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Gear

Primal Leg Reinforcements

If you recently leveled leatherworking prior to Patch 5.0.4, you might want to check your recipe book again.

About two months ago I decided to drop one of my two gathering professions for a crafting profession. I decided then to choose the standard skinning–leatherworking combination to benefit from the extra agility in the bracer enchant.

However, I didn’t bother replacing [Dragonscale Leg Armor] with the leatherworking enchant because I had already been using the heroic Tier 13 leggings for quite some time. The enchant provided the same benefits of +190 Attack Power and +55 Critical Strike, so I skipped the extra effort and materials.

When I checked after the patch, however, the leatherworking enchant had been converted to Primal Leg Reinforcements, which provides +95 Agility and +55 Critical Strike. On the surface, it looks equivalent to the old version because, for hunters, 1 Agility is equivalent to 2 Ranged Attack Power.  However, the 95 Agility also provides some Critical Strike bonus, edging out the crafted leg armor in DPS value.

So if you haven’t already, switch your leggings enchant now. It will only cost you an easily obtainable Eternium Thread.


That Kiril Moment

As many hunters (and druids) know, the proc effect of [Kiril, Fury of Beasts] actually causes some annoyances. For example, Bauxite of Aspect of the Dork had this to say about it over the weekend.

I went to do a Keepers of Time reputation run at Durnholde Keep on Saturday when Kiril decided to proc right before I entered the orc camp houses. Of course, I had to wait for the effect to wear off until I could fit into the doorway and set off the incendiary bombs.

Another moment is when I transformed into the Sandstone Drake right after Kiril proc’d and then realized I couldn’t fit through the open door in Corp’rethar: The Horror Gate. That was a bit silly.

I’m sure there are others who want to share their quirky Kiril stories with those who understand it best: fellow Kiril users. What’s your Kiril moment?


Speaking of Rage

On the first night that the second half of Dragon Soul opened up on Raid Finder, I was lucky enough to have the [Vishanka, Jaws of the Earth] drop for me. This meant I had access to the best-in-slot ranged weapon pre-progression raiding.

Of course, the purpose of this entry is not to brag. It is to investigate the proc damage that is done by this bow.

Your ranged attacks have a chance to deal 7040/7950/8970 damage over 2 sec.

The tooltip may lead you to believe that this is a static damage caused by the bow. This is, however, not the case because the damage is not physical damage, but magical damage. More specifically, it is fire damage.

It will appear in your combat logs as a buff called [Speaking of Rage].

Yesterday, <Dark Days> overcame the big stumbling block that was Ultraxion, with three healers even. As I’ve been logging (almost) all of our progression fights since the new patch dropped, I was able to get a sense of just how strong this weapon is. According to my combat log from the Ultraxion encounter, which is very static and has no movement involved, Speaking of Rage procced 16 times, accumulating to 160 ticks of fire damage.

This means every proc of Speaking of Rage produces 10 ticks of fire damage in just two seconds. Compare this to three ticks of fire damage per Explosive Shot in two seconds. Of course, the damage is less than than of Explosive Shot, but those are some very fast ticks.

Another detail you may observe is that ticks of Speaking of Rage can make critical hits. During this fight, 33 out of 160 ticks (20 percent) did critical damage to Ultraxion. While this may not be too surprising given previous behavior of the [Flaming Arrow] proc from the two-piece bonus of tier 12 armor, it is information that cannot be derived from the tooltip alone.

The final detail you may observe is that Speaking of Rage is hitting harder than it should in my case. With an average of 891.1 damage per tick, Speaking of Rage does 8911 damage per proc of the bow. Because I have been running Dragon Soul primarily as a Survival hunter, this is leading me to believe that mastery buffs the damage of Speaking of Rage.

So let’s do some mathematics.

With my mastery at 14.38 according to the Armory, it would have increased magical damage by 14.38 percent. Dividing the average damage value by the damage gain will provide me with the average base damage.

8911 ÷ 1.1438 ≈ 7791

This calculated base damage is still above the 7040 advertised by the tooltip, which leads to the conclusion that Speaking of Rage must have a damage range. As I did not have Recount running at the same time of the log, I was not able to determine this range at the time of writing.

However, if Speaking of Rage does indeed scale with Survival mastery as this preliminary data suggests, it could have an interesting implication where the bow can actually do more damage in the hands of a Survival hunter. Given equal gear and skill among three hunters utilizing the three different trees, Vishanka would have the best added value for the Survival hunter.


Hunter Gear in 4.3 Caverns of Time Heroic Dungeons

While everyone will have their eyes on Dragon Soul, Raid Finder, and their shiny gear drops, hunters should not forget that upgrades are also available from the new Caverns of Time heroic dungeons for those who were not able to obtain 378 item level gear from Firelands.

Caverns of Time: End of Time

Caverns of Time: Well of Eternity

Caverns of Time: Hour of Twilight


Cataclysm Ranged Weapons: Review and Preview

This morning’s update on MMO-Champion included the latest addition of weapons added to the Firelands loot, which includes an epic 384-item-level bow. This means tier 12 content will see one of each type of ranged weapon being added. However, that doesn’t actually change the balance of ranged weapons currently in place in Cataclysm.

Let’s take a look at all ranged weapons with item level 333 and above. Notice also that we have a throat needler, a chicken splitter, and a hole puncher. What silly name will the developers come up with next?

Bows

Bows are the most abundant ranged weapon in Cataclysm, with almost as many bows as there are crossbows and guns combined. Many players seeking to enter heroic dungeons start out with a bow. Soon, the new Zul’Gurub bow will replace the varying 346-item-level weapons as the new standard for entering raids. Don’t we have too many bows already? Moreover, Arathar will be the new best-in-slot weapon for tier 12 raiding.

Crossbows

So far, crossbows remain limited in this expansion, with only three weapons on live and one in development. They are also more difficult to obtain for the casual player because one cannot simply enter heroic dungeons daily for that drop. The three crossbows listed here are created by engineering, bought with Tol Barad Commendations, and drops from a raid boss. Granted, Dragonheart Piercer is a best-in-slot item for tier 11 raids, but that’s only a single crossbow.

Guns

While it is true that no epic level gun has yet appeared in game, guns are actually just about as rare as crossbows in Cataclysm, with only three available on live and one in development. At the very least, one can easily enter Vortex Pinnacle every day to get a decent gun, unlike crossbows. As much we like the addition of the new gun in the 4.2, we’ve also come to realize that it is only the new superior level weapon and doesn’t compare to anything that drops in Firelands.

Scopes

It has been pointed out that [Flintlocke's Woodchucker] is an homage to a series of webcomic strips from 2008 that make up Episode 7 of Flintlocke’s Guide to Azeroth. It explains why not many people understand the reference because the golden days of WoW webcomics and blogging have ended. If you would like to compare how the new scope holds out against the [Gnomish X-Ray Scope], head over to Rapid Fire to see the mathematical comparison.


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