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Posts with tag arcane-shot

Arcane Brilliance: Patch 4.2 changes, clarifications and legendary staves

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week, we discuss the perils of writing about the PTR, which stands for "Public Test Realm." For a very long time, I thought it stood for "Pirate Taco Restaurant," which I thought sounded more fun, frankly.

Yes, it's always a good time when I write something and the testing process immediately renders almost every word of it completely moot. Testing is testing, I guess, and absolutely everything that pops up on the PTR at pretty much any stage of the testing cycle is entirely subject to change. So remember what we talked about last week? The whole tier 12 set bonus thing?

No longer true.

Well, okay, I guess some of it still holds true, but not the really interesting part. Gone is the moving Arcane Missiles. To me, that was the single most significant bonus being offered by the tier 12 set for mages, but it's been removed entirely in the latest PTR build. The other bonuses remain, in slightly altered form, but mobile missiles is apparently out.

Still, I'm not perturbed, other than my simmering rage at having a thousand or so of my words -- wrung from my brain only a week prior, sweat out over a hot (or at least lukewarm, perhaps slightly moist) keyboard, painstakingly arranged into mildly pleasing, competently conjugated sentences -- become instantly irrelevant. You see, I actually think this could end up being a good thing for mages, and I promise that in a minute or two I will tell you why I think that, and the answer will not be "because of all that paint I huffed."

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Scattered Shots: Suggestion Box


Scattered Shots is here for you. As long as you're a hunter, you get to tell us what to write about, and we get to ignore you do whatever you say.

I love these months just before the next expansion is released. There's such a sense of anticipation, where the whole game, including your own class, is in fluid motion, constantly changing. This is the time when the developers actually want you to give them your feedback, to tell them what they're doing wrong; and -- strange as it may seem -- there is actually a chance they will listen to you, take your advice, and actually implement whatever change you suggest!

That's why the last few days I've had my eye on the beta hunter forums, looking for the latest ideas about my favorite class. Lots of the player suggestions they have there are really neat, but unfortunately there's also some of what we call "QQ" (which stands for whining because it looks like two little eyes with tears coming down). It's hard to get good suggestions on the forums without also getting bad QQ. Sometimes when forum-goers clash, they get into an annoying argument and the whole thing devolves into boring name-calling.

So let's weed out all the muck and jumble, shall we? Let's just cut to the prime-rib-beef of what really good ideas are out there and skip all the blah blah blah about who's stupid, who's an idiot, and who's just dumb.

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Filed under: Hunter, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunter Glyphs found in Wrath Beta build 8820

http://www.mmo-champion.com/index.php?topic=13480.0With the newest Beta build that hit live servers last night, MMO Champion found yet another round of inscription glyphs in the build. In particular, I'd like to talk about the Hunter glyphs. They still seem half-finished, with some values that are most definitely placeholder, and a good portion of them are firmly in the PvP camp.

Still, most of them are complete enough that they're worth analyzing, if only to know how to advise Blizzard to change them in future Beta builds. Not to say there aren't some good ones, but there's also some that no sane Hunter will use. Let's check them all out after the break.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

Scattered Shots: How do you make sense of all the beta hunter changes?


Is the tauren above about to cut off his own head -- or lunge forward to attack? Perhaps he's just feeling confused about upcoming changes to hunters? Would you, too, like to know just what's going to happen to your class? Well, you can rest easy now, because Scattered Shots has all the answers to your most urgent questions.

The short answer is: You don't; at the moment there is no making sense of all the Wrath hunter changes. We find ourselves at the mid-point of Blizzard's mysterious scheme for hunters, right in-between significant changes already in-progress and vague changes which they've promised or the future. We remain uncertain about which ones are going to make it live, which will be changed again, and which will be removed or added later on. Any analysis we do right now (and indeed much of the analysis we've already done) may or may not be completely out of date in a matter of days or weeks, and if your head hurts from all the ups and downs of turbulent beta-zone theorycrafting, rest assured that Scattered Shots feels your pain.

The long answer is: Even though the jigsaw puzzle isn't complete, it's still a pretty neat picture to look at. Today isn't the day for point-for-point talent analyses plus spreadsheets of sting/shot-damage coefficients -- what a headache that would be. No, today is an opportunity to stand back and look at how all this is beginning to fit together, to see how the path our class is trekking through the wilderness of beta-testing ambiguity solves some of our long-standing problems, gives us more of what makes hunters great, and leaves us with several crucial questions mysteriously unanswered.

What follows, ladies and gentauren, are the X-files of hunter beta mysteries, a fuzzy look through the crystal ball into the future of our class, the thrilling buildup to the surprising twist that comes just before the epic climax of the Hunter Saga season finale and leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat, biting on the tip of your fingernails, and gasping for air in the thrall of cliffhanger suspense.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Classes, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunter Beta News: Tranquilizing Shot explained, pet focus system adjusted

Good old Tranquilizing Shot seems to be getting a lot of attention in the beta world yesterday. Ever since it was bought back to prominence when it inherited Arcane Shot's old dispel mechanic and the ability to dispel PvP enrage mechanics, people have been wondering what exactly it will be able to do in PvE.

Lead encounter designer Daelo clarified the other day with some information on how enrage type effects will work in Wrath:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Hunter Pet News: New exotic pet families added, Kill Command changed

The latest Beta Build has hit the test servers, and there's a lot to report for Hunters. In particular, many of the announced changes we discussed in the last Scattered Shots went through. Aspect of the Beast now grants a melee AP buff, and Mongoose Bite is unlinked from dodge. Tranquilizing Shot now dispels magic effects, and Arcane Shot does not.

Most of the big notable changes however, center around pets, and specifically Beast Mastery. The 51 point talent is now implemented, and 5 extra talent points work. Chimeras and Devilsaurs are now exotic only. In addition, two new exotic pet families have been found: Worms and Silithids.

You can tame both the Dredge Striker and Dredge Crusher type worms in Silithus and the Jormungar worms in Northrend. For Silithids, only one "warrior" skin seems tamable, while the worker, wasp, and heavy tank type silithids are not tamable. The worms are Tenacity pets who feed on bread, cheese, and fungus and have a family skill called Acid Spit that does nature damage and reduces, while the silithid is a Cunning pet who feeds on meat and fungus and have an ability called Venom Web Spray that roots the target for 4 seconds and does nature damage.

I've added some screenshots of the new pets and their abilities to the gallery above. Also, if you're not impressed with any of the new exotic pet families so far, take heart. We've been told they're still working on the pets themselves.

Unfortunately, the rest of the pet-related news is less than amazing.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: The dev team takes on PvP

Welcome once again to Scattered Shots, WoW Insider's spot for all things Hunter, except for the stuff Big Red Kitty covers. Daniel Whitcomb will be your host today (a day late, for which he apologizes) as David Bowers tries to shake off some extra aggro.

The state of Hunters in PvP is perhaps one of the most debated subjects in WoW PvP. Some call Hunters overpowered for their dispelling Arcane Shot (which is going away in Wrath, to be sent to the non-damaging Tranquilizing Shot), while others point to their low Arena representation and the ease of using line of sight to negate most of their DPS and Abolish Poison to get rid of their main PvP utility as proof that they need buffs. Regardless, even the devs acknowledge that Hunters probably need some help in PvP, and class designer Koraa recently spoke on the subject on the Beta forums. In his post, he covered the problems he sees Hunters having, and how Blizzard will be helping with those moving forward into Wrath.

Unfortunately, his solutions seem confused in and of themselves. They involve giving Hunters more melee attack power (instead of more way to break from melee so they can use their ranged weapon) and a variety of talents scattered around many trees in such a way that it will be difficult for a solid PvP build to get them all. And, as I mentioned in a post yesterday, they still aren't giving pets resilience.

Other Hunters such as Megatf have done an excellent job responding to some of Koraa's points in the thread itself, but I'd like to address and respond to the post myself in this week's column, and see how they stack up to the problems Hunters face in small scale Arena PvP.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Expansions, Wrath of the Lich King, Battlegrounds, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: New and improved abilities


Scattered Shots: noun. 1. (Scatter Shot, singular) An ability used by Marksmanship hunters, especially to annoy other players in PvP. 2. (Scattered Shots, plural) A column at WoW Insider about anything even loosely related to hunters, except for high-level raiding and completely improper, sometimes libelous personal commentary.

Hunters are getting quite a few changes in Wrath of the Lich King, but so far haven't covered them all. Today I'd like to go through the newest abilities and discuss them in greater detail.

New Baseline Hunter Abilities:

Nope, no Camouflage. We talked about this before, but it looks like the devs read our article, "Do hunters need Camouflage?" and decided the answer was no. So, instead we have a couple other new abilities to look forward to:

Kill Shot:
This is the new level 80 hunter ability, and it provides us with a bit of utility that help us to stand out and perform better in various situations:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Beastmastery in Wrath of the Lich King

Ok, so it's actually an old PTR bug, but a pet panda would be awesome.Scattered Shots is for Hunters. Your host this week will be Daniel Whitcomb, who will continue his foray into the wide world of Wrath of the Lich King talents.

Beastmastery has pretty much dominated the world of Hunters in Burning Crusade, with Serpent's Swiftness alone nearly singlehandedly allowing for the most efficient damaging shot rotations possible -- With a little bit of wrangling between haste and ranged weapon speed, of course. While the changes to Auto Shot clipping in Wrath will likely make shot rotations as we know them a thing of the past, Beastmastery is still looking to be a very viable tree in Wrath of the Lich King, thanks to some clever synergies and some amazing pet buffs.

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

Scattered Shots: Sting operations

A Stinger missle and launcherScattered Shots is for Hunters. This week, Daniel Whitcomb will be covering for David Bowers, despite the fact that his Hunter isn't currently specced for Scatter Shot.

As Hunters, our primary role is and likely always will be the DPS. Even the new pet talent trees probably aren't going to change that too much. In the end, we sit back and fill the giant target full of arrows or bullets. That said, we also have quite a few tricks up our sleeves, a few stops we can pull out to get jobs done. Some of these come in the form of stings: a series of shots that put a debuff on the mob that can, when used correctly, turn the tide of a battle. Today, we'll look at each sting, what it does, and how best to utilize it in PvP and PvE.

There's a few universal truths to look at before we start: First, all stings are poison. This means that they can be cleansed, and that certain mobs will be immune to them. Second, there's only one sting allowed per a hunter, and most stings don't stack. That means that you can only apply one sting at a time as an individual hunter. Still, that can turn out to be helpful in some cases, as we'll discuss later. In addition, Viper and Scorpid Sting can only be cast by one Hunter at a time, so in multiple hunter situations, be sure to decide amongst yourselves who's casting what, should they be needful.

And now, on with the stings!

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Filed under: Hunter, Tips, How-tos, PvP, Instances, Guides, Talents, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

WWI '08 Panel: Hunters

The first WoW panel has come and gone at the Worldwide Invitational. It was focused on class abilities in WoTLK, and there was some absolutely juicy stuff, especially for Hunters. As the proud player of a 70 Hunter, I'm feeling amazingly awesome about my class right now. Two of the biggest, most universal Hunter complaints have not only been answered, but answered in a way that I think a lot of Hunter players are going to be incredibly excited about.

Steady Shot Clipping

First up, it looks like Shot Rotations as we know them will soon become a thing of the past, or at least be incredibly simplified, as Steady Shots will no longer clip Auto Shots. This is actually an issue that has gained some blue post love in the past, but it's nice to see it so directly confronted and dealt with.

There may still be a shot rotation of a type for fitting in Arcane Shot and various stings, but it looks like Hunter DPS will no longer be a complicated dance of weapon speed, haste rating, macros, and server latency. That in itself is amazing news.

Pet Talent Trees and Uniqueness

One of the other major complaints of Hunters is the lack of pet diversity. It is generally expected that if you are min-maxing, you will go for a Cat, Ravager, or Scorpid and nothing else, because they are the only pet families that have the right combination of ability and DPS to get their jobs done. Some pet classes, like Sporebats, languished due to a complete lack of useful family skills.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Events, News items, Expansions, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

Scattered Shots: Got mana?


Scattered Shots is temporarily subtitled "Scattered Thoughts" this week, as David goes off on a speculative tangent. Perhaps all this expansion leakage is causing a leak in his brain too, but hey, a little bit of intellectual pondering never hurt anyone, right? This column is for hunters, by the way -- but, yeah... you knew that.

After writing last week's article about hunter problems and predictions, I got to thinking about how hunters use mana, and reflecting on the question of whether hunters should be using mana or not. Hunters have many things in common with classes like rogues and warriors, such as doing physical damage, and yet they have much in common with mages and warlocks as well, such as being vulnerable to mana-draining abilities. This issue is vague enough that my observations here can only be considered personal opinions, and they won't be of interest if all you want from this column is a list of the greatest gear and talent builds. But for the speculative among us, there's lots to discuss here.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Shot rotations

Scattered Shots is for hunters. 'Nuff said.

Once you reach level 62 and learn Steady Shot, it's time to start getting a firm grip on this thing hunters must learn called "shot rotation." If you don't - just casting your shots willy-nilly, as soon as they come off of cooldown -- you'll end up wasting a lot more mana and doing a lot less damage than a hunter who has his or her shot rotations timed right.

The video embedded above is a handy example of two basic shot rotations which we'll look at in more depth here, and it can give you a basic sense for how the timing of all this is supposed to work. But if it still looks a bit confusing, fear not: today's Scattered Shots will help you to make your shots less scattered and more organized, with helpful charts and fundamental knowledge about how to do this rotation thing. It really ain't that hard -- just a bit of info can get you pointed in the right direction, determining the rotation which is best for you.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Guides, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Addons for shot timing, threat tracking, and pet training


Last week, Scattered Shots hit the bull's eye on which professions are best for a hunter. Today, we take aim at some interface problems hunters have, and the addons we can use to eliminate them.

A user interface is an ever-evolving work of art. You can use it one way for a long time and then suddenly find one simple addon that lets you change everything and make it much better. Especially with all the problems that show up every patch, I've begun to look at my interface as a constant work in progress. As such, I'm usually in a constant state of getting rid of old addons, enjoying the ones I use now, and looking for new ones that might help me even more in the future. Every choice of what to put in or what to take out is a conscious decision about what will help make my game play smoother, more successful, and more visually interesting.

As hunters, there are a number of needs that we have which other classes don't have - and special hunter addons are there to help in many of those cases, while in other situations, one of the more generalized addons might fit our needs best.

Today I'll cover three of the most glaring interface problems for hunters and show you how I deal with them at the moment. In the comments section, feel free to share your own different interface issues, as well as your own solutions, for the benefit of our readers. Keep in mind that a user interface is an extremely subjective thing, and one solution may not work for everyone. Nonetheless, often times just sharing your idea will inspire someone else to vary it a little and make their own thing out of it, which is even better.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Add-Ons, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

An "insightful and thoughtful" look at Hunter DPS from the forums

Despite the fact that my level 70 Hunter isn't technically my main, she's probably my favorite character. A lot of people will tell you that a Hunter is an overly easy class: sic your pet, turn on Auto Shot, and you're done. While having a built-in tank that you can even heal a bit gives you a pretty strong advantage when going it alone, I'd have to say they oversimplify things a bit.

The largest area where the complexity of the Hunter class shows is in end-game DPS. If you want to be the most effective DPSer possible, it takes quite a bit of work. The way that you must weave shots in between your auto shots is a complicated dance that requires split second timing that can mean vast differences in DPS totals between Hunters. Cheeky of the Khadgar-US server (author of the famous Cheeky's Spreadsheet) posted a very concise and well-stated summary of some of the problems with Hunter DPS on the official US forums here a few months back. The post was originally written by Lactose of the Talnivarr-EU Server, who posted it on the EU forms here, where it got some blue love today a while back.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding, Talents, Forums

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