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Posts with tag serpent-sting

WoW Patch 3.1 PTR Hunter changes

The notes for Patch 3.1 and news on some undocumented changes to classes and glyphs have recently become available, and there are plenty of changes in store for us hunters. You can expect some changes to all three trees (some of which are rather minor) as well as changes to how our pets and glyphs. Lets take a look at some of the information coming down the pipe and see just what effect it will have on our game play.

Beast Mastery

The Beast Mastery tree is slated for just one minor change at the moment. There were hints from Ghostcrawler previously that the tree would receive buffs for Ulduar, but so far nothing major appears to have surfaced. For now, Improved Aspect of the Hawk is receiving a minor facelift in the form of a new spell effect being added to the talent.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Classes, Talents

Scattered Shots: Hunter changes in 3.0.9 and 3.1


Dear Blizzard: Undo the Beastmastery nerfs or the cow gets it. Signed, Scattered Shots.

So as you heard the other day, the dev team admits it. They were a little too overly enthusiastic in their nerfs. Beast Mastery is too low, and will be seeing some buffs "before Ulduar," probably related to Serpent's Swiftness or Kindred Spirits. Of course, Beastmastery Hunters could have told you a while ago that the nerfs were too much, and did. Ghostcrawler not only told us that we had the wrong numbers, but that it hardly mattered because everything would change with Ulduar anyway. So to see him change to this degree is a little disorienting, I must admit.

But anyway, this column is not meant to rake Ghostcrawler across the coals. I think he's a pretty decent guy all around. Besides, it's not the first time he's put his foot in his mouth, and it probably won't be the last, either. Overall, I'm glad he's at least communicating, and that he, as the "face" of the dev team, is at least willing to come out and communicate and admit when they were wrong. What I'm really interested in is exactly where the class is going.

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Filed under: Hunter, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Instances, Raiding, Talents, (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

Hunters get some major love in the Wrath Beta

It's been a busy day on the Hunter Beta boards, with Koraa delivering tidbit after tidbit of great news for Hunters. Here's the breakdown:

These are definitely welcome changes. In PvP, being able to stand up to focus fire or get back to range have long been weaknesses of the class. Having a non-talent way to break out of snares or add a bit of extra defense attacks will go a long way to making a bit tougher. It's not trainable Scatter Shot or pet resilience, exactly, but it's nearly as good as either, and may be better for us in the long run than the former option. Finally, we'll have a dependable way to get away from Hamstring or Crippling Poison that does not involve Beastmastery or being a Dwarf.

Animal Handler has been looking more and more lackluster lately in the face of other mount speed talents that provide more speed and better benefits, especially now that pets will share our hit percentage, so hopefully this revamp makes it desirable again. Similarly, the state of Silencing Shot and its inability to interrupt silence-immune mobs has long been a sticking point with PvE-focused Marksmanship Hunters. So so far, all of the announced changes are definitely welcome news that should hopefully be nothing but useful to Hunters.

We'll definitely be looking forward to this build after next to see the final state of Animal Handler, whether Serpent Sting will be useful for damage purposes again, and whatever other changes -- such as the promised counters to LOS -- Blizzard tests out.

Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Talents, 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

Wrath Hunter Talent Analysis, Part I: Marksmanship

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.

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

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: Leveling 20-30


Scattered Shots = hunter stuff

Two weeks ago we covered some of the new abilities you get from levels 10 to 20 while you progress as a hunter, as well as how to use them to keep your skills sharp. The journey from 20 to 30 is a bit less topsy-turvy. At level 20, of course, you get to start playing with Aspect of the Cheetah and Freezing Trap, which can be a lot of fun, but other than that the new skills you get don't totally change the way you play until you get to level 30 and learn Feign Death. Nonetheless, they deserve a mention.

If you're following the Beast Mastery talent path I laid out last week, then reaching level 20 doesn't give you any super-exciting new abilities either. Your pet will be able to run a bit faster, and will start doing more damage. Once you get the hang of using your Freezing Trap for crowd control, it's pretty much just a straight shot till you reach 30. It may feel a little boring sometimes, but it's really better than a lot of classes have it -- often many classes feel that the 20s are the levels at which the going seems roughest and the class seems weakest because it still lacks a major portion of its abilities. For hunters, it's just more of the same stuff we've been doing up till now.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Leveling, (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: Basics of pet control


This week Scattered Shots comes to you barking and growling, hot on the heels of an overview about some of the cool complexity involved in being a hunter. Today we turn toward our animal half to get a look at how we can start making some of that complexity work for us.

I love hunter pets. I love thinking about pets and writing about pets, and most of all I love managing my pets. I love that yo-yo feeling you can get when you tell your pet to go do something and then it does it well, coming back to you alive and healthy.

But controlling your pet isn't necessarily easy or intuitive at first, and it can take a lot of practice to get used to. Below I've outlined some of the techniques I use to make the most of my pet, and described a way to practice controlling your pet by taking on multiple enemies at once.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Guides, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Scattered Shots: The line of sight between hunters and the Arenas

I'd like to take a break from the hunter leveling goodness we've had the last few weeks in Scattered Shots to take a look at where hunters stand as a class in Arena PvP, and where we might be going in the future. Blizzard developer Kalgan's measurement of how the different classes are faring in the Arena got me thinking quite a bit about the state of hunters -- currently functioning at the lowest place with 50% or less representation in the three Arena types at high rating brackets, followed by mages and shamans, in the 2vs2 Arena especially.

What in the world is causing such a huge discrepancy between hunters and other classes when it comes to high-rating arena representation? When I play in Arenas and Battlegrounds, I don't feel like my class is somehow deficient or underpowered. My team's Arena rating is average -- we're not the best, but not the worst either. When I get beaten, I usually feel like the other team actually played better (or outgeared us, at least), so it's rather hard to see what's so messed up about hunters.

The most obvious issue I can think might be the issue is that of Line of Sight. Hunters obviously have a rough time shooting at things behind sort of obstacle. In battlegrounds there are more wide open spaces, so it seems less of an issue there, but in Arenas it can get fairly annoying. Classes like warlocks and shadowpriests can just put a damage-over-time spell on you, and then hide behind a pillar, while druids can move freely around obstacles to give them plenty of time to heal themselves between your attacks. Warriors and other melee classes can hide for a bit, then get in so close that you can't use your best ranged abilities on them for a few seconds until you can somehow get away.

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Filed under: Hunter, PvP, Arena, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

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