"Dear BRK, my guild of the past eighteen months is basically evaporating. So many people have left we've dropped below the critical mass necessary to do anything. We can't even put together a five-man instance run without a week and a half of chaotic scheduling. And this happened just as I hit 70. So at the point in the game where the focus really shifts over from solo content to multi-player content, I find myself effectively without a group.
"Last night I had a long whisper conversation with a recruitment officer for a larger, more active guild, and she basically handed me an open invitation. But I don't know whether I should take it because this guild is focused on raiding. Since I essentially soloed my way to 70, I barely even know what raiding is.
"I'm not a total noob; I understand my class fairly well, I can manage my pet, we make a good team. But the two of us have very little group experience. We've only been in three instances in a year and a half of playing the game! I don't want to join a hot new guild only to embarrass myself and frustrate my teammates with my ignorance. Where should I go, or what should I do, to learn the basics of how the multiplayer parts of the game work?
"Is there some quick get-up-to-speed briefing online that will at least let me get the vocabulary down, so I don't have to say stupid things like 'What's Kara?' and 'What does attunement mean?' -- Name withheld by request --"
What is Karazhan?
Karazhan is a 10-person instance where your guild goes to beat thirteen bosses and have loot drop that nobody in your raid can use. Basically, Karazhan is a place enchanters go to level their sharding skills.
But what is a hunter's job in this place? Why are we there and what do we do? How about we go through the bosses one at a time and talk briefly about what you can expect your role to be.
This shall be quick and dirty. We expect the comments to overflow with recommendations to help provide more details.
Blammo! You're in Karazhan, congratulations. The first boss you're going to try to take down is Attumen. To get there your raid is going to blast through some undead trash. There will be a few chances for some chain-trapping on this trash-clear. If you're 41/20/0 spec, or any spec that doesn't include the super-trap talents in the Survival tree, be sure to bring at two pieces of the Beast Lord armor set for the four-second trap cooldown bonus.
You have two main responsibilities on the Attumen fight. First, keep Scorpid Sting up on both Attumen and Midnight while they are tanked separately. Position yourself so that you can easily switch between the two, either with a macro or tab-targeting, and keep Scorpid Sting up. Second, and your most important job, provide a Misdirection to your main tank when Attumen and Midnight join. At this point in the fight, Attumen's threat list is cleared and he'll go after anybody who heals or DPSs too early. Help your tank get aggro by Misdirecting on him as soon as Attumen gets on his steed. And of course keep Scorpid Sting up on him for the entire fight. Attumen goes down and the next boss is Moroes.
This boss's claim to fame is the random four-pack of adds with which your raid must contend. Again, your chain-trapping skills will probably be used here. Marksmen hunters can use Silencing Shot to pull any of the mobs and trap them, the other specs should request a non-caster to chain-trap. Keep that Beast Lord armor on if you don't have the super-trap talents.
Trap your add far away from your healers and pull with a combination of Distracting Shot and Arcane Shot. These are both instants and do not share a cooldown; you can blast one right after the other. You want to get a ton of aggro on this mob so that the healers won't overtake you on the mob's threat list while he is trapped. If the trapped mob is not second on the kill-rotation, you'll have to chain-trap him. If you've got the super-trap talents it is perfectly safe to stand right beside your trapped mob and put down your second trap. If you have no such bonuses to your trapping, you should consider moving a good distance away from the trapped mob to take advantage of the time that will be required for that mob to run to you once your initial trap breaks. Anything you can do to have traps ready to handle a quick trap-resist is enormously beneficial.
Once your trapped mob is tanked and killed you'll take on Moroes. Scorpid Sting is again your responsibility as you burn the boss down. If there is a shackled mob still up, watch it in case it breaks shackle and the priest gets killed. Your pet can off-tank in an emergency so be watching to see if that assistance is required. Moroes is killed and your raid goes for the Maiden of Virtue.
Can your pet handle fighting Maiden? You bet he can. Keep a Mend Pet on him at all times if you're nervous, but it is only really needed if he starts taking some damage. With Avoidance Rank 2 and Fire Resistance Rank 2, your pet should handle anything Maiden can throw at your pet short of a direct melee assault. Burn Maiden down and get over to the Opera Event.
There are three possible scenarios for Opera. As a hunter, the one you really want is the Wizard of Oz event, for The Crone drops Legacy. This is the epic melee weapon you'll carry until you get to Black Temple so pray for Oz. As a hunter you have your Scare Beast spell and it may be called into use here on Roar. Keeping him feared is a standard strategy so make sure you have this infrequently-used spell on your action bars for this fight. You may be asked to have your pet tank Tito. That's fine, your pet can handle that thing. Your raid will burn Dorothee down quickly then take out Tito. Keep a Mend Pet going on your pet until Tito eats stage-floor. The other mobs will be handled in progressions, The Crone will appear, burn her down, then pray for your Legacy.
You could be equally happy with the Big Bad Wolf event as he drops the Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle. Dwarf hunters especially want to get this item as the dwarf class gets +5 to their gun skill rating. Big Bad Wolf will transform a member of your raid into Little Red Ridinghood and then chase that person around the stage. As a hunter, you can Feign Death and the Big Bad Wolf will not chase you at all. You will still be Red Riding Hood-morphed and you can't attack, but at least you don't have to run all over the stage trying not to die.
The third Opera Event is Romulo and Julianne. You'll kill Julianne, then Rolumo, then they'll both resurrect and your raid has to kill them such that they die within ten seconds of each other. As a hunter you are tremendously useful in that if your target is dying too quickly, you can switch to the other target to even-out their death-rates. Watch the health of the two bosses and divert your DPS appropriately. Your raid easily completes the Opera Event and is ready to move on to the back door.
Run out the front door, hang a left, run down the hill, across the stream to the tower, go up the stairs in the back, across the bridge, and the gate should be unlocked. Open the gate, go inside, and get ready for the hard bosses.
After a good amount of trash-clearing you'll reach The Curator. He's going to drop your Tier Four gloves token so this is a big deal. As a hunter, you'll be killing the Astral Flares as they pop into existence. The hardest part is targeting the little things. A simple macro will help immensely:
/target Astral Flare
/cast Auto Shot
The Astral Flares are immune to your Hunter's Mark so we don't include that. When Curator drops an Astral Flare, slap this macro and you'll automatically target the flare, you'll send your pet to attack, and you'll commence firing. Killing the Astral Flares expeditiously is the key to this fight so getting DPS started as soon as possible is best. Having your pet trained with Avoidance Rank 2 and Arcane Resistance Rank 2 will keep up from being destroyed by the attacks the Astral Flares quickly. A simple Mend Pet every once in a while will top your pet's health off nicely. Save your trinkets, Rapid Fire, and other damage-enhancements for when Curator enters his Evocation state. Launch everything you have at him when he turns blue for all your damage is heavily increased. Kill the Astral Flares, burn Curator down, collect your token, and get your first piece of Tier Four gear.
Trash, trash, and more trash mobs lie between you and Shade of Aran. Muck your way through those and it's time for our favorite fight in this instance. Aran has no aggro list; you cannot "grab aggro". He has a smart algorithm for targeting as he will try to kill the person with the least amount of health, and we believe this includes your pet. He has a lot of special attacks that you need to be ready for:
Flame Wreath. Don't move during the Flame Wreaths. Your pet can move and attack as he's immune to this effect. You, on the other hand, are not. You may cast Mend Pet, pop trinkets, quaff potions, slam Bestial Wrath, and fire your ranged weapon. You may not move in any direction. You may not spin; your ranged weapon itself can trigger a Flame Wreath explosion if it hits the fire-circle. We happen to love Flame Wreaths as they are pretty safe. Standing in one place and firing your ranged weapon is actually pretty calming.
Blizzard. We loathe Blizzard. Get out of it by running to the center and then off to a side. It can be very frustrating trying to DPS during a Blizzard as you are constantly repositioning to avoid the Blizzard. Don't worry too much, just keep moving and don't take damage from it. The less your healers have to worry about you, the better.
The Elementals. Aran spawns four elementals that will attack your raid. Typically a focused-fire one-at-a-time destruction with Warlock crowd-control fight, your pet can actually tank them and you can spank them. This is especially handy when the elementals come during a Flame Wreath. A hunter solo-killing just one of the elementals during a Flame Wreath can be the difference between a wipe and Aran's corpse under your feet.
Arcane Explosion. Aran will pull your entire raid to the center of the room, slow you down, give you a little time to run to the edge of the room, and then arcane-bomb the whole place. If you have Avoidance Rank 2 and Arcane Resistance Rank 2, your pet can survive an Arcane Explosion. For mana-efficiency it could be argued that recalling your pet and not having to waste a Mend Pet on him is wiser. However, if the fight is close and Aran is almost dead, leaving your pet to DPS his face could be the little difference your raid needs. Don't be afraid to let your pet eat an Arcane Explosion. Properly trained, he can take it.
Wear your stamina-gear to the Aran fight. When Aran targets you he will do a boat-load of damage. Stamina is your buddy for this encounter. Also, Aran is a very pet-friendly fight. Use your pet to it's full advantage. Aran is also the only fight that Scorpid Sting is unnecessary. If he's running around smacking people with his staff, your other classes aren't doing their jobs properly.
Aran is gone and the Chess Event is next. Chess is basically free epics as it's really hard to lose a Chess match. Just be sure someone grabs the king's pawn and moves it out of the way so the king is free to destroy everything.
A little more trash after Chess and you're at Prince Malchezzar. This is the guy who drops our Tier Four head token and the Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix. Prince is, at its heart, a tank-and-spank fight with the element of random chance thrown in. Your major concern is the "ZOMG I ONLY HAVE ONE HEALTH POINT!" Enfeeble curse he puts on you. If you get the curse, just back out of DPS-range, wait for your health to return to normal, then run back into DPS-range and continue firing. Your pet is immune to this curse, don't worry about him. The infernals that drop from the sky do a fire aura that will cook your pet regardless of his talents. But don't worry; your pet is with the main tank. If your pet dies from the fire-aura so will the main tank, to be followed by the rest of the raid.
Prince is cooked and we're on to Terestian Illhoof. This is an AoE-fight and your raid will probably only attempt it with two or more powerful AoE-classes. Illhoof spawns imps by the truckload that those casters need to kill. Your job will be to DPS Illhoof and also destroy the chains that snag a member of your raid and hold them captive. It is very hard to target the chains so a macro is extremely recommended:
/target Demon Chains
/cast Auto Shot
We use a matching macro to return DPS to Illhoof:
/cast Auto Shot
We attach these macros to our F5 and F6 keys for easy transition between the two DPS-targets.
If your raid has the AoE, Illhoof takes a beating and down he goes. After him we move to Nightbane.
This boss is much easier to do with a hunter so be prepared to shine. The fight starts with Nightbane landing on the tank. However, the tank is not guaranteed to have aggro due to his position. If someone is out of place or prematurely attacks, Nightbane will ignore the tank and one-shot the rude offender. Help your tank by using Misdirection and firing on Nightbane while he's still airborne. Losing a rogue or a feral druid at the beginning of the fight because the tank didn't get solid aggro is a recipe for disaster.
Nightbane hits 75% health and launches into the sky. Everybody runs to the tank, skeletons appear, and you've got to sit there for a second. If you rush out of the pack to DPS-range, you'll violate a rule of the fight and damage from the sky will drop on your heads. Stay close, let the tank aggro something. The AoE'ers are going to be doing their thing but you can help by burning down mobs that your tank targets. Your pet will probably not hold aggro, even with Growl. Focus-fire on the tank's target and help get those skeletons down. Hurry, because Nightbane is coming back.
And when he does, he's going to aggro a healer. Hunter to the rescue! Misdirect on the tank again and fire at Nightbane while he's still airborne. Your tank will get aggro quickly with just an Arcane or Distracting Shot, Nightbane will land and the fight will continue like it did at the start. You'll have to repeat this landing-misdirection scheme two more times to kill this boss. It will probably take some practice to properly time the switch from killing skeletons to misdirecting to targeting Nightbane and getting off an instant-shot.
Your pet can do a good job on Nightbane. Your pet can take the Charred Earth fire-damage with a Mend Pet application, just never let him grab aggro. The air-to-ground transition are threat-list-wipers so always allow your tank to get a solid lead on the threat list before you send your pet. If your pet grabs aggro, he'll get one-shotted, no question.
You smoosh Nightbane and we go after the final boss in our list, Netherspite. This is another modified tank-n-spank but with the addition of three special beams of light that must be interrupted. Basically, if the beams hit Netherspite your raid cannot defeat him. Your job as a hunter will most likely be that of a blue-beam-interrupter. Each beam has a different effect upon the person who is absorbing it, and we are most capable of surviving while interrupting the blue one. People rotate turns blocking the beams and you'll be on the Blue Beam Team. It's not terribly hard, just a coordination effort, not a gear-check.
Remember to get out of the black holes on the floor that inflict shadow damage and remember to get your pet out of them if he gets on top one. Barring those calamites and you keep the beams blocked, Netherspite is going to be defeated.
Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Operas(3), Curator, Aran, Chess, Prince, Illhoof, Nightbane, Netherspite. That's thirteen squashed and humiliated bosses your raid has decimated. Good on ya, we hope you win a few shard-rolls.
Notice that we tried to keep this discussion generic. The goal isn't to teach every single trick and scheme known to hunter-kind. There are lots of sites that give very detailed information on where to put your feet at such-and-such time into the fight and duplicating that wasn't what we desired to accomplish.
What we wanted to do was give the hunter who has never been to Karazhan a general idea of what his roles and responsibilities will be. Now please feel free to put in the comments the things that have worked for you as a hunter in Karazhan. We're certain we're going to learn something, too.
Daniel Howell continues his quest to be able to kite one of the Karazhan dragon bosses like General Drak from UBRS as the hunter-pet duo extraordinaire known to lore as BigRedKitty. More of his theorycrafting and slanderous belittling of the lesser classes can be found at bigredkitty.blogspot.com.