Thursday, September 3, 2009

There is no cookie cutter spec

People aren't going to like hearing this, but

There is no Cookie-Cutter Spec.

I'm mainly a hunter so I'm writing it for hunters, but its true for every class. There is more than one way to make a Marksmanship build or a Survival build, or whatever build. You should be spending talents based on your personal environment. (Yes, some may be more fluid than others, but nothing there is no solid spec.)

Lets take Marksmanship for example:
  • Do you run out of mana often? Get Efficiency.
  • Is your gear pretty good and do you have some mana batteries in your raids? Drop Efficiency.
  • Do you raid with the same people all the time, and is another of them also a Marksmanship Hunter? Try to split talents- one of you get Improved Hunter's Mark, and the other get Trueshot Aura.
  • Do you have a Paladin's wisdom AND lots of replenishments and just don't ever see yourself needing much mana? Then why keep Rapid Recouperation?
  • Is your hit rating low? put point(s) into Focused Aim
  • Is your Armor Penetration maxxed? Drop Improved Arcane Shot and put the points into Improved Steady Shot.
  • Do your healers suck and always run out of mana? Consider going Survival and getting them more Replenishment

Yes, there are some talents (like Chimera Shot, for example,) that you just need to have to be succesful. But you really can't just blindly follow someone's spec and think its the same you need.

When building a good spec for DPS, think "what talent point that I have access to will give me the biggest DPS boost?" and go from there. For example, Improved Aspect of the Hawk will let you shoot faster, but Endurance Training won't help DPS at all.

Example. Say you are at this point in a build, and don't know where to go next. Efficiency can increase your DPS by saving you from going into Aspect of the Viper, Rapid Recuperation will help you in a similar way, Wild Quiver gives you a chance at an extra DOT, Silencing Shot does some damage, but is on a 20s cooldown, etc.

So before you ask "What should my spec be?" go through and think about each talent. If you don't want to waste time, do it on a flight from Borean Tundra to Howling Fjord or something. Peggle can wait.

Like I said above, there are some points that everyone should definitely have. For a Marksman, these are the must-haves of your build:

Then in the other trees...

That's only 55/71. The other 16 points can change based on your situation. Yes, some may be almost always chosen (like Trueshot Aura), but others change based on raid composition, stats from gear and sometimes even based on what boss you are fighting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hunters, Mana, and Cataclysm

Hunters won't have mana anymore? This better be good, because as of yet, I'm NOT ok with it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Furrymammoth's (short) Guide to Ulduar- part Three: Mimiron and Hodir

The Keepers of Ulduar (2 of the 4
This is a 4-phase fight.

Phase 1: Leviathan MKII
Ranged/Healers: spread out using about 1/3 of the room. Make sure healers can reach everyone. Stand at least 18 yards away from the boss (because of Shock Blast.) The MKII will occasionally shoot out a Napalm Shell that does about 10k fire damage on the spot plus another 6k fire damage/sec for 8 seconds. This hits everyone within a 5-yard radius. So be at least 6 yards away from anyone else. If you get hit by one, the flame graphic is only graphical. No reason to move out of the flame if it has already hit you.
Tanks/Melee DPS: Look out for shock blast (if you have good spell detail, you'll see lightning coming out during cast. There will be a cast timer), which does 100,000 damage to everyone in 15 yards. 5 second cast, so GTFO. BUT watch out for mines, right behind you the MKII will drop a little circle of mines that explode for about 20k damage each.
Tanks, continued: Plasma Blast hits the tank for 30k damage (17k in regular) PER SECOND for 6 seconds, ever 45 seconds or so. Be ready with some healer/tank trick (shield wall, Guardian Spirit, something). If you need multiple tanks to handle this, plan for it.

Other than getting away from things that'll kill you, its effectively a tank and spank- pretty easy once you see it once or twice. Take him down until he's low and he'll disappear. You'll have some in-combat down time before phase 2 starts.

Phase 2: VX-001 (Personal Assault Cannon)
No threat- So kill it fast.

He will occasionally cast heat wave- 10k fire damage then another 2k/s for 5 seconds to the whole raid. The other main source of normal damage is Rapid burst, shooting in a "frontal cone" that goes to the back edge of the room. If you are on the edge of this, step out. But it needs to get healed through.

Avoidable Damage (must be avoided or you'll die):
1) Rocket Strike: targets a place where a player is standing and will hit for 5 million damage (about 3 yard radius). Area has a red circle highlighted. Step out if you see the circle.
2) Spinning Up. The Cannon takes some time to aim then will begin Laser Barrage, killing everyone it hits. It starts where it is facing and then spins clockwise for just over 1/3 of the room. Either run to the right of the aim spot or be ready to continue running left. Either way, reconvene afterward so that everyone can be healed properly.

Melee, its a good idea to always stay behind the rocket.

Phase 3: Aerial Command Unit
Have loot of free for all.
I've seen warriors tank it and I've tanked it as a hunter. If a ranged tanks it, healers need to be ready to heal him more than a tank would. He's in the air though. He shoots plasma balls that do about 10k damage to whoever is tanking it.
Assign some ranged (with slowing spells) to take out bomb bots that explode if they reach a target. Explodes for about 25k (25 or 10 man). Take them out. In 25-man, they have 50k hp, and they have 20k in 10-man.
Tank assault bots and other trash. Priority is to kill assault bots. They will drop a Magnetic Core when killed, which can be picked up then dropped below the ACU to bring it down and be taken out.

Phase 4: V-07-TR-0N
3 separately-targetable parts, a combo of the first 3 phases. The tank is on bottom, the ACU on top, and the cannon in the middle. The tank and ACU need to be tanked, and they all need to be killed within 10 seconds of each other. Set up DPS in a way where that can happen (I've seen split DPS evenly and take tank and ACU out most of the way then switch all DPS to the Cannon, then switch back in a mannor such that they'll all die at the same time.
The tank still has proximity mines and shock blast, but loses plasma blast and napalm shell.
The cannon still has Rocket strike and laser barrage (spinning up), and occasionally does about 5k damage to the whole raid.
The ACU still has its Plasma Ball which hits whoever is tanking it.


This is kind of like the alextraza fight in Nexus- you need to keep moving or damage will stack up on you. So jump between each cast (or 2). Don't let this stack up.
There are 2 types of ice that fall from the sky. One drops in a circle about 5 yards wide. Avoid these always. The other is about 10-15 yards wide. When you see these (plus hear the emote "Winds of the North Consume You"), stand near them until they fall and form a pile of snow. Flash freeze will be cast and everyone not on the snow pile will be stuck in ice and will either need to be DPS'd out or will die. Don't let this happen.

Hodir also randomly casts freeze, which is like a frost nova effect. It can be dispelled, blinked, EMFH'd, whatever'd. Mass-dispel is nice.

There are 3 types of buffs that come from the friendly NPCs. You should start by breaking them all out of their flash freezes, and mark the gnomes (mages). After the first pull only break them out and they will break out the rest of the NPCs. Have some ranged constantly stand by the gnomes to get their "singed" buff from the toasty fires they lay down. If someone has a bunch of sparks coming from them that means the shaman buffed them and they should get in a group. The beams of light from the sky are also good. These are all buffs that should be used as much as possible.

Hodir sometimes casts "frozen blows" doing some AOE to the raid as well as extra damage to the tank.

Pretty much- stay out of bad stuff, in good stuff, and keep moving.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Best part of being a Night Elf Hunter

A little break from this Ulduar thing...

Best part of being a Night Elf Hunter: typing /flirt, hearing "I hope you're not afraid of snakes," then dropping my snake trap.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Furrymammoth's (short) Guide to Ulduar: Part 2: The Antechamber

The Antechamber of Ulduar

The Assembly of Iron
There are 3 bosses. Once the first goes down, the other two each get a 25% damage buff. After the second dies, the buff on the remaining one goes from 25% to 50%. I suggest kill order:
Steelbreaker -> Runemaster Molgeim -> Stormcaller Brundir.
You need 1 tank each. Try to stay at least 30 yards away from Brundir until you start fighting him (other than the tank holding him, of course). Take down one at a time, as the remaining bosses get healed to full when one of the other's die.

2 circles on ground:
Blue- "Rune of Power" gives everyone a BIG damage increase. Meaning- if you can stand on it and attack the target, do so. But be positive that the bosses are not standing on it. That is damage that cannot be healed through.
Green- "Rune of Death." Get out of this. You will die. I'm not kidding.

When on steelbreaker, tanks & healers should be ready for fusion punch. This does about 20k/35k (normal/heroic) nature damage to the tank, plus adds a debuff that does another 15k/20k per second on the tank, for 4 seconds. This debuff is MAGIC and should be removed ASAP. Keep the boss out of the Runes of Power. Does some minor raid-wide AoE (1.5k-2k nature damage/sec) Otherwise, tank and spank.

If he is not the first boss killed, he will begin to cast Static disruption on random raid members, which does damage to them and everyone within 6 yards of them (so stay at least 6 yards away from everyone else).

If he is the last one up, he kills a tank every 60 seconds in normal, or 30 seconds in heroic. Once "Overwhelming power" is cast on the tank, the boss should be taken by someone else and the tank with that debuff should run at least 15 yards away from everyone. Plus, whenever someone dies, Steelbreaker gets a 25% damage buff and heals himself for 20% of his health (reducible by healing-reducing spells like Aimed Shot).

Runemaster Molgeim
If he is not the first boss killed, he casts rune of death occasionally. It is big, green, and all members of the group should stay out of it.

If this is the last boss alive, he summons adds that explode in a 30 yard radius from spawn point. a big amount of raid damage. Try to stay spread out, and be ready to heal those that take it.

Stormcaller Brundir
Chain Lightning. When in range, stay spread out at least 10 yd away from everyone else, if possible. Can be interrupted.
Overload- 6 second channel, does a ton of nature damage to everyone within 20 yards. All players must run at least 20 yards away during the channel. Cannot be interupted.

If he is not the first boss killed, he will start a lightning whirl, which needs to be interrupted asap as it spits out bolts of lightning every second, doing damage to everyone it hits.

If he is the last one up, he cannot be stunned. He also occasionally lifts up into the air and zaps anyone (including pets!) near being under him. He changes targets randomly. Kite and stay away. A tank should get ready to pick him up as soon as he begins to come down from this. Aggro is reset, so the tank needs to start from scratch again.

Kologarn has three targetable parts- his body, his left arm, and his right arm. The body needs to be tanked, the other two do not. However, there are adds that also need to be tanked.

Watch out for: Eye beams. If you see two beams appear next to you, start running and they will follow behind. Do not run through the raid- you'll kill everyone. But run so you don't die. This is imperative.
Left Hand casts Shockwave occasionally (Kologarn yells "Oblivion!"), and does raid-wide big damage. Heal it up.
Right hand will pull up 3 players, doing big DPS to those three . They cannot cast spells so heals need to be done on them and if they are healers their assignments need to be covered. They are broken out after 450k (heroic) damage is taken to the hand (150k in normal). If they aren't broken free after 8 seconds, they die anyway.

All DPS should be on the right arm when it is up!

Kill order:
Ranged: Right arm->rubble adds->Kologarn body
Melee: Right arm-> Kologarn body

Right before the right arm dies, melee should move away and offtank(s) should get ready to hold rubble adds. They explode when they die, so try not to take them all out at the same time. Actually, make it happen, don't just "try."

Kologarn's body takes a massive hit of his damage when his arm dies. This is how you take him out. When the right arm respawns, go back to it.


When a Feral Defender dies, a large black circle on the ground drops. Stay out of the circle

The raid should always stay very close together and always behind the tank (the tank should be between the boss and the entire party), because of Sonic screech which does a huge amount of damage in a frontal cone, but is split up by everyone in its path. Everyone needs to share this damage. After fear, interrupt the her Sentinel Blast.

The pull is the hardest part:

Pull: should be done by a DK tank's death and decay or a hunter's snake trap + shaman's totems. During this pull, everyone should be hiding behind a wall so that the sanctum sentries (4 in heroic, 2 in normal) do not pounce (this will kill the target). Kill these adds 1-by-1. Keep them fairly separated. A sentry gets a 50% damage buff from each other sentry within 20 yards of it.

Kill order:
Sanctum Sentry -> Swarming Guardians -> Feral Defender (first 2-3 times) -> Auriaya.

In other words:
Medium cats -> Small cats (AoE) -> Big cat -> Crazy cat lady.

A little AoE will kill swarming guardians. Every time the Feral defender comes up, it is less powerful than the time before it. Take it out at least twice. When it dies, it leaves a large black circle of death (Seeping Feral Essence). The boss should be kited to the next circular zone in the room. The rest of the raid needs to stay behind the tank at all times during this move. Always keep an eye on exactly where "behind the tank" is, as the boss shifts around from time to time.

Furrymammoth's (short) Guide to Ulduar: Part 1: The Siege of Ulduar

The Siege of Ulduar

Flame Leviathan

In Flame leviathan, we each have 1 of 5 different roles- siege engine driver, siege engine gunner, demolisher driver, demolisher gunner, and chopper driver.

Tank: There is no tank- the boss is kited by demolishers and siege engines, with the target switched every 30 seconds. If you are kiting, avoid getting hit. If you are not kiting, also avoid getting hit. Or you will be seriously hurt and will probably end up wiping.

Melee: Siege engine drivers. use melee abilities. Save speed boost for kiting. Back up before a target change.
Ranged: Demolisher drivers. Stay pretty far away in case you get kited. Your energy consists of pyrite which is forked in by your gunner- so get close enough to the pyrite on the ground so they can fill you up.

Utility: Gunners-
Siege engine gunners' main goal is to get pyrite on the ground for the demolishers. They also help with shielding the tank if needed (when kiting). If you are currently the machine kiting the boss and you see a tar patch ahead that isn't lit up, light it up with your fire so the boss takes damage.
Demolisher gunners have 2 main goals- keep the demolisher loaded with pyrite, can also get pyrite out of the air. These guys also need to be ready to load themselves into the catapult and be shot by the driver to the Boss, taking out turrets. Then get back to the demolisher with help from choppers. If you are currently the machine kiting the boss and you see a tar patch ahead that isn't lit up, light it up with your fire so the boss takes damage.

Utility: Choppers-
Role 1: Drop tar in the boss' path to slow him down. This can be lit on fire by other players to do damage to any enemies in the tar.
Role 2: transport players from FL to their Demolishers after an overload. Heal them when you can.

I suggest that the demolisher drivers to be launched get marked with some raid mark to make it easier to find them.

Hard-harder mode: up to 4 different towers. If any come with pillars of light of any color, stay out of them. They might follow you, but stay out of them anyway. Or you will die.
Tower of Storms- FL physical damage increased by 25% + some AoE damage to raid for a little bit. Stay out of pillars of light.
Tower of Flames- FL Fire damage increased by 50%. Also will have flames of fire slowly fall from the sky in a clock-wise fashion, starting where FL comes out. Stay far away, and stay out of the fire residue they leave behind.
Tower of Frost- Stay out of pillars of light. If you get frozen, someone needs to break you out with a fire attack.
Tower of Life. Decreases fire damage taken by FL by 10%. Kill adds- the small ones die quickly by making them follow you through a lit up tar patch.


Phase 1:
Split up into teams. I'd suggest one team to north and one to south, on the greyish circle in middle of the area. You can have a couple mobile healers and maybe a mobile ranged DPS or 2 in the center as well to switch-hit.
Kill order: Sentinel->Watcher->Guardian.
Sentinels come occasionally and should be picked up quick and DPSed by everyone. Watch out for whirlwind.

Watch out for blue flames. Dont stand in flames.

Once the 3rd turret is repaired, have one of the ranged DPS in the center run back and shoot all 3 good turrets, then shoot the 4th as soon as it comes up. If there is a sentinel, wait to fire the 4th until it is dead. This pulls down Razorscale, who should be DPSed as quickly as possible. Rinse and repeat until Razor is down to 50%. Dont stand in flames.

Phase 2:
At 50%, Razor will stay down and fight you.
Tanks: face dragon away from raid so they don't get flame breath. back up in a circle around the raid to avoid standing in Devouring Flame. Stay out of flame. Have 2 tanks rotate tanking ability at a time, taunting off each other when the current tank is at 2 stacks of "Fused Armor" (which slows the tank). Clears after 20 seconds.
Raid: Take out remaining adds, then take down the boss. Stay away from flame breath.

Ignis the Furnace Master
Raid: Stand in the middle of the room, right between the pools. Designate a Main tank, a Construct tank, and a backup construct tank. Construct tank should be a DK. Also nominate 2 ranged DPS to be the construct shooters, with one backup.
Main tank: tank in a small 4-corner rotation around the rest of the raid, close enough so they never have to move but far enough so the boss doesn't drop Scorch on the raid. Face boss away from raid. Move to next point when Scorch is dropped.
Construct tank: grab constructs when they are activated and hold them in a scorch for 10 seconds, making them molten, then quickly pull them over to one of the water pools, making them brittle. Chance to crit on the construct is increased by 50%. Any shot that deals over 5000 damage will kill them.
Construct Shooters: Watch pools for constructs to go brittle in pools, then shoot them down. Then, return to the boss.
Healers Be sure to keep whoever is in the slag pot alive along with the tanks.

If a construct shooter or the construct tank is put in the boss's slag pot, their backup should take care of the responsibilities until they are out. Communication is key, here. You don't want constructs running free.
Other than tanks, Raid should stay out of fire. (or the Scorch)

XT-002 Deconstructor
Raid: Look out for gravity bomb and Light bomb- ranged, stay at least 15 yd away from each other. Split DPS up evenly between the 4 corners of the room for the "heart phases," in which adds need to be taken care of. Don't be afraid to bandage, potion, or healthstone if you get low in health during a tympanic tantrum.
Main Phase:
Main Tank: Tank boss in center of room.
Off Tanks: Hold Pummelers that come from the corners of the room.
Ranged: stay 15 yards apart and you should be fine from bombs.
Melee: if you have a bomb, immediately run out. We usually suggest keeping an open area near the stairs open for melee to run. Be far away enough from the rest of the melee so they don't get hit.
Healers: Spread out so everyone can be healed properly. Be ready to heal everyone during tympanic tantrums.

Heart phase
DPS- Before adds come out, attack the heart- extra damage to boss.
Pummelers: Off-tanks should watch for Pummelers (XM-024 Pummeler), and hold them for the fight.
DPS: Take out all scrapbots before they get to boss, or they will heal the boss. If it is timed right, kill a bomb bot on top of a group of scrapbots, thereby blowing up all scrapbots. Don't bear near an exploding bomb bot.
Bomb bots either need to be looked out for when blowing up near boss (as they will also severely hurt melee nearby), or killed before they get to the boss. Figure this out before the raid.

Monday, August 10, 2009

(looking down)
(looking up)
Where the hell am I? I used my Wormhole Generator: Northrend in Ironforge, and was given the extra option to go "Underground...", and I got stuck there, as my hearth was up. No way out, but I did get some dragonling schematics from the only other thing down there, an undead Kirin Tor sitting down.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jeeves, Wormholes, and the enhanced need for hit rating

I got Jeeves. After saving for mats for a couple weeks and farming for a couple hours, I got it. Totally worth it. 10 minutes to bank wherever I want. And check out his big brother too sitting in Dalaran. I can auction with him whenever I need to. All he needs now is a tuxedo.

Oh, and the wormhole generator- awesome and also worth it. I choose where I go between Sholazar, Borean Tundra, Howling Fjord, Icecrown, or Storm Peaks. But I have my parachute cloak ready. Well, my flexweave-underlay'd cloak.

In other news

In the new Argent Coloseum raid, the first fight includes snobolds which jump on player's backs and attack/stun them. Others in the raid have to kill these snobolds while they are on the player's back. Get that hit rating up so you don't accidentally shoot your healer in the face.

Nah, I'm kidding- you just "miss" and even though you do your raid mates are all surprisingly safe from any missed shots. I guess that would be too much damage to heal ;-). At one point in the fight another hunter and I were facing each other and shooting at each other's head. It's a fun fight, but hard. We only got halfway through phase 2 (out of 3 phases), but we'll get there. Maybe when we're more geared and used to the fight.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

3.2 is here!

Goodbye, o trustworthy parachute cloak. Flexweave Underlay has finally caught up with the enchanters. It is even +1 more agility!

When I replaced my mechanical zapper with the frag belt enchant, I thought I'd be able to stack up cobalt frag bombs, making one per 6 minutes. Not quite. Its a throw from this belt once every 6 minutes- I can't stock up early. Still cool though.

Beast Mastery- is it going to be worth it now?

I doubt it, but we're getting there. You see, our pets were missing probably about 5% of hits due to the no-expertise thing. But Blizzard said "woops" to that and decided that if we're hit capped, then as ranged damage dealers we shouldn't have to deal with expertise, so our pets can now hit without worrying about the boss jumping out of the way. Good kitty.

So what about Animal Handler? I never saw much use of it (since when I was still raiding BM for the first few weeks of WotLK, i knew nothing about it), I never used it. I later found that that expertise makes it necessary in a BM build. But we don't need the expertise anymore. So they made the talents even more juicy. Check it out. +10% AP (for the pet). Pretty cool, if you ask me. So after little extra thought, here's my (Aimed-Shot included) BM spec.

Edit: Wowhead is still slow on updating their DB, it seems. My links may still be old in some cases

From what I can tell with this, BM will be more PvE-DPS viable. I am not saying it is viable. Just closer. Maybe I'll run into naxx and give it a try when I don't need to be hitting 5-6k dps and see if it is as fun as it used to be (and you know.. the DPS and all that jazz).

As far as my pet, I'll probably end up with a cat, unless I finally find me a spirit beast. I like devilsaurs the most, but my guild hates them. Supposedly they're too big or something. /equipslot 13 tissue. (healing trinket. Onuse: blow your nose and get over it.)

On a more global perspective...
Faction change update? was this accidental? A blue poster mentioned in response to something about changing race in the faction change: "You'll have to select a race within the new faction, and the choices are dependent upon your character class."

So is everyone freaking out here? You get to choose your race based on what races have your class. No taurens will be stuck as gnomes. No anyone will be stuck as blood elves. My guess: either A) this was mentioned a while ago and I'm out of the loop, or B) some blue poster made a booboo and leaked something.

Man, I'm really going to try to post more and get this thing into full swing. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

3.2 and worgens

Worgen first. Every other hunter on the internets seems to be going nuts over this new pet option (which has already been hotfixed). I haven't seen so much uproar about anything before. I think when they decided to mecha-nerf LnL and SV in general, the Hunter community took that better.

So I need to say: Get over it!

Look, a guild used an exploit to get a boss down, and they all got suspended for 3 days. Thats a total of 75 days out of WoW, split between 25 people.

Some hunter found an exploit in the game and told everyone, and they're hotfixing it to make sure it can't be done again, and making the humanoid worthless for the time being. Just be lucky you didn't get suspended.

~OK. That's out of my system~

I am stoked for 3.2. I just can't figure out why!

Is it the changes to the hunters? Or that engineering is getting some serious love? Maybe that they're making alt-leveling so easy that I may even level up my DK? Or is it just the new instance and raid coming out? So many things!.

Hunter Changes
Ohh man.

Marksmanship changes- virtually nothing. I'm okay with this- I think MM is actually really well balanced right now.
Survival changes- once again, a CD on LnL, but you can black arrow and freeze and snake your targets all at once. Hell, this may even bring back the trap dance. At least this time its 22 seconds and not 30.
BM Changes- making it closer-to-viable?

I'm not excited that traps will only sit for 30 seconds instead of a minute. This makes chain trapping mobs a whole lot harder.

Engineering Changes
I'm not going to list them all, because that would just be too much work. They're listed in numerous other places (like here and here). However, the highlights:

Mailbox every 4 hours instead of 8.
Jeeves, the reusable repairbot. Bank access every hour.
Bullet & Arrow changes: I like them. Cheaper for hunters but still work for engineers. Now I can just carry a stack full of saronite bars and a stack of triggers and make my bullets on the spot. Much more space-efficient.

Porting somewhere in Northrend is sweet. Probably somewhere near Dalaran, but with the occasional meltdown.

New tinkers, changed tinkers, BUFFED tinkers. No more needing to wear goggles for mote finding. This is going to be really helpful.

We can now change from goblin<->gnomish engineering. Finally, I'll get to see what this world enlarger thing does. I just hope I don't lose mechanostrider priveledges when I abandon the gnomes.

Mount Changes
Regular ground mounts at lvl 20, flying mounts at 60, flying through northrend at 68, faster non-epic flying. This will really speed up my leveling of characters. Who knows, maybe I'll even play my DK again. This is awesome.

New Raid, new badge system
I'll run heroics again, and I'm not afraid to say it. I'm really stoked for this new raid, though. Don't know much about it, but new is usually fun. And my guild is probably good enough to at least send 10 in on day one. Because we all know how fun patch days are for raiding.

"My UI is messed up"
"I couldn't find my [this] addon"
"Blah blah blah"
"Okay, its an hour late, but finally pulling!"


Long story short, for an engineering Hunter, this is going to be fun.

Maybe they'll even sweeten the deal by giving us a new pair of uber goggles like they did in BC. But I don't want to ask for too much.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Furrymammoth's Raiding Marksmanship Guide

Hello, all. This (in the world of 3.1) is my Marksmanship Build guide. In it, I hope to:
  • Describe EVERY MM talent available, and explain why I go with one over the other
  • Provide some options on where to spend extra talents (what happens after the 51st).
  • Help out fellow hunters who are interested.
  • Hopefully draw in at least one more reader.
Obviously, it takes 5 talent points to make it to the next tier of talents. In this light, I will explain where I would put a set of 5 talent points at a time, rather than how much I would spend on a given tier.

My basic rules for speccing into any talent tree for Raiding is that as a Hunter, my job is to provide DPS. Just like any other player I need to avoid shadow fissures/black spots/almost any round-shaped thing in a raid encounter, but as long as I do that, I should be able to trust my tanks (plus my Feign Death to keep threat away from me and I should be able to trust my healers to keep me alive through any party damage. This being said, all my points that possibly can go to DPS, not surviving.

(note that this is only the case for unavoidable damage like raid-wide AOE or random-target sorts of damage. It IS a DPSer's job to stay away from things that can be avoided including round-shaped traps, tail swipes, etc.)

I read somewhere that with each talent point, you should try to improve your DPS by at least 1%. While it may not always be possible, I try to do this.

  • Hunter is hit capped at 263 or more Hit Rating (although non-hit capped talents will be mentioned)
  • Hunter is level 80.
  • Some talents are optional or situational. We will call these fillers. I'll mention which are fillers and then discuss order toward the end.
  • While your pet's DPS is DEFINITELY important, some of the math I do will not count it.

Anyway, on to the guide:

Marksmanship Tree

Talent Points 1-5: (tier 1)
Improved Concussive Shot: Improves daze duration of a Concussive shot by 2 seconds (1 second/talent point). The only bonus to DPS this is could be an extra second/two seconds of extra Steady Shot bonus damage, but this is doubtfully helpful as it will improve 1 shot per concussive shot by only 175 damage. And most bosses are probably immune to this effect anyway. I would not suggest this talent.

Focused Aim: Focused Aim does two things- for each talent point added you get an extra 23% reduced pushback while casting steady shot, and you also get an extra 1% chance to hit. In a few encounters the pushback reduction may be helpful, but this is probably a generally PVP-oriented part. A hunter's Hit Rating cap is 263, and this is probably the most important number for a hunter to get to- "You can't crit what you don't hit." This being said, each point in this helps you out for 32.79 Hit Rating, as it is that much for each % chance to hit. This is a situational filler talent.

A big caveat that is not noticeable is that the hit % that you recieve from this talent DOES NOT transfer to your pet like the % from Hit Rating does. This is HUGE for BM hunters but still pretty important for others as well. While it helps when your hit rating is low, this talent is not a replacement for hit rating from gear. (However, this may change in 3.2- we'll see.)

Lethal Shots: Increases ranged crit by 5% (1% for each talent point). An extra %chance to crit is huge for a talent point!

Spending talent points 1-5: I'd put 5/5 into Lethal Shots- Remember, we're assuming hit capped here. If you need to boost your HR, you'll be able to use some of the filler points for Focused Aim. We'll get to this later.

Talent Points 6-10 (tier 2)
Careful Aim: at 3 points (33% each), increases attack power by 100% of your intellect. My current gear gives puts me over 400 intellect meaning each talent point would give me over 130 AP each. Even with worse gear its a good amount of AP. (Also, realize that with 3/3 this is 1 AP per intellect. That's how much AP we get from agility.)

Improved Hunters mark: each talent point tacks on 50 more AP for all ranged, attack-power based damage dealers (in other words, hunters). While it isn't as powerful as other talents, I feel like if you are in a raiding guild with multiple hunters, at least one of you should be specced into this and should be the designated marker. (However, the glyph is character-based instead of a buff given by whoever is marking). This is a situational filler talent.

Mortal Shots: +30% bonus damage on crits (5 talent points max, 6% each point). Hunters crit a lot. A LOT. In one given night I crit about 42% of the time. This is a big DPS boost, in my mind. 5/5 needed to get to Aimed shot in tier 3.

Spending talent points 6-10: I'd put 5/5 in Mortal shots. Don't worry, we're coming back.

Talent Points 11-15 (tier 3)
Go For the Throat: 1 talent point gives your pet 25 focus back for every time you crit. A second point makes that number 50 focus instead of 25. While my pet isn't as powerful as a BM pet, they are still a part of your DPS and this will keep them casting their special abilities. (Must-have if you are BM.)

Improved Arcane Shot: +15% damage from your Arcane Shot (5% per talent point). Ok, lets do math here- If I am haste capped and arcane shot has a 6-second cooldown, I can shoot this up to every fourth shot. 5% bonus/talent / 4 shots per (available use) = 1.25%. Worth it! However, Arcane is not your most important shot, so it won't be quite this, but (at least in my book) it's 2nd on the priority list.

Aimed Shot: an extra 408 damage for the shot and healing effects reduced by 50% for 10 seconds. For me, the jury is still out here. To start it does the same amount of damage as multi shot and only hits one target- the benefit is that it can be used while moving and the mana cost is 1% less (barely anything), and it shares the CD with multi-shot, so you can only use one. That being said, it seems to be modified well by later talents and when I tried it my DPS seems to have gone up. But I'm still skeptical. (The healing debuff on the target is rarely useful as most bosses don't heal themselves.)

Rapid Killing: For the most part, 2 minutes (1 per talent point) reduced from your Rapid Fire ability. Not necessary yet, but I'll when we talk about readiness and other spells it'll get better.

Spending talent points 11-15: I'd put 3 points in Careful Aim, 1 point in go for the throat, and 1 point in Aimed Shot. We don't need 2 in Go for the Throat, as our crits come often enough to keep our pet happy with only 25 focus/crit.

Talent Points 16-20 (tier 4)
Improved Stings: Increases the damage done by your Serpent Sting and Wyvern Sting by 30% and the mana drained by your Viper Sting by 30%. In addition, reduces the chance your Sting damage over time effects will be dispelled by 30%. I usually only use serpent sting in a Raid, and this 30% extra (10%/talent point) is pretty nice- especially since it also affects my damage by Chimera Shot (we'll get to that later).

Efficiency: all shots and stings mana cost reduced by 15%- 3% per talent point. Helpful, but mana is not a huge priority since we have Aspect of the Viper, but this does make for a nice filler talent.

Spending talent points 16-20: I'd put 3 into Improved Stings and 2 into Rapid Killing.

Talent Points 21-25 (tier 5)
Concussive Barrage: 100% chance (with only one talent point, 50%) to daze target of a multi-shot or a Chimera shot. Not helpful in a raid. Great for PVP, I guess.

Readiness: Resets the cooldowns for all hunter abilities (aside from bestial wrath, which we don't have anyway). Did I hear that right? This could be used to take care of a crucial but resisted feign death (but I'd suggest never getting to the point where it is crucial), but the best way for DPS to use this is in conjunction mainly with your Rapid Fire. If you pop rapid fire then readiness, you are able to use Rapid Fire again right away, making it 30 seconds for every 3 minutes (since we are specced into Rapid Killing), rather than only 15 seconds. This doesn't even include resetting the CD on things like Chimera and Aimed shot...

Barrage: Increases damage of Volley, Aimed Shot, and Multi-Shot by 12% (4% per talent point). Ruling out Volley from most raid fights, we have a 10-second cooldown which usually will be for Aimed Shot. If we shoot every GCD (1.5 seconds), that's 1 shot out of every 6.67 shots- 4/6.67 = less than 1% increase. But we'll keep this for a filler, as it can come in handy for trash/adds. This is a filler talent.

Spending talent points 21-25: 1 into Readiness, 3 into Improved Arcane shot, and one into a filler.

Talent Points 26-30 (tier 6)
Combat Experience: Agility and Intellect increased by 4% (2% per point). Agility and Intellect are your 2 greatest stats, and this buffs both of them. No brainer.

Ranged Weapon Specialization: Damage done by ranged weapons increased by 5% (1% at one point, 3% at 2 points). Again, no-brainer. This pretty much buffs your attacks other than your pet's damage and your traps. 5% increase for 3 talent points=nice.

Spending Talent Points 26-30: 2 into Combat Experience, 3 into Ranged Weapon Specialization.

Talent Points 31-35 (tier 7)
Piercing Shots: Your crits from Aimed, Steady, and Chimera Shots cause your target to bleed for 30% of the damage done (10% per talent point). Aside from your Arcane shot (every 4th shot) and Silencing Shot (which isn't on the list since it doesn't share the GCD), that's an extra 30% damage for all crits, bringing the grand total to 60% now. Actually, its 1*1.3*1.3, or 69% bonus damage for the listed shots. And this only takes 3 talent points. This is one reason why Aimed Shot would be worth the talent point compared to multi-shot.

Trueshot Aura 10% extra Attack Power. To everyone. This DOES NOT stack with the buff from shamans or from death knights, however. But its still nice especially for those big spread-out sorts of fights.

Improved Barrage: You need 3/3 Barrage to get to this. Increases the critical strike chance of your Multi-Shot and Aimed Shot abilities by 12% and reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while channeling Volley by 100%. Another filler talent, if you get to it.

Spending talent points 31-35: Put one into Trueshot Aura and 3 into Piercing Shots, and add a second point into your filler talents.

Talent Points 36-40 (tier 8)
Master Marksman: Increases your critical strike chance by 5%, and reduces the Mana cost of your Steady Shot, Aimed Shot, and Chimera Shot by 25%. That's an extra 1% crit and a reduction of mana from some shots by 5% for each point. We already decided that 1% chance to crit is worth speccing into, and now we get this bonus too! (Another bonus to Aimed shot too- starting at a cost of 8% base mana, this brings it down to 6% base mana, 33% less than multi-shot.)

Rapid Recuperation: You gain 4% of your mana every 3 sec while under the effect of Rapid Fire, and you gain 2% of your mana every 2 sec for 6 sec when you gain Rapid Killing. This means (with the Rapid Killing points from earlier in the tree) that if done right, you get 12% of your mana back every 3 minutes and when killing trash or soloing you get a good amount of mana back as well. While we do have Aspect of the Viper, we'd rather not need to use it, and this will give us enough mana where it is worth it. Not as important as other talents but not as low as a "filler"- not quite.

Spending talent points 36-40: 5 into Master Marksman.

Talent Points 41-45 (tier 9):
(get excited, you'll be getting more filler points here)
Wild Quiver: your auto shot has a 12% to cause an extra 80% of its damage in nature damage. 80%*12% of the time = average of 9.6% increase from auto-shots. These go on constantly and will be a significant part of the damage you do. In one random night, about 18% of my damage was from auto shots, and that sounds about average. 18%*9.6% = 1.73% bonus for 3 points, or just under .6% per talent point. While your auto shot is significant, the damage from this talent is not so much, so save it as a filler.

Silencing Shot: does 50% weapon damage and silences the target for 3 seconds. On first glance, you may think "What a waste! 50% weapon damage? I wouldn't spend a GCD on that!" Neither would I. HOWEVER, this is not connected to our Global Cooldown, so it is extra damage that does not cost us any time, only mana. So it boosts our DPS!

Ok, break time from DPS-centric thoughts. Many fights require a stun or interrupt to stop a powerful spell from being cast. This shot could be used, and it is off the GCD so you can use it very quickly to stop a cast. If you need to help interrupt, the DPS you lose by not using this every time it is off its Cooldown IS worth losing if it means keeping the raid alive. Back to our regularly scheduled program.

Improved Steady Shot: Your Steady Shot hits have a 15% chance to increase the damage done by your next Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot or Chimera Shot by 15%, and reduce the mana cost of your next Aimed Shot, Arcane Shot or Chimera Shot by 20%. (the damage increase and mana reduction stay the same, but its 5% chance for each talent point).

Its time to see how many steady shots we cast, exactly. Lets take a two-minute long session and assume that we use each GCD to its fullest (meaning we have enough haste to cast a Steady Shot in 1.5 seconds and we are fast enough to use each GCD).
  • Glyphed, chimera shot is every 9 seconds (we'll get to this later)
  • Arcane Shot is every 6 seconds
  • Aimed shot is every 10 seconds, but lets just say its every 10.5 since, based on the GCDs, thats how often you can shoot it.
  • Steady shot everything else

two minutes = 120 seconds = 80 GCDs = 80 shots
120 seconds / 9 seconds per Chimera Shot = 13 Chimera Shots
120 seconds / 6 seconds per Arcane Shot = 20 Arcane Shots
120 seconds / 10.5 seconds per Aimed Shot = 11 Aimed Shots
80 - 13 - 20 - 11 = 36 steady shots, or (36/80) = .45% of our GCD shots taken. .45%*.15% chance to proc = 6.75% chance for a GCD shot to get this buff. And that doesn't include the times when it procs twice in a row when you have two steady shots before another special shot. Lets say that we get this buff on a shot on 6.75% of our shots * 15% damage increase = 1% damage increase total for these shots, which make up less than 100% of the damage done, and amounts to only about .25% of a damage increase per talent point. EWWW (did I talk about this enough?). Not even a filler talent. Stay away.

Spending talent points 41-45: 1 into silencing shot, and 4 into filler talents.

Wow, I took a while there. Luckily the next bit is easier.

Talent points 46-50 (tier 10)
Marked for Death: Just the 10th-tier talent points for most specs in the game, these are obvious. As long as your target has a Hunter's Mark on it, your damage AND your pet's damage is increased by 5% (so it already wins), but on top of that you also get another 10% crit damage bonus for almost all of the special shots you use regularly in a raid (Aimed, Arcane, Chimera, Kill, and Steady), which brings the total crit damage bonus for Aimed, Chimera, and Steady shot to 1*1.4*1.3 = 82% bonus crit damage. (Yeah, crit is that important).

Spending Talent points 46-50: All 5 into Marked for Death.

The 51st talent (tier 11)
Chimera Shot The tooltip is long, so lets explain it in a raid environment.
-You need to keep serpent sting up
-Once you shoot it once, you can keep it up with this instead of constantly wasting a GCD on it.
-Without the sting, this shot does 125% weapon damage. With it, you get an extra 40% of the serpent sting overall damage. This is not based on what the current serpent sting has already given out, but the overall damage of the sting. Both parts of this can crit, and I believe they do so separately. I have personally seen some really massive crits on this.

The last 20 points
We'll cover these a bit differently. Many hunters agree that the best way to divy points out for MM is 7/57/7. I think it depends on gear. But the 7 in survival are a must.

Talent Points 52-58
Survival tree tier 1:
Improved Tracking: All ranged damage to targets that you can track is increased by 5% (1%/talent point). This is good for pretty much any boss but Mimiron and Deconstructor (am I missing any?) Free 5% (aside from pet&traps) as long as you remember to track. And there are multiple addons that can do that for you! (By the way, I use track-o-matique)

Hawk Eye: 6 yard range increase (2 yards per talent point). This can be helpful sometimes, but I strongly believe that it is unnecessary, especially since Blizzard has been trying to avoid any spell/talent to be completely necessary for the sake of a class. I have yet to find where this would help significantly in a PvE fight in WotLK.

Savage Strikes: Melee damage buffed. No. Just no. I'm not discussing it. If you like this talent, you're going to sit in the corner for 10 minutes. Hunters don't melee.

In Survival Tier 2:
Survival InstinctsDamage taken reduced by 4% (nice bonus to the healers when you do take a shot), and crit chance for steady shot and arcane shot increased by 4%. From the calculations of the GCD shots we make, this is a 4% increase on crit chance for 70% of the shots on the GCD. So its worth it.

Spending Talent Points 52-58: put 5 into Improved Tracking then 2 into Survival Instincts.

13 points to go!
Is it worth it to spec into Improved Aspect of the Hawk? I would say no if you are haste capped. I will post on haste some time in the future, but now I'll link you to the haste post from Warcraft Hunter's Union. Pretty much, what I would suggest you do is subtract your haste from the haste cap, divide the number by the haste rating needed to get 1% haste and divide that by three, take the cieling, then put that many points into IAotH.

WTF, mate?

Ok, shorter version for a calculator (or Google..)
[(523-(your haste rating)) / 32.79 / 3], then round up.

Put that into IAotH. If you want to do what everyone else does, though, just throw 5 points into that and then 2 points into Focused Fire, which will increase your DPS by 1% per talent point plus giving your pet extra chance to crit during kill command, assuming your pet is out and active.

The rest is filler, giving you up to 13 more points of filler, bringing the grand total to 19 possible filler talent points.

Marksmanship Filler Talents
The list of filler talents we have in the marksmanship build are: Focused Aim, Improved Hunter's Mark, Efficiency, Barrage, Improved Barrage, Rapid Recouperation, and Wild Quiver. Here's the order in which I would suggest you put points in, however this may differ from Hunter to Hunter.

  1. If you have already tried gems and enchants to improve your hit rating and you are still low, put points into Focused Aim until your Hit Rating % increase + bonus from Focused Aim is GREATER than 8%.
  2. If you are the designated marker of your raiding guild or you'd like to provide it for yourself and any other hunters when you pug, fill the next points into Hunter's Mark.
  3. Rapid Recouperation
  4. Efficiency
  5. Barrage
  6. Wild Quiver
  7. Improved Barrage

Minor Glyphs: (starting with these because its easier)
I'd suggest Glyph of Feign Death and Mend Pet, but the third doesn't really matter. I use Glyph of the Pack.

Major Glyphs
Glyph of Chimera Shot: Reduces cooldown of Chimera shot by 1 second, making it fit nicely in the GCD and letting you shoot your most powerful shot more often. MUST HAVE.
My other two (as of this post):
Glyph of Hunter's Mark+20% more Attack Power from Hunters mark, or another 100 Attack power.
Glyph of Steady ShotIncreases damage done by steady shot by 10% when Serpent Sting is active (which is always). I like this one a lot.
Others to consider
Glyph of Aimed Shot: CD down to 8 seconds instead of 10. More Aimed Shots!
Glyph of Kill Shot: Kill shot can be used every 9 seconds instead of 15. Pretty nice, but that's only in the last 20% of the fight- I don't think its worth it.
Glyph of Trueshot Aura Aimed shot crit chance increased by 10% as long as your Trueshot Aura is up. Pretty cool considering all the other talents that have improved Crits and Aimed Shot damage already.
Glyph of the Hawk I actually don't think this one is worth it anything. Another 6% speed increase form Improved Aspect of the Hawk procs. I guess it could replace 2 talent points in there, as long as you have at least 1.

There you go, my guide to speccing into marksmanship. The shot priority I try to keep with my GCD when all I need to do is DPS is:

  1. Make sure serpent sting is up all the time
  2. Use Silencing Shot whenever possible
  3. Chimera Shot (will help with serpent sting)
  4. Arcane Shot
  5. Aimed Shot
  6. Steady Shot

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finally legitimized my Engineering

Tonight, I was whispered by a guildee "Hey can you jump in and help us with KT?" I said sure, since it wouldn't take too long.

I really jumped in though- I'm usually in Ulduar so I didn't spend time getting flasks, food, or anything like that. I also didn't repair, which I noticed when with about 15% left on the boss, I couldn't shoot anymore. I freaked out- I had more than enough arrows, my mana wasn't completely gone. Then I saw partically hiding behind my Omen Threat Meter a little red outline of a bow.

"Oh crap," I thought.

Then it dawned on me that I had repairbots sitting in my bag, and I found out today that these were usable mid-fight. So I dropped it, chased the little thing down, repaired, then started shooting again with a sigh of relief. Crisis averted. There, I finally found a PVE raiding use for Engineering.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What profession is best for you?

Every character has two professions, and has many options to choose from for these two options. Almost every profession provides the character with something that the character can use that others without the profession cannot, giving a little bit of an advantage to the user. Of course, there's other advantages than what I have listed here, such as farming, selling crafted goods on AH, and fun, to think about. But here's what knowing each profession can do for you:


Alchemy's big buff is that all flasks last twice as long then normal, as long as the alchemist know how to make those flasks.

That being said, sometimes while the advantage is nice, it always a matter of getting mats for every hour-long flask. Alchemists also have the Alchemist's stones, although I don't think they're all that helpful in a raid.


Blacksmiths have the utility to be able to open up most locks with various keys they can make, the top one being the Titanium Skeleton Key. But that's just a side item.

Blacksmiths can also socket their bracers and their gloves. The socket they make for belts can be used by anyone, but these two extra gem slots can fit any non-meta gem in them. That could mean another +48 Stamina, +38 Spell Power, +32 Agility, or the buffs from two of whatever gems you want to add.


The big buff that enchanters get all for themselves is the ability to enchant rings, and two rings means two extra enchants. Here is what they can do:

So that's +48 stamina, +64 AP, or +38 Spellpower. About the same as blacksmithing, but more limited.


I'm an engineer, and i have a blast with it. It has a few fun things that I enjoy using from time to time, but in most boss fights it isn't that helpful. Since our GM has the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth and we're in Ulduar, my repairbotting is on break, but it still comes in handy every once in a while. We also have a mailbox, and a few things we can enchant ("tinker") our gear with. While most mainstream enchants seem to trump these, I do have a Personal Electromagnetic Pulse Generator (which does stack with my extra belt gem). I dont use it that much, but it helps with the Deconstructor.
I can enchant my cloak with slowfall and +15 agility, but that's 6 less than I can get from enchanter, for example.


Herbalists make some money and get Lifeblood. Nice free bonus heal.


Tailors have some cloak enchants that have a chance on hit/attack/cast to give either +300 AP for 15 seconds, +250 SP for 15 seconds, or grants 300 mana. Tailors also have spells to embroider spellthread onto pants using only a Eternium Thread, but these are the same enchants that usually take more mats that anyone can use.


Master of Anatomy: +32 crit rating


Toughness: +50 stamina.


For leatherworkers, its all about the cuffs. They have a couple special Leg reinforcements for their own gear, but it is only the same buff as those they can make for everyone in the game, just with less materials. They can give the following buffs on their wrists:


Jewelcrafting provides some blue-quality socketed trinkets, each with two sockets. More importantly, though they get to craft Dragon's Eyes, and they can use up to three of those Dragon's Eye gems. These provide buffed versions of all the other gems available for any slot. The total bonus makes Jewelcrafting about equal to everything else, except with more flexability in how you want to buff yourself:
Each Dragon's Eye can give you:
  • +27 strength, agility, parry rating, armor penetration, resilience, expertise, haste, hit rating, crit rating, spirit, dodge rating, or defense rating.
  • +54 Attack Power
  • +11 Mp5
  • +32 Spell Power
  • +41 Stamina
  • +35 Spell Penetration

Here's link to the list of Dragon's Eyes, as I don't want to link all of those individually.
All of those that give +27 are the special versions of a regular gem that could give anyone +16 to that same stat. This results in an extra +33 for these stats. For example, I could use 3 Delicate Scarlet Rubies for a total of +48 Agility, or I can use 3 Delicate Dragon's Eyes for a total of +81 Agility, or 33 more than normal.
For stamina, I could get +41 for each Eye instead of +27 for each Sky Sapphire, giving me +17 extra per Eye, or +51 extra stamina.

Edit: (thanks for the tip, Saruto) Dragon's Eyes are also prismatic, which means that they count toward any color you need for your requirements of a meta gem- this can be very helpful, for example, for mages who need to fill 2 blue slots but don't want to give up pure spellpower.


The bonus for Scribes comes mostly from buffed up Shoulder Enchants. They also have a utility of having an extra hearth every 20 minutes, which could be helpful at times. They produce some epic off-hand frills, but my uneducated guess is that they can be quickly replaced by gear from raids, just like the Engineer's goggles.
The shoulder enchants are where it is at though. They are similar to those you can get from the Sons of Hodir:

There we go, that's all the professions. Here's a summary of the buffs you can get from the various professions, comparing a stat for tanks, for physical damage, and for spell damage/healing:
Blacksmithing2 extra defensive gems2 extra Attack Power, Strength, or Agility Gems2 extra Intellect or Spell Power gems
Enchanting+48 Stamina64 Attack Power38 Spell Power
EngineeringBlue quality trinkets with +84 StaminaLower Epic Bow, Epic Helms (lower quality than most Raid Epics)Epic Helms, fun bombs.
Herbalism2000 self-heal over 5 sec, 3 minute cooldown2000 self-heal over 5 sec, 3 minute cooldown2000 self-heal over 5 sec, 3 minute cooldown
Tailoringchance on use for 300 AP for 15 sec (nothing to buff stamina or defenses)chance on use for 300 AP for 15 secchance on use for 250 SP for 15sec, or to return 300 Mana
Skinning+32 crit rating+32 crit rating+32 crit rating
Mining+50 Stamina+50 Stamina+50 Stamina
Leatherworking50 more stamina than usual bracer enchant64 more attack power than usual bracer enchant37 more spell powerthan usual bracer enchant
Jewelcrafting+51 Stamina, or +33 of most other defensive stats+33 agility, +33 strength, or +66 Attack Power+39 Spell Power, +11 Mp5, +33 Intellect, or +33 Spirit
Inscription31 more dodge rating than usual shoulder enchant64 more attack power than usual shoulder enchant37 more spell power than usual shoulder enchant

So most of these are fairly even (You can get 48-54 +Stamina from Blacksmithing, Mining, Leatherworking, Enchanting, or Jewelcraftin).

So now that that's done, I should remind you all that your professions are also for fun. Choose what suits you best, or what you have most fun with. After all, this is JUST a game, right? ;-)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My 3.1 tanking pet: the crocolisk

Gorilladins, you have seen your day. But all the other tenacity pets got jealous as they quietly followed you and your hunter after they were abandoned, and learned the ways of the thunderstomp. Now, all tenacity pets can use this, but you aren't left in the cold! You still have pummel.

My own gorilla, Sasquatch, will not be seeing much of me anymore. I just tamed my friend Cranky, the Crocolisk. It will take some time for us to get used to each other, but we will see that his bad attitude will be focused on the enemy and not at me.

Why did I go with a Crocolisk? While it may be a fun thing to do sometimes, hunters don't tank instances or raids regularly, and when I'm using my tenacity pet its usually when I'm soloing something. This is the only special pet ability in the tenacity group that can damage more than one at a time, which means group aggro will get better. It is also great on fast-hitting bosses :)

What's the best for a single-target boss though, in most cases? I'd have to say either the Turtle, Warp Stalker (yeah, seriously), or the Worm. The turtle can reduce damage done by 50% every minute for 12 seconds, which is 20% of the time (like the Warrior's Shield Wall). The Warp Stalker has an extra 50% chance to dodge three attacks every 15 seconds (for the slow, hard hitting bosses this is awesome, and a great compliment to the Crocolisk). Then there's the Worm who can do damage and reduce 10% of armor, stacking up to two times. (Kinda like a warrior's Devastate. The devastate stacks at a total of 20%, just like the worm's.)

Of course, health is very important for a tank, but I like to focus more on the ability to hold threat. If specced correctly, as BM, your tanking pet should get a 50% bonus of all heals done to her, which is a ridiculous bonus. (Cheer up your healer friends by letting them see how high they can crit on yer tenacity pet!) None of it matters if you/anyone pulls though. That's why I chose the crocolisk.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

When Macros Help and When They Hurt

Here's all the macros I have, which I use on a regular basis:

One-button aspects, with full control

This one is a fantastic Aspect macro which puts all your aspects onto one button (make the icon the question mark, the first choice, and it will show whichever you'll use). Post this one with no return/new lines, just paste as one line:

/use [mod:alt,mod:ctrl] Aspect of the Wild; [mod:ctrl,mod:shift] Aspect of the Cheetah; [mod:ctrl] Aspect of the Viper; [mod:shift] Aspect of the Pack; [mod:alt] Aspect of the Beast; [mod:alt,mod:ctrl] Aspect of the Wild; Aspect of the DragonHawk

hold nothing, click to get dragonhawk
ctrl- viper
shift- pack
alt- beast
alt+ctrl- wild
shift+ctrl- cheetah


This one is awesome for MDs- i'm going to explain focus first.

A focus target is one you choose to mess with macros. You choose a target (in this case, your main tank), and type /focus . You can also right click on their portrait and choose "set focus".

/cast [nomodifier, target=focus, exists] misdirection
/cast [nomodifier, target=pet, exists] misdirection
/cast [modifier:shift, target=pet] misdirection
/cast [modifier:ctrl, target=othertank] misdirection

if you have a focus target, Misdirects to your focus.
if you don't have a focus target, MDs to your pet.
Hold shift when you have a focus, and it MDs to your pet.
Hold ctrl when you have a focus (or not), and it MDs to whoever's name you put in here

Master's Call

This one is for Master's Call-

/cast [nomodifier, target=healer1] Master's Call
/cast [modifier:ctrl, target=healer2] Master's Call
/cast [modifier:shift, target=player] Master's Call
/cast [modifier:alt, target=healer3] Master's Call

Translation- cast the Call on whoever you have put in the various spots, based on what you are pressing in this case, pressing nothing causes Master's Call to go to healer1, ctrl sends to healer2, alt sends to healer3, and shift sends to the hunter casting ("player"). of course, replace the healer1, healer2, and healer3 with people's names in your group. (Great for arenas!)

Assist Macro

When I have a focus, it targets the target of my focus. If not, it targets the my pets target. During raids/instances, I always have focus set on the Main Tank.

/assist [target=pet]
/assist [target=focus, exists]

(I have this set to my 1 hotkey, by the way. Easy way to get on the right mob when there's a bad pull, or whenever there's more than 1 target).

simple pet helpers

/cast carrion feeder

This is simple, but as I'm sure you noticed, you can't put your pet's skills on your cast bars, and the pet is only limited to 4 on her's. However, you can write a macro with the name of the pet's ability to use it, and put that macro on your cast bar. It works with anything. Dash, Taunt, whatever.


During raids, I usually replace all my hotkey'd melee attacks with additional assist macros that each have the name of a tank (in order same as tank list), so that I can easily go from skull, to x, to whatever without having to move my mouse or anything. I also have some extra misdirect macros which i use when there's more necessary.

When NOT to use macros:

I do not use any macros to cast spells/shots. I have all my shots and stings and whatnot somewhere in my cast bars, in a place that I know, so that I can have full control. In WotLK there is almost never a time to be just sitting there DPSing. Sometimes you need to run around to a certain area, sometimes you need to get adds, sometimes you need to kite (I hate you, Gluth!). But you should always at least be casting that Misdirection.

For some of you, macro'd shot rotations may work, but I found that the less you rely on that and the more you rely on yourself, the better you get. Its also more fun that way- its a bigger challenge.


Are there any macros I missed that every hunter should have? Let me know!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why we waste our time with Misdirects

Why waste 1.5 sec (A global cooldown) on your MD? It definitely isn't helping your DPS at all.

But its helping the overall DPS of the raid.

Lets say the tank is holding aggro in a way where no DPS are anywhere near him. Either your tank is great or your DPS is garbage. In these cases, go all out and DPS.

But one reason a raid would want a Hunter over any other DPS class is the Misdirection. This isn't for just pulling. Your next three shots' threat go to the target of your misdirection. That means that everyone gets about three more shots of their own before they pass threat of the tank. Yeah, hunters are lucky because we can play the Aspect of the 'Possum every 25-30 seconds, but not everyone is so lucky.

Your DPS in a raid is important because it adds to the overall DPS of the raid. But things like Misdirection add so much more because that gives DPS to the whole raid, not just you.

Rogues, same story with your Tricks of the Trade. Now, I'm no rogue, but from what it seems, this has a similar effect.

A simple macro. This will require you to set your focus target on the person you're casting the MD on first. If you don't want to, you can change the macro every time based on who it needs to go to:

/cast [target=focus] Misdirection
/cast [target=focus] Tricks of the Trade

I can only have one focus at once, so i usually set tok to focus, and have a second MD macro for someone else:

/cast [target=OtherTank] Misdirection

fun stuff. If you want a more spiffed up version of this, or want to see my other macros, check out my post on those.