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