I’m not 90 yet. I did make it about a quarter of the way to 88. I’ll be 90 by end of day Friday, and then I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled programming. (Pre raid gear lists, shot priorities, etc.)
Archives For News
I spent some time this weekend with MoP beta, and quested through the remainder of the Valley of the Four Winds, some of the Krasarang Wilds, and started the Kul-Lai Summit. I’ve completed all of the quests in the Valley of the Four Winds, but did not get into any of the cooking specializations. I have the quests, just haven’t done them yet.
I did make a point to go tame a Porcupine over the weekend, since they’re tameable now. They get really small when you tame them, which makes for a funny image of this small spiked creature emerging from a pile of bodies.
Morynne on beta is now level 88, and has had some opportunity to test out Stampede and Call Beast — both of which are supremely helpful in soloing. As tenacious and brawny as Snuggles the Porcupine is, he’d die every now and then, which is the perfect opportunity to pop Stampede (it really does make things die quickly), and use Call Beast to keep the mob off of me long enough to make it dead. For soloing, Stampede is a survival cooldown, and easily during an instance or raid, will be useful as a DPS cooldown with Rapid Fire, trinkets, etc.
I am incredibly spoiled with no minimum range.
Pet battles are still not working correctly, though I think Blizzard has gotten closer to a true deployment. Every time I attempt to get into a pet battle, the camera view shifts, and my character gets frozen, but the battle interface doesn’t launch. I have to re-log to get my character to release so I can move again. So closer, but not nearly ready for public consumption yet.
How’s your beta experience going?
I’ve had beta for a little over a week, but the tough thing to remember is that I was on vacation, and away from my computers for a few days — so the extent of my testing has been pretty slim. I did get a chance to level a Pandaren Monk to 12 on Alliance side, and ran through the majority of the quests in the Jade Forest with my Hunter, and completed the Temple of the Jade Serpent (the first dungeon). Continue Reading…
There’s all kinds of information to sift through, and frankly, I’m not sure how long it’s going to take me to go through it all, so I’ll highlight what caught my eye for now, and dive more deeply into it over the next few days.
I love the female Pandaren model. She’s cute, curvy, and has a mischievous look to her. I can’t tell you how pleased this model makes me. I’ll get into all my thoughts on this in an upcoming article. It might be Morynne the Pandaren come MoP, I haven’t decided yet.
Monk information is coming out like crazy. I love the fact that it’s entirely possible to deal legitimate damage as a healer, while still having the flexibility to tank or do straight damage in alternate specs. I am glad they gave the Monks back their auto-attack, as it will likely make their damage a little more intuitive to work with. I’m very interested in playing through all 3 specs during beta when it comes around.
**SPOILER** The last raid instance of MoP will be a siege on Orgrimmar, removing Garrosh from his position of Warchief. It’s been awhile since the Horde and Alliance have been fighting directly with each other, then have a really horrifying turn of events to band together for the same goal. Clearly Garrosh is going to do something that is so horrifying that both the Horde and Alliance agree that he can no longer function as Warchief. I’m very much looking forward to learning all of this story.
I like the premise that this expansion is going to be largely a return to exploration of a new world. We don’t immediately have a big-bad to take down, or anyone to hate. Looking through some of the screenshots, how can you hate on some of these critters?
Oh, and did you hear? They’re talking about making Stampede a reality! It will likely be a level 87 ability for Beastmastery Hunters that calls all of the hunter’s pets out to do 80% more damage for a short time, and on a long cooldown. I love this.
What do you think about the information so far? Are you as excited as I’m getting?
MoP is getting its official press tour this week, but because of a week long NDA, we have to wait until next week to hear more. Blizzard did tease us with this little gem. We’re getting to see female Pandarens well before we ever saw female Worgen — in fact, we’re getting to see them next Monday, March 19th.
What do I think is going to come out of the press week?
First off, I really like the silhouette of the female Pandaren. I think they have loads of potential, and am really looking forward to seeing her.
Here’s what I think is likely to come out of the press event:
- More detail regarding new zones.
- Final display of the Pandaren mount. Yaks were brought up, but were never said if they were the racial mount or not.
- A smattering of information regarding new raids and dungeons, but nothing specific to encounter.
- Lore. This new expansion will open tons of doors for new stories. I look forward to hearing more of this.
- More information on pet battle system.
- New cinematic.
- Expected beta timeline.
Here’s what I don’t think we’ll hear:
- We won’t see the Diablo III release date. (Duh, it’s the MoP press event)
- We won’t see an exact beta date, or a release date of the expansion.
What do you think we’ll see? What are you hoping we get out of this press event?
Last night some gems about Mists of Panderia were dropped on a Dev Watercooler, and there was some pretty interesting Hunter specific things there.
The first big topic they discussed was Hit and Expertise.
- We still think having stats that can be capped is a good game design. Rather than focusing solely on stacking your best stat, you have to decide how valuable it is to hit your target before you go back to stacking your best stat. However, we are making some changes.
- Hit and spell hit will no longer be separate stats. The hit stat negates melee miss and spell miss.
- Expertise will negate dodge and spell miss, then parry.
- Expertise will be listed as a percentage, just like hit, instead of having an intermediary stat.
- We are normalizing hit with expertise, so that 1% of each stat will require the same amount of rating.
- We are normalizing melee and spell hit, so that spell hit is equal to miss plus dodge.
- Against an equal level creature: 6% spell miss, 3% melee miss, 3% dodge, 3% parry (from the front only), 3% block (from the front only).
- Against a +1 level creature: 9% spell miss, 4.5% melee miss, 4.5% dodge, 4.5% parry (from the front only), 4.5% Block (from the front only).
- Against a +2 level creature: 12% spell miss, 6% melee miss, 6% dodge, 6% parry (from the front only), 6% Block (from the front only).
- Against a +3/boss level creature: 15% spell miss, 7.5% melee miss, 7.5% dodge, 7.5% parry (from the front only), 7.5% block (from the front only).
- Ranged attacks will be able to be dodged. Hunters will benefit from expertise and will have it on their gear, which will also allow hunters and Enhancement shaman to share gear more easily.
So here’s the way I see things working — given the fact that our minimum range is being taken away, and we’re going to be able to shoot things from within melee range, we’re effectively melee characters with a much bigger range — making it necessary for us to have Expertise on our gear, as well as normal Hit — just like most melee.
The bonus to this is it’s going to be much more important to weigh out stats to determine which one is more important for your character. Hunters have largely had it too easy to hit 8% hit and just forget about it, unlike other melee classes that care about Expertise, or even casters that have to get a ridiculous amount of hit. Now we’ll also have to worry about Expertise and how that will impact our ability to hit the target — to me this is incredibly fair and balanced.
This does pose an interesting situation though… the itemization for Hunters will be shared directly with Enhancement Shaman for armor, and with Rogues, Enhancement Shaman, and some DPS warriors for trinkets and rings. Not so different than we have now, but there will be no clear “this is best for hunters because they don’t need Expertise.” Gear will have more competition.
They also got into how Criticals are handled…
- All spells and abilities will crit for double damage, baseline. There are a few exceptions where crits can get larger, but the default is x 2.0 for everyone.
- This means that Enhancement shaman spells and rogue poisons will crit for double damage. Rogue poisons will also use the melee hit chance.
This sounds a lot like Enhancement Shaman are going to be a serious force to be reckoned with. I also like that there’s a standard for a crit going forward. Much of a Hunter’s damage in the past has been reliant on luck — for how big those crits are. Now there’s a baseline, which should result in more consistent numbers.
What do you think of these adjustments?
Now I’m all for Blizzard publishing more games. That is the upside here. They’re taking the time to get Mists of Panderia on shelves, Heart of the Swarm launched, and Diablo III to customers. Because well, let’s face it. Blizzard doesn’t want to give people Diablo III for the WoW Annual Pass and not have them locked in for a few more months.
Conquest typically would get together at Blizzcon to hang out, catch up. Drink. Heavily. Make Matt regret ALL THE THINGS. This would have been the year I could participate with this guild, but alas — that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, unless we plan a different guild get together. (Which I’m all for)
What are you going to miss most about no Blizzcon this year?
We had a great run in Firelands.
Hunters seemed to be made for that tier of content. The encounters were largely hunter friendly with very few stack up mechanics, and there were many range friendly fights. Hunters were topping meters, and leading the pack on DPS until some legendary weapons were completed. As legendaries were completed, you started to see Hunters fall down the DPS meters a bit, but not out of competition.
Punching Deathwing in the Face
The state of Hunter DPS in Dragon Soul is pretty unique. Melee classes were buffed pretty significantly through AP, and casters have their legendary — making Hunters one of the only classes that didn’t see any real boost to DPS from Firelands to Dragon Soul. This caused Hunters to fall further and further down the meters, not to say that we’re not seeing impressive performance from Hunter players — there are some exceptional players out there. I know that my DPS has gone from in Firelands, top 7-8 DPS after legendaries were created, to scraping the bottom above the tanks in Dragon Soul in our 25-man raids. Did I change anything? The only thing that’s changed is gear.
Now, let’s be clear here. This is not a cry for a buff to Hunter DPS. Blizzard is up against a very difficult challenge for balancing lots of classes with legendary weapons in range, and melee not only getting the AP boost, but also Rogues getting their legendary. Blizzard needs to be able to balance Hunter DPS with the DPS of those range that do not have a legendary weapon. Does that require a huge boost to Hunters? Probably not.
Blizzard did just announce in the 4.3.2 patch notes that a small buff is coming.
- Aspect of the Hawk now grants roughly 35% more attack power.
- Deterrence now also reduces damage taken by 30% while active.
- Black Arrow now ticks every 2 seconds for 20 seconds, as opposed to every 3 seconds for 15 seconds. The total damage dealt by the ability is unchanged.
- Lock and Load no longer benefits Arcane Shot, nor is it consumed by Arcane Shot.
Do I think this is going to be enough to help us out?
I think so. The ~700 AP buff that Hawk is getting will increase our DPS enough to mimic the melee buff that was granted. Black Arrow lasting longer will give us an extra 5 seconds to proc, which should increase our Lock n’ Load procs, and with Lock n’ Load not being consumed by Arcane Shot, we’ll be sure to get the maximum bonus available.
Now this is all speculation on my part, but I do think Hunters will regularly appear higher on the damage meters than they had been, and I have a feeling that it’s going to continue to be Survival on top of the three specs for Tier 13 raid content, not to say that Marksman and Beastmastery will be far behind, if at all.
What do you think of how Hunters have fared this tier of raid content?