Thursday, August 11, 2011

Other Games

I have stopped playing World of Warcraft this summer.  I highly doubt I will play World of Warcraft again, and definitely not before another expansion.

I have mainly been playing a modified version of Diablo 2 and League of Legends this summer.

Diablo 2 Epic Mod

My mod for diablo 2 makes it more challenging while making quite a few abilities a lot more interesting.  Yet the core gameplay of Diablo 2 is still there.

The installation to get it all working is slightly more difficult than just loading Diablo 2, but instructions are on the site and it makes for a much more interesting game.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2k Rogue / Hunter

Siphter and I finally managed to get back to the illustrious 2k rating.

Marksmanship with a Spider pet ended up being the ticket.  Once I was able to get more used to Marks I can see how Marks is just night and day better than BM.  It makes me sad but Kill Command is just a bad signature shot for PvP.

In 3's as Hunter / Rogue / Resto Druid we are also doing much better with me as Marks.  I think we could possibly get to 2k with the comp but I'm not sure about anything after that.  The highest Hunter / Rogue / Resto Druid team in the world is 2.2k, but I'm partly sure that is because nobody runs with this comp (the other part is its just a inferior comp).

Well, my goal is still to get to 2.2k at some point with a 3's team.  Not sure if we'll ever reach that goal but it's another step closer with me as Marks.

Friday, March 25, 2011

BM PvP Talents and Glyphs

You can look at my Armory page to see what exact talent spec and glyphs I am currently using.

Talent specs after Cataclysm have gotten much simpler since they are now 31 point talent trees.  The main two options for a BM Hunter is to go into Marksman or Survival with most of the extra points. 

Here are my two different builds for BM PvP:

BM PvP Spec A

BM PvP Spec B

My main spec (Spec A) has two important talents from the Survival Tree: Survival Tactics & Entrapment.

Hunter vs. Wild is pretty much a mandatory talent for every Hunter PvP spec.  15% more stamina for 3 talent points, yes please.

Improved Serpent Sting is just filler to get to the next tier.  Slight DPS gain.

Survival Tactics reduces my Disengage by 4 seconds which is always nice for survivability and can be used even offensively.

Survival Tactics also supposedly reduces the chance for your traps to resist, which should allow more consistent crowd control via Freezing Trap.

Entrapment snares targets when they break a Snake Trap or an Ice Trap (Frost Trap).  This ensnare lasts for four seconds with 2 talent points.  This is a decent control mechanism, especially against melee.

My secondary spec (Spec B) goes for more damage in the Marksmanship tree with my extra talent points.

Go for the Throat used to be mandatory for BM Hunters before Cataclysm.  Go for the Throat used to give your pet 25/50 focus on an auto-shot crit.  As of Cataclysm this talent now only gives your pet 5/10 focus on an auto-shot crit.  That's a huge nerf to the talent, but it gives BM Hunters a choice with their spec.
Go for the Throat still gives a decent increase in DPS per talent point (roughly the same as Bestial Discipline).

Efficiency is really just filler as BM to get down to Sic 'Em! as the 3 less focus cost on Arcane Shot is insignificant, and Efficiency is only 1 less focus during The Beast Within (12 focus cost BW without 3/3 Efficiency, 11 focus cost BW with 3/3 Efficiency).

Sic 'Em! is a much more interesting talent for Survival than for BM.  BM does use Arcane shot a decent amount, especially against high armored targets.  The DPS gain from this talent is still marginal and very random at best.  Of course, during Bestial Wrath it can contribute to a little more burst as the chances of an Arcane Shot crit are pretty high since you will be spamming it between Kill Commands.

Prime Glyphs

Kill Command - 3 focus reduction is not much but there is nothing else interesting for BM.
Kill Shot - Doesn't hit for near as much as it used to, two of them are usually required for a kill.
Arcane Shot - Used frequently and a decent increase in Arcane Shots damage.

Major Glyphs

Bestial Wrath - Lower cooldown = more frequent burst opportunities
Disengage - 5 seconds off a great defensive ability, self explanatory
Raptor Strike - 20% less damage is huge when versing any team that focuses the Hunter, and it's not that tough to land with it now being instant
Master's Call - 4 second increase in duration used to be great, but now that Master's Call can be dispelled, any decent team will usually dispel it after a few seconds (just like a freedom).  Also the 4 second base time of Master's Call is usually enough time to free yourself up and move away.

2v2 Update:
Siphter and I played a few games the other day but just couldn't get into a decent rhythm and my spec was a little bit off.  We will be playing more games in the near future.  We will break 2k.
3v3 Update:
I play with Siphter and Evanie as BM Hunter, Subtelty Rogue, Restoration Druid.  We have climbed above 1800 and are starting to get a good feel for the comp.  The comp itself is not a great comp, but it's not a terrible comp either.  I believe it is possible for our comp with our moderate skill level to get to 2k at some point.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why BM Hunter for 2v2 Arena?

Beast Mastery in Cataclysm has been fairly bad from the start.  The main reason BM started out so bad was because Blizzard removed the immunity from cc during the Beast Within.  So even though the burst from BW was higher (shots cost 50% less focus), in PvP it was actually lower burst since decent opponents would cc the hunter during BW.  Also, BM in PvE couldn't even compete with any class due to it being simply very poor damage.

With the 4.0.6 patch and the Aspect of the Hawk hotfix BM is now viable in PvE and even in some PvP.

My experience with BM is in Rated BG's and 2v2 Arena (Double DPS with a Rogue).
Why do I play BM for 2v2 Arena?
  • Spirit Beast Spirit Mend is the best self healing a Hunter can achieve, and healing is crucial as Double DPS
    • While LoS'ing opponents and using this heal I can outlast a decent amount of 2's teams that focus me (Marks heal with Chimera Shot requires line of sight which opens the Hunter up to more damage)
  • Kill Command can be cast through LoS
    • While I am LoS to avoid damage or if their are LoS'ing me to avoid damage I can still do solid damage to low armor targets
  • Bestial Wrath burst is very high
    • Kill Command crits for 30k are possible against high resilience clothies
    • Arcane Shot spam is decent against all classes
  • The Beast Within can be used a 2nd trinket about every minute
  • Improved Mend Pet does a decent job of removing cc from your pet if you keep Mend Pet always up on your pet
  • Mages die very quickly
    • The strategy vs Mages is to both open on Mage and get that Ice Block.  After Ice Block is when you blow Bestial Wrath and finish the Mage.  As a Hunter in 2's your job is to always be on the Mage until death occurs.  Mages left open are bad news and Hunters are very good vs Mages.
  • Scatter Shot is baseline so BM can actually use Freezing Trap to cc the off target
  • Arcane Shot damage is solid because of the high Attack Power that BM can attain
    • Don't use Kill Command on high armor targets, just spam Arcane Shot
  • Focus regen is very fluid as BM and the need to Cobra Shot (or Steady Shot) all the time is much lower than Marks or Survival

    As a Hunter we still lack good defensive abilities.  Which is why a Rogue is really nice as a partner as he can keep classes that gun for me off of me.  So if the other team has a Rogue that is going for me, my Rogue's job is to keep him off me and I kite, doing damage to the other Rogue while healing myself.

    I believe BM could still use a few tweaks to make it more viable in 3's and against high armor targets.  If I could change 2 things about BM this would be it:

    Kill Command would ignore 50-75% armor and be castable when your pet is within 10-15 yards of target (instead of the current 5 yards) due to pet pathing issues.

    Silencing Shot should be a baseline Hunter ability.  I think most classes that have a silence have it baseline.  This change would really allow all Hunter specs to perform close to par in PvP, or at least be close to Marks Hunters.

    2v2 Rogue / Hunter Update
    My Rogue partner broke his finger and now has a cast on his hand for 3 weeks.  We will probably not do any 2's until the cast is off.  So 2k will be delayed for a bit.

    In other news:
    The Hunter Getnerded with Kung Fu Cleave (Marks Hunter / Arms Warrior / Resto Shaman) is now the highest Arena Rated Hunter in the world at 2953 in 3's.  Arena Junkies post link.

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    1914 in 2v2 as Hunter / Rogue

    Another week of solid 2's performance gets us up to 1914.  The huge buff to Aspect of the Hawk definitely increased BM's damage, maybe gave us an extra game out of the 13 we played.  We went 10 and 3 this week.  Not quite as good as 10 and 0, but we'll take another 100 point increase.

    I do not enjoy vs'ing Priest / Feral.  I hate Feral Druids without a healer.  I think we went 2 and 1 vs this comp but it was super scary.

    I enjoy vs'ing Mages.  They are predictable and squishy.  I feel like I control the fight since I can chunk their health.

    I enjoy any team that thinks they can outlast us without doing much damage since we can both heal ourselves decently.

    Well, I think we can hit 2k, perhaps even by next week.

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Removing the Sound of Aspect Switching

    • Aimed Shot damage has been decreased to approximately 160% weapon damage (at level 80+), down from 200%.
    • Aspect of the Hawk now provides around an additional 2000 attack power at level 85.
    • The changes to Aimed Shot and Aspect of the Hawk announced yesterday have not yet been applied to live realms and should not go into effect until after the holiday weekend.

    Macro'ing Aspects to your shots (the ! before the Aspect makes it so you never remove your aspect, since it will keep casting it over and over):

    /cast !Aspect of the Fox
    /cast Cobra Shot or Steady Shot

    /cast !Aspect of the Hawk
    /cast all other shots

    The ! before the Aspect makes it so you never remove your aspect, since it will keep casting it over and over... which brings me to how annoying that sound is.

    This is a great post on the forums detailing how to remove the sound of aspect switching:

    Hello everyone, I've been playing around with macros to put me in hawk and fox depending on the shot I want and like the rest of you that tried it I found the constant CAW CAW CAW sound to be horrible.  So I started googling and playing around and figured out how to remove the Aspect Sounds from the game.  It's not against the ToS, we're not modifying MPQ files here, just substituting our own sound files just like fonts.  This functionality is built into wow, that's why we can just make a folder and the game picks up the substitions on it's own.  No addons or hacking needed.

    With the latest batch of blunders (i.e. hotfixes) from Blizzard, imo it will be beneficial to switch to AotH for certain shots since AotH will give either 2k+ AP.  You should know that aspects share their own weird cooldown system and when spammed can have strange effects on your shots and may delay them slightly.  Enough rambling here's what I did:

    Downloaded this addon to get a proper blank .wav file, Blizz is picky about .wav files and they have to be saved with certain attributes.  Not all blank .wav files are equal, don't ask me why, I'm no sound engineer

    Create the following directory:

    YOUR WOW INSTALL\Data\Sound\Spells

    Copy the blank .wav file from the addon you downloaded to this folder.

    Make two copies of this file

    Name the first copy AspectofTheHawk.wav

    I'm pretty sure upper and lower case would matter here, but I have not tested it.  Make sure you name it exactly as I typed above.

    Name the second copy Pathfinding.wav

    I think that should do it, I personally went one step further and made more copies of the blank file and named them the following.  This was mostly done in my troubleshooting phase trying to find which file was creating the second sound.  Renaming AspectofTheHawk.wav removes the CAW CAW CAW, but there's still a whoosh sound every time you change aspects.  That whoosh sound is Pathfinding.wav,  so here's the whole list just in case you want it.  Pay attention to case and spelling:


    You'll find it interesting that there are aspects we've never heard of in there!  I, only renamed them trying to find the whoosh sound.

    Have fun!

    EDIT - Shot Macros

    I've been using the following to change aspects automatically -

    #showtooltip SHOT NAME
    /cast !Aspect of the Hawk
    /cast SHOT NAME

    Substitute the aspect name as needed for steady and cobra macros, I'm playing with castsequence macros too to see if I can make it any more elegant.  Thought some folks might want to see the macro, when you spam it, that's when the Aspect sounds become annoying.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    1817 in 2v2 as Hunter / Rogue

    Siphter and I have finally got back into playing some 2v2 now that Hunter's have been buffed a little bit and made a little bit more viable.  Last week we went 6 and 4 but developed some very good general strategies against most teams.  This week we went 10 and 0, and the last game was freaking epic.

    So this week during our 10 and 0 streak this was how our games played out:
    • Mage / Healer or DPS: Always on mage, blow mage up, take almost no damage from the mage and he can't cc very well.  He goes down almost instantly every game as Subtlety Rogue and Beast Mastery Hunter can just chunk his health.
    • Holy Pally / DPS: Always on the dps.  Surprisingly this comp used to be our toughest but now its one of our easiest.  We lock down the dps target and cc the paladin.
    • Ret Pally / Disc Priest: This was our last fight to go undefeated this week.  The first minute of this fight looked like a big time loss.  We focused on the Ret Paladin but he was laying into Siphter (my rogue) pretty heavily and Siphter couldn't heal the damage.  I told Siphter to run and kite and kite he did.  With concussive helping Siphter out he was able to kite the Ret Pally around the entire Sewer Arena for a couple minutes to get back to 50% health with recuperate.  Then we switched to Priest and downed him after a good 10 second burst on him.  After that we were able to finish off the Ret Pally.
    The major strategy we use is that if a target is on me (hunter) Siphter will help me out by being on that target.  So I can kite that target and heal through my Spirit Beast.  We can outlast a lot of healer / dps comps because of Spirit Mend and because of Recuperation (rogue heal).

    Being able to have a slight heal as double dps in arena really opens up the possibilities and allows longer games which is a lot more fun than just zerging and winning or losing in the first 30 seconds of every battle. 

    After this weeks games Siphter and I both have renewed energy in playing WoW and trying to see where we can eventually be at in 2's.  We have been playing a lot of Rated Battlegrounds with our guild, but it hasn't infused us with the same energy that this weeks 2's did.  The road to 2000 has been laid, will we make it?

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Patch 4.0.6 Hunter Changes

    The 1st patch of Cataclysm comes out and it looks like Hunters are going to be getting some decent buffs to help them out in PvP.  This is very much needed as the latest statistics have the Top Arena Representation of Hunters at about 1% (the average is 10%).

    • Aimed Shot! weapon damage has been increased to 200%.
    • Aspect of the Wild, Aspect of the Hawk, and Aspect of the Fox can now be cast while mounted.
    • Deterrence now provides 100% chance for melee attacks to miss instead of 100% parry chance. This means that attacks that cannot be parried, notably some rogue abilities, can now be prevented by Deterrence, and the hunter will gain the benefit of Deterrence even if disarmed.
    • Dust Cloud's cooldown and duration have been modified to make it closer aligned with Tailspin (same effect, different pet).
    • Kill Command's damage has been increased by 20%.
    • Kill Shot's attack power scaling has been increased by 50%.
    • Master's Call now has a 35-second cooldown, down from 1 minute. In addition, the visual effect is more obvious.

    Talent Specializations
    • Chimera Shot's attack power scaling has been increased by 20%.

    • Into the Wilderness (passive) has been reduced to a 10% Agility increase, down from 15%.

    • Pets now have 70% of the master's armor, rather than a different value based on which type of pet they are.
    • Shale Spiders now correctly have a special ability (Web Wrap).
    • Bad Manner (monkey) now properly breaks from damage.

    My Analysis:
    The Deterrence and Master's Call changes are the most important. 

    Deterrence will go from having many holes to only a few. Being able to cast it while disarmed is a much needed change and makes having 1 handers not required for serious PvP.

    Master's Call cooldown almost being halved is huge from a mobility standpoint.  It seems like Blizzard is really sticking to Hunters having a minimum range and will just buff the mobility of Hunters as needed to compensate (which will either leave us underpowered or overpowered but unlikely ever perfect).  With the warrior nerfs to Charge / Intercept (Juggernaut) I believe Hunters will be able to kite melee very effectively after this patch.

    My Wish List:
    • Deterrence clears debuffs and is on a 1 minute or at most 90 second cooldown
    • Steady Shot buffed vs. high armored targets
    • Kill Command should have a minor range of 10 or 20 yards to account for pet not always being able to get to target easily