World of Warcraft Comic Strips

World of Warcraft Comic Strips

On this page you find World of Warcraft related comic strips, click on an image below to enter a section.

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Last week, Blizzard issued the latest update for World of Warcraft, its highly anticipated online role-playing game, to beta testers. As with earlier updates, this new version introduces new features and functionality, in addition to numerous tweaks that were made to existing features. World of Warcraft will allow thousands of players to adventure as humans, orcs, night elves, and other races from the Warcraft real-time strategy games. Needless to say, as soon as the patch was available, we downloaded it and immediately spent some serious quality time checking it out.

The biggest change in the latest patch is the addition of the hunter class. The hunter is the final class to be added, and it can be played by night elves, dwarves, orcs, trolls, and taurens. Hunters are like traditional woodsmen that you'll find in other role-playing games in that they can use ranged weapons, they have a variety of tracking skills, and they can tame animals to use as pets. We've logged in quite a bit of time with the hunter class, so let's take a look at its abilities and its role in the game.

The ongoing World of Warcraft beta has introduced some exciting new changes.
Hunters are the only class to start with a ranged weapon--either a bow or a gun, depending on race. They will want to stay out of melee range of enemies so that they can shoot from a distance. Most of their abilities that we've seen so far relate to ranged weapons. Serpent sting adds poison to an arrow that deals damage over time to your target. Arcane shot inflicts additional arcane damage on targets that are successfully struck by your arrows. Concussive shot dazes your target, which slows it down. All of these abilities allow you to deal quite a bit of damage to an enemy before it gets within melee range of you or your group. When you are engaged in melee combat, you do have a few abilities that you can use to defend yourself. For example, raptor strike is a powerful swing that adds extra damage to your weapons. And you can use a large variety of weapons. In fact, hunters can use everything except maces and two-handed maces (although you'll have to spend skill points to train to use most other weapons). You'll also be able to dual-wield weapons after level 20. In terms of armor, you can only wear cloth and leather armor, and you must train to use mail armor at level 40.

The hunter also gets several other abilities. For instance, aspect is a passive effect that you can cast on yourself. There are no timers once you cast it, but you can only have one aspect at a time, which is similar to the paladin's aura. Aspect of the monkey gives a bonus chance to dodge attacks, which is useful when you're being attacked quite a bit. Aspect of the hawk increases your ranged power so that you inflict more damage with ranged weapons. The latter aspect is great when combined with hunter's mark, which is a spell that you can cast on a potential target that makes a mark appear above his or her head and on the minimap. Additionally, the target cannot use stealth or turn invisible, and ranged attackers will do extra damage against it. It's a great ability to have in groups, because the hunters can call out targets for the group so that everyone will know exactly which enemy to attack.

All of these abilities are great, but everyone wants to know about beast taming. The most asked question in the starting area is, "When do hunters get pets " The answer is, "Level 10." When you hit level 10, you can learn several beast-taming abilities. Hunters aren't just handed pets. As the name implies, they must hunt animals and tame them. When you find a beast that you want to tame, you start a channeling spell. The target monster will immediately start attacking you, so you must be sure that you can defend against the attacks. This is easier said than done, because your armor is reduced for the 20 seconds it takes to channel, thus leaving you very vulnerable. This means that you won't be able to tame a monster that is higher in level than you, because it will tear you to shreds.

Hunters are in, and mounts are being improved.
Once you tame an animal, it becomes your pet. Hunters are unique in that their pets are permanent companions. As long as you treat it well, your pet has the potential to stay with you for your entire career in World of Warcraft. The hunter is the only class that can name its pets as well. When you first tame your pet, it isn't going to be too happy about it. A pet has a happiness meter that determines its damage output. A happy pet will inflict 125 percent of its base damage, while an unhappy pet will inflict only 69 percent. Feeding your pet food will raise its happiness level. Each pet type only eats a certain type of food. For instance, vampiric duskbats eat only fungi-type foods. Your pet's hunger meter decreases over time, so you must carry additional food with you. The pet also has a loyalty level that presumably has to deal with the animal running away or rebelling against you. We weren't able to get this to happen at this stage in the beta--even with our pet at a happiness level of zero and at the lowest loyalty level possible.