Archive for January, 2010

Pet Autocast is NOT Broken

January 26, 2010

In fact, I am a freaking moron.

I say this with full sincerity. I feel like a total fool because I have made a grave error, and I regret it wholeheartedly. I beg for your forgiveness and pray I haven’t screwed things up too badly.

It had been many, many months since I had last revisited my Pet Focus spreadsheet. Because of this delay, I neglected one of the many intricacies of reading a raiding log – namely, its tendency to list Hits separate from Critical Hits.

When doing my initial calculations, I only included Hits. Neglecting the Critical Hits caused the distressing numbers I reported earlier.

Tonight, I ran through another set of trials. When I was running my numbers, I realized the discrepancy and confirmed it – I had indeed been neglecting the crits from counting. When they were added in, my pet was casting Bite every 1.7 seconds. When I revisited last week’s trials, that number switched to 1.6. Both of these are perfectly well within the reasonable realm of delay between autocasts.

If pet autocast is broken, I see no evidence of it.

Again, my humblest apologies. I’m an idiot. >.<

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Not Quite Perfect

January 26, 2010

What’s the ideal 10-man raid composition?

What classes would be in it? Which buffs would be cast? Which talent specs would be chosen for which roles? How perfect would these runs be? And would you actually want to be a part of it?

I wouldn’t.

As the theory goes – and I think we all know how accurate theories are – a perfect raid composition could tackle any situation perfectly. But of course, you’re assuming that each and every one of those people is perfectly skilled. And I would much rather be in a non-ideal group of skilled people than the ‘perfect raid’ any day.

Seriously, though. I imagine this differs from player to player, but the idea of just blowing through instance after instance with no trouble is, well, pretty boring. What fun is it to breeze through content without a single glitch? What kind of story does that make for?

I have a fair number of friends who don’t play WoW. So if I want to talk to them about the game, I have to make the story interesting enough to cross through the language barrier. Sure, maybe some people find “And then we totally one-shotted Lady Deathwhisper. Everything went perfectly according to plan and we pwned her,” to be fascinating. I guess it’s good for bragging rights, at least.

But I find it much more exciting to relay the tale of how one by one our raid bit the dust by the wandering ghosts, and with Deathwhisper at 1% the lone dps shaman and dps warrior still standing managed to take her down that last percentage point and get us the loot. Or how we four-manned the vampire boss in Ahn’kahet that offed the dps right away, and we watched the tank and healer go back and forth for nearly ten minutes against the guy, and in the end the healer died and the tank solo’d the vampire the rest of the way down.

Those stories are epic. They’re tales of people with skill who defeat the odds. The probability of success is stacked against them and still they pull out ahead. That is what I love seeing in this game.

So people can have their perfect raid compositions if they want. I’m a Beast Mastery hunter – I’m not a part of anybody’s ideal raid. I’ll stick with my rag-tag band of misfits, thank you very much. And oh, what tales I’ll live to tell!

One Week Later

January 25, 2010

I’m ba~ck!

The big changes between this week and last:

  • New boots and a new ring
  • Splurged on the new ammo (30g per raid)
  • Aimed Shot

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell how much really changed between last week and last night. The only fight that’s really good to use for comparison’s sake is Marrowgar, and I unluckily bit the dust for about half of that fight last night. In retrospect, the next time I’m surrounded on all sides by fire and Marrowgar is bone storming right on top of me, I need to blindly Disengage and pray instead of looking for a safe egress.

Also, despite talking about macroing Bite in with Steady Shot, I forgot to do so until halfway through the raid, so those numbers are unreliable. Despite that, it looks like Bite got delayed even worse (1.3 seconds on average), even though Mahrou is still gaining twice as much focus as he uses. For tonight, I’ll try macroing Bite in with Arcane Shot as well. Heck, I might just throw it on every shot I use, for the hell of it.

Now, for the things I discovered last night:

  • One can use Disengage to get out of Vortex range during the Blood Prince fight.
  • One canNOT use Feign Death to avoid a big fiery ball of death.
  • Icecrown Citadel trash can be easily handled with lots and lots of Volley.
  • Deathwhisper’s ghosts don’t have to actually touch you to hit for 16k – they can do it from about five yards away. Ouch.

This was a good return to the fray – I’m feeling pretty positive about jumping back in the saddle. 🙂

Autocasts, Pet Focus and Respecs, Oh My!

January 22, 2010

UPDATE – THIS POST IS INACCURATE PLEASE REFER TO THE CORRECTION POST HERE

One of the things that makes our pets easier to handle is the Autocast functionality. As long as that little sparkly edge is glittering on the button, our pets will cast it every time they’re able. Otherwise we’d have so many buttons to push we’d all just reroll rogue.

But as OutDps pointed out earlier this week, apparently our Autocasts aren’t quite as reliable as they should be. In fact, one could even say there is a delay on the cast. Delays that rob us of well-deserved dps. This, put succinctly, is a problem.

Rarely am I one to simply take information at face value, so last evening I plopped myself down by the Heroic dummy in Orgrimmar and took a couple of logged shots to see the difference firsthand.

While I was at it, I went ahead and tested Wolf vs. Devilsaur again. And then respecced. But I’ll get to that.

First of all, to determine the autocast latency, I used my old Pet Focus spreadsheet to see the lag between my pets’ casts, as well as my pet’s focus effiency. I compared the information from the training dummy against the data from IC on Sunday, just for consistency’s sake as well. What I found was, well, sobering.

Mahrou is casting his Furious Howl once every 30 seconds, a stat that remained the same through three different data sets. His cooldown is 28 seconds, which means there’s a two second delay between casts. This, thankfully, isn’t too terrible. Yes, it’d be ideal for him to be casting every 28 seconds, but when you take other abilities into consideration (as well as focus usage), a two second delay isn’t crippling. Over the course of a 7-minute battle, that would would only mean one extra cast.

Bite, however, is hurting badly. Averaging out the three data sets, Mahrou is using Bite once every 2.5 seconds – a full second longer than the cooldown. Since Bite is his focus dump, the only thing he uses focus on other than Furious Howl (once every 30 seconds, remember), that means his Bite damage is effectively two-thirds of what it could be. For every two casts, he could have cast one extra time.

My only solution to this is the one that OutDps proposed – macroing Bite with other oft-used abilities as well as keeping it on Autocast. Hopefully, by throwing it on with Steady Shot and Arcane Shot, I can force it to activate just a bit more often. I won’t be able to reach the uptime that Autocast should theoretically handle on its own, but it will help.

With that out of the way, it was on to pet comparisons. Mahrou still pulls ahead of Mijikai, sadly. The difference, however, is close enough that it’s nearly negligible. So if you really, really hate Wolves, you should be alright with a Devilsaur. But if you want to maximize your dps, stick with the Wolves. They’re awesome anyway.

Lastly, something I noticed from the pet focus spreadsheet is that my pets are wasting a significant amount of focus. On average, they were only using 50% of all focus gained – meaning that the other 50% is lost to the aether. I can only assume this is due to my crit rating (36% unbuffed) causing far more Go for the Throat procs than initially planned. Since I only have one point in GftT, I yanked a point from Bestial Discipline and fretted over where to put it.

That point is now sitting in Aimed Shot.

I feel kinda dirty. But it’s a dps-increasing dirty (200 dps on the training dummy) so I don’t think I can complain too much. Yet.

Hibernation

January 21, 2010

So.

:: stretches, cracks back ::

Alright, where was I?

I’ve been out of the raiding scene for a few months. Holiday season got crazy busy but now I’m back in the saddle and ready to ride. Unfortunately, it seems I’m a few miles behind.

I also haven’t been paying much attention to hunter changes, news, development, or really anything. So I’m out of the loop as well, although I heard something recently about pet auto-ability lag, so that’s something I’ll need to poke at. I also want to run another comparison between Mahrou and Mijikai to confirm that wolves are still the top dps pet.

I’ve started running IC with my guild, who are wonderfully fantastic and took me back without a peep when I signed back up on the raiding roster. I am months behind the rest of them in gear, which I’m hoping is the main reason behind my dismal dps. Where I used to be in the top five, I’m now solidly in the top ten. This needs to be changed.

On the topic of gear, I’m still wearing purple bracers from Heroic Nexus. This needs to remedied.

So, I’ve got a lot to work on. I finally got my gear fitted with epic gems, and I’m still (slowly) upgrading the enchants that aren’t top-notch. I need to do some log analysis to figure out if my shot priority has changed at all, as well as looking at my talent points and making sure everything’s in order.

This game has a tricky way of flipping the tables on you when you’re not looking. Time for me to start looking again.