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Filed under: Hunter

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

Scattered Shots: Patch 5.3 buffs hunters

Scattered Shots Patch 53 buffs hunters THURSDAY
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim or ask him on Google+.

Hunter changes are beginning to show up on the patch 5.3 PTR patch notes, and those changes are of the buff variety, assuring that they'll get the seal of approval from the hunter community. Certainly 5.3 is bringing the hunter love, with these buffs coming on the heels of 50 stable slots!

Hunters are getting a flat buff to their DPS, while BM and MM hunters are getting substantial AoE DPS buffs. It's still early in the PTR process, and we can expect to see more changes coming, but for the time being BM is the winner of patch 5.3, getting more benefit from the changes than the other specs.

Let's take a loot at what's changing, and how it will impact the hunter specs.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunters get more pet slots: running out of things to complain about

Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim or ask him on Google+.

In the very early incarnation of the patch 5.3 PTR, hunter stables have been expanded to accomodate up to 50 hunter pets. This awesome feature was discovered by a score of hunters almost as soon as the PTR was available, though I believe Kalliope reported on it first.

With this change hunters will now be able to collect up to 55 different pets, with 50 in the stable and 5 in the active pet slots.

In the comments to this news at the WHU, Arth made an apt observation:

Min. range is gone, our specs are fairly well-tuned and are all viable, we aren't terrible in PvP, and now this. What the hell are we supposed to complain about?

What indeed, hunters? Let's take a moment to look at why hunters need so ridiculously many stable slots, and why we got them.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: How to play a MM hunter

Scattered Shots How to play a MM hunter THURSDAY
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim or ask him on Google+.

With the awesome buffs to MM in Patch 5.2, MM hunter DPS is better than ever, just a theoretical wee bit behind SV DPS. Despite this, however, MM continues to be vastly under-represented in raid parses, often having so few it's impossible to make a statistical evaluation of their performance (and that's before even considering the selection bias).

Theories abound for the lack of MM representation: MM is harder to play; MM is technically a bit behind the others so everyone leans on the ones ahead; MM has no clear role in which they are superior (unlike BM burst and SV AoE); MM is associated with elves, and no one wants to have anything to do with dirty elven things.

It's been a long time since MM has been a popular spec, and most of the hunter optimization sites focus on maximizing your performance in BM or SV. So now seems like a good time to review how to optimize your MM hunter to take full advantage of all those juicy 5.2 buffs.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Ghostcrawler and Daxxarri talk classes in patch 5.2

mage talents screenshot
With the advent of patch 5.2, World of Warcraft Lead Systems Designer Greg Street "Ghostcrawler" and Community Manager Daxxarri have been posting a series of class overviews and changes. Part one went up on Tuesday, covering death knights, druids, and hunters. Part two was posted Wednesday evening and covers mages, paladins, and priests. Part three, on rogues, shaman, and warlocks, went up yesterday evening, and part four, covering warriors and monks, was posted earlier today. For many classes, most of the changes involve PvP balancing as well as trying to improve a number of talents in some way to make them more useful and thus more attractive to players, at least situationally. If you're curious about either the philosophy of class balance design or just want to know what happened to your class this patch, make sure to check it out.

What I love about these posts is that little glimpse of insight they provide into the thought process that goes into balancing the class mechanics in a game like World of Warcraft. I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm not one of the people involved in that job. To me it seems like an endless headache to try and make sure all classes are different enough to feel unique, but similar enough such that a raid or dungeon group isn't punished for lacking one indispensable class, and I wouldn't have the patience for it. But I certainly admire and respect those who do!

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, News items, Death Knight, Monk, Mists of Pandaria

Ghostcrawler and Daxxari present Patch 5.2 Class Reviews

If you're wondering how your class has changed in patch 5.2, Blizzard's Ghostcrawler and Daxxari have joined forces to give you details on exactly that. This installment covers Death Knights, Druids and Hunters, so it's working alphabetically in case you're wondering where your class is.

While the patch notes serve to give you the details on the changes, this series of posts exists to give you the motivation and reasoning behind the changes to the classes. Why did they buff this or nerf that? The motivations towards each change are explained in detail, letting you get a sense of just what's going on for you in patch 5.2.

Ghostcrawler and Daxxari - Patch 5.2 Class Review Part 1
In terms of talent adjustments, while we're still happy overall with the Mists of Pandaria talent overhaul, we do recognize that there were some talents that weren't tuned as well as they could be or just weren't attractive. That's not to say that all talents should be all things to all players all the time; some talents are situationally quite attractive, and we're happy with those. On the other hand, others just never see much use and we would rather provide players real options for each talent tier.


Part one is up now, so keep an eye peeled to the official site for more.

Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Death Knight, Mists of Pandaria

Scattered Shots: Everything hunters need to know for patch 5.2

Scattered Shots Everything hunters need to know for MoP patch 52 of WoW THURSDAY
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim or ask him on Google+.

With MoP patch 5.2 due to be released in just a couple weeks, Blizzard has released several hunter buffs on the PTR that are designed to bring the hunter specs closer together in DPS output -- and from the looks of it, it may well bring the hunter specs closer than at any point in WoW history.

I'm talking insanity of biblical proportions here, BM and MM living together, mass hysteria!

While it's almost all good news, there were some nerfs to hunter PvP in specific -- though keep in mind that some of these are sometimes tied directly to abilities that are also being buffed. So lets take a look at the entire list of hunter changes for 5.2, both those from this past week and the others still around from earlier in the 5.2 PTR, and see what it means to the hunter class.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Hunter 5.2 trinket rankings

Scattered Shots Hunter 52 trinkets THURSDAY

Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+

Last week we went over the patch 5.2 hunter gear -- everything, that is, except for the most complicated slot. And as always, the roughest gear and most debated gear decisions revolve around trinkets.

The question of which of the hunter trinkets are best is further complicated by the fact that current trinkets can be upgraded (a feature that will not be available to us once patch 5.2 hits). So will the upgraded Relic of Xuen be a contender with the new trinkets? Or should you spend those valor points elsewhere in your remaining weeks?

So let's roll up our sleeves and do some trinket math! We're going to take a look at all the new hunter trinkets datamined in patch 5.2, and compare that against the upgraded forms of some of the top other trinkets.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Patch 5.2 hunter gear

Scattered Shots Patch 52 hunter gear THURSDAY
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+
It looks like we're going to be seeing patch 5.2 land within the next couple of weeks, and now thanks to some datamining we have an idea of all the hawt new gear we're going to be seeing in patch 5.2.

Included in this gear is our new tier 15 set: Saurok Stalker's, which is a spiky looking set with a helm that bears a suspicious resemblence to a lizard is eating our heads. Fun Saurok Stalker's set activity: get to just the right depth in water and can make it look like a crocodile head floating on the surface. Then jump out and kill something.

On to the gear!

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Hunter taming challenges

Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+.
As long as there have been hunters, there have been hunter taming challenges. These are the pets that combine the irresistible draw of being difficult to get your mitts on, combined with a unique look that other hunters don't have. Nowadays hunters really pursue these taming challenges for the look of the pet, but once upon a time there were mechanical benefits of some of the rare pets as well. Back in vanilla I spent weeks wandering the reported path of Broken Tooth in search of this 1.0 attack speed lion (this was before Zul Gu'rub and the 1.0 bats, and of course before normalization of pet attack speeds and before the 2 pushback limit to casting).

When I'm talking about taming challenges today I'm talking about pets that have a mechanical challenge or trick to the taming process, or pets that are rare spawns with unique models. There are of course scores of rare spawn pets that look identical to common pets, and even a lot of rare spawns that have a slightly different coloration but otherwise are identical to common pets (and you can see a list of these at Petopia).

While it might be hard to wait for a King Krush spawn, for example, it's not something that fills vast numbers of hunters with the need to get that pet. Spirit beasts on the other hand ... spirit beasts are like a plague of uncontrollable desire that spreads burning through the pet collecting loins of the hunter population, so I have to include them.

If you aren't the kind of hunter that is really into pet collecting, today's column is not for you. If, however, you are the other kind, then here is a list of all of the hunter pet taming challenges currently in the game.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Hunter patch 5.2 changes

Scattered Shots Hunter patch 52 changes THURSDAY
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+.

Patch 5.2 has been marinating on the PTR for long enough now that we have a fair idea of what all the hunter changes will be, as well as last week's revelation of new spirit beasts! So it's time (or past time) that we dig into it and see how the changes are going to affect the greatest class in WoW.

This patch is hitting at a time when the hunter class is doing pretty well. Nothing's ever perfect of course, but our raid DPS is pretty good, we can PvP better than we have in years and we can even launch our full-strength hail of death on the move for as long as we damn well please. And best of all we're not overpowered so we don't have to fear imminent nerfs. It's a pretty good time to be a hunter.

Nevertheless, we have some mechanical tweaks to our abilities in addition to the new taming challenges of the porcupine spirit beasts, so let's take a look at it.

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunter predictions for 2013

Scattered Shots Hunter predictions for 2013
Every Thursday, WoW Insider brings you Scattered Shots for beast mastery, marksmanship and survival hunters. Frostheim of Warcraft Hunters Union and the hunter podcast uses logic and science (mixed with a few mugs of dwarven stout) to look deep into the hunter class. Mail your hunter questions to Frostheim.or ask him on Google+.
Another year of hunting is beginning, and that means it's time to dig into the vaults of December 2011, when Cataclysm was about to wind down, a time of aspect dancing and the horrible anachronism of minimum range. That's right, it's time to dust off my 2012 hunter predictions and see how I did. It's also time to make new predictions for the state of hunters going forward in 2013 and take some guesses at what's going to happen with the class as Mists of Pandaria progresses and Blizzcon returns.

Of course last year was a pretty challenging year to make predictions, since we knew a new expansion was coming and while we had a couple of tantalizing hints, we had virtually no idea what hunter changes we would have. The expansion news flew fast and furious all spring and summer, bringing with it change after change; hunter joy and discussion as we got almost everything we asked for, followed by the inevitable buffs and nerfs of the expansion process.

After getting off to a bit of a slow start, hunter DPS is now rocking away as we start 2013 looking forward to patch 5.2. But before we look forward, let's take a look back and grade Frostheim's presentience to determine if what I predict has any bearing on reality...

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Filed under: Hunter, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Direhorn hunter pet in patch 5.2 is the triceratops we've been wanting

Image
Wowheads dataminers and commenters have been extremely busy lately, and one particular commenter, Ozlem, has succeeded in obtaining the new hunter pet -- the Direhorn -- already, as can be seen from the header image.

The exciting news is that, currently, this pet is not exotic, meaning it can be tamed by a hunter of any spec, not just beast masters. Of course, do remember that this is PTR, and therefore subject to considerable change before launch. There is a requirement to tame it, though, which is an item dropped from the dinomancers based on the Isle of Giants, the Ancient Tome of Dinomancy.

This currently has quite the high drop rate, although it is not 100%, but again this could be nerfed down to size on live servers. There currently are no other hurdles to navigate to obtain one, unlike the pets from previous patches and their greater challenges, despite the PTR patch notes stating the following:
Dire Horns have been added as a tamable species for Hunters that have learned the required skill. Aspiring Dire Horn owners should seek out clues regarding these auspicious beasts.
The skill may well refer to the Tome, rather than to beast mastery's ability to tame exotic pets.

It's not yet known whether these dinosaur-style creatures will be added into old zones where they'd fit in, but it seems likely that they will remain around Pandaria and on the Isle of the Thunder King. I think they're adorable! The triceratops-heavy nature of patch 5.2 is just fine by me.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Hunter, News items, Mists of Pandaria

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