With Warlords of Draenor upon us in a little under a month; the solo’ing section of WHU will be updated to provide you with the best and latest up-to-date information on solo’ing. This overview will contain basic information covering optimal solo’ing talent choices; glyphs; basic strategy; and advanced strategies; as well as individual boss strategies in the future.

For more WHU Warlords of Draenor guides, visit the guide page.

The Basics: Glyphs, Pets, Talents

Talents and glyphs will vary from fight to fight depending on the boss you are attempting to solo and the mechanics behind it; but when it comes to essential talent choices and glyphs a lot of general hunter solo’ing strategy is similar if not identical.

Essential Talents; Spirit Bond, Adaptation
Overview on Talents; Beast Mastery remains the go-to spec for solo’ing for several reasons. The Level 100 talent Adaptation gives your pet essentially all 3 pet specialization’s abilities (Ferocity/Tenacity/Cunning) wrapped into 1 spec. Beast Mastery also allows the control of exotic pets; more importantly  the control of spirit beasts which provide a little extra healing should the encounter call for it via Spirit Mend.

Essential Glyphs; Glyph of Mending, Glyph of Misdirection, Glyph of Animal Bond.
Overview on Glyphs; Glyph setup remains nearly identical to how it was in Mists of Pandaria; your top 3 choices for general hunter solo’ing consist of Glyph of Mending Glyph of Misdirection  and Glyph of Animal BondGlyph of Mending allows you to keep your pet alive significantly easier; Glyph of Misdirection allows your pet to maintain threat throughout the encounter; and Glyph of Animal Bond will aid you in increasing your Spirit Bond tick heals for you and your pet; as well as further increasing your mend pet‘s healing output even further.

Essential Solo’ing Pets; Shale Spider, Spirit Beast
Overview on Pets; The shale spider is the top choice as a hunter solo’ists pet in Warlords of Draenor due to it not only providing Stats/Crit but also having a powerful defensive CD Solid Shell In the past the turtle was a more optimal choice; however the turtle does not provide any buffs in Warlords of Draenor; and only has the same defensive CD as the Shale Spider; therefore; A pet that provides 2 buffs and has  1 defensive > Pet that provides no buffs and has 1 defensive. The Spirit Beast remains a powerful alternative choice for bosses that may not hit your pet as hard; but may require extra healing towards the hunter by utilizing Spirit Mend.

Now that we’ve discussed the basic hunter solo’ing concepts a bit; let’s move on to important changes in Warlords of Draenor to hunter solo’ing;

 

Changes to Hunter Solo’ing in Warlords

To truly get a grasp of what our solo’ing capabilities are like in Warlords of Draenor; examining what we’ve lost and what we’ve gained and making a comparison will allow us to examine hunter solo’ing a bit more in depth.

What We’ve Lost

  • Cower is no longer in the game.
  • “Stable Stacking” is longer in the game. Pets no longer have separate CDs on abilities such as Last Stand/Spirit Mend./Solid Shell. In Mists of Pandaria you were able to cast any of these pet spells; dismiss that pet and call a separate pet of the same type and chain spells like these; an advanced solo’ing tactic commonly referred to as “Stable Stacking”

What We’ve Gained

  • Kill Shot now heals the hunter for 15% if the target is killed by this ability. This may not sound like a lot; but when attempting to solo fights containing lots of low health targets that die quickly this can be extremely potent when used correctly; though it is certainly situational.
  • Adaptation as mentioned before is a fantastic new talent for solo’ing. Not only does your pet do its full damage potential; it retains tenacity pet abilities; specifically the powerful Last Stand
  • Glyph of Quick Revival; An interesting glyph that has some situational solo’ing uses.

Overall losing stable stacking definitely hurts our solo’ing capabilities tremendously; and though the compensation for losing this tactic may not necessarily be equal; extreme hunter solo’ing is still very much alive and with it comes more advanced tactics and gameplay.

 

Advanced Hunter Solo’ing Concepts

I’ll start off by discussing some older but still extremely useful tactics that even other classes can utilize to their advantage when solo’ing; these are situational tactics; but in many cases (often by accident) are discovered and allow us to solo what was otherwise thought “impossible” I’ll then move onto some more hands on tactics that specifically apply to the hunter class and are new concepts implemented in Warlords of Draenor via spell changes or gameplay changes.

“Dummy Tanking”
Often times a boss will cast an ability that either causes loss of control of your character which can reset an encounter; or does something that will inevitably kill your character (debuffs/certain spells etc) A lot of fights are programmed in such a way that the main threat target (the tank) will usually not receive said mind control/debuff/etc. By being the boss’s main threat target instead of your pet when certain specific abilities go out; these abilities are altogether negated entirely; allowing you to overcome a fight. A few examples of this concept are Cho’gall’s Mind Control Mechanic; and Sinestra’s Wrack mechanic. By being the primary threat target at the time either of these example abilities go out; you do not receive said mind control/wrack debuff. Be creative with this; you never know what ability you can entirely negate by making yourself the main threat target over your pet.

“Ranging/Feigning”
This is a fairly simple concept but it is important to experiment and play around with. Simply put; a lot of times if you are a very large range (i.e. 60+ yards) outside the boss you are attempting to solo (room size/encounter depending) some bosses will altogether not cast abilities that would otherwise kill you. This same concept can be used in tandem with feign death to avoid various boss abilities altogether. This is fairly situational; but again experiment with this when trying to solo different bosses; you never know when you might just accidentally find an ability that can be ranged or feigned and negated altogether.

“Space Utilization”
Another older but still useful concept; think of any fight where a boss hits hard and applies for example a stacking debuff. This debuff may not kill your pet immediately; but as the fight progresses your pet is eventually going to die even if you keep mend pet up optimally. Revive pet is an extremely fast cast; so by putting yourself fairly far away from the boss you are trying to solo and gauging when your pet is close to near death; as long as you can get Revive pet off after your pet dies; then quickly Feign Death/Misdirection before the boss reaches you; this can be extremely useful. This tactic depends heavily on the room size of the boss you are attempting to solo and works better on slower moving bosses.

“Slingshotting”
Sometimes when you are solo’ing a boss your pet is near death; but you have for example your pet’s Solid Shell CD up in 2 or 3 seconds and that will hold your pet over if it can just live that much longer.

The following macro can be used to rapidly get your pet to come towards you; sometimes so rapidly that it will in fact dodge one or multiple boss swings altogether; buying you that extra 2 or 3 seconds your pet needed to gain Solid Shell again and not die. This macro is also especially useful for rapidly positioning a boss in a specific position you need it to be in. Just put yourself where you want the boss to be and use this macro to take your pet there:

/petpassive
/cast Master’s Call

“Quick Rez/Space Utilization 2″
Sometimes for whatever reason that 3 seconds of space to cast Revive pet you need between yourself and the boss you are trying to solo just isn’t quite cutting it. This is a new concept introduced with the new glyph; Glyph of Quick Revival. This glyph essentially serves no purpose in PvE raiding; but in solo’ing it definitely has some situational uses.  If you keep yourself hovered at 80 focus on harder hitting bosses with rooms that don’t give you enough space to get that Revive pet cast off; this is the ticket to living forever. Often times you won’t even have to Feign Death after getting this off if you can dump enough threat quickly into the freshly rezzed pet; thus saving yourself a valuable Feign Death you might need in the next 30 seconds of the fight.

“Cherrypicking”
Now that Kill Shot provides a 15% heal each time you kill a target with it; it’s opened some interesting doors on solo’ing various encounters. Think about any fight where there are lots of low HP adds that aren’t of great priority to you or your pet living. Often times you can hold onto adds like these; get them into Kill Shot range; Kill Shot 1 to heal yourself for 15%; wait for Kill Shot to come off CD in 8 seconds; then Kill Shot another to keep yourself healed up. This concept is incredibly useful in any fight with a lot of adds and has endless possibilities for hunter solo’ing in the future.

That concludes the general basics of hunter solo’ing in Warlords of Draenor; some thoughts on how we are now as solo’ists as opposed to in MoP, as well as some solo’ing tactics that are somewhat lesser known; but still essential to add to your solo’ing toolkit.

 

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Hunting Party Podcast Reminder!

Posted: by Artemishowl


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Good morning/evening WHU!

Coming up at 9am central/10am eastern is episode #202 of The Hunting Party Podcast!

This week we want to go over some last minute things about level 100 hunters and what to expect with Tuesday’s patch arrival, among other topics. We’re going to catch everyone up with what’s going on around the world of Hunters as well as answer all of your questions as usual. Please tweet us @HuntingPartyPod if you still have some last minute questions for the Podcast, as we want to make sure everyone gets those aching hunter questions out of the way for Warlords!

In case you need to catch up on previous episodes, check out the HPP website here: http://www.huntingpartypodcast.com/

Also tune into our LIVE twitch channel in the morning!

Watch live video from HuntingPartyPodcast on www.twitch.tv

Starring your usual cast, Solarflair, Darkbrew, Bendak, Delirium and myself, with moderators including Alisaunder and Synthparadox. Hope to see you all there! #TeamHunter!

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Oct 11/12th Plans (And 6.0 reminder)

Posted: by Artemishowl


6.0 Is Nigh!

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Good evening, hunters. Today we’re going to take one last look at Mists of Pandaria hunters and remind everyone to get some final things done this week before you no longer can, as 6.0 releases next week. Mists was an interesting expansion for hunters. At the start, we were strong until a few talents got nerfed (Lynx Rush, Blink Strikes being passive) and struggled slightly here and there till Siege of Orgrimmar. I think from a soloing perspective, a lot of amazing feats were conquered; as well as the all Hunter raids making a major come back towards the end of the expansion. Frostheim continues to watch the WHU, and is backbone for this website’s revival, but we all miss him. A lot of strong writers are helping hunters out wherever they can. Podcasts make a path back into the community as well. This was a good couple years! There are a lot of bittersweet emotions about raiding 10 or 25 man heroic SoO for one last time this week and welcoming on board the new “Mythic” prospect, eagerly waiting to see what that can bring in store for the hunter community.

I feel like Mists was a very solid expansion from a raiding point of view and will be heavily missed as 6.0 rolls in with all of its intimidating button pruning, mechanical changes to classes and damage shrinking as well. We will have guides revised before the patch hits. Sorry for the delay, we felt it would be better to do it all at once after they stopped toying with beta builds as much and hope to help hunters all around be ready for the massive changes.

While we are on our last week of 5.4, here’s a good reminder of things you should probably do before the patch hits:

  • Challenge Modes: The armor, achievements, everything ends this week. Nag a friend, go to Openraid.us, but try to get some sweet looking hunter transmog gear and mount opportunities before it’s too late! Remember if you have all the silver achievements on one character, you can get all the phoenix mounts when 6.0 goes live-account wide.
  • Proving Grounds: The level 90 achievements are going away when 6.0 hits.
  • Kill Garrosh: Heroic or Normal. The feat of strengths will no longer be obtainable after this week and with them the normal mount (Kor’kron War Wolf) will become unobtainable, the heroic mount (Kor’kron Juggernaut) will continue to have a 100% drop rate until WoD when the drop rate will be nerfed to 1%. The heirlooms however, will have a 100% drop rate if you still don’t have your MAIN spec heirloom during the 6.0 pre-patch, this applies to each raid difficulty individually, so if you already have a flex heirloom but don’t have a normal you’ll have a guaranteed normal heirloom if you kill Garrosh. The 100% drop will only apply to the first heirloom you get, though the drop rates for heirloom after the first will be greatly increased.
  • Brawler’s Guild: All the achievements will be gone! New season will be released for level 100 characters.
  • Cap your valor/JP/Honor/Conquest: Get some free gold when the patch hits.
  • Finish your cloak: If you haven’t started by now, it’s probably too late. If an alt is beyond the test of valor quest, hurry up and go get it!

Also remember that item upgrades will be done via timeless isle coins, and there is now no longer a cap on getting bonus coin rolls. Get to the timeless isle, kill a bunch of frogs and be prepared!

My personal spec preference for 6.0 as a hunter is to go Marksman or Beast Mastery. There will be a strong lack of MS gear that makes survival stick out, so be prepared to practice MM when it goes live. We’ll again, have guides ready for you to go by the end of this week.

If there’s anything else I missed for the reminder list, feel free to post below in the comments! Now on to the events WHU has in store for everyone this weekend!

 

October 11th

This is a reminder that the all-horde #TeamHunter pre-patch bash versus tier 14 is THIS Saturday at 9pm central. We still have a couple spots and we will need reserves on roster! It will be raid lead and moderated by several players who have a lot of experience in conquering the tougher feats that #TeamHunter has done, the many staff members of HPP and WHU will also be on board to slaughter some bosses. Are you interested in signing up? Just sign up here on our OpenRaid link.

My only requirements from players interested in going will be an item level of 540 (to ensure no dps checks will doom us), mumble (no mic required), and prior experience to the first raiding tier of MoP. Also be on time. That’d be nice. 9pm central is for raid invites, 9:30 pm central we go.

Our biggest struggles will probably include Bladelord. Why? Windbams. Enough said…

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(thank you Rickett for the image!)

 

October 12th

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Podcast day! Don’t forget to tune into episode #202 of the Hunting Party Podcast here; at 9am central/10am eastern for a brief episode to help hunters prepare for the upcoming 6.0 launch! We won’t be going nearly as long as the #201 episode from two weeks ago, but plan on answering your questions, covering quite a few things, and more.  As per usual, if you want us to answer questions, send us a tweet @HuntingPartyPod!

After the podcast, come do a “Running of the Bulls” event, organized by Bell and other WHU in-game officers! There will be giveaways! 

I’m sure some of you are wondering what exactly this “Running of the Bulls” I mentioned is. Well, long story short, we’re going to make level 1 Tauren hunters and have a race to Orgrimmar as a stampede of bulls, with friendly pink tallstriders at our sides! There will be no gimmicks or level 90s able to interfere in our fun, so expect something highly organized compared to the Hogger event last weekend (which we are still sorry about). This will be an event open for all players! When you log on, just type /join whu for the channel where we will be preparing and where we’ll give out the mumble information so everyone can listen. Stay in the tauren starting zone, don’t be a cheater and it will be a fun event for everyone. We’ll have moderators to make sure no one cheats, as there will be gold and other items to hand out as prizes to our winners!

When is all of this happening? Sunday October 12th 5pm eastern on Icecrown/Malygos. It will be a very fun event so invite your friends, invite your family, and if you want to, invite your neighbors to come play with us.

Expect more events in the future as we want to really want to bring the community together in free-for-all events as well as high end events. With WoD will come the return of all-hunter Alliance raids as well, so if you are unable to go to this week’s #TeamHunter raid, don’t fret! You will have a chance to participate in 6.0!

 

Thank you all for reading. As a final thought, what did you like about Mists of Pandaria the most?

 

October 8th, 2014

 

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Hunting Party Podcast episode #201

Posted: by Artemishowl


Hunting Party Podcast is Back!

Tonight we will be talking about the events that took place over the weekend. As many of you were aware, we had a big bash to bring back the Hunting Party Podcast; something that a lot of players in the community were missing dearly. While we all still miss Frostheim and other cast, we had returning host Darkbrew and Alisaunder moderating the chat. New faces hosting as well, including Solarflair, myself, Delirium and Bendak; all writers or podcasters for the community already!

This week we discussed a lot of things revolving 6.0 and what’s happening in the world of hunters. In the future, we recognized it was a bit difficult keeping up with 5 people and no visual aide to help. To fix that, expect webcams in the short future! We also know the first episode was long, but that’s the nature of reviving a fresh podcast. Future episodes will be in the ballpark of an hour to an hour and a half in length.

Without further adu, here is episode 201:

 

HPP Pre-show Party

This weekend we brought the fun back in WHU by kicking off the podcast via a level 1 dwarf Hogger raid. Gathering around 9pm central, we had 80 people log in and participate in the good fun. Started off in the dwarven starting zone and marching together, we had way too much fun jumping around random players who had were caught off guard with a stampede of dwarves and bears prancing around them.

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We took the tram together and tried our best to keep everyone all rounded up. I realized when tradechat for the poor merged server was over ran by “#TeamHunter” that we were really stirring up some fun/unexpected trouble. Here’s a cool screenshot of majority of us sitting outfront of Stormwind waiting for everyone to catch up who started a bit behind!

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We raced to Goldshire as the next meeting point, but Cliper decided to take everyone into the Goldshire Inn to harass the roleplayers who might have been hiding in the bedrooms above. Dwarf rainbow anyone?

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Back outside to attack Hogger!

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We realized our stirups and stream attracted a number of 90s who would not let us actually try to take on Hogger alone as level 1s could. So, we turned the night around and stormed off to Stranglethorn Vale. We understood people probably weren’t happy about dying constantly to tigers, but we still had 50-60 people run with us all the way to the Gurubashi Arena. Slaughtering a poor level 90 warlock (and getting rain of fired on), and being completely desecrated by other players, we regrouped and made our way to Booty Bay.

Gathering in mass on the boat to Ratchet, our team ran all the way from Ratchet to Orgrimmar, to not raid the city, but to raid their Brewfest camp!! The only disappointment in the evening was the lack of alcoholic beverages that the event on the horde side didn’t serve for anyone who was Alliance. Oh well!

We tried to make a fail “WHU” picture. After we ran and beat up some Orgrimmar guards, we rezzed at Razor Hill to get away from the crowds to make an even better WHU picture.

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Overall, a fun and truly amazing night. Here’s the recap of everything that happened on Cliperlol’s stream:

Watch live video from Cliperlol on Twitch

Future Plans 

#TeamHunter will be raiding tier 14 (US – Horde) Saturday, October 11th before the patch drops. The event will be open for players who have 540+ item level. We will start invites at 9:15 pm and start at 9:30pm (central). All hunters interested may sign up here Consider it a make up date for those who missed out on the fun in the past!

We will have revisions done for 6.0 coming this week in terms of guides on the website as well. More details later this week, as well as final “spot” planning for the Hilton party at this year’s all hunter meetup at BlizzCon.

Thank you all for coming, we plan on making more WHU events come back to life. Thank you Bella, you’ve done wonderful work for the guilds associated with the website with running events behind the scenes and making sure people knew where to go this past weekend. Hoping to work more open and public events shortly down the road before WoD hits, outside of the #TeamHunter level 90 raid!

Credit to Bendak, Boomkraggle, Miava and Solarflair for screenshots

October 1st, 2014

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Survival Nerfs and BlizzCon Tees

Posted: by Artemishowl


Survival Pains

Good evening, Hunters!

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Within the community and Beta, this week has been a busy one for Hunters. There has been no feedback from the developers as to why Beta continues to nerf Survival Hunters. I have been getting premature gray hairs thinking about the logic behind the reasoning for these drops on the current lowest DPS spec in the Hunter tiers.

Let’s briefly discuss some of the issues with Survival on Beta for a moment; there are quite a bit of them. I feel like the majority of the problems started for the spec not at the beginning of the Alpha cycle, but rather when Celestalon played a Marksman Hunter during the Beta “Play with the Blues” event when the community was allowed the chance to vote for which class and spec combination he should play.

Before that event, Survival had a few mechanical problems but the damage output was fine. I personally combined Fervor to play with the stacks of Lock and Load and enjoyed the skill-cap it provided. My only complaints about pre-Celestalonapocalypse with Survival were the issue many players were also having-becoming Focus starved. I was secretly hoping the changes he promised in his Hunter blog post were going to be about fixing the class and all specs. Instead, he ended up completely destroying Survival and requiring no skill to play it. Marksman was greeted with the “blue hug of death.” Beast Mastery, on the other hand, remains untouched and only nerfed slightly.

I honestly felt like Survival was incredibly fun prior to the relentless nerfs. I was excited when Celestalon announced the reversion to the way the current MoP Lock and Load works. Post-Celestalonapocalype introduced the upheaval of the entire Survival specialization; including all new Barrage changes, Lock and Load to be working in its current state it is on live, Explosive Shot still only costing 15 Focus, the removal or Fervor-to be replaced by Steady Focus, A Murder of Crows lasting one minute, and nerfs to the Focus regeneration on Dire Beast.

These changes, frankly, ruined the game-play of Survival. There is barely much to the game play involved in the specialization in comparison to how Marksmanship and Beast Mastery play currently in Beta. Blizzard’s version of a cooldown for Survival was the old Lock and Load stacking five stacks, which was basically a nice compensation to “burst”; without that, the spec has zero burst mechanics. The two “freebies” that are entirely RNG based are completely dull in comparison to Bestial Wrath or Rapid Fire. The lack of non RNG burst combined with no execute makes the spec incredibly boring to play and provides no reward in damage output.

Beast Mastery has strong AoE and Marksmanship provides decent cleave to two to four targets. Also, both BM and MM are solid for single target. What is Survival’s niche? It can weakly multi-dot things! Without the Lock and Load stacking and level 60 talent changes, you are constantly focus-satisfied without a fair exchange for the lack of damage output compared to the other two specs-in all aspects of DPS.

We have seen Explosive Shot nerfs, Serpent Sting nerfs, and even Black Arrow nerfs! With nerfs each Beta build to Survival specifically, it is currently on the bottom of meters across various Simulation Craft modules. There were rumors of Survival getting Haste to scale with dots, but this has been declined for now.

This has me curious, I have to ask- is there something we are missing about the spec? Is there a piece of the puzzle all of us are missing about this spec? Like in the Iron Maidens Dungeon Journal, there was an entire mechanic missing from it-is something similar going on? I credit the hard work of the developers of this game, but I feel, since post-Celestalonapocalype, we have been very much in the dark about anything now for any Hunter updates. We are far from polished across all specializations, but I feel Survival is in dire need for some kind of change. What can this spec bring to a raid group?

I hope this small tidbit of insight gives players a decent feel for the major problems with Survival currently in Beta. As much as I love the Marksmanship lovin’, I do not appreciate not being able to have a specialization of a pure DPS class be viable for any aspect of this game-PvE and PvP alike.

 

BlizzCon T-Shirts FINALLY.

Thanks to the effort of a short notice work, Atomic has finally finished our design and they are now available to order online here! There are lots of fun goodies and all types of shirts for men and women to buy.

A lot of folks had some questions about the shirts. They are non-profit-Yes, non-profit! This means no one but the company we are printing these shirts from are getting a dime. The website is being run and supported generously already. Adding commission to the shirts would not be fair for any party involved due to the quick nature of production on the shirts. That’s not to say that this design is not amazing looking, we were just stressing to get at least SOME kind of updated WHU brand out there.

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You can get your back custom printed. I will send you a personal link to you if you choose to get one. Just PM me on Facebook, Twitter, or message any of the staff here for your back design!

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Please feel free to follow Atomic on Twitter @demisonfire, he is the artist for the first round of shirts!
ALSO: We will have more designs this week from Miava to be ready to go as well, so stay tuned for that!

Final thought of the night; What do you think should be changed with Survival? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Also don’t forget about the level one Hogger raid to kick off the Hunting Party Podcast SATURDAY, September 27th at 9:30pm central! Just make a dwarf on Icecrown or Malygos, we will be using the original WHU guild! One random raider will receive a free WHU lanyard mailed to them (even if you can’t make BlizzCon!!!)

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