Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Hunting We Will Go

Wow.com is reporting that ‘sources’ have told them Patch 3.3 will be released on December 8th. If they are right, this is the last reset before we storm the gates of IceCrown. I can’t wait.
Last night, we were set to do our normal farm run of ToC and Onyxia. Several of our regular crew was not available, but we were able to field a raid from our Guild. I noticed several people were bringing alts, so I asked if I could bring my Hunter alt along after ensuring we had the tanking covered. Boston, who was playing his Holy Paladin, agreed.
I grabbed my Hunter, and my trusty Prairie Alpha, Watch, out of the stable. I made sure I had plenty of Mammoth Cutters. There was no chance I was going ‘pull a Taxi’ and run out of ammo during a Boss fight. I ran by the Auction House and grabbed a couple of ridiculously overpriced Flasks of Endless Rage.
My Hunter has been speced into all 3 trees at one point or another. Seeing as how we didn’t have replenishment in the raid, I opted for my Survival Build.
I’ve been slowly gearing my Hunter through running PuGs and he had a decent set of 200, 219, and 226 level gear. Despite my fears, I had relatively little problem finding groups, and when I did have trouble landing a spot I’d go do some quests or play a different toon.
We started off in Onyxia’s Lair. We got through the trash and I went to go make sure my pet had Growl off and Cower on. I noticed that there weren’t very many spells on his Pet page of the spell book. I brought up his Talent tree and saw it was empty. Apparently when I changed from my Marksman Spec to the Survival Spec it had wiped the Pet’s talents. I quickly filled in the Pet tree trying to remember the Ferocity build I had found on the WoW Hunter’s Union. With that disaster averted we went in and fought the Dragon Lady.
The fight went pretty good but we had some problems during the Phase 2 to Phase 3 transition. At one point it looked like the raid might buckle, but somehow we pulled it out. I came in about 3rd on the DPS Meter. I wasn’t looking to try to impress anyone, but I wanted to ensure my Hunter was pulling his weight.
So we moved on to ToC. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I was nervous heading into to the ToC portal. Now I’ve tanked ToC every reset since it opened. I know these fights backwards and forwards, but this was the first time I’d be seeing them as DPS.
Hunters are sort of unique in the DPS world. I needed to be aware of everything Ranged DPS needed to know, but I also needed to be aware of what melee DPS needed to know so I could direct my pet.
First up was Beasts. We got through Gormok okay. The Worms were a little hectic. I never got hit with either debuff from the Worms. That was a nice relief after getting picked on a little bit by the Snobolds. I was ready each time with Tranq Shot for Icehowl, but my team is pro at dodging large charging Yetis so it wasn’t needed.
About halfway through Icehowl I had to pull my Pet back to me. He was just taking too much damage in there. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t keep him up between ground slams, and freezing breath. What surprised me the most was the pang of regret I felt with Watch hit the dirt. Watch is a rather new pet for my Hunter. He leveled up with a Boar pre Wrath and a Cat during Wrath. I hadn’t realized I had gotten kind of attached to the mutt during our Heroic runs.
What's a raid without a little loot. Some leather boots dropped but I let them go to a Druid. I thought it was our Feral, but it was actually our Boomkin for offset. They were technically better than the boots I was wearing, but I have a preference for Mail especially when a person who can only use Leather wanted a shot at them.
We took down Lord Jarraxxus. I kept Watch on the Boss the whole time and switched over to Maidens and Infernals myself. He didn’t pose much of a problem for us. Boston, regardless of what toon he is on, runs a really good raid.
Faction Champions was going to be interesting. Boston asked me if I had mortal strike. I had to think for a minute. Do Hunters even have Mortal Strike? I don’t PVP much so I wasn’t sure. I looked over my talents and found the debuff on Aimed Shot. The Survival guide I had read when I set up my Survival spec didn’t have Aimed Shot, but I had decided to take it anyway.
We managed to one shot the Faction Champions, though they killed my pet. That made me a little angry.
Twin Valkyrs proved to be a bit of an issue. We didn’t have the DPS to just switch targets and burn the shields. We needed to switch colors and then burn the shields. Even at that it was really close. We wiped a couple of times, but we eventually got them down. And they dropped the Gun. I felt a little sorry for our regular Hunter, who wasn’t there that night. I know he’s been waiting for that gun to drop for a while.
The last challenge was Anub’arak. I was charged with dropping ice patches down. That’s a little tougher than it looks. It took a couple of tries but we eventually got Anub down as well. The achievement for finishing ToC 10 flashed across my screen.
ToC Normal had been getting a bit stale lately. I could almost do it with my eyes closes. But I’m a ‘main’ tank. If the guild wants to run something, my Shield is going to be there for them.
Playing through on the Hunter was a different experience and I really enjoyed it. It was almost like seeing the zone for the first time again. The fights weren't roll overs with our alt group, the danger of failure was very real and wipes happened. But man, it was fun.
My DPS was in the low to mid 3k all night, except for Anub where it was much lower as I tried to shoot down ice patches. I was usually in the top 3 DPS which I felt was pretty good. I didn’t want to be carried, and I feel like I made a good contribution.
Playing as a Hunter in the Raid was a lot of fun. I hope I get to do it again sometime.
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