Sunday Catch Up: WoD release date, hunter spell effects, and other stuff

November 13, 2014. Only 10 days away from the actual 10-year anniversary. I like the date. It’ll add an extra level of excitement to the BlizzCon festivities since they’re so close together.  I’ll be killing Iron Horde at the Dark Portal and the revamped UBRS on one screen, with the BlizzCon livestream on the other.

The only thing I don’t like is that it’s a mere 5 days away from the release date of Dragon Age Inquisition, a game I am very excited to play. Sorry, Dragon Age, you’re going to have to be put on the backburner for a while.

There’s some other bits and bobs I wanted to mention. Small stuff I didn’t think was deserving of its own post, so I’ll cram them in here. 🙂

The Warlords cinematic and Lords of War

As a longtime Warcraft player (prior to WoW), I enjoyed the cinematic quite a bit. But… I was kind of hoping for a cinematic look at some of the actual zones, and more characters beyond dude orcs. I know this is an orc-themed expansion and this is important background information, but after Mists (especially over a year of 5.4), there’s only so much orc this and orc that I can take. Orc orc orc. Orcs!

It was cool to see Maraad and Varian in Lords of War though. I actually think I was more impressed with that then the cinematic even though it was more Orcfest ’14. Can’t wait to see the remaining episodes.

Tom Chilton interviews at Gamescom

There were a few fairly informative interviews from Gamescom with WoW’s game director, Tom Chilton. Here were some of the highlights:

  • Legendary ring quest! Similar to the legendary cloak quest in that it will span most of the expansion, but they promise less grindy parts.
  • Transmog system revamp is likely to arrive in a Warlords content patch. Similar to Diablo 3’s where you don’t need to keep a physical copy of the item to keep its transmog look.
  • Patch 6.0 will be out around 1 month before Warlords (the closest Tuesday would be Oct. 14th).
  • Extremely rare Garrison missions will award raid quality loot.
  • The Inn building in Garrisons gives you a daily dungeon quest, like the old Proof of Demise quests from Wrath.

I’m really excited for the transmog revamp. I have 4 free bag slots on live (on my main), and I’ve calculated the inventory changes in 6.0 will free up around 75 slots for me, give or take. That will tide me over for a little bit, but the real inventory problem for me is transmog. Since I play multiple hunters, I’m also insanely excited about the prospect of it being account-wide so I can use my main’s transmogs on other hunters.

The above video is part 1, you can find part 2 here and another interview here.

New hunter spell effects on the way?

Hunters are a little lacking in the spell effects department. We have a few cool new effects in Warlords, but outside of that we’ve got… Glaive Toss?

Lead VFX artist Terrie Denman asked for player input on old spell effects the other day. I happily obliged.

I went on to suggest some new effects for Arcane Shot and Aimed Shot. I suggested having them leave tracers and maybe some kind of laser sight (or equivalent) effect while casting Aimed Shot. I could have suggested many more, but I didn’t want to spam her twitter. I thought focus dumps — the effect we see most — would be a good place to start. It seems she is open to the idea…

Maybe we’ll see something in a future build? I sure hope so!

Spell alerts for Sniper Training

Marksmanship’s Mastery, Sniper Training, requires that you stand still as much as possible to maximize your damage. The problem right now is there is no visual to tell you it has activated. This is being remedied.

Requiring one less mandatory WeakAura is a good thing, but I’m still not crazy about Sniper Training. I like the concept, but it feels wrong to me that if you move for more than 3 seconds at a time, one of your major secondary stats is entirely negated.  It also causes other weird problems with the range component where you can be in range one second, and out of range the next.

My humble suggestions for Sniper Training would be for the damage and crit damage components to be active at 50% strength at all times, and 100% strength when you are standing still as it is now. I’d also suggest that the range component is permanent so you don’t run into those annoying out of range issues. It would still reward you for movement management, but punish you less in PvP or on movement heavy fights.

Click to embiggen

Incredible Hunter Cosplay

This guy won first place in the Blizzard cosplay competition at Gamescom this weekend. His amazing Gronnstalker armor actually has moving and blinking eyes on the shoulders and head. He even had a hunter trap prop. I didn’t see any pictures with a bow or gun though. Too bad. The armor is fantastic though.

What to do in WoW until 6.0?

I’m categorically done with raiding in MoP. I’ve got my challenge mode armor. Got most of the achievements, mounts, etc. that I want. I’ve got one more thing I’d like to get around to finishing and that’s Brawler’s Guild, which I haven’t touched for around a year it seems.

Beyond that I’ve thought about farming up some old mounts to get me to 200. I think I’m about 15 away right now. There’s an easy 5 I can get from the Nether Rays. I never bothered finishing that reputation in Burning Crusade simply because the mounts didn’t appeal to me. But I’ll log in every day for the dailies and get there well before WoD. I could also get some more Argent Tournament mounts, but I’m not sure how keen I am on more jousting.

I could do Loremaster? Meh… too time consuming. I will finish The Explorer title though. I have like 2 zones (Blood Elf and Draenei starting zones) with a couple unexplored areas I’ve been putting off for years and years. Now seems like a good time.

Last on the list is cleaning up the old pet stable. I’ve decided I’ll abandon most pets that can be easily reacquired. I hate deleting pets, but there’s so many new ones to tame.

In terms of beta, I likely won’t be doing any more leveling even if they do another character wipe. I’ve leveled 2 hunters to 100, 1 hunter to 96, and 4-5 of them to 92. I submitted a metric tonne of quest bugs and also have a good idea of what leveling route I’ll take on live. That’s enough for me! What I will keep testing is new class mechanics, number tuning, dungeons, Ashran, and of course hunter pets.

A Guardians reference already? Somehow I'm not surprised.
A Guardians reference already? Somehow I’m not surprised.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Finally got around to seeing this massively hyped movie. I don’t see many movies in the theaters nowadays, but everywhere I went people were hyping up this movie and saying how it’s the best Marvel movie to date.

For once, the hype was real. Guardians is one of those films I’ll probably never get sick of watching. That’s the best way to describe it. It’s not a landmark piece of cinema. It’s just ridiculously watchable. Go see it.

Leave it to Blizzard to get a Groot reference into the game in a matter of days.

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19 thoughts on “Sunday Catch Up: WoD release date, hunter spell effects, and other stuff”

  1. I don’t know why, but I find the jousting much easier/less annoying now than I did back in Wrath.

    On a different note, thanks for all the time you put into the beta, and the diligence you showed with your bug reports and suggestions. You’re one of the folks who are invaluable to both the community and the devs, and I for one appreciate all the work you put in – it’s making the game better for all of us!

    1. Thanks. I actually sort of had fun rooting out the bugs. What is even better is when you get a new build and find some of the bugs fixed or partially fixed already. Motivates you to find more.

  2. You can totally do the Tournamernt dailies without jousting. The one to kill 3 Boneguards at the gates of Icecrown can be done without jousting at all! You just get down there and kill the suckers with your level 90 powers quite easily!

    You can get a total of 12 Champion Seals without jousting. 2 more if you to the jousting daily that requires you to defeat 4 champions at the tournament grounds, and 3 more if you endure the heroic dungeon (you’ll need to joust the initial trash, but once the mounted bosses come, just let them beat you, you’ll dismount, change your weapon and kill them on foot. I do it on my Paladin, I think it’s even easier with a hunter’s mobility). After the mounted bosses, the rest of the dungeon is a piece of cake.


    On Sniper Training: I agree with your analysis. The range part should be always active, and the rest of the benefit (damage and crit damage) should be reduced to half while the effect is off. Actually, just the range being always on would be a hell of a benefit.

    Also, they need to put some clear graphic indicating Sniper Training effect. My suggestion: use an aura similar to WC3’s Trueshot Aura. The aura appears bright at your foot and makes a slight sound when it activates, then it loses some light but stays active while Sniper Training is on. When you move, the aura begins to fade in and out as you are moving until it falls off. Only the hunter sees the aura, so there’s no visual clutter for other players. I sent this suggestion to Celestalon.

    1. Thanks for the tournament tip. Been so long since I did that I may have thought it was more jousting than it actually was. I’ll add that to my daily list leading up to WoD.

      Also like the trueshot aura idea for Sniper Training

      1. I’m just going to add two things to what Tiago said:

        For heroic ToC, you only have to be mounted long enough to talk to the announcer. Once you do that, you can simply dismount.

        For the jousting daily, having a someone to help makes it much quicker. Basically, you work on stripping the champion’s shields while your buddy proceeds to nuke it.

        1. Thanks for the tips on Heroic ToC. Didn’t know I could dismount as soon as you talk to the announcer. If you dismount mid-fight against the trash, they despawn. I’ll try it later, thanks!

          (That will reduce the time I spend on that dungeon daily soooooo much! 😀 Only one mount to go, and then I’ll just need to buy the Argent Poney to get everything I want from the Tournament… maybe some day I return for the pets. Maybe).

  3. Any chance you could share with us what your leveling route will be? I’m very curious to know what you’ve chosen and why.

    1. It’s not that crazy of a guide or anything. I just made mental notes of the best quest hubs and when I should leave a particular zone to move onto the next. I didn’t write anything down regarding specific quests, it’s all up in my head. To sum it up very briefly:

      – Stay in Shadowmoon (or Frostfire) until about 92.5
      – Gorgrond until 94
      – Talador until 96.5
      – Spires until 98
      – Nagrand
      – Complete any bonus objective that isn’t far out of the way, but abandon if it’s taking too long to find mobs to kill.

      I found Gorgrond and Spires a little low on the XP compared to the others, which is why I spent less than 2 levels in them. But I’m still in the zones long enough to complete the major arcs and get the item (forget what it’s called) that gives you a free level 2 garrison blueprint (saves a bit of gold).

      I’d probably supplement it with a few dungeons as well.

  4. Hey Bendak. Have you seen the physical immunity shield mechanic on Ko’ragh in Highmaul? Do you think this mechanic would force hunters to go into survival for the extra magic damage?

    1. You mean magic damage immunity? His shield absorbs magic right? From what I read, magic damage is buffed once his shield is taken down to account for all the damage absorbs. Whereas physical DPS can continue DPSing the whole time at a normal rate. I haven’t done the fight, so correct me if I’m wrong.

      In that case, a hunter might want to go SV if the raid comp is severely lacking in magic DPS to help get the shields down. A melee heavy raid is pretty rare.

      1. Ah, I didn’t realize it only absorbed magic damage and let physical through. I thought that all damage became immune unless it was magic. Because of the stacking damage buff he gets with the shield up though, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up going survival to try and get that buff as low as possible.

  5. Yikes. The lack of spell effects was actually something that I liked about the hunter. Because of my alts Im very glad that we get weapon enchants t-mog and the option the mog the lightshow away altogether, and now they wanna do this to hunters? Blizzard started out really good with this expansion and manages to mess up everything since halftime.

  6. Is there an add-on that tracks what achievements are the quickest and easiest to polish off? I’ve got more than 15k points, but I also know there are a ton of achievements that are just one or two scenario runs, or whatever, away from completion. It’d be nice to be able to create a “to do” list that dynamically tells the easiest way to knock a bunch out between now and mid-October.

  7. “Extremely rare Garrison missions will award raid quality loot.”

    I suppose this one will give non-sets items, we´ll see in which dificulty…

  8. I can’t WAIT for the the next Transmog feature a well, my bag space is buckling under the pressure my precious shiny objects that I refuse to let go of. (For an alliance, I sure can horde 😀 ) However I really hope, that what ever system they choose to implement, it’s an account wide one and not just locked to a single character. That way if you had completed a quest that rewards something unique (like your smexy Malefactor’s Eyepatch) before Transmog existed, you could at least choose that reward on another character and earn that look for the one that no longer has access. That and it would save a about 95% of all loot being sharded/sold in every raid of the entire game 🙂

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