Month: December 2008

News and Such

snowflake_300hHello everyone! I hope everyone’s holidays are going well!

As you can see, I haven’t updated as routinely as I would like, and it does irk me.  Oh yes, it does.

I have been somewhere where there was no internet connection, and I didn’t know that until I got there.  Nonetheless, I wrote a small short story about Klinderas, so hopefully that will make up for lost time.  If enough people like it, I will continue to write more.

So, what’s going on? Well, I will be doing some articles in the future, and updating certain parts of the website as time goes on.  For starters, I already updated the “The Pack” page to include new pictures of my pack and myself.  The damn stable master ruined a few of them by walking right in front of me.  Damn tourists.

I will be writing a few things in the future, including a guide to PvE pets that will resemble my PvP pets guide, Engineering for the Hunter, and my top 10 picks for awesome pets among other things.

Once again, I hope that the holidays have been good to you, and even if you don’t celebrate them, I hope the past 2 weeks have been better than normal.

Story Time!: Klinderas and the Gorlocs

2706232250_6fed000f27Klinderas scrambled through the tall grass, trying to avoid being seen.  The gorlocs were after him like a pack of wolves hunting down a wounded caribou, and Klinderas could hear their mad gibbering just behind him.  Pain throbbed in Klinderas’s shoulder where the teeth of one gorloc had sunk in before Klinderas had finished him off with a quick slice of his axe, letting loose its blood.  The bite went deep into his shoulder, drawing out copious amounts of blood and tearing a large chunk of muscle out in the process.  The blood was flowing thickly now, and the blood loss would soon cause him to go unconscious.  No amount of bandaging would be able to heal this; he required the aid of a skilled healer for a full recovery.

He continued his frantic speed through the brush towards the safety of Taunka’le, knowing that the gorlocs would kill him the instant they could see him.  All of a sudden, a spear crashed in front of the young elf, like a thunderbolt hits the ground and sends anything nearby sprawling to the ground too stunned to do anything about the calamity that has just fallen.  Thus is how the spear fell in front of Klinderas, sending him sprawling in surprise.  He quickly regained his footing, but not before a net had fallen on him like a shadow.  He was captured.  Klinderas tried to move the net, but was too weak to do so, and only succeeded in tangling himself further.  Klinderas became surrounded, as if he were a wounded zevra surrounded by a pack of famished lions who were thinking of nothing more than eating the beast alive.  Such was Klinderas, surrounded by furious gorlocs with nothing more in their minds than vengeance for their fallen chieftain.  Helplessly, Klinderas watched the gorlocs edge nearer and nearer, licking their lips and gibbering with malicious delight.  They were so close that Klinderas could see their fish-like eyes, and smell their foul, fishy breath, almost causing Klinderas to black out.  Klinderas felt a spear drive through his leg, like a needle drives through cloth.  The pain coursed through Klinderas like an electric shock, causing his entire body to go numb with pain.  His vision went red with blood, and his arms gave out as he slumped to the ground.

But then, a familiar presence in his mind: he could feel aid coming to help him.  As he felt it, Jormungandr leapt from the tall grass, his large, gaping mouth swallowing a gorloc’s head whole before biting it off, like a beautiful and sharp sword cutting off clean the head of a ghoul.  The gorlocs turned on their new threat, like a pack of fearful hyenas turning on a tall and proud lion, knowing their fates were sealed.  Jormungandr the worm stood confidently, his long and powerful body barely containing his primal strength.  One of the gorlocs tried to bite Jormungandr, but his thick, scaly hide was too strong, and the gorloc was swatted aside by Jormungandr’s mighty tail and was lost to the brush.  The proud worm then leapt between two of the gorlocs, his bladed sides carving apart their midsections and letting loose their vitals, like water spilled from a cup, and they slumped to the blood-sodden ground.  The gorlocs began to flee from this terrible beast, like a terrorized child flees from a rhinoceros, enraged to protect its pack.  Thus were the gorlocs, running in fear from the beast that had come to protect its soul-brother.    Jormungandr’s belly did not like the taste of gorloc flesh, and so he spat the head he had eaten at one of the fleeing gorlocs.  The missile had lost it’s solidity, and splattered all over the gorloc’s backside.  The acid of the worm’s spit burned away at the hide of the hateful creature like a fire burns at paper: quickly and without stopping.  The screams of the gorloc died out soon after, his body being lost in the grasses of the tundra.  Jormungandr then tore at the net covering Klinderas, like a light tears away at a shadow.

Once Klinderas was free, his spiritual bond with Jormungandr began to heal him and give him strength.  The bond between Klinderas and Jormungandr, the same as any other beast in the pack, was strong enough to heal any wound given enough time.  It would take a long time before the bond could heal his shoulder, but it was enough to get the blood to stop flowing.  Klinderas bandaged up his shoulder, while Jormungandr secured the area around them.  There wasn’t any need for Jormungandr to do so however; Klinderas already knew that there weren’t any more of the gorlocs around near them.  He could sense it, as any half-decent hunter should, through smell, hearing, or sight.

Once Klinderas had finished nursing his maimed shoulder, he stood up and began limping towards his kodo beast, Cole.  Jormungandr accompanied him, like one friend walking alongside another to protect him.  After an hour or so, they reached the kodo. Jormungandr leapt atop Cole’s backside, settling himself just behind the saddle.  Klinderas, with much difficulty, mounted the kodo, and bade him to go to Taunka’le.  The kodo began his walk to Taunka’le, trying not to jostle around the passengers.  Now that he was safe, Klinderas began to relax.  He had hunted down the gorloc chieftain, slain him, taken his trophy, and escaped with his life.  He reached into his pack, and searched it.  Eventually, he found what he was looking for and pulled it out to inspect it closer.  It seemed to be the bottom half of an ancient curved horn, now covered in blood and bile, but the ancient shamanistic runes covering it had not faded at all.  Even broken in half, the horn howled as if a great wind was blowing in it, like a wind howls through a hollow cave.  Klinderas smiled, his mission was accomplished.  He placed the object in his pack again, and then closed the hexcloth tightly.  He looked forward again, and saw the glorious sun begin to set.  It had been a long day, and he looked forward to be able to rest, if only for an hour.

The other half of the horn would have to wait until tonight, when the northern gorlocs would be asleep, and unaware.  The perfect prey.  Klinderas then fell into a deep, dreamless sleep, and Jormungandr kept watch, like a guard dog patiently watches over its sleeping master, chasing away anyone who comes close.

Lexus Nexus

the_nexusI ran the Nexus a couple of nights ago, and I must say I’m impressed…ish.  Granted, Non-heroic, but it was pretty good.

Shiny blue, icy everywhere.  That’s awesome.  Magic stuff? Wicked.  Frozen mobs? That’s cool!

But that’s just the icing on the cake, right?  The real fun are the bosses… but this time, maybe not so much.

The first boss we did was Grand Magister Telestra.  She’s pretty fun, and the cool stuff is as follows:
1.  She makes you fly all over the place, while doing a decent amount of damage.  This is a good time to know what your instant shots are, because they’re the only way you’re doing damage.
2.  The clones.  In her second phase, she splits into the 3 schools of mage-magic.  This part was fun for me.  Deal damage to something, adn kill it fast? Heck yes! As a bonus, Jormungandr(My worm) tanked the fire mage.  That was our CC.  Now I know what people mean when they say hunters can Off-tank.
The reason why I thought this fight was cool was that it has a lot of AoE damage.  This creates a challenge for the healer, who normally gets bored quickly.

The second boss we did was Anomalus.
Unfortunately, this boss did little to impress me.  Tank+Spank with some adds.  Oh whatever shall I do? The adds went down like a tonne of bricks.  Oh the drudgery.  I like being able to DPS like crazy, but this was too quick to really understand what happened.  In addition, he was just… lame, really.  He was just an oversized trash mob as far as I’m concerned.

The third boss we did was Omorok the Tree Shaper.
Like the last boss, this was a Tank+Spank fight.  It kicked me in the pants though when it started spawning lines of ice everywhere.  Shortly afterwards, Jormungandr was blown to smithereens.
I actually had to move! It was a blessing.  It was like the Heigan Dance.  Move, or die.  Simple as that.  I like that.  Not the awesome sauce of all sauces, but it’s a mechanic I like.  Too bad he didn’t do anything else worth mentioning(for Hunters anyway).

The last boss was Keristrasza.  A dragon! Yay!.. Oh wait, it’s just like the others.
It has a breath attack.
It has a tail sweep.
The big difference? It has a stacking debuff called Intense Cold.  When you are DPSing, you will ntoice a debuff that hurts you, and it seems to be getting bigger.  Don’t worry: jump! If you move half an inch, the debuff will go away.  That’s it.  That’s all.
The only challenge for us hunters is that we can’t use steady shot as often as we would like.  Oh well.
Well, that and we have to learn to keep our pet out of the way from her tail swipe and breath attacks.  But if you’ve done one dragon boss, you’ve done ’em all really.  Not to say this is a bad fight; anyone coming into this instance for the first time will have fun on Keristrasza.  It’s jsut that she isn’t exactly the first dragon in the game.

So the bosses weren’t what made this interesting.  What did make this instance worth doing over was the design.

It was PRETTY.  Like I said earlier, there’s blue magic glowing from everywhere, ice, cool badguys, high platforms with bottomless drops…

Although the bosses were mostly pasty with some interesting stuff, the instance itself is beautiful, and the music in the instance is very cool too.  I recomend the instance, but don’t go in there thinking that the bosses will be wicked awesome.  Go in there to soak up the art that is the level design.

Merry Christmas!

santa4A merry Christmas to all you guys! I hope that you get something useful, something fun, and something just plain random.

As far as publishing posts go, I apologize for not posting daily like I usually have.  Between loved ones and friends, I have been unable to do anything other than spend time with them and make up for lost time.  Now that I’ve gotten over my initial “YAY I CAN PLAY” problem, I should be posting daily again.

So a merry Christmas to all of you! Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope today is filled with all kinds of awesome.

Wrath: The Tundra, Snow, and Worms

caribou_tundraTundra.  Counds cold, doesn’t it?


I mean, it is cold, but where is the snow?
Oh at the top?

Did anyone else guess that the questing in that area would take 15 seconds?

Where did Arthas land? Northrend was full of snow in Warcraft 3 and its expansion.  Oh well.  Too bad, no snow for me.

Well, despite the lack of snow, Klinderas is now level 72 and finishing the questing in Coldara, getting ready to do the Nexus quests.  So far, I have replaced 1 ring twice, and possibly a cloak.  So far, it seems I won’t be changing my looks majorly until about lvl 75.

In addition, I have added a new memeber to my team.  He’s a worm, one of the Northrend ones.  He has icy spines along the sides of his body, beautiful purple scales on the top half and large, golden-beige scales o the bottom.  he has no eyes, and gets around by scent.  Plus, Acid Spit ROCKS.

I just don’t know what to do with him.  He’s great for soloing elites, and takes a beating.  He doesn’t have AoE, but good pet management takes care of that.  I want to use him everywhere, but I know I won’t be able to.

But man is he pretty!

I’m going to get back to it.  Trying to hit 80 by the end of the holidays, so I can rest easy when school starts again.

Furry Gladiators IV

boarskinyellowLast time, I talked about Ferocity pets.  To re-cap, ferocity pets deal large amounts of consistent damage.  That is what they are made to do.  They do not take damage well though, and therefore require more pet management skills to keep them alive.

One of the important things in PvP as a Hunter is keeping your pet alive.  Why? Well, for BM Hunters especially, hunters gain a bonus so long as their pet is still alive.  The last pet tree is designed to keep the pet alive, keeping your bonuses alive, and screwing up your opponents damage.  Let’s get started with…

The Tenacity tree is durable.  They are tanky, and despite the lack of resilience, they can take a lot of damage.  The downside to this is that tenacity pets can’t do large amounts of damage, and they only have semi-decent mobility.  My build for a PvP Tenacity pet would go a little something like this.

Let’s break it down the same way we have before shall we?

For our Survival Category, we have Great Stamina, Natural Armor, Blood of the Rhino, Pet Barding, Grace of the Mantis, and Great Resistance.

Wow that’s a lot of stuff in this category.  Great Stamina gives a straight up buff to your stamina, which is always necessary for PvP.  Natural Armor is the same deal, but for armor instead.  Great Resistance gives a 9% reduction to magic damage, which is always nice in a PvP environment.

Now for the interesting stuff: Blood of the Rhino not only gives an additional 4% increase to the pet’s stamina, but it also increases all healing done to the pet by 40%.  40%. That’s a lot! Your healer could toss any old HoT and you toss mend pet, your pet could survive most blows.  Pet Barding increases pet armor by another whopping 10%, and increases the pet’s chance to dodge by 2%.  That’s another great talent right there! Last, but certainly not least, we have Grace of the Mantis.  This ability is about the only form of Resilience that a pet can get.  4% less chance to be critically hit by melee attacks.  Period.  That is a very good ability for arena, especially when the poor thing gets wailed on by those brutish warriors.

Damage… huh?
There aren’t any! Let’s go to the next one.

For tenacity pets, there are only 3 mobility talents, and I would argue you need all three for PvP.  These talents are Charge, Boar’s Speed, and Lionhearted.

Charge is the closest thing we can come to Dash.  For PvP, it isn’t not as good for mobility purposes, but it will do the job.  It sends your furry gladiator to the opponent at extreme speeds, immobilizing them for 1 second.  Your pet also gets a 25% increase to it’s attack power.  Although for mobility purposes it’s a one shot pony every 16 seconds(gogo Longevity!), it also has an interrupt.  If you time it properly, it will stop a spellcast.  So amke sure you tenacity pets users remember your pet can do that!
Boar’s Speed is a flat out 30% increase to your pet’s movespeed.  This makes up for Charge’s lack of constant mobility.  It’s not as fast as dash, so don’t expect to be catching rogues with Boar’s Speed alone.  On the other hand, it will stick like glue to anyone without a speed boost like Sprint.
Lionhearted reduces stun and fear durations on your pet by 30%.  10 second fear? Try 7.  Those few seconds can help a lot.

Special Section
Remember the Cunning tree? It had a spell in it called Roar of Recovery, which helped the Hunter and not the pet.  For those who don’t remember, Roar of Recovery restores 30% on the Hunter’s mana over 9 seconds.
The tenacity tree has 2 abilities like that that I’ve taken for him. They are Intervene and Roar of Sacrifice.
Intervene makes your pet take 1 hit for whoever it was targetted on.  Warrior beating down on you? Cast inervene and that is one full hit you don’t need to worry about.  This could also soak up a hamstring if you’re lucky.
Roar of Sacrifice is like the Warlock Soul Link, with a few exceptions.  One, it’s castable, not passive.  Two, you can target it.  Third, it only lasts 12 seconds.  So, let’s say a rogue is beating on your healer.  Well, you can cast the roar on your healer.  Your healer would take 30% less damage for the duration, and your pet would take it instead.  This would only last for 12 seconds though, if your healer lives that long.

What I didn’t take and why?
1.  Avoidance.
Not enough points to go around really.  Everything else is necessary.  Besides, with all the other survival talents I’ve taken, the pet should be still very much alive.
2.  Cobra Reflexes, Spiked Collar
As far as damage dealing goes, tenacity pets can’t do it.  It’s not what they’re meant to do.  For Ferocity pets, it’s important to keep them alive so they can continue to do the damage they need.  For tenacity pets though, they have a different purpose: to survive.  They help the hunter by giving bonuses, Intervene and Roar of Sacrifice.  They also are a form of CC to those attacking it instead of you.  The 2 damage dealing talents in this tree are not needed for the pet to do what it is supposed to.
3. Guard Dog, Taunt
This should be obvious: these two talents only work in PvE! They have no pratical application in PvP.

For all you Marksmen and Survivalists, this is the build I would use.  I sacrifice the extra magic resistance because I think the pet has the HP to keep on going through the damage, and I sacrifice 1 point from Lionhearted because I would need the other points more.

So what is the role of Tenacity pets in PvP? They survive.  They help you survive.  They help the team survive.  They are not meant for damage like the other two trees are.  Tenacity pets are remarkale for this role however, and a skilled pet handler can get a lot of mileage out of a tenacity pet.

The Tenacity tree has more activated abilities than the other two trees.  This is a blessing and a curse in that the abilities are amazing, but it means MORE macros, and more buttons to remember to push.

Out of the three, Tenacity pets also require the least micro management.  Since they are durable, they can handle a few mistakes on the behalf of the hunter.  They also do the least damage.  So don’t excpet your little rhino to actually wipe the floor with your opponent.  He’s supposed to mess with your opponent’s damage output in order to help the team that way instead.

Cunning: All around everything with excellent mobility.
Ferocity: Excellent damage, needs more pet management than the other two.
Tenacity: Amazing survival with lousy damage and mediocre mobility.  Disrupts enemy damage output.

And that brings this series of guides to a close.  Thank you for reading!

An Interlude

catA word to my readers.

I might not post tonight.

Allow me to enlighten you as to why.

See, I took a 1:00am bus back home last night that lasted about 5 hours.  It was cramped.  I then had to carry a large amount of heavy things for about a kilometer in snow.  Also tiring.  Now I am happily home, and spending a huge amount of time with my Girlfriend, my family, and my friends.  When I’m not doing that, I will be playing WoW for the first time in weeks.

Part 4 for Furry Gladiators will have to wait until tomorrow methinks, but I will try to post it sooner if possible.

Thanks for reading.  You may now go on your usual blogroll.