Movin’ on up

Been a while since the last post but I have been busy. Not only did I level my alliance PvE hunter to 43, but this past week I succumbed to the calling of the wild and started leveling Gebeorgan too.

I was very close to dinging level 30, maybe 4 bars away, so by the time I handed in a bunch of completed quests in Ashenvale, Stonetalon Mountains and the Barrens I was half-way through the next level without firing a shot. The rest of the level opened my eyes to one thing though and prompted a talent respec. With a hard-hitting PvP build and my lower-level Ghost Saber pet (I really wanted to use Shimmer more) I was over-aggroing—not a problem as the mobs died real quick, but it needed correcting. I am now a pure Beast Master. I have always wanted a 41/20/0 build so this is very pleasing for me. Now my pet has a chance to hold aggro and we can get on with killing quickly (as before) but with a lot more control.

With PvP twink gear I have excellent stats for my level (another factor my pet was dealing with) but with a full compliment of enchantments this really extends the shelf life of that gear beyond the level you’d normally be replacing it at. I had already collected most of the gear for fighting in the Battlegrounds at level 39 and I didn’t really want to enchant it just for PvE so I’ve actually sold a few pieces, including the Epic Nightbane sword (and for a profit to boot). To help me make the right choices I installed RatingBuster an addon that provides item stat breakdown, analysis and comparison. Although I’m sure my stamina may have suffered (which is not a big deal for a PvE Beast Master hunter) I discovered that I could equip the Nightscape Headband, Nightscape Tunic, Gloves of Holy Might and Imperial Leather Bracers yet still able to improve Ranged Attack Power and Crit Rating. I have yet to obtain a Shadowforge Bushmaster gun so I made the less-than-clearcut choice of using the Epic Bow of Searing Arrows.

I’ve also accepted the quest for Goblin engineering and Artisan cooking and completed the Triage quest for First Aid so everything’s moving along nicely. When I have some materials, I do need to visit the enchanter inside Uldaman though.

It feels good to be leveling again.

Arathi Basin scores on the doors

This past weekend it was the turn of Arathi Basin to get some bonus honor love. Using the FuBar addon, HonorFu I present conclusive proof that the Alliance suck badly in the level 20-29 bracket.

HonorFu screenshot

For the Horde!

And why oh why did I not screenshot my new record Killing Blows to Deaths ratio of 33:0?

I didn’t exactly kick the arse out of playing this weekend but I currently have the following PvP scores:

  • The Defilers: 77 Badges of Honor, 2690 faction points (Friendly).
  • Warsong Outriders: 26 Badges of Honor, 1630 faction points (Friendly).
  • 2854 honor points after buying the essentials (well, OK and the Scout’s Tabard).
  • 4070 kills.

Getting there.

Some useful PvP addons

Par for the course really—I was actually looking for a FuBar addon to show me what was in my mailbox—but in addition to my original target (FuBar MailFu by the way) I also installed:

  • FuBar AmmoFu to keep an eye on my ammo levels without opening my bags.
  • FuBar HonorFu to get my PvP stats like win record, Kill ratio and double-honor weekend info (plus some more stuff I can’t remember).
  • FuBar TopScoreFu to record my best damage scores.

Hmm, in danger of becoming a stat whore now lol.

One other feature that kicked in (which means I don’t know how) is that I now get a mini-map of the battleground always showing in the bottom-right corner of the screen. This is great and the default level of opacity is enough for it not to be a distraction. It’s of course invaluable for seeing where the rest of the team are without switching to the big-ass map that really gets in the way. This new map must be down to either HonorFu or Cartographer (although I’ve had the latter for a while now).

Chase me, chase me

Too funny, I should have taken screenshots if it wasn’t so damn close.

There I am, at the Gold Mine in Arathi Basin when Mr Ally Pally comes chasing me. I’m alone, excepting Bellygrub of course, so I pop a Frost Trap and send in the pet. A 1-second stun isn’t much but it stops him dead in his tracks and I’m at range still, shooting the bejeebus out of him. Of course he bubbles but I’m running back to the farm now. He hits the trap, pet is still gnawing away at him and I’m still shooting. I’m still waiting for the trap to cooldown—thank you Kharthus’ Hunter Timers—so I’m strafing right up the road making sure he’s still in my arc for Serpent Sting and Concussion Shot. Hmm, everything’s on cooldown now and he catches me. Ouch. Oh he bubbles again too. I jump around like a lunatic, fully defensive and getting worried now—bloody paladins. Bubble off, Raptor Strike, Wing Clip on 😛 Finally my next Frost Trap is available so I pop that and run like hell.

It wasn’t pretty, but I kited that pally all the way to the bridge near the farm before he finally succumbed to some nicely-timed crits of Arcane Shot and Multi-Shot. kthxbye /laugh /flex. Heal and drink.

Don’t be a huntard all your life

BigRedKitty has produced a great 14-min movie on how to kite, pull and use your pet correctly so you don’t get into melee fights and act the huntard in Player versus Environment (PvE) situations. Played right, your hunter won’t die and will level very quickly with minimal downtime. Be sure to check out BRK’s Omen Threat Meter post too to learn some more about that great addon.

Taming all the beasts in World of Warcraft

I had the idea after trolling through the Petopia database of taming all the beasts in World of Warcraft. Pointless? Perhaps. But an achievement nonetheless. I’m leveling slowly because I’m chasing reputation with the PvP factions—and that means pausing at levels 19 (now inadvertently done after the Ghost Saber taming), 29, 39 and 49. To break the monotony I am leveling Engineering, Enchanting, Fishing, Cooking and First Aid so pet hunting would be a nice way to see the world in between battleground fights and material shortages.

The Petopia database is sortable by zone, making it super-easy to create a to-do list, tame the beasts and tick them off the list. What I wanted though was proof that I’d done it—a screenshot? I was thinking I’d need two, one with Beast Taming running and one with the hungry critter stood next to me. A bit of editing later, post to Photobucket and link through to the blog. That might get tiresome and time-intensive though.

That’s when I came across the series of articles by Someone entitled “Taming World of Warcraft”. He’s almost finished a huge project to do what I intend to but with the aim of collecting the stats of the beasts before and after capture for future data manipulation (I’ve over simplified—go read for yourselves). Anyway, the upshot is that Someone has written an addon and some Perl scripts to let you know what you have to tame for the zone you entered and when you target a beast, whether you’ve already tamed that type already. When it comes to taming, you click a one-line macro to gather the data of the beast then after taming (waiting a few seconds first), call another macro to record the pet details.

Well, that’s the to-do list sorted 21st century style. The Perl scripting is for the data extraction into your spreadsheet application and although I’ve not tried it yet (need some data first) you can produce a “% Complete” report. Done job. I’ll publish a screenshot of that for prosperity at regular intervals.