Where have I been? Where are the posts? It’s been over four months! Where’s the podcast? The TLDR answer to all this is that I’ve simply lost my passion for WoW. At least its current state. I still have hope it could turn around sometime this year, and that Blizzard will pull their collective heads out of the sand and start listening to their loyal community once again. I long for the day when they stop this pursuit of designing the game around analytics to maximize “monthly active users” rather than trusting their designers to do some good old-fashioned game design. Take some risks! Stop throwing away anything that works and trying to reinvent the wheel. Realize that nothing is more important than class design and its related systems and reward schemes, and then put more resources towards that. It’s the vessel we all experience the game through… so if that falls short, the whole game is affected in a negative manner.
Without having that passion for the game, I don’t really want to write or talk about it much. That’s what it boils down to for me. I think half the reason I’m still playing is to not bail on the guild. The other half is I’ve just been playing this game for so damn long that it’s hard to imagine myself not playing WoW. So here I am, waiting for the new raid and doing my chores: Weekly +10s. Incursions and emissaries that reward Azerite gear (for Titan Residuum). Weekly island cap. The usual stuff. Neither hating it nor enjoying it. Just going through the motions.
Continue reading An update for those still reading
Just thought I’d post that everything has been updated on my Wowhead Beast Mastery Guide and is now relevant for level 120. The guide is more detailed than it has been in the past as Wowhead has really upped their standards for class guides (seriously, this was a ton of work). You can easily access it on any Wowhead page by hovering over the Hunter icon at the top, but I will link all the pages of the guide here too for convenience.
Continue reading Beast Mastery Hunter Guide for Battle for Azeroth
It’s always easy for me to tell how much I enjoyed an expansion just by looking at the percentage of my main character’s time /played spent in it. Vanilla still holds the top spot in terms of raw hours, but Legion has actually moved to second place. Does that mean it’s my favorite expansion? Hmm, not sure. Ask me again in 5 years. One thing is for sure, there was usually a lot of stuff to do, with the exception of the last 6 months or so when my time playing slowly devolved into raiding and a weekly +15 only, then only to raiding, then to nothing… but I suppose that’s normal for any expansion.
Continue reading So-long, Legion
Before you read any more, let me TLDR this first: There is no appreciable damage difference between pet attack speeds because damage is normalized. For the most part, it simply adds flavor to different pets.
First, a little history. Back in Vanilla WoW, several pets had different attack speeds (you can see the original list here). The most notorious pet was Broken Tooth, a rare cat in the Badlands, because he was one of only two pets with a 1.0 attack speed (2.0 is the standard). This made him a pretty nice pet to have in PVP because of spell pushback. Mages weren’t getting any casts off with Broken Tooth clawing away at them (in today’s game, pets cannot do this anymore).
Eventually, Blizzard normalized all pet attack speeds to 2.0, and it’s stayed like that all the way from The Burning Crusade… until now.
Continue reading Broken Tooth lives! Hunter pets can have different attack speeds once again
The pre-patch is almost here!
Today the Beast Mastery guide I’ve been working on was published over at Wowhead. It covers pretty much everything for Beast Mastery in 8.0. If you haven’t been following/playing the beta closely, it should give you an idea of what to expect with the pre-patch this week. A lot of work was put in to this one!
Here’s links to all the individual guide pages:
Closer to Battle for Azeroth launch the guides will be updated for level 120, including gear and Azerite traits.
Wowhead also has Marksmanship and Survival pre-patch guides which are definitely worth checking out, especially since they’ve seen even more changes than BM (these guides were not written by me).
Also be sure to check out the BFA pet guide on Wowhead to learn about the pet changes and some new pets to tame (though most of this info is on the pet guide I posted here).
If you’ve got any pre-patch questions, feel free to ask them here and I’ll answer what I can. 🙂
The Animal Companion talent has been in a near-unusable state for the majority of beta, but in today’s build it has received some major updates. It’s not as simple as the current tooltip indicates (a second pet that does Kill Command and nothing else).
Once all the bugs and kinks are worked out, it looks like Animal Companion will turn out to be a true second pet, even more so than Hati was.
Continue reading BfA Beta: Changes to Animal Companion (Hati replacement), does almost everything your regular pet does
You can now tame a total of 65 pets with the addition of a 6th page of stable slots! No, it’s still probably not enough for some of you (an extra 100 might not be enough). But it’s 10 more, so that’s 10 new pets you can tame in 8.0 without worrying about having to send existing pets to pasture.
I’ve been busy working on Wowhead stuff, mainly updating the Beast Mastery guide for 8.0 (and I also put a BfA pet guide up there, which has a little more than the one I posted here). I still plan on making at least one more post here before the pre-patch, something like a survival guide (what talents and legendaries are good for the pre-patch and leveling, etc.).
If you’re curious about my updated thoughts on Beast Mastery: It’s getting better. There’s still a few dead talents and others that are obviously not tuned, but the spec has come a long way. It’s interesting how active talents are often the best (or at least equal) choice compared to passives. For example, Chimaera Shot is now the top talent in its tier (at least as of today). My thoughts on Marksmanship and Survival are not as up to date since I’ve been focusing on BM for the guide writing, but once the pre-patch drops I plan on giving them all some good time.
Until next time.
Hunter pets are being streamlined in Battle for Azeroth. You can no longer freely choose the specialization for each of your pets because each family has a set specialization. Pets from all three specializations — Ferocity, Tenacity, and Cunning — will all deal the same DPS and have the same amount of baseline health and armor, but they will be differentiated by new and powerful abilities. Additionally, every pet family now has some a special family ability (even if many of them are duplicates of others). All Exotic pet families (Beast Mastery only) have at least 2 special abilities.
As we are still in beta, none of this is final. This post will be updated whenever new pets are added or changes are made.
Latest Update (June 28): 10 MORE STABLE SLOTS!
Continue reading Guide to Hunter Pets in Battle for Azeroth
There is no longer a choice between Dire Frenzy or Dire Beast, all BM Hunters will now be using Dire Frenzy for their Focus generator/Bestial Wrath reset. Well, now it’s actually called Barbed Shot instead of Dire Frenzy, and it behaves totally like a shot (in that it requires a ranged weapon, and uses a standard shot animation).
Barbed Shot seems like it’s not fully implemented at this point, but I think I can gather where it’s going to be when it’s finished. The shot you fire will now be the damage component as it applies an 8-second bleed, and this bleed is what sends your pet into the frenzy (right now it’s an instant attack and not a bleed, but I’m sure that will change). Currently on alpha, the pet still does its regular dire frenzy attacks in addition to the shot damage, but since this isn’t mentioned in the tooltip I suspect it will be removed. Your pet will still charge to your Barbed Shot target, so it still functions as a target swapping mechanic similar to Kill Command’s charge (which is nice).
Frenzy stacks on your pet are still a thing, so maintaining these stacks will remain a core mechanic. It’s too early to say how crucial it will be to maintain 3 stacks since no numbers are balanced. But if Blizzard decides to make pets do more damage again (in contrast to Legion where their auto attack damage is quite low), then a lot more emphasis could be put on those frenzy stacks.
Continue reading BfA Alpha: Changes to Dire Frenzy and Dire Beast, Bestial Wrath goes on the global cooldown
Finally, we have a bit of action in the Beast Mastery talent tree! In today’s BfA alpha build, there is a brand new talent and one redesigned talent.
New Level 15 talent
Killer Instinct: Kill Command deals 50% increased damage against enemies below 35% health. (replaces Big Game Hunter)
BM has an execute again! This talent is so much better than the old Big Game Hunter (which was a “reverse execute”) — not only because executes are more desirable, but because it works for 35% of the target’s health.
The level 15 tier is looking a little more interesting now, but like I said in my earlier post, I think Dire Beast needs an interesting secondary effect to make up for the loss of Frenzy stacks. Animal Companion is still not working, but it looks like it’s just going to be a flat, passive single target buff, whereas the new Killer Instinct gives you a more Kill Command focused build (and will pair very well with Killer Cobra).
It’s no Kill Shot, but it’s something.
Continue reading BfA Alpha: Beast Mastery gets a couple of new talents (build 26433)