Old habits are hard to break

Not so very long ago when Drupadi made it to 70 I made the decision to (within reason) not worry about gear. Her quest blues and greens, supplemented with a few BOE blues and greens, would be more than adequate to get her leveling her way through Northrend. Then came Brewfest, and Corien Direbrew.

I ran the event for the achievement, and to help a friend. I had no intention of getting anything. On the fifth try of the day wouldn’t you know it she ends up with a Brewbale Charm, it dropped all 5 times. I didn’t really think about it much as it replaced a quest blue from Winterspring. Then came The Headless Horseman.

I was just after the Sinister Squashling, honest. In the process I seem to have come into the possion of a Riing of Goulish Delight. Odd that I don’t even remember equipping it, I seem to remember some quest green from Hellfire in that slot. I still was not really looking for upgrades, they just kind of happened.

Then came the invite to Karazhan. I had never actually finished it on my Troll hunter, and I had the evening free. That led to a fast furious run  wherein I received no less than 5 major upgrades. I was counting my lucky stars that I had a few pieces of the gear that I had been wanting for a long time. I hardly had a minute to settle down however before the scourge invasion started.

It all started with wanting the tabard of the Argent Dawn. I always liked the look of it and knew it would be a limited time thing. For the first time I actually set off to grind for gear. I farmed solo for a while, then just before I had the 18 Necrotic Runes I would need to get my tabard a group showed up. I wonder if things would have turned out differently had I just grabbed my 18 and left. Perhaps I would have gone back to leveling my other hunter, I’ll never know.

For about two hours I had great fun running around busting scourge at the circles. I spent it chatting it up with the group joking around and generally having a blast. It did not hurt that a set of Blessed Greaves of Undead Slaying dropped, they were a clear upgrade over my greens. It hurt even less that I was able to pick up both the Blessed Pauldrons of Undead Slaying and the Blessed Handguards of Undead Slaying with all the stones that had dropped.

Three pieces of a four piece limited edition set in two hours of “work”? Not bad at all. It made perfect sense to put everything else on hold to try and get the last piece of the puzzle, the Blessed Hauberk of Undead Slaying. Who wouldn’t after all? It’s a set right? Well four days later I did finally finish the set.

The thing is after I finished the set I did not just go back to leveling and relaxing. I was curious to see what Wow-Heroes thought of my new gear, so I pulled it up and checked. Not bad, not bad at all. But there was one piece sticking out like a sore thumb. My boots are still green. Not bad, not unable to carry me through into Northrend, just green.

That is how a good friend of mine came on to find me yesterday running Eye of the Storm. For those of you who don’t already know I absolutely despise PVP. I actively go out of my way to avoid it and have in fact never gotten a single pvp reward on any of my many toons. What was I doing in a place I hate she asked?

Tokens….. Need tokens for boots.

I had somehow gone from not caring a bit about gear to doing something I hate for what will be vendor trash in 3 weeks or less.

It’s easy to stop hunting epics, honest. You just have to watch out for that first one….

The one that seems nearly free.

 

Today

I reminisce about Warcraft,

Of epic drops, and dungeons past.

 

I think of all the lessons learned,

Of friendships made, and bridges burned.

 

I think about the endless grind,

And friends on vent, just passing time.

 

I remember now those who deceived,

I think of plans, and goals achieved.

 

I think about the epic kills.

One left standing as the boss goes still.

 

I think of those who got the boot,

For epic whine, over epic loot.

 

I think about a guild long gone,

And how its core has carried on.

 

I think about whats coming next,

Will I be up to the Litch Kings test?

 

Will I log in to hear folks wail,

It’s Dechion, of epic fail?

 

Or will the things I’ve learned before

carry through on Northrends shore?

 

I guess I’ll have to wait and see,

For now, today is where I’ll be.

 

-Dechion

Something was missing

My feed reader is clogged. Seriously people, I go away for a long weekends vacation and come back to hundreds of posts. After two days working my way through the list I came across this post by Starman over at Casual Raid Leader. It really got me thinking about the mauling of Karazhan that the pug I was with laid down this weekend.

It was fun, fast, and surprisingly stress free. No one else needed the upgrades, so my young huntress came away with a boat load of shiny new purples. Things I would have gladly dumped all my DKP on not so very long ago are now just purple vendor trash. The run was fun, but it felt kind of hallow.

*fade back nearly two years*

 

 

I remember the nights of leveling my first character, a Troll hunter named Decado. During the weeks leading up to the release of The Burning Crusade I was furiously trying to catch up to my friends at 60, I wanted to raid. As I quested I would sit silently on Vent, listing in. I knew I would get there and wanted to learn what to do.

Burning Crusade hits. The race to 70 starts. There were dungeon runs aplenty, gearing up for the great monolith of Karazhan. Specs were debated, professions were learned, boss fights researched, and skills practiced. I found the ogres in Negrand provided an excellent training ground for chain trapping. Not because it made farming them easier, but because a missed trap on Morose would often spell a wipe.

Attumen taught me the benefits of focused fire, and that time is not to be wasted.

Morose taught me about crowd control and how everyone needs to work together or it will all come apart.

Maiden taught me to stay in range of the healers while still keeping range on my target, I began to pay attention to more than myself.

The Opera taught me to come prepared for more than one thing. To think and adjust on the fly, to never leave home without my Nifty Stopwatch, and to run like hell when chased by a giant wolf. 

Curator taught me patience, switching targets to handle the flares first. The Curator to follow in good time.

Illhoof taught situational awareness, switching to the chains instantly while dodging imps all the while.

Shade taught me to control myself and my pet, one move at the wrong time spelling disaster.

Then we had a problem, we were starting to cancel raids because of a lack of healers. Spread too thin the healing corps of Infusion simply could not handle two Kara teams at once. At the leaders recruited, I put Decado on hold.  I rolled a priest who never made it past 50, then Infusion died.

 We switched factions and servers when that happened. That’s when I rolled Morham, my priest. I leveled him up and raided as far as SSC before the great boss nerf of ’08, but I never forgot the teacher. Even though my new guild was no longer running Kara I pugged it every week. In the same halls where I once learned to kill in I now learned to preserve life.  Although the lessons were different I was still learning.

During all of that I was slowly leveling another hunter, Drupadi. This weekend she was finally ready. I got an invitation to run Kara and bring her along. It was time to go back to the schoolhouse and prove that I had absorbed the lessons it had to teach.  Time to show what I had learned, to impress the teacher.

And the teacher had left the building.

That’s what was missing.

It was a wonderful zombie filled hunter Christmas

I was going to write a long drawn out post about the whole zombie invasion part of the current world event. Then I started reading my feedreader and realized that had been quite thoroughly beaten to death. My opinion on it? I think it was fun while it lasted, but I am glad it’s over.

Secondly, I don’t normally do “loot posts”. Not that there is anything wrong with them per say, just usually not my thing. Well this weekend was exceptional, all the stars were properly aligned, all my rolls were good, and best of all no one else needed (or greeded) anything that dropped.

 

 

 

Enter Drupadi, my relatively fresh 70 hunter. She has so far run two instances, Shadow Labs and Kara. I knew she would have been fine leveling in the blues and greens she picked up questing her way to 70. That in mind I had no intention of going gear farming for her before wrath hit. That changed when I got an offer to run Kara with a well geared pug group that was mostly there to farm badges.  That’s when the epics started to drop.

In short order I picked up the Worgen claw necklace from Attumen. He went down like he was throwing the fight. I know it’s Hallows Eve and all, but you don’t have to just sit in your stable and pass out epics. Then again I seem to remember being happy at this point just to have gotten something other than badges for the run.

It was amazing how fast things were going down, both from most of the raid being overgeared and from the great boss nerf of ’08. Morose lost all four of his buddies by the time of his first vanish, and he himself was down before his second. Curator never managed to make it to evocation, and we pulled him accidentally along with the last pack of mobs.  I don’t think maiden lasted long enough to put us to sleep once. I seem to remember this place being a lot harder a few years ago.

Continuing on we pulled up the curtains on the opera only to find…. Big bad wolf. He managed to get two turns chasing people around before we took him down. What drops? you guessed it, the Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle. Even better was that no one else needed it. Counting my lucky stars that I managed to pick up what is undoubtedly my favorite gun in the game as we carried on.

Boss after boss went down with a speed that continued to amaze me. On Illhoof we managed to nuke is buddy first, and have him down before the re-spawn. I think one person total was sacrificed. When we went through his pockets, low and behold there was a Girdle of the prowler and I was the only mail wearer in the group. More hunterey goodness.

Moving onward and upward we cleared to Shade of Aran, then put him out of his misery before he had a chance to do more than say “WTF?”. Speaking of being the only mail wearer in the group, Shade in all his kindness decided to drop me a nice Steelspine Faceguard. I was actually starting to feel bad that all the loot was going my way, but better to use it than shard it.

The rest of the group was giving me some good natured grief about about the way things were falling, but we were all having fun with it. We even predicted how it would all end. Prince down by the third infernal. Low and behold there sits what I have been questing for since my first hunter started running Kara almost 2 years ago now, the mighty Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix. Not only did it finally drop, but no one else wanted it.

I write this not to brag, not to gloat, not to stroke my e-peen. If I was doing this just to brag I would post shots of the damage meters for the run, which had me at 3rd overall. Not bad for being woefully undergeared. Hell, I actually feel bad for getting so much loot in one run.

I write this so that six months from now, when my forehead is bloody from beating my head against the brick wall known as “progression” I can look back at this and smile. I can remember the day that the bosses dropped like Hogger and the epics fell like rain.

The Zombies ate my post

I had a post written for today, honest.

It was well thought out, meticulously detailed, insightful, and hilarious. everything you have come to not expect from reading my blog.

Then it happened. I logged in to check for something in the auction house. I am scanning away, looking for a potion that Dechion needs for a quest. Out of the blue the auctioneer changed.

Right before my eyes the scourge took hold of him, and he became a zombie. He hungered for brains. Mostly because they are the foundation of a healthy zombie diet, as illustrated below.

 

 

My poor banker had no chance. He is a city dweller, A civilian, lacking even a weapon to defend himself with as the zombies closed in. With no where to run and no where to hide he chose to face down the oncoming evil with nothing but his bare hands. He was determined to go down swinging, and go down he did.

You see, that is what happened to my post. I was thinking about what to write at the time he was in the auction house. Then they dropped him like a bad habit and proceeded to use him for a snack.

So you get stuck with this today, Because the zombies ate my brains.

Prices drop in Wotlk, without going down

Doing more with less.

A coroperate mantra, a financiers dream, a conservationists vision, and at least in Wow an economic reality.

Soon, very soon, what seems expensive to you now will seem like chump change. I will use mount costs as an example.

When you were level 40 and needed 100g for your slow ground mount it was a lot of money. Now at level 30 you need less than half that, but it’s still a good chunk of change at that level. 500g at level 60 was a ton of work, at 70 its a few dailies away. The same can be said of the 1000g for a basic flyer as a fresh level 70.

The point is that the only thing that truly has a steady value in the game is your time. Here are two examples to compare. A low level character that can manage to gather 25-30g worth of stuff in a couple of hours play, and a level 70 that can plow through 250g worth of daily quests in the same amount of time.

The level 70 character does not work any harder than the low level one, he just makes more money based on the game mechanics and where he fits within them. A good friend of mine once came riding down to lowbie land  on his level 60 main to drop four ten slot bags and 5g on me to help me on my way. I recently returned the favor when he rerolled onto Draenor, passing him four sixteen slot bags and 25g. I still think I got the better end of the deal.

Inflation is your friend.

Whether you have seen it your self or just heard some of the old codgers whining about it you know how a dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to. You know the ones I am talking about, they shake their cane at you, and ramble on about being better than everyone else just because they were in the open beta …

For Atari.

Thier joysticks had just one button. They had no fancy keybindings or macros. They played thier games uphill, both ways, on a black and white TV, BEFORE THE INVENTION OF MOUNTAIN DEW.

 

 

These same folks will talk about how once upon a time you could buy a car for a few thousand dollars, now costs more than a HOUSE did 40 years ago. They talk of gas for 35 cents a gallon and cigerettes at five bucks a carton. Want some fun? Grab an old magazine and read through the ads in the back looking at prices, but I digress.

“But I was always told Inflation is bad” you say? Well, in the real world it is. It forces us to try to make the same amount of incoming money cover the ever increasing costs of living. But that is the real world, not the world of warcraft.

In Warcraft Inflation works in reverse. Remember leveling? How happy you were as the mobs dropped more and more money. Recall what it was like when the quests started to give silver instead of copper, then gold instead of silver. Think back to when you really wished you had just a couple of gold to buy some bags for your shiny new character? when having 500G for your epic riding skill seemed like a mountain impossible to climb? 

In WotLK they are selling Mammoths for 20,000g and rings for 8500g. It won’t be too long before we look back and call 5000G for the epic flier chump change.

The way I see it with the price staying the same and our earning potential going up its basicly inflation in reverse. The thing I am really spending is my time, the gold just represents how much of it I have invested and the level that I am playing at.

With the amount of gold going up as I level and for the most part prices staying the same I can invest less of my time in farming and more into actually playing. That is how the price falls, without going down.

Murphy strikes again

Curse you Murphy!

As those who follow know, I am trying for the achievement What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been. Not only am I working on it but I am trying to do it on two characters at the same time. Drupadi and Morham have been running all over the world doing one thing after another. With a few days of perseverance they have both managed to knock out all the requirements for Hallowed be thy Name save one.

Sinister Calling.

Oh, how you mock me random number generator. Drupadi got incredibly lucky on Saturday, not only seeing the Sinister Squashling drop but winning the roll. Leaving her but one random drop away from completing her achievement. All she needs now is the Hallowed Helm.

Sunday it dropped four times, and the loot-fu was not with her. Five players in the instance, four drops. Guess who walked out without one. /Sigh

Monday was more of the same, it dropped two times for her group. She managed to roll a 99 and a 98, yet she still does not have one. Both times someone else rolled a 100. I guess its back in the saddle again after maintenance today. Perhaps said maintenance will fix her broken RNG.

 

I had a blast on Morham yesterday. After getting ready to go do some PVP for G.N.E.R.D. rage  I realised that all the G.N.E.R.D.S. I had gathered the day before were gone. /Epic Fail at reading tooltips. So I Logged over to Dechion and hit up a few candy buckets to support Morhams achievement habit, then went to do a bit of PvP.

While it is no secret that I have never really been a fan of PvP I can honestly say that I had a blast. Even doing it as a PVE specced and geared holy priest was not too bad. I walked out of one Alterac Valley with 3 or 4 achievements complete and well over 130 HK’s in one engagement. Not only did I come in tops on the healing done chart but I managed to get two killing blows with only one death.

I understand that if you PvP regularly that this probably seems very Meh to you, but it’s my blog and I’ll babble if I want to.

 

Now Morham was all caught up with Drupadi, just Sinister Calling left to do. Grabbing a group He headed off to go do the Headless Horseman and challenge his luck with the dreaded RNG. He was pretty fortunate in getting a solid group for the days attempts, Every time having the Horseman down before his adds sprouted. We went through it so fast that when it was all over there were five flaming bodies on the ground. The last was down before the first despawned.

On the last attempt the loot-fu was finally with me. The drop I had been waiting for popped up on my screen. The rolls scrolled past…. Morham with an 88 picks up none other than, you guessed it.

The Hallowed Helm.

A weekend for the books

It was an interesting weekend to say the least.

I got started early on the holiday achievements for Hallows Eve. The better part of a days playtime involved visiting 47 candy buckets scattered around the world on two different characters. I ran the Headless Horseman about 25 times spread out over the two toons and two days as well as doing many of the other side quests. Over all having a blast with the holiday and the achievements that go with it.

On the first of the many attampts at the Horseman he dropped none other than the Sinister Squashling . Not only did it drop, but in a nice turn about from my usually horrible rolls Drupadi actually won it. Then again I have seen the Hallowed Helm drop four times and lost every roll, so we shall see if the future holds a helm (and the title that goes with it) for her or not.

 

 

I think Blizzard really hit one out of the park with the whole achievement system. The Idea that the little things you do somehow all add up is kind of nice. Having the ability to use it to plan out long term goals is really nice as well. I for one am going to try to complete What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Are their easier ways to go about getting an epic flyer? Of course there are. The flyer is not the goal, it’s just a prize for sticking to it for a year. Will I be able to stick with it that long? Who knows? Ask me next year at Brewfest and I’ll have a better answer. Either way its less about the destination than it is about the journey.

Speaking about journeys, when I sat down to do my normal Monday morning babble I came to realize that this will be my 100th post. While not really a huge milestone it is kinda significant for me, what with it being a big round number and all.

Five months ago when I started writing, first on Benameless then later here at Dechion’s Place, I had no idea where this would lead, I still don’t. Hell, I did not even know if I would still be blogging a week later. With any luck I will continue to get better at this as time goes on, what with practice improving skills and all. 

Writing here has taught me a few things though, not all of them about the game. I have come to realise that blogging, like achievements, is much less about where it ends than about how you get there. It’s all about the journey.

So here is an open invite to continue the journey with me.

Buckle up, I hope to make it an interesting ride.

The Hallowed

I know, I know.

Yesterday I said I would do a breakdown on my priests talent spec similar to what I did for my hunter. This morning I woke up to find that there is a new build on the PTR and likely a few more changes on the horizon. I don’t want to do an entire article on a build that may very well be useless in a week or so. What I will say is that I chose a spec very similar to the 23/38/0 Improved Divine Spirit build that I have healed with for the last year. I am now running with THIS 23/38/0 Improved Divine Spirit build. It seems to work well for what little I have done with it so far.

Once things settle down I will do the full breakdown, likely revisiting the Hunter class then as well.

On the plus side, Hallows End has started today, offering tricks, treats, and titles.  I did a long rambling post about all the achievements tied to my favorite holiday a few weeks ago which you can check out HERE.

We interrupt this blog to bring you breaking news…… Apparently Blizzard has reconsidered its position on allowing random occurrences effect the outcome of meta achievements. In an announcement today Blizzard has removed the A mask for all occasions  achievement from the meta achievement Hallowed be thy name . We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Having the requirement to get all the Hallows Eve masks removed will be a big help in removing the randomness from my efforts to complete the meta achievement. One thisg still to consider though is the horrible drop rate on the one other random item. I refer to none other than the  Sinister Squashling pet  thet drops from the Headless Horseman.  I will need to have that drop, and win the roll, to complete Sinister calling . Perhaps the drop rate on that item has been increased slightly, we shall see. At any rate I plan to continue my efforts to complete Hallowed be thy name this Hallows eve regardless of drop rate on the pet.

In the bigger picture I understand its crazy right now. There are new talents, new spells, new pets for hunters, achievments, glyphs, new everything it seems. What better way to get used to them than running around wired on candy or smacking the Headless Horseman around? In 26 days everything will change again anyway, quit worrying about three weeks from now.

Have fun with what we have while we are here.

My Hunter (and pet) talent spec for 3.0 and WotLK

If you have followed the blog for more than a day or two you have already read about my computer woes on patch day. It was a good time, really it was. I like nothing better than fixing the computer so I can play my game.

Well I finally did manage to get everything back together and running correctly just in time to log in and find that Murphy had been waiting in the wings, ready to pounce. It turns out that every single addon that I like happened to be borked. Huzzah for a second day of fixing things so that I can play.

Heading off to Auctioneer.com and Curse.com I proceeded to find 3.0 compatible addons to start rebuilding my UI. Although not completely done rebuilding yet, at least the game is playable again.

Rebuilding my UI is a story for another day however (probably Monday). Today is about where I dropped my hunters talents when I logged back in. I will likely write up something similar to this for the priest for posting tomorrow. I spent a bit of time playing with talents and this is what I came up with and why.

First up is Drupadi, my 70 huntress. I could just say I specced 56/5/0 Beastmastery and leave it at that, but that would be no fun. One thing to think about is how important it is that your build and your pets build need to be designed to work together. Consider that when choosing pets and setting up their talents. It is very much like having one big spec, the more they work together the better it will all be in the end.

Well here goes, just keep in mind I am here to educate, entertain, and occasionally make a fool of myself. On a good day I can do all three at the same time. Here is what I picked, what it does, and why I went there.

 

Edit: While the information here is still (for the most part) valid, there have been some pretty interesting changes in the last few weeks since i wrote this. Google, in all its infinite searchy wisdom likes to direct folks here as opposed to the more recent articles.

So, if you have a few minutes drop by and check out the more updated posts that go right along the same lines as this one.

The first is written with a Beastmastery  Hunter and a Tenacity pet in mind, it can be found  HERE.

The second was written with a Beastmastery Hunter and Ferocity pet in mind, and it is available HERE.

Beast Mastery

Improved aspect of the Hawk 5/5       

While Aspect of the Hawk is active all normal ranged attacks have a 10% chance to increase ranged attack speed by 15% for 12 seconds.

While this has always bee a favorite of mine it just received a really nice indirect buff that makes it even better. Special shots no longer interfere with autoshot. With more autoshots going downrange this will proc a lot more often than it used to, and once it does it will likely continue to refresh itself throughout an encounter. Also coming soon to a scribe near you Glyph of Improved Aspect of the Hawk which will increase the haste bonus from 15% to 21%. I cant wait to get that one and start shooting like a machine gun, especially if used along with rapid fire.

Endurance training 1/5

Increases the total health of your pet by 2% and your total health by 1%

Mostly a filler talent that will help out a bit while soloing, although honestly I have had more mana issues than health ones.

Focused fire 2/2

Your damage increases by 2% while your pet is active and the critical strike rating of your pets special abilities increases by 20% while Kill Command is active.

Not only do I do a bit more damage, but my pet will crit more often. Good synergy with later talents that proc off of pet crits. Most notably these include Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration in this particular build.

Improved revive pet 2/2

Casting time of Revive Pet reduced by 6 seconds, mana cost reduced by 40% and your pet returns with 30% more health.

Despite all our best efforts sometimes fluffy ends up taking a dirt nap. When this happens getting him back into the fight as quickly and efficiently is a definite plus.

Aspect Mastery 1/1

Aspect of the Viper – Reduces the damage penalty by 10%.

Aspect of the Monkey – Reduces the damage done to you while active by 5%.

Aspect of the Hawk – Increases the attack power bonus by 30%.

I plan to run with Hawk for damage, switching to Viper for mana regen, this benefits both for one point. Once I hit 75 and get access to Aspect of the Dragonhawk it will be even better. Score!

Unleashed Fury 5/5

Increases the damage done by your pets by 20%.

More damage is a good thing, nuff said.

Improved Mend pet 2/2

Reduces the mana cost of your Mend Pet spell by 20% and gives the Mend Pet spell a 50% chance of cleansing 1 Curse, Disease, Magic or Poison effect from the pet each tick.

Not only do we save mana but we get a cleanse as well. Some folks only go one point here, I always go for two. Now if I could just get it to cleanse the “stompy stompy shake the screen” debuff it would be all good. Breaking news, Blizzard realised it is annoying and will be turning the screen shake off. I would link the blue post but apparently my computer was hungry and ate the link.

Ferocity 5/5

Increases the critical strike chance of your pet by 10%.

More crit is always a good thing, good synergy with Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration. Not to mention you need 5/5 just to get to Frenzy.

Spirit Bond 2/2

While your pet is active, you and your pet will regenerate 2% of total health every 10 sec., and increases healing done to you and your pet by 10%.

While the passive regen is nice it was never enough on its own to make me drop points here. The second half though 10% healing to both me and my pet is huge. The less the healers have to worry about me the better. They have more important things to worry about, Like keeping the tank alive for instance. This should also be a good help in soloing as it does work with mend pet, helping to offset the points we did not take in Endurance Training earlier.

Intimidation 1/1

Command your pet to intimidate the target on the next successful melee attack, causing a high amount of threat and stunning the target for 3 sec

I love this talent, it comes in handy when soloing for sure. It also comes in quite handy when trying to convince wayward mobs that, in fact, they do not want to chew the healers face off. Face it though, with this being a requirement for Bestial Wrath the talent could read “causes butterflies and pretty flowers to surround you, kind of like in the movie Cinderella. This has no benefit whatsoever” and I would still gladly drop a point in it.

Bestial Discipline 2/2

Increases the Focus regeneration of your pets by 100%.

More focus = more special attacks. It’s that simple. I may revisit this at 75 or so when I can have 2/2 in Go for the Throat, but until then this stays. If I do lose it later the points will likely go towards Frenzy and Careful Aim to round them out.

Frenzy 4/5

Gives your pet a 80% chance to gain a 30% attack speed increase for 8 sec after dealing a critical strike.

More attack speed = more damage. More importantly more crits to proc Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration.  I would rather be 5/5 here, but until I am sure of my focus regen I will steal a point for Bestial discipline.

Ferocious Inspiration 3/3

When your pet scores a critical hit, all party members have all damage increased by 3% for 10 sec.

Nice when running solo, damn good when running a five man, absolutely huge in a raid situation. It’s like a party, the more the merrier.

Bestial Wrath 1/1

Send your pet into a rage causing 50% additional damage for 18 sec. While enraged, the beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and it cannot be stopped unless killed.

The big red pet. Such a defining talent of the Beastmastery hunter that several blogs are named after it. Any hunter this deep in the BM tree who does not take this should be hunted down by his own pets.

Invigoration 2/2

When your pet scores a critical hit with a special ability, you have a 100% chance to instantly regenerate 1% mana.

With the changes to mana regen and potion usage that are now in effect this should give me a nice buffer before popping Aspect of the Viper and losing out on damage I should be doing.

Serpents Swiftness 5/5

Increases ranged combat attack speed by 20% and your pet’s melee attack speed by 20%.

I shoot more often, my pet attacks more often. More damage, more crits, more procs of all the other nifty stuff starting the whole circle of pain rolling. One of the main reasons BM hunters do so much damage is right here.

Longevity 3/3

Reduces the cooldown of your Bestial Wrath, Intimidation and Pet Special Abilities by 30%.

Once again speeding up the process of bringing the hurt down on the bad guy of the moment. Are we sensing a theme here? hit harder and faster, crit more often, proc all the goodies. Wash, rinse, repeat. Also useful for mana conservation, since you use less when under the influence of Bestial Wrath. When used together with a Glyph of Bestial Wrath  it will cut the cooldown on you big red pet down to 64 seconds. that’s right at 1/3 up time.

The Beast Within 1/1

When your pet is under the effects of Bestial Wrath, you also go into a rage causing 10% additional damage and reducing mana costs of all spells by 20% for 18 sec. While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed.

Besides the obvious benefits of extra damage and mana conservation this talent has the best tooltip ever. Say it with me now…. While enraged, you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and you cannot be stopped unless killed. doesn’t that just make you want to go log in and lay the smack down on something?

Cobra strikes 3/3

You have a 60% chance when you critically hit with Arcane Shot, Steady Shot or Kill Shot to cause your pet’s next 2 special attacks to critically hit.

More pet criticals! sweet! Once again we are going down the list proccing Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration with all their yummy goodness. Welcome to the circle of pain.

Kindred Spirits 5/5

Increases your pet’s damage by 20% and you and your pet’s movement speed by 10% while your pet is active. This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.

The movement speed increase is a nice bonus, now I don’t need to have a Riding Crop equipped. It’s much harder to forget to swap out if I get to leave it on the bank. The meat of this one is the further 20% damage bonus for my pets attacks.

Beast mastery 1/1

You master the art of Beast training, teaching you the ability to tame Exotic pets and increasing your total amount of Pet Skill Points by 4.

Is the ability to tame an exotic pet game breaking? Nope. While they are pretty nice, and according to early comments by Ghostcrawler will be getting a damage buff, that’s not why I am here. I am here for 4 more pet talent points.

Marksmanship

Lethal shots 5/5

Increases your critical strike chance with ranged weapons by 5%.

Once again we are looking at crit. As of this point in the build the only thing it will fee into is Cobra Strikes. Then again if I proc that the next two pet specials crit as well in turn proccing Frenzy, Ferocious Inspiration, and Invigoration. Not bad for 5 first tier talent points. Later on when I have Go for the Throat it will become even better, helping keep that focus bar full.

Well, looks like we are done right?

Wrong. Don’t you kinda feel like we are forgetting something? You guessed it, we still need to spec our pet. This particular spec would (I think) work well with just about any pet, however I set it up with my cat Shadow in mind. Lets look at his spec and see how it plays with this one. 

Ferocity Build (cat in this case)

Cobra Reflexes 2/2

Increases your pet’s attack speed. Your pet will hit faster but each hit will do less damage.

While we may do less damage with each attack we will hit more often. More hits = more crits feeding into the whole “circle of pain” we tried to make in the Hunter build.

Dash 1/1

Increases your pet’s movement speed by 80% for 16 sec.

When your pet needs to be there yesterday you will be glad you took this one, and so will your healer. Also such a help in soloing that it felt like slow motion when I did not have it. Remember, time spent running towards the mob is time not spent killing him, and until they are down you can’t go through thier pockets looking for loose change.

Great Stamina 3/3

Increases your pet’s total Stamina by 12%.

More stamina, more health. Dead pets don’t kill bad guys, ’nuff said.

Bloodthirsty 2/2

Your pet’s attacks have a 20% chance to increase its happiness by 5% and heal 5% of its total health.

Self healing and less feeding! Who could ask for more.

Avoidance 3/3

Reduces the damage your pet takes from area of effect attacks by an additional 75%.

The less damage my pet takes the longer it keeps killing bad guys. With all the splash damage and AOE effects in newer instances this one is a must for me.

Heart of the Phoenix 1/1

When your pet dies, it will miraculously return to life with full health.

Seriously, how could I possibly turn this one down. Although handy while grinding solo, this will be huge in Boss fights where fluffy does end up taking a dirt nap for some reason. That will be both time and mana I will not have to spend on resurrecting my pet.  Having this is almost enough to make me rethink taking Improved Revive Pet and put those points elsewhere instead, Almost.

Spiders bite 3/3

Increases the critical strike chance of your pet by 9%.

With all the other crit based talents we have worked into this build I would be a fool to turn down an extra 9% chance to have all those start the “circle of pain” rolling.

Rabid 1/1

Your pet goes into a killing frenzy, increasing attack power by 5%. Successful attacks have a 50% chance to increase attack power by an additional 5%. This effect will stack up to 5 times. Lasts 20 sec.

Yet another reason to attack faster, besides the crits and the rolling circle of pain that it brings we also get to stack this causing even more damage.

Call of the wild 1/1

Your pet roars, increasing the melee and ranged attack power of all party members within 40 yards by 10%. Lasts 20 sec.

Like Ferocious Inspiration this will be nice solo, great in a five man, and huge in a raid instance. It’s like a party, the more the merrier.

 

As of right now my long term goal is a build that looks either like this one at 56/15/0 Beastmastery or this one at 55/16/0 Beastmastery depending on how well focus regenerates. I plan to balance that with a ferocity pet build like this one  at level 80. Although with everything so new all this will likely change by the time I get there, probably more than once. At any rate it’s good to have a plan, even if it will likely change.

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