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Scattered Shots: Pets for raiding

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skill, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be discussing which Ferocity pets perform the best in a raid environment.

It's no secret (or shouldn't be!) that Ferocity pets are where it's at for raiding pets. They provide the most overall damage of the three pet types, and for Hunters there's no bigger priority in a raid environment than delivering dps like it's Dominos. There are a wide variety of Ferocity pets to choose from, though, and each have their own unique abilities. Which is the best type to give you the biggest boost to your damage? Let's do a quick comparison and find out.

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

Scattered Shots: Ranged weapons from Ulduar

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be taking a look at the new ranged weapons available from Ulduar.

With new raid instances comes new gear to covet, and Ulduar is no different. Normal and Heroic modes both have new guns and bows available to help give your shots that much more oomph, and today I'd like to take a closer look at these weapons to help you compare potential upgrades. Before we dive right into the new stuff, let's do a quick recap of the older ranged weapons so we'll have a point of reference to start from.

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

Scattered Shots: The Hunters of lore

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a wide variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be looking at some prominent historic figures in Hunter lore.

For Hunters looking to get into role playing, a good place to start is to look at the Hunters that came before you to get a feel for common themes upon which you can base your character concept. There are many prominent Hunters in Blizzard lore that spans multiple Warcraft titles, both for the Horde and the Alliance, which you can look to for inspiration. Today, I'd like to spend some time getting to know some of the great Hunters of Azeroth.

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Filed under: Hunter, Lore, Factions, RP, NPCs, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Fixing your Hunter's dps

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be talking about how to fix your Hunter's dps!

There are a lot of factors that play a part in making up your damage output: your gear, your talents, your gems and enchants, your glyphs, your ammo, your consumables, your shot rotation, your pet, your pet's talents, and even your latency and frame rate. Today I'd like to spend some time talking about all the pieces that make up the Hunter dps puzzle and offer some ways to help you figure out where you might be going wrong. After all, we've all had those nights where our numbers just weren't what we were expecting, and it's important to know how to identify the problem so you can find a solution.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Tips, Raiding, Guides, Talents, Enchants, Hardware, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Pet talents for leveling

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be looking at talent builds for your pets as you level.

At level 10, every Hunter completes a series of quests that will teach them to tame the beasts they encounter in the wilds to serve as their constant friend and comrade. Whether your chosen companion is of the Cunning, Ferocity or Tenacity persuasion, your pet will grow in strength as you both progress through levels, and at level 20 your pet begins to learn their first talents (and receives an additional talent point every 4 levels from then on) to improve their skills and their ability to lend a hand during your joint adventures. There are many options available to you in the choice of your pet's talents as you level, and today I'd like to present you with a few options to help you along.

The talents your pet will have available to it are determined by the family of pet you've chosen to tame. Cunning pets are considered more "balanced" than their Ferocity or Tenacity counterparts and can be great for leveling when your pet's ability to simultaneously tank mobs and deal damage is an important consideration.

There are a wide variety of Cunning pets available in the game even at low levels, so finding one that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing shouldn't be too difficult. From levels 1 to 20 you'll find a variety of Bats, Birds of Prey, Dragonhawks, Ravagers, Serpents, Spiders and Wind Serpents to choose from if a Cunning pet is what you're after.

Tenacity pets are also an excellent choice for leveling as their ability to take damage is significantly better than other types of pets, and many Tenacity pets have unique abilities that make dealing with multiple mobs simultaneously extremely easy which in turn speeds up the leveling process. Like their Cunning peers, there are a multitude of Tenacity pets available at low levels, such as Bears, Boars, Crabs, Crocolisks, Scorpids and Turtles.

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Filed under: Hunter, Leveling, Guides, Talents, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Finding a unique pet

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be browsing the bestiary of Azeroth, Outland and Northrend to identify some of the most unique pets to be found in the wilds ready for taming.

As a Hunter, your pet is an extension of yourself and a means of expression your (or your character's, for you RPers out there) personality, so finding the perfect pet can often be difficult. Today, I'd like to take a look at some of the more unique pets available in the game to help you pick out the perfect companion to set you apart from the crowd.

Ferocity

Because cats are arguably the most popular family of ferocity pets in the game, we'll start with them. All cats come with three abilities in addition to the standard Growl ability shared by all pets: Claw, Rake and Prowl. There are a number of unique cat skins available to help set your chosen feline apart.

If you prefer the look of a sleek lion, Araga, a level 35 rare found only in the Alterac Mountains is an excellent choice. She's the only cat in the game sporting this particular skin, so if you favor the sandy coloring sans mane, she's the cat you want. If you're looking for that coloring but with a more manly countenance, The Rake, a level 10 rare in Mulgore is a great alternative. If you're unable to find The Rake, there are three other mobs found in The Barrens that share the same skin: the Savannah Highmane, the Savannah Prowler and the Savannah Patriarch.

You like the mane, but not the color? Don't worry, there are other options available! Humar the Pridelord, a level 23 rare found in The Barrens and Pitch, a level 76 found in Sholazar Basin boast the same manly mane as The Rake, but with a much darker charcoal coloring. Not digging the black, either? Try Echeyakee, a level 16 quest spawn from The Barrens or Sian-Rotam, a level 60 quest spawn from Winterspring. Both feature a light white and gray coloring that's sure to set them apart.

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Filed under: Hunter, Leveling, Guides, RP, NPCs, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: ViperNotify and aspect swapping

Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be talking about how to effectively swap between aspects to improve your performance.

Pike from Aspect of the Hare published a post recently, "Aspect of the Viper and You", in which she describes what Aspect of the Viper is and when to use it. For raiding and leveling Hunters alike, Aspect of the Viper is a powerful tool to reduce downtime when mana is running low. Stopping to drink or popping mana potions is almost obsolete thanks to this great aspect, and Pike's article goes a long way in teaching newbies and veterans alike when it's time to put that aspect to use. Today, I'd like to take that idea further and discuss more ways to help put Aspect of the Viper to work for you.

For raiding Hunters, it's extremely easy to switch to Aspect of the Viper during a fight to regen mana and then forget to swap back to Aspect of the Dragonhawk once your mana bar is full again. I know in the past I've had less than stellar numbers on the meters simply because I forgot to switch aspects! Sure, swapping aspects should be a no-brainer, but simple mistakes are easy to make when you're dodging slimes, fire and big ol' dragons. For that reason, I started using ViperNotify. This add-on is very simple and light weight. All it does is notify you via pretty blue alert text that appears on your screen (similar to a raid alert) that your mana bar is full but Aspect of the Viper is still active. It also plays a quick little ding sound (which is, amazingly, not the slightest bit annoying) to catch your attention in case you missed the warning text. There are, of course, several other mods that behave similarly, but ViperNotify is the one I use. This one simple add-on makes it much easier to ensure the best possible performance from your two primary aspects.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tips, Add-Ons, Guides, Buffs, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Raid consumables for Hunters



Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be talking about Hunter consumables.

Getting ready to run heroics and raids takes time. You need certain gear, enchants, glyphs and plenty of ammo to see you through the content you face, and there's one more thing you can add to your bag of tricks to help give you the extra edge you need to down those bosses and top the damage meters: consumables. Flasks, elixirs and that handy Well Fed buff are there to help you maximize your performance and it's important to know, as a Hunter, which ones you should be looking for on the Auction House or farming before it's time to zone into your instance of choice.

Flasks

We'll start with the easy one first, since there's really only one flask (at least for Wrath-level content) that Hunters need to be aware of: the Flask of Endless Rage. This flask increases your attack power by 180 for two hours, and the effect lasts through death so if you wipe for some reason you're not out the cost of the consumable itself or the materials you used to make it.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tips, Instances, Raiding, Guides, Buffs, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Dual specs mean double the fun for hunters



Scattered Shots is your weekly guide to improving your Hunter skills, brought to you by Jessica "Lassirra" Klein of The Hunter's Mark, covering a variety of Huntery topics. Today, we'll be diving into what hunters will have to look forward to from the world of dual specs.

So far the uproar about the dual spec feature coming to us in patch 3.1 has been predominantly from classes that are able to fill multiple roles in a raid environment, giving them more flexibility to swap between tanking, healing and dealing damage based on the needs of their group at the time. The 1000g price tag on this feature may seem a bit daunting to some, but the benefits of being able to swap between tanking and healing at a moment's notice without costly respec fees or inconvenient trips to the nearest not-so-nearby trainer are obvious. This all begs the question, though: what's in it for us pure DPS folks?

The easy answer to that is being able to swap seamlessly from a PvP build to your raid build when invites start going out for the night. And lets not forget that Survival Hunters are the new Shadow Priest, right? If you're missing one of your friendly neighborhood mana batteries one night, you can swap into a spec for that at the drop of a hat. There are also plenty of opportunities for enterprising young Hunters looking to farm old world raid bosses solo, and there's a spec for that, too. There's plenty of fun to be had for us Hunters, and this new dual spec feature will make the transition from conquering the wilds of our world as a lone tracker to wiping the floor with the deadliest of raid bosses that much easier.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tips, Talents, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Hunter changes

The notes for Patch 3.1 and news on some undocumented changes to classes and glyphs have recently become available, and there are plenty of changes in store for us hunters. You can expect some changes to all three trees (some of which are rather minor) as well as changes to how our pets and glyphs. Lets take a look at some of the information coming down the pipe and see just what effect it will have on our game play.

Beast Mastery

The Beast Mastery tree is slated for just one minor change at the moment. There were hints from Ghostcrawler previously that the tree would receive buffs for Ulduar, but so far nothing major appears to have surfaced. For now, Improved Aspect of the Hawk is receiving a minor facelift in the form of a new spell effect being added to the talent.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Classes, Talents