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:

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.

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.