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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!

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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.

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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

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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.
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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!

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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

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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

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Thoughts on Hunter Mobility

Twice now in the last two weeks the Hunting Party Podcast crew has been asked to give their thoughts on Hunter mobility. Granted the question was posed by the same individual, but both were in very public settings. First on the Hunting Party Podcast, and then on the Realm Maintenance Podcast.

I’ve been thinking about it a little and wanted to share some additional thoughts on the topic. In what will come as a surprise to no one, I’m fine with the current state of Hunter mobility. Yes, it’s quite good, although I would point out that Focusing Shot is the only thing keeping us from achieving a state of mobile perfection.

Given that we were asked the question, I can only assume that there is a bit of envy aimed towards Hunters that stretches beyond the norm. Uncommonly good looking, top DPS, great at soloing. The list of reasons why a lesser class would want to prostrate themselves before a Hunter is long indeed, but our mobility seems to be what’s turning heads these days.

So how good is Hunter movement? It’s really darn good, but not necessarily for the reasons you’d think. My guess, and it’s truly a guess, is that much of the angst surrounding Hunter mobility stems from a belief that Hunters have a lot of abilities they can fire on the move, that if they belonged to another ranged class they would not be able to use them while moving.

That simply isn’t true. What makes Hunters great on the move is the large number of instant cast abilities that we have in our toolkit.

Look at Beast Mastery and Survival they both have one casted ability that’s a permanent fixture in their rotations, and that’s Cobra Shot. Barrage is optional, and best saved for heavy AoE situations, which do exist. Outside of that one talent, there are no other casted abilities for Beast Mastery and Survival.

Marksmanship on the other has Steady Shot and Aimed Shot as mainstay abilities. Barrage is optional, but yes there are times where Marksmanship will have three abilities that defy the standard rules of what a class can cast while moving.

Here’s the thing with Marksmanship though, they are discouraged from moving because of Sniper Training. If a Marksmanship Hunter chooses to hop around like a Kangaroo on emphetamines, they’ll do so at the expense of their DPS.

There’s no question that Hunters have amazing mobility, and even they made it so we could not cast non-instant abilities while moving, we’d still have it pretty good. Why the other ranged classes don’t have similar capability is something I cannot answer. I do spend a fair bit of time playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. You know, WoW with lightsabers?

Unlike WoW, I like to play a variety of ranged DPS, none of which have the free range of movement that my Hunter does. In the just released Shadow of Revan expansion, BioWare took the time to mitigate some of the movement problems that exist for their ranged classes. Nothing like we have with Hunters, but greatly improved nonetheless.

My Bounty Hunter has a “talent” that allows him to fire a channeled ability while moving. He also has shot that does damage, and makes the next Tracer Missile (a casted ability) instant. He also has another ability that will make the next two Tracer Missiles instant. So in a typical boss fight there are times where I’ll be locked in place and other moments where I can move and DPS freely. I find it’s nice balance from just being a human turret.

Perhaps WoW can do something similar for Warlocks, Mages, Druids and Shaman. In the meantime if you don’t want to wait until Blizzard changes your class, you can always roll a Hunter.

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The Current State of Pets

I was thinking about pets over the weekend, and I find them to be in a curious place right now. If you think about it, the system is perfect, and yet something about it doesn’t feel quite right.

In Mists of Pandaria pets were changed to bring raid buffs/debuffs and utility, although some were restricted to exotic pets. This was normalized in Warlords of Draenor and both exotic and normal pets can provide everything. You no longer have to be Beast Mastery if you want to provide combat resurrection services. I charge my raid a nominal fee for this service.

All pets can be Tenacity (i.e., tanks), or Ferocity (i.e., DPS), or whatever it is that Cunning pets do.

We no longer need to feed pets or keep them happy so that they maintain their high level of DPS, and don’t run away.

We have 50 stable slots, and even the with influx of new pets in Warlords of Draenor there is still adequate room to bring new favorites into the fold.

As I said, pets are in a perfect place right now. Too perfect, and therein lies the problem. We’ve reached the point where a Hunter can bring any pet to a raid that they want, and it just seems boring.

Now I understand that for PvP and soloing the choices you make in pets have some meaning, but for raids it usually doesn’t matter. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that Lone Wolf remains the talent of choice for most Hunters.

Our pets can do everything, but in many circumstances Hunters don’t even use one. Flexible raid sizes have also diminished the importance of pets as all the buffs/debuffs and utility are often covered by other classes. Unless the raid size is small and composition unbalanced, there is rarely a need to bring a specific pet.

This is the crux of the problem. Blizzard has made pets incredibly useful, and not just for Hunters, but for everyone in the group. They’ve also made them incredibly redundant, and thus useless.

We want to be the spatula that no one thought bring at that barbecue, but everything is a catered event now, and no one needs a spatula.

Even the buffs from Lone Wolf aren’t needed that often, and because it’s such a great talent, we don’t even see pets in raids.

I think this had led Hunters to think less about pets this expansion. I hardly check my stable anymore before raid to ensure that I bring a good mix with me, because I know it won’t matter.

Perhaps we’ll find some salvation in 6.1. The buff to Stampede will ensure that there are situations where we’ll see Hunter pets running around, even if you have Lone Wolf. There are encounters in Blackrock Foundry where Beast Cleave will dominate and you’ll want play as Beast Mastery.

Not much can be done about the redundancy of the buffs and debuffs, and quite frankly I don’t like being locked into having to bring a specific pet all of the time. What would really be nice is if Exotic Munitions were brought in-line with Lone Wolf and became an option for PvE. Then at least you’d see Hunters bringing out pets in raids, and maybe, just maybe, they’d starting caring about who to bring.

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Episode 210: Preparing for Patch 6.1

This week DarkbrewSolarflairDelirium and Bendak discuss Hunter changes coming in Patch 6.1. We review the talents, discuss the tier set bonuses and give you guidance on what specs and talents you’ll want to pickup when 6.1 goes live.

Blackrock Foundry opens up on Tuesday, ahead of Patch 6.1, so you’ll want to keep doing what you’re doing until 6.1 arrives.

We also give our thanks and bid farewell to WoW Insider. Bendak wrote the site final Scattered Shots column. A must read by all.
The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,
Episode 210: Preparing for Patch 6.1

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Episode 209: RogerBrown is in Town

RogerBrown from Method joins us this week on the Hunting Party Podcast. DarkbrewArtemishowlDelirium and Bendak talk to RogerBrown on a variety of topics including the Highmaul race to first, what spec he’s playing, the upcoming Blackrock Foundry raid, and changes coming in patch 6.1.

Episode 210 is currently scheduled for February 1, 2015.
The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV. In addition to the live show you can find it at,
Episode 209: RogerBrown is in Town