So, we theorized about talented pets a bit quite a few installments of Scattered Shots ago, but now we have the actual trees live and testable on the Wrath Beta, and they seem to be firming up nicely. There's a few promised changes yet to come, such as the removal or lowering of focus costs on many major abilities and talents, and it's still very possible that Blizzard may make changes here and there before live, but I think they're solid enough at this point that we can look at each tree and make some solid predictions about how people will use them and how various talent builds might look.
Posts with tag ravager
Hunter talents are out, and there's definitely a lot to say about them, both good and bad. While we have discussed some of the changes to the lower Survival tree, what we haven't touched on is all the new talents and the talent changes in other trees. If I was to sum it all up in one sentence, I'd say this: The 51 point talents look lackluster, but most of the rest is downright drool inducing.
Marksmanship's early tiers are now full of easily obtainable goodies for any Hunter, Survival's gained even more group and raid buff utility, and Beastmastery has even more amazing pet synergy.
There's a lot to cover, so we'll tackle it one tree at a time. First, we'll look at Marksmanship, which was once premiere Hunter tree, but has fallen a bit to Beastmastery in Burning Crusade. It's certainly seen some marked improvement for Wrath so far, and even if you don't plan to spec Marksmanship, you'll at least want to know about the first few tier talents, as you'll probably want to grab many of them anyway.
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.
The Ravager is probably my biggest personal trophy -- everyone else told me that the proc was trouble (and in fact, I did have to switch out of it in instances to avoid breaking CC, though that may have changed since I last used it), but I just loved the idea of spinning around with a giant axe so much that I just had to have it. And longtime readers will know of my fascination with the Tier 0 Shaman shoulders -- most people aren't big fans, but for some reason, I love them.
It's true -- one player's vendor trash in game is another player's treasured dream loot. What exactly is it that makes us pine for a certain item -- certainly class and playstyle have something to do with it, but it seems like Blizzard makes these items so wild and varied that no matter what you find out there, something will definitely appeal to you more than other players.
If you see any other great Warcraft-related creature creations in Spore, feel free to send them along and you just might see them here. And in the meantime, our sister site BigDownload (who are also hosting the demo) is holding a creature creator contest -- send them your best creature and you could win a EVGA NVIDIA e-GeForce 8800GT, EVGA NVIDIA e-GeForce 9600GT or a free upgrade to the full version of the creature creator game. It's Sporelicious!
Seriously, look at the C'thun. We haven't seen a tentacled, ancient monster this cute since, well, Hello Cthulu.
Gallery: Spore creatures from Azeroth
One of my favorite memories of WoW came from a year and a half or so back, when Alex and I were both leveling a pair of DPS Warriors as alts, mine a Gnome female, his a Night Elf male whom he RPed as being absolutely insane and having an unhealthy love of cheese. We had a friend who was leveling a Druid, another who was leveling a Shadow Priest and a third who was leveling a Warlock. So, it seemed on a lot of nights, all 5 of us would get together and take on whatever dungeon was in our level range. We conquered most of the mid-level dungeons once or twice this way, with no tank -- Alex would just charge ahead screaming and pull a bunch of mobs -- and somehow (we were never sure how) we generally killed them while staying alive. Often, neither of us Warriors made a special effort to tank, we just somehow DPSed them to death before they killed us.
You hear it pretty much all the time if you've ever slightly dipped into the world of Hunters. If you want to play in the big leagues, conventional wisdom says you're pretty much stuck with a select handful of pet types (also known as pet families): Ravagers, Cats, and Raptors for PvE, Scorpids for PvP.
But do you know why those pet families are so desired? What it really comes down to is Hunter roles and abilities.
So Growl has been having some problems since 2.4 went live. Pets refuse to cast it in the right order, which is wreaking havoc with Hunter aggro, especially on boar pets, who depend on a Charge/Growl combination to gain their fabled massive aggro. I myself have noticed that I have a lot harder time keeping aggro from my beloved boar Bonnie when I solo on my Hunter. So now on the PTR, we have some new lines in the latest update of the patch notes:
• Boar Charge: This ability will no longer make Growl cast immediately after it generates excessive threat.
• The pet ability Growl will no longer scale with pet Attack Power.
It should also be noted that Nethaera has said that Growl will now scale with Hunter AP instead of Pet AP, so there's no fear that it's become a non-scaling flat skill.
Now, this all sounds somewhat ominous, but what does it actually mean?
While looking over the new "fake" pet skills page at Petopia earlier today, one of the biggest things that struck me is that the whole Thorns skill that the temporary Crab pets get for the lowbie Hunter taming quests would be a great thing for normal Crab pets to get. Right now, They're stuck learning nothing but Claw, placing them right near the bottom of the pet pantheon - very close to Sporebats, who can't learn any special abilities at all.
My two high level Hunters tamed a Carrion Bird and a Boar, respectively, so I'm lucky enough to have a good selection of skills to use, but I think there should be more options for people who love their offbeat pets like Sporebats or Hyenas or Crocs. They can even use some of the old rumored alpha skills for pets that popped up around the time of Burning Crusade's alpha. I'm hoping that Blizzard shows more types of Hunter pets some love in WoTLK with a wide selection of new skills, be it thorny shells for Crabs, a Cannibalism-type skills for Raptors, or anything else that lets us see Hunters fighting alongside fewer Cats and Ravagers (or in the case of arenas, Scorpids).
What do you think? Should Blizzard focus a bit more on a wider variety of options for Hunter pets? Or should Hunters just take what they can get and be grateful for it? If the former, what types of new pet skills would you like to see?
One pet will be made untamable-- apparently there are issues with the Death Ravager that gets spawned in a quest in the lowbie Draenei area, Azuremyst Isle, and so hunters won't be able to tame him any more. Also, Petopia has PTR info on two new trainable pet abilities, Avoidance and Cobra Reflexes. Avoidance has two ranks and reduces the damage done to pets by AoE (this is aimed directly at endgame PvE pet viability), and Cobra Reflexes has one rank and increases attack speed at a cost to damage done.
As usual, all this info is still subject to change. But it's great that Blizzard is getting more and more pets (and pet abilities) in the mix. Here's hoping the trend continues.
Blades of Light! In one of the best-loved (and most traveled) instances in the game, you'll find this axe with what might be the most fun proc in the game.
Name: "The" Ravager (it's actually just Ravager, but this weapon is so cool it deserves to be singular)
Type: Rare Two-hand Axe
Damage / Speed: 104-157 / 3.50 (37.3)
- For the down and dirty on today's Phat Loot, we're going straight to Isobelle over at Not Addicted, who says, "Why do I have such a stiffy for this Radiant Shard in Waiting? Take a look at that proc!
Chance on hit: You attack all nearby enemies for 9 sec causing weapon damage plus an additional 5 every 3 sec.
Are you kidding me? ALL NEARBY ENEMIES? Whirlwind hits only four additional enemies, has a ten second cooldown, only works in berserker stance, and has a cost of what some might call "much rage". This thing costs zero rage, works in any stance, and will hit as many enemies as you can get into melee range before it procs." Yeah. She loves it. And we do too.
- The only problem? Whenever it procs, you stand there spinning for the whole nine seconds, whether there are enemies around when you're done or not. We're talking endless entertainment here. Isobelle: "It procs All Day Long. It procs procs, which then proc a proc. We've seen it go 4 times in a row, which can be a good thing, or a bad thing. That's like 20 seconds of whirlwind vortex love (when it re-procs, the 9 second timer resets, so you don't get a full 4x9 out of it), but sometimes you want to turn it off. You can't."
- And Isobelle didn't mention it, but we will: the thing looks darn cool, too. As part of Herod's Scarlet set, it goes especially well with his helm and half-shoulder, too.
Oh, and if you haven't noticed yet, Herod yells "Blades of Light!" a lot. Isobelle recommends setting up a macro to /yell that phrase whenever this procs, and we concur.
Getting Rid of It: BOP, Disenchants into a Small Radiant Shard, sells to vendor for 1g 89s 23c.