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™‚

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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.)

Bringing it up to date…

March 9, 2010

Just a quick note to mention I updated the Mods I Use page with my most recent interface. I’ve long since swapped out Perl for Pitbull, and have added a few more mods to the mix. There’s a new screenshot up to accompany the updated list as well. πŸ™‚

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.