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.
Classes with cooldown resetting abilities probably won't find one of Ghostcrawler's most recent tweet all that surprising. The abilities (Preparation, Readiness, etc.) have been targeted by several nerfs and changes this expansion. Ghostcrawler wrote the following in reply to a tweet that said it may be time to stop adding cooldown resetting abilities to the game if they're constantly going to be nerfed.
@Divine_Namjoo We agree. I'm not sure that design angle has payed out well.
The abilities are particularly problematic in PvP, where players can chain several attacks or crowd control abilities together within a short period of time. What do you think? Do cooldown resetting abilities belong in the game? Are they overpowered?
Did you know hunters are just awesome? If you didn't, you may want to check out today's video. The song is a collaboration by many notable members of the hunter community, organized by WoW Insider's Brian Wood, also known as Frostheim of the Warcraft Hunters Union and the Hunting Party Podcast.
The video isn't too complex, but the song should warm the hearts of our many hunter readers out there, and remind them how awesome their class is. It may also make the rest of us envious that our own communities don't have multiple theme songs (I guess rogues do, actually).
This collaboration is two years in the making. I remember at WoW Insider's BlizzCon 2012 party, Frostheim ran up to me with a big grin on his face and said he'd just recorded one of our notable guests (Aron Eisenburg? Felicia Day, perhaps?) saying, "hunters are just awesome!" To find out who it was, check out the video.
When the new 5.0 patch flips over on Aug. 28, will you be ready with glyphs? Blizzard is recycling old glyphs instead of making new spell IDs and charring old ones. Some glyphs are staying the same, some are new, but some share IDs with old Cataclysm glyphs.
Below is our list of new or changing glyphs for hunters. This is not a list of changing tooltips, just which glyphs you ought to have if you want to automatically have the new glyphs when the patch flips over.
Hunters have one new minor glyph that won't appear automatically anywhere, Glyph of Marking.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!
Hunters have campaigned and begged for it, and now it appears to be on the horizon. According to a post on MMO-Champion, the patch 4.1 PTR contains a couple of spells that should be of interest to hunters. First is a tamed pet passive with a hydra icon, and the second is the ability Bellowing Roar, which includes the following: "The hydra lets out a bellowing roar, increasing the critical strike chance of all party and raid members by 5%."
So get ready, hunters -- that elusive hydra pet you've been craving will (potentially) be yours soon, in patch 4.1. I'm going to name mine George.
Editor's Note: Please keep in mind that this is datamined information from very early in the patch 4.1 cycle. That does not necessarily mean that the hydra will be a tamed pet in patch 4.1, only that Blizzard was exploring the possibility of allowing it.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.
Nethaera posted a call for feedback on hunter pets on the official forums:
We're looking to get some feedback on the types of pets that hunters would like to be able to tame and the types of abilities that might be interesting for those pets to have. Is there a type of creature in the game now that you would like to be able to tame or an ability that you've always thought should be added? Here's your chance to share a bit more about what you think could be great additions for the hunter class.
Head on over and make sure to get your ideas in! Personally, I'd been saying for months on the Hunting Party that they should make pet special abilities debuffs to allow hunters to use a greater variety of pets in end game raiding and remain competitive with those nasty melee classes. Wolves are cool, and all, but are boring as sin when they're all you see.
I'd like to see the whole list of debuffs available in some way from a hunter pet, if in slightly reduced form. Personally, I'd also love to see the Beastmaster spec's third tier mastery buff provide lower penalties on debuffs in addition to increasing pet damage.
After days of watching other classes cheer and complain over their Cataclysm class previews, we finally got a chance for a look into what Blizzard has planned for us with the hunter class previews. Like a good first date, it leaves us excited and intrigued with the possibilities, but mostly it leaves us wanting more!
Let's roll up our sleeves and both take a deeper look at what these changes mean for the best-looking class in WoW and just how much more we hope to see on our second date.
Before we get started though, we have to be sure to keep our reactions in context. Everything is getting rebalanced in Cataclysm, every number for every class and every stat. We cannot look at these changes through our Wrath experience. Since we do not yet know how the numbers will play out with every class and spec being rebalanced, we cannot say whether our damage will go up or down compared to other classes or specs. We just have no idea, so we can only look at these changes with the assumption that our DPS will be equivalent to any other class in most situations.
We'll also be using the Frostheim rating system to evaluate each of the changes, ranging from FAIL to Awesomesauce.
I've had a lot of requests recently from readers who want a leg up on gearing out their soon to be level 80, or fresh level 80 priest for raiding. This is certainly a worthwhile topic, one I intend to get to, but not this week.
We get a lot of mail at WoW.com and this past week we got an e-mail from a player named Nemikahn who wrote a WoW version of the song Sunscreen. The various staffers read through the e-mail, groaned in realization at how old they were (the original song came out in 1998) before the e-mail got lost in the jumble of BlizzCon 2010 news. I really enjoyed the rewrite though, and thought it rather timely given we are nearing the end of this expansion. Cataclysm is coming, and it's supposed to change everything we've become familiar with. So, this week my fellow priests, my guidance is this: stop and smell the flowers. WoW operates at such a hurried pace these days. Don't feel like you always have to rush off to the next raid or complete another alt. Take more screen shots, visit your favorite zones, make sure you can contact your closest friends in the game outside of it, and most of all: create Benediction. I will, of course, help you with that last part.
Two weeks ago we kicked off a series of introductory guides in PvP intended to give players a general idea of what to expect when facing certain classes. Understanding the behavior, capabilities, and limitations of a class puts players off to a great start in PvP, and after discussing the druid and the death knight in the first two installments, we now turn our attention to the hunter. Hunters have long been a force to reckon with in the Battlegrounds, an environment where they thrive. Also, as strong as they were back in vanilla WoW, they're even more powerful in Wrath of the Lich King, gaining new tricks, losing old limitations (e.g., traps can be deployed in combat), and having access to diversity of pets that make PvP encounters more interesting than ever.
Hunters are the game's premier pet class. More than even warlocks, hunters rely on their pet to accomplish their goals, with the best hunters mastering the art of micromanaging their pets and its varied abilities. Recognizing a hunter's spec is only aspect of identifying a hunter's strength and weaknesses. Part of learning how to deal with hunters involves recognizing a hunter's pet type who now even have their own talent trees. Let's take a closer look at this master of beasts after the jump.
Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column.
Listening Music: Modeselektor's Tetrispack. Allison Robert offered a challenge to our most beloved columnist last week. Ms. Roberts has chosen a clever and palatable piece with Richard Shindell's On-A-Sea-Of-Fleur-De-Lis. And now we come to my retaliation. My wife recommended our musical selection today -- it just happened to be on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. How fitting. We love this song, albeit mostly for the intro. Upon your first listen, if you correctly predict the timing and type of shift in the first thirty seconds, serious e-props to you.
To wit, Robert: pan flute > no pan flute. Your move.
Last Week: part two of our beginner's arena guide. We featured the cute ukulele kid who pretty much controls the internet right now. After that, we discussed frequently asked questions from new arena players. We talked about how to spec and what team composition to choose, with two different types of answers (easy and long).
Today, we'll be talking some very basic class strategy. If you know your class inside and out, you'll know what I'm going to say when it comes to your class and arena. You can still learn about other classes here. I've written over 2500 words about individual class perspective inside arenas, that's a lot. Full article after the break.
Hunger for Blood will increase damage by 10% instead of 15%. Assassination rogues needed damage, but they got too much, and this will bring them back. Sorry rogues -- the tooltip, we're also told, might not change right away.
Scourge Strike will crit only once, not on the shadow portion of the damage. "This change just proved to be too bursty in PvP and provide too much sustained damage in raids." He also gives lots more explanation of the change on the forums -- this one will be discussed quite a bit.
Rolling Corruptions will no longer use the initial haste value indefinitely. More of a bugfix than a change, says GC -- the haste value should drop out to normal after a few ticks of the spell.
You can mix and match them all to fit your own gameplay as well, so maybe use some from HL's list and throw in one or two from BRK's old setup. And even if you're not a hunter, the addon is helpful for any class that needs a heads up on buffs and debuffs coming their way. We hunters can get all the help we need though -- HL's list is a great resource for using the addon with our class.
Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women? Blood Sport investigates the entirety of all-things arena for gladiators and challengers alike. C. Christian Moore, multiple rank 1 gladiator, examines the latest arena strategy, trends, compositions and more in WoW.com's arena column. David Byrne and The Talking Heads are a personal favorite. Miles Fisher seems to love them as well. His cover of This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) is homage to one of the most beautiful, striking melodies I've ever heard, and as such, it will be your listening music for the day. (NSFW Warning: The video is a parody/reenactment of American Psycho, so view carefully.)
Last time, we went over the Will of the Forsaken nerf, 100% pet resilience, death knights, and druids. The patch looks to be a very interesting bag of surprises for arena enthusiasts, we're getting major changes to the way some races work, as well as nearly every class is getting a pretty substantial change or two which will probably help them in PvP. We don't normally see patches where most classes are buffed, but this could be one of them.
Read on to find out what's up with hunters, mages, and paladins in Patch 3.3!
I don't care for a lot of music that was made in the last decade. The Killers are something of a breather for me. They're one of those bands I'm glad exist. When I'm forced to listen to a terrible radio station, and hearchange your mindsandwiched in between auto-tuned, unoriginal dross -- I'm satisfied there is still music being made that can intrigue. (Brandon Flowers has some epic bard tier 10 shoulders there too)
This is part two of part two of a three part article. Confusing? Join the fun! Surprising Patch 3.3 timing, i.e. wrenches in cogs, is a blast!
In our first installment, we covered pillars changing shape in great detail, and also mentioned a few other tweaks. Our second article dealt with five classes -- paladin, priest, rogue, shaman, and warrior. Warlocks were left out of the 3.2.2 patch notes. This article is going to talk about the other four classes - death knight, druid, hunter, and mage.
Being "TheArenaGuy" here at WoW.com lends to forcing myself to a very balanced perspective on classes. It makes me feel guilty if I understand armor penetration less than spell penetration. Well, actually, it doesn't because ArP is confusing. The main thing I'm trying to say here is that I don't want to write anything that is opinionated without being grounded in something. I don't want to make any mistakes when it comes to reporting to our viewers what changes will impact arena games (and how).
I'm satisfied to critique changes instead of having the responsibility to make them. The developers have very difficult decisions to make with regard to arena balance and we should applaud them for making decisions in the name of equity, even if some of them might be unpopular.
With that, let's get into the juicy, juicy 3.2.2 patch notes.
All the World's a Stage, and all the orcs and humans merely players. They have their stories and their characters; and one player in his time plays many roles.
As you know, the new race and class combinations coming up in the Cataclysm will open a whole new set of doors to people who want an alternative character choice that goes against the grain of their typical racial customs, to one degree or another. With the exception of a couple combinations that feel as though they should have been there from the beginning (such as blood elf warriors, which need no discussion here), each new possibility presents roleplayers with an opportunity to play an outcast of sorts, a character who has made a significant break from the traditions his or her race usually represent.
The lore behind each combination is not yet fully clear. We know tauren paladins will probably worship the sun and call themselves "Sunwalkers" for instance, but not much more than that. Some things are clear, though, and there's a lot to get the imagination going for those roleplayers who yearn to play something a little different.