Archive for the ‘Huntering’ Category

Beta Hunter, go!

September 5, 2010

I’ve been a bit busy with real life, but managed to sit down this past week and download the new beta stuffs, then putz around through several crashes (something buggy with the ambient sound) until I finally went through my first beta instance run last night.

And Beast Mastery? Is fun.

I mean, I love playing the spec, one way or another. But I think where hunters are going in Cata is a very GOOD thing, and last night was an exercise in trying to find a rotation, or priority, and failing. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist – I’m not the type of theorycrafter to tug each spell apart myself and figure out what needs to go where and when. And I’m still operating without my addons, so my efficiency is definitely lacking (for example, I keep forgetting to keep Serpent Sting up). But here, let me tell you about our run last night.

First of all, the BMR Away Team had a full five-man ready to go into the Abyssal Maw. Except whenever we went into the instance, we got a fatigue bar that started ticking down. Also, we disconnected every time we went into the instance. So Abyssal Maw was scrapped for Blackrock Caverns, where our healer ran into such terrible cursor trouble (everything she moused over made her crash) that we ended up four-manning the instance. That’s right, first time through a place at level (I’m only 81) and we’re four-manning.

My guild? Love it. πŸ˜€

I’d mentioned before that Kill Command couldn’t possibly be in its final incarnation, and I was right. Blizz put it on the GCD, as well as giving it a 6-second cooldown. This is a very, very good thing. It means it can’t be macro’d to any other shot, so that gives us another level of intelligent thought in combat. It also means that it can’t be constantly spammed until we’re out of focus, which was such a boring thing to do I wasn’t even having fun questing. Now that it has a cooldown, I find I’m looking at what shots I can get in between Kill Commands, as well as orchestrating them so I keep my focus up for that and other fun things. So that’s awesome.

Second awesome thing about Kill Command? When it crits (and in the short log I took, it was cast 14 times and every single one was a crit) it does damage equivalent to or higher than our current Kill Shots. So basically, we’re doing a Kill Shot’s worth of damage every 6 seconds. YES PLEASE.

I finally got a hold of Cobra Shot at level 81 and used it to replace Steady Shot. For the most part I fall into a pattern of Kill Command, Arcane, Cobra, Arcane, Cobra, Kill Command, repeat, but that doesn’t always hold true. Sometimes Serpent Sting needs refreshing (something I need to keep a closer eye on), and sometimes Multi Shot needs thrown out.

Oh yes, Multi Shot!

I was very unhappy when Volley was yanked. I know using Volley over and over could get boring, but it was better than nothing! It didn’t help that I noticed Volley was gone right when I needed it to fend off a horde of tiny things on a quest. Nonetheless.

The new Multi Shot is a great compromise. I’m not sure what the official effect is, as the tooltip has all zeroes for its numbers, but what happens is less of an AoE and more of what Volley was supposed to be. You shoot it at one target and it hits, then bounces off to hit every other mob within so many yards. It does very decent damage, is on the GCD, has no cooldown, and can be cast while moving. After seeing it in action in Blackrock Caverns, I can definitely say that the new Multi Shot makes me okay with losing Volley.

So that’s things as they stand now. Two of the three venoms have been yanked from the game, leaving only Widow Venom, which is a reduced Mortal Strike effect. I’m still leveling (slowly) and getting a feel for what me and my pet can do now. But I think, as usual, the logs can speak for themselves:


I Revel in the Little Victories

May 7, 2010

After a fair amount of drama involving our 10-man runs, I ended up going on one that cleared out more of the Upper Spire than our 25-man group had plowed through. It was exceedingly satisfying in that the ten of us put out a much higher relative rate of dps, allowing us to more or less bat things mercilessly to the side (except Valithria, but hey, you gotta wipe somewhere).

Then our raid leader linked us to this article about the ‘average’ dps for ICC, divided up by spec, and it kicked the gears in my brain into motion. First I confirmed that yes, BM dps is apparently abysmal, and I’m sure countless people will use that as a reason to force their raiders to spec otherwise. And then I loaded up our logs from this week (two bouts of 25-man and the one 10-man) and took a look at my own dps.

Since Festergut hates me (seriously, most fights in ICC hate me, but Festergut was one of the examples in the article), I decided to cut myself some slack and look at Rotface instead. The median dps of the top 200 BM hunters was 6500, and my dps from Sunday night was 8400. So…this? This made me squee.

But not nearly as much as this did, when I went to check out our logs from Wednesday’s 10-man:

That’s, um…that’s a lot of ranking fights. πŸ˜€

Even on Blood Princes, too! When my job is to run around like a crazy woman and keep those kinetic bombs in the air. And Saurfang! I ranked on Saurfang.

All this makes me feel a little better that I recorded a bunch of the fights from Wednesday night, since 10-man means my computer can handle making movies at the same time. I’ll have to take out most of the audio, since I couldn’t separate Vent audio from the game audio, but I’m thinking of putting one or two online with my thoughts on how to handle each fight. What sayeth you, oh faithful readers? Where should I begin? πŸ™‚

Pet Peeves

March 29, 2010

While I’m sure I have a thousand pet peeves about the world in general, and at least a few dozen about World of Warcraft, I’d like to take a minute and sit right there just go over a few I have about hunters in raids. That’s specific enough that I think I can cover it in one post, at least.

1) Hunter’s Mark: Contrary to popular belief, and even common sense, Improved Hunter’s Mark is not immune to being overwritten by a lower-level mark. But that’s just one part of all of this. See, I have a Power Aura that pops up when my target does not have a Hunter’s Mark. I judge, based on the individual situation, whether it’s worth putting up a mark.

My pet peeve? When I throw a mark on the boss, which someone else immediately overrides because they weren’t paying attention, we switch to an add that dies in five seconds, which that other hunter threw a mark on, thus erasing the mark on the boss, which now needs reapplied. Does this sound confusing? Maybe it is, but when you’re constantly needing to reapply a mark to the boss because nobody else can tell if there’s already one there, it gets really simple.

2) Defensive vs. Passive: There was a time when Blizzard’s AI was…well, less than stellar. As a result, hunter pets were spectacular at breaking crowd control on a fairly regular basis. To counter this, hunters got into the habit of keeping their pets on passive in a raid, in order to keep from breaking crowd control and making their tanks very, very angry.

My pet peeve? Blizzard’s fixed the AI, guys. I’ve been running with my pet on Defensive for longer than I can remember for certain, and Mahrou has yet to break any CC. Throw your pets back on defensive, because a lot of you are far too lazy to keep sending your pet out after each add. Your pet may look cute scratching its ear by your side, but it’s not doing your dps any good.

3) Know-it-all Noob: I try to stay informed on things, but sometimes I can be pretty lazy and not keep as up-to-date as I would like. So while I’m more than happy to offer my opinion, I keep my mind open in case I totally forgot something somewhere, or never even saw it at all. And in cases where I am obviously completely underperforming, I keep my mouth shut entirely and try to learn from my peers as best I can.

My pet peeve? Somebody who’s at the bottom of the dps charts, just been raiding with us for the past few weeks, and trying to tell the rest of us hunters how to do a fight when we’ve been doing it that way the entire time. It just shows that you’re not paying attention, and you think so little of us that you assume we’ve been doing it wrong for months. Also? It’s kind of embarrassing for you when I have to verbally remind you to do certain things during that same fight, like dps the adds.

To end this post on some sort of positive note, go check out the Warcraft Hunters Union. It’s more-or-less spec-neutral and generally an all-around awesome blog. πŸ™‚

So, I gave it a shot.

March 16, 2010

I’ll preface this with saying that things have been rough in raid as of late. Not only are we wiping over and over because we’re not pulling enough dps overall, but our raid leader and his fiancΓ©e are both leaving to start a hardcore raiding guild on a newer server. It’s demoralizing, frustrating, and overall not a good thing.

So after I looked at the logs from Sunday night, I made a decision. If no one else was able to step up their dps, and people keep telling me repeatedly that I’d do more dps as MM, I’ll give MM spec a shot and see if I can make up for what we’re lacking.

I spent yesterday reading up on MM, retalenting, reglyphing, and reworking my UI. I set up Watcher for the MM shot priority appropriate for my stats, and ran a few trial runs on a dummy in Silvermoon. Then raid started, and we went straight for Rotface, who’d knocked us down time after time on Sunday.

After the first wipe, I decided to bounce back and forth between MM and BM until we had him down. After three wipes, we downed him on the fourth attempt.

I chose these two attempts to compare because:
a) they both ended in a wipe (at around 10%)
b) they were both flasked (we typically don’t flask on the first attempt)
c) I was far more comfortable with MM at that point

The fourth attempt, the one that we actually killed him on, was done with me as Beast Mastery.

It should be noted that I did not regem or re-enchant my gear for MM. This was partially because I didn’t have time, but mostly because I’m stingy and didn’t want to buy all-new gems just for this attempt. Also, I didn’t use my personal logs, but the logs of one of our healers, just for the sake of neutral numbers.

During my foray into the field of MM, I noticed a few interesting things:

a) All I really had to do to my UI was swap BW with Chimera Shot, and Intimidation with Readiness. I pulled Trueshot Aura onto my bar just in case, but the other three MM hunters already had it up, so I didn’t need it.
b) My personal dps increased by 1000, but my pet’s decreased by 1500. In any fight where you’re moving (are there fights where you don’t move nowadays?), having 40% of your dps always on the boss is a big help.
c) I grabbed aggro fast. And constantly. I’d heard it from one of our tanks before, but MM does lots of damage fast and it’s very easy to grab aggro faster than the FD cooldown is up.

In the end, yes, I’m sure that if I regemmed and re-enchanted and devoted my life entirely to the worship of min-maxing I could do obscene amounts of dps in every raid I’m ever in, ever.

But screw that. BM is where I’m happy.

(Blogger’s note: I realized while I was typing this that I neglected to macro in Silencing Shot to my other shots. Our top MM hunter’s Silencing Shot dps on Rotface attempt #3 was 108.6, which would have modified my MM dps to 6187.7, still 800dps below my BM dps on attempt #2.)

Confessions of a Beast Master

March 3, 2010

Okay. I don’t do well when I’m upset. My logic processes fail and I cease to make any sort of coherent sense about a topic. So I’m going to try to walk through this step by step so I can get my point across. Whatever that point might be.

I enjoy playing Beast Mastery.

The spec, put simply, appeals to me. I love the idea of a class that depends on its companion, a sort of 50-50 partnership that requires a sort of isolated coordination. Tchann may say that she and Mahrou understand each other, but I, as a player, feel that I can trust my pet because I know how he will react in any given situation. In addition, it’s a playstyle that lets me sit back from the direct center of battle and survey the situation, keeping all possible courses of action in mind as I work towards a common goal.

I have tried Marksman. I have tried Survival (my secondary hunter is Survival spec, actually). Above them all, I prefer to play BM. It is simply how I like to play the game.

Obviously I am not a hardcore raider. I raid on Thorium Brotherhood, a PVE-RP server that has an active population of around 9400. I raid with an alliance my guild leads, a collection of people who enjoy raiding and want to see end-game content. We care, and we work hard, and we play the game the way we want to play.

We certainly aren’t the top guild on our server. Would it be nice to be? Of course! But we have lives outside of WoW, and it’s just a game. I bust my butt to do the best I can during raidtime, but I have a husband and a job and other interests to attend to as well.

So where does that leave me? Playing a game I love, in a way I love, with people I love. Unfortunately, it also means I get picked on. The growing mindset of “min/max only” means that BM has become the current laughing stock of the hunter class.

I want to get something straight: I take my raid contribution very seriously. If I thought my spec was hindering my raid’s progress, I would either change or leave.

End of story.

From now on, if a pug chooses to mock me over my spec alone, I’ll leave the group. They can find somebody else to do 40% of the damage.