Diamonds and Rust

January 31, 2008 at 7:49 pm (Arena, Dee Pee Ess, General Hunter Knowledge, Survival)

Gotta love that Baez factor, even if I do like the Priest version better.

Anyways, today’s topic – Gems. Jewels. Baubles. The shiny. Bling. If you’ve got sockets, you want those positively gleaming with the best gems you can find.

But what gems are right for YOU?

Well, let’s work that out.

Generally, you want to stack your sockets with the gems that’ll do the most. Every now and then, it helps to go for socket bonuses, but if you’d benefit more from getting a ton of agility vs., say, stamina and a +3 stamina boost, then you’ve answered your own question. Go for Agility, no arguments.

For example, if you are a Hunter, and you have a Stalker’s Helm of Second Sight, that bad boy should be loaded up with Agility gems. It should be redder than a bunch of drunken Commies at Chinese New Year.

But say, you’re like me, and you opted to get yo’ self some welfare epics, and you find yourself sitting on a nice, shiny Gladiator’s Chain Helm.

It has officially become trickier, as you now have a Red gem slot, and a Meta gem slot.

Hmm… What to put there?

Track recommends the following :

For PVE – don’t care what kind of hunter you are –

Relentless Earthstorm Diamond

Thundering Skyfire Diamond

For PVP – Once again, don’t care what kind of hunter you are –

Powerful Earthstorm Diamond

Enigmatic Skyfire Diamond

Relentless Earthstorm, as you can see, is not only a major boost to your Agility, but gives you the benefit of a +3% Critical Damage bonus. Apparently, this is calculated AFTER your talents and critical damage; so really, it’s just gravy. You can more than make up the difference of a lost point in Mortal Shots with this puppy.

Thundering Skyfire is great for anybody with a high attack speed and looking to maximize their DPS with +haste.

A good example would be a Troll Hunter, who can toss up Bloodlust every now and then, on top of Rapid Fire, and The Hourglass of the Unraveller (if you happen to be so lucky).

To maximize on that, you’d have to be Beastmastery, for the 20% speed increase from Cobra Reflexes. You’d be an arrow-shooting gatling gun. Kind of like this, but with arrows.

Keep in mind two things.

One, there’s a 40 second cooldown on the proc. You basically get a 3% chance on hit, which, according to ElitistJerks, works out to about one proc a minute. Not too shabby, but not constant.

The second thing?

Your shot rotation will be borked. You’ll be getting off Auto Shots faster than the global cooldown (which is one and a half seconds, that’s 1.5 for those of you who think A&S graduates stop using numbers after college) can reset. So to maximize the benefits, you’ve got to shoot nothing but normal, un-special bullets.

The Powerful Earthstorm is a sizeable +18 stamina, but the real benefit lies in the 5% Stun Resist. Any chance to resist Stuns automatically puts you a cut above the competition, and gives you a chance to avoid using that PVP insignia to put that rogue in their place.

Enigmatic Skyfire, combined with a Surefooted boot enchant and the Survival skill of the same name, is ridiculous. RI-DICULOUS.

You can max out around 25% resist to traps and snares.
Allow me to re-state that. TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT.

That means one out of every four Hunter traps, one out of every four Druid roots, one out of every four Frost Novas, one out of every four other things that could snap you up, will be null and void.

Pretty effing sweet, eh?

But these amazing bonuses, much like late-night telemarketing selling exercise tapes and the most technologically advanced hokum on the planet, have a cost that is not directly apparent if you are new to them, and drawn in simply by the allure of all things shiny and orderable over the phone.

That is, you must fulfill the requirements of the gem before you get its powers.

Captain Planet-style.

For example, I spent a good five minutes pestering guild chat with questions as to why I didn’t immediately get 12 agility for my head gear.

Not a moment later did I get the response, “Track, what does it say right below the gem’s bonuses?”

“Two Red Gems required. I’ve got the red gems, got more than enough, why the hell ain’t it working?”

“Track, there’s some grayed out stuff too, isn’t there?”

“Ayep, two yellow and two blue gems…. Wait, I need those too, don’t I.”

“Yep.”

So, research the requirements. If you need to fill a “More X than Y” requirement, FYI, it’s a required difference of 2 gems. And don’t be afraid to use purple, green, or orange gems. Those little babies are socket savers, let me tell YOU; but the best part is, they count towards both totals.

Basically, here’s the deal – don’t waste your time on regular +4’s you can get off the NPC vendors. +6 stat gems are readily available on the cheep-cheep from Auction House-trolling jewelcrafters, and most of the desirable ones are easy to find.

Also, if you want to save some ducats, buy the ore the particular cut is farmed from and ask a jeweler to do the cut for you. Tip in proportion to cost; 20% is usually a good tip, if it’s a hard-to-find cut (like any of the Earthstorm or Skyfire cuts), tip a little higher.

+8’s gets you into pricey territory, as they’re uncommon / rare, so just go for mid-level gems and you should be OK to start with before you get into raiding / PVP/ ERP.Also, grind that Consortium rep. There’s a good +Agility dagger to be had, and the higher rank you are, the bigger tithe you get paid as a member at the beginning of each month, and they send you some pretty nice jewels.

But, on the whole, you know what kind of sockets you have, and you now know what kind of gems you’ll need to fill them. It’s up to you to do a little homework of your own.

(What kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t let you learn by doing?)

-Track doesn’t have a grill, but he DID ice out his horns.

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Top 10 Reasons I Should Be Able To Tame Clefthoofs

January 30, 2008 at 9:24 pm (Uncategorized)

The Top 10 Reasons I Should Be Able To Tame Clefthoofs

10. It’d be adorable. Smelly, but adorable.

9. Trackhoof and Smackhoof. See, I’ve even got the name worked out already!

8. It’d be as close as I’d ever get to being able to tame a Kodo. Or a Bantha.

7. They’re quite fuzzy.

6. I can’t tame a Cow.

5. I can’t tame a Gnome Mage.

4. I can’t tame a Hippogryph or Kodo, yet for some odd reason I can ride either one. WTF?

3. They’re aggro-making machines. They have Thunderstomp, Bite, could learn Growl, and probably know a special debuff known as , which lowers enemy stamina, increases personal defense, and triggers possible vomiting every other minute.

2. If I can ride a furry tractor, and tame its less war-like brethren, I should sure as hell be able to tame the furry equivalent of an Abrams battle-tank.

1. On the subject of Banthas, hunters, guns, and surviving in harsh climes, it only makes sense that I’m trying to fulfill my long-standing desire to be one of the Sandpeople of Tatooine.

Sure, I’ll get killed by some whiny Night Elf named “DarthSephirothxXx” who rolled a Death Knight when the expansion comes out, but it will be worth it.

But, failing the ability to tame Clefthoofs, and knowing somebody will roll a Night Elf Death Knight and name it “DarthSephirothxXx”, regardless, I’ve taken preliminary precautions and reserved the name “ObiWanTracknobi” and “Smackhoof”.

I am aware that Death Knights will use Rune Blades, and not hammers. I also know I intended to save that name for my Clefthoof. But we all know that last one is impossible.

Besides, you try coming up with a clever name that ends in –ackhoof, suits the character, and fits the rhyme scheme.

-Track

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BlogAzeroth Time!

January 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm (Blog Azeroth, Survival)

Taking yet another giant leap in establishing myself within the WoW Blogmunity, I’m participating in what hopes to be the first of many shared topic posts on BlogAzeroth.com ; you can find a link to the mayhem of mass posting here.

Today’s Topic, courtesy of Siha: What do I enjoy about the class you play the most?

Hmm, good one. What do I enjoy about being a Hunter? Let me count the ways.

1) I love having a buddy. I can’t always play with friends, but I love the idea that I’ve got a little pet following me around. I like that I can name it and express my individuality even more, as well as using the different skills of each pet to great effect.

2) I love shooting things. I love the idea of sniping things off from a distance (which is ironic, because in any First Person Shooter, I suck with sniper rifles, yet I’m good at it in real life), and I like having an assortment of shots to work with.

3) I love the strategy. You can play a hunter as a “Faceroller”, or somebody who just rolls their head across their keyboard to kill mobs, or you can become the master tactician. You have traps, aggro-redirection, a pet, and the ability to react on the fly. (It also helps that there are Hunter talents called “Combat Experience” and “Master Tactician”.)

4) I love the ownage. The pure damage possibilities of the class are extensive, but to be that mobile AND to be a threat is ridiculous. We lack the straight-up nukeability of a Mage, but we more than make up for it with our other abilities.

and 5) I love the Survival Tree. I have not encountered another tree in any class so enchanting with its embrace of extra damage, trap abilities, PVP abilities, general all-purpose asskicking talents, and what have you.

6) I love guns.

*shrug* I love guns, and I get to be a cow with a gun. Sure, I don’t get a Specialization like Dwarves do for them, and probably should’ve rolled a Troll to make the best use of racials. You know what? I don’t give a rat’s ass. So what if I don’t get Berserking? Big deal. Who cares about needing 3% less hit with Bows? Like I care about those stupid troll racials anyway!

/goes to corner
/cries
/comes back

Okay, and…um, yep, that’s it. 6 solid reasons why I love being a Hunter. *sniff* Nope, that’s not a tear. I got something in my eye. Yeah, that’s it. Yep, no crying here.

-Track

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For the Future…

January 28, 2008 at 2:33 pm (Arena, Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, Miscellaneous, Survival)

Xutoo commented on an old entry of mine, regarding Survival in terms of PvE and PvP :

“My objective in Wow is pvp…the trill, the adrenaline rush…all the fellings that make you alive
are in PVP.

My main is a Spriest…and I was a good one a very proud Shadow Priest…then the unbalance assassinate/mutilate/stunlock seriously criplle PVP spriest (disc is a tank/healing tree…)Now im initiating in Surv/MM and mastering…i will lvl up as surv so i can practice at all lvls and against all classes…then At lvl70 i will demonstrate that a Hunters Pet is a friend not a Master of Hunter (i realy dont like Bm method and way of life:P)

Keep up the good job and Post Surv arena tactics!

”O agua do rio que passa nunca volta, mas o rio sempre fica”

I like you already, man, and thanks for coming to the blog!

My old main was a Night Elf Shadow Priest; times change, friends come along into the game, and a couple months later, I rerolled as a Tauren Hunter.

Lemme tell you this much – Survival leveling is NOT gonna be easy, but it will give you ample opportunity to practice all of the PVP skills you need to kick some serious… um… whatever you call “butt” in Portugese.

And once again, you have the right idea. Your pet is your ally. Not your master. 😛

Finally, anybody care to translate that last bit? It sounds really cool, just got no idea what it means. It sounds like it’d be deep and philosophical, and if I knew what it meant, it’d be in the running for Official Creed of Survival Hunters Anonymous. 

Thanks again, Xutoo. It’ll take a little while, but I’ll write you a damn good Arena entry, as per your direct request.

  -Track 

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Wacky Searches for Inspiration

January 28, 2008 at 2:11 am (General Huntard Logic, Uncategorized, Whoops.)

*Kudos to the Blog Stats feature for Word Press – love it, provides quite a lot of inspiration for blog entries.* 

To whoever was searching for a glimmer of possibility that you could have both Trueshot Aura and Expose Weakness at the same time:

Yes, it is possible; you need two hunters, and… wait… “Trueshot Aura and Expose Weakness Build”? Go back to go, do not collect two hundred dollars. NEXT!

Hmm… “Trueshot Aura stack with aspect of h”… I’m going to assume you meant Hawk, because i don’t think there’s an Aspect of the Ho-Ho or Hamburger on Rye. Though, you have to admit, a Trueshot Aura stacker with an Aspect of Hamburger on rye’d be mighty tasty…

It’s an instant cast spell, so you can also have your Aspect on at the same time. Knock yourself out, chief.

There was also an odd question a while about losing arrows in Warsong Gulch… I don’t know, probably your fault to begin with. 

 Let’s see… “Strength on Hunter Gear?” Hunter, please. The only reason it should have strength on it is if it has an equal proportion of Agility… see, for example, the Ice Barbed Spear, Grimlok’s Charge, Crystal-Honed Voidaxe, etc… 

“How to get AP on your Hunter”? Easy, man. Just go get some hunter gear. Heh, sorry, couldn’t resist. Try getting some enchants, such as Assault on your bracers, or going for +AP gems. Though, if you’re Survival, you shouldn’t concern yourself with it TOO much…

“Trackhoof”… you searched for me!? Specifically?! By name?!? Excuse me for a second..

/bask in glory
/stopbasking

Hmm… there are a couple of these that’re really, REALLy good questions, and will be addressed in future blog entries, though. Stay tuned.

-Track

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Hunterology – Some Heads Are Gonna Roll

January 27, 2008 at 6:43 pm (Hunterology, Survival)

Alrighty, time for another installment of Hunterology.

Since you took the intro level course, Gearing as A Hunter (And if you didn’t, now’s a good time to do so), and I assume you’re at level 70, and furthermore, loving Survival with every pore of your body, it’s time to worry about gear.

Last time was a nice, quick, guidelines to getting geared. Now we’re gonna go a little bit more in depth, as in, what you’re looking for, what you NEED, and what you’re gonna do to get it, starting with headgear.

So, let’s assume you’re in a mixture of blues and quest greens, hitting around 450 Agility. In other circumstances, I’d recommend that you look at BRK’s guide for Hunter Gearing, which is a valuable resource…

But you’re a Survival Hunter, which means your needs are slightly different from other hunters.

Yes, you want +AP, but you’re not hurting as much for it as you would with MM or BM. It’s not the major focus of your tree. You NEED Agility, however, and depending on the situation, +Crit helps.

So, let’s look at headpieces. First off, for sheer amount of potential Agility, you cannot go wrong with either the Gladiator’s Chain Helm or the Stalker’s Helm of Second Sight – The latter starts out with 31 Agility, and 3 blue sockets, which, although you lose 8 AP by not filling them with blues, you can gain 24 Agility by filling them with Delicate Living Rubies.

The former begins with 34 Agility and two sockets… one of which is a Meta Gem socket. Now, think a second before you toss anything in there. By dropping a Meta Gem, such as the Relentless Earthstorm Diamond, in the socket, with everything else lined up nicely, you can have +12 agility for one slot, AND 3% increased Critical Damage. If that’s not what you want, I’ve got a forthcoming post on Gems, so hold tight on that Meta slot.

A close third is the Beast Lord Helm. 25 Agility to start with, +2 mp5 for socket bonus, a Meta and a Red. 50 AP, little less than the Stalker’s Helm, but more than the Gladiator’s Chain Helm, and benefits from the Set Bonus of reduced trap cooldown time.

Now, if +hit is an issue, and you want to stack + to crit chances, go for the Helm of Desolation. No Agility whatsoever, but if you get two pieces of Desolation gear, you get a sweet +35 to hit, which, if you have Surefooted, will put you halfway to being where you want to be, +hit wise. More than if you happen to be a bow-using Troll or a gun-using Dwarf… you bastards. 😛

So, in terms of preference:

1) Gladiator’s Chain Helm. It has potential for loads of agility, a meta slot, a solid amount of +crit (almost 1% crit by itself!), intelligence, more stamina than you can shake a stick at, and 36 AP. Not too shabby.

2) Stalker’s Helm of Second Sight. The quest tree is rough, but the reward is sweet. A solid helm with a balance of Agility, Stamina, and Intellect. What it lacks in +crit it makes up for in having +mp5 and AP.

3) Beast Lord Helm. Drops off of Palatheon the Calculator in Mechanar, who you want to put on farm status for an Abacus of Violent Odds. (Haste is too good to pass up!). Comes with a balance of Agility, Stamina, and Intellect, but less Mp5, and less AP, as well as a lower possible Agility total. BUT, it does have a Meta slot.

4) Helm of Desolation. Only gives +stamina and +int, but has a Meta and a yellow slot. +14 to crit, +4 to hit on slot. BUT, gives +35 to hit when paired with another piece of Desolation gear.

5) Honorary Mention : Malefactor’s Eyepatch. C’mon, you could be like a pirate. Or David Bowie.

So, basically, if you want to up your AP, go with either Beastlord’s or Stalker’s Helm. But if you want the all-around best, no doubt, go for Gladiator’s Pursuit. It’s the shiz, and easy to get, too.

Until Next Time,

-Track

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R.I.P, Worst Hunter Ever

January 25, 2008 at 5:26 am (Uncategorized)

If you will recall, I posted some time ago about a hunter named Bullshooter, who resides on Ravenholdt, and previously awarded his vast, unfathomable ignorance of the Hunter class with a very succinct title, “Worst Hunter Ever”, one both incredibly apropos and hardly an exaggeration.

In the space of as many weeks, he has not only gained two levels, but made a marked improvement in his choices of gear and talent spec. Yours truly is not quite sure whether this is due to maturity, helpful guildies, or a possible case of divine intervention, but he’s a changed hunter. He’s gained a hundred and fifteen AP over his previous total of 700, officially has more Agility than Strength and Intelligence combined (!), and has even fixed his talent spec, which looked something like this.

There are still some wasted points and horrible choices in talents here and there, an unhealthy focus on stamina and virility, a few odd pieces of shammy caster mail, a necklace with + to defense rating, and four very questionably placed points in Improved Arcane Shot.

This is still a vast improvement over the chaos that was the old Bullshooter, who had + to spell crit on top of his + to spell damage and healing gear.

I officially award him the Survival Hunters Anonymous, Chapter 23, “Most Improved Hunter of 2008” plaque; trust me, if you saw the old Armory, you know he deserves it.

-Track

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What The Deuce?

January 22, 2008 at 8:38 pm (Uncategorized)

What’s ironic is that I decided to close up shop on WoW and this blog about a week ago, and in seven days’ time, I’ve gotten roughly twice the traffic I had in the month before that.

(I also have a few guildies and friends begging me to come back, which is always good to hear.) 

I don’t know about you, but five hundred total hits means, at the very least, people are strongly curious, which surprises me.

SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!?!

THE SURVIVAL TREE IS UNPOPULAR FOR A REASON!

YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT!

GO READ BRK! BEASTMASTERY IS NUMBER ONE IN POTASSIUM!

Just kidding. Tell you what; keep those numbers coming. My e-mail’s still active (SurvivalHuntersAnonymous at gmail), shoot me a question or two. If there’s enough interest, SHA will officially re-open for business.

Victory is yours.

-Track 

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Last Post.

January 15, 2008 at 4:52 pm (Beast Mastery, General Hunter Knowledge, Hunterology, Marksmanship, Survival)

To the few hundred of you that’ve seen my site, thank you. It’s given me hope that there’s actually *some* interest in learning to be a Survival hunter, or that the random curiosity of the Internet knows no bounds; hard to tell which, these days.

I am, however, quitting WoW. It might seem impulsive, but it’s something that’s been kicking around my head for a while now, and the thing that I started this blog to stave off, and give my time some purpose.

So, that said, here’s the build I’ve been using to a degree of effectiveness, as a final gift to you.

My build.

My Armory won’t be up much longer on Trackhoof. You might ask, “Why would a Hunter who has none of the things he’s preaching discuss the virtues of Agility, +crit, et cetera…”.

Easy. There was a need to write about the Survival tree, and I filled it as comprehensively as I could.

The page, naturally, will remain as both monument and resource to anybody who so chooses to track it down. I am no longer going to update it. In terms of my grand design for it, Survival Hunters Anonymous is nowhere near where it needs to be in terms of content, but most knowledge about the Survival class and proper play-style is not accrued through theoretical knowledge, but actual practice and execution.

Basically put, if you’re a good Hunter, Survival will only force you to become better.

Best of luck, and if you still have a nagging question that you feel only I could answer, shoot me an email at Survivalhuntersanonymous@gmail.com . I will be available and more than happy to help you out.

Happy trails.
-Track

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Know Your Role : Instances

January 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm (Beast Mastery, Know Your Role, Marksmanship, Survival)

Fresh off the heels of proclaiming the virtues of the Survival Tree’s PvE dominance over the other two comes the second installment of “Know Your Role”! 

So, Instances. Dungeons. Loot pinatas. Hell on earth. Whatever you want to call them, they’re an integral part of the game, and at the end of the line, you *do* need to spend some time in there to know what you’re doing in Karazhan, Gruul’s, SSC, TK, ZA, Sunwell, WYSIWYG, ROFLMAO, WTFBBQ, etc.

Let’s assume that you’ve made it to 70 without ever doing a single instance. Unlikely, sure, but possible. You know how to play a hunter killing random mobs, and maybe a few of the opposing faction in PvP, but this here means you need to use the strongest buff of all – teamwork.

So, first off, ask questions. Find out if there are any difficult pulls, what the boss strategies are, and ask for a role. Some people ignore their responsibilities and assume all dungeons are exactly the same ; gravy pulls, tank and spank bosses, and they can go AFK while the trash is getting cleared.

Secondly, be prepared pre-pulls. If you’re trapping, make sure your traps are down a full 10-15 seconds before the pull is executed.

It’s easy, takes a press of a button, and gives you a whole 15 seconds of breathing room, should the trap be resisted.

Thirdly, protect your healers. Stick close to them, and for the love of the Earthmother, don’t melee unless you’re using Wing Clip or Disengage. (Or if you figure you can take some licks, keep your healer alive, and wait long enough for the trap cooldown to finish.)

Fourth, pay close attention to what you’re assigned. (or if you’re doing the assigning, make sure you know which one’s yours.) Don’t try and trap Moon if the Mage is sheeping Moon; Square is yours. YOURS. Make those crazy eyes at anybody who even tries to TOUCH Square before the time is right.

DPS-wise, budget yourself. Don’t pull aggro from the tank too quickly, and don’t try to burn up the charts. It might be tempting to give that mage or ‘lock a run for his money, but DON’T. Until somebody gives you the OK to throw everything but the kitchen sink at a boss, pace yourself, and conserve your mana. That means less drinking, which leads to faster runs, which leads to happier groups.

Lastly, if you don’t need a blue, pass on it. Greed greens, or need if it’s an improvement. If nobody needs a purple drop, then greed roll or /roll for the shard.

And be friendly. Be that hunter that has the mad skills, and make sure that even if it’s a bad group, you exit nicely.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to tip and thank your tank, and thank your healers. 🙂

-Track

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