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Posts with tag aspect-of-the-viper

Patch 3.2.2 PTR: Another Beast Within change


Blizzard's been messing around with Bestial Wrath and The Beast Within over on the patch 3.2.2 PTR -- they've added some CC-breaking utility to it, as well as a mana reduction, while also lowering the duration (and that's what many players latched on to, crying foul). Those angry folks still probably don't have a reason to cheer, but Mania, via MMO Champion, tells us that Blizzard is at least on the way back up with Beast Within: they've upped the mana cost reduction to 50% from the 20% it was before.

Of course, this is the PTR we're talking about, so this change isn't set in stone any more than the first change was (not to mention that in the next expansion, Hunters won't need mana anyway, so who knows what'll happen then). But those of you who freaked out over the first Bestial Wrath changes can at least take comfort in the fact that the talent is still being worked on.
2n - 1 go left, 2n go right. I don't see enough DoTs! More DoTs now!

Are you ready for the return of Onyxia? With the Brood Mother being revitalized as a 10 and 25 person raid, you'll need to be sure you know everything that's coming at you. WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2.2 will make sure your set for the next patch!

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Talents, Cataclysm

Speculating on a new resource system for Hunters

As we said on the podcast this weekend, one of the most interesting things to come out of the Hunter Q&A last week was that vague about "long-term plans" to "[remove] the need for hunters to rely on a different resource system then mana." That one kind of came out of nowhere, and the answer was even more vague: basically, they promised to talk about it at BlizzCon. Of course, that's what our attracted our attention: is Blizzard planning on getting Hunters off of their mana system completely?

That would be quite a change -- since the beginning of the game, Hunters have relied on mana as their "resource" -- Warriors have Rage and Rogues have Energy, but Hunters somehow got looped in with the other DPSers as mana users. That doesn't make much sense -- not only does it depend on Intelligence (a stat which Hunters don't really have a reason to go after anyway), but it's lead to the problem of keeping Hunters powered up. Hunters are almost continually out of mana, and Blizzard has made some wacky mechanic tweaks (with both AotV and Replenishment) to try and keep them up and running.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, BlizzCon

Scattered Shots: ViperNotify and aspect swapping

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 talking about how to effectively swap between aspects to improve your performance.

Pike from Aspect of the Hare published a post recently, "Aspect of the Viper and You", in which she describes what Aspect of the Viper is and when to use it. For raiding and leveling Hunters alike, Aspect of the Viper is a powerful tool to reduce downtime when mana is running low. Stopping to drink or popping mana potions is almost obsolete thanks to this great aspect, and Pike's article goes a long way in teaching newbies and veterans alike when it's time to put that aspect to use. Today, I'd like to take that idea further and discuss more ways to help put Aspect of the Viper to work for you.

For raiding Hunters, it's extremely easy to switch to Aspect of the Viper during a fight to regen mana and then forget to swap back to Aspect of the Dragonhawk once your mana bar is full again. I know in the past I've had less than stellar numbers on the meters simply because I forgot to switch aspects! Sure, swapping aspects should be a no-brainer, but simple mistakes are easy to make when you're dodging slimes, fire and big ol' dragons. For that reason, I started using ViperNotify. This add-on is very simple and light weight. All it does is notify you via pretty blue alert text that appears on your screen (similar to a raid alert) that your mana bar is full but Aspect of the Viper is still active. It also plays a quick little ding sound (which is, amazingly, not the slightest bit annoying) to catch your attention in case you missed the warning text. There are, of course, several other mods that behave similarly, but ViperNotify is the one I use. This one simple add-on makes it much easier to ensure the best possible performance from your two primary aspects.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tips, Add-Ons, Guides, Buffs, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: Normal dungeon gear for Hunters in Wrath of the Lich King


Welcome to Scattered Shots, the weekly Hunter column where we could really use a plane to head back to Shattrath and pick up more ammo since we haven't bummed a teleport to Dalaran yet.

So. You've breezed past the early 70s. You've checked out the reputation gear for Hunters, and now you're ready to grind. So you've picked up your tabard, and you realize that you still have a question left to answer: Which dungeon should I run? What dungeon has the gear I need to get suited up and ready to run Heroics?

Scattered Shots is here to help. We're going to look at some of the best pre-Heroic drops for Hunters in Wrath, and hopefully give you some idea of what way to go when you look for your next dungeon, or at least what drops to cross your fingers for.

This guide will focus mostly on normal dungeon drops, although where a quest reward, reputation reward, or relatively easy to craft crafted item is a good option for the slot, we'll highlight it as well. By the end of this guide, the Hunter that didn't quite finish their Karazhan runs during Burning Crusade should hopefully have an idea of where to get a good outlay of gear to prepare them for heroics, and eventually for Naxxramas itself.

Good luck on the drops, and good luck winning the rolls over those enhancement shamans!

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Filed under: Hunter, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Quests, Bosses, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Hunter changes for patch 3.0.3


Is it Christmas already? It sure seemed that way when I opened up Patch 3.0.3 and saw so much Hunter love coming out from the box. Sure it's not all good, but it's mostly good. Sort of like Westley only being mostly dead. Let's get right to it... first off, we have Barrage and Improved Barrage now affecting Aimed Shot. This is an awesome buff because let's face it, ever since Steady Shot showed up at the party, nobody's asked Aimed Shot to dance. This also makes all three talents a hell of a lot more attractive, so they're now like some sort of hot mean girls triple play that's come to kick Steady Shot to the curb. Or something like that. I mean, come on, +12% crit to Aimed Shot.

Aspects are now off the Global Cooldown and have a shared 1-second cooldown, which is excellent if you're on the ball with aspect switching. It will no longer interfere with rotations, although the only aspect we really switch up when we're sniping away is the, um, rebalanced Aspect of the Viper. The mana returned per shot is lower by 50%, but it now grants a passive regeneration of 4% of total mana every 3 seconds. Mana is also returned with melee attacks, which means we now actually have a sweet aspect to put up when a Warrior is Whirlwinding our butt.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents

Scattered Shots: Autocast bugs and other animal handling issues in 3.0.2

I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine. And he shall be my Squishy.
Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb loves his Hunter Judgement, but wishes he got the cool looking shoulders too.

So between 3.0.2, the Scourge Invasion, and Hallow's End, my Hunter's seen a lot of play as I've been going after the title and the undead armor and playing with all the new changes on a live server and all, and in that time, I've had some chance to see how stuff works out when it's thrown into the crucible of live server playing. Most of my observations have ended up focusing around pets, which is probably to be expected. After all, they've changed quite a bit. Here's what's I've learned from 3.0.2 in the last few weeks about managing your pet:

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

AotV, Exotics to be changed

Aspect of the Viper is an ability that the developers have been toying with like an indecisive puppy for months now. It's been scrapped and re-written a few times, and I can barely even remember all the iterations it's gone through. Many hunters aren't happy with the current version for PvP. Fortunately for them, neither is Blizzard, so it's getting changed again.

In the new version, half of AotV's regen will work passively - whether you're hitting the opponent or not, you'll get 4% of your max mana every 3 seconds. The other half will remain active, but will work on melee hits as well. This way you'll be regenerating mana whether your target is in melee or at range, and getting at least some mana even if the target is out of LoS.

They're also doing some retuning of exotic pets' specials. The target is for an exotic pet to do 10% more DPS than normal pets. GC says the goal with that is to make exotics seem like a good use of a talent point (along with the 4 bonus pet talent points) without feeling like you have to choice an exotic if you're a BM hunter. I question that a little bit. Let's say a BM hunter gets between 25 and 40% of his DPS from his pet. A 10% boost on that translates to a 2.5 to 4% boost in overall DPS. What hunter is going to skip that just for pet aesthetics? Well, probably the kind that doesn't read articles with numbers in them, I guess. Still, in my book, a damage increase like that is not to be passed up without a good reason.

Filed under: Hunter, Wrath of the Lich King

Hunter changes in beta 8962

There are a slew of new updates to Hunters in the latest beta build, but the biggest one comes to Aspect of the Viper. Blizzard has been tuning this spell for a while -- originally it gave Hunters back their ranged damage as mana (pretty overpowered), and then was tuned down to each shot giving back mana based on twice the base ranged weapon speed. Now it's still based on the base ranged speed, but they've buffed it back up to a percentage of mana -- if you have a base ranged weapon speed of 2, for example, you'll get 4% mana back for every shot that hits. Not a bad deal, and hopefully Blizzard is getting close to settling on making itso that Hunters only need to switch to AotV sometimes, instead of leaving it up all the time.

Most of the other Hunter changes in 8962 are just tweaks -- Kill Shot no longer does a knockdown and got a little damage buff. Tranq shot got added utility, in that it will remove enrage and magic effects rather than just the frenzy effect that was so hard to come by. Misdirection's cooldown got dropped to 30 seconds from two minutes, which means Hunters will get more chances to dump aggro when necessary.

There's one new skill which will make things pretty interesting on the trapping side -- Freezing Arrow lets you fire off an arrow that will lay down a Freezing Trap (which, by the way, now has only a chance to break on damage, instead of 100% certainty). That, combined with some quick Misdirection, could make trapping a whole new game at level 80. Unfortunately, it looks like the tradeoff for that is that we're losing Camouflage, which some Hunters already aren't happy about. But as always, all of these skill and talents are still up for grabs, so maybe we'll see Camo back in some form before it's all over.

Update: Whoops, forgot to mention that AotV is still carrying that 50% damage penalty while on. That's pretty harsh, even with the mana coming back, so look for a buff on that end before 3.0.2 goes live.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, Talents, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: It ain't over till it's over


Scattered Shots occasionally wanders around collecting arrows and bullets when they totally miss the target.

The key to understanding hunters in the beta is to look at the big picture. This is something affecting all classes currently, but I'm going to discuss it in relation to hunters in particular. Beta testing buffs and nerfs ultimately come down to a matter of perspective -- do you see your class changes happening in isolation, for now and forever as long as you and your pet shall live? Or are your particular class changes happening as part of an ever-evolving system involving you, me and everyone else over time?

As you've probably heard, hunters got some nerfs in the latest beta update, and some people are understandably upset about them. I'm not worried about it though -- and now I'll tell you why.

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

Things don't look pretty for PvP Hunters in 8926

The best thing you can say about Hunters in Wrath in this Beta build is that we still have the new Disengage, at least for now. In this build, most of our new PvP tools have had much of their new functionality removed or greatly scaled back in this build.

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

Aspect of the Viper changed again

The Hunter mana regeneration tool, Aspect of the Viper, has been revised again. Currently, in live, it provides passive mana regen. It was recently announced that it was going to be changed to provide 100% of your damage as mana regen, but cut your damage output by 50% (less with talents). This lets the hunter switch it on when they need mana, fill up their mana pool, and switch back to Hawk to DPS some more, as opposed to being in Viper all the time as many hunters do these days.

Apparently, though, it was just a bit too powerful, as many users have commented. Hunters with good gear were filling up their mana bar way too fast. So it's going to be changed again, this time to restore a percentage of your base mana each time you hit. While this does do away with some scaling issues, it seems to introduce others. For instance, this makes a fast weapon vastly more desirable for mana regen. But (say it with me) it's still beta, so I'm confident that they'll work out any game-breaking flaws there may be in this new incarnation.

Filed under: Hunter, Wrath of the Lich King

Breakfast Topic: What are you looking forward to in 3.0.2?

So we're expecting the new pre-Wrath content patch any week now, and with it a whole flood of new mechanics and abilities, such as raid buff stacking. It should be interesting to see how all this new stuff fits in to the current Burning Crusade end game, and how people adapt to it as they prepare to plunge into Wrath. Of course, many will probably get a head start on Inscription, while others may already have a new haircut picked out.

Myself, I'm looking forward to playing around with the new changes to my Hunter. Disengage and the new Freezing Trap mechanics are looking delicious enough to me that I may just see if I can get back into Arenas for a few weeks to check them out. I'm also pretty interested to see how the Aspect of the Viper changes feel on some big boss battles. It'll be nice to have to essentially have no mana regeneration worries ever again, assuming the current version stays as is.

What about you? Given everything we'll likely see in patch 3.0.2, what are you looking forward to doing while you wait for Wrath?

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, The Burning Crusade, Classes, Buffs, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription

8885 for Hunters: AotV reworked

There is a surprising amount of new and interesting things in the latest beta version, build 8885, for the Hunter class. Let's start things off with a bang:

  • Aspect of the Viper changed to: The hunter takes on the aspect of the viper, instantly regenerating mana equal to 100% of the damage done by any ranged attack or ability, but reduces your total damage done by 50%. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

That's a total reworking of the skill. Now it's sort of a cross between Evocation and Shamanistic Rage, but with no cooldown. If you need some mana back, just turn it on and go crazy for a little while. Your DPS will suffer a bit, but you'll have full mana by the end of it. I like the idea.

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Filed under: Hunter, Wrath of the Lich King

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: 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

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