Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a happy new Year!

To all my readers and my fellow bloggers, I wish you a merry christmas, hope you all enjoy your holidays, and all the best for the new year. May it bring all you've wished for and may your dreams come true.
There hasn't been much time available to me for any new posts this week, as besides christmas and the new year I also celebrated my 30th birthday on Thursday. But don't despair once the crazy season is finished there will be plenty of new posts.

So once again I hope you've had a merry christmas, enjoy your holidays with your families and have a very happy new year.


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Turning - A short story from the Adventures of Serebihm

Serebihm slowly drifted back into consciousness. His vision was still blurred, but he could make out several silhouettes hunched over looking at him. "He's coming to" a female voice said. "Lay still Night Elf, you are still to weak. You need to rest." Serebihm tried to move, but couldn't as he was restrained, strapped to the bed he lay in. "This is for your protection, Night Elf, as well as ours" the woman said. " Serebihm could feel a strange sensation coursing through his body. He felt ill and dizzy. Something was infecting him, that much he knew. His vision became clear, and he looked around the room. He did not recognize where he was. Come to think of it, how did he even get here? 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Groinstabber's Gold Tip: The New Leathers

As I was trying to level up my Leatherworking on Serebihm, I was ultimately forced to buy materials from the Auction House. What greeted me was a pleasant little surprise. It is already possible to make gold of the new leathers in the same way as during Wrath of the Lich King. The average price of Savage leather scraps on my server were around 82s each. Savage leather was going for anywhere between 8-15g each. Heavy Savage leather was priced anywhere between 50-100g. It takes 5 Leather scraps to make 1 Savage leather, and again 5 Savage leather to make 1 Heavy Savage Leather. So 25 Leather scraps would be needed to make 1 Heavy Savage leather. taking the average price from above it would only cost you 20g50s (or so) to create 1 heavy Savage leather which can be sold for a huge profit. So go ahead, check the prices on your server and start making millions.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Serebihm's Lil' Tips for Trapping

Hunters that only started during Wrath of the Lich King are going to get a rude awakening when stepping into dungeons and heroics. Gone are the days of AoE tanking and Aoeing all the mobs down, no, these days you will require Crowd Control to succeed. So hunters better dust off their trap launchers and get ready for some serious trapping. Here are a few tips and tricks to improve your trapping and crowd controlling game.

Monday, December 13, 2010

85, Worgen and loving it

Serebihm is now officially a Worgen and all I can say is, THIS IS THE BEST ALLIANCE RACE!! PERIOD!. I love everything about Worgens. Useful racials, great animations and they occasionally do a back-flip when they jump!It took me about 2 days to get to 85, and I am now heavy into high-level normal and heroic dungeons. Unfortunately, Serebihm's professions had to take a backseat as they are both crafting professions, but I'll get around to it, when the material prices settle down. I love the new zones, especially Uldum, and Vashj'ir is very original. Dungeon wise, they are very well designed environments, and, thank god, challenging. I think I am really going to enjoy this expansion and hope you guys do to. More posts and Cataclysm guides are in the works, so check back often.

Keep on hunting,

For Gilneas,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turning Worgen?

At this point in time I am about 75% sure I will change Serebihm's race. When Blizzard announced they would rework all racials I was excited as I was hoping Night Elves would finally get racials befitting their race. You know something useful for Night Elves hunters. Alas it was not to be. Instead Blizzard have decided that the racials felt balanced and didn't need reworking. I had been thinking about changing Serebihm's race for a while. I am a raider at heart and wanted to make sure that my character can bring as much DPS as possible. Although the dps increase gained from any of the DPS racials would only be minimal, it's still a dps increase. It's just the kind of player I am.

So I'll put it to my readers. Should Serebihm turn Worgen? Let me know why too. I'd like to have a compelling reason when people ask why I changed and maybe my fellow readers can give me something better and more colorful than "Because Night Elf racials sucked!"

Looking forward to hearing from you guys,


Monday, November 29, 2010

Apologies and Blog skin change

I must apologize to my readers who were unable to comment on my posts. The previous third-party template I was using wasn't functioning properly and because my XML knowledge is rather limited I was not able to fix it. So I was forced to change to a template, but the good news is that commenting works again. So please do comment on my posts as it will give me an indication if people agree with my posts or not.

Again my apologies to all readers who missed out on their opportunity to comment, and please advise me by email if there are any other issues with my blog. Also thanks to the reader who pointed out this fault via email.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Return to Azeroth - A short story from the Adventures of Serebihm

Serebihm sat atop the pier of Rutheran Village, his gaze fixed across the water, pondering the past few weeks. With Arthas defeated and a new Lich King in place on the Frozen Throne, he had fulfilled his contract of service to King Varian Wrynn. He was free to go home. Ah, home. How he had missed the woods of Teldrassil and Darkshores. He remembered thinking of his friends and family only moments before boarding the ship in Valiance Keep. He had been happy then. Little did he know of the events that had taken place only days before his departure from Northrend.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Glory of the Icecrown Raider (10man) Guide

Having recently finished this achievement and attained my Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher, I thought why not share my experiences and tips. This guide assumes that your raid is familiar with normal mode strategies. So without further adieu:

The End of the Northrend Journey

Me on the Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher

With only a couple of weeks to go until Cataclysm, I have finally reached all my goals I set out at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King. Well, originally my goal was simply to see EVERY Boss introduced in Wrath, but that looked unlikely early on. The guild I was with at the time made a difficult time of progressing through Naxxramas and those driven to do better, had no choice, except to take over leadership of the guild and try to recruit like-minded folk, or simply leave and find alternative guilds with the same intentions as you. And so shortly after the release of Ulduar, I found myself in a new guild, making new friends and seeing new content.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A New Look!

As you may have noticed I am using a new blog template. As my xml know ledge is rather limited, I've had no choice but go and browse online for a suitable template. This is the most huntery looking template I could find. Let me know what you guys think of it, or point me to some better, more suitable templates.

Keep on hunting,


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Handicapped Hunters

I've been doing some 10 man raiding this week and I must say I feel a little handicapped. While my DPS is still top 3 on a minimal movement fight, it is pathetic on a heavy movement dependent fight, or one requiring a lot of target switching. The problem comes down to just one thing - we can't regenerate focus fast enough without Steady Shot to keep our DPS up. To often did I find myself in a situation where I had to move for whatever reason, I wouldn't be able to regenerate my focus with Steady Shot meaning Serpent Sting would drop off and my DPS would just collapse. And then of course the same thing would happen when doing boss fights that need a lot of target switching such as Dreamwalker Valithria, as mobs would die before Steady Shot would finish casting.

The thing is, I'm not sure that Aspect of the Fox will fix this problem. You see as it stands Aspect of the Fox will allow the casting of Steady Shot and Cobra shot whilst moving, and regenerate 2 Focus everytime we are hit by melee attacks. That’s it! I can see it as being useful for PvP but for raiding it is extremely weak. You see to cast Steady Shot we will need to be facing our target. In a lot of the movement fights we will actually be forced to run away from targets, not facing them and consider ICC fights - the idea is not to get hit by melee attacks.

The more I play my hunter I feel like our Arcane Shot and Steady Shot should be switched i.e. Arcane Shot should have a cast-timer and Steady Shot should not. I think it would be a fair trade-off; our high-DPS focus dump shot would have the cast timer and the low-DPS focus regenerate would be instant and could, for balancing purposes, be on a cooldown if need be (although I doubt the DPS would be all too different). Of course this would render Aspect of the Fox effectively useless (although its not far off as it is), so this change would be very unlikely.

But to be honest I feel the Marksman hunter in general feels a little clunky and not very well thought through. I keep wondering if Blizzard rushed their hunter designs a little. Aimed Shot is fail, Camouflage is going to be a waste of a skill, Aspect of the Fox had potential, but with every iteration it got worse and worse. And is it just me or does Chimera Shot seem a little weak? The old Chimera Shot was a skill to be proud of but this? and to top it all off, AoE is just a bad joke. I couldn't see the problem with Volley. I didn't for one second think it felt un-hunter-like. Hell, it think a better solution would have been to get rid of Multi-shot and rename Volley multi-shot. As it stands we appear to be the only class that can only AoE when something is targeted. But even should we have the opportunity to target something , our AoE is limited by range inbetween the mobs and general lack of damage, meaning we are well behind every other DPS class.

Of course I haven't tried any of the other specs yet and don't know how things will play out once we are raiding at lvl 85, but I'm a Marksman hunter at heart and would be extremely disappointed if my favorite spec had any major flaws causing it to be less effective then other specs. I am a little concerned to say the least.

Anyway, what have you guys noticed about current hunters? How do the other specs feel when playing? Do you disagree with my findings? Let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Keep on hunting,


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Zuggaming Blogging Carnival: Making Gold in Cataclysm- Understanding the Basics

With a new expansion about to come into existence, budding auctioneers, both new and old, are looking forward to finding new ways to fill their coffers. With thousands of speculations and opinions available through other blogs and podcasts, I found it necessary to write a guide that reminds new readers of some basic principles and auctioneering concepts. Too often do I read a comment of a new auctioneer complaining that the strategies that they've heard about didn't work and that they are not making any gold. This is because they forget some basic principles about making gold.

What a difference a server makes
First and foremost, with all the information, and strategies available on how to make gold, a new auctioneer has to remember the singular most important fact - their information is based on THEIR server AND faction, and may not be profitable on your server/faction. Ignoring this fact is a sure-fire way to failure, as you may decide to follow a strategy that simply is not profitable on your server. For example, on podcasts and blogs I have consistently heard about profits to be made in Jewelcrafting, both epic and rare. On several blogs there was talk about cut gem price being anywhere between 130-200 gold, yet on my server at that very point in time uncut gems were already in the early 90s with cut gem prices being only 5 gold more. My point is that with whatever strategy you choose to follow, you must first do the research on your own server. This can be as simple as researching cost prices of all materials required, and sale prices of the finished product. This should then give you a basic idea of how profitable the item will be, but don't forget to subtract the Auction house cut, if you plan to sell via the Auction House.

Profiteering with Professions
One of the first questions in any new Auctioneers' mind will be which profession is going to be the most profitable? For that we will have to look at what the economy will be like itself, and also what the professions will offer. Because the answer to this question will actually change over time.

At the beginning of the expansion (the first few weeks) Gathering professions will be the most profitable professions in Cataclysm. Why? because the markets will not have established themselves yet. As people are leveling their will be no real requirement for raiding flasks, rare gems, enchants, etc. and on top of that in that time players will try to level up their crafting professions to one day provide these items. This means that their will be a HUGE demand for raw materials and that demand can only be satisfied by gatherers.

After a few weeks, as players begin to max out their crafting professions and people will begin raiding, the consumable markets will slowly establish themselves. This will then be the time the crafting professions become more profitable. Also understand that huge profits can be had at this point in time, as the supply for raid consumables will be very low and exuberant prices can be charge.

Speaking long-term, any crafting profession that allows for the crafting of item enhancements and raid consumables will be very profitable. Raiders will always need new gems and enchants, flasks and raid food, etc. Therefore Jewelcrafting, Alchemy and Enchanting are probably the 3 most profitable crafting professions. Leatherworking, Tailoring and Blacksmithing are more focused on creating gear and therefore will be profitable, but due to a lower demand, perhaps not as profitable as the previous three.

Maximising profits
One important strategy to maximising your profits, and this is talked about on many blogs, is to diversify into multiple markets. Don't get holed down into just one market. In todays world trying to dominate just one market is difficult and risky. Try and get into as many markets as you can. For instance, if you have Jewelcrafter and Leatherworker like I do, don't just focus on epic gems (for example). My main had this combination and throughout WotLK, I was competing in the epic gems, rare gems, meta gems, leg armors, Armor kits, BoE and materials (i.e Heavy Borean Leather) markets. it is a simple formula: the more markets you're competing in, the more profit you can potentially make. But again I must stress the importance of doing your research first. Find out which markets are profitable first, and then go for it.

As you will probably be dealing with large quantities of materials, I would also suggest automating certain processes to speed up the auctioneering. In a world where time is money, wasted time is lost profits. A few useful addons can shorten the time that you spend browsing the Auction House, Bidding and posting, and getting your mail. Again there are many addons that are useful for these tasks but I personally will only mention Auctioneer (Which i use for market analysis), AuctionLite (used for mass-purchasing and posting) and BetterInbox (for mass collection of goods from mail box).

Potential profitable markets
Finally for this article, I will list the different markets I will be investigating in Cataclysm. These are the markets that I expect will have some long-term sustainability (i.e constant supply and demand).

Jewelcrafting - Epic gems, rare gems, meta gems (only Cata gems), Prospecting

Engineering - Vanity Pets (Old and new, engineering mounts if applicable)

Leatherworking - Leg Armor, Armor Kits, Upgraded Materials, BoE items, Profession bags

Alchemy - Raid Flasks, Gem Transmutations, Material Transmutations (i.e Titanium and Eternal equivalents)

Enchanting - Major Raid enchants, leveling Enchants

Inscription - Enchanting Vellums, Buff Scrolls, Darkmoon cards

Tailoring - Spellthreads, Bags (new and old), Upgrade materials, BoE Items

Blacksmithing (should i choose to level it up) - Boe Items, Shield Spikes, Belt buckles

Mining - High level Smelting

These should give you an idea of some markets to look into. Again, some of these may prove to be profitable on your server others may not. Only research and time will tell.

Patience is key

My last bit of advice is a reminder to people, that making lots of gold is most likely not going to happen overnight. It will take trial and error to be successful. be prepared for some ventures to fail, this is all part of the auctioneering fun. As a bit of encouragement, I started with approx. 5000g when I got into auctioneering in the middle of the year, and made over 100000g in about 2 months (average auctioneering time about 1 hr per day), all by sticking to the above-mentioned principles and concepts. I spent most of it now (60k on mounts and 60k on BoE items for me and my wife, needless to say my priest was ICC ready the minute he hit 80), but I will take 35k into Cataclysm, which is more than enough to start with.

So go out there and make your fortunes, but please have fun while doing so, you might even learn something about economics on the way.


Friday, November 12, 2010

5 things to do before Cataclysm

With just under a month to go until Cataclysm and no new content (apart from a few pre-event quests) released in the last few months, what is a hunter to do with his time? Well one can take a break until Cataclysm arrives, continue with the current boring raid-schedule and clear ICC for the upteenth time, or one can finish off any achievements and preparations for Cataclysm.

The first thing I would recommend for any hunter to do before Cataclysm, is to travel Azeroth and fill their stable with any pet types that are missing. This will ensure that you begin the new expansion with a full complement of raid buffs available to you once your leveling to 85 is complete.

Next I would suggest finishing off raid achievements such as the requirements for the Rusted proto-drake in Ulduar or the more sought after Frostbrood Vanquisher in Icecrown Citadel. Besides being probably two off the coolest flying mounts, they are also 310% speed meaning you would not need to purchase the flying skill come Cataclysm. Also the Ulduar achievements are now relatively easy to complete in ICC gear.

If you have already finished those achievements or maybe your guild is simply not capable of completing them, then Zul'Gurub would be my next suggestion. When Cataclysm arrives, Zul'Gurub will no longer be available, which means the Swift Zulian Tiger and Swift Razzashi Raptor mounts will no longer be attainable. Besides the two mounts there is also the Razzashi Hatchling companion pet and Polymorph: Turtle tome which drop in this instance. At this point it is unclear if Blizzard will remove these as well or offer alternative means of attainability.

Next I would recommend players use this time to level up any professions that need leveling. As boring as that may sound in some cases, consider that this means just one thing - gold in your pocket. As far as information about all the professions go, all of them will have fun components (mini-pets, mounts or novelty items) as well as their usual crafting and gold making components. So why not get up to date now, than being behind the ball and missing out on any of the profits that are surely going to be had early on in Cataclysm. Also consider that gathering professions such as skinning, mining and herbalism will be the most profitable early, when supply is low, and crafting professions will be the most profitable once supply and demand have been established.

Lastly I would suggest completing the Explorer achievements. This will allow you to see Azeroth as it was first created, because once The Shattering occurs the world will be different and certain sights may be lost forever. Some of the most changing zones include Thousand Needles, The Barrens, Desolace, Darkshore and Stranglethorn Vale.

There are certainly more things that one can choose to complete, but I feel these are the most important, as they involve things that help preparation, involve things that will change or disappear forever.

So good luck on your adventures and keep on hunting,


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pre-Cataclysm Hunter Verdict

Patch 4.0 has been live for a few weeks now and we've had a chance to take our hunters through their paces. So what do I think of my hunter? Overall I very much enjoy him more than before. I love the fact that I do not have to worry about mana in any way, shape or form. Only a few days ago I realised though that old habits die hard, as, after a wipe, I ate a fish feast, rezzed my pet and healed it up, and then sat down and ate my a fish feast again, something I used to do to fill up my mana before eating my own buff food.

I think hunter DPS is still competitive in the right hands. My personal DPS in Icecrown still lies at around 11.5 - 14.5k depending on the boss. Trash, well I've never concerned myself with trash dps and I'm not about to start. It is interesting to note though that Boss rotations and trash/heroic rotations are significantly different, which I think, makes the hunter class more enjoyable, due to varied play-styles.

I am also extremely happy with the pet changes. I love the fact that hunters can bring effectively whatever pet we choose, should all buffs be covered. It was a sight to behold when my guild raided Icecrown Citadel and all 5 hunters in the raid had a different pet out - a cat, a raptor, a hyena, a wolf and a plainstrider. When was the last time anybody saw that?

So overall I am very excited and feel very prepared to step out into Azeroth post-Shattering. Now if only Blizzard had fixed Night Elf racials then I would have been truly at peace.

Keep on hunting,

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Night Elves Unite!!

I am a subscriber to The Hunting Party Podcast as well as a reader of Warcraft Hunters Union and I musty say I have a bone to pick with Frostheim. His continued racial attacks on Night Elves are unnecessary, unwarranted and uncalled for. You see I am a proud Night Elf hunter and it is time to stand up for my people.

Night Elves (or elves of any kind) embody the spirit of the hunter. There is no race in World of Warcraft or any other fantasy world that screams out hunter more than Elves do. Think about the imagery of elves in ANY fantasy setting. Creatures of the Woods, bow and arrows in hand, loyal pet by their side, at one with the forest. Lord of the Rings, Dungeons and Dragons (movies and games), Forgotten Realms, Warhammer, etc all show elves as the true hunters or, as they are also sometimes referred to, Rangers.

So how can anyone claim that Dwarves are truer hunters than Night elves? In World of Warcraft, as in all other fantasy worlds mentioned above, Dwarves are nothing more than loud, drunken, Blunderbuss-wielding brutes, with no regards for the land except for the minerals it holds. When the majority of people think of dwarves, they do not think of them as hunters, but Axe-wielding, plate-armored miniature behemoths, ready to clobber someone.

When I rolled my hunter, there was never any doubt about what race he will be - a night elf or a human. And since human wasn't allowed at the time, I went with Night Elf (my 1st choice anyway). Dwarves should not even be allowed to be hunters. Noisy, too drunk to work a firearm, living in caves, clumsy with those stubby fingers and too short to look over a bush. Night elves on the other hand are graceful and silent, with a steady hand and a keen eye - in theory at least.

You see the problem does not really lie with Frostheim as much as it does with Blizzard. When looking at the racials of both races, the Dwarves do trump the Night Elves in terms of hunters. But overall it is just the one racial - the bonus crit when using guns. Now I ask how can Night Elves not have gotten the bonus to Bows. No race could be closer associated with Bows and Arrows than the night elf, certainly not A FRIGGIN TROLL!!! And how the heck do orcs end up with the Pet bonus! Either talent screams out night elf. No instead we get Shadowmeld also known as Camoflage version 1.0! Oh yes and of course the wisp, because being a wisp is just so useful - NOT!! Quickness I can understand. It suits the night elves imagery of being elusive.

But all talent issues aside, the night elves are still and will always be the true hunters not because of the World of Warcraft talents, but because of how the world perceived them through history and imagery. Dwarves should consider themselves lucky to be half the hunters that Night Elves are, in both skill and stature, literally.


Friday, November 5, 2010

The Return of Serebihm

Not really much of a return, as I hadn't left but more of a "this is what I've been up to." I had taken a few weeks of from WoW as well as work. I spent a bit of time visiting friends and family, and also managed to attend Armageddon Expo 2010 in Auckland (The New Zealand equivalent of Comicon I guess). I had a great time there, but the only World of Warcraft related items there (other than the odd Draenei costumes) were the miniatures and Trading Card game.

Upon my return I decided I would take at least one more week of from WoW to fully recuperate from WoW burnout. Being an RPG gamer from the days of Baldur's Gate I couldn't resist the temptation of Fable 3. Having played the previous 2, I was very much looking forward to this installment and I was not disappointed.

But now, as we edge ever closer to The Shattering and the return of Deathwing, it is time to dive back into WoW and the Hunter blog-o-sphere. I have several new posts already lined up for your reading pleasure and will also once again be participating in this month's Zuggaming's Blog Carnival, which is on November 18th, so keep a look out for that. The topic will be "How to make gold in CAtaclysm".

So let's get ready for Cataclysm and keep on hunting,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Patch 4.0.1 - Raiding

Well, I have completed my first raid day on my hunter. From memory my DPS wasn't all that different from before. I was very surprised, particularly on Blood Queen, where I finished on 14.5k DPS (7th overall) WITHOUT having been bitten. So hunter DPS (at least mine) seems to be competitive still. The only other fight I participated in was Blood Council and I finished 3rd with 11.8k DPS.

At this point in time I don't worry about my DPS on trash, as it is useless, but on Boss fights I think hunters are still pretty good. My rotation generally goes something like Serpent Sting, Chimera Shot, Arcane Shot, 2x Steady Shot, 2x Arcane Shot, 2x Steady Shot, Chimera Shot, Arcane Shot, etc. etc. and firing off Aimed Shot whenever it procs. I once again have Rapid Fire, Readiness and Call of the Wild macroed together which I generally pop after my first 3 shots, and then whenever the cooldown is up and effects have worn off.

One thing I was discussing with my fellow hunters during raid is, that we find ourselves bar-watching far too much, keeping an eye on cooldowns and procs. I will definitely have to look at getting PowerAuras set up and possibly Ghost:Pulse or something similar to keep an eye on when Shots come off cooldown.

Overall I found it enjoyable to raid as a marksman hunter and not all too different from how it was. I love the fact I don't have to worry about my mana anymore, and the fact I can effectively raid with whatever pet I want (Razor, my purple Winterspring Frostsaber is finally number 1 again).

Please let me know how your raids have gone and as always keep on hunting,


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Patch 4.0.1 - Day 2

Ok still haven't had a chance to raid yet, but have a few heroics under my belt now. DPS on a dungeon boss is still competitive. That cannot be said for trash mobs. If single targeting trash, they die generally after 2 shots and chances of getting a kill shot or steady shot ( for Aimed shot procs) are slim at best. Multi-shot isn't as bad as I expected. The more mobs the better the DPS too (obviously).

No problems with Misdirect today, however with all the tank changes, I urge hunters to be considerate for your fellow tanks. Druid tanks are no struggling to hold more than 1 mob and I have heard that other tanks are also having threat issues. So please misdirect to your tanks when you can and single target whenever possible to make it a little easier for your tank (misdirect + multishot is a good way to get all the mobs to your tank, but single target when MD is on cooldown).

In regards to the Epic Gem transmute cooldown, well now the cooldown has actually switched back to 22 hours and no word from Blizzard if that is a bug or what's going on. I'll keep you posted should I hear something.

I missed today's raid, but a fellow hunter did go and was reporting a DPS loss of about 3k! That is alarming, and I look forward to getting a chance to confirm or improve on that. It seems that rogues were hit heavy too, at least from the recount report I saw, so at least if that is the case we hunters are not alone in low dps.

That's it for today from me, depending on new findings tomorrow, I shall inform you of these tomorrow.

Keep on hunting and continue to leave your 4.0.1 findings in the comments,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Patch 4.0.1 - First Impressions

Hey guys, well patch 4.0.1 has hit and the chaos has begun. After a couple of delays my server finally went live and was able to get stuck in. I fixed my gems up pretty quick smart and once every red socket was fille with Agility gems, I STILL had around 65% crit chance. So I made use of Reforging and reforged my 4 highest crit pieces into mastery (remember to train for mastery when you first log in). I then went out and tamed a whole heap of pets that I would be needing for raids. On a side note for all you gold-makers: The Epic-gem transmute cooldown was not removed, just reduced, meaning there was no supply spike but a HUGE demand spike. I was selling Delicate Cardinal Rubies from anywhere between 150g to 200g.

Back to huntering, and I decided to do my daily random, which was Gundrak. the damage seemed to be about 500 to 1000 less than what it used to be, but I may need to fix up my gems a little more (still had several crit gems in). Oh and also be sure to advise your tank to let you misdirect pull, otherwise Aimed shot is effectively useless. I'm going to have to do a lot more playing around before I'll get a definitive picture of ideal spec, gemming, enchanting and rotation. Also note that misdirect seems a little buggy. At one point it refused to work completely displaying the message "You can't do that yet". This was out of combat, with the tank targeted and misdirect off cooldown.

Anyways feel free to post your findings in Patch 4.0.1.

Keep on hunting


Friday, October 1, 2010

Zuggaming Blog Carnival - Noob Hunter Guide to Cataclysm

I was recently invited by Zuggy of Zuggaming personally, to participate in his upcoming Blog Carnival, the "Help a Noob Day". I was a little late getting the invitation due to my work commitments, but once i got it it was an opportunity I was not going to miss. So after the last few days I worked on this for your reading pleasure:

Noob Hunter Guide to Cataclysm

So you've decided, for Cataclysm you want to raid as a hunter. With Worgens and Goblins being introduced this is a very likely thing to happen. And with the hunter class being reworked from the ground up, many a player will not be so sure on what to do and how to prepare. With this I will try to provide a short general guide about everything from consumables to talent trees. So let's jump right in with a few tips on how to prepare for raiding while leveling.

2. Understanding a hunter
Before we dive into how to play a hunter we first must understand the hunter class. Hunters are a ranged class, meaning they deal damage (also known as DPS - damage per second) from a far. Hunters are the only class that have to be at a minimum range to deal damage with their ranged attacks. Now a lot of people would call hunters a "pure damage class", I'm not one of those people. When it comes to raiding and to some degree even in PvP I consider hunters a utility support class. In many raids hunters do not get brought for their DPS, but for how they can help the raid. This will be even more the case in Cataclysm, with the new changes to hunter pets, but more on that later.

A hunter's primary utility is Threat Management, meaning they have the necessary tools to manage who will have the attention (aggro) of the things you're trying to kill (mobs or bosses).

The secondary utility of hunters is crowd control. Crowd control means controlling how the mobs or the boss reacts to you or your raid. This can include interrupting their spells, removing buffs (spells cast by the mob or boss on itself that gives a positive effect), apply a debuff (spell cast by an enemy on the target that gives a negative effect), affect the targets movement capabilities, or even isolate and eliminate a mob from a fight temporarily.

When we understand the utilities and purpose of hunters in raids, we will become better players. Too often I meet players who consider hunters to be nothing more than just DPSers and they will not assist in Threat Management or Crowd control. And when you don't do what you're supposed to do, you and the people you run with will die.

3. Leveling a new raid hunter
With Cataclysm introducing Worgen and Goblins there will be a lot of new players rolling hunters, with whom they plan to raid. A lot of players will simply power-level to reach 85 and jump right in. I expect those players not to perform so well come raiding time. When leveling, one should spend time getting to know their character, his skills and his purpose.

As you level, take your time to read what your new abilities do and think about how they could be applied. Practice them when grouping with others in dungeons. You don't need a group to practice Threat management. You have your pet so misdirect to your pet, or use Distracting Shot to pull it back to yourself, just to get a feel for those abilities. Use abilities like Disengage and Deterrence to get a feel for them as well.

I would also encourage new hunters to try out the 3 different talent trees available to hunters. Although Beast mastery may be the best to level with quickly, it may not be the one that you like the most. And with Blizzard attempting to make all talent trees as equal as possible in their damage output, it won't matter which tree you choose to raid with.

4. Gems and Enchants
So you have hit 85 and are ready to jump into raids and heroics. Well before you can do that you need to fix up your gear. A hunters primary statistic is Agility. So whenever you want to choose a new piece of gear, start with Agility. Then come our secondary stats - stats that are important to us but not as important as Agility. Those would be Hit rating, Critical Strike Rating, haste rating and mastery rating.

When selecting gems and enchants for your gear keep in mind what stats you need. Although Agility is our primary stat, the first stat that should be gemmed and enchanted for will always be hit rating. The amount of hit rating you have will decide if your shots will hit or miss. There's nothing worse than your most powerful shot missing the target and that's why hit rating is always the first stat to gem or enchant for. To ensure we don't miss we will need a hit rating of 8%. In Wrath of the Lich King that translated to 263 hit rating. In Cataclysm, initial calculations made by Frostheim of WHU suggest our required hit rating will be 962.

When gemming for stats, you must also consider the gem slots you have available. Gear may come in 5 gem slots - Red, blue, yellow, uncolored or meta. Meta gem slots are only on headpieces and can only hold metagems. The colored gem slots can take any colored gem but will only contribute to an item's socket bonus if a gem of the right color is inserted. In Cataclysm hit rating gems will be blue, Agility gems will be red, Critical Strike, Haste and mastery gems will be Yellow. If you are looking to complete a Socket bonus also remember that you can use multi-colored gems (orange for red and yellow, purple for blue and red, and green for blue and yellow).

5. Talent trees
Next on our to-do list is fixing up our talents. I will not provide a one top spec, no I will simply describe how you should select the talents. Remember that in Cataclysm once you've spent a point in one tree, you must spend a total of 31 points in that tree before moving to a different tree.

So first decide which tree you want to raid with. if you listened to my earlier advice for leveling, you will have tried all three and know which one you like the most. Once you have decided on you tree start spending points. When building a raid spec we want to build a spec that increases our DPS, so look at the talents available and choose the talents that will do just that. Anything that increases damage, critical strike rating, hit rating, attack power, attack speed, reduces focus cost, or provides a stat raid buff will effectively increase your DPS. Once you've selected all DPS increasing talents on a tier and you can't go on, look for your raid utility talents. Find anything that helps your crowd controlling or threat managing abilities and spend just enough points to go to the next tier, then revert back to selecting DPS talents.

Doing it this way may not be the best talent tree available for raids, but it will get you as a player thinking about your own character and make you familiar with your own talents. Don't forget to equip any new skills on your action bar.

6. Shot Rotation
In the past hunters have never had shot rotation as such, no they were more shot priorities. This means shots were ranked in priority and when they became off cooldown you simply hit the shot that has highest priority. With hunters switching from mana to focus this system will change a bit. At this point in time with shots still being modified, we can only speculate on what our rotations will be. The only thing that is for sure, all our specs will still be maintaining Serpent Sting making it the most likely opener for all specs.

I suspect that once all Shots have been decided upon, each spec will have one or two shots that will be considered our DPS focus dumps (i.e. spend focus to do damage), we will then use Steady Shot and Cobra shot to refill our Focus bar and then go back to our focus dumps - rinse and repeat. Depending on the boss fight, however we may need to ensure to keep a certain amount of focus available for any of our uitlity abilities should they be required.

7. Pet Selection
The pet is a vital part of a hunter's arsenal and a major contributor to our DPS in raids. And with the new pet changes they will also be a major contributor to raid buffs.

Pets are separated into three categories: Ferocity, Tenacity and Cunning. The best way to distinguish between the 3 is this to consider ferocity pets are raid pets, tenacity pets are your questing tank pets, and cunning pets are your PvP pets. In Cataclysm many of our pets will now provide major raids buffs, meaning that the best pet to provide will depend on what buffs are missing. Therefore it would be wise for any hunter to go out and tame one of each of the pets that provide a major raid buff, and keep the 5 most commonly used in the active tab of your stable.
Because some pets are only available to Beastmaster specced hunters, i would also recommend that every hunter that isn't a main spec Beastmaster, be a Beastmaster second spec, as to have access to these BM specific pets when required.

8. Primary Professions
Every hunter should have 2 professions that complement the hunter. The only professions that I feel have e beneficial impact on hunters are Skinning, leatherworking, engineering, Blacksmithing, jewelcrafting and Alchemy.

Skinning provides materials for leatherworkers. For a hunter, besides providing materials if he's a leatherworker as well, it will also provide a critical strike rating increase.

Leatherworking will provide the hunter with the means to create his own armor and certain types of enchants, usually in the form of leg armor enchants and leatherworking specific enchants.

Engineering will provide the hunter with the means to create his own headpiece, certain types of engineering specific enchants, and, new to Cataclysm, engineering specific gem slots and gems. it will also provide the hunter with the means to create his own ranged weapon.

Blacksmithing allows a hunter to create his own melee weapon as well as certain Blacksmithing specific enchants.

Jewelcrafting will allow the hunter to cut his own gems, including better Jewelcrafting specific gems, as well as creating his own jewellery gear, such as rings and neckpieces.

Alchemy will allow the hunter create his own trinket and his own Flasks, potions and elixirs he may use in raids.

Overall I suggest to pick whichever profession you want although I would suggest jewelcrafting, leatherworking and engineering to be better choices than Skinning, blacksmithing and Alchemy from a raiding aspect, as they can provide items that will increase your DPS a lot more than the last 3 professions.

9. Raid Consumables
When raiding a hunter should always come prepared with consumables. Consumables are items that will be "consumed" by the hunter and provide buffs that will wear off over time or upon death. These items include food, potions and flasks or elixirs.

The same rule applies for consumables as it did for gems and enchants. Agility is better than the rest. Because of the temporary nature of food and flask buffs I would not use hit rating food or elixirs unless it was the only way to hit the cap. Only then would Hit rating food or flasks become better than Agility food or flasks.

Besides health potions a hunter should also bring a short-term buff potion. These potions will activate a buff that lasts for 25 seconds and can only be used once in a fight. With Cataclysm, that will be the Potion of Tol'vir, which will increase Agility by 1250 for 25 sec. The time when best to use it will depend on the boss-fight itself.

9. Conclusion
So there you have it. With this guide I hope I have been able to educate any new hunters on what being a hunter is all about and given some insight on how to prepare for raiding in Cataclysm. Remember that this is a short general guide. For an in-depth guide I could have written a book :). I hope you've enjoyed reading this, as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Best of luck to all hunters new and old in Cataclysm.

Keep on hunting,


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Best and Worst of Wrath of the Lich King - Dungeons

Time to continue with the best and worst of WotLK. Today I will discuss dungeons.

Best Dungeon

1. Culling of Stratholme
Culling of Stratholme was my favorite dungeon. The way it tied in with the lore and history of Azeroth was just amazing and I just loved seeing Stratholme before its destruction. it was just one of those dungeons where you as a player felt like you had some purpose. And with the bonus boss and mount on heroic this was also one of the most rewarding dungeons ever implemented.

2. The Oculus (version 2)
I am one of the few who loved the Oculus. Why? Because it was different. it wasn't your usual run around, kill mobs then kill the boss. No here you were riding drakes! And the place was beautiful. I certainly preferred it more after the nerfs and the additional loots were introduced, making this a very rewarding instance.

Worst Dungeon

1. Halls of Reflection
I hate this place with a passion. Why? because its difficulty changes depending on your group makeup in particular what classes were present. If you were missing hunters or rogues this was nigh on impossible because a lot of tanks struggled to generate enough threat on all the targets to keep them from whacking your heals or fellow DPSers. And then you had to go through 10 waves of that stuff. Oh and when you done with those waves, YOU GOT EVEN MORE WAVES and now THEY'RE ON A TIMER!!!!!

2. Ahn'kahet the Old Kingdom
The main boss in this instance just ruins this place. Because the same applies as it does above - the difficulty changes depending on what classes were in your group. I remember attempts with Shamans and Druids and you just couldn't down their images during Insanity. Now with top tier gear it is simple of course, but you will always remember those first few weeks.

Hunters in Icecrown Citadel Guide - The First Wing

This guide is intended for hunters only. It is from a hunter's point of view and only discusses the role of hunters for each particular fight.

Lord Marrowgar
Lord Marrowgar will cast Bonespike (1 target 10 man, 3 targets 25man), impaling the target on spike. To free the targets the spikes must be dpsed down. His second ability is Bonestorm where he will Whirlwind around the room, damaging anything in his path.

From a hunter's perspective this is a straight forward fight. Stay at minimum range and group up with any other hunters. Keep Misdirects up on your tanks whenever possible When Bonespikes are cast DPS them down, that is your priority. When Bonestorm is cast try to avoid as much damage as possible by moving away, but make sure once Bonestorm concludes to form up with you other hunters again. Other than that just simply DPS Marrowgar to the best of your ability.

Lady Deathwhisper
Lady Deathwhisper will be protected by a mana-shield which will need to be DPSed down to get her into Phase 2. While her Shield is up she will summon adds at regular intervals (only from 1 side on 10man, or from both sides and the back on 25 man). These will need to DPSed down as quick as possible. While you are fighting adds she will cast different spells on a chosen add to make it more powerful. She will either reanimate them (Reanimated Adherent 99% Magic resistance, Reanimated Fanatic 99% Physical resistance)or empower them (Empowered Adherent gains a shield and an AoE spell, Deformed Fanatic gains increased damage dealt by 100%). On 25man she will also randomly Mind Control a player during the first phase.

During Phase 2 she will cast AoE frostbolts which can be interrupted and summon Ghosts whick explode to cause AoE damage.

In this fight a hunter's job will be to DPS the shield down and help down the adds, paying particular attention to any reanimated and empowered adherents. Should any Fanatic become deformed ensure you misdirect it to a tank as quick as possible and it will become your primary target. You may need to assist the kiting tank by slowing the deformed fanatic using concussive shot and frost traps. Assist in Crowd Controlling any Mind controlled targets by freeze trapping them. Also make sure you communicate if you have become mind controlled.
In phase 2 focus your DPS on Lady Deathwhisper. If you are a Marksman Hunter assist in interrupting her Frostbolt Volleys. keep an eye out for spawning ghosts and make sure to move away from them.

Here you are required to DPS the Horde Gunship using the cannons on your own Gunship. These will become frozen at regular intervals by a battlemage on the enemy ship which will need to be killed to unfreeze the guns. the overlord will also summon adds onto the Alliance ship which need to be killed. Players on the Alliance ship will also be attacked by Axethrowers and Rocketeers.

Before the fight begins make sure you have a rocketpack and have it equipped, REGARDLESS if you are a gunner, jumper or just a dpser. It is always good to have one just in case.
If you are a gunner charge up the guns using Cannon Blast which will generate heat. Make sure your gun does not overheat. Aim at the rocketeers at the back as the shot will deal damage not just the ship but enemies as well.
If you are jumping across make sure you wait for the tank to jump first and pick up the overlord, then jump across and DPS down the battlemage. Then jump back and make sure you jump back before the tank.
If you are just DPSing (or inbetween jumps if your jumping, or when guns are frozen if you are a gunner), Focus your DPS on the Axethrowers and switch to the summoned adds when they spawn on the ship. wait for them all to spawn so you can Volley misdirect them to the tank, then AoE them down. Also avoid any rockets whilst on the Alliance ship.

Deathbringer Saurfang
Saurfang will channel power from his abilities, Boiling Blood, Blood Nova, Blood beast and Rune of Blood. Boiling Blood will be cast on a single target, Blood Nova is an AoE, Blood beasts are adds and Rune of Blood is a debuff cast on the tanks. Whenever these abilities do damage the charge his Blood Power. When his Blood Power reaches 100 he will cast Mark of the Fallen Champion on a random target. The Mark is DoT and when the target dies it will heal Saurfang for 5%.

For hunters and the rest of the raid it is important that all are spread out to avoid unneccesary damage from Blood Nova. keep an eye on ability timers to see when Blood beasts are going to be summoned. Place Frost traps close to the boss so that when the beasts are summoned they are slowed straight away. When beasts are summenoned they become the primary target. make sure you kite the beasts as they hit hard and charge Saurfangs Blood power with every bite. When your target dies kill any other beasts before switching back to the boss.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Serebihm, The Kingslayer

Yes!! After the early release debacle of our 1st Lich King kill We finally downed him for a second time on 25 man. Oh the relief, the joy, the excitement. On this raid night everything seemed to go oh so smooth. After one shots of Sindragosa and heroic Blood Queen we felt confident that this was the night. And sure enough, on our second attempt the stars finally aligned, and the Lich king was brought to his knees.
It was an extremely smooth kill we had only lost 1 person to Val'kyrs and 2 more to Vile Spirits. Our strategy had changed a little. Where previously we would assign groups to Val'kyrs, we would now just assign stunners and all other dps just go nuts on whatever they choose, but switch to remaining Val'kyrs once their target was down.

When it was finally time to inspect the loot, it was time to jump for joy. Having missed out on the Polearm on our previous kill due to the earlier mentioned mishap, I am excited to be the proud owner of nothing other than - Fal'inrush, Defender of Quel'thalas!!!

The rest of the raiding week didn't go to bad either, for our guild. I wasn't there due to work commitments but the guild downed Deathbringer and Blood Princes on heroic mode, meaning the guild is now 7/12 on 25 man heroic and sitting pretty at 12th overall for Khaz'goroth (4th overall for Alliance guilds). Now that the pressure is relieved and our second LK Kill is in the bag it is time to focus on the remaining heroic modes...and we shall see the Lich King again real soon!

Keep on hunting,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Best and Worst of Wrath of the Lich king - Raids

With not much to do ingame, and all of the new Cataclysm news very well covered by other blogs, I thought why not give my take on the best and worst of this expansion.
So without further ado...

Best Raid Boss
1. Yogg-Saron - Ulduar
This was a close one for me. Yogg-saron was the funnest fight I had ever done. It managed to balance difficulty and fun perfectly. It also brought out the best in raiders as it left little room for error.

2. Flame Leviathan - Ulduar
When Naxx was released, we were given an old instance redone. It bored people pretty quickly. So to step into Ulduar and be greeted by Siege Engines, Choppers and Demolishers it brought tears of joy to your eye. This fight was so different from everything else up to that point.

3. Mimiron - Ulduar
Another incredibly fun fight. Mimiron himself is a funny guy with incredibly funny speeches. The fight itself allowed different classes to shine with tanks and healers needing to be at the top of their game and all types of DPS needing to be aware of their surroundings. Oh yeah, and Hunters became Ranged Tanks...WOOT!!

Worst Raid Boss
1. Faction Champions - Trial of the Crusader
I hate this fight with a passion. Not because I couldn't do well (I usually topped the meters here) but because of what it represented. I am not a PvPer so for Blizzard to put a PvP fight into PvE environment - curse you Blizzard. The fight generally was utter chaos: Stuns and CCs were on diminishing returns and the fight changed in difficulty depending on what enemies you would face. Remember getting the Warrior, Ret Pally, Rogue, Warlock, Druid healer, etc combo? It was killer. This fight was Avidly nicknamed the ToC pug-wiper.

2. Thaddeus - Naxxramas
The mechanics weren't particularly hard but still players couldn't get their heads around the positive negative thing. No what made this fight so horrible was the jump. After killing his two minions the groups had to jump off the platform to the boss platform. Problem was players with bad latency would often just run of the edge and drop in the water. The jump would make this fight harder than it should be, as too often you were short a couple of DPS or heals because they just couldn't make the jump. Oh and the whole Positive/Negative thing making BattleRezzing near impossible sucked too.

3. Blood Princes - Icecrown Citadel
I hate Blood Princes because I'm often 1 of 2 people on Orb duty, and anyone whos' been on Orb duty knows what a pain it can be. getting bounced around trying to get to an Orb just isn't fun at all and as a hunter not featuring on the top of DPS meters sucks a lot :)

Best Raid Instance - Ulduar
Ulduar was an incredible raid. The instance itself was beautifully designed and the bosses felt so different from everything else. But I think the greatest thing about Ulduar, was seeing how it all tied in with the outside world. Having done the quest chains for Thorim in Storm Peaks, and Freya in Sholazar Basin, to come in and see what had happened was special. And who can forget how fun Flame Leviathan, XT and Mimiron were... Gnome Engineering at their best - Raid Design at its best!

Worst Raid Instance - Trial of the Crusader
ToC was just boring and for a major Tier raid way too short. Staying in the same room for 1.5 hours was boring and not having anything else to do for a week just sucked. The boss fights themselves were pretty bog standard the highlight being the splattering of a certain gnome warlock. And we won't talk about Faction Champions.

Next Week - The best and Worst of Dungeons!

Keep on hunting,


Saturday, September 4, 2010

This Week's Raid and DBM

Hey guys, well another week in raiding has passed for me and my guild, and a successful one it was too. We have downed 3 more bosses on heroic ICC 25, namely Blood Queen, Rotface and Festergut. I was also very fortunate to win the DPS race on Blood Queen, being first bitten and finishing the fight with 21.5k dps sustained. Finally one up on our 2 rogues. This of course meant we got our first heroic mark which went to our trusty ret. pally Fullmetalzex. No hunter loot at all but I don't mind. I wouldn't have won the pieces anyway after using my EPGP on the boots from Ruby Sanctum earlier in the week.

One tip I want to share with you is something I noticed during our attempts. It is amazing how many useful functions in Deadly Boss Mods are not enabled by default. One of our biggest issues on Festergut heroic was constantly getting hit by Mallable Goo. I happened to have a look in DBM options and there it was: Special Warning for Mallable Goo was not enabled. After a quick enable, EVERY single Goo was announced and we could move accordingly.
Another useful function that helped us on the Lich King fight is the announce special warning for Defiles NEAR you, also disabled by default. I mean lets face it, you don't just want to know when defile is on you, but also if somebody near you has it so you can get some distance.

So if you are attempting new hard modes, or are simply struggling on a boss fight, open up DBM options for that boss and see what other hidden assists can be enabled.

Good luck and keep on hunting,


Monday, August 30, 2010

Preparing for Cataclysm

World of Warcraft is changing. The Hunter class is changing. The way we play is changing. With the Beta in full swing we have heard (and seen) enough changes, that indicate that our beloved hunter class will feel completely different to play once the Cataclysm hits. First lets review all the changes that will impact the hunter playstyle:

1. No more mana. Instead hunters will now use Focus (similar to rogue energy)

2. No more Volley. (Also all other classes have had their AoE nerfed.)

3. Misdirection transferred threat fades after 30sec. (same with Tricks of the Trade.)

4. Silencing Shot damage removed.

5. Trap launcher will allow to launch any trap to a specified location.

6. Aimed shot now deals 300% weapon damge + X-damage and is on a 2 sec cast.

There are numerous other changes, but I feel these are the ones that hunters can prepare for now, whilst the other changes, such as the change to Chimera Shot (now effect being dependent on venoms instead of stings) will need the Beta or actual game to be practiced.

Preparing for Cataclysm now, means changing your play- style. This will cause you to most likely drop in DPS. Discuss with your guild your intentions. Some of the ways to prepare will need the help of the rest of your guild during raids or dungeons. Without access to the beta it will be difficult to see how these changes will play out, but there are ways in the current game in which players without beta-acces can prepare.

Threat management

Threat management will be very different in Cataclysm. With the transferred threat disappearing, I suspect that any misdirects will be used as openers or Add management only. So to prepare, use it as such. Only misdirect to pull bosses or put adds onto a tank. Refrain from using Misdirection in your rotation and instead work Feign Death into your rotation a little more.

Crowd Control
There will be a lot more emphasis on Crowd Control in Cataclysm. With Volley removed and other AoE's nerved, AoE tanking will happen a lot less frequently. This means CCs will need to be put into place. So see if your guild will allow its players to practice that during current raids. Practice Frost trap pulling as much as possible as this will also give you a feel for how the new trap launcher will most likely work.

Shot Rotation
Shot rotation will be something that's difficult to practice now without all the skills available, and without gimping your dps too much. But if your guild agrees for you to practice, there a 2 things that can be done. First unmacro Silencing Shot and use it purely for its interrupting purpose.
Second use Aimed Shot as an opener only. The 2 second casttime will not make it viable to use as part of our rotation.

Focus instead of Mana
As stated before, Focus will function similarly to Rogue Energy. So the best way to see how it will feel is roll a rogue. Be careful however. Rogues do not have the same regenerating skills that hunters will have (their only one being Adrenalin Rush and it is on a 45 sec cooldown). So even though you'll see how Focus will work, it will not give you an idea on how it will affect your shot rotation.
To see an idea of how Focus will effect your shot rotation, macro Aspect of the Viper with your Steady shot and use it only when you get below 50% mana.

So there you have it, a few ideas to show how one could prepare their play-style for Cataclysm. I must remind again though these changes will lower your dps considerably. Check with your guild to see if they will allow you to use these techniques on raids and let your group mates know on randoms. I also suggest to make these changes on a second separate Action bar, as not to screw up your main raid action bar. Also consider that these are theoretical ideas. certainly Threat Management and effective Crowd control can be practiced without too much worry, but Any changes to Shot rotation are purely theoretical.

keep on hunting,


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Improving your hunter skill

Wrath is coming to an end, the hunter class is getting reworked, it is the perfect time to talk about how to be good hunter. It is a common idea to think greatness should be judged by DPS meters, but unfortunately the majority of players judge a players skill in exactly that way. There is much more to be being a hunter than just Pew Pew.

So what makes a good hunter? In a raid it is determined by what happens behind the scenes, that often is not picked up by the naked eye, that truly determines the skill of a hunter. Situational Awareness, Class Knowledge and an understanding of fight mechanics can turn any average hunter into a truly great one.

Threat Management
This is probably the most important role a hunter plays, a role he only shares effectively with rogues. For every fight a hunter should know how the mechanics of the fight will affect threat management. As a hunter you should know if adds will spawn that need to be misdirected to a tank or off-tank. You need to know when to use feign death because of a Boss Threat-drop. But the one skill that is most underused by hunters, in terms of Threat management, is knowing when to taunt. A hunter with great awareness will use Distracting Shot to taunt a mob that's going to attack a healer. He will also taunt a mob or boss to allow the bear tank to Battle-Res someone. He will taunt things of tanks, to let tanks lose debuffs. Distracting Shot is one of the most useful skills available to hunters, but it is important to understand that it is a taunt, and needs to be treated as such i.e. be at range and Feign Death before the mob gets to you.

Crowd Control

In today's World of Warcraft crowd control is often limited to the idea of eliminating a mob from the battle. But, if you look at the words, it is the "control" of mobs, and that includes anything that makes a fight easier to control. This should include things like Tranquilizing Shot, the most effective way to remove enrage effects of mobs or bosses.
This also includes Silencing Shot, an interrupt that silences the target for 3 seconds. Today's hunters have it macroed into every shot as it also does damage and is off the global cooldown, but the good hunters also have a action bar where it is unmacroed to allow for use when needed (which is more often than people think).
And what about traps? People often forget about traps. They are not as good as other forms of slows and stops from other classes, but with the arrival of Cataclysm and Trap launcher, hunters will now be able to trap at range, allowing them to be effective at controlling Mind-controlled targets and loose mobs.

Situational Awareness and being proactive
Being aware of your surroundings and what's happening in a fight is key to being a good hunter. It is easy to top a dps meter, but what good is that, if you wiped because a loose mob killed the healers. Or the tank died to an enraged mob. Or the hunter pulled threat because they were to focused on winning the dps race. When a situation turns bad it's not always the fault of the person who caused it, but also of those who did nothing about it. Be proactive, look for ways to ensure victory for you raid, without needing to be told. Know what abilities you have and use them to your advantage. Don't have the attitude of waiting for someone else to do it.

Reaction Time
When a bad situation occurs, a fast reaction is important. This will never happen if one is using the mouse to click your spells. Learn to key-bind and practice it on the training dummies. This will not just improve your reaction time, but also increase your dps.

Using the keyboard to move by itself is old and cumbersome. Use the mouse to turn and don't ever walk backwards. Use disengage to gain distance or simply turn and run and Jump shot (Whilst running away jump, quickly turn sideways using your mouse, shoot and turn back in one fluid motion) to keep dps up.
Assist your raid members with movement. On some boss fights (i.e Sindragosa's Blistering Cold) you can switch to Aspect of the Pack to increase their speed. Just remember to switch back to Aspect of the Dragonhawk.

One Acronym: CRAP

Everyone likes acronyms, and when it comes to improving your play as a hunter I can't think of a better one than CRAP - Communicate, research, awareness, Proactively.

Communication is key on any raid. it can be in the form of macros that announce your misdirection targets. Or announce things yourself in raids to make people aware of what you are doing. Taunting of a bear tank so he can b-res is pointless if he doesn't know you are doing it.

Research will help improve any class, not just hunters. Research boss fights and mechanics, study your abilities and think how they could be applied to benefit you. And scour the web for other people's ideas.

Awareness during a fight can make all the difference between success and defeat. Do not just focus on yourself, see the broader picture. Notice the loose mob running around, notice the add that just spawned, notice the healer that just died, notice the voidzone under your feet.

Proactively use you abilities. Don't wait for someone else to do it. The fault lies not with the cause, but with the one who did nothing about it.

I am sure there are other ideas out there on how to improve a hunter's game. Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments below.

keep on hunting,


Friday, August 20, 2010

Stopping the Goldseller (and buyer) evil

Recently in a Groinstabber's Gold post I mentioned buying mats from hacked accounts, and that I though it was a good idea. At the time I did not really understand the consequences of doing that. A comment from Euripides (from the Call to Auction podcast) reminded me that buying from hacked accounts is risky and can get you permanently banned. But before I go on here's my story.

The most profitable Trade
When I first got into gold-making it was all about the AH game, until I saw a trade chat advertisement selling stacks of epic gems at well below AH prices. So naturally I contacted the person, bought the materials and went on my merry way. I made more than 10k profit that day.

I had a couple of more trades lek that one, and everything was well until, one day, after completing another such trade, I ran towards Stormwind bank only minutes later, only to see the guy I had just bought from, completely stripped of all gear. It dawned on me then I had bought from a hacked account, and I got that sinking feeling. I felt extremely guilty.

The next day I discussed thi with friends of mine. They assured me hacked accounts get all their stuff back. and I shouldn't worry. So I didn't I kept buying of trade chat sellers, except this time, I knew that the sellers were most likely hacked accounts or funnel accounts for hackers. Then after 1 such trade involving 48 Primordial Saronites and 12 stacks for Dreadstones, I was slapped with a 72hr ban. I received an email from Blizzard notifying me of the ban and explaining that I was suspected of "manipulating the in-game economy using real-world currency". I of course, immediately sent an email back, stating my innocence and that the trade was completed using gold, not money. 40 Hrs later my account was reactivated and I received an apology email from Blizzard.

Don't buy from hackers
Now it is important to note that my view on the issue has taken a reverse turn. I am now fully against buying materials from hacked accounts, and I'll tell you why.

I had a recent email exchange on the topic with Euripides and at the end of it he said something that made me think. He said "that they should punish the (gold)buyers, not the people duped by the sellers." I have always agreed with that statement, without goldbuyers there wouldn't be any Gold-sellers. Anyway, seeing that statement made me think of something else; when you buy from mats from these hacked accounts, you give them the gold that they will sell on. In other words you suddenly become the supplier to these gold-buyers, and, in my opinion, that is just as bad.

But lets look at it from another angle, one I haven't looked at before myself. The materials a hacker sells either from hacked accounts or funnel accounts are, effectively, stolen goods. Now would you buy stolen goods in the real world, knowing they are stolen goods? I didn't think so.

Recognising hackers
So how can we recognise hacked accounts? There are a few things to look out for:

1. The name- If the seller has name thats just some scrambled letters he could be a funnelling toon for hacked accounts (eg. Hposeutpsfh)

2. Attempt to engage the seller in conversation. Talk about the goods being sold. Hackers want fast sales, they want to minimise the amount of time they spend online, so they will only reply in singular words, or sometimes not at all.

3. look at what their selling and the price they are asking. Again, because of wanting quick sales, hackers will sell the most common materials (epic gems, Primordial Saronites, enchanting mats, etc) at well below AH prices. As they say, if you see a deal too good to be true it usually is.

It's just plain wrong
I won't be buying from trade sellers again, the risk is just too high for me, and more importantly, it feels morally wrong. I will not be a contributing factor to gold-selling or buying. Anyone who feels there's nothing wrong with buying from hacked accounts needs to get their blinders removed and see the whole picture - it's wrong, it's promoting the theft of accounts. What are your thoughts?

Let's all do our bit to stop these hackers and gold-sellers,


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cataclysm Hunter Skill Changes: Misdirection, Aspect of the Fox, etc

A recent Beta build introduced several new Hunter skill and talent changes, which in my opinion will have a pretty big impact on how the Hunter class will play in Cataclysm.

Misdirection - Transferred threat is no longer permanent and will fade after 30 sec.

(Note: The same applies to Rogue Tricks of the Trade)

The way I read this is, after Misdirection is applied, any threat that is transferred to the target will disappear after 30 seconds. Not return to the hunter, but just disappear.

I think this is a great change, and will make threat management a whole lot more interesting. With this change I now see Misdirection and Tricks of the Trade only used at the beginning of a fight, or to misdirect new spawned adds to a tank. The tank then has 30 seconds to build aggro on the misdirected target, before the transferred threat will drop off. This will put a lot more focus on watching threat not just for the hunter but all other classes as well, as all players will now have to take the threat loss into consideration. I would also say that this puts classes with an efficient threat drop ability (hunters, rogues, Shadow priests) into the dps drivers seat, as those without will have to really control their dps.

Aspect of the Fox - Now allows you to shoot Steady Shot and Cobra Shot while moving and causes you to gain 2 Focus whenever you take damage. (Old - allows Auto-Shot while moving and increases focus regeneration by 20%)

Blizzard have indicated that they did not want one Aspect for all situations, and I think this change will split the Aspects into two categories: Aspect of the Hawk for stationary fights and Aspect of the Fox for fights with lots of movement. It also means that we can keep our full rotation even on the move, and I expect that having Modifier Aspect switching macroed in with Steady Shot and Cobra Shot, will be mandatory for raiding hunters.

Hunting Party/Survival Talent - now also triggers a 20% ranged and melee attack speed buff.

I am guessing that this is a replacement buff for the current Expose Weakness, which is no longer part of the Survival tree.

Serpent Spread(New talent) - Targets hit by your Multi-Shot are also afflicted by your Serpent Sting equal to 50% of its total duration.

Now this is just plain awesome. With this I expect Multi-Shot to get a lot more use on multi-target fights. Expect Multi-Shot to become part of Survival Hunter Shot rotations, at least on multi-target fights.

Silencing Shot - Damage component removed.

This to me makes sense. As Blizzard have stated, Silencing Shot is supposed to be a situational utility, and not something that is macroed to every other Shot.

That's it from the Cataclysm front for now.

Keep on hunting,


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Groinstabber's Gold: Resources

I've had several requests both online and through this blog for some some pointers towards other podcasts and sites that focus on Gold-making strategies. SO i've listed some below.

Call to Auction Podcast - This is the Authority of Gold-making Podcasts. Run by two of the big guns in Gold-making strategies, Markco of "" and Euripides of "", This podcast is incredibly informative. A must-have for anyone considering the AH game.

Just My Two Copper - This is the Number One Gold-Making blog in my opinion, and home to the JustMyTwoCopper forums. The site itself has just had a revamp and now even allows you to sign up for a Gold-making tips newsletter.

Phase 3: Profit - Another informative site, especially for those new to the AH game, with a lot of introductory strategies to get you on your gold-making way.

Warcraft Econ - A very informative blog that keeps you up with all the latest developments. Also home to the "Warcraft Econ Hall of Fame" where players who have reached the gold-cap share their stories and tips for your benefit. A must read!

Stokpile - Stokpile has stopped posting for now, however his posts are still very current in many ways and mandatory reading.

There are plenty of other gold-making blogs and Podcasts. These are just the ones I use. Hope this helps guys,

Be merry, be rich,

Groinstabber (Serebihm)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Groinstabber's Gold: Introduction

Groinstabber is my gnome rogue. He's also my Auctioneer. And with this section I will talk about gold-making strategies that I use.

I decided to get in to gold-making quite late in the expansion, when I got a little upset about struggling to make ends meet for all my toons. It was by chance that I was reseaching the mats for the Mekgineer's Chopper and realised that if i used Saronite Ore to craft the the Titansteel Bars it would end up much cheaper than buying the Bars.

And so it began. within a couple of months of trial and error on the AH I had over 100k gold, and was looking pretty. Then another of my alts hit 80 and I spent 52k gold on gearing him, before spending the remaining 50k gold on getting my Mountain of Mounts Achievement. That was last week.

With only 3k gold to my name across all accounts I basically had to start from scratch. so far I'm up to 20k gold again, which for me, considering the little amount of time I get between raiding and work, is a great week so far.

So for my first post in this section I will post 2 tips on gold-making:

Tip 1: Research, research, research

I cannot stress this enough. Research is your most important tool in gold-making this includes reading blogs and listening to podcasts focused on gold-making strategies, but they can only give you ideas. The bulk of the research needs to be done by you, on your own server's AH. That is because every single server has its own different economy. What might sell well on Khaz'goroth may not be profitable at all on Drenden. So if you hear or see a new idea on blogs and podcasts, head to your AH and check it out first before heavily investing into it.

Tip 2: Expand your business
Those that make the most gold, are those that are involved in many markets. This means if one of your markets collapses (like glyphs and epic gems have on my server, you have other markets that keep the business rolling.

Anyway this is all I have time for today.

Keep stabbing at the AH

Groinstabber (Serebihm)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WotLK Hunter Progression Reminder

Too often I still get asked questions like "When do I go Marksman Spec?" or "When should I stack Armor Penetration?" So I'm going to give you a quick run-down.

This late in the expansion most new hunters have access to enough gear to allow them to spec right into MM, but if gold is an issue or you prefer to progress through the game properly, start of as Survival. You will stay Survival until ToC at least. Then once your gear averages out to 232 and 245 ilevel gear, change to MM to increase your dps.

Survival Raid Spec
Marksman Agility Raid Spec

Armor Penetration vs. Agility
Survival hunter should always gem for Agility. Marksman hunters should also gem for Agility until they reach a passive Armor Pen. rating 750-800 (passive meaning gear only, no gems, no procs). Once one reaches that level, one can start gemming for Armor Penetration, as it will get one close to the Armor Pen. cap (1400) and be more beneficial than Agility. At this point Marksman hunters should also switch to a MM Armor Pen build.

Armor Penetration also affects MM shot rotation. When Armor penetration reaches around 450, MM hunters can drop Arcane Shot from their rotation as Steady Shot will do more damage (Arcane shot, being Magic damage will not benefit from Armor penetration, Steady Shot will).

For a more in-depth look at Armor Penetration and Raiding Specs check out the following guides on WHU:

Armor Pen vs Agility

Survival Hunter Raid Talent Build

Marksman Hunter Raid Talent Build

Marksman Hunter Armor Pen Build

Keep on Hunting,


Friday, August 13, 2010

Mountain O' Mounts Guide

Yes I am now the proud owner of the Blue Dragonhawk, reward for collecting 100 mounts. It was a long road, but not particularly difficult. Let's look at how it's done.

It is actually possible to reach 100 mounts WITHOUT farming any epic mounts from instances.

Alliance Reputation

To begin I farmed reputation with the Alliance factions, Stormwind, Ironforge, Darnassus, Exodar and Gnomeregan. The best way to do this is by completing their starter zones. It will also help a lot towards the Loremaster and Seeker Achievements.
Once you have all their reputations at exalted grab their mounts.

Mount count: 33

PvP Mounts
Now that PvP mounts just cost 50k honor this is easily ground out in a couple of days. The Black War Mammoth can be bought from Wintergrasp (must be under your factions control) for 300 Stone Keeper's Shards.

Mounts added: 6
Mount count: 39

Alliance Flying Mounts
Next get your flying skill, upgrade it to Epic Flying and by all the Gryphon Mounts.

Mounts added: 7
Mount count: 46

Sha'tari Skyguard
The chain for the Sha'tari Skyguard begins right next to the flight master in Shattrath, and involves dailies at Ogri'la in Blade's Edge Mountains, and at Skettis in Terrokar.

Mounts added: 5
Mount count: 51

You re now halfway there and will receive your first mount reward: the Albino Drake!!

Mounts added: 1
Mount Count: 52

Kurenai Mounts
Kurenai Rep is ground out in Nagrand by doing the Quests, most of them given in Telaar. Once all Quests are completed you should be just into Revered and will have to grind the rest out by Killing Ogres in the Nagrand and collecting Obsidian Warbeads. Handing 10 in at a time will reward with 500 Rep.

Mounts added: 8
Mount Count: 60

(Note their are actually 10 Talbuks, however the Dark Riding Talbuk and Dark War Talbuk are a little annoying to get as they require Halaa Tokens, both research and battle, which are difficult to get now that Halaa is rarely contested)

Netherwing Drakes
The Netherwing quest chain begins in Shadowmoon Valley, and the Rep is collected by way of completing dailies and collecting Netherwing Eggs, which are located all around Dragonmaw Fortress and the Netherwing Ledge.

Mounts Added: 6
Mount Count: 66

Singular Reputation Mounts
Winterspring Frostsaber: Dailies in Winterspring now reward 850 Rep.

Cenarion War Hippogryph: Complete quests for Cenarion Expedition all over Outlands.

Red Drake: You'll need to grind Wyrmrest to exalted doing quests, the daily in Dragonblight and wearing your Wyrmrest Tabard doing heroics.

Mounts added: 3
Mount Count: 69

An Qiraj Mounts
Yes the battle tanks In AQ count towards their mount achievement and the trash before the first boss all have chance to drop them. Also it appears once you have a mount and learnt it it will not drop again increasing the chance for the other colours to drop. The colours are green, blue, yellow and red (Red is also a Feat of Strength). it is possible to get all mounts in 1 run (it took 2 for me).

Mounts added: 4
Mount count: 73

Argent Tournament Mounts
This will be a long grind as the lesser faction mounts will require 5 champion's seals and 400g and the greater faction mounts requiring 100 Champion Seals each. There are also 2 Hyppogryphs costing 150 Champion Seals each, and the Argent Warhorse and Quel'Dorei Steed costing 100 Champion Seals each. So to get all mounts you will need 1025 Champion Seals. The maximum number of Seals achievable each day is 13 (10 from dailies, 3 from Heroic ToC).

Mounts added: 14
Mount Count: 87

Crafted Mounts
To get crafted Mounts you will need to be an engineer and Tailor. There are 3 different Engineering Mounts (Mekgineer's Chopper, Flying Machine Control and Turbo-Charged Flying machine Control) and 3 tailoring Mounts (Flying Carpet, Frosty Flying Carpet and magnificent Flying Carpet). Note that the Chopper mats will cost you around 12000g.

Mounts Added: 6
Mount Count: 93

Dalaran Mounts
There are 4 mounts sold by Mei Francis in Dalaran. 3 will cost you Gold one of which, the Traveler's Tundra Mammoth, will cost you between 16000 to 21000g (depending on your Kirin Tor Rep). The 4th Mount, the Wooly Mammoth is purchasable using 200 Badges of Heroism which can be collected doing heroics.

Mounts added: 4
Mount Count: 97

Sons of Hodir Mounts
Sons of Hodir Reputation is gained by completing dailies in Storm peaks and handing in Relics of Ulduar (10). The Grand Ice Mammoth will set you back 8000g.

Mounts Added: 2
Mount Count: 99

Culling of Stratholme Mount
Bronze Drake: This is a guaranteed drop in heroic Culling of Stratholme of the Infinite Corruptor is killed in time.

Mounts Added: 1
Mounts Count: 100

Congratulations! You have now got your 100 mounts and will receive the Blue Dragonhawk.

Other Mounts that are not too difficult to obtain
Rusted Proto-Drake: Obtained by completing hard-modes and achievements in Ulduar 10man.

Sea Turtle: Has a chance to be fished up out of ANY Northrend fish pool.

Celestial Steed: Bought from the Blizzard Store

Black Drake: Guaranteed drop from defeating Sartharion with all 3 Drakes in Obsidian Sanctum 10 man. if you lose the roll offer a nice sum of gold to buy it of the winner (I paid 25k for mine which is more than the going rate, but it was my 100th mount).

Twilight Drake: Same as the Black Drake, except this one drops on the 25 man version.

Swift Razzashi Raptor & Zulian Tiger: These 2 drop in Zul Gurub. they are not guaranteed to drop, but these bosses are easy enough to solo by almost all classes. (no longer attainable as Zul'Gurub has been removed with patch 4.0.3a)

Swift Hawkstrider: Drops from Kael'Thas in Heroic Magister's Terrace. not a guaranteed drop and 3rd boss can be difficult to solo. Drop rate was recently increased.

Rivendare's Deathcharger: Drops of Baron Rivendare in Stratholme. Drop rate has been increased but is still very low 0.1%.

Green Proto-Drake: Has a chance to be obtained from the Mysterious Egg which can be obtained from the Oracles in Sholazar Basin once reputation hits Revered.

Red- Proto Drake: Obtained by completing the Glory of the Hero Achievement, requiring you to complete a number of achievements in heroics.

Black War Bear: Obtained by killing all 4 Horde leaders in their Capital Cities. Check TRade chat for players advertising the For The Alliance! Achievement.

Violet Proto-Drake: Obtained by completing all Holiday Achievements. So this will take you at least 1 year if none have been attempted yet.

White Polar Bear: Obtained from the Hyldnir Spoils reward, which in turn is obtained from completing the Brunhyldnir Village Daily.

So there you have it! Good luck with your Mountain of Mounts.

Keep on hunting,


Gunship I love thee!!

After months and months of waiting for Gunship to drop Scourge Hunter's Vambraces it finally dropped - on our first heroic kill. So I am now the proud owner of Scourge Hunter's Vambraces.
This is only the second time I've seen these drop, the first time being when I was benched (I had only just returned from a break) and they were disenchanted. Anyway I am extremely happy.

We also gave Saurfang a hell of a go on heroic, getting him as far as 4%. I think next time we will down him. We will see what tomorrow brings...

Time to gem and enchant my new shiny..

Keep on hunting,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Dying Art of Crowd Control

Remember Karazhan? Remember how the trash before Attumen needed to be CCed, so it wouldn't run around killing stuff? Remember how on Moroes, 2 adds were often Shackled and a third either kept frozen or at least kited by a hunter? Remember how the end raids of the expansion (Black Temple, Sunwell and Tempest Keep to some degree) were never advertised for Pugs?

Now think to this Expansion that's coming to a close. Can you remember the last time you had to rely on CC to get a boss down? Faction Champs in ToC springs to mind, but other than that I'm drawing blank. And also isn't it interesting how every raid in this expansion is now Puggable?

In an attempt to open raids up to more people Blizzard have dropped the difficulty in raids and heroics considerably. And in many ways it was successful for them more players into endgame content means more money in their pockets. But the downside is, that with all these easier raids it is difficult to find good players.

On a recent post on OutDPS, Eidotrope discussed the relationship between hunters and tanks and healers, and he commented on what makes good hunters and bad hunters.

I also have healer and tank alts that I take into raids and heroics and in my time have seen a lot of players, and I am baffled by the large number of average to below average players I come across. But it got me thinking and its not really there fault.

In raids these days Crowd Control is something of an afterthought. Trash gets rounded up by the tanks and then AoEd down. And its got nothing to do with gear. When my guild entered Naxx in blues and crafted epics we rounded up adds and Aoed them. When we entered Ulduar in Naxx gear it was the same thing. Then in ToC we don't even get trash, but to be fair we got Faction Champs, the only WotLK raid boss that really required a heavy load of CC. And now to Icecrown, where CC is used sparingly on Saurfang (frost traps for beasts), the trash in the Crimson Wing and on the Lich King fight for the Val'kyrs, a place a lot of players don't even get to.

So looking at it it from that angle I am not surprised that hunters around the world don't manage their aggro well or use some smart Crowd Control. They simply don't know any better. How could they when during leveling and even gearing in heroics and early raids, those necessary skills are simply not required. In so many boss fights these days, even if it was designed to use some kind of CC, depending on the group make up you can get away with using none at all. If your tank is geared enough you don't have to tranq the Shambling Horrors on LK. If your DPS is high enough you don't even need to slow the Valkyrs.

In BC hunters needed to know how to kite. We needed to know how to trap things effectively and keep em trapped. And the same level of skill was required by the other classes. if they didn't it was wipefest after wipefest. In WotLK effective CC appears to be limited to PvP and Arena, but only a small percentage enjoy PvP.

With Cataclysm I hope Blizzard address this issue and bring some Skill Requirement back to raids and dungeons. it doesn't have to be on Boss fights, even just tricky trash will force all classes to re-learn the dying art of crowd control. But until then we are going to have to live with players not knowing how to use their CC abilities. We are going to have to live with having to tell people to use Misdirect or tricks, and we are going to have to live with the fact that its not really their fault. All we can do is accept this fact and do as I do, offer our knowledge to these players, and teach them the wonders of Crowd Control, so they may improve and prepare for the future.

keep on Hunting and save the art of crowd control,


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1st Attempts in ICC Heroic 25

Well we only got to spend an hour in ICC 25 heroic, but at least we downed Marrowgar on the 1st attempt. The fight was surprisingly easy but the 30% buff and the fact that at least half of us have done it regularly on 10 man probably helped.

On to the strategy itself it did not vary much from normal mode. In heroic mode he has more health, hits harder and casts bonespike even during Bonestorm. There are also more Coldflames and they hurt a lot more, so be ready to move. For Bonestorm we split our raid into 2 groups with one group going left, one centre and one right.
It is imperative that all DPS switch to Bonespikes when they are up an a /tar Bonespike helps a ton (/tar Bone should be enough) for quick target switching.

We did move on to Deathwhisper but spent our 4 attempts wiping, although our progress improved the more we changed our strat. The best strat for us, it seems is to have everyone behind the boss forcing the adds to come to us and we then AoE them down with splash on the boss.

Well we'll see how we go tomorrow.

keep on hunting,


Mana Regen Guide for ICC

Recently on the Hunting Party Podcast the question was asked what the best way was to regen mana on the Lady Deathwhisper fight, Viper Sting or a few cooldowns onto Aspect of the Viper, And I thought to myself this isn't the only fight mana can become an issue (Note unless you have a really unfavourable 25 man group make up, the only times one would run into mana issues would be on 10 man).
 So I'm going to go through all bosses and write up a few strategies.

First of the important thing is to look at the fight and use it to your advantage. Make use of what Blizzard gives you in each fight.

Marrowgar is very straight forward. If you should run into any mana troubles, plan ahead and before you run out use a bonestorm phase to switch to Aspect of the Viper and refill. If an MM hunter make sure you don't lose your Serpent Sting though.

Lady Deathwhisper
In going with use what Blizzard gives you, well here Blizzard gives you big fat mana battery in Deathwhisper herself. In this fight its not about how much dps you can do anyway, and depending on what your role is it may not even matter at all. So just relax and if you see yourself dropping low in the first phase just switch to her in between the adds and pop of a singular Viper sting Chimaera Shot combo, and then continue on the adds. Make sure you have enough mana before going into Phase 2 though because this is the burn phase where you do want be able to DPS as much as possible.

Gunship is the easiest encounter in here and for the hunter one of the easiest to top the dps meter as long as you aren't jumping or in a cannon. Just Volley to your hearts content and refill in Aspect of the Viper on the Axethrowers.

Saurfang is a fight where, if you're running out of mana you just gonna have to bite the bullet and switch aspects. As a hunter chances are you'll be asked to look after the beasts (as all ranged should) and you want to dps them down as quick as possible. I suggest once the beast you were focusing on is down, switch in to Aspect of the Viper and see if you can get a few shots off, on someone elses target that may still be up. Just make sure you have enough mana before he goes into his soft-enrage at 30%, because that's when he needs to be burnt quickly.

Festergut & Rotface
Festergut is effectively a pimped up Patchwerk in my opinion, and Rotface a tweaked Grobbulus. There aren't really any phases which would be more useful for mana regen then others, so just switch when required.

Professor Putricide
professor Putricide is also a boss that doesn't really have any phases that are more suited to switching Aspects than others, but you do want to be mana up before he hits the 3rd phase at 35%.

Blood Princes
For your average raid guild and maybe even your not so average raid guild this is going to be utter and pure chaos. You will be spending a lot of time running, you will spend a lot of time switching targets and sometimes you may be spending a lot of time dpsing Kinetic Orbs. Don't worry about what your DPS is and just refill your mana when you need it.

Blood Queen
If this is done properly this fight will be over before you could possibly run out of mana, and if it isn't done correctly you will most likely wipe.

Valithria Dreamwalker
This goes back to what I said at the start, use what Blizzard gives you, and in this case Blizzard gives you regular Mana Power-ups in the form of Risen Archmages. So if you see yourself running low switch to an Archmage and fire off the old trusted Vipersting Chimaera Shot combo, then continue as you were.

Sindragosa is a fight where you never really want to give up dps on her, so the best time to regen is during her air phase. Switch to Aspect of the Viper, dps the ice-Cubes then switch back when she lands and be on your merry way.

The Lich King
The same applies here it does to Sindragosa, you again don't really want to drop any dps during the main phases, so use the intermission phases at the edge to switch into Aspect of the Viper and refuel. Then when you are manaed up or the phase is over and you have to run back in switch back and DPS to your hearts content.

So there you have it. These are the strategies that I use when it comes to regenerating mana. feel free to comment on them and let me know if you think there are some better strategies, I will be more than happy to update this guide to include your tips.

So keep on hunting, and next time you see the Lich King steal his polearm for me :)