Welcome to Piercing Shots!

I started playing this game in late 2007, about 2/3 of the way through the Burning Crusade expansion. Ever since fiddling with AD&D in junior high with friends, through the Baldur's Gate games, through my army composition in the Total War series, and every other medieval and/or fantasy-themed gaming experience out there, I've been drawn to archers.

Archery requires an implement lovingly shaped by a marvelous craftsman. Then it combines that implent with an athlete that has spent many hundreds of hours developing the strength and precision to use it well. The laminar wood and taut string of the bow become an extension of the archer's own muscles and tendons, guided by keen eyesight and the tactile sense of the wind across skin. This composite being harnesses a skill so powerful that it's capable of defeating the premier combatants of the medieval era - the fully armored, mounted knight - from hundreds of yards away.

It's nothing short of astonishing.

So it's only natural that the class I would choose when I first picked up WoW was the hunter. Not for the pets (although I do enjoy them), but because I wanted to use a bow.

Of course, BC was a strange time to be a hunter. We were definitely at the top of the DPS charts, but for the most part we reached that apex by pushing a single button. And that button was a macro that automated the interleaving of Steady Shot with our auto shot attacks. It was an exceedingly simple model of gameplay, but the mechanics underlying it were arcane and obtuse, and I wouldn't have been able to figure it out without my boyfriend's help navigating the labyrinth of the nascent Elitist Jerks forums.

These days, I'm a lot more comfortable with the class and with the game more generally. I think I have a pretty good chance of looking at a set of abilities I'm unfamiliar with and working out the broadly correct outline of what I should be doing with them. I've developed a healthy skepticism for external sources and a willingness to actually evaluate them on their own merits that's made it easier for me to navigate the morass of conflicting advice on the web.

Trying to figure this stuff out on your own can absolutely be intimidating, so the point of this blog is, at root, to make the learning process friendlier. I want to demystify the arcane jargon and give people the tools they need to direct their own participation in the constantly-changing World of Warcraft. I want the whole thing to be less scary and more fun for everyone!

Please do feel free to leave comments here or on any of the posts, send me an email, or follow me on Twitter. Talking with readers is by far the best part of doing this thing, and I never cease to be astonished and humbled that I have readers. Thank you all very much!

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