Proc you!

A forum post caught my eye yesterday, and without a trace of sarcasm I can say it really tugged at my heart strings. Some poor hunter had been tracking Arcturis, the spirit bear, for years. Finally he comes upon this coveted pet, no one else in sight, and he casts Tame Beast, heart pounding.

Then one of his trinkets procs and kills Arcturis.

The player describes himself as “pissed”. Yeah, I think that choice of phrase shows admirable restraint. Speaking as someone who also hunted Arcturis for years, I can absolutely feel his pain. This bear has a long spawn time — I don’t know what it is, but it has to be close to 12-18 hours. He spawns in a tiny area near Amberpine Lodge in Grizzly Hills. And, of course, since he is a sought-after prize, there are often other hunters there (many from other realms, thank you CRZ) as well as despicable players whose only goal is to kill him and deny him to hunters. The only way I was ever able to get him is, to be blunt, pure dumb luck. I do not have the patience to actually camp rares, so for years I would visit the spawn area at random times 3-4 times a week, and finally one time there he was. My heart was pounding, and I was terrified I would screw it up with a mistimed auto shot or some other blunder, but all went well and he was finally mine. If one of my trinkets had suddenly proc’ed and killed him, I would have been far more than “pissed”!

At any rate, this unfortunate player quite rightly felt robbed by Blizz, so he put in a ticket. Still, his mind had clearly been affected by the traumatic experience if he actually expected assistance in righting this obvious bug. Because what he got from the GM was a slightly-more-polite version of “Oopsie we should fix this, meanwhile sucks to be you! Just go tame it again. Have a nice day.” To add insult to injury, he actually got a Blue response when he posted his experience in the forum, and the idiot Blue blithely said the equivalent of “My, that’s unfortunate. Next time take off all your gear first. Problem solved!”

I guaran-damn-tee you if the problem was a mage sheeping something and it triggered a damage proc, Blizz’s response to mages would not be, “Take off all your gear before you sheep a target.”

The first thing that hits me about this is — once again — there seems to be no one at Blizz with enough understanding of hunters or the hunter experience to give even a half-assed empathetic response. The responses were about as tone-deaf as someone cheerily telling you “Well, you can get another one,” in response to hearing that your beloved cat or dog died — zero regard for the depth of emotion you are experiencing.

Blizz, I double-dog dare you to name one dev in this game who actually mains a hunter, has done so for any length of time, and has a voice in influencing hunter class development. Prove me wrong and I will happily and publicly eat my words. 

The Tame Beast spell for hunters is basically a modified damage spell, or probably more accurately a variation on a cc spell. When it is cast,  you see a sort of reverse damage bar. It generates aggro, but instead of seeing a target’s health go down, you see a “love bar” with little hearts emanating from it. When the bar fills, your taming is complete and the animal switches from a hostile mob attacking you to a standard hunter pet.

There are some number of these “nice” spells in the game, these pseudo-cc spells. They certainly are common enough to be routinely factored in when contemplating new damage-dealing processes. But there seems to be no organized mechanism for staffing/brainstorming significant changes to discover conflicts. When Blizz decided to add trinket damage auto-procs to gear, any dev who was familiar with the class of spells like Tame Beast should certainly have raised a red flag. Did the gear developers talk to the spell developers? I do not know of course, but it seems like they did not. They just went ahead and put in a bunch of these damage-proccing trinkets, conflicts be damned.

This was a completely foreseeable conflict. By saying “Just take off all your gear before you tame anything” Blizz is telling us, “Yeah, we actually didn’t do a thorough development job on these, but you should absolutely be familiar with our shortcomings and take steps to avoid the problems we introduced.”

Late edit. Hotfixes for Dec 14, published late last night, indicate Blizz is testing this fix: “Tame Beast will no longer trigger trinket procs, such as Caged Horror”.  I am glad they are actually fixing this, but it does not change my opinion of their dev process. Basically they would never have done anything about this if someone had not made a pretty big stink about it, in spite of the fact that the bug has existed for a very long time now, was entirely predictable, and had indeed been noted by other hunters.

Which brings up my final point: do you have any idea how all your procs interact, or for that matter do you even know what they all are? I am betting less than a fraction of a percent of players do. I know I don’t. There are so many it is virtually impossible to know when they have activated, much less make intelligent decisions about a rotation to take them into account.

It’s one thing for a piece of gear to have an uncontrolled random passive effect like temporarily increasing a primary stat or enhancing crit rate or giving you an absorb, but it is entirely something else to have gear that randomly — and uncontrollably — sends out damage. I don’t care how many of the latter Blizz has implemented in Legion, they owe it to players to have done their homework and anticipated — and fixed — obvious problems before they go live with them.

Collectively, these random-proccing pieces of gear result in a significant loss of player control, which I suppose is in keeping with the new Blizz slogan, “Bring the class, not the player.” Obviously, I am not a big fan of having my gear decide for itself when damage will be unleashed, I kind of feel like that is my job.  I like it even less when the gear’s decision to act overrides and in some cases negates my conscious decisions in the game.

With that cranky tirade, it is time to start the weekend.


I am still trying to believe what happened to me yesterday. It seems incredible, but after years of trying, I successfully tamed Arcturis and Terrorpene within the space of 15 minutes.



As I have mentioned a couple of times, I do not have the patience to camp rares for hours at a time, so what I do is drop by spawn areas once or twice a week, spend a couple of minutes, then move on. I try to vary my times, and usually I try to find a time when there is not much activity on my server. So yesterday early in the afternoon, finding myself with an hour of down time, I logged in and really just on a whim decided to buzz by and check out the spawn point for Arcturis. As usual, as has happened to me every time I have checked over the years, he was not there. Oh, well, I thought, let me wander out and check the mail, water a few flowers, take the trash out, etc.

When I got back inside, I glanced at my screen and there he was!  I blinked a couple times to make sure I was not hallucinating. Then, with shaking hands, afraid I would screw it up by hitting the wrong button and one-shotting him, I pressed my Tame Beast button, and suddenly he was mine. Incredible!

Feeling Fate barreling down on me, and even though I knew there was no chance, I immediately headed off to Hyjal to see if possibly Terrorpene was around. He was. Another Tame Beast button press and he, too, was mine. Beyond incredible!

Clearly, I should have gone out and bought a lottery ticket. I was absolutely on a roll.

I am not a real avid collector of hunter pets, and over the years there have really only been a few that have been attractive enough to make me go out of my way to get them. Skoll. Arcturis. Terrorpene. Gara. That’s really it, my whole list. Gara of course was easy once Bendak, along with some of the top hunters in the community, put out a guide for how to track and tame him. But the other three have eluded me ever since they were available. Years. I was beginning to think there was just no way I would ever have them, but still I kept up my weekly attempts, feeble though they were.

Then, about three months ago, I happened on Skoll in one of my weekly fly-bys. I was thrilled beyond all description. I felt like even if I never got the other two pets on my list, I could deal with it, because I had Skoll.

My astounding luck in this case just dumbfounds me. Not only did I blindly stumble on my last two wanted pets, but I did so in the same day and actually in the same hour, heck, within the same quarter hour. Even more amazing, no other hunters were camping them, and no jerks were around to kill them before I could tame them. The stars and heavens aligned. Hallelujah. As icing on the cake, I think these last two pets have pretty much decided my Legion spec as BM. It would just be a shame to not quest and raid with them now that I have finally tamed them.

I am a happy hunter.