Here's another incredible video from Fifth Element. This time riffing on Fallout, the 2 minute intro features all the nostalgic awesome you could possibly want. I'm continually impressed by how these guys manage to kick out these amazing videos, one after another.
This video features a special treat. If you keep an eye on the wall posters, you can spot a shout out to this article by Brian Wood. So, Fifth Element may agree that, "Yes, beast mastery can raid." Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at email@example.com.
Beast Mastery is the least viable raid spec for hunters, falling about 20% - 30% behind the top DPS specs. BM hunters have long been calling for some kind of a buff, and a favorite preference is a buff to their pets. Ghostcrawler responded today saying that while they want to buff BM, they do not want to buff BM pets. He highlighted some of the problems with balancing the BM spec -- including that it's easy to play.
"We don't want to buff the pet damage for BM any more for a couple of reasons. One is that it puts too much dependence on the pet... Secondly, the pet doesn't require that much babysitting. Few players are clicking their pet abilities on and off. As such, it just acts like a dot with cool art. When we talk about the risk of BM being too easy to play, we don't want to over-reward players for just doing Steady and having the pet attack."
Blizzard has acknowledged before that BM isn't a raid viable spec (though we've seen that in the right circumstances they can pull their weight, though still be far behind) and they've stated that they would like to get to a point where all three hunter specs can raid. Ghostcrawler gave us one idea at what a BM buff could look like, saying, "The damage would have to be more of the slowly stacking / sustained variety..." and also gave us a peek into where they think pet damage should be -- at about 30% of hunter damage in high end gear.
However, today's comments make it sound like they aren't likely to just let BM do MM-level damage with their current play style. If BM wants more damage, they'll probably have to work harder for it.
Beast Mastery is the beloved hunter spec with the strongest and most protective of followers. While a BM hunter was a rare thing to find back in vanilla, BM saw a terrific boost throughout Burning Crusade and the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King. For years BM enjoyed the incredibly rare status of being an excellent spec -- if not the best spec -- for soloing, leveling, pvp, and raiding.
Then starting in early Wrath, the BM hunters cowered beneath the shadow of the nerf bat. But even after getting repeatedly beaten like a red-headed gnome, squashed into a wee pet-shaped crater, you still don't have to look far to find a BM hunter defending their viability in raids.
Today we're going to take a hard look at the BM spec. We're going to dismiss the rhetoric of the PUG masses who say "If yer BM yer a noob" and take a look at exactly where BM really is in raid viability. Join me after the cut as we take a look at the numbers and the philosophy behind the BM raider.
When you're looking at stepping into the hunter class for the first time there are three key concepts to keep in mind: guns are finely crafted machines of death while bows are primitive contraptions better suited to butterfly-humpin' hippies; dwarves are solidly-built, better looking, and better able to handle the sweet nectar of life (alcohol) than other races; and finally beast mastery is the ideal entry point into the hunter class.
No spec is as widely useful and easy to learn and master as BM. Today we're going to walk step-by-step through everything you need to know to get started on your BM hunter. Don't worry, they're baby steps. Even the aforementioned butterfly-humpin' night elves will be able to understand.
Welcome to Pimp My Profile, the column in which the WoW.com staff turns zeroes into heroes. Don't think you're performing where you should be? Not sure how your class/spec is supposed to be gearing up? E-mail us with your Armory link, and you might be next to receive our help!
Hi, I'm 80 and I've been so for weeks. I've been running random heroics for gear and I followed your guides for my pet specs (though I think I messed up on my Tenacity). My DPS barely cracks 1000. As far as I know, as a hunter, there is almost no excuse for this. Please help me.
Thanks for writing in, Shippleton. You are wise enough to understand that your DPS is lower than it should be and intelligent enough to ask questions. It seems likely that you are also uncommonly good-looking, a trait shared by most hunters. You are to be applauded for taking the first step down the road to becoming a death dealer, which is the right of every hunter!
Right off the bat 1k DPS seems sufficiently low that I suspect we should be taking a look at your shot rotation as well as your talents and gear. In the interest of science I went ahead and ran Utgarde Pinnacle heroic with some extremely understanding friends while I was completely naked except for my gun, shirt, and tabard. My lack of mana kept me in viper for about 50% of the fights, and I ended up at about 1,100 DPS for the run. So that gives us an absolute bottom DPS benchmark.
Hail fellow Hunters! Welcome to Part 2 of So you want to be a Hunter. We started off in Part 1 by reviewing racials and their impact on the Hunter class. It was interesting to hear everyone's thoughts and preferences on the best race to play. Although many seemed to prefer Orcs and Trolls for the Horde and Dwarves and Night Elves for Alliance, there were a few that spoke up for the Draenei and Tauren as well.
This week we'll be reviewing what to expect as you level your Hunter from 1-9. Yes, we'll eventually get all the way to Level 80, just not today. No, this isn't a speed leveling guide. However, I will provide some tips on how to make leveling less of a grind.
Just to make sure we're all on the same page here's some guidelines for using this guide.
Hunters, patch 3.2 also means a new spirit beast for you to obsessively tame. Once again Mania's Arcania proves itself to be the go-to site for information about new pets. Since I know I'm going to be spending a lot of time wandering around looking for this new pet model, here's the skinny: there will be a new spirit beast in patch 3.2, it's name is Skoll and unlike the current spirit beasts Loque'nahak and Gondria, this one uses a saberworg model (the new Northrend worg model introduced in Wrath of the Lich King). It's still a spirit beast with prowl and spirit strike.
All we know so far is that it is apparently a non-hostile tameable mob when you first encounter it and that you'll need to comb the Storm Peaks Snowdrift Plains for a chance to tame it. All I can say is good luck, you obsessive pet collectors, and even better luck to those of us who know one. I predict a lot of time spent taming things in the snow.
Beast Masters around the world, rejoice! A new species of Spirit Beast has been tracked down on the Patch 3.1 PTR, which should alleviate the hunt around Sholazar Basin. This is a real Spirit Beast, by the way, and not the wooden (albeit wonderful) pull-toy that BRK has available through his site. The white tiger-skinned Gondria is a Level 77 rare elite that can be found in Zul'drak, presumably as difficult to pursue as the leopard-like Loque'nahak.
According to Beast Lore, Gondria will have Spirit Strike, the Moonfire-like ability unique to Spirit Beasts. Personally, I didn't care much for the spotted Loque'nahak, although I'm sure Matthew's wife disagrees vehemently. This ghostly (spectral?) white tiger looks much sexier, I think, and would go right along with the game's most expensive mount or its aspirational knock-off. So Hunters, you had all better get a lay of the land in Zul'drak, because as soon as Patch 3.1 comes out, the game will be afoot...
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.
Hunters, do you have questions about your class? Well, Ghostcrawler's got some answers. Not all of them, of course, but Big Red Kitty can probably handle the rest. Our favorite crab has been chatting a bit about the Hunter class on the official forums. Let's take a look at what he's been saying.
As far as DPS numbers, Blizzard balances in terms of absolutes, not relatives. This means Blizzards wants people with X quality gear to be doing Y DPS on fight Z, so things like "I got 5th on the meters" aren't as relevant - they're looking at specifically how much DPS you do. (source for this and the next three points)
Pets are balanced using "a trade-off between damage and utility." Some pets, like wasps, bring bonuses that your 5- or 10-man groups may be missing, and thus it is justified that they do less DPS. That said, "more parity among pets is something [the devs] want to pursue."
Well, well, well. As a guy who currently plays a BM Hunter, I'll try not to gloat too much (to tell the truth, I agreed that BM Hunters needed a nerf before 3.0.8, though I did think we got hit a little too hard afterwards), but Ghostcrawler has something to say to all of you Beast Mastery Hunters out there: We're sorry. On the forums, he says that Blizzard has had a long talk about it, and they've determined that yes, they nerfed Beast Mastery Hunters too much. He says Marksman is in a good spot, and Survival might be a little too high, but they're still looking at all three specs.
Gloat if you want (BRK is probably very happy), but Ghostcrawler specifically says that they're fessing up to this partially in the hopes that it builds the devs' credibility in the community -- when they mess up, they'll let you know. And with that attitude, we can't really blame him. He was wrong -- let's move on.
So where next? He says BM is due for buffs "before Ulduar." Steady Shot is likely staying where it is, but Kindred Spirits and Serpent's Swiftness will probably be improved a little bit. I wouldn't look for us to go back to where we were pre-3.0.8 (Volley will not be re-buffed, I can tell you that), but BM will definitely be a little stronger than it is now. Oh, and I hate to keep harping on this one, but can we get that Cower bug fixed now? Please?
And we have a great time throughout. Don't forget that we do the show live every Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm Eastern, so if you're around next Saturday, be sure to join us for the live show (and when you do, you get a free aftershow with us at no extra charge). In the meantime, you can hear this past week's show by clicking any of the links below, and listening in on the media of your choice. If you have any comments or questions or want to send us an intro to play, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening as always, have a great week. Oh, and I almost forgot. Listener Traenallmade this video after hearing Turpster's plans for gaining rep from the Timbermaw this week. Very funny.
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Over the last two days, the WoW Insider team has been busy reviewing and gathering all of the still-current class information to bring you up to speed for your first steps into Northrend. You've probably had a chance to get a handle on your class since most of the changes were pushed through in patch 3.0.2, but you have an extra ten levels ahead of you, an extra ten talent points, and a whole bunch of new skills and abilities you're going to need to learn. Don't know what to expect? We're here for you. If you do know what to expect? Well, I guess you can keep reading if you want. We'll let it slide just this once.
Death Knight - Being the new class on the block, there's certainly been a lot to talk about in the recent months. Daniel Whitcomb points you toward much of it, including leveling builds, in-depth looks at their core abilities and mechanics, as well as some sage advice from Allison Robert.
Druid - Speaking of Allison Robert, she'll be your guide today if you're looking for more on the Druid class. Talent builds, a glimpse at raid healing as Restoration, the rise of the Moonkin and much more can be found within.
So with Wrath less than a week away, we got our work cut out for us, so to speak. Luckily, 3.0's early release has given us time to learn to handle our pets and respec to take advantage of new talents, but now the big push is upon, as 10 levels and a whole slew of new zones opens up for us. When you step off the boat or zeppelin in Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord, where will you go? What will you do?
Here's a few quick Hunter specific tips to getting started in the Wrath of the Lich King.
I like the creepy-crawlies. As soon as my hunter hit Level 15, I made my way to the Skittering Dark in Silverpine Forest and hunted down Krethis Shadowspinner. Sure, she looked exactly like the low-level spiders in Tirisfal Glades, but how could I not want her? With a name like that, she was sure to be deadly. Sure enough, she was, and she managed to kill me several times before I was finally able to tame her. If I had waited 5 more levels, Freezing Trap would've made things much easier.
Of course, over the course of leveling, I had to abandon her (leveling pets was nowhere near as easy as it is post-Patch 3.0.2) but these days I keep the company of Leech Widow from the Wetlands. Yes, it's a generic white spider, but you'll understand these things if you have a Hunter. The cool thing is, Spiders now appropriately have the Web ability that we only used to envy from NPCs. It entraps opponents for 4 seconds from 20 yards and has a 40 second cooldown. It's a damage-less version of the Exotic Pet Silithid's Venom Web Spray. The good news is, the damage doesn't really matter. You'll want to use the web merely to keep opponents at a distance. This ability makes them a great choice for Level 19 twinks.