Beta Weekend: Holy cow that was a lot of playtime.

With my wife out of town for the weekend we were able to spend some quality time with the beta over the course of a couple days. And by quality time, I mean something like “GO TO SLEEP ALREADY, THE SUN IS RISING” style-time. With time spent between the Hunter and the Death Knight, we covered a lot of ground. So, buckle up and hold on.

Before I sat down with the beta, I spent some of Friday evening with some buddies playing Smash Brothers Brawl, Acquire, and Ricochet Robots. Good times to be had by all. :)

As promised, the first thing I did was spec into Marksmanship to give it a go. Granted there wasn’t any PvP involved, so the actual use of Silencing Shot and Scatter Shot was at a minimum. We stayed as Marksmanship for roughly half the the quests we did in Sholazar Basin. And don’t let that throw you off, there are a ton of quests in that place. Not only that, there is a ton of awesome lore to go along with its awesome design.

Now there was a rumored bug I was trying to avoid, but I inadvertently “discovered” it as I was testing Marksmanship. Currently when you put Serpent Sting on a target, the amount of damage they take goes through the roof. Like, crazy through the roof. How crazy, well check out the screenshot on the right and make special note of the combat log. Not working as intended. But regardless, it was hard to justify using Chimera Shot in PvE situations. It has a gigantic mana cost for what it accomplishes.

While having [Lock and Load] proc off of traps is currently bugged, the 15% chance off a sting application works fine.Perhaps I just need to try Marksmanship when there is PvP to be had, because it ended up feeling like Survival. Just without the awesome tricks that Survival now has. So after reaching roughly halfway to 77 I decided it was time to go back to Survival. And I was loving it more than before. I honestly think Lock and Load is one of my favorite talents. It procs constantly. Unloading an Explosive Shot -> Arcane Shot -> Explosive Shot is such a big ball of ownage I can hardly describe it. Especially since it doesn’t trigger the cooldown so you could technically follow up with another one of those shots as normal. While having it proc off of traps is currently bugged, the 15% chance off a sting application works fine.

Blizzard is definitely trying to make Hunter’s love Serpent Sting. And whether it is Serpent Sting, Scorpid, or Viper I definitely feel that Lock and Load is a much better talent than people are giving it credit for. In its current form I definitely plan on keeping it in my builds.

I completed the Nessingwary  chain in Sholazar Basin as well. And I don’t know about you, but I always wondered how Hemet was suppose to be an amazing Hunter when he had you do everything. He never left is stupid little tents! But this time around it looks like Hemet put on his big-boy pants and decided to man-up and help out with one of these kills. The quest was definitely unique and the chain was fairly enjoyable as a whole. It still involves you slaughtering tons of animals along the way, but everything from gathering fruit or what not, there is at least a tad bit of variety. And I finally found something I could consider an upgrade as well. As I was sticking with my Armor Penetration, I found a shiny new bow (Looks like those bags need to be cleaned out).

Along with hitting level 77, we were finally able to unlock our flying mount. The “chain” to unlock it involves doing 2 quests, blowing up gargoyles with air-to-air missiles, and flying a burning flying machine back to camp. Congrats, you are skilled at flying in cold air!

Once I completely finished Sholazar Basin, I gave the Death Knight a little lovin’ and set out to finish leveling to 68 so he could head out to Northrend. With Terrokar under my belt, Nagrand would be easy to top of that level. I managed to find a group to do the Ring of Blood as well. Lots of Death Knights. What’s Nagrand look like in beta? Like this of course. The best part about it? We totally finished the chain. With some help from a couple stray Death Knights wandering around.

The instance looks awesome, even with a few placeholder models still in place.I joined a group for Halls of Stone last night, with 1 bubble to go 78. And the group went ridiculously smooth. The instance looks awesome, even with a few placeholder models still in place. The boss fights were pretty straight forward, especially from a Hunter stand-point. The first boss in the zone is named Krystallus, which one of our members described as a “mini-Gruul.” So here is a video for you. As far as the music, I was listening to Pandora, so the music in the video is whatever Pandora happened to load in my station at the time. Hope you don’t mind. If you are wondering what the song is, I probably can’t tell you. :)

So yeah, he was completely destroyed. The second boss we encountered was named the “Maiden of Grief.” Relatively similar to the Maiden of Virtue. Once again, simple and to the point. More random music.

There is a third video of a third “boss” event, but it is still uploading because it was a big longer than these two. I forgot to record the 4th and final boss since our tank disconnected and by the time we decided to 4-man it with one of our Death Knights tanking, hitting the record button had completely slipped my mind. There are also tons of screenshots not linked in this post, so head on over to the gallery and click through them if you get a chance.

I attempted to fight in Lake Wintergrasp as well, but it seemed so buggy it was pointless. Creating vehicles only created it for Alliance, etc. So I left and moved on with my questing and looked to finish off Zul’Drak.

I should also state that one of the things BRK posted in his “Pet Winners and Losers” is incorrect from my initial testing and from other reports. He lists the Wolf’s Furious Howl only affecting melee which is incorrect and/or is from out-dated information. If he is referring to the actual ability only affecting melee, this is wrong, as the 5% does indeed affect our attacks. And if he is referring to the 20 yard range, Koraa stated quite a few days ago that this was getting changed to 40 yards. Don’t count wolfs out. Though the rest of the post he made is great and definitely worth reading.

I want to give a big thanks to everyone who has taken the time to send in answers to my survey. I’ve gathered a lot of information that will help me out. I will leave that yellow notice at the top of the page up for a couple more days because I figure I will have gathered enough data where I can stop bugging you about it. :)

So I’ll wrap that up for today. In conclusion Survival rocks. Marksmanship may rock. I might need to PvP first. Thoughts, comments, etc. Post!

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.