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.
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.
I gave up on Diablo 3 fairly early into its release. The biggest problem for me was always the loot. I never, and I mean never, got a good drop I could actually use on my main character (Demon Hunter). Sure, I looted some stuff that was good for other classes, and managed to sell a lot of it on the auction house (both gold and RMAH) — but every single piece of gear I was wearing was acquired from the auction house, not from killing monsters.
Diablo is all about the loot hunting so that’s probably why the game barely lasted more than a month for me. I decided to give it a go with the recent 2.0 patch and let me tell you — the game is about a thousand times better now. Loot 2.0 is fantastic. I am getting drops I can use all the time. It has recaptured that feeling I used to get from getting new loot in Diablo 2, only now it’s even better. When I see a legendary sitting on the ground, I know it’s going to be good.
I don’t think you’ll believe where I found out this little tidbit of news, but it was in the Twitch chat for tonight’s Legendary show. While the hosts were talking about the hunter crowd control changes, Lore and Celestalon — who were both in the chat — chimed in with this news about hunter focus dumps:
So, to clarify, survival and beast mastery will continue to use Arcane Shot as their primary focus dump, but now marksmanship will dump their focus solely with Aimed Shot. And yes, Aimed Shot is still a casted ability. This is going to make marksmanship feel a lot different from the other specs. I for one am excited!
I do hope they make the Glyph of Aimed Shot baseline though (unless their plan is to remove the glyph entirely). Note that you can play the spec like this today, so you may want to give it a shot because you’ll have to get used to not having Arcane Shot as a marksmanship hunter. Earlier this week, while looking closely at the video here, I noticed that Aimed Shot’s focus cost was reduced by 20 during Thrill of the Hunt. It all makes sense now. 🙂 Reminder: This is all subject to change.
The latest WoW Dev Watercooler talks about some of the upcoming game system changes, but a lot of it seems to be stuff we already know (at least those of us who gobble up every morsel of WoD information we can find). The highlights, as they relate to hunters, are as follows.
Stat Squish and Items
Currently, gear and character power progress linearly from levels 1-60, and then exponentially from 61-90. In Warlords, they are changing this so power progresses linearly from 1-85, and then exponentially thereafter. The power curve will also be a lot less. They are confident this will not affect old world soloing, but in order to guarantee it they are implementing a system to further increase your power against lower level targets. If you’re critting for 450k now, you’ll probably be critting for around 30k when patch 6.0 drops. Spells will no longer have any base damage component (e.g. Aimed Shot) and instead will be pure weapon damage scaling or attack power scaling. The previously announced stats, Amplify and Cleave, have been put on the back burner (source). The main secondary stats in Warlords will be crit, haste, mastery, readiness, and multistrike. (Note that Readiness is the same effect of Assurance of Consequence and Multistrike is the same effect of Haromm’s Talisman — both of these trinkets will get converted to the new stats in 6.0).
The change to Disengage in patch 5.4 to allow it to work out of combat was one of the best modifications made to the hunter class this entire expansion if you ask me. Such a simple change, but oh so fun.
If you haven’t been using the Glyph of Disengage, I highly suggest equipping it. When you combine with with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera and Assurance of Consequence you’re looking at a mere 7 second cooldown. I sincerely hope readiness rating in Warlords will still apply to this. There are 3 awesome things about Disengage:
- You can move around significantly faster unmounted by using the jump-disengage technique.
- You can survive falls from any height without slow fall.
- AFKing in cities is fun again. In Dalaran, I ran laps. Now, in Shrine, I do hunter parkour.
I’ve known for about a week, but Alex just posted it publicly today, so I’ve already got the initial disappointment out of the way. But yes, class columns are getting shut down at WoW Insider. The only reason for this is budget cuts, and it’s not just WoW Insider that’s affected — it’s other AOL sites like Massively as well. This is by no means the end for WoW Insider. It’s still being staffed by a big group of people who love the game, and I’ll still be going there for my daily WoW news fix.
I’ve only been there for 5 months, but in that short time I’ve met some great people. I had fun hanging out in the work chat room all day just talking about WoW and whatever else was on our minds. There’s a ridiculous number of talented writers and it’s sad to see so many go, but I’m glad to have made their acquaintance and I’ll still be following what they all do on Twitter and whatnot.
Recently, some of the WoW designers have been posting photos of their oldest surviving design notes on the game for “throwback thursday.” Today, Alex Afrasiabi (Creative Director) posted up his ancient design notes for the hunter class quest in vanilla. This quest was truly an epic undertaking, and at the end you were rewarded with Rhok’delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers. The quest also rewarded you with a melee weapon, Lok’delar, Stave of the Ancient Keepers.
In order to start the quest, you needed to get the Ancient Petrified Leaf to drop in Molten Core. Unfortunately, this is no longer available in the game. It was removed in Cataclysm and I’m still kicking myself for not completing it when I could in Wrath. The problem was, back then I never would have thought we’d get transmog. Oh well. This quest took you to Felwood, where you were then sent to slay 4 demons across Azeroth. They all required specific strategies and you couldn’t have any help or else they’d despawn. Finally, you’d have to kill Onyxia before turning it in for your weapons. Frostheim also wrote a great article on the quest back when it was still available.
Are any of you lucky enough to still have this on your hunter?
You may have seen this transmog featured on previous Scattered Shots columns. I often get requests for the item list, so here it is! It’s a mishmash of a few hunter tier sets.
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 (1200+ pixels wide) and I may feature it on the site!
Nope, this pet isn’t Princess Huhuran, though up until recently the princess was the only one who used this particular model and skin. This here is Cida, a rare wasp found in Felwood which was added to the game in patch 5.2. Why would you tame Cida over Huhuran? Because Cida retains her large size once tamed unlike the rest of the wasps (or any other pet for that matter). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using this one in a raid unless you want the melee and tanks to hate you, but it’s extremely fun in PvP. I named mine Anaphylaxis.
Cida is level 45 and spawns at precisely 45,32 in Whisperwind Grove in Felwood. Cida doesn’t patrol or have any other spawn points. The respawn timer is anywhere from 3-6 hours.