Wednesday, September 26, 2007

PvP tips for hunters (WSG edition)

(Preface: I am mostly a marksman hunter. I don't really see the use in PvP of being survival or beast spec. Sure the kitty gets red, but when that's OVER, the guys the kitty didn't kill.. kill you. Not saying that I haven't been with some good survival/BM spec hunters.. Just sayin, it wouldn't work for me)

Ok I have battled untold numbers of folks with my hunter, dwarfenstuff, and reaped good results. I have even managed to beat higher levels than me with other hunters (as I level them). I have been asked for "training" in this, and I think this is where I'm putting it.

Post lvl 10 (so you have pet):
Your attack should begin, with putting your pet on aggressive. If dueling, or if in a battleground (usually best on defense), aggressive is best because you can only see some of the field, and your pet seems to target things on proximity and line of sight, even if not looking in that direction. I advise warlocks in all PvP bg's to put detect invisibility on me, and my pet. Jury's out on whether this really helps or not, but if it does.. Great if not.. what does the lock loose like.. 100 mana? As a lock I do this without being asked. I don't really have buffs to help in groups so in battlegrounds I try to pass healthstones to flag carriers and/or healers.. but that's off topic.

If you are uncomfortable sighting enemies from your pet, or prefer to have your pet focus on a specific guy, go passive. This requires you to be MUCH more active in ordering the pet tho.. So I don't do it much. I don't have the "shot rotation" that a lot of the bigshot hunters have in WoW. Its just not a habit I picked up. What I DO have is a knowledge of how my shots work. Arcane/Poison can be shot while running. These are really all I do from the stings area, cause strength shot, doesn't help enough to really gimp a warrior.. and the viper sting (mana drain) doen't drain enough on its own to really stop a good caster. Aimed shot is for peeking into a skirmish and eliminating a healer who's casting a big heal. Multi shot is for flag carriers and when you come in to a place after your team got beat up on by some guys (so they all hopefully aren't at full health). Traps are mana expensive and best when used in special situations (YMMV).

typical engagement @ 49 WSG:

Find midfield and if there is an offensive push of less than 4, go help. If not, stay and wait for the inevitable horde guy to try to run past and get to the tunnel/ramp of his base. If you are alone, you will probably die. WSG is not about alive/death, its about flag captures. Your JOB as a ranged guy is to #1 Mark the guy (helps cause more damage for anyone attacking him), #2 Poison sting the guy (this slowly takes life away), #3 Slow him down with any/all of your tricks.

Put your pet on the flag carrier, forget anyone else. If you have enough time you MIGHT get an aimed shot off, this usually means you can kill the flag carrier. This is great, but not your ultimate goal. The ultimate goal in this situation is to get him close enough to dead that he gets ran into by YOUR team escorting YOUR flag carrier, so they can capture your flag back. Why? Nobody runs the flag alone, it just never happens. This means the guy probably has 1) a healer, or 2) a bunch of guys LOOKING for you. You will in most cases NOT survive this encounter. A good hunter can die leaving a group of guys at 50% health. This is your secondary goal, to hurt everyone. If you are alone focus on slowing the Flag carrier and viper shot the healer (if one). The healer will try to keep the flag carrier at full health while your pet wails on him, so viper shot works out okay (since he/she is casting they may not notice which will work out good when your group runs into them and crushes them). In general though its straightforward.
  1. Send pet after Flag carrier
  2. Concussive shot Flag Carrier
  3. Poison sting FC (flag carrier)***If FC is pally, he will take this off quick.. then use viper sting to drain as much mana as you can.. pallys are lame without mana.
  4. viper sting healer
  5. If you don't have a big warrior hitting on you by now, do multishot
  6. If you still don't have a big warrior on you, hit rapid fire and blast away
  7. when the FC gets in range, wing clip them THIS IS A MUST
  8. When the warrior gets to you, wing clip him
  9. Same with healer, wing clip to slow them down
  10. Run (if you can) to the FC and renew the poison (if not pally)
  11. Concussive shot the FC again
  12. RIGHT BEFORE YOU DIE, scatter shot the FC, and do a frost trap to slow the group
  13. Die in peace
I am a defeatist. I thoroughly believe that solo in a battleground, you die. Coordination wins battles and a lot of the time there will be no coordination. Don't go in expecting to just demolish everyone. Do go in thinking that every rogue you see should be poison stung immediately. This breaks their stealth which will help your cloth brethren annihilate him.

All shots have the ability to crit. So shoot as much as you can. Don't waste rapid fire on a large group of people, use it to kill the flag carrier. Find sniper positions and take them up. Always ALWAYS have track humanoids on and tell people when someone is coming (when on defense), they will love/adore you for this since non hunters wait to SEE someone. Saying (undead rogue from horde in tunnel) will make people on your team love you. If you get ambushed (from not looking at the tracking screen, or from a rogue) put that info in the battleground chat so people know where a problem is being started. Use your range! Get the 3 talents in Survival that maxes out hunters' range. This is imperative, and DON'T try to melee. Your melee skills will suck in comparison to anyone but a priest. If someone closes to you, you have 3 options.
  1. Freezing trap
    1. this is great for stopping a rogue and letting you get the heck out of dodge
    2. watch for DOT's. this will break the freezing effect
  2. Wing clip
    1. slows better than any other affect I've seen in WoW
    2. requires you to take possible more than 1 hit.. so pray its not a steroid Tauren with a Fiery axe banging you in the head
  3. Frost trap
    1. slows well.. and a big area
    2. Immune to dots (won't affect the slowing affect)
    3. Unfortunately, costs more mana ( I think) than #2, and has same side affect
Melee means you hit/run. You won't take him out unless he's almost dead or retarded. Regardless of your "leet skilz", you need to know your role. You have a pet to irritate people in PvP with your pet. Casters are best and "cobra reflexes" is a MUST for all pets for PvP, as it increase the speed your pet hits. Faster hits = slower casting. Damage overall is reduced, so your pet won't hit for the same dmg, but will hit more. Unless you're a beast spec guy this won't bother you. Remember that getting hit means you cast for a longer time, so don't try to do a aimed shot when you are in a crowd. That is a "sniper shot", meant for BIG damage from "out of no where". A pet on a healer is the best medicine for killing the crowd.. He'll heal slower, and eventually have to heal himself. Plus any time spent healing himself or fearing the pet off, is time he ISN'T healing your enemies.

Side notes:
  • Find some +strength scrolls for your pet and use them right after you rez and are going after the other team, you'll die and the buff will end.. So don't spend a lot of money on this crap.
  • Agility Potions RULE! They help you dodge, and increase your crit % chance. They tend to cost a crapload, so unless you can find an idiot alchemist that will give them to you on the cheap.. this will be a rare assistance for you, don't depend on them.
  • Sharpening Stones/frost oil.. etc. These all augment your melee weapons. All have good uses too. Frost oil usually costs more than sharpening stones, get the cheapest you can cause you SHOULDN'T melee unless forced to wing clip and run. But doing a bit more here/there is always a good idea. Same as the others though, don't spend a ton on these..
  • Scope: If you don't have a scope in PvP.. I'd smack you. I'd totally smack you for going into PvP with no scope. There is always SOME scope on the AH. Get one. Even if its +1 (cause the good ones aren't on the AH at the moment). You'll replace it with a better one. My advice is to just KNOW when you can get a new scope.. and get one. Buy them in advance if you want. Buy a couple if you trade off weapons mid-stream. Just make sure you have one.
  • Armor Kits/enchantment: If you can't have a +agi weapon enchant, don't cry. I don't have one either. But my armor is always padded up for extra survivability in the battleground. As a hunter, if you know a high level Leatheroworker.. beg/whine/cry for the knothide leather kits on your pants. They can't be BOP pants, but they give a crap load of stamina and agility on your legs (who cannot be enchanted, btw). Other pieces, just do what you can when you have the money. If you're a big spender, get enchants. I can tell you the +agi enchant for a weapon will cost you (mats ONLY), about 70-100g. So if you are lvl 18 and think you can swing 100g for a weapon enchant.. make sure its THAT much gold. Its a great enchant, and I hope to have it someday on my POS 2h sword. but I digress.
  • Gear: Some go all out for agility, and resign themselves to a quick death.. Some go for the middle of the road for agi/stam.. and some go all out for stam, and forget about agi. Whichever way you go keep in mind your playstyle. If you () end up doing melee, get something with some +attack power, and agility. It'll help you hit harder and help you dodge more. For you guys like me who like to stay 40yards out from the horde, all out agi is good. I'm not all out agi anymore as I am trying to boost my stamina, then save up for the agi enchants EVERYWHERE. Plus some good 1h weps.
Know YOUR abilities or you'll get killed quick and won't do any damage. I tend to be #1/2/3/4 on the damage charts and usually 1/2/3 on the HK chart. So I do a lot of killin, when I get in there.

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