I daren’t go a-hunting

Up the airy mountain
      Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,

William Allingham

This week is Hunter Week and I have to be honest, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the class. I have a lot of Hunters of my own plus Mr Harpy played and raided on one for a couple of years. My Guild Master plays one and so do many of the people I like and admire in-game but I hate meeting them in PvP and my heart sinks slightly when I get thrown into a group activity with one or more of them. I think part of my issue is that I can’t take my own Hunters seriously which sometimes spills over to into other peoples plus I still have flashbacks to being one shot by Mr Harpy’s back in vanilla. Ok he had every buff on known to man at the time and I had less than 4k health with my own buff but it still rankles even now.

I really think if Hunters didn’t have pets, I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole and there in lies the rub. I love running around taming things but really don’t enjoy the shooting bit.

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Here is my eldest Hunter with her first proper pet. The one which inspired a story and had me camp in the Barrens on a PvP server as a baby Hunter.

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For many of my Hunters, I have a been a bit predictable. I have far too many Night Elf Hunters littering the European servers, most of them lying there unplayed.

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I’ve loved this cat model since forever. That’s why I tracked down Humar as a very small Hunter and got killed for the privilege by a Druid who should have known better. I was always envious of a Hunter in our guild who had enlisted the Horde to help him capture this version but at the time I never got a Hunter to a high enough level to acquire one until Wrath.

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I made Twiceshy just so I could have pets called Oncebitten….. Surprisingly enough despite my professed hate for Worgens, she has grown on me.

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My latest Hunter, SnowBlossom. Yep, she’s totally stolen Snow Blossom’s name in the hope that some of her awesomeness and coolness will rub off. That’s probably highly unlikely given me and my ability to play Hunters although back the bad old days I did over 2k on Terion Gorefiend by pressing one button on my husband’s!! She also needs to level to tame something other than a turtle.

I do have a few more lurking about, including a Goblin called Sproutz whose sole purpose in life is to save Spot however she’s been stuck in Kezan since the start of MoP and a Troll with bright pink hair with a pet called Huggles because who wouldn’t want to be bitten by huggles.

A Rose by any other name…

poppy

Okay, it’s not a rose but a poppy but…. artistic license and all. This is actually one of the many layers of wall paper we discovered when stripping the kitchen back to replace it. I’m not a great fan of wallpaper in general but I rather like this one.

This post was meant to be many things. It was intended to be my final post of Druid week (yes, my weeks are different to everyone else’s), it could have been my first Hunter post or perhaps I was going to actually do the <A Screenshot A Post> day by day as intended. However the server glitches have brought all those aspirations to a direct halt. My Monk is stuck in the Darkmoon Faire no doubt stuffing her face on fried goods and downing fizzy faire water. My Goblin Hunter is lost in the dark of Kezan and my Worgen was last seen stuck in Stormwind playing cards with  a Guard.

So given that I can’t post what I want to, I thought instead I’d talk about my aims for Hunter Week.

  • I’ve wanted to save Spot, that poor puppy trapped in Theramore awaiting destruction raining from the skies for a while now but have never managed to level a Horde hunter high enough. This will change though.
  • I’ve dabbled with making my Worgen Hunter a proper transmog multiple times but they’ve never got any further than MogIt. This needs to change.
  • Make a Panda Hunter to replace the Panda Priest which I intend deleting.
  • Make a list of all the pets I wish to tame.

Now hopefully, at some point this week, the servers will actually let me on and I can start ticking things off.

 

Twiceshy and the Big Green Bug of Happiness

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Large green bug finally acquired! That’s one thing less to achieve before the patch comes rolling around. Now I just need to take him into a few battlegrounds and feed him Goblins.

A few of my Favourite Post-Patch Things

In no particular order:

1. Basilisks

I thought these would be a bit like crocolisks, i.e. really annoying as pets with their skittering little legs running after you but somehow their garish colours and whiskers have grown on me.

Staying with Hunter’s pets, up next is something I’ve been wanting to tame ever since they were first introduced with the Burning Crusade.

2. Water Striders

3. Being able to name my mini-pets. I’ve still got a long way to go figuring out names for all of them but I love being able to show a bit of their personality through a proper name.

4. Scarlet Monastery.

The re-make reminds me of those wonderfully bad Hammer Horror movies I grew up hiding behind the sofa watching re-runs of. I particularly like the fact that you have to pretty much “stake” Whitemane to try and ensure she stays dead.

5. Spectral Guise. Perhaps not for the reason that Blizzard would like to me to love this talent though. It has saved me a couple of times by cancelling spell casts but because it doesn’t work like true “stealth”, your pets remain visible and for some reason my Darkmoon Balloon drifting along seemingly by itself amuses me no end.

6. Glyph of Disguise.

Here we see my rogue masquerading as a rather fetching Harpy. Unfortunately it only lasts five minutes and breaks in combat but for idling there is nothing better.

So what is everyone else excited about this week?

Mog Busting – “Who ya gonna call!”

Started by Shoryl of Tiny WoW Guild, Mog Busting is the latest transmogrification challenge to sweep through the blogosphere. As I flicked through the various requests and results, I was secretly hoping someone would tag me and low and behold, tagged I was, by Effy of Effraeti’s RP.

Some Background and Requests - Feel free to show some skin!  I am fond of the Imbued Plate Armor chestpiece on her, but this is by no means a requirement.  What is far more important with Effræti is her Runeblade!  Either the sword or axe DK weapons from the starter zones, or anything else you can come up with in game that just screams – Runeblade!  Also, I am not fond of covering up my Draenei tails – so an outfit sans cloak is preferable.  :)

Effræti is most unlike her Shaman other half.  She bold and fearless, and unlike Effy, does not mind showing some skin as she has little concern for modesty or her own well-being.  A former Shaman turned Death Knight, Effræti is brutally to the point and slow to trust, but a fierce companion.

This turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. I don’t have a high level plate wearer that I play regularly so I was driving blind. To make matters worse, I have all 50 character slots full so I had to go with a Deathknight I happened to have sitting half way through the starter zone.

In the end I came up with three different outfits, one for each of the items Effy mentioned in her request. With each outfit, I tried to make the named item the focal point, picking colours and materials which emphasised it.

The Greatsword of the Ebon Blade


I wanted to use both the two shades of blue and the bronze from the hilt as my main palette here.

The Greataxe of the Ebon Blade

Imbued Plate Armor

This definitely proved the biggest headache. I didn’t want to use the Imbued Plate set but finding a match that I was happy with from the random pieces was hard.

Now that’s the hard bit over with, I’d like to challenge Chatmay of WoW Débutante to come up with something for my Hunter, Twiceshy.

She likes to tailor her outfits to her pets and since she’s about to head off on a mission to tame Chromaggus, she would love a suitable ensemble to wear out on the town with him.

When it comes to weapons, she’s most definitely a bow girl, crossbows if needs must but never ever guns. She is also quite partial to kilts but will also happily wear trousers or shorts.

Being ever so slightly feral, a side effect of being bitten and hanging out with animals all day long, showing skin doesn’t bother her at all. She doesn’t raid however, but everything else (i.e. not lv 85 raid content) is fair game.

Good Luck!

Burn Baby Burn – My Hunter’s Transmogrification Wishlist.

I made the wonderful mistake of downloading MogIt the other day and have been a bit obsessed with outfit hunting ever since.

This is the outfit I’m currently working on farming with my Hunter, Twiceshy. As she’s a Worgen I knew I wanted a kilt from the outset because I really don’t like Worgen legs in pants. She also pvps with a lava spider so I wanted something bright to match. I know it’s not particularly subtle but that’s what camouflage is for!

Then once this one is completely collected, I have a whole stable full of pets to match up with outfits.

Introducing Fauna and Flora

Inspired by Alas and the totally useful awesome killing machine which is DinoTam, I respecced my hunter to Beast Mastery and got myself a devilsaur.

Yes, matching your pet to your hair is important. What is perhaps more worrying is the fact that Fauna’s pants look like they were made from one of Flora’s relatives. That could potentially cause problems.

Pets are people too!

I’ve been thinking about resurrecting my hunter for a while now. She got to 80 sometime last year, did a few instances including alt runs of ToC and then ground to a halt.

Whilst my server was ever so slowly patching itself, I ended up in the dark and dangerous world of the WoW forums. Driven by dreams of huntering again I flicked through several pages of hunter related information until I ended up on the Healing forum. Skimming the list of post titles, I found  a rather heated thread discussing the rights and wrongs of healing hunter’s pets. Naturally with my head full of hunter stuff, I couldn’t resist having a peak.

The general gist of the arguments contained within went like this:

  • My UI doesn’t show pets and I don’t see why it should!
  • It’s the Hunter’s responsibility to look after his or her pet and they have the tools to do the job.
  • The Hunter is just plain bad if their pet needs healing.
  • I don’t have the mana to waste on pets
  • Hunter’s don’t need their pets to DPS.

Going through each point one by one, I noticed a couple of things that I found odd.

My UI doesn’t show pets and I don’t see why it should!

Given that several people pushing this argument admit to using Grid, I find this hard to believe. It takes a matter of seconds to set Grid up to show pets in 5, 10 and 25 person modes. I would imagine this is true for all non-standard party frames.

As for why should your UI show pets, well pets are part of the group. Your interface should always provide an accurate representation of that group. What if at some point Blizzard adds a debuff on some future raid content that can blow people up and targets pets as well as players? Adding pets now means if for any reason you NEED to keep one alive you can easily.

I’ve been in several situations where a hunter and his pet have ended up saving the day. Tank dcs in a 5 man, pet takes up the slack and holds boss until either the tank comes back or the boss dies. Having the pet show on my unit frames made healing him so much easier than having to manually change target would have been, given that the rest of the group needed healing too. Lousy tanks in 10 mans, mobs eating me as a healer. Sympathetic and attentive hunter notices and pulls mob off me and onto his pet. So showing pets can be a good thing. However I can’t think of a single situation where me having the pet bars showing has ever been a bad thing. After all, I don’t have to heal Whiskers the Wolf if I don’t want to.

Healing pets in PvP, especially small scale stuff can be great too because whilst they are trying to bash Cobweb the spider over the head, they aren’t hitting me.

It’s the Hunter’s responsibility to look after his or her pet and they have the tools to do the job.

Of course it’s their responsibility to a degree. I expect everyone to do their best to stay alive and kill the boss. Now in the case of pet classes that also included keeping their best friend safe and well. Mend pet should be used in hairy situations, no one is denying that. To let your pet die without using it would be stupid. However at the end of the day, we as healers also have responsibility for all those little green bars. Throwing a shield out or a rejuvenation will not make or break your mana supply, but it may make the difference between Tybalt the cat contributing all the way to the bad guy’s death or not. Without his contribution the boss will always die slower, which is a bad thing.

The Hunter is just plain bad if their pet needs healing.

Perhaps, two weeks of Ahune have shown me there are some truly terrible hunters out there. My healing Priest has out dpsed every single one I’ve been partied with so far. However there are lots of fights with large amounts of party or raid wide damage. Even with talents to lessen magical damage and the like, I can imagine a lot of content where “mend pet”  might not be enough. Obviously a hunter has more than just mend pet in his arsenal, a ferocity pet could come with Bloodthirsty for example but again, a chance to heal for 5 percent of the pet’s total health isn’t too hot if the animal is taking lots of damage.

If throwing a heal in the direction of the pet doesn’t leave you out of mana, what harm can it possibly do? There are plenty of threads complaining about how boring 5 mans in particular are for healers who are geared, well why not do a spot of extra curriculum pet healing to spice things up.

I can’t spare the mana!

This one I tend to be more sympathetic towards but it depends on one simple question. Why not? If you don’t have the mana because the rest of the group are playing badly and you’re healing full out, fine. The same is true if you’re undergeared and struggling to keep the players alive. However if you’re oom because you’re spamming smite or another dps spell, then perhaps putting a few heals in the direction of the pet first would make more sense. If nothing else, it may make the hunter like you a bit more.

Hunter’s don’t need their pet to DPS.

True they don’t but given that the whole idea is usually to kill the mobs as fast as possibly, every little helps as the supermarket chain says.  Let us consider the Beast Mastery Hunter. Now I know that it’s a lot less popular in this expansion than it was in the previous one, but you still see plenty of BM hunters, especially in 5 mans. There is a talent midway down BM called Ferocious Inspiration, it’s a fairly simple talent but one I would expect all BM hunters to pick up. Amongst other things, it gives a flat 3 percent damage increase to all party and/or raid members who stay in a 100 yard range of the pet. By allowing Chompy the Devilsaur to die because you aren’t willing to alter your UI, not only do you cut the hunter’s dps, you effect that of the whole group. To me, that goes against the whole principle of running instances in the first place. You should all be working together to make the run as smooth as possible. Allowing a source of DPS to die, hinders that.

In conclusion, I think the arguments put forth are for the most part ridiculous. I’m not suggesting putting a pet at the top of your mental priority list, after all that would be pointless but surely there is a spot somewhere in there. My list goes something like this:

  1. Tank
  2. Healer
  3. The nice, sensible dpsers who don’t stand in the fire too much and don’t make nasty comments about the rest of the group
  4. Hopeless the crab
  5. Any remaining obnoxious dpsers

Obviously I’m not advocating the blanket healing of all pets, but they should at least be a consideration and they should most definitely make it onto your interface. The sooner we learn good habits the easier it is to stick to them. Who knows, perhaps in Cataclysm BM will become the hunter spec again giving you added reasons to keep those pets alive. Perhaps raids will require every last drop of dps and pets will become a lot more important to all hunters, regardless of spec. I’m not denying some hunters can try your patience as they attempt to murder their pet every 5 seconds, but it’s easy to ignore them (although I wish Azeroth had a version of the RSPCA so we could confiscate pets from bad hunters only returning them when they learnt the art of animal protection) and / or point out why letting Fluffles the crocolisk run around on aggressive is a bad idea.

Yes, this post probably stems in part from the fact that I feel dreadful whenever a pet dies in a group I’m healing. Especially when it’s erstwhile owner can’t even be bothered to think up a name for him or her. The fact that I may at some point be venturing back into 5 mans with my adored pets has nothing to do with it at all (honest!).

TLDR: Pets are people too! Make friends with your neighbourhood hunters and heal their pets.

Choices, choices and Marmite

Why does Marmite from New Zealand taste better than British Marmite? Probably because they add sugar.

I’m going to spec my hunter BM sometime this week and pick up either a red Corehound or the redish brown Devilsaur. However I can’t decide which. Whichever pet I go for, he’s going to be called Marmite because I suspect people will either love him or hate him (probably hate) but I just can’t choose between them.

It’s not like I do anything particularly exciting with my hunter so abilities aren’t important. I just want to finish the Northrend Loremaster before Cataclysm on all my characters and I’m currently finding the hunter rather boring so I thought I’d spice it up with a new pet. I just can’t pick which one to go for so any advice would be appreciated.

Also melted cheese on toast liberally spread with marmite = <3

One troll and her dog

Meet Erizulie, troll hunter. She’s fond of bitter cactus cider, all sorts of animals except scorpids which are obviously some sort of demon in disguise and skinning things (particularly scorpids).

I also take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about Durotar. I’d forgotten how pretty the Valley of Trials can be. So she was created with two aims in mind. Firstly joining the awesomeness that is a guild called “Single Abstract Noun” and secondly leveling to lv 40ish.  Why lv 40? well because happily sitting in the shade of a certain keep is a dog called Spot.

The plan is simple as all plans should be. Reach a level to tame him, sneak into Theramore and steal their puppy from right out under their noses.

Now the hard part is going to be finding time to put this evil plan into action. My WoW time is a bit limited at the moment and when I am playing its mainly PvPing on my main or leveling my druid. However I’ve wanted that dog for a long time. I mean its obvious they callously stole it from Mulgore in the first place so its about time some nice troll came along and liberated it.

I’ve also created Tattiebogle the Undead Priest with some strange ideas about RP in mind. A Tattiebogle is both a scarecrow and one of the most amazing sounding words ever created. Operation save Spot is however the main focus of the time I (fingers crossed) will be spending on Argent Dawn.

Now I’ve blogged about them, I’m going to have to find the time to level them. I hope.

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