Archive for hunter

What I’ve Learned as a Low Level Hunter

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Every class in WoW is unique. Aside from Devv, I’ve never leveled beyond 21. When I decided to level a second toon all the way to endgame, I knew that there would be challenges. I have friends who have leveled every class to 70 in the years that they’ve played this game. The biggest eye-opener for me has been just how different classes are even at low levels. From 1 to 5, there’s so little variation in play that Blizzard could pretty much just give us a tap-in at this point. But even as early as 10, the mechanics of the game change drastically from class to class. As of this writing, Arpeggio and his trusty sidekick Allegro are both about 50% of the way through level 14. Here’s what I’m discovering as a Fire Mage in Hunter’s clothing.

  1. It’s easy to get cocky. Devv has been a Fire Mage since she was 10. I never experienced the wonders of grinding with Frost Nova and Blizzard. As such, I never got in over my head unless I made a bad pull. But a Hunter is an entirely different story. A Hunter is a ranged DPS maestro with better armor than a Mage and a furry little friend tanking for him. Second verse, same as the first. It’s easy to get cocky. Doing a little questing in Loch Modan, I died a bunch. I would round up three mobs that were a couple levels higher than me and grind away. But when a wandering mob stumbled upon us, we were doomed.
  2. Buffs? What buffs? Unlike a Mage, there aren’t an ass-ton of buffs to throw up before marching into battle. I’m so used to the ritual of Conjure Food, Conjure Water, Conjure Mana Gem, self-cast Arcane Intellect, Molten Armor, and Evocation to replenish all that mana. When I log into Arpeggio, it blows my mind that my man is ready to go right out of the gate. A quick whistle for Allegro and we’re in business. The downside is that I frequently forget to throw up my Aspect of the Whatever when I resurrect.
  3. Ranged weapons run out of ammo. Pretty basic, I know. But I’m so used to spells which are only dependant upon mana that I completely forget to check the ol’ ammo bag before running into the thick of things. Earlier today, I put up a Hunter’s Mark on a mob and sent Allegro into the mix. He immediately picked up two adds. I drew my rifle and… *click*. OK, so it  doesn’t actually make a “click” sound. But you get the point. Nothing. No ammo. And Arpeggio hadn’t even acquired the Heal Pet ability yet. Allegro was quickly set to Passive and Follow and we hauled ass for the horizon. We didn’t quite make it. Lesson learned.
  4. Bag space is an issue.With an entire bag slot devoted to either an ammo pouch or a quiver, bag space becomes a problem for Hunters very early on. Arpeggio’s sugar momma hooked him up with three Imbued Netherweave Bags and he still gets pretty full after questing for a while. In addition to the hijacked bag slot, Hunters have to carry enough food and water for themselves and their pet. That’s like a double whammy. Throw a gathering profession into the mix and bank alt becomes a necessity very quickly.

Once the duo crack 20, I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts to share. Kaddisfly and Kittiesfly got to 19 as slowlyas possible. The experience of “leveling” them hardly gave me an accurate view of what playing a Hunter would be like. I’m looking forward to experiencing the subtle nuances of the class the same way I learned how to play a Mage from the ground up. On a completely unrelated sidenote, Devv is now 3700 away from being Exalted with Gnomeregan Exiles. Gnomer will complete the full compliment of home factions and with it, the “Ambassador” title. It’s been a grind to say the least. I’m of the opinion that if you get to Exalted with Gnomer alone, you should get a title. Something like “Runecloth Grinder” would be appropriate.

How to Level to 80 Quickly in World of Warcraft

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2008 by Mark Pannell

Don’t do what I’m doing. Seriously. OK, I’ll admit it. The title was a cheap trick to see how much search engine traffic I could grab from people too lazy to download QuestHelper or Carbonite, which is technically lazy to begin with. By now, I’m sure most of those poor misled individuals have stopped reading, so back to my small group of dedicated readers.

Devv is only halfway through level 71. Predatore is still stuck at 58. And Arpeggio is up to level 10 now. Wait. Who? Yeah. I know. Of all the things I could have done to make best use of the forty bucks I dropped on Wrath, I’m leveling a new alt; a Dwarf Hunter, to be exact. Arpeggio has been stuck at level 5 ever since Kaddisfly prompted me to create a Hunter to level. I knocked out the quick quests to get from level 1 to 5, then let him sit in Coldridge Valley for several weeks.

The Hunter class is at its most boring from levels 5 to 10. Up to level 5, you almost level just from walking into a new zone. After level 10, you have a pet to keep you company and to do most of the grunt work for you. But the grind from 5 to 10 is unbearably slow and boring. For starters, you’re knee-deep in melee combat. Beyond level 10, a Hunter should never be getting involved in melee combat unless they’re getting themselves out of a bad situation. Oh sure, you can open with a Viper Sting, throw in an Arcane Shot and try to kite Auto-Shot until the mob drops. But the sad reality is that at some point, you’ll be face-to-face with any mob that’s within a level or two of your own. Even Raptor Strike seems to be more about Blizzard showcasing a cool little animation than the damage it actually deals. It’s not until you acquire Concussive Shot that you can finish an entire one-on-one fight ranged. But the key words here are “one-on-one” If you get adds, you’re still playing Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with the cuddly critters and humanoids of *Insert Starting Zone Name Here*.

But I digress. Actually, this entire blog is a digression. Never mind the man behind the curtain. The point to be made here is that I’m really not getting my money’s worth out of the expansion. If I spent a lot of time with Devv out in Northrend, my investment would be justified. Death Knights can’t be created without purchasing the add-on. Leveling Predatore would make sense. What am I doing? Leveling a character who I could be playing even if I didn’t own Burning Crusade. That makes sense. So what started this whole mess? I decided that I was… wait! It seems like I should start a new paragraph.

Cool. I decided that I wanted to level Ellyza so I could get her Enchanting up to the point where I could disenchant the drops that Devv was picking up right before Northrend. Enchantress (bank alt #2) is sitting on full bank tab and two 16-slot bags full of goodies that require Enchanting level 275 to DE. When I logged into the old girl, she had 11 talent points free and a clean slate. I decided to ditch my Disc leveling idea and throw all of the points into Shadow. I took her out to Redridge Mountains to finish up the quests that she still had open before sending her off to Auberdine. It took me all of about five minutes for me to realize that leveling a Priest sucks. Sure, they can melt faces later on in life. And if you manage your health and mana accordingly, you can survive long fights. But at level 20, Priests just seem like underpowered Mages with the ability to Rez and Heal. I really hope I didn’t offend any Priests out there. It’s not that the class sucks. It’s that I suck at playing the class. I think I’m gonna need some advice from Pugnacious Priest on this one.

So, back to Arpeggio. I quickly got frustrated with Ellyza, had no interest in enduring low framerates in Northrend, and wanted nothing to do with jockeying for position for my turn to kill mobs in Eastern Plaguelands. So I logged out to the character select screen and noticed my old pal Arpeggio chillin’ at cinco. It took me just shy of two hours to get to level 10. After the pet taming questline, I decided to pick my first pet. I made the conscious decision to pick a pet that appealed to me personally. At the highest levels, pet selection can make a massive difference. In PvP, your pet can make or break you. But as a “just for fun” leveling alt, I decided to bypass the Petopia research and just go with something fun. With that in mind, I tamed a wolf just north of Kharanos. Sticking with the musical theme, I named him Allegro. OK, OK. Here’s the story. Shot rotation is half the fun of being a Hunter. The distinction between the different flavors of shots is much like an arpeggiated chord. Allegro, on the other hand, likes to go rushing in to whup some ace.

When I went to bed last night, Arpeggio and Allegro were nestled snugly in their beds in Ironforge. The former learned a little Mining and Engineering before calling it a night. His pet made it clear that he is notgonna eat bread before getting some shuteye himself. So, yet another distraction enters the fold. If I can stay focused enough to actually level Arpeggio beyond 20, I’m sure I’ll become even more addicted to reading Pike‘s thoughts than I already am. Even if you’re not a Hunter, her blog is one of the better ones out there. Do yourself a favor and check it out. As for me, I’ll get the Armory listings for Arpeggio and Predatore added when I get home later tonight. If anybody on my roster makes it to 80, it’s gonna be a frickin’ miracle!

Workin’ On Some Scryers Love

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , on November 8, 2008 by Mark Pannell

I’ve made no secret that I have no idea what to do with the time until Wrath’s release. As much as I love the gold, doing dailies got played out. I still do four of them (two from Shatt and the two in Hellfire), but I haven’t been on the Isle of Qual’Danas in over a week. I had been working on my rep with Gnomeregan Exiles and Lower City, but that got old too. This week, I decided that it was absolutely ridiculous to only be at Friendly with the Scryers with Wrath just around the corner.

Devv has been spending an awful lot of time in Netherstorm lately, knocking off Blood Elves for their Sunfury Signets. The drop rate on those things is pretty decent. In an hour’s time, I usually rack up about 15-20 of them and and least three or four stacks of Netherweave. All in all, not a bad way to get rep with my pointy-eared brethren. But… yes, there’s a “but.” One thing that I’ve found about any area that has mobs that drop coveted items is that players tend to get greedy. Last night, I was casting a Pyroblast on a Warp-Engineer. This is frequently my opening spell on a ranged mob. It does the most damage and allows enough time to get off a Fireball before the mob reaches me. I was clearly casting on this particular mob. He was the only one in the direction that I was facing and the female Draenei casting animation is not a subtle one. A Tauren Hunter threw a Hunter’s Mark on the mob and sent his pet in before I could get off my Pyroblast. Fortunately, I had time to jump and cancel my cast. But I was pissed nonetheless. Had he not noticed me, I would have expected some kind of gesture to indicate this. An emote of some kind would convey that it was not an intentional attempt to “steal” my mob. But he went about his business after looting the body.

When someone does something rude in WoW, or in life in general, you have two choices. You can either be the bigger person and move on or you can sink to their level and continue the drama unnecessarily. Unnecessary immaturity, FTW! That’s right! I took the low road. Inside one of those little Sunfury temple thingies in southwestern Netherstorm, I followed the bovine butthead around, waited for him to put up his Hunter’s Mark, then cast a Fire Blast right before his pet could get to the mob. I did this a few times before he finally packed it up and called it a day. The funny part is that he never expressed any anger toward my actions, much as I hadn’t. It’s almost as though he knew he had it coming.

So, with less than a week remaining until the release of the next expansion, I successfully renewed the animosity between the Horde and the Alliance. Had it been a fellow Alliance toon stealing my kill, I probably would have either moved on or whispered a gentle, “Seriously?” just to test the waters. But given the fact that the inconvenience came at the hands of a Hordie, I felt obligated to fill the role of thorn in his side. And I think there should be a title for that. Sure, there are titles and rewards for PvP, but that requires you to actually kill members of the opposing faction. What I’m talking about here is just irritating the bejeezus out of them. I kind of like the sound of “Devv The Instigator.”

Kaddisfly – The Hunter, The Fighter, The Gold Sink

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , on September 26, 2008 by Mark Pannell

As I mentioned in my introductory post, I recently decided to roll a twink for BG’s. I discovered the concept of twinking right after Dantei dinged 20. Right… after… Dantei dinged 20. But to be honest, that doesn’t really bother me because I completely lost interest in Rogues around that time. They’re a class badly in need of a nerfing and from what I can tell, require little to no talent to play at the lower levels. Please save the hate mail. I have the utmost respect for high level Rogues as there is a lot to manage when new talents start opening up. But any 12-year-old with two hands and a slightly below average IQ could effectively level or PvP a low level Rogue. And thus, Dantei was relegated to making shit for other toons… in a tuxedo.

As I started doing my research, I nearly forgot that I had a level 13 Night Elf Hunter named Kaddisfly sitting in Auberdine, twiddling his thumbs. Yeah, yeah… here I am slamming Rogues and I have a NE Huntard. Whatevs. In my reading, I discovered that these guys make solid twinks in the 10-19 bracket. Since he had only leveled to 13, I had plenty of XP to burn to run him through the instances necessary to gather the BoP twink armor. I really hadn’t completely committed to the idea of twinking him until I ran Devv through Stocks to try to pick up some random BoE’s for Ellyza. Within a couple minutes, a Sentry Cloak dropped. That was it. I was sold on the idea of twinking Kaddisfly. And his liitle cat, too!

Well, as it turns out, his little cat didn’t exactly make an ideal PvP pet. So, Kittiesfly got stabled in IF, tear in eye. Kaddisfly headed into Elwynn Forest to tame a Longsnout. While they don’t have some of the higher level talents, I could level him right alongside Kaddisfly and capture other animals to learn their talents later. Within minutes, Pignewton and Kaddisfly began their quest to become the ultimate twink combo in the 10-19 bracket. Or something like that.

With the help of some friends, I ran DM twice to attempt to pick up Blackened Defias Armor. No dice. Somewhere along the line, I dinged 15. I decided that I needed to run the quest line to pick up the Tunic of Westfall before I burned up all of that 15-19 XP on Van’Cleef’s greedy ass. And on the third time through, I still didn’t get Blackened Defias Armor. Defeated, I settled for Tunic of Westfall, logged, and ran my Shammy through DM. Guess what dropped off of Van’Cleef?

I could go into all of the gory details of how I got every piece of armor, but that would make this post a tad lengthy. Instead, I’ll just list what he has now and my wish list for the very near future. Kaddisfly is about 70% through level 18 and is just about ready to spend the rest of his life in Warsong Gulch, Stormwind and Ironforge. As a semi-twink, he’s always in the top three for Damage Done and HK. His first run-through, as a level 17, he went 24-1. Not too shabby. Here’s what the green-haired freak is or will soon be sporting:

  • Head: Green-Tinted Goggles with Lesser Arcanum of Constitution
  • Neck: Solid Bronze Necklace*
  • Shoulders: Serpent Shoulders
  • Back: Sentry Cloak with Enchant Cloak – Lesser Agility
  • Chest: Tunic of Westfall with Enchant Chest – Major Health
  • Wrists: Forest Leather Bracers with Enchant Bracer – Superior Stamina
  • Gloves: Gloves of the Fang with Enchant Gloves – Superior Agility
  • Belt: Deviate Scale Belt
  • Legs: Dark Leather Pants with Clefthide Leg Armor*
  • Feet: Inscribed Leather Boots with Enchant Boots – Greater Stamina*
  • Ring 1: Protector’s Band
  • Ring 2: Blood Ring
  • Trinket 1: Minor Recombobulator
  • Trinket 2: (Empty)*
  • Weapon: Twisted Chanter’s Staff*
  • Ranged Weapon: Lil Timmy’s Peashooter with Accurate Scope

Anything that has an asterisk requires further explanation. I had toyed with the idea of just ending the post, leaving you all to wonder why the hell there are four little star thingies for no reason. But in the end, I decided that I’d just look like an douche if I did that. I will address them in order. Go!

The Solid Bronze Necklace will be replaced by a Sentinel’s Medallion once I’ve acquired the honor and marks necessary to buy it. The Dark Leather Pants might get replaced. I have a pair of Scouting Trousers of Agility in the bank that might just get the Clefthide treatment. The Inscribed Leather Boots will eventually be replaced by Feet of the Lynx with the same enchant. I just can’t pull the trigger to spend the kind of gold that people want for these things. Probably gonna do a little drop-rate research and send Devv out looking for them. I had the patience to do the legwork for Lesser Arcanum of Constitution and damnit! I can do this too! The empty Trinket 2 slot will be filled with Insignia of the Alliance once he gets up and running and accumulating honor. The Twisted Chanter’s Staff will be getting the Enchant 2H Weapon – Agility treatment once my Enchanter guildie levels her skill to 300. She’s almost there. And finally, I’m justifying my choice of Lil Timmy’s Peashooter over Venomstrike for the simple fact that Dantei can make Crafted Heavy Shot with an extra point of damage over the vendor-bought variety. Plus, saying “Lil Timmy’s Peashooter” sounds a lot funnier than “Venomstrike” any day of the week. Fin!

A Little History

Posted in WoW Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2008 by Mark Pannell

If you’ve discovered this site and you’re not me, I’m doing something right. And if that’s the case, I should probably give you a little something to chew on. As of this posting, I am a 33-year-old husband, father, and retail manager. I’m also a hopeless World of Warcraft addict. But this is a recent development. Read on, my friends.

The juggernaut MMORPG know as World of Warcraft has been making waves since 2004. For the better part of the four years since the game’s release, I’ve been a huge skeptic of an IP with 10 million people willingly ponying up fifteen snaps a month to wander around fantasyland. So, in early July, when one of the ever-growing population of my WoW-playing co-workers started pressuring me to play a ten day trial account, I balked at the idea. Persistent, he absolutely guaranteed me that I would be addicted within ten days. At this point, he had laid down the gauntlet. I took the trial code not out of interest but rather, to prove him wrong. At first, I stuck to my guns. I created a Troll Mage, leveled him to 5, then realized that all of my friends and co-workers on the realm were Alliance. Mother of Pearl!

After a little bit of tinkering, I decided that I wanted to be a Draenei. Of course, that meant buying the game and the expansion. As luck would have it, I had a gift card for Best Buy. What the hell, I figured. If it’s as good as everybody says, then at least I’ll have the character that I really want. If I wind up hating the game, I’m not out any “real” money. And thus, Devv, my Draenei Mage, was born. From 0-10, I wasn’t really impressed. It was repetitive, boring nonsense and I couldn’t really do any cool stuff. At level 10, I had a co-worker come get me and lead me from Exodar to Ironforge… on foot. He showed me the areas to level from 11-20, set me up at the Inn in IF, gave me 5G, then turned me loose. Somewhere between 10 and 15, my initial ten day trial expired. The addiction was starting to set in.

By the time I dinged 20, I was falling in love with the mechanics of the game. I had discovered and installed some very helpful add-ons. I might have even gone overboard at first. Aside from the aesthetics of the game, I was really starting to enjoy what a mage brought to the table. I had just learned Blink and spent about an hour Blinking into, out of, over, and past things. At the time, it was a party trick. I really didn’t “get” the game yet. I also got the gift of Teleportation. No more schlepping around on smelly boats and Hippogryphs. I joined a guild that was widely regarded as the “minor leagues” for one of the most respected guilds on the server. The members weren’t very active and those that were liked to solo. I was having fun, but I knew that there had to be more to the game.

Somewhere around level 25, the patch dropped that made mounts available at level 30. While everyone whined and moaned on Trade Chat, I silently celebrated. I really wasn’t looking forward to the grind from 25 to 40. Sometime in my early 30’s, my bank account showed over 1000G. My tailoring and mining had paid off. At 40, I started selling ports to further supplement my income. I was a gold machine! And then, Blizzard announced the Zhevra mount for Refer-A-Friend. I needed to get my hands on one of these bad boys. On a whim, I hopped in the car, ran down to Best Buy, and bought another copy of the WoW Battlechest and a 60 day game card. I came home, installed the monstrosity on my laptop, went through the necessary steps to link the accounts, and collected my Zhevra mount. I sat back with a grin on my face, admiring the icon that would become an actual mount at level 60. The smile faded as the realization set in. I was completely… and totally… addicted.

Nowadays, Devv is at level 62. I’m confident that I could have had her to 70 by now if I really wanted. But with the pre-WotLK patch coming, the XP needed to get from 60 to 70 is supposed to drop significantly. I can’t see grinding it out now when it’ll be so much easier in a month or so. Yes, I understand that statement probably makes me a noob, but guess what. I am a noob. I’ve been playing slightly less than three months. I think, by definition, a noob is exactly what I am. I’m OK with that. But I did pretty good for a noob. by the time I dinged 60, I was sitting on over 2000G. As of this writing, I’m down to just over 500G. Why? As it turns out, I’m a bit of an altaholic.

I have a level 20 Gnome Rogue named Dantei who has been camped out in IF for two months and changes professions based on the needs of my otheralts. He’s leveled five professions to 225 only to dump his skills when somebody needs something. I have a level 14 Draenei Priest named Ellyza and a level 14 Draenei Shaman named Raulduke. My fury with the Alliance’s inability to everwin BG’s in the 50-59 bracket prompted the creation of a Blood Elf Mage. Imbroglio was rolled specifically to be leveled to 59 and rack up honor and marks when the Allies just aren’t getting it done. He’s currently at level 21. Deciding to roll an eventual twink peaked my interest in the twinking process. Sitting on all that gold, I decided that I wasn’t patient enough to level a toon to 59 before I could own in BG’s. I needed that experience right now!

This is the part of the story where my bank account goes from 2000G to just over 500G. I wanted to get Devv’s tailoring to 375 before she dinged 70, so I bought an awful lot of Netherweave Cloth and Arcane Dust to facilitate this. That and my epic mount knocked me down quite a bit. But the meat and potatoes of the red ink belong to a long-haired hunter freak named Kaddisfly. He alone will be the subject of my first “official” post. Stay tuned, friends!