Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallow-Ding!

Happy Halloween from Tawyn (aka Pike) and her little menagerie of pets. I hope you all enjoy yourselves, whatever you're doing.

Oh, and in other news:

DING 60!

The pre-BC big one!

Ten more levels to go, but I'm really in no rush to get there. I really enjoy the whole process of questing and leveling up and exploring, and I don't want to just rush through Outlands to the finish line. Although with nearly 500,000 XP to go until level 61, I don't know how fast I could "rush through" anyway... heehee.

If you haven't noticed, I enjoy posting a lot of screenshots. I think they make things more interesting. And I have fun posting them, so it works out!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Random Ramblings!

So my Sitemeter tells me that I've had like 100 new visitors just in the past few hours thanks to a link on Big Red Kitty. To coin a term, I have been BRK'd. Wow! Thanks BRK! And welcome to any new visitors. Please feel free to browse around my little blog, and pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable if you so desire. *passes out cookies and tea for the readers, and a variety of pet foods for their pets*.

(Edit: And a link on Mania's Arcania too? Wow, thank you!! I might just have to make another "shout-out" post sometime soon.)

Now then, Outlands:

This screenshot was taken shortly before heading through the Dark Portal to get to Outlands. Yes, I've had my hearth set to Shatt since level 50 or so, but there was no way I was going to miss out on going through the portal.

The irony is that the screenshot is already "outdated", so to speak, since in the short time between then and now I have already managed to replace two pieces of gear as well as my ranged weapon, all with stuff that is better than my old-world gear to a ridiculous degree. I already love Outlands though-- it's fun, it's challenging (the "yellow" mobs are more like "orange" mobs, and I love that challenge), and of course, there's all the new gear!

So here I am, on the fast-track to level 60 (ooh, remind me to do more farming... need epic mount cash) and enjoying every bit of it.

Other bits of interest: My teal kitty has been christened Locke. This name has a double meaning for me; firstly, John Locke was a 17th-century English philosopher, just like Thomas Hobbes... so there is an in-joke there, a nod to both the Calvin & Hobbes comic and to BRK. Secondly, Locke Cole is a character from the Super Nintendo game Final Fantasy VI, which is one of my favorite video games. Locke the kitty and Tux the owl have been taking turns playing in Outlands with me, all the while being lavished with roasted quail.

Also, I have decided that I'd like to improve upon my PvP skills. I've been doing a lot of battlegrounds recently (since once I hit a level ending in 8 or 9 I hightail it over to the battlemasters... you might say I have a bit of an addiction) and while I would call my self an "okay" PvPer and I tend to be towards the top of the damage charts at the end, I still am not a "good" PvPer. A lot of times in PvP I'll get caught of guard or people will sneak up on me, and then I seem to spend the duration of that duel trying to get back to range and doing very little non-pet damage. It's definitely time to practice my technique here.

I do have an interesting PvP story to share. I was in Alterac Valley the other day, and was somewhere out in the middle of nowhere when I ran across a lone orc warrior. He was level 51, and I was level 59. Now I know it's battlegrounds, I know player-vs-player combat is the whole point here... but I couldn't bring myself to attack him. Not with eight levels separating us. Besides, since we were both out in the middle of nowhere I figured he must have been doing a quest or something. So I hopped on my mount and rode right past him. Not long after this I paused to catch my bearings and decide where I wanted to go. And who should come jumping on me but that level 51 warrior! We fought, and obviously Tux and I triumphed. But I have to say that little incident left me admiring the orc player's courage and mindset. He knew what PvP was all about. He was willing to try taking on a player that was eight levels higher than him. Whereas I, well, I love a good battlegrounds game but I'm really just a carebear at heart. It was an interesting juxtaposition of two different playstyles and I /salute that orc warrior, wherever he is.

Alrighty, enough pseudo-philosophical rambling. Back to Outlands!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Big Teal Kitty

That, my friends, is Rak'Shiri, the oh-so-elusive Winterspring spawn that is the prized catch of Alliance hunters everywhere (since hordies can summon the same type of cat for a quest, so they don't have to go hunting for him. =P) He has a sort of teal-tint to him, and that is one of the reasons why I picked him over other cats... because teal has long been my favorite color. This also explains my character's hair color... but I digress!

My wait for him actually wasn't that bad. I camped out at Frostsaber Rock for a couple hours last night, with no luck, but a lot of guildies were on at the time chatting up a storm so I at least wasn't lonely. Then, this morning, at roughly 4:30 am server time (don't worry, I work the early morning shift, so I'm used to it... and I'm an hour ahead of my server anyway) I logged on again to see if he was there. I didn't see him at first, but I did manage to catch him out of the corner of my eye when I was on my way out...

Taming him was certainly an adventure; I was pet-less, obviously, and there were mobs everywhere. After several false starts and mashings of the Feign Death button (I maintain my stance that Feign Death is a girl's best friend), I laid down a freezing trap and began the taming process. Not long into this, I was jumped by a stealthed mob. Helplessly I watched my HP dwindle but then, in the nick of time, my new kitty was tamed and helping me fight the offender. Unfortunately this meant I hadn't had time to feed him or teach him growl, so he wasn't a lot of help, especially since more and more mobs kept showing up. We fought valiantly for a while, but eventually I hit the bucket. I didn't mind though, because I now had my lovely Big Teal Kitty.

(Adding to the overall amusement of the above story is that I was wearing the Leper Gnome costume the whole time.)

It will take a few levels to get my new kitty up to speed, I think, but it'll be fun. And obviously I will never, ever fully give up Tux. But it's about time I had another pet to play with... just in time for Outlands, too, since I also hit 58 last night. He does need a good name, though. It was my boyfriend who ironically came up with the idea of naming him after a philosopher a la Hobbes (the irony being that as far as I am aware, he has never read BRK), so I'll be thinking!

Oh, and thank you all for the suggestions on blog readers. I will be looking into them this weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blogs, and bad hunters (not together, fortunately)

It never ceases to amaze me how expansive the blogging community is, even in a single subject (in this case, WoW.) I've been finding myself linked to in blogs and even mentioned in blog posts (thanks again Matticus! It was a very interesting article too) so I keep finding more and more blogs to read. I'm afraid I may run out of room in my Bookmarks Toolbar Folder before long. I need to find a nice, easy way to keep track of all the blogs I read-- is Google Reader good? I need some recommendations.

While we're on the topic of blogs, I also want to mention that I do in fact read every single comment that is posted here, thanks to Gmail notifications. I even read the ones made on really old posts. I just wanted to mention that because I've been getting some comments on older posts recently, and I wanted to make sure everybody knew that they are all read and quite appreciated.

Anyways, I've been coming up with a lot of things I've wanted to write about lately; but I think this post is just going to focus on... bad hunters. Yes, hunters seem to have a bad rap for having the highest quantity of bad players. To be quite honest I'm not surprised. The amount of people I've run into who don't have "Hunter 101" down is astonishing. (I think Hunter 101 probably consists of one sentence: "Send your pet in to hold aggro for you and shoot things from afar." Seriously I think some hunters have not yet made that connection.)

I once grouped with a level 40-something hunter whose strategy in an instance went like this: use multi-shot or volley to get as many mobs as possible to aggro onto you, and then melee everything. Yes, I'm serious. Now, it's one thing to be a self-professed delusional hunter and do stuff like that for fun ;) , but it's another thing to seriously use that as your main method of attack in an instance. (For the record, that guy wound up aggro'ing everything in a particularly bad room and everybody died except me, and I even managed to dispose of all the offending mobs. I was pretty proud of being able to survive such a bad wipe. It's moments like that-- moments where the odds are stacked against you, and you experience the thrill of coming up with a way to survive-- that really make me love being a hunter.)

It's even worse when other people are grouped with bad hunters and then they feel less inclined to group with hunters again, later. My boyfriend occasionally runs instances while I'm gone or busy; many times I have returned home to be met with "Pleeeease get on WoW and group with us, we just had to kick this horrible hunter who can't use traps/feigns death at the worst times/can't control his pet/keeps wiping us/*insert something else here* and we need you." It's flattering that he and his friends turn to me when they need a reliable hunter, but it's sad that it's so hard for them to find reliable hunters in the first place.

Now maybe it's just easier for me to pick out bad hunters because hunter is really the only class I know much about. Maybe I've grouped with lots of bad players of other classes and just haven't noticed because I'm not very experienced yet. But I don't know, I'm pretty sure I have met poor players of other classes (the rogue who was out-DPS'd by my pet, when I was Marksman-spec'd, comes to mind... granted I don't know much about rogues, but that struck me as rather, erm, less-than-stellar), but bad hunters are just everywhere. It sort of makes you wonder why that is so. Maybe this is just one of those classes where you really need to have a "Eureka!" moment before you finally get it. Or maybe it's a more gradual process... or maybe it just depends.

There are definitely good hunters out there, though. And it always makes me happy to see those. As I have said before, that's what I'm aiming for... being a good hunter. I don't think I'm there yet but at least I know I'm not bad. It warms my little huntery heart to see really good hunters in battlegrounds, even if they're of the opposing faction and beating me into oblivion =) So keep up the good work, guys!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tweaking my UI (and my spec, again)

So a couple of days ago, I got this random urge to mess with my UI again. So off I went in search of new addons...

My first stop was actually Bartender3. However, I didn't like it very much... it just seemed sort of confusing and counter-intuitive to use. (I do acknowledge the likely possibility that I just gave up without trying for very long!) Anyways, I dumped Bartender for now and began using StellarBars instead. Now, StellarBars doesn't offer a whole lot of customization... basically it's for people who like the general "look" of the default UI but want it to be a bit cleaner and maybe have a couple extra options. But it works for me I think.

Next I installed FuBar and a couple of plugins for it. I imagine most people know what FuBar is already, but if you don't, it basically adds a couple of thin "bars" to your UI which you can plug various "mini-addons" into. Also some stand-alone addons, such as Omen, plug into FuBar as well.

So now my UI looks like this:

I think I like it overall, but I would still like to do some further tweaking and maybe give Bartender another go sometime, if I ever feel like it. Oh, and I'll definitely also be keeping my eyes open for other FuBar plugins too.

Also, I respec'd again. Back to Beast Mastery. I'd been sort of planning to return to it at some point, but I originally didn't want to for another few levels, after I'd hit 60 and got an epic mount and all that. But the other day my brother dropped by for a bit... he's a 70 troll warrior on another realm, and he informed me firstly that "There is nothing scarier in battlegrounds than a beast mastery hunter and its Night Elf pet" (heehee), and secondly that "Outlands will be really fun for you, especially if you're beast mastery." I'm not sure how he came to that conclusion because as far as I know he hasn't leveled a hunter himself past 30 or so, but anyways, he managed to convince me and not long after that I was running to the Dwarven District of Stormwind, throwing down gold and respec'ing back to BM.

The Big Red Owl is back!

To be completely honest, like the recent comment I left over on BRK's blog, the different hunter specs are like my kids (well, I've yet to try Survival, but I love the sounds of it) and I can't just pick one. I think maybe I'm doomed to respec all the time for the rest of my hunter career. Ah well.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pics or it didn't happen! *grin*

There are really three parts to this blog post:

The first part is, I want to say thank you to all of you who commented on my last post about taking my time through Outlands. Thank you for the tips and support, and I think I'm going to be telling any over-eager friends that I will let them know when/if I need their help, and that I don't exactly need it right away.

Secondly, Kestrel posted over at his blog that when it comes to girls on the internet... "Pics or it didn't happen!" ;) So off I went in search of a picture...

It's nothing exactly stellar... and yes I know I look a lot younger than I really am (I am in my mid-twenties! Really! Honest!) but it's the best I could dig up for now... and my boyfriend really likes this picture (he actually took it) so I guess it can't be all that bad! =P And yes, that is a Firefox shirt I'm wearing. Geek pride all the way, baby!

Lastly, I wanted to expand a bit on a comment I made in another blog. Grumpy had an interesting post on his blog, called "Do you regret your choice?" It asks if you ever regret rolling a hunter because of all the flak that hunters seem to get with being "easy-mode" and "overplayed". This was my response:

"I have to say that sometimes I feel a tad bit embarrassed to be yet another "female night elf hunter", but on the other hand it reminds me that if I want to stand out, I have to become a really good hunter. That was one of the first things to really inspire me to start looking up hunter information online and start practicing my skills-- I decided early on that I wasn't going to be "another night elf hunter", I was going to be "a good hunter".

I don't regret being a hunter because I love the class so much. But sometimes I do wonder if it's just because it's the first class I ever played so maybe it's like a "first love", so to speak. I wonder if, had I picked another class, I would have fallen in love with that one instead. I guess we'll never know..."

And yeah, I think my comment pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. Is it annoying to often be lumped with "all the other millions of bad night elf hunters who need to learn to play"? Yes, it most certainly is sometimes. But to me, that's all the more incentive to truly become a good hunter. I want to become good at my class and stand out. I know I still have a long way to go, but I think that I'm at least on the right path.

It's true that I also have been wondering if I would love hunters so much if it wasn't the first class I picked. I want to say I would have anyway, but we'll probably never know. I'm glad I picked the class I did though, and yes, I'm proud to be a hunter. Most overplayed class? According to Warcraft Realms, yes. The easy-mode class? Debatable, but I'll accept it. But nonetheless, I'm proud.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Teetering on the Edge of Outlands

I am level 56, over halfway to level 57, and a young hunter's thoughts are turned to Outlands...

Yesterday, just out of curiosity, I actually went to Honor Hold (I'd been warlock summoned there before, for my alchemy/herbalism training, and I'd also set my hearth to Shatt a few levels back, so I already had the flight point) and wandered out amidst the level ?? elite demons to do some exploring for just a bit. I wound up running into some level 58/59 mobs who I disposed of, and I've gotta tell you, your first "Outlands kill" does feel good.

But I quickly returned back to Azeroth... I have some quests there that I want to finish up before I do move on to Outlands "for good".

I have to admit though, I have sort of been taking a "semi-break" from my main for a couple reasons, not the least of which is that some of my friends and guildies seem to be a bit too well-intentioned for my tastes, and being well aware of my level, they are ready to hold my hand and rush me through Outlands, helping me to do all the quests and get all the gear that they "already know are good". It's great of them to offer their assistance, but I've always been somebody who does things at her own pace, taking her time to experience the game and its story on her own, to the best of her ability-- I don't really want too much assistance here.

One of these people has a Karazhan-running hunter on another realm; he's taken it upon himself to tell me exactly which Outlands gear and weapons I "have" to get. I appreciate his advice and don't doubt his experience but I feel like I can figure out which gear to get on my own, because I seem to have done well-enough on my own so far, gear-wise (this particular person even said so)... so I don't see why I should be needing all this help all of a sudden. If I do need help or advice I can always just ask when I get to that point.

Anyways, because of that, I've been sort of messing around with other characters where there is less pressure. I have a mage that I've really been starting to enjoy playing, and I have a dwarf hunter who has recently tamed a wolf named Clifford; if you ever spent a lot of time reading as a kid, then I'll presume you get the inherent joke here. (Otherwise, I will direct you here! And still make you figure out the joke =P) There is something fun about dwarves that I can't quite pin down. I love my night elf hunter but dwarf hunters, especially female dwarf hunters, are so unique and refreshing sometimes.

Tawyn and Tux have not been abandoned however! I'm still playing them, just not as much. I am looking forward to hitting level 60 sometime soon, though. Even though I didn't start playing until 70 was the big one, I still think 60 is an admirable milestone (sort of like 40).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's official... gnomes make everything funnier.

And as much fun as the Gnomified-Deadmines was (who wouldn't love a cuddly, pink-haired Mr. Smite?), the Gnomified-AV truly took the cake with a Gnome Galv, Gnome Drek, and Gnome Shamans on Kodos.

Special thanks to the Brewfest [Belbi's Eyesight Enhancing Romance Goggles]! (Ooh, sorry about the bright-white, hard to read text.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My interface and addons

Firstly, I would like to say thank you to all of you reading this. Recently I have been garnering quite the little group of people who read and comment on my blog or who link to me. I really, really appreciate it. When I first started this blog, it was mostly so I would have a place to ramble to myself, so my non-WoW friends wouldn't have to see so much of it at my personal journal. But a lot of neat people have started reading and leaving me comments, and I've discovered a lot of your great blogs as well, so I'm very happy with the way this has all turned out. =) And thank you again for reading and linking!

Anyway, I decided to make a post detailing the addons I use.

Here is a screenshot I took today, of Tux and I taking on a moonkin in Winterspring:

As you can see, I largely just use the default UI. I have a few addons to make a couple things a bit prettier, and a few to make my WoW-life easier, and a few that are there just for fun. But overall, the default WoW-look is functional to me (for the time being, anyway!) so that's what I use.

Now, my addons:

The lovely 3-D animated frames addon (you can't tell they're animated in the screenshot, but they are) is X-Perl. X-Perl comes with a lot of other bonus things that I really like aside from the pretty frames, including but not limited to aggro/low-health warnings. This is a very deep and endlessly customizable addon and I love it to death.

The threat meter is Omen, which I have come to really prefer over KTH (which is what I used previously.) It looks nicer and is more customizable, and is still compatible with KTH if other people in your group use it.

The scrolling combat text addon is SCT and SCTD, the former showing what moves you and your pet are doing and the latter showing the damage being done. I also installed the "options" addons for both which let you customize it quite a bit.

Those are the addons of mine that you can really "see" in the screenshot. There are others I have, though, and they include:

FlagRSP2: A roleplaying addon that allows others with this or similar addons to view additional information that you include about your character (backstory, appearance details, your own roleplaying details, etc.)

SWStats: The good ol' damage meter!

Census Plus: I love this addon because I'm a huge sucker for statistics and graphs and things. This will run a census on your faction and server, and you can check out exactly how many night elf hunters there are! (turns out, on my server anyway, there are more night elf druids than hunters. Maybe we aren't so ubiquitous after all!) You can also sort the results by race, class, level, guild... all sorts of fun options. And then upload your information to a global site and compare! I love it.

Auctioneer: Cause really, does anybody not have it these days? =P Even though I wouldn't call this a vital add-on for me... those many days of Neopets restocking taught me well enough how to price things on my own (I'm a geek, yes)... this is still a very helpful price-tracking addon that speeds things up and all and all I'm glad I have it installed.

Gatherer: This one is only "sort of installed" at the moment-- basically a lot of things started acting weird for me, so I shut off Gatherer which was out-of-date and things started working again. Since then I've tried re-enabling it and it seems to work fine again, but at the same time, I don't see this addon as being super vital for me. If it helps you out, that's great... but I just sort of remember where the herbs I need are, they like to change where they are everytime I go looking for them anyway. It does have that nifty guild-send feature though. I may just re-enable this one for that.

And I do believe that's everything! I'm always on the lookout for new helpful or fun addons, but I also don't like to go overboard so come patch day I don't have to go scrambling for hours for newer versions of them all. Heehee.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hunter: A polarizing class?

Now I could be wrong, and I could just be seeing a very limited sample of peoples' thoughts... but it seems to me that, perhaps more so than any other class, hunter is a class that you either "get" or you don't. You either love it (perhaps to the point of obsession, *cough* me *cough*), or think it's boring and wonder why anyone would want to play it.

My boyfriend has tried to play hunter a few times now to see what all the fuss I made about it was about... and he has sheepishly admitted to me that he just doesn't get it; he can't get into the class. He's not the only one either, I think a lot of people just don't "get" hunters.

It sort of makes me wonder why the class has such a polarizing effect... though when it comes down to it, I think it might be how people view the purpose of the class. At the most basic level, the style of a hunter is to have your pet hold aggro for you while you pew-pew a mob to death. I can understand why some people, particularly those coming from a melee-class background, might not find this appealing or challenging.

But I also think that those of us who really "get" hunters are able to see past the fundamental mechanics and see the potential that is there. We look at all the hunter talents-- the traps, the pet, etc.-- and see a bag full of magic tricks. We put ourselves into challenging situations and see if we can get out alive. I am a sucker for attempting stuff in the game that I shouldn't be attempting: doing quests that are orange or red for me, seeing how far I can solo an instance that just a few levels ago I was still doing with a group. Other people may see the fact that I can often do well in these cases as proof that I am "overpowered" or "easy-mode", but the way I see it is this: I am a hunter, and this is how I get my kicks. I go into places where most others wouldn't dare go because I like seeing if I can survive with my weapon, pet, and wits and tricks alone. It's a rush; it's exhilarating.

People get their WoW rushes in different ways, which is why people like different classes. But I would argue that a lot of us who really enjoy playing hunters do it for, to put it simply, the "thrill of the hunt". I don't think everybody quite "gets" that, and I'm not saying it's bad. I just think it's interesting the way different people approach classes differently.

And now, after eight days of very little gaming because I've been away from home, I'm headed back to civilization and World of WarCraft. As dorky as this will sound, I have really missed playing my hunter and I can't wait to spend some quality time with the class again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Beware My Rudimentary Art Skills

I have made a topbanner for my blog! As I do not have access to a working scanner at the moment, the characters were mouse-drawn in GIMP. Then they were pasted onto a picture of Elwynn Forest. I think it turned out okay. The hardest part was figuring out how to center the image because, by default, it aligned to the left. It's still sort of stuck to the top of the banner but it looks okay for now.

Let me know if you're having trouble reading the banner, I realize the bright blue text is kind of an iffy idea but I tried to make the text large enough to still be easily readable.

Other blog-related news: I've added my e-mail address to the sidebar. I don't know if anybody would have reason to e-mail me but I thought it would be a good idea to have it there, just in case!

WoW-related news: My boyfriend admitted to me the other day that Tux's wings annoy him sometimes. This is understandable and the curse of pets with big flapping wings. I love Tux and would never part with him but as I get closer to "the higher levels" of the game (aka the Outland Levels), I figure it's time to start thinking about an alternative pet to use when the people I'm grouping with would rather I not have a bird. I have my raptor in the stable, but I've also been thinking about the ever-so-classy cat. Decisions, decisions, on what my third pet should be...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Born and Raised on an RP Server.

I've made a post before concerning my personal experiences with PvP servers, and I've been thinking I'd like to revisit that subject, as well as discuss another one. So, without further ado...

I play on a roleplaying server.

I play on a roleplaying server because my boyfriend picked that server, and he picked that server because it's where one of his friends plays-- as far as I know, that particular friend does not RP in WoW, so it's sort of ironic that the three of us wound up on an RP server.

RP servers are interesting places and they have their own little "culture". They have defined WoW for me and, I believe, sort of spoiled me because I was born and raised on one.

Now don't get me wrong-- for the most part, RP servers are really a lot like other servers. Not everybody is "in-character" 24/7, in fact the vast majority aren't. And contrary to what you see on the WoW website about RP servers, I have seen people "in-character" on the general channels maybe... once or twice. We have hardcore PvPers and hardcore raiders, and we have lots of casual players, just like most other servers. I do, on rare occasion it seems, see people roleplaying. I do see a lot of people with the FlagRSP or MyRoleplay addons, though not everybody with those addons roleplays. Perhaps my favorite part, off the top of my head, is that you don't get as many people named stuff like "Lolpwnsyou" or whatnot as you seem to get on non-RP servers. I don't want to chalk this up to something like "maturity" as much as I want to chalk it up to how I think a lot of people on RP servers, whether or not they actually roleplay, sort of see their character as a real character in a story and thus want to bestow their character with an interesting name.

Now I have to admit, when I first began playing I didn't see an RP server as a particularly viable choice to me, and I ended up on one mostly because I wanted to play with my boyfriend. But as time has gone on... I've discovered that RP servers fit my style perfectly. I do have a personality for my character. I do have a backstory for her. I do think about her life and adventures in Azeroth and how she would react to them. And, as I've mentioned before-- pretending like I'm actually in a fantasy world is one of my favorite aspects of this game. (Yes I'm a nerd.)

My boyfriend, who has roleplayed via message boards and forums in the past, really jumped onto the WoW roleplaying thing and even though I was a bit wary at first I've started to roleplay myself as well. I don't do it very often, but I have fun when I do and I've started to do it more frequently.

All of this has actually made it hard for me to play on non-RP servers. I miss being able to read so many interesting RP addon descriptions that make characters more than just pixels and polygons. I miss those random bits of good roleplay that I occasionally stumble across on my home server that make the game seem more real to me. And I miss the general attitude... it's hard to describe without exaggerating, but RP servers are like the bright yet clumsy and picked-on kid in the back of the class who has loads of personality if you get to know him. We're a bit different, and we know we're a bit different, and we're the brunt of jokes on occasion, but we like it that way.

And now back to my opening sentence-- PvP servers. As much as I hate to say it, it's true, I'm a carebear. =P My poor level 26 tauren hunter, who I love dearly, hasn't been getting any playtime at all recently and it's because she's on a PvP server and I just can't get into PvP servers. I've kept her on that server for so long because she is in a ridiculously awesome guild. But, sadly, a lot of important people have been leaving that guild and I think it's on the verge of disbanding. If that's what it comes to, I'll be transfering her. To an RP server of course!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Here's To The WoW Bloggers

As a few of you may know, I am fairly new not just to the hunter class, but to World of WarCraft as a whole. When I was first starting out, I was a pretty terrible player. I really had no idea what I was doing, or what I was supposed to be doing. Today I look back on some of the epically bad newbie mistakes I made ("Hey, putting my pet on aggressive in Deadmines is a great idea, right?") and cringe.

Fortunately for me, I was bright enough to realize that I was... lacking in the hunter skills department. So one day I went on a Google rampage to see if I could find some information to help me become a better player.

The two blogs that came up were The Hunter's Mark and Big Red Kitty. These blogs really need no introduction; they both provide a wealth of information on the hunter class and WoW in general and both helped me immensely in my newbie-hood. Lassirra and BRK are hunters that I have huge amounts of respect for and I /salute them. However, after a while, I also noticed that they weren't my only mentors-- the commenters and readers of these blogs had a lot to offer too! Slowly I started visiting their profiles and sites and following various blog links that I stumbled across and building up a little collection of blogs to read. Some of these blogs are bigger and some are smaller but they have all helped and continue to help make me a better hunter and WoW player.

Kestrel's Aerie is chock-full of information and help regarding pretty much anything and everything that is WoW-related, and also includes highly interesting features such as UI/addon reviews and a frequent "blog roundup" listing some of the most interesting blog posts of the week.

Little White Lion chronicles the both the ups and downs of the adventures of a hunter as she gets closer to level 70, and has shown me a lot about what I have to look forward to as I get there myself.

Balls of Z is a highly informative and entertaining blog about mages and a couple hunter alts. (I certainly don't blame anyone for having more than one hunter alt, I can't even count how many hunters I play by now.) Mages are possibly my second favorite class in the game and this blog, while still fairly new, has been a solid reference for my own baby mage so far.

Mirshalak's Lair is to Survival what BRK is to Beast Mastery. This blog also has a lot to offer about various aspects of WoW, and these informational posts are accentuated with an inherent thoughtfulness and introspectiveness which makes a very good read overall.

Little Black Kitty is a newer blog that documents the adventures of leveling a draenei hunter. It's been a remarkably fun read so far and the posts are often accompanied with absolutely adorable pictures of the blogger's real life kitties!

Thrill of the Hunt features Top Ten Lists and a lot of information on everything from raiding to "budgeting your WoW checkbook".

Bubble-Hearth is a pally blog (as you've probably guessed from the title =P) which I started reading not too long ago but from which I have already gleaned some advice on video capture and reducing lag, and which I look forward to reading more of.

Grumpy Old Dwarf
is, well... about a grumpy old dwarf! This is another blog that I just started reading recently, but it has a lot of personality and is always fun to read.

Saber Squadron I actually just started reading today =P Because I found out that they were linking to me and I regret to say that I didn't know about the blog earlier! It's about somebody who has gone all out and is multiboxing five hunters. It sounds like a fun adventure and I'm excited to read more about it.

And that is my listing of all the WoW blogs that I currently read. I am always looking for more because I am an avid reader/learner, so give me a shout out if you know of any others that deserve looking into! But this post is largely to say thank you to the WoW blogging community, particularly the hunter subset of that community, for unknowingly helping to raise this little hunterling. I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a good hunter yet-- I'm still low-level, and I'm still learning-- but I think that I am getting there, slowly but surely, and a large part of it is thanks to you guys. I hope that someday I'll be able to help newbies with my blog the same way your blogs helped me.

So I raise my Brewfest cup to you WoW bloggers today! =D

Monday, October 1, 2007

Spec'ing Back... for now.

After spending a good few levels and over a week as a Beast Mastery hunter, I've returned to Marks. What do I miss the most from the BM tree? Believe it or not, probably Improved Mend Pet. I hate it when poor Tux contracts a disease or something and I can't do anything to help him out. I also miss Intimidation, and of course, Serpents' Swiftness and "The Big Red Button". But I've found myself wishing for IMP back more than anything else.

Thoughts on returning to Marks: I thought for sure "Oh, my poor pet won't be able to hold aggro anymore", but actually he's still an aggro-holding machine, possibly even more than he was as BM. I believe that this is thanks to two things: Improved Hunter's Mark, which gives him a melee boost, and Go For the Throat, which gives him more focus and more chances to use Growl. These are two things that a normal 41/20/0 build would probably have, but mine didn't because of lack of talent points, and it made a big difference. I also think my Trueshot Aura helps out a little, but obviously it's not going to make up for the lack of a Beast Mastery build in the pet-power department.

Tux is back to doing about 35% of my total DPS instead of 45-50%. That's still a considerable amount of damage. I really feel that a marksman hunter cannot and should not underestimate the power of his or her pet.

Overall going back to Marks sort of feels like "going home" to me, but that's just because I was "raised Marks", so I'm comfortable with it. I really enjoyed the time I spent as BM and I definitely plan on returning to it and playing with it even more once I get some more talent points. Next up, though, is Survival! I've been wanting to try that one out for a long time.

Anyways, one last thing: thanks to one of my jobs, I am going to be WoW-less for the next eight days starting tomorrow. I will have my laptop with me, (because I'm a geek with three computers), but my poor laptop isn't capable of running WoW. Fortunately I will still have internet access, and thus I will still be able to read all my favorite blogs and also try and make a few posts for my two or three readers to enjoy. I have a couple ideas for things I would like to write about. =D