hunterlodge

Legion: Thoughts on Artifacts and the Hunter class hall [Updated]

One of the things I’m most excited about in Legion is the focus on class identity. The fact that every spec gets some lore surrounding their artifact weapon is pretty cool to me. I don’t expect them to be ground-breaking quest lines (since they have to do 36 of them), but the very fact that each spec gets a little something unique means a lot. It puts a lot more weight behind your choice of spec, and sort of commits you to that choice. I think fewer people will be inclined to switch to “flavor of the month” specs if they’ve identified themselves as another spec already.

However, it does put a little more responsibility on Blizzard’s end to make sure classes with more than 1 DPS spec are relatively balanced. I think it’s important that every time a new patch or hotfix drops you don’t feel forced to abandon your artifact journey because of numbers.

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Hunting Party Podcast #223: Legion

This week we discuss Legion, the newly announced expansion for World of Warcraft. We talk about melee Hunters, petless Hunters, and good old big red Hunters. We also talk about the new Artifact weapons, the in-game Hunter’s Hall, and much more.

The Hunting Party Podcast also turned six this week. We’d like to thank all of the listeners for your support these past six years. We do this because of you.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 1:30 pm ET (17:30 GMT). The next episode is scheduled for Sunday, August 23. In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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meleehunter3

Legion: New Hunter roles confirmed

I speculated on this yesterday, but it looks like we have the official word via a developer interview at Icy Veins.

  • Survival: Melee spec that utilizes a pet
  • Beast Mastery: Ranged spec that utilizes a pet
  • Marksmanship: Ranged spec that has NO pet

This means the Lone Wolf talent should be no more. Blizzard is fully committing this time and giving each spec a clear identity. It’s bound to ruffle some feathers, but my initial thoughts are that it will be good for the class.

My only real concern is balance now. If Survival is the top spec (by the same kind of margin Marksmanship is now in Hellfire Citadel), every hunter will feel forced into completely changing roles after they’ve been playing a ranged class for 10 years. Not good. Blizzard has an obligation to make sure all 3 playstyles are viable.

There was also some updates regarding the artifact weapons:

  • Beast Mastery’s artifact is a gun, Marksmanship’s is a bow, Survival’s is a spear.
  • There are no weapon drops in Legion. Instead, you will power up your artifact by killing bosses and doing other things in the game (PvP, dungeons, raids, dailies, whatever).
  • Your artifact will be obtained very early on.
  • Artifacts can be transmogged, so if you’re not happy about your weapon type for your chosen spec, you at least have that. You cannot transmog into another artifact though.
  • Still not sure how Survival is going to operate in the weird transition period of 7.0 when they have no melee weapons.

We should have more details soon from the dev panel on Sunday. Shortly after the dev panel, at 1:30pm ET on Sunday, we will be recording the next Hunting Party Podcast on Twitch and talking all about this stuff.  Follow me on Twitter and I’ll be posting before we go live. Should be a fun show!

  
wowlegion

LEGION: The melee hunter returns? [Update: Confirmed]

Update: Survival is definitely a melee spec. Updated details here.

*Breathes deeply*

OK, that was exciting. After being at an all time low with my general WoW excitement, I have to say that LEGION gives me some hope for WoW’s future. I am beyond excited, but I’m going to have to force myself to not get TOO hyped after the disappointments in WoD, because that expansion had much better intentions (I feel) than it ultimately delivered.

That being said…

Apparently, Survival is now a melee spec.

Melee. Hunter. Confirmed.

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archimondedeaded

Hurry up, Gamescom!

I killed Archimonde Heroic this past week. Killing the final boss of an expansion on this difficulty is a big milestone for me. I almost feel like my character has “beaten” the expansion. Anything else that happens (like some Mythic kills) is icing on the cake for me. Warlords of Draenor could end tomorrow and I’d be content.

It was a satisfying encounter and a great fight for hunters. Seriously, we rock on this fight. Especially with the glorious 4-piece bonus.  We actually rock through most of the instance.

The one thing I don’t really get about Archimonde is why I’m supposed to care about killing him, or why he is even there. I felt like Blackhand was a more worthy end boss, he was at least one of the “Warlords.” I’m no Loremaster, but usually I understand the core story points and the motivations of the characters. With WoD I just don’t know what’s going on. All I know is we stopped the invasion of Azeroth, and after that it all seems pointless.  I’m not invested in Draenor.

It’s all part of the reason why I want this expansion to end sooner rather than later.

There are plenty of aspects of Warlords I enjoyed, but I guess I feel like the whole package just didn’t come together in the right way. Almost as if all the various features and components of the expansion are puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit.

The news about WoW X6 being announced this week came at the perfect time for me. I need something WoW related to be excited about again. So bring it on!

There’s so many rumors and fake leaks out there that I don’t know what to believe (probably none of it). I’ll admit they are fun to read though. One universal thing is the assumption that we’re going to get another class that uses mail armor and ranged weapons. No, just no. Those are HUNTER WEAPONS!   😉

On a more serious note, how would they separate such a class from hunters? Magic damage? You mean like a Survival hunter? 😛  A healing spec would definitely fit the bill, but I still don’t know how the DPS spec(s) would be any different from a Lone Wolf Hunter other than a new resource system. Perhaps that’s enough?

Such a class probably wouldn’t get me to switch from playing a Hunter. The only theorized class that could MAYBE do that is the Tinker. Basically an engineer who uses contraptions, turrets, and stuff that goes boom.

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Hunting Party Podcast Episode 222: Dat MM Four Piece!

This week Darkbrew, Bendak and Deirium cover a wide array of topics including LFR queue woes for Hunters, the 6.2 hotfix buffs, the legendary ring, and the amazing power of tier 4-piece bonus for Marksmanship.

The next episode is scheduled to happen hours after the Gamescom WoW developer panel (where they’ll be talking at the newly announced expansion), so hype levels should be at maximum.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 1:30 pm ET (17:30 GMT). The next episode is scheduled for Sunday, August 9. In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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felstalker

Survival and Beast Mastery hotfix buffs compared

Last night, after a month of patch 6.2, Blizzard finally threw some table scraps at poor old Survival hunters. Of course we told them how broken it was time and time again on the PTR, but I guess these buffs are better late than never. Beast Mastery also received a smaller buff, which is more beneficial to it in older T17 gear than it is in newer T18 gear (boo).

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Forums)

  • Beast Mastery
    • Bestial Wrath now lasts 15 seconds (up from 10 seconds).
  • Survival
    • Black Arrow, Explosive Shot, and Serpent Sting damage increased by 25%.

I’ve seen a lot of hunters ask if this means Survival and Beast Mastery are “viable” again.

Here’s the short answer: Beast Mastery has always been “viable,” it’s just not been ideal for Hellfire Citadel because of fight mechanics. The fights simply favor Marksmanship. Survival, on the other hand, was not viable. These buffs don’t really change that, but they do make it “less wrong” to play at a non-progression level.

Simulation Craft recently put out an update with the hotfixes so I ran some numbers. Please don’t use these numbers as the sole basis for choosing what to play in HFC. I’m simply using them to illustrate the change these hotfixes have.

Update: The T17 4-piece bonus pet still only lasts 10 seconds even though Bestial Wrath is lasting 15. This will reduce BM’s buff in old T17 gear slightly.

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felhunter

Fel Hunter transmogs (or more excuses to use the goggles)

Killing demons and fel orcs in Tanaan Jungle needs a transmog to fit the part. Today we’ll take a look at a couple fel-themed transmogs for Hunters.

The first one is rather simple, but I’ve been using it for most of 6.2. It’s the one featured above and it’s simply the season 1 Gladiator armor set, along with the fel goggles and the gun from Heroic Lei Shi.

Helm: Fel-Proof Goggles
Shoulders: Gladiator’s Chain Spaulders
Cloak: n/a
Chest: Gladiator’s Chain Armor
Hands: Gladiator’s Chain Gauntlets
Belt: Marshal’s Chain Girdle
Legs: Gladiator’s Chain Leggings
Feet: Marshal’s Chain Sabatons
Weapon: Taoren, the Soul Burner (Heroic version)

Everything sans the goggles and gun is purchased with honor points in Area 52, Netherstorm. If you don’t feel like farming up the honor for all these pieces, there is also Demonstalker Armor. Same model but the base armor is lighter in color. For that you’ll need to run some TBC raids.

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 221: The Last Raid Patch

This week we were light on Hunter news and light on Hunter hosts. We dipped into some of the general World of Warcraft news including the announcement that Hellfire Citadel will be the final raid of Warlords of Draenor. We speculate on what that might mean for the timing of the next expansion.

San Diego Comic Con was this weekend so we took the time to discuss the Warcraft movie panel. And, yes, Bendak and Darkbrew do talk about Hunters. Thinking of upgrading your Skull of War trinket? We tell you if it’s worth it. We also answer some questions from members of the WHU Facebook community.

The show is broadcast live on Twitch TV every second Sunday at 1:30 pm ET (17:30 GMT). The next episode is scheduled for Sunday, July 26. In addition to the live show, you can find it at:

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stealthyhunter

Getting ready for patch 6.2

I think I’m just about ready.  Here’s a summary of my preparations.

  • Capped Apexis Crystals @ 60k
    • Plus an additional 9.6k from 12 completed Scouting Missives (won’t be turning them in until patch day when cap is removed).
    • Plus an additional 7.5k-10k from 36 Mage Tower work orders, which I won’t pick up until patch day.
  • Capped Garrison Resources
    • Plus additional from 36 Trading Post work orders to extend the cap.
    • Plus 500 waiting in the cache
  • Trading Post level 3 for the 20% rep gains.
  • Stables level 3 for increased mount speed, and immune to dismounting in Tanaan (seriously there’s a LOT of mobs, dismounting is common).
  • Inventory cleaned out as best I can (about 30 free slots)
  • About 60 augment runes
  • Fish for hundreds of +125 stat foods (both mastery and crit)
  • 4000 Primal Spirits which I plan to spend on Savage Bloods (their cost is being cut in half to 25 w/ the patch, which is why I saved them).
  • Lots of engineering and leatherworking materials (about 2k each)
  • Marksmanship set as one of my specs, crit enchants, gems, and scope acquired.

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