Thursday, May 8, 2008

A change of pace

Meet Hugs. She's very affectionate and friendly, and loves, I mean, meeting new people. She also really loves playing with the Alliance in Arathi Basin, although they don't seem quite as fond of her, for some reason. They either run away when she approaches, or kill her repeatedly.

I was able to tame her earlier this morning from an elite spider called Deathskitter who is found south of Stonebreaker Hold, in Terokkar Forest. I've been meaning to do it for a while, ever since I first learned about Deathskitter from Petopia. I'd also decided that once I got Hugs, she was going to become my regular PvP pet, and that for the first day or two while I had her, I'd respec to Beast Mastery in order to see what effect Bestial Wrath had on the spider model. I've tended to be somewhat arachnophobic myself, and so anticipated that she was also going to bother me, but she doesn't, and I actually find her somewhat beautiful in a Gothic kind of way.

Of all the pet classes that Blizzard have neglected, it really is a shame about spiders. I tamed one very early on in my career as a Hunter, but eventually got rid of it due to it not being competitive damage wise, and at the time me needing something a little more practical. It'd only really need Scorpid Poison and Dash to make them worth using as well, and visually of course they're so distinctive that I could see them becoming very popular. There are a lot of different spider skins and models in the game.

At my current level though, it's not so bad. Hugs does 145 base DPS with BM and Cobra Reflexes, and that's not counting Bite. That is close to 50 DPS more than what my boar usually does. Her health and armor are also good. About her only real drawback is the lack of Dash and an additional focus dump, the most logical of course being Scorpid Poison.

Beast Mastery is also a very different playstyle to what I'm used to; particularly for PvP. I don't have the ability to cheat death to anywhere near the degree I usually do with Survival; as BM I'm generally either dominating the Alliance on the kill charts, or I'm dead and close to last. Not much middle ground. My reading of BRK has helped; I recall him at times writing about using Bestial Wrath and Rapid Fire to create a very rapid stream of damage. For me anyway it isn't quite as effective as the one or two hit burst that I'm used to, but that is also possibly because I'm simply not used to using it yet.

Rest assured however, that this is a temporary respec only. I'm having fun with it, but I'm lost without my traps in a lot of different elements of the game, and I also miss my burst in AB itself.

I read this article on the different forms of Lightsaber combat recently, which encouraged me to try Beast Mastery again for a little while though. The article mentions that while such Jedi masters as Mace Windu and Yoda had their own individual forms of preference, they were also at least summarily familiar with all of the existing forms, and this is something I think BRK has mentioned as well.

In terms of that article, I was able to see an analogy between BM as a Hunter spec and Ataru, or Form IV, which was the form Yoda used, between Form III/Soresu and Survival, and between Form II/Makashi and Marksmanship.

This is a screenshot of the final result of one of my more recent matches using Hugs and Beast Mastery. I was fairly pleased with this, because I think this was probably the single toughest Alliance team I've ever fought. Zandreman, the Alliance Warrior above me in the list, was amazing. He killed me probably four times, and once after having killed me in what seemed like two hits, I saw him do the same to another person before dying, while he himself only had around 5% health left.

That of course brings me back to my main reason for getting Hugs, which I will admit was for the competitive advantage I could perhaps derive from her psychological impact on the Alliance. For that, she seems to work fairly well. Hugs' appearance seems to sometimes throw individual members of the Alliance off-balance, and them spending time focused on killing or getting away from her is time that I have to retreat if necessary myself.

I'm discovering that nothing says, "I love you," quite like a giant spider. ;-)

No comments: