bendakwarwolf

Focus Pocus: A closer look at Focus Fire, Steady Focus, and Focusing Shot

Have you been enjoying the hunter spec equality we have now? I sure am. With more people playing BM and SV again, I thought it warranted a closer look at a couple of the less popular talents.

Focus Fire, aka RNG Fire

The recent buff to Improved Focus Fire (5% per stack instead of 2%) has put a great deal more importance on the  Focus Fire ability. Every basic attack has a 40% chance to add a stack of Frenzy. I’ve never paid much attention to stack generation before this, but now my eye is on it constantly, and I’ve discovered just how RNG-dependent BM DPS can be now.

Sometimes my stack generation will be so high that I’ll have generated 5 stacks before my current Focus Fire buff has even expired. It feels fantastic when this happens. Other times, I’ve had my Frenzy stuck at a single stack for an entire 30 seconds.  Ouch.

This RNG got me thinking about the Steady Focus talent. Delirium had done some testing in beta which discovered it also increased pet focus regeneration, but it still seemed like an inferior talent to the guaranteed damage of Dire Beast.

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highmaulben

All 3 hunter specs now close in DPS, play what you want

A post I made a little over a week ago about spec inequality and bad attitudes towards players who choose not to play the “best” spec ended up generating a lot of discussion in the community. At the time, marksmanship was simply doing more single target damage. I argued it wasn’t such a gap that you should feel guilty for playing something else, but some people have a hard time just saying “no” to extra damage.

Well, we don’t have to worry about this stuff anymore. The specs are now relatively balanced after a couple of rounds of hotfixes. Here is the gist of what was changed:

  • Aimed Shot and Kill Shot damage was nerfed by 10%
  • Serpent Sting damage was buffed by 60%
  • Focus Fire now grants 25% bonus attack power when used at 5 stacks (up from 10%) via the Draenor perk

These changes were enough to get the specs so close together that I feel comfortable in saying you can play anything you want, even in a competitive/progression group. Let’s take a look at each spec’s strengths.

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blueshaman

Hunter Transmog, Shaman Edition: Ten Storms

Here we have another shaman-like transmog submission for hunters, this time from Sagidu. Here’s what they had to say:

Set features awesome periodic lightning around shoulders as well as some kind of primal tidal energy filling in your eyes coming from helm. I decided to submit this particular set since I have not seen anybody else with it, and also to show male Draenei can look cool too.

Head: Headdress of the Tides
Shoulder: Mantle of the Sea Wolf 
Chest: Harness of the Deep Currents
Belt: Stillwater Girdle
Legs: Oceansong Kilt
Boots: Wavefury Boots 
Bracers: Primal Surge Bracers 
Gloves: Fathomheart Gauntlets 
Weapon: Melmorta’s Twilight Longbow (Alt: Talon Guard Bow)

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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redshaman

Hunter Transmog, Shaman Edition: Fiery/Red

This transmog was submitted by Eilistraee  from Malygos-US. The whole shaman-lookalike isn’t really my thing, but I know some of your like your dresses! Here’s a cool looking red transmog obtained (mostly) in Heroic Firelands.

Helm: Crown of Flames
Shoulders: Craterflame Spaulders
Chest: Gatekeeper’s Embrace
Gloves: Clawshaper Gauntlets
Pants: Thoracic Flame Kilt
Boots: Treads of Implicit Obedience
Belt: Earthshatter Girdle (from BMAH — if anyone has an alternative suggestion, please comment)
Bow: Arathar, the Eye of Flame

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).

Got a cool hunter transmog to show off?

Submit it, along with a complete item list and a link to a high-resolution screenshot or two, and I may feature it on the site! Especially could use some new transmogs feature Warlords of Draenor armor.

You can view previous transmog posts here.

  
hpp

Hunting Party Podcast Episode 206: Hunting Highmaul

This week Darkbrew, Solarflair, Delirium, and yours truly talk about our first experiences in Highmaul and provide some hunter-specific tips for the first few encounters.

We also talk a little bit about the current state of hunter spec balance and some of the nasty attitude being thrown at Survival and Beast Mastery hunters right now, fueled by this post I made a couple of days ago.

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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bmflex

Playing BM: It’s a matter of principle now

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend as of late. Some hunters are getting kicked from dungeon and raid groups simply because they don’t conform to a very specific set of criteria: Marksmanship with the Lone Wolf talent.  At first I thought it was pretty anecdotal (and it probably still is), but I keep hearing about it. Guildies complained about getting kicked before the dungeon even starts. I’ve seen people mention it in trade chat, only to get belittled by everyone for not playing MM/Lone Wolf. I also saw mention of it in some comments on this blog.

I personally had one experience in a random heroic, but it did not result in a kick. I don’t remember the specific wording, but the gist of it was “lol why are you using BM? Play a real spec, we don’t want to carry you.” Then I crushed them on DPS for the rest of the dungeon and they shut their mouth. If there was anyone else in the group who shared this delightful individual’s mindset, maybe I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to embarrass this fool.

The last straw came when I received two separate emails from readers about this issue. One of them has been repeatedly kicked from dungeon groups, and even criticized by his own guild mates for not conforming to what has become known as the “best” hunter spec/talent combo. The other person was actually kicked from Highmaul groups for playing BM. Both of them were asking for advice. They asked if BM and SV were really that bad? Should they just give up and play Marksmanship with Lone Wolf?

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nakknakk

Ready for Highmaul

I’ve been keeping busy enough in game that I almost forgot that World of Warcraft has this thing called raiding. Also, is it just me or does it seem a lot longer than 2.5 weeks since launch? Feels like at least a month for me. At any rate, I am ready to jump into normal mode Highmaul, hopefully tonight if enough guildies are ready for it. I’m “only” ilvl 636, but that is being brought down quite a bit by the fact that I still have my legendary cloak equipped and a 615 trinket. I also have not been running challenge modes, so the rest of my gear is either crafted or 630 stuff.

I do actually have some nice pieces. Most notably is my gun, Shrediron’s Shredder of the Savage. I’ll be upgrading that to stage 3 (ilvl 660) today which is going to be a huge weight off my shoulders. Why? Because traditionally I have terrible luck with ranged weapon drops. I know everyone says this, but I truly mean it. I spent the entirety of Throne of Thunder with a 516 heroic scenario weapon. I killed Lei Shen with a heroic scenario weapon. I went into Siege of Orgrimmar with a heroic scenario weapon. My raid never sees ranged weapon drops. It never saw one in Siege until a year after the fact, and the only reason I got one before that was because of bonus rolls.

So no, crafting this gun was not a waste of money. It lets me enjoy myself without worrying when I’m going to finally get a half decent weapon. I achieved this by having 3 toons cranking out Gearspring Parts. My main crafted the gun and the first upgrade, and an alt is crafting the second upgrade. The third alt had been churning out Didi’s Delicate Assemblies so I could reroll the gun to “of the Savage” (multistrike+crit). Now that third alt will be relegated to making my Wormhole Centrifuge, Blingtron 5000, and other fun engineering stuff.

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poundfistmount

Camping Poundfist for the Sunhide Gronnling mount

When Jeremy Feasel (Muffinus) first mentioned on Twitter that there would be a bunch of new rare spawns with 100% drop mounts with varying degrees of rarity, I just knew that the Sunhide Gronnling was going to be the rarest of them all. Subjectively, I think the coolness factor of the other mounts also lines up with their relative rarity. The talbuk, elekk, and boar mounts seem to be the most common. Next up is the riverbeast and clefthoof mounts, which both seem to have respawns of roughly 24 hours.

Then we have the gronn mount. The funny thing is, people were beginning to wonder if Poundfist was just bugged and not spawning at all. Why? The first time it dropped on live servers was on November 23 — 10 days after launch! Why did it take so long? Because apparently its respawn timer is reset back to zero every time the server is restarted. There were too many rolling restarts, realm crashes, and other problems associated with launch that prevented Poundfist from spawning.

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hpp

Hunting Party Podcast Episode 205: WoW Turns Ten with BRK

This week we had a very special guest that longtime hunters may remember — the one and only BigRedKitty! BRK sticks around for the entire show as we talk about WoD, Garrisons, and all kinds of fun huntery stuff.

BRK recently published an e-book on Amazon composed of some short stories from his old blog. If you used to read BigRedKitty.net, the Airman Howell stories may ring a bell. It’s also free for KindleUnlimited subscribers.

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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matchingwolves

Pet(s) of the Week: Matching hunter pets and mounts are awesome

I get a huge kick out of having matching pets and mounts, so I wanted to share my latest couple of matches.

The one above is the Trained Snarler mount and the Riding Wolf pet from Nagrand. The mount is obtained through the garrison stables building. It’s one of the 6 you’re able to train through a series of daily quests. The pet may look familiar to you since I’ve talked previously about the Savage Warwolf (way back in August!), but this one is a little different. It’s the same wolf minus the armor. When I first went down there to look for one there were none spawned, so you may need to give it a bit of time. Both wolves aren’t terribly common, but they will spawn eventually.

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