Looking for a friendlier sort of advice for your Hunter? Make sure you're in range of Aspect of the Hare. Pike (aka Pikestaff, aka Tawyn of Silver Hand-US) not only fires off solid advice for Hunters (Heigan dancing lessons for your pet, anyone?) but also scattershots the kind of musings that remind you there are witty, interesting, adventurous, real people behind the 'toons your character plays with.
We caught up with a somewhat bashful Pike to chat about her WoW game and find out what makes Aspect of the Hare so welcoming to readers and fellow players.
Main character Tawyn
Server Silver Hand-US (A)
Alts Several alts, including Lunapike, The Venture Co.-US (H)
Player since May 2007
Gaming background Been gaming since before I could talk, thanks to Commodore 64.
15 Minutes of Fame: What's your WoW focus these days, Pike? Where are you spending your time in game?
Pike: My interests in the game are very far-reaching and I enjoy most aspects of it -- hence the enthusiasm that I think seems to creep into most of my blog posts. I'm not purposefully trying to inject my blog with it. It just shows up. I'm up for most tasks in the game, whether it's leveling, heroics, raiding or a Battleground or two. I'm not a big fan of Arena, but I'm game for basically everything else, and I'll greet it with gusto.
Your blog, while still relatively fresh on the scene, gets props from all around the web. What prompted you to start blogging at Aspect of the Hare?
A couple of things. Firstly, reading other blogs -- BigRedKitty and The Hunter's Mark were my two biggest influences. BRK and Lass were these bright shining beacons of hunterness to me as a then level 24 super-noob. For weeks, I never even commented on their sites; I figured I wasn't worthy. I certainly didn't see myself as worthy enough to start my own blog.
But it got to the point where I was having more and more little ideas and babblings about the game in my head that I wanted to write down. My LiveJournal friends were the first unwitting victims of this, but before long, I realized that it would be better to dump my thoughts somewhere where no one would read them than at my LJ, where very few of my readers were WoW players. So I went to Blogger and made Aspect of the Hare. I figured nobody would ever read my blog, ever. I was wrong -- but that's how things go, I suppose!
What do you consider the thing that sets you apart from other Hunter blogs out there?
Sometimes I think about my unique position as a Beast Master Hunter blogger who will be forever in the shadow of a particular Big Red Cat, yet it's never really bugged me at all. I do think the main thing that sets me apart from most other popular Hunter blogs out there is that I am largely about the pure enthusiasm I have for the Hunter class.
I recently had a post where I stated that I didn't care if you raid or if you don't raid or if you PvP or what spec you are or even what level you are -- if you are playing a Hunter and having fun with it, then my blog is for you. Aspect of the Hare is for people who want to celebrate our oddball love for our class without any of the negativity found on some of the bigger sites or forums. I'm really proud of the community that has sort of popped up based on that foundation.
To a lesser extent, I also provide "Hunter Kindergarten" guides on my site. These are mostly guides that are aimed at newer Hunters or players and steer clear of too much theorycrafting in favor of an easy-to-read and conversational style.
You've written about soloing Deadmines as a 30s-level Hunter in order to polish up skills. What's the most difficult encounter or endeavor you've undertaken with your own Hunter?
One thing that comes to mind was soloing a really long group quest chain on Lunapike, my lovely Taureness (and my second Hunter to hit 70, though she's yet to reach 80). I wish I could remember the name of the quest for you to provide you with more specifics, but I know it involved going around and killing various elites around Outland. These quests were all marked as three-player group quests, but I went and did it alone at level 68 or something.
I have a distinct memory of taking a good long time killing this elite in the Tavern in Shattrath. I'd lay down a Freezing Trap, sic my kitty at the guy, pewpew, pull my cat back and thus pull the guy into the trap so I could bandage my cat ... And so it went, for probably four or five consecutive rotations like that. I used a similar strategy on another really hard-hitting elite in Nagrand. Mend Pet wasn't enough to keep your pet alive on these guys at the time, so you had to chain-trap on top of it so you could take bandage breaks. It was great.
You sound as if you enjoy trying offbeat, new things just to see if you can do them.
Yes. Trying to lower my personal high scores for soloing things and running to the other side of the world at level 10 to get rare pets is pretty standard for me, but it also seems to be pretty standard for a lot of Hunters ... We've got an adventurous streak in us.
Tell us about your pet of choice -- who, what and why?
Ah, don't make me choose! I do love the look of Wind Serpents. I have the teal one out of Zul'Gurub; taming him alone as a non-SV hunter was quite an adventure, but that's another story. But asking me to choose a favorite? ... Can't do it, I fear. I love them all.
What do you think is the best new change or direction for Hunters right now?
I think the addition of pet talent trees was great. So are the upcoming dual-specs; we've all been at pet-unfriendly fights before, and since I'm typically a staunch Beast Master, I certainly wouldn't mind being able to temporarily switch to Marksmanship on said fights.
What recent change for Hunters gives you the heebie-jeebies?
The recent BM nerf hurt a bit, but on the other hand, I was never a BW/Readiness hunter to begin with (I'm stubborn), and the "un-nerf" was a nice little boost.
In all honesty, I actually really miss Auto Shots and specials being linked, as they were pre-WotLK. Those who know me know that I pride myself on manually-weaving my shots, and having to mentally time those so as not to clip your Autos was really thrilling for me. But in the end, I can see why they changed it.
We hear you have a lot of Hunter alts. What gives?
I tell people that my two favorite things in the game are leveling and pets. Leveling is limited by the level cap, and pets are limited by five stable slots per Hunter. The answer to this dilemma, of course, is to level more Hunters. So I do. I only have two non-Hunter characters that I play regularly, a Paladin and a Resto Druid. And seeing as the Paladin is super-new, I dunno if we can count him yet, really.
Some players -- endgame raiders, for instance -- see pretty clearly the path they'll be taking in WoW in the weeks and months to come. What's ahead for Pike -- or is that a mystery?
The big thing with me is that due to the nature of my job, I have no set schedule at all. I don't know what days and what times I will be working until a couple of days in advance. On any given day, I could be at work anywhere between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. This makes planning my "WoW life" very, very hard for me. I can't attend scheduled raids and I can't really plan ahead with anything.
So I take each day as it comes. I log on, I see who needs me or what I feel like doing, and do it. It doesn't matter if I wind up in a heroic, a really good raid or running a level 14 hunter through the Barrens ... I'm equally happy.