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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:34 pm 
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Greetings,

Some hunter friends and I worked on obtaining the Fireland's Gem Beasts (Skarr/Karkin) over the July 4th long weekend, and I thought I would share what we have learned. We tracked 11 spawns overall (7 of Skarr and 4 of Karkin), between Friday evening and early Tuesday morning, giving us the beginnings of a decent sample size (we missed directly observing ~ 2 spawns). Competition for these beasts was pretty heavy (especially for Skarr), with generally 2-6 hunters present for each spawn (of either faction), yielding me a successful tame of Skarr on Saturday, but a failed attempt of Karkin on Sunday, so I'm still hunting them. [edit: Karkin successfully tamed using the below strategy two days later.]

Spawn Timer: based upon a three-day monitoring campaign, the Gem Beasts appear to be on a 6 +/- 2 hour spawn timer, such that one or the other will spawn 4-8 hours after the last tame/kill. Of 11 observed spawns, the earliest that we saw a respawn was at 4.5 hours after the previous tame/kill, the latest was at about 8.0 hours, with the average being close to 6 hours. Others have reported a wider range of times, so to be conservative, a 6 +/- 3 hr spawn timer (3-9 hr window) should probably be assumed.

Skarr and Karkin definitely share a spawn timer, such that only one or the other will be 'up' at any given time. I suspect that there is an even 50% chance of either Skarr or Karkin spawning each time (like a coin toss), even though our little 'sample' is weighted more towards Skarr. I think this is simply due to the statistics of small, random sample numbers at work.

Spawn Locations: One of two locations is possible with each spawn, a 'northern' floating rock almost directly east of the little graveyard on Fireplume Peak, and a 'southern' floating rock in the local vicinity of the 'stairs' formed by floating rocks that connect The Furnace to Fireplume Peak. Note that while the floating rock used for the 'northern' spawn point does not change, the exact floating rock used for the 'southern' spawn point is variable, with at least two spots confirmed and one more suspected (each located in and around the 'stairs'). Six of our observed spawns took place at the northern spawn point, and five at the southern spawn point, so again, I suspect that the chance is a 50% coin-toss for either location. Both mobs have been seen to spawn at each of the two possible locations. These mobs do not path, but just sit on their floating rock, glaring defiantly at any hunters nearby.

Links to the mob's Wowhead maps are included below:

Skarr: http://www.wowhead.com/npc=50815
Karkin: http://www.wowhead.com/npc=50959

For taming purposes, your 30 yd range Tame Beast spell can reach a mob at the northern spawn location while standing on the pointy tip of a protruding piece of the ledge that wraps around Flreplume Peak, so no Super Mario rock jumping skill is required for the tame. On the other hand, however, taming a mob at the southern spawn may require some jumps to get to either a floating rock or a nearby ledge within 30 yards and with good line-of-sight, depending upon which of the 2-3 possible rocks the mob has spawned on. In any case, make sure that you don't lose your LOS due to the sudden reappearance of a previously dissolved rock, and make sure that you're standing on one of the permanent rocks -- if the one you're on suddenly develops a red, spider-web crack pattern on top, get off 'cuz it's about to go.

Abilities: both Gem Beasts are immune to CC, do not melee, and have the same two spell abilities, which can be difficult to tell apart because they have the same animation and look like fireball spells when cast. However, there is a critical difference. The first one I'll call a 'greater fireball' (actually called Fieroclast Barrage), that has a 5 second cast time and is *triggered* by a Tame Beast spell being cast on the mob: it does about 70k magic damage to everyone within range (an AoE spell), and more critically, it interrupts Tame Beast every time it hits due to it's 1 second stun affect. The second one, which I'll call a 'lesser fireball' (actually called Fireball), has a 3 second cast time: it does about 20k magic damage to a single target, and does not (generally) interrupt your tame. So the key to doing this tame successfully is to avoid their greater fireball entirely, and tame through their lesser fireball.

Primary Taming Strategy: the most straight-forward taming strategy is to take advantage of Silencing Shot, in the Marksman talent tree. Silencing Shot will be used to 'lock out' the mob's triggered, anti-tame, greater fireball (Fieroclast Barrage).

The second aid you will need is to have an effective Haste buff going during the tame (Tame Beast must occur in < 8 seconds). This can be done by stacking a Basilisk Liverdog (Haste/Stamina food buff), with an Elixer of Mighty Speed (Battle Elixer), with a Potion of Speed (15 sec duration, so deploy carefully). Note that by having your MM spec up, you can't pull out your Corehound, although it is possible to first go to your BM spec, buff yourself with Ancient Hysteria, swap specs back to MM, and still have about 20 sec left on your Hysteria buff. Alternatively, the reddish colored "steam plumes" scattered around Fireplume Peak can give you a 2-minute duration Haste and Jump buff (Convalescence of Winds) that improves your cast times by 100%, and is acquired by riding up a steam plume (jumping within it). The closest plume which consistently gave me this buff is out on the floating rocks near the top of the 'stairs' connecting The Furnace with Fireplume Peak: I had trouble getting the buff with the much easier to reach plumes that provide access to the Peak itself. The problem with this buff, however, is that it also *greatly* enhances your jumping ability (in rather out of control fashion), such that getting to a place to tame for a spawn at the 'southern' location is pretty risky.

The strategy goes like this:

* Buff up on Haste, all but your Potion of Speed,
* cast Tame Beast to trigger the mob to begin casting Fieroclast Barrage,
* quickly down your Potion of Speed, and immediately
* use Silencing Shot to interrupt and lock out Fieroclast Barrage, then
* cast Tame Beast again, and ride through a lesser fireball, as necessary.

Note that using the above strategy will give you ~8 seconds to perform the actual tame (last step above): the 3 sec casting time of one lesser Fireball, plus the 5 sec casting time of greater fireball (Fieroclast Barrage). I have read that once their greater fireball has been silenced one time, the mob won't cast it again, but I can't verify this, as all successful tames that I've seen never went that far. I suspect that the mob *can* recast a greater fireball, as Silencing Shot has only a 3 sec duration.

Also note that Deterrence has no part in this strategy either, as it won't work if used just prior to you casting Tame Beast and the mob casting Fieroclastic Barrage in response, because their greater fireball has a 5 sec casting time, and Deterrence only lasts for 5 sec (plus the 1.5 sec GCD before you can follow up with Tame Beast). Thus, you will get to watch your Deterrence fizzle out just as the fireball is incoming. BTDT. However, with very careful timing Deterrence can be used in one of the secondary taming strategies for non-MM hunters. See below.

Note too that you cannot open up with your Silencing Shot: this will *not* stop the greater fireball. Fieroclast Barrage must first be *triggered* before it can be silenced and locked out for 3 seconds. BTDT too.

Secondary Taming Strategy: For the non-MM specced hunter, the taming strategy involves some very careful timing in order to give yourself an approximate 6-8 second taming 'window'. Some form of effective haste buff is required, as you won't get the full 10 seconds for a standard tame. The cast/shot order works like this:

* Buff up on Haste, including Ancient Hysteria for BM hunters (then dismiss your corehound)
* cast Tame Beast to trigger the mob to begin casting Fieroclast Barrage,
* about 2-3 seconds into your first Tame Beast, hit Deterrence, and then immediately
* cast Tame Beast again.

Timed properly, your Deterrence will successfully block the first Fieroclast Barrage that the mob casts, and the tame will be complete before the mob's second Fieroclast Barrage hits you. In other words, the mob will cast two successive greater fireballs, the first one blocked by Deterrence, and the second one to arrive at the 10 second mark (after beginning your first Tame Beast): your tame must be complete before then.

Alternatively, if you can stack up enough Haste through various means to get your Tame Beast cast time down to < 5 seconds, you can complete the taming process before the first Fieroclast Barrage hits entirely. In addition to gear, food, elixers, potions, and Ancieht Hysteria from a corehound, the Convalescence of Winds buff (from the nearby 'steam plume') helps immensely here.

Good luck on this tame! I hope that this has been helpful.

-- Nanluin

Note: Edited to add Wowhead links and update mob spell cast times with more accurate numbers.


Last edited by Nanluin on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:41 pm, edited 24 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:29 pm 
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This is one of the most informative and detailed first posts I've ever seen here. Welcome to the forum! :)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:37 pm 
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Great information! Thanks for making this post. It's very helpful and explains what I was wondering about for taming info. I appreciate you writing this out! Good luck on Karkin and grats on Skarr!


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:02 pm 
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Good post, one thing though: I've personally seen 3 hour spawns as well as 9 hour spawns.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Aye, the low end should be around 2h.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:14 pm 
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Kalliope wrote:
Aye, the low end should be around 2h.


Have these shorter (2-3 hr) and longer (9 hr) spawn times been seen since the actual patch went live? I know that they changed their spawn locations for the actual patch implementation, and I am wondering if they dickered around with the spawn timer too, just to throw off the folks who saw these guys on the Public Test Realm.

-- Nanluin


Last edited by Nanluin on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:26 pm 
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There was allegedly one 2h spawn on Dethecus, but I didn't catch either spawn myself and can't 100% verify. But the person I heard from isn't a Petopian and has no reason to be inaccurate.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:43 pm 
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Alright, then to be safe, let's propose that the Gem Beasts are probably on a 6 +/- 3 hour timer (3-9 hour window), a bit larger than what we observed last weekend. I have read that on the PTR's, this was as large as 6 +/- 4 hours (2-10 hour window), but the times we were seeing last weekend were a little more clustered, I think.

Now that I have access to my Shadow Council forum posts again, here are the observed times. I got better data as the weekend progressed, since I had more help in tracking him, and everyone started marking the times down better too:

Time Date: Location - Mob, Interval

~2330 1 JUL 2011: N - Skarr
~0730 2 JUL 2011: N - Skarr, ~8.0 hrs
~1830 2 JUL 2011: S - Karkin, ~11 hrs (assumed missed spawn between, so ~5.5 hr mean interval)
~0830 3 JUL 2011: S - Skarr, ~14 hrs (assumed missed spawn between, so ~7.0 hr mean interval)
1546 3 JUL 2011: N - Skarr, 7.3 hrs
2157 3 JUL 2011: N - Karkin, 6.2 hrs
0430 4 JUL 2011: N - Karkin, 6.5 hrs
1023 4 JUL 2011: N - Skarr, 5.9 hrs
~1800 4 JUL 2011: S - Skarr, 7.6 hrs
2302 4 JUL 2011: S - Skarr, 5.0 hrs
~0330 5 JUL 2011: S - Karkin, 4.5 hrs

The mean of these ten samples is 6.4 hours, with a 2-sigma range of +/- 2.2 hours. A 3-sigma range would put this at +/- 3.3 hours. Your mileage may vary.

-- Nanluin


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:03 pm 
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now i saw karkin on the southern end of the rocks this evening... does he always spawn at the southern end, or does he spawn at either the two rock areas? And I am safe to assume the same would apply for skarr?


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:17 pm 
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Small correction. You CAN tame on the "Lower" point with out being on a floating rock. I got my Skarr there. I wrote out the comedy of errors on how i did in another post, but yeah, if you stand on the "Shore" on the lower rock and just get up close to the edge you can tame him.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:21 pm 
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Pepsi Jedi wrote:
Small correction. You CAN tame on the "Lower" point with out being on a floating rock. I got my Skarr there. I wrote out the comedy of errors on how i did in another post, but yeah, if you stand on the "Shore" on the lower rock and just get up close to the edge you can tame him.


yeah i saw that with karkin tonight, much easier to stick to that shore area... that's what one hunter did while his buddies were on rocks distracting it.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:00 am 
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I finally got another shot at Karkin last night, and he conveniently spawned at the 'northern' spawn point and with nobody around but me at that moment. Now that it's polished, the taming strategy worked like a charm. I did add a Prismatic Elixer (Guardian Elixer) to the buff stack to reduce magic damage, but that was simply icing on the cake. I took 10-15k damage on the one lesser fireball that he got off during the tame, and then he was mine. I now have both Gem Pets and can get out of "hell" for a bit (except for dailies) and hunt the new spirit beasts for a change.

Pepsi Jedi wrote:
Small correction. You CAN tame on the "Lower" point with out being on a floating rock. I got my Skarr there. I wrote out the comedy of errors on how i did in another post, but yeah, if you stand on the "Shore" on the lower rock and just get up close to the edge you can tame him.

I got together with my partner in this little taming project (a hunter named Jeewell who also now has both Gem Beasts), we compared notes, and we also witnessed another spawn at the 'southern' spawn point. From that, we discovered the following: the exact floating rock used for a southern spawn is variable, but all are in the local area of the floating rock 'stairs' between The Furnace and Fireplume Peak. We can confirm at least two different rocks used, and strongly suspect a third based upon the account of another hunter who was working with us. As such, where you need to go to perform the tame is determined by which of these three (or more?) local spots is used. If the spawn spot is high and to the north (near the top of the 'stairs'), then the tame can be reached by using the ledge around Fireplume Peak. If it's low and to the south (near the bottom of the 'stairs'), then the tame can be reached by using the ledge around The Furnace. The spawn that I personally witnessed used a spot that was low and to the north (directly under the top of the 'stairs'), out of LOS from the upper Fireplume Peak ledge and too far away from the lower Furnace ledge: the hunters attempting the tame had to jump out onto the rocks to get to within 30 yds with good LOS.

So while these mobs don't patrol, Blizzard has made good use of the sloping collection of floating rocks (the permanent ones) located in and around the 'stairs' to move that particular spawn point around a little, and Murphy's Law says that whichever ledge you wait on, the spawn will occur on the other side and cause you to do some rock jumping over the infinite void at a time when you're all keyed up about the spawn and taming attempt.

I've updated my original post to reflect this discovery.

[Note: I did my camping at a point between the two (northern and southern) spawn points up on the ledge around Fireplume Peak, such that both beast tracking and NPCscan could detect a spawn at either location).]

Takemikazuch wrote:
now i saw karkin on the southern end of the rocks this evening... does he always spawn at the southern end, or does he spawn at either the two rock areas? And I am safe to assume the same would apply for skarr?

Both of the gem beasts can spawn at either spawn location, and between Jeewell and I, we have seen each of them at both the northern and southern locations. As such, the intrepid hunter looking for a particular gem beast will still need to monitor/check both locations.

-- Nanluin


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:08 pm 
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Is the only way to get to Fireplume Peak to do the platform game on the floating rocks? Because it appears 95%+ likely that I'll screw up my jumps and fall ...

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Technically, yes, but if you make it halfway there and fall, then you'll res on the island itself. >_>

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:51 pm 
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That I discovered ;) So I'm on the island, saw one Skarr spawn but failed to get it and let someone else have a successful try, gonna go eat dinner and then come back and camp some more. Is there a minimum time between spawns of Skarr/Karkin?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:07 pm 
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The short end is about two hours. :)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:13 pm 
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One point about stacking Dodge/Parry--I thought you can't actually do either of these things while channeling any spell, including Tame Beast?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:24 pm 
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For one of the spawn points, he's easily tameable on the big island. Also, I have a base 8.14% haste, and the haste given by the gust buff was enough alone to tame this guy. I'm BM, so definitely didn't have silencing shot, and had 0 problem at all with the tame. Not sure which spawn point it was.. I got on the island where the buff gust was, then went right a little bit.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:25 am 
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Acherontia wrote:
One point about stacking Dodge/Parry--I thought you can't actually do either of these things while channeling any spell, including Tame Beast?


I was talking more in terms of gear, food, and potions, not in anything done while actually casting. I didn't use this 'technique' myself on purpose, but by just plain old happenstance, Skarr missed me with his Fieroclast Barrage on my tame attempt of him, and I got him. The next day, Karkin taught me the error of my ways (and how lucky I had been), and I went in search of a better technique, which led me to dual spec to MM for Silencing Shot.

-- Nanluin

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:48 am 
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I tamed Skarr and Karkin a really save way donno if its neccessary but it was a save tame :)

i have a BM and a MM specc have Chromaggus for ancient hysteria out, saw Skarr / Karkin and surprise surprise no other hunter there. went up, got the buff from this one special thermal wind then:

-Ancient Hysteria + Dismiss Pet Macro
-Switch specc to MM
-Arcane Shot pull
-Silence Shot the cast
-Lifeblood (herbalism)
-Deterrence + Haste Pot + Tame Beast Macro

it was a 3.5 secs tame :)


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