Jul 23rd 2009 2:50PM Blizzard did say that they intended Hunter pets to be useable as offtanks for emergency situations, right around the pre-testing for the LK expansion.
The single most important problem with the lackluster BM performance is that the pets don't scale with Hunter buffs. They have acknowledged this, and hopefully the changes in 3.2 are going to give them confidence to go all the way. Obviously, BM pets should receive more of the scaling bonus than SV/MM pets, but the pets should get more of the offensive stats besides just AP.
Also for BM, the pet's presence should have a much greater impact on the Hunter's personal dps than it does now. This would improve the Hunter:pet damage ratio as well, since they don't want pets doing that much more dps than Hunters. There are a couple of talents that have a minor impact, but nowhere near what they need.
Instead of buffing the pets to increase pet damage, they need to buff the pets to increase Hunter damage. For BM most of all, the pet should almost be an extension of the Hunter like an arm or a leg, not just a throw-away like a risen ghoul. There should be at least one deep-tree talent that lets the pet buff the Hunter in some not-so-minor way.
For example, being up close and personal with the target, knowing how the target moves and reacting to that movement, the pet knows more vulnerable areas to strike for best effect (ie: crits). The BM Hunter, closely in-tune with his or her pet, would notice these subtle differences and use them to his or her advantage (increased crit). The MM or SV Hunter would not notice these differences as much (or at all), since the pet is more of a companion rather than an extension of the Hunter.
Another problem is how Hunters scale with various stats. The single weakest stat for all Hunters is haste, but it's particularly bad for BM, because they start out at the haste soft cap. Any extra haste is mostly wasted, since it's not transferred to the pet. Many of the dps talents for BM deals with increased Haste. With that already the weakest stat, it makes the situation worse.
SV Hunters are AP.
MM Hunters are ArP (high end).
BM Hunters are Haste.
Jul 23rd 2009 2:31PM Yeah, the answer to that question seemed to be related to ... nothing that the question asked.
I'd imagine Blizzard still wants ammo to be a gold sink, so instead of just making it unlimited ammo, they should make it consume durability, like thrown weapons, each time a piece of ammo would otherwise be consumed. They would just need to make it a pretty high durability level (I run around with around 6000 Engineered ammo, plus the boxes to make about 8000 more). Then you just go to a repair person and get it repaired, like anything else.
It's a little more work involved than your proposal, but I think it's ultimately the way it should end up. Though, I would be surprised if there wasn't some sort of consumeCharge() generic function call to do all the work; for ammo, the implementation would just decrease the durability. Hmm, the more I think about it, the less work it should require.
Upgrades then would be dps, poison-type effects, AND increased durability/shots.
Jul 21st 2009 11:50AM You had me until the "BUT" statement. Leave that off, and the first part of your statement rocks.
When I'm interacting with you, I don't care if you're male, female, child, adult, black, white, or anything else. I care about playing the game, not necessarily what you do outside of the game. If YOU bring external issues into the game, then YOU have the problem.
If you can play your class and aren't rude, or perhaps even friendly, I'll group with you. If you try to tell me how awesome it is to be gay, I won't care and will look for someone else who is bothering to play the game instead. Keep bothering me with it, and guess who is the one harassing then?
Jul 20th 2009 5:01PM There are five separate "servers" (whatever that means to Blizzard):
"Outlands" (and Draenei/Blood Elf starter zones)
For as much as we know, we can consider those different "servers", managed and operated separately from one another. If Eastern Kingdoms goes down, Outlands is still playable, etc. If you're in a Northrend instance and Northrend goes down, better hope you don't wipe.
Realms seem to share some properties with other realms in the battlegroup (shared instance server, maybe?). We also know battlegroups are taken down all at once for maintenance, so there may be some hardware sharing there as well -- I'm thinking clusters + server virtualization.
Jul 20th 2009 4:57PM They've done that already in two ways. Pets previously required a sizeable chunk of experience (from kills) per level .. I want to say somewhere around 50% of the experience needed for a Hunter's next level. You also had to level them all the way to max level from whatever level you tamed them at.
The experience required to levela pet one level has been reduced to 10% of the experience required to level a Hunter one more level. This means that if you needed 25 mil exp to take your Hunter from level 80 to level 81, then you will need 2.5 mil exp to level your pet to its next level. It doesn't matter what level your pet is; the cost is based on your Hunter's current level.
The second way they made this easier is that any pet that is more than five levels below you is automatically level'd up to five levels below you. If you ding 80 and take your noob level 19 Ghostsaber out of the stables, will become level 75 instantly.
Tip: if you're waiting to get to 80 before you train all of your pets, don't. It will take a MUCH longer time to do than if you swapped them out during the whole levelling process. The 10% needed at 80 is -huge- compared to the 10% needed at 50 or 60. And you're going to be killing stuff as you level up anyway.
Jul 20th 2009 9:01AM "From my understanding the story of the Argent Tournament is new, so of course it's not going to be amazing right off the bat...what is?"
The thing is ... There's SO much under-developed lore in the game already that they don't need to create something new. Especially something that's struggling to find a connection like the tournament. If they did create something new, it better be mind-bogglingly amazing (unlike the tournament). A MUCH better alternative to the tournament would have been to expand on the Nerubians and Azjol-Nerub, and to use that to tie 3.1 into 3.3 and Arthas/Icecrown. Or perhaps even begin to tie into the next expansion. Blizzard missed an amazing opportunity.
The idea of a PvE arena/tournament is a great one. I have also been among proponents of such an encounter. But for a whole tier of raiding to be structured around it, is really weak.
The idea that the Argent Crusade needs to challenge people to see who is fit to battle Arthas is a bit of a stretch. I mean, in game, the Crusade is telling the people who killed the old god who was corrupting Northrend, who defeated the five watchers left by the titans, and who defeated the very messenger of the titans that "oh, I'm not sure you're ready to fight Arthas. Here, poke each other with sticks on horses for a bit because that will determine whether you're good enough or not".
It's great that people enjoy the tournament. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. On its own, I probably might have liked it as well. It's just that Blizzard really did mess up an amazing opportunity to really build up the story leading to Arthas, and instead tried to rip off Monty Python and Knights of Camelot. And the changes with the patch are going to drive Ulduar into obsolescence as soon as it drops.
Jul 20th 2009 8:42AM The background downloader doesn't have me excited about 3.2. I know 3.2 is coming, the only question is "when?". And whenever it drops, that's fine with me.
I'm not really looking forward to 3.2, because everything surrounding the Argent Tournament is just SO dull, but it's the next tier of raiding so that's what I'll be doing (and the tier sets don't look too bad ... finally no flaming skulls or blinking eyeballs). It also hasn't been enough to encourage me to do the dailies more. The only quests I can tolerate are the "kill scourge" and "fetch my sword (again)" quests. Jousting is easy (the AI is -really- stupid), but I hate it.
It seems odd that they'd rush the tournament patch out like this. Ulduar is simply amazing, both in richness of lore and epic scale of the encounters even though they messed up with the gear (mediocre upgrades over Tier7). As well, very few people have progressed very far in Ulduar. All that time and effort they spent designing it, and not many people are going to bother going when the patch drops because of the badge/emblem changes and because it's a little more difficult than Naxx.
Now, lackluster content is replacing amazing content, and at a speed I've never seen before. I'm having to control myself from feeling too underwhelmed.
Jul 16th 2009 4:51PM "Beast Mastery has become the spec of choice for most solo and farming Hunters."
I want to offer support for the opposing view for farming: I absolutely LOVE my raiding SV spec for farming. When farming Mammoth meat, for example, you can hit hard enough that even without Concussive Shot the target dies before it gets to you, with or without a pet. The pet makes killing the 5-packs incredibly fast and easy. I can go from one side of the farm to the other, and fly back in time for the Mammoths to start respawning. After 20-30 minutes, I have at least 2 stacks, which is enough pet food for a couple weeks.
Leveling up a new Hunter, I find myself greatly preferring a heavy-hitting Hunter over a heavy-hitting pet, though I do use Concussive Shot on most pulls.
Jul 16th 2009 4:28PM The best AoE pet is now the Croc (or Hydra or Booger), because of Bad Attitude. As the article mentioned, all pets can pick up the Gorilla's Thunderstomp now.
But I still prefer farming in my SV raid spec, with my wolf.
Jul 8th 2009 3:03PM Actually, 262 isn't -quite- enough. Your Hunter may never be bitten by the 0.01% chance, but your pet will lose a full percentage of hit chance, bringing him down to 7%.
Go for that one more point, and get 263 Hit Rating. Then you and your pet both receive full benefits.