Archive for this came out longer than I thought it would

Memories of Scholomance

Posted in Miscellanea with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2012 by Aeliel

I could make my way through Scholomance with my eyes closed.

That’s not hyperbole, by the way. A couple days ago, I pointed out the existence of Alanna’s Embrace to a guildie who loves pink, and she dutifully trotted off to farm it… except she’d never really been in Scholomance. She killed Rattlegore, then announced, “I’m lost.” I was locked outside by the instance timer at that point, so I couldn’t walk into her instance and help her out that way, but I successfully described the place to her (in enough detail that I could tell her to, for instance, which doors were wrought iron and which were wood) and got her to Ras Frostwhisper.

I spent a lot of time in Scholomance.

Back in Vanilla, before I started raiding, Scholomance was (together with Stratholme and Upper Blackrock Spire) the only endgame available to me. So I ran the place over, and over, and over, and over, trying to collect a full Wildheart set. (Not to mention a full Shadowcraft set, which I had to fight rogues tooth and nail for.)

I knew the place like the back of my hand by that point, even then – the route of every patrol, which mob had which abilities (and which pulls were most likely to wipe a group if mishandled), the optimal path to clear through the instance in the shortest time and still hit every boss, how to pull Rattlegore’s room without getting the boss prematurely and so on.

I even went to the trouble of getting a key to the place, which required a fair amount of time and effort, requiring a trek all over the world (from the Plaguelands to Gadgetzan to Un’goro and back) – not to mention 15 gold plus materials, which at the time was a fairly sizeable sum. I was sick and tired of waiting around at the instance entrance while the raid leader found somebody with the key who was willing to unlock the door (for a fee, of course), found a rogue with high enough lockpicking, or got somebody to jump off the top of the building and kill themselves close enough to the door that they could resurrect on the other side. So I figured I’d just get the key and put together my own damn groups.

And oh, yes, back then you raided Scholomance. Clearing it with a 5-man and getting your quests done was something you did only if you were a very good player with a very good group – clearing it for loot, well, people went the easy way and got a raid group together. Can’t really blame them, considering how many hazards there were in the place, although quests gave nice rewards both in terms of actual equipment and in terms of lore items. (Such as the Spectral Essence, which allowed you to see ghosts in Caer Darrow outside the instance, and which I deleted because of bag space and forgot to re-get yesterday – augh. Oh, well, nothing I can do about that now.)

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Druid talent picks

Posted in Druid, Strategy, Tanking with tags , , , on October 25, 2011 by Aeliel

(I took a screenshot of the full talent screen from the panel stream, then edited it a bit to remove background clutter.)

A lot of people are doing this, and I was certainly going “ooh, I love that one” in my head while I watched the panel, so I figure what the hell.

This is from an almost purely PVE perspective (to say I’m not a great PVPer would be a massive understatement), and I’ll be considering talents based on their usefulness for a feral druid tank and for a feral druid DPS. I’m not going to mention in exact detail what each talent does, just briefly sum them up – if you want more details, MMO-Champion has a ton of screenshots, and Wowhead’s Mists of Pandaria talent calculator has the information as well.

Level 15

Feline Swiftness is a basic flat increase to your movement speed, Tireless Pursuit is an extra Dash, and Displacer Beast is a “ack, getting focused in PVP, must survive” panic button. To me, the choice is very clear-cut.

Feral tank: Feline Swiftness. No contest.
Feral DPS: Feline Swiftness most of the time, although I’ll be swapping in Tireless Pursuit if there are specific fights where you stay mostly still but suddenly have to get from point A to point B as soon as possible.
Leveling: Displacer Beast. I’m on a PVP server and I’m pretty awful at PVP. An extra “ack ack ack get it off get it off” panic button every 3 minutes might not end up saving me more time than the flat movement speed increase, but it’ll certainly save me tons of frustration.

Level 30

Nature’s Swiftness makes specific spells instant and castable in all forms, Renewal is a self-heal, and Cenarion Ward is a reactive HoT that can be cast on any friendly target.

At a first glance, Renewal is the most useful for a tank, since it gives you an extra panic button and 30% of your maximum health can be a decent chunk. However, depending on how much health you have and on how well it scales, Cenarion Ward might end up totaling more self-healing than Renewal when pushed every time it’s up, since its shorter cooldown means you can use it four times as often as Renewal… however, it’s not a panic button. As for Nature’s Swiftness, the only real benefit it offers to a tank is the ability to cast Rebirth instantly and without shifting out – which is only useful if you’re the only person in the raid who can combat res. On the one hand, I am in that situation (10-man raid, no death knight, no warlock, I’m the only druid and I’m a tank)… on the other, more important hand, I don’t see why I should have to sacrifice a cooldown that could very well save my life just so I can rescue some idiot who died from standing in bad and is quite likely to die again from standing in bad after I res him.

For a feral DPS, the choice is simpler. For most fights, panic button heal > instant Rebirth without shifting out > reactive HoT. (The reasoning being that you do no damage when you’re dead, while although you lose some DPS time when shifting out and resurrecting somebody it’s not likely to get you killed. The reactive HoT is unlikely to trigger very frequently if you cast it on cooldown, and if your healers are having issues keeping people up in fights with mild AoE damage you have bigger issues than Cenarion Ward can fix.) In fights with lots of heavy AoE damage, Cenarion Ward might become useful and end up taking some strain off the healers, but if it’s not off the GCD it might negatively impact your damage.

Feral tank: Renewal. Even if Cenarion Ward ends up totaling more self-healing over the course of a fight, I’d rather have a cooldown I can push to save my life when it matters than a consistent trickle of health. As for Nature’s Swiftness, thanks but no thanks.
Feral DPS: Renewal, although I may swap in Cenarion Ward depending on the fight.
Leveling: Cenarion Ward might come in handy here, depending on the scaling. Would certainly reduce downtime. If it doesn’t scale well, Renewal here too.

Level 45

Faerie Swarm adds a movement slow to an ability we already have, Mass Entanglement is a targeted AoE root, and Typhoon is an AoE knockback plus daze.

I’m immediately discounting Mass Entanglement because it very specifically can’t be cast in bear or cat form, and well, screw that. Even if there was a fight that absolutely required adds to be rooted – other classes can do that at less cost to them. The other two are very situational, and which one is the best very much depends on what you’re fighting.

Typhoon is going to be incredible for any fight where there’s something that absolutely must be knocked back, or else. (Hello, Ragnaros adds.) Faerie Swarm is going to be incredible for any fight where there’s something that absolutely must be slowed, or else. We currently have Infected Wounds, but I’m guessing that’s going to go away in 5.0 – and even if it doesn’t, Faerie Swarm is a ranged slow. My only qualm with it is the 6-second cooldown it incurs in bear and cat form. It makes sense – normal Faerie Fire is the same way – but it caps the amount of targets you can efficiently slow to two unless you shift out and just spam it every global cooldown.

(I’m not sure how likely it is that they’ll make it so you can only slow one target at a time. The Slow talent for mages very specifically says it can only be used on one target at a time and it’s a level 90 talents as things currently stand, but it also slows ranged attacks and spell casts, while ours doesn’t. We’ll see.)

Feral tank: Typhoon in most cases, replacing it with Faerie Swarm when a slow is needed.
Feral DPS: Typhoon, except for when a slow is needed.
Leveling: Typhoon. It’s extremely unlikely that I’ll want to slow the movement of something I’m trying to kill, considering er, I’m a melee… and there’s all those lovely cliffs in Pandaria that I can potentially knock people that try to gank me off of.

Level 60

This is where I say “gee Blizzard, would it have killed you to be a bit more specific?” – most of the talents don’t say what they do for one form or the other. All three talents are “does something, based on your form or spec.” Feh.

Wild Charge looks like it will be useless to bears, unless they make haste not suck or take away Feral Charge. Which they very well might, since they specifically said “Wild Charge is a new version of Feral Charge” and that the idea was “Let’s take something cool that different talent trees have and make it available to everyone.”

(Don’t even get me started on how angry I’ll be if they do that. Yeah, let’s force all feral tanks to take a specific talent and sacrifice something that might buff their threat or survivability instead if they want a gap closer, that’ll go very well with the idea of not making any of the choices mandatory and making people “choose between apples to apples.” Warriors have a gap closer by default and get to pick a way to buff it at level 15, paladins get theirs at level 15 and it’s not even a particularly hard choice because the other two talents aren’t nearly as good for a paladin tank, death knights have Death Grip, and druids have to wait until level 60 to get Wild Charge? Screw you. Put it at level 15 with the other movement effects where it belongs or leave Feral Charge as a baseline ability for tank druids, and have Wild Charge replace it with a buffed version – give it 30% extra damage after charging rather than 30% haste and it’ll actually be a choice people can decide to make rather than “oh well, the other two talents look nice but I have to take the gap closer.”)

Uh. I clearly have Strong Opinions. Moving on.

Incarnation “activates a superior shapeshifting form based on your specialization.” Force of Nature, they said during the panel, “works a little bit like Guardian of Ancient Kings.” As far as cat druids are concerned, both of these are likely to be a DPS-increasing talent – for bears, they could go either way, boosting survivability or threat.

All in all, I don’t know enough about this talent tier to make a reasoned choice. All I can do is guess (and get angry based on that guess – ahem).

Level 75

Demoralizing Roar is an AoE disorient, Ursol’s Vortex is a short-range AoE Death Grip, Bear Hug is a stun with a damage component.

(Demoralizing Roar as we know and hate it today will be gone. Hooray. As they put it during the panel, it “was just kinda maintenance-y, the debuff wasn’t that interesting” and I’m glad they decided to get rid of it.)

This is interesting. The new Demoralizing Roar strikes me as more of a PVP thing – I honestly can’t see the usefulness of an AoE disorient in PVE, except maybe in very specialized situations. Ursol’s Vortex sounds pretty amazing – 15 yards might not sound that big, but for instance Skull Bash currently has a 13-yard range. It’s going to be a useful ability to get enemies all nice and clumped, both for bears and for cats. Bear Hug at first glance seems more of a PVP thing, and it’s definitely pretty useless for a tank, but… hmmm.

Does it work on bosses? As in – does the damage still go through if the stun component doesn’t?

In cat gear, cat spec and bear form right now I have 145k health, completely unbuffed. Just smacking around a target dummy, Shred hits for 11.5k non-crit. And just for precision’s sake, let’s count autoattacks as well – 1.4k non-crit, once every 0.93 seconds. (I’m wearing a 300agi flask, but considering it’s got almost the full 2 hours left and I have a raid soon, I’m unwilling to click it off. Bear with me.)

Given the 1sec GCD and assuming I’m starting from a full energy bar (or have either Tiger’s Fury or Berserk available), I could Shred a maximum of three times in a 3-second period, for a total damage of 34.5k. Add in four autoattacks (rounding up for sanity’s sake), you get 40.1k. Bear Hugging something, assuming I was at full health, would do 14.5k damage (10% of my health) per tick, three times, for a total damage of 43.5k. I’d also incur a GCD when switching back to cat form, but if I were to Bear Hug when I’m out of energy anyway, I’d be dealing more damage than I would just autoattacking while waiting for my energy bar to fill back up. At worst it’s damage-neutral (assuming I miss two more autoattacks due to having to switch back to cat form); at best, it’s more damage than just autoattacking when waiting on an empty energy bar with nothing available to fill it back up.

Definitely something I’ll want to try out.

Feral tank: Ursol’s Vortex.
Feral DPS: undecided. Ursol’s Vortex offers good utility, but if Bear Hug works on bosses…
Leveling: Ursol’s Vortex, most likely.

Level 90

Heart of the Wild allows you to cover a role that you normally wouldn’t be able to take on for a short time, Master Shapeshifter buffs your spellpower when you use melee attacks and your attack power when you cast non-instant spells, and Disentanglement allows you to shapeshift out of roots and heals you for 20% of your maximum health every time you shapeshift, with the heal being on a 30-second cooldown.

Ehhhh. Not really interested in Master Shapeshifter. Heart of the Wild might come in handy, depending on the effect it has for bear druids – if it allows you to temporarily do decent cat DPS, I might even take it. Disentanglement has the potential to be insanely powerful. Never mind the shifting out of roots (something I very much want back, thank you very much) and the PVP effect of the talent (shift to bear form to turtle out some damage, get a heal to help you out with that)… I find myself wondering if you could use it to heal yourself while tanking, by shifting out of bear form and back in between the boss’ melee swings. It would need very careful timing but could be quite awesome.

Feral tank: Disentanglement for the root removal and the potential, switching in Heart of the Wild for fights in which I would be able to temporarily switch to cat form and try to do some damage (assuming it buffs my cat damage).
Feral DPS: Disentanglement for the root removal and the additional survivability (low health? shift out of cat form and back in to save your skin). Heart of the Wild looks nice on paper – however, the chance that fights will exist where a cat DPS will be wanted as a sub-par tank for 45 seconds every 6 minutes are very slim, and I’d rather talent for myself rather than pick a talent just in case somebody screws up and I need to step up and save the day.
Leveling: Disentanglement for the root removal and the heal both (kill something hard, shift out, heal yourself to 80% and shift back into cat form). Master Shapeshifter might come in handy here, too – hit stuff, shift out and heal yourself better when it’s dead, shift back in and hit stuff harder – but I’m unsure if it’ll make that big a difference.

Soloing Kael’thas Sunstrider as a hunter

Posted in Hunter, Strategy, Undermanning with tags , , , , on June 17, 2011 by Aeliel

Obviously, this is the Kael’thas Sunstrider in the Eye, the one that drops Ashes of A’lar. I’m aware there are videos all over YouTube showing strategies for the fight, but unlike in those videos, the hunter used here is not wearing ilvl372+ gear, although she is pretty close to having the best gear obtainable without raiding as of patch 4.1 (minus some valor point items, because I started grinding VP on her very late and I’ve been lazy with it).

The fight is quite hard and takes a lot of practice to master. Also – I wasn’t the one who killed Kael’thas: well, it was my character, but Alieth, my boyfriend, was controlling her. (Note that while he’s an excellent World of Warcraft player in general, he had never played a hunter before.)

Backstory time! A bit ago, Alieth respecced his shaman’s offspec to enhancement, and since then we’ve been two-manning Kael’thas with me healing on my discipline priest alt and him DPSing / “tanking” as enhancement. Recently, we got to talking about how we could get a weekly Kael’thas kill for my main too and guarantee me Ashes of A’lar should they drop. A while back, I had mentioned to him that I’d seen videos of hunters gearead in heroic T11 soloing Kael’thas, so he suggested we two-man him using my hunter along with my druid main, or even have the hunter solo him with the druid on autofollow (I have two World of Warcraft accounts). I expressed doubts on whether the hunter was geared enough to solo Kael’thas. Alieth decided he wanted to try, so I logged the hunter in and told him to have fun.

All information about the fight – gear, consumables, addons and a thorough strategy – can be found in the extended entry.

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4.1 updated patch notes

Posted in Miscellanea, Patches with tags , , , on March 1, 2011 by Aeliel

Additional changes demand additional commentary!

Flying mounts can now be used in Ghostlands.

But not, note, in Bloodmyst. This is not about “you can fly in every newbie zone but the TBC ones, we’d better update that”, it’s about “people might be grumpy if they can’t fly to ZA, must fix!”

Death Knight

Raise Ally has been redesigned to be a battle resurrection, analogous to Rebirth. It is instant cast, but costs 50 Runic Power to use, and has a 10-minute cooldown. It shares the same global battle resurrection cap with Rebirth and Soulstone.

Huh. And where is my insta-cast battle resurrection, praytell? Warlocks get an instant one in the form of a Soulstone (applying it is instant, it’s making it which isn’t); now death knights do, too.

The comforting part is we’re still the only class that can battleres somebody to 100% health, via a glyph (that any sane druid will have); the not-so-comforting part… death knights? This is so never getting used in a PuG, considering the quality of the average PuG death knight.

Also, what self-respecting death knight has 50RP to just throw around? They call certain death knight abilities “runic power dumps” for a reason. If you’re gonna give a battlerez to somebody else, give it to a class that doesn’t have a strict resource system. Hell, just remove Raise Ally from the death knight class and give a battlerez to, say, the shaman class, where it makes sense from a lore perspective. (I would not want to enrust my hurried, in-combat being brought back to life to an undead creature who specializes in raising other undead creatures and infecting enemies with diseases. Thanks but no thanks. I’ll take a warlock mucking around with my soul over that.)

Frost Strike now deals 130% of weapon damage, up from 110%.
Howling Blast damage has been increased by 20%. To compensate, the area-of-effect splash now does 50% of the single-target damage, down from 60%. The net result of this change leaves the area-of-effect damage roughly the same as 4.0.6 numbers.

Hello, frost buff. As dual-wield frost has been my preferred spec since I rolled my death knight back in the early days of WotLK, this makes me happy.

Druid

Stampeding Roar‘s duration has been increased to 8 seconds, up from 6. The movement speed effect has been increased to 60%, up from 40%.

Stampeding Roar now sucks less. 8sec 60% 10yd speed buff on a 2min CD is still a bit underwhelming, but you can cover a lot more room with it now. A better way to buff it, at least in my opinion, would’ve been to increase the range – 10yd is tiny – but I’ll take what buffs I can get.

Swipe (Bear) cooldown has been reduced to 3 seconds, down from 6.

People are going to call for a nerf to Swipe since the cooldown got dropped now (just you watch it), but they’d be missing the point. AoE tanking on a druid before you hit level 81 and get Thrash is such an enormous pain. This will put lowbie bear druids at less of a disadvantage. If it makes bear druids overpowered AoE tanks at level 85, well huh – buff other classes so they’re on par. Or just leave it, Swipe hits like a limp wet noodle anyway and it’s not like AoE tanking is the way to go these days.

Well, except in lowbie dungeons, where I’ve seen so many people insult baby bear druids for not being able to easily hold AoE threat. To which I point out that they have one AoE ability on a 6-second CD, and there isn’t much they can do, especially if people start AoEing before the mobs even reach the druid. To which they either respond “well he shouldn’t be tanking then” (no, you shouldn’t be AoEing), or suggest tab-Lacerate (all well and good except you only get Lacerate at level 66).

Ahem. Sorry. Pet peeve.

Priest

Inner Will and Inner Fire now last until canceled.

Yay. Refreshing them every 30min was such a pain.

Power Word: Barrier‘s cooldown has been increased to 3 minutes, up from 2, and its effect has been reduced to 25%, down from 30%.

And there goes another nerf to the only healing spec I actually enjoy. (Druid healing makes me want to punch something, paladin healing ditto. No offense to those who like either. Granted, I haven’t tried a shaman yet, but considering their current condition… yeah.) So looking forward to hitting 85 on my priest alt and being constantly berated in heroics for not being holy.

Warlock

Haunt damage has been increased by 30%.
Shadow Mastery (passive) has been increased to 30%, up from 25%.

Affliction buff! Yay!

The gold amounts on the following encounters have been substantially reduced: Flame Leviathan, Magtheridon, Gruul the Dragonkiller, Doom Lord Kazzak, and all encounters in Karazhan.

“People were making too much gold by having fun while soloing or undermanning old encounters as a challenge. This was unintended and has been nerfed. You should be doing dailies, peons, leave old content alone.”

Time to go milk that while I can. I’m still 3.2k from the 50k “Got My Mind On My Money” achievement, after all.

4.1 reaction post

Posted in Achievements, Miscellanea, Mounts and pets with tags , , , on February 24, 2011 by Aeliel


4.1 official patchnotes are out, plus unofficial datamined extras courtesy of MMO-Champion as usual.

Let’s see.

The Gurubashi Tribe Persists

Originally a 20-player dungeon released in patch 1.7, Zul’Gurub will once again open its gates, featuring updated lore, all-new encounters, achievements, and improved loot! Zul’Gurub is now a level-85 five-player Heroic difficulty dungeon. To provide a new tier above the current Cataclysm dungeons, players can expect to find epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is 346.

I saw this coming. This and Zul’Aman both. It made no sense to have the place just as an outdoor questing area – visited for just a couple of quests, seriously now – and waste all that space. Plus the quests referring to Zul’Gurub left very blatantly obvious dangling plot threads.

The Return of Zul’Aman

Ever a player favorite, the level-70 ten-player dungeon of Zul’Aman is being reintroduced as a level-85 Heroic five-player dungeon. Zul’Aman will join Zul’Gurub in a new Dungeon Finder tier of Heroic dungeons, providing epic-quality item level 353 loot. The minimum average item level to enter this Heroic dungeon is also 346. While Zul’Aman will be more of a throwback to the original dungeon featuring many of the same encounters, players can expect to find some updated gameplay mechanics, as well as new environment textures and lighting.

What will happen to the old Zul’Aman? It can’t possibly stay there – it would require having a separate entrance for the raid and for the dungeon (or alternatively, for the dungeon not to have an in-world entrance, which… doesn’t work terribly well, since it would prevent any revisiting of the content once you outlevel it in the dungeon finder).

So here’s my questions:

  1. The Amani Dragonhawks (and the hatchlings that spawn during the boss encounters) just got a new model in 4.0.6. They’re currently tamable by level 70+ hunters. What happens to them? They’ll either become extinct as a lvl70 mob, and therefore tamable only by level 85 hunters who can enter the 5-man instance, or the model will be added somewhere else. Personally, I’d prefer the latter, but either way I’m glad I went and tamed the dragonhawk on my goblin hunter shortly after 4.0.6 hit.
  2. What happens to Mojo? Random drop from bosses or trash in the new 5-man instance is my guess; either way, if you care about the pet at all, considering Blizzard’s penchant for removing things I’d say go get it now. I’d guess that just about any class can solo the place at level 85.

Additionally, if there’s anything at all you want from the current version of Zul’Aman – because it’s pretty, for roleplay gear, whatever else, go get it now. I’d wager most of the models aren’t going to remain in the loot from the 5-man version (there’s just too much of it, plus Blizzard loves new item models).

(One notable item from Zul’Aman which is likely to just go extinct: Tiny Voodoo Mask. They might make a lvl85 version of it and add it as an extra random boss drop for funsies, but I’m not holding my breath.)

We’re pleased to announce that new versions of the rare raptor, tiger, and bear mounts will be available, while the old versions of these mounts will remain unique to those who already have them.  We’ll reveal more about how these updated mounts can be obtained in the future.

Most likely a 1% drop from the raptor, tiger and bear bosses. Either that or a reward from an extra chest (or drop from an extra boss) that’s only available if you make the run in less than 45 minutes or whatever.

My thoughts about these can be summed up with “yay, another mount I will never see drop at level, will go back and solo farm when I outlevel and/or outgear it and will still never see it drop“. Why yes, I’m still bitter about farming the original ZG tiger and raptor mounts since I was level 70 and having nothing to show for it. Hisssssssss.

(Speaking of which, I ought to go kill Skadi, so the blue protodrake can keep not dropping.)

All non-damaging interrupts off the global cooldown will now always hit the target. This includes Pummel, Shield Bash, Kick, Mind Freeze, Rebuke, Skull Bash, Counterspell, Wind Shear, Solar Beam, Silencing Shot, and related player pet abilities.

[cue resounding cheers from anybody for whom hit is not particularly valuable – tanks, healers, and certain DPS specs]

About bloody time.

Death Knight

Blood of the North (passive) now permanently converts both Blood Runes into Death Runes. There is no longer any proc interaction with Blood Strike required to activate Death Runes.

This might change the frost death knight rotation around quite a bit. I wonder if there’ll even be any point at all in having Blood Strike on my bars anymore. We’ll see.

Hunter

Tame Beast now tames pets to match the hunter’s level, rather than 5 levels below.

It’s currently three, not five (gosh, Blizzard, you know your own game so well), but it’s hard to stay grouchy for a decent change. Yay, no more having to level pets up after taming them. (Although it’s not nearly as bad as it was in vanilla. Don’t talk to me about hunters in vanilla.)

Paladin

Word of Glory now has a 20-second cooldown.

My tankadin alt is sadfacing. On the other hand, I can’t repress my unholy glee at this. Yay, no more “ffs healer just DPS I don’t need you I’m a paladin I can self heal lol” idiots in dungeons.

Priest

Power Word: Shield duration has been reduced to 15 seconds, down from 30.

…just when I was really starting to enjoy playing my disc priest. :| “Oh hey guys, you know that spell of yours that we buff throughout the tree? You’re really not meant to use it. Here, have a duration nerf. Go spec holy now.” Sigh.

The changes to Dispel Magic, on the other hand, I saw coming from a mile away. Doesn’t affect me, since I don’t play shadow; to be honest it smells like a PVP nerf more than anything (in any instance run there’ll be somebody – your healer – who can cleanse magic effects off your party; in PVP, not necessarily).

Rogue

Recuperate base effect now heals 3% per tick, up from 2%.
Stealth base cooldown has been reduced to 4 seconds, down from 10, and the movement penalty from being in Stealth has been removed.

Oh yes, please buff rogues. They’re so underpowered and downtrodden. Especially in PVP. (Also, where’s the cooldown reduction and movement penalty removal for druid stealth? Such love you show to my class, Blizzard, thank you so much.)

I’m bitter. Don’t mind me.

[– Official patch notes end here –]

Map

FirelandsDailies

Ahahaha I saw this coming. Hell, I can’t say I mind, though. I was just yesterday lamenting to myself that I’m running out of dailies to do on my main – I’m pretty much just doing the cooking daily and Lol Tol Barad right now, and I have almost enough commendations to buy the drake, which is the last non-gear item I’m missing from them. I might keep going and buy myself a trinket or something, not sure yet. We’ll see.

Beryl Fire Hawk Summons and dismisses a rideable Beryl Fire Hawk. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
Crimson Fire Hawk Summons and dismisses a rideable Crimson Fire Hawk. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast
Flameward Hippogryph Summons and dismisses a rideable Flameward Hippogryph mount. This is a flying mount. 1.5 sec cast

And these will probably be from the Firelands dailies. Just you watch. I started thinking and changed my mind. Hippogryph from the Fireland dailies; the pair of Fire Hawks will be from raiding – one for the Glory achievement, one a random drop, perhaps.

Petting Zoo Collect 100 unique companion pets.
Menagerie Collect 125 unique companion pets.

*is on 142* Yay, free achievement points.

I’m guessing (hoping!) the Nightsaber and Winterspring cubs are rewards for these two achievements; the Panther Cub I’m guessing is a random drop from the 5-man Zul’Gurub, possibly from the end boss (much like the Phoenix Hatchling in Magister’s Terrace).

The Nightsaber Cub has turned out to be a TCG reward (much like the Savage Raptor and Amani Dragonhawk mounts, as well as the Fool’s Gold and War Party Hitching Post – but those I’d guessed). Still holding out hope for the other pair of cubs, but at this rate they’ll probably end up being Blizzard Store purchases or something.

Agility epics from leatherworking (both mail and leather) are finally getting sockets. Hurrah. Maybe I’ll bother crafting them for myself now, both for my main and for my hunter (after all, I do want to get the ilvl to run 5-man ZG and ZA on the hunter as soon as possible).

And they seem to be (re)buffing bear!Mangle and Maul, while slightly nerfing Thrash. Wonder if that’s intended or just a tooltip slip.

Curses, foiled again

Posted in Alts, Hunter, Raiding with tags , , , on December 3, 2010 by Aeliel

I should know, by now, that I can make all the plans I want – but something, at some point, is going to throw a spanner in the works.

Especially when it comes to hunter pets.

My previous list was sane and sensible oh who am I kidding. Let’s just go right into talking about changes.

First of all, just for the sake of my own sanity, I’m making a list of which pet families provide which (raid-useful – I couldn’t care less about stuns, blinds and such, I’m not much of a PVPer) buff or debuff.

  • Heroism / Bloodlust: [E] Core Hounds (Ferocity)
  • Strength and Agility: Cats (Ferocity), [E] Spirit Beasts (Ferocity)
  • 5% crit: [E] Devilsaurs (Ferocity), Wolves (Ferocity)
  • Stamina: [E] Silithids (Cunning)
  • 5% all stats: [E] Shale Spiders (Tenacity)
  • Armor reduction: Raptors (Ferocity), Serpents (Cunning)
  • Attack speed reduction: Foxes (Ferocity), Tallstriders (Ferocity)
  • Increased bleed damage: Boars (Tenacity), Hyenas (Ferocity), [E] Rhinos (Tenacity)
  • Cast speed reduction: [E] Core Hounds (Ferocity), Sporebats (Cunning)
  • Healing reduction: [E] Devilsaurs (Ferocity)
  • Physical damage reduction: Bears (Tenacity), Carrion Birds (Ferocity)
  • Physical damage taken: Ravagers (Cunning), [E] Worms (Tenacity)
  • Spell damage taken: Dragonhawks (Cunning), Wind Serpents (Cunning)

Families left without anything raid-useful are: Bats, Beetles, Birds of Prey, Chimaeras,  Crabs, Crocolisks, Dogs, Gorillas, Monkeys, Moths, Nether Rays, Scorpids, Spiders, Turtles and Wasps.

Looking over my previously-planned list, I’d be missing 5% crit, armor reduction, healing reduction, physical damage reduction and physical / spell damage taken increase – and I could use a non-Tenacity pet with a bleed damage increase ability.

(Note that I’m planning out all this even though I’ve never really raided extensively on my hunter. You never know, I might end up running a PuG at some point that could benefit from one of these, and I’d much rather be prepared and have a well-named pet I’ve levelled and I’m attached to than scramble and grab the first beast with an usable skill.)

5% crit needs a devilsaur or a wolf. Mehhhh. I don’t like devilsaurs at all; I might end up getting myself a wolf, probably the grey worg model. (Although I might get myself a ghost wolf or a stabbity-in-the-head wolf – the latter is hilarious – using the method outlined here, assuming it doesn’t get hotfixed out. I should probably hurry up and grab either or both, in case they do hotfix them out but let people who’ve already tamed them keep them…)

In terms of armor reduction… do I even need to get a pet for this? What raid wouldn’t have a single druid, warrior or rogue?

Healing reduction – pfuh. Only devilsaurs have it, and there are plenty of classes and specs that can provide the same debuff. Who cares.

The physical damage reduction isn’t an issue – any type of tank has access to it and can apply it if necessary. (Which is a good thing, because bears are too plain for my tastes and I strongly dislike carrion birds in general.)

Physical damage taken increase – I like ravagers (my favourite is probably this one), probably even more than I like worms; the only worms I like are the big, creepy ones, and those are a bit too creepy even for me.

Spell damage increase means either a dragonhawk or a wind serpent. The only dragonhawk I’m really fond of is the blue, and while they can be found right at the start they might be a bit of a pain to tame. The “black” wind serpent is more of a gorgeous purplish-blue and I wouldn’t mind taming one of those at all. It’d be easier than the dragonhawk, for certain. (Though the dragonhawk might be worth getting simply because it’s gorgeous, even if I get the wind serpent…)

Bleed damage on a Ferocity pet means a hyena. Which is not so bad, I guess – the grey and the purple are kinda cute. We’ll see.

I’m tucking my updated list of pets out of sight, in the extended post, because I have a feeling this is incredibly long as it is… Continue reading

Items that get you somewhere

Posted in Achievements, Gold making, Miscellanea, Quests with tags , , , on November 29, 2010 by Aeliel

Somewhat inspired by Gavendo’s post about on-use items, I thought I would make a list about transportation items… items that will get you somewhere else from where you currently are, much like the common Hearthstone – just, well, less common. Continue reading