Tuesday, June 16, 2009

More useful hunter articles

I am of the opinion that the best thing a hunter can do to improve themselves is read. Hunters are complex and there's a ton of math behind our damage. Additionally, a lot of our skills have changed, and as a long time hunter I find myself forgetting how skill's I've had forever work.

Arcane shot and Distracting Shot are two great examples of this. When I started huntering Arcane Shot was more or less what it is now, but as I'm sure any of you Burning Crusade Vets remember, for a time it had a dispel slapped on it. It was never a very popular change, and I myself often forgot it had been added. They've since moved this effect to Tranquilizing Shot, admittedly a more appropriate place for it, but now I find myself thinking it's still attached to Arcane Shot.

Distracting Shot is another shot that has had it's mechanic changed. Once upon a time it "generated a large amount of threat". Now it acts more like a taunt. This has had the side effect of many old school hunters, like me, to use this shot in conjunction with Misdirect, which used to work. Since Distracting Shot is now a taunt and generates no threat the hunter pulls the mob they were indenting to Misdirect. Yes, I have done this. /bonk

So what's my point? Hunters need to read up on the current updates to the hunter class, as well as know the old stuff that's been around forever. To help you out here are some articles that hunters new and old alike may find useful.

Mend Pet's Ten Do's and Don't's of Misdirection.

This article is geared more toward the newbie hunter, but even us old hats can find something new here. I personally will be trying the mouse-over macro, as the macro I currently use requires me to select the focus target to set it.

Ghostcrawler's most recent comments on the hunter class

If you are not aware, Ghostcrawler is kind of like Blizzard's mouth piece on the forums. He discusses mechanics, changes and community concerns. Love him or hate him, he's the guy in the know, and you should read what he has to say.

Duel Specs in Ulduar

Drotara of QQ pwn more has some thoughts on utilizing Duel Specs in Ulduar. It's worth the read even if you don't use duel specs for raiding.

Some Advice on How to spot an Upgrade

Wow.com's Eddie Carrington has posted his second edition of Scattered Shots. This article focuses on Item Level and how to best judge an item. What's Item Level you ask? A surprising number of players don't know, so if you're not sure what this is, this article is a must read!

So keep up on your reading! If you're not sure where to start, check out wow.com, they often have the most up to date information on any class and they always try to provide it in a timely fashion.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

WoW.com gets a new writer

I know I've already mentioned it briefly, but Eddie Carrington aka Brigwyn from The Hunting Lodge has posted his first article on WoW.com. It's an article much like my "Getting Linky with it" article, but much, much better. Check it out and visit WoW.com every Tuesday for the newest Scattered Shots!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gems For All Hunters

If you haven't already noticed, I don't really PvP. I'd like to get into more of the PvP scene, but for now most of these articles are going to be about raiding as a hunter. Please keep this in mind when reading this article. I'll try to dig something up on PvP gems at a later time.

So gems. Sounds pretty straight forward, right? 16 Agility gems are obviously best. Or is it 32 attack power? What about those pesky blue gems sockets, what do I put in there? And do I need hit gems? And what about..

Hunter's have quite a bit to think about when it come to gemming their gear. Luckily our friends over at Elitist Jerks have once again amassed a large amount of information about gemming for the different specs in their handy WotLK Gem Index. Again, there's a lot to read here, much like the rest of what Elitist Jerks puts together, so I'll give you a quick run down here. For more specific information about which gems are best in a given socket, check out the Index.

Meta Gems:

There are a lot of meta gems out there, but there is really only one viable choice for any hunter, regardless of spec and that's [Relentless Earthsiege Diamond]. Get it. Love it.

Red Gems:

There's a lot of debate raging about what hunter's should use for their red gems. One side advises always using 16 agility gems, as agility gives AP as well as Crit, while the other side endorses 32 ap gems. So who's right.

Both. Or neither, depending on who the hunter is. Here's what EJ recommends:

Survival Hunters should go for the [Delicate Scarlet Ruby] (16 agility) gems. This is mainly because of the Survival Talent: Expose Weakness. This talent gives a 33/66/100% chance to increase your attack power by 25%. Pretty nice, right? Survival hunters also have several other talents that increase their agility by various percentages, so over all agility is always going to be the better choice for a survival hunter.

Beastmaster hunters should go for the [Bright Scarlet Ruby] (32 attack power) gems. There is an explanation on comment 11 of the Gem Index thread that elaborates more on the math of why this is, but for the sake of simplicity, here's what you need to know. Because of the way agility scales you get less critical strike from agility at 80 than you did at 70, where as Attack Power didn't scale in this way. 14 AP still equals 1 dps. Additionally, AP is the only stat we have that directly scales up pet damage, which of course is very important for a BM hunter.

Marksmanship hunters can go either way, though you'll see most hunters will advise you to gem up with agility gems anyway, simply because it makes switching back and forth between MM and Surv, which is quite common now with duel specs, more simple. Marksmanship hunters should use the WotLK DPS spreadsheet to help them decide which gems would be best with their current gear.

What if my gem socket isn't red?

Obviously not all of you gems sockets are going to be red, but I still recommend that for most cases you use whichever red gem suits your spec best regardless of the gem socket's color. There are several exceptions to this:

You're not hit capped:

Being hit capped is very important to hunters of any spec. Without talents or outside buffs(turn to your Draenei friend and give him a big hug) you need 8% or 263 hit. Obviously if you have Focused Aim or a Draenei in your group you'll need less than this, but that's a topic for another time.

If you have a yellow gem socket in your gear [Rigid Autumn's Glow] is going to be your best bet, especially if you need a lot of hit. Otherwise, put a red gem in it and ignore the socket bonus. Generally speaking the bonus isn't worth it anyway.

You need it to meet a meta gem meta requirement:

Obviously you're going to want to get a meta gem. As I recommended above, you should probably get [Relentless Earthsiege Diamond] which requires that you sport a Red, Yellow and Blue gem. The good news is you don't actually have to have one of each. A green gem, for example, will fulfill both the blue and yellow requirement. Depending on your spec there's a lot of green gems you could potentially pick to fulfill this requirement. Assuming you are hit capped, don't have mana issues and have a good amount of haste get a [Jagged Forest Emerald] regardless of your spec. If you are short of any of those three things pick a green gem that has whichever combination of the stats you are looking for. Check the Index to see the best options.

But what about Blue Gems?

Don't use use blue gems in PvE situations. If you need to fulfill a requirement that needs a blue gem, use a green. Otherwise, put a red gem in the socket.

Any discussion about gems could easily go on for days, but these basics should get you through most PvE gemming situations. For more details take a look at the Gem Index for yourself, and when in doubt, check the DPS spreadsheet!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Mountain Dew Game Fuel

I know this isn't hunter related, but hey, at least it's WoW related. Check out the Mountain Dew Game Fuel page for lots of WoW related things, win some stuff and at some point in the future get a pet!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Raiding as Survival: Priority

As you may already be aware, Survival is currently the spec of choice for raiding. This will probably change some time down the line(it has before after all), but for now, Survival is king. It is completely possible for a Marksmanship or Beast Mastery Hunter to top the charts when played well, but Survival is definitely best over all. Most likely this is because of the nature of the spec(s) versus the nature of the fights. I'll give you an example, albeit one purposefully picked to prove my point.

We'll look at Heigan the Unclean. Heigan, if you've never done that particular fight, is murder on your pet. You can keep you pet up through the blasts of green fire he'll enviably take, but you'll end up wasting a lot of your own mana and time keeping the pet up. I personally don't bother and just leave my wolf at my side. For a BM hunter this is nearly 50% of their DPS just hanging around!

And if you think this is a stand alone case, think again! Many fights are pet un-friendly and will cause you a lot of problems if you are relying on your pet for much of your damage. From Anub'Rekhan with his debuff to Ignis with his Fire, pets can be tough to keep alive and sometimes are just better off standing in the back with the hunter. This is especially true if you are using the new hunter's-best-friend, the wolf.

Marksmanship is more of a PvP spec, what with Silencing Shot and Chimera Shot. While I haven't played Marks in a while, from my observasions it seems to be burst-type spec, meaning that it can crit, and crit for huge numbers, but you can't garentee that it will happen and that makes it a shaky DPS spec, though that style is perfect for PvP. As I said before, both Bm and Marks specs can work as a DPS spec, but for the most parts these specs seem to be intended for other things.

Starting Survival

The first thing you need to know about playing survival is that it's based off a priority system. This means your shots are given a number, and you'll shoot in that order. Here's the commonly agreed upon priority:

1. Kill Shot
2. Explosive Shot
3. Black Arrow
4. Aimed/Multi-Shot
5. Serpent Sting
6. Steady Shot

Obviously you can't start with Kill Shot. Kill Shot is number 1 because if it's up, fire it. It doesn't matter if your serpent sting has fallen off, or if your Lock and Load just proceed. Kill Shot is by far you biggest hitter and you need to shoot it ASAP.

Explosive shot is next. If explosive shot is ready and the mob is not below the 20% health mark, fire away. This is followed by Black Arrow, which can trigger Lock and Load (more on this later), then aimed or muli-shot, depending on your spec. Serpent Sting will follow aimed or multi. Your goal is to always keep Serpent Sting on the target, but don't sacrifice your priority to do so.

Steadyshot is last. This should be used as a filler shot and should never be used if it will "clip" another shot. This means that if cast time on Steady Shot is longer than the cooldown left on your higher priority shots, don't use it. You are better off simply auto-shotting until your cooldown comes up.

I hear you, there in the back. "But Gossamer, you're missing Arcane Shot". No, I'm not. Arcane spells are for Mages. Oh, and its also on the same cooldown as your Explosive Shot, which is much more bang for your buck.*

So, that's your priority. Until Lock and Load procs, which it should because you just put Black Arrow up. So what do you do now?! Now, you change your priority.

Kill Shot is still top. If it's up, shoot it. Next is, of course, Explosive Shot. But don't spam it! What you want is a nice spacing so you don't override the secondary damage on the shot, which takes .5 seconds to go off. There are several add-ons you can use to help track this, I've found that I can see it easily enough by the debuff. Here's the priority I use whe L & L has procced

1. Kill Shot (if it's up)
2. Lock and Load
3. Aimed or Muli shot (the Global Cooldown will help you keep from overriding L & L here)
4. Lock and Load
5. Serpent Sting if needed, Auto Shot if not
6. Resume priority (This should mean another L & L, though you could possibly have Kill Shot up, if you didn't fire it at 1.)

That's really all you need to know about what to fire when. Obviously there are going to be times when you need to use something I haven't listed here, but those occations should be rare. Just use your best judgment and you'll be fine.

*Okay, bad pun.

Getting linky with it

Hey! Don't make fun of my title!

So to start, I'd like to talk about some resource sites and why you should love them.


A good place to start for information is the hunter forums. The hunter community is quite active and in my experience very helpful. Just make sure you've already taken a peek at the stickies(the articles at the top of the page with the yellow paper icon next to them.) and have generally tried looking for your answer before making a post on the forums. As with any online community "flames" are a danger, but if you make an attempt at finding your answer before making a brand new post you'll get some helpful responses. Just browsing around and looking at what other hunters are talking about can be a great way to tell if you are on track without making your own post.


Wow.com is a good place for general info as well. Obviously because it's a site dedicated to all of WoW they can't go too in depth, but it is a good place to catch changes and some theory crafting. If you look at nothing else on wow.com check out the hunter based article: Scattered Shots*. This article tries to keep hunter's up-to-date on the most recent hunter changes and stuff-you-should-know.

*Something interesting I noticed in putting this together: The author of Scattered Shots, Jessica Klein, is not listed in wow.com's Team section. The last article was written on April 30, and I know there have been some significant hunter changes since then. Hopefully this article has not been discontinued, though I fear it has. I'll see if I can look into it.

*EDIT* So in reading The Tuesday Morning Post on wow.com I found out that Scattered Shots is indeed getting a new writer.


They're elitist, they're jerks and they're who you should go to for any and all raiding information. Their theory crafters and number crunchers are out of this world and I highly recommend that you check it out. It can be a bit daunting at first; there is a lot of information here, but at the very least grab the DPS Spreadsheet. This spreadsheet can read your gear, gems and enchants from the armory and give you an estimate of what sort of damage output you should be seeing. You can also fill out raid buffs, self spec, pets spec and a multitude of other information. I mostly use the spreadsheet to calculate upgrades, since it can be difficult at times to tell if gaining X agility and Y critical strike is worth sacrificing A hit and B attack power.


While petopia won’t tell you what pet to get, it does provide a plethora of information about pets, what they do, and where to get them. If you already know you want a spider, check it out to see what skins are available to tame. If you want to compare a cat’s abilities and a wolf’s, check it out. If you want to know what pet is the best in a given situation, look someplace else. In that case, elitist jerks or the WoW hunter forums might be a better resource. Petopia is great for general information, no so much for specifics.

I think that’s enough for one post, don’t you? These basics should get you started. Just remember, when in doubt, ask the forums. Just make sure you put on your fire resist gear.

A blog is born.

As an avid reader of wowin... excuse me wow.com and a mourner of the loss of BRK, this is scary stuff. (Okay, maybe I'm being a bit over dramatic, but there are some big bloggers out there.)

I'd like this to be a blog about hunters, how to play them, and more importantly, how to play WITH them. I've seen a lot of misinformation running around about hunters, and a lot of it is perpetuated by people who have never played a hunter themselves. Though it seems to have lessened lately, "huntard" jokes abound and hunters generally have a terrible reputation. I hope to help rectify the situation from both directions, both helping hunters in better understanding their class, as well as help their friends a guild-mates have a better understanding of why a hunter does what he does.