Gnome Hunters! Mech Pets!


It’s official! You will be able to create a Gnome Hunter in Legion. This was hinted at last week, and Blizzard made a full blown announcement about it yesterday. As if Gnome Hunters weren’t exciting enough, the big surprise was that Hunters are getting a new pet family called Mechanical.

Goblins and Gnomes will be able to tame Mechanicals because they’re Goblins and Gnomes and that’s just what they do. In fact, Gnomes will get a mechanical rabbit as their starting pet.

Before you run off and race change, other Hunters will be able to learn this capability from a device that Engineers will make.

Now, just because you know how to tame a Mechanical, doesn’t mean you know how to tame a Mechanical. That’s right, they’re going to be taming challenges and will require you to make use of your awesome Hunter abilities. One such Mechanical is a mechanostrider. Hunters will have to make their way deep into Gnomregan and figure out how to overload the mechanical beast’s circuits. Figure out this little puzzle and the metal beast is yours.

This is awesome! On more than one occasion, we’ve talked about engineered pets on the Hunting Party Podcast and it’s something that is long overdue. The mechanostrider is a good start, but few things would make me happier than going to Hellfire Peninsula and unleashing a stampede of Fel Reavers onto a Fel Reaver.

Once curious thing that was mentioned in the announcement was the need to feed these pets.

What do you feed a high-tech pet that’s not technically alive? Mechanical Bits, of course! Hunters will be able to keep their shiny metal friends “happy” and “healthy” through the creative use of Engineering supplies such as a Handful of Copper Bolts.

Hopefully this all about lore and fantasy and not the return of pet happiness. That’s one beast that needs to remain dead forever.

Basking in the Sun Again


The back and forth saga of the Great Companion Nerf took another turn this week and companion power was buffed again. Not to point where it was before it was nerfed but certainly higher. You can read the entire reasoning behind it in Michael Backus’ post on Companion Balance Changes, but this is the gist of it.

  • We will be increasing Companion power. It will not be as powerful as before, but the changes will be significant.

  • Heroic Star Fortresses will get a new moniker to denote that it’s a different type of challenge. And we will balance Star Fortresses independently of both Companion power and [Heroic 2]s to ensure they are tuned appropriately.

The buffs were put in place on Tuesday, but no changes were made to the Heroic Star Fortresses. Why they didn’t make them Tactical Flashpoints for group play is beyond me? That would have been much simpler than a separate thing that they have to figure out how to tune.

As far as soloing them goes, I was able to solo them once again this week. I wasn’t able to do it with the nerf. I’m in mostly 216 gear using a healing companion whose influence level is 32. I don’t know how long this will last, but I’m certainly going to enjoy it for now.

In other news this week, BioWare announced that they are going to announce something big on Tuesday. I didn’t think too much of it until Drew Karpyshyn chimed in. Sounds like it might be related to something he was working on, and that probably means it’s story related. That can only be a good thing.

Luckily for me, all my hype energy is dedicated to The Force Awakens. Shouldn’t be a problem calmly waiting to see what Tuesday brings. Yeah, right.

Legion Hunting Lodge First Look

YouTuber Song Zee post what looks to be an early data-mined looked at the Hunter Class Hall coming in Legion. It’s beautifully rustic and serene. The architecture is Elven and is similar to the Hunting Lodge is Loch Modan.

This should by no means be considered the final product, as things tend to change in Alpha/Beta, but this is an excellent first iteration.

Slackers, All them, Slackers


After years of fighting the good fight, I finally decided to embrace my destiny and I became the Outlander. To face this great challenge I assembled the greatest alliance the galaxy has ever seen. Handpicked from all corners of space these soldiers, scientists and scoundrels hung by my side and performed at the highest level. They called me commander and believed that they were part of something bigger than themselves.

It was glorious, and then I showed them the Cantina.

I threw one giant party to help excise some of the demons of war and now that’s all they seem to do day in and day out. The drink and cavort, and their skills have gone soft. They used to heal me before I knew I was hurt. They could rival me in damage, and take a punch that would make a Rancor cry.

But now. Now they are all just a bunch of slackers no better than the crew I left for dead five years ago before this all started. They hit like wet noodles. The take a punch by hiding behind me and using me as their shield. Nico now heals by taking a swig of Corellian brandy and saying, “you might want to have that looked at.”

We used to walk into a heroic Star Fortress and own the joint, but now we’re getting shown the door.

Perhaps it’s for the best. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to strengthen our resolve and fight even harder. Or maybe, just maybe I need better gear and exert a little more influence to get back to where we were.

Let’s go slackers. The bar is closed. Time to get to work.

*header image from this post on Massively.

So You Wanna Be a Gnome Hunter?


You are uncommonly good looking. You know what is the best pet for the DPS. You despise the other support classes and question whether they’re truly needed as you take down Drov the Ruiner, Tectus and Oregorger by yourself. Your bank is filled with ranged weapons of every variety. Your stable is loaded with the most awesome companions from every corner of Azeroth and beyond. Yet, despite all of this, you find that your life as a Hunter is incomplete.

Maybe you have a soft spot for the little guy, or just enjoy the plight of the underdog? Perhaps you want to experience the thrill of knowing your companions can swallow you whole or trample you underfoot?

For 11 years, you’ve been told that you’re too short for this ride, but no more because in Legion you’ll finally get to be a Gnome Hunter.

Of course, Hunters are so awesome that they’ve been playing as gnomes for years now, this will just make it more official. A great move on Blizzard’s part as Hunters can now be played by every race in the game.

Big Changes for Hunters?

I’m getting ready to start day two of my first Blizzcon experience. Plenty of recaps of all the Blizzcon action can be found on MMO-Champion and other places.

I find that it’s much easier to cover Blizzcon when you’re sitting at home with the Virtual Ticket than it is to do so while you’re here. Much of that has to do with the fact that when you’re here, you’re running to get from place-to-place, or grab a bite to eat or running into imaginary friends who are now real.

I did want to pass on a few thoughts on Hunters. Nothing has been officially revealed. It could happen at the game systems panel, and I believe that class blogs will be coming on Sunday.

In talking with people, it sounds like Hunters are in a for a major overhaul in Legion. I’m talking all three Hunter specs and not just Survival here.

When I played the Legion demo, I rolled a level one Dwarf Hunter. I noticed that there was an awesome new Bear model and that Cobra Shot was instant and no longer generated Focus. It sounds like that’s is just the tip of the iceberg for changes.

Nothing I’ve been told is ready for prime-time, but I hope it gets revealed soon. All I can say is that it’s feeling like Hunters will be changing on a scale of Cataclysm this time around in Legion. Whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen.

KOTFE – So Far, So Great


I have had very little time to play since early access became available on Tuesday. I’ve completed Chapter II: A Dream of Empire, and will look to complete the rest of the chapters on Friday. I just won’t have to time to do it today.

Despite the fact I haven’t progressed far into the story, I am level 64, thanks in part to the planetary level sync. I haven’t had time to immerse myself into the story, but I have stolen little bits of time and run a number of the weekly Heroic +2 quests. They yield great XP and if you fancy hitting level 65 and gearing up before you start the Knights of the Fallen Empire story, this is certainly one way to go about it.

As I said, I’m only two chapters in and the story is utterly fantastic. I absolutely love Valkorian, and I didn’t even hesitate to accept his offer and kneel. I only hope he keeps his end of the bargain.

So that’s it. Just a quick update for today. The expansion is great, and I should have more time this weekend to really sink my teeth into it.

Knights of the Fallen Empire – Here We Go!


It’s here. It’s finally here! Tomorrow, those of us who have been subscribed to the game since August 10th will leave the cushy confines our strongholds and accept the burdens that come with taking on our role as the Outlander.

While I’m certainly excited for the new the story, there are many other changes that will impact how you play the game. The changes are too numerous to cover here, but there are some wonderful developer blogs that cover everything you need to know and are well worth checking out before you begin your new adventure.

As you can see it’s a lot of reading and a lot of changes. There are also numerous quality of life changes that were revealed during the September 30th live stream. These were things like legacy datacrons, searchable collections, speeder piloting I at level one, a fix to cape clipping, and shareable keybindings.

Just like previous expansions there will be a level cap increase to 65 and a gear reset. If you were thinking of switching main toons or getting into end-game content for the first time, now is the time to do it since everyone will have to level and gear up their toons.

For the most part, I skipped flashpoints and operations in Shadow of Revan. With WoW entering a large lull, I plan to participate more with the end-game this time around.

A brave new Galaxy opens its doors tomorrow, and I’m ready.


Episode 227: Meet Brutallstatic


This week gamer, Youtuber and Twitch streamer, Brutallstatic joins us on the podcast. We discuss his conversion from Warrior tank to Hunter and his amazing project to teach players how to raid. We also reveal more information for Blizzcon and Con Before the Storm. We also cover some of the changes coming in patch 6.2.3.

Be sure to follow Brutall on Twitter, Twitch and Youtube.

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

VBLOG: Planetary Level Sync


Welcome to my first video blog on Star Wars: The Old Republic. In this first episode, I talk about the planetary level sync feature coming in Knights of the Fallen Empire.

I’m a big fan of it and I think the positives outweigh the negatives here. One thing I failed to mention in the video is that you can go back and earn XP at any level. Meaning if you’re level 60 you can earn XP appropriate to level 60 by going back and doing heroic quests, or bonus series you may have skipped. You don’t just have to level via the KotFE story.

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