I have for some time resisted the temptation to give P a Secondary Hunter spec. The 1000g price tag was the major issue (especially as I have more than one active hunter and the price will be reduced to 200g come Expansion) but after seeing this list of pet abilities from the Beta, I realise that I’d be utterly foolish not to have BM at my disposal at release, especially considering the range of potential raid buffs that would bring. Of particular interest are:

  • Heroism via the Core Hound
  • Stamina buff via the Silithid
  • Increased Physical damage via the Worm
  • Spirit Mend via the Spirit Beast… yes I may actually have to go and try and train one ^^

I think it will be fair to assume that a serious Raiding Hunter will need to have both specs at their disposal and the full range of BM pets trained to be considered at maximum utility, and to do all that when I could be working towards 85 would be a waste of good levelling time. So, this weekend I will be putting my money where my mouth is (as P is my ‘main’ and serious raider) and persuading someone to come to MC with me to get the ‘proper’ Core Hound (after all I remember when vanilla Ancient Hysteria could decimate an unprepared raid :p)

MMO’s article this morning also throws some details via Mr G. Crawler on the actual process of Archaeology. My initial concern when I read that dig sites spawn and despawn as a mineral node would was that it’s going to be a heck of a bunfight in the early days for artifacts, but it transpires that the sites are phased to you:

Remember, the thing you uncover is yours. There is no competition with other players and nobody can gank your node.

Thank the Light for that.

Uncovering an artifact begins a research project \o/ Collect fragments from dig sites which are then combined to make an artifact: these will have a rarity value and you are (as always) at the mercy of the RND as to the item you might gain from your investigation. You can only have one race’s artifact being worked on at a time (Note to Self: I’ll need to hire an assistant. Wonder if Daniel Jackson is free…) but you can have up to a maximum of four projects on the go simultaneously (one for each continent you’ll find items on) As that currently covers Azeroth, Northrend and Outland one assumes that once Cataclysm drops you’ll get a fifth project to oversee. As to what you’ll get from your labours:

Some artifacts are rare. These always make a blue or purple item. Many of these have no in-game power and are toys or for flavor. Some of them are actual weapons and armor. The latter items are all bound to account. They aren’t heirlooms in that they don’t scale, but you can pass them around. So if you are level 80 and you find a level 60 axe, you can always have another character use it when they are level 60. You will never get a rare artifact more than once.

Blimey. FINALLY Blizzard acknowledge that some of us could use stuff that drops from characters on other alts. That’s HUGE NEWS, especially if (like me) you have vast masses of people levelling at different rates. I hope that this is the start of a considered shift towards BoA itemisation, especially with the difficult items for Seasonal Events.

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