Welcome to Scattered Shots, where Daniel Whitcomb is totally making plans to walk with rhythm so that he can attract the worm.
So with Wrath less than a week away, we got our work cut out for us, so to speak. Luckily, 3.0's early release has given us time to learn to handle our pets and respec to take advantage of new talents, but now the big push is upon, as 10 levels and a whole slew of new zones opens up for us. When you step off the boat or zeppelin in Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord, where will you go? What will you do?
Here's a few quick Hunter specific tips to getting started in the Wrath of the Lich King.
Unless you were one of the lucky ones who got your hands on Thori'dal, you're going to need ammunition before you can start wading in to the Vykrul, Nerubians, or whatever you go up against first. Luckily, there are general goods vendors in each starting village who will sell you basic store brought ammo. Unfortunately, the only new level of store brought ammo comes in at level 75, and is only equivalent to Karazhan's ammunition, so if you rely on these vendors alone, you're stuck with rather low damage level 65 Ammo.
Luckily, there is a better solution. In Dalaran, there is an ammunition vendor who sells all the special Outland faction ammunition, even the Honor Hold/Thrallmar and Cenarion Expedition varieties. He'll likely sell any faction-specific Northrend ammunition as well, when that shows up.
One more note about Ammunition: If you're not an engineer, you probably want to find one who owes you a few favors right now. The new crafted arrows and ammunition, available at level 72, are a leap above even the Timeless ammunition from Hyjal, and are currently the highest damage ammunition in game. You're going to need a lot of Saronite to keep yourself in Arrows, and a good amount of Cobalt to keep the Mammoth Cutter bullets coming as well.
New Pet Skins
By now, many of you have probably figured out your new pets of choice, assigned talent builds, and all that stuff, but if you're looking for a new fun pet skin, maybe you've been waiting for Northrend to tame your newest companion. Luckily, there's a few level 70 beasts right off the boat to whet your appetite for cool new tamable pet skins.
If you're a fan of the Jormungar worms, you'll want to head to the Northeast part of the Borean Tundra. To the west and southwest of the Temple City of En'Kilah, you'll find Tundra Crawlers, which are level 70, easily tamable, and much cooler looking that their old world cousins.
Rhinos are a whole family of pets that can be found only in Northrend, and if you've been salivating over them, you'll get your chance to grab one pretty early on. Both brown and gray skinned ones ranging in level from 68-70 roam about smack dab in the middle of the Borean Tundra.
In non-exotic new pet skins, Howling Fjord has two new bird skins, namely the Eagle and Hawk skins. While the Eagle and Hawk skins aren't new per se, having seen some use in Zul'Aman, they're now infinitely easier to grab in Northrend. The Duskwing Eagles are a nice brown bird skin, and those can be found in the mid to western parts of the zone, near the explorer's league camp.
The other pet skin worth looking out for will take an extra level to get, but it will be worth the wait. There is now a tamable bald eagle skin in World of Warcraft. The Fjord Hawk Matriarch will be on the cliffs in the southeast part of the Howling Fjord. At level 71, you'll need a level before you can find and tame her, but the wait should be worth. Seriously, then you'll just need to get yourself a motorcycle and convince Blizzard to implement leather jackets, and you'll be the coolest Hunter ever, I swear.
If you haven't already changed into your leveling spec, you'll probably want to do so now. Even if you plan to take it easy and not rush to 80, you'll want to consider a build that gets you to 80 with all due haste. By now, hopefully you've seen BRK's overview of all the trees, as well as my suggestions for a solid Beastmastery build. Here's a few extra builds as well, in case you're still looking for one:
If you're a Beastmaster and you don't mind waiting a few extra levels for your exotic pet, you may want to consider a build something like this that takes Go For The Throat. Pets are pretty focus intensive these days, since every family has a family skill and a focus dump such as Bite. It's not as bad as it was now that most talented abilities no longer require focus, but focus is still a concern. Holding off an exotic pet until the mid-70s may be a fair trade if your pet always has the focus to cast both Growl and their damage or utility abilities. Besides, you'll be able to grab Beast Mastery by level 72 with this build.
A Marksman might want to focus on a build that looks more like this, and hopes to empower a basic rotation that consists of primarily getting a sting up and firing steady Shots weaved with Chimera Shots to keep the sting up, while other talents that boost general damage or compliment the rotation are added. Just be sure to keep on top of changing your tracking to compliment Improved Tracking.
Wrapping It Up
Of course, as we get through the last few days before the descent of Wrath, we should have plenty more advice for Hunters, on top of general advice for getting everything from your potion stash to your gear ready for the journey through Northrend. Be sure to stay tuned to us, and no matter how you plan to get to level 80, we'll help you get there.