Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Wrath Cinematic

By know I suspect that everyone and their mothers have seen the Wrath intro movie cinematic.
Currently there are two major opinions. One is that the cinematic is a piece of crap and is just for fan boys and lore lovers. The other is that the cinematic is amazingly detailed and does it justice.

I'm in the middle, more or less.

I think blizzard took an interesting turn in their intro movie development. In previous cinematics, blizzard has taken a path of showing the player the basic premise of the game and how much fun the player will have. From sheeping tauren, to fighting orcs with bears, to riding your raptor through new lands, to watching a blood elf chick suck the ever living mana out of a wyrm, blizzard has not failed to show us top notch quality in their cinematics. However, Wrath takes a different approach. They went completely and totally for lore and the story behind the expansion.

This is great in some ways and horrible in others. For one, in sets up such a lore rich story that the current players can't help but get excited. But for the newer player who just joined the WoW bandwagon or is going to come WotLK, it will leave them scratching their heads in confusion and asking questions. Not that blizzard needs the new subscribers.

For me, the lore/story based approach is so much more exciting. The main focus of BC was illidan. "Ooh he's such a BAMF! You have to go kill him for epixxx!"... So where the hell is he? for a t4/t5 level player, I've never seen one glimpse of him. Sure I've seen all the factions and supporting roles that lead UP to him, but I've never actually seen his amazing-ness. I have the feeling that Wrath will be much more interactive with the story. I'm hoping that all the factions actually play into the main story, and not just the battle at the portal.

I havn't been a lore junkie in the past, but this cinematic has pushed me to read up on past events. You get my Kudos, Blizz.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Raid stacking: Now and then.

Wowinsider did an article about raid stacking and info the Ghostcrawler posted on the Official boards. Currently each class has abilities or buffs that help the raid as a whole. I'm not going to get into each one, Nae over at shadow and light did a nice write up for that.

I will however delve into the hunter raid stacking. Each hunter spec has a buff that benefits either the group he/she is in, or the raid as a whole. BM hunters have Ferocius inspiration (+3% damage to all party members on pet crit), MM has trueshot aura (AP buff), and survival hunters have expose weakness (Attack power buff based on hunters crit, on crit.).

In essence a hunters raid wide stacking ability is increased damage, mainly for melee DPS classes / other hunters (with the exception of FI).

Lich King is bringing changes to hunter abilites that benefit the whole raid more than a focused group. But we wont know how well these will work until fully implemented and tested. (gogo EJs).

Like I said, GC posted some general raid stacking info that is interesting.

  • Most buffs are going raidwide, save "bursty" abilites.
  • Boss debuff limits are still there
  • Blizz is working on replacing Buff stacking with Skilled Player stacking
  • Enoucnters are going to be strategy oriented, not buff/debuff oriented (frenzy fights, anyone?)
What it means:
  • Raids have more flexibility with classes
  • Classes are going to work better in pairs.
  • Buffs can come from more than one class, making having a certain amout of classes uneccesary. (3 mage za, no thanks.)
He also eluded to Survival Hunter mana batteries. That coupled with expose weakness makes the SV hunter a raidwide boon, not just a melee dps uper.

My thoughs:

I think that overall the changes are a step in the right direction. The flexibility to bring players based on skill not class will help progression become easier and more enjoyable on the whole.

Buffs and Debuffs are nice for fights, but I don't think they should be what makes or breaks a raid. I don't want to feel like I need 3 paladins for BoW, BoM, and BoK just to perform at my most.

Class stacking will be more beneficial, but classes will also work well with different classes. Again, making choosing players based on skill much easier.

Class specs becoming more general and more specific at the same time. I didn't get this feeling at first release of talent trees, but it seems as if no matter what spec you choose you can be unique AND top performing.

Blizzard is really doing a great job looking at not just individual raids, but raiding as a whole and making it more accesible and enjoyable for everyone. Mad props blizz.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Addon Spotlight - KHT

Kharthus's Hunter Timers

KHT is a great mod for keeping track of your cooldowns and traps as a hunter. It displays a little box that you can move around your screen which shows hunter abilities and their durations (such as BW, intimidation, traps, rapid fire, etc) and their cooldowns. I use this mod mostly for keeping track of my traps, which shows the trap duration, prep time (time until it's ready to be reset), and how long the frozen target has left in it.

Download it!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trapping is better - finally.

thank you blizzard gods.

Distracting Shot will now be a "Mocking Blow"-esque taunt (so it will taunt the mob onto the Hunter for 6 sec). This will allow you to "peel" monsters to you (and thus to a trap) a lot easier than it is now.
A fail proof pulling mechanic that actually does it's job... woot.
Inc macro: /castsequence distracting shot, feign death

Camouflage - We'll be introducing this new spell at level 80. It will give you limited stealth capabilities. A bonus with it is that you can lay your traps while Camouflaged and it won't break the stealth, allowing you to setup your traps before a pull if desired.
You mean, we can like, actually set it closer than 30 yards? zomg.

Freezing Trap will no longer break on damage 100% of the time. It will still break on damage, but on x amount. So if the mob has a DoT on them, or the mob gets cleaved while in Freezing Trap, it won't just immediately break. Because of this, we're canning Bear Trap (since Freezing Trap will accomplish what Bear Trap was intended for, plus you guys have enough keybinds as it is). Note that we don't intend Freezing Trap to be a stun, so the tuning on how much damage will break it will be important.

I didn't like bear trap anyway. At least now I won't have to unbind my tab key.

Oh, and here's the source

Hybrids vs. Pure Classes

I've been having some strong stances on the Hybrid vs. Pure class discussion / debate / QQfest for awhile.

Basically I believe that Hybrids in no way should be better at something than a pure class. Here's why:

Lets take two extremes, an extreme pure DPS class (mage) and an extreme hybrid class (pally).

The mage was developed to be the class with the single highest damage output in PVE and PVP, AOE and single target. The paladin was developed as a jack of all trade, master of none. The mage's single purpose in group settings was to kick the crap out of the targer. The paladins were supposed to be a utility (for lack of better word) class to fill in where other classes couldn't perform.

In my opinion, a mage should always always always beat a paladin at total dps and damage output. Thinking that a ret pally should beat a mage is rediculous. Mages have no armor, low health, use a ton of mana and pots. Paladins have high armor, high health, can heal them selves, can tank, heal, OR dps. Why should they be the best at everything?

I know I'm ranting and this probably doesn't make sense, but the fact that everybody wants their hybrid class (shaman, paladin, druid, and now deathknight) to be number one in DPS, healing, and tanking is completely stupid.

If a hybrid class is going to be number 1 at tanking, they shouldn't be able to throw on a seperate set of gear and compete for 2-3rd place on dps meters (tank druids).

The one thing I'm worried about in lich king is the generalization of all classes. I don't want my hunter to be effect at AOE or Melee, I don't need a shadow priest to own at dpsing. I need a specific roll for my class so we don't end up with 20 deathknighs and 5 paladins.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Death Knights - Wall of text crits for >9k.

Late I know, but good god that's a lot of info. Yes I know, not specifically hunter related, but I'll tie it in, don't worry.

One of the quotes is interesting.

I suppose we could make 5 of the specs just suck for raiding and expect that you bring the other 25, but that feels kind of lame too. There was certainly deflation following the moment when DKs thought Ebon Plague or some other buff would *insure* a spot in the raid. Is there a class and spec who is happy not to have a raid-mandatory buff or role?

(from the raiding section)

Basically every player wants their spec to have a spot in raid. It becomes hard however when you have more spec types than you do raid spots. In a perfect world, (pre wotlk) each class spec would have a spot in raid. With the introduction of the Death Knight, you add 3 more specs.

That means that someone must be cut. The question is, who will it be?

Obviously people are already being cut from raids due to raid makeup, attendance, etc etc.

On a brighter side, I'm actually looking forward to creating a deathknight and letting it collect dust for a good four months. Go ahead and play yours, it'll just make killing those quest mobs easier for me :-p

If you're interested in playing a death knight definetly check out the above link, if not, just remember -- Chimeras are ugly but Devilsaurs stack with BW.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

WotLK, PVP and You.

There was an interesting thread posted by WoW official boards own Megatf ( that showed qoutes from various well written and thought out "QQ posts" about the state of hunters in PVP.

I have to admit, a lot of these may seem invalid, but still hold true if you are a pvping hunter.

The first problem is that one of the basic mechanics of the hunter class is basically destroyed. A long time ago (pre bc) hunters had this niffty ability to kite players around in PVP if said hunter knew what they were doing. With the introduction of distance closing abilites to basically all classes, that ability is now completely broken in PVP.

"What bugs me is that Blizz has just completely given up on balancing escape mechanisms vs. closure mechanisms and instead started to focus on ranged DPS vs melee DPS. I initially started a hunter because I was drawn to the complexities of kiting, but it's barely a part of the class now and it's obviously not going to be there at all in the expansion. Yeah, I'll probably buy WOTLK, but if you keep going the way you're going with hunters, then I hope for your sake that DKs are spectacular. I don't see much to keep me around otherwise."

The biggest part of being a "ranged dps" class is the ability to stay at range. Keeping a single target at range and blowing the crap out of it was what made hunters fun in PVP. Now we just stay back and try to attack targets that are distracted (which is almost impossible in arenas).

Another problem is the fact that the hunter community feels that the changes being made are coming from devs who believe the hunter class is overpowered. The exact opposite holds true for hunters who play their class to their strenghts.

"I really can't stress the first part enough,

It does feel like a Rogue is designing the WotlK Rogue abilities, in addition to designing the hunter abilities.

I just don't get how something as simple as "We need mobility so we can kite melee, so we can actually do damage as RANGED PSYCHICAL DAMAGE DEALERS", is so hard to understand. Rogues ask for mobility and they get shadow step, hunters ask for mobility and instead we get aspect of the beast which improves our melee WTF?

That'd be like when Rogues asked for mobility, instead of shadowstep, Blizzard gave them a 10% increase in the damage of thrown weapons and deadly throw.


Although its still early beta, and alot of these posts are coming from fustrated hunters, I feel that they are true to the hunter community as a whole.

Hunters need the following

- Effective mana regen
- Kiting
- Pet survivibility
- Mobility

In other words, what we started out with.

Oh and aspect of the beast. WTF IS THAT? (

"- Line of Sight: We do plan to introduce two new Hunter abilities that will help combat LoS issues (those we'll announce soon), which we believe plagues Hunters the most out of other classes. We understand this has been an issue throughout Burning Crusade, but we couldn't really address it correctly without introducing new abilities, talents, etc. (which we can do in the expansion) We're also (as funny as it sounds) improving Hunter melee DPS through an improvement to Aspect of the Beast (10% Melee AP buff while this aspect is active), and removed the conditional from Mongoose Bite (so you can use it even if you haven't dodged the opponent). Though you won't be doing as much damage if you were at range, you'll find a pretty significant damage potential while in melee range with these changes."

so instead of giving us abilities or changes that allow for better kiting, you give us melee power buffs. Bravo blizz, bravo.

This was a semi rant, and I'm sure it will all work out come release, but I really hope PVP changes for the better for hunters.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A little off topic - What to do next?

Ever get the feeling you have too much and nothing to do at the same time? Well I'm having that feeling right now.

I recently got my epic flyer (wewt) with some help from some very kind guildies. My goal for right now is to farm/daily their payment back.

I've been trying to think of my next move for my main after that's done though. Here's some things I need to do

- S3/s4 helm (depending on what arena team I find myself in)
- Finish chanting all my gear
- finish off my badge gear (axe, legs, boots)
-Find a new trinket (either hourglass or bloodlust)
- Finish leveling my shammy to 70 (and get him geared/raiding)
- Replace all green and blue gems for sso epics.

There are so many things to do, but so little time, I end up finding my self sitting in shatt or stormwind and not doing anything. Just getting the dailies (shatt and sso) can take up 1.5 hours, not to mention attending raids i've signed up for.

Maybe I just need to relax on my main, switch over to my shammy for abit. The one thing I need to avoid is getting burned out on my main, or "working" in wow.

Lich king can't come fast enough imho. Chimeras ftw.