Category Archives: Off Topic

Don’t worry, I’m still Huntering

Despite my absence from this blog (and Twitter, etc.) I want you to know I’m still around. I’m still playing WoW when I get the time and I’m still raiding. My absence from the community is hard to explain without getting too personal. It boils down to some heavy stuff happening IRL and not having the time (or desire) to do any of this right now. It started as a world-turned-upside-down kind of thing that now maybe isn’t quite as bad as originally feared. A rough road ahead. So I’m sorry to say, but right now there’s no energy for this stuff. WoW is still a happy distraction that I wouldn’t give up though.

I’m still enjoying Legion quite a bit, still loyally playing BM spec for everything, and still doing quite well in any content I tackle. Now that I finally have all 3 golden traits I am much less motivated to grind out the Artifact Power. I used to not leave a scrap of it on the table, but now I’ll quite happily let some of those world quests expire. Grinding hard for Titan’s Thunder felt worthwhile, but grinding hard to get an extra 0.2% DPS a couple of days earlier than I would have (if I didn’t grind) isn’t very appealing at this point.

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The Legion has not claimed me

I apologize for the extended absence. I’ve been extremely busy IRL and any time I’ve had to write about Hunters has gone to my bi-weekly Blizzard Watch columns. Things have calmed down a bit and I should be able to get some regular posts going again. The good news is… I didn’t really miss that much. Hardly anything has changed for Hunters in the intervening month or so.  I have been playing all the new builds, but not as much as I’d like. That should change now. My favorite part about the beta is finding new pets and that looks to be in full swing now.

I’ve got a few posts in the works, so stay tuned. 🙂 Also, thanks for sticking around!

  

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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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.

Update: Since this article was written, Blizzard has added support for post-process AA (FXAA or CMAA) while running MSAA, under advanced graphical options.

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Looking back at 2014: The first year of Eyes of the Beast

I started Eyes of the Beast just 10 months ago, but it feels much longer! It all started when WoW Insider cut their class columns (I was the current writer of Scattered Shots), and I decided that I wanted to continue writing about my favorite class. In my attempt to come up with a clever name, I began entering hunter spells into domain name searches until I saw that EyesOfTheBeast.com was available. I think I bought it 30 seconds later.

At the time, the WHU and Hunting Party Podcast had both just shut down (both resurrected now!) and I felt like the hunter community could use another regularly updated site to compliment the few that were left, notably The Brew Hall. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive. I was shocked to have more than a handful of people reading my site, and that was because of everyone who linked to me or retweeted me. Thanks.  :mrgreen:

Stats for 2014
  • 191 published posts
  • 2,039 comments
  • 1,480,000 page views
  • Most popular post: How to tame Gara with just over 300,000 views
  • Most popular day: September 9, 2014 with 34,105 views
  • Most active commenter: Garfurion with 58 comments
  • Top 3 referrers (besides Google): Petopia, Wowhead, Reddit
  • 465,000 outbound clicks to Wowhead
  • Visitors from 193 different countries
  • Top 5 countries (in order) were the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Australia

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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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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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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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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! 😥 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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Getting things done before 6.0

Well, patch 6.0 is now less than 2 weeks away. And I’m still procrastinating. Not all of my pre-Warlords goals have been met yet, but I’m making progress.

Complete: Brawler’s Guild

Funnily enough, I ended up spending over 10k for my invite because I purchased it shortly after the Brawler’s Guild came out. Then I did a couple of bosses and didn’t touch it again until this week. I kept putting it off, thinking I’ll finish it eventually. Then 6.0 got close and we were told those achievements are becoming legacy. So I ended up banging out all 10 ranks in a couple of days, trying to go there on off hours so the queue wouldn’t be too long. I found that a queue of about 2-3 people is perfect because it gave just enough time for my cooldowns to finish. Queues of around 10 during prime time are painful.

The first 7 ranks were mostly fights that lasted about 4 seconds (yay for overgearing content). Hexos was the first real challenge. Here’s a tip: Don’t listen to a guide if it tells you to move Hexos through the maze. Concentrate on keeping yourself from being hit, NOT Hexos. Once I did this it wasn’t too bad at all.  But if I could ever dream up a nightmare raid encounter, it would be everyone having to do their own personal Hexos to progress the fight. Can you imagine that? Ahoo’ru (final rank 9 boss) was the biggest challenge for me. I just had a lot of bad RNG I think. It took me about 5 or 6 attempts. Also one of those attempts was wasted because I thought I could pop Deterrence and clear out the orbs: NOPE.

Happy to have the mount and title. I’ll be too busy in Warlords to bother then I think.

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