Surviving the First Few Days as a Survival Hunter Pre-Legion

I’m having a lot of fun in WoW right now. I’m still in that “WTF is going on” phase where I’m still figuring out tradeskills, my spec, my gear, etc.

Survival Hunter Spec in Legion

My spec is Survival, which has the toughest rotation I can remember playing in WoW. Bear tanking in WotLK was all swipes. Mage play in Cataclysm was nuke nuke dump. Shaman healing in Pandaria was literally casting the same 3 spells depending on how badly someone needed a heal. Survival Hunter is all about using cooldowns at opportune times and building stacks using abilities that increase my ability to use stacks.

WoW Survival Hunter Talents for Legion

I’m both excited about playing something that’s challenging, and apprehensive about actually being able to do it.

I plan to provide as much useful WoW Hunter content as I can. I’d like to get back to the point where I’m actively contributing useful information, insight, and critiques for a class in a MMO. The launch of a new expansion to WoW could be a good opportunity for that.

Working on my Tradeskills for Legion

Engineering is awesome. I made a Gnomish Gravity Well. I can basically send myself up really high into the air with it, then use my Goblin Hanglider that I made to fly around. That’s going to be an awesome combo for Legion where I won’t have flying for a really long time.

KGC Guild is Up

We formed a guild (KGC) on Fenris, Alliance. We decided it would be nice to have a guild vs. being in someone else’s, and we’ll run the 5-man Mythic Dungeons which will get us gear that rival raiding until the highest tiers — which we will farm later.

If you want to join us for Legion, give me a shout. Alternatively you can join us on Discord where we have an active server with 6-10 people on nightly. We chat about WoW, form groups, and just have fun. It’s a great community.

 

Legion’s Pre-Patch: Jumping into the Madness

The pre-Legion patch dropped on Tuesday, and I jumped head first into the madness. You all know that I’ve been waiting to play a Gnome Hunter. So as soon as the patch was live and I managed to get home, I boosted my Gnome Hunter up to 100.

Thankfully I started with some decent gear. Blizzard provides iLvl 640 gear and mailed everyone a new set of weapons with iLvl based on their HFC progression. Given that my gnome was brand new, I received a fairly weak weapon.

What to do first?

This was my biggest question. I realized I was woefully unprepared. I need gear. I need to level crafting. I need to learn what my abilities do, and figure out how to actually play my class again!

Transmog All the Things!

I decided to tackle Transmogs first. The new system is really great because it’s one window with filters and all the items you have. I logged into various characters to unlock the transmogs that I’ve held onto for over a decade. I found my Rhok’delar bow, my full set of Giantstalker, my Dragonstalker set, etc. Awesome.

Then I logged into my dozen other characters with all of their gear and got those unlocked. The process took longer than I had anticipated due to the transmogs taking a while to propogate (server lag). I built myself a nice little set of gear that looks fantastic on a Gnome Hunter. Look = Done.

Tradeskills

My Gnome Hunter is going Engineering/Mining. I fumbled my way through Ashran looking for all of the recipes and trainers. I learned what I needed then used all of the ore I had saved up. In less than 10 minutes I had my Engineering up to 645. I’m told I only needed like 300? I still don’t understand that. Anyway, I’m now still trying to figure out what I have to do to get some Engineering goodies. Are there teleporters I need to get? If so, where? Anyone know?

Now the mining problem… The Garrison Blizzard gave my boosted Hunter only has a level one mine. I don’t have Draenor flying because I couldn’t stomach the dailies in Tanaan. So now I have to roam around and look for nodes and somehow manage to get that up over the next few weeks.

Stats and Balance are Messed Up

With every expansion comes a retuning of stats and abilities. Legion’s artifacts exacerbate this problem because our classes are tuned around having abilities and stats we do not yet have. I jumped into a Mythic Dungeon (already a mistake with iLvl 640 gear) with some friends. They said they’d carry me. I facerolled my hotbars having no idea what I was doing.

We wiped a bunch and realized that Mythic Dungeons were ridiculous. Blizzard confirmed this yesterday by saying they were nerfed, but we tried them again shortly after that statement and came to the conclusion that the nerf must not have been implemented yet.

PvP Scaling

So we jumped into PvP thinking maybe I could get some gear there. We thought it was tuned, but sure enough it isn’t I had 243k HP, and people in gear had 300-400k. Definitely not working. That ended with my slapping people with a wet noodle and being obliterated.

Learning the Ropes

I’m becoming more confident in my Survival Hunter spec. I feel like I finally understand the gist of gameplay. I wasn’t prepared for the rotation to be so intense. I have to worry about executing a lot of abilities at their most opportune time. I also have to worry about keeping certain abilities up.

My experience will most certainly improve as I actually get into Legion content, have an artifact, have more abilities in my rotation that make more sense, and build muscle memory around my skills. I also need to tweak my UI to better show my Mongoose bites, etc.

Preparing for the Burning Legion’s Invasion

The invasion comes in probably two weeks or less. I’m slowly improving my gear already. I’m almost to iLvl 670, which really only takes a bit of Tanaan to accomplish. I want to be about 680’ish before the invasion in order to give me a chance at surviving the fights and feel like I can burn though them. The higher the better.

The invasion will give gear 700+, so that will be more than enough to prepare me for Legion — at which point the first quest drops will replace everything anyway.

More to come on my adventures.

Pantheon: Great Game or Soulless Shell of Ideologies?

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen had its first debut of sorts. Brad “Aradune” McQuaid showed off a very, very (I’m seriously, it’s disturbingly early) version of Pantheon. About 20 minutes into the video I really started to wonder if showing gameplay of the game this early was smart. I’m from the generation of MMO gamers that can look past graphics and animations, but I was struggling to look past the free Unity assets. Have a look below.

Let’s cut to the chase. I subscribe to the ideology. I’m a fan of EverQuest — the hardcore version — and I liked Vanguard (the earlier version, and what was actually finished). I like Brad’s overall vision of MMORPGs being actual RPGs and feeling like a virtual world. I like the old school mechanics: death penalties, difficulty, class identity and interdependencies, etc. If you read my blog, you know that’s who I am.

What I’m worried about here is whether or not Pantheon can actually take that ideology and build it around a game that’s actually fun. Mechanics aren’t enough. Without polish and a talented team to execute those mechanics around something playable (a game), you get nothing more than a generic D&D parser.

The idea of where Brad wants Pantheon to go sounds great, but right now Pantheon doesn’t look fun; In fact, it looks like it lacks a soul. I need to see that the team can deliver the game behind the ideology before I can get excited.

Gnome Hunter Hype

Friender the Mechano Wolf

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m hyped to play a Gnome Hunter in WoW’s Legion expansion.

Here’s why:

  1. Gnome are the best race in WoW.
  2. Hunters are the best (at least my favorite) class in WoW.
  3. The flavor of pets, quests, and playstyle will be overwhelmingly cool.

A few months ago, I posted about wanting to play an Orc Hunter because Rexxar. That’s when I first learned about melee hunters (survival spec) and the idea carried with it a certain nostalgic flair.  I could be an orc wielding a giant polearm with a great pet, but that was quickly overshadowed by the idea of a tinkering gnome with mechanic pets.

After turning my attention to gnomes, I began debating what tradeskills will be best in Legion. Turns out, JC isn’t going to be the strongest after all. The JC gems are going to be BoE, and unique (1) which means anyone can use them. I’ll go Engineering and Mining. Engineering to craft awesome pets, Reavers, and gadgets; Mining to get the ore to do so and sell.

Then I recently found out about the really cool quests for Hunters. I think all classes (even professions) will have unique quests that send you to different places and have you solve puzzles. They remind me of the old school Rhok’delar quest. I was the first Hunter on my server, and I think in the top 5 in the world to do that quest. It was a huge deal. I was so proud of that accomplishment (still am), so the idea of having neat quests to do sits well with me. I’m a fan of the true ‘quest’ part of these quests.

iron juggernaut gnome hunte rpet

One of these cool quests involves getting Friend the Mechano wolf from Gnomeregan (pictured at the top original source I think from EyeoftheBeast.com).  Solve some puzzles, avoid being 1 shot, and you got him. Another quest involves the Siege of Orgrimmar and building your own Iron Juggernaut. They come in multiple colors and involve actually making the pet which is neat.

My Gnome Hunter plans include rolling a fresh level 1 Gnome on Fenris server right when the patch goes live. I’ll level him up to 60  using heirlooms and dungeon runs, then from 60-100 I’ll use my level boost. You couldn’t pay me to do 60-100 again on questing. I don’t have it in me. Using the level boost from 60-100 will raise my tradeskills instantly to the pre-Legion cap — another thing I wouldn’t want to do manually.

Decided on your class for Legion yet?

WoW’s Legion Expansion Will Be a Long One

Blizzard lost all trust with their players back when they said they wanted to release expansions every year, then said they wanted to do more content (then didn’t and went a year with no new content), then said they wanted to do expansions faster again. Well now it seems they’ve yet again flip flopped, but they’re at least admitting anything they say will sound hollow.

At this point, I don’t think that yearly expansions would be the best thing for our players – Ion Hazzikostas, WoW Asst. Game Director

Ion also went on to say that they plan on focusing on more patch content and building on current stories to keep players entertained. In other words, we’re going to have Legion for a long, long time. Hopefully they can keep the content flowing in order to keep players interested.

How do you guys feel about longer expansions vs. more expansions in general (not just WoW)? I think I like the idea of more patches and rich content in a longer expansion cycles as long as the expansions are truly major “expansions” to the game itself and how it’s played over just adding more content. Expansions should never be patches. That’s something Blizzard has nailed pretty well. Every expansion feels like the game is being overhauled or taken to the ‘next level’.

As long as I — the player — never feel bored without something to do, I’m fine waiting a reasonably longer amount of time for a big overhaul. I prefer that over feeling like I don’t have time to do everything I want, or feeling like everything I’m doing is just going to be wiped out from mudflation or a change of direction. For example, if I played WoD when it launched and was really beefing up my Garrison just to find out that in a few months that expansions would be meaningless, I probably wouldn’t care about my Garrison.

P.S. Content =\= Achievements or Pets