Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lock and Load - Heroic Lei Shi

Lock and Load

Lei Shi No More

After over 50 attempts this week, we managed to put down heroic 25M Lei Shi. The fight is a blast, and overall one of my favorite fights of all time. The simple twist of new mechanics and a very sharp enrage of 7 minutes makes this fight one of the most tightly tuned fights of the expansion in my opinion. 

I don't usually explain the overall mechanics of fights in these blogs, but as a ranged DPS you may be asked to control the debuff. Lei Shi gains a circle around her in about a 25yd radius. When outside this circle you slowly gain stacks of the debuff Scary Fog. The way this was managed in our raid was we had three warlocks cycling the debuff while never taking more than 10-11 stacks. Using warlock Demonic Gates to quickly gain access to the boss and to get back out without losing stacks seemed to be the most efficient way to do this. I never took the opportunity to stack the debuff so I don't have first hand knowledge of it, but this seemed to be the gist of how they managed the debuff. Where this fight gets tricky is the positioning of the raid, tanks and the debuff. If a 10 stack of the debuff gets in the raid and a Get Away! happens it's a insta-wipe. Using 4 specific stack spots, 1 for each tank, 1 for the raid, and 1 for the debuffs we managed to avoid having these issues.

Hunters are super super strong on this fight, finally. With the 5.1 changes, Get Away! has no effect on our overall DPS. There are some tricks to managing your BM cool downs, and maybe I can help you with some of these. My Talents looked like the following:

1: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
2: Wyvern Sting
2: Aspect of the Iron Hawk
2: Dire Beast
1: A Murder of Crows
1: Glaive Toss

Standard Glyph Setup: Animal Bond, Marked for Death, Deterrence

The first thing you may notice about this set up is that I have taken Wyvern Sting in the level 30 tier. It's a super strong talent for this fight. Warlocks are super beneficial for their Banish ability as it is an unbreakable CC. Fears are super strong as well from priests and warriors. I wasn't assigned to a specific CC area as we had 3 warlocks and 2 shamans. I used Wyvern on the closest target to the boss as often as possible, as well as followed up on CCs with traps. The very last add phase at 20% of the bosses health is one of the biggest tests to a raids ability to really communicate a target, get everything CC'd and push through. One add incorrectly CC'd can cause a wipe. 

The fight has a DPS pattern that allows CD's to be managed in a such a way that you never was any BW's. The fight will always go in such a way that directly after an add phase you will have some sort of special. About 5-10 seconds after the add is killed, the boss will special. Saving CD's till after this special is announced will always be beneficial to you. I managed to grab my 4 set this week, but didn't test if the 4 set will have to change my opening, there is some speculation that it does. I'll be blogging sometime next week about the impact of the 4 set and what I think it about it, and how it will change BM as a whole.

Here is the video of the kill:

-Divinespeed <LA> US Stormrage

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lock and Load - HM Blade Lord - HM Spirit Kings

Lock and Load

Hello there internet! It's been awhile since I had the time to sit down and just get some stuff put into this blog. It's suppose to be a weekly thing, but hey, I'm pretty busy most of the time and trying to get all that needs to be done requires some things to be put on the back burner. First thing is first though. Patch 5.1. This patch brought some pretty ground breaking things to hunters as far as our mobility and raid utility. We've always got the bitch jobs for kiting, and running to and from a boss to do some random job. I rejoice these tasks now. Oh, you need me to keep kiting this add on Heroic Spirit Kings? No worries DPS still on the up. The post 5.1 change to Serpent Sting was extremely nice and something I personally thought Blizzard would overlook. It's not a ground breaking change, but it buffs all 3 specs, survival a bit more than the others. It also gives us a reason to use focus on multi-dotting when playing survival. The biggest thing this change did to hunter's was made every hunter 100% have to have a SV spec now when fighting any boss that has multi-dotting capabilities. I like the changes to MM as well as AotH to make our class competitive single target. Let's talk about a few fights!

Heroic Blade Lord Ta'Yak

This fight is super super interesting for hunters, as it's a single target fight, but really tests a raids patience and ability to control the boss in such a way that you are never overwhelmed. I think the fight as a whole will certainly test a lot of guilds. As for Huntering this fight, I took a pretty standard Beast Mastery talent set up of:

1: Post Haste
1: Silencing Shot
2: Aspect of the Iron Hawk
2: Dire Beast
1: A Murder of Crows
1: Glaive Toss

So this fight I will start with the 1 and only new mechanic this fight brings. Blade Tempest draws all players towards him and after a short period he basically kills you. There are a few tricks to this mechanic that you can utilize. If your raid has 3 druids you can rotate stampeding roars to quickly get you away from the boss and out of his kill you mechanic. If your raid has 3 druids that are smart enough to use their roars in a good rotation you *may* consider Crouching Tiger Hidden Chimera, as you can have a deterrence for every single unseen strike. The reason I like post haste for this fight is because if you happen to hit your disengage a bit early during Blade Tempest you will just stop and not fly backwards at all. Post haste gives you the ability to still get away when this happens. 

DPS on this fight is pretty simple. Get your Bestial Wrath lined up for AFTER Unseen strike, Unseen comes every 60-65 seconds, so if you have it lined up slight before, as your third BW will be, be sure not to waste any as you can't attack the boss during Unseen Strike. You can DPS while running away from Blade Tempest. During the 2nd phase you can also send your pet to attack the boss from about half way down the hallway with a /petattack macro. You can take advantage of being able to move and attack also during the tornado phase, just don't derp into a newly spawning tornado (it will happen). Be sure to get Serpent Sting up on the boss immediately after each unseen strike if it has fallen. Overall this fight is a lot of fun, and hunters bring some of the best DPS to this fight if you manage to do it right.

Heroic Spirit Kings

Fuck. This. Fight. I am so happy that we were able to get this boss down in just over a week, about 125 pulls (including resets). The fight is a true test of your entire raids ability to face mechanics and deal with them quickly. It's a rapid fire test of your abilities as a raider. Everything from stop DPS mechanics, to don't stand in bad stuff mechanics, to interrupts, dispells, enrage removals, dodge mechanics. It's all built into this 1 10 minute stand against the 4 kings. I took a standard Beast Mastery talent set up once again: 

1: Crouching Tiger Hidden Chimera
1: Silencing Shot
2: Aspect of the Iron Hawk
2: Dire Beast
1: A Murder of Crows
1: Glaive Toss

Will start with mechanics again and what hunters bring to the plate during this fight. The most important things hunters provide in this fight, outside of our strong single target DPS, is a ranged interrupt, Tranquilizing Shot, and the ability to attack a 100% reflect damage without taking damage. On top of all this we are extremely mobile for all of the dodging/kiting mechanics you may be faced with. King 1 is a pretty standard stack and nuke with a lot of movement. His new ability you simple stop attack, wait for a dispell and continue. This is the same with the next boss. When the 2nd King is active take it on yourself to spread out from other people once the first king has died. We have mobility, other casters do not have this same ability. Let them nuke while you find a sweet spot not within 8 yards of anyone. When the third king becomes active at 30% remaining on the 2nd king, you should be in an interrupt group with other ranged to be sure no no shadow bolts get off. These are very dangerous and when combined with almost any other damage, will certainly 1 shot a person. When the 4th and final boss is active you should be in charge of dispelling the enrages via Tranquilizing shot. Glaive toss and multi shot (Non SV) are also very helpful in breaking mind control if you don't have a priests halo/warriors Dragon Roar.

This is a very simple nuke and win fight as far as DPS'ing goes. Not much is going to significantly help or hurt you in this fight, when 2 bosses are active you may try to roll 2 serpent stings, but the main priority is always killing the lower health boss. There is honestly so much going on towards the end of this fight I was so focused on just making every single global matter when the boss wasn't reflecting. When he got to high energy in cowardice phase I basically just kept DPSing, using much less arcane shots as it was really the only ability that could hurt me for a lot. Here is our kill video from a mages PoV, I look to get back to recording this week!


Will be back to writing more here soon! Expect more of the Weekly Raider as well!

<LA> Stormrage (US)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Been Awhile Internet

The Weekly Raid

So, it's been awhile since I sat down to write one of these things. The past couple weeks  have been loaded with several things for me. Call of Duty was released, Diablo is somewhat interesting again, and that raiding thing. Let's talk about that raiding thing. We have put in a few extra days the past two weeks to try to catch up as we lost nearly an entire week due to the hurricane smashing the faces of a few of our raiders. All in all it's been good though, getting a Spiritbinder Heroic kill as well as finally pushing through 25m Heart of Fear made the past two weeks extremely good for us. We plan on pushing onto the third raid instance with an extra night tonight, and hopefully clean that place up, as it doesn't seem it's too difficult on the normal mode. 

So the topic I really sat down to hammer down today was self preparation and how this really ties into your raid progression. It seems this past week on our first normal Heart of Fear clear we ran into a ton of issues with people showing up to raid extremely unprepared. By unprepared, I mean they showed up to a progression raid with absolutely no knowledge of the encounters ahead, the mechanics that these fights bring and how they could contribute to the raid team. When trying to be the best guild you can absolutely be these small attentions to detail can really make a difference if everybody in the raid has just done research on how their class can approach a fight. Small details such as knowing you can BoP a person before entering Dissonance Fields, can save your raid a headache. Knowing how to interrupt on a fight such as Amber Shaper can, and will, save your raid a wipe or two that definitely did not need to happen. When you show up completely blind to fights you are causing your raid to spend time on something that really did not need to happen. An issue where you mess up a mechanic will happen, everybody is human. Admit you made a mistake, wipe the fight and pull again. I'm as bad as anyone at trying to figure out ways to solve an issue the raid continues to have. At the end of the day, know your job, what you need to do, and leave everyone else's job up to them. With good leadership the people who constantly mess up with slowly be fed to the sharks and you're raid will grow stronger. Play your class to the best you can do it, and know how to deal with mechanics. Most guilds will take a strong mechanical player with slightly less damage, than a more weak mechanical player with higher damage.

-Divine <LA> Stormrage

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Hurricane Woes

Lock and Load

Our raid group, like plenty of others had to lose a lot of raid time due to the hurricane. What a bad week for this to happen as well. New raid released and we were hoping to get in a start issuing out some tier. We ended up splitting into a couple of 10m's to at least get the chance to see some of the new content. Here's my synapses of the first 3 fights. 

Vizier is an interesting fight that really isn't that interesting. Dodge some rings, stack in some bubbles, break some mind controls, repeat and the boss falls over. It's a pretty decent fight for us and with use of  some single target nuking the fight was a quick kill. Blade Lord has some interesting mechanics that are very predictable with use of DBM timers and good raid positioning, this fight again was a relatively quick kill.

Now to speak on Garalon. The enrage on this boss was moved back the Wednesday after the raid was released because it was simply too tight for a normal raid encounter. To speak on hunters on this fight I'll keep it short. Get ready to be sat if something isn't changed. Cleave classes like rogues, warriors, fire mages, and multi dotting classes will be doing 2-3x the amount of damage we can do. We aren't fit for this type of fight, and I really don't see there being anything we can do about it. I'm almost positive I will play my shaman for this encounter, as hunters just can't push out the required damage.

Sorry for the short blog this week, been a crazy crazy week. Also, my Sony Vegas is having some weird issues when I updated it, and I can't open the program. So no new videos for a little bit.

Divinespeed - <LA> Stormrage (US)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lock and Load - Heroic Feng the Accursed

Lock and Load

Hello hunters!

Feng the Accursed No More! 2/16 Heroic

What an awesome fight! I really enjoyed the slight change from the normal difficulty that this fight was. The only new mechanic added into the heroic version of the fight is a new phase, which has you kill some adds. Although the new phase is fairly simple mechanic wise, the increased damage output from the boss, and raid damage output needed makes this fight a sure test for every part of your raid group! Here is how I went about with the fight!

Spec: Beast Mastery
Talents: 3/3/2/2/1/1
Glyphs: Marked for Death, Animal Bond, Deterrence

With the correct strategy, for almost the entirety of this fight you will be stacked in a tight group on the boss, for all 4 phases other than the first (Staff) phase. For a majority of this fight it is a matter of maximizing your DPS in every way possible, making sure that you hitting your Bestial Wrath off CD at good times to maximize damage. Improvements on this fight will always come week to week, as it's pretty patchwork and gear will shine. Also, be conservative with your 2nd stampede, you will only get 2, so find  a time where your trinkets are lining up, hit stampede and your 2nd potion. Try not to do this just before the last phase transition  and the boss will be moving, and you may lose some pet up time. Be sure to take advantage of deterrence with a /cancelaura deterrence macro to help maximize moving. Having your warlock cookies keybound, although a relatively common thing, is EXTREMELY important in this fight, as there are some points where you may take a relatively large amount of damage, without warning. Be sure you don't clip your Murder of Crows. During shield phase, you can handle this many different ways. You will definitely have a BW available during one if you want to pop it to spam AoE adds with half cost Multi-Shots. I chose to use my BW's on the boss to help push the phases quicker, but this is up to you. Most guilds are having a DK grasp the adds into a tight group. I recommend using a binding shot as soon as the adds spawn on the raid, when the DK grips the adds they will immediately be stunned for 5 seconds. If you have a 2nd hunter in the group, have him put a binding shot on the back side of the adds, so ass soon as they move to the shield they are stunned for 5 seconds again. This gives your raid a full 10 seconds to just destroy the grouped up adds, and everyone will love you. Be sure during epicenter's you don't lose your SS dot, if you are inside the null barrier, you can still attack like normal, the increased miss chance is taken away with the barrier, but I could see where it can fall during a BW.

World of Logs; No logs this week as they got deleted! :(

Some changes you may or may not make.

If your raid group is struggling with the adds, survival is extremely close to BM on this fight, and will give you much more benefit on the shield phase of the fight. Also, lynx rush is a more forgiving talent to take than aMoC, which is more involved during readiness. Lynx rush will also give you some additional add damage if you chose to us it there.

Over all the fight was a ton of fun and I am extremely happy with how tuned it was!

Divinespeed - <LA> (Stormrage US)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lock and Load, New Guild, New Opportunities

Lock and Load

Hello hunters!

It's been a few weeks since I've done one of these bloggy type things! A lot has happened over the past few weeks, which has led me to not blogging about my raid weeks here during the beginning of the expansion! So I am going to sum up my first 3 weeks of raiding in just a few sentences. 

New Faces, New Chances

Although I greatly enjoyed my time in Peachy Keen, the guild decided to head another direction with their hunter core and my trial was declined. I have absolutely no hard feelings for the decisions they made, and I wish them the best of luck. I already had an offer on the table from a guild that is really getting into the swing of heroic progression and looking to make a name for itself in the upcoming raid tiers. I am now raiding with <LA> of Stormrage (US Alliance). Although going Alliance was the toughest choice of this move, I feel like the officer core over here is really looking to push progression, make changes to push progression further, and overall have a fun raid environment that is going to continue to push progression.

So, now the reason people actually would click on this blog, raiding! So, Mogu'shan Vaults was released a few weeks back, as a trial with PK, I didn't get as much time in the raid as I would like (which is why there have been no blogs). So we are going to consider this past week of raiding my first week of raiding. The fights are unique, very unique and it is so entirely refreshing to see fights that really have no relation to fights from the past. I think Spirit Kings is my favorite fight, a lot of interesting mechanics, and very well tuned. Elegon of course has it's challenges, but with DMF trinkets the fight took a sever decrease in difficulty from the first week.

State of the Hunter
I feel like Hunters are in an ok spot right now, we are lower than we'd absolutely like to be, but we aren't terrible to bring to a raid. We bring some interesting utility on multiple fights, and our DPS isn't the complete worse thing out there. Although we are definitely a lot more weak than we were during DS. I'm overall happy with the changes to Hunters this expansion, and I think it will only get better as we continue to gear and further perfect gear/reforging etc.

<LA> 1/6 Heroic
My first time killing Stoneguard comes in the heroic version! Generally I'd like to really touch on the specific changes I made while adjusting from the normal to heroic mechanics, but it's not something I can do in this situation. I will cover what I did for this fight, and some of the changes I believe I need to make to improve my performance. 

Spec: Survival
Talents: 3/1/2/3/3/1
Glyphs: Marked for Death, Animal Bond, Deterrence

The absolute toughest part of this fight in my opinion is being able to manage your focus, while being 110% raid aware. Focus control is something I have always struggled with on a fight where I need to be constantly moving, and switching targets. I chose thrill of the hunt so I would almost always have an instant cast when needing to move out of a trap, pool, or move to/from someone for chains. Also, you will always have 2 targets available to do damage on. This makes this fight not as good for hunters in my opinion, as 2 target damage is definitely one of our weak spots. The most important part of this aspect, and another reason TotH is a good talent choice is you can always have SS ticking on two targets at once. I believe I used a few too many multi-shots this week, as 2 target MS's are fairly week compared to a single arcane shot. I think I will try fervor this week, as it will keep me honest with MS, and give me extra focus for instants on the move. Hunters and Deathknights provide the absolute most utility in breaking cobalt traps while outside of petrification. With the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera talent you have a 1 min deterrence CD, with readiness you can break multiple in a short period of time, if your readiness happens to reset your deterrence. Another thing that can help with this fight if traps are over running your raid constantly. Have a resto druid symbiosis you, they will gain deterrence and you will gain dash, a short sprint that is absolutely amazing for running tiles.

Hope I helped you out with some tips for Heroic Stoneguard! On to Feng next week, and I will be back next week with an update! 

Divinespeed - <LA> (Stormrage US)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lock and Load Week 2

Lock and Load Week 2

Wow, this raid week was full of enjoyment for me! So quick recap of my preparation for this raid week. I race changed to Orc! Something I knew would be coming for a few awhile now, but had just never made the change. I also switched bows over to the Heroic Crossbow, vs the normal Deathwing bow. If you havn't done this yet, what are you waiting for?! With ranged weapons getting the huge buff that they got, the crossbow is now FAR superior to the normal DW bow. I'd almost make the argument it's better than the H:DW bow, but probably not. Over 400 crit is so fucking sexy compared to the normal DW bow. Last change I made this week was going from Vial of Shadows -> Cataclysmic Gladiator's Insignia of Conquest.

Oh, the Dee Pee Ess

Nobody ran consistent logs this week as we were subbing people in and out constantly throughout the raid night to get everybody a chance to do some raiding. So I guess you can take everything with a grain of salt. But wow, I was so impressed with my DPS on nearly every single fight. Minus Hagara and Zon'ozz my DPS was up over 2k on the fights I played the same spec both weeks. I think the bow has the most to do with this change, but the trinket and race definitely help. No bow from DW again, so officially, I wont get a raid week with full BiS :(. Time to prepare for MoP!

The Pandas are Coming the Pandas are Coming!!

With less than 2 weeks till release it's really time to start hammering down your leveling strategies and exactly how you plan on grinding that rep and professions come the first week. There is a lot to tackle here, so I will start with leveling.

I'm praying they keep cross realm zones away from Pandaria for a few weeks at least, or else dungeon leveling will be the way to go. I plan on holding a few dailies to give me some base experience to start out with. I also plan on hitting dungeons right at release time to grind level 86 as fast as possible and get into the 2nd zone quickly. This will put some separation between myself and the crowd. I'm not going for realm first, but am looking to level rather quickly. This is to optimize my time in getting gear and being ready to go 6/6 Normal that following tuesday.

Professions will be my task along the way. Engineering isn't something I have a ton of control over leveling as it requires mats from mining most likely, and will probably be a huge gold sink for me. That being said, enchanting and fishing are both something I can definitely slowly begin to level as I progress in my leveling. Remember with professions, you don't have to be max level to get the raiding benefits from them, so don't go sinking a ton of gold into something you wont use to make gold.

Gearing will be the final task for myself. Getting everything ready before hand is pretty strong. Knowing which bosses, in which instances drop your pre raid BiS blues, is VERY VERY VERY VERY important. Know which dungeons you need to spend more time in because you have more possible loot, which dungeons you have less loot in. GRIND GRIND GRIND GRIND GRIND GRIND!!! 

I'm very excited for this upcoming expansion as it will be my first time leveling the week of the expansion, and it's something I'm looking forward to experiencing. 

Divine - Peachy Keen (Stormreaver US)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lock and Load 1.5

Lock and Load Week 1.5

Every week I plan on writing a brief blog to explain what I've done since previous to help improve my prior weeks results. This comes with saying, I browse forums every week and check for small hints in that way, but I will lay out what I plan to personally test in this weeks raid, as well as touch on a subject or two I feel needs addressing.

So I finally did it, that long paused thing I've been meaning to do for a few weeks. Became a big, nasty, hairy (although he has less hair) and smelly Orc. After doing some theorycrafting talk with Zedextenr, (Exodus - Cho'gall) and after he blew up some charts in an LFR with me, that I would need to make this race change to be able to compete with the top tier of hunter talent in the US. We also talked about CD's which I discussed in my previous blog, and I'm starting to think, assuming lust isn't on pull, that all CD's being throw at 0:00 in a fight is the best, followed by a readiness at :06. I think this for a few reasons. All your CD's will alight better later in the fight, Eng Tinker and Blood Fury to be exact. Instead of waiting 15-25 seconds to later in the fight, you only have them down for ~6 seconds. A lot more needs to be tested with this, but it's looking more and more convincing as I do more testing. The next bit of knowledge I threw on him was this PvP trinket that seems to be 2nd BiS over Heroic Vial of Shadows at this point.

This is what I would like to touch on this week. In my opinion, a PvP trinket having this much throughput for PvE just seems completely and totally broken. Do I mind having to go grind a few arenas to get the conquest to buy this trinket the first couple of weeks of MoP? Not at all. But the fact that this trinket may be best in slot through heroic content disturbs me a bit. PvE needs to remain PvE and PvP needs to remain PvP. Unfortunately, I'm not sure exactly what Blizzard plans to do with these trinkets, but the 55 sec ICD just makes it unbelievably good. A PvE trinket with this similar style of proc usually has a 90-105 sec ICD. These trinkets also give MORE proced/on use agility than the PvE counter parts. A simple solution to this would have these trinkets no longer proc agi/str/int but proc straight PvP Power. I really hope something is done with these. 

Questions for Tuesday 9/11/12
Was my money worth the race change? Can't go back now 
Will be noting the readiness usage on every fight, and how the results turn back!
How good is this PvP Trinket? Another Variable in this weeks twist. 

If everything above is a DPS increase as I suspect all will be, I should have much better results this week! Pray for my bow! (Hey I'd like to have at least 1 lockout with it!)

GLHF in your raid this week!!

Divine (Peachy Keen - Stormreaver US)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thoughts on New Hunter Talents

I wasn't going to blog today, but there has been a big stir around the hunter community with all these tests of the new abilities floating around. A blog was posted over at The Grumpy Elf today highlighting these tests and laying a lot of numbers on the ground. The blog was an interesting read, and I would recommend you take a look at it before continuing with my thoughts on it.

So here it is, we were given about 4 new abilities at any given time, depending on the talents you take, and how you approach using them. The blog breaks it down that these new talents give you about 10% of your total DPS in a given encounter. I can't argue the numbers as I haven't done the testing for myself, but I can definitely see where these numbers come into play. All of our 'new' talents are fairly unattractive, and don't provide us with any new utility we didn't have before. We were basically given all of our original spells and shots, with the addition of 2 new dots, 3 new instant damaging spells, and 2 casted/channeled abilities. When you break down the shots in this manner they become less 'gross' in my opinion.

2 New Dots: Dire Beast and Murder of Crows, both spells that don't add much damage, and have CD's that must be managed throughout the fight. These are no different than dots a warlock, spriest, or Fire Mage must manage throughout their rotation.

What makes these dots so bad for a hunter as compared to these other classes? Focus. It's a pretty simple mechanic that really judges how we play the class. Even with DB costing no focus at all, it's on the GCD and every GCD has to be judged as a hunter. The hunter class is like no other, if anything it's more similar to a a melee class than any other. When a mage misjudges a GCD, they can make up for it immediately with their next. If a hunter misjudges his/her focus KC/Exp/Chim are off CD and we can't cast it, further hurting our DPS output.

My response to this blog is this. Hunters play very uniquely, and each person plays their hunter uniquely. Maybe you are having trouble with all the new things, maybe it does hinder your dps in some way. Yes, you can take actions out of rotation to simplify it, and maybe you can produce on the same level as others who are having trouble. To the casual hunter, I'd say, you don't care about your numbers anyways, click the new spells all you want, how you want, and when you want. To the hunter dedicating time to get better at the class, start small, maybe use one of these macros where you bind Dire Beast in with Arcane Shot till you get use to when the spell is coming of CD and you can push into using a separate bind for it. Use the new abilities off CD, don't worry about lining them up to execute the 100% best strategy. Just use them, as often as you can. Play your hunter, as often as you can. Don't worry about your dps, paint your picture, get use to the feel of the new spells, then worry about lining them to maximize the numbers.

-Divine (Peachy Keen - US Stormreaver)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lock and Load Week 1

Lock and Load Week 1

So Here We Go! (Raid 1 5.0.4)
This is how the normal blog week to week will look, just had some extended thoughts on my testing!

Tuesday came up quick this week with Labor Day being on Monday for all the US folk, and after a weekend of Cheetos and soda, I was ready to see what it was going to be like to finally get some raiding in. I have a couple of goals with these last 3 raids here before MoP.

1. Take everything as a learning experience for these new talents, focus less on meters, and more on execution.
2. Pay attention to certain mechanics and how your new spells interact with them.
3. Get acquainted with Beast Mastery, and how it currently feels, although it will feel much different come MoP, I think learning is the most important part of these raids.
4.Personal goal of mine, get acquainted with the new guild, would hate to go into a new raid tier being the new quiet guy.

Everything you need to know pertaining to current boss fights in Dragon Soul is already out there, google your issue, I’m not going to cover boss by boss fights.

What I wanted to cover this week is CD usage, and how we can get the most out of them. From any testing I do, it seems with the amount of cooldowns currently in play for Horde Hunters is pretty crazy. From shortest to longest: Kill Command, Dire Beast, Beastial Wrath, Rabid, Lynx Rush, Blood Fury (Orcs), Rapid Fire/Berserking (Trolls), Readiness, and Blood Lust/Heroism/Time Warp. With all of these cooldowns how do we make the most out of them? What is the right time to use x y or z? Should I want on a till c is off cooldown? A lot of these questions still havn’t been answered and a lot of the answers, in my opinion, lie on how your raid is using their blood lust for the given fight. There are 3 potential ways for blood lust to be used. 1. On the pull of the fight (Ultraxion) 2. At some random point in the fight (Yor’sahj) 3. At a specific point in the fight (Morchok, Zonozz)

1.      Lust/Hero/Warp on the Pull of the Fight
So, your pre pot is up, lust is up what do you do next, well obviously waiting on any CD at the beginning of the fight can turn into a loss, and everything outside of haste effect CD’s should be used immediately. BW, Rabid, Lynx, DB, and Blood Fury (For Orcs) all up as quickly as the globals allow you. KC off CD of course, while keeping serpent up with the occasional CS’s. Once lust falls you would then want to get RF and for trolls berserking up as quickly as possible. BW is up once RF falls and you go for BW2 at the 1 minute mark. Normal priority through here keeping SS up at all times. At 90 seconds you get Lynx 2 + Rabid 2 off CD IMMEDIATELY. At 120 Seconds you get BW 3. This is where it gets fun. At 180 Seconds if everything has been hit off CD like it’s suppose to be hit. Lynx 3, Rabid 3, and BW 4 will all line up at that moment. All off CD when they are up together with your 2nd potion,  followed by readiness and all again once BW drops. All of this combined with Kill Shots, combine for some oh so sweet burst to finish a fight.

2.      At Some Random Point in the Fight
So this is something you can’t really predict, and at the point where you should be doing the most DPS you are getting an external haste CD (Lust) so treat it as if you were hitting a target dummy, you don’t have control over when this lust may happen, when the right combination occurs for the raid can be completely random. Aim to get that 180 second mark mentioned above, where you can hit a huge set of CD’s all in a small window late in the fight.

3.      At a Specific Point in the Fight
So you know the rough time frame you have before and after the time where your blood lust is going to be used for the raid. This can be tricky as to how CD’s are managed. If Lust will not be within the first minute of the fight, getting your readiness on CD as quickly as possible seems to be the best way to get the most out of it. I need to do more testing to really see the best way to go about this.
My questions with this are:
What CD’s need to be popped immediately, only BW+lynx and DB, for the sake of Readiness, should BW+Lynx+DB+RF all be put onto CD as quickly as possible? Then separated afterwards?
How do things line up late in the fight if I use all at the same time? If I don’t?

Everything said above is my initial CD findings, and always subject to change in the future J

Logs from this week:

Yes, it’s a lot to take in. But, let’s be honest fellow hunters, we are willing to put up with more bullshit talents, that are pretty unattractive and have a lot of randomness to them, because it’s what we have done all of cataclysm. We put up the bullshit Blizzard hands us and we turn it into flowers. I don't claim to be the best, or put up world class rankings, but I work hard at this art. The art of our rotation can be more complex, because when we figure it out, every fight will be like painting a picture with your mouse and keyboard and it’s what I love about this class and this game.

-Divine (Peachy Keen US Stormreaver)

Lock and Load Week 0

Lock and Load Week 0 9/5/2012
With Mists of Pandaria fast approaching everybody is in a rush to figure out all of these new talents, glyphs, and spells blizzard has so kindly provided to us hunters. Lock and Load is a weekly blog by myself, Divine of Peachy Keen (US Stormreaver), covering my findings and thoughts on raid instances and the current state of hunters in general. I was unable to do heroic testing week 1 of the pre-patch so week 2 will start this blog off, as week 1.

Wow, Explosive Shot is Fucking Terrible (Survival Testing)
So we can start from last week, where I really started crunching numbers, and really trying to see what all these new shiny buttons did. I grabbed up some Cheetos and soda, reforged nearly every piece of gear I had to expertise (fuck you Blizzard), and sat down in front of my computer for a long weekend to really push down all the possibilities of the new talents and glyphs (or lack of). Survival, my favorite hunter spec would be the first to go through hours of training, so I threw on what I knew best and went from there. Knowing ahead of time Dire Beast(DB) and A Murder of Crows(AMoC) were the best 2 single target from beta testing, I started from the beginning. Thrill of the hunt and AMoC it was to begin. Well that lasted a whole 5 minutes before I realized how overly broken our 2 piece was with the new rate of focus regen. So, back to DB and AMoC for SV testing where I would remain for the remainder of the 2-3 hours of SV testing I did. The spec played very spammy, watching CD’s waiting for Lock n Loads all while spamming arcane shot, because you simply have too much focus right now. After some testing, I was confident in the spec, it seemed good, nothing special, just a few new CD’s into the mix.

Current questions for SV:
Why is our premier shot in this spec our third worse spell?
Crit or Mastery? Hard to tell with current lack of Expertise, early testing shows mastery, but time will tell.
How important is Serpent Sting now? With the loss of the noxious sting talent, where does this sit in the current priority? How long does it need to tick before the global is wasted?

Positives from SV:
AoE is still substantially stronger with SV.
Lock and Loads can be spammed 1 2 3, without placing  a global between 2-3 or 1-2.
Arcane Shot hits like a truck.

Spirit Beasts are pretty cool (Beast Mastery Testing)
So here is where most of my testing time has gone into. Beast Mastery, I havn’t played it all too much to this point, I was familiar with the talents, how the class played, but had never done a ton of theory crafting with the spec to really push out extra numbers. Wow, the skill ceiling on this spec is unbelievably high right now. Now, I know a lot of people have made posts on how completely and totally ridiculous the amount of skills BM has to follow right now, and it’s true. But I’m in love with it. At any point in time the right shot to cast is 1 of 8 different shots. This doesn’t include CD’s such as Bestial Wrath, Rapid Fire, Berserking (Troll Racial), Synapse Springs (Engineering Tinker), or Rabid (Pet CD). But the possibilities are so endless to how you can make use of all these cooldowns. Every fight will be different in the way you shape your CD rotation. With this being said, BM feels the same as SV right now, very spammy, and unpredictable. You spam a lot of Arcane shots, while Kill Commanding, and hitting those 30 sec, 60 sec, and 90 sec, CD’s at the right time.

Questions for BM
How good is Beast Cleave for AoE?
Same question with Serpent Sting for BM, where does it fit in priority, how long does something need to be alive for it to be worth the global?
Again, Crit, or Mastery? Mastery seems good hear from early testing, but subject to change.

Positives for BM
If you havn’t made one yet..1 Shot Macro.
/cast Bestial Wrath
/cast Rabid
/use 13
/use 14
/use 10
/cast Lynx Rush

Pets, lots of useful pets, including a battle rez! For MoP of course.

Are You Ready? (Readiness Use)
Also with all hunter specs with have baseline, Readiness. Readiness being baseline for hunters is such an important feature right now, and it’s something I still need a ton of work with. Using Readiness to it’s full potential is tricky for BM and SV as both have several CD’s that are effected by readiness. Optimizing the effectiveness of this CD is going to be extremely important in pushing out top notch numbers on the meters, and the use of it should not be nonchalant. It’s going to have a precise moment in every single fight that it can be used for the most potential, and this theory crafting is something that will have to be saved for another blog.