Thursday, June 24, 2010

On The Road To Being a Marksman - Part 13 - Loot Combinatorial Headaches Cause Mistakes

I did everything I said I would in my previous post. It involved buying a T9.5 and a T10.5, downshifting two use T9.5x2 and shuffling over to use different T10.5x2. It required gems and re-gemming. It required a chest enchant. It required me shooting out to Ebon Hold for the helm enchant. It required me to go to IF to respec. It required me to reset all my macros in the UI. I had to deal with addon issues from the patch. I tried some target dummy stuff. I made another Outfitter gear set. I did all this an hour before the raid.

But I made a mistake. I had been using the DPS calculator which also helpfully shows your hit rating and percentage. I wrongly thought it didn't include my Draenei buff. But it looks like it did take that into account.

I loaded a full +3% from talents. I snagged a Draenei in group for a +1%. But my "DPS-MM-Sting" gear set only had +3% hit. 3 + 3 + 1 = 7. We need 8. I'm looking at this after loading up on some new arrows and thinking about how I just regemmed everything. And then the raid started.

I got nervous and flipped to SV for the trash. I knew the sting set would suck for trash anyway. I flipped back to MM for Marrowgar and auto-equipped my new my sting gear set. I was second or third on damage done and had three missed auto shots. I didn't check the rest. One thing I learned though: it's difficult to roll your sting forward and still do a lot of immediate damage to people who are spiked. You kinda have to hold back a little.

So I was a little disappointed, but I kept at it. On Deathwhisper, I did my adds job. But again, I had to retain the Chimera just for the boss who I had a nice sting rolling on. Luckily the adds go down quickly so I didn't feel bad about the less-than-amazing damage I did on them. That said, I managed the #1 spot on damage for that fight.

For the Lootship Battle, I didn't take a cannon and I didn't just shoot from our deck. Instead I rocketed over and killed the mages. That was fun. But for that fight, I flipped gear (but not spec) to my previous MM-DPS gear set. No stings to really roll there...

For Saurfang, I went with the stings. It was reasonably easy to keep the nice sting refreshed and still kill my beast (and help with others). Again, I had to restrain myself and not completely unload on the beasts.

For Dreamwalker I went with an obvious non-sting set but again stayed with Marks. I probably should have flipped to SV for the better instants and traps, but no biggie.

We then hit the Princes. We don't have good combatlogs from the night because people were DC'ng quite often (thanks to the patch). That said, I think I went with stings for the Princes. We had FIVE hunters, so I didn't have any orb duties. I'm not sure if using crit-stings was a win or not on the fight. You end up targeting five different mobs in the fight or so.

We also hit VoA and cleared it looking for a mount drop. (No luck!) I stayed in my crit-sting gear and it was easy to keep it rolling throughout each fight there.

The crit-sting gear should be great for Rotface, and Festergut. I'm not sure about Putricide and his adds. I guess it depends on how many ranged we have and how fast they go down. There are also those two pauses where the sting can (will?) fall off.

That said, I think we're hitting Sindragosa tonight.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On The Road To Being a Marksman - Part 12 - Loot Combinatorial Headaches

I picked up a ToC Trophy on Thursday. I'm toying with the idea of doing T9.5 x2. It seems like the head and legs would be the way to go with the armor pen. I currently have the T9.5 hands, legs, and shoulders. I don't think I bled through all my emblems of triumph on gems this month, so I'll buy the head.

I also got a wonderful and fabulous class mark. It only cost me almost all my class DKP. So that puts me at three. I have the hands and pants. So I can trade out the pants for the only other real option, the chest.

This would put me at T9.5x2 and T10.5x2. I might only flip to this when I'm doing a stand-and-shoot boss that I can reliably keep stings rolling on.

By the same logic, I probably should flip to SV for all other fights. Hrmmm.

The T9.5x2 and T10.5x2 bonuses sound great and all, but the chest kinda sucks compared with the BoE one and the badge one. And the logsplitters are crying for a fitting. Either of those choices would break my T10.5 set though. :-/ Oh, and my +hit takes a nose-dive so I end up needing to trade in some +mana and/or +dmg talents for focused aim. So... more shuffling.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Work Makes Play Sometimes Less Playful

Just want to do a little work plug here. My video transcoding system processed over 1,300 outputs (various different formats and bitrates) for one day in one day for Their video coverage of E3 is extreme.

I remember a little story about how some people wanted to recruit heavy-duty Star Trek fans for participating in actually making the Star Trek world. The result was that the fans didn't want any part of it. They had normal jobs and wanted to do their own thing. That always struck me as odd, because I always thought it would be great to publish a story or contribute to the science lore.

I love my job. But working somewhat on the other side of it now, it's easier to enjoy something that is not directly related to my work. So I think those Trekkies made the right move.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On The Road To Being a Marksman - Part 11 - New Gear and Enlightenment

Last night I had a free night and ran with our guild ICC-10. It isn't a completely consistent group. Some "ten man nights" there aren't 10. Other nights there are plenty of people to choose from. I've only run with the guild in ICC-10 three or four times. The two most recent runs were last night and at the end of April when we first nailed the Lich King to the floor. Last night we had a bunch of people new to heroic 10man versions. Myself being one of them.

In a little less than three hours we killed Marrowgar, Deathwhisper, Lootship, Deathbringer Saurfang, Festergut, and Rotface. There wasn't too much to learn and honestly Marrowgar seemed the most difficult. Perhaps it was most difficult because our ten man had two hunters (neither of us had done the heroics) and Marrowgar's melee hitbox is ridiculously large.

I had to swap to Survival on Saurfang so we'd have enough replenishment for the spam healers. It was just us two hunters. (We also had no locks so we couldn't use the pally DI-and-soulstone-back approach.)

It was a lot of fun learning some challenging fights. I also came away with two new pieces of gear from the night. I thought that the Pauldrons of Lost Hope should replace my Dual-Bladed Pauldrons without question at least for Marksman use. I also thought that Saurfang's Cold-Forged Band would find an easy home with my Marksman gear. I was in error. All the numbers showed equipping these as a DPS loss. And regardless of how I gemmed them.

My enlightenment came from re-reading some of my previous posts. I decided to use Zeherah's Hunter DPS Analyzer to change my shot rotation and remove Arcane Shot. This let everything click into place:

  • Don't use Arcane Shots for stand and shoot bosses for a DPS profit.
  • Pull out the talents from the now less-used Improved Arcane and since I'm [amazingly] still above the hit cap dump them into either being the Hunter's Mark bitch or full bore steady shot which I'll now be spamming a bit more.
  • HM on a personal basis is a +100 DPS win. I'll pull the other hunters along too of course. ;-)
  • Full improved steady shot and rapid recuperation would help about the same with damage, but would work on adds. I may just split the difference a bit.
  • We usually can rely on having a space goat so I am okay at 7% hit. But I will need to dip into the +hit talents with another gear swap.
  • My Outfitter gear addon now auto-swaps gear sets for my primary and secondary talent tree swaps.
  • I now do marginally better with armor pen gems now than with agility gems which is a first. I'll stay with agility gems in shared gear but move to armor pen gems in strictly Marksman gear. If I re-gemmed everything to armor pen I would get only about a 70 DPS gain. I would also hurt my Survival side. I may need to run SV for ten-mans in the future.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

On The Road To Being a Marksman - Part 10

Damage done. That's the first topic I wanted to talk about after I switched to Marksman. Well. The weekend after I switched my pimped-out desktop blew the Windows segment of the hard drive. It's a RAID0 config and was pretty grisly to get all my iTunes copied off it with an external drive without Windows. But I managed.

That said, I've been raiding Marksman on my laptop. I had to turn down graphics like hell just to get my frames-per-second to be playable in 25man instances. So, it's a little hard to compare if; 1) my being Marksman sucks, or 2) my gear sucks, or 3) my rotation sucks, or 4) my computer sucks, or all four.

Now firstly, there are some fights where I happen to do pretty well. I might be in the top 3. But often I find that I'm not. I am usually over 10k, but I could do that as Survival too.

Addressing the first point: on some fights, I just don't keep my buffed stings maintained. There might be adds that take a smidge too long to get down. I could be smart and Chimera the boss before the sting wears off. I feel like that requires a focus macro, which I really would make it as a target-of-my-focus macro. I also suck in that I will still accidentally refresh a serpent sting with a lesser serpent sting. Lose! So I do suck at Marksman.

Addressing point two: my gear isn't bad, but it fails at any decent armor penetration. Okay, it's not completely terribad. I'm at around 400. I am making improvements. But I'm not even sporting T-9.5x2.

Addressing point three: my rotation appears to be wrong. On a stand and shoot boss, I will use Arcane Shots. I probably should give up that habit. I need to do testing with and without Mangle (Cat or Bear versions) present. 30% isn't anything to sneeze at.

Addressing point four: I have some research to do to get my spiffy desktop back and better than ever.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Not This Website

I redesigned my guild's website.

If you hate Javascript for some reason, you might hate this. I did write it from scratch so it is clean and light-weight.

I'm not overly-proud of it. The graphics aren't the best. The use of graphics instead of text adds some heft. PNGs aren't universally accepted as awesome.

But hey, the DKP CGI was quick and looks pretty decent. And it's a helluva lot better than what was there before.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Not a Hunter Post

I don't usually mention my alt except in her support role to my hunter. But last night after our 25man raid, I broke off and did a heroic daily with my hunter and then my alt. My alt is a shaman healer.

So it was me and a top DK DPS from my guild in the LFG. We got a modestly geared tank and some other measly DPS. From the moment of zoning in. I was barely able to keep in range of him to let the heals fly. We were out of combat maybe four times the entire run.

We finished Heroic Halls of Lightning in about 9 minutes. Maybe 8. I wish I was keeping track. There were a couple times two or more people were under 20% health. The worst of it was up front when the tank took two packs on the first lightning boss when the mobs were empowered and when I had the lightning DoT/debuff that nukes you if you move. I was of course far out of range of the tank and my DK.

I'm proud to say, nobody died and I didn't even need to pop a manatide totem. I think we might have been able to shave off a minute or so if we had two more top DPS. I've just never seen pulls like that before.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On The Road To Being a Marksman - Part 9

I've been starting to side-grade for Marksman gear. I suppose that's not entirely accurate... some of the iLevel side-grades are actually upgrades for both Survival and Marksman talent focuses. But to be more accurate, they are good swaps for Marksman and minimal swaps for Survival.

Last week I picked up the Leggings of Northern Lights. Unfortunately I already have my Sanctified Ahn'Kahar Blood Hunter's Legguards and I only have it as a two-piece. All the sheets show it as a DPS loss to swap. A large DPS loss. But I figure I might slot them in when I get a third Sanctified before I have my fourth.

On Monday, I purchased (for a measly 50 frost emblems) Recovered Scarlet Onslaught Cape. It was a small "30 DPS" upgrade over my Shadowvault Slayer's Cloak.

Also on Monday, I purchased (for 5,600g) the Rock-Steady Treads. They are a big up from my Treads of the Wasteland because I currently don't need the +hit. Emphasis on currently. I'm not throwing them away.

I'd also jump at taking the Logsplitters, but my second T10.5 piece are the Sanctified Ahn'Kahar Blood Hunter's Handguards. So again, the set bonus makes it a DPS loss to break it.

I'm also eyeing the Longstrider's Vest, but I don't want to detour my route to the Sanctified Ahn'Kahar Blood Hunter's Tunic, and my Carapace of Forgotten Kings doesn't suck.

In summary, I need some damn class badges to drop. Every week it seems like we get shafted. Other class clusters are barely bidding on the badges. Ours go for max DKP every time they manage to drop. Maybe I just need to run some heroic ten mans. Bah! to the RNG.

If I ever do go for the ArmPen gemming, all these side-grades are nice to keep for an agility SV set.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Personal Epic Fail

So my 9 year old son was talking about something over the weekend. He used the words, "Epic Fail". Together as you might intend. He's also previously exclaimed, "Oh Em Gee". Literally those letters instead of "Oh my God". He doesn't play online games, other than say Webkinz. He doesn't have a phone. He doesn't IM or even email. It's all second or third-hand electronic internet infestation.

IMHO, if he says, "WTF" I'll either ROTFL or PWN his 1337 allowance.