A Diary from Draenor

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Groucho Marx


A Diary from Draenor

Rossi. He put up a go fund me and asked for ten thousand dollars and got it in nine hours. The Blizzard Watch community is amazing.

It won’t solve everything but will help a lot. He wrote this on his blog on Tuesday — it’s going to be a long road. Rough stuff. Good writing.

I did the mythic dungeon bonus event on two characters this week. The valor is nice but the cache gave me nothing to improve my toons. I team up with one of my tanking raid leaders. It makes it a bit more funner to do.

I started Into The Nether on my level 67 hunter. I like it! Area 52 has me building a rocket for the goblins, will it fail? I have to say, I am 5/120 into the quest list. I had to stop and send this Alt some bags! Lawdy, questing in Burning Crusades…

Our raids are cancelled for Valentine’s weekend. Casual raiding as it should be, I like it. I’d not be surprised if some guildies get together to do a “something”, who knows what?

In all, WoD keeps me plenty busy. The community, the guild and my wonderful guild leader keep this game engaging and fun for me. Woot!

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Blizzard Watch

The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I’ll never be as good as a wall.
Mitch Hedberg


Blizzard Watch

I have been thinking about Blizzard Watch for some of the day. Knowing that Rossi will be on hiatus (at least) has me worried about Blizzard Watch.

BW is a social site. Once upon a time, back during WoW Insider, it was a great site for information but no longer.

Alex has not been in a guild since Cataclysm. Anne doesn’t raid and so is good only for some speculative lore stuff.

Liz summed herself up today in The Queue, “I’m mostly not playing, though I go through phases where I try to motivate myself to finish up achievements or level alts… it’s just not very exciting stuff.” I don’t know why she represents the site.

The columnists are done. Some stuff on Legion now and then. The Fluid Druid guy is gone; moved on to his family and real life.

Rossi, he was on his stomach with his laptop, heroic raiding with a damn eye-patch because that is what it took to play. He was it. No one else at BW is playing or raiding nor do they have an opinion beyond that they don’t play.

My first thought is to use words like dedication, passion and devotion to the game for Rossi. But I don’t think that is true nor are they the right words. Probably fascination, interesting and fun is more like it.

Until Alex decides to play, he can’t set any example nor can he set any standard. I guess BW is fine as a social site with The Queue and Transmog Tuesday. Funny screen caps and breakfast topics are fun for a brief visit.

I like Blizzard Watch. I dearly want them to do well, they are the only show in town.

Matt Rossi

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
J.R.R. Tolkien


Matt Rossi

He is a writer for Blizzard Watch and I listen to his podcasts. Brilliant guy.

I don’t feel like I know him but I have admired his work for a long time. Now, he is in a bad way — diabetes in the eyes.

I bought his book on Amazon, mostly to offer what little support that I can. I intend on enjoying the book all the more from the connection I have with him (he has none with me, of course).

I wish him well.

Smart and funny, I have come to appreciate this individual. Tough times are ahead, I’m with you in spirit.

Good luck, Matt.

Beast Mastery in Legion

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.”
Samuel Johnson


Beast Master Hunter in Legion

Today’s date is: Feb. 9, 2016 — which means that it is early and changes will happen.

For example, our minor glyph and our top tier talent have the same name: Aspect of the Beast.

What we CAN do is look at the direction in the spec.

It looks like we have a lot of choices and flexibility. Cooked in to our skill-set is some nice pet tanking choices for our solo ventures (or questing with your friend, the mage). Some talents look great for soloing and some for raiding.

Two things stand out immediately.

One: a lot of our mechanics are built around the Dire Beast spell. Two of our Tier One talents hinge of using Dire Beast; whether it is reducing the cooldown of the spell or generating focus, it looks like the designers want us to use Dire Beast.

Two: A lot of things depend on our Crit. What this means is that early on (as it should be) we won’t benefit as much as later in raiding when we can stack crit.

Have your coffee, cakes and crit it too.

The question is: is stacking Crit going to be stronger than stacking Mastery? Having our pet do cool stuff vs having a very strong pet dealing damage.

Examples of Crit:

  • Aspect of the Wild is our cooldown spell
    Instant 2 min cooldown
    Increases the Critical Strike chance of all skills for you and your pet by 10%, and gain 10 Focus per second for 10 sec.
  • Go For The Throat (passive)
    Your auto-shot critical strikes cause your pet to generate 15 Focus.
  • Wild Call (passive)

    Your critical strikes have a 20% chance to reset the cooldown of Dire Beast.

  • Farstrider (Tier Two Talent)
    When any of your attacks cause a critical strike there is a chance the cooldown of Disengage will be reduced by 10%

It would blow my mind if there are “builds” in Legion. Viable builds that present you, as a hunter, in different play-styles. A heavy Crit build would allow you to get lots and lots of shots off vs a heavy Mastery build which might make you stoic and strong! Pure speculation.

I’m thinking that (after agility) that we’ll stack, in order: Mastery, Crit, Haste and then whatever.

Exciting times ahead!

Beast Mastery – Be Stubborn!

Dar: Don’t move. The beast is fierce. But if we show no fear, we might escape.
The Beastmaster (1982)


Beast Mastery — Be Stubborn!

I admit it. I ran Marskmanship all through Hell Fire Citadel. I still run it. With the raid designs (adds before boss), MM was the clear selection.

But, Beast Mastery can be a respectable damage dealer in casual raiding and on some bosses absolutely competitive (Iskar!).

Why not bring the one you love?

Beast Mastery Utility

  • Battle Rez — Bring a Quilen.
  • Hero — Bring a Corehound.
  • Intimidation — a 3 second stun every minute is powerful stuff.
  • Cast Kill Command with your back turned and on the flee!

Mastery
It says it in it’s name: Mastery. Your pet will do 50% of your damage, stacking mastery will get your pet’s damage even higher. With the Valor Point upgrades and the Legendary Ring and the Archimonde trinket and (perhaps) the Heirloom Trinket all added since HFC opened, perhaps some of the bias against Beast Mastery can go away.

Notes:

  • Bestial Wrath has a one minute cooldown so that lines up with the Legendary two minute cooldown. It lines up with the Council trinket perfectly, every time.
  • Bestial Wrath lasts ten seconds. Kill Command is every six seconds — you have got to get two Kill Commands in every Bestial Wrath!
  • Kill Shot Sniping. I learned this for MM but it still applies. Look for those adds which are below 20% health and snipe them with Kill Shot.
  • Most Important: know those fights!
    For example: First boss, wing one. Be ready with Intimidation to stun the engineer repairing the siege engine. It won’t show up on any charts but it is gold.
  • Find your rhythm. Using Steady Focus and Kill Command will be your bread and butter.

Why Iskar?
Iskar has an add phase and those adds are stacked. This is your time to shine. Lining up the Legendary Ring and Multi-shot with some judicious Barrage is devastating to those adds.

Kilrogg will be frustrating.
I’d be tempted to use Murder of Crows. I’d be tempted to have Dash triggered manually. If you are on add duty (you are) watching your pet slog to the back of the room can be dis-heartening. On the other hand: going into Visions is a joy — use Misdirect on cooldown and barrage/multi-shot the adds, pin them in the doorway of you can.

From Icy Veins:
For fights that are purely single-target, you should always eat Felmouth Frenzy, especially if there is movement involved. The proc of Felmouth Frenzy is RPPM, so it is not affected by movement (it will still proc as often in a movement-heavy encounter), but it does not scale up with additional targets, as stat-based food does. For this reason, this is the food of choice for Fel-Lord Zakuun.

More Notes:

  • The Exhilaration talent has proven very useful to me as Markmsan, I’m sure it’s the same for Beast Mastery
  • Glyph of Animal Bond and Glyph of Deterrence will be your top glyphs.
  • Stampede is powerful. I might use Blink Strikes on Assault and Iskar. I might try Murder of Crows on Kilrogg.
  • Bring the right pets!

There will be Negative Nellies who will bag on you for not going Marksman. Prove them wrong and kick their asses on the charts.

Beast Mastery is a ton of fun. You are sure to pass any DPS test on a boss and, on some fights, you’ll be the envy of the raid.

Super Bowl Stories – Pt. Four

“Don’t tell me this town ‘aint got no heart”
Jerry Garcia


Super Bowl Stories — Part Four

Today is the Super Bowl. Go teams!

They say every teacher remembers their first class. I certainly do, each of those students were my life and focus in that first semester.

One of my students, (let’s say) Becca was a cute young girl growing into her beauty. Her first year of college took part in my arena; the classroom, studio and theater. Not all, by any means, but enough.

Becca was a hippy chick. We got along well because of the Grateful Dead; my extensive knowledge of the counter culture, her extensive knowledge of weed.

She was a friend as much as a student can be with a teacher. Comfortable sitting together and talking about almost anything, there was still no question that I was the authority figure and teacher.

While I was at the Super Bowl, years after she’d graduated, I was walking the sidelines and ran into Becca! She was a Camera Runner for Sports Illustrated and had her hands full of cameras. We did the quick non-touching Hollywood hug and she dashed off.

At the end of the game, I stood on the sidelines staring all around. Confetti was everywhere, filling the sky and littering the ground. The stands were roaring. I was looking up at the stands and my eyes moved down to see Becca standing still, waiting to be seen by me.

She broke into a quick fifteen second hippy acid dance in the confetti.

For me! She smiled quick and dashed off to do her job. I was enchanted.

In the midst and middle of the world-wide chaos and celebration, I had a
one-for-one performance, just for me. It was a wonderful surprise and a gift.

Those kind of connections are golden, my friend, golden.