The Outlander

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“I have carried many titles into combat. Only one matters now. Outlander.” – Every character you’ve ever created

I have three words to say about being called the Outlander. Do. Not Want.

It’s happening though, and I’ll just have to live with it, but I really don’t like the title. When I hear the term Outlander I think of that that Scottish time travelling series that my wife is so enamored with. You know what I don’t think about when I here the word Outlander? Star Wars.

That’s my biggest gripe with the title. It doesn’t feel like something out of Star Wars. Let’s face it, Outlander is just another way of saying Chosen One, but the title doesn’t convey that to me. Chosen One another title I don’t want, even though it is straight out of Star Wars.

So what do I want to be called? I want to be called by the names that defined my characters in their initial journey. Names like Cipher Agent, Mandalorian, Major, Barsen’thor, Darth Nox/Imperius, Master Jedi, and Wrath.

I get that there is more cost and effort with individualizing parts of the story, but it serves to add a bit of uniqueness to it all. When I’m doing the story on my Jedi Knight I want it to feel a little different than when I’m on my Sith Inquisitor.

This is why I really don’t like the Outlander title. All my characters are becoming the same thing. That’s truly what I do not want.

Episode 223: Legion

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This week we discuss the upcoming expansion for World of Warcraft – Legion. In addition to all the expansion news, we covered the developer Q&A held right before the show. Spoiler alert: *crickets*.

Luckily Blizzard had plenty of expansion information ready for Blizzcon. We talk about melee Hunters, petless hunters, and good old big red Hunters. We also talk about the new Artifact weapons, the in-game Hunter’s Hall, and much more.

The Hunting Party Podcast also turned six this week. We’d like to thank all of the listeners for your support these past six years. We do this because of you.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,

Episode 222: DAT MM Four Piece!

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This week Darkbrew, Bendak and Deirium cover a wide array of topics including LFR queue woes for Hunters, the 6.2 hotfix buffs, the legendary ring, and the amazing power of tier 4-piece bonus for Marksmanship.

We’re still working on the schedule for episode 223 where we hope to have ArtemisHowl back and RogerBrown on to discuss the Hellfire Citadel race for world first.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,

Episode 221: The Last Raid Patch

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This week we were light on Hunter news and light on Hunter hosts. We dipped into some of the general World of Warcraft news including the announcement that Hellfire Citadel will be the final raid of Warlords of Draenor. We speculate on what that might mean for the timing of the next expansion.

San Diego Comic Con was this weekend so we took the time to discuss the Warcraft movie panel. And, yes, Bendak and Darkbrew do talk about Hunters. Thinking of upgrading your Skull of War trinket? We tell you if it’s worth it. We also answer some questions from members of the WHU Facebook community.
Episode 222 is scheduled for Sunday, July 26th at 1:30 pm Eastern. Click here to see when the show will air where you live.
The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,

Episode 220: Hellfire Citadel

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This week Artemishowl, Darkbrew, Bendak and Delirium walk you through the bosses of Hellfire Citadel. We give cover which specs are best for each boss, *cough* Marksmanship *cough*. We also give you tips on how to handle the many adds you’ll find on each encounter.

We also cover the Focus Fire bug and the impact it had to Beast Mastery this first week of patch 6.2.
Episode 221 will air Sunday, July 12th at 1:30 PM Eastern. Click here to see when the show will air where you live.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,

Episode 219: Rumble in the Tanaan Jungle!

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This week, former host Arth pops in to say hello and he brings with him all the technical woes of the HPP’s previous incarnation. It was a rough ride, but we made it through to the end, and it was nice speaking with Arth once again.

This week we talk about the newly discovered taming challenge found recently on the PTR. We review all three Hunter specs and where they stand in Patch 6.2. We also talk about those elusive Hunter weapons and some things you can do to upgrade to a 695 weapon on day one of the patch.

Episode 220 will air Sunday, June 14th at 1:30 PM Eastern. Click here to see when the show will air where you live.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,

Episode 218: BRK is Back!

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Hang onto your butts, BigRedKitty is in the house! We get his take on Hunters, raids, and his overall impression of Warlords of Draenor. In true BRK fashion, he tells it like it is.

Episode 219 will air Sunday, June 14th at 1:30 PM Eastern. Click here to see when the show will air where you live.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,

Episode 217: RIP Survival

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In this episode, Artemishowl, Darkbrew, Delirium, Bendak and RogerBrown discuss the current state of Hunters in Patch 6.2. We examine the Tier 18 set bonuses and the impact they have on rotations and talent choices. We also discuss the effect of the Serpent Sting changes to Survival and look at where that spec stands in the upcoming patch.

Episode 218 will air Sunday, May 31st at 1:30 pm Eastern. Click here to see when the show will air where you live.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,

The Offer

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If you read creative director Jesse Sky’s blog post, Crafting the Next Story of Star Wars: The Old Republic, then you know that BioWare wanted to use The Empire Strikes Back as the story model for Knights of the Fallen Empire.

The trailer released at Gamescom last week gave us our first glimpse at Empire’s influence on Knights of the Fallen Empire’s story by giving us a scene straight from the film’s most climactic moment.

Let’s discuss the offer.

“You do not have to stand against me. Instead, I will share all of this with you if you will only kneel.” – Valkorian

There it is, it’s Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker – “Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.” 

It’s also Darth Sidious and Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith“You are fulfilling your destiny, Anakin. Become my apprentice. Learn to use the dark side of the Force.” 

The big question is will we truly be given the opportunity to say yes, and if so, how will the story branch?

Generally speaking the dark side choices are more interesting. Anakin accepts Sidious’ offer and becomes Darth Vader. He betrays everything to save his family. The Jedi, the Republic, and his deepest friendships. He commits murder, becomes dismembered, and inflicts and endures great suffering before ultimately fulfilling his destiny decades later.

I imagine making this choice will have some real ramifications. In the trailer, Darth Marr is by our side. Will he like this decision or will he hate it? Will the offer be extended to him as well? Will our first act as a servant of Valkorian be to kill Marr?

A lot of people, myself included, really like Darth Marr. Having him as a companion is something I fancy, but so is going down the dark path.

If joining Valkorian is a real choice then I hope they give me the proper motivation for doing so. Anakin chose the dark side because he thought it would save his family. Why would I accept? Am I a power hungry jerk? Are the lives of the people I care about most at stake? Is this a way to save them? Is this a ploy? Is the only way to stop Valkorian to join him and gain his trust? Whatever the reason, I want to make this choice for something more than idle curiosity.

I also want it to be a genuine choice and not some brainwashed or mind controlled decision. I want to be 100% myself when I accept.

Rejecting the offer is the straightforward choice. It’s the choice Luke makes and while I wouldn’t call Luke’s journey boring, it’s certainly more predictable. The motivation for saying no is easy. We’re a veteran of the great war. We’re the Outlander. We’ve been fighting for the greater good all of our life. We’ve come this far, why stop now?

Although it’s a good and noble choice. It too will likely come with consequences. If we make it out of that throne room alive I imagine the hatred and anger that will be unleashed on us and everything we care about will be great. Fighting the good fight will not come without a price.

All throughout Gamescom I heard people like James Ohlen state that Knights of the Fallen Empire is a return to BioWare’s storytelling roots and having choices that matter. The Old Republic’s roots are Star Wars, and there aren’t many bigger choices in Star Wars than the offer.

Melee, Ranged and Petless, Oh My!

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Icy-Veins interviewed Tom Chilton and Ion Hazzikostas about Legion. In that interview, it was revealed that all three Hunter specs will have their own unique flavor in the upcoming expansion.

  • Beast Mastery – Ranged and uses pets.
  • Marksmanship – Ranged and does not use a pet.
  • Survival – Melee and uses a pet.

I was alerted to this tidbit from Fel Panda Steve on Twitter.

In my post yesterday I suggested that this is how Blizzard might choose to go in Legion. It seems like the natural progression from Warlords of Draenor.

Lone Wolf was only ever used by Marksmanship and Survival and no one plays Survival right now. Adaptation was only ever used by Beast Mastery and it was always taken by Beast Mastery. If Lone Wolf is going baseline for Marksmanship, then hopefully Adaptation is going baseline for Beast Mastery.

So Marksmanship moves closer to becoming a true ranger specialization with a bow as its artifact weapon. Not just any bow either, but Thas’dorah, Legacy of the Windrunners.

artifact-windrunner-2_860Beast Mastery retains the classic look of a Hunter, think original World of Warcraft cinematic, using a gun and a faithful companion.

Survival, which perhaps should be renamed, will be more of a Rexxar/Beastlord Darmac prototype, using a melee weapon and a faithful companion.

On paper I think this sounds wonderful but the more the specs diverge the more players will fall in love with one over the other. If your favorite spec is underperforming then feeling obligated to play a spec you don’t like could lead to unsatisfaction with the class. It’s a little like this already, but Legion is nudging things in a way that firms up the delineation between the specializations.

I prefer Beast Mastery but when I raid I play Marksmanship with Lone Wolf. It’s not the end of the world, and I enjoy the variety and the challenge of trying to master my whole class.

It’s a brave new world for Hunters.

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