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Hunting Party Podcast Episode 213: Farewell Solarflair

This was one hell of an episode, and a good send off for Solarflair who is on his way to work in the QA department at Blizzard! He’ll be there testing the new raids long before you ever get your hands on them. We wish him the best of luck.

Also this week, we talk about #TeamHunter BlizzCon plans, our experiences in BRF, and the Tranquilizing Shot nerf.

As a bonus, half way through the show the always awesome Rogerbrown from Method stops by to talk about hunters and his favorite spec. We’re going to try and get him on the show more often!

Last but not least, we now have a new time for the live show: Every other Sunday at 2PM ET / 11AM PT (18:00 GMT) on Twitch. We hope this will be a better time for more of you to tune in live, and it also does wonders for our sleep schedules. We’re slotted right in between Convert to Raid and Final Boss, making Sunday quite the epic day for WoW shows!

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krusher

Beast Mastery in 6.1

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since patch 6.1 dropped and I can say I haven’t once specced out of Beast Mastery the entire time, and I’m loving it. I don’t know what it is, but I just have more fun playing it. Survival is still strong but it was becoming stale for me. What I like about BM is all of the opportunities to stack cooldowns and trinkets. Focus Fire has turned into its own little mini-game, with a ton of variables to take into account rather than the old method of simply using it when the button flashed.

I feel like having so much DPS potential built into Focus Fire has added an entire new dimension to the spec that rewards you for proper decision making. There is a downside with the RNG component, but that probably helps keep it balanced. If gaining Frenzy stacks was more predictable, it’s possible that Focus Fire wouldn’t be able to have the same power level. And to be honest, the awesome feeling I get when I have a pull with good Frenzy stacks outweighs the pulls where I have bad luck. I actually grin when I get good RNG as I play Beast Mastery. I never did that with survival.

In the first paragraph I said I don’t know what it is, but I guess I just answered my own question.

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Hunting Party Podcast Episode 212: Michele Morrow, Bracklemore and Rhino Gosling

In this episode we welcome back Michele Morrow to the show! She’s been a frequent guest in the past (before the revival), and she joined us to talk about hunters as well as the Raid Against Rare Diseases charity event. We also congratulate Solar Flair on his upcoming job at Blizzard! He will be joining the WoW QA (raid testing) team at the end of the month. Be sure to tune into the next show which will probably be his last.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 10:00 am ET (14:00 GMT). In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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specops

Hunter Transmog: Spec Ops

I liked this transmog as soon as I laid eyes on it. This one was submitted by Shadowwolf of Zul’jin. Here’s what he had to say:

Originally designed on a Male Worgen using the Replica Coif and Dark Iron Gun, was going for a minimalist black/dark look. Modified them in WoD to include the Cybergenetic Mechshades for the night-vision goggle look.

Head: Cybergenetic Mechshades
Shoulder: Upstanding Spaulders
Chest: Avenger’s Armor
Belt: Blackforge Girdle
Legs: Leggings of the Insatiable
Boots: Veteran’s Chain Sabatons
Gloves: Gloves of Taut Grip
Weapon: Dagryn’s Discarded Longbow (LFR)

If you’re not an engineer, Shadowwolf suggests this or this as a helm replacement. For a gun instead of a bow, try this, this, or this.

I’ve put this set together in a Wowhead item comparison so you can quickly view it on other races in 3D (click the little triangle above the item icons).

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Hunting Party Podcast Episode 211: Play What You Want

Apologies for being a little late in posting this one! In this episode, we discuss our early experiences in Blackrock Foundry, and talk about the latest hunter buffs coming in patch 6.1.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 10:00 am ET (14:00 GMT). In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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winteriscoming

Patch 6.1: Hunter specs compared [Updated]

I originally did these simulations for my own amusement, but I thought I’d share them with you guys. Again, like most sims I post on this site they are done with whatever gear I’m wearing at the time (ilvl 672). Whenever you see “official” comparisons between specs on the actual Simulation Craft page, or on some other sites and guides, these are almost always done with best-in-slot gear. That’s all fine and dandy, but I don’t have anywhere close to BiS so I don’t really care about those sims. I’d rather see how things look in my own gear. Keep this in mind as you read this, and always remember your results will be slightly different.

The first thing I did was compare the DPS differences between live servers and the 6.1 PTR. I went through all the talent permutations and found the highest simulated talents and used those, so each spec was represented as best as possible. I also swapped gems and enchants for each spec (mastery for BM, crit for MM, and multistrike for SV).

Simulated DPS never tells you the whole story, but I think it’s a good tool for seeing what the impact is from buffs or nerfs. Instead of using screenshots from Simulation Craft, I’m testing out some fancy HTML5 charts. Mousing over (or tapping) each bar should give the actual DPS numbers.

New Post: More information about Beast Mastery in 6.1.


Changelog:

Update Feb 19: Numbers updated again to reflect changes in simulation craft. The pet summoned by BM T17 4-piece does more damage. Also, survival pets inherit multistrike damage bonuses. Both of these changes are now reflected.

Update Feb 15: These numbers are now updated with the latest MM and BM buffs from the patch notes (from Feb 13): Focus Fire now grants 8% attack power per stack, Chimaera Shot damage increased by 30.4%, and Sniper Training effectiveness increased by 25%.


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gyrewormpet

What new pets do you want to see?

I’ve written posts in the same vein as this before (like this Scattered Shots) and I try my best not to sound like a spoiled, entitled hunter. The reality is, we have a crapton of pets to choose from. There’s not much reason to beg for more, but hey, Muffinus asked! The same designer responsible for Gara and other new pet families in in 6.0.

So with that in mind, I thought it would be cool to touch on some of the interesting potential pets out there. Think of it as a wishlist. Some of them are new skins for existing families, and some would have to be new families entirely (much less likely outside of a new expansion).

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Hunting Party Podcast Episode 210: Preparing for patch 6.1

Wow, have we already done 10 of these? In this episode, Darkbrew, Delirium, Solarflair, and Bendak talk about upcoming changes to hunters in patch 6.1, talk Blackrock Foundry, and give a detailed rundown of the tier 17 set bonuses for all specs. We also say goodbye to Scattered Shots and WoW Insider. If you missed my final Scattered Shots, you can read it here.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 10:00 am ET (14:00 GMT). In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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Patch 6.1: Stampede makes a come back

If you’ve been following the patch 6.1 news, I’m sure you saw the change to Stampede: It now lasts 40 seconds, up from 20 seconds. A Murder of Crows was so good that they needed to literally double it to make it competitive. From my initial testing, it seems they were successful.

However, there was a possibly unintended side effect because of an interesting relationship between Stampede and Lone Wolf. Whenever you have your standard pet out and use Stampede, it calls the remaining 4 pets. However, when you’re using Lone Wolf it calls out all 5 pets. One would think it should only be calling out 4 pets so that the talent has the same value regardless of your chosen level 100 talent, but this is not the case for marksmanship and survival. I’d like to think this is a bug or an oversight, but who knows for sure? It’s been around for a while, so maybe it is intended. I don’t understand why. Also see the bottom of this post for an important note on another Lone Wolf/Stampede bug.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the Stampede buff’s effect on all 3 specs.

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garamount

Hunter changes in patch 6.1: Talent buffs and more

Blizzard finally put out the official 6.1 notes and we got some buffs in the talent department. Check these out.

Originally Posted by Blizzard
Talent Balance

Developer Commentary: A primary focus for class changes in Patch 6.1 is improving overall talent balance. Not every talent needs to be useful in every situation; and in fact it’s often better if they have strengths and weaknesses. But we do try to have each talent be useful in some situations, and make them close enough in value that if you really enjoy the gameplay of a talent you don’t feel like you’re dragging your group down by using it.

For these changes we focused primarily on tuning (tweaking numbers), and nearly all changes are buffs to underperforming talents. The goal is to reach more variety of viable builds, without bringing down the existing popular choices.

  • Barrage damage has been increased by 21%.
  • Exhilaration now instantly heals for 30% of max health (up from 22%).
  • Glaive Toss damage has been increased by 25%.
  • Powershot damage has been increased by 62%.
  • Stampede now lasts 40 seconds (up from 20 seconds).

Here is the main thing I take away from this: Blizzard desperately wants us to use Powershot.  :lol:  If it’s as good as it sounds, Powershot may become the new single target DPS talent of choice because it’s not like it was that far behind before this. This is all good news though, because in some cases (like with Survival) there was almost no benefit from using a level 90 talent for single target damage. This will obviously change now, and Barrage just got 21% more awesome for AoE if that was even possible.

The more shocking one is that Stampede now lasts for 40 seconds (whoa!). Yes, A Murder of Crows was that good to justify this. I feel like this could push Stampede to be the best on many single target fights, especially when the cooldowns line up nicely with fight duration (i.e. Stampede would kill it on a 6 minute fight). AMoC still has the benefit of being able to reset the cooldown if used smartly on multi-target fights. I love the sound of it as a BM hunter, so I’m hoping it’s as good as it sounds and that there’s no strings attached (like reduced damage on the Stampede pets).

The Exhilaration buff was desperately needed. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

None of these changes except the Barrage buff appear to be live on the PTR yet so I can’t test much. I’m sure Simulation Craft will be updated within the next day or two and then I can start playing around with that at least.

I’m still holding out hope for a Kill Command buff to give a small kick to BM single target DPS.

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