The 5.0 Hunter: Focus

With patch 5.0.4, hunters have been given some new and fun talents that at first may seem subtle, but in reality have a big impact on game play.  With this post I will be highlighting the effect that the choices in the fourth tier of talents have on focus. These talents include Fervor, Dire Beast and Thrill of the Hunt.

I personally opted for Thrill of the Hunt because of its passiveness (no extra button to push) and the increase in the number of multi-shots on AoE pulls that it allows.  While raiding in Dragon Soul with my new talents, I noticed something that I never thought would be a problem.  I had more focus than I knew what to do with.  Because of this, I was using Cobra Shot quite seldom which in turn caused serpent sting to not be refreshed and fall off.  While talking with my fellow Stands in Bad hunters Kat and Kia, I learned that the Dire Beast talent they chose had a similar effect on focus.  One can therefore assume that also with a cool down of just 30 seconds and having to do with focus regeneration, there will be a similar effect on focus if used frequently off cool down for Fervor.

The effects of this very minor inconvenience (if you can even call it that) will be somewhat lessened when we hunters are forced to break our 2 piece set bonus (for those that have it) as pointed out to me by Kat.  At this early stage, there is no certainty that things will stay as they are.  So, until I catch wind of a better way of doing things from the experts, I will be weaving in a Cobra Shot every 13 seconds whether I need the focus or not.

OMG I Can’t Decide

Mists of Pandaria is fast approaching and I still have no idea what race to choose for my monk.  I don’t want to level a Pandaren monk because I like being different, not to mention that the Pandaren starting area will be extremely crowded for a while I’m guessing.  And since I don’t ever plan on throwing out my “Alliance Card” the race will be limited to some of those races.  You must be this tall to ride, gnomes and dwarves need not apply.  That leaves Night Elves, Draenei, and Humans.  Each of these races has their own unique allure which is making a decision a bit difficult at the moment.

  • Night  Elves – The Quel’dorei culture and aesthetic, in my opinion at least, seems to mesh really well with monks
  • Draenei – I just like Draenei, ok?  And they look damn cool kicking things.  Hooves make it hurt more, right?
  • Humans – I don’t have a lot of human characters despite the face that I do like them as a race.  Plus female humans have ginormous weapons!

So your mission ,should you choose to accept it, is to vote in the poll below and leave a comment explaining your choice.  Also, in your comment leave a suggestion for a clever name.

How About a Quickie?

I just wanted to post a short and sweet update about my three newest friends.  I managed to tame them all in less than 36 hours and I am feeling pretty excited about that. (Despite the fact that we are on the eve of a new expansion.)

A Whole New (PvP) Monster

Ok, so I left you guys, all three of you, in the lurch and quit posting stuff.  I was ok with this for the most part since I felt that my time would be better spent doing something that could actually net me some income.  Well a few applications and a resume later I’m still unemployed but I feel better about myself.  But all that is neither here nor there.  On to the topic that has me literally squirming in my seat in dread and apprehension.  Forcible pvp cuddles!  Not to be confused with regular forcible cuddles; those are what I give my cat when he’s being a dork.  Here is a picture of my cat being a dork:

Back to forcible pvp cuddles!  I am currently on a pvp server despite my fear and loathing of pvp.  Why? you might ask.  Because that is where my guild is and because I can avoid the pvp if I want to.  AND I VERY MUCH WANT TO.  But like so many other examples in the world, the loud minority is getting their way.  If I stay on a pvp server, I will be forced to pvp.  Thank you very much Mr. Tom Chilton!  That link right there discusses changes coming to pvp servers with the Mists of Pandaria expansion.

In the past I would have agreed with the intellectually challenged, knuckle-dragging mouth breathers who predictably respond with, “PvP happened on a PvP server,” and “QQ pvp server” and the other gems of their infinite wisdom.  However, with Blizzards upcoming changes to how people will interact with the world around them, they really are creating a whole new monster.   You guessed it.  Its time for a bullet list!

Reasons Why PvP Servers Have Become a Whole New Thing: and thus we deserve free transfers off of them.

  • Cross server zones will make it so that there is no more late night/early morning uninterrupted play time.
  • Weaker and less frequently spawning guards will encourage killing quest givers, vendors, and other necessary npc’s.
  • An item that shoots people off of flying mounts is bound to be abused in group especially near choke points and raid instances.

Keeping all of that in mind, its easy to see that leveling and living on a pvp server will not be what it is now and has been in the past, thus a whole new ball of wax.  And truth be told I think that it is a good change for those who like that type of environment.  I am just not one of them.  It will be going from something that I can tolerate to something that could potentially keep me from playing.  

So Activision Blizzard, open up your hearts and your deep pockets and let those of us who do not wish to be forcibly squished by the opposing faction transfer off pvp servers so we can practice our:

The Skin is Always Greener on the Other Side

A few posts back I talked about burnout and a few ways of combating it.  In my time since then I have been toying with the idea of trying my very best to level a character to level 85 as horde before Mists of Pandaria hits.  I know that for many of you this isn’t much of a challenge.  So let me share what best summarizes my track record with you when it comes to leveling horde characters.  The highest level one I have is a 45 blood elf warlock that was created when Burning Crusade came out.  In fact, she predates my draenei hunter on the same server that I currently raid with in Stands in Bad.  So for me anyway this will be no small accomplishment.

My reasons for wanting to have a level 85 horde toon are pretty simple.

  1. Experience more lore
  2. Better questing experience
  3. For some reason more attractive men play horde
  4. More blogging material

When I start to undertake this self-appointed challenge I will most likely roll another hunter.  Because hunters are awesome!  And because it’s what I know.  As for the race I’m a little undecided.  At present I view my most likely options as being troll or orc.  I am currently completely undecided on server; I don’t know all that many people who play horde any longer after cancellations in subs.  And a guild that will let me mooch perks and fulfill my need for being social would be very very nice.  If you have any suggestions or feedback, please feel free to leave it in the comments section below.

And the Training Wheels are Off!

It's almost like they were watching the whole time... Many people wouldn’t know it now, at least that is what I tell myself, but I used to be painfully shy.  I would never have dreamed of running pugs back when my priest was my main.  And technically speaking, LFR is still the extent of my priest’s pugging but that’s because I’m so rusty (bad) at healing now.  For a while this was the case even on my hunter.  I was new to the class, hadn’t played in a year and half and those self-esteem and shyness issues were still very prevalent.  I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point between then and now (not long after DS 5 man’s were released) I looked at how that kind of behavior was holding me back.  So what if I messed up.  That is how you learn.  And if anyone else didn’t like it, we didn’t have to group together ever again.  I was also reminded of how needy I was when it came to groups, a few friends and an ex-boyfriend can attest to that and I did not, would not be that person anymore.  So I queued for my first pug solo and it went ok.  No one yelled at me for messing up, in fact I didn’t mess up at all.

Of course I didn’t finish this achievement without the aid of guild members and friends.  Kialesse herself was grouped with me when I was at 99/100 for the final achievement.  But the fact remains that I overcame something that has bothered me about myself since my days of playing Dark Age of Camelot.  And now I even have a little, adorable companion to remind me that I’m not helpless (especially as long as I’m playing a hunter anyway).

Glyph of the Aspects – A Step in the Right Direction

Weeeeeeeeeeee!The Blizzard hunter glyph fairies have sprinkled their magic dust and brought forth a new minor glyph, Glyph of the Aspects.  No, it won’t summon Ysera and friends to do your dailies for you, but it will cause a cute and cuddly animal representing each hunter aspect to follow you for 15 seconds.  That’s a tiger, fox, and hawk and no leaves (because leaves aren’t animals and Aspect of the Wild, it seems, is being removed).

I cannot emphasize enough how happy it makes me that the developers have been able to create a purely cosmetic minor glyph for hunters that is on par with the ones that have been made for other classes.  I’m crossing my fingers for now though, in the hope that Blizzard is able to come up with enough of these cosmetic minor glyphs for there to be enough variation amongst hunters.  Because let’s face it, things like that lose their novelty when everyone has it.  I also hope there are plenty of choices so that once I am bored with the ones I have made, there will other fun and exciting ones to choose from.

As it stands today on beta, this glyph will be available for Inscriptionists to craft at 175 skill with 3 Jadefire Ink and 1 common parchment.

My Desk Has a Head Shaped Crater

So, as everyone knows the Mists of Pandaria Beta has been out for a little while now.  For anyone who hasn’t been able to get in yet I though I would share some experiences and tips in the event that you do get that covetted invite.

  1. Remember that this is the beta.  Fecal matter is broken. (What? This is a family, mostly hunter oriented gaming site.)  As of 7 April I was unable to complete any quest that required collecting items off the ground- the one exception being the quests in the Pandaren starting area.
  2. Hunter pets are their original size after zoning, reloading, etc.  At first this sounds really cool, but trust me; after a while you come to hate that pet because it is always in the way.

    I started hating him after an hour of this.

  3. Don’t bind in Pandaria, especially Alliance! As of April 7, the portals did not work without a rune of teleportation.  Alliance members who were able to teleport with the rune then found themselves to suddenly being taking on the role of Rapunzel as they were unable to leave the tower.
  4. Set those graphics qualities to good or lower, unless you really miss watching Reboot.  Graphics on the higher settings caused many buildings to take on the appearance of giant pink cubes.  Unfortunitely they were not accompanied by Enzo and a female voice annoucing, “Warning. incoming game.  Warning, incoming game.”
  5. If you’re like me, your “primary spec” isn’t your primary spec.  Your seconday spec (the one I use 99% of the time) is wipeed clean and your primary is the default.

    But I didn't know when I selected BM as my secondary!

  6. Some hunters have been experiencing missing pets.  Basically, one is missing from the call pet ability on your action bar.  It has to be called from the spellbook.

So here is how all these discoveries unfolded in my beta adventures:  I logged in to find that I had no specialization. No problem.  I figured I would keep SV and change MM to BM to see what changes had been made.  Then I discoved that the other spec was not blank as I had thought. “Oh well!  Lets go play in Jade Forest! I’ll fix it later.” Only at this point you still can not change your specialization.  So off I go to Panda land.  I get there, things are cool and I start questing with a ginormous wolf because my cat is missing.  I bind in Pandaria.  I decide that the wolf is not working out, so I decided to take a portal back.  It doesn’t work.  So I quest some more with a very large wolf who likes to stand on top of the bodies I need to loot.   An hour or so passes and I ask around and find out that I need a reagent to use the portals, of which I can find none in Pandaria so I have my priest mail my hunter some.  Hurray! Hurray?  Nope.  I was stuck in the tower in Stormwind.  So what’s a girl to do? Level a Night Elf monk!  Then I saw that a quarter of the quests I came across were broken.  Be warned beta testers, be warned.

A Critique of Minor Hunter Glyphs on MoP Beta

As per Frostheim’s website, WarCraft Hunters’ Union, the minor glyph’s for hunters in Mists of Pandaria are as follows:

  • Glyph of Aspect of the Cheetah – Your Aspect of the Cheetah no longer causes you to be dazed when struck. Instead, the effect is cancelled and all your Aspects are placed on a 4 sec cooldown.
  • Glyph of Aspect of the Pack – Increases the range of your Aspect of the Pack by 15 yards.
  • Glyph of Feign Death – Reduces the cooldown of your Feign Death spell by 5 sec.
  • Glyph of Lesser Proportion – Slightly reduces the size of your pet.
  • Glyph of Revive Pet – Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting revive pet by 100%
  • Glyph of Tame Beast – Reduces the time required to complete Tame Beast by (4000/-1000) sec.
  • Glyph of Scare Beast – Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Scare Beast by 75%

So here it goes, my thoughts on the minor glyphs… Boooooooriiiiiing!  Now before anyone gets offended on Blizzard’s behalf let me state that I am aware that this is just beta and things are very likely to change; also you should be made aware that I am more likely to be a Blizzard apologist than a detractor.  Now, all that having been said, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty!  To save myself a lot of typing and to support a great show I’m going to link you to Tank Spot’s Lore giving his opinion (mine is pretty much the same) on  MoP minor glyphs in general on his show The Weekly Marmot.  Okay, are you done watching? Saw it already?  Alright,  so now you know that many classes’ (druid, paladin, warlock etc.) minor glyphs are absolute fluff and that’s great.  Glyph’s that have an effect that is inherently more beneficial than others are no brainers, therefore making the choices themselves un-meaningful.  Thus we have seen an increase in cosmetic minor glyphs.  For example druids have one that turns their aquatic form into an orca (so cool!) as well as another that makes their travel form take on the appearance of a stag and also gives that form the ability to be a “mount” to a passenger (damn cool!).  Heck mages are able to polymorph critters into other things for 24 hours.

This leads me to my disappointment with the hunter glyphs.  I’m a bit confused as to why glyphs like Aspect of the Pack, Feign Death, Revive Pet, and Scare Beast are being presented to us when they themselves are neither meaningful or fun.  Aspect of the Cheetah feels as if it should be a major glyph and the glyph of Lesser Proportion seems extremely backwards to me.  I want my cat, Dauntless (he’s the shiny one in the screenshot below of me shrugging in confusion) to be enormous.  That being said, the productive thing to do is offer some alternatives. So here goes… (Without clever names because I stink at that.)

  • Snake Trap  – Some of us don’t like snakes. To quote Indiana Jones, “Why did it have to be snakes?” So how about a glyph that makes it into a scorpion or spider trap?
  • Aspect of the Fox – While active gives the hunter a fox tail. (Yes, I’m grasping at straws at this point but I kind of like the idea.)
  • Yeah this is a lot harder than I originally thought. Not to say that there aren’t things I would love to see given to hunters that are purely cosmetic, but that it would be hard to make them a glyph.

Ok, so hunter glyphs are definitely a horse of a different color when comes to making them more visual and less mechanical.  And no doubt the people at Blizzard are working hard to give us something every bit as cool as what the other classes are getting. Because of that I am not ashamed in saying that I’m stumped and that if the dev’s aren’t able to come up with anything else, what is currently in place is acceptable.  So what are your thought? What would you like to see changed with the minor glyphs if anything at all?  In the mean time, I will be working on a list of things I want to see added to the class as a whole, like customizable quivers since we won’t have a melee weapon on our backs.  Until then, I’ll be eagerly awaiting your suggestions.

11 April, 2012 Update: Fortunately Blizzard is a lot more creative than I am and they have so far added one new minor glyph for hunters.  My thoughts on this new glyph can be found here.