Friday, January 13, 2012

Kiril, Staff of Beasts and Hunters

I believe I have spent enough time with my Kiril, Staff of Viagra that I feel comfortable with reporting it's uses and functions for all (one reader) to review!

When 4.3 was announced I wasn't very excited for the new raid, nor did any of the new bosses seem very interesting, heck even the fact that we got to fight ON Deathwing didn't draw my attention much. It wasn't until the loot lists were revealed and I read very carefully on the tooltip to the staff in question. "It makes you grow big!"

*Gasp!* As with the popular WoW mentality, bigger is better! But it also brought back "cool proc" weapons!

The proc on this weapon happens ABOUT once a minute, which is about 15% earlier than our Bestial Wrath cooldowns after the very initial Bestial Wrath at the start of any fight. Therefore while it sounds ideal to lineup this proc with BW, sometime's it's not worth waiting for it.

The proc gives you a stack of agility, up to 10 stacks every second until it is at full power, and when you will be at full size. The last ten seconds of the proc is when you are at your strongest. I tend to wait until the buff has stacked to about 9 to use my very first Bestial Wrath for ultimate pet crits! After this, if I see myself start to grow and my BW cooldown happens to be near cooldown, then I may or may not line the buffs up again. This weapon is also nice for Survival hunters, as it gives that class a sort of "cooldown" (Haha). Otherwise gameplay doesn't really change with this, other than the fact that you might not be able to fit through doorways anymore!

Turby the Beast

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hunter T13 4-Piece Bonus

Everyone rejoice! My need rolls have proven to be useful once again and I managed to sniped the T13 chest token off of Ultraxion a la Easy Mode! This called for much celebration then realizing how expensive inferno rubies were and that I had run out of stock on my jewelcrafter! Doh!

Anyways enough about me, more about the bonus. 
"Our Arcane Shots have a chance to grant 30% haste to us and our pets for 15 seconds".
Stop your brains from doing the maths and just think of it as: Your acane shots have a chance (and according to the internets this proc has a min icd of 110 seconds) to give you a short-lived bloodlust/heroism.

Yes, yes, that is nice and all but what does it mean? Well it means that you'll occasionally get thrown into bl/hero mode when everyone else isn't. The base effect for all three specs is more focus regen, and faster attacking speed/decreased casting times, but what would the differences be for the individual specs?

Beast Master

We will have even more focus to know what to do with it (well, except to USE it)! More haste means more regen means more abilities, but our pets also attack more rapidly giving us back more focus. This could be seen as occasional "free" bestial wraths without the damage bonus. Almost.

You see when running as BM, I don't get as excited over bl/hero as some other classes do.


Same with survival, we will have a lot more focus to work with and a lot more focus to dump, especially if you managed to proc this during a LnL phase.

Also as survival, I am even less interested in bl/hero due to our lack of cooldowns.


The funny thing with MM is that we rarely ever use AS, so it's up to you to track your cooldowns and hope to trigger this when you are high on focus to utilize it to dump off some aimed shots. I could see us going back to the careful aim phase of SS's and AiS's for the duration of this buff to fully utilize the increased haste.

Bl/Hero is mildly exciting for me when I am in my MM spec at the least since it makes aimed shots super super fast!

Turby the Stalker of Wyrms

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Turby's Beast Master Guide 4.3 (WIP)

*Updated for 4.3: Nothing really changes except we have 5% MORE Attack Power now!

Beast Masters have been through a lot over the course of WoW history. For one shining moment in time we sat at the top of the charts until Arthas showed up and ruined everything. Since then BM had been sub-par to the two other hunter specs in each and every way. Despite being able to tame the rare and unique beasts of Azeroth, many hunters found that it was not worth the ridicule to show their Beasty sides in groups.

This is no more. Beast Master is now a very viable, fun, and dare I say it a simple spec to play. Back when Cataclysm was first released, we were STILL not very viable. Kill Command (KC) did not hit hard enough and everything just felt very insubstantial. Changes were made and KC got a 20% boost and all of a sudden ...we were strong and useable again!

This is a change only hunters or anyone who has played a BM hunter in detail would know. There are some people out there who still think of BM as the sub-par spec. I don't blame them, but PROVE THEM WRONG. I'm not saying BM is the BEST spec, nor do I have the calculations to backup the theoretical maximium damage each of the specs, which Marksman seems to hold the title, which makes sense if you look at how that spec is setup, the better your gear is the higher potential damage you can do. HOWEVER, the reason I choose to play as BM is because I can fight with a GIANT Devilsaur at my side.

Turby would love to help with his free and easy BM hunter guide! I will try to explain the basics and also the logic behind why we use what we use!

Shot Priorities

You will hear this a lot when looking up "rotations" as we should all know by now due to certain mechanics and environmental factors of gameplay we can not stick to just one "rotation" of shots but use our abilities in a manner of highest to lowest priority. Incidentally this leads to a pattern in which we use our abilities which could be considered mini-rotations.

Why do we follow this priority set then? Well if you think of it, strip everything down and look at what we have to work with: Focus. We are essentially constrained to our 100/110 focus for dishing out damage. Ideally we would want to maximize every single point of focus at every single moment in every single situation which will hopefully maximize our damage.

For example, say you had full focus. How would you maximize these points? Well what are your hardest hitting abilities and how much focus do they cost? Kill Command (37), Arcane Shot (22) x 3, this burns up 103 focus giving you 7 focus remaining not including passive regeneration. Now you have to regain focus by using Steady Shot (+9, or +18 with T13 2 piece), you have to add this to your total before you actually get down to 7 focus, so you'll have roughly enough for another AS. However, remember your Kill Command is your big hitter with a six second cooldown so you must gauge whether or not you are able to use up that AS and gain enough focus for KC, or if you want to just continue to steady shot and wait for KC.

tl;dr: Try to maximize your focus usage by using the following priority list of spells.

(My intent is to make this a really pretty guide with pictures and colors. Soon....)

1. Kill Shot. If glyphed you can fire off 2 Kill Shots, which cost no focus and hits like a big red truck! Essentially if you see Kill Shot light up when an enemy is low on health, use it!

2. Kill Command. This isn't even a shot, but this is your next most important ability. Kill Command is able to crit for 70K in high-end encounters, 30-40k if you are getting close to being fully ilvl 359. This is on a 6-second cooldown and you should always make sure you have at LEAST enough focus to use Kill Command. Despite Intimidation being the "Signature" skill of the BM tree, KC is actually the signature skill. We can use it while moving, and even with our backs turned since this is our pet's attack!

3. Arcane Shot. Good old Arcane Shot, since there are 6 seconds between KC usages, you will want to "burn" off any excess focus you have by using Arcane Shots.

4. Cobra Shot. Cobra Shot refreshes our Serpent Sting and regenerates focus for us, you will mainly be using this along with Arcane Shots to manage the amount of focus you have between KC usages. You will most likely never use more than 3 or 4 in a row unless you are building up focus for Bestial Wrath (explained in detail later).

5. Serpent Sting. This is lowest in priority as once you apply it to a mob, it should always be ticking due to the fact Cobra Shot refreshes it.

Summary Pt.1: Assuming a static boss fight, you will want to open up with a Serpent Sting and possibly an Arcane Shot (while your pet is strolling up to the boss), then hit Kill Command right away to deplete your focus. You will then Cobra Shot and balance with Arcane Shots until your next Kill Command is ready, by that time you should have enough focus for KC. This is not the whole thing, it gets a BIT more complicated.

Important/Key Abilities

Now that you have the general idea of your button presses, there are two important abilities to pay attention to if you are attempting to BM it out.

1. Focus Fire: Focus Fire is a BM only ability which is a "consumed" buff given from our pet. I put my Focus Fire ability in a handy spot, my "1" key. When it lights up, I hit it UNLESS I am going to use Bestial Wrath. Essentially Focus Fire eats our pet's frenzy buff and increases our own ranged haste by 3% per stack up to 5 stacks, or 15% ranged haste. Since it takes our pets ABOUT 15 seconds to build up 5 stacks anyways, we will amost always have a permanent 15% ranged haste give or take a few seconds of slowness.

Now why do we not use Focus Fire during Bestial Wrath? Well....let's explain.

2. Bestial Wrath (BW). BW makes BM hunters a cooldown class, when talented, the cooldown on this ability is only roughly 70 seconds, a fairly short time compared to other classes. This cooldown increases our pet's damage by 20% and our own by 10% for 10 seconds and all our abilities cost 50% focus. Now how do we optimize these 10 seconds? As I mentioned before, you won't be using many Cobra Shots in a row unless you were building up for BW which comes every 70 seconds. You will want close to a full bar of focus so that your "better" shots get the damage benefit. As you can see Cobra Shot is under Arcane Shot in terms of priority you do not want to *need* to use Cobra Shots during BW.

I tend to time my BW when:

A: My focus is 90+
B: Kill Command's CD is immediately ready.
C: My Focus Fire button is glowing. This means my pet has max Frenzy.

We do not use Focus Fire because this only increases our own haste, which benefits Cobra Shot the most. You will want your pet to keep it's Frenzy effect (which increases our pet's melee haste) to maximize the damage done under BW. In any case, under BW you will most likely be pressing your buttons like this (like a machine gun):


On average you will get in 5-7 Arcane Shots and two Kill Commands on a full bar of focus. Usually after a BW you will want to hit CS immediately so your serpent sting doesn't fall off the enemy.

*From now on when I mention BW, I will assume you are going to use this direct damage assault unless otherwise stated.

3. Fervour. This ability instantly regenerates 50 focus to you and your pet. Though not a required ability it is very useful for that emergency moment you need focus to escape/kill/whatever.

Summary Pt.2: Assuming a static boss fight, and depending on the length of the fight, you will probably want to open up with a Serpent Sting, then immediately Bestial Wrath. After BW, you will have enough time to fire off a Cobra Shot to refresh your sting as if nothing happend. Then you will manage your focus to always have enough to use KC at cooldown, and also consume your pet's Focus Fire when you are not BW'ing. Depending on movement and other factors you might need to burn more Arcane Shots or use more Cobra Shots to anticipate the need to burn more Arcane Shots before your KC. This comes with experience.

(Slowly and surely I'll be adding pictures and links and all the pretty stuff but all the info you need can be read.....)

4. Rapid Fire: Our own mini Blood Lust/Heroism cooldown. I like to use this in "safe" scenarios where I will be able to get off 3-4 KC's worth of rotations or at the beginning of a fight to increase damage, in hopes that it will come off cooldown near the end of the fight. Essentially we get hasted Cobra Shots which give us more focus to burn Arcane Shots. KC's still occur every 6 seconds regardless. I don't find this *too* useful but when there's nothing left to do and BW is not off cooldown yet this is something to keep me from falling asleep.

Extra Notes:

1. Steady Shot: Remove this from your bars!!!! Only Marksman use Steady Shot, as their Chimera shot refreshes serpent sting for them, and Steady Shot gets benefits from the MM tree. REMOVE IT AND NEVER USE IT! (Sad I know)

Advanced Shots:

1. Ninja Arcane Shot. I'm not sure if everyone does this or only some people do this, but you are able to fire off an Arcane Shot right after you fire off your Cobra Shot, rather than fire your Cobra Shot, wait for the global cooldown, then fire an Arcane Shot. Since sadly WoW is all twitch gaming and maximizing the limited time we have, this maximizes your GCD usage.


As a BM hunter, not only are we required to grasp the finer things of Hunterism, such as basic kiting, jump shotting, proper use of interrupts/stuns or distracting shots, trap assists and so on, but we also have to be mindful of our pets and what abilities they have. What type of pet we bring out also matters. For the most part you will be running with a Ferocity pet for max Kill Command hits, but having a Tenacity pet for emergency tanking or a Worm for Max AOE potential is also something you should consider. Say for Nefarion, I tried to MD all of his bone adds onto my Crab as Marksman spec. Let's just say poor Mikrofonkat didn't make it through the fight alive even with judicious mend-pets. In BM mode, specced for max defense, he lived and managed to get the adds into a nice pile at the north end of the raid for Phase 3. (You could try speccing your tenacity pet for max tanking in MM, but I like to spec them for max damage output, and leave the tanking to the BM pets).

If you're super picky like me and want to maximize your damage for every single type of encounter, bring a Worm along for trash/aoe. Worms have an ability called Burrow Attack,which can tick for upwards of 14k crits every 2 seconds, this is on top of your own Multi-shot spam. Combined with the BW cooldown, this is indeed beastly. This ability costs 30 of your pet's focus and since our pets are designed to maximize focus usage I found that the best time to use this was either at the beginning of a pull when all the adds are in place, and also after turning off some of my pet's abilities that use focus. Fervour could also be an option if you're not going to need it within the next couple minutes. If you don't want to manually control your worm's focus, you may also bring along a Chimera and spam their froststorm breath. Melee players will hate you but just tell them you're from pre-4.3 and you share the hate for melee.


Ahhh stats, Crit/Haste/Mastery, which one??? Essentially the rule I follow when reforging is:

1. Am I hit capped at 8%? If not reforge things to Hit. But turn what into crit?
2. If the item is Crit + Haste/Mastery, I will leave it unless I need to reforge the haste/mastery into hit.
3. If the item is a Haste/Mastery item, I will reforge the higher one to Crit.

At the end of the day I have more crit than mastery or haste. If you feel otherwise, tweak your set accordingly. Remember the most important thing is hit your Kill Command!

Turby the Hunter

Hunter T13 2-Piece Bonus

Hello my single reader! I haven't posted on this blog for a while, rather I've been writing my unintelligent posts over at Kluptomania.I'd just like to talk about the 2-Piece bonus we hunters get on our T13 and how it affects BM and MM. Sorry I do not have a Survival spec but I am sure you can adapt.

Last week I got really lucky and won two of the fake tier tokens off of LFR. From the same boss! I have to say, this deems more upgrades than I received on my hunter from T11 and T12 content in the past many months combined. Sad.

So what does this bonus do? It doubles the amount of focus gained from steady/cobra shot. This means that instead of internally adding "9" to our focus as we are pew pewing, we are now adding "18". Mind boggling no? I mean, it was easy to add an artificual 10-ish but now it's an artificial 20 less a couple.

Let's break it down. More focus means more focus dumps. As BM, our focus dump is Arcane Shot and Kill Command. I've found that my arcane shot usage has gone up substantially because of this, making it my most total damage done ability. This also affects our KC queue. The only change is that instead of having to cast two Cobras, we only have to cast one during that critical phase when we are at around 20 focus and KC is coming off cooldown. I also found it easier to maintain a relatively low focus pool by instantly burning an AS after my CS, and getting just enough focus for KC when it comes off cooldown. Also filling up focus in preparation for a Bestial Wrath is much quicker as well!

As MM, since we tend to cast our Steadies in pairs, this means that you are pretty much always going to have enough focus to do your hard casted Aimed Shot. The thing is seems focusing capping could be an issue, when our two steady shot buff wears out but we need to regen focus for our next aimed when Chimera Shot is on cooldown.

That's all for now, happy experimenting!

Turby the Hunter

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Transmog Outfits: Riftstalker + Black Ice

"Fun" features such as transmogrifying can be quite time consuming and can keep a player "in" the game by not even have to "play" the game. I found that this was certainly true with player housing in LOTRO. One could obtain different wallpapers and furnishings from the various different housing vendors in the various different racial housing zones. They also did a great job of integrating PVE into player housing where most dungeons would drop a token in which you can barter or exchange for a cool rare statue for your home.

"Fun" stuff is fairly new to WoW. Other than the holiday events and some quests which involve references to OTHER "fun" games such as Katamari or Plants vs Zombies, there isn't much else for us to "do" other than grind rep or farm pets in terms of "fun"ness.

Transmogging will be a fresh feature that will help keep us "immersed" in the game. As we all know the dailies don't do a thing to help that cause, if anything it pushes us away. Though as of now I am not sure what focus or direction the game is taking right now. The promises of introducing content faster and faster hints that we're all just content hungry, and this makes sense. I get a feeling most of us just love to thrive off of what we don't have versus appreciating what we DO have. Or maybe everything is just SO good that if *only* what we were missing had been implemented......or maybe not.

Let's talk current content. T12. Firelands has been made "easier" now, which doesn't change the very very mechanic driven nature of the bosses, but healers will like having less to do. But this is just raiding. Some people don't like to raid. What do they do? Grind dungeons for VP. That is oh so interesting right? I think the Looking-For-Raid is a very very nice addition, in that it plays upon tiered instances. Like I said again, just copy LOTRO. Have ALL instances be scaleable to any level at any difficulty and have the different levels of dungeons drop different tiers of emblems in which you can turn in for gear. For example if you scaled Ragefire Chasm anywhere from 15-84 you'd get a Mark of Pride, which can be turned in for level 15 gear. Only if you choose to scale it to heroic, will it drop an extra Mark of Valor, which would be equivalent to our current valor points. We can even go further to scale it to be 346, 359, or even 378 and 391 friendly and so on and so forth.

Woooow did I go off on a tangent or what? All I wanted to do was show you guys one of my new outfits!

It's our Hunter T5, the Riftstalker set coupled with Black Ice from Malygos! I know it's not a very creative put-together hipster set, but it's the complete set and I've always liked the devious/lightning pauldrony look. A great pet to go with this outfit is: Skoll!

I've come to appreciate my Albino Drake a lot nowadays...hmm...
Turby the Riftstalker

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spirit Sabres United

After many arduous years apart, Gondria, Magria, and Ankha are reunited..ready to fight the forces of evil!

(How do you like my noob Paint skills?)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On Pet Talent Trees

Cunning, ferocity, and tenacity. I believe these are all subjective terms, and I have to say, I am an RP-Raider. Why can't we be both? How we tend to view RP'ers is that they are dressed up in their froofy costumes, hanging out around towns and bars doing their roleplaying goodness. It's totally harmless and fun. Then we view "raiders" as totally serious and removed, if they had any roleplaying interests it is all stripped off in favour of killing big bad meanies.

Both aspects show an enjoyment of the game, be it the "soft" factors such as costumes and self created backstories, to the "hard" tactile raid "content". I like to be both! Firelands on its own is meaningless if my character doesn't care to defeat Ragnaros, and it's even less meaningless if I go out and tame a pet just for a specific buff to benefit the party. Technically speaking this is optimal, but for a battle as epic as the Firelord, I would like my long term/close companions such as Puppy (seen above) to accompany me.

Now what was I saying? Oh yes, pet talents. Why do the beasts of Azeroth come locked in certain traits? What makes a Dragonhawk more "cunning" than a Hyena? What makes a Tallstrider more "ferocious" than a Scorpion? Why can't a giant Devilsaur take the beats as well as a squishy worm?

As masters of all things beastly, you would think that us hunters are able to "train" our pets to whatever style we would like. Perhaps one of my Devilsaurs is more devious than the other and loves to devour members of the opposite faction hence he can be specced PVP cunning, while the other is prone to ferocious outbursts and remains Ferocity?

It's a very simple mechanic to adjust, we have our pet skins and the individual talent trees to apply to them. In terms of beast family abilities such as Burrow Attack, Lightning Breath, or Shell Shield, what if depending on which talent tree we choose for our pets, they get to choose between 3 different talent tree specific family abilities. Kind of like our "signature" abilities when we choose which talent tree to specialize in.

Some examples could include:

Tenacity: Shell Shield
Cunning: Head-Butt (Stun/Interrupt)
Ferocity: Great Bite (Reduce movement speed)

Tenacity: Clamp (Or whatever it is now)
Cunning: Poison Jab (Reduces Healing)
Ferocity: Tail Jab (Nature Damage Debuff)

Since we see a lot of shared-then-renamed abilities, this is totally feasible...right?

By doing this, for the FIRST TIME EVER I even minded PVP implications, where my recommended changes are feasible for PVP. Perhaps there are PVP hunters who really want to use a certain pet but they just had really bad abilities. I wouldn't even mind if certain pets had sub-optimal abilities for Ferocity PVE, but as long as they can access the DPS boosting talents in the Ferocity tree I shall be satiated.

(Or just reinstate Eyes of the Beast so I can run around as all the pretty pets and I'll stop complaining forevers ;D )

Turby the Hunter