And the word of the day is…..

 

Ding!

And the lights grow dimmer

Last night I had a dream.

I dreamed of an endless expanse of forest.

A cold rain was falling, the kind that gets into your bones no matter how you try to stay warm. It was a dark rather and forbidding place, this forest.  I was lost and alone there.

Here and there I began to notice campfires. I walked to one of the brighter ones and introduced myself to the people gathered around. There were many people there, most talking quietly, a few arguing amongst themselves. Sitting next to a pile of firewood was a storyteller. When she started to speak the group grew silent, fixed on her tale.

I sat and listened as the storyteller spun tale after tale. She told of the adventures of strange people in far off lands. She told of strange creatures and people who do the silliest of things. Some of the tales were funny, some were not, but all taught a lesson.

As I walked from fire to fire I noticed a common thread. Every fire had a storyteller who kept the fire burning and the guests entertained. They all had stories to tell and people were happy to sit with them at the fire and listen in. Some burned brighter and hotter than others, some had a large crowd, some just a few close friends.

Time passed as I walked from fire to fire listening to tales and making new friends.

I started to notice as I was making my rounds some of the fires were slowly dying. The storytellers stoked the fire less often. The crowds at those fires became smaller. Some fires were left unattended completely and slowly burned to coals, perhaps with a few people gathered around the dimming fire waiting for the storyteller to come back.

Here and there a storyteller would announce that the stories were done, put out the fire and move on to new things.

New fires were started, new stories were told. Yet as the older storytellers left I found I could feel the cold a little more, and the lights grew a bit dimmer in the forest as they departed.

As I floated back from the dream to being fully awake It came to me that I should have thanked all the storytellers I had visited for the stories they had told.

To all those who’s fire I have visited, thanks for the tales.

People ask the oddest things

I was looking today at what some of the searches are that have found their way to my blog recently.  Since several of them are actually in the form of questions I figured I would take a shot at answering them.

 

campfire

Wtb marshmallows, pst

Dalaran free cooking fire where

Sounds like someone was looking for a free cooking fire. Personally I use the one in the room with the cooking trainer if I happen to be nearby. Other than that I make a habit of carrying either a Gnomish Army Knife or a Flint and Tinder with me all the time.  Ever since the requirement to have simple wood was removed from the cooking fire I just drop one wherever I am.

 

watch your step

watch your step

Hunters role in Naxx 10

Hunters have many responsibilities in Naxx. The main ones to worry about are blowing large holes in things and not standing in various walls of fire, noxious clouds, and other assorted things that make the healers grumpy.

In all seriousness Naxx (at least what I have seen of it) has been pretty straightforward on my hunter. I have not been tasked with any trapping or kiting,  Just Dpsing while not standing in things that kill me.

 

Duct tape for survival

Well, I doubt they found what they were looking for in the post about going over to survival on my hunter. 

Once upon a time I lived in hurricane country. Central Florida, New Orleans, North Carolina and Virginia to be exact. When I lived in those parts of the country we kept a plastic tote packed with a bunch of things that would come in really handy if we needed to be able to evacuate with a few hours notice. 

It held (amongst many other things) copies of important documents, some emergency cash,  a few simple tools, things to make a fire, a first aid kit, and of course…. duct tape. I had no particular thing in mind with the tape, it just seemed like something that belonged there.

 

Buying level 80 hunter.

Mine is not for sale.

Seriously, why are people still buying accounts? Not only is it against the rules it is just a waste of money. If even the super sped up leveling process is too hard on you then you need to learn to play as you level instead. If your attention span is so short that you cant commit to the time it takes to level to the cap how are you going to keep your focus on progression? What happens when you run into a real roadblock in raiding?

If you are bound a determined to spend your money do it through getting a second account and refer-a-friending your self. Then roll a couple of alts and dual box them, at least that way its legal.

All the cool kids are doing it….

Looks like the Meme of the week is about screenshots.

It goes something like this: “post the sixth screenshot in your sixth folder and tell us about it.”

Turns out that since my old computer decided to cough out the blue smoke of doom I don’t really have that many screenshots. Those that I take for the blog I generally chop out what I need and delete them afterwards. Pictures of the contents of my bags for instance. Anywho this works out so that I only have one folder, so you will just have to settle for the sixth shot from that one.

morham-in-org

When I started playing it was Horde side. My first three toons were all undead, and none made it past level 12. Then I played a Tauren, while I loved my Druid I never really got into Thunder Bluff as a city. I don’t know why, but it just never really clicked for me. Then I rolled my first Troll. I still remember the first time I came running into Orgrimmar. That city clicked for me, it was what a city should be. 

Even over a year after my defection to the Alliance side Orgrimmar remains my favorite city. I keep my retired 70 Troll Hunter there just so I can visit from time to time. Sometimes I will just log into him and go fish.

That is why I enjoyed the Wrathgate questline so much. One time, and one time only, my Alliance characters were allowed to run around Orgrimmar (a phased version with no vendors or other players) and just hang out. When Morham went there I spent a good hour hanging out, just fishing and goofing off.

This screenshot is of Morham standing right where I would always park my toons when they were there.

A human priest just sitting outside the bank in Orgrimmar. Now there’s something you don’t see every day.

mission accomplished

Sing it with me (horribly off key)…..

I believeeee I can flyyyyy…….

Morham hit 77 last night and got his license back. My questing life just got a whole lot easier.

 

 

Before you ask, Yes. That’s a basic flyer you see before you. I have the cash in the bank to pick up his epic flight if I wanted to, but I am not going to right now.

He is not a farming character, not by any means. I saved up the cash to pick it up anyway, but it’s going to wait. Blizzard is famous for using the carrot and the stick method to keep us grinding. They have already stated flat out in a blue post about the new dual spec feature that while changing between your two specs will be free, you will have to purchase the ability to do it.

I smell a money sink coming.

A sucessful failure

Last Thursday I made a list (and yes, I checked it twice). I set what I thought was a pretty simple goal for myself. Go from having just dinged 75 to being level 77 by the end of the weekend.

Well, real life conspired against me and it did not happen. I ended the weekend sitting at 76 and just over a half.

Morham will still get there, he just did not get there last week.

What’s the successful part you ask? Simple. Drupadi did pop in for the occasional daily, because it was that close. I will just let the picture tell that story.

Polish you own @%#$*&@ helmet, I'm done.

Polish you own @%#$*&@ helmet, I'm done.

I should put things away when I am done.

I have been incredibly busy for the last few days.

I know it’s lame, but thats the only excuse I can come up with.

I really should have cleaned up after myself before I logged out. I just never thought this would happen.

I apoligize to everyone for leaving my stuff next to the forge and then logging out.

Now I have to farm up all the mats to make another one,

All because I was too lazy to go back to the bank,

The Ice Stone Has Melted…….

List me

If the blog looks funny, blame WordPress. Apparently they lost all their formatting at some point last night. I also cannot add links, images, polls, or pretty much anything else right now.  I believe the technical term is “Fubar”. Yet another reason I really should go self hosted at some point. Now on the the post.

 

I work best with a plan. This goes for both in and out of game.

In game I will make lists.

Lists of quests to do for their rewards.

Lists of gear to acquire to be “ready” for something (say Naxx for instance)

Lists of mats and recipes for leveling professions and crafting gear.

Lists of rep to grind for gear, patterns, and enchants.

Lists of gems and enchants for different pieces of gear.

I kid you not, at one point I had so many lists I had to make a list of all my lists so I could keep them straight.

 

Perhaps that is why I find leveling a new class so daunting. None of my old lists will apply. My Hunter is already at 80 and pretty comfortable in the gear she has. I could take her into any 10 man and most 25′s with what she has right now and be able to do my job. Possibly not quite as well as someone with higher numbers on their paper doll, but I could pull my weight.

The closer Morham the priest gets to 80 the more pressure I put on myself to come up with a plan for him. Questions roll around in my head whenever I try to play him.

Which quest rewards should I be looking for?

 Which rep should I work towards first?

Will I choose to stay Shadow? Likely not, I prefer healing.

If I heal will it be as Discipline or Holy?

How does that change what I need to do?

I stew over this for a bit, then log off or go goof off on Drupadi.

 

Sometimes my blog is funny, sometimes serious, and every now and again it’s more like my version of Tom Hanks talking to a volleyball in Castaway.   Every once in a while it’s more like a piece for scratch paper for me to take notes on. This is one of those times when I am going to dictate my “to do” list to Wilson.

1. Don’t do any of the group quests I come across. They often offer decent blue quest rewards. I don’t want to grab the wrong one, but can always come back for them later.

2. Unless something is a ginormous upgrade over my tier 4 and badge gear grab the plate reward and shard it.

3. Exception to #2 is trinkets. Any caster trinkets I come across get chosen as rewards and banked for sorting out later.

4. I have enough gold in the bank already to support my daily expenses for several months, maybe as long as a year if I am not doing progression raiding. Don’t worry about making more for the time being, just get to 80 and worry about it then.

5. Professions that are not already maxed out get ignored until 80 with two exceptions. I will still do my inscription research every day and will do enchants for guildies/friends if needed.

6. Do normal questing for now and sort out which tabard to wear for what rep later. Does not matter for the moment. Worst case I can always put a Honor Hold head enchant on for the time being. If the difference in head enchants is the margin between victory and a wipe my group does not belong wherever we are at.

 

Keeping in mind that I am trying to get Morham back in the saddle at level 77 by Sunday night (possibly Monday night since I am out of town part of this weekend) I simply must have a short list to keep me going until I hit 80. I can figure everything else out then.  So here it it, my short list of things to do.

Grumpy, cranky, and generally not pleasant

I noticed something interesting yesterday. 

By all rights Morham the priest should be 80 by now like my Hunter Drupadi, but seems to be perpetually stuck at 75.

I will log into him, putter around a bit, then go do wintergrasp on my hunter.

I will log into him, putter around a bit, then go level my baby druid.

Maybe next time I will goof around a bit, and then spend an hour or two crafting and listing glyphs in the AH. (thanks to Gevlon, I am doing quite well)

I obviously can’t get into leveling him, now I think I know why.

On Drupadi the hunter leveling is fun. I like to run solo even now at level 80. It’s all about the journey.

On Morham leveling is about the destination. Nothing more than a chore to be completed before I get to have my fun at the other end.

Morham was rolled to be a healer. I healed my way from TBC heroics to The Black Temple. He is a blast to play as a healer, but I hateplaying him as a Dps for leveling. The whole concept of “target, shield, vamperic touch, shadow word pain, mind flay till dead, target next and repeat”  just makes my eyes bleed. I tried leveling Holy and Disc as well, it all gets really old really fast.

Of the three Shadow kills fastest, so that’s what I am.

Even my cookies are grumpy today.

Even my cookies are grumpy today.

At first I was all in favor of not having rep grinds for heroic keys. Hell, I still am. The problem comes when no one wants to run regular instances. No party = no healer needed. Everyone wants to run heroics, and I understand that completely. I understand, but I am still cranky.

Heroics are not much harder, they offer rep gains with tabards, better loot, badges and shards for even more better loot. I completely see why folks want to do them instead. Hell, I want to run them instead. The only thing running the regular instances would do is help me out.

There’s no point in that, the guild has plenty of healers .

I know I will have a good deal more fun once I hit 80. I also know that the minute I do people will be glad to group up and run heroics for fun and profit. I am just having a hell of a time forcing myself to drag out those last 5 levels, so I am setting myself a goal here in public.

I want to be back in the saddle by the end of the weekend. 77 by Sunday night.

Now if I can just stick to it.

The beating of a dead horse

Yes, I know.

If you read many blogs that have anything to do with Hunters you have heard this talked to death already.

What? you ask. The 3.1 patch changes of course.

Some folks see them as gloom and doom, the very end of the class as we know it.  Others are really unsure of what they see. I may have even read that some consider this a buff. As for me, I am not really sure where I sit on this. I suppose it all depends on how it’s implemented.

Now, like many bloggers before me, I will toss out my thoughts on what this will mean for hunters. I shall break out my crystal ball (the one with a crack in it) and attempt to predict the future. I have tried before, and it did not pan out too bad.

First up we have this note:

  • Consumable ammunition has been removed from the game. Arrows and bullets no longer stack, but are not consumed.

Hmm. What I assume is that instead of purchasing an ammo pouch or quiver to hold ammo we will be able to purchase something akin to a trinket. Call it a “Sheaf of arrows” or “Box ‘o bullets” or whatever. It will be equipped in the slot that is currently where you place your ammo on the paper doll. This allows them to change the mechanic without changing the paper doll.

  • Pros and Cons:
  • Frees up a bag slot (note to self: put 18 slot bags in the AH the day before it goes live, make a killing)
  • Allows Blizz the option of creating better ammo as a boss drop.
  • Aslo allows them to create “specialty” ammo that Harris Pilton could sell for large amounts, think flaming arrows or sparkly tracer bullets. (no extra damage, just different looking)
  • Reduces the cost of leveling and the cost of raiding.
  • This may hurt Engineering and Leatherworking. Ideally they would have a craftable that would use a crafted quiver and crafted ammo to make an ammo trinket.
  • What happens to the bonus to attack speed from the quiver?

Well, this shapes up to be a pretty decent buff in my book.  My only real concern is the attack speed which is addressed in the next statement.

  • Ranged attack speed bonus gained from quivers and ammo bags will be preserved in a different capacity.

This is what led me to the “Ammo trinket” I was talking about earlier. It would be easy enough to simply apply the ranged attack speed bonus to one.

  • Pros and cons:
  • The only issue I see with this is if they “forget” to put it in the patch. It may also be a place they could go for a little “stealth nerf” action at a later time.

This is neither a buff or a nerf, just maintaining the status quo. At least assuming all the numbers work out.

  • A new tier of hunter pet talents have been added. In particular, this allows Beastmaster hunters to improve their damage per second (DPS) with their 51 point talent.

Ok, they smacked Beastmastery so hard with the nerf bat that from all the numbers I have seen about two out of three respecced to Survival or Marksman. Perhaps they went a little far? Ya think? This is simply Blizz trying to do two things at once. They want to make Beastmastery competitive again without admitting the steady shot nerf was a bad idea, and thay want to “encourage” the use of the beastmastery 51 point talent.

  • Pros and cons:
  • Keep in mind every time they “balance” something someone gets hurt, just hope it’s not you.

Buff? Nerf? Hell there is barely enough information to make me tilt my head sideways and wonder whats going to happen. I guess it’s wait and see on this one.

  • Hunting Party – this talent has been reduced to 3 ranks and also grants a passive bonus to the hunter.

Ok, now we go from a five point talent to a three point one. I assume it will be similar to the Ret Pally and Shadow Priest versions that are 33/66/100% uptime instead of our current 20/40/60/80/100%. The passive bonus is probably going there to encourage people to actually take all three points.

  • Pros and cons:
  • not really enough info to do more than guess.
  • Keep in mind, they want replenishment to be mandatory for raiding, they will make this one appealing. 

Buff? Nerf? If things go the way I think they will this talent will see a solid buff. The passive bonus will be something that will benefit soloing Hunters as well. It will benefit them enough that they will actually want to put all three points into Blizz’s new favorite talent. After all they can’t design raiding around replenishment if they don’t make sure people spec into it.

Next up we have:

  • Piercing Shots – this talent has been changed. Your Aimed, Steady and Chimera Shots cause the target to bleed for 10/20/30% of damage dealt for 8 sec.

Blizz said Marksman would get a bit of a buff, well here it is. It’s also a nice stealthy way to give Marksman back the damage that steady shot used to do for them. The beauty of it is they can get their “oops my bad, we nerfed steady shot for you too” in for the Marksman without letting those dirty Beastmasters get their “wtf did you do to my dps?” hands all over it.

  • Pros and cons:
  • Grats to the Marksman Hunters on their extra damage potential

This next one seems a bit harsh.

  • Sniper Training – this talent has been changed. After standing still for 6 sec, you gain a 2/4/6% damage bonus to Steady, Aimed and Explosive Shot.

This is a bit more change than it seems on the surface.

  • Pros and cons:
  • I suppose standing still for 6 seconds will be possible on more boss fights than staying at 30+ yards was.
  • If you stand in one place for 6 seconds in pvp its because you are already dead.
  • Steady, aimed and explosive…. Wtf? where did kill shot go?
  • Seriously where is my 5/10/15% crit chance to my kill shot? thats why I took this in the first place!

Looks like sniper training really took it in the shorts. It remains to be seen what the talent trees will look like once 3.1 hits, but this looks a lot less appealing than it used to. I can only hope they move the 5/10/15% crit chance on kill shot over to Hunting Party in an effort to get people to actually take it.

  • We are also looking to add additional trap functionality to Survival.

This is right up there with saying “It will likely be cold in January, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.” Ok, they will look at it. Enjoy, have fun, the only thing I will say is hopefully they 41 point Survival talent gets some love.

 

Looking back at it overall I think it will all work out a bit even. Not so much of a beaing with the nerf bat. Not much of a giant buff either. Survival will keep its raid utility and likely see a slight decrease in damage. Marksman will see a slight increase in damage, and Beastmastery will (hopefully) be made raid viable again.

I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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