More Thoughts on Cataclysm, my Guild, and the Future of WoW

Unfortunately, sometimes the demands of real world life cause us to neglect other parts of our life. For me, it’s my gaming and this blog. I hope to get more time to write soon, and perhaps play more once I’m done with the cycle I’m about to start. (Stupid damned privates… ugh)

If you need any more proof that WoW is casual-friendly these days, take a gander at my armory page. I have Tier 8.5 chest and helm. Ilvl 226 pieces all over, and my T9 shoulders. The emblem changes have allowed me to pick up the chest, helm, a neck, a belt, and some sick shoulders. Currently, my game priority is to experience and collect some of the old-school stuff that I won’t be able to get once cataclysm revamps the world.

Namely, [Rhok’delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers]

My guild was nice enough to help me with a Molten Core run on Sunday, but alas! The leaf did not drop. It’s a 50 percent drop rate, so hopefully tonight will be more fortunate.  I already have the Sinew that I need, so the Leaf will allow me to do the quest that gets me the bow that used to be a symbol of a hunter who knew what the hell he was doing. Granted, the quest will probably be trivial now, but it is my hope that I can obtain it before it is either removed or revamped. I also have 8/8 Beastmaster and 4/8 Giantstalker (The latter obtained during my last two Molten Core runs), and a [Zin’rokh, Destroyer of Worlds] that i like to use while posing on the bank steps.

I posted a while back about guild disinterest, and the problem has gotten both better and worse, depending on your perspective. A few members have moved their mains to more hardcore raiding guilds, and AUO is still raiding, but people are primarily bringing alts to 10 man Naxx runs and whatnot. Unfortunately, that means that those of us who can’t commit to a truly hardcore raiding guild are still with AUO, and can’t seem to convince the other members to raid the higher level content. And, given that some members of AUO have taken to pugging, we KNOW for a fact that the current raid content, hard modes notwithstanding, is not too hard for a casual guild to run. So unfortunately, the guild is not doing what we set out to do with Wrath’s release: namely, raiding all current content as it’s released, in at least 10 man mode. I look back with a bit of sadness at our early days in Wrath, when we were clearing 25 man Naxx, OS, and eventually EoE, which was the highest level raid at the time. Now, we are relegated to clearing out 10 man naxx for people’s alts, which would be fine with me, but I wish we would at least clear out 10 man ulduar and start working on ToC. It’s frustrating, and can be attributed to a few factors.

First, many guildies left. A few left for greener pastures, a few had real life committments and I understand that. Our guild leader left and rerolled on another server, which bothered for mostly selfish reasons, although I understand painfully how real life can stack up on you. Mostly, I identified her as the face of the guild, and any soldier knows that the loss of a leader can be demoralizing on a few levels, and we forget sometimes that people have lives outside of WoW. When a particular person and her hunter-blog are the reason you joined a guild, having both the blog and the person go *poof* can introduce some shakiness into you. Dagr (also Edreus) had moved one of his toons to another raiding guild so he could raid the higher level content, and was asked to leave the guild altogether as a result. Yet somehow, this behavior is OK now. Once he left, many others moved their mains as well, and I attribute this to the reason we lost so much raiding momentum so quickly. I feel that some people thought raiding with AUO was making the content too difficult, as we had to put some effort into EoE and naxx 25, whereas raiding with a hardcore guild could potentially make it easier. I thought that was part of the appeal of raiding with AUO, that we had to WORK and EARN the full clears we got. With the new raid lockout extensions, we wouldn’t even have to worry about clearing the whole place in a week if we wanted to, so the time limit isn’t even an issue.

I guess what it boils down to is this: we lost some people who really just USED AUO as a stepping stone. One raider in particular stayed in AUO long enough to get naxx geared in multiple specs, then bailed out because we “weren’t raiding enough.” Hell, if we weren’t raiding enough, how the fuck did you get all that gear!?

Pisses me off. I was and continue to be loyal to the guild, whom I consider friends. I put in the time in Kara, and spent countless hours in heroics when wrath released helping some of these people gear up. It chaps my ass that we’re struggling to do 10 man Naxx nowadays because of the exodus.

I haven’t completely decided what I’m going to do about it. My hope is that, with the release of Icecrown and cataclysm, there will be a new interest in doing what we set out to do: be a casual guild that can kill the biggest “baddies” (in normal mode) the same as the big no-life guilds. It’s possible. Hell, Ulduar can be cleared in blues if you’re skilled enough.

/endrant

Cataclysm, Me, and Casual play

3.2 is upon us, Cataclysm has been announced, and /AFK Auto Shot has been conspicuously absent from the blogosphere. Basically, work has been a complete draw on my time, and I have very little time for other things, WoW included.

I’m a Drill Sergeant in the Army, which basically means that I’m working nearly 7 days a week, up at 0330 many days, and leaving well after dinner for home. I get home, I eat, and I sleep most days. Some days, if I get off at a reasonable hour, I play for a bit… but most days, nothing.

So I’ve decended further down the “casual” ladder, but have still managed to progress a little, gear-wise, thanks to the 3.2 changes that make gearing up extremely casual friendly. I picked up enough emblems for a [Broach of the Wailing Night] and a [Belt of the Ardent Marksman], which were my last ilvl 200 pieces other than the Darkmoon card I have.

More later… will edit this post. Inspection coming for the recruits.

Flexibility

[Darkmoon Card: Greatness] is finally mine. Which leads me to a problem…

For the moment, I’m hurting on hit. The trinket is replacing [Grim Toll] which has a whopping 83 hit rating on it. We know that the patch is dropping soon, along with the change that will allow us to talent for hit and have it be transferred to our pets. But like any good hunter, we know those points are better spent elsewhere if possible. Which leads me to flexibility…

I have an extra set of [Valorous Cryptstalker Handguards] that I took because I was the only hunter in a Vault group when they dropped. Rather than vendor/delete them, I hung on to them, thinking a prudent opportunity would present itself.

Now that I’m short on hit, the +20 hit enchant to gloves and a 16 hit gem, combined with only 1 point in Focused Aim, puts me right over the cap again, without having to regem any of my existing gear. I also have an extra bow in the bank, an extra chestpiece, and some extra trinkets, including the one I just removed.

The point of all this is simple: Gear changes will force you to alter other pieces of gear occasionally, and you can save yourself a good bit of time and effort by having some pieces lying around. If i get Black Ice or another polearm with +hit on it, then i’ll swap my gloves back to my original set and rock out. Flexibility is the key to power.

April 6, 2009 | Posted in: Hunters | Comments Closed

Basic Trapping Video

At a slower pace than it would be in a real instance situation, to illustrate the idea of creating space. The YouTube captions didn’t work (of course!) so I had to narrate it using the cruddy built in microphone on my work laptop. Next time i’ll use the Blue USB mic. Click HERE for a downloadable MP4 version of the vid.

Fitz

April 3, 2009 | Posted in: Hunters | Comments Closed

Trinkets and 3.1

For a long time, I rolled with [Grim Toll] and [Mirror of Truth]. Soon, it will be [Bandit’s Insignia] and [Darkmoon Card: Greatness]

While the armor penetration on [Grim Toll] isn’t the best stat in the world (Armor pen is kind of worthless at this point), the hit rating is outstanding. It puts me above the cap, which is where I like to be. I hate talenting for hit, because as we all know, our pets don’t get that hit from Focused Aim.

Recently, I’ve acquired a [Bandit’s Insignia] to replace the [item]Mirror Of Truth[/item], and that has proven to be a good DPS increase, as it procs quite a bit more than the mirror does. But my current dilemma is this: I also have a Nobles Deck, and very soon will trade it in for [Darkmoon Card: Greatness], the best hunter trink in the game. In fact, it’s rumored to STAY best in slot through Ulduar. Hence, the [Grim Toll] will have to go.

That’s a lot of hit to lose, and will put me below cap. However, the current testers on the PTR report that a long-awaited change has been made. Focused Aim now affects pet hit rating. Since the current max DPS spec has a few “floater” points, this makes it very easy for me to drop 2 points into Focused Aim and maintain a hit cap, while allowing me to take advantage of the awesome DPS of [Darkmoon Card: Greatness].

I, for one, can’t wait for the patch to drop! (After all, hunters have always wanted Moar DoTs!)

April 1, 2009 | Posted in: Hunters | Comments Closed

First Night with a New Trinket

wws march 31

Tonight was my first raid night with [Bandit’s Insignia], and I’m pretty stoked. First, the 85k total damage in two wings is nothing to sneeze at, and the passive AP increase is great also. Also, in Loatheb, the increased crit chance meant the arcane damage was critting too!

I should also mention the importance of hit cap via gear versus using talents. the 7.9 and 8.7 percent misses for PaRappa are parries and dodges only. If another significant (4 or 5) percentages of misses were introduced, that’s a DPS loss, and that’s no bueno.

Of course, with 3.1, the talent will improve pet hit, so this is going to be moot soon.

P.S. – Gotta love that 15k kill shot crit

Choosing Gear Upgrades

One thing that I notice quite a bit these days is that many people don’t think of their spec’s particular itemization. Obviously, some pieces are better than others for a given spec if you’re a hybrid, but for us pure DPS classes, the distinctions can get a bit tricky.

One thing I try to do is have RatingBuster installed at all times. This gives me, at a glance, an idea of what the piece will do for my stats. However, as with anything, the most important tool for a hunter making a gear decision is the ability to pay attention to detail.

Take for example, this weapon:

[The Undeath Carrier]

Now, we can certainly find weapons with higher AP, and many hunters who raid may consider stamina a wasted stat, especially if they are BM or MM. But what if they are Survivalists, who are the current “top” DPS spec?

This Talent makes that stamina much more valuable.

Hunter vs. Wild

There’s 150 stamina on that weapon, and the talent gives us about a third of our stamina as bonus attack power. Thus, that weapon provides roughly 50AP from the stamina alone, bringing the weapon’s total AP to about 200.

Meaning it has is not as far off on Attack Power as we thought to weapons like [Cryptfiend’s Bite]

Now granted, the above has the same stamina to AP bonus as [The Undeath Carrier] does, and, if you’re hit-capped, this weapon is better than [Black Ice]

Now, depending on your other stats, [The Undeath Carrier] might not be better than either of the other choices, so pay attention to your individual situation. What I’m going for here is to remind you to keep your talents in mind when picking gear. What may seem like a suboptimal piece may have enough benefit from your talents to be useful.

| Posted in: Hunters | Comments Closed

Welcome!

To my little collection of scribblings. Here, I will post a bunch of random junk that will hopefully interest, enlighten, or entertain you.

First order of business is to get feedback on the layout and theme of the site? Yea or nay?