Slow days…are slow.

*yawwwwn*

So, my guild has gone 8/8 regular mode. We’re not the “Hard modes must be done!!!” kind of crowd, so what’s there to do to fill the WoW time? No, we haven’t given up on Dragon Soul, there are plenty of things to still do there including getting our Rogue his legendary. But the question remains, short of continuing to beat ourselves against the same content over and over again…what is there to do?

Well, for one…ALL the previous content!!! Sure some of the much older content from Vanilla and BC is completely solo-able, but most Wrath raid content is not, nor are Tiers 11 or 12. And to be perfectly honest, there are some nice rewards for players out there to be had.

  1. Transmog Gear: There is gear a plenty available that is absolutely stunning to look at. I am especially fond of anything from Ulduar. I happen to be particular about Mimiron’s Repeater.
  2. Achievement Points, Mounts, and Titles OH MY!: Now, I know not everyone cares about APs, but I am a total achievement lover! They are there for the taking. Additionally many meta achievements still carry various titles and mounts upon completion. Including the beautiful Ulduar proto-drakes.
  3. BiS gear: No, Ulduar and ICC do not have usable items, but heroic modes for T11 and T12 could in fact still provide upgrades or even BiS items based on class & spec.
  4. Development: Some of the encounters can be difficult to still over come even if out-geared/leveled. They can be great opportunities to allow some folks to use alts, try out a new spec, or a new roll. Want to see if that Holy Pally really can tank in Prot…run them as MT in BoT or BWD before heading to DS.
  5. PvP: Doing guild BGs can be a lot of fun, especially with having a more organized team.
  6. FUN!: Seriously. Its fun to sometimes kick back and beat the snot out of some of these old instances. Our 10 man had about 45 min left in raid, so we knocked out Naxx40, MC, and BWL in quick order. MC was particularly fun where essentially 2 people ran to each boss and then we all met up at Rag. I think MC took us 10, maybe 15 min in total. it.was.fun!

I know, not all of these kinds of things are everyone’s cup of tea, but if you give some of them a fair chance you may find them enjoyable…more so than you’d have thought. You’ll notice I did not suggest leveling an alt. At this point, most players have had more than enough opportunity to level additional toons and classes. While getting a 5 man guild group together to Dungeon run can be fun, I really was focusing on what your raid team can do in lieu of the same raid zone over and over again.

What will you be doing with your raid group once you’ve completed your benchmark for progression?

Patch time…mmm, yummy buffs!

With today’s patch we have some Hunter specific changes that will boost all 3 specs DPS to hopefully be more in line with the Legendary toting DPS classes numbers (in line: meaning closer gap…but we won’t be overtaking them any time soon). Additionally some of these buffs will specifically help Survival Hunters out…

Here they are for the Hunter class…

  1. Aspect of the Hawk now grants roughly 35% more attack power.
  2. Deterrence now also reduces damage taken by 30% while active.
  3. Black Arrow now ticks every 2 seconds for 20 seconds, as opposed to every 3 seconds for 15 seconds.  The total damage dealt by the ability is unchanged.
  4. Lock and Load no longer benefits Arcane Shot, nor is it consumed by Arcane Shot.

So #2 gives us a nice damage mitigation for those things not already blocked (which feels an awful lot like everything most days). #1 certainly aids all three specs in raw dps. But numbers 3 and 4 are SV specific.

The Black arrow change will increase proc chance on LnL…nice change. The LnL adjustment will allow for more delicious Arcane Shots as well as Explosive Shots. No more accidental Explosive Shot consumptions on the LnL proc by an accidental Arcane Shot cast and allows us to weave Arcanes in with LnL to bleed focus. If you were not already glyphed for Improved Arcane Shots, you definitely should now.

I’m curious to know why there aren’t buffs specific to Beastmastery & Marksmanship. One could argue the LnL changes are merely quality of life changes to fix an unintended affect, and that the proc rate/format for Black Arrow is also a correction to unexpected behavior (using traps vs BA to proc LnL). So truly its all about a flat dps boost for all 3 specs.

Is this what the devs were thinking? Are they trying to specifically shepherd us to SV as the primary Hunter dps spec? Thoughts to ponder.

Full patch notes.

Bags are packed, but what skin shall I put on?

So, my bags are packed, and I’m going Alliance! Hoo-boy. Alliance eh. Haven’t done this Alliance thing in ~3 years!!! WOAH! Where are my manners?!?

Big thanks to Ceraphus of the Sundering and the guild Phalanx of Nod for welcoming me into their band of bacon scarfing merry miscreants!!! I hope I can bring some good raid dps and capability to their team when I am asked to come in and contribute. Otherwise that bribe of 150 lbs of prime Benton’s Bacon (used by David Chang no less), will have gone to complete waste.

So, the real question in all of this is…RACE CHANGE! General consensus (WHU & Arcane Shots for example) of a pure mathematical nature on Hunter dps and its effectiveness by race, or more specifically, racial abilities; leads one to the following breakdown:

  1. Orc (DPS racial king)
  2. Troll
  3. Goblin
  4. Worgen
  5. Night Elf
  6. Blood Elf
  7. Human
  8. Undead
  9. Draenei
  10. Dwarf (Clear winners in good looks)
  11. Tauren

So, let us set aside the clear “truth” that Frostheim spouts: Dwarves are best. I have a Dwarf Hunter at level 70 in the WHU on Icecrown already. One Dwarf Hunter is more than enough for any one player. I refuse to play a Human Hunter…in fact, I refuse to play ANY Human character. One part of playing in a Fantasy MMO such as WoW is to suspend reality to some extent. Playing a Human just doesn’t help me do that (no offense to those that play humans, its definitely a personal preference thing).

Side note: On the Horde side the no-no race is undead. I never play any undead. Why? Because in my book the undead are inherently evil. I like to think the Horde is not evil, merely misunderstood or have a differing albeit opposing perspective to the Alliance. Undead however are EVIL! They are UNDEAD! Somehow I cannot bring myself to think I am nothing more than their next meal. Its like I’m Kramer and they are Newman. I see them licking their chops!!!

So, this leaves the choices of Worgen, Night Elf, and Draenei. Draenei do have an increase to hit which is nice for a Hunter, but wholly unnecessary as with current gear choices we are always well over the hit cap. My current WHU Hunter was originally my Night Elf Hunter from Vanilla/BC…so I spent the first 4 years of WoW as a Night Elf. This leaves Worgen….now, from a pure statistical point, they win. 1% crit is quite huge in many ways. I actually have an alt Hunter who is Worgen and is currently level 74, so I have some experience with them, the back story, the racial quirks *sniff sniff*. Its a comfortable decision for me.

Your choice would be? And…um…yeah…For the..oops. Go Alliance?! Wait, where’s my battlecry?! WTF do I say now on this faction!! Seems to me I had read about this issue before…OH YEAH, I had!

@Vidyala wrote something I bet I will be feeling in a month or so as well. :)

Q

I will repeat myself once more…

Why? Because it bears repeating…

IT IS NOT A SPRINT! (see, I really am repeating myself)

Going 7/8 or 8/8 in the first night or week is not an invitation to do Heroic modes. You probably have not garnered enough of the newest gear to be ready to conquer the hard modes; additionally you may not have had enough experience with the newest raid mechanics to have committed to muscle memory and be ready for additional obstacles you will face in that hard mode.

No no…I am not saying you can’t attempt it. Go for it. But there are 2 inherent issues that you may face in your sprint to the finish line of Cataclysmic content…

  1. If you AREN’T ready, you will find yourself banging your head against the wall. Head banging leads to burnout. Don’t be surprised if that burnout happens more readily as well. Folks may not be as inclined to killing themselves during the holiday season, nor for the final tier of content given that the next XPac is probably a considerable ways away still.
  2. If said XPac is in fact still quite some time off, you may find yourself all too quickly “bored”.

Again, I always find myself reminding folks…Blizzard is not creating the next Mount Everest like life challenge for you to overcome. They are selling a product! They want this to last and provide as much bang for the buck as they are able. I have also heard and felt the pangs of “Its too easy!!” Well, that makes sense, it allows for the greatest scope of accessibility for the user base. Don’t look at the game through your “player” eyes…put on a pair of “business” goggles. What they have done makes total sense in so many ways, whether we like it or not.

Now, the argument back I hear consistently is the following: “Well, if they continue like this, I will be unhappy, and I will quit playing. SEE…they need to do it the way I like or they will lose people.” The problem with this perspective is that first off, its been said every major content release, and players always come back. Secondly, and 10 million players they are still far and away the leader of the pack. They have the clout and data to take the chance that YOU will be p.o.’d about the Raid Finder being too easy (or whatever your flavor of complaint is).

Its NOT perfect, don’t get me wrong. I am not trumpeting 4.3 as the greatest content ever, nor do I think Blizzard can do no wrong. I simply feel this new content has so far been fun. The dungeons are a welcome change from the Trollroics. I love the lore that has been laced in (I will admit I am a total sucker for the Lore based part of the game…I LURVS IT!).

My advice…pace yourself. Get folks geared up, spend a few weeks in the normals. Go back and get some of the older tier heroic modes done too. Take your time! There is no extra reward for being first. In fact, if you finish the content today or finish it 3 months from now…there’s really no difference beyond being able to say you did it first. If bragging rights are that important to you, go for it. Honestly, its in my nice to have list…not my must haves.