t17setbonusfeatured

WoD Beta 18537 – Attack of the Set Bonuses

A couple of happenings tonight. Blizzard updated the official Warlords patch notes which you can read here.

A new build also hit the servers. There weren’t any major spell changes for Hunters, but there was an update to the T17 set bonues, and good grief they are nice.

Beast Mastery

    • T17 2 piece – Kill Command has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.
    • T17 4 piece (not changed) – While Bestial Wrath is active, one additional pet is summoned to fight with you.

Marksmanship

    • T17 2 piece – Aimed Shot critical strikes restore 10 additional Focus.
    • T17 4 piece – While Rapid Fire is active, your critical strike damage is increased by 5% per second.

Survival

    • T17 2 piece – Black Arrow deals damage 33% more often.
    • T17 4 piece – When you hit a target with Explosive Shot, your multistrike damage is increased by 25% for 3 sec.

These set bonuses have come a long way since they were originally announced. What I like about them is that for each spec, the two and four piece bonuses play off one another. I’m a big fan of synergy and there’s lots of here.

I have to admit, that of the three specs I like Beast Mastery’s bonuses most of all.

Beast Mastery’s two piece will reset the cooldown on Bestial Wrath, which in turn will grant more opportunities for the four piece to summon that additional pet.

Marksmanship’s bonuses will really allow you to line up some crazy Aimed Shots.

I feel like Marksmanship is teetering on being a one button spec. I mean with these bonuses Aimed Shot practically becomes Steady Shot on steroids.

And is it me or did Aimed Shot just become Marksmanship’s signature shot? Sure feels that way.

If I understand Survival’s two piece properly it means that due to Black Arrow damaging more often, there is an increased chance of Black Arrow multistrikes happening, and thus increased Lock and Load procs. Please, correct me if I’m wrong here.

With increased Lock and Loads the four piece bonus becomes more valuable.

Overall I think the two piece bonuses are nicer than the four piece. I don’t know if that’s intentional, but I think it’s a good move.

I really like the way the set bonuses have turned out, and can’t wait to get my hands on them.

The up time on Big Red pet will be glorious. Glorious I say.

tbtwolfslayer

TBT: Reunited and it Feels So Good

After about ten earnest weeks of farming, I finally got the Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle from the Opera Event in Karazhan.

It feels just as glorious to wield it today as it did years ago in the Burning Crusade. I don’t think this was the first epic I ever had on my Hunter, but it certainly felt the most epic of anything I had previously.

At one time it was considered one of the top Hunter weapons in the game, especially if you were a Dwarf, because of their racial. Anyone who was a Hunter wanted this gun.

Out of all the raids Karazhan remains the dearest to me. Today, anyone can run through there and decimate the place in mere minutes, but there was a time when clearing the place could consume an entire evening if not two.

Before you could even set foot in the place you had clear a long quest chain to acquire a key to get in. In the beginning, everyone in your raid had to have this key.

The quest involved running around parts of Azeroth and Outland. You had to run some 5-man heroics, which also required you and everyone in your group to have a key.

Yes, back then, one did not simply walk into Karazhan. Heck, even after your group got attuned it was hardly a cake walk.

I remember the challenge of clearing the trash to the Huntsman and then getting him down before it respawned. It was on a pretty short timer.

As a Hunter I got to chain trap one of the adds on the Moroes fight. A skill that’s lost now I’m afraid.

The Shade of Aran fight was one that gave our group fits, and we were not alone in our struggles. His flame wreath mechanic was particularly challenging to players, as it was the one of the few times you wanted to stand in the fire.

People struggled with this so much that it let to the creation of the Shade of Aran Chant, one of the most pouplar WoW memes ever.

While the chess event may be hard to solo, it was easy for groups. I seem to recall in the early days you could defeat the event, and then bring in a player who wan’t part of it to collect loot.

Nightbane was an optional boss that you could summon. In order to summon him a member of your group had to complete a difficult quest chain and obtain an urn.

There were other optional bosses, but our group used to do them all. The Opera Event was my favorite. I thought the voice acting was superb. Especially on the Wizard of Oz.

There were three events, The Wizard of Oz, Romeo and Juliet and the Big Bad Wolf. You got a random one each week, and each had their own loot tables. The rifle dropped from the Big Bad Wolf.

I remember that each week we would have someone start the event so we could see what it was beforehand.

I would listen to Barnes as he began his opening. “Welcome ladies and gentlemen to this evening’s presentation!”

And I would anxiously await his next words, quickly muttering to myself out load, please say, “tonight things are not what they seem, things are not what they seem, things are not what they seem.”

And then depending on his words, I would either pump my fist in the air in excitement, or let my head fall to my chest knowing I would have to wait another week for a chance at my prize.

Even if we didn’t get the Big Bad Wolf or the rifle didn’t drop, I could count on there being a next week.

For many months we ran Karazhan on Fridays and Saturdays. At first we ran with one group and cleared it over the course of two nights.

Eventually we got to the point where we could clear it in one night, so we ran with our mains on Friday, and then alts on Saturday.

This wasn’t about raiding or gear. It was about having a good time with friends on the weekend. Karazhan was our Cheers, and I will always remember it with great fondness.

Well that’s it for the week’s TBT, now “run away little girl!”

manafocus

From Mana to Focus… The Hunter’s Mastery of Awesomeness

Editors Note: Today’s post is a guest post from Richard Arellano, aka Focushot from Hunter Mastery. Focushot is a former guildmate who has recently returned to WoW, and perhaps to blogging about Hunters. Enjoy!

Greeting hunters alike, for those of you who have no idea who I am, my name is Richard Arellano aka Focushot from Hunter Mastery. I was a Hunter on both Darkspear and Drenden where I mostly did PVP and some PVE. I was once in Frostheim’s guild back in the early days of Wrath of the Lich King which I raided. Then in Cataclysm, I joined up with Euripides’ guild in Cataclysm where I mostly did rated battlegrounds and some raiding in Firelands.

Maybe you’ve heard of me? If not that’s alright, today I wanted to share with you the first part of something I wanted to discuss, the evolution of the hunter class in World of Warcraft. When I was thinking about the many aspects of the game that’s changed and those changes that are coming in Warlords, it was very hard to really focus in on the most important changes.

Sure skills have come and gone, elements of our specs, talents and rotations have changed over the years. However many of the changes that were done were due to one major change that happened to hunters in the Cataclysm beta. The loss of mana as a resource and the birth of focus.

Mana to Focus

Many players would argue that the class played much better with mana. We had options to use mana pots and the rotation was easier than today in Mists. I never played in Vanilla WoW as it’s called by fans today, I did play some in Burning Crusade, but the bulk of my game play with mana was Wrath.

I was in the early beta of Cataclysm and I picked up on how to use focus really quick, the idea of it was a flip from mana. With mana we always wanted to be full. Switching to Aspect of the Viper when we needed a quick regen of mana back in Wrath. With focus you want to almost always be empty because in a fight every point of focus you still have is a damage loss.

Many players would call focus a lifestyle change, along with many of the other aspects of changes that we’ve been given. Who can remember the pet leveling system? Or when you couldn’t hit anything within 3 feet close to you, they called it minimum range. I hear some hunters saying the same thing now that minimum range should be put back in.

I think the true question is this.

Did the change of mana to focus affect all the changes we’ve seen today and keep those changes coming when Warlords is released?

I think so because, focus is what makes us hunters, it makes us mastery of the beasts. I remember when Blizzard, way back even before Blizzcon, announced that hunters would get an overhaul, and one of those changes was they were going to change our resource from mana to focus, and went about explaining the details and plan for it. That was when I changed my hunter’s name from Wolzard to Focushot, I was the first one and I’m proud of that fact, knowing now they are all over the place on many different servers.

What do you think? Do you think that focus was a bad move by Blizzard? I know some players feel it render the class too easy, combined with all the changes to make playing the class a little easier. While I agree to a point and as a result the hunter class has become the most popular class and is mostly played by new players, most of which I don’t feel get past level 60 before they decided to switch classes. You can always tell a great player to an awesome player of the class.

Until next time everyone, I’ll be writing more topics about the evolution of the hunter class in World of Warcraft, however they will be on other hunter blogs. If you have any questions you can always follow me on Twitter (@HunterMastery) or email me at focushot@huntermastery.com

wodfeatured

WoD Hunter Beta Report – 07/05/2014

So yesterday I wrote some show notes, and then I thought why not use them for an actual show.

I wouldn’t call this a podcast, per se. The beta report is more of a reading of the week’s Hunter beta news.

Overall I’m pleased with how it turned out, especially the length. It’s a little rough in some spots, but a good enough first effort that I’m likely to do more of these.

Please give me your feedback, both good and bad, and enjoy!

WoD Hunter Beta Report – 07/05/2014

Watch this video on YouTube.
hpp_2

Saturday Show Notes

Before you get too excited, this is not a revival of the Hunting Party Podcast, nor is this one of those sappy reflective posts.

It’s just that Saturdays mornings is when the show was made. I used get up each Saturday and put together the show notes for that day’s episode. While there is no show, I thought it would fun to continue that with a weekly post here at the Brew Hall.

If there was a show, here’s what we’d be talking about. I’m doing this in a similar style to the show notes, so you won’t see a lot explanation and opinion here.

Beta Build 18505

Blizzard released a new beta build this week that included some changes for Hunters.

Survival

Black Arrow – Fires a Black Arrow at the target, dealing (141.6% of Attack power) damage over 18 sec.

Explosive Shot – Focus cost reduced to 15.

You fire an explosive charge into the enemy target, dealing [((40% of Attack power) + (40% of Attack power)) / 2 + Ranged attack power * (40% of Attack power) / 1000] Fire damage initially and every second for 2 sec.

Lock and Load - When your Black Arrow multistrikes, you gain 1 stack of Lock and Load. Lock and Load causes your next Explosive Shot to trigger no cooldown. Max 5 stacks.

Marksmanship

Mastery: Sniper Training – When you stand still for 3 sec, you gain Sniper Training for 6 sec, which increases your damage, shot range, and critical strike damage by 4%.

Blue Posts / Tweets

There were a couple of calls to action this week from Muffinus and Celestalon. If you’re not on Twitter, you really should be as the developers are choosing to use this to announce changes and solicit feedback.

Survival Burst CD

Bendak reported at Eyes of the Beast that according to Celestalon, a burst CD for Survival is still on the table.

Void Wolves

Currently in the beta Hunters are able to tame the void wolves that are part of the Tanaan Jungle starting experience. Darkbrew hit up Muffinus on Twitter to see if they were meant to be tameable. Here was Muffinus’ response.

In addition to indicating that Hunters would have an option to tame one, he asked for feedback on what makes for a good taming adventure.

Chimaeron Tamed

Also, this week, Bendak became the first Hunter to tame Chimaeron. You can check out his post on how tame him. If you’re at all familiar with the encounter, then you can probably figure out what’s involved.

At level 100 he won’t be too hard to get.

Tier 17 Mythic Armor

The tier 17 Mythic armor set was revealed this week. You can go to MMO-Champion or WoWhead to view images as well as a 3D-model.

For Warlords Blizzard is doing separate models for Normal, Heroic and Mythic raids. Normal and Heroic will have the same look with different colors.

Like Normal and Heroic, the Mythic model has an animated belt and shoulders, and it looks like an entire carcass for the shoulders. Maybe a bird of some kind?

t17mythic

And that concludes the news for this week. Would’ve been a heck of a show. I leave you with the Hunter song for ambiance.

I'm a Hunter – World of Warcraft Hunter Song

Watch this video on YouTube.
betaupdatepost

WoD Beta: SV and MM Changes

A new build was pushed to the Beta last night and it included some nice changes for Marksman and Survival. The specs are beginning to take shape now, and are moving closer to their final forms. If I had to wager, I’d say that Beast Mastery and Survival are done, and Marksman is close now. Let’s start with Survival.

Lock and Load has been completely redesigned.

    • Lock and Load – Fires a Black Arrow at the target, dealing (141.6% of Attack power) damage over 18 sec. When your Black Arrow multistrikes, you gain 1 stack of Lock and Load. Lock and Load causes your next Explosive Shot to trigger no cooldown. Max 5 stacks.

A couple of takeaways here,

    • Lock and Load is back to being a separate proc, meaning Blizzard could allow other abilities or items to proc it. Maybe a future set bonus?
    • It no longer resets the cooldown on Explosive Shot, and Explosive Shot is not free.

Explosive Shot has had its Focus cost reduced to 15 to compensate for the Lock and Load changes.

I did a little testing on the beta and Lock and Load feels different now. It can proc when the Explosive Shot is on cooldown, and at lower multistrike levels you don’t necessarily accumulate stacks rapidly. I wasn’t getting the back-to-back-to-back-to-back Explosive Shots that I get on live. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen with proper itemization.

On live when Lock and Load procs I’m very used to firing those three Explosive Shots one after the other, and that’s not the case now as you might not have three to fire.

Overall I like this change, and Survival should be fun to play in Warlords. It’s still somewhat RNG dependent, but the emphasis on steady consistent damage will hopefully offset any bad luck streaks you encounter.

Now onto Marksmanship.

In Mists, mobility is one of the hallmarks for Hunters, and it’s true of all three specs. In Warlords Beast Mastery and Survival will retain their mobility, while Marksmanship will practically be required to take a foothold and shoot.

Wild Quiver is gone and has been replaced by Sniper Training. Many will remember this as the old Survival talent, and it behaves much the same way.

    • Sniper Training - When you stand still for 3 sec, you gain Sniper Training for 6 sec, which increases your damage, shot range, and critical strike damage by 4%.

A little clarification on how this works. Once you have the buff it will stay on permanently as long as you don’t move. Once you move the six second removal timer kicks in. Stand still for three seconds and buff is reapplied.

In addition to increasing damage and critical damage, Sniper Training will also increase the range of shots.

This will be interesting to manage as you’ll want to pay attention if you’re beyond the maximum 45-yard range. If you are and Sniper Training falls off, you’ll have to stand still to reapply it or move closer in. Probably not a huge deal, but certainly an indication of the skill that will be required to play Marksmanship in Warlords.

The need to stand still makes Focusing Shot an even more desirable talent for Marksmanship as it meshes well with Sniper Training.

That said, don’t discount Lone Wolf as an option. If the increased range means your pet despawning, this talent has some appeal.

Currently in the beta maintaining Sniper Training is a little tight. As I mentioned earlier the six second countdown to remove the buff doesn’t begin until you move, but six seconds feels a little too short.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this adjusted to maybe ten seconds. Players should have to work to maintain 100% uptime, but it shouldn’t be a frustrating experience.

How easy or difficult it is to maintain all comes down to how much movement will be required in dungeon and raid encounters. File that under remains to be seen.

I think Blizzard is on the right track with the specs. Let’s just hope they do comparable damage. I would hate to see all this work go into differentiating the specs go to waste because one was superior to all the others.

One final note. The header image has nothing to do with the update other than the fact that there’s a beta server that lets you create level 100 premades and the gave those characters ALL the mounts. I’m shown here riding Invincible.

wodbeta_sounds

WoD Beta: Ranged Weapons Sounds

Prophet Velen isn’t the only that’s “new and improved” in Warlords of Draenor.

Blizzard updated the weapon sounds for guns, crossbows and bows. I think they’re a major improvement over what exists now.

Here’s a video I put together showing all three weapon types in action.

WoD Ranged Weapon Sounds

Watch this video on YouTube.
wodbeta_voidwolf

About that Void Wolf

The other day I asked Muffinus on Twitter if the Void Wolves were meant to be tamed. He was kind enough to reply with this.

So it sounds like Hunters will have a chance to grab one of these beauties, just not five minutes into the new expansion.

I’m okay with this. Thoughts?

purplehazefeatured

Beta Bits

I finally got in some beta time on Sunday. Here are a few impressions.

  • Prophet Velen is all powerful now, and he’s using that power to troll everyone.
  • His words inspire, but they also cause massive lag and disconnects, and he won’t shut up.
  • This bug really needs to be fixed. It doesn’t just affect Shadow Moon Valley. It affects all of Draenor.
  • City portals now pulsate. They grow and shrink. I find it distracting and annoying, and unnecessary. If you really want to change portals, how about making it harder for Mages to troll the party?
  • Pets are a little buggy right now. My wolf “wandered off” at one point and I had to quest without a pet for a while. I couldn’t dismiss, revive, heal, or call. Nothing would work.
  • Things die very quickly while questing, so even without a pet it’s pretty easy.
  • I forgot to copy Darkbrew over with the Garrosh bow and I can’t mail it to him from another character. I get an error.
  • I’m curious to see how the Garrosh bow scales up each level and how it compares to my heroic, err… Mythic weapon. I have the flex, err… Heroic heirloom.
  • We really have been squished. It’s weird seeing such small stat numbers on gear now. We’re still powerful, but it looks weird.
  • Hit and Expertise are indeed gone and they’ve been replaced with Crit and Haste on gems and gear.
  • If you’re a new 90 you will get some nice starter gear from the intro. event.
  • I’ve read War Crimes and now done the intro event. It’s still not clear what Garrosh has been up to. I guess that will be unveiled as we level up and play this expansion.
  • The intro event was fun and it’s where I tamed my void wolf, Haze.
  • Void wolves look amazing. I’m afraid to get attached as it’s not clear if they’re intended to be tameable or not. I’ve reach out to Muffinus for clarification.

  • Shadow Moon Valley may be the prettiest zone ever created in WoW. I hope the other zones are equally impressive.
  • The new character models are incredible. It’s not just players that are updated, it’s all the NPCs. This is good because I spend the majority of time looking at my character from behind.
  • Blizzard really needs to give players a free customization when the expansion launches.
  • Addons are currently disabled in the beta.
  • You don’t realize how dependent you become on them until you don’t have them.
  • One of the addons I rely on is OminiCC. I’ve used it for years. It’s functionality is now built into the game and is an option you can turn on. Another addon bites the dust.
  • I mostly miss not having my action bar, unit frames and bag addons. If I could have those, I’d be very happy right now.
  • Garrisons are shaping up to be a great feature. I’m intrigued.
  • Then end of this expansion is a long way off, but I suspect I’ll be sad to leave my Garrison in the next expansion.
mopinventory

Getting Started in Beta

I’m finally at a point where I can sink my teeth into the Warlords beta.  Like every expansion there is a certain amount of housekeeping that needs to happen before you begin your epic journey.

Some things such as keybinds and macros are specific to beta since addons are not yet enabled. Addon authors have gotten pretty good at getting their addons ready for patch days. When the pre-patch goes live I suspect a good many will be ready to go.

Since they’re disabled in beta I’m once again shackled with the default UI, so I had to spend some time configuring it.

The other thing I had to spend time on was cleaning up my bags and bank. This went pretty close as to how I imagine it will go on live, and the space savings was substantial.

On live I have about 13 open bag slots and zero empty bank slots. After taking the time to clean things up, I had 92 open bag slots and 46 open bank slots.

This was pretty good considering I didn’t have any reagents to stick in the reagents tab. My savings came mostly from the Toy Box, the extra void storage and deleting Mists related items like bags of seeds and Timeless Isle buffs and the like.

I filled up the extra void storage in no time and still have transmog items taking up bank space. I may have to think long and hard about what I really want to keep.

Regarding the Toy Box, items aren’t automatically added to it, so I had to spend time finding all the toys and right-clicking on each one. They’re easy enough to identify as they’re labeled ‘Toy’ in the tooltip.

There are a lot of things not considered toys that should be. The Toy Trains set is not a toy? Really? It’s still early, so expect changes.

One other feature I wanted to point out was this new outline feature.  It puts a colored outline around players, npcs and objects that you can interact with. I find it distracting and immersion breaking.

If you go to the interface display options you can set it to “Only Quests and Tracking”. The default is All(variation 1).

interfaceoutline

Here’s what it looks like.
interfaceoutline1

With the housekeeping out of the way, I now need to do some real-life housekeeping and then I’m off to the Tanaan Jungle.

A World of Warcraft blog dedicated to Hunters.