Sunday, June 21, 2009

Midsummer and randomness

Midsummer has officially started. I've gotten Flame Warden of Outland and defeated Ahune. I tried soloing him, failed big-time, got a guildie tank and healer, we failed again, and then we slaughtered him. I'd never seen the fight and neither had the tank, so I think we did pretty good. I want the Scorchling (omg, want so much) so I'll be running Slave Pens daily till a) I get him or b) the holiday's over.

I also respeced the survival spec back to a BM one, and duoed Black Morass with a guildie to get Elixir Master done. Now if I could just get lucky on the Frost Lotus drops. I have 65 icecrown and 42 lichbloom in the bank, and no lotuses. Sigh.

In other news, I finished a rep grind. Can you guess which one from the picture?

And in other other news 5 alts have leveled over the past two days. I'm going to try to take advantage of the extra xp during Midsummer, especially on the warlock since I can't get her heirloom items.

Last, but not least, a bit of fan service. What can I say, this outfit just amused me. And yes, this is her current leveling gear.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Raid UI

A UI is a matter of preference to some degree, but some guilds do require that you a) have a raid UI and that b) it has what they think you need. So I asked around and got a list of what addons raid leaders want you to have as a hunter... Obviously different guilds may require different things, so ask before you app.

1. Omen or another threat meter. I have been known to pull off the tank (it's how I got Master of Arms), and especially with the bursty goodness of MM, you want to keep an eye on your threat. Park it over to the side somewhere, and set it to only be visible in raid and you're good to go.

2. Deadly Boss Mods. If you raid, get it now. If you randomly run heroics, get it now. If you randomly solo Outlands dungeons, get it now. Very useful, only shows up in instances, and is chock full of useful info. Like "Web attack: Garetia" or enrage timers.

3. Recount. Not as big a deal, but it's nice to know how you're doing. I would set this to only be visible out of combat, so you aren't focusing on it during.

I also use xperl because well, it's pretty, and it's very nice for healers (from what I've been told), but it's generally not a requirement for dps.

And this is my ui (in a heroic, not a raid).

If I wasn't in combat, recount would be above the square of buttons on the right. Other addons shown are...
diablo 3 orbs, bartender, sexymap, xperl, quartz, and titanbar. Multishot took the screencap for me (it automatically screencaps achievements and levels).

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Drop Rate

I do the fishing quest most days. I want a crab pet. I'd guess I've been doing it since it was implemented, more or less. And somehow, this just amuses me.
I've gotten
A jeweled fishing pole
Recipe:Captain Rumsey's Lager
and now a Bold Stormjewel.
(plus a ton of other stuff)

And why is this amusing? Because all of the above have a lower drop rate then the darn pet. The jewel goes for 1k on my server, so not complaining, but um, I want a pet please. Okay, another pet. I already have 61? 60? but one more never hurts.

A tale from tonight's Naxx

I am in a ten-man, mostly guild. We're fighting Noth, and I am dpsing my little heart out. Rotation's going well, but he's not going down. I mean we really don't seem like we're making any dent.
Meanwhile I'm wondering where my mana went, cause I'm going through it like water. Health, yeah that's falling, but that's normal on this fight. But I keep going and finally he falls, and then I notice...
2 dead hunters and 2 dead melee dps. One of whom is my Replenishment. Yes, it took me till the end of the fight to notice other people had died. This is why you probably never want me raid-healing...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Alt Project (did I mention I'm a slow leveler?)

The alt project is creeping along. I may have finally found a warrior I can play (after way too much rerolling). Sadly, I kinda want to play the pally. The pally is fun and impossible to kill and um, yeah. Must not play pally. Must play squishies. Currently I'm going to try to get everyone to 20 (since that's omg much easier than 30 plus 30 was originally created as the goal bc it's mount level).
The rogue is closest (at 16) and has been mostly abandoned. The druid's 15 and is seeing some decent playtime. I tend to play her as a boomkin and well, that's not that enjoyable. I'm hoping it'll get more fun with more forms. The fighter has been an eternal struggle and I am now trying the "If I have to stare at someone's arse to level, maybe a cute arse will work" method.

Of course, part of what's going on is that I have less time, and part of it is because I need to be on Garetia more. I must grind Sons of Hodir, and I am over halfway to epic flying gold. Sadly, low-level alts do not rake in the cash like a level 80 with maxed herbalism and alchemy. In fact, alchemy's been how I've been making so much cash. There's always a demand for flasks, and I generally get up early enough in the morning that farming ingredients isn't a problem. On that note, Garetia will be an elixir master soon. I've run Black Morass once, and my guild is more than happy to run it again, and the only problem I ran into is needing to make an elixir that I can't get the recipe for. Honor Hold does not like me that much, mostly because I don't like them. Stupid Hellfire Penn. Thankfully, the guild is coming through there as well.

So, um, alt project not dead. Just really slow. And I thought I'd encapsulate my class views thus far (all opinions are my own and are not meant to dis any class)...
Druid-> Not wowed. Forms are entertaining for about 5 minutes and then it's eh.
Hunter-> YAY! Slow to start but once you get a pet it's so fun.
Mage-> Many people in my guild say you have to be a special kind of crazy to love mages. I agree. I lack that crazy. Painfully slow, but explosions are fun. It's also good practice for when your pet can't hold aggro worth a damn and you have to play the burn them down before they hit you game.
Pallies->Make it past the first 20 and they're great. But the first 20 are kinda painful.
Priest-> Ranged dps while insanely squishy. Not my favorite thing. I want a pet. Same problem as mage, really, just mitigated by self healing.
Rogue->Not wowed by the other mechanics, but sneaking rocks.
Shamans->Not quite as awesome as pallies, but still quite fun. Plus you can do either melee or ranged dps.
Warlock->Doom and pets! More DoTs! This is probably the closest to the hunter class, so no wonder I find it fun.
Warriors-> Hopefully it's just that the first 20 levels are painful. Hopefully.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why does my DPS suck? Likely problems to look for

Well, there's a ton of reasons why your dps might not be all it can be. I'm going to mention the most common, and how to fix.

1. Your spec is sub-optimal. If you speced by picking the shiny talents, this may be the case. Talents are deceiving after all, and the shiny-looking ones may not be the truly shiny ones. If you want to build your own, I'd head here and read. Heck, I'd advocate reading the entire article. It's really useful. I point others to it all the time. For cookie-cutter specs (as of 3.1) try here or here for survival, hit Aspect of the Hare for BM, and here's a slightly out-of-date MM spec 3.08 spec or you can copy mine. Mine does give up some dps for 3/3 Focused Aim and Replenishment though.

If you're up for it, I would suggest reading the EJ threads, but I know that's a lot of theorycrafting and math.

2. Hit Cap. If you are not hit capped, your dps will suffer. To give an example...
a friend of mine has better gear than me. I am hit capped and he is well, at 150 when he needs to be at 260ish. Last raid, I was at 2.7k dps and he was at 1.9k dps. It's amazing how much of a difference being hit capped can make.

3. You're itemizing wrong. Not being hit-capped is simply the most common example of this. Here's what's important and what isn't.

Agility - Gives AP at 1 Agi per AP and crit at 83 Agi per 1% crit. Yay Agility. Your gear should always have some agility on it. If you are rolling on stam/int mail pieces, you're taking shammy gear and they will not be happy. So stop that and go for agility instead.

Stamina - 3 stam=1 ap for survival. Otherwise not important to dps. Nice for raid survival, but your gear will have this as a matter of course. So don't stress it.

Intellect - I love int. That said, mana + regen if you have replenishment or rapid recup + 1AP per 1 int if you have careful aim (which is a really nice talent no matter what your spec). It's nice, but agility is more important.

Hit - Swiped from Less QQ, More pewpew
262.24 Hit Rating - 0/3 Focused Aim
229.46 Hit Rating - 1/3 Focused Aim
196.68 Hit Rating - 2/3 Focused Aim
163.90 Hit Rating - 3/3 Focused Aim
I always take Focused Aim so I can just shoot for 164, but I am giving up some shiny dps talents for it. You have to make your own call on this, but you MUST BE HITCAPPED!

AP- Second only to agility in its awesomeness. You want this. You want lots of this.

Crit, Haste, and ArP - These are nice, but don't shoot for them. Don't worry about them either. Worry about Agility, AP and hit.

Defense, Dodge, Parry, Block Rating, Block Value, Spell Power, MP5, Strength, Spirit, Expertise - NO.

Spell Penetration - No

4. Shot Priorities/Rotations. These are compiled from a lot of reading. If you think I need to alter or if you get higher dps by doing something else, please let me know.
Survival (nontrapdancing)-> Kill Shot, Black Arrow, Explosive Shot, Serpent Sting, Aimed or Multishot, Steady Shot. If Lock and Load procs, shoot Explosive, Aimed/Multi, Explosive

Marksman->Kill Shot, Serpent Sting, Chimera Shot, Arcane Shot, Aimed Shot, Steady Shot.

Beastmaster->Kill Shot, Arcane, Aimed (if you have it), Serpent Sting, Steady

There is some debate about the usefulness of Aimed Shot. I like it, so I use it.

5. Pets. Your pets add to your dps. So, what can you do wrong here? One, bring a tenacity or cunning pet to a raid. You want a ferocity pet, and you want one that's max level. If you don't have one, go pick up a wolf over in the Storm Peaks. Two, make sure your pet is speced for dps. May I suggest looking here for ideas. Those specs are BM ones, but they at least give you an idea of what pet talents are shiny.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Naxx 10 as Survival

I give you the tale of my Naxx run last week. Hopefully it will be amusing, but if not, I blame the GREs. They ate my brains, I tells you.
First, the reason I speced Survival...

my DPS went up. By about 400. In the same gear, with the same gems and enchants. Yay. Also, that green thing is from Power Auras Clasic. I've been attempting to create an aura for when my serpent sting falls off but no success yet.

Here's my second death. The Safety dance death was my own fault. This was more of a "dps dps dps dps, oh crap, I died!" thing. Since the priest and the other hunter also died, I really don't think it was my fault.

Then we have a cap with all my power auras up. Mostly cause it bugged out on me. The red one is Furious Howl (I'm working on trying to figure out how to time my rotation so the big shots hit when furious howl is active), the blue is Aspect of the Viper, and the gun is a lock and load proc.

Then I died on Grob and then we all died on Gluth. I just took longer (ty Feign Death). I ended up handling the Zombie Chow. I was just supposed to trap, but there's two problems with that. One, the survival rotation involves Black Arrow which shares trap cooldowns, and two, my cooldown no longer equals my trap, so I had to keep running back to look anyway. So, on the second try I because Zombie Chow girl with my own personal healer. Not my fav thing to do, but we took him down so yay for that. Then I died. (Random add left and I was trying to protect the healer). Noticing a pattern here? Yup, Friday was my night to die. I died more on Friday then I did first time in Naxx.

Last death (and my fav). I have yet to make it through one shift on Thad. Either I miss the jump, or I run around like a chicken with its head cut off. (I've only seen him three times now). But this was an epic missed jump, so you get a screeny...

How I managed to wedge myself in there is beyond me.

So, thoughts...
Survival appears to still be the dps king, or at least in my gear it is. The shot rotation/priority is a bit less complicated than MM, and the extra traps are nice. I saw very few lock and load procs using Black Arrow, so if you want as many as possible, trap dancing seems to be the way to go (all but two of my lock and load procs occurred while I was chain trapping zombie adds with frost traps. It was fun, and I will likely stay MM/SV for a while, but I still like MM best. I'll probably switch between them, depending on what I need to do. For 5 mans, it'll probably be Surv, just because of the less mana issues. For heroics, probably MM unless we need trappy goodness or replenishment.

As far as my personal survival spec goes, I gave up some dps talents for Focused Aim (since I have it as MM and I'm using the same gear) and for full replenishment. Otherwise it's a pretty cookie-cutter spec.

Now back to studying. Stupid tests...