Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So what have I been up to?

Ooh, how time flies... It's been almost a week since my last post, which is bad. So here I am, with a brand new post.

So what's new this past week? Well, first my WoW instability issues seem to have been solved. I still had a crash after I finished downloading the patch data, but a quick "repair" seems to have done the trick. So now I can, once again, actually play the game.

Melting Faces

Most of my time in-game was spent on Alierah - she's 33 now, has a purple chicken, and is at around 210 enchanting. She's also been doing some BGs and Brewfest dailies, and having quite a lot of fun all in all - I think I'm starting to dig this whole Shadow Priest thing. I also wanted to get some SM done, but managed to end up in a group with a shaman and 3 other priests twice. Needless to say, not having a tank was painful*. Oh, and I managed to get the Gurubashi Arena chest one time - it was 6AM server time and I was the only one in there. Surprisingly enough, it's the first time I've opened the chest and it didn't have bracers of any kind in it.

Let The Experiment Begin

Other than that, I've started my "no pet hunter" experiment. Nopet the Tauren Survival Hunter has actually done the pet taming quests, but hasn't tamed a permanent pet for traveling through Azeroth. I really wonder how it will go with him - can he make it out there, how hard will it be, and what does it mean if he can? For now, things haven't been that difficult, but then he's only 13 and just finishing up with Mulgore. For most of that you can't have a pet yet, so it's not surprising that things are still going well. We'll see how he feels in 10 levels or so.

But even in the little time I've had with him I've already had some insights into technique, gear, talents, etc. While I originally thought I'd have to stack up on Strength for melee, it seems that Strength and Agility both add 1AP per point, while Agility also adds RAP and dodge, so it still seems much better all-around. I would, of course, have to stack more Stamina than usual since I have no pet to tank for me, and using cloth is out of the question but that's not unexpected.

The other "big" insight was about shot order. While it's not usually much of a concern, since you usually get over the get-as-many-shots-as-you-can-before-mob-get-in-melee-range at level 10, but since I won't have a pet it becomes quite important.

Most hunters I've seen around, start the fight with Concussive Shot, to slow down the mob and buy them some time. That's obviously a good idea, but I have a couple of problems with it. First, it starts off with an instant ability. Of course, I don't have Aimed Shot or Steady Shot or anything that takes time to cast, but the way it works is if you start with an "ability" the first Auto Shot happens a "shot" after the ability. But since the ability is instant anyway, there's no reason not to start with Auto Shot and stick the ability right on top of it, gaining an extra Auto Shot in.

The next thing I've noticed was that if you do the Concussive Shot - Arcane Shot - Serpent Sting sequence, the mob gets in melee range just before that second Arcane Shot goes off CD. That's a shame, as an extra Arcane Shot would be a nice bonus to the ranged damage, so I tried to see if I could do anything about that. As it turns out, if you start with an Arcane Shot, and then fire off the Concussive Shot, you can still squeeze in the same number of Auto Shots (at least with my current gun - might be different with other weapon speeds) and have Arcane Shot off CD just in time to fire another one before introducing the mob to the business side of your axe.

Of course, there are also some things I'm still undecided about, too. Should I, in fact, be going down the Survival tree (which is the most melee-oriented of the three), or should I go with MM so I can do the most damage up front**? Is it worth the mana to start the fight with Aspect of the Hawk and switch to Monkey when the mob gets in melee range? Or maybe Monkey isn't worth it at all, who knows? So, yeah, I've got plenty of things to check and to play around with, so it looks like it'll be a fun experience.

* For other people, mostly, as I made sure I generated less threat than everyone else and ran out when it was obvious we were going to wipe.

** BRK would probably have a fit if he saw an MM hunter with no pet. =)

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