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An update from your friends at Steady Shot

Last time I wrote, I left Tinuviel sleeping in Dalaran, I think Anelf was off doing the tree dance in some dodgy area of the Underbelly.  We decided to stop blogging as we were playing very casually, but left the blog open in case things changed.  Well, recently we’ve started raiding again, so I thought I would post a quick update on the blog, and maybe update a couple of the posts on macros and PowerAuras.  I don’t intend to come back to blogging regularly, but I might add some information that I think is useful from time-to-time.

So what have we been up to?  We had fun leveling Horde characters on our server Antonidas (I’ve secretly always preferred the horde :) ).  Anelf rerolled a Tauren druid, Pamplona, and I leveled a warlock.  But once we got to 80 and thought about doing heroics and raiding again, I realized I was still a hunter at heart, so Anelf paid for a character transfer, for Tinuviel, as a valentine’s pressie (lol).  Tinuviel is now the awesome troll hunter, Petrel.  Much better valentine’s pressie than a bunch of roses :D

LMAO – btw I was posting this on 1st Apr – went to the wow armory to link Pamplona and Petrel – if you didn’t see it this morning, they changed all the characters to look like tuskarr, you primary professions have been changed to fishing and fishing, and all your achieves say things like “ninjaed [Zod's Reapeating Longbow] vendored” – very funny.

Having run a lot of bgs and quite a few heroics to gear up, Pamplona and Petrel joined the raiding guild Fatal a few weeks ago.  Since then we have been raiding ICC 10 and some 25man, VOA, weeklies, and a couple of other raids.  It’s great to finally be in a guild doing real end game content.  The last two nights I have been incredibly lucky (as well has having run with some great guildies – Bubbette and Gettacow shout-outs to you especially) – I won Njordnar Bone Bow from Lady Deathwhisper in 10man ICC on Monday night and then upgraded it too Zod’s Repeating Longbow from Lady Deathwhisper in 25man ICC last night!  Not only is it an awesome bow, but it’s even more awesome given my trolly racial bonus with bows :)

So that’s where we are at the moment.  I’d like to give a shout out and /wave to any of our old friends and regular readers who chance on this post.  Missed you all, hope life and WOW is treating you well.  I’d also like to give a /salute to Brian “Frostheim” Wood who has been keeping me up-to-date with hunter goodness over on WOW.Com and warcrafthuntersunion.com.  Great posts Brian, keep ‘em coming.

As for my posts, I will throw up the occasional thing I think is interesting or informational.  For now I am going to update the macro and poweraura posts in the next few days as those are the ones I often find myself looking for on other sites.  Keep on hunting and FOR THE HORDE!!!!

Good Night and Good Luck

As you may have noticed we’ve not been posting much recently.  We’re still playing WOW, but with the collapse of Soldiers of Fortune guild and the short life of the little guild we formed afterwards, we’ve changed our play-style significantly.  We’re not currently raiding; and I don’t feel on the cutting edge of hunter news to pass it on to you.

We’re enjoying our new casual play (mostly on the horde :) ).  But with casual play, comes being more casual about blogging too.  Therefore, we’ve decided to stop posting here for the foreseeable future.  We will keep the site open so that you can access the old information pieces.  And who knows, maybe we will want to blog again in future, perhaps when Cataclysm gets imminent.  But for now, we’d like to thank all our loyal readers and casual surfers.  We hope you found something interesting and/or useful here, and we hope you continue to enjoy your WOW playing, as we are.

So it all that is left for me to say is,  “Good Night and Good Luck.”

Good Night and Good Luck!

Good Night and Good Luck!

Patch 3.2.2 Volley love

From a joke pre-wrath, to OP at the beginning of Wrath, to almost a joke again recently, following stealth nerf after stealth nerf, volley got a little stealth buff in the recent patch.

The AP coefficient of Volley has been increased from 0.0586 to 0.0837. Base points did not change. This probably did not make the patch notes. (Source)

Hopefully, this will balance it and make it competitive with other classes’ AOE.  But seeing the note on MMO Champion got a little, ‘yeay!’ from me in any case :)

The Adventures of Piratejoe (Part 1): The RedPill

My male blood elf Pally, Piratejoe, thinks a lot of himself.  He’s cool and sexy. He can solo dragons. He has good hair. And has practiced his jump in a mirror until it looks cool as a cat’s.

However, Piratejoe has a dark secret, one he hopes he can live down with his new Horde brethren….  You see, Piratejoe started life as a buxom female dwarf named Hollie, holliewith cute dimples and a passion for Dalaran Donuts.    But Hollie felt bored with her dwarf body and the well trodden alliance paths that had been too well explored by her taller and sexier sisters-in-arms, Tinuviel and Bluebear, before her.  She wanted to beat her shield with her axe and scream, “For the Horde!”  She wanted to run errands for her hero, Thrall, instead of that insane lunatic King Whiney.  So one night, when she met a Goblin in the pub, after having one too many Darkmoon fizzy faire drinks, she took up his offer of The RedPill*.    The Goblin said she would wake up, in a couple of hours, a new man!

*RedPill may cause unexpected side effects including (but not limited to) loss of friends, guildmates, argent tournament rankings and titles.  Some achievements maybe lost, affects are non-reversible for 60days. Taking of RedPill is entirely at your own risk.

Two days later (and after the intervention of a god-like being to do important things like pick a name, hair style and tan), Hollie woke up in Silvermoon city, with a differently shaped chest and other anatomical parts, and a new name….Piratejoe.  The Goblin was never seen again.  Her Argent Tournament Squire had run off in horror, to be replaced by a gruntling, who seemed quite unconcerned.  Someone had spray-painted her paladin charger red, and swapped her goats for chicken mounts.  The first things she/he did was run to Orgrimmar and buy some cool wolf mounts instead.  Riding round on a wolf, was much more manly and horde-like than a pink chicken.   Her new body was pretty neat, Piratejoe’s chest didn’t flop up and down as he ran, and as long as he refrained from laughing or /dance he was pretty buff.  Summoning his wolf and gruntling, Hollie/Piratejoe shouted, “For the Horde!” and rode off into a red Durotar sunset to explore his new life!!!

In The Adventures of Piratejoe (Part 2) I will cover the mechanics of the faction change plus some tips and tricks (some of which I did, and others I wish I’d thought of beforehand.)

piratejoe

Going solo (or duo)

Going SoloAs Anelf mentioned in a previous post, our foray into running a guild was pretty short lived.

Actually, I’m pretty relieved.   While we have never been in a hard core raiding guild, we have been casually serious, organizing raiding for our guild, and raiding three or four times a week for nearly eight months.  For the most part, we’ve enjoyed it.  We wanted to organize the raids and work out the strategies, rather than been carried through content.  We’ve had a lot of fun talking over WoW stuff outside of WoW, and made several friends within game.

But in RL we have also only used our tent once, and our mountain bikes not at all this year.  Nearly every weekend we have stayed indoors, raiding. [Anelf's comment: That's what we call 'casual' raiding - weird huh! :-) ]. So we decided it would do us good to give raiding a break for a while, and I have to say I’ve been having the most fun I’ve had in a long time in WoW.  Once you get over the hang up that you don’t have to be up there ‘achieving’ at raiding and acquiring the top end gear, there’s a lot of other fun to be had with an eighty.

I’ve always liked soloing, exploring, revisiting old world content, mount and pet collecting, and the achievement system, so there is lots of stuff to do there.  I will be writing another post on it soon, but one of the most epic fights I have had for a while in WOW was soloing Onyxia on my Paladin alt.  I’d never been into Onyxia’s lair before, so it was great fun.  Anelf and Tin then went to duo it (as once Patch 3.2.2 comes out Onyxia becomes an 80 raid instance, and will no longer be soloable).  It was a simple thing to duo with two ranged DPS, one of whom could heal and the other who had a turtle tank. It was harder to solo with the Pally, because of phase 2, where Onyxia is airborne and becomes harder to hit efficiently with a melee class.  Next week I will try soloing it with Tin.

My 80 Paladin has also gone through some changes, as you will see in the Adventures of Piratejoe Part 1 (coming soon).  My male bloodelf Paladin, Piratejoe, has a dark secret…. he was once a plump female dwarf paladin called Hollie!  Going through a faction transfer has given me a lot to do with Piratejoe, a whole set of different mounts to collect, and achievements to go for.  I am also looking far forward towards the expansion, and thinking of building up resources on both sides, so my goblins and well as worgens will have a sugar daddy to help them out.  Anelf is enjoying leveling some of his alts right now, but I am hoping to persuade him to try duoing some other old world raids with me, and perhaps go mount hunting in ZG and MT :).

Crusaders’ Coliseum for Dummies

An overview of the new dungeon types and loot drops from the development teams Q&A session.  Bring on Patch 3.2, I’m excited!

 

The Crusaders’ Coliseum is the new 5, 10 and 25 man dungeon being introduced in patch 3.2.

 

5-man version (normal and heroic) = Trial of the Champion.

10 and 25-man normal version = Trial of the Crusader.

10 and 25-man heroic version = Trial of the Grand Crusader.

 

Each type of Crusaders’ Coliseum will be modelled similar to the Ring of Blood in Nagrand or the Ampitheatre of Anguish in Zul’Drak, where a monster is introduced and the group must defeat it gladiator style, before progressing to the next monster.  (Apparently, there are a couple of twists, but this is the general feel.)

 

The 5-man versions are supposed to be of similar difficulty to the current 5-man normal and heroic dungeons in game.

The normal 5-man will have no lock out, so can be repeated multiple times in the same day, however it does not have a daily quest.

The heroic five man has the usual daily lock out, and is included in the daily heroic dungeon quest rotation.

 

One phase of the Trial of the Champions is a joust.  It will be similar to that at the Argent Tournament Grounds.  The difficulty will be similar too, so horses will not scale with gear (it will not be necessary).

 

Champions seals will drop in 5, 10 and 25 man version of the dungeons.

 

5-man normal Trial of the Champion = item level 200 pieces

5-man heroic Trial of the Champion = item level 213 219 pieces (Edit – iLvl 213 was wrongly stated in the Blue Q&A post)

10-man normal Trial of the Crusader = item level 232 pieces

10-man heroic Trial of the Grand Crusader = item level 245 pieces

25-man normal Trial of the Crusader = item level 245 pieces

25-man heroic Trial of the Grand Crusader = item level 258 pieces

 

There is also a tribute run with extra rewards in a chest at the end.

 

10- and 25-man normal and heroic raids will awards 2 Emblems of Triumph per encounter.

1 Champion’s Seal and 1 Emblem of Conquest will be awarded per encounter in the Heroic Trial of Champions.

 

Tribute runs in 10 and 25 man heroic verions:

At least one player in the raid must have cleared the normal version to unlock the heroic version.

As the group works through the heroic version, a counter will be displayed, monitoring unsuccessful attempts.  A maximum of 50 unsuccessful attempts is allowed per week.  After this point the group is locked out until the reset.  If the instances is cleared before 50 unsuccessful attempts the raids loot is awarded according to its performance (it seems that the fewer unsuccessful attempts you have, the better loot you get.)

 

The tribute system rewards players no just on downing a boss, but on how effectively it is done.

OK, that’s the overview.  To me this sounds really exciting.  Firstly, I loved the Ring of Blood style fights, so having one I have an excuse to repeat daily, as well as a raid based around that sounds great.  Secondly, like many people I am going to have to go back into heroics to farm the new Emblems of Conquest and Triumph for gear upgrades.  There is no gear for me in any other heroic, but here is one that drops item level 213 pieces, and is fresh and new.  Plus it drop Emblems of Triumph not Conquest, as well as (it seems Champions Seals).

The 10-man sounds exciting too, giving 10-man raiders another progression route besides Ulduar.  I will be interested to see how difficult it is compared to Ulduar and how the gear compares too.  But this all looks great!

 

 

 

Guild Mastery for Dummies Part 1 – Starting up a guild

Starting our own guild gives us the opportunity to learn a new aspect of the game. Its something we’re approaching with a modicum of trepidation, because as a guild leader your guild stands and falls by your actions. Nowhere to hide, no-one else to blame.

Are you sure you want to do this?

Before you even buy your guild charter, you need to think very carefully about what you expect to get our of guild leadership. Are you absolutely positively sure you want to do this?  Being a Guild Master sounds cool, right?  But it’s actually not all swaggering around as top dog and having everyone else do your bidding.  In fact, there is almost none of that.  It a lot of hassle and hard work. Our old Guild Master would be constantly getting whispers and in-game mails from guildmembers: moaning about something or someone, asking for help with things, complaining about some guild rule they felt they should be exempt from, or other trivia.  You will hopefully be able to model your Guild in the way that you would like a guild to be run, but you will also spend a lot of your in-game time either doing things for other people, or dealing with administrivia, when you’d really rather be killing stuff.

OK, so if that hasn’t put you off, lets look at what you need to do and know to start up a guild.

In our case, our old guild master was quitting the game and no-one was taking over active leadership.  We had been raid leaders for some time and active officers in this large guild.  We had a great group of people we ran raids with, whom we wanted to continue running with and wanted to offer a home to.  We had also had some bad experiences with other guilds and pugs, and had been told by people joining our guild (who had tried out several other guilds) that they appreciated our fair and mature way of doing things, which they had found nowhere else.  Since this is absolutely what we wanted, and if that was hard to find elsewhere, we decided we would just create our own guild and carry on being fair and mature and hopefully running with our friends.

What kind of guild do you want to be?

There are different types of guild, you need to decide from the outset which you are going to be.  It is possible to change a guild from one type to another, but its easier to start in the direction you mean to go on.  Some of the main types include:

Social/Family/causal guilds

These guilds usually have no restrictions on entry, everyone is welcome, the guild is a relaxed place to hang out with friends.  There may be grouping and organized events, but no serious raiding.

Raiding guilds

Raiding guilds are usually focussed on progressing through end game raid content (e.g. Naxx, Ulduar).  They will often have entry requirements like minimum level or gear limits.  They will also often have expectations on how often players attend raids, etc.

PVP guilds

Where players are mainly interested in player versus player content including battlegrounds and arena.

Twink guilds

A PVP guild focusing on players who want to own the lower level BGs by uber-equipping toons at the n9 level (the best known twink being the level 19 rogue you were pawned by when you first went to Warsong Gulch).

Roleplaying guilds

Usually, but not always, on role playing servers.  Members will usually play and talk in-character.  There may be restrictions on invites e.g. some may be all dwarf and gnome guilds.

Guild of one

Some people set up a guild just for their banker and/or their alts.  This way you can have your own guild bank, which costs less per slot than filling several mules bank slots with bags. (Anelf wrote about private guild banks last September).

Some guilds will be combinations of these.  Sometimes combinations work well, sometimes not so well.  Our old guild, Soldiers of Fortune started as a family/casual guild and developed a raiding component within that.  This worked well for a time while the guild was working on the first tier of raid content (Kara and then Naxx). However we found it hard to recruit and retain enough good and committed raiders in this casual setting to break through into harder raid content.  Rather, we found ourselves an excellent training ground for more hardcore raiding guilds – something I am sure they loved, but something we didn’t – as time and time again people we had geared up and taught to raid left to join raiding guilds.

Deciding on a name

What are you going to call your guild?  Are you going for a fun name, a serious high-brow name, or something else?  Think, you are going to have this name under your character for as long as the guild exists.  You have to live with it.  You also have to recruit to it, so make it something other people will want to have under their name label too (or at least not something they’d be embarrassed to have hovering over their heads).  And for god-sake make sure you spell it correctly! (You may know you deliberately mispelled the name because the proper spelling was already taken – everyone else on the server thinks you can’t spell).

You cannot change a guild name.  The only way a guild name is ever changed is if that guild name is reported to Blizzard as being offensive.  Sometimes you see people selling guild banks from defunct guilds, you can buy these (at your peril: they’ll probably want your cash before they make you Guild Master; and are they selling the guild because it has a bad reputation on the server?), but you will be stuck with the guild name.  A friend bought a guild bank from someone.  To her surprise – maybe she should have checked the armory – the guild came with a lot of dwarves and gnomes – who were also somewhat surprised.  They all got on well though, and most moved voluntarily to my friends main guild with her.)

For ideas, you can look on the forums where there are posts of people’s favorite names, look at the names on the armory or in your battlegrounds.

Anelf, Neo and I batted a few names around – we thought about – Renaissance, Tribe, Phenomena, SETI, Malestrom, Cataclysm, Kel’Thuzad’s Left Foot, Murloc, I am Murloc, Evolution, Decimate, and Casually Hardcore.  In the end we went with CIPHER.  CIPHER is actually an anagram of the code we want people to sign up to in our guild charter.  It’s a simple one word guild name, that has a meaning behind it, but is not too pretentious.  We liked it.  We were nearly I am Murloc, but we thought we might get tired of that after a bit :-) .  We also have The Matrix jokes now, as Neo is in the guild CIPHER.

Getting a charter and creating your guild

You’ve decided on a name and checked its not already in use on your server (someone my have a guild charter with that name, but that’s relatively unlikely). Now buy a guild charter from the guild master NPC in a major city.  Ask a guard for his location.  The charter costs 10 silver.  Next, you need to get 9 other players to sign your charter.  These must be 9 players from separate accounts, they cannot be alts on the same account.  Also, a player can sign another guild charter before you hand it in, and you will lose their signature, so be quick to complete it and get it registered.

What not to do.  DO NOT spam your guild charter under the nose of any un-guilded player you see without speaking to them.  This is one of the most annoying things in game (and there are a lot of annoying things).

Hopefully, you already have 9 friends waiting to sign your guild charter.  But if not (e.g. you want a guild for your banker alts, or like us you’re too impatient to get things up and running), here’s how to do it:

Buy your charter, and have some money – 25G should do it.  Now take yourself off to a low level starting area where there are lots of new un-guilded players without much cash.  Have some text ready so you can politely whisper each player you target.  I put my text in a macro, but couldn’t work out how to send a whisper to my target with the text, so I just targeted someone, whispered, them and d pasted some text I’d already written and cpied to my clipboard.  I said something like this:

“Hi, would you mind signing my guild charter so I can set up a guild for my banker alt?  You wouldn’t have to be in the guild, and I will pay you 2G now as a thank you.”

Mine is quite a mature server, so most new players are alts, and know about the practice of setting up a guild for a banker alt.  This was easier than explaining that I was setting up a new raiding guild (especially since I was on a level 1 char, all my others still being in SOF).  I whispered the player, ran up to them and then waved or bowed to show I was standing next to them and not a bot sending them a random whsp.  I waited till they responded positively before requesting a signature with the guild charter.  To do this right click on the charter in your backpack, target the player, and click the request signature button.  At the same time, I opened up a trade window and put the 2G in to show I had it, but I did not press trade until I had the signature.  A couple of people tried to get the money without signing.  Most people though responded really well to this and I got my signatures quickly.  I bowed and thanked them and ran on to find someone else.

As soon as you have all 9 signatures high-tail it back to the guild master and register your charter, as there is a nasty loophole.  There is nothing to stop one of your signatories signing someone elses charter after they have signed yours, in which case you lose your signature, and you paid 2G for nothing.  That’s what happened to me in one case, just as I got to the guild master, so I had to run out and find another quick. (I wish I’d made a note of the names as I was collecting them so I knew who it was :-) ).

Once you have registered the guild it becomes active, and the charter signatories automatically join your guild. You can now thank all the people who set it up, and if you were not intending that they should stay in the guild, tell them that you are now going to remove them and wish them well.  A couple of my people knew the drill and left as soon as it was signed. Yhe others all said bye and thank you for the money very cheerfully.  It was a much pleasanter and less painful experience than I expected.  A bit of politeness pays :)

Creating a guild tabard

CipherTabardOnce you are a guild master you can create and buy a guild tabard.  In fact, anyone can go and play with the tabard designer. I’ve done this before, but only the guild master can buy the tabard.  The tabard vendor is in the same shop as the guild master.  It costs 10G to register, and then 1G (reduced with rep) to buy tabards.  You can choose the background color, icon design, icon color, border design, and border color.  You cannot design your own icon, although there are quite a lot to choose from.  You can change your tabard if you wish for another 10G.

Again, think about designing something your guildies and potential recruits are going to want to wear.  While a lot of level 80s don’t wear guild tabards anymore – there being so many other cool tabards to choose from – you’ll still want one you are proud of.  A tip –  some of the tabards look bad on certain genders or races.  A number of icons have hands or other designs that look like they’re clasping a female toons breasts.  While that may look funny to you, a lot of people aren’t going to wear it on their female toon (though I guess some teenage boys playing girl toons might :-) ).  Some icons get very distorted on female dwarves or others with rather, shall we say, curvaceous chests.  We almost chose a key icon, as we though it was kinda in keeping with the name Cipher (locks, ciphers, codes, etc).  Then I tried the tabard on my male toon (I had been designing them on my female toon).  It didn’t look right at all, this big upright key, with a long shaft and a circular handle pointing upwards – enough said, you know where I’m going with this.

I thought I should definitely go for a black tabard, black is cool right, everyone looks good in black (well gnomes are still gnomes, but its better than a gnome in yellow).  But the black is actually not a deep black, especially not on the top front.  I found that the dark blue and white made a sharper contrast, so that’s what we went with.  (Being an Oxford University grad, I also realized these are my old college colors, so hey even better lol! )

In part 2 we will look at guild banks, ranks and charters.

Hunter Bag of Tricks – No. 3 – Feign Death

The most effective aggro dump in the game, and when used correctly, one of the hunters most useful skills.

feign

Incorrect use of feign death in an instance situation:

1.  Tank has the mob – hunter is wailing on the mob and rising rapidly up the aggro table.

2.  Hunter overtakes the tank on the threat meter, but continues to wail on the mob.

3.  Hunter pulls aggro from the tank, the mob runs over and swipes at the hunter.

4.  The hunter stands there for a second or two, or even takes a melee swipe at the mob, before remembering that nifty feign death button and hitting the dirt.

5.  In the meantime, the priest is desperately throwing a shield and some heals on the hunter.

6.  As the hunter hits the ground, completely wiping his aggro, the mob turns around, and swipes the priest (who was standing next to the hunter) and had built up additional aggro trying to save him, one-shotting the priest.

7.  Now the group has no healer, the mob takes them apart and it’s a wipe.  Welcome to the Feign Death wipe.

Admittedly, this wasn’t just the hunters fault.  The tank needed to be quicker at grabbing aggro back, the priest should have resisted his instincts to heal the stupid hunter.  But, it was largely due to the hunter that the group wiped, since it need never have happened.

Correct use of feign death in an instance:

Pre-requisite:  You have a threat meter like Omen installed.  I have my warning set to 90%.  I get a loud noise when I hit 90% of the tanks aggro.  (You actually pull aggro went your threat exceeds 130% of the tanks, or 110% of the tanks if you are standing within 10yards.)

1.  Tank has the mob – hunter is wailing on the mob and rising rapidly up the aggro table.

2.  Hunter gets to 90% of the tanks aggro, either by listening for the noise or watching the threat meter, the hunter can see this.  NOW they hit Feign Death.  Feign Death wipes the hunter’s aggro, taking him/her to the bottom of the aggro table.

3.  Hunter jumps up and continues to wail on the mob.  In a long fight, s/he may have to repeat step 2 again.  

4.  Mob dies :)

(Other members of your group need to be aware of the hunter’s ability to do this.  I have played with mages who ride the aggro table, secure, they think, because I am ahead of them on the chart.  Then I dump aggro, and they continue to blast away, hitting a couple of bit crits and pulling aggro.  I have also played with mages who don’t know that they can use invisibility in the way I use feign death – i.e. before pulling aggro – or that their best aggro dump combination if they do pull aggro is ice block followed by invisibility – and that ice block by itself is a barrier not an aggro dump.  But I know I have it good in comparison – invisibility has a 3 min cooldown – feign death is 25secs with the glyph.)

Use when the group calls a wipe:

Don’t be the jerk who feigns death before the raid leader calls a wipe, just because its going badly.  But when the leader does call a wipe, try to get somewhere safe and feign, it can often save your armor bill and a run from the graveyard.  If you are an Engineer with an army knife or jumper cables you may even be able to rez your companions after you get out of combat. (Anelf says – Rememebr to rez your healer first :-) ).

Use of feign death when soloing:

Use it in exactly the same way as in an instance with your pet, in order to refrain from pulling aggro from you pet.  

You can also use it to ping pong aggro between you and your pet, if you need to give you pet some breathing space to heal up when he is low on health.   Throw on a mend pet, hit distracting shot, mob runs for you, slow him or kite him if you like, maybe even take a hit, when your pet is ready to retake aggro, hit feign death.

I also use feign death when attacked by something big I can’t handle, and let my poor pet die.  I used to fish up by Skettis before I could take out the elite trees that wandered past (or before I realized how easy they were to take down).  When a tree would sneak up on me (have you noticed how sneaky giant elites are in WoW), I would feign death and let my poor pet die.  The tree would wander off, and I would jump up, rez my pet, throw him a treat, and continue fishing.

You can also use it when trying to sneak past patrols or into areas.

Use of feign death in pvp:

It has some use in pvp.  It will remove you as someone’s target, or as a pet/minions target.  The enemy has to retarget you.  It is easy for them to do, especially if they have a /targetlasttarget macro, but often they will turn to someone else, it will buy you a couple of seconds, or it will get a pesky pet off you.  Occasionally, if you were really low on health when you pull it (and do not have a DOT on your which finishes you off, which kinda defeats the object), it will fool the unobservant pvper into thinking you really are dead. But not very often, this trick is too well known.

If you are monitoring a long channelled spell and can time it right, in pve or pvp, you can hit feign death just before it is cast, canceling the spell.  But in reality, it’s pretty hard to get the timing right for this.

Improving feign death:

The minor glyph of feign death reduced the cooldown by 5 secs.  There aren’t many super useful minor hunter glyphs, so I usually use this one.

Survival Tactics in the Survival talent tree, reduces the chance your feign death will be resisted by 4% (2/2).  For pve most people do not take this talent, even though it is quite a nice one, there are too many other nice talents to take.  For a pvp build it is more useful for the reduction to the disengage cooldown.

Feign death cannot be resisted by players, but it can be resisted by mobs.  A mob of your own level has a 4% chance of resisting your feign death.  A mob 3 levels higher has a 17% chance of resisting, and a mob 6 level higher has a 50% chance of resisting.  This chance to resist can be reduced by hit rating.  If you are hit capped against a mob, it should not resist your feign death.   Just another reason to make sure you are hit capped when you go raiding.

A note on shadowmeld:

shadowmeld

A Night Elf’s shadowmeld acts almost like a second feign death, although it is not a complete aggro wipe like feign death, rather it now acts as a temporary aggro freeze.

For shadowmeld, the tank, or another party member, has to do something to re-establish aggro above that of the the hunter (or other Night Elf class – rogues, shadowpriests, fury warriors, etc. can also use this one), during the period in which the hunter (or elf) is shadowmelded, otherwise when the hunter/elf steps out of shadowmeld they just return to where they were at the top of the aggro table.

Having said this, shadowmeld is useful, if you absolutely need a feign death and its on cooldown.  It is also useful when trying to sneak past something, or in pvp, and for those classes of elf, who do not have the uber aggro dump that is feign death.

Shadowmeld is also very useful in PvP for setting up an ambush. Picture the scene … You’re shadowmelded by a graveyard you’re protecting in AV. A lone Hordie rides past on his way to the main battle and sees an undefended graveyard flag. His hands trembling in excitement at finally being able to cap a graveyard, he runs up to the flag, and right clicks on it … ‘Where did that Night Elf come from?’ he wonders as he releases his spirit from his rapidly cooling corpse. Anelf finds this almost as much fun as throwing Entangling Roots on players trying to run away from the fight :-) .

Children’s Week Tips

orphanI am not going to write a how-to overview for Children’s Week, as there are already a couple out there.  Instead, I thought I would write a couple of tips as they come up.  I have completed all of it except the pvp part so far.  I will update this post once I have completed that.

1.  You can collect an orphan from either the Matron in SW (near the cathedral) or the Matron in Shattrah in the lower city.  If you already have a pet from last years’ quest, you should already have an achievement Aww, Isn’t It Cute!  So you don’t actually have to do their quests, except you probably want some more pets :)  You don’t need the achievement Veteran Nanny (which takes 3 years of children’s weeks to get) in order to complete the meta achievement For the Children needed for the achievement What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been, which gives the Violet Proto-drake.

2.  You can hand in your quests in sw and Shatt to get your new pets even if you haven’t completed the rest of the children’s week achievements.  Either Matron will give you another whistle anytime during the week.  So don’t worry about completing the quests.  Same goes if you delete the whistle for some reason, just go ask the Matron for another.

3.  The quest Daily Chores gives the achievement if you do 5 different dailies on the same day, despite what the description says.  I got this achievement on the first day of the event.  This was changed and is correct, it seems (The Children’s Week achievement “Daily Chores” has been slightly altered from the text you will see in the achievement window.  It now requires simply that you complete 5 daily quests with your orphan out. There is no longer an extra step in doing things over consecutive days. (Source)).  You don’t seem to have to have your infant out during the daily, just when you hand it in.

4.  Don’t forget to have your infant out when you are eating all the treats for bad Example.  I forgot and ended up spending another 14G on a Lovely Cake.  The lovely Cake provides 5 slices, you can collect them all and then give them to alts, share them with friends or sell them on the ah.  I shared my first one out to my UK run, hence the second cake purchase.

5.  You can make a lot of money on the ah selling either small eggs, mageroyal, Northern Eggs, Tasty Cupcakes, or Delicious Chocolate Cakes.  Or you can be nice and give them out to your guildies :)  Remember there are vendors selling the icecream outside Org and SW banks, you don’t need to go all the way to Thousand Needles for it.

Watch this space for an update on my BG experience – I expect it to be bad!!! lol.

Update!  Yeay!  I now have my achievement – thanks to a great bunch of guildies – Keeferblah, Neombra, and Anelf :)

Before I give some tips, I have to say I still think this achievement was badly thought out.  It makes you play a BG badly.  Playing to get achievements and even leaving when done, rather than playing as a team effort to win.  I don’t usually PVP, although I have in the past (to get my T4 set for instance).  And when I do, I try my hardest, even when it is a lost cause, so this goes against the grain.  But Blizzard set it up like this, and while I don’t like it, I jumped through their hoops like everyone else to get it done.

Apologizes to horde my tips are alliance achievements.

6.  School of Hard Knocks – is hard if you try and do it alone if you don’t have any pvp gear like yours truly.  I did my Arathi Basin achievement alone but it was not fun.  The Horde in our BG are strong and usually dominate the BGs (I’m a little alliance).  Two horde hunters repeatedly reminded me that I needed some resilience on my gear, a pvp spec, oh and a crab or hyena might be nice too.  I got it done – even capping the farm – but I was shouting in anger at myself by the end.  Later I grouped up with 4 other guildies.  The make up is not important, though a healer is always nice.  Just stick together, have a plan, and have a way of voicing.  We don’t have guild vent so we created an SOF channel.  We then joined that channel and set our in game voice to SOF, meaning we could talk to each other in the BG without being in the same groups in the raid.

7.  Arathi Basin – as a group we zerged the mine as soon as the gate opened – seemed to work quite well.  If a horde comes to up to an alliance base – let them cap it and then you can re cap it if you need the achievement.  Remember you need your orphan out when you click on the flag.

8.  Warsong Gulch – you need to return the flag – so stay in your flag room as a group – let a horde come in and grab the flag – then kill him and click on it to return.  Rinse and repeat until everyone has it.  The people in our BGs were cooperating a little, except for an alliance rogue.  One horde would run in grab the flag and we would kill him.  

9.  Alterac Valley – we had to do this twice to get it – but its not that hard just a bit of luck needed.  Suggest you make a beeline for Tower Point tower.  Try and be the first to cap it, and then wait for the horde to come and recap it.  Again don’t kill them (at least until they have capped the tower) then you can recap.    We chose TP as the horde tend to come past that one and assault it regularly so it was likely to change hands.

10.  Eye of Eternity – run run as fast as you can for that flag.  The easiest way to do it is to be the very first person to get the flag, and have your group escort you back (hopefully to the mage tower that has been taken by the alliance).  Bit of a scrap after the first flag is taken, but just stick together as a group.

11.  If you are veteran PVPer and killer player type you may have a lot of fun this week killing all use noob pvper in our squishy PVE gear.  Good luck to you :)

Beastmaster Off-spec for tanking and soloing in 3.1

Still no live realms up /sigh.  I am sure it’s all very complicated, but you’d think there’d be some way of foreseeing whatever glitch has caused their complete failure to get their game working on this, one of the most anticipated game days since the launch of WOTLK.  

Edit (The morning after): I was able to play a little last night – I kept getting thrown off – but I managed to sort out my dual-spec.  I’ve thrown in a couple of edits here noting some of the current bugs I encountered.

Anyway, while we are waiting, I have be whiling away the hours writing a couple of articles.  In my previous article, I looked at my main spec Survival Hunter – round 3 – patch 3.1 for raiding.  In this one, I consider my off-spec.

Any character level 40 or over with 1,000G to spend can visit their class trainer and learn the ability to dual spec.  The new talent window will allow you to assign both specs, and will also allow you to plan you proposed spec, and confirm it before you buy (Edit:  this is what was promised anyway, when I assigned my talents yesterday, I didn’t see anywhere to change them if they were wrong.  I did put a talent point in the wrong place on my Raptor and had to respec him, which didn’t cost anything, but didn’t try that with my hunter to see whether they had wavered the 50G respec fee).

It each of your pets will have one spec, however you will be able to access your stable remotely.  If you are not changing spec this has a 30min cooldown.  This means that if I want to swap my cat for my raptor whilst remaining a survival hunter, I can do so anywhere in the world without having to find a stablemaster (so long as I am out of combat), but I have to wait another 30 mins before I can swap them back again.  However, the 30min cooldown resets when you respec to your dual-spec.  So if I am raiding and need to be SV with my raptor for one fight, and then BM with my bear for the next (as an extra off-tank is needed), I can switch specs and grab my bear from the remote stable, then I can switch back again after the fight and grab my raptor again, even though it is less than 30 mins since I summoned my bear. 

Edit:  The stable seems buggy, both the remote stable and visiting a stablemaster.  I lost my beloved bear (major panic!) and got two copies of my raptor.  To get my bear back I had to stable both raptors and get another pet out of the stable, then the second raptor disappears and some hokey-kokey swapping pets in and out of the stable (at a stablemaster) made the bear reappear.  Happened again with my gorilla.  I am a bit worried that I could still lose a pet altogether (I seem to remember BRK mentioning a bug like this on the PTR, will need to go back and check what it was).  I am wary about using my black lion in case I lose him (those elite wolvar guarding him don’t like me very much), and would be even more worried if I had a really rare pet.  I think I will also avoid the remote stable for now.  Also, each time you  switch specs, using dual-spec, your pets talent points seems to be wiped and you have to reassign them. :(

I intend to go with the following Beastmaster spec, with its emphasis on pet survivability and damage as my off-spec.  It is not a raid spec.  It loses a couple of points in talents such as mortal shot to pick up points in cobra reflexes.  It also picks up endurance training and thick hide in preference to Improved Aspect of the Hawk.  A beastmaster spec for raiding would look something more like this.  (You could argue a point or two, but the latter is more aimed at DPS, the former at pet tanking.)

For my pet I am thinking of  this spec on my bear.  Silverback (your pets growl heals it for 2% of its total health) should be a great new talent for pet tanking.  I decided to spend my final point in the new Wild Hunt instead of in Avoidance or Greater Resistance, but am not sure what is better.

 I will be saying goodbye to my gorilla now that all tenacity pets can get thunderstomp.   The Gorilla’s new family skill Pummel is not an AOE skill, whereas the bears swipe combined with thunderstomp makes it one of the most powerful tanking pets in the game, especially for multiple mobs.

To fill my empty stable slot, I will go get Hamfast my wolf back, he’s a level 80 Cavedweller Worg from Stormpeaks, the kind that changes color between white and grey.  Every time my stable is full he gets released into the wild for a time, with my knowing I can pick him up again without having to level him back up.  I wish Blizz would introduce more level 80 trainable pets like this.

I intend to use my off-spec when soloing and grinding.  I also hope to run some easier instances solo or with Anelf.  We previously duoed Nexus (which was pretty simple as a BM hunter and resto druid pair), we are even better geared now, and the new option for a tanking spec should open up more options for soloing and duoing.  I might also go back and grind some old world rep for those Argent Champion, Guardian of Cenarius and other titles, as well as mount grinding for some rare mounts.  Heck, I might even spy me an exotic pet!  There’s the new spirit beast or the purple parrot.  Though I guess I better get in line for those two.