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Filed under: Hunter

Scattered Shots: Hunter pets we'd like to see in our stables

Diemetradon
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 potential new hunter pets in Warlords of Draenor.

Blizzard seems to have really enjoyed teasing hunters this expansion with the Dire Beast spell. Dire Beast is a talent which summons a random beast to fight for you for 15 seconds. Each zone in Pandaria has three different beasts it chooses from, and there are several instances where it will summon a beast which you're currently unable to tame. The most notable examples being the pterrorwings on Isle of Thunder and the gulp frogs on Timeless Isle.

There's also several beast families which have been in the game for a long time but remain untamable. Occasionally, these are added in a new expansion, such as the basilik and water strider in Mists of Pandaria. As a pet collector, I have high hopes that we'll see both old and new pet families added in Warlords of Draenor to fill our stables. Let's start with a family of beast so obvious that they already have a unique spell attributed to them in the game.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Challenge mode tips for hunters

Hunter in Challenge Mode Armor
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 succeed as a hunter in Mists of Pandaria challenge mode dungeons.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like challenge mode dungeons are the most underutilized new feature in Mists of Pandaria. It's something I didn't even touch for the first year of the expansion until I started to run out of other things to do. Cosmetic rewards don't get everyone excited, and I think some people are intimidated by them. Getting all gold medals is definitely a challenge, but you don't have to strive for that on your first run at them. Silver medals should be doable by any organized group, and bronze medals have a long enough time limit to be completed in a decent pickup group.

Gear optimization can help somewhat, but ultimately challenge modes are about skill and efficiency. There's still room for mistakes – even for a gold medal – but your group will be relying on you to maximize your DPS, crowd control, and interrupts. Hunters can be strong in challenge mode dungeons and any group will welcome a competent one with open arms. If you have the class aptitude to complete the gold medal in the proving grounds, you are ready to go for the gold in challenge modes.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots, Mists of Pandaria

Scattered Shots: Macro your hunter

Hunter Macros
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 hunter macros.

Macros are all about saving clicks and key presses. Next to addons, they are probably the largest quality of life enhancement you can add to your gameplay. For the uninitiated, macros are simple scripts that allow you to combine multiple abilities and conditional parameters into a single button. You don't need them to play, but the benefits are tangible and will improve your overall performance.

If you're an engineer, take Synapse Springs for instance. It's off the global cooldown, which means you can stack it on top of other abilities to maximize its uptime and not worry about remembering to use it. Sometimes certain abilities will line up closely with other cooldowns which makes it beneficial to macro it in instead of using autocast. Have you ever noticed how slowly your pet will switch targets sometimes? Or when you tell it to Kill Command on a new target, but it attacks its previous target instead? There's a way to fix it with macros. As a keyboard abuser, one of my favorite macro perks is being able to remove the error messages and "spell not ready yet" sounds my character makes as I spam my buttons.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Mining Celestalon's tweets for hunter information

Hunter in Draenor
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 new stats and the potential for hunter spec differentiation.

We're still patiently waiting for the Warlords of Draenor beta to get some more concrete information on hunters, but in the meantime we've had Celestalon to poke and prod on Twitter. Celestalon is a Technical Game Designer on WoW and has been very forthcoming with technical information regarding classes and the new gearing system in Warlords. We've learned a few new bits of information such as how new secondary stats will work and some vague plans for their intentions with the hunter class. If you missed the BlizzCon hunter recap post, be sure to check it out before we dive into the newer stuff.

The replacements for hit and expertise

You may have heard how hit and expertise are being removed from the game in Warlords of Draenor. I was very happy when I heard about this, but at the same time wondered if gear was going to get too simple since they're also removing reforging, and having less gems and enchants on gear. The good news is, those two wholly uninteresting stats are being replaced by 3 new ones, and if you've been raiding Siege of Orgrimmar their functionality may already be familiar to you.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots, Warlords of Draenor

Scattered Shots: Helpful hunter addons

Hunter with Quilen Pet
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 UI addons for hunters.

I've personally never been much of a fan of cosmetic UI addons, but I'm a big proponent of utility addons and feel like they can improve your performance dramatically. Therefore, I won't really be talking about unit frames or action bar replacements because frankly I'm not very current with them. If you're interested in giving your whole UI a facelift, you may want to look into an all-in-one solution such as ElvUI, or check out WoW Insider's addon spotlight. Let's start with the addons I can't imagine playing my hunter without.

Essential addons
  • Skada Damage Meter (Curse | WoWInterface): This one is my personal preference over Recount. I like being able to save individual parses for later viewing, and I like some of the plugins you can use with it. One of the best ones is SkadaExplosive. This one is entirely made for tracking the T16 4-piece survival bonus. It lets you know what your longest Explosive Shot streak was (every time I get a 10 streak I feel like it's Christmas morning), the highest damaging tick, and other Lock and Load stats.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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

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