Friday, January 13, 2012

A Hunter Legendary Questline

Hunters know that we haven't had access to a legendary in years.  The other classes have all had their shot.

Legendaries used to be a horror of a chore and/or farming bosses for literally a year for either the actual legendary as a drop, or a single ingredient for the legendary.  That incredible rareness was not fun in the least.  Recently, we had the healing mace, Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings which required lots of drop acquisition.  It was somewhat reasonable since the drops did drop.  It wasn't particularly fun.

Shadowmourne acquisition was the start of legendary questlines that weren't as much of a grind in-that they had a bit of a story and quests and special stuff you needed to do to get it.  You also had to be a bit of a pro.  It of course was available for the plate dps.  The quests activities for it were kinda neat.

Dragonwrath, Taregosa's Rest was a great and still great for dps casters.  It rocks the socks off anyone that doesn't have it.  Because of 25mans, the ease of FL, and it not being locked to a class, there are some guilds with most caster dps with them.  Forgotten Hunter woes aside, this was a rather excellent legendary because it had very special quests, special group activities and solo'ng challenges.  In addition to the staff having bad-ass stats, it has bad-ass procs, and it can be a special mount.

Tiriosh, Nightmare of Ages and Golad, Twilight of Aspects supposedly have amazing quests and bad-ass solo'ng.  Like the previous legendaries, you do have to gather things from the dead bosses over weeks.  But the quests sound completely excellent.

So I can only yearn for the old days of when I had to solo the demons for the Rhok.  It was tough.  Of course hunters can't even access those quests any more.  It's no longer in the game.  It wasn't a legendary.  It was replaced pretty quickly.  It was a hunter quest series.  It did have other drawbacks of the demons being rare spawns on long timers.  It allowed anyone to spoil the kill.  And then the kill itself wasn't cake.

We have pet-taming challenges.  That's great.  My stable is full.

We could use some class-specific quests that challenge our skills and gear to the limit.  What skills would we need to stretch?  Kiting.  Pet-tanking.  DPS burning.  Trapping.  I don't need legendary stats.  I'd love for hunters to have legendary looking gear that makes it clear that the hunter is a bad-ass.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Radical Re-tuning of Rotations

My guild cleared Deathwing (normal 10) back before Christmas, but because of poor raid and LFR drop luck I only got my 4pc T13 last week.  I had previously been dancing T12x2 and T13x2.  T13x4 is a different world.  But T13x2 is a completely different world from T12.

I'm not sure it's something that can be easily modeled for calculating dps differences.  Sure, we can and should still use to work on "what's better", but we may need to put in some assumptions and take things with a bit more salt.

The crazy part of having T13x2 is that as a MM hunter doing hard-cast AiS, you sometimes do shot fragments like this:
CS -> AiS -> SS -> SS -> AiS -> AiS -> SS -> CS -> SS -> SS -> AiS -> AiS -> SS -> SS -> [repeat]
MM rarely if ever did anything like that because focus wasn't available to do much of any value except another SS.  And you really wanted to do that second SS to keep the improved steady shot up.

Well so in walks the 4pc T13 and the proc is very very good.  I find I am compelled to get the T13x4 to proc.  Again, I play MM and previous to 4pc would do a great deal of hard-cast AiS -- basically any time except when on the move or on trash that would die too soon.  But now I'm doing different even more weird shot fragments like:
CS -> AS -> AS -> SS -> SS -> AS -> AS -> AS -> AS -> SS -> SS -> [repeat]
until I get a proc and then I switch into hard-cast AiS.

While I list "rotations" or "priorities", the coming of T13 turns all of that on its head.  MM has many priorities.  Keep the sting up, use chimera, maintaining ISS, and getting that T13x4 proc.  When you add in movement and game mechanics, it really can't be called anything other than nuts.

One essential item for all hunters is having a very visible hunter focus bar front and center.  If you don't have one you need to get one.  Here are a few that do it for you (in my order of preference):

Friday, January 6, 2012

Uncovering The Cloak Problem

Cloaks do not drop in the Dragon Soul raid.  There are a whole bunch of cloaks that are Firelands tier or better which we might have.  But really only three of them look good.  (And I don't mean for transmogrification.)  Those three are the following:

1: Lord Rhyolith's Dreadfire Drape.  It's old Firelands and item level 378.
2: Lord Rhyolith's Heroic Dreadfire Drape.  It's pretty pimped at item level 391.
3: The Batwing Cloak.  It sounds great and has the highest item level at 397.

Okay so what's the problem to uncover?  They all do look pretty good.  They do, but the Batwing Cloak has less agility than not just the heroic FL cloak, but the normal FL cloak drop.  If we assume non-heroic gemming, then the stats work out like this:

1: Lord Rhyolith's Dreadfire Drape: 312 agility, 138 hit, 95 mastery
2: Lord Rhyolith's Heroic Dreadfire Drape: 341 agility, 158 hit, 113 mastery
3: The Batwing Cloak: 301 agility, 162 crit, 176 haste

Agility aside for a moment; The trick here is that the Rhyolith cloaks are laden with mastery, while the valor cloak has large amounts of good crit and haste.   My napkin math says the valor has 338 points of good secondary stats, while the normal Rhyolith cloak has only 138 hit, 57 mastery, and 38 crit ... call it maybe 200 good points.  So we have a difference of -11 agility and +140 good secondary stats if we use the valor cloak.  The highest item level agility cloak has the least amount of agility.  Agility is our primary stat and generally worth 3x "crit/haste stats".  Because 33 is less than 140, then it is of some benefit to upgrade to the valor cloak.  It certainly isn't something to do any time soon.

The heroic Rhyolith cloak however is something to write home about.  The biggest issue here is that heroic Rhyolith is a pain in the ass.  The napkin math looks like trading -40 agility to get around +85 secondary.  Because 120 is not less than 85, the valor cloak is not even close.

The mediocrity of the Batwing Cloak is shown a bit more if heroic gems are used, but the results are the same.  Upgrading to it from a Dreadfire Drape is either a very low priority, or a bad move.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Raiding Hunter's Valor Ring Upgrade!

The valor ring, mastery aside, looks quite nice.  It is a good deal and a great item for most hunters.  For the population of hunters possessing the exaulted-with-Firelands ring, upgrading it is not very compelling.

The FL ring: 286 agility, 181 haste, 134 mastery.
The valor ring: 291 agility, 184 haste, 148 mastery.

Now of course you can use two rings!  But if you've got a nice raid or LFR drop then you may have a better place to spend valor.