Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Water No More

My DNS server was under water thanks to a basement rack in the lovely north-east and Hurricane Irene. But we are back in action once again!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Which Hunter Spec Is Best? (OMFG!)

Despite my inner voice yelling, "OMFG! Don't go there!" I'm feeling the need to "help".  Sure you wouldn't want to "help" a random stranger and suggest things they should be doing in a 5man or PUG raid.  It won't be taken constructively.  My rational side however is telling me that people visiting a site called "Hunter DPS" want to know these things.

The below graphs show the average DPS of hunters of a given talent tree over the course of the last 180 days.  The data comes from all the public combat logs uploaded to worldoflogs.com and is parsed and prepared by raidbots.  This data is from all raid bosses.  DPS increases as gear increases over time. The graphs are a breakdown by raid size.

I include the 10-man and 25-man raid data here.  I'm excluding all the heroic raids.  There isn't enough data there to be fair to beast mastery.  And for the most part, heroic raiders have already leveraged information like this and skew the scales.

In the 10-man normal raid DPS chart we can see that all the specs were very competitive with each other in patch 4.0.x and 4.1.x.  But then 4.2 happened.  MM and SV received nice benefits from 4.2 in talents and gear.  BM continued to plug away on its previous course without much benefit.

When looked at in 25-man normal raids, we see a different picture.  SV appears to be at the same level it is in 10-man normal raids.  It appears to receive no significant synergy benefit from being in a larger raid with every buff covered.  BM however does benefit significantly more in 25-man.  But far and away MM leaps to new heights.

Then I looked at what T12 fights MM is not top dog.  I was surprised.  MM is top on every fight even the AoE-heavy ones like Beth'tilac and Lord Rhyolith.  10-man or 25-man ... it doesn't matter.  Mind you, SV is close and very much able to top a particular MM hunter, but the majority of MM hunters do better than the majority of SV hunters in the parses.

Then I looked at the main stand-and-fight boss, Baleroc.  SV hunters are doing about 4k DPS higher than BM hunters.  And MM hunters are doing about 4k DPS higher than SV hunters there:


Take Aways

  1. It was true that BM, SV, and MM were all quite close in damage dealing back in the end of June.  
  2. Since July, taken as a whole, MM hunters are topping SV and BM.  Often by a lot.
  3. MM hunters can pump out enough AoE damage to top SV hunters on AoE-heavy fights.
  4. If you're looking at spending time with a target dummy, you might try swapping out one of your talent trees and try MM.
  5. But as always, you should always play what you know best and feel best playing. On normal fights, the boss is going to die if everyone is playing well and you are doing reasonable damage.

Monday, August 22, 2011

RIP 11 Warcraft Hunter Blogs

It's been many months since I combed my listing of hunter blogs (see sidebar).  I'm fairly shocked to be staring in the face the long list of blogs which are now quite inactive. Here are the changes:

Removed: The Hunter's Refuge - No more Wow for Shaedon

Hmmm.. The Brew Hall - for some reason this blog's feed fell apart and it was showing the most recent post as being from last year.  This is not the case.  It's fixed now.  Sorry Darkbrew!

Removed: I loved Negathle's sass. Sorry if that makes me sound like I'm 70 years old. However her tauren has moved to greener pastures.

Keep:  He's on hiatus.  One would hope!

Removed: Mirshalak uninstalled wow many months ago.

ReMoving... Mania's blog isn't active anymore, but I want to keep links to the pet database so I'm adding a link to Petopia and removing the blog listing.

Removed: It appears that Pike and her sister incarnations have cleared the field of wow.  I loved her sketches and icons.

Removed: Short lived and apparently no longer up.  Farewell "It's a Trap".

Removed: No updates in nearly four months ... and those were about Rift.  Really it's been almost a year since Rilgon graced us with his heated dialog.

Removed: No updates in a long while.  None on Wow really since his site blew up.

Removed: Drotara has been MIA since March

Removed: No updates since February from Klinderas.

Keep:  No updates since Feb.  But I'll give it some time.  Pet tanking is often secondary to most hunter objectives.  Plus it usually requires that you over-gear the raid boss -- or at least have a second set of the same gear that you gem, enchant, and reforge differently.  I'm still putting my set together myself.

Removed: Not even a domain name anymore.  See ya "Diaries of a Marksman Hunter".

Keep:  Always great to see anything here.  He has sworn off any new posts, but I have to just leave it here in case some arise.

Removed: Kordwar hasn't posted in a long long while.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Which Transmorgrification Will You Use?

I'm fairly stupidly excited over the transmorgrification news.  I was just looking over some of the gear I have kept and was considering throwing out stuff.  Now I'm wondering what I did throw out over the years and will miss.  What I know I do have is a very full gun rack.  Now I can pick things just based on their model.  But which?  My gun rack has increased a bit since two years ago.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pet Growl Threat

What will Pet Growl Threat look like now?  Will it still be a huge challenge to get it to be enough?  Or has it increased too?

Hotfix: The threat generated by classes in their tanking mode has been increased from three times damage done to five times damage done.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Easy Hunter Epics

If you're in solid 359 gear, this list can help you. If you're in all green gear, this list can help you. Firelands is a bit of a gear reset. You can grind unlimited Justice Points and buy all sorts of gear using those points. You can get three of your Tier-11 set (chest, legs, and hands). You can get tons of epics by running just normal and heroic dungeons. Then you can start accumulating Valor points and Valor gear. But before all that, the below list shows you the super-easy gear that's a step up from the old 359 iLevel world.


Matoclaw's Band
Take note: 365 does not equal 359!  Even if you have one of the four or five nice iLevel 359 rings, this is an upgrade for you.  What's it take to get?  If you've done the basic quests in Hyjal, then it takes maybe 40 minutes of running around doing the quests leading up to the Firelands dailies.  They made it so you can get to the Molten Front in the first day of doing these quests.  (You used to have to spend three days doing it.)  Go inside the cave in the Molten Front and pick up this nice ring.  Along the way, you'll also pick up a fair amount of questing gold.

Band of Glittering Lights
Another nice ring from running the second tier Firelands dailies.  Unlike Motoclaw's Band, this requires more than just one day of dailies.  It requires a few weeks.  You should choose if you want Ricket's trinket (listed below) or this ring first.  This ring is better than the 359 rings.  Note though: if you've got a 359 ring, this may only be 0.05% better.  Yes, it's an upgrade, but don't expect amazing returns.  But if you have room for a nice epic ring this is a wonderful addition.

Band of Ghoulish Glee
When Hallow's End comes to a dungeon finder near you (as early as Oct-18) you can get this free and super-duper ring.

Mantle of Doubt
This is the easiest item to grab.  It's a gift from Thrall and Aggra after you do a series of quests to help Thrall out.  Any fresh 85 can do it.  Any seasoned 85 should do it.

Sleek Flamewrath Cloak
If you do have some gear or you can at least put out say 14k dps, then you probably can get into a reputation-oriented PUG for Firelands.  Get to friendly rep with the Avengers of Hyjal and snag this fine cloak.

Dreadfire Drape
This is not an entry-level easy hunter epic.  But I do put it here so you can compare it to the above cloak.  They're the same iLevel, but one can can easily get to 332 agility and the other only gets 227.  And it's not even the heroic version.

Extreme-Impact Hole Puncher and the Lava Bolt Crossbow
If you have tons of gold to spend, these are easy.  If you don't then just ignore this section.  The 365 gun is crafted by engineers.  It is listing for around 10k gold on my server.  The crossbow that wants to be a gun is a random drop in the Firelands raid.   It isn't especially common and usually can be found selling for anywhere from 20-40k gold.  Please note its DPS.  It warrants the price.  It will have a very significant affect on your damage dealing.


Ricket's Magnetic Fireball
If you've got the nice 359 trinkets, this one does not work out to be better.  But it's pretty damn close.  The on-use ability may make it better in some situations.  If you have room for a nice trinkets then this will be a wonderful addition.  How do you get it?  Run Firelands dailies for a few weeks.

Coren's Chilled Chromium Coaster
When Brewfest rolls around at the end of September (Sept-20 - Oct-5) you'll be able to get this freebie trinket.


There are also two flavors of BoE bracers you can pick up if you're flush with the shiny coin.  The valor ones and the raid BoE ones.  Both will cost several thousand gold.  Neither is worth it over say the BWD raid BoPs.  But I know they took forever to drop for me.  And FWIW, I wouldn't have bothered equipping the new raid BoE except that our guild got two and one was already rotting in the bank.
Stat Sticks

There are many BoE stat sticks available.  All are over-priced in my opinion.  And I'm fairly flush with the coin.  There is a premium raid BoE, a blacksmith polearm, and one of those world 5man bosses drops a BoE polearm.  There aren't any 2h axe or 2h sword options.  You can do the dual-wield thing, but the agility wont work out for you as well.
EDITED TO ADD: The premium raid BoE glow stat stick dropped last night.  Interestingly, our pesky untame-able feral wasn't in the raid so I'm blessed with it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alysrazor and the Flying Hunter

Let's be clear: Dwarves like to be on the ground.  Being thrown is right out. Flying is almost okay. It's really the domain of Goblins and Gnomes though.  You know; The little people.  If there's a short mage then this should be their job.  Unless they are scared of heights.

We've been hitting Alysrazor since I got back from vacation.  I guess this is the third time we got attempts in.  Past nights, we had just about every typical problem happen and some weird ones too.

If you're not flying, then you're DPS'ng and interrupting the caster adds and helping the tanks, then running with the cyclones, and then contributing considerable DPS on the boss.  Then you do it two more times.

If you are flying, then you're flying through hoops while DPS'ng the boss, running with the cyclones, and then contributing massive DPS on the boss.  Then you do it two more times.  If you're doing it all night from various wipes ... well insist on a bit of a break between attempts to stretch your hands and brain.  It's a bit like doing the Heigan dance in 3D.  The fire cyclones are often the relaxing change of pace.

Flying means you really really want to get every flame hoop acknowledged as having gone through.  I've gone through them too fast and not gotten the little fireworks effect.  I had the camera following my feet through the ring and nada. So pass through it and linger on the other side until you get the effect.  Move as soon as you get the firework effect in anticipation of a new hoop appearing.  They disappear quite quickly.  If they disappear just after you go through it you probably wont get credit either.  They can appear quite far to the side or be obscured by the flak.  Don't go into the flak.  It's easy not to.  When Alysrazor drops down to shed more feathers, you'll have rings above her.  She'll molt twice and then the third decent will be to start the cyclones.

Try to keep a reasonable dps rotation going.  While flying you can do Aimed Shots.  Think of it as Aspect of the Fox with a triple espresso.  It's a nice shot to reach for while you're paused after a hoop.  You really can't afford to miss more than one hoop in a row.  You want to be at 25 stacks of the hoops ASAP.  This gives you a +75% crit buff.  If you do the hoops correctly, you'll be at 25 when she comes up from her second molting.  Again remember that you can see yourself go through the ring but not always get the buff.  And if you miss three or four in a row, your flight wings will disappear and you'll plummet to the ground.  Death is bad.

When you land, you must land close -- but not too close -- to the center.  If you land in the second-to-outside or outside cyclone lane you will take a insta-kill shot for being "too far".  Even though you really aren't.  Go figure.  To counteract that from happening, I land towards the middle and have a /cancelaura macro for my wings.  I suspect landing more centrally than outwardly is the key.

After landing, you need to run with the cyclones and you really want to crab a ring or two.  They will appear on the ground.  Don't die to get them, but if you can get one or two it will refresh your crit buff time and leave you sitting pretty for the P3 burn phase.  Summon your pet if they despawned, click your rapid fires and pot and lay into her after the cyclones end.  Here's what I got last night:

You'll notice the DPS drop just before the spike.  This is the cyclone phase and mostly just auto-shots ringing.  Then following the cyclones is the burn.  I was "only" doing 60K the first time around.  I think this is because I was doing a fairly normal DPS rotation.  In the second and third burns, I was laying in as many "hard-cast" aimed shots as possible.   I don't have the cast time of them, but it felt like it was 1 second if not trying to be less. While "focus" is not specifically mentioned as a refund item, focus was hardly ever any sort of problem, so I suspect it is refunded at a fantastic rate.

After Alysrazor gets up to 50 focus she'll get up and start tossing some serious damage.  You should be grouped up and getting AoE heals.  She wont still have her burn phase debuff, but you will still have some of your buffs.  Crank what you can.

Then repeat all this.  Three times.

That means you roughly want to take her down 1/3rd health each round.  If you're MM, you'd ideally like to have her at less than 66% if you're the one flying.  You do a lot more damage to her when you're in the careful aim range.  Ideally, you'll have her down below 93% health before even the first cyclones.  Toss in a hero on the third time through the burn phase and you probably want her around 63% health at the end of the first round.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lord Rhyolith and Baleroc

In a nutshell, hunters don't do anything different than any other ranged DPS for these fights.

With Rhyolith, you want to get those adds down but still keep enough focus handy if your wheelman asks for burst DPS on a particular leg.  I've used SV and MM and don't see a big difference.  I think I prefer MM because with SV I have an almost uncontrollable urge to drop frost traps.  Snake traps are okay with SV but I feel that frost traps obscure the ground on that fight too much.  Save your Rapid Fire for burst dps on a leg and/or when he's entirely a tank and spank.

Baleroc is a bit of a breather for DPS.  The movement is minimal so MM hard-cast aimed shots are fine and SV sniper training comes into play plenty.  Just don't get tunnel vision on your DPS rotation and miss your turn with taking the crystal.  It's approximately a 5m50sec fight so you'll get to use Rapid Fire twice (or four times for MM).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Easy Upgrades

So I was looking at the Flintlocke's Woodchucker engineering scope.  It should be a nice upgrade over the slow to proc Gnomish X-Ray Scope, right?  There are a few people with the plans now and actively making them.

The Undermine Journal puts it in the 500g range off of the AH but only costing about half that in mats.

But then I went to femaledwarf.com and plugged things in.  In the hyper unrealistic theoretical world, I'd be doing 27,164 dps with this instead of the X-Ray scope.  How much better is it? Less than 23 extra dps.  Yes, less than one-tenth of one percent better.

That said, it's occasionally throwing small critters so it's gotta be great.

PS: My two-week hiatus here was due to a well-deserved vacation touring England and Wales.  It was "well good" as I heard up in the Yorkshire a few times.

PPS: I got the scope and the squeal sound effect is a bit more noteworthy than the "x-ray" effect.  TBH, I don't even know if the "x-ray" effect has any effect other than the buff icon.