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Episode 201: Loaded For Bear

We did it! On September 28, 2014 the Hunting Party Podcast was successfully relaunched with a whole new cast can crew. Despite the new personalities some things remained faithful to first run of the show.

Botched intro/outro? Check!
Technical difficulties? Check!
Same great content? Check!

The show ran a bit longer than we had planned, but that’s because there was a lot of information to cover, and we wanted to do more than just read through a list of patch notes and then move on.

Even at two hours I still fee like we left a lot of content on the table. We’ll see if we can roll that into the next show. The goal is to keep the show length around an hour. We’ll get there, but with so much new stuff, the first few shows will likely run over.

I thought everybody meshed well together, and shows will only get better from here on out.

I was extremely happy that we were able to get the show released within a couple of hours of recording it. A huge shout out to Synthparadox for handling all the technical aspects of show.

I hope you enjoy the show and we’ll see you for Episode 202 on October 12th at 10am Eastern on Twitch TV.

In you weren’t able to listen the live show, you can find the recorded version at the following places.

Episode 201: Loaded For Bear

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WHU Tonight, HPP Tomorrow

It’s the eve of the return of the Hunting Party Podcast. Yes, folks it really is happening. At the risk of Jinxing us all to Hell, everything looks to be in place.

The show notes are ready, the hosts are ready, are you ready?

Before we relaunch the podcast, the WHU is organizing an all Hunter event. It’s the level one dwarf Hunter raid of Hogger. It’s happening 9/27 at 9:30pm Central on Icecrown. I’ll be there as will many of the WHU staff and HPP cast.

Now in case you’re wondering, Hogger is still a level 11 elite, which means he should still pose a threat to a level one toon. Maybe not twenty or 200, but we’ll see.

So there you have it two exciting events. Hogger raid tonight, and the Hunting Party Podcast tomorrow at 10am Eastern, at Twitch.tv.

Stay thirsty and remember to drink your Darkbrew Lager!

The Hunting Party Podcast Returns

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The Hunting Party Podcast is Back!

That’s right folks, the Hunting Party Podcast is coming back, and with a vengeance.

Frostheim, Euripides, and Arth remain happily retired, so we’ve assembled a whole new crew to bring you the latest Hunter news, theorycrafting, raiding tips and more.

This next generation of hosts is nothing short of amazing, I have no doubt that the second iteration of the podcast will be every bit as good as the first.

Hosting the show will be myself, Artemishowl, Solar, and Delirium. We are also in negotiations with Bendak as a possible fifth host. At the very least he’ll be active in the chatroom along with everyone’s favorite moderator – Alisaunder!

Synthparadox will also return to handle all of the technical aspects of the show including broadcasting and editing.

There are a few other changes to the show. First we will not be broadcasting every week. It will be every other week.

Also, the day, time and location have all changed. The show will be broadcast on Sundays at 10:00 am Eastern on Twitch TV.

And with that, Hunting Party Podcast, Episode 201 airs on Sunday, September 28, 2014, 10:00 am Eastern at http://twitch.tv/huntingpartypodcast.

See you there!

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Solar on Final Boss TV Today

Solar will be representing Hunters on FinalBossTV today at 4pm EDT. I encourage you to tune in and hear what he has to say about Hunters in Warlords of Draenor.

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Hunter Talents in Warlords of Draenor

In this video I go over the Hunter talent changes coming in Walords of Draenor.

I focus mostly on talents that have been updated or changed. I also demonstrate some of the new visuals associated with these talent as well.

If you are not in the Warlords of Draenor beta you can try them out on the PTR which currently has the patch 6.0 changes.

Enjoy!

WoD: Hunter Talents

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Gara Solved

It feels like it’s been a month, but after six days, the mystery of Gara has finally been solved. It’s been a week of stops and starts with the Hunter community coming together to piece together this incredible puzzle.

It started with Jeremy Feasel letting us know that the quest was fully implemented for us to solve.

Everyone pretty much knew that the first step was to talk to Gara at the Burial Grounds in Shadowmoon Valley. Killing Mother Om’ra, a rare elite in the Burial Grounds, also seemed like a logical thing to do. She drops Shadowberries, an item related to the quest. After looting the berries it wasn’t much of a stretch to go back and talk to Gara again.

When you show the berries to Gara all the dialogue says is “Gara sniffs the berries, and then looks at you expectedly.” Many of us interpreted that to mean she’s hungry and we must feed her something a wolf might like – Meat.

The talbuk and elekk populations suffered mightily that night. We decimated their herds with reckless abandon with an eye towards Nagrand if we ran out of targets in Shadowmoon Valley.

If Gara desired meat, then she would gorge herself with our plentiful offerings. Alas, we should have realized that she’s dead and thus doesn’t need to eat anymore. Food was not what she needed. But what then?

This is where the trail went cold. There were no clues or hints on what to do next. Everyone was stumped and then it hit us. In one instant a light bulb went on above the collective heads of all Hunters, and we arrived at the only possible reason why we were gated. The quest was bugged. 

Not bugged? How rude!

So we were officially stymied at this point with little or no information to go on. Then a gift.

On the Petopia forums a new user named Uselessx, who was anything but, provided some wonderful data mined information from Wowhead.

It listed quests, spells, and items like a Crude Effigy, Elder Incense, Small Fruit, Torn Cloth, Ancient Bone, and a Spirit Effigy. It also revealed the mysterious Void Lantern.

The flood gates were open, and we now had enough information to progress further, and progress we did.

Hunters flew hither and yon acquiring these strange items. Fruit from the Warsong in Nagrand. The effigy from orcs in Gorgrund. The bone from the Thunderclan in Frostfire. The cloth from demon orcs in Frostfire. The incense from the Arrakoa, and the bowl from Talador.

With items in hand we raced back to Gara and planted the Spirit Effigy on her grave, and then stuff happened.

Gara – Using the Effigy

Wow! If you thought you were walking out of that grave yard with a new companion, guess again. The hunt would continue.

Based on the data mined information we knew that finding the Void Lantern was probably the next step. Time to kill more orcs.

The likeliest keepers of such a device where the Shadowmoon orcs. So Hunters set their sights on Shadowmoon Valley, and the Pillars of Fate were priority one. This is a level 100 questing area on the borders of the Spires of Arak and Shadowmoon Valley, and it’s loaded with void loving orcs.

The lantern was acquired in short order. We activated it and became cool looking Shadow Hunters. But now what?

We knew that Gara was taken to the void realm and that we needed to get there too, but how?

The buff from lantern said we were partially phased into the void realm. Unfortunately it seemed the wrong part of us was in there because we had no clue what to do, and data mining wasn’t going to save us this time.

Now was time for quick thinking, trial and error, brute force and trolls. Epic trolls.

My guess is that someone at Blizzard needed the Heroic Shadowmoon Burial Grounds dungeon tested so they went to official forums and said their Hunter friend completed it with the lantern buff on and amazing things happened.

The post was immediately called into question, but there weren’t any other good leads so we queued and waited for hours for groups to form, and then fall apart at the most crucial points in the dungeon.

I was fortunate to find a competent group and we managed to clear the place with relative ease. Great instance by the way. Visually appealing, mechanics were easy to learn, and it was short and fun. Can’t wait to run it in live, but back to the quest. The dungeon turned out be one of many dead ends.

With very little information to go on, all sorts of wild theories developed. We discovered you can have more than one lantern buff. Maybe that was it. Stack the buff until you are no longer partially phased.

I helped Bendak get his stack to 20, and then – nothing. We figured that 20 buffs was probably a sufficient sample to call the stacking a bug, and we moved on.

Before too long collaboration turned to cajoling, and the frustration was beginning to take its toll. We were blind men (and women) trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

Some pressed on, while others decided to tap the maker on the shoulder to see if he’d give us a hint. I present the ever so helpful Muffinus.


In other words, you’re on your own suckers! Let me say that I’m on Muffinus’ side here. I’ll grant you that some of the clues were a little too subtle, and we did have to rely on data mined information to proceed, but it’s so rare that one gets an opportunity to tread on uncharted territory in an MMO.

When Warlords of Draenor goes live Hunters will have several guides to choose from that will show them step by step what they need to do to tame Gara. The process won’t take days, but will be reduced to a couple of hours, especially if you start it after hitting level 100. Will it still be awesome? Absolutely, but it will also be incredibly straight forward. Alas, I digress.

We stewed and pondered about what to do and where to go. How doe we enter the damn void?

Many believed that Shadowmoon Valley was the key. Yes, we searched virtually ever nook and cranny of every zone, but Shadowmoon Valley is where it began, and that’s where it should end, and end there it did.

Kaitlyn (@Lupen_2) stumbled upon the answer. There in the middle of Shadowmoon Valley was an interesting tree. A vignette of some kind. It’s something that I passed by, or at least near, several times after acquiring the lantern. In my haste to look for something big and obvious, I and many others overlooked something very big and obvious, that deserved closer inspection.

Kaitlyn rode up to that tree, and in its trunk, she saw a blade. She saw that you could click on the blade, and so she did. That’s when the magic happened.

The final piece of the puzzle revealed at last. An epic six day journey drawn to close, and for the moment the River Beasts, Rylaks, Clefthoofs, Talbuks all forgotten. Even the mighty Sporebat forced to take a back seat to this beautiful lady named Gara.

Thank you Muffinus. Thank you for this marvelous journey.

Next pet please?

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The WHU is Back!

The Warcraft Hunters Union is back and better than ever. Artemishowl has taken up the reigns and is once again making sure that we all pay our dues (with Frosteheim’s blessing of course).

Frostheim: It’s been about a year since I retired from hunter blogging, and as you may have noticed, the WoW hunter world has continued in my absence (though Ghostcrawler just couldn’t bear to go on without our deep platonic bond). As always, the hunter community remains strong and new hunter voices have stepped forward to take the reins: new hunter podcasts, new hunter blogs, and new all-hunter raids.

One of those new voices is Artemishowl. If you’re in the WHU Facebook group you no doubt know her from the hunter raids she has been organizing. She recently asked about taking over the WHU to keep this venerable tradition going, and I have great confidence in her abilities and am excited to see the updates and changes that she brings to the site. So we’re clearing out the mothballs and you’ll be getting regular posts on the WHU once more, now from Artemishowl and others that she badgers, cajoles, and intimidates into helping out.

With no further ado, I turn you over to her capable hands.

You can read here first post here.

Welcome back!

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Thank You Zeherah!

Zeherah, creator of the Hunter DPS Analyzer, announced that she will not be updating the site for Warlords of Draenor. Here is her full announcement.

It’s been over 5 years since I started FemaleDwarf.com, and it’s been a great experience for me. I’ve learned a lot from my work on the site, and I’ve greatly enjoyed being able to contribute to and participate in our wonderful hunter community. It’s with a heavy heart that I announce I don’t plan to update the site for the Warlords of Draenor expansion. I’ve greatly enjoyed my experience in WoW over these almost 10 years, but I’m not sure if I’ll continue playing in the upcoming expansion, and I just can’t make the time investment required to keep this site up to date with it.

When I started this site, hunter options for optimization and theorycrafting were a lot more limited. Simulationcraft is now a much more mature and easier to use tool. Esoth is now working on his own web based theorycraft tool at http://www.wowhuntertools.com/hunter/. Ask Mr Robot is a popular alternative option. I hope the hunter community will continue to be well served by these and any new tools that may come along in the future.

I want to thank all the people who’ve helped make the site a success over the years: the authors of the original hunter spreadsheets that the site was inspired by and based on, the hunter bloggers that helped get out the word about the site, the many hunter theorycrafters whose work has helped me keep the site up to date and accurate, the devs who’ve made a real effort in the last few years to engage the theorycrafting community and the player base at large, the volunteer translators that have helped make the site more useful to WoW players in many countries. I also must thank the many wonderful users of the site, some of whom have sent donations over the years, or have shared their stories with me of their experiences with the site, helped make suggestions for improvement or have offered to help in whatever way they could. The hunter community is full of great people that made me proud that I could do my bit to help.

- Zeherah of Stormrage

Her contribution to the Hunter community cannot be understated. Prior to her site there were few widely available options for Hunters to measure their DPS, and five years ago in the middle of Wrath of the Lich King, it was all about the DPS.

I often refer to Wrath of the Lich King as the golden age of theorycrafting and FemaleDwarf was a nuclear powered calculator in a world of slide rules. It was perfect for its time.

Zeherah was our first, last, and most frequent guest on the Hunting Party Podcast. She was arguably our favorite guest as well.

During Cataclysm Blizzard acknowledged her contribution to World of Warcraft with in an in-game item, Zehrah’s Dragonskull Crown.

Zeherah, I wish all the best in whatever the future may hold for you, and I thank you for all that you’ve done for Hunters.

Ironically, you will be missed 0%, because thanks to you we are always hit capped.

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Close, but No Ci-Gara

Tremendous progress was made last night in the hunt for Gara. Thanks in large part to some data mined information posted on the Petopia forums, Hunters were able to piece things together and break the roadblock that had us all stymied; what to do after the berries.

I’m opting not to post details on my blog, but if you want all the details you can find them on this post in the Petopia fourms.

I also plan to do, what I’m sure will be one of many guides detailing this journey.

What I will say is that I think we’re right on cusp of getting to tame Gara. I was fairly certain that it was going to happen last night.

I’m a little disappointed that we had to rely on datamined information to get where we are. Do I think it would’ve been solved without it? Yes, but  not likely anytime soon.

It involves collecting some items. I actually had a couple of them from searching around some zones yesterday, and I deleted them because I needed bag space and they didn’t look like anything significant.

More clues in-game, and more flavor text on items would help a lot. Seriously, hats off to anyone who solves this with only the information supplied to you in-game.

I’m impressed to see this much effort go into creating content for one spec of one class for something that isn’t a legendary item.

This is is still a lot of fun, and the journey isn’t quite over yet.

The game remains afoot.

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#SolveGara

The Hunter community is still hard at work trying to unravel the mystery of Gara, and now we’re ramping up our efforts to figure this out.

If you use Twitter at all, we’re attempting to collect information pertaining to Gara by using the hashtag #SolveGara.

Also there is now a thread on the official forums called, Gara: Wow’s first unsolvable mystery,  where you can contribute.

The other place I would recommend posting information is in this thread on the Petopia forums.

Many, many things have been tried and right now the trail seems to have literally gone cold, as some Hunters focus their sights on Frostfire Ridge.

I ran all over there earlier today and didn’t find anything significant. That should’t stop you from trying though. I also checked out parts of Nagrand with no luck. Jeremy Feasel opened up a little bit about it today on Twitter with the following tweets.

This is interesting as most players hunting her are level 100. It could mean doing more quests at level 100, or maybe it has something to do with the Garrisons and needing the highest level Garrison.

It’s also possible that there is a reward that comes from a follower quest, and that the followers have to be level 100. That’s my current theory for now.

Regarding the berries, this is what he had to say.

So it sounds like the berries are a one-time thing and those who have completed that part have moved on. It’s that next step that isn’t quite intuitive yet.

I’m still enjoying the heck out of trying to solve this. This is way better than the “oh look here’s a cool looking mob sitting in this zone, and it’s TAMEABLE!” that we’ve traditionally had in the past.

Alright now, everybody #SolveGara!