Posts Tagged ‘raiding’

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.


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. 🙂

How to Read a Raid Log

October 19, 2009

Every time I raid, I try to run a log. What that means is I give the client a command (/combatlog), and WoW spits out every single line of combat into a text file. If you’ve ever wondered exactly what happens in a fight, however, this is the thing to refer to. It’s sort of humbling.

In my case, I use an addon to turn the combat log on and off, because I am lazy. Clsaver does a wonderful job for me, because all I have to do is tell it once which instances I want to record, and it remembers that for the future. Then I can blissfully forget about it until it’s time to upload logs.

Unfortunately, WoW doesn’t do anything smart, like make separate combat logs for each time it records. No, it puts it all into one big (BIG) text file. While I used to go through the file by hand and delete the battles I didn’t care about, that would literally take half an hour at a time. Eventually I badgered my husband into writing a combat log parser that would extract logs from the dates I requested. It’s worked like a charm ever since.

Once I have a single text file of the log I want to upload, I then choose a log service to upload it to. WWS used to be my favorite, but it’s been horribly neglected since before Ulduar. Most recently, BMR moved on to using World of Logs and while I disliked it at first, I’ve come to really appreciate how much information it manages to show on one page. The colored line graphs are pretty, too. ^.^

With all that said, I’m always wary of any log I record that puts me on the top of the meters. So I usually wait for another raid member to post their uploaded log, and go by those numbers. But for some reason, nobody’s been posting logs lately…and thus, I have only my own to look at.

Last night, we ran 25-man ToC and VoA.


So…yeah. >.>

Here are the basics for reading a dps report on WoL:

Column 1: Player Name
The player names go here. When you click on the triangle, it will bring up all the names associated with that player’s damage output – mainly, pets – and the associated numbers across the board. All the names are color-coded for class, save Mahrou, who’s blue. My wolf is not a Mage.  O.o

Column 2: Total Damage Done
This is the total amount of damage done by that player for the entire raid. When you have pets showing, it will show the individual damage done by the player and his pet.

Column 3: Percent of Total Damage Done
This column takes the total damage done by the player, and gives a percentage based on that damage out of damage done by the entire raid. When pets are showing, it gives individual percentages for both player and pet.

Column 4: DPS Done
The next two columns are tricky. This first one gives you your DPS (damage-per-second) for the time that you were active during the raid. Once again, it will show the pet dps separate from the player dps.

Column 5: Effective DPS Done
This is the real dps number, since it takes your damage over the fight and calculates it over the full duration of the fight. So you might’ve done 5k dps while you were alive, but bit the dust halfway through, making your effective dps 2500. Can be very humbling.

Column 6: Active Time
Simply, this is how long you were alive and kicking during the fight. It even gives you a percentage, in case your forgot how early on you started eating floor.

These are just the basics of reading a raiding log – you can click around on almost every item in the list, and each page will give you more detailed information on the fight. If I clicked ‘Tchann’ on the report pictured above, it would show me all the attacks I used during the battle, how many hit, how many hit critically, etc…a plethora of information that can be vital for truly tricking out your character.

Now that the log primer is out of the way, I can get to my real point in posting this: don’t let anyone EVER tell you Beast Mastery isn’t raid viable. Right up there is proof to the contrary. 🙂

Back on Top

October 5, 2009

Last night was my first foray back into raiding after not only a decent-sized hiatus, but also acquiring the Highwind. The night was eventful, to say the very least.

To say more than the least, it was lots of fun. 😀

We started off at VoA to slap down the two big bosses, then flew up to the Tournament to give ToC a shot. It took many, many wipes on Anub’arak to get him down, but down he went anyway. For the hell of it we ran over to Onyxia and beat her down as well, thus bringing my first-time-boss-fight total for the night to three.

And despite having not been raiding for weeks on end, and being significantly behind the rest of the guild gear-wise (I couldn’t even roll on the trophies that dropped, because you needed to have 45 emblems first), I still came in third on the dps meters.

The most amusing part of the night? My bow broke during our fourth attempt at Anub’arak. About three shots in, no less. After running around for a few seconds, completely clueless as to what to do, I did the only thing I could think of: melee. I felt like a moron but still contributed 2400 dps to the wipe! 😀

While my dps on the Anub’arak kill was less than stellar, there was something important to be gained from the log. My total dps for the fight was 4700. Tchann’s personal dps was 2600, where Mahrou’s dps was 2100. That’s right, even after the pet nerf, my pet still did a solid 44% of my total dps on a boss kill.

I love being a Beastmaster. ^.^