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Posts with tag Beastmaster

Collecting Armor Sets: Dungeon set 2

For the longest time in vanilla World of Warcraft, players were content with collecting the dungeon set 1 pieces from Stratholme, Scholomance and Blackrock Spire. A purple item was a incredibly rare thing to see in the early days of WoW. It was a status symbol, a badge of pride for raiders who managed to band together to defeat Onyxia or brave the depths of Molten Core. With epic items soon came epic discontent, largely from casual players who either didn't have the time or the inclination to raid. As time went on and more raid dungeons were released, the complaining continued; players who were unable to dedicate the time needed to successfully complete a 40-man raid dungeon felt it was unfair that they could not obtain epic gear.

It was a valid complaint, but it took well over two years before Blizzard finally did something about it. About four months after the release of Ahn'Quiraj, Blizzard implemented Patch 1.10, "Storms of Azeroth." Among the fun changes like the introduction of weather in Azeroth and quest-experience-to-gold conversion at level 60, casual players finally received what they'd been asking for: a quest line that didn't require raiding and would allow them to upgrade their dungeon sets one into new ones that included epic gear. This set is called, appropriately enough, dungeon set 2.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, RP

Pimp My Profile: Shippleton, beast mastery hunter

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.

-Shippleton
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.

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Guides, Talents, Pimp My Profile

The dying Hunter?

The folks over at Ten Ton Hammer have a post with some anecdotal data about Hunters -- they claim that Azeroth's ranged DPS pet class is on a decline lately, and they've got only some guild application numbers to back the theory up. Mem over there says that there are a few diehard Hunters still floating around, and lots of alts, but that as a class, it's fallen off in terms of popularity for sure.

Is he right? Fortunately, there's a site that tracks numbers (as reliably as you'll find for public information, anyway -- certainly Blizzard has access to much more information) on exactly that. WarcraftRealms' list of classes over time does prop the "declining Hunter" theory up -- as you can see (from both Alliance and Horde totals), Death Knights took a nice bite out of all the classes for a little while, and Hunters have been on a pretty steady slope down since mid-January, when patch 3.0.8 hit the realms. That, of course, was the harsh Beastmaster nerf, and ever since then, Hunters have had some real trouble recovering (not to mention that all class playtime is declining in general -- despite their slope downwards, Hunters are still in the top three classes played anyway).

Is this the end of Hunters? Not at all -- Blizzard has already said that they are cyclical about balancing classes, and a heavy set of nerfs on one side of the cycle is usually accompanied by a burst of buffs on the other. Not to mention that the most interesting Hunter changes, the ammo revamp, hasn't yet found its way to the game. Reworking of ammo (in addition to some likely buffs there), will probably bring lots of Hunters back to the stables, so to speak. But it's true, Hunters are on a downward turn lately.

[via WoW LJ]

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Classes, Talents, Buffs

Scattered Shots: Raiding spec for Hunter pets

Welcome to Scattered Shots. I am Eddie "Brigwyn" Carrington from The Hunting Lodge and you're not. Today we are reviewing what pets you should consider for raiding and how to spec out your pet for the best possible DPS. So join me will you? As we explore what it takes to make a raiding pet.

This past week has been an interesting one for Hunters and their pets. If you were like me, finding out that Hunters could tame Garwal's Worgen form, reminded you of why being a Hunter is truly awesome. Of course it would last and Zyrhym showed up and had to burst our bubble by delivering the bad news that Blizzard was removing them from the game. Well, it was fun while it lasted.

What was nice about this glitch was the passionate responses seen on the Official Forums and Hunter community at large. It really highlighted how much we Hunters love our pets. Many of us see them more as companions than just some other weapon in our Hunter bag of tricks.

One way Blizzard has helped foster this idea is by letting us have three different categories (Ferocity, Tenacity, and Cunning) and literally hundreds of different pets to go out and tame. But to me the best part is being able to not only tame my pet of choice, but having the ability to train him. Doing this makes Hunters and their pets a combination as epic as Nutella and Pancakes.

When you set out to tame your pet, make sure and match your need with the correct category. For pure DPS you have Ferocity. Need a tanking or good solo pet? Get a Tenacity one. And if you are in a PvP situation and want to make sure someone has your back no matter what? You could try a Cunning pet. With dual specs and Call Stabled Pet you can now match up your spec with the right pet and further enhance your status as the Supreme Hunter! Let's take a moment and talk about Ferocity Pets and raiding specs, alright?

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Filed under: Hunter, Raiding, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunter solos Utgarde Keep

Tribunalx sent us this great video about something that's fallen out of fashion lately: Hunter soloing. Back in the day, when Mend Pet was still affected by plus healing (back when there was plus healing), Hunters would routinely take down Azuregos by themselves, but they've since had to sit on the sidelines while other classes stepped into the solo arena. But now, with Mend Pet and Bestial Wrath glyphs, a Hunter stacking Stamina in PvP gear, the new version of Deterrence, and pets with their own Tenacity talents, Hunter soloing is possible yet again.

As Tribunalx says in the video, it's not really easy, and there's a lot you have to keep track of (and Hunters definitely aren't the only class that can do this -- there's probably a Paladin soloing UK and/or a Death Knight out there as well). But it is definitely possible, as you can see above. Maybe we're experiencing a renaissance of Hunter solo possibilities -- next up, The Nexus? Good luck with the Ormorok gauntlet.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Walkthroughs, Odds and ends, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Talents

Scattered Shots: Dual specs mean double the fun for hunters



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.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tips, Talents, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Hunter

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-fifth in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

The Hunter is probably the oldest class in World of Warcraft. Before anyone in Azeroth took up an axe or sword, or learned anything of how to cast spells -- even before they learned to write -- they had to hunt for food. If they were like early Earth societies, the people of many nomadic groups would have relied on their hunters to bring in the meat they needed, as well as to protect the community from enemies. Back then, there would have been no such thing as fancy armor or complicated magical weapons. The relationship of a fighter to nature was just as important as the weapons he carried, if not more so.

Modern hunters in World of Warcraft come from the ancient tradition of those who learned to keep themselves and their families alive by living in harmony with nature. They learned the essential mysteries of survival in the wilderness, killing animals with stealth and primitive weapons, trapping them, and eventually turning predators and prey alike into friends and servants.

As time went by, those fighters who took up the path of the druid would learn to become nature itself; shamans would learn to call upon it; warriors and rogues would make battle their art, each in their own way. But hunters remained at that pivotal point between sentient races and the natural world -- they are connected to nature, but not manifestations of it; they work together with nature, but they do not worship it or call upon its spirits; they fight their enemies with the utmost passion, but they do it with the tools that hearken back to the dawn of civilization.

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Filed under: Hunter, Engineering, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Ask a Beta Tester: Lordaeron, epic quests, and other things


Welcome back to Ask a Beta Tester, where we answer your questions about the Wrath of the Lich King beta! Let's get things started with Chris's question...

I really enjoy the Epic quest in Nagrand to bring Thrall to meet his grandmother. Is there anything like that in Wrath where you have to complete all the quests in one zone before you get an epic quest to complete?

Well, there are a lot of quest chains. Maybe not that long, but certainly not less epic. That doesn't mean the chains are short, either. They just don't necessarily require completing every other quest in the zone. Some of the stories start the moment you step into a zone and last straight through until you're ready to leave it again, but there are plenty of other quests you do on the way. They're less of a prize for 'beating the zone' and more an everpresent story.

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Filed under: Hunter, Paladin, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: Getting started with talents in 3.0.2 as a Beast Mastery Hunter

Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb is doing a special happy dance over that whole Aspect global cooldown removal thing.

Before we get into the meat of this week's column, I have a confession to make. I was tempted to make a very short column that consisted primarily of a recording of me making squealing noises that you would generally only expect to come from a giddy schoolgirl, punctuated by a bit of gibberish that might sound something like "Aspect of the Dragonhawk."

But that said, there's a lot of other things I could talk about, and I won't leave you hanging. It's a busy time in WoW, and Hunters have a lot of stuff to do now that 3.0.2 is out. By now, hopefully, your server has calmed down enough for you to get on, play around with learning all your companions and mounts, and start trying to figure out talent specs. Hopefully by now, you've seen some of our articles on the subject, such as Big Red Kitty's Hunter and Pet Talent overviews, and David Bowers' guide to exotic pets currently available in game. They're great resources, so I'm not going to attempt to replicate them here. Instead, I'm gonna focus on a quick and pertinent question:

You've finally found some time to play WoW, your server's stable enough to let you play WoW, and you've just logged on your Beastmastery Hunter for the first time since 3.0.2 went live. What do you do?

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Patch 3.0.2 guide to Exotic Pets: Devilsaur

Devilsaur:

This big red dino is a great Ferocity pet with a specialty in sustainable damage over time. Its Monstrous Bite builds up over a period of 30 seconds to an additional 9% damage on all the devilsaur's attacks. If your battle is going to last 30 seconds or less, though, you're not going to get the full benefit of that, especially if, as in PvP, there may be breaks of a few seconds in which the Monstrous Bite buff is not being reapplied, then your devilsaur will have to start over again. This makes me think that the best utility for a devilsaur is in instances, particularly on long boss fights where it can just wail on a target from start to finish. Just be sure that your tank doesn't mind the footsteps -- they're not as loud as the core hound, and they don't shake your friends' screens, but they could definitely get annoying sooner rather than later.

This was the first exotic pet that BRK caught on film, and it comes in shades of red, white and black. You'll find them all in Un'Goro Crater, except for one more in the northernmost Netherstorm biodome as well.

The closest non-exotic pet is the raptor, with a Savage Rend ability that does some bleed damage and boosts attack power if it critically hits. It has a nasty 1 minute cooldown though, which really limits its usefulness.

Filed under: Hunter, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0.2 guide to Exotic Pets: Worm

Worm:

The worm is your exotic Tenacity option if you need a really hard-core single-target tanking pet. It doesn't have the gorilladin's ability to tank multiple targets at the same time, but you can't do much better than Acid Spit for single target debuffing over time. The more physical damage-dealers you have attacking that target over the longest period of time possible, the more you'll see its effect stack up. It looks to me like the best boss-tanking pet you can find in a party made up of mostly physical damage-dealers rather than magical, if you can get your friends to let it tank the boss, of course. In PvP, the effect doesn't wear off as fast as the devilsaur's ability, so you might find it somewhat useful there as well, if you need a pet with more survivability.

BRK showed us worm a while back, and of course Wowhead can show you all its 6 colors (as well as the upcoming Northrend version). In Azeroth, the most likely place to find these is in Silithus, or if you're in the Horde, you can just hop down to Ragefire Chasm and tame one there.

If you need a non-exotic pet with armor reduction, you can try out the wasp and its Sting, though that's a Ferocity pet for damage more than tanking. If you want a good Tenacity pet for PvP before Northrend, then the crab and its Pin ability might be what you're looking for. In Northrend, however, you're going to want a Rhino for all your PvP Tenacity needs, without a doubt.




Filed under: Hunter, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0.2 guide to Exotic Pets


If you're a hunter, you're probably pretty excited about the new talents we're getting in Patch 3.0.2, not the least of which is the new Beast Mastery talent, appropriately enough called Beast Mastery. It gives you 4 extra talent points, and enables you to tame "exotic" pets that would otherwise be beyond your reach. But which exotic pet is right for you? Where can they be tamed? Are they really better than the regular pets?

There are seven exotic pets in all, but only five of them are available to us now:
The Rhino and the Spirit Beast will only be available in Northrend once the expansion actually arrives next month. For now, we have the selection of exotic beasts that would become available to a level 60 hunter upon first clicking that 51st talent point, and reaching the pinnacle of his or her mastery of beasts. These pets are not necessarily set in stone, of course, and they will change a bit over the next month or so, though how much is still anyone's guess.

So what makes each of these pets special? Let's have a look.

Filed under: Hunter, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0.2 guide to Exotic Pets: Core hound

Core Hound:

If casters are giving you trouble, then the core hound is the exotic pet for you. Their Lava Breath ability slows down the enemy's casting speed by 50% for 10 seconds. The cooldown is also ten seconds, so you don't even need the Longevity talent to keep this up all the time, which is especially nice for PvP also. Their Ferocity talents give them lots of extra damage and self-healing options as well.

The core hound is the pet with the loudest footsteps in the game -- their feet pound the earth so hard it even makes everyone's screens shake if they happen to be nearby. So if you're the kind of hunter who likes to announce to the entire world, "Here I am! Look at me! Right here!" then this is the pet for you; but if you want to be sneaky and avoid attention, then you ought to look elsewhere.

BRK loves core hounds lots. There are three types to choose from: red hot, green hot, and white wolf; found in Blackrock Mountain, Shadowmoon Valley, and Azuremyst Isle respectively.

If you want a non-exotic alternative to core hounds, you could consider the serpents and their Poison Spit ability, which is almost just as good as the core hound ability, and ranged too! You won't deafen people and shake their screens with a serpent, but you'll do the trick just as well, more or less, especially if you have Longevity. Serpents are Cunning pets though, so you it also depends on which talents you prefer.

Filed under: Hunter, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0.2 guide to Exotic Pets: Silithid

Silithid:

The silithid is your choice if you want to keep an enemy stuck in place. It has a ranged Venom Web Spray ability which can do some damage and trap your enemy for 4 seconds every 40 seconds or so. Longevity helps with that, but to me at least it still doesn't seem as nice as the chimaera's Froststorm Breath. But it all depends on how you use it, I guess, as well as what other sorts of talents you choose for yourself. This is a Cunning pet, just the same as the chimaera.

BRK had a look at this a while back, which showed off the pets abilities and looks. There are four different colors, and for the most part, they can be tamed in Tanaris, Un'Goro, and Silithus.

The spider is your closest non-exotic alternative, with Webs that do the same thing as the Silithid but without the extra bit of damage.

Filed under: Hunter, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.0.2 guide to Exotic Pets: Chimaera

Chimaera:

Pronounced "kai-meh-ra," this mythical mish-mash of different animals has a Froststorm Breath ability, which does a bit of damage slows down your enemy by 50% for 5 seconds. Normally the cooldown is 10 seconds, which in itself isn't that bad, but with the Beast Mastery talent Longevity, you can shorten this to 7 seconds. Combined with well timed Concussive Shots, you could keep an enemy slowed to 50% speed for 12 out of every 14 seconds. That makes this pet one of your best bets kiting, and excellent for PvP: if melee types like rogues and warriors keep slowing you down with their hamstrings and crippling poisons, this beast is your revenge. It won't free you if you're snared, but it will snare them and give you some hope of escape. It's a Cunning pet, so it's extra mobile, and it can also help you recharge your mana in a fix, but it may not have some of the extra damage capabilities or survivability of Ferocity and Tenacity pets.

Check out BRK's video of a chimaera pet, have a look at Wowhead's chimaera gallery to see whether you prefer the Azerothian or Outland breeds, and then scan their list of tamable chimaeras to find the one nearest you, in many places, such as from Winterspring to Shadowmoon Valley.

If you're wondering what sort of normal pets have similar functionality, the next closest pet to the chimaera is the hyena, with Tendon Rip, which lasts 1 second more than the chimaera's ability, but has a 10-second longer cooldown.

Filed under: Hunter, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King

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