Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

I've been super busy the last weeks and by the looks of it I won't be able to get some really free time before the end of this year. So kill a gnome and Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Elite servers vs casual servers

I've recently started a new character (death knight) on a PVE server where my younger relatives play. Playing on that realm is quite different from my home realm, EU-Ravencrest.

EU-Ravencrest is the home to several top-performing PVE guild, and according to www.wowprogress.com, EU-Ravencrest is ranked at first place. (On a side note. It is interesting that the top 22 servers in terms of PVE progress are PVP servers...)

Playing on EU-Ravencrest means that you are constantly surrounded by top-performing players. Raid and HC gear is standard and running around in blues is a laughing matter, even for alts.

PUGing instances on EU-Ravencrest is usually fast and mechanical. Everyone knows their class and the instances like the back of their hands. Of course there are exceptions, but if you stay away from people who use "lol" or "m8" in their sentences you're home free.

Now on EU-Hellfire (rank 125/232) there is a much bigger variety among the players. You'll find lots of guilds with younger players (11-15) and a lot of very casual gamers. You don't see tier gear as frequently as on Ravencrest, people actually /emote when they see legendary items...

For me it is actually a blast to play on this "casual" server - people still view WOW as a game and not as a clinical and mechanical as it is viewed upon on Ravencrest. However I do miss the PVP aspect, there is less excitement in the world. No risk of aggroing the opposing faction, getting corpse camped etc. Don't get me wrong - I don't like being grieved but there is a certain appeal to the danger that it might happen if I am not careful enough...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

5 Great uses for Spell Reflection

use_your_shield_252 One of my favorite skills on my warrior is Spell Reflection which you'll get at the venerable age of level 64. You need to have you shield equipped and 15 rage. It is not affected by global cooldown. It gets even better with talents - improved spell reflection allows you to reflect spells from party members as well. It makes it more "unpredictable" in PVP.

  1. You can use it to reflect a Paladin's Hammer of Justice. They are usually very predictable and unless you happen to meet a skilled retadin odds are that he'll use it quickly to dish out some burst damage. GIB!
  2. Use it in boss fights to avoid super damaging spells or stuns. Check out WowWiki for a few boss uses (TBC only)
  3. Death Knights have several spells that can be reflected - they are far more than just melee combatants.
  4. Charge close to a recently blinked mage, activate it and watch him frost nova himself. GIB!
  5. If a warlock tries to cast Unstable Affliction at you, reflect it and watch with joy as his party members tries to dispel the curse without expecting the unstable debuff.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New gear = great fun

My warrior, whom I started just a month prior to WOTLK, have reached Northrend. It is a blast. Now that the main crowd has moved beyond the starting zones it is less crowded and you don't have to stand around waiting for specific spawns.

My warrior was 68 when starting out in the Fjord and after an initial burst of questing I relocated him to the Borean Tundra. A great move. The quests in the Tundra is so much more fun... in the initial quests around the Warsong citadel you can save horde prisoners who will join you temporary while in the quarry. It felt like running around with a five-man party. Heals, fireballs and charging warriors. The quests in the Howling Fjord are not in any way bad - it is just that the Tundra quests are so much better.

Another great thing with my warrior is getting new equipment with almost every quest. It wasn't half that fun with my hunter who was decked out in (pvp) epics.

New equipment = great fun!

I'll try to get a PUG together for Utgarde Keep tomorrow. I am sure it will be an amazing experience.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Army of One

Resize of stormspike_70 My hunter, Stormspike, is sitting in the Howling Fjord waiting for the rest of my little army to catch-up. My hunter is my main PVP machine and I've come to realize that when I play him I concentrate much more on taking out innocent leveling gnomes than following quest directions. Stormpike has taken the Howling Fjord route. It is a very beautiful zone with lots of interesting PVP terrain. I especially like the mountainous area above the alliance village in the north.

 

Warspike_70 The undead rogue Warspike who has been inactive for almost a year, has been awaken from his slumber. He never got  the gear attention he should have and could get level 68 leather upgrades for several gear slots. A skinner & leatherworker who will have plenty to do in the Fjord. I've moved him over to the Fjord and started doing a few quests with him.

 

 

Resize of Gorespike_66My  Orc arms-warrior, Gorespike, was destined to be a 70 PVP machine is still 66. I guess I forgot him somewhere on the way to Northrend. I have no desire to wake him so I might just as well dump him somewhere in the Outlands/Azeroth on farming duty.

 

 

shieldspike_56 The Blood Elf paladin Shieldspike has been waiting for action at the inn in the Badlands. She managed to get to the respectable level of 56 before slowly sinking back into inactivity. Her goal was to get to 59-60 and stay in that PVP bracket.

 

 

 

Urthiel_66_small But my latest love is Urthiel, an undead protection warrior. I started playing him just little over two months ago and he dinged 67 last night somewhere in Terokkar. He will probably be my first character to ... eventually ... get to 80. Playing a protection warrior is amazingly fun. They are so... resilient. Leveling up in the same wave as all the new death knights make his questing very very hostile. There aren't many DKs that can resist a show of strength. So far I've managed to defeat almost all DKs that attack me. There is a little secret to easy Death Knight killing, but I'll leave that for another post.

Speaking of Death Knights, I do have one somewhat dormant. A female Orc who patiently waits for me. However I am only going to play her with together with my wife (she has a blood elf female knight).

Oh and these are not my only somewhat-active characters. I do have plenty more. I am an altoholic after all, but most of them are below 60.

Then there are my alliance chars that hasn't been active for over a year. Hexapuma the rogue, Aela the Hunter, Ripperjack the Warrior and Hexapanther the Paladin. They've transfered off to another server. Phew.. I should probably get into a rehab or something. Starting new characters is so much fun...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Battle of Northrend & Gnome Death Knights

I logged into WOW about 1900 PM yesterday only to find a queue of 1580. It took almost two hours before I could get into the game. Well I did have Metal Gear Solid 4 to complete so it wasn't really that bad.

Well into the game I discovered that on our PVP server the Howling Fjord is now a battleground. Horde and Alliance ride in packs and anyone alone is fair game. At times alliance and horde was questing side by side but real often someone started fire off an arrow (yes it was me) and a huge fight started. Amazingly fun. Although I feel it slightly makes exploring end enjoying the new continent to the fullest.

Last time I checked the bulk of the hardcore raiders are now approaching 75-76 with the odd 77...

I took some time this morning to play my warrior (L62) in Hellfire. I was jumped two times by level 58 death knights. While I won the fights - these guys are nasty. One second I was killing boars and then WHAM I am sucked away into the blood thirsty reach of a gnome death knight. When they level up higher they are going to be a royal pain in the pvp butt. I will have to create one just to learn their abilities... right now I have no idea what they are doing and why.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Northrend ohoy! First impressions.

About 10:00 PM the European servers allowed players into Northrend. There was a massive gathering of taurens and blood elves around the zeppelin towers. Initially people boarded the zepps' and when it flew away they all ended up at the GY of Brill. Apparently people had to restart their clients for the game to register that you had an upgraded account.

So last night my hunter caught the zeppelin from Brill and arrived in the Howling Fjord. Of all the taurens, undead and blood elves I was one of 4 that successfully arrived at the Howling Fjord.

I played for about 2 hours - and it was huge success! I haven't had this much fun in a long time. It was fun just shooting the new wolves and exploring the new zone.

Experience trickles in fast. Even in a highly competitive environment I gathered about 300k of the 1500k exp in 2 hours needed for level 71.

Oh, and it is expensive. New rank of first aid goes for 50 gold and the other profession skills ends up at around 35 gold each.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lich King Tactics

Tonight the Wrath of the Lich King is released in Europe. I already have secured my box from a good contact, however I still have to wait for the servers to "open".

I now have serious problems choosing what to play next. I've even become interested in picking up a Death Knight.

My tactics when it comes to consuming the Lich King expansion is to ... chill. I am going to take it really slow and be sure to read all lore and really explore the lands. Most of the people on my guild are going to race to 80 as quick as possible. I am going to figure out how to make gold while leveling (since I hate farming sessions) and just enjoy. I don't expect to turn 80 this year. What is your approach?

 

Last night I participated in a few skirmishes against the Lich King's invasion. It felt rather lackluster so I took my little warrior & priest duo to their first excursion into the Outlands. Every time I've gone into the outlands for the first time with a character it has been more or less a pain. Not this time. My protection warrior backed up by a disc priest was able to tear through the mobs in Azerothian blues.

I've now replaced most of their gear. The priest did have gear from Shadowfang Keep... *blush*. My biggest problem is that there are so many tanks on our server that they keep yelling for DPS in the LFG channel. How about that. I've leveled 3 DPS characters before this and they had trouble getting into PUGS because everyone was screaming for tanks.. go figure.

My hunter is now sitting happily in his Argent Dawn gear (although a bit pissed about having to wear a sissy skirt). I managed to secure all pieces except the breastplate in little more than an hour of relaxed grinding (I was practically alone).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Where are you hiding?

I realized that it was quite a while since I updated the blog... well I haven't given up on WOW. On the contrary I've been so busy at work and in Azeroth that I haven't had the time to write anything. Patch 3.0 did really renew my interest in WOW - to the point where I don't even long for the Lich King expansion. I am having fun right here, right now.

New talents

After the 3.0 patch I've been a mess trying to figure out what specs to use and what works best for me. The interesting thing is that most classes that I play (Hunter, Warrior, Rogue and Paladin) have had some dramatic changes. Experiencing the classes again has been tremendously fun.

My hunter is deep in the beast master spec. 52/9/0 with an army of three new exotic pets I am leveling up. I currently have a worm from silithius that I am doing amazing tanking tricks with...

My warrior is not only enjoying but loving the new take on protection. A tree that I never used before even as a tank.

Achievements

Completing achievements had an initial boom that has now subsided - with the large number of characters I play it is untenable to try to complete all achievements. I will have to select one char to really focus on - and that has proven very hard for me. It looks like my dear hunter will be the achievement ho...

Hallow's End

A very fun event that I've squeezed the most out of. It bothers me a bit that I never got the plate helmet for my warrior (but I got the AP ring). I've used the event to level up chars and with my hunter really tried to complete as much as possible. I never got all the masks and the cloth helmet. Better luck next year I suppose.

Multiboxing

A new joy... I've taken a priest and a warrior from 1 to 54 in very short time. Going into instances with two characters have proven to be quite challenging! Just questing and killing in the normal world is simply fast and very easy. I find PVP pretty hard though and it usually leaves my priest dead while my warrior tries to finish off any gankers. However with so many 70 running around right now insta-gibbing lowbies it isn't really that fun...

My latest achievement was completing all of Maraudon with my two chars at level 52... great success and lots of fun. The little green blobs with AOE were the most lethal mobs.

Wrath of the Lich King

Ten days to go... and it looks like I might be on a business trip during the launch. Oh well... I guess it is going to be slightly less crowded in the new starting areas when I get back. With potential 80's running around griefing and ganking. My biggest concern is which character to level to 80 first. I am leaning toward taking my hunter...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hexapuma's Army: Multiboxing

While waiting for the next expansion I've gathered a small army of toons. It seems I can't help myself to go creating more and more toons. With the latest "Recruit a friend" (or RAF for the cool kids) boons you can actually level a couple of toons really really fast.

What you get from playing with a friend:

* Friend-to-friend summoning - once every hour (I think) you can summon your friend. This cuts down on travel time immensely - especially since you'll level so fast you want to visit trainers so much more often.

* Triple experience gain - you get triple experience from quests AND killing mobs. Triple is fast - very fast. It is so fast that you'll skip most quests in a zone because it is becoming grayed out. It also makes instances leveling very interesting.

* The recruited friend can grant bonus levels to your characters... even more leveling.

There are a few caveats in the mix though. Your "friends" account gets linked to the recruiter. This means that only those two accounts will gain the triple experience when playing together. It is also only active 3 months... so if you want to level multiple characters - get cracking!

Of course you can always get yourself a second account and either multi-box them (playing two accounts on the same computer) or if you have two computers play that way. I currently have two computers setup next to each others to play my two accounts. It does require a few macros to run successfully but it works like a charm.

I am currently leveling a Warrior and a Priest this way... My warrior tanks and accounts for most of the DPS... the priest is little more than a pocket healer and when not healing auto wanding the target. I am not using the two characters full potential. Probably 3/4 of the warrior and 1/3 of the priest...

It is really interesting way to play... much more room to botch up comparing with running with just one character. It feels a little bit like WOW in difficult mode.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Great 3.0 info over at Too Many Annas

Time to visit Too Many Annas - she has written an excellent summary of various class guides dealing with the impeding 3.0 patch. Go, go now!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Stormspike and the Sky Captain of Tomorrow

Early this morning Stormspike threw his last fire bomb over Skettis and was rewarded with exalted status with the Sha'tari Skyguard. Finally got an upgrade to Bladefist's breadth - the Skyguard Silver Cross, while it lacks Bladefist's active AP buff it gives 0,5% more crit and increased AP after each kill. Nice farming trinket.

I also got a pet Nether Ray Fry and more importantly an epic red Nether Ray flying mount.

netherray

Next goal - cooking 375... and 7 more WSG marks.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Almost there...

After a few hours of grinding in the Skettis area Stormpike is now at 19890 / 21000 - it is so close that it felt stupid not to go all the way. But I do have a job to go to. I probably need a new faction to concentrate on after... or actually finishing up quests. With Stormspike I haven't even touched the quests in Netherstorm yet... Best thing is I'll fly around there in style - on my new netherray mount.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Getting ready for the Lich King

As my attention for WOW is slightly wandering at the moment I had to sit down and review my current goals. Especially those I should do before the LK expansion.

  1. Get 30 WSG marks for my PVP leggings [ 19/30 done ]
  2. Get exalted with Sha'tari Skyguard in order to get the Netherray mount. [ 12800/21000 done ]
  3. Get Cooking 375 [ 372/375 done ]
  4. Get engineering 375 [ 362/375 done]

That is all I really want to do... now it would be sweet to complete the reputation grind for the Scryers [ 1610/21000 done ]for the greater AP inscription - but hey I have a life too - I hate grinding.

Regarding my alts... there is nothing they need to do before the arrival of LK.

waiting for lk

I am in no hurry. When the expansion comes I am truly going to enjoy the new content in a rather slow pacing. The only thing that might speed up my leveling depends on the new battlegrounds...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Looking at Warhammer Online...

I've been cheating on WOW...

A couple of days ago I installed WAR as most of my co-workers have started to play WAR on a regular basis. I don't want to miss out on the fun.

I bought the game from EA's online store and was able to download the client in little more than an hour. It then took almost another hour to install the client on my laptop (a crappy DELL M1710 XPS) running XP.

My experience so far:

* It crashes alot - last night I crashed 3 times over a four hour period. It seems to be related to my computer and lack of recent drivers. Thank you DELL.

* It is fugly - while it looks much better than CONAN or  games that tries to do semi-realism the animations spans from poor to bad.

* Lackluster game level design - the level design feels (judging from the starting levels of CHAOS and Dark Elves) old and more similar to EQ and Asheron's Call rather than WOW.

* Lack of connection to the game character. I think the controls feels disconnected, hits aren't looking like they connect. I don't expect miracles in a MMO but this is mediocre at best.

The good things:

* The quests are interesting and the quest descriptions are engaging.

* The environment, despite the level design, is very immersive.

* Public quests is THE SHIT. Extremely funny and cool.

* WAR's battlegrounds (the name escapes me at the moment) are great. You can always enter the BG queue - no need to visit a certain battlemaster. Best of all - when the game is over you are returned to where you started. I really really hope Blizzard takes a hint from this.

* Fresh classes (careers) - Squig Herder, Chaos Marauder, Witch Elves... Warhammer has a great lore and it uses it to the fullest.

* Tome of Lore - the tome is where all lore, character archivements and rewards are stored. It is amazing... no wonder WOW is including an archivement system in LK - they've been busy playing the WAR Beta.

All these things said ... after an evening of WAR I still had to finish my gaming night with an hour of WOW. Trying to collect the 30 WSG tokens I need for the PVP leggings. Unless EA totally devotes time, money and resources into WAR it will never compete with WOW.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Killing birdmen...

I've been taking a few minutes each day to complete the dailies in Skettis. Stormspike has now just a few thousand rep to go for the epic netherray mount. The Skettis area can be a real warzone depending on the time you go there.

Morning - zone is generally only visited by people who wants to do their dailies with as little fuss as possible.

Lunch - during lunch the area is heavily populated. There are alot of PVP going on. I suspect that the area is visited by both PVPers and a few brave souls that try do complete their dailies.

Afternoon - early afternoon is safe but around 15-16 PM it starts to heat up again. I suspect the younger crowd are coming home from school and starts their dailies.

Evening - chaos. Anything goes. Some evenings the area is camped, others devoid and you'll never know if you're going to get ganked when doing the escort daily.

Night - empty and safe for dailies. 

I personally don't like PVP in an area like Skettis. The mobs are 70-71, hit quite hard and it is very easy to gain adds. On the other side it is a great place for ganking/griefing if thats your poison.

In around 20 minutes I'll get around 500-750 rep with the Skyguard, loads of netherweave and 40 gold. It is no more than what I need. I've heard about some people that keep a stack of 20 000 golds... I can't understand why they bother with keeping such a big stash. 


Monday, September 15, 2008

001 Painspike | The Backstabber

WoWScrnShot_042308_122242 In order to mix up the battleground focused PVP of my dear hunter. I've started a new rogue. There are a few classes I return to again and again... rogues are one of those. I can't get enough of them. Insane DPS and lots of neat tricks that makes everyone else look bland. In addition the female Blood Elf stealth pose is amazingly cool...

I know that most players recommend rogues to go down the combat tree during leveling. I've done so myself in the past but with Painspike I am focusing on daggers. The results so far are awesome. I kill most mobs in few steps - it feels much faster compared to combat swords. However my rogue is just level 23 at the moment so it might change later on.

Mind you I have not twinked the character at all beyond the use of Heavy sharpening stones (+4 damage). Going combat would have allowed uninterrupted sinister strikes until death - very little finesse and very boring. Although combat comes with stronger defense if when things go wrong - especially with blade flurry and Adrenaline Rush.

Painspike is currently 23 and just finished with Ghostlands. Hillsbrad will be her new home - usually ample of opportunity to practice world PVP. Her current talent spec is 10/2/2 - I am currently filling up subtlety talents for increased burst damage. Painspike's armory profile is here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

PVE goes PVP

Great news for the people that rolled on a PVE server - they can now transfer their characters to a PVP realm. At level 70 I can't imagine that it will be that big of a difference except when farming motes and other stuff. The biggest difference between a PVE and PVP server is the leveling process. On a PVP server you'll have to cope with multiple ganks and griefing attempts by higher leveled characters. However the charm of playing on a PVP realm is added challenge of avoiding those situations...

Anyway I say it is about time they let the PVE players in on the fun... fresh meat =)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Upsetting the fragile truce between horde and alliance...

I spent Sunday with my pet Paladin, completing a few quests in Duswallow Marsh... the new quest hub for 35-45 leveled toons. It is a pretty dense quest areas with different quests going on everywhere, especially once you make it down to the new neutral village Mudsprocket. This weekend the zone was packed... horde and alliance toons everywhere. Guess people are leaving raiding/pvping behind to get a new toon up to 70 before LK hits. I've seen quite a few hunters lately... Anyway there was very little PVP going on... not even gangbanging.

I must admit that I happily left the alliance alone - no use PVPing when you are in a hurry to blow off some restbonus and advance towards 60. My paladin has very little in terms of "good" equipment. The prices on AH has become horribly high and I ain't happy spending my precious gold on other things than gems and enchants for my hunter Stormspike.

Once I got over to Tanaris and Lost Rigger Cove (where the Southsea Pirates hang out) things changed... a 70 rogue gnome helping out a druid killed every horde in its path. Other alliance chilled but not the rogue. My assumption is that the rogue is helping his friend with an alt... and that rogue probably only has one character. He therefore he doesn't care about the truce since he doesnt risk having his leveling speed hampered with by being marked for revenge gangs himself. I know that if I spot that druid friend of his I am going to have to camp his bear butt...

I managed to complete the pirate quests and ding 46... still a way from 60 but I am making progress. Tonight I'll have some battleground fun with my hunter though. Even though I enjoy my little paladin, there is no doubt that Stormspike is my main.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Battlegrounds, PVP and the Gender discussion

I've finally returned to the land of the living or should I say digital life after a long and exotic vacation. I've experienced life with very little Internet - and it was good... but it was also good to return to the civilized world.

I've picked up Soul Calibur 4 - an awesome game if you are into fighting games. I've had a couple of really great online fights. The quality of many players out there is near godlike... or at least compared to myself. I do have to start focusing on a specific character if I am going to have any chance online at all. I've always been the type of player that can play all characters and still have a good chance of winning. This isn't really the case online... This playing style is evident in my WOW style as well. I have a hard time focusing on a specific character, instead I love to play different alts.

My hunter has gotten the most of my attention the last six months - and he still have it. I have now managed to secure a few more PVP gear pieces. Still on my honor-shopping list are the rings, neck, leggings, gloves and melee weapon. Oh and my latest purchase (shoulders & chest) did drain my bag of gold a wee bit. I bough those nice epic +10 agility gems... probably overpriced but hey its a game and I simply get what I want NOW. Problem is that I must return to grind a wee bit of dailies before getting more gems. I am not broke but down to a few hundred pieces of gold.

Gender talk

Oh and I've seen quite a few posts in the bloggosphere about gender... quite frankly I don't give a shit if you are female/male. If your blog is interesting to me I'll read it. Personally I think Green Hunter has the right attitude and quite a few other blogs simply rants about in order to stand out.

In-game its just the same. Age and gender doesn't interest me - maturity and language does. WOW is just a game to me - I have most of my social contacts outside the game. I get into WOW to stomp a few gnomes in the battlegrounds. Leveling up, grouping and instancing is just a side-effect of me getting a char into the correct BG bracket. Don't get me wrong - I can be social in-game and I do from time to time but its when I do find like minded people. Needless to say I don't hang around raiders too much. We have very different views on the game.

The Beta

I got into the LK Beta... I've had very little time to play it so far. There are a lot of crazy stuff going on with talents at the moment. I am sure that it'll be balanced properly before launch - remember that Blizzard introduced the new talents before the launch of BC to get it balanced. I am sure it will happen again. I will try to get a Death Knight leveled during the beta - so I can focus on getting my Hunter to 80 as soon as possible.

The Alt

I am getting another paladin leveled - my little Blood Elf is at 45. My goal is to get her to 60 and then stay in Alterac Valley 'till the launch of LK and then enjoy a faster leveling between 60-70...

Oh... Darth Vader in Soul Calibur 4 rocks... that is how a death knight should be....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Invited to the beta...

I just got invited to participate in the Wrath of the Lich King Beta... downloading the client now. I have very little play time during the summer but I am sure to at least try the death knight and experiment a wee bit with the hunter's new talents.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No Wrath here - move along

There is no end to the blogs publishing stuff about WotLK. Talent calculators, engineering thingys and what not. I am not writing anything about it, nor while I until it hits retail. I am one of those who actually love discovering something new and fresh when it is finished and not in beta state.

My fellow guildies keep yapping about "Have you seen the talent X for hunters".. or "How are you going to spec".. give it a rest. Lets enjoy it when it arrives. I will.

No more WotLK... actually I am going to play Diablo 2 tonight just to skip WOW. Maby just a quick AB or even a WSG but nothing more.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finally a weapon upgrade!

I went with the Merciless Gladiator's Crossbow of the Phoenix... now I am back to almost zero honor and looking for a new goal. I am most likely going for the Merciless Gladiator's Decapitator.

Find a marksman hunter and go melee on him... he won't like it one bit. I got 3 hunters today in melee. I am no huntard... just denying the other hunters to go ranged on me. I still prefer ranged for all other targets. Oh but I do think it is stylish to finish of a warrior in melee. Very embarassing if killed though =)


Monday, July 14, 2008

What is next in the PVP gear department?

I've almost collected another 28000 honor... My fingers are burning to spend it. Albeit I cannot decide what will give me the most benefit. Resilience or DPS? Check out my hunter Stormspike at the armory and help me decide...

I am leaning toward getting the Gladiator's Crossbow and get a small DPS boost instead of the bigger resilience boost I can get for the same amount of honor. One more thing... I don't do Arenas - yet. I'll wait till I have a full set before venturing into that slaughterhouse.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hunter's got back

I tried, oh I tried.

I really tried to save up the honor to get the PVP crossbow. As soon as I crossed 10k honor I somehow ended up in the Hall of Champions ogling at the various gear I could buy. I've been checking out the Sergeant's Heavy Cloak for a long time and BAM! Without knowing it I had bought it. Back to zero honor and square one when it comes to weapons... 28'000 honor required.

The cloak is nice though... and with it I am almost at the magical 200 resilience rating. The magic? It is minimum resilience rating that most premade AV teams requires.

Oh my little mage sits untouched at 19... and if I am not completely mistaken as a ghost after numerous attempts to kill the silver rare bio-mage in one of the ziggurats. Damn weaklings ^^

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My little mage

So I cracked... and created a new alt. I think it was all the AV grinding during AV weekend that broke me.

Anyway... playing a mage is great fun, although I do miss my hunter so I don't expect this to be a long-term relation.

Things I've noticed in the early levels of a mage:

  • Their DPS over short time is insane.
  • They need to drink and eat - a lot.
  • Their insane DPS is clearly balanced with their sitting down time.
  • At the end of the day I feel as a hunter kills faster since I never had to sit down for water.
  • Mages are extremely fragile. A bad pull is harder to fix compared to a hunter or rogue. A hunter can manage a 3 mob bad pull, while things get hairy with just one extra mob as a mage.
  • Mages are extremely cooldown reliant. Mob add and Frost Nova on cooldown - big trouble. I find myself working around the CD of Frost Nova and Fire Blast.
  • They have a much tougher time compared to rogues / hunters to down elites.
  • Bloodthistle withdrawal is cool
  • Did I mention they drink alot of water?
  • The Elemental Aquanton is frost resistant - use fire spells or you'll die over and over again.

After 10 hours /played my mage sits at level 17 in the Ghostlands. I've gone completely frost at this point. So far it has only netted me faster frost bolts and additional crit damage - nothing spectacular or snazzy.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hunter Battleground build 0.1

I've leveled my hunter almost completely in the cookie-cutter Beast Master build 41/20/0. I've had great success with it but it was time to try something different. With my focus on PVP I wanted to give another more survival oriented build a spin. The result:

21/0/40

The goal of the build is to make it easier to survive battlegrounds and hence be more effective. It is NOT an arena build. It is not a raid build and probably not a farming build. When I enter battlegrounds - warriors & rogues are my biggest nemesis - or at least I get most hammered by them. A BM build is probably much stronger against casters (BW ftw)

So a few highlights from the "Battlegound Build" are:

Savage Strikes - Gives your raptor strike additional 20% to crit. When you get a rogue/hunter in melee it is going to hurt them.

Improved Wing Clip - 20% of imobilizing them. This is almost instant win when applied to an enemy melee. At least in theory ^^

Deterrence - Increases dodge AND parry with 25% for 10 seconds. It will allow you to charge into a warrior and avoid that hamstring and instead clip him... or survive that rogue's barrage of attacks.

Wyvern Sting - put an opponent to sleep for 12 sec... CC or why not just as a cast interrupt.

Intimidation - your trusty pet stun. I would rather have Scatter shot for this build but I've chosen the Pet route.

Improved Aspect of the Monkey - again 6% dodge against melee can be the deciding factor when trying to avoid their stuns/hamstrings.

I've just begun learning the build and it feels very different from a beast master. First you don't have to be afraid in melee - actually it is a good thing to go seeking melee at certain times with other hunters and even rogues (at least non-gladiator geared). I still need to change/add a few macros for all the new talents to make the build work correctly.

I took my pet to Skettis to try out its PVE use. While I could handle all encounters (thinking of the escort quests) I had less mana after a fight than I would as a beast master. BUT damn! It was much easier to handle multiple mobs. Wyvern sting and Entrapment are good PVE talents in the survival tree.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The play schedule of a casual WOW addict.

So what does a casual wow addict's play schedule look like? Let me show you:

Monday
Morning - 1hr - Skettis dailies, Nagrand dailies & some AH/mail
Lunch - 45 min - Battleground (approx. 1000 honor)
Evening - NIL

Tuesday
Morning - 1hr - Skettis dailies, Nagrand dailies & some AH/mail
Lunch - 45 min - Battleground or Blade's Edge quests
Evening - 3hrs - Battleground (approx 3K honor) or the odd instance

Wednesday
Morning - NIL
Lunch - NIL
Evening - 1 hr - Skettis dailies, Nagrand dailies & AH/mail

Thursday
Morning - 1hr - Skettis dailies, Nagrand dailies & questing
Lunch - 45 min - Battleground (approx 1000 honor)
Evening - 1 hr - Battleground (approx 1000 honor)

Friday
Morning - 1hr - Skettis dailies, Nagrand dailies & AH/mail
Lunch - NIL
Evening - NIL

Saturday
Morning - NIL
Lunch - 2 hrs - Battleground (approx 2000 honor)
Evening - NIL

Sunday
Morning - NIL
Lunch - 2 hrs - Battleground (approx 2000 honor)
Evening - 1 hr - Dailies & Battleground (approx 500 honor)

If you add it up its about 16 hours / week. 11 hours of those are in BG's and remaining 5 hours are spent on dailies and in front of the AH.

In a week I'll net about 11'000 honor and 300 gold (more depending on Ore & loot sales. This week however I missed my Tuesday evening play session in favor of a social happening... WOW always get shafted .. it is lowest on the priority scale.

So there you have it. Actually it is way more than I thought I played. I would also estimate that I spend at least 30-60 minutes / day browsing WOW related web pages. Pumping those 16 hours up to at least 20 hours / week. Comparing this with the rest of my life:

Sleep - 56 hrs / week (32 %)

Work - 41 hrs/ week (23 %)
Family - 36 hrs / week (21%)
WOW - 20 hrs / week (11 %)
Other - 22 hrs / week (13%)

I need to cut down on sleep...

What does your schedule look like when you really add it up?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New hunter gear

Yesterday was a great day in the battlegrounds. My fear of Eye of The Storm has finally dwindled away. I've collected the 40 badges I needed to purchase the Vindicator's Chain Sabbatons. I shy away from the Guardian version because my hunter does not carry an arena rating. Somehow I cannot bare myself to beg for a partner for throw-away games. Once I have assembled a full PVP gear from the BGs I'll go into arenas but not before.

I am also considering to enchant my fugly Crystalforged War Axe with Savagery. To be honest - it will take me quite some time before I replace it with the PVP axe. 27.000 honor can be spent on much more resilience in form of armor... and then I probably should get the Crossbow before the axe anyway...

I gather about 1k honor each day from a few BGs. Certain days I'll get more (~5k) others nothing at all. That said, getting the Axe requires almost a months of BGs...

So far I've collected:

Guardian's Chain Girdle, the Vindicator's Chain Sabbatons and the Medallion of the Horde.

Right now I am saving up for the Vindicator's Chain Bracers and I am 1500 of 9800 honor there. After the bracers I'll probably look for the Sergeant's Heavy Cloak or even the Merciless Gladiator's Chain Armor...

Choices choices...

oh and my hunter broke 5000 hks yesterday... yay! It is nothing compared to the fighters you fight with in the BGs. Most of  them with any gear to speak of have at least 34k....

Monday, June 30, 2008

Epic mount

epicmount

I have finally saved enough gold to shell out the 5200 gold required for the epic flying mount. I did test fly it this morning and it feels truly epic. Doing the bombing quest in Skettis was so much more painless not to mention just flying about gathering minerals.

With the gold farming complete I've not only gotten myself an epic mount but I have also completed the farming myself. I've had a few "rich" friend offer me the gold but I've learned that if you get it yourself - it is so much sweeter. Having goals in WOW is the only thing that keeps me playing the same character. Being an altoholic I only need a few days of boredom before starting up a new char. I've decided to try to stick with my hunter for as long as possible. Also levelling up new pets is * almost * the same as levelling a character =)

My trusty black wolf is now level 67 and received his name today - Bloodmaul. I figured it would go nicely since he is a Bloodmaul Wolf from the Bladespire Mountains.

With the mount done I am going to save up some gold for my next project - enchanting and gemming my PVP gear. Next on my shopping list is Swift Windfire Diamond for my head and the enchant Surefooted on my boots.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gold paradise - Fire Festival Revisited

Gold Bars I think I was too harsh on the Fire Festival earlier. It is actually a great event - for getting gold. Three hours of fire festival celebration netted me little over 400 gold. I didn't have ultra fun (as in running around in WSG/AB) but it was ok. And my hunter is desperately needing gold for the epic flyer.

So how does this get rich scheme work with the Fire Festival?

Easy.

Outside most settlements in Outlands and Azeroth are the crazy fire worshippers and their bonfire. With the faction of your choice (I play horde so that will be "my faction") you'll get a quest to worship the fire. Get the quest and voila - 5 gold (if you are level 70) for every horde fire. Now go to the pesky alliance settlements and "use" their bonfire (actually the bonfire has a quest marker) and you'll get 11 gold and some change.

photo by John Curley Easiest way to do this is to start in Outlands - Netherstorm and then make your way to shadowmoon valley. Once there, back to Shattrah and take a portal to Silvermoon and work your way through Eastern Kingdom. Once you reach Booty-Bay hop on the boat to Kalimdor and from Ratchet take the flight to Cenarion Hold in Silithius. Now work your way all the way to Draenei starting areas...

Personally I skipped the Night Elf starting area - Dolanaar. To complicated for my "Get rich quick scheme".

In the enemy capitals (Exodar, IF, Stormwind & Darnassus) are special festival fires for you to desecrate. My impression is that they yield slightly more gold but that you will have to fight your way to get there. If you stick to regular settlements you can do this solo without breaking a sweat. Well maby a few drops if you play on a PVP server.

Each continent yields about 200 gold... and in order to make this really easy for you I've spotted another blog with a list of all settlements:

Grumble N Autumn: 2008 Midsummer Fires

 

Great guide to the locations. It actually inspired me to visit all the places. Oh it took me about 3 hours to complete the entire run. Happy riding... you'll miss your flying mount in the old world.

I know only need 600 gold to buy my hunter an epic flyer... almost there!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Workcraft

Just got this dumped in my lap... it hillarious!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where is the Fun in the Fire festival?

Who likes Fire festival? After looking around a little bit on the blogger scene, I've deduced that most of us doesn't really care for the firef festival events. Personally I think the added city art is nice and the midsummer pole and the dancing is a nice touch in the cities. The questlines and the fire rewards are however totally uninspiring. The people I've talked to force themselves through the torch tossing/catching just to get themselves the rewards. All while they moan and bitch about how hard/boring it is. It's a game. Do stick to things that you enjoy.

I tried the torch tossing, easy. I tried the torch catching. Bleh. Running around to various ally cities to dose their flame could be fun in the right group. On a PVP server it guarantees lots of interesting moments - or ganking.

My wife took one look at the new city art and then demanded to get to play... she loves the events, and that my friends is all it takes for me to think Fire festival (however boring it is) is a good thing. I am off to ignore the festival some more. Need a wee bit more honor before the new seasonal PVP gear is introduced on Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hunter engineering goggles

Behold my hunter Last night I crafted Surestrike Goggles v2.0 for my hunter. With primal nether being available from the AH it was easy to gather the rest of the materials. All my collected ore has gone into this though... I am not sure what the cost would add up to. The materials I bought from the AH - Primal Nether (40g), Nightseye x2 (60g) and finally Heavy knothide leather x6 (15g). Approximately 120g and then the time to get all the ore... about 20 hours of playtime? It sure sounds expensive. I hope it is worth it in the end.

I am slowly putting together a PVE set to go with my PVP set. With the engineering goggles equipped I finally broke 1000 RAP. I now have to take additional measures to avoid drawing aggro from my pet. Something I've never had to do before. It is not unusual to manage a string of crits and then have the mob switch targets. I am thinking of starting to use a Misdirection macro in regular pullls... but it seems highly mana draining. Mana is what I have very little of... I rely on Aspect of the Viper more than Mp5 and Int. Maby time to put together a farming set too...

I am saving up for an epic flyer... but at the same time I want to gem and enchant my gear. I keep telling myself that after I've gotten the epic flyer getting gold will be much faster and smoother.

Reputation update:

Cobalt War Talbuk Exalted with Mag'har! I now ride a Cobalt War Talbuk.

I need a new goal. Perhaps the consortium since I do enjoy killing the poor Ogres in Nagrand. 200 warbeads will take me to honored... I probably should do the Netherstorm quests before.

The Scryers - Revered - 800 sunfury signets required for Exalted.

Thing is... I am not overly interested in any of those factions. Then perhaps Sha'tari Skyguard could be something? Those Skettis quests are really a pain in the ass though.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Medallion of the Horde

32px-INV_Jewelry_TrinketPVP_02 My first purchase to improve my PVP gear was the Medallion of the Horde, effectively giving me 20 more resilience and cutting down the cooldown from 5 to 2 minutes. The resilience is nice but the new CD makes it extremely useful. I would say almost making it usable once in every BG encounter. On the other hand... almost everyone have this trinket which means that you should never expect your Freezing trap to actually CC anyone... However it will give you an early warning of an incoming rogue or druid.

I am holding off any other purchases until 27th of June...

Last night I passed 4000 lifetime kills. My previous character record is held by my old alliance hunter Ninaeve at 7673 kills. Sadly she only got to set her foot in Outlands once before being laid to rest.

In total my characters have raked up 21345 kills. Interestingly enough my rogue Hexapuma has the ranking of Knight-Captain with only 3581 kills. I miss the PVP titles... Hmm looking at my rogue that hasn't been active since October last year I see he logged out the last time with resurrection sickness. Poor thing.

 

Reputation update:

I am currently working on Mag'har rep. 16264/21000 meaning I only need 100 more warbeads or 474 ogre kills to Exalted. 

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ding 70, now what PVP gear to upgrade next?

So late yesterday I finally dinged 70 while doing a little bit of questing in Shadowmoon Valley. I wanted to be close to the riding trainer to get the flying mount asap after the ding. After getting the flying mount I spent another hour collecting the newbie PVP armor available at 70 - The Stalker's Chain Battlegear. I didn't have the rep required for the breastplate (requires honored with the Keepers of Time).

So now my hunter has the following setup:

Ranged: Gyro-Balanced Khorium Destroyer

Melee: Crystalforged War Axe

Head: Stalker's Chain Helm

Shoulder: Stalker's Chain Spaulders

Chest:  Sundered Chestpiece of the Bandit

Hands: Stalker's Chain Gauntlets

Bracers: Feathered Armbands

Waist: Girdle of Gale Force

Feet: Blood Knight Boots of the Bandit

Back: Delicate Green Poncho (of ugliness)

Ring 1: Warmaul Slayer's Band

Ring 2: Ogre Slayer's Band

Trinket 1: Insignia of the Horde (cheap one)

Trinket 2: Bladefist's Breadth

 

I feel pretty comfortable with my Destroyer to leave it for awhile. My biggest concern is which order to upgrade the gear. No way I am enchanting/gemming gear that soon will be replaced. I am going to get myself an epic flyer before plowing down that gold.

I am thinking of getting the improved insignia of the horde first but other than that I have no idea. I suppose it would be smart to upgrade non-pvp items first (boots, bracers, belt etc) before swapping out the Stalker's chain battlegear. If you have any good suggestions now is the time =)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reputation update

After a quick check on the WoW Rep Calculator my hunter has the following rep needs:

Honored
Lower City - 90 feathers left (2.2 turn ins)
Sha'tar - 410 Sunfury signets left (40.1 turn ins)

Revered
Mag'har - 190 warbeads or roughly 900 ogre kills

If I can squeeze in an hour or two today I'll finish up the feather gathering and start with the sunfury signets in earnest. I might actually just buy the signets from AH. They sit at about 50-60 silvers apiece.

Update:

Lower city - honored
Sha'tar - 10 signets left (1 turn-in) Did a little AH shopping...
Mag'har - 160 warbeads or roughly 770 ogre kills

My hunter is now only 5% away from the BIG ding. So far I've only done questing in Hellfire, Zangarmarsh, Terrokar and Nagrand. Meaning I have epic mount money from Blade, Netherstorm & Shadowmoon... I should have my golden wings pretty soon. My latest goldstatement was in the vincinity of 3k.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reputation grind - for the PVP starter kit

Getting into the 70 bracket battlegrounds or even worse the Arena is tough with all those 70ies running around in various PVP gear. Fortunately Blizzard loves alts and new characters so they've made sure that if you have grinded the most popular factions in Outlands to honored status you can get a good starter kit.

Lassirra at The Hunter's Mark has provided a good write-up on the kit for hunters - L70 Hunter PVP Starter Kit.

Megan at Out of Mana has a lot of very useful PVP oriented material for Arena players and battleground'ers alike. Actually her posts are in general very interesting (that is if you don't read the raid related posts ^^). Check her New Arena Player in 2.4 post.

My hunter is about to ding 69 and I am hesitating on staying 69 to farm the battlegrounds for honor and tokens while he is in the top crop... (as soon as the 70 ding hits, he'll be lowest of the low in AB, WSG and EoS). While I got things figured out I am concentrating on getting my reputation up with various factions.

Lower city - Friendly - 4200/6000

Grinding Arakkoa Feathers for the rep. I just need 240 more feathers.

Sha'tar - Friendly - 737/6000

Grinding Sunfury signets (since I am going for the Scryers faction) - 420 signets required for honored.

Keepers of Time - Neutral - 0/3000

I am not bothering with this faction since it requires instancing - and my limited game time does not allow it at this point. Should I decide to do it... I'll need 3.3 times in Old Hillsbrad for friendly status... and then probably another 6 times for honored.

Mag'Har - Revered - 5284/21000

Technically not required for the PVP starter kit but I really want the Talbuk mount! I need 310 Obsidian Warbeads - or ~1600 ogre kills. A probable combination would be 600 ogre kills to just get the warbeads... and then about 200 warbeads.

I've got some serious grinding to do... if you need to check out your characters reputation requirements... just head to http://wowreputationcalculator.com/ ! It is an amazing tool for checking out your Outlands rep.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shooting ogres

I've been having a long weekend followed by a few days spent to sick to go to work. Naturally I've had some extra WOW time to even out the boredom. As my hunter soared through Nagrand he also managed to ding 68 and get halfway into 69 - and I am still not yet out of quests in Nagrand. Still have the ones down in the southwest for the Consortium.

Nagrand

How come the fast pace? I blame rest XP and the incredible amount of kill missions in Nagrand. I swear you are hunting all various types of mobs in Nagrand at one time or other. Just killing things in random gives you both reputation with Mag'har and/or quest items. It is crazy - and fun as hell.

Nagrand is now my favorite Outland zone! Just don't have me kill more Elekks. I've gathered lots and lots of ivory for the consortium. They sure seems like a shady kind of bunch, but in the end I got an envelope stuffed with cheap gems.

Elite Elekk Concept (blizzard entertainment)

I am not much for rep grinding but with the Mag'har it goes incredibly fast. There is not much I want from their quartermaster save a Cobalt War Talbuk. Grinding ogres and collecting their Obsidian Warbeads for Mag'har turn-in I figured my grinding speed (when uninterrupted by PVP) is about 2000 rep / hour. I have grinded/quested my way to revered status now so there is about 20000 rep left - or 10 hours of grueling repetitive farming. I have about 8-10 hours of average wow time per week... I also have countless of alts and goals but this should be doable. It will be the first faction I've grinded to completion.

I am already longing for my next Nagrand session... did I mention it is rich with ore! Just from gathering random ore that appears around me I've raised my engineering from 230 - 243... Slowly getting it up to 250 and then we'll see if I'll start gathering the materials for the Surestrike Goggles v2.0.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Ding 66, Hello Kill Command!

My hunter dinged 66 earlier today while grinding away on those arakkoan birdmen in Terrokar forest. I need those feathers for Lower City rep. After a swift hearthstone and a portal jump to Thunderbluff the venerable hunter trainer awarded me with a new skill - Kill Command. (He also gave me a few ranks of aimed shot that I apparently had forgotten - I am such a noob).

Kill Command is interesting, for 75 mana you'll add around 127 pet damage every time you crit. I am sure it will affect my mana pool and at least do some magic in the DPS department. An interesting note is that Kill Command can crit, and there are BM talents that increases its crit ratio with 10%/20%. It also means that I need to update my hunter shot rotation macro to the following:

#showtooltip Auto Shot
/cast !Auto Shot
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] Kill command
/cast Steady Shot
/script UIErrorFrame:Clear()
This excellent macro was found on wowwiki.com, and they have plenty more of various hunter macros that are really useful.

I am getting ready to move on from Terrokar and into Nagrand soon. I just need to finish up the feather grind.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My little dagger

Outlands questing doesn't do it for me. There is something with the quests and the zones I don't like. I can't put my finger on it. My hunter is 65 and at the moment I have no strength to push on and level up. I've done a little battlegrounds (which is great) but even that is boring because I need to get to 70 to get all the good equipment.

Soo... I've been looking at a little alt of mine. A rogue in her 19's. I've been doing lots of Warsong Gulch and it is amazingly fun. Although I haven't twinked her out anything at all. I really don't like plowing down tons of gold on twink gear. When going up against twinks I get my ass handed to me. My meager 400 HP can't really stack up against their 14-1700 HP. My typical backstab crits for 140... That is 10 backstabs of just chewing through their health.

No it is a game of cunning and tactics for me. I've gouged, sapped and escaped so much it feels like a game of cat and mouse. With me being the mouse. Yet I cap flags, I end up high in the damage department. I think it is because most of the rogue twinks out there can't play for shit. They just run after a target and mash sinister strike... and their strikes hurts but they have none of the wits of a true rogue player.

Now I am actually considering to twink up my little one...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hunting ... fish

My hunter's fishing skill is slightly lagging behind at a whooping 258. It is not sufficient for any outlands fishing at all. So I took this morning to try to get it up to par... 1 hour later and my hunter's fishing skill reached 280... it is slow and boring. You better have a good podcast to listen. Personally I go with Analogue Gaming Hole.

Now I probably need at least 1 more hour to get it to 300 and be able to do some serious fishing in Zangarmarsh without getting the "Fish got away" message.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Alterac Valley at level 64

Needing a break from regular questing I queued up for Alterac Valley yesterday. My hunter is only 64 but I figured it wouldn't do that much of a difference. Boy was I wrong. Most players were level 70... and as you all know the difference between pre 70 and and 70 is gigantic. Luckily as a hunter I don't have to be in the frontlines against those resilient 70ies.. I picked out a healer group and made sure they had all the flares and traps they needed. Whenever someone singled them out me and my pet did the best we could to help them out. It worked out ok in the end but it was kind of a painful time. I'll wait a few levels before venturing into AV again.

My hunter has now left Zangarmarsh behind him and is grinding away in Terrokar Forest at 40% into 65. Can't wait for Nagrand, I am sure it is an awesome place for hunters.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My pet's first Sporeling Snack

SporelingSnack Earlier today my trusty pet - a Frostsaber named  Lovelace - got her first Sporeling Snack boosting her stamina and spirit with a whopping 20 points. I was kind of surprised that the snacks aren't fed the same way regular pet food is. Instead of selecting Feed Pet and then click on the food stack, you just use the snack.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Slugging it out in the swamp

For the last couple of days my brave hunter has been slugging it out in the swamp. Everytime I come to Zangarmarsh with a character I am amazed of the beauty of that area. I just love it. It seems that everything you kill in the marsh is used for some sort of quest or reputation.

I've just dinged 63 and gotten my hands on the Survivalist Pike. A very yummy hunter weapon. It is super easy to get quickly.

1. Get over to the little Sporregar quest dude - Gzhun'tt -  in the Spawning Glen to the very south east.

2. Go collect enough of the little Mature Spore Sac to get to friendly status - I think 40 or 50 is sufficient depending on how many giants you've killed so far.

3. Go back up to the Sporeggar village and get the quest "Now that we are friends". The quest is about killing 12 Bloodcrest Slavedrivers and 6 Bloodcrest Enchantresses...

4. Get back to Sporregar and get your polearm. It will last you a long time.

My biggest question is... what to enchant it with.. Intellect or Agility? I am leaning towards agility...

I've realized that I need to grind Thrallmar honor tokens for the Mark of Conquest. Seems like I am getting back to Hellfire for some PVP. I remember that type of world PVP to be boring at best. Running back and forth to the various points and getting slaughtered by level 70 druids in between. Lots of corpse running.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ding 62, bye bye Hellfire

So I squared my bloodelf shoulders and grinded onward... almost all Hellfire quests done as well as quite a few in the neighbouring Zangarmarsh. It took me quite awhile though... and altism caught me a few times. I have a little rogue that is helping me through tough times. It possibly my 5th or 6th rogue...

Somewhere around the end of the quests in Hellfire I also managed to get honored with Thrallmar. That allowed me to pick up two Grunt's Waraxe for some dual wielding fun. Unfortunately my Axes skill was at an amazing zero. A scroll of intellect and an hour in SM later my axe skill was up to par... One thing that I thought of while levelling is that the gear I've gotten from quests boost agility or AP but generally lack stamina. Most of my 58 gear was really stamina and agility balanced.. I started level 60 at above 5k hp and its been declining since. Now I've gotten back up above 5k again. I really need to start focusing a bit more on stamina or I'll have a hard time in PVP situations.

Stamina is king... agility is a mere prince in my humble opinion.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Hellfire Peninsula - a major drag?

Watchkeeper-GargolmarMy God, the Hellfire Peninsula is boring. I made up my mind to skip the Thrallmar repgrinding via instances before taking on the quests. Instead I would blast past the area much faster. But there is something very boring with the area in general. Now I love Zangarmarsh and the other Outlands zones but Hellfire just kills me.

I've cleared the initial Thrallmar quests and are now busy with the ones you get from the southern outpost. Its back and forth into Zeth'Gor, killing undead spectres and gathering various herbs. Bleh. These quests are not radically different from those you get from other zones but the mobs are quite densely packed in a very open landscape. Add the roaming 70ies that can't resist the urge of swooping down on an unsuspecting victim... Actually I am usually not bitter about high-level ganking because it adds a certain spice to the gameplay experience. A bit of random difficultness. And there is nothing like actually beating or at least escaping the bullies.

I guess I just need to square my shoulders and grind on. I do send loving peeks at Alterac Valley... PVP is what I play for these days.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Little Big Ding!

My hunter hit the little big ding - 60 last week. Awesome. With my hard earned honor I went ahead and bough the level 60 PVP gun - [Warlord's Street Sweeper]- and went through the portal. I am in no big hurry to level all the way to 70 at once.

Street Sweeper

Just a few hours into the Outlands grinding (I need 350 [Unidentified Plant Parts] for the Cenarion rep) I decided to go back to Azeroth to get the last few skill points in fishing & cooking. Man, fishing is boring. I did get it from 240 all the way to 260 before I lost patience.

Oh, and I got a new pet. I finally got rid of the Winterspring Owl I had. While it looked great and all I f ound it very annoying in combat. Always in the way for targeting (re-targeting). I now have a Frostsaber... its a real beauty and I've named it: Lovelace.

I'll see if I can manage an hour of fishing before returning back to the Outlands now that I have a fish eating pet... 

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hunter macros - can you have too many?

There is a very informative thread bouncing around on WOW's European hunter forums right now loaded with good hunter macros. However it does appear that it is just a rewrite from wowwiki's own hunter macro page.

For example:

Melee
#showtooltip Raptor Strike
/cast Blood Fury
/cast Raptor Strike
/cast Wing Clip
/stopcasting

What it does?
Racial Ability (ex. Blood Fury) + Raptor Strike + Wing Clip
This is a very simple macro that queues a racial ability such as Blood Fury for Orc/Berserking for Trolls, and Raptor Strike for the next normal melee swing and uses Wing Clip.

The stopcasting is used to cancel the Raptor Strike effect if the Wing Clip isn't done.

If your Raptor Strike is on cooldown, Wing Clip can be used alone.

Although this macro contains two skills, it works because one attacks instantly and the other attacks on the next melee swing.

Select the "?" macro icon for better use.

I actually stay away from macros. I have two computer setups that I switch between and the macros always throws me off. I'll end up having one macro on one comp and another on my other computer. One of these days I am going to dedicate a USB memory stick to macros and GUI mods. But not today...

Macros I really should use...

Melee
#showtooltip Raptor Strike
/cast Blood Fury
/cast Raptor Strike
/cast Wing Clip
/stopcasting

Farming

#showtooltip Hunter's Mark
/cast Auto Shot
/cast Hunter's Mark
/petattack

Pet

/cast [modifier] Revive Pet; [target=pet,dead] Revive Pet; [nopet] Call Pet; Mend Pet

 

A separate question... can you have too many macros? Sometimes when I cruise the forums it seems that some people just have too many macros. Macros for eating, changing aspects etc. At what point do you loose control of your character?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Grand Theft Auto 4 is here

Available in Europe today. I expect Azeroth to be slightly less inhabited the next couple of days while everyone gets their GTA fix. Personally I am taking the family away north to visit my parents this weekend so no GTA for me... or WOW.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Patch 2.4.2. on the testrealm: Druids beware!

Like a pandemic the latest patch notes spreads amongst the WOW bloggers and finally it has landed here.

The notes that I feel are of particular interest to the hunter class are the following:

  • Aspect of the Viper: This ability now grants an additional amount of mana each 5 seconds equal to 35% of the hunter’s level.

Nice - Hunters have reported a heavier mana usage since the last patch. Obviously Blizzard are aware of the problem and letting our AotV be our salvation.

  • Boar Charge: This ability will no longer make Growl cast immediately after it generates excessive threat.

I've actually never had a Boar - but I've heard everything from claims that the boar is THE über aggro-holding pet to that it has been heavily nerfed since the last 2.4 patch. Quite honestly - I DONT CARE. I have this personal hatred for boars. Give me a reason to run around with a spider pet instead!

  • The pet ability Growl will no longer scale with pet Attack Power.

Interesting. Will this make life tougher as a marksman hunter? So far I've gone down the route of beast mastery and still only 58. I certainly don't have any aggro issues with my wolf or owl. I expect this to be late level 70 problems.

  • Dire Ravens in Blade’s Edge Mountains now tamable.

A new pet is a new pet... yay! It is a carrion bird so I am not particularly interested.

  • Scare Beast: The range on this spell has been increased to 30 yards and it is now instant cast.

This is the one! I love Scare Beast. I use it all the time in the battlegrounds against druids and enemy hunter pets. However right now it is hard to use it defensively when you are attacked yourself. Easier to use when protecting an attacked team member.

With Scare Beast becoming instant cast  this spell is going to be used a lot more in 1 vs 1 situations against druids / hunter pets. more druids are going to feel its effects. Feral druids will have a tougher time in the battlegrounds. I also expect marksman/survival hunters to be slightly stronger in PVP against BM hunters since much of their DPS can now be negated. Bestial Wrath will be more important to cast preemptive than before.

  • Tamed Drywallow Snappers now will know Bite 5 (instead of Claw 5.)

Simple bugfix.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Latest music purchase

So not all posts here on the blog is directly connected to WOW and if you feel you can't handle that. Please stop reading now.

itunes Since my first contact with iTunes and the iTunes Store my music expenses has risen dramatically. Not only because I buy more music - but wife does as well. Interestingly enough with all the music available at your fingertips, it is much easier to buy music that isn't smoking new. I recently picked up the soundtrack to The Day After Tomorrow and Gladiator - both which happens to be great while playing WOW...

So besides a couple of soundtracks I've discovered:

Babybirds - Between My Ears There's Nothing But Music - you might remember their old hit "You're Gorgeous" from 1996.. While it isn't exactly matching my music taste, I do like it alot.

mindlessfaith Mindless Faith - Medication for the Misinformed - New EBM from 2007 that is not completely unlike the older materials from VNV Nation. Pretty solid music... unfortunately something I can't play loud at night without getting aggro from the neighbors (and they are not completely unlike Murlocs).

I am actually looking to refresh my EBM library, it is very easy to get stuck with bands you've listened to forever and ever... which reminds me! I need to check if the latest volume of Orkus has been relased yet.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gear replacement: Outland Greens

Compound bow As my hunter gets closer to 58 (56 now) ... there is less and less need to replace equipment. Most blue items between 50-60 are just waste since once you hit 57 you can start dressing up in Outland Greens - and they are a massive upgrade to any pre-TBC gear. I already have a full 58 gear set in the bank just waiting for that ding...

You can actually get into OG at level 57 but as a hunter I am in no hurry. My guess is that hunters are probably the least gear dependant class out there when it comes to leveling 1-60. Embarrassing enough I still have a few level 40 mail pieces that I still haven't replaced. Yet I still top the damage charts in the BGs and are more than able to perform my role - no doubt it would be even better with the correct gear - just saying that compared to a warrior or a rogue it doesn't give that much.

It is time to update my secondary goals. My intentions was to have fishing, cooking, mining and engineering at 300 before moving into the outlands proper.

Mining 299
Cooking 283
Engineering 291
Fishing 241

I obviously need to spend some more quality time with my fishing rod. One of my biggest reasons for getting fishing up was to have a cheap way of providing my pet with food. However I haven't had a fish eating pet since level 30... and right now I am happy with my new owl (another meat eater). Following my trend I'll probably swap pet soon again though.

Photographer: Imagecarnival Oh and in order to provide me with some ALT distractions, I've leveled a blood elf rogue to 10. Yay. I am an old rogue player so it is hard to resist the urge to get stealthy now and then. I plan to level my rogue using daggers and stay away from  the "grinding" sword combat build.

The difference between rogue and hunter makes for a good future posts though.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tempted by an owl


I think it is time again for a pet switch. My loyal wolf is about to get stabled. We've been through a lot but now its time to go for a slightly more DPS pet - a white Winterspring Owl. I am not sure if I can handle the stress of having a big flapping bird obscuring my view but I'll give it a shot. I won't abandon my wolf just yet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Hunter Dance

I've picked up on a possible hunter grinding trick to maximize DPS without burning through immense amount of mana. Attack mob, send in pet and dance on the border between ranged and melee combat. While the autoshot is on cooldown, move in for a melee strike. After the strike move back out and pop an arrow. I haven't measured the DPS increase but at least it allows the grinding to become a little bit more action oriented. I am sure that you agree with me when I say that hunter grinding is lackluster at best if you're trying to conserve mana.

Oh... my hunter dinged 54 last night. Only four levels to go until I get into the Outlands greens and make a stop at the battlegrounds for the 12000 or so honor you need for the level 60 PVP gun. I am only getting the gun and then moving on. No need to get PVP armor that will be replaced as soon as you start questing in the Outlands.

Ps... check out Petopia. It has a brand new look... and it looks great!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ding 50!

I've decided to move on from the 40-49 BG bracket and get the full glory of Alterac Valley. With the help of daily PVP quest my hunter dinged 50!

I'll have to take him at least to 52 before getting to learn the ropes of AV as a hunter. Exciting times ahead.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hunter Battleground tips

alteracvalley So I've been playing a lot of battlegrounds in the 40-49 bracket lately and I've pulled out a few tips I think would benefit any hunter wanting to do good in the battlegrounds:

  1. Use Aspect of the Beast when approaching the enemy base. You know that any hunters on defense will tighten up once they see that red enemy dot approaching.

  2. Remember that Druids and shamans are usually in animal form and will not show up with Track Humanoids.

  3. It is a good idea to switch over to Track Beasts now and then just to make sure there isn't a shaman, druid or hunter's pet lurking around.

  4. When defending (or attacking) try to tag that incoming rogue quickly with Hunter's Mark. Surprisingly many rogues and druids stealth to late. They can Vanish to remove the mark - but hey it is nice to have them blow that CD.

  5. Druids in bear, cat or travel form can be feared using the hunter skill  Scare Beast. (This can also be done to a teammate being attacked by a pet) Combined with a Freezing- or Frost Trap this can actually be done in combat.

  6. Always have a trap out when defending. I usually go with a Freezing Trap. Try to have your trap spell available when combat ensues. If you're anything else but Survival specced that means you need a good 30 sec after a trap is laid to be able to trap again. Many times attackers do wait a few seconds before pushing the attack (waiting for allies and whatnot). Use this time.

  7. Use Eagle Eyes to scout out enemy controlled (or neutral) nodes. Let your team know how many VISUAL enemies are present. This is used way to seldom. A good hunter on defense could be calling out the enemy positions during an entire battle.

  8. Provide distraction when capturing the flag in WSG. Move to the roof, make sure your pet is passive, look out the edge and pop a flare in the flag area, and then fling a Viper Sting at any caster or hunter. If you encounter a newbie hunter odds are his pet will run to you. Even better if several defenders run up to finish you.... while your other team mates run away with the flag.

  9. Flagcarrier When running with the flag (or with the flag carrier), drop traps to slow down your pursuers. I drop Freezing if I am hunted by one or two and a Frost Trap if hunted by a raid sized party...

  10. Likewise when running with flag - use your pet to stall your pursuers. Do not underestimate the daze effect. If you are a BM hunter that Intimidation talent on your action bar can ensure a clean get away against a single persistent follower. Don't wait until last minute to use it though. Hunters shine when using pre-emptive strikes.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mini WOW patch - 2.4.1 is upon us

Yesterday during maintenance we received a small client patch, bringing us up to 2.4.1. Noticeable changes was fixing the crazy reloading of the new combat log every time you switch zones. Yay!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Assassins Creed on Steam?

Just updated Steam and the patch notes mentions:

"Updated game overlay to support Assassin’s Creed"

This makes me very happy. While I already have AC on the PS3, seeing big titles appear on Steam is great. I am sure that digital distribution is the future for the otherwise piracy infested PC market.

Interestingly Assassins Creed is not yet mentioned on Steam's  coming soon...

Did you miss any April Fools Day joke?

I am sure most of you got the various blizzard jokes - Tauren Marines in StarCraft 2, the Bard hero class using a Guitar Hero interface etc. Fortunately wikipedia has a page containing all reported 2008 jokes...

Monday, March 31, 2008

Now playing

WOW is not the only game I am playing right now. Actually I think I've never played as many games simultaneously as I do now. About a month ago we purchased a PS3 - and I am growing more and more fond of it. The games I am most looking forward to are no longer PC titles, but PS3 titles.

Now Playing:

Assassin's Creed (PS3)- My wife has almost beat it and I am up next. Actually I had a sneak preview last night playing to the first city (Damascus). The animations are amazing and the visuals are stunning. I am not so sure about the gameplay yet though. I am not a big fan of open world games. We'll see as I go deeper into the game.

Resistance Fall of Man (PS3)- My first FPS game on a console! Initially I had some serious problems with the controller but I've almost ironed them out. I still feel that the PC has a superior control system but when a game is slower paced and "developed" for a console it doesn't really matter that much. I am almost complete with the game and I am having a blast so far. I especially like the weapon designs...

Vegas 2 (PS3) - I am a huge fan of the Rainbow Six games. I do think that the Vegas series is less fun than the previous - much less tactical and strategical choices but more in the action department. I've just begun playing but am enjoying it so far.

Call of Duty 4 (PC) - This game is amazing. The single player experience is like a movie (and just about as interactive) and well executed. The multiplayer is the best FPS action since the original Counter Strike.

Soon playing (backlog):

Genji (PS3) - While I've heard that this game is utter crap, I bought it cheap on Tradera (swedish equalent of E-bay). I am going to try it...

Heavenly Sword (PS3) - It looks amazing and it has a cool redhead as main character.

 

Wish list:

Condemned 2 - The first one was an amazing horror survival FPS which gave me the creeps. Last one I played that I really loved was Silent Hill 2. I have high hopes for this game!

Dynasty Warrior 6 - Me and my wife have played the previous titles together so this is naturally something we look forward to on the PS3.

 

What are you playing besides WOW?