Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WoW Reports goes Live

WoW Reports, my brand new blog, has posted the 2nd week of Arena class statitistics.

I'll give you a hint on which classes are dominating: both wear plate.

Not too much to report on the Hunter side of things.  I am specced into Survival, so I am currently trying to raise my skill level in PvP and PvE as a Survival Hunter. 

One thing I have been immensly enjoying is my 1 minute Wyvern Sting.  In BG's using Wyvern Sting reminds me of the past, pre BC, where I would Wyvern players on their mounts in World PvP...  great times.

Can't believe it is almost 2009.  Happy new years everyone.  Hope 3.0.8 comes with the new year, on the 6th.

Friday, December 26, 2008

3.0.8 Survival Hunter Specs

For updated Specs, Shot Rotation, etc., visit my Survival Page.

I have been a BM Hunter ever since WoW 2.0 (The Beast Within). I have occasionally tried out Survival or Marksmanship here or there, but have always come home to Beast Mastery. After 3.0.8 is released, I might not be a BM Hunter anymore.

Explosive Shot is back in power. Which means, my primary damage will no longer be physical. My primary damage will be mainly fire damage, especially in PvP where Auto Shots are limited and Steady Shots go unused.

I plan to respec to Survival this Tuesday, even if 3.0.8 is not released, just so I can start practicing as a Survival Hunter (the practice is mainly for PvP).

I have studied which talents are decent as a Survival Hunter and have come up with three different builds:

Survival PvE

Survival PvP

Survival PvP/PvE Hybrid

  • 2/3 in Expose Weakness because it should have 98% up time with just 2 talent points.
  • Counterattack is in the Hybrid and PvP build because the 50% disarm talents are very nice vs. Rogues, and attaining Counterattack for only one talent point seems like an okay deal (after testing I might revisit it)

The basic rotation for Survival Hunters in PvE should be this:
Explosive Shot - Steady Shot x3 Repeat
While keeping Serpent Sting on the target.

If you have enough haste to bring Steady Shot down to 1.5 sec, than it is possible to fit 4 Steady Shots in between Explosive Shot, but that is with 0ms. And with the nerf to Steady Shot and the huge buff to Explosive Shot, I would not, even minutely, delay Explosive Shot from firing, as its just too much damage.

I plan to have a Survival Talent Guide up in the coming weeks after some experience with the tree.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

1st Week Top 100 Arena 2v2 Results

Note: I know that 2v2 is the toughest for Blizzard to balance, but it is the most played bracket.

The end of the first week of Season 5 Arena has come and we begin to see trends of the best classes in 2v2 at the moment.  One team was incomplete (only had one high ranked player), so there were only 199 players out of the usual 200.

Top 100 in Arena 2v2

62 Paladins (31%)
54 Death Knights (27%)
23 Rogues (11.5%)
17 Mages (8.5%)
13 Priests (6.5%)
9 Hunters (4.5%)
8 Shamans (4%)
8 Druids (4%)
5 Warriors (2.5%)
0 Warlocks (0%)

  • Paladins and Death Knights trending higher than early in the 1st week (didn't think that was possible).
  • Mages and Rogues trending lower than early in the 1st week (being replaced by DK's and Paladins).
  • Priests trending higher, Hunters trending lower.  Other classes without significant shifts of representation.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hunter in the #1 Arena 2's Team in the World

Doss, a BM Hunter, and Walka, a Holy Paladin, are currently the top Arena 2's team in the World.  They are currently rated 2152.  This is quite an accomplishment for Hunter's even though we are still underrepresented overall in the top 100 in 2's at the moment.

BM Hunters are going to be getting a big nerf come patch (Readiness no longer affecting Bestial Wrath), and that Viper sting will no longer own Retribution Paladins (percentage based mana drains).  These 2 big nerfs will definitely have an effect on the PvP prowess of Hunters.  It will be interesting to see what other specs Hunters will come up with to compete in PvP (especially considering the new Explosive Shot).

Interesting PTR developments:

Beast Mastery

* Master's Call now remove all root and movement impairing effects from itself and its target, and causes your pet and its target to be immune to all such effects for 4 sec. (Old - Didn't affect pet)


* Arcane Shot mana cost has been reduced from 7% of base mana to 5% of base mana for higher ranks. From 10% of base mana to 7% of base mana for lower ranks.


* Explosive Shot have been greatly increased but the ability doesn't deal AE damage anymore. (Rank 4: You fire an explosive charge into the enemy target, dealing [ 18% of RAP + 476 ] Fire damage. The charge will blast the target every second for an additional 2 sec.)


* Spore Cloud (Rank 6) range has been increased from 5 yards to 6 yards.

Others (link):

Glyph of Mend Pet: Now gives +20 Happiness per tick in addition to the 20 on initial application.

Aspects are back on the regular GCD.
Bestial Wrath is now off the GCD.

Scorpid Poison is now using the same spell AP ratio that others are using (~4.28%) rather than the 5% we modeled previously (the spreadsheet uses 5%). I think that is what they meant in the patch notes about making it the same as other abilities.

So it looks like Rake and Scorpid Poison come out of this pretty well intact.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

1st Week of Arena Season 5 Data

If burst is the new king, Paladin's are the queen.  Their anti-burst bubble's make them the best class to counter burst (especially melee).

Note: It is way too early in the season to truly see where the classes are going to end up.  I'm just bringing the facts as they are written.  Just take the facts with a grain of salt; it is too early to make great judgments concerning classes.

In the top 100 in 2's, there are 57 paladins (28.5% representation, half the teams had at least one paladin)!

There are in fact a few Hunter's in the top 100 (12 at the moment, 6% representation).  Almost all of them are 50/21, which is getting a severe nerf come next patch.

The rest of the classes in the top 100:

37 Death Knights (18.5%)
36 Mages (18%)
34 Rogues (17%)
8 Druids (4%)
6 Priests (3%)
5 Shamans (2.5%)
4 Warriors (2%)
1 Warlock (0.5%)

From the data, right now, in the first week, it looks like Paladins, Death Knights, Mages & Rogues are doing very well in some combo's in 2's.  Every other class has much less representation at the moment.

Now I also know that on my server Death Knights and Paladins are the most played class at 80, representing 26% of the player base at 80.  If this is true for most servers, than Paladins and Death Knights should do above average just because of their higher player representation (opposite goes for lower played classes).

My 2's experience this week (Hunter/Rogue):

We can blow up half the teams real fast and I can kite around pillars (except in the terrible Ring of Valor arena).  We have extreme trouble with Paladin and Death Knight teams.  This is unfortunate because we play these 2 classes in half of our games.

My 3's experience this week (Hunter/Rogue/Death Knight):

I die so fast, it hurts so bad.  Please oh god, the pain...  Cannot wait for new Deterrence... anything to stop the murdering of my poor, poor Hunter...  It did not help that almost every game was in the Ring of Valor, which was suppose to help Hunters, but in my experience, it is my worst arena by far since Hunters have terrible defensive abilities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nuramoc Tamed

@6:26 (Server Time), December 16th, on Blackrock, Nuramoc was tamed.

Details and information after pic.

Siphter, my loyal Rogue friend, spotted her for me.  Luckily I was logged out right by the bridge.  I logged in and flew about 50 yards to the left of this image and tamed Nuramoc.

It had been an interesting day since earlier in the day I had seen my first Nuramoc in the wild (it was on the PTR).  She flies in a figure 8 wherever she spawns.  She does not despawn in one hour if no one touches her like some people have suggested (I was afk with her for over an hour and a half).  She does fly fast, about normal mount speed.

She doesn't fly as high as some people have suggested, about only 10 yards up most the time.  Here are some pics:


Wow.  It has been a lot of camping and flying to try to find this rare beast.  I tried to tame her after the 3.0.2 patch came out and there was just too much competition, and I finally gave up.  But this time around, I stuck with it as there was hardly any competition so I knew I could eventually snag me a Nuramoc.  She is beautiful.

Oh, and by the way, the Arena season has begun...  I will have to jump in this week and see how I fair...  We will see if there is any type of PvP balance at 80...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Patch 3.0.8 Hunter Changes

  • All Hunter pet abilities with a cooldown of 30 seconds or more are no longer on the global cooldown.
  • The coefficient of Rake (Cat) and Scorpid Venom (Scorpid) has been lowered.
  • Volley damage has been reduced by 30%. (From 505 to 353 damage for Rank 6)   
  • Viper Sting now Stings the target, draining 16% of mana over 8 sec (up to a maximum of 32% of the caster's maximum mana).
  • Steady Shot now only gains 10% of attack power as damage (down from 20%).
  • Kill Shot cooldown lowered from 35 to 15 seconds.

  • Deterrence changed to - When activated, increases parry chance by 100% and grants a 100% chance to deflect spells cast by targets in front of you. While Deterrence is active, you cannot attack.  Lasts 5 sec. 1 min cooldown.
  • Aspect of the Wild now affects raid members.


Beast Mastery
  • Unleashed Fury now increases the damage done by your pets by 3/6/9/12/15%. (Down from 4/8/12/16/20%)
  • Serpent's Swiftness now increases pet's melee attack speed by 2/4/6/8/10%. (Down from 4/8/12/16/20%)
  • Kindred Spirits now increases pet's damage by 3/6/9/12/15%. (Down from 4/8/12/16/20%)

  • Improved Tracking changed to While tracking Beasts, Demons, Dragonkin, Elementals, Giants, Humanoids and Undead, all ranged damage done to those types is increased by 1/2/3/4/5%.
  • Trap Mastery now only increases periodic damage done by Immolation and Explosive Trap. (Old - All damage)



I have been following the Hunter changes since they first appeared on the Damage Dealing forums. Let's break down the main 3 nerfs and the main 2 buffs...

Three Main Nerfs
  • Readiness doesn't affect Bestial Wrath anymore.
This is the largest nerf to BM Hunters, as the 50/21 spec was unbelievably amazing in PvE and PvP.  Readiness in conjuction with Bestial Wrath was just too powerful.  I totally agree that this needed to happen.

  • BM Talent Nerfs (Unleashed Fury, Serpent's Swiftness & Kindred Spirits)
These three talents were crucial talents and pretty much had to be picked up because of their damage increase.  I am okay with this nerf, as these talents are still very good after the nerf.

  • Steady Shot now only gains 10% of attack power as damage (down from 20%).
This is a big nerf to Steady Shot for all Hunters.  This actually ends up hurting Survival the most as it is the most important part of Survival's damage (BM Hunters have their pets which do more damage than Steady Shot).  All Hunters will see their damage decrease with this nerf.

I love this change.  I can only hope they go a few steps further with the idea of Steady Shot being a filler shot and not our most important shot.  As a BM Hunter I must say PvE is ridiculously easy and extremely boring as I have to spam Steady Shot to do maximum damage.

I believe Blizz will have to buff Arcane Shot for it to be weaved into a BM Hunters rotation, even with the nerfs to Steady Shot (as Steady Shot still scales with weapon damage and ammo, while Arcane Shot does not).  Introducing more scaling with Arcane Shot would be a good boost to Hunters in PvP and allowing us to use more complex rotations for damage in PvE.

Two Main Buffs
  • Kill Shot cooldown lowered from 35 to 15 seconds.
This is a solid buff to a very nice ability.  Being able to use it 2-4 times instead of 1-2 times on bosses is a dps boost, and having to wait on the cooldown in PvP will be a lot less painful.

  • Deterrence changed to - When activated, increases parry chance by 100% grants a 100% chance to deflect spells cast by targets in front of you. While Deterrence is active, you cannot attack. Lasts 5 sec. 1 min cooldown.
This is a huge change.  Deterrence is now totally different than before.

If facing the target is taken out of the requirements, than Deterrence becomes a solid ability.  If facing the target remains, than when you might need Deterrence most (during a stun), Deterrence probably will not help you (as the attacker will now be behind you).

I do not like that I cannot attack the target during Deterrence, but I understand why they would have that limitation with the ability.  I wonder if Deterrence stops the damage from ticking dots when you enter Deterrence...  Basically, time will tell if Deterrence is a good ability or not, but any change to the mechanics of Deterrence is good in my book.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Best PvE Hunter Pet

For an updated post about 3.1 Hunter Pet DPS, view my new BM PvE page.

I have done some testing on level 80 test dummies with a Cat, Devilsaur, Wasp, Wind Serpent and Gorilla.

Pet families (tenacity, ferocity, cunning) have a large part to do with a pets damage; however, pet special abilities also factor in to pet damage.

Ferocity is the best tree for PvE (dps) and PvP.  That's just the way it works at the moment, and it is unfortunate that a whole pet family is inferior because the Cunning tree is lackluster.

Wind Serpent: Worst dps of the bunch (wait, isn't their a gorilla in the mix?...  yes there is...).  Go for the Throat makes Owl's Focus pretty worthless.  Cornered and Feeding Frenzy are trivial compared to a Ferocity's 9% crit and Rabid.  Wolverine Bite is actually okay in PvE (bad on target dummies), but does not make up the damage loss of the other abilities.  Anyways...  basically you just can't go with a Cunning pet in PvE or PvP (for min/maxing purposes)...  ; (

Gorilla: 2nd worst dps of the bunch.  Yes, Thunderstomp is just that overpowered, even for single target dps.  I'm not sure why it hits much harder that other pet special abilities, since it also hits every enemy nearby.  But there ya go, a tenacity pet that can carry its own weight in a dps fight.  I thought about taming and leveling a Scorpid but just didn't see great application for one (as they are only decent vs single target long boss fights, and I only participate in few 10 mans, and no 25 man raids), not to mention, that I just do not like the tenacity pet for PvE dps situations, the Ferocity in my opinion offers much better survival options (lick your wounds & heart of the phoenix).

Wasp: Right in the middle of the 5 test pets sits the Wasp.  This is my PvP pet.  The Sting is just too good against mages and rogues (and the debuff is good against all for the 1200 armor ignore at level 80).  However, in PvE, the Wasp seems to lose a bit of its dominance as other classes can bring their own abilities that lower enemies armor which override my Wasps sting.  Basically the Wasp is good but not great PvE dps.  For min/maxing, the Wasp does not cut it.

Devilsaur/Cat: Easily top dps.  They are both very close in terms of dps.  On a target dummy the cat wins by a small margin, but buffs help a Devilsaurs Monstrous Bite, which makes them about equal in actuality.  However, there is one major flaw that a Devilsaur has... and that is Monstrous Bite, which makes the Devilsaur grow... growing its hit box with it.  This makes your Devilsaur sometimes aggro other mobs or bug out (not to mention the pounding steps).  Basically it is just a little too much of a hassle to bring a Devilsaur and since a Cat is about equal dps, I prefer the small and silent Cat instead of a Devilsaur.

Going with a Cat also allows you more options with speccing since you do not have to go a full 51 points into the BM tree.

Basically I'm just trying to stay interested in the game now that I have almost every piece of gear that I want and almost full honor points.  Can't wait for the Arena Season 5 to begin...  17th...  I feel like I'm waiting for Wrath of the Lich King all over again.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hunter BM PvE at 80

Since we are still 2 weeks away from true PvP, I have been gearing up through all of the heroic 5 man dungeons that Wrath of the Lich King has to offer me.

I am enjoying my best PvE damage with this spec (I believe this to be a very popular spec):

Volley is still the bread and butter of PvE and Serpent's Swiftness and Mortal Shots help make it very strong.  And on boss fights BM is great.  So there is really no downside except for the constant spam of Steady Shot making it the most bland raiding spec (luckily Volley is still fun for me).

I believe pretty much everyone will be sporting heavy PvE gear throughout half of the 5th season of arena.  Burst damage will be key, and Paladins will be strong in Arena's because of their negation of burst (Divine Shield and Hand of Protection).

I'm going to be playing mainly in 2's with a Rogue and in 3's with a Rogue and a Death Knight.  Hopefully we will have some success somewhere.  I really hope Hunter's get a few more survival buffs and a few more on the run damage buffs before too long into arena season 5.