Friday, July 6, 2007

Survivalists Need Love Too

"Hey BRK, I've been thinking about writing this letter for a while, and today, upon reading "Not Gloating; Just Spreading the Gospel", I felt compelled.

"I'm a survival hunter. I LOVE it. I love the huge agility, the multiple crits, the buff I give to my raid and... wait for it... super traps! With two Beastlord I have 26 second traps and a 20 second cooldown. I can CC, theoretically, five mobs at once: pet, trap, trap, trap, sting - maybe even a second sting - though I've never actually done it. Needless to say, I like my spec, I do great damage and have lots of tricks.

"The other day my Kara group needed a replacement DPSer and picked up a BM hunter. He was great. He had a few greens left on for gear, compared to my purples and very nice blues, and managed to be the top of our DPS counters. This, after reading your blog and trying BM for myself, was no surprise. He even used the rank-four stacking poison on his little crabby. I told him, in so many words, that he was a sweet hunter.

"Here's the problem: he was a smug little bastard. Why oh why must people consider the DPS meter to be the end all and be all of so many classes? I am worried that BM is becoming the new MM. Frankly, I LIKE that there are different types of hunters out there and my BM friend should like it too; it could even mean fat loots when I pass a purple to him that has not enough agility for me!

"Anyway, I love your blog but just wanted to make sure that hunters out there were not getting the wrong idea about the importance of DPS. Please, let me love my traps without getting smug tells from all the Beastmasters out there! Thanks, Mike."

BRK does not condone smugness. A gentle air of superiority is a wonderful thing, but we do not want you to abuse people personally. It's about Style, people, and a good hunter will know how to behave himself appropriately.

All hunters should know that a properly geared and trained survivalist hunter is one of the most potent crowd-controlling and hard-to-kill of all the classes, period, and they should respect them. It takes a special person to be willing to sacrifice some DPS and pet-survivability to provide one of the best party-buffs and most useful raiding skills in the game.

It is our opinion that Beastmaster is the highest DPS-spec, but we readily admit and advocate that Beastmaster is not The Best spec. The Best Spec is the one you prefer to play. Just do a good job of it. That's what we ask of you and what you should demand of yourself.

Disclaimer: This content was originally posted by Daniel Howell (BigRedKitty) on and/or It is posted here for historical and archival purposes only.

Just A Big List, That's All

We see lots of people starting their blogs and linking to us. However, what we learned at the beginning of our little career is that very few actually keep them going. We totally understand; this isn't something one can do once per week and expect an audience.

But we want to give a quick shout-out to those people jumping into this wow-blogging-silliness. So in no partiuclar order, here's some people who are cracking their knuckles and saying something:

Disclaimer: This content was originally posted by Daniel Howell (BigRedKitty) on and/or It is posted here for historical and archival purposes only.

Not Gloating; Just Spreading the Gospel

"Hey BRK, I've been a faithful reader for awhile now. I had switched to Beast Master on the advice of my friend who was using it to level much faster past my Marksmen-self than I was comfortable with. I had been MM before on a PVE server all the way to 60 and loved my trueshot aura, scatter shots, and phat kritz.

"Well, I decided to try BM out and I haven't ever gone back. Since then I came across BRK which really refined my skill at it - I happened across it looking up guides on getting a Talbuk mount. My hunting skills have vastly improved and I'm happy to say others have noticed as well.

"I ran kara tonight with my guild; we're not that far into it but it was a good group. For hunters, there was myself and another who had been many times before, enough to get the crossbow from Attumen as well as a few other epics. Well, I figured he'd be outdoing me based on gear alone, but I noticed he was Marksman. Hmmm... says I, and I look at my pet boar. 'Whadda ya think?", I ask it. 'Can we out-perform a better geared MM?' It looked at me and squealed a hearty, 'Yes'.

"Well, long story short, Attumen gets downed fairly easily. Someone posts up a damage meter (using the excellent Recount, I recommend it over KTM by the way)
[Eds Note: anybody have info on Recount they'd care to send in?] and I notice I'm a bit below the other hunter. I'm crestfallen. Then I look again and notice the pet damage is listed separately down below. Whereas I was a percentage or two below him, my pet had done almost three times the damage of his, (and his was a DPS-pet versus my tank). Joyful, I chortled to myself and fed my boar another sporeling snack for his job well done. I whispered the other hunter, 'You ought to try BM.' 'Yes', he responded, 'I'm going to.' That was a good moment for me and certainly couldn't have happened without the advice I got here.

"One final good moment of the day came after a flawless Shattered Halls run with a warrior, holy paladin, shadow priest and mage, (perhaps my favorite group combo ever?). I ended up off-tanking many of the pulls with my pet [thanks in part to] great healing from the group, and was rewarded with a very fine compliment at the end, 'The tank and I have been talking, and we think you're the best hunter we've ever instanced with. Your pet seems to have a mind of it's own you control it so well.' I also managed to top the damage charts thanks to our guild leader being happy enough to stroke my ego by offering up the meter again.

"This probably seems like a lot of gloating but frankly I'm just happy to be useful. And of course much of it is thanks to you and the amount of research you offer here. For my part, I'll do what I can to spread the word of BRK by example, an apostle of the Church of Beast Mastery. Gracebourne and Beowulf"

Verily! So sayeth BRK, so let it be done. The Power of the 41/20/0 spec cannot be denied. In the hands of a Competent Hunter, it is tremendous.

And D@MN if we don't love hearing about your BM-adventures. Regardless of whether or not you top the damage meter, if you can chain-trap, not break sheep, and have your pet off-tank, you're gonna be loved.

A quick story of our own we shall tack on.

Pugging Shattered Halls, we started out with the warrior saying, "Hey! Your cat is purple, I was expecting him to be red."

"He will be," we foretell.

We get to the 6-mob pulls and the tank starts to fret, "I don't think I can handle all of them."

"You don't have to. The rogue will sap one, I'll trap one and put my pet on the main one. The rogue and I will burn down the pet-tanked mob while you hold the others. Once ours is dead, we'll focus-fire through the rest, saving the trapped mob for last."

"Seriously? Your pet can tank a Legionnaire?"


Needless to say, Bestial Wrath, Intimidation and Improved Pet Mend equals Pet-Tanking FTW. The tank freaked out.

"OMG That's the most insane pet I've ever seen!"

"And he's doing 15% of the group's total DPS," we say with a smile.

Disclaimer: This content was originally posted by Daniel Howell (BigRedKitty) on and/or It is posted here for historical and archival purposes only.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

More Linkage

So Doom's rogue blog is going great guns. Kelmar's PvP warrior blog is being updated with gankings daily. "We want more!" we hear you scream, "Gimme, gimme, gimme!". Well, we hear you and d@mn if we aren't gonna come through.

Shadow Priests, you want a place to play footsie with the Diet Coke of Evil? She's open for business at Shadow FTW.

Protection Warriors, don't feel left out. We know there hasn't been a place to hang your shield yet, but Brigin is correcting that situation with The Positive Warrior.

We are trying like crazy to get a guest post from our former MC-Raid Leaderette, but we aren't getting anywhere very quickly with this project.

And in case you missed it, BRK on WoW Insider was published on Wednesday.

Edit: We should note that our friends are not Bloggers like BRK is a Blogger. They are just venturing into this medium for fun and personal enjoyment, i.e. they aren't Nuts-Like-Us.

Disclaimer: This content was originally posted by Daniel Howell (BigRedKitty) on and/or It is posted here for historical and archival purposes only.

Both Make Us a Bit Queezy

You know that Joey Chestnut broke the world's record for eating hot dogs this 4th of July, correct? 66 in twelve minutes. That's right, 66 hotdogs and buns. We get the same stomach rumblings thinking about that as we do reading that Gweryc made 70. Grats Gweryc, but d@mn.

Their accomplishments are impressive, but don't you feel just a little bit distressed reading about them? We do.

Edit: You want proof of alien life? This dude can drink a gallon of milk in 41 seconds and keep it down. OMG, do NOT read his wikipedia entry. We're totally verklempt and basically done for the day.

Disclaimer: This content was originally posted by Daniel Howell (BigRedKitty) on and/or It is posted here for historical and archival purposes only.

We Want His Gear, We'll Make Do With His Story

"I raided Pre-BC content as Marksman, then with all the patch changes and BC, from 60-70 I was Beastmaster. I ... then switched to a 21/40 Survival spec for Expose Weakness. Finally I've switched to BM again.

"When I started raiding [after hitting 70], I went back to Marksman as that was what I knew when I was raiding before; as the old adage goes, "go with what you know." Well my DPS was very mediocre and I was in the top 10 every now and again. So I went for a change.

"One of the officers in my guild is a fellow hunter who is quite the Survival buff and absolutely loves it, so I thought I would give it a try. I loved it as [my build gave] me quite a bit of versatility and buffs to the raid as a whole with IHM and Expose Weakness. My DPS went up a whole lot but it just didnt feel right to me. The whole attraction for me when I decided to play a hunter ... was the fact you got to run around with a pet you tamed and trained yourself.

"Well I decided to go back to BM as it's great for PVE and PVP. I can say I'm sorry I didn't stick with it from the beginning! My personal DPS probably has never been higher. In raids I usually end up in the melee-DPS stacked group. I end up with two rogues, enhancement shaman and a DPS-warrior or feral druid. Now this sounds like a terrible group for a hunter, but I can assure you the totems from the shaman, LotP from druids and the BS from the warrior plus pally buffs are absolutely heavenly for a BM hunters pet. And if it's good for the pet, it's good for the hunter. Dont forget now the buffs from totems, LotP and pallies are put on the hunter as well and then get scaled to the pet again! Also, I can tell you [they all] love, and I mean love, Ferocious Inspiration.

"Raiding is what I've come to love in this game. Coordination and execution with like-minded people coming together in a blend of steam-rolling death for trash and bosses alike in instances is a beautiful site to behold. Now raiding as a BM hunter is no easy feat. You have to know when to send in your pet and when not to send in your pet. If you send in your pet at the wrong moment you can get him killed and there goes a nice chunk of your DPS and a nice buff for your party.

"Timing is key for a BM hunter. MM and Survival you can just sit back and spam Steady and Arcane. BM hunters need to know when to utilize their pet effectively ... in a raid situation. BM hunters can be risky because if one loses one's pet, [one becomes] less effective than your standard MM or your raid buffing Survival hunter.

"Thanks for letting me run on about my raiding BM experience. Kellindil"

We love getting your letters! If you want to be like Kellindil and get your name slapped up here, send us something and it just might get published.

Disclaimer: This content was originally posted by Daniel Howell (BigRedKitty) on and/or It is posted here for historical and archival purposes only.

Weapon Question

"Would it be worth spending the money on the Gyro-Balanced Khorium Rifle as opposed to the Grand Marshall x-bow I currently use or would it be a waste? Xaelia & Whisper"

Let's take a look at our contestents:

Gyro-Balanced Khorium Destroyer
138-275 Damage Speed 2.80
(75.5 damage per second)
+27 Stamina
Yellow Socket
Socket Bonus: +3 Stamina

Mats:1 Primal Nether, 20 Khorium Bars, 12 Primal Fire, 12 Primal Air, 1 Hardened Adamantite tube, 4 Fel Steel Stabilizers

Grand Marshall Crossbow
170-225 Damage Speed 3.20
(66.4 damage per second)
+12 Stamina
Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 9
Equip: Improves your resilience rating by 9
Equip: Increases ranged attack power by 22

The question asked is really one of personal preference. If you loathe spending money, the GBKD is not going to be your cup of tea, and there are other 75DPS ranged weapons out there that aren't impossible to get.

You can get the Veteran's Musket by reaching exalted with Honor Hold and it's no slouch:

Veteran's Musket
139-259 Damage Speed 2.70
(73.7 damage per second)
+12 Agility
Equip: Impoves hit rating by 11
Equip: Increases attack power by 22.

There's also the Steelhawk Crossbow that drops from Attumen:

Steelhawk Crossbow
155-288 Damage Speed 2.80
(79.1 damage per second)
Equip: Improces hit rating by 16
Equip: Increases attack power by 30

If you are an engineer or don't mind spending money, the GBKD is a very nice upgrade. If you only run 5-man instances, the Veteran's Musket is attainable. If you can run Kara, you'll have a chance for the Steelhawk Crossbow once per week.

Is the GBKD an upgrade to the GMXbow? Yes. Is it worth the money? That's up to you and your personal playstyle.

Disclaimer: This content was originally posted by Daniel Howell (BigRedKitty) on and/or The information is posted here for historical and archival purposes only.