Enthusiasm: It's what keeps me going!

You know, there’s always something going on somewhere to talk about. Whether you folks think it’s relevant to what you expect here or not, well, that’s another story.:)

Last night, the Druid Q&A by Ghostcrawler and the Blizzard Community Team went live, and I read it, chuckled a bit, and hit Lady Jess with the high points I knew she would enjoy. Sure enough, I sent her into a Jessrage. All in good fun, of course.

Thing is, there’s a lot of nice discussion about the past, current and future overarching direction of the Druid class, but it was short on specifics I really felt needed to be discussed, at least from a Feral point of view. There was some confirmation that Feral tree split spec for either optimized Cat or Bear is working as intended, there was the surprising idea that they would consider changing things so that we would have to shift frequently, apparently because they want to see us wearing the artwork of the gear they designed (note: I stay in forms because I chose the Druid FOR it’s forms… me choosing to be in a Bear form all the time should be, in my opinion, considered a class design WIN, not a freaking problem. FWIW, anyway.).

But, there was nothing in the Q&A I was all that enthusiastic about talking about. I came up with what I thought would be a cute name for a post about it, “QQ&A”, but there wasn’t even anything I was particularly enthusiastic about crying over.

See, I already had two plans for blog posts for this week, and that’s not even counting the PBeM story post I’m still in the middle of, that is with Lauchlin, but that I scrapped because in my humble opinion it drifted into ‘teh suck’.

I’m enthusiastic about writing these other things, and not the Druid Q&A. So, I’m not gonna talk about it.

It’s not that I’m not enthusiastic about Druids. Far from it, I have literally done nothing BUT play my Druid with delight for weeks now, both Tank and Heals.

What brings me back blogging time after time? I’m still enthusisatic about what I do. There’s always something new, and I go bounce/bounce/bounce my Big Bear Butt off doing it. It ain’t never boring. If things seem quiet, well hey, bring your own fun!

Here’s a few examples of the things we’ve done lately, things that I’ve been having fun with.

I like soloing things as a Bear, but it’s too easy doing old world stuff. So, the thought occured to me, I’ve got this level 80 Hunter that is all decked out for raiding as a BM with a Spirit Kitty… why not Dual Spec my Hunter… as another Beastmaster? TWO Beastmaster specs? I can have my second spec be strictly designed to maximize pet survivability and damage, and I could take my Bear pet (named “Clawsome”), and I could go have fun soloing Attumen, a mount soloing spec-and-pet system.

Basically, I could be a Bear tank two ways. 🙂 Maybe even see if my guild is crazy enough to let me do a Heroic with my Bear pet tanking. Sigh. It’s just… something that sounds fun, and gets my enthusiasm for new things going, ya know? So yeah, I got the Dual Spec and pet and all, haven’t had a chance to go take down Attumen. Why? Because while on the way, literally, to Karazhan, landing in Duskwood, Ratshag and his lovely and talented fiancé Shianti wanted me to come do Heroic Violet Hold.

I do so… and then have to go to bed. And later that same night, I’m told, Shianti liked my idea of doing Karazhan SO MUCH that she wanted to go try Attumen right away that night… and the damn Attumen mount dropped, and she got it.

That would have been MY instance of Karazhan… so by rights, that’s my mount drop she got. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. It was all an evil plot by Ratters, I’m sure.

Okay, another example.

I’ve been doing Argent Tournament dailies every day, to build up seals and work towards Crusader so when the 3.2 changes hit and Heirloom chestpieces are available, I can just pick one up immediately. As of last night, I’m done with Darnassus and Exodar.

Well, I’m banging around doing Threat with Jardal and Kaelynn, and Barre asks in Guild chat if anyone has the Molton Core zone drop enchant, Enchant Weapon – Spell Power.

It’s a rare drop in Molten Core, a weapon enchant that does +30 Spell Power and that can be applied to level 1 weapons… like Heirloom weapons.

Nobody does, and someone mentions Jess spent two days in Trade channel before she found someone that could do it.

Well, heck, right? I ask Jardal and Kaelynn if either has an enchanter. Jardal does, a level 62 Prot specced Paladin.

So I ask him if he’d like to bang around in Molten Core, like right after dailies, see if the enchant drops? Sure, sure.

So Jardal, Kaelynn and her 80 Rogue, my Druid tank and a few guildies all head into Molten Core on the spur of the moment of a Monday night, just for the heck of it.

We ended up doing a 100% full clear that night, just because it was so easy with level 80 tank, healer and 3 to 4 DPS to keep going.

And guess what?

Sure as hell, the Enchant Weapon – Spell Power does, in fact, drop. Thing has, according to WoWhead, a 1% drop chance on only a few bosses… and even if Blizzard upped it’s drop chance recently, it’s not BoP anymore, so it is farmable, and it’s still pretty rare. And now we have someone in guild that can do it. 🙂

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to remind yourself, the game is truly great, but shouldn’t be expected to always have to come up with new content, and work to keep your bored short attention span mind all engaged.

Sometimes, it’s nice to remember, you can take the initiative to look for things that sounds fun yourself, and then go out and do them

If you think about WoW, and you can literally find nothing about the game that you feel enthusiastic about, then it’s not really the game’s fault in my opinion. Maybe it’s time for you to go find something you ARE enthusiastic about and do it! Take a break, you know?

Fantasy Football Leagues are about set to kick off here in the States, Summer is here and there’s lots of stuff to do out of the house, there are great books and movies out there, concerts, whatever. Go out, go bowling, dance at a club, have fun. Get enthusiastic with life.

I still find WoW keeps me coming back, having fun and talking about it.

I guess I’m just getting pickier about what I write about, though.

Druid Q&A? I’ll let WoW.com handle the dissection if that’s all right with you folks.


The Bear goes on a spiritual journey and asks you to Name That Pet!

I have been doing a teeny little bit of looking for a certain something-something, and I just happened to get lucky tonight.

Say hello to my leetle frien’.


Wait, what did you think I was talking about?

Never mind, I don’t think I want to know.

That’s right, I now have a wonderfully pretty purple ghost tiger Spirit Beast, and he’s very pretty. I don’t know why, but he is a he. Roll with it.

All I did was visit that marvelous website Petopia, hit her recently added pets page, move on down to that gorgeous image of Gondria the Spirit Beast that was added in the latest patch, and checked out the particulars.

Petopia told me that I could find these beauties in Zul’drak, that they were tameable, and that my normal kitty chow would do just fine.

Moving on to Wowhead’s entry on Gondria, I learned that there were 5 spawn locations Gondria was known to frequent, I found a nice /target macro Nuker had created to help search for Gondria, and Cassie (God bless her) read further and told me that Gondria is a Neutral Beast. That last bit turned out to be important.

First thing I did was add waypoints in my Cartographer map  for the five points (63.4, 42.5) (69.4, 48.7) (62, 62) (66.4, 78.4) (77, 70).

I then added the macro that Nuker wrote, which he displayed as follows;

/tar Gondria
/stopmacro [noexists]
/w [Your Name Here] You’ve FOUND >%t<

I of course modified it so it said;

/tar Gondria
/stopmacro [noexists]
/w Windstar You’ve FOUND >%t<

Now, I spent a bit of time cruising around those points looking for him, spamming the macro. No luck.

Then, after a little Obsidian Sanctum run, Cassie came downstairs for a neck rub, and told me about the Spirit Beast being Neutral instead of Hostile.

The importance of this turns out to be that all of the other beasts in the area ARE Hostile… and Hostile beasts are Red dots on your minimap when you have Track Beasts on. Neutral ones are Yellow/Gold.

So, if I turn my Track Beasts on as I cruise my route of 5 marks, Gondria should stand out as a nice pretty gold amidst the red. Neat, huh?

I said that sounded like a great idea… I logged in, put it on, and was chatting to Cassie when she said “What’s that there?”

“What’s what where who huh?”

I looked at the screen. That there was a gold dot amidst the red, sure enough. I hovered my mouse over the dot on the minimap, and the name Gondria stood out bold as brass.

I had logged out over one of the spawn points, 66.4, 78.4 to be exact, because it seemed one of the two with the most critters, and to my mind meant one of the two most likely to see a kitty spawn. Lo and behold the beastie was right there under my flying feet. If it wasn’t for Cassie, I never would have logged in, in the first place, let alone noticed the little gold dot.

A few hand shaking moments later, a dismissed gorilla (bah bye, sucka!) and I had myself a beautiful purple glowy kitty.

With the joy this brings, as you can see from the picture, I’ve still got a problem.

A kitty that pretty needs a damn fine name.

That’s where I hope you can help me out, because I used up the last of my imagination when I came up with Moonclaw for my Ghost Saber when he was only level 20.

This kitty deserves a powerful name, resonating with majesty and soul.

I sure hope you’ve got a few suggestions for me!

Cat Has a Name

Oops, so like 6 weeks ago, I asked you all for help in naming my hunter’s new cat and then um, never came back to tell you what I had decided 😦  I actually haven’t been playing very much the last few weeks.  Just been taking some downtime away from the game overall (you know, when I wasn’t building new forum sites, handling apps, helping to plan raids, etc) 🙂

I loved so many of the suggestions that it actually took me about a week of trying out different names when I’d play my hunter before I made up my mind and actually named him.

So here he is:


The first  suggestion in the thread was Periwinkle, which I really liked (after all, we’ve been a Blue’s Clues household since Alex was very young).  It was a good description of the color that he is, which I’ve always liked (it was, in fact, one of our wedding colors).  However, this cat is much too manly and regal to run around and be called Periwinkle without it affecting his self-esteem eventually.  So I shortened it to Perry.

Some of the others I had tried out mentally were Royal, Morado, Regal, Prince and a few others.  Another of our favorites was Clawdius, which BBB actually ended up using for a bear pet that his hunter pulled out of the stables to play around with.

So thanks for all your suggestions and I apologize for the delay in announcing his name!


Name that Cat!

Hi All,

It’s Cassie and I need some help!  A month or two ago, my hunter, Cassendra, got in a mood to tame new pets (got the Sapphire Hive Queen, a rhino and a new kitty all in the same day) after having had the same companion since level 10 (a snow leopard from outside IF which was a very a long way for a NE hunter to have traveled for a companion).   I decided to tame one of the purple pride watcher cats from Winterspring and spent many an hour grinding him up those last 5 levels to 80.  He is now my hunter’s primary pet, but he is still shamefully named “Cat” 😦

I haven’t found the right name for him yet, so I’m hoping someone will have some good ideas.  It’s definitely a male kitty and I want something regal sounding since he was a protector of the cubs in Winterspring (nothing silly or goofy for him).  Since he’s got the purplish look to him, I’ve played around with different versions of regal or royal and just can’t settle on anything.  My other cat is named Snowpaw (ya know, cause he has white paws) 🙂

Here’s a pic for those not familiar with this particular cat.


So let’s hear your creative ideas!

Epic 80 Class Quest Chain suggestions: Hunters!

One of the things I miss is something that was only partially implemented in the level 60 endgame; epic class quest chains.

Hunters enjoyed perhaps one of the most difficult and ultimately satisfying epic quest chains at level 60 with the quest for Rhok’delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers.

This bow was the ultimate expression of a level 60 Hunter’s individual skill. To get the quest itself, you required the Ancient Petrified Leaf to drop from Majordomo Executus in Molten Core, and to complete the quest you would need the Mature Black Dragon Sinew to drop for you from Onyxia.

You had to have both drops. And this was when you were raiding in 40 mans, and seriously competing for loot.

And on top of it, there was an Epic Quiver companion to Rhok’delar, the Ancient Sinew Wrapped Lamina.

If you had the Ancient Petrified Leaf drop for you, and you started the quest and went and talked to Vatrus the Ancient to turn in the first step… then and only then could you talk to Hastat the Ancient, who would give you the epic quest to get the epic quiver as well.


Why, by getting a 40 man raid together to take down Azuregos the World Boss Dragon in Azshara, and looting the Mature Blue Dragon Sinew when he dies.

And the quest for the bow would take you to down, mano a mano, FOUR different bosses that you could only take on solo, without your pet, and if you got healed during the fight it would reset. You HAD to complete the epic Hunter quest purely on your own merit.


Not all classes had this kind of joy, and I have long wondered, why the hell not?

But okay. We’re not 60 anymore, you say. We’re not even 70. The new cap is 80, and I’m sure 5 man groups are going out there soloing the entire thing now.

It’s past time for new Epic Class Quest Chains. For every class.

And I have my own personal suggestion for the new Hunter chain. But the reward for this one, unlike Rhok’delar, would SCALE (hehe) with your level, and thus could effectively be used in raids and the game forever, no matter what the level cap ever gets raised to.

Follow along with me, my friends.

I propose a quest chain that would start with Sholozar Basin, home of the Hunter’s perennial spokesman, Hemet Nesingwary.

You would have to find a drop that would start a quest, requiring you to talk to Hemet Nesingwary to discover what it is. The drop would come from a new mob in Sholozar, a 10 man raid boss that would be a terrifying Rhino with awesome lightning powers arcing in AoE, and that could do a charge ending in a massive knockback.

The drop from downing the Rhino would be a strange mechanical device found in the beast’s guts that seemed to power the electrical discharge and super-charged the Rhino’s knockback… but seemed to have been a replacement for a natural internal organ.

Hemet Nesingwary would tell you that this looks like a normal Rhino spleen, but one that had somehow been transformed into a mechanical spleen with vented ports and an inducted drivetrain. He would christen this new supercharged Rhino drive a “Hemie”.

He would send you on a quest to track the Rhino’s prior movements, and discover what it interacted with or ate that might have caused this strange transformation.

Your tracking would progress from mob to mob, as you had to kill various beasts searching for ones that would also have transformed inner guts to provide you with clues as to what kind of food was eaten near where they were transformed, what kind of water situation, what game was prevalent in the area, etc.

The search for the source would eventually lead you deep into a cavern below Mosslight Pillar, where you would discover that the Titan construct Gearmaster Mechazod had set up a secret operation devoted to reversing the Curse of Flesh from within the very heart of the largest concentration of life in Northrend; Sholazar Basin.

Within this dark heart under Mosslight Pillar you would find a new Super-Mechazod under construction, a huge raid boss that, much like the Death Star in Return of the Jedi, you would try and engage and destroy in a 10 man raid before it becomes fully operational… but you’d find that it’s defensive systems are already working just fine, thank you.

The Hunter loot drop quest item from taking down Super-Mechazod would be a strange framework with a mesh cage of fine wires and gems that seemed to pulse with an energy all it’s own.

Taking it back to Nesingwary, he would tell you that it looked like something that he might… just might be able to turn into a trap… a brand new kind of trap, never seen before. But it would need to be calibrated. So why not take it out into the wilderness of Sholazar, and try it out by trapping three specific different creatures to be found, and reporting back?

You would need to do a revamped version of the level 10 hunter quest, where you travel alone into the wilderness and trap and tame three different types of animals. But this time, the Ice Trap you are used to using would not work on them because you can only be prepared to use the new trap. You would set the new trap, and then use yourself as bait to lure them into the trap, and the activation duration of the trap would work much the same as your Tame Pet duration.

You would need to therefore tame each animal on your own, and I think it would be quite fair if healing from outside sources ‘interfered with the delicate matrix of the trap’. It would have to be something you could only do solo.

Each trapped pet you would have to bring back to Nesingwary, who would then dissect the animal and modify the trap.

When all this was complete, Nesginwary would present you with a Calibrated Super-Mechazod Trap that he would tell you is a special, one shot device that might let a Hunter do what had never been done before; create the most powerful, terrible killing machine ever imagined!

You would have to go through the Waygate of Sholazar Basin to the depths of Un’goro Crater, and lie in wait for one of the massive, terrifying Devilsaurs that loom out of the mists.

Using the Calibrated Trap from Super-Mechazod, you would trap the Devilsaur, and tame it (and yes, even non-51 point BM Hunters should be able to do this since it would be part of the Epic Hunter Class Quest chain and tied to the trap).

And the result? Your tamed Devilsaur would grow and transform, and you would have to keep channeling Mend Pet, and feed it a wide variety of foods, until ultimately the Calibrated Trap completed it’s work, and you are left with the ultimate reward for completing the Epic 80 Hunter Quest Chain; your very own MechaGodzilla!

MechaGodzilla, who would level with you, and would have it’s own powers unique to it the same as Spirit Beasts do… and who you would need to keep fed on the Mecha version of pet food… Handfuls of Cobalt Bolts.

AND, yes, it would be a Pet – Mechanical, who could be affected by the Gnomish Engineering Remote in PvP… but god help you if it doesn’t work, as I think it would be awesome to have it trigger a special Enrage overpower effect if you tried to control it, and failed. 

No… no, don’t say it… let me dream. Let me just… just for today… dream a little dream.

A dream of MechaGodzilla rampaging through a cleaned and purged Gnomeregan, destroying the city…. his Hunter by his side.

Hunters? Yeah, you didn’t hear it here first!

Mania and BRK have already weighed in on the subject, and that should be enough for anyone, but what the heck, I love my Beastmaster Hunter. Been playing my Hunter all the time lately. So I’ll fire up my ‘Aspect of the Long Winded’ and take a shot at it.

First, let me quote Mania quoting Ghostcrawler’s post:

Hunters of all specs, and particularly Beastmaster, are doing too much damage in PvE.

We tested this a lot internally in beta and knew hunters were high but we hoped other classes would be able to catch up in a way they have as yet been unable to do. We want to be careful not to hurt hunter dps too much in PvP, so we’re taking most of the damage out of Steady Shot and Volley. Beastmaster hunters are in addition losing some of their pet dps. We still want BMs to have the best pets, but pet dps numbers are a little high at the moment. We are also still concerned about hunter survivability in PvP and taking the opportunity to jazz up Deterrence into something that looks and plays a little more interesting.

These are not all of the changes we are working on for hunters, but those changes we feel are ready for testing. We hope to get these changes up on the PTR so players will have a chance to test them out and respond before they go live.
1.        Steady Shot – now only gains 10% of attack power as damage (down from 20%).
2.        Volley – reduced the damage by about 30% for all ranks. Note that AE damage from many classes is very high right now and we are looking at all of them. Volley in particular had reached the point where some hunters were using it to the exclusion of most other attacks.
3.        Readiness – no longer affects the cooldown of Bestial Wrath.
4.        Deterrence – has been completely overhauled. It now allows you to deflect 100% of incoming melee or spell damage for 5 seconds, but prevents you from attacking while active. You still must be facing the attacker to deflect the damage (this is a limitation we are trying and might end up removing). 60 sec cooldown.
5.        Kill Shot – cooldown reduced to 15 sec (from 35 sec).
6.        Kindred Spirits – now only grants 3/6/9/12/15% pet damage.
7.        Serpent’s Swiftness – now only grants 2/4/6/8/10% bonus attack speed to pet.
8.        All hunter pet abilities with a cooldown longer than 30 sec have been moved off the global cooldown.
9.        Growl— threat generation increased by 20% (same for Voidwalker Torment).
10.        Call of the Wild – now benefits only the hunter and his or her pet.
11.        Rake and Scorpid Poison – slightly nerfed to bring them into line with other pet abilities.
12.        Spirit Strike – reduced the period on the dot so it will work better with Longevity.
13.        Improved Tracking – now benefits damage to all included creature types as long as you are tracking one of them. You don’t have to swap around what you are tracking as much.
14.        Aspect of the Wild – now raid-wide.

Okay, my first take on this. They will reduce pet DPS, which provides threat as well as the damage, and boost Growl’s threat generation to compensate.

From the bottom of my heart, may I say, “Thank you”.

Thank you for having the forethought to recognize that if you reduce our pet DPS, that you are reducing our pet’s ability to hold aggro off us as we solo.

You might think that is a no-brainer, but we’ve seen other issues in previous class adjustments. If you want to reduce the Hunter overall DPS, that’s okay, just please don’t put even more brakes on my soloing DPS because my pet can’t put out the threat.

The change to Call of the Wild surprises me quite a bit, though.

Oh, I’m not saying it wasn’t powerful enough to need adjusting. No, I’m just surprised they are making it apply to Hunter and Pet only, instead of leaving it raid or group wide and just reducing it’s overall effect. It’s as deep into the pet tree as you can get, and you have to make a solid commitment to having it. For raiding Hunters, having a raid-wide occasional buff is fun, it makes you feel like you are contributing to the group instead of racing on the solo DPS charts. It’s sad to think they’ll pull it. I’d personally prefer that, rather than yank it entirely, they would treat it instead like they have the healing component of Shadow Priests, and give the Hunter and his Pet more benefit from the ability than the rest of the raid, but still give back something.

But, “Hey! How about that Kill Shot change?”

“mmmMMMMmmm… nummy!”

I like Kill Shot, I like the damage it puts up there. It really feels like a ‘finishing move’… except the damn thing is usually on cooldown more than half the time when I’m soloing. Reducing the cooldown WILL cause me to use it a lot more, to be LOOKING for it to be available to use a lot more. I like the concept of a Kill Shot, a single finishing move that says “I have chosen to end your struggle…. NOW, bitch!”.

In fact, I think it would be fun to have a macro that added a /say to Kill Shot, so whenever I trigger it, my hunter yells “BOOyah!”

Okay, it would be fun for about 5 minutes, and then everyone around me would be sick of it.

Talking about the changes is all well and good, but let’s look at the core argument here.

“Hunters of all specs, and particularly Beastmaster, are doing too much damage in PvE. ”

Can anyone seriously dispute that statement?

I’ve been saying the same thing since 3.1 came out. Beastmaster Hunters are godlike in PvE, and it’s been damn fun. We’ve been SO powerful, so consistently explosive on DPS charts, that I’m fairly complacent about any upcoming adjustments.

Because from the list of changes GC gave us, it doesn’t look, AT ALL, like a knee-jerk reaction that will bring us to our knees and nerf us to the ground, before building us back up sometime later.

It looks a lot more to me like a careful, reasoned, multi-structured adjustment that will tweak some things up, some things down, and mix it up somewhere in the middle.

Who woulda thunk it?

Now if only we’d get some more Feral Druid news, at least something more than clarification that we would be keeping the bonus armor on weapons, but wouldn’t get a multiplier on that armor.

C’mon GC, give me something more to chew on!