Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hunter's Griefing Hunters: The Pet Taming Challenges

Hunter's shouldn't grief other hunters. I know some people might disagree with me on this statement, but I believe it to be completely true. Hunter's griefing other hunters causes nothing but problems and has no benefits that I can see.

I should start by describing what I think griefing is. Or in this case, isn't. Griefing, to me, isn't PvPing. It isn't ganking, or camping, or spitting on and consuming corpses (I'm looking at you, Undead hunters). Griefing is messing up a player when he is trying to get something you want, or deliberately ruining something you know some one else wants.

Hunter on hunter griefing most often occurs when two or more hunters are looking to tame a pet, and is becoming more wide-spread with the addition of these "special" pet to tame. I can't for the life of me understand this behavior. Does griefing a player who is trying to tame the pet you also would like to tame make this hunter not want the pet ? Not usually. More often than not this hunter is now just angry, and the next time the beast spawns he may be there again. And he will likely remember the hunter who caused him so much trouble...

These new pets to tame very much remind me of the Rhok'Delar demons of the Classic days. This seems to have been Blizzard's goal, but I don't think they intended players to remember it in quite this way. Here's the two memories that I have from this quest that stand out most in my mind:

The Bad

If you aren't familiar with the Rhok'Delar quest here's a quick run down of the relevant parts. After obtaining a quest item from the end of the Molten Core the hunter was asked to kill 4 demons... alone. And it meant alone alone. No tank. No healer. No pets; nothing. And each demon had to be defeated in it's own quirky way. If another player damaged the demon after a hunter had engaged it it would depspawn.After being defeated or despawned it would be three hours until the hunter could try again.

The second demon I took on (there was no particular order defined by the quest) was Franklin the Friendly. This demon was unique in that he spawned near Blackrock Mountain, which was chock full of content at the time. The road he spawned on was very well traveled. This particular demon was one of the hardest to defeat (I could never decide if he, or Nelson the Nice was more difficult) and I had already failed several times. But this time, this was the one.  As I started I could just feel it. I had him. Then along came a dwarf hunter. That darned dwarf hunter. As I kited the demon down the road and past the dwarf  he stopped and began to follow me. As soon as it became clear that I was about to finish the demon off... BANG! The dwarf opened fire with a single autoshot and despawned my demon.

I was devastated. I had camped the spawn point for the full three hours, as when I had arrived another hunter, an Orc, was just finishing up. On top of that it took quite a bit of preparation to challenge these demons and the food and other buffs I had spent a long time obtaining were now wasted. Now, I had had this same demon despawned on me once before, but this was by another class( I can't recall which) who was unaware of the mechanic and apologized profusely when I explained it to him. This hunter was different. When I explained to this hunter that he had spoiled my attempt the only reply I received was "lol". After phrasing it another way, he second reply was much clearer. "I know, I'm out here to get him too lol". He'd done it for the sole purpose of ruining my attempt. And why? He had to wait three hours either way, why ensure there would be one more hunter out there competing for the same spawn?

The Good

The third demon I completed was Artorius the Amiable in Winterspring. This fellow was by far my favorite.  To defeat him I had to learn how to jump-shot and this is a skill that has been very useful in my huntering career. When I arrived at his spawn point I saw that he was up and ready to be killed. I began clearing the mobs out of my kiting path, as commenters on WoW Head had advised. After just a few mobs I saw another hunter arrive. A horde hunter. "That's it." I thought to myself. Then the horde hunter started making gestures. Pointing at me, pointing at the demon, and nodding. After a few /ponders it became clear to me that this hunter was trying to ask if I was attempting the demon. I nodded, and he cheered. Worried that his good will might run out I decided I'd just try to avoid the other mobs in the area. I pulled the demon and began kiting. Then something wonderful happened. The horde hunter started kiting and killing the various adds out of the recommended kiting path. He was helping me in one of the only ways he could! He was helping me defeat the demon and earn my epic hunter bow and staff, a pair of weapons I have to this day. After I beat the demon we cheered and danced for a while, then went our separate ways. I tried to find this wonderful hunter the next couple of times this demon spawned, and even helped a few other hunters the same way he'd helped me, but I never saw him again. I can only hope he found some one as nice as himself to help him complete his quest.

Since that day I've tried to be as helpful a hunter as I can, especially to other hunters. I hope I've  helped generate some fond memories of a hunter who helped when she didn't need to. I strive to be like the second hunter I encountered in my demon hunting; never the first. And I challenge you all to do the same. We are members of one of the best communities in WoW and I'd guess nearly every hunter has had help from another. Hunters like Zeherah, Frostheim and many others have dedicated hours to helping others, and really for no benefit other than to see our community be great. So let's keep it great, and help our hunter brethren. Griefing helps no one.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gossamer's Tale

Starting this blog was not really a decision based on the World of Warcraft. It was because I wanted to write, but I could never come up with a topic I could stick with. So I thought to myself, "self, you've stuck with two things over the years. Your relationship with your wonderful boyfriend, and WoW, and I don't think your boyfriend will appreciate being the subject of a blog." so, a WoW blog was born. Below is kind of a roleplay introduction for a non-roleplay character (Gossamer actually lives on a PvP server) but is something that's been forming in the back of my mind for a long time. So, without further preamble...

Gossamer's Tale

Panic. Panic and fear ravage the stark beauty of each and every face towering overhead. Silver eyes wide, lavender faces covered in ash, dirt and in too many instances, blood. In the distance large boulders can be seen falling from a sky turned an unnatural green. If the stories from the front lines are to be believed these falling boulders smash into the ground, shattering the land and pull themselves from the smoking crater, a stone no more but a horrible mockery of life...

 Another group of wounded are brought in from the front lines. The vision focuses on one casualty in particular; a priestess of Elune. As her sisters work to heal her grievous wounds a child, hardly old enough to walk, toddles from the group of shivering civilians and toward the injured priestess. As the child approaches  the women her eyes brighten for an instant as she catches the young girl's eyes and reaches out with a delicate hand; the hand falls as the silver light fades from her eyes. She's dead before her child can even reach a hand out in answer to the gesture. The child sobs as a priestess gently moves her away from the corpse and a tall, silver haired man separates himself from the civilians and comes to gather the confused child into his arms. The child buries her head in his chest and sobs harder. Behind them the horrible demon boulders continue to fall, two silver-haired elves standing against a background of that awful fel green sky...


Gossamer opens her eyes slowly. The fel green fully encompassing her vision jerks her back to full consciousness and she leaps to her feet. As the memory of the sky from her dream fades she realizes she is not seeing the fel green that means the Burning Legion is near, but is instead the normal green of the sun shining through the canopy above her head. Her early morning gymnastics did not disrupt her trusted Nightsaber, Tailchaser, in the least and he is still sleeping on his back, all four paws twitching and small snarls escaping his furry jaws.

"Dreaming of chasing rabbits again." she mutters to herself. "Wake up you great lazy beast! It's time for training." Tailchaser opens one eye, glancing toward the lighted canopy and groans. Rolling over he buries his face in his paws and sighs heavily. "I know, you lump, I hate this dratted sunshine too! But Master Jeen'ra says we should get used to moving during the daytime. 'Our allies function mostly in the day. If you are going to work with them, you must alter your habits to fit.'" she quoted is a slightly sarcastic voice, but she straightened armor and made ready to leave. She occasionally glances up at the green canopy, the dream/memory haunting her silvery eyes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gearing Your Hunter for Firelands

Not everyone is able to begin an expansion... well, at the beginning. Lucky for you (and me) Blizzard realizes this and has made it a little less daunting to try and get into the second raiding tier without doing all or any of the first. I'm torn on this particular design strategy, for players like you and I, getting into content late, it's a blessing. We don't have to feel that we're behind, or holding our friends and guild mates back. On the other is does trivialize the content to some extent. But that's all I'll say on the subject for now. This article is about getting your hunter(or other class) raid ready.

Justice Points

If you are just beginning your Cataclysm Raiding adventure your gear may not be the greatest. Hopefully up to this point you've been doing 5-man dungeons and possibly heroics. If not, this is the best place to start.

The three ilevel goals you have to hit to run dungeons are 226, 272 and 305. If you're leveling by questing 226 and even 272 will probably be pretty easy for you to hit. 305 may be a bit of a struggle, however. But never fear, justice points are here! You will receive 140 justice points for the first seven dungeons you complete using the dungeon finder. You will also receive points for killing each boss. With those justice points you can buy shiney new gear. As of 4.2 the gear that was previously purchased with valor points are now purchased with justice points. Rejoice!

Once you are at 305 and can run every Cataclysm dungeon on normal mode your next goal is 329. An ilevel of 329 gets you in to every Cataclysm Heroic mode dungeon, except the Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub instances, which have a separate queue. You will still get some justice points for this, but you will also be recieving...

Valor Points

Valor points are like justice points... only better. You receive seventy valor points for each heroic dungeon you complete using the dungeon finder; again you can receive this reward up to seven times per week. You also receive 140 valor points up to seven times a week for running the Rise of the Zandalari Heroics, Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub. You will need an ilevel of 346 to visit these dungeons, but the gear you'll receive for your efforts is much better.

Around the time you're ready to begin ZA and ZG you can also begin looking for Baradin Hold groups.Baradin Hold is a 10 ro 25 man raid dungeon with few trash mobs and two bosses, one new as of 4.2.

Baradin Hold, Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman

You'll likely find most of the gear you'll need to begin raiding in ZG and ZA and you can get a few tier 11 pieces from Baradin Hold. Again, you will need an ilevel of 346 to visit these ZA and ZG, and a lot of group are going to want you to be near here to visit BH as well, though your ilevel can be slightly lower. I recommend you pick up every quest, as one of the quests in ZA provides a tanking bow you may want to use temporarily. I know the stats will hurt your hunter soul, but you'll want to look at the damage, this is the number one most important thing for a hunter. There's also a bow that drops from Jin'do the Godbreaker, the last boss in ZG. You'll also find an uncommonly good looking cloak, but sadly it's not as good as the one you'll get from...

The Call of the World-Shaman 

I really, really, really enjoyed this quest. It was fun to do and gave me a very nice cloak to wear around. Lookin' good!

Previous Tier and Firelands Trash farming
Finally, if you've done all of the above your ilevel is hopefully in the 350s. From here you can begin going to the previous tier of content and some Firelands trash farming. Blizzard has stated that they would like the previous tier of raid content, Black Wing Decent and Bastion of Twilight, to be pug-able. To make this a little easier for everyone they have made all of the normal modes of these dungeons easier with lowered boss health and damage output.

It takes some sitting around in trade, but there are some Fireland's trash farming groups out there. Just make sure you are aware of the rules for receiving these BOE items, especially in a group partly comprised of players from the same guild. I've seen a lot of "Guild X ninjas!" reports in trade that boil down to a misunderstanding of the expectations of who should receive an item.

That should get you through! I'd like to note that you do not necessarily have to do all of these, you can also get items from questing and crafting, and you may find that you don't in fact need to visit the previous tier of content or do Firelands' trash runs to be well received in a Firelands raid. However, if you are coming up a bit short, I hope the above will help.