Tuesday, September 4, 2012

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.

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