gorgrondpainting

Ding! WoD Beta leveling impressions

After seeing the Tanaan Jungle intro zone and Shadowmoon Valley one too many times, I’ve finally made my way through the rest of the zones and hit level 100. The servers were stable enough to allow me to do this without pulling out my hair, so kudos to the Blizzard server engineers who bent over backwards to fix all those realm crashes and disconnects. It’s night and day from what it was a week ago.

The leveling pace is fairly quick. It was actually a bit faster than I thought it would be, but that is probably due to going in with a high item level and killing stuff extremely quickly. The Hellscream’s Warbow didn’t hurt either (by the way, it ends up at ilvl 633 at level 100).  It wasn’t until about level 95 where stuff ceased to be killed in 1 or 2 GCDs.

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roastmutton

Roast Mutton

“Mutton yesterday, mutton today, and blimey, if it don’t look like mutton again tomorrer… “

Recently while leveling up in Spires of Arak, I ran into my favorite vignette yet! For those not in the know, vignettes are rare mobs or little “events” that you will find throughout Draenor. Each one of them gives you loot of some kind, along with Garrison resources. There’s a lot of them.

If you’ve read The Hobbit, or watched An Unexpected Journey, you should immediately know what this reference is.

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pvpashran

WoD Beta: Survival PvP concerns

Survival isn’t in the best shape for PvP as it stands. Its damage is based around sustained DPS — which is already a downside for PvP — and its only source of burst damage (Lock and Load) can be negated entirely with a simple dispel of Black Arrow. No Black Arrow = no Lock and Load procs. This would be remedied somewhat if Ice Trap was still able to proc Lock and Load as a fallback, but it doesn’t anymore.

It seems like at one point in time they were aware of the problem because the original WoD 4pc survival PvP bonus used to give Black Arrow the ability to trigger Lock and Load instantly (and presumably removed the subsequent proc chances as a tradeoff). This was later changed once they added the Multistrike behavior to LnL.

Here are some potential solutions I hope the devs will take into consideration. Consider all these numbers as just examples to illustrate a point. I don’t presume to know how to balance them.

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clefthoof

Hunter Pet Update: Clefthooves, Stags, Teroclaws, Raptors, and Gyreworms

My poor stable.

We have some new pet families coming to Warlords of Draenor in addition to the already announced Hydra, Riverbeast, and Rylak.

First up is this tweet in the traditional Muffinus style where he likes to hashtag everything to get hunters excited. He revealed tameable hydras in much the same way, only this time it’s Clefthooves. Yep, those big suckers you’ve hunted for our good friend Hemet Nesingwary in the past. You should be able to tame the old Outland ones, or one of the new ones as shown above (I snuck into the new Nagrand a little early with some Eagle Eye hopping  ;-) ). Not sure if they’ll be a new family or part of the Rhino family as an Exotic beast. Time will tell. Makes me wonder if Mushan beasts could be added to that family as well.

Update on Clefthooves. They will be part of the Rhino family. Continue reading

flyingbendak

WoD Beta 18594: Aspect of the Fox, Lone Wolf changes, new pet abilities

A new beta build just went out and we have more hunter changes. Let’s start out with the biggest one:

Aspect of the Fox: Party and raid members within 40 yards take on the aspects of a fox, allowing them to move while casting all spells and abilities for 6 sec. Only one Aspect can be active at a time.

We spoke about this a couple of days ago, so I encourage you to check out that post and its comments for more info and opinions on this new raid utility. Opinion is pretty mixed, to say the least.

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hookwasp

Pet of the Week: Hook Wasps

Hook wasps were originally slated to be in their own Exotic Pet family, but Blizzard later decided to just merge them with regular wasps. I can only hope the special ability they were going to have, Flutter, will make it into the rylak repertoire or some other pet family in the future.

I’ve always had a soft spot for wasp pets, I don’t know why. They’re not particularly pleasant to look at, but there’s something cool about having a giant wasp as a pet. The video below shows the new hook wasp model in action.

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aspectfox

Aspect of the Fox is back, changes to Bestial Wrath

Our long-awaited raid utility is finally here.

Aspect of the Fox
Party and raid members within 40 yards take on the aspects of a fox, allowing them to move while casting all spells for 6 seconds. Only one Aspect can be active at a time. 3 minute cooldown.

I don’t want to say I called it, but I kinda do. ;)

I like this cooldown. For a short period of time we can allow all of our friends to experience the awesomeness of a being hunter. :D The duration seems a bit short, but I suppose if you have multiple hunters in your raid you could chain these together. It’s not unusual for a raid to have 2-3 hunters. It definitely seems like a more healer-oriented cooldown to me (though the casters will be happy to have it as well).

I know some people are going to complain that it’s a buff that doesn’t benefit the actual hunter using it (with few exceptions, see below), but that’s not the point of a raid utility cooldown. It’s supposed to help your raid as a whole, right? Hunters have always complained about other classes bringing mandatory raid utility, so you can’t be surprised when the utility we get isn’t mandatory (though some would argue it might end up being mandatory for some Mythic stuff). In the end, it’s something we didn’t have yesterday, and it’s going to indirectly lead to more damage and survivability for your raid (or arena team — don’t forget about PvP benefits).

Other things it will let you do on the move as a hunter: Focusing Shot, Powershot, Tame Beast, Dismiss Pet, Revive Pet, and mounting.

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flaskataurheader

Reforging 2.0: Consumables and Enchants

I have a love-hate relationship with reforging. I love using it to min-max or make a piece of subpar gear into something decent. I hate having to juggle hit and expertise caps (and having to use a reforging calculator to do it perfectly). Without hit and expertise, reforging is just about customizing your stats. No calculators or external tools required. All the good, none of the bad. So you can understand why I was initially a little disappointed at its removal.

I know the goal was to reduce the amount of extra work needed to be done in order to make a piece of gear usable. When you don’t need to valor upgrade, reforge, gem, and enchant something you can just equip it as soon as it drops. Unless, of course, it’s a neck, ring, or cloak. Then you’ll want to make sure you have an enchanting scroll ready for it.

Blizzard wasn’t kidding when they said they wanted fewer but more powerful enchants.

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