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Posts with tag beast-mastery

GC answers Hunter questions

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."

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches

Ghostcrawler: Sorry BM Hunters, our bad

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?

Thanks, Tribadala!

Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Forums

WoW Insider Show Episode 74: True opinions

Last weekend's podcast was an excellent one: Turpster and BRK were on with me, and we had a great time chatting with chatters, answering your emails, and covering the most popular posts of the past week. We answered some emails about the best Rogue spec to choose at level 35, the People in Chicago who Drink and WoW group (and don't forget to join the official WoW Insider page), and we talked about the 3.0.8 bugs and what's up with the Lunar Festival, going on all this week.

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 theshow@wow.com.

Thanks for listening as always, have a great week. Oh, and I almost forgot. Listener Traenall made this video after hearing Turpster's plans for gaining rep from the Timbermaw this week. Very funny.

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Filed under: Hunter, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Podcasting, Odds and ends, Instances, Humor, Making money, WoW Insider Show

Wrath of the Lich King class changes roundup

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.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Scattered Shots: Wrath of the Hunter


Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb is totally making plans to walk with rhythm so that he can attract the worm.

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.


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

Beast Mastery: Spiders


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.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

Beast Mastery: Bats


My very first pet was a bat. As soon as my white-haired Troll turned Level 11, I hied off to Tirisfal Glades and sought out Ressan the Needler, one of only two tameable all-white bats in the game. Of course, some people mistook him for those semi-albino bats found in the Eastern Plaguelands, but true pet connoisseurs knew better. Even when Hunters started turning to those 1.0 speed bats from Zul'Gurub, I stuck to my white bat. All pets were eventually normalized but now in the Echoes of Doom, each pet has its own ability, making our choices of pets even more special and important.

In Patch 3.0.2, all bats now have Sonic Blast as their unique, bat-exclusive ability. It's a 2 second stun with negligible damage on a one-minute cooldown. As far as Hunter pet abilities go, Sonic Blast is pretty run-of-the-mill and isn't significantly great to merit taming a bat for. It pales in comparison to the Ravage skill of Ravagers, for example, which is on a 40-second cooldown. Ravage is melee range ability while Sonic Blast has 20 yards -- an irrelevant bonus considering our pets are almost always at melee range. It's only a little better for chasing and stunning, but otherwise, I would much rather have it available every 40 seconds than have some extra range.

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion

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


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

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

Ask a Beta Tester: It's all about the money


We have a lot of profession questions today, but also a few about Achievements, the Beast Mastery 51-point talent, and what happens when you push Death Knights off a cliff:

Riley
asks...

How is the Shaman Hex ability working? Does the target still have control of movement and does the PvP trinket work against it?

Hex is a the crowd-control spell for Shamans referenced by the devs at the class panel here, and it's been tinkered with a lot since we first heard about it. It was originally meant to be more of an emergency-only, short-duration CC. In its present form, Hex's duration has been increased to 30 seconds and it doesn't necessarily break on damage. However, in PvP the target can control where they go, the PvP trinket does work (you can also shapeshift out of it as a Druid), and it's considered a curse and can be dispelled by Mages, Druids, and restoration Shamans (who will have the ability do dispel curses with a 31-point talent Cleanse Spirit). Think of it as a somewhat odd combination of Counterspell, Fear, and Polymorph.

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Filed under: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Shaman, Herbalism, Alchemy, Engineering, Tailoring, Enchanting, First Aid, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Economy, Expansions, Features, Classes, Making money, Enchants, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, Achievements

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