out spirit beasts kind of a hobby of mine after I leveled my hunter. My first spirit beast was Loque’nahak whom I stumbled upon on my pally when I was herbing only a few weeks into the xpac. I had been searching for a long time on my hunter, skinning beasts and leveling my leather working off of the profits of my patience. I am not sure how long I had spent searching for her, but I know it was no short task.

The second of my spirit beasts, Gondria, was a long and hard road to obtain. I spent around 38 hours flying in circles around Zul’drak. I finally found her and dropped my first pet, a ghost saber, in trade for another sabertooth tiger in the form of a purple fuming spirit beast.

Enter Skoll, the Third Spirit Beast

Earlier today I had logged out flying above one of the three spawn locations for Skoll, and when I logged back in at around 8:30pm, there he was, standing right below me all shiny. So after probably a cumulative 50 hours I had two spirit beasts. And in less than 5 minutes I had my third!

12
Jun
10

A few weeks late, A LEGEND returns…

So I digress…

The reason I started this blog is back in business (reference to the right of the screen in my “about” field)

P.S. This gun (a drop of of Heroic Anub’arak in ToTGC, was named after BigRedKitty)

I know, I am a paladin, and I am a tank, but as you can see at the top of the webpage, I have a link to my huntard as well. If you read all my stories about the history of my WoW career, you know that at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King, I rerolled to a hunter for about two weeks. When I decided to play my hunter, I knew that I had never played a pure dps class before, and I had no clue what I was doing when it came to spec, shot rotation, pets, and gearing. Basically I was an idiot in training.

This is when I stumbled upon a blog called BigRedKitty. I found this blog through a simple search of BM Hunter WoW, and was hooked two lines into the first post. It was one of the famed conversations with Brain, and it was funny as hell. As the days went by and my hunter was growing up, I continued to read BRK’s blog until he decided to quit the game and the WoW blogging community. I still followed his personal blog via RSS feed, but I also had my own blog to maintain, and my own vacation to take in Europe.

A few nights ago, I was talking to a co-worker who has been casually playing wow for a while now, and had a hunter. He admited that for the longest time he didnt know what a shot rotation was, and when leveling didn’t know what a trainer was until level 30! I brought up Mr. Rasberry Latte’s blog only to be floored by the fact that there were a lot of new posts. Apparently he started blogging again only three days after I left on vacation, and through the Redonkulous RSS backlog, I had not noticed it.

So, while I am not telling all of my protection paladins to re-roll hunters and go read BRK for tips, if you have extensive blogrolls and enjoy a good read, look no further than BigRedKitty.

Welcome back Daniel!

13
Oct
09

Gondria and Loque’nahak Kickin’ it in the stable

I know this is a protection pally blog for the most part, but nothing new and exciting has has happened to my pally in the past few days. I have logged on every day, did my JC daily so that I could purchase the last pattern I needed to craft my Unhittable set gems, and I would run heroic Violet Hold every day for my stupid trinket. Twice now Lavanthor has appeared, and twice he has dropped something other than the trinket. I guess I have to continue to hope that I will get lucky before the week’s end. Other than that, I have been playing my hunter quite a bit, just because I don’t really need badges any more, and I was already saved to every instance worth running on my pally.

Taming a Spirit Beast…

Monday morning came with the same normal routine that I have had for the past few weeks, I logged on, did my jewel crafting daily, my cooking daily, and the Heroic Daily. Then I would plop myself into LFG for Heroic Violet Hold. After another unsuccessful run, I would log over to my hunter and repeat the dailies on my hunter. After that I was looking for something to do. I knew that later on in the night we were going to run 25 man Ony and ToTC, so I really didn’t have any raids to run. I decided that I would take a trip out to Zul’drak to search for Gondria. For those of you that do not have a hunter or know about pets, we have options when it comes to pets. The most elusive of pets are the rare spawns and a new class of pets called spirit beasts. There are currently three spirit beasts available to hunters in the game, and they all spawn in Northrend on 6-8 hour timers in multiple locations across the map.

Loque'nahak

Loque’nahak was the original spirit beast and spawned around the rim of Sholozar Basin. This is arguably the hardest spirit beast to tame because it is associated with the achievement to kill a rare elite in Northrend. Because of this, these spawn locations are camped by both hunters and achievement junkies. I tamed Loque back in december of 2008, right after I hit 80. It was pure luck that I stumbled across this beauty. I was farming herbs on my paladin and flying around my normal routine in sholozar. When I dropped down to pick an herb, the beast spawned almost on top of me. I taped her and got a mage friend to come out and keep Loque sheeped until I got my hunter out there. I logged on, had to port to Org to respec 51 points in BM, and hearthed out to Northrend. I was so worried that some alliance was gonna come by and gank my mage buddy. After a few nervous minutes, I tamed Loque’nahak and I became one of the first hunters on the server to have a spirit beast, on my alt none the less!

The search for gondria

Gondria was introduced into the game in patch 3.1 and was the new pinnacle of rare spawns. Gondria has five spawn locations that are scattered throughout the middle of Zul’Drak. Gondria was not part of the meta, and as such was a bit less camped when it came to competition to tame him. At one point when I was bored of doing dailies and running instances, I took my hardly played, T7 dusty hunter out there to search for spirit beast number 2. I was on a mission, and I really wanted this cat. Over the course of a week or so, I spent nearly 35 hours flying around ZD, watching movies, and hoping I would hear that illusive noise from my NPC Scan mod that searches for all rare elites at once. After that grueling week of tedious boredom, I gave up on Gondria.

At one point, a few months later, I was on my paladin in Dalaran and my NPC Scan blew up with Gondria. I would assume it was because of a glitch, or some hunter named the spirit beast that they tamed after the NPC. None the less, it was a nice little kick to the groin that I spent so much time with so little success. A few more months have passed since that day, and yesterday I decided that I would kill some time before the raid and fly around Zul’Drak. I started at about 3pm, and popped in a movie at the same time. Searching for a spirit beast is about as entertaining as leveling up fishing so you usually distract yourself as much as possible.

Two and a half hours had passed and it was getting close to raid time. I was winding down what was turning out to be another few hours of wasted time in game, when my phone rang. As I was talking on the phone, watching a movie, and not paying any attention what so ever to my computer, my speakers blew up! There were red flashing lights everywhere and my NPC scan had a lovely little box that said GONDRIA FOUND! I quickly clicked the box, found gondria, and dismounted. I had to abandon my pet, which at the time was a purple Raptor I affectionately called Barney for both the silly children’s TV icon as well as my favorite character on the tv show, How I Met Your Mother. After 20 seconds of suspense, I had my second spirit beast!

Gondria

Two Down, One To Go!

The third and final spirit beast in the game at the current time is Skoll. Skoll is a bright blue wolf with lightening shooting out of him. He is by far one of the coolest looking pets in the game, and that is saying a lot from a guy who thinks that the wolves look like crap in this game. I have a wolf as my raiding pet, but only because it is the best pet for dps. If there was no difference in the buffs that your pet gave you and the dps that they did, I would go back to using a cat. Anyways, back to Skoll. I don’t know if I have it in me to pick up Skoll. That would be the third Spirit Beast that I would have, and it would force me to make some rather difficult decisions when it comes to stable space. A hunter, when maxed out, has room for 5 pets, the one that he takes along with him, and four stable spots. Currently my stable is filled up with only rare pets and untamable pets. Deciding which one to get rid of may be more than I want to do.

I have Loque’nahak, Gondria (both of which can only be used when you are BM, limiting their play time considerably because BM is not what I raid as), Uhk’lok ( a rare gorilla out of Un’Goro that is all white with a blue face), and the Sapphire Hive Queen (per BRK – the LSD Wasp of doom) which is no longer tamable. Now while I no longer use the gorilla, and I could easily camp the spawn location, It just is not enough to make me get rid of it. This leaves me with the difficult decision of skipping any further spirit beasts until blizzard allows us to have more stable slots.

In the end, I am completely happy with the pets that I have, and after getting back into reading a few hunter blogs, I missed the thrill of the hunt! I guess I will just go on with my wolf until the day where Blizzard thinks that wolves have had their day in the sun and buff another pet, at which time I will head right over to Petopia and find the rarest and coolest looking pet on the market.

09
Oct
09

Alts and Raiding progression instances

The Benefits of Geared Alts

This is mostly in response to a post that was put up a few days ago on World of Matticus by Lodur. I think there are some very valid points that are brought up with respect to an alt in a main raid, or even running alts through 10 mans with some mains to help them along, but what happens when you have a progression raid guild with a multitude of alts that are VERY geared. What I mean by very geared is that my alt, who is a lovely little hunter, is more geared that two of our main raiding hunters. With the exception of my trinkets i am in 232 and 245 gear. And I am the officer that hates leveling with a passion more than the others. Each of our officers has an alt that is fully capable of beating out some of our main raiders in their respective duties, and we play them as well as our raiders.

When it comes down to it, this is a huge benefit to the guild and the raid as a whole. We probably have about 15 alts that are geared to the level that they can one shot any boss in ToTC, and we do every week. Now our guild isn’t as hard core as others. What we do is we run our main raid with our best 25 and we clear all of ToTC on Tuesday. Sunday we come back with our Alt raid, plus the 5-10 other mains that did not make it into our Tuesday raid, and clear the instance again. We save all trophies till the end, and we allow all the mains to have one trump card so to speak. They can claim one piece of gear over anyone else in the raid, what piece is up to them. Also we give out the Trophies based on this same system. Everything else is rolled off equally.

As a result we net 10 trophies per week from 25 man raids. Add that to the three 10 man HM ToTGCs we run and you have 22 trophies a week. This is a major gear level upgrade for the guild as a whole. Now we never bring alts to the 25 man hard modes, but they do server their purpose in gearing up our main raid, and in the end, become very geared as well. This type of gear distribution leads to a very geared raid, very quickly. We have the ability to have more gear in the main raid that is physically possible if we would only run one 25 man raid a week. This results in some amazing performances from our raiders.

When is an alt ready for our raids

For the most part we do not allow under geared alts into our raids at all. I for one hate it when people want to be carried right up to the best tier of gear on their fresh 80. What we look for in our members when they want to bring an alt is that they have a vast knowledge about the class they want to play, they are geared and gemmed appropriately, and they have their rotations down. Now you would think that this is a lot to figure out, but its much simpler than you would think. Between our officers we have a Prot, Ret, and Holy Paladin, a Resto Shaman, an Ele Shaman, a Holy and Disc Priest, a Hunter, a Lock, a Mage, a Prot Warrior, and a Frost/Blood DK. On top of the fact that we have that wealth of knowledge, most of our best raiders are on their alts and calling out other people if they are doing something completely off base. As for the logistics of the raid, we have some ground rules for that as well.

We tell people that they are allowed to bring an alt to our 25 man alt run, but once they have decided on which one they bring, they are locked into that class, just as they are on their mains. Any switching of alts would require a formal request just like if they wanted to switch mains. This is really for two reasons. First, the distribution of gear is not spread too thin. If you allow someone to bring a different alt each week, none of their alts will perform to the level that is expected and the raid will suffer as a result. Where as if they bring the same alt ever week, they learn the encounters from that point of view, and they continually collect upgrades that increase their ability to contribute.

The largest problem that we have is class balance. If you look at the trends for alts, most healers and tanks want to switch it up a bit, and try their hands at dps. Now I’m not saying that there aren’t people that are extremely passionate about what they do, I have two tanks, and I love to tank, our GM has three healers! But when it comes to dps, they are usually very selfish and will roll nothing but another dps class, because healing and tanking don’t show you pretty numbers popping on your screen. When we first started invites to our alt runs, we had something like four locks, four hunters, four rouges, no tanks, and two healers. We are a bit more balanced now, but for the most part we have to sit the dps for healers. Our tanks on our alt runs are Mains, and they are two of our main tanks in guild that dont make it to the normal 25 man on Tuesdays.

All in all, any guild that can successfully pull off another 25 man ToTC should be doing it, even if it is a pain in the butt, because it will net you a lot more gear and a lot better performance week after week.

04
Sep
09

Min / Maxing and Socketing

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It may come as a surprise to some of you but I have a rather geared alt. When I first started playing Wrath of the Lich King, I wanted to play a pure dps class, so that farming, questing, earning gold, and raiding were a bit more “fun.” So I took my little level 39 twink hunter and leveled her all they way to 80. As soon as I started gearing her, I was asked to tank as a protection paladin for my guild. So my stint as a dps’er lasted a total of one week at 80. However after naxx got boring, and ulduar got on farm, I was able to gear up my hunter. I leveled as beast mastery, was one of the server’s first hunters to have a spirit beast (for those of you who only care about tanking, its an extremely rare cat that requires the 51 point beast mastery to tame and use), and Loved BM. Well, BM got nerfed, Survival got a huge buff, and off i went into the world of explosive shot.

Well, when we were in full hard mode gear in Ulduar and ToTC and farming for Emblems of Triumph took away most of my attention, my poor little alt was gathering dust. Last night we ran an alt ToTC 10 man and I brought my hunter. Well I’m in a mix of Naxx Best in Slot, Ulduar Best in Slot, and ToTC welfare epics, and I had to switch again, this time to Marksmanship. Where is this story about a hunter on a prot pally site going?

Min/Maxing – To ArP or Agi for a hunter

I want to use my hunter as an analogy for our tanks and our constant struggle to try to maintain the balance of stam, avoidance, and mitigation. As a survival hunter, agility is king, you gem agility the way most tanks gem stam, e.g. all the sockets but the ones to activate your meta. ArP is the number one stat for MM hunters as most of their damage comes from physical attacks (most of SV is explosive shot, or fire damage). So I am sitting on my alt, newly learning the MM rotation, full of agility gems, with no armor penetration in sight.

I start up a conversation with our token “i pull 9k dps regularly” MM hunter and he starts talking about ArP and how I should totally regem my alt so that I can gain a couple hundred DPS. Don’t get me wrong, I always strive to do more damage, however, dropping 10 epic red gems on an alt to go from 6k dps to 6.5k dps really is NOT my idea of money well spent. For my hunter, I will slowly gem ArP as I pick up gear until i am in the 600s and then go back to Agility.

What does this have to do with tanks?

The great agility versus dodge debate is an ideal candidate for this type of philosophy. Now most of the more hard core WoW players regemed the first day 3.2 came out, myself included. That tuesday night, I was standing in front of the gem vendor ready to blow every badge I had on 20 new shiny epic gems so that each of my gear sets, Threat, Avoidance, Effective Health, and Overall were full of epic gems. But what of the rest of us? What of those of us who feel like I do on my hunter? That is where the upgrade gemming philosophy comes in.

In the end we are talking about Min/Maxing, and not requirements (save 540 minimum defense rating), and as such gemming is really a preference. You can be that tank that really, really, really loves Stamina, needs Stamina, and craves the largest health pool on the server. But thats not me. I love balance. So if you are not engaged in the great agility versus dodge debate, and you have not caught up on Theck’s latests law of tank-ativity, Expertise, what do you do?

Well in my opinion you gem your upgrades, and you gem them according to your role, to augment your ability to do your job, and you gem them to enhance the piece to its fullest, and that is what I am going to do with my hunter. When it comes to the selection of gems for your tank, you have to take into account the benefit you will get from regemming. The dodge to agility switch is an expensive one if you gem like I do. If you are a stamina freak, then your gemming choices are simple and straight forward. In the end it all comes down to your desire to better your character, and how much you are willing to pay to get to that next level of stats.




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