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Cataclysm: Hunter Preview

April 9, 2010

(See, I’m doing my bit to make this blog spoiler friendly!)

I’ll be honest, this preview has left me a little worried about the Hunter class. The change from mana to focus is going to cause the class to change a lot, and I’m currently trying out Rogue, the energy mechanic frustrates me somewhat. I’m a little bit scared that I’ll go into Cataclysm and find that I dislike the Hunter class, and what then? Would I just quit after seeing the new content, or reroll? Anyway, that’s me getting a little ahead of myself because this is, after all, just a preview and things are subject to change. Though from what we’ve seen already, Beast Mastery looks to be a strong contender for most interesting talent tree.

For starters: Cobra Shot:A new shot that deals Nature damage instead of Physical damage. This ability will share a cooldown with Steady Shot. This will give hunters an alternative to Steady Shot on heavily-armored targets, and we will have talent incentives in the Beast Mastery tree to make this a signature shot.” This could either make or break Beast Mastery, giving them an entirely new shot to use instead of Steady Shot. My prediction is that it will hit like a train for a while, but I’m definitely interested in this one. One thing I wonder is how the nature damage aspect will work. Does this mean that Hunters will scale with spell power (or.. intellect I guess now) the same way that Unholy DKs don’t exactly suffer from it? What of hit and resistances?

Trap Launcher: “When used, the next trap can be shot to a location within 40 yards. This provides the current Freezing Arrow treatment to all traps and, as a result, we will be removing the current ability Freezing Arrow. 1-minute cooldown. No global cooldown.” Nice. Freezing Arrow has been a pretty useful tool, this means that we can plonk down an Explosive/Frost/Snake trap in a bundle of enemies in PvP without dragging ourselves into the thick of it at all.

Camouflage: “The hunter enters an obscured state that prevents him or her from taking ranged damage. The character would still be subject to melee or area-of-effect attacks, and dealing or taking damage will break the Camouflage effect. The hunter can move and set traps when under Camouflage, and will receive a damage bonus when attacking while under Camouflage (which will then break the effect).” At first glance, I thought, “what the hell?” and I looked again and I suppose this could be a nice tool for the start of a rotation, especially when used with the new BM talent, Careful Aim which “increases the damage of the next Steady Shot or Cobra Shot, but also increases the cast time of these abilities.” I can live with that, it’s a nice boost for BM.

The new focus mechanic worries me. I get frustrated at Rogue energy which regenerates at roughly 10per second. Focus will regenerate at around 6 per second. Eep. BM has always seemed to me to be the spec which focuses the most on Steady Shot. Steady Shot and Cobra Shot will be the focus regenning shot, thus I can see BM being much better for focus regen. Not to mention BM will receive mastery (which I still haven’t worked out /blush) talents for Haste, which will increase focus regeneration rates.

The pet changes could be just the thing I’ve been asking for! For starters, the mention of active and stabled pets, enabling us to keep pets that we may have certain attachments to but only carrying around the pets we plan to use, has been further confirmed. The amount of active pets allowed to us will probably be 3, though BM hunters may be getting 5 active slots. To switch a pet from passive to active and vice versa we will need to visit a Stable Master, which makes sense. The other pet changes I am particularly fond of? “Additionally, hunters will now start with a race-appropriate pet at level 1 and will be able to tame a different pet at level 10. We are also changing many pet family abilities to provide important buffs and debuffs. The intention is to allow the hunter to be able to swap pets and fill a position if a certain role is missing from the group. The goal is to have all pets provide a damage increase that is very similar and no greater than any other pet. Some examples of the changes we are making to the pet families are listed below:

  • Wind Serpents: Will provide a debuff that increases the amount of spell damage taken by an enemy (similar to a weaker version of the warlock ability Curse of Elements).
  • Ravagers: Will provide a debuff that will increase an enemy’s Physical damage vulnerability (similar to a weaker version of the warrior ability Rampage).
  • Hyenas: Will provide bleed damage (similar to a weaker version of the druid ability Mangle).

Yes, yes, yes! This could be just the thing to bring back a bit of variety in pet choices, and enforcing Hunters as a ranged class as early as the 1-10 bracket. Good. Those of us who’ve played for a while can manage okay with kiting mostly, though some players struggle with it, and even more so for newer players who may get used to meleeing as normality. Not to mention this is exactly what Razorstorm commented about in my last post ranting about pet mechanics. Nice call 😛

TL;DR Conclusion: I like a lot of these ideas. I think I’m drawn more towards Beast Mastery as my Cataclysm spec from the sounds of a lot of the changes (and I don’t tend to enjoy BM as much as MM or Surv as it stands now). The pet changes might well be just what the doctor ordered, and if these go through I’ll be happy with it. I’m terrified of where focus will lead the Hunter class, as I struggle with energy classes, I’m worried it might lead to me rerolling if I really don’t like it (probably Shadow Priest or Warlock if it came down to it), though of course I will give it a try because I will probably be completely wrong and it will make the Hunter class just a little bit cooler. Of course, if you want to read the full changes, MMO Champion has them up, this post is purely a recap.

You might notice I haven’t kept up on Cataclysm changes too much, but I’d like to have a rough idea on how to play my class when it does come around.

No Cataclysm Spoilers!

April 9, 2010

After trying to catch up on my reader a little I came across a post from Icedragon stating that she wishes her Cataclysm to remain unspoiled and I’d like to add – me too. I’m cool knowing class changes, I’d like to go into the expansion with a vague knowledge of class changes: talents, pets, gear/stats, things like that so that I don’t spend hours wondering why the heck I have energy and how to use it, I can get on with seeing the new areas instead, which is the part I’d like to be unspoiled. The lore (that hasn’t yet been spoiled), the quests, zones, NPCs, little funny things that it would be nice to remain unspoiled. I want to see everything on the day, that’s the part that makes a new expansion so fun for me: the discovery of new things. It feels like Christmas!

All I’m asking is just to know, if you plan to write about these things, please make it obvious enough in your title or the first couple of lines, or let me know in advance to put your blog aside until the expansion hits.

You've Lost That Epic Feeling

April 8, 2010

Erc wrote a post, I read it, I commented. I realised that my rant about emblems, dungeons, raids, and my opinion on how this game could work really well in regards to gearing, raiding and hardmodes, mixed in with a little of my TBC nostalgia, was a post in itself. Or perhaps a rant too long for a comment.

Epic Dungeons

Many people say that epic dungeons are long gone. They pine for the days of Blackrock Depths, Maraudon, Dire Maul, but in essence I believe that Blizzard have given us an almost perfect middle ground in the Frozen Halls. Three dungeons, the Forge of Souls, the Pit of Saron, and the Halls of Reflection, which are intended to be run back to back as you help Lady Sylvanas or Jaina, but the best part is that because they have been split into three separate instances, they can also be treated as such, making them just a little more PUG friendly than Blackrock Depths ever was. I know it’s not quite the same thing, and I love the long epic dungeons, but I think it’s the best we’re going to get. Mind you, I hope we get something bloody long and epic in the form of Uldum after waiting this long for it.

Emblems

The thing with emblems is something I haven’t been happy with since they introduced Conquest emblems for running heroics. Yeah, great, I can gear up my alts, but I’m not fond of the idea that Naxxramas, Sartharian, Malygos, and Ulduar are pretty much skipped, aside from quick weeklies (for more emblems!!) and zerg runs. These were well designed raids, why change things so much that they become almost forgotten and left behind?

The Burning Crusade (and “Badgers”)

Back in TBC (nostalgia moment) we had 2 10 mans. Karazhan and Zul’Aman. We also had just one type of emblem: Badge of Justice. Originally, you could only receive badges from heroics, and heroics were fucking hard. I can remember back on my Warlock at the beginning, we got a group together for Heroic Underbog. We tried several times, even with the Rogue kiting one all the way back to the door we couldn’t get past the 2 bog lords before the first boss. This was how difficult heroics originally were. It wasn’t until later on in the expansion that heroics were nerfed, and a little later we could receive badges from raid bosses. This was a good thing, it made gearing up much easier and through TBC we would run Kara every Friday for badges, and sometimes gear. We’d take our mains, our alts, and sure it did get boring, but nowhere near as boring as Trial did. It was long, and epic, and we had a few laughs while we did it. That was the difference.

I was never a fan of the removal of the Black Temple and Mount Hyjal attunements as early on as they did, because when you killed Kael’thas and Lady Vashj for that attunement, you had a feeling of pride much bigger than any achievement, because they were HARD. The first couple of bosses in BT and Hyjal seemed almost like a “and now you can relax for a bit” reward for defeating two very difficult encounters, once they’d removed that, it felt just a little cheapened. I don’t think they shouldn’t have done it at all, I just think they should have waited until the 30% nerf.

Either way, once heroics became farmable and badges could be gained from raids, and there was some awesome gear from badges towards the end, not to mention Magister’s Terrace, with this, you could gear up enough to do Black Temple. Even so, there wasn’t really any skipping of content aside from Kael and Vashj. In my opinion, this was good.

Wrath of the Lich King

The beginning of Wrath was okay, Naxx seemed pretty piss easy to start with but hey ho, it was the first raid. Heroics were easily puggable to allow you to gear up to start raiding, which was great. Ulduar was a nice, big, epic raid instance. Then the Trial patch hit, you could get gear equal to Ulduar level, not to mention they changed the way hardmodes worked, which were fine in Ulduar. If Blizzard had kept the gearing system the way it was around the middle of the Ulduar patch (after a few nerfs, the easy modes are supposed to be doable after all), then content wouldn’t need to be skipped so much and the game would feel less like this linear, bland factory of mass production.

This is why I am pretty nostalgic towards TBC, there were 2 10 mans without a 25 man version, which made them less repetitive. The encounters were fun, the raids were epic. I have some great memories from Kara and heroic farming with friends, not to mention Black Temple runs, which stands as my favourite raid instance even now. Comparing then, to the game now, well.. there is a lot of difference. Things are too easy and repetitive now, raids aren’t that fun anymore, when I do raid it’s just doing the same thing over and over.. I pine for TBC, heck, I pine for Naxx and early Ulduar. When it’s just about having the best gear and keeping up, the game really loses its epic feeling.

My Opinions

My ideal situation would be kind of a mix between TBC and now. There would be multiple types of emblems, one for heroics, and separate types for each raiding tier, like in early Wrath. These would reward boots, trinkets, rings, the usual stuff, but no tier loot, that would be received from drops only. Hardmodes would exist the way they did in Ulduar, you would have to activate them in differing ways rather than simply clicking a “I want this to be heroic” button on the raid interface. The hardmodes would be fun, the easy modes would be doable for the more casual players, perhaps a buff similar to the one in Icecrown too. No content would be skipped just because people didn’t have to anymore and therefore couldn’t be bothered, it would work for all types of players. Thus mixing up the game a bit more, giving some variety, and less of the repetitiveness that leads to so much burnout. We’re getting there, the game is improving a lot, but there’s still a little way to go in my opinion.

When is the last time this game felt truly epic for you?

Server Instability

April 8, 2010

Just a quick note to let you guys know that the server my blog is hosted on has been having some problems, so I’m sorry for any downtime you have or do notice. Should be moved off it soon™ 🙂

Ooh, yeah, I was interviewed over at WoW in an Hour, feel free to take a look but don’t mock me for my typos, I was sleepy when I replied! If you’d like to see any other interviews, take a look here, it’s an interesting series. Thank you for your time Gameldar 🙂

2010 WoW Goals Recap

April 7, 2010

Around New Year’s, I did a post detailing my WoW goals for 2010, with my imminent server transfer, I thought now would be a nice time to check my progress.

  1. Complete Loremaster before Cataclysm.” Check! Finished this one on Monday. My timing actually changed to “before I faction change” because of the way quests work when you faction change, my progress would have been wiped losing me several hundred quests already complete. Now I shouldn’t need to worry about it too much.
  2. Reach 10,000 Honourable Kills.” Um.. yeah.. *hides* I’m still only at 2400ish. I got around 40 last night while defending Thunder Bluff though. That counts, right?
  3. Finish the AQ quest chain.” Well, I’ve got started. I need to get some goggles from Molten Core, snaffle some Goblin Rocket Fuel, and find Draconic for Dummies II. I’m a little further than I was when I made the goal and I intend to get a fair bit done over the next few weeks, but it’s not finished yet.
  4. Gear up all of my 80s with the BiS gear available from 5 mans.” You know, I have tried. Thing is, running heroics over and over gets pretty damn boring especially when you’re on your own and all you seem to get is some kind of sequence between Old Kingdom, Halls of Stone, and Gundrak. My Warlock and Priest are pretty much at the point I want them, my Death Knight and Paladin could use some work.
  5. Level Hadlo my warlock to 80.” Success! Once at 80, I decided I needed to race change, I’m not a fan of the female Undead model. So she became Jaedia the Blood Elf Warlock. She can craft plenty of useful gems with her Jewelcrafting which has made me a pile of gold, her mining is levelled, and she has epic flying. Only thing she is missing is the cloak from 5 man TotC HC, or the BoE one from Faction Champions 25.
  6. Level Kensa my 65 fecow druid.” She’s been levelled to 68 and her Alchemy is maxed. So she can do everything I needed her to do. Might level a Druid on Terenas instead at some point. I like my alts to compliment my main with their professions and such.
  7. Level Jaedi my draenei warrior and see how much gold she can make 1-80.” Deleted. I made her a female Human instead called Briella. She made it to 25 before I saw something shiny. She’ll be next after the Rogue I think. On the topic of ‘see how much gold she can make’, I’m testing that on Argent Dawn, completely new server, no heirlooms, etc. and I’ve made about 3500g so far at level 62 (barely touched Hellfire quests), so not too bad!
  8. Level my rogue.” I’ve been levelling *a* Rogue, just not the specific Rogue I meant. This will be my next 80, I’m determined.
  9. Same as above for my mage, they’re both in the 20s.” My Mage reached level 41 before I came close to quitting and then SAN was formed and I started focusing on my Rogue instead. If I level a Mage now, it’ll probably be on Terenas. Shame really, abandoning my first Blood Elf at level 41.
  10. I’d also like to get 100 mounts on Fae.” I will go back to working on this at some point, it is going to require a few drops, mind you I can get a few mounts while I’m grinding back upto Crusader when I faction change, and I think I can afford 1 or 2 PvP mounts with my 630 Stone Keeper’s Shards, so I’ll get there.
  11. Finally finish getting my Rusted Proto Drake.” SO DESPERATE FOR THIS. I’ve mentioned it in my to do list before I transfer, and it really bugs me that it’s the only achievement I need, and always will. The same way it bugs me knowing that I finally had a bear group (back in the ZA days) and the main tank buggered off after he got his..
  12. Finish all holiday achievements.” Yarp, working on it. Just need Children’s Week and Midsummer now. I seem to be one of a rare few that quite likes the Violet Proto Drake, which is cool, because I’ll have 2 when I finish my meta. My Priest being my main for so long before completed this at Christmas. Yep, my alt has the Violet Proto Drake before my main.
  13. Find and kill Loque’nahak.” Done and received Frostbitten! This would have been a couple of months ago now, I was so proud of myself. I’d say Frostbitten and Bloody Rare are harder than Loremaster because it depends on chance. Being in the right place at the right time and hope you kill it before somebody else can.
  14. Get Chef and Salty.” I got Chef, need 9 more recipes for 160 cooking recipes. Salty is probably one of the next I will work on, I need to get my fishing head on first. Not to mention the Rat pet and Turtle mount, I need to try and fish those up too.
  15. 40 Exalteds.” I’m on 37 at the moment, though I think I’ll lose one when I transfer because I have Tranquillien the Blood Elf lowbie faction. I pugged my way to Black Temple and Mount Hyjal exalted, and I just need Ashen Verdict, Argent Dawn, Thorium Brotherhood, and probably Frostwolf for my last one.

Count: 3.5/10 – a lot in progress and a few have changed over the past few months. I can safely say that my new goals are as follows:

  1. Finish the AQ chain.
  2. Complete BB King.
  3. Achieve One Light in the Darkness.
  4. Take over some gold, heirlooms and things to sell when I faction change and server transfer.
  5. Level my Rogue on Argent Dawn to 80.
  6. Gear up my Death Knight.
  7. Level my Human Warrior on Terenas to 80.
  8. Get Salty, plus Rat pet, and Turtle mount.
  9. 40 Exalteds, only a few left.
  10. Complete Children’s Week and Midsummer for the holiday meta.
  11. Reach 10,000 honourable kills.
  12. Obtain 100 mounts.

Anything else I feel like doing will be done as and when I’m in the mood. I make these lists because I enjoy the game more with certain goals in mind, even if I never actually reach those goals. I first and foremost play for fun.

Dear Idiot

April 6, 2010

This blog post is brought to you as a product of Rage™. No, it’s not Ryyu, it’s Jae. Bear with me, I’ll be back to the rainbows and snuggles tomorrow.

Snarky Elitist Who Can’t Even Play Their Own Class. Look, I’m cool with people who struggle to play as well as others, there’s no rule saying you have to read and live by the ten commandments of Elitist Jerks, but if you’re going to be elitist and look down your nose at other people for being “bad” at their respective classes, at least know your class inside-fucking-out, because IT MAKES NO SENSE. Stop being bitchily snarky at people for no real reason, it doesn’t make you cool, it makes people want you to piss off.

Those Who Think They’re Awesome 4chan Trolls. YOU’RE NOT. You sound like irritating little children, and at best, pathetic little bullies! The real 4chan trolls can on a rare occasion be funny, the kind I’m talking about are mimicking other people’s behaviour. You know what that makes you? Fucking sheep! Talk like a normal human being, ‘lololol’ is not a word, and get your own fucking opinions.

The Two Who Openly Flirt Outside The Bank. SHUT THE FUCK UP. Everybody who ever mentions you wants you to fuck off. And what the hell does <99p even mean? You stand there chatting away in /say about absolute bollocks, whatever happened to whispers? Party chat? Heck, as far as I know, you’re the only two in your guild! You’re not funny and you’re not cool. You’re just annoying. And you make me fucking miss ‘tee hee girls’. Swear to God. Here’s a screenshot for those of you who don’t believe how annoying this is.

People Who Still Harp On About Gearscore And Trash DPS. News flash: Gearscore is pointless and high trash DPS can be achieved by spamming 1 button over and over.. Having 6k gearscore and doing 15k trash DPS does not, in fact, make you “L33T”. It means you have picked up some gear and can press a button over and over, CONGRATULATIONS! Nobody cares. Harp on about that 15k DPS when it’s achieved on a boss fight (excluding buffed fights such as Hodir) when you’re doing the jobs you’re assigned to and THEN I’ll be impressed. Oh, and if you post meters in guild purely to boast? Sod off. For those of you about to defend gearscore: it can be cheated. A gear inspection is much, much better.

Those Who Literally Threaten Other People. When you threaten somebody, tell them that you’re going to kill them.. you’re actually pathetic. This is a com.put.er. game. Idiot. You don’t have a gun. You’re not going to anybody’s house. And you most definitely DON’T LOOK COOL. In fact, I think their words speak louder than mine in analysing how utterly pathetic they really are if they choose to resort to a threat on somebody’s life.

The Dick Of The Server. Every server has one, the guy who thinks they are utterly awesome for some reason or another. Will probably spam /2 or show off in Orgrimmer/Ironforge about something they ninjad and all the idiots of the server will throw “ooh aahs” at their epeen. JUST NO. STOP. Those legendaries you’re parading around like some kind of retarded disco? The people who you actually want to impress know you didn’t earn them and we all think you’re a fucking inbred idiot. And that guy in the top guild you’re licking the arse of? Note how he’s not getting you into his guild? Yeah, he thinks you’re a moron. He’s right. GET THE FUCK OVER YOURSELF.

PS. The title for this post came from The Mana Obscura. I had a rant on Twitter about needing to release a bit of rage that’s been building up, all that being nice I do? It takes it’s toll when you’re holding back from yelling at dicks. Fanks! Feel much better now.