Saturday, October 8, 2011

Some good news and thoughts on the final tier

Something momentous has occurred: for the first time in recorded history, a Protector token has dropped for my guild when the content it dropped from is still at least kind of relevant. And it just so happened that I was at the front of the list to get it. So I'm actually going to start out T13 with T12's 4-piece bonus.

Pretty astounding stuff.

In fact, I've got almost everything I need from T12. I still need trinkets from Majordomo and Rag as well as the bow from Rag, but other than those two things I'm set. The raid in general is like that: we're looking pretty good to walk into T13 with entirely or almost entirely up to date gear, which is pretty exciting.

Visually, the T13 hunter set doesn't look all that exciting. I wish they'd go in an archer-ey direction in the same way they went in an ornate knightly direction with the Season 11 Paladin PvP set. I still might - I'm not sure, but I might - like it better than T12 and certainly better than T11 though, so I might be one of the few not making a whole lot of use out of transmogrification.

The set bonuses look pretty straightforward and good. Enforcing the use of glyphed Arcane Shot with the 4pc is a bit of a bummer, but it's going to make huntering actually much easier than it might otherwise have been at the end of the expansion. The two bonuses synergize very well together. The extra focus from the 2pc (double focus generated by steady and cobra) encourages the spamming of focus-dump shots, and Arcane is a lot easier to work into your cycle in an ad hoc manner than Aimed shot is. The haste from Arcane will, in turn, make it a lot easier to manage your ISS buff. This will be especially valuable because the combination of the high focus income and the frequent gain and loss of haste buffs pretty much demolish any sort of set DPS cycles.

Playing a well-geared hunter in T13 is going to mean constant adaptation of your ability use to get the maximum effect out of your buffs at any given moment. It's going to be quite difficult to manage your focus such that you're not wasting focus over the cap or being starved for focus when Chimera shot comes off of cooldown.

The new raid and the new dungeons look pretty neat, too: the screenshots of Wyrmrest temple in a distant background with Deathwing gnawing on it are quite evocative. I'm not logging in very often right now (which is a big part of why I'm not posting very frequently, sorry) but I'm definitely recharging my WoW enthusiasm batteries.

I can honestly say I'm looking forward to the final chapter of Cataclysm.

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