Monthly Archives: April 2009

Surprises Abound

This is how today was.

This is how today was.

Have you ever had a day where it was one surprise after another, and they were all good?

Today was one of those days, where I went from thinking the usual and finding the awesome.

First things first, I decided against keeping Lyco.  I’m going to PvP as a beastmaster, so I might as well use the best, and coolest pets available to me for that: the chimera.  Fafnir has served me really well, and that’s not going to change.  He looks great, and Froststorm Breath hits like a truck.  I see no reason not to use him.

Seeing as I love Jormungandr so much, I decided that he will be my soloing pet and tanking pet.  However, this put Lucas out of a job.  I decided to replace Lucas, who was my pet bear before bears were good.

I replaced him with someone I never would have thought could.  Everyone, meet Dave.

He is my dino and I wuf him so.

He is my dino and I wuf him so.

Dave here took me about 20 minutes to find, but catching taming him wasn’t too hard; he’s really just a big bundle of love, aren’t you Dave?

/roar x 10^9, at least.

/roar x 10^9, at least.

He’s currently level 76, almost 77, and I hope to have at 80 by 7:00 tomorrow if possible for raid time.  He gets a huge benefit out of buffs, and he’s really easy to find, so I cant lose him like I can lose Link sometimes.  Especially when he’s chasing Saphirron; he loves the flying bones.  As a result, he’s all over the damn place and is impossible to find.  Stop hiding, Link!

/whimper

So, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a dinosaur I thought I’d hate.  Not only this, but I managed to do all my dailies with only being ganked once, which is good considering that the Hodir area is crawling with opportunistic rogues and retadins.

On ganking, actually, I am really out of practice for PvP.  Through all this ganking I have become better already, but it’s a long road ahead.  PvE comes naturally to me, and it’s not hard at all.  PvP, on the other hand, is taking a great deal of practice and it’s as if I’m a newb all over again.  Not playing in a battleground for 8 months will do that, and I keep forgetting all my cooldowns and spell that can save my now blemished hide.  Ganking is helping, but I’m still ending up on the losing end.  This will change, but I need the right gear: WTB honour please.

Oh and don’t even mention Wintergrasp for easy loot.  Every PUG I join for it has issues with Emalon.  He’s really not that hard, but either the tanks cant grab the new adds fast enough, the DPS can’t burn the overcharged add, or the pull goes all wrong.  And we all die.  So I’ll be sticking to Battlegrounds and getting the Wintergrasp Mark gear.  That stuff looks good, actually.

So, back to surprises, my guild made a great big surprise today.  Colour Blind ran its first 10 man Naxx, entirely through guildies.  My old time buddy Eldadres became a Shadow Priest and did really well, which allowed me to be a Beastmaster for the run.  There were no Enhancement shammies.  No other hunters.  The loot was all mine!

We smashed our way through the wings, dying only once on Maexxena(due to our poison cleansing totem shaman dying, and no one noticed until have the raid kinda started dying) and once on the Horsemen(Failure to switch properly the first time).  We almost got the Make Quick Werk Of Him achievement too! We did really well, and we only stopped at Kel’Thuzad because we were down to 8 raiders and didn’t have enough DPS for his minions.

To all those who are jealous of my luck, you can skip the next paragraph.  Actually, don’t, I’m going to brag anyway.

I managed to score 5 things: first, I ran the Heroic Nexus and earned Interwoven Scale Bracers and Sphere of Red Dragon’s Blood.  Second, I got the Pauldrons of Havoc, a massive upgrade to my cruddy PvP gear Blues I got form the Kirin Tor.  Third, I got the token for the Heroes’ Cryptstalker Tunic.  Lastly, I got enough Emblems of Valour to buy my Heroes’ Cryptstalker Handguards.  What this means is that I could finally equip my Staff of the Plaguehound and all this other junk while remaining well above the hitcap.  My DPS? It’s higher, to say the least.

So for a first guild run, I am very pleased and I am looking forward to working with these guys.  It seems that Colour Blind is efficient, and although we haven’t hit a progression block yet, I think we could take on some of the harder stuff if we tried.  I think we might try Malygos tomorrow, so here’s hoping that a) my guild surprises me further and we knock the bastard out and b) that Black Ice drops.

I’m not holding my breath though.

Also, WTB Rare Candy.

Furrious Raiders: The Re-Beginning

Where are his PANTS?!

Where are his PANTS?!

Does anyone remember my Animal Instincts series?

Well, it’s out of date now, and has been labeled as such.  These are now old, and I don’t like old information.  I like it up to date.

I haven’t been posting as much as I wold like of late, but not to worry: I’ve been running Heroics and testing Raids in order to understand how to talent pets and how to keep them in working order.  I think my research has paid off at long last.

This is not the first post yet, actually: this is simply an announcement that I am restarting the series of PvE for Pets, and this time I will have hands on knowledge, not just theory-craft.

So keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of weeks for a simple, but thorough look on how to talent your best friends, and why.

Little Miss Muffet Would Throw A Hissy Fit

Size is deceptive.

Size is deceptive.

Normally, I hate the creepy-crawly pets in WoW.

But there’s always the one type of crawly pet I loved and wanted: the spiders.  I always loved spiders, largely because they were always so intelligent.

Thing is, I could never bring myself to tame them before.  The skins they had weren’t appealing enough, they weren’t powerful enough, or I just didn’t have the room.  Well, seeing as I hardly ever use Lucas the Bear, and when I do use a Tenacity pet I use my worm, I thought it was time to try it out.

Oh, and yeah, it’s a good thing I haven’t quested in Icecrown before or I wouldn’t have this guy.

Everyone, meet Lyco.

Isn't he cute?

Isn't he cool?

Okay, I have an odd definition of cool, but this Spider is awesome.  I never realized how useful Web is to a Beastmaster for PvP.  It’s useful for all hunters, but Beastmasters tend to need a stationary target more than others.  Between 4 seconds of Web, 3 seconds of Intimidation, and all the other tricks in our arsenal, you can keep people in one place for a long time and just pummel them.

Why a Spider instead of a Silithid? 3 reasons.
1.  This spider is rare.  Not that he’s hard to get, but if you’ve quested enough in Icecrown there’s no way you’ll ever get one.

2.  The spider is half the size of a silithid.  The more unassuming he is, the better.  Plus, the damage a silithid web does is nice, but not needed.

3.  The silithid looks like a stormtrooper, and the last thing I want my pet to look like is cannon fodder.

Did I mention he’s cool? Oh yes I did, and it needs repeating.

This.

Spider.

Is.

AWESOME.

Scorpids still suck.

They Still Love Me

Envoy of maybe my own mortality before I am lynched to death for being a lucky newb.

Envoy of maybe my own mortality before I am lynched to death for being a lucky newb.

Oh, and yeah, as you may have just noticed…

Kiss the rings! I'm a Noble!

Kiss the rings! I'm a Noble!

Second Wind Of Survival

He's a maaaaaan tracker...

He's a maaaaaan tracker...

Well, I’ve gone ahead and tried my second favourite spec out of the 3 trees, the survival tree(I played with this talent and glyph spec: 0/14/57).

Pre-3.1, I can’t say I was this impressed.  The shot rotation wasn’t as much fun back then.

Post 3.1, survival has come back with a vengeance in terms of fun factor.  I’ve been running plenty of heroics and raids in an attempt to understand how the shot priority system for survival works.  It’s a lot more interactive than the Beastmastery shot priority, and I have yet to test the Marksman shot priority, so I don’t know about that.

The survival tree might be more fun for a number of reasons, but I think one of the big reasons I’m enjoying as much I have is because of my Power Auras addon.  It’s the addon which helps me keep track of everything in a quick, simple, and easily visible manner without looking all over the screen.  It’s entirely possible to take your entire User Interface and present all the important info around your character.  Yes, this is me selling myself out, but this addon works.  Plus, it looks incredibly cool, and it’s entirely customizable and easy to work with once you tinker with it for 30 minutes.

Allow me to show you:
screenshot_042209_120850Please please PLEASE don’t look at that recount.  Please.  I’ll give you all cookies.

This is my current display(with the exception of Xpearl.  For some reason I can’t make a focus target with XPearl or PitBull at the moment which kills my poor Misdirection Macro.  If anyone knows why, please send me an e-mail!) and as you can see, there are some funny looking symbols on top of my character.  I used the red one to represent when I need to use Hunter’s Mark, and it will disappear if anyone casts it on my target.  The green one shows that I still need to use Serpent Sting, and will only disappear if I cast a Serpent Sting on the target.  Since this was back when I was playing around with Beastmastery, there are a number of symbols you aren’t seeing.
screenshot_042509_012900Like the Beastmastery pictures, green means I need to apply Serpent Sting and the Red symbols on the sides show I need to apply a Hunter’s Mark.  The purple ring means I need to cast a Black Arrow, and the red fire things on the inside show I can fire Explosive shot.  This shows me what I need to fire still, and it’s up to me to put them in the right order.  I tell you this much: I would not be able to keep track of all this information otherwise.  I could play looking at my character rather than at my action bars, which is fabulous.

Oh, and a bonus, you can add noises.  When I can use Kill Shot, I have the word “BAM” pop up on top of my character with a ding noise, and I crack myself up every damn time.  It’s great!

/cackle

This post isn’t supposed to be about “how to Power Aura”, though I might do that as a future post if people think it’s necessary.  I was detailing how you can take all the information you need from around the screen, and put it in a convenient place so that you can properly execute your shot priority as a survivalist.

The shot priority is as such:
1.  Hunter’s Mark.  This should be the first thing you cast every time you attack a target.  The increase in attack power is substantial and should not be passed over.

2.  Black Arrow.  6% increase to all damage.  Black Arrow also deals it’s own fair share of damage and causes Lock and Load to activate.  All of this makes for a happy survivalist.

3.  Serpent Sting.  Thanks to Noxious Stings, Serpent Sting increases all damage done by 3%.  Not as much as black arrow, but it’s constant where Black Arrow is up half the time Serpent Sting is.  Technically, Serpent Sting increases damage by teh same amount, seeing as it lasts double the amount of time Black Arrow does.  But that’s mathcraft, and I’m not here to talk mathcraft quite yet.

4.  Kill Shot.  Whenever you can use Kill Shot, you should.  I am seriously undergeared despite my recent luck, and I still can crit for roughly 9 000 damage.  So use it!

5.  Explosive Shot.  This is the Bread and Butter of the shot rotation.  Despite the fact that you can only use it once every 6 seconds, Explosive Shot makes up for more of your DPS than any other shot, hands down.  It also procs Hunting Party, so it’s a must.

6.  Multi-Shot/Aimed Shot.  If you have Aimed Shot talented, then you should be using it right after Explosive shot.  If you’re looking for Multi-target damage, then you should shoot multi-shot.

7.  Steady Shot.  At long last, the bottom of the Priority list.  It’s a quick filler shot, and doesn’t do as much damage as the rest of your shots.  Nonetheless, it does enough to make us happy, and you’ll be using Steady Shot a lot.  It also re-applies Replenishment with Explosive shot.

Obviously, if your opponent has next to no HP left, you don’t really need to bother with applying all of the stuff at the beginning.  If it’s going to be a longer fight, it will be necessary to do so to keep your DPS high and mighty at the top of the meters.

All told, this is a lot of abilities to keep under check all at once.  But it needs to be done: your DPS depends on it.  Hence why I got Power Auras, and it works.  Works for Colemand too, since he has a lot of proc based abilities I can’t keep track of.  I highly recommend getting this addon or a similar one in order to help organize your shots.

So that, in a nutshell, is the Survivalist shot priority System.  SSPS.  It’s a cool acronym, if I do say so myself.

/flourish

Now, back to why this is fun: It’s different than being a Beastmaster in oh so many ways.  Being a Beastmaster required a lot more knowledge of what was going on since I had to keep track of both myself and my pet.  As a survivalist it’s a nice skill to have, but I only need to worry about myself.  On the other hand, the shot rotation requires a great deal of concentration to pull off accurately and a great deal of practice too.  Once you’ve got the shot system down though, it flows like a breeze.  I can consistently pull 2 600 DPS on a boss fight, and I am undergeared compared to most people pulling that kind of DPS.  It’s certainly a little bit more than I was doing as a beastmaster.

But you know what? I think I’ll keep it as a secondary spec, at best.  I’m still a beastmaster at heart and always will be, but Survival is a fun alternative because it’s so completely different.

Also, mana flows through me like water.

Large, flowing rivers of water that carry fish and other fruits of nature, enough to feed a whole godammed village.  It’s crazy! I’ve never seen so much mana.  I could run a car in real life with the amount of mana I had.

Death By Healer Lives!

Connected with healing, Tantric with death.  0_o

Connected with healing, Tantric with death. 0_o

Just the announcement I was going to make, but was too excited and busy to do as early as I would have liked.

Mr. Connected, the man I met online a few days ago? He writes his own blog now, and I made him do it.

See my underling! See him now and be his followers!

But don’t break his stuff please, I helped move him in and a lot of that stuff is expensive.

A big hearty Slow Wolf welcome to Connected the Shaman from Death by Healer! Welcome to the Blogosphere… and to the pack!

Loot Karma Exists

They'll get ya when you're down.

They'll get ya when you're down.

It must.

Whoever is in control of loot karma these days must like me.  A lot.

So where do I send the brownies?

For the first time ever, I pugged an almost full clear of Naxx in about 2:30 hours last night.  I’ve been 80 for 3 days, so I spent roughly 2 000 getting ready for this venture but creating a Nesingwary 4 000 and my Truesight Ice Blinders.  The two days before, I had been playing like a maniac to catch up with missed time, slaughtering Heroic after heroic.  I got 50 stone shards by day 2, and was raid hit capped the instant I hit 80.

While running heroics, I picked up 2 important pieces of gear.  I managed to score Hollowed Mandible Legplates from a run in Heroic Azjol-Nerub where we were against the server reset from about halfway through, and we beat the timer by a good 3 minutes.  I also ran Heroic Violet Hold and managed to score some sweet gloves, the Handgrips of the Savage Emissary.  This is still day two folks.

Day 3 confirmed my suspicions of loot gods because of how well it went.  It was a lot like Karazhan, where I managed to earn my T4 golves and the Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix on my first run ever, but better.

The night before, my friend Eldadres tried to run a pug.  I wasn’t there as I had other things to do, but it didn’t go well.  They beat Anub Rhekan, and nothing else.  Last night when I came in, we finished the whole damn raid in 2 and a half hours.  Actually, special thanks to Ribbz, Moococo, Marrious, and everyone else who attended for making it as fast and as fun as it was.

We finished off the Spider Wing in no time at all, defeating some mopey lady and a grotesque spider.  I didn’t even really get a feel for the mopey one as it went too fast, and the spider was a blur of confusion.  I need to get a macro that targets webs, and fast.  So remember: if you’re on web duty on the giant spider fight, make sure you make a /target web macro.  It will help immensly.

We decided to get the military quarter done with next.  Razuvious took 3 tries largely due to taunting issues, but he dropped like the loot pinata he was on that third try.  He didn’t drop anything for me, but that’s not surprising.  I really didn’t like his suit anyway, it’s way too damn blue.
Gothik the Harvester was headshotted.  I was on the living side since my DPS was pushing only 2 000 at this point.  I found it incredibly easy to do this fight, but it was still a lot of fun.  I hadn’t had fights with mechanics in 8 months, so I was very happy to have anything at all.  He dropped nothing.
We headshotted the 4 horsemen too, which was surprising.  Normally the whole “splitting into 4 groups” can kill a PUG without much thought, but this was easy as all get out.  The group with all the DPS killed each horseman as we came to it.  We didn’t even get to switch we killed them so fast.  Finally, some loot drops for me: The Pauldrons of Havoc.  I was estatic! I could finally replace these dungeon blues from level 72 I hadn’t had the chance to change, and then BAM.  Enhancement Shaman to the face.  No Pauldrons for me.  Good rolling Neejan!

I was a little dissapointed, but whatever.  Someone got an upgrade, and that’s good news! Remember children: never be jealous, or Karma will kick your @$$ six ways ’til Sunday.  That’s a lot, considering today is a Thursday.

We pressed on to the contruct quarter to see if we could take down the gear check: Patchwerk.  We didn’t make Quick Werk of Him, but we certainly killed him.  It took us two tries, but that’s largely because our Off-tank was making more hate than our main tank by accident.  We fixed that on the second try though.
Oh, and Frogger? First time through, I never died.  I ran through it for fun.  Here’s the trick: aim just behind the tails of the slimes.
Grobbulus was a fun fight too.  We Headshotted his slimy self, and no one died at all.  Sweet tip for Hunters kicking Grobby in the face: when you get the bomb debuff, use disengage to move out quickly.
After running through some piping(Mario must have a lot of nature resistance…) we ran into Gluth, probably the ugliest dog in existance.  It took us 2 tries, and it was my fault the first try didn’t work out.  Can you guess what I was doing? That’s right, kiting.  After 8 months of not playing, I was a little rusty.  That and kiting more than 1 thing at once for the first time ever was a little bit more difficult than I had imagined.  The second try, Marrious(the Mage) kited them around.  I helped by adding Frost Traps, and I was able to Tranq Gluth whenever he frenzied.  Good times… We totally kicked Gluth’s can.  Note to self: practice kiting large groups of mobs.  Everyone who might be kiting at one point should learn how to kite like this before the fight.  Saves a WORLD of embarrasment.
Then we did Thaddius.  Oh Thaddius, I’ve heard nightmare stories of you killing PUGs with ease.  Not us, we got a headshot.  We headshotted him so hard he even dropped an extra Achivement: Shocking! That’s right, we pugged that.  In addition, Thaddius also managed to drop a sweet new hat: the Arc-Scorched Helmet.  I won that roll, but kept the Goggles on since they had enchantments and such.  That’s gonna change when I get back on.

We then did the plague quarter.  First up was Noth, and he went down.  I didn’t even notice the fun part about him he died so fast.  Nothing dropped.
Then Heigan.  It took us 3 tries, and I died after the first wave every time.  Not because of the dancing, but because I wasn’t perfectly in the middle of the platform and too close to the edge! My dancing was perfect! Look, see? Hoo, Hah, HOO WAAAAH! Ha HA! DDR should be easy cake now.  Heigan, still killed Link more times than I cared to count, and My gun was broken on the second try.  Stupid Volley, why must you kill my gun so? It’s a good thing I levelled up my Sword skill beforehand, as I managed to at least put out 800 DPS in melee.  *cough* He made up for my trouble and dropped me a Tunic of the Lost Pack.
Loatheb was a loot pinata, and we Headshotted him.  The melee walked out of melee, waited ’til the Spores were next to the range, and then killed it dead.  I hardly had to do anything, and I only used a bandaid once.
We walked up to Sapphiron next, and we Heashotted him.  I got close to dying a few times because I was dodging the Blizzards and lost sight of the healers.  Note to self: make sure you dodge towards the healers if possible.  Otherwise, the fight is a piece of cake for us hunters, and Link didn’t even have to move.  He didn’t take damage from anything almost! The one problem for pets is that, since Sapphiron has such a huge hitbox, your pet will run around the entire area and might run out fo range of your Mend Pets.  Make sure you know where your pet is!
Lastly, there was Kel’Thuzad.  I’ve been wanting to kill him for some time now, and this was my chance.  Our first try didn’t end off well as one of the banshees got through, and we were scrambling to recover the rest of the attempt.  It ended when our last remaining healer wound up as an Ice cube.
Our second try, I decided it was time to try some of my gear.  I put on the Tunic of the Lost Pack, but I lost my Meta Gem slot bonus as a result.  This was a good idea though, seeing as my chest piece still hadn’t been replaced since level 70.  This time, we killed Kelly dead.  I found out when I could send my pet to kill them without aggroing the rest of the room, and I was doing a lot more damage to boot.  I dodged all the void zones, and I finally got back into my groove.  After 8 months, I was finally playing this to win, and I was having the time of my life at this point.  Dodge this, shoot this, move here, stay away from there… it was perfect in every way.  Link died twice, but only on the first attempt.  And then the miraclous happened.

The Loot Gods touched Kelly before he died, and I was the lucky bastard who was able to pick up the Nerubian Conqueror and a Staff of the Plaguehound.  That’s 4 pieces of loot from one Naxx run, and 2 of the best weapons a Hunter could ask for.  There weren’t any druids, so I wasn’t stealing the staff or anything, and someone had to take it.  Besides, we all know everything is hunter loot anyway.

So, moral of the story is this:

Good loot comes to those who wait.

We Almost Wrote A Big Post

So close!

So close!

…but it was not meant to be!

The plans where all set, the goons in place, and the smallest detail was taken care of.  The Under the Gun post I had written was so close to being half-way finished that the things could practically finish itself.

Actually, that’s almost all crazy-talk.  A self-written post? Pshah! Puh-lease! What kind of silly, easy-going, fantasy-based world do you think we live in? It’s not like it takes 15 seconds to build a helicopter, let alone write a whole post!

But we do have a few things of note today.  The first being: I hit level 80! I’m already hit-capped, I’ve managed to score some sweet gear, my Engineering is getting maxed out today, and I am back in a guild with the same people as before.  Here’s a shout out to everyone in Defiance!

Bonus: I’m the only hunter in the guildAll your loots are belong to me!

Secondly, I’ve been running heroics like crazy.  A lot of the dungeons I’ve been running are dungeons I haven’t seen while leveling.  Some were completely new to me, as I had neglected to read about the bosses.  So, here’s a shout out for all the dungeons: Gundrak, learn to feed your damn piranhas so they don’t eat the bejebus out of me instead.  Utgarde Pinnacle: You know that guy you hired? Skadi the Ruthless? Last I checked, Skadi was a woman’s name.  I bet that s/he’s hiding from the cops or something.  You should really see about firing him… her… so that it doesn’t kill my pug.  Violet Hold: you are perfect.  You are small, but fast, fun, and always a little different.  You are my favourite dungeon yet, and I wish I could run this heroic more than once a day.  Halls of Lightning: your music slays me.  Not only that, but the entire instance looks amazing, has a neat event gauntlet(wherein our tank learned the meaning of “pull back here“) and it’s like a mini Ulduar; but there’s one itty-bitty problem, and I’m sure you get this one alot.

Loken is a JERK.  He thinks he’s Electro or something, but all he really does all day while waiting for raiders all day is shuffle his feet on carpet flooring until he can smell ozone.  Happily, pets aren’t affected by his abilities, so at least I can keep wailing on him.  But you are a total wad, Loken, and you should be fired.  Lots.  In the face.

Speaking of Halls of Lightning and Loken the Jerk, something entirely surprising and flattering happened during my run of the place.

the-beginning-of-the-friendyou-became-a-postcolemand-wants-questions1no-question-in-itself-is-a-questionConnected and myself talked for a little while after this, but what came up to be the big topic was blogging.  Specifically, he had a blog before and wanted to give it another try! He asked for help on naming the blog, and among some of the more risque titles(Fatty Orc Muscle, for instance) he came up with a great title: Death by Healer.  He plays a resto Shaman and a Death Knight, and his blog is so new it doesn’t even have a proper first post yet! Connected, I’ll be sure to write a post when it’s up and running.

Oh, and Colemand’s got something to say:

Hello.  I can see that you don’t know how to ask me a question.

Well, it’s simple.  Just take any question you might have ever had and see what I say about it.  For example: How do birds fly? Why is the sky blue? How many woodchucks does it take to become a real Chuck? Any of these types of questions are appropriate.  Also, if you have any question about Death Knights, cooking, and just how shit works, then that is also appropriate.

Here’s an example: why are warlocks evil? Simple answer: they work with demons and use Fel magic to augment their power, which taints their souls and augments an already considerable ambition to epic proportions.  Not to mention their ego.

The real answer: they’re incredibly bitter because they were the people in the corner of the room at a party, the kind of person who’s there but hates it, and thinks it lacks morality and taste.  I’ll agree that some parties are morally decrepit, but it is you who seems to lack taste my friends.  Go eat some grains or something, play in the sun, eat grass, I don’t care.  But you’re all bitter, and it’s really gross.

Back to you, elf.

…*ahem* Thank you Colemand.  I’m sure all the warlock in the audience will make a point of camping our corpse now.

That’s all for now, but know this: I’ve been running tests, Naxx is going to happen sometime, and PvP is starting as well.

/treadmill

Quick Announcement

There’s not even a picture!

I’m unpacking, job-searching, playing, and doing a whole lot of stuff at the moment which requires a lot of time.

So, if I don’t post something good for a day or two, you know why.

But when I do post, I promise: it will be BIG.

Until then, salute!

Oops, I lied.  Harrison Jones, to the rescue! But I did all the work.

Oops, I lied. Harrison Jones, to the rescue! But I did all the work.

A Picture Of A Thousand Words + 1

...Almost

...Almost