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Scattered Shots: Picking the right hunter loot, part 2



Welcome back to the
Scattered Shots, where real players are hunters and everyone else is just an avatar. I'm Eddie Carrington, aka Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge and THL Podcast. Each week we discuss ways to help improve your hunter.

Welcome back to part 2 of our "Picking the right hunter loot" guide. Where each week we take a look at raid loot from WoTLK and help you understand what makes something hunter loot versus loot hunters can use. Here's what we talked about before:

Part 1
– We reviewed what item stats make up hunter gear. Also, we explained why every hunter needs to stack hit and strive for the hit cap. We also explained how agility, attack power, critical strike, and armor penetration work with each of the three hunter specs.

This week we're going to start exploring the hunter loot that drops in Trial of the Crusader and Trial of the Grand Crusader. I'm sure we'll have some spirited debate over the merits of each item. And, I'm pretty sure we'll see druids mangling their keyboards and rogues will throw in a cheap shot or two over our ability to equip almost anything.

In an effort keep the carnage at a minimum let's try to keep a few things in mind. We're only reviewing raid loot and how each item affects your hunter and favorite raiding pet's performance. Which means, we're not going to talk about where else to go and get geared. Nor are we going to debate what is and is not considered "Best in Slot" or not. And if you're looking for PvP alternatives? I promise, we'll tackle all of those later on in a different guide.

Now if you're wondering why we're not talking about what's over on the PTR for patch 3.3. We'll make sure and cover all of Icecrown when it's released. Then head on back to the other Northrend raids and finish up where we left off.

With that said, let's walk through the swirly portal and head into Trial of the Crusader and it's heroic sibling Trial of the Grand Crusader.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Breakfast Topic: Catching the perfect Warcraft wave

If you've been around the World of Warcraft community for any length of time you've probably found and participated in some of the myriad of different game related communities. If you go to the blog search page and search for Warcraft you'll see over 8 million related entries. There are also tons of additional podcasts on iTunes other such services. And then there are the forums. Besides the official forums, you have other sites that have created forums. There are forums like MMO Champion, WoW Raid, Elitist Jerks to just name a few. We haven't even touched the Facebook fan sites or Twitter #wow or #warcraft discussions.

But yet, now we have another way to talk about our favorite game. Google has a new collaboration tool out for use (by invitation only at the moment), Google Wave. Right now it's still in Alpha and is full of bugs and performance issues, but it's a tool that seems to have a lot of possibilities. For example, if you search for waves by using "with:public Warcraft" you get a number of public waves ranging from general WoW discussions to server or class specific debates.

Personally, I've seen it used for Instant Messaging about patch 3.3, collaborating on documents, and even being used by people to play a role playing game. Basically, it seems like a tool that has a ton of potential. (Please understand that none of us here at WoW.com have any wave invitations to hand out.)

So here's what I'm wondering. What communities do you participate in? Do you participate in the WoW related Twitter, Facebook, blog or podcast community? Which ones? How about Wave? Are you using Google Wave to talk about Warcraft?

We'd love to know what communities you're using and think people need to use also. So grab a cup a coffee and let's talk about it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Breakfast Topics

Scattered Shots: Picking the right hunter loot, part 1

Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, the weekly hunter class column. This week we begin our series "Picking the right hunter loot." Where we will review what truly makes something qualify as hunter loot, and not just loot hunters can use. We'll also review the drops off of each major raids starting with Naxxrammas and ending with the PTR Patch 3.3 raid, Ice Crown. So join me, Eddie Carrington, aka Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge, as we explore what loot we should put on our watch lists.

Things on the patch 3.3 PTR are getting closer and closer to wrapping up, so I thought it might be a good idea to review hunter stats and how they help you select the right gear for you. In the past we have talked about how to use iLevel to do a gear check. Also, we've talked about how to use the different hunter tools and resources out there to select an upgrade for your hunter.

What we really haven't talked about was what makes up good hunter gear, and in each of the different raids in Wrath of The Lich King makes up some good hunter gear. And a recent comment on the Damage Dealing forum from Ghostcrawler got me thinking that it might be a good idea to make sure to first review how stats impact our gear choices, and how they impact both our and our pet's raid performance.

Just like the hunter leveling guide, I'd like to set a few discussion guidelines.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: So you want to be a hunter - Levels 71-80

Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, the weekly World of Warcraft Hunter class column. This week we wrap up our "So you want to be a hunter" leveling series as we look at Levels 71-80 and see what makes up the best class in the game. So join me, Eddie Carrington, Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge blog and podcast, as we explore what's in store for us hunters.

Hey gang! Welcome to the last installment of the "So you want to be a hunter" leveling series. It's been a long and windy path through grassy plains, sweltering tropics, and fractured planets to finally end up in the frozen wastes of Northrend as we prepare to face the Lich King and hope to get a flying horse when PTR Patch 3.3 is dropped.

As we do every week, we'll review the skills you'll learn. Suggest talent builds for both you and your pet. And help you with finding some solid gear choices by recommending some of the Northrend 5-man instances to run through. And what trek through new territory and levels would be complete without identifying rare tamable beasts along the way?

If you've missed a previous edition, I've outlined below what we have covered in the 7 previous installations of this leveling series.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: So you want to be a hunter, Part 7 Levels 61-70


Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, the weekly World of Warcraft Hunter class column. This week we continue our "So you want to be a hunter" leveling series as we look at Levels 60-70 and see why I really feel they're the best class in the game. So join me, Eddie Carrington, Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge blog and podcast, as we explore what's in store for us hunters.

Maybe one day hunters being able to tame duids as their very own pet. Wouldn't that be awesome? I want to thank Dwarffinator and Lissana of
Restokin.com for making this picture and sending it in for me to use.

This is part six of our, now eight part "So you want to be a hunter" leveling guide series. In what was originally to be our final guide, we will now instead cover 10 levels, 60-70, with levels 71 through 80 coming next week. Part of this change is in response to your feedback wanting a bit more information on the skills.

As we do in each, this week we'll review what skills you learn, suggest talent builds for both you and your pet as you level, we'll highlight some suggested dungeon quests that match your current level.

We've 6 previous installations in this series. Here's what we've talked about so far.
  • Part 1: We reviewed racials and their impact on the hunter class. Reviewed each of the current races and what the benefits were of each racial.
  • Part 2: We quickly talked about the first nine levels. We also went on to talk about each of the three hunter talent trees and their basic play style.
  • Part 3: Last week we discussed what happened from levels 10 through 20. We also went over the quests to learn how to tame your first pet.
  • Part 4: We covered some of the covered attacks, buffs and spells. We also began looking at how to teach your pet new skills by applying pet talents.
  • Part 5: We covered levels 21 through 40. We ended up with you getting your epic riding mount and you now can wear mail. From now on completing quests and gaining levels will be much faster.
  • Part 6: Is where we started to see that we were learning more new ranks than new spells as we leveled from 41 to 60. We ended our time in Outlands with our first flying mount.
That's where we've been. But where are we heading? This week we'll be levels 60 to 70. We'll wrap up Outlands, head out to Northrend. Next week we'll wrap it up by reaching level 80. Then we'll focus on gearing up join everyone having fun storming the castle to tackle the Sindragosa, the Lich King and his Scourge minions and anything else Blizzard can through our way as part of Patch 3.3.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Patch 3.3 PTR: Meet Arcturis, the newest and coolest Spirit Beast


I was listening in on the Twisted Nether Blogcast and heard Nibuca mention that the new Spirit Bear image we reported earlier this week had been identified. Sure enough, I head over to the one place I knew would have the answer, Mania's Arcania. Sure enough there it was, Mania had a long post giving all the details.

Mania's Arcania member safrienaer reported that they had found the new spirit beast on the PTR Patch 3.3 in Grizzly Hills, north of Amberpine Lodge. Along with some really cool screenshots, safrienaer went on to describe that at the moment Arcturis doesn't have any special sounds. However, Mania thinks, and I have to agree, that we'll probably see some polishing of the graphic with some special glowing effects and sounds before the completion of the testing of Patch 3.3 on the PTR.

On a final note, Mania noted that Jangalian did some research on Wikipedia and found that it seems our new Spirit Beast might be a reference to Arcturus Mengsk from StarCraft.

Anyways, I'm excited about the prospect of taming Arcturis. My only problem will be stable slots and having to pick a new Elvis related name that matches his personality.

(Edit: I owe Jangalian an apology for overlooking that she had originally provided Mania the information about the different possible references for Blizzard choosing Acturis as the name for this really cool Spirit Beast.)

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

Scattered Shots: So you want to be a hunter - Part 6 Levels 41-60

Welcome back to the Scattered Shots, the weekly Hunter class column. This week we continue the "So you want to be a hunter" leveling series.So join me, Eddie Carrington, Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge, as we explore what's in store for us hunters as we go through 20 levels of information, starting at 41 and ending at 60..

This is part six in our seven part leveling guide series. As we do in each, this week we'll review what skills you learn, suggest talent builds for both you and your pet, highlight some quests and instances that might be of interest, as well as show you which rare pets are tamable for your level.

As every week we'll recap what we have covered up to now.
  • Part 1: We reviewed racials and their impact on the hunter class. Reviewed each of the current races and what the benefits were of each racial.
  • Part 2: We quickly talked about the first nine levels. We also went on to talk about each of the three hunter talent trees and their basic play style.
  • Part 3: Last week we discussed what happened from levels 10 through 20. We also went over the quests to learn how to tame your first pet.
  • Part 4: We covered some of the covered attacks, buffs and spells. We also began looking at how to teach your pet new skills by applying pet talents.
  • Part 5: We covered levels 21 through 40. We ended up with you getting your epic riding mount and you now can wear mail. From now on completing quests and gaining levels will be much faster.
Now that we know where we have been, let's focus on where we are going. This week we'll be covering 20 levels as we work our way from level 41 though 60. We'll also take our first tentative steps off Azeroth as we head into Outlands.

Read more →

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Classes, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Patch 3.3 PTR: Why are Northshire wolves getting sick

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Patch 3.3 full of diseased wolves! D.H.E.T.A. protesting Abbey over wolf hunts! Extra! Extra!

Okay, maybe changing this isn't the most earth shattering news. Seeing Blizzard change quests or even add new animal skins is something we normally expect with each patch. But this one is different. Going back to the starting areas and changing the quests and mobs there isn't something we see as every day. As such, it begs the question as to why now? Or maybe more intriguingly, what does it mean?

In the current Wolves Across the Border quest, you're asked to go get 8 pieces of Tough Wolf Meat for Eagan Peltskinner. We've now seen that this has changed on the Patch 3.3 PTR. Now it looks like Eagan's favorite meal is being threatened. Instead of killing those healthy, howling, wolves for their meat, Eagan is talking about some mysterious disease.

Disease? What disease?

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Rumors

PTR Patch 3.3: Potential new spirit beast

There hasn't been much new news on the Patch 3.3 PTR for us hunters the last couple of weeks. Then all of a sudden in the latest build something intriguing popped up over on MMO-Champion. Shown above, it looks to be a blue glowing ethereal bear. Looking eerily like a bear form spirit beast.

This got me thinking that there are 3 possibilities (okay, I'll admit there are a lot more than 3). First, Blizzard has been secretly planning on allowing shamans learn a new ability called spirit bear that will finally allow them to tank. Next, maybe night elf druids will be able to Shadowmeld in bear form. Finally, my personal favorite, could this be a new spirit beast?

The idea of a bear form spirit beast isn't out of the question. So far we've had a couple of cat forms and one wolf. Adding a bear form would fit right in with the standard pet forms.

I don't know, but I can't wait to find out. If it does turn out to be new tamable spirit beast, I'll call him DeadElvis. If not, maybe this is what a tamed druid will look like after they learn hunter form. Either way, stay tuned and as Patch 3.3 develops we'll let you know what we find out.
Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King . With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Rumors

PTR Patch 3.3: Report Lag option added to the default UI

Are you frustrated with your friends running in place?

Finding it difficult to get a good spot for the Dalaran costume contest?

Are you tired of having to set your hearth in the dark and dank sewers of Dalaran?

Have you ever thought, "Man! I wish I could report how bad the lag is right now!"?

Well, if you're like millions of other players that have experienced lag, then maybe you'll be interested in what Blizzard has announced hitting the PTR! You can now use the "Report Lag" feature announced in the latest patch notes for Patch 3.3 as part of the latest PTR Build (Build 10676). No longer are you forced to submit endless GM Support Requests or post hundreds of lag reports on the forums. In three easy steps you can now have peace of mind, knowing your lag will be successfully reported. Looking at it, it seems pretty easy to use.
  1. Click the Knowledge Base/Help button.
  2. Then click Report Lag.
  3. Then you just select the type of lag you are experiencing. Which will most likely to be either "Movement" or "Spells and Abilities." When you're all done you get a "Your lag report has been successfully reported" message.
Now, Blizzard will know exactly when you experienced your lag so they can track down the cause and resolve it. My only fear is they will have so many reports from Dalaran we'll get a "No Lag Reporting Servers Available" for the first few days it's used.



Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King . With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items

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