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,