Monday, June 30, 2008

Character Profile: Tawyn Starshifter

"You know what they say about you, right? You know what they say about you in Teldrassil? They say you're a 'human in night elf's clothing'."

"Well... thank them for the compliment, will ya?"

Tawyn Starshifter comes from a long line of mostly hunters, with a smattering of druids here and there. The Starshifters have established themselves as a decently well-off family in Teldrassil and are rather known for producing various sorts of eccentric individuals-- though typically not eccentric enough to cause much of an uproar at all.

Tawyn grew up in a world isolated from the rest of Azerothian society; she was not born until long after the Well of Eternity incident, and her race was not involved in the First and Second wars of the Eastern Kingdoms. As such, she had a fairly idyllic and carefree childhood; running free among Teldrassil's lush lavender forests and making friends with its creatures. She was very much a tomboy and also became something of an oddity because of her natural curiosity and inclination for technology and the sciences, things which were largely ignored by the rest of her people. To her, the entire world and all its marvels was-- and still is-- a place full of wonder and excitement; whether that wonder and excitement stems from nature or from the hands of mortals, it makes little difference to her.

The Burning Legion and the Third War came to Kalimdor; although Tawyn had at this point reached adulthood and had just begun her training as a hunter in the way of her family, she was not seen as seasoned enough to provide help in battle and was kept on the sidelines. After Archimonde and the Burning Legion were seemingly destroyed, the reclusive night elves agreed to join forces with the Alliance. These humans, dwarves, and gnomes were such a curious bunch-- and whereas most of her peers seemed to look upon them with some moderate degree of disdain, they were fascinating and fiery to Tawyn.

Tawyn's training as a hunter resumed; her skill with the bow was rather above average but where she really shined was in her seemingly natural ability to communicate with the beasts of the forest and get them to show their best for her. She befriended an owl who she named Tux (no one is quite sure where the name came from) and despite a rocky start they soon developed a steadfast friendship.

Within a few years a small expedition was set up to send a few night elves from Tawyn's town to the Eastern Kingdoms and the human's capital city Stormwind to try and improve their newfound relations; Tawyn jumped at the chance and after a long journey across the ocean and trekking across foreboding marshlands and snowy mountains, Tawyn found herself in Stormwind.

And oh, what a city it was! Bustling and busy and full of these absolutely fascinating humans. These people were not nearly so reserved as her own, no, these were people who were passionate and impatient and had the ability to be either the most heroic adventurer or the most terrifying villian. They were brilliant and flawed and Tawyn wanted to be just like them.

So much so that when her expedition went back to Kalimdor a few weeks later, Tawyn refused to go. This caused more than a few eyebrows to be raised and some mumblings about "those blasted Starshifters" but they conceded to her wishes and left her there in that strange city that they all found so disquieting.

But to Tawyn, Stormwind was not a scary place. It was her new home. She quickly fell in step with a ragtag group of people banded together under the name of "Entelechy" led by a wizened old warlock named Lord Sentai Grehsk, who helped her get set up with a small home in the city. She continued her training as a hunter there through the watchful and seasoned eyes of the hunters in the Dwarven District, which perhaps is what inspired Tawyn's penchant for guns rather than the traditional bows of her people.

In the few years that have passed, she has fought countless battles in the name of her beloved city of Stormwind and proudly wears their tabard. She has ventured into the Outland and fought there, too, making herself and those of her guild known as heroes in many a situation. Her skills as a hunter have proven to be uncanny but she still strives to master them. Stormwind has recognized her contribution to the Alliance and has bestowed upon her their highest honorary rank; Darnassus, too, recognized her accomplishments some time later, for contrary to popular belief, she still loves the kaldorei and makes visits to Teldrassil when she can-- she just feels that she has incorporated her newfound "humanness" into her "night-elf-ness".

Tawyn is friendly and fond of a good joke and perhaps a little too fond of the bottle (as her friends know all too well); and her neverending sense of justice for the wronged and the weak has gotten her into trouble a time or two but it's just in her nature. Whether it's battling demons or heading off in search of the town's best whiskey, her friends are used to thinking "There goes Tawyn, off chasing another adventure..."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pee Vee Pee

Presenting Tawyn and Tux, all dressed up and having declared Lumber Mill as their property:

Now I have a confession to make. I've been a pretty big PvPer with Tawyn throughout her career, and she has over 9000* kills to her name. She goes into her battlegrounds with guns (or bows, or crossbows) blazing and ready to steamroll the competition given the chance; even if the Horde is stomping on us that day, Tawyn goes out fightin'.

BUT! I haven't PvP'd with her in a very, very long time. Until today.

See, it's partially because I realized PvP is more enjoyable for me overall Horde-side, but largely just because Tawyn is 100% geared and spec'd for PvE and level 70 battlegrounds just aren't enjoyable when you're sporting a whopping zero resiliance and under 8000 hit points and a pure PvE spec.

Today though, a Gruul's run I was going to sneak into failed to ignite (I think I just jinx Gruul's runs, seriously, I can never get into them), and I was bored, so I ran to Champion's Hall and squandered all my honor on Merciless Gladiator's Chain Spaulders and Merciless Gladiator's Chain Gauntlets, then pulled out my ol' Gladiator's Chain Helm (and I coulda pulled out my Gladiator's Heavy Crossbow, too, but then I decided to stick with the Choco-Bow), equipped my loveworn PvP trinket, and ran into Arathi Basin.

And we won, oh did we win, twice in a row baby. The first game was cake and we had the place five-capped in a matter of minutes; the second game was a very close one-- we won 2000-1850 or something-- and both were a complete blast. Epic battles, mass carnage, and the little periwinkle elf and her owl not lettin' you get near Lumber Mill. It's mine, all mine!

Then I took a deep breath and ventured into Alterac Valley and discovered that Alliance on Bloodlust apparently still fails at it (big surprise), but oh well. At least I live much longer with my new PvP stamina gear and can take a few hordies down with me. (In all honesty I'm starting to think Horde just manages to drag a few more healers into their AV than Alliance usually does.)

I am so glad that Blizz did whatever they did a few months ago that made it so queueing up for a battleground no longer pits you against premades. I'd gotten so sick of spending 95% of EotS my games sitting on the little floating island and letting the premade team just do their thing. I was so tired of getting camped at the graveyard in AB while the five-cap happened, waiting for it to end so I could grab my mark and do it all over again with a tear in my eye. Because that wasn't PvP.

The good ol' fashioned super-close battlegrounds, however, are, and it makes Tawyn a happy Tawyn.

Oh hey, fellow Bloodlust-ers, we should totally all plan a time to try and queue up into a battleground together. Even if you're a hordie. We can /wave and /hug have a friendly spar perhaps? /grin

*Did I seriously just sneak the phrase "over 9000" into a blog post? Dang, I should get a cookie for that.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mixed Reviews

From the Class Panel at the Blizzard Invitational...

The shot clipping will be removed from Steady Shot, you'll be able to use it without "interrupting" your autoshot. Hunters will be able to just smash their button.

I... really can't tell you how I feel about this. Is it nice? Well yeah, and I bet a lot of hunters will be very happy about this. It will be a huge DPS increase, afterall. But for me, this was always one of my very favorite parts of the hunter class. Hearing that it's going to be replaced with "hunters will be able to just smash their button", which sounds very macro-like... I dunno. It's almost as though they said they were going to take away pets or something. Not quite as bad, but, still. I took a certain pride in being able to manually weave and time my rotations. I guess for me, it's not "all about the DPS" like it is to so many other people.

I will have to think on this one, and hope that there is still some way to "feel the rhythm" in WotLK. For example, maybe we'll get a new fun shot or new abilities or something so we don't just have to sit there and hit one button. I hope so, at least!

(And hey, there are still at least fifteen non-shot rotation things that I like about hunters. My love for the class is going nowhere unless Blizz really botches stuff up, I think.)

That said, pets are getting a bunch of super nifty exciting stuff:

All kind of pets will have their own talent tree. A tanking talent tree, a DPS talent tree, and an utility talent tree. Each kind of pet family will have its own talent tree and its own unique ability.

There are going to be new pets in WotLK.

The skill points for each pets are being changed to the new "Pet talents" and will disappear.

I'm really excited for all that stuff. Tanking talent tree? Like... one that focuses on threat generation and stuff? So I can finally have a true soloing/grinding pet? Yes please! And "pet utility", you can't help but wonder what that is. I'm definitely looking forward to that.

And does this mean you won't have to tame new pets for new skills anymore? So I can keep my current three?? /happydance

Blizz's Final Score from Pike: One thumb up, one thumb down. I'll be sad to see my beloved shot rotation mechanics go byebye, but the pet stuff is super epic.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

More WoW On Linux: Considering the Switch

Somebody sent me an e-mail today about WoW on Linux, and my reply wound up being so long that I figured it was post-worthy. So here you go, Neophyte Penguin Scouts...

Hey Pike,

I stumbled across your blog and I have always been interested in doing WoW with a Linux. There happens to be this one problem; I'm scared. Scared Boneless. I am wondering if your questions would help me. My computer is a very fast one (Alienware, yes I know but it was a present) and it is stuck with Windows Vista (Need I say more?) and I am hating it. I hate turning on my computer and I hate dealing with Windows Vista and the stupid confirming every click I make on my computer.

Bleh, I am wondering if you can help me. Do you know a good Linux OS that would work with Alienware? Do you know where I can go to Download said information and what not? I don't mean for you to do all this work for me but since you have some experience, I will gladly take your advice.

Thanks alot,

Hiya Verolia - Thank you for the e-mail. It's hard to say if WoW will work on Linux on any given computer, it is VERY dependent on things like hardware and sheer luck. I can tell you my current system set up looks like this:

Self-built system
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 4000+, MMX, 3DNow, ~2.4GHz
1022MB RAM
250GB hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 XT graphics card
Realtek AC97 Audio
Operating System: Kubuntu Linux 6.06 "Dapper Drake" / WinXP dual boot (I only log into WinXP for Ventrilo and only when I absolutely need to, which isn't very often; WoW runs better on Linux anyway.)

My advice to you would be to download Ubuntu because it is probably the most user-friendly Linux distro out there right now and has a huge community supporting it ( will answer most questions you can come up with-- they also have a HUGE WoW discussion thread). You can go to the Ubuntu Site here: , download an ISO and burn it to CD, and "try it out" on your computer without installing-- this is a good time to check and make sure you will even be able to get an internet connection (Linux is notoriously picky about working with Wireless, for example).

If you like what you see and the internet seems to be working and you are feeling gutsy, you can go ahead and install a dual boot. This is super easy with Ubuntu. The install menu will detect that you have an OS already installed, ask if you want to partition your drive, and you can resize your old partition and make a special space just for Ubuntu all with a nice graphical interface. (Remember the name of your Linux and Windows partitions in case you want to remove one later. For example, my own Windows partition is /dev/hda1 and my Linux partition is /dev/hda2.)

Once you have your new Linux partition set up you can sort of mess around with it and customize it to your liking, you will also want to install your latest video drivers which can usually be found in the Add/Remove Program repositories-- the Nvidia ones are, anyways. Then install WoW via a program called Wine. A really easy way to do it if you have, say, access to a portable hard drive, would be to install Wine (using the command sudo aptitude install wine via the terminal), run winecfg also from the terminal to create some files in your system, and then copy your entire WoW folder over from Windows and stick it into /home/[yourusername]/.wine
/drive_c/Program Files which should pretty much instantly install it. There is a lot of tweaking you will want to do from winecfg and you will have to edit the file so that it opens in OpenGL mode instead of DirectX. You can get a lot more info here: and here:

With any luck your new WoW on Wine install will work just fine; in many cases you will end up with little problems (that is the nature of Linux, it's touchy, but many of geeks view that as a good thing!) but like I said Ubuntu has a huge community of support that is glad to help you out to the best of their ability, which is a big reason why I recommend that particular distro (aside from ease of use).

A couple last things -- if you are using an ATI graphics card instead of Nvidia be prepared for some possible conflicts and issues (ATI is notoriously bad at supporting Linux, while Nvidia is very enthusiastic about it), oh, and if nothing works at all like you intended and you get sick of Linux and want it off your computer... stick the LiveCD back into your computer, boot Ubuntu from the CD, go to Gnome Partition Editor in the System Menu, delete your Linux partition and drag the little graph of your Windows partition so it takes up the whole hard drive again, and it will be as good as new.

As always though, please back up all of your stuff before you attempt any of this, because stuff can and will happen, and please be prepared for some frustrations along the way-- Linux for the most part is not an out-of-the-box, plug and play OS (although many parts of it are-- but many aren't.) A good analogy would be to compare Windows to a toy car and Linux to a box of Legos that can be used to make a toy car. You will have to put it together and it may take a couple tries. But once you have it set up you can make it just the way you like it. =P

I may have accidentally rambled into the realm of incomprehensible geekery, for which I apologize. =P Let me know if you have any further questions.


P.S. The "confirming every click" thing happens to much the same extent in Linux too, as a security measure. For example, Kubuntu, which I use, will default to not letting you connect to the internet without entering a password. And you can't use many terminal commands without similarly entering a password. You get used to it pretty quickly though and it doesn't strike me as being particularly annoying which perhaps it is in Vista? Can't say, I've never used it!

WoW running on Ubuntu in Windowed Mode. (I normally play fullscreen so the UI does look kinda wonky resized like that.)

Oh, and as promised: Here is the Mario wallpaper (click for the whole thing):

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"I've got a bad feeling about this."

Today's topic is one that is going to probably be a bit deep and dark and possibly even controversial. But, it's something that I feel needs to be talked about. I am not going to go into huge amounts of depth, and please, if you ever feel endangered or something, take the proper course of action. These are just some of my experiences...

So. Creepy stalker types on WoW.

I've run into quite a few. Some of them are creepier or stalker-ier than others. Pretty much all of them have had the creepiness resolved in one way or another, and I regret to say many of those were not resolved by me. Many of these are gender-specific (people tend to pick up on my "femaleness" fairly early on; the way I type, perhaps? I dunno) but I imagine they could happen to anyone.

Here are a few examples of the ones I've come across in my year of playing the game, and how they turned out:

1.) The Guy Who Wants to be Friends a Little Too Quickly

I've met a few of these types, and to be honest, some of them really are merely people whose way of making new friends is a fast as the speed of light. But I chose to throw this into a sort of low-level Stalker Category simply because some of these people do launch into questions such as "Are you really a girl?" "Are you single?" and "How stable is your current relationship", and come on, being asked those things five minutes after you have met someone is kinda awkward.

My Reaction: Usually I just refrain from giving out any details; if pressed, I'll say "I'm not comfortable giving out information like that over the internet." Now, good friends and guildies can pretty much read me like a book but for the people who seem to want to be best friends in three minutes, it's a little different.

How It Was Resolved: Some of these people still whisper me on occasion and we will have decently friendly conversations (although none of them have ever reached "Bestest Friend Forever" status with me like they all seem to want so badly to attain), others have stopped communicating. Typically I don't see something like this as warranting immediate action unless it's really bad, but again, please use your judgment and what you feel comfortable with.

2.) The People who Simply Give You Bad Vibes

Now I am, in general, a very highly optimistic person who tends to see the best in people. That's why when somebody gives me "bad vibes", it's a huge red flag for me, because that rarely ever happens. I have met one or two people in WoW who seem genuinely nice but for some reason give off a vibe of "I've got a certain reason for talking to you" or "I'm just pretending to be nice".

My Reaction: I am never sure what to make of this "vibe" because I am always so used to seeing the best in people. And who knows, maybe I'm completely wrong and these people really are being sincere-- I'd like to hope so. Still, I would say... go with your gut instincts.

How it was Resolved
: Again this is one you really can't take action against especially since at face value these people are usually being very friendly even if you sense an ulterior motive. Maybe let a good friend know, if you are feeling very uncomfortable, and get a second opinion-- that is what I have done in the past, and not just on the internet.

3. The Guy Who Wants Cyber (May or May Not Have Mental Issues)

Yep, these people are out there. A lot of you have maybe, unfortunately, had to interact with them. My particular story involves a guy who for a span of a few months was incredibly notorious in trade chat for being a jerk. It also turns out he had a tendency to find out who on the server was a female, and start whispering them. His whispers to intended targets were typically very highly charismatic and appealing at first but then he'd start spewing out random sexist and/or racist tirades intermixed with nonchalant "Oh here's my progress on soloing Sunken Temple/farming rep", and subtle requests for cybersex. You definitely got the feeling that something was quite "off" with this guy.

My Reaction: I have a big problem that I really need to work on: I don't like to put people on "Ignore". It makes me feel bad somehow. So after this guy had whispered me a few times and was sort of starting to creep me out-- I regret to say I really didn't do anything. I half-listened to his rants usually without responding and then consistently turned down his advances. (Admittedly it was also sort of like watching a train wreck or something-- you can't stop looking at it).

How it was Resolved: A few weeks after he started bugging me, he disappeared completely from the server and never came back. Now I don't know the details, but I've heard it said that he said something extremely offensive in Trade and got perma-banned for it. I think he's still around, though-- on other servers.

4.) The Guy Who Wants Cyber in an Unconventional Way

These are the people who ask you for weird favors that may seem almost hilarious at first but no, these people are serious. The best example I can think of is the guy who repeatedly asked me to, um... /fart on him. Cause he liked it. I regret to say that I actually obliged at first, because I thought he was joking, but... he wasn't.

My Reaction
: After several pestering whispers of his asking me to perform, followed by him trying to come find me in the game world, I told him "Look, I was just joking at first, I'm not into this kind of stuff and I'm not going to do it." He proceeded to spend the next twenty minutes going into detail about how horrible and evil I was and then he never talked to me again. All's well that end's well.

How it was Resolved
: See above.

5.) The Anti-Roleplayers

This is kind of a phenomenon that you will really only see on RP servers, and some might say it's not really considered "stalkery", but it can certainly get to that point. Most Anti-Roleplayers are the people who will stand in the middle of your RP event, /dancing, /nosepicking, and typing random keys into their /say box to try and provoke a reaction; and most of these people can be safely ignored.

Sometimes it can get bad though.

Silver Hand is in Battlegroup Nine, "Bloodlust", a battlegroup which apparently has quite a reputation for housing the most "hardcore" PvPers in WoW, consistently churning out world-best arena teams and the like. Because of that reputation, serious PvPers flock to that battlegroup which further fuels its "hardcoreness". Oh, and did I mention that Silver Hand is the ONLY roleplaying server in that battlegroup?

One time it was Arathi Basin weekend so I queued up and wound up in a game with what was otherwise a premade-- fourteen people all from the same server and me as the fifteenth person. Those fourteen people were all from a particular server that is seen as being the "hardest of the hardcore" in terms of PvP, whether or not that is really true, I don't know, but the sheer reputation does make them rather daunting when you see that server name floating above their head.

So here comes this little girl from the RP server to fill out their team and all heck breaks loose.

The entire time I was mercilessly teased and taunted and battleground chat was filled with sarcastic "DARESAYS" and "FORSOOTHS" (a joke which is not funny by the way; things are only funny to me if they have some semblance of truth to them), and again at some point they deduced that I was a real girl and then the chat turned decidedly sexist and I got whispers from people telling me it was my lucky day for being able to get into a winning premade because apparently that's the only way a female from an RP server can win an AB.

My Reaction: Now, believe me when I say I can take a joke, but if something lasts the entire duration of a battleground and segues into sexist comments, that's a little excessive in my book. I would have put the entire team on ignore but I felt that as I was in a BG, it was my duty to be able to know what was going on and warn others for "incs" and the like. So I just focused on the battleground and eventually topped the chart at the end (which I hope that whole premade team took a nice long hard look at).

And then ya know what? It happened again, in an EotS a few days later. I showed up as the fifteenth member of what was otherwise a premade from that sever, and I was teased into oblivion. /headwall

How it was Resolved: After that second game I was seriously angry and sent a ticket into Blizzard, asking what sort of action I should take. They replied promptly and told me "Any sort of excessive teasing for any reason, including server type, is reportable, just send us their names." Now I didn't remember anybody's names from the two incidents, but rest assured if it happens again I'll be prepared. I'm not gonna take that kind of crap. I am here to be judged on my merits as a player, not on server type or gender. /rant

Well, that does it on my rundown on run-ins with various unsavory types of people. I suppose the point of this post is not to tell you what you should do in these situations (seriously, don't use me as an example, I'm bad at that), but to remind you that these types of things are out there and you will probably have to deal with them at some point, if you haven't already. Sure, the majority of my WoW experience has been a positive one... but, as with anything, you will always have the weirdos who you can't always avoid.

Stay safe.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Carebear Unleashed

Many of you who have been following my blog or my comments in other blogs for a while know that I am a bona fide unabashed carebear. My main is on an RP-PvE server, and Lunapike, my level 62 alt, is on an RP-PvP server but has the tendency to /hug every member of the opposite faction that she meets, before continuing on her way.

But what some of you may not know is that... if you call down the thunder, you'll reap the whirlwind.

Today I reached into my Holding Bag of hunter alts and plucked one out to play in Stonetalon Mountains on that RP-PvP server. I was doing a quest that was orange to me and I somehow kept aggro'ing a mob who was some seven or eight levels higher than me who was immune to seemingly all of my forms of crowd control, and I kept dying. It was sorta annoying, so I figured I'd find another, easier quest. Just as I had rez'd myself for the third or forth time and was bandaging up before heading out, an level ?? Alliance warlock rode up to me, dismounted, and ganked me.

She mounted up again and rode away, and I noticed that she had a non-epic mount...

I logged out and hopped over to Lunapike, who was parked not too far away. Upon getting to Sun Rock Retreat, I mounted up on Snowball, my Frostwolf Howler, and barreled down the road towards my alt's corpse. And ohh, what do we have here, but that level 57 warlock...

She dismounted and popped a fear off on me. I used my PvP trinket followed by The Beast Within and sic'd my lynx Alyosha on her. Game over in about six seconds.

Right as I was finishing her off, a level 66 Alliance hunter... her buddy, maybe?... rode up. He was four levels higher than me, and five levels higher than my pet. He dismounted and stared at me and my pet, the two of us still big and red. I /waved at him.

He sic'd his pet on me, I feigned death to get out of it. And then he made a very, very bad mistake...

He queued up an Aimed Shot.

With me pounding away at him with Arcanes, Multis, and Autos, and Alyosha still big and red and Frenzy proc'd... interrupt city... he queued up an Aimed Shot.

By the time he finally got that Aimed Shot off, I already had his health down to 30%. In a last ditch effort he ran up and tried to melee me and actually proceeded in trapping me, but at that point his health was down to nil and my trusty kitty finished him off easily.

Afterwards I glanced around smugly at the two poor Alliance souls at my feet, then I hopped on Snowball and trotted off.

You mess with one of my baby hunters, you mess with Pike. /grin

Smile! You're on Candid... Podcast

There's the link, if reading my written ramblings isn't enough for you and you want to hear it as well. ;P

Oh, and apologizes for the very poor sound quality from my end. I was on my laptop at the time =P (Also wow, no idea I talk that fast...)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Matticus had an interesting post where he references an excellent writeup at the site "Girls Don't Game" called "Confessions from a Former Hardcore Raider". The story presented is a very powerful and touching one and can hopefully be seen by some people as a wake-up call of sorts-- not even necessarily a 180-degree one, but one where you sort of sit back for a few minutes and see her point and where she is coming from.

See, here is the thing. WoW is a hobby, not life. /gasp I know right?

Now I'll be the first to tell you that I love this game, and I love hunters, and I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish not necessarily in terms of endgame progression, but in terms of feeling like I am knowledgeable about my class-- at least enough to be called a teacher and a class leader, and enough to have a blog on it that seems to be popular and helpful if many of your kind comments and e-mails are any consideration. Many of my friends and family, even those that do not play WoW, have even told me they are proud of me in this regard. I am proud of my WoW accomplishments just as I am proud of my Neopets accomplishments or the way I knew games such as Starcraft or Final Fantasy Tactics Advance inside and out.

But I think that we are all guilty of sometimes turning the game into a job. Maybe some of us do it more than others.

I myself am certainly guilty of the no-work days where I say "I'm only going to play WoW for a few hours in the morning and then get other non-WoW stuff done" only to get distracted by heroics, then alts, and have the entire day turn into a pure unadulterated WoWfest.

I am guilty of saying "I'm going to take a break from instancing and raiding" and then showing up at Karazhan the next day because I feel the group needs me.

I am guilty of spending three hours doing dailies, yawning and bored out of my mind (instead of, you know, having fun in a game, heaven forbid), because "I need the gold".

One of the scarier nightmares I had in recent memory was a never-ending Karazhan pull. No joke; that was my nightmare. Mobs kept coming and coming and I was out of mana and I was desperately fighting to stay alive and yet we never wiped, but never got past the pull either... I woke up countless times that night in a cold sweat, wishing for it to simply end, but then I'd fall asleep again and the mobs kept coming. Yep, other people have nightmares about dying or being chased; I have nightmares about World of Warcraft. I look back on it now and I can't decide whether it was hilarious or pathetic. (Probably a little of both, really. I giggle at the memory, either way, even though it was a seriously scary dream at the time.)

When you realize that you are maybe playing too much and starting to be guilty of some of the things I mentioned, that's when you've got to take a step back and remember that the game is a hobby, and there are tons of other hobbies out there to cover and only a limited lifetime in which to do them. Playing one video game to the exclusion of others isn't bad in and of itself, but you're missing out on a ton of other great stuff, you know?

Barring a brief ten minutes to /wave to the guild and test my new install, I haven't logged in since last Tuesday. Almost a week now. Instead of playing WoW, I have been able to reacquaint myself with an old and faithful friend: my hobby of tinkering with computers and Linux. It's been both a frustrating and thrilling five or six days; pounding away at the keyboard and racking my brains for solutions to various problems. This culminated in three days of trying to figure out why my new WoW on Linux install was crashing on me at the login screen; three days of hard work and trial and error followed by the inevitable sheepish "Eureka" moment when I discovered the solution and realized how embarrassingly simple it was.

Trading in a week of WoW to rekindle an old hobby was well worth it in my opinion, and actually gave me a deeper appreciation for why I play the game in the first place: to relax and have fun. I think when I return to active playing tomorrow I'll have a lot more fun than I was having a week ago.

Well, that's all from me for today. In closing, my new computer desktop is made of equal parts win and awesome:

And yes, that is the Gnome desktop manager. Yes, I know, I am normally a hardcore KDE fan. I felt like trying something different though. (Besides, "sometimes you feel like a gnome, sometimes you don't".)

P.S. I am fully blaming the Spell Shades for that nightmare I mentioned. /shudder

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Brief Technical Difficulties

Because I am bit of a tinker, I decided to start messing around with my computer the other day, and to make a long story short I basically blew everything up, in true goblin fashion. So these past few days have been spent hacking away at my keyboard trying to fix things, and reinstalling more than one operating system. As such I currently do not have access to World of Warcraft and I imagine I won't for another couple days (I actually am in the process of installing it right now, which is taking longer than usual because the "Copy the Old Folder Over" method does not want to cooperate-- but I won't have time to really touch it very much for a bit, even when it is installed.)

Honestly I probably could have had this all fixed and taken care of in just a day or two, but it's hard inbetween long work shifts!

I am still going to be on the Twisted Nether podcast tonight (note to self: install Skype) so that will be fun.

In closing, lemme tell ya... it's surreal when you Google "WoW on Wine with Kubuntu" to make sure you're doing it right and you are the top result.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hunter Kindergarten: Intro to Shot Rotations - The Motion Picture

As promised, here is Pike's Official Intro to Shot Rotations Movie!

Couple things before I begin:

1.) Kill Command is a move that you can use anytime you crit. You learn it at level 66, not level 68 like I said in the movie... sorry about the oral typo there. /blush

2.) I apologize that my voice sounds somewhat congested, my allergies are pretty terrible this time of year.

3.) My Kill Command is keybound to alt-tilde, hence the sound of a frantic jamming of keys anytime I use it.

4.) I was originally going to have a quiet background music track as well (because honestly you just can't go wrong with The Safety Dance) but I decided it was too distracting. So hopefully just my voice by its lonesome can hold your interest. =P

Enjoy and hopefully you can learn something from this, I worry that maybe it's not the clearest video:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just a Quickie

The Twisted Nether Podcast, hosted by the two bloggers Breana and Fim, is going to have me on the show next week. What they're going to be asking me and what I'm going to have to talk about I've no idea, though it seems to involve my pets (who are all considerably more well-spoken than I), so it can't be all that bad, right?

Anyways, if you have any burning questions you want to hear me address (such as "How is Tawyn pronounced anyway?" or "Do VanCleef and Mr. Smite really merge into NegaVanSmiteMon* in Heroic Deadmines?") then be sure to toss the fine folks an e-mail and let 'em know!

* I maintain that the third season of Digimon was one of the best things I've ever seen on TV. And I have no qualms about saying so.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"I, for one, welcome our new hunter overlord."

So, storytime.

My boyfriend and I started playing WoW at the same time, and when we were level 20 or so we figured we'd make a guild. So we did. We called it < Heroes of Twilight > which sounds like a rather generic name, and it is, but it had special significance to us because we are both part of a tight-knight online community called Twilight of Heroes and we thought it would be fun to create a WoW guild for it.

Time went by, we got to level 45 or so, and our guild had maybe 20 people in it and most of those people were never on, and hardly anyone was from our original community. We were stuck with this tiny little guild with a less-than-exciting name. So... we disbanded it and made a new one. Or, specifically, the boyfriend did. We called it < Entelechy > after a philosophical concept of Aristotle. Because we liked the word and the meaning of it.

It's almost a year later and < Entelechy > has 201 members and has managed to establish itself as a dual roleplaying/entry-level raiding guild. Because of this, our membership runs the full spectrum from people who just want to see content and would never dream of roleplaying, to people who eschew stepping foot in a Heroic in favor of good quality RP. Most of us fall somewhere along the middle, either leaning towards one end or the other, or perhaps sitting squarely in the center, enjoying both equally. Yet somehow we all get along, respect each other, dork around on Ventrilo together, and have a good time.

In this regard, the guild is a resounding success, and the boyfriend has, I think, created a very amazing thing in it.

But times change, and he has been busy with school and with looking for work, and with working on various non-WoW creative endeavors (which I can only applaud him for), and he soon realized that he can no longer devote the time to the guild that it needs.

And so, he stepped down as guild leader.

Guess who the new one is:

Now I can tell a good story, and I'd like to think I can play a good hunter. But lead a good guild? I'm scared to death.

We'll see how this goes.

At least I can safely say that the guild consists of friends who support me.

(Oh, and now's as good a time as ever to say-- that while in the past we have had some times where we have stopped active recruiting... Entelechy's doors are open to anyone of any level and any activity level who feel like hanging out with a bunch of dorks uber cool people in Ventrilo and maybe doing some roleplaying and a Karazhan run or two. Just toss me a poke.)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Burn the land and boil the sea... can't take the sky from me*:

Got the epic flyer today. Broke? Yes. Happy? Yes. Special shout-out here to my guildies because many of you helped me in the final stretch by doing the dailies with me, farming primals with me, sending me your spare Void Crystals to sell, etc. Luff you all and THUNDERCATS HO!**

I'm thinking of doing some gem-rearranging on Tawyn now that the Choco-Bow has pushed her well over the hit-cap, but other than that I don't have any major plans for her in the near future other than trying to regain some lost cash, and possibly squeeze into some raids or heroics if I can fit 'em into my ever-so-variable work schedule. Mostly I'd like to focus on some alts for a bit.

And flying around in circles.

Very fast circles.

*Guess who still farms those fireflies in Zangarmarsh for a certain mini-pet?

** Official Entelechy Battlecry and the last thing many a Karazhan boss hears before they die.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Our logic is to be illogical."

Mania's Arcania had an interesting post the other day about a hunter who refuses to use guns because he doesn't like them. The comments were also full of people agreeing about how much they disliked guns.

My first thought was that this was silly, because guns are awesome. They make big "Pew-Pew" noises that accentuate the damage you're doing! They look really epic in silhouette! And from a roleplaying perspective, they throw a unique spin on your character; that you are a bit of an eccentric mechanic or tinkerer on the side, perhaps, at least enough to know how a newfangled gun works. I've always been drawn to that sort of character; one with a curious enough mind to be willing to wonder how a gun works. My crossbow is the weapon I'm sure I'll be keeping until WotLK, but I do miss my Wolfslayer.

(And have you seen a male blood elf hunter with a gun? /drool)

Truthfully, perhaps this all simply my lifelong crush on Han Solo coming to fruition (curse you Princess Leia), but the fact remains that it's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that many people don't share my Thing for Guns.

...but then I started thinking about it and realized that I have my own silly little quirks too. Other people may refuse to use guns; but Pike refuses to use...

Saber mounts.

They drive me insane. I don't know why. I think it's because many times it seems like every Alliance toon and their dog has one.

Tawyn was exalted with Stormwind at level 37 and has ridden horses her entire career. My druid is in her 30s now and is slowly grinding Ironforge rep so she can ride rams. Fortunately both of these characters have appropriate backstories for why they ride the "wrong" mount (I actually seem to have an affinity for that kind of thing, hence why my blood elf is going to ride a kodo even though I actually do like the chickens).

The really illogical thing is that I love cat pets on my hunters, even though they look exactly the same as the saber mounts and they are just as popular. So I really can't tell ya why the mounts bother me. This probably makes me much sillier than the people who dislike guns because at least they usually have a valid reason (i.e., they're loud).

What about you guys? Do some of you guys have silly opinions about various aspects of the game or is it just me who is completely illogical?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tawyn's Biggest Adventure Yet

So there I was, on my druid, minding my own business, when I see this in guild chat...

"Tawyn, want to come to SSC?" I'm gonna say no.

I was super nervous at first. I've never been in Gruuls or Mags-- I was going to go over the weekend but it was cancelled at the last minute. So this was my first time ever in a larger-than-Karazhan raid. After a couple straightforward pulls we got to this guy, Hydross the Unstable. From what I could gather, the whole gist of this fight is basically to stop DPS and run to the other side of him when somebody says "switch." That, and apply massive amounts of Pew-Pew when necessary. So that's what I did.

Unfortunately, for some reason that nobody ever really clarified, this boss, whom this group typically has "on farm", wiped us about five or six times in a row before we finally called it quits. We got him down to 40% once before suddenly our tanks were dead. Perhaps we were just very melee heavy, I think 90% of our DPS consisted of rogues, fury warriors, and enhancement shammies. But I dunno if that would matter or not... 'tis just my guess.

I sort of worried that maybe I had been doing something wrong, but the two guildies who had gone with me reassured me afterwards that it most certainly had not been my fault and that I'd been doing everything right; it was just a bad night. /sigh of relief

There had been one other hunter there, an epic'd-out guy who from what I could observe had a very solid spec and rotation. He was very nice to me the whole time, whispering me about who would be in charge of Hunter-Marking since we both had 5/5 Improved (I ended up getting to be in charge!) and afterwards he personally thanked me for coming. I was glad to have made a new huntery friend and I mentioned this in guild chat. Someone replied "Oh yeah, him. He had a lot of very nice things to say about you. He was really impressed."


I hope that means they keep me in mind next time they're short a DPS. Cause it was a fun lil' raid.

Poultry in Motion

The [Choco-Bow] now belongs to yours truly and I am down to 3 Badges of Justice.

I also had to dip into my epic flyer fund to nab enough for a [Stabilized Eternium Scope]; this means I'm going to be spending all day tomorrow farming... which at first had me questioning whether the splurge was worth it or not. Well...

Tux and I headed to Shadowmoon to try it out. (Poor Tux had to get out of the stable; I've been using Locke for raids/instances and Eltanin for dailies.)


I know the [Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle] is sexier. I know the Choco-Bow looks like a peacock.

But this bow.



My shot rotation feels as smooth as butter.

Our DPS... our regular ol' non-raid-buffed DPS with an owl pet and Aspect of the Viper... is over 1000.

It's gorgeous. I'm in love. Pike/Choco-Bow OTP.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

An Ode to Pike's First Love

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Before WoW and before hunters...

...there was Starcraft.

Oh how I played this game way back in the day, not long after it first came out. Oh how I played it to death. I knew it like the back of my hand. Units? Memorized. Tech tree? Yup. Don't ask me to pick my favorite race, either. I love 'em all to pieces. I can extol the virtues of each one.

My playstyle really depended on my mood. Sometimes I would feel "hardcore" and I'd go sit and play Terran on The Lost Temple over and over, carefully trying to improve my micromanagement skills.

Then I'd say "screw it" and go start an eight-player Free for All on Big Game Hunters, make some 150 Hydralisks, and go on a rampage. First base down... second base down... third base down... hey I'm bored, let's make some Guardians. *evil laugh*

The units all said the best things, especially if you clicked on them multiple times. Oh the hero units would get all ticked at you, and Artanis would tell you vehemently that "This isn't Warcraft in Space!" and insist that "it's much more sophisticated!", but then there was the Battlecruiser who would say "I've reeeeally got to go... Number One"; the Science Vessel's "E=MC...d'oh let me get my notepad"; and the Corsair's "Zefram Cochrane, is that you?"

Perhaps the great thing about the game, aside from its sky-high replay value, was that each of the races was perfectly balanced. That's not hyperbole either. So each game was a surprise because each game could go any way.

Well, as was inevitable, the StarCraft obsession eventually faded away, until I just recently decided to pop in that ol' scratchy CD-ROM for the first time in a long time. Ahh the memories came flooding back and I was reminded just how great of a game it was. Truly one of the all-time greats and one of the few games that has ever gripped me the way it did. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time held me under its firm spell for a while, as did Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Halo, and some of the earlier Pokémon games. (Oh, and Banjo-Kazooie, please tell me some of you guys played that one.) I also made a valiant attempt to get into DotA but I was never very good at it (although I got to a point where I was decent enough with the Netherdrake) so that phase didn't last very long.

But Starcraft was somethin' else, and I'm sure there are at least a few of you out there who understand.

Good game, Blizz.

Good game.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hello, I'm Pike, and I Like Hunters

This post is dedicated to all of you newer people who are stumbling upon me by way of BigRedKitty or various other links out there. Here's a little introduction about who I am and why I write what I write...

Hi, I'm Pike, and I like hunters. Lemme tell you why.

I like hunters because hunter crowd control is hard and because to watch someone who can succesfully pull it off is to watch a symphony in action.

I like hunters because the hunter is two fold: hunter and pet. When one is strengthed, the other is. They draw power from each other. They help each other. They are each other. I play a Beast Mastery hunter because it makes that relationship even more literal.

I like hunters because no other class gets to carefully plan which companion they want with them, go into the heart of danger and come up with cunning plans or wait for hours and hours to get that companion, and then carefully raise and train that companion up to their level.

I like hunters because we do have that companion to get attached to; the one we're willing to forego rested experience for in favor of keeping multiple pets evenly leveled. The one we spend hours searching for the perfect name for. The one we'll shed a few tears over when it's time to release it.

I like hunters because I like shot rotations. My love for shot rotations is not because they allow you to achieve maximum DPS, although that is a nice bonus. I love shot rotations because I like weaving them myself. I like the rhythm. I like the timing. I like the feeling that you have to be holding it all in your brain, suspended there, as you coordinate your shots and abilities into one graceful melody. I like shot rotations because they're cathartic.

I like hunters cause they can play dead. Great party trick.

I like hunters because skilled ones can kite almost anything indefinitely.

I like hunters because they are masters of space and time; able to choose exactly when and where to fight with the clever use of misdirection, pets, and traps.

I like hunters because they're the underdogs, the ones with the bad name, the ones everyone laughs at and calls "easy-mode", and I love that because of that I can go into a random heroic with people and watch their reaction when they realize that hey... this hunter can trap. I like how at the beginning of the instance my trap is the first crowd-controlled thing the tank lunges for to pick up, and by the end of the instance it's the last.

I like hunters because I like the little green symbol and WHOOSH noise when Improved Aspect of the Hawk procs.

I like hunters cause I like my screen filling up with crits.

I like hunters cause they look so awesome standing there at a distance, cool, calm, and collected, pointing their deadly gun or bow at the enemy with a big dangerous axe or polearm strapped to their back as if to say "Just you try and get close to me."

I like hunters cause I dig a heroine in mail.

I like hunters because while enraged, they do not feel pity or remorse or fear and they cannot be stopped unless killed.

I like hunters, and I like writing about them.

I hope you like reading about them.

(And for those of you who want to know about the non-WoW-ish stuff for some reason... here's the About the Author page.)

Huntards on Heals

I made a few tweaks, edits, and clarifications to my Karazhan guide, based on many of the comments. Once again, I hope at least some of you will find it helpful.

So I have my level 70 hunter, and I have my level 62 hunter. Oddly enough my third highest level character isn't a hunter at all. Nope-- she's currently a level 31 restoration druid.

Say hello to Tamaryn:

She was actually originally spec'd Balance until level 22 or so, at which point I realized that a.) everybody wanted me to heal, and b.) I can't DPS in an instance unless I'm DPS'ing as a hunter. I just can't. So to make my life more enjoyable, I had to switch roles completely. (Although sometimes I still do miss some of the fun stuff from the Balance tree and I'll probably go back and play with it post-Boomkin-level).

So she respec'd pure Resto and hasn't looked back. Solo work is not quite as easy as it is on a hunter (or as I'm sure it would be if I was spec'd feral or something), but it's still not bad yet. Right now I can toss a Regrowth/Rejuvenation combo on myself, pop into Bear form, and take on three or four guys at my level, wearing half-clothie Intellect stuff. Dunno how long that's gonna last, but for now, it's pretty fun.

But let's talk about healing. I've done quite a few lowbie instances now with appropriately-leveled groups, and also made a few forays into Arathi Basin and Warsong Gulch, and healing is very different. At first, it was hard to get used to. I wasn't really watching the action except for on the side; mostly I was just staring at the name plates of my party members and playing this game of whack-a-mole where'd I whack the appropriate name with a heal.

Then I started doing it more and more, and things got even more complicated. Suddenly I was in situations where everybody needed a heal and I had to prioritize. It sorta hurts to have my healy-button hovering over the hunter before realizing that the tank needs it too... and opting to give it to the tank. Because you can do things without the hunter but there's not a whole lot you can do without the tank unless everything's almost dead already. It really all came into perspective when a warlock I was healing, who has a priest main, told me "Stop healing me and heal the tank." I sorta hate to pick one person over the other, but... it has to be done sometimes.

Things I still have to learn and practice: healing myself (I am absolutely horrible at this; I watch everyone's nameplate except my own and then I end up dying) and managing my mana. To be fair, really the only times I've ran out of mana that I can think of are when pulls go horribly bad and we pull a lot of extra stuff. Still, I really have no idea what I'm doing as a sapling and so I've no idea if I'm doing things mana-efficiently or not. My current healy cycle consists of mostly Regrowths with Healing Touches thrown in if someone needs a big heal. According to the people I group with, I'm pretty good at it, but I still feel kind of paranoid. I know I can play my hunter, but I'm still learning to walk with my druid. (At least I know a couple blogs that can teach me all I need to know, right? =P)

Now PvP with a healer is actually really fun, I think so anyway. The only other non-hunter class I've attempted PvP with was a mage and it was horrible and painful and I gave up after about fifteen mintues. But healing in a battleground is a whole new ballgame and I really dig it.

Things I've noticed:
1.) I get sheeped all the time when I'm a healer. It rarely happens when I'm a hunter, but when I show up as a healer everyone starts flinging Polymorphs in my general direction. Which is hilarious because I can just shapeshift to get out of it and start healing again.

2.) A surprisingly high number of people do not seem to be aware of the fact that they can kill the healers instead of their target and it will probably make their life easier. I was in a WSG game where me and a holy paladin kept our flag-carrier alive for several minutes while probably no less than five horde swarmed around the guy trying to take him down. It didn't seem to occur to any of them that they could just come and take care of me and the pally first. Nope. The reason we eventually lost the flag was because the pally and I went OOM, otherwise we coulda kept healing indefinitely I'm sure.

3.) The few people that do have a "Kill all healers" mantra are very dangerous and will stop at nothing to destroy you. *hides*

Well, that's really about it. I just thought some of you might want to hear some rare non-huntery-WoW-stuff. My closing thought is that budgeting my talent points is surprisingly hard. As a hunter it's straightforward, for the most part, you drop five points in something and the rest opens up, rinse and repeat. With my druid, new stuff opens up before I've maxed something else out and then I'm forced to choose between maxing stuff out now or later. Soooo tough to choose.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Hunter's Guide to Karazhan Bosses

Greta said she was looking for some guides on being a new hunter in Karazhan. Now perhaps ironically enough, I've been wanting to write a guide like this for some time, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. But now I've got a bigger motivation for it, so... here goes nothin'!

Disclaimers before I begin:
1.) Exalted with the Violet Eye notwithstanding, I'm still a noob who didn't set foot in Kara until a couple months ago.
2.) Different guilds/groups do things different ways.
3.) This guide is not going to cover Netherspite because I haven't downed him yet. (See, told you I was a noob.)
4.) Some of the sample movies are not exactly stellar because they are often the first time we downed that particular boss so we were kinda shaky. But a shaky movie is better than nothin', right?

All that said, in the voice of Barnes... "And now, on with the show!"

A Hunter's Guide to Karazhan Bosses
By Pike

Attumen the Huntsman

"Come Midnight, let's disperse this petty rabble!"

A fairly easy guy who is basically a tank-and-spank, although poorly geared groups can still wipe on him pretty easily, so beware of that. You begin with just his horse, Midnight, which you is what you will be attacking at the beginning of the fight. Eventually Attumen will come out and join up with Midnight and you'll fight them as a single entity. Really the two most important things to remember are:

1.) Stand on the horse's butt when the two merge. Okay, not literally. Stand about as close to the horse's butt as you can get and still shoot. This is still pretty close since the dead zone is gone now. Otherwise he will charge you and bad things will happen.

2.) Upon the merge, do not attack for a few moments to allow the tank to re-establish aggro. A misdirect may be in order, but check with the tank first.

Other than that, this is a straightforward fight that should not cause many issues. If the DPS is a bit on the short side then it can develop into a long fight, though, so have a Mana Pot or two ready just in case. (Use it when you get down to about 50% mana.)

Sample Movie
: I don't have one available one for this fight. Sorry!

Possible Hunter Drops
: [Gloves of Dexterous Manipulation] (leather); [Stalker's War Bands]; [Steelhawk Crossbow]; [Worgen Claw Necklace]; [Schematic: Stabilized Eternium Scope] (engineer-only-BoP)


"Hmm, unannounced visitors? Preparations must be made."

Depending on your group makeup, this is the fight you may have to do some trapping on. Basically Moroes is accompanied by four people (who are randomly picked each time from a pool of six) and you have to take out all five; this, of course, means lots of crowd control while you take them down one at a time. Most of the time, you will not be asked to trap for very long because if all the DPS is focused on a single mob then all of them (except Moroes) go down pretty quickly, and most groups opt to take out the trap before Moroes to prevent any issues. Don't worry too much about it; wait for the trap cooldown before the pull starts, make use of your space in the room, and you should be good.

Basically the only other thing to worry about in this fight is that Moroes might toss a heavy-hitting DoT on you called Garrote. There's not a lot you can do about this except make sure the healers know about it-- so as not to bug them, check before the fight if they want you to maybe call it out or if they'll know/somebody has Deadly Boss Mods.

As always, watch your mana, keep your traps out the way of where everybody else is fighting, toss more than one distracting shot on your mob just to be safe (they really like to lose aggro on you and go after the healer instead), and you should be good to go. Now is a good time for a pull shot macro if you don't have one so you don't accidentally break your own trap.

And yes, Moroes has a tendency to disappear and re-appear, it's normal.

Sample Movie
: Entelechy vs. Moroes

Possible Hunter Drops: [Edgewalker Longboots] (leather); [Emerald Dagger] (if you're into one-handers-- also please do not roll against a rogue on this)


"Your impurity must be cleansed!"

I won't lie, Maiden can be tough, but once you figure her out she's not that bad. Also: pally healers will make your life super easy in this fight thanks to Blessing of Sacrifice. Give yours a thank-you hug today!

Our guild does it like this: before you initiate the fight, everybody runs around the room she's in, hugging the wall, and finding a spot that isn't particularly close to anybody else. Then, after the tank engages the fight, everybody moves up to the bottom step of the little platform she's on and DPS's from there. Every so often she will toss Holy Fire on somebody which will kill them pretty quickly if they're not cleansed; again, you will want to check with your healers or the "cleanser" beforehand if they want you to call it out or if they will be notified some other way. Also every so often Maiden will stun everybody that isn't in her little inner circle... just sit it out.

Keep Mend Pet on your pet the entire time because he is going to be taking some damage the whole time, and you should be all set. (Now is a great time to mention that you will definitely want to look into getting at least a couple ranks of both Arcane and Fire Resistance for your pet, those are the types of magic you will be running into most in Kara).

Sample Movie: Entelechy vs. Maiden

Possible Hunter Drops: [Bracers of Maliciousness] (leather); [Gloves of Quickening]

Opera: Big Bad Wolf

"All the better to own you with!"

Opera works like this: there are three possible different boss fights you can do here, and they are random and you won't know which one you'll be doing until you actually do it. There are tricks that will let you figure out which one it is in advance (pally bubble, hunter feign death, etc.) but other people just run in full-speed-ahead, so you'll have to find out how your own guild or group likes to do it.

The Big Bad Wolf fight is a fun one and probably my favorite of the three Opera events. For the most part it's a tank'n'spank with a twist: Big Bad Wolf will randomly turn people into a Little Red Riding Hood Gnome and chase them around the room, and if he catches you, well, you'll die. But guess what, you're a hunter! When you turn into a little gnome, just Feign Death. He'll forget about you. That's all. You'll still be a gnome and can't attack, but at least he won't be attacking you.

If the Feign Death is resisted or if it's on cooldown: run around the room in a pre-designated way (I've always gone counter-clockwise myself); hug the wall and do not stop running until you aren't a gnome anymore.

That's it on him, most of the fight will be spent doing pure unleashed DPS so just be careful not to grab aggro from the tank.

Sample Movie: Entelechy vs. Big Bad Wolf

Possible Hunter Drops: [Big Bad Wolf's Paw] (if you're into one-handers); [Wolfslayer Sniper Rifle] (aka Sexiest Thing You Will Get Out of Karazhan); [Beastmaw Pauldrons] (will drop from any Opera Event)

Opera: Romulo and Julianne

"Wilt thou provoke me? Then have at thee, boy!"

This is probably the most technically difficult Opera fight but as such I find it to be very intense and rewarding. Basically you fight Julianne first, then Romulo, then both of them at the same time. Sounds easy right? Well here's the catch: During the last phase, Romulo and Julianne both have to die within ten seconds of each other or they will rez each other.

This is how my guild does it: We have two tanks (as you hopefully will too), throw one each on Romulo and Julianne, get one down to 15% or so, stop all DPS, unleash a bunch of DPS on the other one, and then finally come back to the first. We've got this pretty "down" at this point and we can usually have them dying within three or four seconds of each other.

All you really have to remember is to take your pet off of one and put it on the other when the time comes to switch DPS.

Sample Movie: Entelechy vs. Romulo and Julianne

Possible Hunter Drops
: [Blade of the Unrequited] (again, more of a rogue thing); [Romulo's Poison Vial] (personally I think there are better trinkets out there unless you need the hit); [Beastmaw Pauldrons] (will drop from any Opera Event)

Opera: Wizard of Oz

"Will she survive? Will she prevail? Only time will tell."

Wizard of Oz is pretty straightforward, you have a bunch of characters that need to be killed and the group you are with will tell you what order they want to accomplish this in; Dorothee and Tito are typically the two you will want to dispose of first. After all these guys are taken care of, the Crone will show up, and she's also pretty straightforward so long as you don't stand in her tornado. Pretty simple overall.

You may be asked to help chain-fear Roar via Scare Beast if you don't have any warlocks or anything, but other than that you probably will just be DPS'ing.

Remember: don't start DPS on the Crone until the tank has a hold of her. Misdirection works nicely.

Sample Movie: Entelechy and Blood and Tears vs. Wizard of Oz

Possible Hunter Drops: [Legacy] (aka Basically The Entire Reason You Are In Karazhan); [Beastmaw Pauldrons] (will drop from any Opera Event)


You can only fight Nightbane if you have somebody in your group who has a quest item who can summon him. Once he is summoned, he flies down and you begin the fight. As a hunter, you will often be asked to Misdirect on to the tank here, and every time he comes back down to the ground from here on out. The fight is mostly a tank and spank except that sometimes, Nightbane will summon Charred Earth, which means that a particular area of the ground turns red and does all sorts of horrible damage to you, so you want to get out of it by running to the other side of the wall-- pretty straightforward. He also fears every so often, but it's no big deal (unless he fears you into the middle of Charred Earth... just run really fast to get out of it.)

One important thing, though, is to keep an eye on your pet's health, because sometimes Charred Earth will pop up underneath your pet and it does about 2000 damage every couple of seconds and there's no way you'll be able to keep him alive-- so pull him back to you until it's safe again.

Now, every so often, Nightbane will take to the air again, and a bunch of mobs will show up sort of in the middle and you've got to AoE them down. Mostly I just leave this up to the mages/warlocks/boomkins but I'll try to help out with my Explosive Trap/Volley/Multi-Shot. When he comes back, remember to Misdirect onto the tank.

And, well, that's about it for Nightbane! Not as scary as he looks originally.

Sample Video: Entelechy and some PuGs vs. Nightbane

Possible Hunter Drops: [Chestguard of the Conniver] (leather); [Ferocious Swift-Kickers]


"Gallery rules will be strictly enforced."

Oh Curator. He has been known to make grown hunters cry either tears of pain or boredom, depending on how well things are going.

Okay, overview on this fight: There are going to be these little sparks flying around called Astral Flares that need to be DPS'd down. (This can be made simple with an easy /target Astral Flare /cast Auto Shot macro.) Every two minutes or so Curator is going to Evocate and take twice as much damage as usual, that's when the DPS should be focused on him. (But make sure there aren't any more fuzzballs!) If you have this fight down then you should be able to finish Curator off on his third Evocate, though I'm sure it can be done even sooner.

Hunter Tricks I've Learned: Keep your pet on Curator the entire time so he can proc Ferocious Inspiration while you focus on the sparks. Oh, and don't forget to conveniently use The Beast Within when Curator evocates; if you time it right you will have one ready at each evocation. (This is the secret to doing yards more DPS than anyone else in this fight, by the way). Also, you may opt to have Blessing of Salvation on this fight instead of Might or Kings simply because if the flares aggro on you, you just have to kind of sit there and take a bunch of damage while you flail around and do stuff like Raptor Strike, which is just embarrassing.

Arcane resist gear/trinkets (like the one you get from one of the Kara quests) will help here if you have it, otherwise it's not a particularly huge deal.

Keep an eye on your pet and use Mend Pet as needed, and also keep an eye on your mana because it can be a mana-intensive fight.

I'm going to go ahead and toss this fight in a unique category known as "Hard to learn, easy to master", because if your whole group is new to him you will probably wipe a bunch of times but once you figure out how to do it, it's really pretty easy.

Sample Video
: (Note, this was made when we were still learning the fight and as such it doesn't include any of the fun hunter tips I mentioned earlier): Entelechy vs. Curator

Possible Hunter Drops: [Gloves of the Fallen Hero] (Hunter tier 4 token); [Garona's Signet Ring]

Shade of Aran

"I am not some simple jester! I am Nielas Aran!"

I dunno if this means I'm insane or not but this is my favorite fight in the dungeon. It's crazy, it's hectic, it's hard, I love it.

Pet control is absolutely vital in this fight if you want to keep your pet alive the entire time. It's difficult but it's possible.

Here's the deal with Shade of Aran: He has no aggro table. He randomly attacks anything and anybody including you and your pet. For this reason, watch for pet aggro and be ready to toss up Mend Pet at a moment's notice. (If he is really feeling malicious he will kill your pet pretty easily but hopefully that won't happen.)

He has a lot of special moves that require special action. Blizzard is going to throw beams of ice down around the edges of the room so you should be standing somewhere towards the center. Arcane Explosion goes like this: no matter where you are standing you will be pulled to the center. When this happens, immediately turn around and run to the wall. You are going to be moving really slowly unless you happen to be big and red at the moment; it's okay, you'll make it, just keep moving and bring your pet with you. This is vital. If you don't take your pet with you immediately he will die from Aran's explosion. Another trick: turn slightly to the right which will force your pet to the outside of you so he has even less of a chance of getting hit with the explosion.

Flame Wreath is a pretty infamous move of Shade's where the room is going to be filled with fire and if you move, the raid will blow up. Not exaggerating. Do not move during Flame Wreath. You can keep shooting and you can keep doing your shot rotation, and it's okay if your pet moves (though I don't tell him to, just to be on the safe side), but do not move an inch until the fire goes away.

Partway through the fight elementals will show up which will need to be taken care of in some way; ask your group how they plan on doing this.

For many groups, it won't be long after that Aran is going to sheep everybody. You really can't do anything to get out of this but immediately after the sheep effect wears off he's going to hurl a giant fireball at you so have a health potion, healthstone, or band-aid ready to save your healers a lot of grief. (Don't forget Mend Pet). If you are super fast than you'll have Aran down before he gets to this part, but I've yet to see that myself.

One thing that is always fun to do during this fight is to always have a Snake Trap in the middle of the room. Aran is going to see the snakes as targets to attack, which means he won't be attacking the raid and will buy everybody a little extra time.

...yeah, see, told you it was a crazy fight. It's so fun though. Just keep an eye on your pet and on your health/mana (be prepared to self-heal if needed, your healers will be stretched pretty thin), and don't worry too much if you die at first, it's a little hard until you really learn all the tricks Aran has up his sleeve.

Sample Movie
: Entelechy vs. Shade of Aran

Possible Hunter Drops: [Drape of the Dark Reavers]; [Rapscallion Boots] (leather); [Saberclaw Talisman]; [Steelspine Faceguard]

Chess Event

If you have never done this before than let somebody else take control of the King and the healers. Just move your piece around and attack things. Preferably the other king if you can get to him.

Sample Movie
: ...

Possible Hunter Drops
: [Bladed Shoulderpads of the Merciless] (leather); [Fiend Slayer Boots]; [Girdle of Treachery] (leather)


"Ah, you're just in time. The rituals are about to begin."

So long as you have the AoE to keep the imps off of everybody, this is a straightforward fight that can get pretty long if the DPS isn't all there so have Mana Pots ready.

Basically you are going to spend this fight DPS'ing Illhoof (sometimes his big imp buddy, too-- check with your group to see how you want to handle him) but every so often Illhoof is going to "sacrifice" somebody and stick them in a circle of chains, and you want to get all your DPS onto the chains immediately to get that person loose, or they will die in about three seconds. Granted, the person in the chains can be there for quite a while with sufficient heals, but the longer the player is in there, the more Illhoof will get healed, hence why the fight can really drag on and on if your DPS isn't on the ball. You can alter your Curator macro here to say /target Demon Chains which will make things quicker.

If you are being sacrificed there's not a lot you can do and Feign Death isn't going to help (there seems to be a rumor I hear sometimes that it will get you out of it-- it won't) so just calmly say that you're being sacrificed (unless Deadly Boss Mods is announcing it) and wait it out.

Your pet might get hit sometimes, just toss Mend Pets on him as needed.

Sample Movie: Entelechy vs. Illhoof (aka "See What Happens When The Fight Drags On Forever")

Possible Hunter Drops
: [Girdle of the Prowler]


"All realities, all dimensions are open to me!"

Probably my least-favorite fight in the the instance just because a lot of it is so random and out of your control. All it takes is a bad infernal placement to wipe the raid even if you were doing great up to that point. Regardless, there are things you can do to minimize the potential pain.

This is a pretty intense fight with three phases: during the first phase you really just have to worry about the random infernal drops and Enfeeble which will temporarily bring you down to 1 hit point unless you are standing at max range (which you should be, as a hunter). Don't worry about it, your health will shoot back up after a few seconds. Usually a caster will have a raid symbol over their head as the person you have to stand behind during Enfeeble, as long as you are next to him or behind him you are good.

During Phase Two Prince starts chucking random axes at people and starts throwing DoTs on people, and during Phase Three he introduces even more annoying things like that. Fun fun!

Typically you will be standing sort of near the door and Prince will be tanked along the left wall because it minimizes crappy infernal placements as much as possible. You may or may not be asked to open with a Misdirect. Be very careful if you do this because he can see you almost at max range, so hit him with an Arcane Shot or something similarly instant cast the second you are in range, or he'll see you first and come one-shot you. (Trust me on this one. ...yeeeeah.)

If an infernal lands on your head or anywhere near you, you MUST move or you will die in about five or six seconds. When in doubt, follow the person with the raid symbol over their head, they've probably done it before.

If an infernal lands right next to Prince, you're safe, but your pet is not. Recall your pet to you because you can't Mend Pet him through it. It is better to have your pet alive and by your side giving you an extra 2% damage through Focused Fire, than having him dead and being unable to use him later on.

And once again check with your healers to see if you need to announce if axes on you or if they've got another way of being notified.

This fight is really very luck-based, so pray that the Infernals will be nice to you and hopefully you'll be on your way to a shiny new helmet.

Sample Video
: Entelechy vs. Prince (kind of a bad movie because you can't see a lot, and because I was still learning the fight so my pet died and then I died... but dang if the ending wasn't epic. Longest 1% on a boss ever.)

Possible Hunter Drops: [Helm of the Fallen Hero] (hunter Tier 4 token); [Farstrider Wildercloak]; [Malchazeen] (but seriously, give it to the rogues/fury warriors); [Ring of a Thousand Marks]; [Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix] (not quite as good as Wolfslayer if you are BM and use a hand-woven 1:1 rotation).


Sorry guys, I've actually yet to beat this one because I'm fairly new to the game (didn't start playing until after Burning Crusade and all) and because I refuse to be "run through" Kara by bigger guilds-- we're doing this the good ol' fashioned way and I love it. But trust me, the second we get to him I will come back and edit it into this guide.

In the meantime, there have been a couple comments left about any bosses I didn't cover, and Loronar wrote up a guide to them as well, which is very much worth a look!

Raid Mats/Consumables

Aside from the obvious full ammo pouch of bullets and the stack or two of Pet Food, this is what I usually bring for myself to a fresh Kara run:

[Super Mana Potion] x 10-15
[Super Healing Potion] x 5-10
[Fel Mana Potion] x 5
[Elixir of Major Agility] x 15ish
[Elixir of Major Mageblood] x 15ish
[Warp Burger] x 20
[Kibler's Bits] x 20
[Sporeling Snack] x 20

And if I'm feeling adventurous, a [Flask of Relentless Assault] or two.

I try to have an Agi Elixir, the Mageblood Elixir, and a Warp Burger on me at all times, and Locke is always buffed with Kibler's Bits or Sporeling Snacks depending on the fight/part of the instance. Just use your judgment.

[Elixir of the Mongoose] is often cheaper than the Major Agi one and will actually get you slightly more pure crit but I like the Agi myself because it stacks better with Kings and also gives me more AP than Mongoose. I wouldn't fault you for using this one, though.

And please don't forget your water.

Alright, there you go. And because according to my clock it's taken me over three hours to write this post, I think I'm going to wrap things up. Greta, I hope that you found this guide to be a little helpful, go have fun in Karazhan! And as always, lemme know if you've got comments or questions!