Friday, November 16, 2012

What a Horrible Random... or Was It?

There are some things that newer hunters just do not understand or perhaps there are some things older hunters just take for granted and have not grown to learn better.  This is a story about that.  New hunter and old hunter.

I am the old hunter.  Mind you I am not old school by any means but compared to someone that started in cataclysm I could be called an old timer with ease.  Not to mention the fact that one of the reasons I fell in love with the hunter class was the old school feel to them.  Kiting, jump shots, etc.  I would spend hours on end, just for fun mind you, practicing the jump shot and kiting elite mobs around un'goro.  But enough of that, on to the story at hand.

A returning player from the guild had just hit 90 and I said I would queue up with him for a dungeon figuring that having my little boost to DPS will help with him being a fresh 90.  I figured if he is doing less it would not hurt having a guild mate with him to do a little more and pick up the slack so he does not hinder the group any being a returning player and a new 90.  As it turns out, it was not needed, he did fantastic, but that is not what this story is about.  It is about us being in the dungeon and the people on vent.

I was explaining the fights to him as it was his first time doing all of them and we were talking about the run on vent with some other people on as well.  One of the other people was a hunter who started a few months into cataclysm.  He is an amazing hunter, I've taught him most everything I know and I would have to say when it comes to DPS the student has surpassed the teacher.  I can beat him sometimes but it is no easy task, he really does everything perfect and makes me have to try to be better all the time just to keep up.  But after listening to him on vent I would have to say I guess I did not teach him everything about being a hunter.

So me and the fresh 90 druid pop into the dungeon and the tank pulls as soon as we zone in.  One problem, the healer had not zoned in yet and the tank is not one of those super geared DKs.  I see this and blow everything I have knowing the only chance we have is to down these mobs before the tank dies.  I tell the druid to blow everything as I noticed we were currently healerless.

All but one of the mobs go down and being he was close to death and coming after me I go kite mode and we kill him a few seconds later.  I say it was a close call on vent and the guild mate hunter says it sounds like I am in a fun one, being sarcastic of course.  I laugh and say it looks like it.

Seems the healer DCed while coming into the instance, we wait another minute or two and then kick them.  Sad part is we see him zone in nearly the exact second the kick goes through.  I felt so bad, but at least he is a healer and will not have to wait that long.  Being DCed was not his fault.  Either way, we get a new healer and go on our way.

Next pack of mobs the tank loses one and it goes straight for the healer.  I trap it.  We kill everything and me and the druid turn to the mob I trapped to kill that one now but the tank moves ahead.  Just like he had not noticed one got away from him he did not notice I had trapped it.  At least the 3rd DPS remembered, I believe it was a warrior but I don't exactly recall.  We down the one mob quickly as I turn growl on my pet and MD to it.  It only takes a second, the healer moved up a little so they could heal the tank and us and by this little event I can tell that the healer had noticed what I had noticed, this tank doesn't seem to have any situational awareness and this will be an interesting run.

I say this to the druid on vent and the other hunter is listening and he starts complaining for me I guess.  The dungeon goes on and we have pull after pull with mobs all over the place, bosses that have aggro issues, the healer getting torn apart by any caster we run into.

I am trapping freely, silencing shot goes off for anything that I can interrupt, I don't think I have used scatter shot so much in a dungeon that I wasn't soloing.  I even used intimidation a few times and I am nearly sure I have never even once used it in a random since I switched back to BM this expansion.  I am picking and choosing mobs to taunt with my pet and healing it as best I could while kiting another because I am out of ways to control all the mobs running around while the tank is doing... I have no clue.

One pull, the boss in Mogu'shan Palace with the adds, the tank figures it is his job to tank the boss and pulls that and completely ignores adds.  I trap one, set to burn another, and have to play keep the mob off the healer as best I can.  It becomes a delicate balance of being the only one doing good damage so should I burn things as fast as I can or work control to try and get things in order.

When my MD is off cooldown I decided not to waste it on the tank any more being he doesn't seem to think holding the adds is all that important.  I had dismissed my pet and called another one I knew I had in tenacity spec and MDed to it, one mob at a time.  I made sure the druid was on the same target as me and he and I burnt down the adds one at a time as the other DPS and the tank focused the boss.  I was trapping the one eating the healer but apparently traps have diminishing returns against these mobs so I had to use scatter a few times as well.

I am calling out moves for the druid, picking targets to go after one at a time to burn them based on which ones are making the healers life hell and which ones I have trapped already being it seems they can not be trapped twice.  We could have tried to just burn the boss but with mobs beating on the healer and the DPS in there that would have been a wipe no doubt.

When we are down to one add and I have everything on cooldown I tell the druid to go to the boss and do a little kiting on the add after I make sure I have its attention. Then with a jump and turn and disengage I land directly on the tank and the boss and feign death and somehow, to my amazement it works, the tank takes the aggro and we finish that one and the boss off.

All this time the hunter on vent is complaining about how horrible this run sounds and how he would have dropped group already.  I never said a word in reference to his comments, we just kept moving on.

Going up to the last boss the tank runs away from the healer again and it is a blow everything moment once more.  A little fancy dancing with some serious BM burst on the AoE with that random buff and it tends to be no real problem and requires no additional tricks on my part.

Last boss the tank finds a way to die from basically standing in everything he can find to stand in and the other DPS, being melee, follows him step for step through every bit of bad he can find and that leaves just me, the druid and the healer up to fight the last bits of the fight.  I turn my pets growl on and call stampede and that ends up being just enough to get us through the fight and finish it off in a adrenaline pumping few seconds to end the run.

This whole time the hunter is saying how he wouldn't do this, wouldn't do that, couldn't do this, couldn't do that. I listened to him the entire run and was left thinking there is something I did not teach him when I taught him how to be a hunter.  I did not teach him how to be an actual hunter.  I taught him how to do hunter DPS.  I did not go far enough.  I failed him really.

I said to him it was not a bad run at all.  No wipes and it was fun and exciting and I got to do what a hunter is supposed to do.  I controlled the battle, protected the healer and still managed to pull numbers most classes could never even imagine while doing all the little things I had to do.  It was a great run, an exciting run and I had a lot of fun.

I said to him, it was a fantastic run, one of the best I have had in ages, it reminded me what it really means to be a hunter.  It had been so long it seems.

I left it at me telling him that I would teach him all these little tricks and how to bind those lesser used things in simple to get to places so if and when something like this happens to him instead of it being a wipe or dropping group he can do all those little things and stand tall at the end of a fight and proudly proclaim, I am a hunter.  No problem.

I used at least 35 completely different abilities that dungeon run and every single one of them was needed.  I used Hunters Mark, Serpent Sting, Cobra Shot, Arcane Shot, Bestial Wrath, Kill Command, Glaive Toss, Lynx Rush, Dire Beast, Rapid Fire, Readiness, Kill Shot, Ice Trap, Frost Trap, Explosive Trap, Snake Trap, Concussive Shot, Distracting Shot, Tranquilizing Shot. Silencing Shot, Scatter Shot, Intimidation, Mend Pet, Dismiss Pet, Call Pet, Stampede, Deterrence, Disengage, Feign Death, Misdirection, Aspect of the Hawk, Aspect of the Fox, Growl, Spirit Mend, Shield Shell and maybe more all at one moment or another.

What other class can say they can do all that and more?  It might have not been the best run ever and if I were on any other class I probably would have called it a horrible run but I was not on any other class I was on a hunter and the run was just fine.

Somewhere along the line I failed as a teacher if the hunter I taught on vent was calling it a horrible run based on hearing what I was saying and all I was doing.

On any other class it would have been a horrible run.  On a hunter, it was an exciting run.  Like it or not, that run needed a hunter to be in it because handling chaos is what hunters do best and that run was awesome.  It made me feel like a real hunter again.  I had a tim allen moment where I felt like grunting when it was all said and done.

Now the question is, how to I teach that hunter that?  How do I explain to someone that never needed to do any of those things that those things are really what being a hunter is all about?  Well, those things and awesome DPS at the same time. ;)


  1. Sounds like one of those runs which really stick in your mind, even after months or years. I miss those kind of runs, where, as a hunter, you get to use your entire bad of tricks to completely dominate an area. Where a tank facepulls 4 mobs and ignores 3 of them. Trap that loose mob, sleep another (cata-era...I’ve not played Panda yet, is that still an ability?) kite and slow/stun the 3rd until the DPS have killed the only one that the tank is looking at…really brings it home how much a fun a hunter can have. It’s like you can sit back at range and have a tactical advantage over anything that moves on the screen.

    I got burned out in Cata, while I could do the tactical control thing as well as ever, I never found the ‘rhythm’ or flow with my abilities that existed in wrath.

    Damn you Grumpy, I’ve not played in months (newborn in the house, no time) now I really want to get back in. I really have to stop reading your posts…

    1. It is still an ability but you have to choose that or silencing shot and I prefer the interrupt.

      Sorry if I sound like a hunter drug pusher but I am glad you enjoyed the story.

      Most of those things seem like a lost art to newer hunters which is sad because that was part of the fun of being a hunter.

  2. Well, you must be wanting my two cents (and here is your change of three cents!) or you wouldnt have asked.... >.> Three choices - 1- don't say anything else about, 2- take him out behind the wood shed and whoop his little hunter's butt) or 3- get him into a private chat on vent and talk to him about his comments, what was going on and how he maybe should be thinking. Let's see, how was it put - Oh yeah - "Luke, what we have hear is a failure to communicate".

    Other than that- "GOOD GOD! What fun you must have had!" That reminds me of when I was in that one guild and doing raids oh the joy and fun. But, I am ashamed to say that I have never even used "Tranquilizing Shot" - sorry, but it's little menu doe not tell me what it is used for (I don't understand it 's function or rational (sic)). :( And no, I never thought to google it, which maybe I should.

    A side note - have you read this?

    Interesting little discussion going on about CRZ, dailies, etc. Fits in a post of yours during the last few or 4 weeks.

    Ok, as usual, interesting topic and good hunting to ya. :D

    Git yourn heat back?

    -roo the silly little dwarf hunter "Why, any tree is fine for me!"


    1. I like the take him out back and beat him option. I guess it is just a different world now and I need to change.

      You can dispel magic and enrage effects on the target with a tranq shot. You will notice the buffs on the target you are attacking, if one appears in a slightly larger box with a white border that means you can remove that effect from the mob. It is very useful and I usually use it a lot when soloing or questing, just makes it a lot easier to remove the shield from a mob than wait the 6 seconds for it to go away. I remove and kill.

      I'll have to take a look at that, thanks for passing it along. And nope, still cold here but this week has not been as bad weather wise so it isn't all that horrible.

    2. ok, so what you are saying that bosses - oh wait - is this when a dang boss casts a shield of some type (where you can't land any type of dps on it)??? And using that little bitty arrow shot, we can cancel that shield? IF IT HAS A WHITE SQUARE around it? Why slap me silly and call me bo-diddley. Never in all these years have I ever thought it could be canceled. I guess I better stay out of sniffing mothballs. :(

      Thanks GE!


    3. Yeap, that is what I mean. Most boss abilities you can not take off like that but some you can. If the buff on the boss has that little white outline on it then it means it can be taken off.

      Many quest mobs, those new rare mobs, many trash mobs, all have buffs you can take away. It is also great for PvP as it can remove a lot of junk as well there.

      Yes, keep away from the mothballs. No good for you.

  3. You did absolutely the right thing on that boss! The boss gives the adds a non-dispellable enrage effect that breaks CC, so unless the group can dps through the buffs he gets from the adds, they need to be picked off one at a time. The ones that aren't enraged can be CCed again, but on that run, it sounds like you only had your own CC to rely on, so you did all you could.

    Really great job on what would have surely been a terrible run otherwise. :)

    As for your hunter friend, take him on some bad randoms and teach him to stick it out. If the going gets tough, the tough don't drop group; they improvise! Hunters have a huge toolbox for improvisation; he should learn to use it.

    He must have started in later Cataclysm, when CC was no longer a necessity, so he's never had a desperate need for higher level hunter functions. He's taking his first steps into a less perfect world and sounds ready to learn how to cope with the realities of carrying lousy groups to victory. Everyone gets into bad random groups; the difference is how you respond to them.

    You're teaching him not to be a victim. Hopefully he'll respond well to that. :)

    1. I don't think it would be possible to teach it just by taking him on some bad runs. As much as I can give him advice I think each person will do what it is they like to do.

      He never needed to learn that stuff so it is not what he knows and it doesn't seem like he would want to learn it. I could of course try to teach him but like anything else he will have to want to do it to be capable of learning it.

      I think part of the reason it was such a fun run was because I had a guild mate there you help me. If I were solo perhaps I might have looked at it differently. Solo I might have been left with the thought I carried that group but with a guild mate it was just me having some fun. All in perspective I guess.

  4. Anon, Grumpy's GL:

    No, not a failure as a teacher, just a continuing need to get some more teaching done. That is all...

    1. I think it is a lack of opportunity to teach it. As people do different things you can teach them based off their experiences. Without any need to use those tool there is no chance to teach it.

      And as things are designed now, why learn them? If you need to use those tool it is a bad run and it shouldn't ever be bad like that. Which is true.

  5. Wow that sounds like a great run. Though I do wonder if it would have been such a great run without your friend on vent? I mean you would have continued to do what you did, but having the druid to help kill, to help cc/kite etc. sounds like it really helped. Plus having any friend on a run can turn a horrible run into a great one, just by virtue of laughing with friends.

    Seriously I, like the first commenter, should stop reading these posts because it makes me want to play my hunter. I'd never be good like you though, I think you only get to be awesome like you if a) it's your main class and b) you've got the skills to manage such a complex situation without panicking.

    Paladins don't have the toolbox to be able to deal with the situations you described. Sure I can cc some kinds of adds with repentance (if no-one breaks it with aoe), I can stun with hammer of justice every minute (you can't have a 30 sec version and repentance). I have my hands to do a couple of things with, but I don't have the scope of the hunter toolbox, honestly I don't think any class does.

    As for your guild hunter perhaps he just views the class differently from you, or the role that he takes. He thinks "I'm dps, I do as much dps as I can." whereas you think "I'm a hunter, I can control the encounter and do epic dps". Hunters have so many extra skills should they use them, but they can also just be pure dps. It's a waste to play them like that, in my opinion, but if that's what the guy wants then fair enough. Though in that case he really might as well play a mage or something if he's not going to use the hunter utility.

    Before Mists I had a druid that was cat/bear. I optimised for kitty but with the way I spread my points could go tank without a problem. There was 6 points different between the 2 specs the way I had them, plus stat priorities obviously. Just on the specs though there was little difference. I absolutely loved that. I'd queue as kitty if I was queueing solo, and in the Zul's particularly the tank would go down all the time. I'd pop bear and finish the encounter. Enrage + Frenzied Regeneration and I didn't even need a healer. If the healer was struggling I could pop Tranquillity, if someone died I could res them. It was awesome but you can't do it now. I started levelling my druid and while a lot of kitty is the same, I don't have the utility, and that's just so sad. I really miss it and for me that has just destroyed what I loved about the class. I like the new talent system but I hate it for what it's done to druids. That's off topic but mostly I'm saying I get what you mean, about cool dungeons runs like that when you get to use your full toolbox.

    1. Hunters, easy to play, hard to master. That is the saying. I am miles from being a master and miles ahead of the hunter I need to teach. They have so many tools it is an effort to play them even close to their potential.

      Perhaps, if you are interested in doing all those little things you could have some fun playing one but there is one thing to remember. Nothing is perfect in hunterland. For everything that went right for me there it could have just as easily gone wrong and still been a wipe.

      Using those tools in a random means things are going wrong. Odds are, they usually will anyway. For this one tale of things working out there are 100s I can tell you where I was not able to finish the job.

      I'm always learning. One of the reasons I love the hunter class. No matter how hard I try I will never master it, not even close.

  6. I wouldn't consider it so much a failure in teaching as a lack of opportunity to learn. Everything's been so blitzable for so long that it's rare you have to use your full toolbox in an instance: and when the opportunity arises, most players are so used to the blitz that the challenge is treated to a raised brow, a scoff and a group drop.

    My hunter has actually never been my main for that reason, honestly. I love her control capabilities so much that I find myself frustrated when I don't get to use them - which is most of the time. If my toon has a bow in her hands and a pet at her heel I want to be jump-shotting around with the heathen hordes stumbling along behind, incompetent and eating arrows. Perhaps this actually happens in scenarios, or are they a bit too easy full stop?

    1. I agree. Now it seems that if a situation like this happens it means something went wrong and it is a bad group. Things like this just are not supposed to happen. This is why there are few chances for people to learn.

      I have been able to teach him some of the little things thanks to his recent attempts to solo things. While it is only simple stuff it has proved a good chance to point out things that can be done.

      Hunters have so much to do, and now so much more to do even for our normal damage dealing rotation, if anything I think they need less to do. The damage dealing rotation should go back to what it was, adding all those extra buttons to doing damage with our extra buttons to do support just makes for an extremely cluttered class.

  7. Thanks for sharing this story! As someone who is new to the game, I have been struggling a little with juggling all of the different hunter abilities, but this is a great example of why it's such a benefit to have them all & learn to use them effectively.

    1. Welcome to the wonderful world of being a hunter. Best place for you to learn is out in the world. Questing is not quite what it used to be in terms of risk but that does not mean you can not learn from it.

      As I see so many hunters out questing and there is one mob beating on them while their pet and them are focusing on another shows me, some hunters just do not realize they can stop that mob. Trap it, scatter it, switch your pet to it and make it taunt and then go back to your main target. You might not really need to, but it is a great place to learn. Tranq off anything you see you can, interrupt anything you can even if the damage it minimal, just do it anyway even if you really do not need to.

      The best way to learn to use your toolbox is to use it. I can tell you make scatter shot Alt-3 and tell you every day all day for a year, but if you never needed to use it you would be in the same boat as not having it bound or not even having it on your bar.

      The only way you can learn is by doing. Do it even if you do not have to. That would be my advice on learning to deal with all our toys.

  8. You described Hunter in PVP as well actually. Kite kite flare flare trap trap disengage disengage pet pet kill kill roflcopter ...

    But lets not talk about balance shall we?

    I managed to get another level on my Hunter as well (87). Did a couple of dungeons. Last dungeon I did 3 seconds before the tank starts the boss fight my girlfriend comes in my gaming room (boys will be boys) and puts our daughter (10 months old) in my lap saying she really needs to do something important, and leaves the room (she's not the biggest fan of WOW btw).

    So the fight starts, with me having a 10 month old baby on my lap, who upon seeing all the shiny colors on the screen decides to start banging om my desk and keyboard in excitement.

    I'm like meh lets just do some pew pew while holding my daughter with one arm on my lap.

    I still came out on top as DPS ... while my daughter was banging on my keyboard.

    Don't get me wrong, your story is entertaining, and it really shows the awesome toolbox of a Hunter and the even more awesome display of skill an excellent Hunter can show.

    I'm just curious as to why the Hunter gets all the cool mojo these days.

    Same with the Rare Champions.
    The other day I came across one (lvl 90 91?), can't remember its name, but it's one that hits pretty hard. Died 2 times on it with my Rogue (level 90). Once from getting unlucky and dying to a big jump attack, and then once more to something I couldn't even see coming. In fact, after reviewing the logs I still don't know what killed me.

    So I logged my Hunter (level 87), asked a guildie with a duo mount to fly me there, and I then engaged the same rare Champion alone, on my 87 Hunter with a tanky pet.

    The Rare champion didn't have a chance. My pet had it rough on occasion, but in the end, my Hunter heals and talent heal thingie did the job. And I didn't even had to move once. Just stand and shoot.

    My point you ask me now? Well, if your class becomes a chore and it frustrates you, roll a Hunter?

    1. You described what is always said about hunters, easy to play, hard to master.

      Hunters are masters of soloing, I did all the rares, regardless of level, while leveling without much problem. Because I know how to play a hunter. Don't be fooled because you did it or because I did it. I've watched 20 times the amount of hunters attempt to solo those rare mobs, even after being well geared, and fail miserably. Heck, there are few I could send my pet on and AFK and still beat it and somehow I have seen hunters die on them.

      I will bet you that because of the "easy to play hard to master" saying you will probably see more bad hunters than bad players in any other class because they expect easy and it is not.

      Do not confuse that you can do "decent" without any skill to mean that they are easy. They are far from it. Just look at the LFR as one example. I have yet to see one hunter this expansion do decent in them. When I go in, with two fellow hunters from guild we are #1, #2 and #3. Any other hunter I have ever seen in there while on my other characters can not get over #10 because hunters can do "decent" enough to get by but if you want to do good, even something as simple as just doing DPS, you need to be a hell of a lot more skilled than you do on a paladin or warrior or DK or mage or what have you.

      I consider it easy because for me it is, it is what I have been playing for ages. Same as I consider being a warlock is hard because I personally find it hard. Neither is correct.

      Hunters are not easy because I find them easy and warlocks are not hard because I find them hard. It is just about my personal skill level on each.

      So to your question, if a class becomes a chore and frustrates you, roll a hunter?

      Absolutely not.

      We do not need any more "decent" players in our ranks that think doing 40K in 480 item level is good.

      If you find less than one third the buttons hunters have is a chore and frustrating then a hunter is not for you.

      If you find that "just" dealing damage is a chore and frustrating, then playing a hunter is not for you.

      If you want to just get by doing "decent" damage, then a hunter might be what you are looking for but if you want it to be easy to do "good" you defiantly need to choose another class.

      From my experience, if you want to do "good" DPS with 5 or less buttons, roll a mage. Over 60K DPS single target the second I hit level 90 in quest gear. Yeap, now that is easy. Most hunters can't even do that with much better gear.

  9. Apologies if my reply sounded as an attack to you or the Hunter class. I wrote that yesterday in a bit of a rage moment (/eternalshameanddamnation).

    1. It did not sound like an attack, but it did sound like the standard, I did well so anyone can. Just wanted to point out that anyone can do well, if they know what they are doing. And that hunters can do "decent" just using 5 buttons basically and still do better than 90% of the people in the LFR. Sad, yes, but there is a huge difference between doing "decent" and doing "good".

  10. I wish I had a teacher like you while learining to be a (*cough*) hunter. The only other active hunter in the guild was too busy in raiding and was the first to leave when the guild exploded in Wrath. I've had to teach myself from guys like you on the internet :). A few runs through LFD in Cata left a really bad taste in my mouth, because I don't have the training to use the toolbox, and the opportunity just doesn't come up often enough while solo leveling (I've learned a few ideas to work with from these comments). One place I think you could teach an individual these concepts as well as how to DPS would be to get a few guildies together and hunter tank the instances. Soloing you only have to look out for you and your pet, in a hunter tanking instance, you will have the other dps and healer to be concerned about, along with all the mob control just like the run you described above.

    Seems to me that this tank is in a similar situation to me, not a full knowledge of the abilities, and nobody to teach him how to do it right in an environment where failure is a learning experiece, not a reason to flame and kick. You did right, and had fun, we need more people like you in the game.

    1. Thank you.

      I usually try to be helpful if I can but I wait for someone to ask. I've learned that offering advice is often taken as an insult in WoW even if it is not meant to be.

      I am guessing the same, in part. Not being able to hold multiple mobs or knowing how to pull to round them up is something that is learned and in truth takes a great deal of skill to master. Not noticing the mobs got away from you is just a bad player. I would like to think with all the randoms I have done I am a fairly decent judge between someone learning and someone bad. In this case, this was someone bad or just someone that did not care.

      When I started I had a hunter teach me some DPS basics but learned most of the little stuff the same as you are doing, on the net. I learned to use it on my own soloing or doing things like kiting for fun. I would run circles around the cities just practicing my jump shot. Things like that. Like anything else in life you learn by doing and no matter how much reading I did I never got good at it until I spent some time on it. I am guessing you will need to do the same to learn. There is only so much someone can teach you online or in game. In the end your own time investment is the only way you will ever really learn.

      Just one simple example. The first boss in the last of the twilight dungeons that freezes you in place. I would always tell the hunters, masters call gets you out of that if the healer can't get to you and you are getting pounded. They did it and forgot the next time in there. I told them again, and again, and again, and sooner or later it sunk in. One day doing something different one of them asked, will masters call get you out of this and that is when I noticed, they finally got it. That ability is now learned.