Updates heading into Tomb

After a bit of a break, missing about a month of raiding, I got back into the action this past week, and started tackling preparations for Tomb coming out this month.

The best surprise for me, upon my return, was that our raid team has shifted from almost all Melee DPS to slightly more Ranged than Melee, so for the first time ever, I was able to raid as Survival on every boss.  I'm still loving the spec, it's just so much more interesting and engaging than anything BM or MM have to offer.

There are some downsides, however.  Mostly, it's quite a lot of work to achieve some fairly mediocre DPS.  There are a few fights that I can start to compete for top DPS, but it requires a good bit of luck, and at least a little bit of cheesing on the adds. On our Tichondrius kill this week, I actually screwed up quite a bit, but then was able to pull ahead of the other hunters, at least with the help of a little cheese on the adds. To be clear, I mean Explosive Trap and Caltrops hitting adds that were close to the boss, so not pure cheese like spamming butchery, but still, it was a fair bit of meaningless damage, just to keep from hurting my ego too bad.

Speaking of, I'm still just down right terrible at playing Melee.  I've been playing mostly melee for the entire raid, and it's still a struggle.  I may need to seek out some non-hunter sources for what melee are actually supposed to be doing all the time.

As for the melee to ranged shift, interestingly enough, the majority of that, for our raid team, came in the form of BM Hunters.  We had 3 hunters already, including myself.  One enh shaman who decided to swap to BM Hunter for Tomb, and is gearing up his hunter now.  And one new BM Hunter who met several of our raid team members through random M+, and was slowly recruited over.  We also have a paladin who keeps his Hunter alt geared through M+ and is hoping to bring that character for farm nights and such.  So we may have as many as 6 hunters running at a time, with at least 4 normally.  Now I find myself wishing we had less Relic slots in common...

AP and Artifact Weapons

I'm very curious to hear how the more hardcore people are handling their weapons.  I've currently got my SV weapon at 53 traits (I only meant to go to 52, but I forget to swap specs before using the tokens sometimes), MM at 51, and BM at 48.  I'll be getting my last Artifact Knowledge tomorrow around 4pm, at which point I think it's going to be quite easy to finish off my two off specs before tomb comes out, and hopefully put a few more points into SV.

I haven't been too involved with the community lately, but I imagine if I'm at this point hardly playing at all, then surely a lot of people have all three weapons up to 52, and at least one up a bit higher than that.  I recall the scaling AP costs gets fairly crazy once you get 3 or 4 traits above 52, but still, there's a lot of AP to be had now that we're at higher AK.

Hunting Party Podcast and Thrill of the Wild Updates

We're taking a little hiatus at the Hunting Party Podcast.  Scheduling to get all of us around has been fairly difficult, and I think there's just a lack of motivation in general.  Hopefully with the new raid coming out, and the quality of life changes for BM, we'll see a bit more excitement around the hunter class and we can find some of that old Hunter spirit that we've been missing.  It seems the WHU facebook page is still going strong, and there are obviously still a lot of great people playing Hunters, we've just got to find eachother.

As for Thrill of the Wild, I feel like I just finished updating all of the ability formulas from patch 7.1.5 (though I suppose I was a bit late with that), and now I've got to retest everything for 7.2.5.  It sounds like there aren't too many changes though, so hopefully I'll have that done quickly and can get around to some more interesting theorycrafting.

I've also got a new "Thrill of the Taxa" article from my buddy Auk to post, which hopefully I'll get up in a day or two.  This time he dove into "Meowls", in honor of now being able to tame half-breeds, and even took a look at some real life examples of animals that appear to come from multiple different Orders or Classes.

You know, I don't do enough rambling blog-style posts like this.  Maybe I should post more even if I don't have any interesting theorycrafting done.

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