Wednesday, April 29, 2009

RL update and to hit

Okay, so RL stuff....

I am scheduled for surgery next week. I will be spending several days in the hospital, and so there will not be any blog posts for a bit. I have one in the pipe, and I will try to get another done (about children's week pets or my second week in Naxx, or something else).

Now, back to Wow.
Part of the fun/evil of gearing up is dealing with stats. Your primary as a hunter is to hit. Unless you are at hit cap, there is no sense worrying about any other stat. After all, to hit controls whether you miss bosses or hit them, and if you're missing, all the attack power and agility in the world will not save your dps.

Now, Naxx was ridiculously good to me last week. Insanely good. I got... a bow, 3 pieces of tier 8 (shoulders, head, and pants) a shiny necklace, a rogue dagger (we didn't have any rogues or other hunters), and a quest item. Now, if you check my current armory, I don't have my shiny head and shoulders equipped. Why?

To hit. My shoulders and head piece contribute around 80 points to my to hit. As much damage as those shiny tier pieces would do, and as much as I want to replace my green helmet, I can't do it.

So, what can I do? Well, there is a nice to hit trinket from Heroic Nexus (Sphere of Red Dragon's Blood) and there are enchants. There are also a pair of shiny rings that hopefully your neighborhood jewelcrafter will be willing to make...
The Ring of Northern Tears
The Ring of Scarlet Shadows. There's also some rep gear options (I'm using the walrus people polearm) but I kinda stink at remembering to do dailies.

Now, the first ring has some spellpower on it, but it also has a socket and crit. Plus they're both crafted, the mats aren't that bad, and it's something you can very easily do as a new 80. Plus, rings are easy to switch in and out. Pick up a shiny piece of awesome that drops your to hit below cap? Switch in one of these two rings (and resocket gems if needed) and you should be good to go. Added bonus, the mats aren't that bad. On my bank toon I had 160g, and I still have about 80 after getting the mats.

Oh, and hit cap with 3/3 in Focused aim is 163.90, and for no points in Focused Aim it's 262.24. Your pet gets your to hit rounded down. My numbers come from Less QQ, more Pew-pew
Personally, I took the points in Focused Aim so I didn't have to try to get to 263. 164 is much easier to reach, but I have no idea how much dps I may have sacrificed by those 3 talent points, nor do I care. I want my dps to be good, but as long as I am good enough that I don't hurt the raid, I'm happy. After all, for me it is just a game. A fun, engrossing, and wildly entertaining game, yes, but there is a limit to how much stress I am willing to deal with for a game. Atm, if I get over 2k dps I will be insanely happy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I dislike this holiday. Mostly because I hate being in direct competition with other players for limited resources. This would be why I do the cooking quests as early in the morning as I can. And with this holiday, the eggs will always be camped. Grr. Azure Watch did seem to be the best place to go, and the back of the town from the forge to the tent is a nice path with lots of eggs, some that are easy to miss if you don't know the spawn points.

But, that said, it's an easy title to get (took me 4 hours) and is one that even the lowbies can achieve (if they don't mind dying in Un'Goro). I like being the Noble, and I would probably like this holiday more if it didn't seem to bring out the worst in people. I saw people do some jerky stuff today (like someone who already had the title trying to steal my spot while I was in it), and I saw some awesome stuff (ty to the nice orc warrior who went afk in Dal in an obvious space and to the undead warlock who waited for my cooldown to end so I could get the bunny ears achievement).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

MM in raids without replenishment, tips and tricks

If you're like me, you spend most of your time without replenishment. Whether it's soloing quests for cash (and pet leveling), running 5 mans, or raiding, mana management as MM is a challenge. Especially when your tanks are go go go and the healers lose mana slower than you.
So, in my quest to improve dps this week, I discovered a few things and figured I'd share with you.

1. Viper Sting. Remember that one, the one that drains mana and only seems to get used in pvp (unless you're me and didn't even remember you had it till you were reminded)? Well, guess what, it works just as well on bosses with mana and if you keep it rolling on a boss, you will not run oom. Me, I switch between viper and serpent (serpent, chimera, viper, rest of shot rotation, serpent as chimera's about to come off cooldown, chimera, viper....) It means I don't lose the nice chunk of damage chimera+serpent gives me.

2. If you are not actively shooting something, you should be in aspect of the viper unless your mana pool is full. This includes the running around bits of a fight.

3. Rapid recuperation. It's not quite as nice as it used to be (grumble, Blizzard fixed bug, grumble) but it's still nice. In any boss fight, wait a bit till you hit Rapid Fire (I wait till I'm at about 70% mana). Enjoy. Then hit Readiness and repeat. If the fight is going quickly, wait till kill shot is available. Then you get two kill shots and two rapid fires. Nifty.

4. Aspect of the viper. Eventually you're going to have to. First, always always always switch to hawk/dragonhawk to sting and to use Chimera. You don't want to gimp your number 1 damaging shot. Second, you can either just steady shot your heart out or keep to your rotation. It'll depend on the fight, but you want to keep shooting. Autoshot alone's going to take quite a while to refill your pool.

The standard build atm for marksmen is 7/57/7. It does not include efficiency because, well, it's not a huge damage talent, is it? But for me, efficiency is a must. I am not a mage, I should not have to sit and drink after every pull. So, I removed go for the throat and improved steady shot, and used those 5 points to max efficiency. And here's the the build and please ignore the glyph of rapid fire. I haven't been able to get my hands on a kill shot glyph.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Soloing old content because it's there

I have dualspeced BM for old dungeon running. I haven't gotten much of a chance to do it (because figuring out end game loot is complicated and um, the loot gods love me this week), but I figured I would share the resources I've found. And if I ever find good video walkthroughs, I'll be sure to let you guys know. There are great wotlk videos over at tank spot, and your group will be impressed if you have some clue as to strategy your first time in.

That's my current BM spec. I mostly just took talents that looked good, so take it with a grain of salt. I'm currently using my trusty warp stalker Boo, because I love him. I'm not glyphed yet, but I know I'll be looking for mend pet, feign death, and mending.

This might be better with this as a tenacity pet spec.

Any tenacity pet will work for easier content. If you want to solo heroic Magister's terrace or Onyxia or AQ 40 you may need to do some careful thinking (and gear selection). A turtle's armor bonus would come in very handy for that, especially if you're needing to do the complicated pet tanking (aka passing off aggro between you and your pet). I have never done complicated pet tanking, but as I understand it, you pull aggro off the pet, use deterance, then misdirect back onto the pet. That's a bit more than I'm willing to handle atm, but it apparently works quite well.

Your gear selection also becomes important. If you know that you're going to be facing a ton of fire damage, fire resist gear. I generally equip my alchemist's stone trinket because of the extra stamina it gives me. And of course, bandages, potions, and buff food are all really useful things to have. I don't hit a dungeon without them, personally.

Probably the best thing you can do is hit wowwiki or wowhead and read up on the dungeon you're planning to go into ahead of time. Make sure you know what types of damage you're likely to run into, and have some vague sense of boss strategy.

Elitist Jerks has a really useful thread on this subject, complete with boss strategies and gear suggestions. Me, I may try to convince the holy priest (and mount and pet collector) that she and I should duo things I haven't seen before. Say the raid with the red tiger and the raptor mounts, for example.

Oh, and while I'm thinking about it....
If you are like me and fail at pet management, grab a wolf. There's some lvl 80s in the Storm Peaks, and furious howl goes off even in passive. So even if your pet is glued to your side, they're still giving you a nice buff. Last night my dps increase from that completely offset the loss of pet damage.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The exciting end-game (or what I've been doing since I hit 80)

I've been running heroics at a mad-cap pace. I hooked up with an AWESOME tank and he's been helping me gear up. In that process I have learned a few things...
1. My reflexes stink.
2. I need to figure out keybindings. Right now I use a combo of clicking and keys and it isn't fast enough. I've already rebound my shots to 1-7 and am working on hitting them. I think I need to reorganize them, though. Sigh.
3. My dps in groups without replenishment is MASSIVE suck. MM is still mana-intensive, even with all the efficiency talents.
4. Focused aim is so worth it. I'm now hitcapped (168 with 3/3 focused aim), and I have no enchants or gems. Once I get enchanted I can replace the green ring with spellpower (and quite a bit of to hit which is why I have it). Yay.
5. I need to read more EJ. Lots more. So far today I've discovered 2 things I need to start doing (using readiness and switching aspects to fire chimera)

And I've also...
soloed Underbog (yay for dualspecs)
soloed Strat (I want the mount)
got a shiny new mount...

and ran into a really annoying bug. I'd like my blessing of wisdom to stay on for more than a minute, please.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Now on to the rep grind. And Loremaster. Getting the achievement in each zone before I hit the next (except Grizzly Hills because Escape from Silverbrook is a fail quest for me) was a good way to do it. And a REALLY good moneymaker.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

3.1 so far...

Well, it's been a day or so since the servers came up. So far it's a mixed bag.

Instances are really buggy. Really buggy. Like half my guild got stuck in Naxx for several hours buggy.

Fishing is now awesome. The shorter time makes it much more like herbalism. I see a pool, I fish the pool, I move on.

Garetia is now dual-speced. And I am officially bankrupt again. In fact, I didn't have enough to dual spec her until earlier this evening (potion sales + power-questing for the win).

I adore the marksman bug. Can I keep it, Blizz? Please? It completely makes up for practically requiring us to take Efficiency and rapid recuperation. (40% mana loss in one pull + extremely slow mana regen out of combat does not a happy hunter make)

Argent Tournament is good so far. Just one more day till I get enough to go up a rank. I think I'd like it better if I could choose factions from the start though. I don't need any rep with Darn (maxed and have been since 40s).

New fishing dailies seem fun. I like the rewards.

Boo for not being able to learn Call Stabled Pet till 80. So a hunter can dual-spec at 40 and not be able to switch out pets at will. That makes no sense.

Servers are laggy and buggy.

I have a new cat. Pitch from the Basin. He's now my BM dps.

Mounts in water are nice.

The mana regen nerf is PAINFUL at lower levels. I don't think I've ever used the health for mana thing so much. Not your best idea, Blizz, nerfing all mana-using classes. I'm actually afraid to try my pally or priest or druid now. But mostly the pally (who already had mana issues).

Oh, and my warlock hit 25 and Garetia hit 79. Only 1 more level to go!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hellooo 3.1

Scanning the patch notes, a few things make me happy or grumble(besides the Argent Tournament and its shiny weapons).
Marksman Stuff...
1. Chimera Shot: Mana cost reduced from 16% to 12%. YAY! Maybe I won't go through over a quarter of my mana per pull now.
2. Efficiency: Increased to 3/6/9/12/15% up from 2/4/6/8/10%. Does this make this actually useful? I dunno, but it's a start.
3. Ranged Weapon Specialization: Points reduced from 5 to 3, 1/3/5%. Yay more talent points
4. Silencing Shot: No longer on the global cooldown. Yay I guess. More a pvp change than anything.
5. Wild Quiver: Chance increased to 4/8/12%, up from 4/7/10%. Damage increased from 50% of an Auto Shot to 80%. YAY!
6. Ammo stacking is a yay, but I'm not sure how I feel about the haste bonus only being applied to the autoshot.

Pet Stuff...
1. Thunderstomp is no longer a gorilla-specific family ability and is now available to all Tenacity pets. It has been reduced to one rank. Boo is viable again! Oh happy day!
2. New Talent: Wild Hunt: This new 2-rank talent is available to all 3 pet trees. Increases the contribution your pets get from your stamina by 20/40% and attack power by 10/20%. Hopefully this will make cunning pets a bit more attractive.

Pally Stuff

Exorcism: Now can be used on any target and has a 100% chance to be a critical strike when used on Undead and Demons. YAY RANGED ATTACK!

1. Curse of Recklessness has been removed. - Yay one less curse (and one I never used) to worry about.
2. Drain Soul stuff. I'm not sure how I feel about the drain soul changes, and I probably need to play the warlock to get a sense of them.
3. Voidwalker: The health bonus on this pet has been reduced from 60% to 10%. - NOOO! Don't weaken my blueberry!


Fishing- Yay new dailies and mount. Yay time reduction.
Cooking- Finally a use for Man o'war. Guess I've got some fishing to do.
Herbalism- Find Herbs no longer tracks Glowcaps. *grumble*
And there's a ton of alchemy changes, but I need to fiddle with them to decide how I feel about them.

Random Stuff

Pack of Endless Pockets can now be mailed. Yay. I can actually send this bag to the toon who's supposed to have it.
Tiny Emerald Whelplings: May now (very rarely) drop from Adolescent Whelps in the Swamp of Sorrows. HUZZAH!

Yay Chimera shot glyph.
Yay Aimed Shot glyph with cooldown reduction
Yay Kill shot glyph cooldown reduction

I now have glyphs choices. Now I just need to figure out who in the guild is a scribe and offer them herbs for glyphs.

Obviously dual spec is a huge deal, and yay for that. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to figure out new specs for 10 different classes. This could take a while...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reputation Gear for Hunters in WotLK

Basically this is a list of the shiny hunter gear available from the different factions and how to get the rep needed for it. They're listed in order of rep needed from least to greatest. I skipped the Horde factions, but a quick glance tells me there's a nice bow and a dagger. I also ignored all the patterns since this is a gear list. I have only listed mail armor, but there is some nice leather stuff out there as well.

Neutral Factions

Argent Crusade
1. Cloak of Holy Extermination-+39 Agility, +57 Stamina, +52 Attack Power, + 25 Armor Penetration
2. Zombie-Sweeper Shotgun-+14 hit rating, +18 critical strike rating, +68 Attack power, 117.6 dps
3. Polished Regimental Hauberk- +89 Agility, +69 Stamina, +68 Intellect, yellow socket (socket bonus +4 to hit), +49 hit, +104 Attack Power
Gain rep by dailies and quests in Zuldrak and Icecrown, as well as wearing their tabard in dungeons.

The Kalu'ak (they also have a pet and a really nice fishing pole available at exalted)
1. Cuttlefish Scale Breastplate-+56 Agility, +84 Stamina, +32 Intellect, +82 Attack power
2. Traditional Flensing Knife- +29 Agility, +28 Stamina, +58 Attack Power, +21 Armor Penetration
3. Whale-Stick Harpoon- +69 Agility, +103 Stamina, +40 hit, +100 Attack Power
Gain rep by quests and dailies in Borean Tundra, Dragonblight, and Howling Fjord. This is a nice faction to get leveling gear from.

Kirin Tor (besides the gear, all the vendors in Dalaran are Kirin Tor faction, so grinding rep with them will give you a nice discount)
1. Lightblade Rivener+29 Agility, +30 Haste, +58 Attack Power
2. Spaulders of Grounded Lightning +34 Agility, +51 Stamina, +34 Intellect, +34 critical Strike, + 34 resilience, +68 attack power
3. Boots of Twinkling Stars"+42 Agility, +49 Stamina, +41 Intellect, +58 Haste, +66 Attack power
There are quests in Borean Tundra and the Colderra, and the cooking and jewelcrafting dailies also give some rep. Other than that, it's wearing the tabard in dungeons.

Knights of the Ebon Blade
1. Unholy Persuader-+30 Agility, +46 Stamina, +29 Armor Penetration (this is probably more of a rogue weapon)
2. Runeblade of Demonstrable Power-+63 Agility, +67 critical strike rating, +33 haste rating, +168 attack power, 169.3 dps
3. Spaulders of the Black Arrow- +58 Agility, +42 Stamina, + 44 intellect, +33 critical strike, + 88 attack power
There are quests in Icecrown, and once you've unlocked the quartermaster, wear the tabard in dungeons.

The Sons of Hodir (these are the shoulder enchant guys, and I didn't list those, but it's a good reason to grind rep with them. They also have mammoth mounts.)
1. Giant Ring Belt- +40 Agility, +51 Stamina, +34 Intellect, +25 Critical Strike, + 102 Attack Power
2. Broken Stalactite +26 Agility, +28 hit, +33 critical strike, +48 attack power, 130 dps
There are quests and dailies in the Storm Peaks. No tabard for this one, sadly.

The Wyrmrest Accord (they have a red drake as well)
1. Fang of Truth-+32 agility, +29 stamina, +33 hit rating, +48 attack power
There are quests in Coldarra , Icecrown, and Dragonblight. There's also one daily in each of those zones.

Opposing Factions
1. Toothslice Helm+34 agility, +80 stamina, +52 intellect, +34 critical strike, +138 attack power
2. the Mysterious Egg (has a chance of a drake mount or vanity pets
this faction has no hunter gear, but does have a potion thing similar to the egg.
Both factions can be found in Sholazar Basin, and there is a long quest chain before you can start either set of dailies. Be aware that if you switch allegiances after buying gear you will no longer be able to wear the gear till you regain the rep.

Alliance Only Factions
Alliance Vanguard (subfactions are Explorer's League, the Frostborn, the Silver Covenant, and the Valiance Expedition. You need to be exalted with two of them or have the equivalent rep spread out over more than 2 to be exalted with them. Not wearing a tabard in dungeons gains you rep with them.)
1. Sawed-Off Hand Cannon- +17 Agility, +27 stamina, +18 to hit, 95.8 dps
2. Vanguard's Soldier's Dagger-+27 Agility, +36 Stamina, +40 Attack Power, 106.0 dps

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gearing up, it's not just about shinies any more

Well, that was a fun week. RL crap mostly, and another week of it coming up. So, at this point, I am committing myself to once a week updates for a while. I'll try to do more, but between preparing for surgery, grad school prep, GRE prep, taking care of an elderly parent with a broken arm, and trying to get to 80 (only 2 lvls left!), life is kinda busy.

But this is a WoW blog, so let's talk about that.

I'm currently trying to figure out the gearing up for heroics thing. Kinda reminds me of making Magic decks (yes, I used to play Magic). You have to prioritize (getting to the hit cap) and then once you do that you get to start fiddling with the secondary stats while still making sure you keep that magic number. Okay, so maybe that's not the best analogy. Making a high-level D&D character might be a better one. In fact, that is a good one. You want to make the best character you can with limited resources, and if you do it wrong your character is not going to be very effective.

Honestly, gear has become a bit of an issue. Not because I don't have shinies (like a belt and a staff from Utgarde Pinnacle (which I ran with a guildie last week and at lvl 77 that place is mad xp)), but because I have trouble figuring out what's best for me. I picked up some pieces I thought were better, then discovered that my attack power went down when I equipped them. But then again, which is more important, attack power or raw agility? Which ups my damage more or makes it less likely I miss? And where does haste factor in? What about armor pen? And let's not forget the pet.

And then there's glyphs and enchantments and gems and okay, this is complicated. I'll figure it out, eventually, and I'll let you know when I do, but in the meantime I have some nifty resources that may be useful to anyone else approaching end game and going wtf do I do now.
The Elitist Jerks WotLK guide for hunters This lays things out in an easy to understand format, and gives you some numbers to shoot for, as well as suggesting gem and enchant choices. It even ranks talents in all three trees, which I plan to use to clean up my MM spec (and create a BM spec) once 3.1 hits.

Loot lists suggesting the best pieces for a hunter, by zone. This website also has the same lists for other classes, and it's been a nice place to get started.

Obviously there's no substitute for the armory, and this post from Less QQ, More Pewpew is very helpful on getting to the hit cap in the first place. And poke around over there, there are some other very useful posts. (and for whatever reason Blogger does not like that link. is the address)

Me, I plan to sit down, look at the factions, and decide who I need to be grinding rep with. I've started the Oracles (thanks to an awesome warrior friend who laid down his life to help me take down that lich guy), and I'm exalted with the walrus people. But who else do I need to be grinding with? What factions haven't I even encountered yet? (With my insistence on getting the Loremaster achievement for each zone before I move on, well, I've only really done 3 zones and touched on 2 others. On the other hand, it's a great way to make cash. Over 2k gold in 2 zones plus walrus dailies. Epic flying here I come eventually!)