5dayswarlords

First 5 days of Warlords: Gearing up, garrisons, and hunter stuff

I know it’s been a few days since I’ve posted, but I’ve got a good excuse with, you know, Warlords coming out and all. I was thankfully immune from most of the launch issues.  I was there at the first minute, and with a group of guildies I managed to get ahead of the main crowd. I was level 99 by the time I logged off for good after a very long Thursday. Then Friday morning I hit 100.

One thing I’ve been pretty amazed about regarding the site is the insane amount of traffic the Gara taming guide post has been getting. Over 125,000 people have viewed it so far. Clearly Gara is a popular thing! As nice as it is to have a guide on how to do it all, I can’t help but wonder if we’d still be trying figuring it out had it not been possible to do the datamining… or even know to look in the data at all.

A lot of people have requested an uncorrupted version of Gara, like she is when you first find her. I think it would be amazing if Blizzard snuck in a future followup (without telling us it was going in) where you could uncorrupt her somehow. *wink wink* *hint hint*

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hellitsabouttime

Hell, it’s about time

Warlords is (attempting) to launch in the EU as I write this, and I’m getting ready to go to sleep soon. Why would a grown man go to bed at 8 p.m. you ask? Simple. So he can wake up at around 2:30 a.m. and play a video game for a crapload of time.

Before I go, I wanted to give a quick recap of some helpful info:

Time to force myself to sleep at this unnatural hour. See you in Draenor!

  
garrisonview

My Garrison Plans: What buildings and why

Warlords… it’s so close!

I’ve received some requests to do a post about garrisons, so here it is. It seems there is still a lot of confusion about this feature (hey, I’m still a bit confused myself!) so in an effort to help clear things up, I’m going to let you know what my first garrison is going to look like and why. I don’t claim to be an expert on garrisons — for the most detailed information you’ll want to check out Wowhead guides or Alternative Chat’s To Build a Home garrison blog —  my post is simply intended to give you more information to help make your own decisions.

My main motivations for choosing what I did is probably 75% efficiency and 25% fun. After the initial rush at the beginning of the expansion (and once more alts are leveled with their own garrisons), that ratio will probably reverse. But to start, this is what it’s tentatively going to look like.

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hpp

Hunting Party Podcast Episode 204: BlizzCon 2014

This week, Darkbrew, Delirium, and myself talk about BlizzCon 2014, how hunter DPS is looking at 100 (which is all subject to change once they launch Warlords), and our plans for the Warlords launch. Artemishowl and Solarflair were out this week.

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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bendaksnow

Looking back at BlizzCon, looking forward to Warlords

While I think this was definitely Blizzard’s best BlizzCon yet, it wasn’t my best BlizzCon. Why? Not enough WoW! :cry: One of the highlights for me was actually the World of Warcraft: Looking for Group documentary they premiered yesterday. It was great! I highly recommend watching that if you haven’t yet.

The WoW panels themselves were simply disappointing. The “classes and items” panel was a rehash of the same information they gave us at the last BlizzCon. It was almost surreal watching them talk about stuff that has been on the live game servers for nearly a month. Yes, Blizzard, we know that hit and expertise have been removed. I’m pretty sure everyone watching did too since they are big enough of a fan to actually pay to watch it.  ;-) The cinematics panel was interesting.

The Q&A panels are another topic entirely, but I won’t complain too much. All I’ll say it PLEASE, for the love of Elune, vet the questions next time! That way we won’t have 3 questions about eyebrows, some guy complaining that his account gets locked, and other wastes of time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the odd fun question like “can we get bacon in the game?” for a laugh here or there, but there was so much wasted potential. Why didn’t anyone ask about 6.1, 6.2, etc.? Gah! At least we had Red Shirt Guy. Maybe they can do half of them as Twitter questions next year? Those can at least be vetted.

I was really expecting one of the panels to be about Warlords content patches since they obviously can’t talk about the new expansion yet. I fully understand these guys have been ridiculously busy finishing the game and probably didn’t have time to make a presentation, but I still wish they would have talked about it at some point. Maybe some of the press interviews will yield some new WoW information, because the convention itself certainly didn’t. I think the only breaking piece of WoW news was the charity pet (which I’ll buy immediately — space goats FTW). More wasted potential was not having some kind of “garrison workshop” panel where they go through the buildings and explain how it all works. So many people are still confused about garrisons.

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endofbeta

The end of beta, BlizzCon predictions, and the Warlords strategy guide

Well, the beta is finally shut down after almost exactly 5 months of testing (including the alpha). I first got in on June 17th, and at the time the alpha was still limited to Horde characters in the Frostfire Ridge zone only (up to level 92). This was a couple of weeks after the alpha opened up and someone may have noticed my shameless whining about not being in the alpha and helped me get in. Thanks, you-know-who-you-are.  ;-)

In the past I had participated in the Wrath, Cataclysm, and Mists betas but never to the same degree as I did in Warlords. Typically I’d check out class changes, maybe tame a new hunter pet or two, and that was that. I wasn’t really involved in the community back then, nor had a blog, so that probably explained my lack of interest. This time I felt compelled to get some info out to you guys. I hope I helped.  :mrgreen: I certainly tried to put a lot of effort into beta coverage here.

The end of beta event was pretty fun. It basically involved game masters spawning all sorts of things to kill us repeatedly outside of Stormwind and Ogrimmar — bosses, elites, rares, iron stars, and even hordes of gastropods. I stopped by the PvP server briefly to check out what was happening in Ashran. I couldn’t get into Ashran itself (it was full), but I got a few nice shots from the outskirts. Below you can check out a gallery of the event.

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60fpsvideo

Final beta video: B-roll footage of hunter pets at 60fps!

If you didn’t know, YouTube recently introduced support for 60fps videos. You obviously need to upload the video in 60fps for this to work, and YouTube also seems very picky with the encode settings, but once it works it’s pretty cool!

It only works in the Google Chrome browser (or IE11 if you enable HTML5 video), but doesn’t appear to work in Firefox at all. You also need to set the video to 720p or 1080p to see the 60fps version. Support on non-PC devices or apps is spotty.

You’ll know it when you see it, because the difference between 60fps and 30fps is night and day.

Beta ends tomorrow, so enjoy this final video of some random hunter pets. Remember to set it to 720p or 1080p!  :mrgreen:

  
ashranbattle

More number tuning for hunters, and it seems pretty reasonable

Blizzard just posted some new class tuning hotfixes which should go live soon. Even though most of this is nerfs, I have to say these are reasonable changes based on where we stood after the last round of buffs we received. Combined with the changes to other classes, we were doing quite well at level 100 (at least Beast Mastery and Marksmanship).

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Official Forums)

• Adaptation now increases Combat Experience’s damage increase to 70% (down from 85%).
• Chimaera Shot’s damage has been reduced by 13%.
• Focusing Shot now has a 2.5 second cast time (down from 3 seconds), and its damage has been increased by 25%.
• Kill Command’s damage has been increased by 20%.

I can’t help but feel like these Focusing Shot changes are Blizzard’s somewhat desperate attempt to get people to actually take the talent. I’m sure there’s some hunters out there chomping at the bit for it. However, the problem for me (and many other hunters) is that it’s just not worth the hassle. It can definitely do competitive DPS with the other level 100 talents, but it comes with a severe handicap. These changes certainly help, but it’s still not something I’m really interested in. The extra damage is miniscule in the grand scheme of things, although the faster cast time is nice. For me, Focusing Shot looked really good on paper, but in practice it just flunked out.

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druidtravelform

Pet of the Week: Druids in Travel Form

Blizzard finally gave into our demands and made druids tameable. The catch is you can only tame them in their travel form. So if you were hoping for a kitty or bear druid, you’re out of luck (for now). A druid in travel form is part of the Stag family once tamed and brings the versatility raid buff with Grace.

Druids are not exotic, so no need to worry about that. The trick is just catching one in travel form who won’t notice your Tame Beast channeling. AFK druids work best. I wouldn’t recommend taming one of your friends or guildies, since you may lose them as a friend once they can no longer control their druid.

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hpp

Hunting Party Podcast Episode 203: Meet Dillypoo

This week the HPP interviews a high-rated PvP hunter, Dillypoo. You may have seen him playing one of his hunters recently at the World of Warcraft North America Regionals arena tournament in New York. He discusses his history as a PvP hunter, how hunters are looking for PvP in Warlords, and even gives some tips for getting started in PvP. After the interview we get into the latest round of hunter hotfix buffs and answer listener questions.

I unfortunately had to miss this week’s episode, but that’s one of the benefits of having a large number of hosts. Even if some of us are busy, the show can still go on!

If you want more from Dillypoo, you can follow him on Twitter and Twitch.tv.

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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