Stay tuned I'll be back soon with new hunter news, advise and information on the new builds and testing.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
If you haven’t already you need to see some fantastic new videos that are causing laughter heard from one end of Azeroth to the other. The WoW=RL themed videos from the team at Raid Ready are a huge hit on youtube with our WoW community. But these hilarious epic shows are only the tip of the iceberg of what is going on at camp Raid Ready. (View my submission for their Raid Ready video contest on YouTube Huntard) They’ve got a system being developed that will have raid leaders and GMs happier than a fat kid in a candy store!
While we as raid members have add ons in game for raids such as DBM, and we have tank spot videos for research, there are still missing areas for raid preparedness when it comes to raid leading. Raid leaders still have to go through the long process of checking the armory and wow heroes when selecting group members. While this is a necessary process to ensure the strength and readiness of a team, it’s still an arduous task. Well there is a light at the end of the tunnel coming soon for GM’s and raid leaders alike from the team at Raid Ready. They are working on a system that will revolutionize and take the frustration out of the raid creation process.
As a raid leader your team counts on you to make sure all the members are ready for the content. There are so many things to consider such as proper gemming, enchanting, talent build, etc. It’s a thankless job that we as team members may take for granted. As a hunter I know my talents inside and out and am confident I’m geared and spec’d properly and that I’ve reforged stats to optimize my performance etc. But ask me if the warrior tank in my group is doing things correctly and you might as well ask me to disarm a nuclear bomb while I’m at it, I wouldn’t have a clue ‘cause I don’t play that class. But raid leaders are expected to be a swiss army knife of knowledge when it comes to all classes to ensure team success. And as I said there’s no streamlined easy way to check up on your crew in a simple easy manner. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in a skype call with Eric, one of the creators and brains behind their soon to be released project. I really liked what I heard and I think they’ve got a real winner on their hands. Here is a brief synopsis of what's in development, quoted from their site:
"Raid Ready is a new way to approach raid planning. Rather than having raid leaders check several different sites repeatedly to determine the readiness of their raid team for the content they want to take on Raid Ready takes the raid as a whole into account. Raid Ready takes the community's best research applies it to the members of your raid in one place and on one page and the best part is you never have to do the math.
Raid Ready is the result of four years of research and development by frustrated raid leaders. The Raid Ready system only uses cumulative player stats and not the individual stats of items. This is especially important given the recent changes which allow players to further customize their characters' stats through gemming, enchanting and reforging. Raid Ready is designed to balance stats against known required values and determine player and raid readiness through careful balancing of stats and stat flexibility. The end result is a simple go / no-go solution, extended data on raid members and a raid report that's designed to provide a raid leader what they need most, situational awareness."
I sent a Q&A over to the guys at the Raid Ready camp and here's what I got so far from Stubby the web designer and developer :
Please introduce yourselves and tell us who is the team behind Raid Ready?
Stubby - The web designer/developer and the guy who came up with the Raid Ready applicatoin.
Eric - The video guy and marketing guy and a large part of the creative force behind Raid Ready.
Seth - The idea incubator. Seth takes creative ideas and makes them 10 times better.
Obviously you guys play WoW. How long have you been in the game and what toons do play?
Stubby - Played since launch. I prefer not to mention my characters since they might color people's opinion of Raid Ready.
Eric - Has maybe hit level 13? He has a Worgen hunter.
Before we touch the raid planner what's up with the funny videos?
We wanted to market the app in a new way. We were really trying our best to be endearing and embraceable by the community because when you boil it down we really are just three guys trying to help make WoW a little easier to play. Being funny comes naturally to us and really seemed to serve the purpose of making us more approachable and human. We always want to be able to work with the community as well as be in it.
What made you want to build a new way to raid plan? Are any of you raid leaders?
Stubby - I've been leading raids since BC. I took a break between vanilla and BC to have a daughter and I lead a rather large guild. Entry level for raiding in BC is a 10 man raid which complicated raid building. To avoid accusations of favoritism I did some research on what different classes and roles needed to start raiding and created a spread sheet that would weigh these values against each other. If someone wanted to dispute my decision I could point to it and give them some direction on what they needed to work on to make themselves ready to raid. Looking back Karazhan is an extremely easy raid, but I wanted to be able to have something to point at and some way to help my raiders that would be simpler than telling them to research for themselves. It made my raiders better raiders and made me a more useful raid leader.
So on your Raid Ready site you describe briefly this new system you're planning. What exactly are we in for?
The simplest way to explain what we're doing is to say that when you research a class and spec you generally get a list of 5 stats that are important to that class. We take it a step further and find what neighborhood those stats should be in and then measure your raiders stats against those to determine their level of readiness. No two players are going to play exactly the same so we try to allow for a little variance in stats and do some math to see if that variance is within some level of tolerance. We take the results of those and measure them against other players in the raid to determine whether your raid as a whole is healthy enough to complete a raid or not. This doesn't mean that every raid that passes can make it, it's really meant more as a tool to understand what you're going in with and give a raid leader some situational awareness.
Will the Raid Ready system stop at raid planning calculations or do you have plans to build other aspects into your system?
We certainly don't want to stop with our raid planning calculations. We have a lot of plans we're not talking about just yet. What we do in the future depends entirely on the success of Raid Ready and the willingness of the community to help us help them. We want to grow our tool to best support the community. By no means do I think we have all the answers and, really, the community is what's going to make it work.
Will this be a downloadable program or a web based application?
We're launching a web application that pulls from the armory. Currently that's our only plan and, like I said before, it really depends on the success of Raid Ready how we proceed after. We certainly have the expertise to do more, but we want to focus on one platform and make the best service we possibly can before trying to branch out to other platforms.
Is there any pricing decided upon yet?Nothing is set in stone as of yet. We won't be able to keep working on Raid Ready without some income for sure, but we've not decided what price that will come in at. We want to stay reasonable, no more than what you might pay for a small app anywhere else. We know the community is already paying $15 per month for the game itself so we want to come in at a fraction of that so that it's a very easy thing to make the decision to subscribe to the tool while still allowing us what we need to put the time and resources into making the best tool we can for the WoW community.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
There are a ton of podcasts for Warcraft that can be found in iTunes, some great, some good, some you can line the cat litter box with. What I offer you today is some info and a Q&A with the hosts about a better than great new show that just started.
Two of our favorite Warcraft podcasting personalities have joined forces to create a brand new WoW podcast: The Other Guys. Andy Dino, best known as his Warcraft toon alter ego Daewin, is a member of the awesome guild Solace on Zul’jin. Brian Hough is a long time player since Beta and is mostly on with his resto Druid. I’ve known my guild mate Andy for a while and was thrilled when he gave me the inside scoop a while ago that this was in the works. Both of these talented players have been co-hosts, guests or group members on many shows. Andy is best known from his work on The Hunting Lodge, Polygamerous, Everything Blah, Redneck Geek and Cajun Gamer as well as several guest spots on shows like Raid Warning and Twisted Nether. Brian, who was until recently a co-host for Raid Warning, can also be heard on The Creep and The Football Pub. Wanting to get away from being just “the other guys” they decided to make a bold new start together as partners and get away from the guest/sidekick role to create a new show. I listened to the first episode the day it came out and I can’t recommend it enough, 5 stars all the way! It has a very laid back casual style that really makes you feel like you’re listening to two friends just shootin’ the shit about a game they love. The show has a great flow and the conversation is very fluid and interesting. The two play off each other really well and give you your WoW content in a very funny and charismatic way.
There are many good WoW podcasts that top the charts as far as technical information, lore, discussions on current content, etc. What sets The Other Guys apart is not new and breaking inside news about the game but rather how it’s delivered. They understand that we read forums and blue posts and are probably already familiar with any patch notes before we ever hear them on a podcast. So instead of repeating what we already know from places like wowwiki, they keep you entertained from beginning to end with their own fun takes on whatever WoW topic comes up. You’ll still get info on the latest happenings, just in a fun unique way that makes for a great listen.
Listen online or download now at The Other Guys on itunes and please be sure to take a moment and leave feedback.
I was fortunate enough to have Andy and Brian take some time and answer a few questions so you, the WoW fans, can get to know the hosts…
What drew you guys into wanting to be podcasters and what shows did you start out with?
Andy: I've wanted to podcast since I heard my first one. I have a lot of knowledge about games in general and WoW, and wanted to share my opinion with everyone. My first podcast was the hunting lodge with Brigwyn
Brian: I actually got my start with a soccer podcast called The Football Pub, that I am still doing on a weekly basis. Though most people probably know me from my time on Raid Warning. I had always been interested in radio and got tired of people telling me I had a radio voice and doing nothing with it. So I started a podcast. It worked out in the end, cause now I work in Radio.
The new show The Other Guys Podcast was named that for a reason, can you tell us about how you arrived at the name?
Andy: When we were discussing names it was kinda funny that both of ushered "sidekicks" on the shows we did. So for me it was brigwyn and "that other guy". So we ran with it.
Brian: It kinda just happened one night while Andy and I were talking. We both were the "sidekicks" of our previous WoW shows and wanted to have a little fun with that concept.
What kind of format or style are you guys going for?
Andy: Everyone in the wow world regurgitates the news all the time. We pick one thing we find interesting or important and ramble about it for awhile.
Brian: We just wanted it to be laid back and an easy listen. We didn't want to hit you over the head with news and in depth theory crafting. More of a show that sounded like your friends do when you're all chatting about WoW.
How long have you been playing Warcraft and what toons do you have?
Andy: I have been playing wow for about 2 years. I have my hunter Daewin (main), alts- pally, warlock, shaman, priest, and a warrior.
Brian: I have been playing WoW pretty much since Beta. I currently play mostly my Resto Druid, which has been my main since before Wrath. I spent most of BC as a Shadow Priest, and Vanilla as a Resto Shaman.
What changes would you most like to see implemented to Warcraft either in a patch or the next expansion down the road?
Andy: There really isn't anything I would like to see. The game is good as it is. Yes they have some bugs but I can't wait to see what blizzard has in store for us.
Brian: Account wide achievements and pets/mounts. I am notorious for hating alts. I don't like that all the work I've put into my main goes away if I switch mains. One of the main reasons I've stuck with my Druid is I don't want to lose all the things I've earned/collected on him.
What are your thoughts about Blizzard selling virtual items now, i.e. pets and mounts?
Andy: It's cosmetic stuff. It really doesn't matter and people will buy them.
Brian: I'm fine with it. It doesn't change the game for me whether or not I have the items. As long as it stays like that, no complaints here. If you don't like the idea don't buy them. I own most of the pets myself. I think the sparkle pony is a rip, so I didn't buy it. Simple as that.
Give one bit of advice for players, anything at all directed at newbies, veterans, pvpers, raiders etc, whatever you want.
Andy: Research your class and don't be afraid to ask questions. Most of all have fun.
Brian: It's just a game. I know that seems odd coming from someone who is active in the community, but don't ever forget it. I see too many people whose RL is dominated by the game. It's not healthy and in the end will ruin the enjoyment you get from playing it.
If you were handed 100K gold in game what is the first thing you would want to buy?
Andy: Nothing. I would hold it for raiding because all that stuff costs money!!
Brian: Mounts! I don't mess with the AH enough to be rich and I wish I could get things like the new Alchemist Drake and Chopper. Pets and Mounts are the one thing in game that sticks with you no matter how many expansions and raid tiers their are. Money well spent!
Well there you have it folks, hope you enjoyed the Q&A and I know you’ll enjoy the show even more. They will be recording every Sunday night around 10pm so look for the show to be posted in iTunes shortly after. If you don’t already you can follow Andy and Brian on twitter for updates and tweets for show info and questions. Andy is @Daewin and Brian is @b_hough on twitter.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Here’s a bit of a long response to an email I got from Sam T., a hunter from the Dawnbringer server. He asked “How the heck am I supposed to follow a set rotation with focus? I always seem to run low. Plus how do you deal with all the demands of having to use traps and stuff and not interrupting that rotation? Oh and can you give me a good MM rotation. Peace and WoW :)”
Back a few posts ago I praised the fact that we are back to the days of the utility hunter. Besides the fact that we now have the ability to bring missing group buffs by our choice of pet but we are also responsible for handling a lot of CC duty. Now in Wrath most of our time was spent static just laying down the dps, and when we had to move we’d stutter step or time our movements so as not to interfere with our sacred rotation. Well that’s not so simple or really the case at all anymore. Our fight strategies and rotations have become situational and a bit more complicated.
( Sit·u·a·tion ) n. The combination of circumstances at a given moment; a state of affairs.)
There are still dps races for us to challenge the meters in Cata but there are also many, many fights that are going to require situational play styles and rotation adjustments. Thankfully we have aspect of the fox to assist us with this but we still have to often times break into our rotations to do some type of CC duty whether it be launching a well timed trap or kiting a mob. What this means for us is that we have gone from being 24/7 slaves to a set rotation, we must now be able to think on the fly and prioritize shots based on focus regen and CC duty as well as dps.
Now back in the day we hunters had to learn (or at least you should have) the fine art of stutter stepping. What this meant was if it was a moving fight you needed to basically shoot and move in certain fights. Get those shots off, run while watching cool downs and then stop to fire off a shot then rinse and repeat. Well with aspect of the Fox this method has become much easier. Notice that I’m not saying that stutter stepping is gone it’s just become obsolete with aspect switching to fox. There may still be fights that require minimal movement and every now and then you can still adjust your position with well-timed shots just before moving. If you can pull that off without switching to fox then all the better, because while aspect of the fox does allow you to fire shots previously not castable while moving, it does decrease your dps from what you would have in hawk. Plus we now have the benefit, as of 4.06 to auto shoot on the move!
Ok so what all this means is, for example, here is my MM rotation:
Apply hunter’s mark and Serpent Sting
Rapid Fire then time Readiness after Chimera Shot to pop Rapid Fire and another Chimera
Aimed Shot - for the first 20% of a boss fight, after that you’ll get a proc
Arcane Shot – after the first 20%, before that steady and aimed are doing more damage because of careful aim and piercing shots
Steady Shot twice
Kill shot at the end when available. Although if they’re available chimera and aimed should get priority for now since they’re doing more damage.
Now if a situation arises that requires me to CC or switch to an add, for example the pesky poison bombs from Toxitron, then you’re going to be breaking your rotation to mix in some concussive shots. Once down you need to quickly assess your focus amount and adjust your rotation on the fly until you can get back into it.
The main take home message that I would like you to have is that it’s a whole new world for us with focus. The mana system made it a whole lot easier to keep a set rotation going. But with focus we need to carefully time our shots to make sure that when chimera or kill command or whatever is off cd, you’ve got the focus to get it off every time. This is basically why you’re hearing that our rotations have become very situational in some fights. Be very mindful of your focus regen and try to memorize how much focus your shots use so you’ll be one step ahead of yourself all the time. Don’t worry you’ll still have the opportunity to stay planted sometimes and destroy the meters with a standard rotation but remember, whether it’s a pug or guild run, you’re part of a team and your personal dps does not outweigh what’s best for the group.
Thanks Sam for your email. I’m always happy to answer any questions so just send them on over to email@example.com