Monday, December 10, 2012

Brawler's Guild Talk and Tips

The Brawler's Guild is quite fun and an adrenaline rush.

The fights start off comically easy.  If you've got enough skill or gear you can plow through them.

Then they start getting abilities similar to rares.  The only difference is that there is a general enrage timer (the fire storm you may have seen).  So there's a DPS requirement.

Then they start getting special abilities that aren't at all obvious.  You will die learning the fights or you can hit up for a little rundown on their abilities.  The comments are generally good around what the boss will do.  That said, don't bother with what other classes are doing. Hunters are different!

I'm only rank six at this point.  I only play doing this for a level or two at a time.  I got an invite from a guild friend.  When I get rank seven I'll pass one out to another guild friend.

I've stayed BM for all the fights so far.  One of my biggest challenges has been that my pet will keep aggro even with a dps pet (without growl) and cower-clicking.  Combine that with a situation where my pet bar sometimes disappears and I can't even macro-cast phoenix on my pet.  Quite irritating especially when my opponent is down to 25% health.  A few restarts and deep breaths and we're good.

So first some general tips:
  • Join a buff group.  There's usually a raid available and you'll get healthstones and raid buffs.  Drop a feast and you're a champ.
  • Be supportive of the others and you'll get their support instead of cat-calls. ;-)
  • It's an adrenaline rush and pretty stressful.
  • You need to concentrate even more than if you're raiding -- if you want to win.  There's no slack time.
  • Use all the tools in your toolbox.
  • Flask up on the tougher fights.
  • You can pre-pot.  I don't have a timer, but I click it after quickly dropping one or two traps and it usually doesn't count toward the fight.  Make sure to use the cheap Brawler-only potions!  
Now some hunter tips:
  • Some bosses will be easy for hunters and hard for others.  The opposite is also true.  Learn and adapt.
  • Always drop traps before the opponent comes out.
  • Spirit mend is great.  Spirit mend on yourself during a Stampede is [Great]x5.
  • Some bosses are good for pet-tanking and make it trivial.
  • Some bosses and even some AoE will destroy your pet.
  • Always wait for your Stampede and Rapid Fire CDs to be ready before battling.
  • There's no excuse for not moving and both kiting and dps'ng.
  • Feign death and a dismissed/dead pet will pop you out of the brawl.
  • Bind a Brawler agility potion quaff into your best DPS CD macros (e.g.- Rapid Fire). 
  • On the harder fights, review your Talents each go around.   Would Binding Shot be extra nice over just a slow trap?  What about Wyvern Sting and an ice trap?  Or is the interrupt required?
  • I've come to really like Spirit Bond for brawls.  Iron Hawk is good for when you have a real healer.  That said, I'm also liking Animal Bond for my pet and the Spirit Mends he gives me.
  • Consider all the other Hunter Talents available and how they can be used on different bosses.
  • Review the list of Glyphs as well.  For instance, if you're going to have a pet tank something impressive, then the Glyph of Mending is a very good choice.
  • Consider all the pets you can bring and all their abilities.  It isn't a short list.  Use your tools!
That's all for now.

PS:  I suspect that if you are queued, grouped, and throwing some rotten fruit, then you can get pulled into someone else's brawl.  There might be a requirement that the group is cross-realm via a CRZ.  That sounds good and OP, but your boss will also show up!  I captured one on video and will post it when I get a chance.  It happened to me three times in a row.  It is quit e annoying because while I tried to just help the person who already had been battling for a minute, my brawl competitor annihilated both of us.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Moar DoTs!

Serpent Sting should move up in your multi-mob priorities. Previously, it was a questionable exercise if you should slap a SrS on anything other than your main focus.  Generally it wasn't worth -- especially with the old awkward focus cost of 25.  But now that Serpent Sting does twice as much damage and costs only 15 focus it should be used.

My simple Serpent Sting macro:

#showtooltip Serpent Sting
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Serpent Sting

I had admittedly have limited data.  I hopefully will have some more by next week.

We raided Will of the Emperor for the first time last week and then hit it again (and got him) on Monday.  Last week we only had two somewhat lame attempts as it was pretty late.   (And one of our tanks has three green pieces of gear!)  The differences and caveats between the two nights were:
  • I used Serpent Sting a lot more.  I didn't DoT every single mob but close.
  • Serpent Sting does more flat-out damage.
  • I used my mouse-over macro and didn't have any good DoT tracking.
  • I probably refreshed SrSs I shouldn't have.
  • I was a bit more capable the second night.
  • But I had the same gear.
  • Normal v Crits, Tick count, and percentage of damage for crits and non were all about the same.
In the Pre-"Moar DoTs" world, Serpent Sting accounted for between 10% and 16% of my damage.  In the new "Moar DoTs" world, Serpent Sting accounted for between 23% and 24% of my damage.  The raw damage per tick doubled.  But because we're talking about percentages of 100% that wouldn't double the percentage of my damage.  (It would be less.)  But the number of applications of it was rather large.  I was really pushing that of course.

There were a fair number of times where I tried to SrS a few mobs and at some point in the DoT'm up process I was below 15 focus.   I don't have a good way to track DoTs and recover or reapply them. So while it's cheap, it's not free or particularly easy.

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Improved Aspect

This is just for fun.  Sorry no cleave aspect dreamcrafting.  Relax and enjoy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Picking the Best DoTm Up Approach

With the recent hotfix buff(*) to Serpent Sting (SrS) I'm considering what to change to best take advantage of this.

I have three thoughts on this so far.  If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know.

1) Do nothing and enjoy a small lift in damage.

2) Go back to SV.  This might be harder to stomach than I originally intended once I flipped to BM.  I really like the ability to spirit mend myself and my pet.  That said, Serpent Spread would be quite attractive on some fights especially if (and only if!) it is close to BM on single targets.

3) Make a mouse-over SrS macro.  I'm thinking this would need to be a different key instead of a target/mouseover multi-type macro.  I use my mouse a lot and wouldn't want to accidentally SrS a random mob while the other part of my brain is doing a normal opening rotation on a mob!  Unfortunately, like most BM hunters, I'm a bit loaded on keys and keybinds.  I have F1-4 almost as finger twitches for disengage, fetch, spirit mend (me), and tranq.  I have 1-9,0,-,+ all full.  I also have 'r' for arcane shot and 't' as an ingrained twitch for interrupting.  I already feel full as far as buttons go, so I'm thinking of looking at special mouse buttons and mouse-over.  I could give up fetch, but it is pretty damn handy.  A mouse-bind seems logical.  I probably should have it for other things as well (i.e.- fear beast, tranq, spirit mend, master's call).  Unfortunately, I have an over-sized ergo mouse(**) without a lot of button options.

No matter which routes we chose, we will all want to make sure our enemy health bars show SrS in some easy to consume way so we can keep the stings up.

(*) - "Serpent Sting’s damage has been increased by 100%, and its cost has been reduced to 15 Focus (was 25)."  Th ere is also a normalization for SV's ISrS but it looks like Serpent Spread is still good.

(**) - Moderate to severe carpal tunnel in both wrists will put you on that path.