A Quickie.

May 29, 2008 at 10:15 am (Uncategorized)

I love looking at what brings people to this site. I also love making helpful and/or sarcastic remarks about them. So why keep those things to myself?

Here are, from the past six days, the searches I found most interesting.

When do you know that you are ready for…

Legitimately, that was the search. I’m going to assume this was Karazhan – OK, if you’re a plain-jane BM hunter, and you want to kick ass, you’ll probably need around 5% hit, a weapon that has a minimum of 60 ranged DPS on it, and some decent gear. Same goes for the other trees. Survivalists can have 8% hit in their sleep. Really, regardless of gear, you should be fine if you can do heroics and not die, so look to have around 400 DPS without your pet, bare minimum. Shoot for more than that.

Worst Hunter Strength Gear…

The answer would be… everything, unless you happen to be masterminding a Survival Hunter Tank approach. See the question about Survival Tanking later on.

Worst Hunter on the Drenden Server…

Generally, it’d be anybody who has the gall to switch trees to Beastmastery, raid Kara with greens, and continue to plague the Survival Hunter “Community” with his poorly thought out opinions and weak attempts at humor.

It couldn’t possibly be me, because I’m raiding in purples now.
/bling

16 steps through the heart…

I’m sorry, there are only two ways I know to the heart – through my stomach and a well-aimed shot to the ribcage, approximately three inches up and two inches to the right from the solar plexus. You’re off by 14.

“Season 1 Crossbow” Beast Mastery…

Ah! One i can provide a factual answer for!

The Gladiator’s Heavy Crossbow is a solid weapon for the BM hunter pre-Kara, as well as any hunter. High top-end damage, high low-end damage, the only thing that sucks is the shot speed. You will do a buttload of damage with it, but you must keep in mind, the advantage of BM is that you have Serpent’s Swiftness.

If I were to switch back to Survival and still have that Crossbow equipped, the damage would barely change. However, my DPS would drop, because I don’t have the 20% speed increase that the BM tree gives me. Remember, it’s Damage Per Second. Not Per Sarah Silverman, Per Sauvingon Blanc, or Per Savatage.

Thus, if you were to happen upon a weapon with similar damage and a faster shot speed, say, the Wolfslayin’ Shotgun, (You cannot honestly expect me to believe that’s a sniper rifle…), you would reap the benefits for a good long time.

Hunter BM PvE Tactics…

Pew pew pew, big red pet, pop cooldowns, pew pew pew, pew pew pew, mana potion, pew pew pew, lather rinse repeat. Boss dead. Next question.

Things things arena 2…

Morituri Tu Salutante. Next.

Which Heroics Gear Up Hunters…

Depends on what kind of hunter you are, and what kind of gear you’re looking to replace. For the most part, look for the Beast Lord’s Armor if you’re BM, for sure.

You will love Steamvaults, regular and heroic, especially for the Angry Stingray Bow. Mechanar’s good for these gloves, Bot has some killer boots, and if you want to go for some real good gear (and have a very masochistic sense of “fun”), by all means, go for Heroic Shadow Labyrinth.

MM and Survival Hunters really should just ninja anything they find useful.

Boar Survival Hunter…

WHAT?!?! YOU CAN ROLL A BOAR SURVIVAL HUNTER?!?!?! SCREW BEING A COW, I WANT TO BE A BOAR!!!

Sorry, thanks to changes, these guys aren’t that “good” anymore. Their Charge attack doesn’t give the boost to Growl, and therefore, no more massive amounts of aggro to start with. They’re still fun, but now you have to use them in the same way you’d use any other pet.

Can Survival Hunter Tank…

Yes and no. Stack your agility and Strength (for whacking people), pick up some +dodge and +defense items, wear as much mail as humanely possible, live in Improved Aspect of the Monkey, pop Deterrence a lot, and have somebody constantly keeping debuffs on the target, like Scorpid Sting. Get faster weapons.

It’s possible, but very, incredibly unfeasible.

That’s all we have time for today. Catch you later.

-Track

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What Is The Survival Hunter Mindset?

May 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm (Hunterology, Survival)

SHA\'s resident genius, Trackhoof

Well, just one, really, but this deserves some good attention – as it’s very well written, and is in itself an excellent question to address. This one comes from Maebius of Farstriders –

Long time feed-reader, not sure if I’ve commented before on your site…

The question: Being a lvl 56 survival hunter with a Crab/Owl pet (depending on my mood), what would you feel is the best technique to grind/farm with him? (such as farming Mageweave for our alt FirstAid, Tailors, etc).

http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Farstriders&n=Nookni

Currently, I have a macro to cast Hunter’s Mark, and send in the pet. I wait until a growl+claw/screech goes off, then /cast Serpent Sting. Afterwards, I generally just let Autoshot PewPew with the occasional Mend Pet or a Arcane Shot to finish something off quickly.

If I expect a multiple pull mob, I tend to toss a freezing trap before the initial pet runs in, and fire a multishot after the growl to pull one of the adds into the trap. With a few weeks of practice, I can now comfortably trap this extra mob three times, though usually the first mob is dead before the first trap wears off, so it’s not necessary unless a 3-pull.

(Kiting a mob around the zone is a bit beyond my skill-level now, and needs practice.)

However, this method seems slow, boring, and pretty ‘automated’. Click a button, wait a second, click another, go get a drink while autoshot kills mob.

Is there a better way to grind at this level, that does not suck mana like draining water through a sieve? My reasoning for the Serpent+ Auto is that if I use a basic +8mp5 oil on my weapon, I can generally grind pretty quickly with only needing to stop and drink every 10 mobs or so.

My research so far with survival tends to result in end-levels information, where a Steady Shot rotation, Snake traps, Misdirection, and such are all ‘given’ skills. Levelling up (slowly) there’s not much info other than “get to lvl XYZ, when you can be using ABC skill”.

My hunter, Nookni, is currently lvl 56 and will probably be sticking around under lvl 60 for quite a while, mostly to help guildmate alts group up through this pre-Outlands stretch of questing. Nookni is meant to be my ‘farming’ alt.

(I do not PVP much other than to grind tokens for a black Raptor when I eventually ding 60)

For the longest time, I had been a beastmaster, before they were the current “favorite” of MQoSRDPS flavour for raids. Then, a few months ago, I respecced Survival to try something different. I fell in love with the Hunter again. Trapping, was easier, I learned a bit more about aggro and could actually survive getting the periodic melee-your-face Add-mob. I started collecting a bit more agility on my gear, etc. I also dropped alchemy sine our guild had a large number of them, and figured I’d go to [Dis]enchanting to help feed our guild enchanter materials from random drops I get while farming.

I know I can enchant my gear a bit better, and probably upgrade some things with a few quick instance-runs from guildmates, but for now, I’m mostly concerned with the “how/why” of Survivalism, and being less of a “Huntard” as far as methodology.

Thanks,
-Nate
Nookni, Kanandi, Denahi (Farstriders Realm)

An excellent question, Nate.

I checked out your armory profile – your spec seems wide open right now, which is great. If you don’t plan to take anything past 60 on this guy for now, you’ll definitely benefit from the Outland gear that you can get at 58 through the Auction House, in terms of boosting your Agility and effectiveness.

Your main concern, at this point, is Mana Efficiency; Since you have a preference for using Serpent Sting and autoshots, and want to make the most of the Survival Tree, I cooked up a spec for you that, hopefully, you’ll dig.

A nice little Survival / Marks spec.

All killer, very little filler – I wanted to go far enough into Improved Stings to give you some added benefit for your Serpent Sting approach, but also, I recommend, in your case, picking up Resourcefulness, for the reduced Trap cost, and a bit in Lightning Reflexes for more Agility. When you get towards 60, feel free to max out Lightning Reflexes or Serpent Sting, and load up on some AP while you’re at it; it’ll increase the damage output of your Stings, and certain traps, as well.

Additionally, try using Immolation Trap, one of said traps which benefit from additional Attack Power, and stacks up another great DoT on top of Serpent Sting. Use it the same way you would use your Frost Trap, and give yourself a little time before you do a pull, so you’ve got a cooldown ready for emergencies. Mirshalak uses Serpent + Immolation all the time when he’s farming old instances like Scholomance for the very reason that it’s low threat, high damage, and light on the mana.

(It’s the Diet Dr. Pepper approach – great taste, low calories, and all the goodness you expect from a man who has a Phd. in carbonated beverages.)

I would generally recommend using your Owl more; Screech is a brilliant threat builder, since it’s Area of Effect, and can build threat on monsters without even touching them. As a Survival Hunter, if you don’t have a threat meter, get one. It’ll help you learn the ebb and the flow of your damage, as well as managing your pet effectively, which you seem to have under control.

In regards to getting into the “Survival Mindset”, the key idea is fluidity. Be prepared, but also improvise if necessary; rather than the stand-and-deliver-DPS approach you may be used to, find little ways to keep yourself mobile. One of my guildies referred to the way that I trap as art itself; she’s excellent at the entrenched DPS style, where the mindset of motion I got into as a Survival Hunter gives me the flexibility to do that while I’m trapping or planning ahead in my mind.

Think about it this way – if you are a good Survival Hunter, you plan two steps ahead and think three steps to the side. Readiness, for a true Survivalist, requires no talent points; it’s part of the class. 🙂

I congratulate you on being open enough to explore your class, wish you luck, and as we’re in the Emberstorm battleground group, maybe I’ll see you on the fields of war some day!

-Track

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Do As I Say. Or as I do.

May 21, 2008 at 10:59 am (Beast Mastery, Hunterology, Survival)

Yes, I’m BM. Que the booing and hissing. Blasphemer, betrayer, blah blah blah.

Am I truly a Judas? Pshh. I’m what’s essentially a class officer for Project X (unofficially referred to as the “Hunter Guidance Counselor”); I’m the one setting the good example for the other hunters in the guild. Some of them can DPS, but can’t trap; others can trap, but can’t DPS; Some can’t manage their pets, but DPS and trap effectively. It’s my job to help them out wherever possible.

Thing is, PX is going for 25 mans. We’re slowly getting there – we’ve got a Gruul run on June 1st, and planning on more raiding during the summer. We’ve got talent; in two TK runs, we’ve cut our trash wipes from 20 to 2 before getting to Solarian. What we lack is damage and true raid synergy.

Why did I spec Survival? For monster crits, CC-ability, and the good of the raid. Expose Weakness, I argued, is totally worth it to give up my personal DPS; we’ll have enough guys that can make use of it.

Project X doesn’t have enough guys that can make use of it; our top DPSers are a Warlock, a Mage, and a Rogue; the rest of the top ten has two more mages, another warlock, another rogue, an enhancement shaman, a shadow priest, and a BM hunter. On our last TK run, I cut in at #11. I knew I was going to be giving up a lot as a Survival hunter. But the numbers just weren’t working out to justify it.

We’ve got more spellcasters, and as such, they would benefit from the FI proc. Instead of just adding 10 or 14 DPS, we’re talking about adding nearly 30 DPS to one person. And that’s on top of the major boost in personal DPS. The math don’t lie; it makes more sense to be BM at this point for my guild, especially since I know what I’m doing and can make the most out of it.

So what’s my plan? Stay BM for the time being, and accrue the gear that will eventually allow me to spec Survival and come back to what I love. Druids flip between healing and tanking, Warriors flip between DPS and Tanking, it’s not much of a nicht-nicht if I flip between DPS and Raid Buff.

Besides, there’s an entire site here of Survival knowledge. I joke and chide BM hunters for being cat jockeys (I personally have a wolf named Zakk) and Marks hunters for being gun nuts, but if there’s one thing I’ve always stressed, it’s to not be close-minded about the class, and learn whatever you can in order to be a better hunter.

That’s what Survival does to you; it forces you to learn more in order to succeed. You take that to any other tree, and you will kick ass and chew bubblegum ’till you’re all out of bubblegum.

-Track

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Another great Survival Blog.

May 16, 2008 at 11:20 am (Survival)

Scattered Nightmares.

It’s a very well done, informative read; Nomakk’s a good writer, and I’m sending him some love because the man upstairs, the Big Red Kitty, seems to be shunning his Survival cousins. 😛

You’ll also be able to find his link on my blogroll.

-Track

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An update.

May 12, 2008 at 10:47 pm (Survival)

So, I have to say, I am rather glad with how SHA has progressed in the past couple of months. Closing in on 10,000 views. A hell of a milestone; I honestly thought it’d take me a whole year to get that, and I honestly didn’t think there were that many Hunters out there (and it wasn’t just me clicking ten thousand times, I swear!).

And I am rather glad with myself; even I’ve changed since I started the blog back in December. I have a new guild that I’m happy with, real life is going swimmingly, and I don’t feel as rushed these days. I’ve also started working out more, which in turn, has really mellowed me out.

But you want Survival tidbits. Well, I’ll give ’em to you.

I’m trying out an improved Arcane Shot build, suggested by Drotara and modeled after Alumatine’s. It’s working out swell. I’m no longer a true Survival Hunter like Guywired suggests (Readiness or GTFO), but I’m doing fine for myself in that regard, DPS-wise.

I’m sitting at 674 Agility, unbuffed. I haven’t set foot in Kara yet, but I did hit Tempest Keep in a guild trash-clearing night event today, and I got these : Bands of the Celestial Archer. Nice, huh?

Yep. I did have to break my set bonus (as well as the Earthstorm Diamond bonus) in order to get at that tasty, tasty +crit rating, more intellect, and increased AP. I compensated, dropped a +8 hit somewhere else, and made it all happy again. 8% hit ain’t that bad.

Also, I picked up a Ravager. His name is UggahBuggah. Until I can get 33% static crit, I’ll stick with him. He’s 63 and already he holds aggro like a champ. Takes punches like Rocky, though. (And by that, I mean he usually gets knocked around for a couple rounds before he gets in some good stuff.)

The new guild rules. They’re funny, sharp, and good company during a raid. And goofballs.

In reference to anybody who may ask, “but didn’t you say that you were as good as you were gonna get?” Yes, I did say that. I said top 10, Ravenholdt. I may not be top 10 in Drenden, but top 25 for sure. What’s there left to learn? Plenty.

Learning about my class has all but finished. I’ve left few stones unturned; the learning’ll start over with Lich King.

However, learning about the people I plan on spending the rest of my days in WoW with has just begun.

And that, really, is the best lesson I can teach any Hunter. Learn about and know your guildies in-game. They’re why you’re the hunter you are.

-Track

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