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Filed under: Hunter

Scattered Shots: Why every hunter needs a tallstrider pet

Hunter pets, tallstriders
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing how awesome tallstriders are, along with some other interesting hunter pets.

I still deeply regret abandoning my hydra pet back in Wrath of the Lich King. A bug in one of the daily quests in Sholazar Basin allowed hunters to tame a ghostly hydra, oozeling, or crocodile. Blizzard fixed the bug, but allowed everyone to keep their pets. In my defense, we were only allowed to have four pets in our stable at the time, and there was spirit beasts to be had. Do you know how heavily camped Loque'nahak was back then? You think cross-realm zones are bad?

Before Wrath added a couple of extra stable slots (which cost gold, by the way), hunters only had two stable slots throughout vanilla and BC in addition to our active pet. Then Cataclysm came along and let us tame a whopping 25 pets. I'm pretty sure the server hosting the Petopia forums spontaneously exploded in the back of a room somewhere, ruining some poor IT guy's day. It felt like it could never get any better for a pet collector. Then patch 5.3 came along and Blizzard said: "You guys want, like, 30 more pet slots? Sure, here you go."

The new slots were welcome, but just how does one tame 55 unique pets?. Once you've tamed every rare and hunted down every spirit beast, what else is there? The tallstrider, of course. Get one in every color and have your own fleet of tallstriders. Tallstriders are awesome! Maybe even more awesome than sporebats.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Lone wolves

Lone Wolf Hunter
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing the fourth hunter specialization masquerading as a talent.

If you missed Scattered Shots last week, you can go check it out for a summary of what we learned about hunters at BlizzCon 2013. Today, I want to focus on the most controversial of the new talents: Lone Wolf. By taking this talent (only as survival or marksmanship) you gain 30% increased damage when your pet is not active. I've read a lot of posts, tweets, and comments over the past week and it seems that hunters are split right down the middle with this talent, along with a few in the middle who like having it as an option for pet unfriendly encounters.

My initial reaction to Lone Wolf was very enthusiastic, but then I started to wonder how it was going to work with a class built around pets. It's going to have a cascading effect on many existing hunter talents and abilities, namely anything that works in conjunction with your pet. It's possible Blizzard will add secondary effects to these talents so they work without a pet, but if they spend the time adapting older abilities then why not just go all in with the idea? If someone is leveling up a hunter, shouldn't they be able to make a play style choice as drastic as this early on instead of at level 100? Then again, hunters are a pet class ... so why do we need this talent, anyway?

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Hunters at BlizzCon 2013

Hunters at BlizzCon 2013
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing level 100 talents and other awesome hunter things from BlizzCon 2013.

This past week has been a blur. Things at WoW Insider have been hectic, and I'm still trying to catch up on everything from BlizzCon (thank you, virtual ticket). The most notable thing relating to hunters to come out of BlizzCon was the level 100 talents. When I first read the original transcriptions that people we're tweeting out from the demo stations, I thought I was being trolled.

I never thought I would see the day of a hunter without a pet. Then again, the mantra of Warlords of Draenor is that nothing is sacred. The brilliant thing about the other two talents is they replace existing abilities, so they won't be contributing to the ability bloat problem. There's a few more tidbits of information besides talents to look at. This week, we'll do a recap of everything we learned about hunters at BlizzCon.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: A hunter retrospective

A Hunter Retrospective
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing the nine year history of the hunter class.

Last week, we talked about the community's ideas for the future of hunters. This week, on the eve of BlizzCon, we're going to look in the other direction at the nine year history of hunters. Recently, I was browsing through some ancient screenshots (which you'll find peppered through this article) and I was struck with some mixed emotions. I was extremely nostalgic for vanilla, but at the same time I would never want to go back to how it was. You veteran hunters can put on your rose-tinted glasses as I dive back into the era of pet happiness and mongoose bites, and the rest of you can find out just how much our class has changed over the years.

Our story begins in beta patch 0.9, released on August 17, 2004. This was a very special patch because it's when hunters were added to World of Warcraft -- the last class to be added, in fact. Things were different back then. The survival specialization was known as "outdoorsmanship" and marksmanship was known as "ranged combat" because it was the only specialization actually focused on ranged combat. Prior to this patch, all classes were able to learn tracking but now it was made exclusive to hunters (and rightfully so). Feign Death was a rogue and druid ability before the hunters came and took it over. To this day, the name of the Feign Death icon is "ability_rogue_feigndeath."

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Hunter wish list for 6.0

Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing the future of the hunter class.

In little more than a week, we'll know what we have to look forward to in the next expansion at BlizzCon. Whether or not we hear something about hunters specifically remains to be seen. There's no class panel scheduled and class questions won't be allowed during the Q&A panel. We have had some hints from the developers here and there, but ultimately our future is a mystery and may remain so until we see the first beta patch notes.

Arth over at the Warcraft Hunters Union has been compiling a community-generated list of hunter ideas and suggestions intended for the developers known as The Hunter Project. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the hunter class as it stands, but there are some areas where I think some changes are needed. We'll take a look at some of the suggestions put forth in The Hunter Project and I'll add my own input to the mix.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Siege tips and tricks, part 2

Garrosh Hellscream slain by Hunters!
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing the finer points of pew pewing in The Underhold and Downfall wings of Siege of Orgrimmar.

Some of you have been waiting 6 weeks for the Downfall wing to unlock, but now all hunters will get their opportunity to turn Garrosh Hellscream into their own personal pin cushion. If you missed the column from a few weeks ago, you can go check out part 1 of the Siege tips and tricks, covering Vale of Eternal Sorrows and Gates of Retribution.

The fights in the latter half of the raid range from purely single target, such as Malkorok, to complete AoE binges like Spoils of Pandaria. In this guide we'll be focusing on mechanics in flexible and normal mode, but some of this can apply to raid finder difficulty. Keep in mind that a lot of the forthcoming tips are simply suggestions and that your mileage may vary. What works for me may not work for you, but this will give you an idea of how our abilities can be utilized on the final six bosses. Stock up on some Tomes of the Clear Mind and let's get started.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Hunter Theorycrafting 101

WoW Hunter Theorycrafting
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing how to maximize your performance through theorycrafting.

Whenever someone asks me what my secret is for topping the meters, I always tell them it's because I push my buttons harder than anyone else in the raid. Most of them think I'm joking, but it's the truth. High DPS players are keyboard abusers who don't miss a single global cooldown. This is the biggest factor in your DPS, but optimization through theorycrafting still matters -- it's like icing on the cake.

If you're scared of a little math, then don't be. There are fancy tools that do everything for you now such as Zeherah's Hunter DPS Analyzer, Simulation Craft and Ask Mr. Robot. Aside from squeezing out a little bit of extra DPS, theorycrafting will help you understand your abilities and how they contribute to your DPS which is going to result in better damage in the real world.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Hello, old friend

Marksman Hunter
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing the black sheep of the hunter family.

To the hunter pariahs who still religiously play marksmanship, all four of you, I salute your dedication to our forgotten specialization. You've kept the spark of hope alive in our hunter hearts. The hope that someday marksmanship will make its triumphant return to the top of the damage meters, just as it was in the armor penetration glory days of Icecrown Citadel.

Perhaps I'm being a teensy bit dramatic, but as a 8-year (soon to be 9-year) hunter, I do have a soft spot for marksmanship. That's why I was happy to hear about the recent hotfix to boost Chimera Shot's damage by a whopping 50%. I wondered if this was enough to make marksmanship competitive, so I decided to shun my traditional beast mastery and survival specs for a week to give marksmanship its fair chance.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Pillaging Orgrimmar

Scattered Shots Pillaging Orgrimmar OCT 3
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing all things that are shiny and purple.

You knew it was coming. Every class needs their token loot article when a new tier is released. This tier, I'm actually really excited because the loot gods have been kind to hunters: five ranged weapons, fun trinkets, well-itemized tier gear, interesting set bonuses, and plenty of options on the Timeless Isle. Blizzard even gave us our own unique proc on the legendary cloak. The question is, where should you be spending your precious Warforged Seals and Burdens of Eternity? The short answer for bonus rolls is weapons, then trinkets, then tier pieces. The long answer concerns your chosen specialization and how far you have progressed in flexible, normal, or heroic. Set down your bow (or gun, dwarves) and pull up a chair. It's time to talk about hunter loot in patch 5.4.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Siege tips and tricks, part 1

Scattered Shots Siege tips and tricks, part 1
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. This week, your host Adam Koebel, aka Bendak will be discussing the finer points of pew pewing in Vale of Eternal Sorrows and Gates of Retribution.

With the September 23 hotfixes, all three hunter specs have been brought up to relevance. In simulations, they are all within a couple percent of each other, but the real question is how do they perform for you in a real world setting? After an expansion of beast mastery and survival (which play very similarly), the jump to marksmanship will be tough for some hunters.

This week, for my very first hunter column, we're going to look at how you can maximize your damage and survivability in the first two wings of Siege of Orgrimmar. Keep in mind that a lot of these are simply suggestions and that your mileage may vary. What works for me may not work for you, but this will give you an idea of how our abilities can be utilized on the first eight bosses. Stock up on some Tomes of the Clear Mind and let's get started.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Not An Announcement: Hunter aspects

Not an announcement Hunter aspects
Blizzard Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has been talking with hunters on twitter again, this time on the topic of Aspects. There is an ongoing problem with hunters, what's called button bloat, where they simply have too many abilities on their bars. One player asked whether aspects were really needed, or whether they could be baked in.
@SamSykesSwears They were never that interesting IMO. Keep pack as a toggle and lose the rest I say. #notanannouncement

- Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) August 19, 2013

While this is not an announcement of the removal of aspects, it is a reasonable discussion point. There's pack, cheetah, and hawk right now, Aspect of the Fox was removed a little while back in patch 5.1. They were concerned at the time that constant hunter movement would be too strong, but preferred it to aspect twisting, where you would swap between Fox and Hawk to do more serious damage.

The simplification of things like Auras for paladins, totems for shaman, and aspects for hunters seems to be one of the top things on Blizzard's to do list right now, and the question is, are these abilities really interesting enough to warrant being kept? Personally, I always liked them. In the instance of hunters, switching from Fox to Hawk and back again was fun, I liked the additional consideration of paladin Auras along with Seals, although I know from explaining them to people that they were confusing.

Is this dumbing down? If so, is it really a bad thing? Or is it simply reducing unnecessary bloat? Is it really that interesting a gameplay decision to set an aspect any more, or is leaving Pack active just another way to justify yelling at hunters?

Filed under: Hunter

WoW Insider is looking for hunter and mage columnists

Like World of Warcraft? Like writing about World of Warcraft? Then you're who we want! We're looking to hire not only a new hunter columnist, but a new mage columnist, too. Your primary duties will be the production of your column on a weekly basis, but opportunities for additional work as a news blogger may arise over time should you desire them.

You can find the full instructions on how to apply on our applications page. If you have prior blogging experience, make sure you mention that in your application along with a link to your prior work. The deadline for your application is end-of-day on Friday, August 23, so work quickly.

Filed under: Hunter, Mage, WoW Insider Business

Hunter hotfixes clarified

Hunter hotfixes explained
If you don't follow Blizzard Senior PvP Designer Brian Holinka on Twitter, you could be forgiven for not knowing anything at all about the latest batch of hunter changes. Hunters are the class of the moment for PvP changes, with players complaining variously that they are doing too little damage (hunters) and too much damage (everyone else). As a result of this, hotfixes have come in, mostly relating to hunter pets.

Blink Strikes was turned into a passive ability with 5.3, allowing the pet's Basic Attacks to deal 50% increased damage, be usable from 30 yards away, and also instantly cause the pet to teleport behind their target. This was causing some fairly high damage in PvP, especially in line with Stampede, and the latest reset includes hotfixes to both abilities.

However, thanks in part to the rather mysterious nature of these changes, there has been a lot of speculation about just exactly what is going on. To quell the QQ, Blizzard Community Manager Nakatoir has stepped in with clarifications of the changes.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP

Should you play a hunter in WoW?

Should you play a hunter in WoW
If you're still not sure what WoW class you want to play, allow us to take this opportunity to introduce you to the noble hunter. Hunters are one of the most commonly recommended classes for new players to the game, and with good reason. Compared to other classes, many of which have the ability to fill multiple game roles, hunters have a single, straightforward function in any situation: to do damage with ranged weapons. And with the power of their pets to protect them, hunters have very high survivability when soloing, which secures their place the top of new player recommendation lists.

But don't start thinking that this means hunters are a simple class: while the basics are easy to pick up, there's a lot of depth to hunter gameplay (and a world of difference between playing with a good hunter and a not so good hunter). Hunters have a number of crowd control options and access to traps, both of which require strategic thinking to use well. And, further, while pets can make the life of a hunter much easier, controlling them can be a challenge that adds complexity to the game.

So while many people would tell you hunters are a great class for newbies because they're easy, we'll just say that they're a great class for newbies because they're easy to get started with. If we've piqued your interest, read on to see more about what the hunter has to offer in World of Warcraft -- and whether it may just be the perfect class for you.

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Filed under: Hunter, WoW Rookie

My favorite imaginary class mounts

Well, even more imaginary, I guess. Technically all of World of Warcraft is imaginary. But this post on the EU forums got me thinking: what kind of cool class mounts do I wish existed in the game? What with the Armored Bloodwing up for grabs in the Blizzard Store, I guess I have mounts on the brain.

For warriors, I want a mix of the fanciful and the gritty. I want an armored rhino mount. Something like the Wooly White Rhino, but with armor plates all over it, so heavily armored that it looks like a mound of metal coming to gore you. Like a rhino wearing Onslaught. A rhino wearing Onslaught with Christopher Lee's album playing in the background.

Some classes also come to mind - hunters should get to tame a mount, shaman should get a huge elemental ascendant version of a racial mount (so orc shamans would get a stone worg, while draenei would get a fire elekk and so on) and priests should get angel wings (or in the case of shadow priests, dark angel wings) like Imperius from Diablo III.

So what are your suggestions? What class mounts would you like to see?

Filed under: Hunter, Priest, Shaman, Warrior, Mists of Pandaria

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