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.

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Dhevon’s New Transmog: A Tier 13 Improvement

It just goes to show that you don’t have to change much to totally remake an “outfit” or improve it for that matter.  Unfortunately this picture doesn’t show how well the chest piece, Tunic of the Artifact Guardian, goes with the belt and shoulders.  Now if only there was a way to fix boots on female draenei. A link to a larger picture can be found on the screenshots page.

(And We’re Back!) End of Expansion Burn-out

We’ve all been there at one point.  Something that was once new is now old and no longer holds our interest like it used to.  For some of us that leads to taking a break or cutting back and finding something else to fill our free time.  And sometimes these breaks wind up being much longer than we had originally intended.  Many times we fight this feeling tooth and nail, logging in every day only to drive ourselves over the edge of video game fatigue that much quicker.  If only the Mists of Pandaria beta was here to save us from content that just isn’t exciting any longer.  But sadly we must wait.  Anyway this is something I have been dealing with of late so I thought I would share my thoughts and tips on the matter.

  • Don’t fight it. The moment things start to feel monotonous consider your options and make a decision. This can include a variety of options, so many in fact that I’m not going to bother listing any.
  • Take a look at your social situation.  Are you in a guild? Is your guild inactive? Social interaction can completely alter your gaming experience.
  • Examine your current game routine. If you’re grinding anything it should come as no surprise that your grind will become very old very fast, be it dailies, pvp or achievements.
  • Determine if you are feeling outside pressure. I know that I literally can’t enjoy anything if there is something else that I know I should be doing instead. (Like studying for the GRE!)

It can be a tough situation to be in, not wanting to log on for lack of nothing to do, yet you really enjoy your guild and perhaps other friends.  I know in my case my guild is active and pretty much the best bunch of people that ever existed.  One guy can imitate pretty much every cartoon character voice ever made; our GM is (though I have never heard her say it) a foodie with awesome cooking skills;  I could go on and on because they are all that cool and nice.  Regardless, when I have to take breaks for real life issues sometimes its hard to log back on.  Lately I have just been logging on for raids and that has been working really well for me.  I don’t get burned out and I get to hang out with my fellow SiB’ers.

Recently I have decided to start an experiment of sorts regarding my “don’t wanna log on” issues.  My hypothesis: I need Purpose.  My hunter has progressed to the point where her gear is by no means finished but cannot be improved on by any means other than normal or heroic raiding.  Therefore I need a side project, maybe an alt, maybe preparing for the upcoming expansion by collecting as many crafting materials as possible so I can push through a few points with old mats that first day.  The sky is the limit when you are willing to try new things and you allow yourself to be creative.

Blogging Hiatus

So a few days ago I started a post about gaming burnout and I wasn’t able to finish it.  Funny, huh?  But no, the problem isn’t that I am burnt out on blogging too.  I’m busy.  Putting together a post isn’t a quick and breezy thing for me, yet.  I feel obligated to post some sort of screen shot or art work that I feel is relevant to my topic.  And, I’ll be honest, sometimes it takes me a while to organize my thoughts much less to all the editing with links and such.  What’s taking up my time you ask?

That thing!  My test is Monday March 19, 2012.  Graduate school here I come!  Unless I find a worthwhile job first!  Anyway, once I have this thing done I will finish the post I started and more.  Until then, wish me luck!

Playing Around With the MoP Hunter Talent Calculator

So, I made a raiding build for MoP.  I find pvp icky and I enjoy raiding, thus this is solely a raiding/pve build for a survival hunter.  Also, this build is admittedly heavily influenced by current raiding content and may be subject to change once I actually know more about MoP raids.

  • Tier 1 [Situational] Exhilaration is chosen as the default option with healer mana conservation in mind.  For GTFO quick encounter mechanics Posthaste will be chosen, as Evasiveness will be for encounters with a massive spell damage component.
  • Tier 2: [Situational] Wyvern Sting is the default talent of choice with “all the CC” in mind with Silencing Shot being a close second for boss encounters that have interruptible spell casting.  At present, Intimidation isn’t looking very desirable for raiding but maybe subject to change as more is learned about raid and dungeon content.
  • Tier 3: [Standard*] Aspect of the Iron Hawk. *Yes, you could have Spirit Bond and regen health during the lulls in some encounters, but I have the feeling that much like how heroism and blood lust are abilities that belong to the raid and not the individuals that cast them, the tier 3 hunter talent belongs to the healers.  At least the ones I raid with.  CTHC may be used for raids in MoP, but I am fairly confident that it will not used more than a couple of times.
  • Tier 4: [Preference and Spec*] The choices for this tier will mostly* rely on individual play styles and spec.  I chose Readiness as my standard talent for double the Rabid Fire fun, not to mention more Deterrence and Disengage.
  • Tier 5: [Standard*] I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that there will be much kiting in MoP. That being said I prefer this talent’s increases to my speed and decrease to those caught in the trap to the alternatives of trapping one target over and over or turning it into a sloth.
  • Tier 6: [Situational*] Powershot definitely appeals to my “ALL THE AOE” and “BIG NUMBERS EVERYWHERE” cravings.  That aside, Binding Shot with its movement slowing and increase in damage to the target will have the most utility when encounters require the raid to burn a single add ASAP, whereas Glaive Toss will help to control the speed of multiple adds.

*Categories are based upon my opinions and experiences and are subject to change.  Also the very nature of this talent system and boss mechanics will inevitably lead to frequently changing talents.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Live Event Today! (Feb. 7, 2012)

On midnight, Tuesday February 7, 2012, Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning Launched. I have had limited gameplay myself other than the tutorial and some content after, but I have been watching people stream it on http://www.twitch.tv/team/reckoning where people such as Day[9], Total Biscuit, DJ Wheat, Lore, Gamebreaker TV, and others are playing with commentary. My next blog post should be my complete 2 cents on the game. If you are undecided about this game, I highly recommend watching the live stream even going on RIGHT NOW (Feb. 7, 2012 5pm EST). For hilarity I suggest watching Gamebreaker’s Stream and for a good mix of solid commentary and giggles I suggest watching Lore’s.

UPDATE: Just checked in on Day[9]’s stream and Felicia Day is with him!

NOW it Feels Official

So my first raiding character in WoW was Accordance . Notice the icky mix of pvp gear and epics. I’m working on it okay! Anyway, I healed my way through Molten Core, Onyxia’s Lair, Blackwing Lair, Zul’ Gurub, okay you get the idea. Her last raid was in Burning Crusade, Serpent Shrine Cavern to be exact and sadly I didn’t finish it. That brings me to today, or rather yesterday. After spending some time on tier 11 nerdpoints, a few of us decided to clear out Blackwing Lair, the only Classic raid that I was missing for the meta on my hunter. Fininshing that raid tied things up between my priest and my hunter on older content. I don’t know why it matters to me, it just does. And truth be told there are still things that my hunter will never be able to do, for example the hunter weapon quest, my priest got her Benediction before AQ40 was even a thing. And of course, Dhevon  will never be able to step foot in the level 60 version of Naxxramus. Despite all that, I feel that completing that made things official. Dhevon is my main. At least until I decide to change again.

For some reason I fail at links. Both Accordance and Dhevon are on the Azgalor server and in Stands in Bad.

HAHA! EVIL WordPress links, I have bested you.  You shall vex me no longer!

Take That, Deathwing!

Stands in Bad's First Deathwing Kill

Yeah, you just thought you had seen the last of me since that time that you caught me unawares in Winterspring questing, Winterspring! You’re nothing but a big, crazy bully and my friends and I are going to put you down.

My thoughts on the fight. Well, its fun the first few hundred times. And let me tell you, wiping on the fourth or fifth platform was kinda starting to feel like playing Skyrim for 5 levels and forgeting to save. Nevertheless, the “dargon is ded!” And none of us died on that attempt so all the better! Congrats to my fellow guildmates in Stands in Bad for an awesome job.

All Sorts of Thoughts on Streaming

So, I’m not only a big fan of playing video games, I love watching other people play them as well.  I have ever since my sister played The Legend of Zelda when I was young.  These days, I’m not limited to watching what people in-house might be playing.  And this is all thanks to a wonderful website www.twitch.tv .  This site’s biggest draw seems to be Star Craft 2 (meh) but you can also catch anything from Skyrim to WoW.  And to tell the truth, I can’t get enough of this thing.  Sometimes I even watch people play their games more than I play my own.

Twitch has a few simple, yet fantastic features for the viewers. First, you are able to bring up a list of streamers categorized by game.  For example, lets say I felt like watching someone play League of Legends because I’m not sure if I want to play it or not.  I can type League of Legends in a search field or click a link if its one of the ones provided, and like magic I see the name of everyone streaming that game and a thumbnail image of their stream.  Secondly we have the ability to follow streamers.  If I should decide that I really like to watch someone’s stream to the point that I want to be able to watch it again, I can click the follow button on their page and be sent an email informing me of when the start streaming.  What’s that? You don’t want to be bothered by email?  Well, you can turn that option off in your free account’s options and you will still be able to easily see if someone you are following is streaming when you bring up the Twitch homepage and click the link that takes you to a list of all live streams that you are following.  There was another feature that I thought was pretty cool, but that thought has apparently escaped my brain.  I will edit this post should I be able to capture it again.

Cool features aside, I love this website because as I said before its a great way to get a good feel for a lot of the games out there and meet some cool people who are out there.  Even with a game like Skyrim, being able to watch other people play has taught me so much about playing the game (partially because I am too proud and stubborn to ask for help for fear of looking stupid).  I was so excited to find out that sheathing your weapons stopped guards from attacking you in some cases!  Though, my knowledge about the various games I have watched being streamed isn’t limited to just watching the gameplay.  Most, if not all, of the people that I am following there are extremely friendly and helpful when time allows.  In the future, I hope to go into more detail about some of the awesome gamers I follow there.

I remembered the other thing! Everything someone streams on Twitch is recorded and is listed in the videos tab on their page. Usually about a day after they streamed it.

Streams I watch:

  • Rainicorn is a kick ass woman who plays nearly everything.  She’s cute as a button too, but don’t let that fool you.  She is knowledgable and is no stranger to playing hard modes.
  • Pokket with her blue hair and informative commentary is like an up and coming  rock star of the gaming world.  She plays mostly SWTOR, WoW, and LoL.  She also makes guides.
  • Lore is “the guy with the hair” from Tankspot.com.  WoW is of course the game he is married to, but he also plays some others on the side such as SWTOR, LoL, APB and recently the entire Mass Effect series with the first run through as renegade and the second as paragon.

More to come!

Skankasaurus Rex’s. A Follow Up.

So in my first batch of ramblings. I talked about some of the differences amongst female gamers. It may have come across that I am trying to abolish the use of the term “girl-gamer.” I’m not and I take full responsibilty for any confusion my previous statements may have caused. So instead, I’m going to put labels on the other two groups. We all like labels, right?

So first up we have the Skankasaurus Rex’s. (Many thanks to my guildmate Pix, who gave me this term.) These are the girls, and sadly grown women for that matter, who use the fact that they have ovaries and other connected bits to get the things they want. When confronted about it they usually blame the poor males who fall for their shenanigans for being “stupid enough to fall for it. So think of them as the hooker who steals a john’s wallet if you will. The rex’s are often very threatened by the presence of other females in the guild. (Did I say I mostly play MMO’s? Well I do, so there.) Some become so threatened that they result to juevenille attacks that only make them look like the bat-crap crazy individual they are. This was my first guild experience in World of Warcraft. It was the first and only time someone had threatened to kill me on a video game.

Next we have the Gender Role Debutantes. The crazy factor here is typically much lower than Rex’s. The Deb’s though think that they should be given a free pass. Somewhere in their mind, it makes sense to them that because guys are guys they have an advantage when it comes to video games. Many times they share the need to advertise their gender much like the Rex’s, but you can always tell the two apart by the level of crazy.

So who does that leave? According to the few people that I have talked to on the matter, the women who are left are in the minority. But who are we as a group? What is our label, if there is one? Me personally, I just call myself a gamer.