Thoughts on Elder Scrolls Online

I am a big Elder Scrolls fan, having put many hundreds of hours into both Oblivion and Skyrim over the years. It seems at least once or twice a year I will get the Skyrim urge again. Elder Scrolls Online seemed like the perfect fit for someone like me who enjoys both Elder Scrolls and MMOs.

I’ve participated in the past 4 beta weekends and have come away somewhat impressed. At first I was a little put off by it because I was so used to MMOs copying the WoW formula. Once I stopped playing the game like WoW and tried to play it like the developers obviously intended, I had a much better time. You can click any of the screenshots that follow in this post for the original 2560×1440 versions.

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Melee hunter does 300k DPS

Hunter Trictagon from US-Kel’Thuzad recently put out a video showing off their melee hunter build, pulling off 300k DPS against Kor’kron Dark Shaman in flex mode with beast mastery spec.

With an average item level of 578 and two 574 daggers, the vast majority of the damage was done by the pet. Only about 5% of the damage actually came from melee attacks. If there was ever a showcase for how insanely out of control BM passive damage is, it’s this. The only active abilities cast were Kill Command, Dire Beast, and Glaive Toss (which doesn’t require a ranged weapon). Explosive and Snake traps added a little bit of damage, but most of it was procs and pets. Trictagon claimed to be losing about 30% DPS by not using a ranged weapon.

Check out the video below, but don’t think this means you can start rolling on melee weapons…

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Dust off Rexxar and get yourself a mount

It’s been quite a few months since I played Hearthstone. I was really into it when I first got into beta, but it kinda died out for me. The Hearthsteed mount promo got me back into it and I’m ashamed to say those 3 wins took a lot longer than I was expecting. I think my wins were probably against other people who were there for the same reason I was — to get the mount. To be even worse than me at Hearthstone, they’d have to be!

Rexxar was my hero of choice, and damn if Unleash the Hounds isn’t an awesome card when your opponent is feeling all high and mighty with a full set of minions out on the playing field. My little foray into Hearthstone may get me back into it. I already noticed a few improvements since I last played. Good luck getting your mounts!

Warlords of Draenor pre-order thoughts

Warlords of Draenor is now up for pre-order (at least digitally). The “free” level 90 character boost as well as the mount and pet are all available immediately. I, of course, bought it the first moment I could, but I was a little surprised that the price had gone up $10 over previous expansions. I think a lot of people (especially alt-a-holics) would be interested in a $39.99/59.99 expansion, like they used to cost, without the 90 boost option.

Price stuff aside, I was really disappointed to learn that the release isn’t expected until the fall of this year (which means September at the earliest). I was under the impression that MoP’s final tier would be shorter than previous expansions. A full 10 months of Dragon Soul was very… very tedious. Granted, Siege of Orgrimmar is ten times better as a raid tier, but with this news we’re looking at it lasting at least a full 12 months! Yikes. If there’s one good thing to come out of this, it’s that I’ll be enjoying the summer (outside!) a whole lot more.

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Pet of the Week: Duskfang

Duskfang is the only tamable cat to use the “Black Saber Cat” skin and can be found in Swamp of Sorrows. Since it’s is a quest mob, it will always be up and available for taming. It’s one of my more favorite cats and is usually what I run with if I need to provide a mastery buff as survival. Also matches well with the Panther Cub battle pet.

Duskfang is level 55 and can be found inside the cave at 11,34 on the far east side of Swamp of Sorrows.

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How would you change pet taming?

When it comes to rare hunter pets, what aspect of taming do you like the most? Ultra rare spawns like Wrath spirit beasts? Challenge tames from the Firelands patch? Hidden beasts which you need to track down with your flare in Mists? WoW Senior Game Designer Jeremy Feasel wants to hear from you on Twitter about what you think works and what doesn’t.

 

The spirit beasts in Northrend (and some of the others, like King Krush) are very rare and highly camped. Both things are not necessarily the problem. The main problem with these is achievements like Frostbitten or the fact that they drop any loot at all. I think it’s a good thing that some pets are exceptionally hard to find as it makes finding them that much more exciting. It took me over 5 years of looking on and off to finally find King Krush alive and it felt good to finally tame that dino. When there is a benefit to killing the pet (even those grey vendor items), there will always be people who go out of their way to kill them.

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New Hunter Talents Revealed

A new video from February’s press event has been uncovered, and I am very happy to say it features some new information about the hunter talents in Warlords. They are a little different than they were back at BlizzCon. You can find the video below, but I’ve gone through frame by frame to pick out all of the tooltips and summarize it for you.

  • New Level 100 Talent: Flaming Shots Your auto shots now deal 80% weapon damage as fire damage (Bola Shot has been removed!)
  • New Level 100 Talent: Focusing Shot – Deals 100% weapon damage and generates 75 focus. 2.55 sec cast. Replaces Cobra Shot and Steady Shot. Cannot be cast while moving. (This is very similar to Snipe from BlizzCon, but less weapon damage and more focus regen)
  • New Level 100 Talent: Versatility (beast mastery only) – Increases your pet’s combat experience to 70% increased damage (a 20% pet damage buff) and grants many specialization-specific abilities regardless of chosen spec. (This is the same as it was at BlizzCon)
  • New Level 100 Talent: Lone Wolf (survival and marksmanship) – Increases your damage done when you do not have a pet summoned. Celestalon tweeted that Lone Wolf is still in.
  • Stampede is now a talent. It replaces Lynx Rush in the level 75 tier.
  • Thrill of the Hunt now affects Aimed Shot in addition to Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot. As I reported earlier, Aimed Shot is now marksmanship’s only focus dump. Marksmanship no longer uses Arcane Shot.
  • Aspect of the Iron Hawk renamed to Iron Hawk. Due to hunter aspects being removed, this is now just a 10% damage reduction.

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Hunter Transmog: Shado-Pan Hunter

This transmog gives your hunter that leather look, and all of the pieces are extremely easy to acquire. It was built around the Shado-Pan hat, and the only real wild card here is the bow. There’s a good chance you may have completed the quest and unintentionally trashed the bow if you did any leveling in Zul’Drak, but there is a green BoE version that you may be lucky to find on the AH. I’m open to suggestions on the cloak as it’s not something I traditionally use since I hate when weapons clip through it.

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Could a melee hunter work?

The image above is Rexxar, Champion of the Horde, the one hunter in Azeroth (well, Outland) who refuses to give up his melee weapons. The melee hunter concept is a longstanding joke for many hunters, and a secret desire for others who like the idea of ditching their bow to fight side by side with their loyal companion. The earliest iterations of survival’s talent tree were almost entirely melee focused. It’s clear Blizzard once had the intention for hunters to be able to play as melee — or at least a melee/ranged hybrid — but that has been slowly eroded over the years.

Before BlizzCon, I thought the idea of a pet-less hunter was almost as far-fetched as a melee hunter, but the new Lone Wolf talent showed me how wrong I was. There was a vocal minority of hunters who prefer to play without their pets and go it alone, and Blizzard listened. Hunters were always a pet class first and foremost, so I never expected a talent or ability to give you a benefit for not using one. It made me wonder if a melee hunter spec was possible in this day and age.

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Pet of the Week: Bloodtooth

This week’s pet is one of my favorite turtles, Bloodtooth (level 87). He is the only currently tamable turtle to use the “Black Spiked Dragon Turtle” model. He is a rare spawn in Krasarang Wilds, but it’s almost a guarantee that he will be up when you go looking for him. Why? Because he is one of the Pandaria pets which can only be revealed by a hunter’s flare.

If you’ve never searched for one of these pets before, the only way to find them is to look for their tracks on the ground (which appear every 30 yards or so). Once you’ve found the tracks, follow them until you don’t see any more tracks. Then comes the tricky part. You need to use Flare where you think the pet is going to be. Bloodtooth makes this more difficult because a lot of his tracks are underwater and it’s very easy to lose track of him. The following map shows his patrol route.

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