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,

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.

Melee Hunter Incoming?

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And the next expansion for World of Warcraft is? Legion.That’s right the Burning Legion is back to make yet another attempt to conquer Azeroth. Good luck with that, because this time we are prepared.

One of the new features coming in Legion are Artifact weapons.

Only Azeroth’s most seasoned veterans possess the fortitude to wield artifacts of legend against the Burning Legion. Your myth-forged weapon grows in power as you do, and your choices will change its abilities and the way it looks, sounds, and feels in combat. Fashion your artifact into the perfect instrument of battle, and guide your faction in its most desperate hour.

It sounds like Artifacts are the new legendaries of this expansion, and there may not be a legendary item like the cloak and ring. Artifact weapons are not just class specific but are different for each spec.

Marksmanship is getting a bow, Beast Mastery is getting a gun, and Survival is getting, wait for it – A SPEAR! Meet Survival’s new weapon, the Eagle Spear.

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I don’t know if the spear is a polearm or a new weapon type altogether, but the implication is that it’s a melee weapon and not a ranged weapon. I suppose one could throw a spear, but it would have to be a magical boomerang spear that returned to you after striking its target. Not impossible, but awkward.

This leads many, including myself to speculate that Survival is becoming a melee spec and will be completely redesigned.

There are two main reasons why I chose a Hunter. Ranged damage and pets. I don’t care that much for the melee classes, and while I’ll give Survival a try, I probably won’t play that spec at all.

This leads me to my biggest fear about this change. What if it’s a Hunter’s highest DPS spec, and by a large margin? What if in order to raid competitively as a Hunter I have to be a melee Hunter? That’s not something I look forward to, even if it gets me out of doing all those special raid jobs.

It is much too soon to hop onboard the waaambulance, but this is not a small change for Hunters.

I will say this. Blizzard has struggled to truly differentiate the three Hutner specializations. This is in large part because they all used ranged weapons, and share many of the same abilities. Visually a Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival Hunter look very much the same. By making Survival melee it offers some latitude to tweak Beast Mastery and Marksmanship.

Forst starters, one option is to make Beast Mastery guns and pets and make Marksmanship bows/crossbows and no pets.

One other big feature coming in Legion are class specific Order Halls and Followers. This looks like Legion’s version of Garrisons. I suspect they’ll be very different, though. I wouldn’t expect a mine or herb garden. Access to other professions is not a certainty either.

I do like that fact that it’s class based and not faction based. I would love to see a beautiful hunting lodge decorated with recognizable weapons such as the Wolf Slayer Sniper’s Rifle, and littered with trophies from past hunts. Hemet Nesingwary as a follower, and pets roaming around is a must as well.

Oh, and it needs to have a stablemaster. Not fifty like you get in your garrison when you have a stable, and not zero that you get when you don’t have a stable. One permanent stable will do.

Legion is also introducing a new hero class – Demon Hunters. There were some early rumors that this was going to be a ranged class that used guns, bows and crossbows. They are melee and can only be elves. Elves? Why did it have to be elves? I may give them a look, but don’t expect me announce the Demon Hunting Party Podcast anytime soon.

It was an exciting announcement and Legion looks to combine aspects of both The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King with demons, vrkul, val’kyr, and Dalaran. All we need is Karazhan in a future patch and Legion might be one expansion to remember.

I Believe I Can Fly

I completed the Draenor Pathfinder achievement this week. I took my time with it, and because Blizzard is taking their time with releasing the patch, I’ll be able to take to the skies when it finally goes live.

It’s probably the last big grind I had for Warlords of Draenor. Other than continuing to progress through Hellfire Citadel, which I’m enjoying mightily, and getting my Fel Raven, I’m quickly running out of things I wish to do.

Gamescom is just around the corner and Blizzard will have a presence there. Will they use it as the platform to announce the next World of Warcraft expansion? Expansion announcements have always been reserved for Blizzcon which is happening in November. It’s really not that far off.

I hope that they break with tradition and do announce the expansion at Gamescom. I will be attending Blizzcon and would love to be in person for that exclusive. That said, if they announce the expansion next month, they’ll be a lot further along for Blizzcon and they’ll have a lot more to show and talk about. It should make for better presentations.

Whether they announce the expansion next month or in November, if they can’t release it sooner than next Spring, we’re going to be in the Tanaan Jungle and Hellfire Citadel almost as long as we were in Siege of Orgrimmar.

It will still make Warlords of Draenor the shortest expansion, but I’m not sure this is progress.

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