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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hpp

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.


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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hpp

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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stampede

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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hpp

Hunting Party Podcast Episode 209: RogerBrown is in Town

In this week’s episode we welcome a very special returning guest to the HPP — RogerBrown from Method! Artemishowl also makes her return the podcast as a regular host alongside Darkbrew, Delirium, and yours truly.

We talk about hunter specs, give some tips and tricks, and Artemishowl and RogerBrown talk about their world first Highmaul race experiences. It was a fun show and we look forward to getting RogerBrown on the show again in the future, perhaps after Blackrock Foundry progression.

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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aacomparisons

WoW’s patch 6.1 anti-aliasing options compared

There was a vocal minority of players who were pretty upset when the old MSAA options were removed in patch 6.0 in favor of visually inferior (in most cases) post-processing AA options. Heck, Blizzard even wrote a technical blog explaining why they decided to remove MSAA. In short, their reasoning behind its removal was because it caused too big of a performance hit.

This wasn’t surprising since MSAA is very performance unfriendly, especially if you run the game at a higher resolution. Blizzard has always aimed for WoW to work on the lowest common denominator of PC hardware, but many argued there was no reason to take away the other AA options from people who do have the hardware to utilize it. I personally have a GTX 780 video card which is overkill by about 5x for WoW, but it is nice to be able to turn on every single option to max and still run the game at 60+ fps at all times.

The good news is that Blizzard listened and they have re-implemented MSAA as an option in patch 6.1. They’ve also added two new options, both even more performance hungry than MSAA.

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spectraltiger

Mastery and Haste Buffs: What does it mean for BM?

Beast Mastery remains as my favorite spec. It might not pull off the single target numbers of Survival, but it’s pretty darn close. It also has Beast Cleave, the most badass AoE in the game (especially with that new claw effect it received in 6.0). And most importantly, I just enjoy playing it more than the other specs. Recently there were a couple of hotfix buffs to stats which gave a decent little bump to Beast Mastery, though not as big as I was hoping.

  • Mastery: Master of Beasts’ effects have been increased by 12.5%.
  • The Haste stat is now 11.1% more effective. For example, characters at level 100 now receive a 1% increase per 90 Haste (up from 1% per 100 Haste).

Combined, these buffs only result in a 2-3% overall damage increase for BM (perhaps slightly more for AoE damage).

Prior to this, Multistrike was (barely) the best performing stat for BM in single target, but now it is Mastery. The question is, should you bother swapping your enchants from Multistrike to Mastery?

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