Tag Archives: Hunter

Forty

It took five months, but I finally hit level 40 with my first character in WoW Classic.  That might seem pretty slow… lots of people have been level 60 for a while now… but I have been pushing a group of characters through the game in parallel, not to mention spending some time getting characters to the new level cap over in EverQuest II.  And I am in no hurry in any case, spending more time going into various side areas to see the things I might have missed back in the day.

And in getting past level 30 you do end up with opportunities to see more things.  While even at lower levels the rise in quest levels in zones encourages you to do a couple zones in parallel, past 30 it becomes something of a requirement.  I think one of the reasons that leveling past that point starts to feel difficult is that you have to have some insight into where you might go to pick up a few quests in your level range.  Tistann, my hunter, went all over.

Hunting Ravagers in Desolace

There are little bits and threads of quests in Desolace, Theremore, Thousand Needles, and Stranglethorn Vale that send you back and forth or lead you to other locations for a bit, like a diversion of the Swamp of Sorrows.  I had forgotten about a group that lived there, though I am sure they won’t enter into the story in any significant way.

You’re from where now?

And while I was out I also poked my nose into neighboring zones, like the Blasted Lands and Tanaris to pick up flight points and set myself up for later ventures.

The sights around Tanaris – Do I want to know how hanging people ends up with all that blood?

But eventually I was in Stranglethorn Vale, the southern end, when the moment hit and my hunter rolled over to 40.

I missed the ding, but here I am seconds later

And there I was.  I finished out the quest I had going and recalled back to Ironforge as level 40 brings with it a whole host of new things.

New Skills

There are always some skills to learn or upgrade every other level, but 40 got me Aspect of the Pack, the group buff version of Aspect of the Cheetah that lets everybody run 30% faster.  There was also Volley, a new shooting skill, and Track Giants to add to my list of tracking options.  I always feel blind when I play another character after my hunter because I get used to tracking very quickly.

New Pet Skills

There were also some pet skills to upgrade, including a new version of Growl for my wolf, to help him keep aggro.  This actually feels a bit overdue as he had been having trouble holding aggro for the last couple of levels.  I supposed that help keep my melee skills up to date, but it will be nice for him to be a little stickier going forward.  I just have to get him to level 40 now so her can use it.

New Ammo

Level 40 gets you the next tier of ammo, the accurate slug, that increases the amount of damage each shot applies.  I also upgraded my gun at the auction house, as the one I was using was a few levels past its prime.  So I can throw a lot more damage down range.  The wolf is going to need that new taunt, and until he gets up to where I can train him, I am going to be getting more time to work on my melee skills I guess.

New Armor

Technically one of the skills I got at 40 was the ability to wear mail armor, but I am putting it in its own category because this feature is on my list of “Why?” questions that go back to vanilla WoW.  Playing WoW Classic has reminded me of that list and I should probably do a post on it.  But still, why did Blizz think that changing armor type at level 40 was a good idea?  They got rid of that, but only much later.

I suspect that Blizz just assumed people wouldn’t obsess about it and pick up new gear as it became handy, which would just prove that Blizz doesn’t know people very well.  I started collecting mail armor drops from about level 35 forward and have been hording turtle scales to make mail armor, a leatherworker skill, but I am still mostly wearing leather.

A Mount

Of course, the big thing that comes with level 40 is the ability to buy a mount.  Unfortunately, after dealing with the above, I am well short of the gold needed.  I had about 30 gold going into level 40 and a little more than 12 gold once I got everything settled.

Of course, part of the problem is that I end up sending the good equipment drops to my alts rather than selling them at the auction house.  I have two characters that will be upgrading to plate armor at 40, so I save every such drop I see.  And, of course, with several characters in rotation I don’t end up with a lot of time spent on just working on earning gold.  So it will be Aspect of the Cheetah for a while now as I don’t think I have 100 gold across all my characters combined.

But, as I said, I am not in a huge hurry to get anywhere.  I’ll have the gold at some point, but for now I walk.

Who is My Middle-earth Main Anyway?

The eternal question… at least for me.

I tend to make alts.  Lots of alts.  Or at least a lot more alts than I probably should.

And as soon as I figure out which of these alts is really my main character and declare it thus, I almost immediately stop playing that character.

I think, for example, that the character I last declared my main in WoW is a dwarf priest who currently sits at level 40 or so and has remained unplayed for ages.

And so I sit in Middle-earth, in Lord of the Rings Online, deciding between two characters.  They are both level 33, the seeming level cap for me in LOTRO.  I believe I have now have no fewer than six characters on three servers hovering at or close to that level.

Up to that level it has been easy to work on two characters, to alternate, and still progress.  But it is starting to reach the point where I am not going to be able to gain a level in a reasonable play session.  I should really pick one character with whom to move forward if I want to achieve my goal of getting to Moria.

So a choice must be made.

On the one hand, there is Terentia, my warden.

Terentia in Estildin

The warden, along with the rune-keeper, is one of the classes introduced with the Mines of Moria expansion.  Masters of the spear, javelin, and shield, they have the unique gambit system where they can build up to a variety of special attacks by using their basic attacks in a certain order.

As a class I have found the warden to be fun to play since it skilled in both tanking and DPS and includes some decent self-healing abilities.  And while I do have some trouble remembering all of the gambits (anybody know of a nice, one-page cheat sheet for those), the range of abilities really gives the class a lot of depth.  Add in some special warden travel skills, the ability to “muster” to key locations throughout the game and it is hard to say no.

But then there is Silinus, my hunter.

Silinus in West Bree

While the warden represents something new and different, the hunter is classic ranged (and melee) DPS.

The hunter isn’t a tank and can get out of his depth pretty fast if he spends too much time in melee range.  And since LOTRO hunters do not get pets, unlike their WoW brethren, the bad guys are usually moving right at you once you start shooting.

But played correctly and equipped with a good bow, not many mobs live long enough to get within melee range.  The hunter has the whole “reach out an touch someone” thing going on.

Add in the range of traps, the “where is that damn mob I need” tracking abilities, and its own set of travel skills (often to the same locations as the warden class), and again you have a interesting class to play with a lot going for it.

Of course, deciding between them is not so simple.  As I mentioned in another post, the two have a symbiotic crafting arrangement.  Terentia is the explorer who can make armor for both of them as well as harvest metal ore and wood, while Silinus is the armsman who can harvest metal ore, but needs somebody to harvest and process wood for him.  In turn, he can make wooden and metal weapons.  Spears, javelins, and bows are on that list and good for the two classes.  Together they can meet all of their basic weapon and armor needs.  But if one gets left behind, the other suffers.

So I think I’ll put this whole quandary out for others to opine upon.

What do you think I should do?