Darkbrew Goes to Blizzcon

This will be a year long remembered. I attended my first Star Wars Celebration, and I will soon be attending my first Blizzcon.

Celebration has been a blast, and I’ve made several new friends (most of them human), but I’m really looking forward to Blizzcon. Not so much for the information that will be revealed, but for the opportunity to finally meet other Hunters who have followed this blog (despite I hardly write anything), and continue to listen and support the podcast.

I’m also looking forward to meeting the other hosts of the podcast, and helping with all the #TeamHunter activities.

As far as getting my ticket goes, I’m chalking it up to luck. I have to say it felt weird purchasing my ticket while being a stone’s throw away from the Anaheim Convention Center.

I had my laptop with crappy hotel wi-fi. I had my wife at home trying to purchase a ticket, and I also had the Eventbrite mobile app. going on my smartphone. The smartphone won. While my laptop and wife were spinning in the waiting room, my smartphone went right through. I throw that out there as another batch of tickets go on sale Saturday.

I wish you all the best of luck in getting tickets, and I hope to see you there.

Good Hunting!


Patch 6.2 Has Arrived on the PTR

Out of the blue, Blizzard has decided to end the content drought and Patch 6.2 is now available for testing on the PTR. It contains a new quest hub, a new raid, and boats. There are also Hunter changes afoot as well. Let’s start there.

The Official Patch Notes


  • Aspect of the Fox has been removed.


  • Aimed Shot now deals 15% more damage.


  • Mastery: Essence of the Viper has increased in effectiveness by 19%.
  • Explosive Shot now deals 15% less damage.
  • Serpent Sting no longer deals an initial “tick” of damage when the periodic effect is first applied.


  • A Murder of Crows now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets.
  • Barrage now deals only 80% of normal damage against player-controlled targets. Additionally, the ability no longer hits invisible or stealthed targets.

Data Mined

  • Mastery of Beasts – Increases damage done by your pets by 18%

The removal of Aspect of the Fox is just sad, and I’m not sure why it had to go. I figure it either wasn’t be used or it was being used to such degree, i.e., chaining, that it just was too powerful in raids with lots of Hunters. Who knows, there may even have been a PvP issue. Whatever the reason, it’s gone, and Hunter raid utility is now relegated to whatever special boss mechanics there are that the lesser classes can’t handle.

Aimed Shot is just a straight up buff. Survival, on the other hand, is taking a hit. One it certainly doesn’t need. Of all the specs, this is the one that we’ll need to play closest attention to, as its performance could be impacted the most.

The talent changes only affect PvP, and it’s nice to see that Blizzard has the capacity to tweak abilities separately for PvP and PvE. In the past, those talents would have just been nerfed for the sake of PvP and we’d all be switching to Glaive Toss and Stampede for PvE.

There was one change to Beast Master that was not in the official patch notes. Beast Mastery is getting a buff. Hooray!

A few other things to note about 6.2 is that we’ll be able to complete the legendary ring quest, and the ring will have a proc. Additionally there will be class/spec specific trinkets that drop off of the final boss in the Hellfire Citadel raid.

  • Beastlord: Bestial Wrath now lasts an additional 50 sec on your pet, and it increases your pet’s damage by an additional (11 +- 15)%.
  • Blackness: Your Arcane Shots and Multi-Shots have a 22% chance to reset the cooldown of Black Arrow.
  • Longview: Your shots deal (11 / 100)% increased damage per yard between you and the target.

Looking at these the Beast Mastery proc really stands out. I’ll be curious to see what the Tier 18 set bonuses look like and whether or not it will be worthwhile to go with two pieces of Tier 17 and two pieces of Tier 18 versus four pieces of Tier 18. I’ll wager the four piece will be better, but still something to think about.

Survival’s proc is somewhat lackluster, unless there are fights with heavy adds, but you don’t want to apply Black Arrow on a target that has the DoT so we’ll see how this one plays out.

Marksmanship’s proc is all about standing as far away from the target as you possibly can. Given the need to stack for heals, etc. the benefits of this proc will vary depending on the nature of the fight.

Still, I really like that that they’re trying to tailor these trinkets for specific specializations.

The Hunter Tier sets have not been revealed yet, and it’s a big piece of the puzzle that’s missing right now. Set bonuses had a huge effect on how the specs performed in Blackrock Foundry and I suspect they’ll have a similar impact in 6.2.

All aboard because the bumpy ride continues.


Episode 215, The Cantina Cast and More

A quick update post for you today.

HPP Episode 215

Episode 215 will air at it’s usual time this Sunday on our site. Bendak and I will be out this week, but RogerBrown will joining ArtemisHowl and Delirium on the show. They’ll have an update on the WHU BBQ in SoCal this May. Click here to see when the show will air where you live.

The Cantina Cast

I just signed on to be a blogger with The Cantina Cast. It’s a Star Wars themed site and although it has nothing to with World of Warcraft, I wanted to let you know about it since I can’t imagine you guys don’t like Star Wars.

I’ll let you know whenever I post something there. You can also check out a little more that I had to say about it on my SWTOR blog, The Cantina.


I don’t know about you guys, but my game time has been very streamlined the last couple of months. I login to raid Tue., Wed., and Thu. It’s something I enjoy very much. We do two hours a night so progress is slow, but it’s there. We’re 8/10 heroic now, and those eight bosses are nearly on farm status.

Beyond raiding, it has been mostly follower missions, farming music scrolls (I now have Karazhan in my Garrison), and trying to get Harrison Jones. I have one quest left to complete to get him as a follower, and then it’s let the gold farming begin. My Garrison now has the following setup.

  • Salvage Yard
  • Enchanting Shack
  • Storehouse
  • Inn
  • Trading Post
  • Mage Tower
  • Barracks

Everything revolves around convenience and gold making. I recruit a new Treasure Hunter every week, and once I get Harrison Jones leveling them will be easy. The trading post allows me to keep the flow of Garrison resources coming. The Mage Tower allows me to collect Apexis Crystals which I use for Seals, and its work orders sometimes reward an item that allows you to instantly complete a mission. Great for those BRF missions.

So that’s about it. Until we get another raid tier and major questing hub, there isn’t much I feel compelled to do on a daily basis. Truth be told, I’m okay with this.

Oh, and I do have a couple of Hunter posts rattling around in my brain, but I may not get to them until after I get back from Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim next week.

Good Hunting!


Episode 214: Off to a Great Stop!

Welcome to the first Episode recorded live at our new showtime – 2PM Eastern. ArtemisHowl couldn’t make it, Delirium was late, and technical difficulties cause the episode to end rather abruptly. As you can see the new time has us off to a great stop.

Amidst the chaos, we still managed to deliver another great episode of Hunter content. This week we talk about why Harrison Jones is an awesome follower despite being a Rogue. We cover the both the Tier and LFR 2/4 piece set bonuses and how they affect each spec.
We continue to plunge the depths of Blackrock Foundry and talk about our favorite bosses and which specs and strategies we prefer.
Episode 215 is scheduled for April 12 at 2PM 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 214: Off to a Great Stop!


Six Years and Counting

I can’t believe it, but today marks the sixth anniversary of the Brew Hall. Dakrbrew Lager for everyone!

It has been and continues to be a great ride. I want to thank all of you who read and comment, and listen to the podcast. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, without you I’d just be talking to myself, and I don’t need a blog to do that!

I don’t know if the Brew Hall will be around in another six years, but for right now it’s full steam ahead. So what’s there to look forward to?

First, I will do my level best to post most more. At least once a week would good right? The podcast is still going strong and we’re going to officially move our show to time to every other Sunday at 2pm Eastern. The next show is planned for March 29th.

Finally, I am planning to attend Blizzcon and help with all the great #TeamHunter events, as well as finally meet any of you who are attending. Fingers crossed that ticket gods are kind and I won’t be sitting in front of my computer hands raised in the air yelling, “BLIZZKHAAAAN!”

Stay thirsty my friends and remember to drink your Darkbrew Lager.


Episode 213: Farewell Solarflair

In this episode we bid farewell to Solarflair who is leaving the podcast to work for Blizzard Entertainment. We wish him nothing but the best of luck, and look forward to seeing him again at Blizzcon 2015.

That’s right, #TeamHunter will be back at Blizzcon this year and we are in the early stages of planning an awesome event complete with swag and other possible giveaways. Currently DeliriumArtemishowl and Darkbrew are definite, while Bendak is 50/50 right now. Stayed tuned for more information throughout the year.

Of course we talk Hunters. This week we talk about the Tranq. Shot nerf. The upcoming Blackrock Foundry itemization changes. We also touch upon some of the Blackrock Foundry encounters and how Hunters are faring.

Saving the best for last, RogerBrown sneaks in at the end to wish Solar farewell and weigh in on the aforementioned topics. Expect to see him making more guest appearances throughout the year.

Episode 214 is scheduled for March 29th are our new time of 2pm 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 213: Farewell Solarflair


Five Rules for Focus Fire

Focus Fire used to be one of the least interesting things going on for Beast Master Hunters. You just sent in your pet, waited until you got five stacks and went about your business. But what about now? The great Vince Lombardi sums up the situation perfectly.
Focus Fire now represents some of the most complex decision making that Beast Mastery Hunters have had to face since the game had four Spirit Beasts and only five stable slots. Actually that was pretty easy too. You got all four and then a wolf. There. Done. So yeah, this is as hard as it gets, and you have to handle this all while dodging flames, prioritizing adds, and jumping onto a boat from a swinging hook.

Because it’s been buffed so significantly there will be many times where you end up using Focus Fire before Frenzy reaches five stacks. Here are some basic guidelines of when to pop Focus Fire. Bendak wrote a nice summary in his Beast Mastery post, and I felt that it was important enough to echo here.

  1. Have five stacks of Frenzy? Pretty straight forward. Just pop and go, unless Bestial Wrath has anywhere from 10 to 19 seconds remaining on it’s cooldown. Then you want to wait until there are ten seconds left on the cooldown so that Focus Fire will overlap Bestial Wrath’s duration.
  2. You have at least one Frenzy stack and more than three seconds remaining on Bestial Wrath.
  3. If your Frenzy stacks are about to drop, then pop Focus Fire. Do not let them go to waste.
  4. Ready to pop Stampede? Then get ready to pop Focus Fire.
  5. Ready to pop Bestial Wrath? Then get ready to pop Focus Fire.

Thankfully, we have WeakAuras to make this decision making all too easy. Hunter Azortharion has created this awesome weak aura string that tracks each of these scenarios and let’s you know when you should hit the Focus Fire button. I can’t recommend this enough.

I’ve been using this a short while and it’s really made a difference. Focus Fire was always somewhat of a boring and lackluster ability, but now I think it makes Beast Mastery fun and complex. It’s no longer go grab a coffee while the pet does all the work. It’s a heck of a lot of fun right now.

Stay Focused!


Episode 212: Michele Morrow, Bracklemore and Rhino Gosling

It’s never a dull moment when Michele Morrow makes an appearance on the show, and Episode 212 is no exception. This week we discuss the Raid Against Rare Diseases charity even that took place on February 28th.

If you missed the event, no worries, there is still time to donate as well as participate in the online auction where you can bid on some items donated by Blizzard.

Also in this episode we congratulate Solar on getting a job with Blizzard Entertainment. At the end of March he’ll move to California and join Warcraft’s QA team. Grats Solar!

We also managed to squeeze in couple of Hunter topics including how nice it is to be Beast Mastery and use pets once again.

Important Links

Episode 213 is currently scheduled for March 15th. Thanks for listening.

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

Episode 212: Michele Morrow, Bracklemore and Rhino Gosling


Episode 211: Play What You Want

This week DarkbrewDelirium and Bendak dive into Blackrock Foundry. We give our impressions on the bosses we’ve seen thus far and how we feel Hunters are faring.

We welcome Blizzard Watch and Bendak‘s new Locked and Loaded Hunter Column.

We take a look at the latest Hunter changes for Patch 6.1 and discuss how all three specs stack up against each other for single target and AoE.
Episode 212 is schedule for March 1st.
The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,
Episode 211: Play What You Want