Did I blink?

Back when I was a kid my family and I would take road trips. 

We would take a week off and just go, avoiding interstates like the paluge and hitting up the towns on our route as we found them. Every trip was an adventure. The adventure was not in the destination, but the journey.

I miss those days.

.

The world event, which appears to be over, for Cataclysm reminds me of those days. In particular it reminds me of something my parents used to say about small towns.

“Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.”

.

After building up to your “OMG it’s gonna be epic!” world event for a year thats the best you can do?

Really?

Hallows End has more effect on my characters?

Childrens week is more disruptive than the breaking of the entire frackin world?

Seriously Blizz?

.

Now I know some folks got their panties in a bunch over the Zombie Invasion.

Some people could hit the lottery and bitch ‘cuse it was only 200 million.

Yes there was griefing which was unfortunate, but you have had two years to design something better.

Two years.

.

Something that did not involve Rip Van Winkle copyright violations.

.

It’s like you had us fall asleep at home and wake up at Wally World.

You took us straight to the destination without letting us experiance the journey.

The only way we get to see what happened is to watch the video clip.

Like watching home movies of someone elses vacation, all it does is make me wish I had been there. 

.

Well Blizz, you were right about one thing.

Your much hyped world even was epic alright.

.

An epic failure.

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First Impressions of The Shattering (patch 4.0.3a)

Today I, and doubtless many other bloggers, are sitting down and making note of our first impressions of a shattered world. I knew I planned on doing this today before taking tomorrow off of writing as I attempt to put myself into a turkey induced food coma.

I knew I needed to go run about and take a few screen shots, check out some of the reportedly awesome changes to the world. I planned to, I really did.

Before I could go saddle up one of my 80’s though I needed to introduce a new member to the team, one who has been waiting in the wings for a very long time.

Welcome aboard Decado, it’s gonna be fun.

After creating  my long awaited Forsaken Hunter, I logged into my banker and sent over his bag of goodies, just like I had planned.

I figured I would log in and see if the flyover intro had changed and then go running around on higher level to see some of the changes. Then I took a quest or two… just till I got to the mailbox mind you.

A while later I looked up and realized my playtime for the evening was over, I had never logged out of my new Hunter.

Um…

What the hell am I going to do about my first impressions of the new world! I didn’t even go anywhere!

.

Yes I did. I spent my time in the redesigned Forsaken starting zone.

Here are my first impressions of that experience, in no particular order.

  • The quest flow is noticeably better than before, things progressed in a logical straight forward manner.
  • Doing all the quests with no XP bonuses from rested, Heirlooms, or Refer-A-Friend I was level 7 by the time I made it to Brill.
  • Speaking of Brill, nicely done redesign. Looks much better.
  • It also has a flight point now, Huzzah!
  • There is a mail box within a very short walk from your initial spawn point. Others report that this is the case in all the starting zones. Excellent news for altoholics like me.
  • I noticed far fewer pieces of grey quality gear dropping in the first zones. Actually it was almost all cash or quest items. This will be awesome for new players that don’t have a sugar daddy to mail them bags
  • Speaking of quests, the quest reward gear is actually really nice looking. I have always hated the whole “dressed in rags’ period in every characters life.
  • The cloaks for low level characters no longer look like they put a bib on backward. I’ll actually enable it again. 
  • The holiday is an awesome opportunity to not have to fight with cooking as I level this character. He got to 335 cooking last night for less than 2G. The turkey recipe goes grey at 355, I plan to get to at least 350 with it. I won’t have to worry about leveling it again till Northrend.
  • Over all, I would say the parts of the game I played last night were a giant improvement over what came before.
  • The redesigned cities (most notably Orgrimmar) are well done, though it will take me a while to learn my way around again.

 

Over all, I am wonderfully happy with the new content to this point, but holy hell a lot has been changed.

It’s a brave new world, thats for sure.

One I am looking forward to exploring for the next few years.

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Patch 4.0.3a (The Shattering) Patch Notes

Good morning folks, happy patch day.

The servers are down and 4.0.3a (The Shattering) is dropping as we speak. The world of Azeroth as we have known it for years will forever change.

Here are the patch notes for those that are behind firewalls, yet would still like to see what is in store for us this afternoon. The color coding is mine, Blue for the section titles for general stuff Red for each class section, even those normally colored something else.

For now I will keep my opinions about the changes to myself, more on that later.

Enjoy.

****************************************

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
World of Warcraft Client Patch 4.0.3a

The latest patch notes can always be found HERE

The latest test realm patch notes can always be found HERE

The Shattering of Azeroth
In the frigid wastes of Northrend, the final battle against the
merciless Lich King ended in victory for Azeroth’s defenders. Upon
returning home, veterans of the unforgiving conflict against the
Scourge were showered with praise for their valiant sacrifices, while
the honorable dead were mourned. Yet as hope flared anew in the wake
of the Lich King’s fall, Azeroth’s native elemental spirits grew
confused and erratic, setting off a series of deadly natural
disasters. Horde and Alliance leaders scrambled for clues about the
troubling state of the world, but nothing could have prepared them for
what was to come.

Without warning, the corrupted Dragon Aspect, Deathwing, erupted from
the stone heart of Deepholm, the domain of earth within the Elemental
Plane. Jagged fissures were torn across the earth, and monstrous waves
pummeled coastal regions. From Thousand Needles to the Blasted Lands,
the surface of Azeroth was reforged through violent upheavals. Now,
the Horde and the Alliance must defend their homes against Deathwing
and his minions, burdened by the unsettling fact that the world as
they know it has changed… forever.

Azeroth Shattered
Deathwing’s return has had an immeasurable impact throughout the
Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. Players will notice drastically altered
terrain, thousands of new quests from levels 1-55, and updated level
ranges for some zones to improve the questing flow.

New Race/Class Combinations
In the wake of a world on the brink of destruction, members of the
Horde and Alliance have taken to new cultures and studies, mastering
crafts previously foreign to them. Many existing playable races now
have new class combinations. Check the official World of Warcraft:
Cataclysm website for a breakdown of the new combinations.

General
The World of Warcraft: Cataclysm cinematic trailer and login screen
have been added to the game.
Experience required to gain levels 71 through 80 has been reduced by
20%, which increases leveling rate by 25%.

Classes: General
Due to several talent revisions for select classes, druids, paladins,
priests, and shaman have had their talent trees reset.
The damage and healing done by players from levels 1-79 has been
retuned, with the base points of almost all spells and abilities
reduced. This was done to bring combat times at low levels to a more
reasonable length. For most abilities that deal weapon damage, the
weapon damage percent now rises per level until level 80, and starts
at a lower percent.
Healing Rain, Efflorescence, Holy Radiance, Holy Word: Sanctuary now
have a diminished effect when healing more than 6 players at once.
Mortal Strike, Furious Attacks, Wound Poison, Widow Venom, Permafrost,
Improved Mind Blast, Monstrous Bite, and Legion Strike now reduce
healing by 10%, down from 25%.
Effects which are broken from taking too much damage (Fear, Frost
Nova, Entangling Roots, etc.) now break automatically from about half
as much damage taken as before.

Death Knight (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Death Pact now heals for 25% of maximum health, down from 40%.
Death Strike now heals for 25% of damage taken in the last 5 seconds,
down from 30%, and will heal for a minimum of 7% of maximum health,
down from 10%. The tooltip may not yet be updated to reflect this
change.
Icebound Fortitude now provides 20% damage reduction, down from 30%
(now 50%, down from 60% when talented), and has a 3-minute cooldown,
up from 2 minutes.

Blood
Rune Tap now heals for 10% of maximum health, down from 15%. The
tooltip may not yet be updated to reflect this change.

Glyphs
Glyph of Rune Tap now heals for 5% of maximum health, down from 10%.

Bug Fixes
Frost Fever critical strikes now apply the correct amount of bonus damage.

Druid (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Bear Form now provides 10% bonus health, down from 20%.
Nourish no longer consumes Omen of Clarity.
Rejuvenation has had its mana cost increased by 30%.
Soothe now has a 1.5-second cast time.
Swipe (Cat Form) can now be used even if the druid does not have a
primary target selected.
Thorns: beginner tooltip revised to no longer imply the spell could be
kept up at all times. In addition, Thorns damage has been reduced by
60%.

Balance
PvP set bonus redesigned. While not in an Eclipse state, critical
attacks against the druid restore 5 Solar or 7 Lunar energy, whichever
is more beneficial. This effect can only occur once every 6 seconds.

Feral
Brutal Impact now increases the mana cost of spells on the victim by
5/10% for 10 seconds, down from 15/30%.
Leader of the Pack now heals for 4%, down from 8%.
Survival Instincts now provides 50% damage reduction, down from 60%,
and its cooldown has been lowered from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
Swipe (Bear Form) damage has been reduced by 20%.
Vengeance is no longer cleared on exiting Bear Form, and instead is
cleared upon entering Cat Form.

Restoration
Empowered Touch now procs from Healing Touch as well as Nourish.
Heart of the Wild: the Bear Form Stamina bonus from this talent is now
2/4/6%, down from 3/7/10%.
Malfurion’s Gift no longer has Fury of Stormrage as a prerequisite talent.
Natural Shapeshifter now also increases Tree of Life duration by 5/10 seconds.
Revitalize is now a 2-point talent, down from 3. It provides a 20%
chance to return 1/2% of the druid’s total mana on periodic heals from
Lifebloom or Rejuvenation. This effect cannot occur more than once
every 12 seconds.
Swift Rejuvenation is now a 1-point talent, down from 2. The global
cooldown reduction this talent provides to Rejuvenation remains 0.5
seconds.
Symbiosis: heal-over-time spells (Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Lifebloom)
can no longer benefit from this Mastery merely by refreshing
themselves. A different heal-over-time spell must be present.

Glyphs
Glyph of Healing Touch now reduces the cooldown on Nature’s Swiftness
by 10 seconds after using Healing Touch, up from 5 seconds.
Glyph of the Treant (new) allows druids to keep the original treant
Tree of Life look… if they must. Must they?

Bug Fixes
Blood in the Water now refreshes Rip to the correct value.
Flight Form now properly appears in the trainer window before Expert
Riding is learned.

Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
All special attacks based on weapon damage (except Scattershot) are
now normalized.
Scare Beast is now available at level 36, up from level 14, and has
had its training cost updated.
Deterrence is now available at level 78, up from level 36, and has had
its training cost updated.
Disengage is now available at level 14, down from level 78, and has
had its training cost updated.

Glyphs
The level requirements for glyphs that affect Scare Beast, Deterrence,
and Disengage have been altered to correspond with the level changes
of these abilities.

Bug Fixes
The Core Hound pet ability Ancient Hysteria now places its own unique
debuff on affected players that has the same effect as Sated and
Exhaustion.
Certain pets should no longer forget how to Dash.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Arcane Blast now increases damage of the next Arcane Blast by 10% per
stack, down from 20%, reduces cast time by 0.1 seconds per stack, and
increases the mana cost by 150%, down from 175%. In addition, the base
cast time of Arcane Blast has been lowered to 2.35 seconds.
Arcane Explosion now costs 15% of base mana, down from 18%.
Arcane Missiles damage has been increased by 5%.
PvP set 4-piece bonus changed to increase damage by 5% instead of
providing 5% Haste.

Arcane
Arcane Barrage damage has been increased by 5% and its cooldown is now
4 seconds, down from 5 seconds.
Arcane Concentration: Now has a much higher chance (13/27/40%) of
entering a Clearcasting state. This effect cannot occur more than once
every 15 seconds. The tooltip still states that there is a 3/6/10%
chance, as it averages out to approximately the same chance with the
internal cooldown applied.
Arcane Specialization again increases arcane damage by 25%.

Fire
Blazing Speed no longer dispels movement slowing effects (it still
dispels effects that totally stop movement).
Fire Specialization again increases periodic fire damage effects by 25%.
Molten Shields now also causes Blazing Speed to dispel movement
slowing effects in addition to its current functionality.
Pyroblast base mana cost is now 17%, down from 22%.

Frost
Deep Freeze: the cooldown on this ability is no longer reduced by Haste.
Early Frost now reduces Frostbolt cast time by 0.3/0.6 seconds, down
from 0.35/0.70 seconds.
Fingers of Frost proc chance is now 7/14/20%, down from 10/20/30%.
Frost Specialization again increases all damage against frozen target by 25%.
Reactive Barrier is now triggered by any damage which causes the
mage’s health to be below 50%, even if the mage was already below 50%.
Shatter now also increases Frostbolt damage by 10/20% against frozen targets.
Shattered Barrier duration is now 2/4 seconds, down from 3/6 seconds.

Glyphs
Glyph of Evocation now heals for 40%, down from 60%.
Glyph of Deep Freeze now increases damage done by Deep Freeze by 20%
(no longer increases Frostbolt damage against Deep Frozen targets).

Bug Fixes
Improved Polymorph now correctly shares diminishing returns with
controlled stuns.

Paladin (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Exorcism damage has been increased by approximately 50%.
Holy Radiance now has reduced effectiveness on targets over 8 yards
away from the paladin.
Seal of Truth: periodic damage from Censure reduced by 25%.

Holy
Beacon of Light now lasts 5 minutes, up from 60 seconds.
Blessed Life: the effects of this talent cannot occur more than once
every 8 seconds, up from every 2 seconds.
Illuminated Healing absorb shield now absorbs 10% of the total amount
healed, up from 8%. Each point of Mastery increases the effect by an
additional 1.25%, up from 1%.
Light of dawn has been redesigned. It no longer has an enforced
cooldown, now costs Holy Power instead of mana, and scale in direct
proportion to the amount of Holy Power used. In addition it now heals
the 5 most injured group targets (including self) in a 30-yard frontal
cone.
Protector of the Innocent no longer triggers from self-heals.

Protection
Divine Bulwark now grants 2.25% less block chance per point of
Mastery, up from 2%.
Holy shield no longer increases chance to block. Instead, it increases
the amount blocked by an additional 10%, for a total of 40% damage
blocked.
Shield of the Righteous: Contribution of attack power halved (now 60%
with full Holy Power) and base damage brought up so that a level 85
paladin in Heroic dungeon gear deals the same damage with no
Vengeance, but Vengeance has less impact.
Shield of the Templar now reduces the cooldown of Guardian of Ancient
Kings by 40/80/120 seconds, down from 1/2/3 minutes.
Wrath of the Lightbringer now increases Crusader Strike and Judgement
damage by 50/100%, up from 30/60%.

Retribution
Crusade now also has a proc on kill to increase the healing done by
the paladin’s next Holy Light by 100/200/300% for 15 seconds, in
addition to its current effects.
Divine Storm: This ability has been redesigned. It no longer consumes
Holy Power and instead costs 5% of base mana. It shares a cooldown
with Crusader Strike and hits all nearby enemies for 60% weapon
damage.
Pursuit of Justice now has an 8-second internal cooldown, shared with
Blessed Life.
Rebuke no longer initiates Auto Attack.
Sanctity of Battle now also causes Divine Storm’s cooldown to be
reduced by Haste effects.
Zealotry no longer consumes 3 Holy Power, but still requires 3 Holy
Power to use.

Glyphs
Glyph of Beacon of Light now makes Beacon of Light free, instead of
increasing the duration by 30 seconds.
Glyph of Divinity has been redesigned. It now grants the paladin 10%
of maximum mana upon use.
Glyph of Light of Dawn now increases the total number of most injured
targets healed by 1.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Binding Heal now provides roughly double the amount of healing.
Prayer of Healing has had its mana cost reduced by nearly 30% and its
base points and Spell Power coefficient increased by 20%.

Discipline
Divine Aegis is now always triggered by Prayer of Healing in addition
to critical heals from all other spells.
Grace has been increased to 4/8% stacking 3 times, up from 2/4% stacking.
Inner Focus now works with Binding Heal, but no longer works with Heal.
Power Word: Barrier has been redesigned. It no longer acts as a shared
absorb shield. Instead, all affected friendly targets take 30% reduced
damage for the duration of the shield, which is now 10 seconds, down
from 25 seconds.

Shadow
Shadow Orbs: redesigned slightly. The Shadow Orbs continue to increase
damage done by Mind Blast and Mind Spike and stack up to 3 times, but
now when the priest casts Mind Blast or Mind Spike (consuming the
orbs), the priest gains a 15-second duration buff (Empowered Shadow),
which increases the damage done by all Shadow periodic spells.
Empowered Shadow does not stack. Mastery increases the damage bonus of
Shadow Orbs and Empowered Shadow by the same amount, 10% with the base
8 Mastery, and an additional 1.25% per Mastery.
Vampiric Embrace healing to the caster has been reduced to 6%, down
from 12% (there was a tooltip error which stated that the self-healing
amount was 15%). Party members still receive 3% healing.

Bug Fixes
Dark Archangel now correctly increases the damage done of certain
abilities by 4%.

Rogue (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Deadly Poison base damage and attack power coefficient have been
increased by 30%.
Recuperate now restores 2% of maximum health, down from 3%.
Venomous Wounds base damage and attack power coefficient have been
increased by 30%.

Combat
Aggression now increases damage of Sinister Strike, Backstab, and
Eviscerate by 7/14/20%, up from 5/10/15%.
Bandit’s Guile now gives 10/20/30% increased damage as the rogue gains
greater insight, up from 5/10/15%.

Subtlety
Executioner no longer affects Recuperate.

Bug Fixes
Bandit’s Guile now applies more consistently to all of the abilities
it’s supposed to modify.
Player guardians and temporary pets now stop attacking when a rogue
uses Vanish, but city guards will not.

Shaman (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Chain Heal mana cost increased from 17% to 20% of base mana.
Earthliving Weapon now only has 25% of its full chance to proc from a
single hop of Chain Heal.

Elemental
Elemental Reach now also increases Searing Totem range by 7/15 yards.
Fulmination now has a Spell Alert visual associated with it, which
appears when the shaman gets to 9 Lightning Shield charges.

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Bane of Agony damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Bane of Doom damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Corruption damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Death Coil damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Drain Life damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Drain Soul damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Immolate damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Incinerate damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Rain of Fire damage has been increased to be more comparable to other
area-of-effect abilities.
Searing Pain damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Seed of Corruption damage has been reduced to be more comparable to
other area-of-effect abilities.
Shadowbolt damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Soul Fire damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.

Demonology
Hand of Gul’dan damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.

Destruction
Chaos Bolt damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Conflagrate damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.
Shadowburn damage has been reduced by approximately 12%.

Bug Fixes
Drain Life: The Soulburn version of this was charging 17% of base mana
instead of 12% like the normal version. This has been corrected.

Warrior (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Cleave damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
Execute damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
Heroic Strike damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
Overpower now does 125% weapon damage, down from 150%.
Rend base damage has been reduced by approximately 17% and percent of
weapon damage per tick lowered to 25%, from 30%.
Shield Block now only increases block chance by 25%, but excess block
that pushes avoidance plus block to over 100% is now converted to
critical block chance.
Slam now costs 15 rage, down from 20, and now does 125% weapon damage,
down from 150%.
Victory Rush damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
Whirlwind now does 65% weapon damage, down from 75%.

Arms
Mortal Strike now does 150% weapon damage, down from 185%.
Second Wind now heals for 2/5% of total health, down from 5/10%.
Strikes of Opportunity now does 100% weapon damage, down from 115%.

Fury
Blood Craze now heals for 1/2/3% of total health, down from 2.5/5/7.5%.
Bloodthirst damage has been reduced by approximately 17%.
Raging Blow now does 110% weapon damage, down from 150%.
Unshackled Fury now gains approximately 50% more benefit per point of Mastery.

Protection
Critical Block now grants an equal amount of block chance and critical
block chance (1.5% each per point of Mastery).
Devastate no longer provides bonus threat.
Shield Slam: Contribution of attack power reduced to 60%, down from
75%, and base damage brought up so that a level 85 warrior in Heroic
dungeon gear deals the same damage with no Vengeance, but Vengeance
has less impact. In addition, Shield Slam no longer generates 30%
bonus threat from its damage.
Vigilance no longer provides 3% damage reduction, but still refreshes
Taunt and provides Vengeance.

Glyphs
Glyph of Bloody Healing increases the healing received from
Bloodthirst by 40%, down from 100%.
Glyph of Intimidating Shout no longer causes targets to flee slowly,
but roots them instead.
Glyph of Shield Wall increases damage reduction to 60%, but increases
the cooldown from 2 minutes to 4 minutes (talented).

Bug Fixes
Taste for Blood should once again proc on every other tick of Rend.

Achievements
The Gladiator reward mounts now award Master Riding.
What A Long, Strange Trip It’s Been now awards Master Riding.

Items
Mysterious Egg now takes only 3 days to turn into a Cracked Egg and
has a slightly greater chance of awarding the Reins of the Green
Proto-Drake.
PvP set bonuses now provide 70 of stats such as Agility, Intellect,
and Strength (down from 100) at 2 pieces, and 180 of these stats (down
from 300) at 4 pieces.

Professions
Perfect Gem Cutting and Mixology have been removed as trainable skills
and are instead passives profession abilities. When players reach the
appropriate skill levels, they will start getting bonuses from
Mixology (they must know the recipe to gain the benefit) and/or
cutting perfect gems (depending on their profession, of course).

Alchemy
Alchemy recipes now require Crystal Vials. Deathwing broke all the
others because he’s mean (or because he didn’t want alchemists to
carry 5 different vials around with them).

Engineering
The Engineering Tinkering enchants will no longer provide their bonus
stats, but the activated effects will stack with other enchants. In
4.0.1 the stats were there (but hidden) and are now removed.

Bug Fixes
Several epic gem transmutes that were missing from the trainer have
been added back.

Bug Fixes
Certain area-of-effect abilities are no longer ignoring the
area-of-effect damage cap.
Mobs and NPCs should no longer appear to randomly gain or lose health
during combat.
Re-summoning pets in Battlegrounds should no longer count towards a
player’s total healing done.

Known Issues
Some tooltips may not reflect the most recent changes to certain abilities.
Worgen hunters are currently unable to learn Dual Wield.
The achievement Explore Tol Barad will not be possible to complete
upon release of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.

 

Leveling a new Hunter in Cataclysm

Good morning folks, and happy Monday.

If all the speculation holds true patch 4.0.3a, The Shattering, will be happening tomorrow. 

 When that happens I, like many others, will be rolling a shiny new Hunter. Like many others I also have a plan. Unlike many others I also happen to have a blog, so I am going to write about it. Actually I am sure that there are lots of others that are writing down their plans, but they are keeping them to themselves.

Not me I say. What better place for a blogger to put a copy of the plan so he doesn’t manage to lose it than his blog? Plus while I am at it I can share my thoughts on leveling up with you wonderful folks. Hell, I might even help out one or two lost souls that will wander past looking for a  leveling spec.

Not to say that this is the only way to do it, or even the best. It’s just how I plan to do it.

First thing I did was round up the stuff I plan to send him and have it ready to send over when he gets near a mailbox.

Not really a whole lot going on there, especially considering I have the heirloom chest and shoulders. Decado won’t be needing those till Outland. No sense speeding past stuff I have never seen before. In all he gets four Frostweave bags, a bit of gold, two Swift Hand of Justice trinkets, two Balanced Heartseekers, and a Charmed Ancient Bone Bow. 

Could I have sent more? Sure, but he doesn’t even really need this stuff.  If you really wanted to you could level from 1 to 80 (and probably 85) in the gear you start the game with. It might take you a long time, and might require different techniques, but you could.

The fact that he has it though does play a bit into my talent choices later on. I’ll mention it when the time comes.

Enough about that, on with the leveling part.

.

Azeroth, The early years

.

Level 1 – 10 Wake up and smell the graveyard.

Yes, you guessed it. I plan to roll as a Forsaken Hunter.

For the first ten levels there is really not much to say. Pick up my quests, kill what they tell me to, and my pet kinda follows me around on auto pilot.

I am not going to get into shot rotations or anything like that at this point, perhaps I’ll do that as another post later. Though I would suggest using Arcane shot lots, so long as you are not pulling off your pet, and hitting the occasional Steady shot to regen focus.

The reality is you could right click your way to 85 if you are soloing. Leveling using nothing but a Tenacity pet on defensive and autoshot is entirely possible, it would just be a bit slower. It’s not how I plan to do it, but it is doable.

BRK has some really good tutorial videos if you are truly new to the class. Just hit up YouTube and check them out. While you are at it head over to Aspect of the Hare and check out her Hunter 101 series of posts. They were written in the days of mana, but the basics hold true.

Anyhow, before you know it the starting zone is left behind you and you are hitting level ten.

.

Level 10 – 31 The free mana pot

Level ten is quite the milestone in your characters life. You can now start spending talent points to make yourself stronger. The screen you see will look something like this.

Personally I plan to select Beastmastery.

Now, you can level with any one of the three. In fact, my first Hunter was leveled Marksman back in the day. The biggest reason for my choice?

Rare Exotic pets, like the spirit beasts.

I do not plan to buy dual spec for this character until he is at the level cap. If I wander past a rare spawn I want to be able to tame it on the spot. Your mileage may vary.

Anyhow, once I select Beastmastery I am going to find I have a point to spend. That one, and the next two at 11 and 13 will go here.

The more focus my pet has the better, and the faster it regenerates the happier I will be. Synergy, it’s a wonderful thing.

Next up we have:

One of our top DPS buttons is Kill command. Things will be dying really fast at low level, but I want to get used to using it now. It will be important down the line. Well, that and it moves us on up to tier two.

Here, at levels 19 and 21 I will be taking:

Simply because I do like to be able to ride faster, and I will be getting my mount at level 20 as well. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am sporting a pair of self healing heirloom trinkets I would likely take Spirit bond here instead, and take Pathfinding later.

The last couple levels we have been focused on making ourselves more comfortable, how about this time we do a little something for Fluffy.

By picking this up we can cleanse most things off of our pet while we are out and about in the world. Yes, I know I could have gone with two points here for a 50% chance to dispel, but for leveling 25% is fine.

Now that our pet is all nice and cleansed let’s make him a little happier.

Nothing quite like getting to gnaw on bad guys faster to lighten Fluffy’s mood. I could have taken three points here had I waited for Mend Pet, but I think a 2% trade off in attack speed for a few levels is worth the 25% cleanse.

Yes, I know I only went for two points there. Patience grasshopper, we just opened up our free mana pot.

Ok, so we don’t actually use mana any more. This is even better. A free half tank of focus for both you and your pet every two minutes? Most excellent. Keybind it to wherever you used to have your mana pots and you are golden.

Now, back to making Fluffy happy.

Going back and grabbing the last point was kind of a no-brainer really. The faster my pet attacks the faster things die.

Thats less time before I can go rooting through their pockets looking for loose change.

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Levels 31 – 49 The quest for the Big Red Pet

Next up we are going to do ourselves a favor, and our pets at the same time.

We will get a really good reason to be using Arcane Shot often, and that’s a good thing. Arcane is one of my favorite shots. While we are at it Fluffy gets to bite bigger chunks out of the bad guys a bit more often. Gotta love it.

You could also go 2/3 and pick up Focus Fire here, and come back for the third point later. personally I find that things die so fast while soloing that I don’t really need Focus Fire yet. If you are doing a lot of instancing I would pick it up and come back to the last point of Cobra Strikes later on.

I am starting to see a trend here with buffing my pets abilities, this next talent is certainly no exception:

Now, I don’t have Bestial Wrath yet, and I don’t really use Intimidation all that much, but it will come in handy. Not only that, but once again it buffs my pets attacks while helping me.

Speaking of me and my pet helping each other no other talent can top this one.

Just by virtue of being around each other we regenerate. Thats kinda awesome if you think about it. We draw strength from one another, the way it should be.

If you decided to take this earlier now would be a good time to pick up those points in Pathfinding. You could also go 1/2 in Pathfinding and grab that last point in Cobra Shots.

And now, the talent we have been looking forward to for the last 48 levels….

The defining talent of the Beastmaster Hunter.

The Big Red Pet.

The Beast does not feel pity or remorse or fear and it cannot be stopped unless killed.

I could try saying more, but really? How am I going to top that? I get goosebumps just reading it.

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Levels 51 – 59 When you get to go crazy too

Well, after that ginormous buff to our pet it looks like we are back to buffing us both.

Actually this is right up there with Spirit Bond on the whole “I like to be around you” level. Hell, even other members of your party are glad to have your pet nearby.

Fluffy is just that awesome.

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Remember all that extra gnawing Fluffy was getting to do with Frenzy back around level 30?

Well, now we can take that extra speed and use it ourselves. Not bad considering he can just stack it up again. Probably not going to see a whole lot of use for this one just out soloing in the world, but it will sure come in handy if I run a few randoms on the way up.

It’s almost like having a free haste potion to go with our free mana focus potion.

If you did a bit of shuffling on the way up you might already have this, if so grab the point in Cobra Shots or Pathfinding that you left off earlier.

I think next I will go with:

Though I am only going to go two points deep in it for the moment. A little extra attack power never hurt anyone.

With the last talent point  we will see in Azeroth we pick up another one of my favorite talents.

In the ultimate synergy Fluffy and I now go insane together.

A big red pair of friends.

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Outlands, The lost years

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Level 61 – 69  Oh, I have to wait how long to tame that?

After a visit to the mailbox to collect my chest and shoulder heirlooms, as well as a visit to the trainer to learn flight skills, the leveling picks back up where we left off. Once again we are buffing us both.

Having 110 focus is kinda like turning your stereo up to 11. It just rocks.

Now, just for a change of pace we will have our pets do something nice for us.

Well, besides the whole getting beat on so we don’t have to thing.

Since we have been so nice helping our pets out with all that wonderful crit they decided to give a little back in the form of more focus. Isn’t that nice of them?

Here we have the big one.

The big ticket.

The reason we went this far down the rabbit hole.

Now we can tame exotics.

Not only that, but with one of our talent points we just bought four for Fluffy.

Now that we have gone 31 points into a talent tree, we can diversify a bit now if we want to.

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Northrend, the graveyard of alts.

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Level 71 – 79 The last stand of the emo prince of Lordaeron.

I can’t really say I am looking forward slogging my way through here ever again. Such is life, I’ll do it and move on.

Anyhow, in our first foray outside the safe confines of the Beastmastery tree we find this little gem.

Letting my auto shots give Fluffy more focus makes Fluffy happy.

I like it when Fluffy is happy.

Then we go back to Beastmastery, finally filling this out.

Once again, a little more attack power is a wonderful thing.

The last two points are really up in the air at this point. I think I will go with

This is without a doubt a raiding talent. However, there are not really many other options that make a whole lot of sense.  You can have a  bit more Stamina with Hunter vs. Wild, or a bit of haste with Pathing. You could grab more Serpent Sting damage with Improved Serpent Sting, or even better Focus costs on some shots with Efficiency.

I am going with this simply because of things I have heard about the health pools of some of the things we will be questing against in Cataclysm. I am gambling that there will be times I might actually get off three kill commands, particularly if I decide to run an instance or two.

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Cataclysm, Moving forward

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Levels 81 – 85 The great unknown.

Since I have not been in the Beta I have not had the ability to check out anything beyond level 80. I wish I had something to tell you, other than I do plan to have a leveling guide and spec at some point.

Hell, I wish I had something to tell me.

Just taking a stab at a talent calculator based on what I have read this is where I see myself going once I get past 80.

So far I plan to put my first two points into

Since it will play well with Cobra Shot (or so I have read)

And my final three points into

Since stamina is going to be big in Cataclysm (once again, so I have read.)

A lot can change between the time I start this character and the time I make it to 85. I really have no idea at this point what things will look like then.

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Until then, I leave you with the spec I plan to be sitting at when I ding 79.

As a matter of fact that’s the spec all three of my current 80 Hunters will carry into Cataclysm with them.

What happens after that is anyones guess.

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Good hunting, and keep your powder dry.

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Are we there yet?

I have been looking forward to this for a really long time.

A bit over a year actually, ever since Blizzcon ’09.

Since the day they announced  it I knew I would make one. 

Decado, the Forsaken Hunter would be my new main.

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All has been made ready.

Perhaps too ready.

Is there such as thing as too prepared?

We shall see.

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Like a butler the bank alt that will support him has everything in order.

Some bags, a bow, and a bit of pocket change await him.

The screenshot folder is cleaned out as well.

To separate stills from before the breaking from those that come after.

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The quest text has been slowed again, and it feels like all else has slowed to match.

I am ready for Deathwing, that great Jay Leno of dragons, to break the world.

Like a kid on Christmas Eve, thinking about what is to come,

Or one in the back seat asking “Are we there yet?”

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Unicorn, the breakfast of champions

Once upon a time in the far off land of Blogosphere a blogger named Bre talked of a Unicorn.

Not the one you are thinking, the white horse with the horn on its head, but using it in the abstract. Something desirable, something to strive for, something you are never really sure you will find.

Kinda like whatever is causeing the damn rattle in the back of my truck.

Though, Bre is a Hunter. If that horse existed as a super rare spawn tamable mount you can bet she would be hunting for it.

Hell, I would too. Thats besides the point though.

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I was sitting this morning thinking about the new Undead Hunter I am planning to level as soon as they become availible. This will be next Tuesday if the rumor mill is correct, I hope they are. He is already as real as any of my characters to me.

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He already has a name…

Decado, named after the first Hunter I ever rolled. (Who now goes by the name of Dekado, he lost the spelling in a server transfer)

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He already has a look…

I went and flashed through all the different Forsaken looks until I settled on what his would be.

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He already has his starting gear…

Heirlooms, Enchanted Whites, Bags and cash all waiting on my bank alt to send him as soon as he awakens in the Sephlecur.

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And last but not least, he already has his first Unicorn. His first goal that he is unsure of reaching…

At level 20 he will make his way through the ruins of Darkshore to tame the pet that will see him to level 85.

A fitting partner for the Hunter freshly back from the dead, it is a ghost itself.

A Ghost Sabre.

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Why is it his Unicorn you ask?

Why might it be so hard to find?

Because I am not even sure they will still be there a week from now.

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I suppose time will tell.

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Getting ready for Cataclysm

Here for just a few minutes I am going to make a few assumptions. They may not be true, but hey, it’s my blog and I’ll assume if a want to.

I am going to pretend that you  just returned to the game after seeing one of the shiny Cataclysm commercials on TV. (the other glowing box in my house… the one that I rarely watch.) Either that or you for one reason or another have completely avoided thinking about Cataclysm.

You know, right up until the elementals appeared and started killing your bank alts.

Anyhow, I am assuming you have not really put a whole lot of energy into getting ready for the coming of the expansion. Not only am I assuming that, I am assuming also that for some reason (like avenging deceased bank alts) that you now intend to prepare.

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You still have time.

Plenty of it actually.

You have nearly three whole weeks.

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The first and foremost thing you need to do is decide what your plans are for Cataclysm. What you do to prepare is going to be way different depending on those choices. I will give a few examples, though they are not all-inclusive by any means.

One other thing to remember is that this expansion, like the two before it, are designed to be a relatively seamless leveling experience. Someone hitting 80 a year from now will need to be able to quest their way into the new content in Northrend quest greens. The only preparation you really need is a copy of the expansion.

Opinions as always, to be taken with a grain or twelve of salt.

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Stuff everyone can do to get ready, regardless of your plans.

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Most of this can even wait for December 6th if you really want to:

  • Clean out that bank. I mean seriously, I have been holding on the four piece set of blessed something-or-other of undead slaying for two years? And I haven’t put it on since maybe level 77 or so? If you are anything like me your bank (and that of any bank alt/s) desperately needs a good pre-expansion cleaning. A clean bank will get you a bit of cash, as well as get you a place to store things while leveling.
  • Clean out those bags as well. If it won’t help you level up bank it or sell it.
  • Have food and drink on hand. Any left over buff food from raiding can be put to good use here.
  • Any flasks or potions you might have left over will do nicely here as well, assuming you don’t sell them for the cash.
  • Stockpiling cash is never a bad thing. Especially if you plan to buy 310 flight speed as soon as possible. (like I do)
  • Don’t forget to repair the night before, it will be the last thing on your mind on Dec 7th.

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I plan to slowly quest my way from 80 to 85. I want to see the content and not blaze past it.

realistically if that is your plan, then you should be set. The game is designed to give you what you need right about the time you need it. Log in, have fun, it’s all good.

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I plan to level as fast as possible, so that I can start raiding right away.

First of all, good luck with that. Not in a sarcastic way, but seriously. I am not amongst those that have the drive to push that hard. I do love reading about your exploits though.

One thing you might want to consider is doing as many heroics as you can handle for the time being, possibly even leveling through instancing. You could conceivably reach 85 with enough Justice points to actually buy and upgrade or two.

If nothing else, you will get familiar with the new instances on normal mode, making the transition to heroics that much easier for you.

Once again though, just clear out the clutter and get ready to roll.

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I plan to roll a shiny new ________ as my new main.

Well, oddly enough you are in the same boat as I am.

In my case I actually plan on rolling yet another Hunter, this time an Undead one. What you are rerolling though has little bearing on your preparations.

With this shiny new toon you don’t have to worry about clearing out your bank and bags. In fact, you have no clutter at all. One thing you will want to make sure you have ready is a set of bags to send, that way your new character can start accumulating clutter.

Sending down a couple of gold would not be a bad idea either. It doesn’t even need to be much, perhaps as little as 5-10 gold, though I plan to send mine about a hundred.

If you already know what you want to roll, and have not already done so, you could purchase class appropriate heirlooms while you wait.

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I want to spend the first couple weeks making giant profits! Gief Moar GOLD!

Well, there are many sites out there much better equipped to handle this than I am. I would suggest a quick run past Just My Two Copper, read the forums.

If you are not into playing the auction house I would suggest using whatever gathering professions you have to make money as you level. Send what you gather to your bank alt and have them list it at roughly the same prices as others are listing for. Demand will be huge in the early weeks, so prices will tend to be higher.

I heard of one person, for instance, who leveled from 70 to 80 almost exclusively by killing beasts at or slightly below his level and skinning them. He sold the resulting leather in the early weeks of Wrath for quite a pile of money.

Personally, I already did most of my selling. I have very little reserve stock towards Cataclysm, other than some cloth I saved to make Netherweave bags for new levelers.

In short, if you just want to make some extra cash as you level up then gathering, preferably dual-gathering, is the way to go. For more detailed information on strategies and such you will have to look elsewhere.

At any rate, you are still going to want to do a good house cleaning before we get the party started.

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TL,DR

You know, I just noticed a repeating kind of thread in all of what I am saying.

Make sure anything you have with you supports what you are planning to do. If it does not, get rid of it.

The game was designed to give you most of what you need as you go. Use that and things will all work out.

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The biggest thing to remember is that this is a game.

We come to Azeroth to have fun, not to stress out. There is enough of that in the real world without bringing it into our leisure time.

Whatever else you might forget to bring along, don’t forget the fun.

Relax, unwind, and go slay yourself some internet dragons.

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