Welcome to Episode 90 of the Hunting Party Podcast, featuring Euripides and Darkbrew (Frostheim had to get his bandana cleaned, and was absent). Among the topics of conversation was our very own Hunters’ Hall, BM raiding, the Rabid bug, listener emails and a round of Q&A. Let’s get started, shall we?
The Hunters’ Hall
Happily, this site was covered as the very first order of business. Our hosts went over just how great a resource this will be in the future, once the curators have been settled into their assignments and the writers have their articles posted. Praise was also given to Tabana, curator of the Elitist Jerks forums, who does a truly wonderful job on those articles. But I’m sure you all know all about the Hall, since you’re reading it and everything.
Pet Defensive Stance and Rabid bugs
An issue that caused pets’ Defensive Stance to act like Assist when the hunter had a vanity pet out was fixed this week. Another bug that affects Rabid was also brought to light on the forums by Zeherah of femaledwarf.com. No blue has yet commented on it, so we’ll just have to wait on that front. This bug causes Rabid to sometimes not cast properly. Euripides suggested macroing Rabid into one of the primary shots, like Steady or Cobra, making the maximum delay time of Rabid equal to that cast. Unlike the pet focus bug, when this one’s fixed, hunter damage should be increased. It makes up for the last “fix” in essence.
Not surprisingly, BM seems to be under-represented in raids, and to some degree Survival as well. Euripides attributes this to the fact that Marksman has been at the theoretical top of the meters for a while now, and people are more comfortable sticking with MM than respeccing to the flavor-of-the-month. BM is certainly a good spec when your pet can sit and lay the smackdown on the boss, but not so much in fights with air phases or heavy target-switching (when the pet has to run around between targets). Though Darkbrew noted that it would be beneficial to be BM in a fight like Baleroc the Gatekeeper in the Firelands. In spite of the minimum range problem his crystals represent, as long as you can Kill Command, it’s not as much of a DPS loss as MM or SV might suffer were you to stay in minimum range. Big red pet, of course, remains a powerful cooldown for burn phases. This brings us to….
- “I’m currently a level 70 Marksman hunter. If the cat buff is covered, is a raptor or dragonhawk a better choice in terms of buff?”
Survival certainly likes the dragonhawk’s Fire Breath, as most of SV’s damage is magic damage. The raptor debuff should always be covered by the tank, so Darkbrew suggests running with a hyena for the bleed damage, since around 30% of MM’s damage comes from bleeds. For those of you who use addons, Euripides mentioned RaidChecklist which scans your group and shows which buffs are and are not present, making it much, much easier to choose a pet.
- “I’m a BM hunter, and cannot find any good raiding resources on the web. Where are some I can use?”
Frostheim’s site Warcraft Hunters Union is probably the best bet, considering the fact that it has talent, glyph, haste, gear and other guides.
- “Since there’s a distinctive lack of good trinkets at the Valor points vendor, what should be my first purchase?”
- “What should Blizzard do to make hunters good in PvP?”
Hunters have long been the “redheaded stepchild” in terms of PvP. They’re not bad at all, just a little “stranger” to quote Darkbrew to play. His suggestion is to start by taking away the minimum range. Allow hunters to do full DPS in melee range. He also started to suggest having a defensive cooldown to use when someone gets too close.
- “Why dosen’t Fandral’s Flamescythe turn my kitty into a flame kitty?”
Both our hosts agreed that it’s be awesome if that effect extended to pets. Darkbrew asks for hunters to “roll often and roll high” when this drops. Poor feral druids. Our weapon comes from trash, yours is from one of the later bosses in Firelands. Plus, we received developer love in terms of the pet taming challenges. Those guys and girls at Blizzard love us, and there’s the proof.
- “Does the tier 12 2 piece bonus benefit from Survival’s mastery?”
The answer in short: not sure. However, Euripides thinks that if it dosen’t it’s a big oversight by Bilzzard, and should get fixed.
- “Are spirit beasts useful for raids?”
Once again, it all comes down to buffs. If there’s a death knight who can provide the agility/stamina buff but, say, the bleed debuff is missing, than you should always cover that buff. However, if all buffs are covered, the extra heal is pretty decent, especially as you learn fights and take more damage than normal. Marginal use, but certainly not trivial. Of course, if you’re BM, you should always take the spirit beast instead of a cat.