I’m still here. I haven’t written here in five or six weeks. But I’m still keeping up with everyone’s blogs, and I still have plans for this blog, although if I do end up going a while before that manifests itself in the form of posts, I won’t be surprised.
I can’t do the squeeze-whatever-news-and-speculation-I-can-out-of-every-day thing, which is why I’ve kept quiet. I simply can’t justify budgeting the time and emotional energy into “waiting and hoping” for, and writing regularly about, a launch that is looking increasingly like it could actually go all the way to the end of – or even pass – the December release window.
(To those who are doing so, by the way, kudos and thanks!)
So it’s highly likely that posting will be sporadic for the foreseeable future.
However, a couple of things are happening.
For one thing, I recently returned to the game after a two-month break. I’ve actually raided with some friends a couple of times – although I have no weekly commitment – and I’ve done some other things here and there with my regular toons. But the majority of my time over the past couple of weeks has been spent leveling a new toon on a new server.
He’s a Marksmanship hunter, Skinner/Herbalist, and I’m enjoying leveling him all by himself, with no guild and no other toons from my account on the server (so far). As such, he has to manage bag space and gold as he levels. I’m having fun dealing with these rather mundane issues.
Additionally, I recently got a promotion at my job, so I’m spending a lot more time at (and thinking about) work.
As it’s taking more of my time, any WoW-related activities – and considering the conditions I discussed above (the waiting game) – consist of either playing the game or reading about it. Nothing terribly important is happening in my WoW-world, so there’s little for me to write about. I’m leveling a toon, and that’s basically it. It takes me back to earlier, simpler times.
There is a good chance that I could take another break before Warlords of Draenor manifests itself. I haven’t decided, or given it much thought; the fact remains that we could be six-to-eight months away from a ‘go-live’ date. So we’ll see how it goes.
Anyway, I just wanted to say hello!
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Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
On Monday, I got my first ever hit via Reddit.
That’s what I said to myself when I saw that. As far as I know, I have never been linked on Reddit before. Since I was curious, I followed the link back, and it was to a thread by someone who is new to the game and chose to roll a hunter.
The link to Mushan, Etc. was put there by my friend Cheap Boss Attack, who referred to my blog as “a nice hunter blog.” To which I say, thanks! and /salute! @ Cheap Boss Attack. :)
But at the same time, I was troubled, for two reasons…
1) While this may be a decent blog – and perhaps even fun to read from time to time – I don’t know that I have much specifically helpful hunter content to offer a new hunter here; and
2) There is no longer quite as long of a list of places to send a new player/hunter for advice.
Nonetheless, in case other brand new players come to my blog looking for guides or whatever, there are a few places that I can, in turn, recommend.
Resources for new hunters/players (Not a complete list by any stretch!)
WoW Insider is a wonderful site. It’s extremely active, with many new posts a day concerning most aspects of the game. There are weekly class columns for most of the classes, including hunters. WoW Insider is also a great source for up-to-date news, lore, commentary on the design of the game, daily Breakfast Topics to promote reader discussion, raiding and PvP columns, a weekly podcast, and much more. It’s a site with something (or many things!) for virtually everyone, and has a very large base of active commenters. Additionally, there is information in the form of new-player “getting started” guides there for new players (of any stripe), which can be very helpful for someone just beginning to explore this huge game.
Scattered Shots – specifically – is the hunter class column. It has been written by different people over the years, and went through a long hiatus during the spring and summer between columnists. However, it is currently active and is being written by Adam Koebel, who seems to be doing a great job. The previous columnist, Brian Wood, wrote Scattered Shots for several years until this spring, and although the game tends to change from patch to patch and expansion to expansion, the pre-Adam posts are definitely worth the read if you’re looking to get a feel for the history and culture of the class and the hunter community.
If you’re looking for a site that is chock full of information on gear/items, quests, NPCs, professions, loot tables, and more information than I am willing to categorize in this post, WoWhead is your place. It’s a massive database/news site/blog that has a just a ton of info on just about anything you could need to find. Definitely a place to bookmark and visit often.
For good basic guides on how to raid with your class once you hit the max level – as well as dungeon/raid boss guides, news, forums, reputation guides, lengthy quest lines, etc., Icy-Veins is a great resource for any class.
Darkbrew (The Brew Hall) not only blogs about hunters, but he’s a co-founder of the Hunting Party Podcast, which is the podcast for World of Warcraft Hunters. He posts each episode on his site, and you can also find podcast information at OutDPS!, which Darkbrew recently took over when the podcast’s co-founder, Euripides (founder of OutDPS!), retired. The Hunting Party Podcast is both entertaining and informative, and listening to back episodes can provide a further look into the history of the hunter community, and of the game itself.
For all the latest news, datamining, first looks at new gear/quests/mounts and pets/blue posts and changes, etc, MMO-Champion is a great site. Not only do they have frequent posts (and updates to those posts) with info on the game as it changes, but there are also forums with helpful guides to many aspects of the game. Additionally, in the past couple of years they’ve put together a great site in WoWdb, which is, among other things, a comprehensive item database with some excellent search-filtering features. Another great resource.
Have a question about hunter pets? Wondering what special abilities certain pets have, which pets are best in certain situations, or which pets bring which buffs to your group? Want to know which food you can give your pet without him spitting it back at you? Petopia is your one-stop shop for pet info!
Fishing can be both an enjoyable and profitable activity. If it interests you, or if you need to find certain fish, or have any other questions about anything fishing-related in WoW, El’s Anglin’ is the top resource. He cover’s fishing, cooking, achievements, and related topics on his site.
WoWpedia is the wiki source I use whenever there’s something I want to know about the game that I feel they might cover better than most. There’s information on almost everything – I tend to use it most for lore and history, but over the years I’ve gone there for information on just about anything you can think of.
Looking to optimize your gear and character for end-game raiding, dungeons, or PvP? Mr. Robot can help you gem, enchant, and reforge your gear, as well as find upgrades, and also has an in-game addon for all of that. There’s a lot to explore on Ask Mr. Robot – I use it all the time. Check it out!
As I noted above, this is nowhere near a comprehensive list of resources. There are also some important links to resources that I didn’t include on this list at the right side of my blog, so feel free to check them out. Additionally, check out resources you can find on other peoples’ blogrolls, and links to great sources of info in articles on the sites I mentioned. There’s a lot of info – and fun stuff to read – out there, and I don’t even know about all of it!
World of Warcraft is a big game – and by that, I’m not referring to how many copies it sells or subscribers it has. What I do mean is this: we’re four full expansions past the game’s release, and looking at possibly a fifth during the next year, which is also the 10th anniversary of the game’s release. That’s a lot of lore and history and community and commentary to discover: you could theoretically lose yourself for hours on some of the sites I mentioned above, and for days on others!
I hope that someone finds this post helpful. I’m not a guide-writer or a theory-crafter, and I’m not even a nine-year “been here since WoW-beta” veteran. But I’ve been around a while, and have found all of these tools useful. Hopefully, sharing them with you can open your eyes to new things as well.
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged!
Recently, I had the privilege of being asked to be a part of the next round of hunter interviews by Quelys, over at Quel’s Hunting Corner. For anyone who knows, this puts me in some pretty sweet company, as Quel had previously interviewed Frostheim, Solarflair, Zehera, and several other hunters I’ve looked up to!
The interview is live this morning, so if anyone is interested in reading This is the Etc. he was talking about!, follow the link in this sentence!
It was fun and exciting to be interviewed by someone whom I admire as both a hunter and a blogger; whose site has been a staple in my reader for a long time, and who has been one of the more consistent commenters – and sources of encouragement, for that matter – at my own blog.
Sadly, my joy at being interviewed by Quelys is subdued, because there is a concurrent post on his site, announcing that he is done blogging and playing, effective immediately. His leaving creates another big void in the hunter universe, and it looks like mine will be the final interview in his “An evening with…” series.
I don’t know if you know this, Quelys, but I have always enjoyed your posts, and I’ve looked up to you like a big brother in huntering. I’m sorry I never said that before. I’m going to miss you. I hope that life kicks major ass in your favor, and wish you the best. Thanks for everything!
The timing of these two events makes me feel kind of like I’ve broken the internet. I’m sad and confused. However, this doesn’t diminish the fact that Quelys has always written great stuff, and I think his interview with me turned out pretty well. Please check it out if you’re interested!
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
Frostheim, co-creator of Warcraft Hunters Union (and all that that site has done for us hunters), progenitor of WoW Hunters Hall, long-time Scattered Shots (WoW Insider) columnist, long-time member (and poet laureate) of the Hunting Party Podcast, writer of several amazing odes to hunters, staunch defender of facts and math and balance, advocate for cool new stuff for hunters, recoverer of his own cloak, and generally fun and awesome guy, announced last Saturday on the Hunting Party Podcast – and later that day on WHU – that he is retiring.
Given his recent stretches of absence from the WHU and the HPP, to say that I didn’t see this coming would be incorrect. And he is not quitting the game, but is shutting down his personal commitments to his blogging / podcasting activities in order to devote his time to other ventures. He’s also apparently going to put away his white-quality weapons and lessen the amount of time he spends shooting at target dummies as if they’re trying to invade his city, and actually devote more of his WoW time to playing the game! This is a good thing.
Personally, though – and I know I speak for untold numbers of players out there – I Will Miss You, Frost.
I’m A Hunter
I wasn’t always a hunter. But one of my earliest toons was a hunter back when I started playing shortly after the release of Burning Crusade, although since I was a terrible player (and that’s all the info anyone needs) back then, I failed to get him to level 70.
During the spring of 2010, when the Lich King was dead and we were in the midst of the longest stretch of meaningful-content-less boredom in the history of the game, I started listening to the Hunting Party Podcast. I forget how it happened; the best I can remember is that, as a reader of WoW Insider, I liked Frostheim’s Scattered Shots posts more than just about anything else on the site.
(I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was probably ready for a change at that point… but anyway, to continue…)
Of course, the header on each of his posts mentioned that he was from Warcraft Hunters Union and the Hunting Party Podcast, and so I checked them out. And let me say, when someone charismatic like Frostheim is available to be both read and listened to, it can be a powerful combination. I wasn’t much of a podcast-listener in those days – my only constant at the time was the WoW Insider Show, which I haven’t listened to in almost a year now, and I had tried out several others that either didn’t grab me or didn’t stick around. So when I found Darkbrew, Euripides, and Frostheim, I was hooked. I downloaded and listened to every single episode that was available on iTunes, and they were my companions that summer and fall as we inched our way toward the launch of Cataclysm.
Meanwhile, I started a few hunters. Mushan stuck, and the rest is history (which I’ve laid out in previous posts). Playing the hunter that summer and fall, leveling the hunter, doing dungeons on the hunter, was every bit as fun as I had imagined it would be while listening to the HPP. As a player who now had some general skill, I didn’t have any of the problems I had had in 2008 with my long-deleted original. I was topping meters, learning to use my utility abilities, enjoying playing the movement/Auto Shot game, and seriously thinking about making Mushan my main. Which eventually happened.
I was “Ana” back in the day, but now I’m “Mushan,” and that is indescribably largely due to the influence of one Frostheim.
Things lately have been quieter on the Mushan/HPP front. I often work on Saturdays, so I don’t get to listen in live when the show is recorded anymore. And the shows have often taken weeks to come out on iTunes, and so over the past several months I’ve only listened a handful of times, and I expect that to continue.
But I’ve always enjoyed listening to Frostheim, and I’m going to miss that. He has given so much to the hunter community at this point that it’s almost a cliche to say so, but I don’t care. Why?
Because without Frostheim, it’s almost certain that there would be no Mushan. And that’s of some importance, at least to me. He literally rejuvenated my WoW experience by unknowingly reintroducing me to the hunter class. He changed the game for me. Without Frostheim, I might not have switched over to a hunter. Without Frostheim, I might not even be playing the game anymore. At the very least, without Frostheim, this blog would certainly not exist in this form.
The first paragraph of this post probably makes me sound like a bit of a fan-boy. Am I a fan-boy of Frostheim? Hell yes! I think my previous paragraph does a pretty good job explaining why.
And so, to Frostheim, Thank You for all you’ve done for hunters. You’ve been a gift to us these past several years, and I’ll never forget it. I’ll be following whatever you do in the future – stay in touch!
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
For some things, the time was right.
For others, the time had come and gone and was long past.
Whatever the timing, this week seemed like a good time to freshen up the look here at Mushan, Etc.
Since the blog started 14 months ago, it has basically looked the same: plain white background, header showing Mushan in his old (future transmog) gear, wearing his polearm like a boss, standing in Silithus with his ravager; Gravatar a black and white version of the same screenshot.
It had been getting old for a long time, for serious. Check it out…
This week, I was inspired to change it up a bit, to add some color. I started with the header, taking some screenshots in a few different places before finding a situation that I really liked. I’m sure you can figure out where I was standing… anyway, the screenshot turned out so great that I decided to use it for my avatar as well! Once I had the header in place, I decided that it looked like too much of a bright contrast when combined with the plain white background, so I changed that too, finding a color that fit with the theme of the header shot. It turned out way, way better than I had expected. I actually like to look at my site for fun again!
(Yes, yes, I am so vain…)
I also took a long-needed sweep through my blog rolls, cutting several links to blogs that haven’t been posted to in six months or more. My blog rolls aren’t necessarily something that people need, but readers do seem to click them from time to time, so I’d like to have rather current links on them. Hopefully everything that I left (or added!) is moderately current; I don’t want to be the guy that sends people to out-of-date info…
Additionally, I added a new section for podcasts. It’s not extensive by any stretch of the imagination, but then again I don’t listen to many podcasts. Convert to Raid is, without exception, my favorite podcast right now, and I also enjoy Legendary, the HPP, and Twisted Nether. I also added a couple of non-WoW ones, because I like them and because… I don’t listen to that many podcasts. However, I plan on working to change that. I have a short list to check out in the near future, like Hearthcast, The Instance, Realm Maintenance, All Things Azeroth, and Ready Check. We’ll see how that goes – if I latch on to something, I’ll add it to the list. For now, the ones there are the ones I listen to and enjoy on a regular basis.
Other than that, I generally just tried to trim a modicum of clutter from my blog. Like I said, these were minor changes, but hopefully this makes my site more aesthetically pleasing and seemingly alive, or something. I’ve got to say again, though: I’m very excited about how the new colors and header turned out. Hope you all enjoy it!
Thanks for reading this post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!
Today I want to feature links to a few of the posts I’ve read over the course of the past week or so. They may or may not interest you, but I like to share things I find interesting. There’s some variety here, definitely not all hunter-related stuff. At any rate, let’s get started.
1. Cynwise’s Warcraft Manual - Class Distribution Data for Patch 5.3
Cynwise has been doing this for several patches now, and it’s fascinating stuff. He digs into sources such as RealmPop and puts together several tables showing how class population has changed from patch to patch, with samples of heroic raiding, PvP, general populations, level 90 toons, 86-90 toons, and so on. It’s interesting to see how the populations fluctuate with class balance changes, new raid encounters, and other design changes, and to contrast PvP to raiders to the general subscriber base, etc.
2. Warcraft Hunters Union - Volunteers for WoW Hunters Hall
Frostheim has been very busy lately. For those who don’t know, he’s changing jobs and moving east this week, and this has understandably taken up a great deal of his time. Arth has been doing great over at WHU in his stead, but with the news that Tabana is leaving WoW/WHH as of this week, Frost is looking for volunteers to take over the maintenance of that site’s content, in order to keep the WoW hunters’ web portal alive. If you’re interested, let him know! His email link is in the post if you’re interested, although he may not get back to you until he gets situated and has real internets and stuffs.
3. Restokin – Becoming a WoW blogger and growing the community
Every once in a while, someone like Lissanna writes an important post such as this one, and it’s always needed.
It can seem to many readers, once you’ve been reading blogs for a while, that the number of blogs that start to stagnate in your feed can grow pretty quickly. This is fine, because people move on, but it can seem that more blogs are dying than are being born. While that’s not necessarily true, it can feel that way.
However, this is why you are needed! Have you ever thought about starting a blog? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’d love to write about this-or-that experience” or “I’d love to share my knowledge” or “There’s nobody writing a guide for [fill-in-the-blank]” before?
As Lissana says at the start of her guide, the WoW out-of-game community is a remarkable phenomenon, and part of that is how it continues to grow and rejuvenate itself with new contributors. I was once one of those myself, with a small blog, and then I stopped, and then I made a new and better one. The bottom line is that there are people out there who love to read about the game, whether it be about guides and theorycrafting, lore, roleplaying, questing, fashion, exploration/screenshots, PvP, the in-game music, creative writing, fan art, funny things that happen in guild chat, and so many other topics. If you were ever thinking about getting into blogging, now is not too soon! There is a very good chance that there are people out there who want to read what you have to say. The community always needs more bloggers, and Lissana has some great advice for those who were thinking of testing the waters. I highly encourage you to check out her post!
And last, but certainly not least!…
4. The Grumpy Elf – Why are the Casual Guilds Hurting?
The Grumpy Elf does such a good job discussing the plight of casual guilds in the current iteration of WoW that I haven’t felt the inclination to add much of anything to the discussion. This post from last week breaks down many of the issues that current ‘casual raiding guilds’ face in a time of LFR, tougher normal mode content, bad luck with loot, and simply ‘being casual.’ He and I are both in situations where we’re struggling to deal with the halting progression that guilds like ours can make, and I think it’s a topic/issue that is very present and real in the game, even for many who haven’t thought that much about it or who don’t read blogs like TGE’s, but are also slogging through raid content at Tortos’ pace…
I hope you found these links useful and/or interesting! :)
This is not likely to be a “regular feature” at Mushan, Etc. I don’t know that I have any of regular features, actually. However, it’s been a long time (and at least a whole blog ago, for me) since I’ve done one of these, so I may post one here and there as the spirit moves me.
Thanks for reading this links post by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!