Friday, February 24, 2012

Heroic Ultraxion 10man for Hunters

Earlier this week we downed Heroic Ultraxion.  It's not news of any sort, but I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I learned along the way.  Next week Dragon Soul gets the 10% nerf so more guilds may be attempting it.  Here's my hunter view on the fight and the differences from normal.

Taking Turns with Hour of Twilight
Instead of just one tank staying in for Hour of Twilight, two people must stay in in heroic-10.  When/if a player stays in, they get a debuff which will insta-kill them if they stay in again.  The debuff lasts two mins, which means that you need six people taking the hour of twilights in a cycle in groups of two.  What's great for hunters, is that we have an AMAZING ability with deterrence.  It is available every two mins AND it prevents ALL damage.  That combination isn't that common.  That means you want to step up and do it.

Hitting Deterrence or the Heroic Will Button
Ultraxion's cast time for Hour of Twilight in heroic is much faster.  It goes from five seconds in normal to only three seconds in heroic.  If you have much latency you'll see it as two seconds.  What this means is that you always need to be ready to hit the right button.  Initially, you'll want to just hit it immediately.  After you get comfortable with your timing, you can slip in an extra shot and cut it closer.  But no matter what, you can't be surprised by it.  Know that it's coming and be ready before it's there.

If it's your turn to stay in and deterrence then you should know when the hour of twilight is coming and you should either have a double-stop-cast deterrence macro, or you shouldn't have any long casts that could delay your deterrence.

Thankfully, the Heroic Will button will cancel any cast.

Note: you should only use Deterrence if your raid[leader] tells you to or if you're in the rotation.

Fading Light
The fading light debuff will affect two dps and one tank in heroic-10 -- instead of just one dps and one tank.  This means you have a good chance of taking a fading light.  To make it more fun, the debuff no longer starts from between five and ten second before it insta-kills you.  It seems to start between three and seven seconds.  If I'm playing with 250ms latency it seems to start at two seconds because of the rounding that occurs with debuffs.

Again to address this, you always need to be ready for fading light.  Don't wait for it to reach zero.  Watch DBM for the timers and be ready.  Don't let this screw up a follow-on deterrence or second heroic will.  There is a situation that can rarely occur;  Heroic will has a 5sec CD so it is possible for it be on CD if fading light and hour of twilight occur closely.  In that case make sure to fade for fading light a little early.

When to DPS: Before the First Twilight
There are no fading lights before the first twilight occurs.  Lay into him and blow CDs.  Prepot.  Whatever you can do.  The fight is over five minutes, so Rapid Fire away. It it pure dps with no interruptions.  Since everyone is in-phase and not interrupted, we found it a nice time to hero.  This is the only time to get dps tunnel vision.

When to DPS: Trinkets
If you have on-use trinkets there are times when you'll want to defer using them for five seconds or so. A good time to hit them is right after a twilight.  For the 1.5min trinket this aligns nicely.  You just don't want to have that lovely dps burst interrupted.

When to DPS: Through and After a Twilight/Fading Light
Once you have the heroic will down, you can start to lay in more shots.  As SV you'll have a few options.  The biggest thing is that you want your DoTs to keep rolling while you're not there.  If you have the option to slightly clip an Explosive Shot's DoT right before fading, you should.  If the consequence is to greatly clip the DoT, then don't!

Fading Lights can be very quick.  I was able to pretty easily always fade with less than two seconds left on the debuff.  If DoTs are ticking so much the better.  But Hour of Twilight is a little bit longer of a dps hiatus.  The boss has the casting bar and then it doesn't actually occur until the wave passes over the group.  And it's whereever on the platform the group could be.  Then and only then do you come back to the twilight.

If you are deterrencing for an hour of twilight, you must have a cancel aura macro on hand.  Do the deterrence; wait for the wave to pass over you; cancel the deterrence; hit every dps CD you have and slam into him.  You'll have a second or more of extra dps that you wouldn't have if you had faded.

This is a dps race.  You're doing this with two healers and some smattering of other health and healing abilities.  But you need to survive.  Until about 4.5mins into the fight it's all about proper execution.  Some time after that point it becomes about dps'ng while helping the healers.  When you notice everyone's health really low, consider helping the healers keep you up.

Hunters don't have group damage reduction CDs, but they can cheaply help themselves.  If you're a Dwarf, you can have eight seconds of 10% damage reduction.  When you're DPS'ng from the stairs in a nice tight group, hunters can both attack as melee and range.  Don't pass up a big DPS but if it's only an Arcane Shot vs staying alive, go with staying alive.  Smack a glyphed raptor strike.  Healthstones are also a nice thing to chew at that time.  If you somehow fell into bringing a pet for some buff (it better pay off!) who can intervene now's the time to use it on the active tank.

The kill can net you the heroic chestbracers, and another shot at the trinket and ring.  In sadness, please note that the ring is both laden with expertise and best in slot.  For the record: I won the chest this past week.  I have passed (for the moment) on the ring for rogues and ferals.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Awesome Job

Hunter solos Algalon.  Most likely the first solo because of the mechanics.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How to Resist Cabin Fever

Lately there has been a lot of fading interest in our noted lame duck period.  Our latest patch gave hunters our spots -- or at least a chance at our spots -- on the DPS charts again.  Giving deterrence a damage reduction for things they choose it not to affect was a clear winner as well.  But we're still here in a winter dole-drum.  So what is there to do?  Below is how I've been resisting cabin fever.

I changed my specs.  I flipped from a Marksman PvE and Marksman PvP combo to a Survival PvE talent spec and a Pet-Tank BM.  I spent a total of about twenty minutes feverishy making macros, adjusting my NeedToKnow bars, and practicing a rotation that uses Arcane Shot.  Then I did it all over again with BM.  I've run all of four bosses on Normal with SV so don't ask me too many questions about my experience.

We've been knocking over normal Dragon Soul for a while.  This week will be our third or fourth week of Morchok on heroic.  We played around and got a bunch of achievements.  But we've had some serious tank shortages.  One night zero tanks.  Another night, we did way more than you're supposed to be able to do with just one tank.  However, this puts heroic progression on the back-burner.

BM Pet Tanking
Our tank shortage is one of the reasons I chose BM as a pet-tank spec.  Normally, you'd want to use Marksman for self-heal in solo'ng older instances.  Well, I'm thinking it might not be bad to try some raid pet-tanking if the need arises.  I'm happy to have BM back; and along with it all my exotic pets that I have missed for a long time.  It is a wonderful thing to have a giant red dinosaur named Chuckles chomping the bad guys.

My ten man raid group has a feral druid, rogue, and myself all vying for agility stuff.  Of the countless weeks, only one agility trinket has dropped and only one agility ring has dropped.  Meanwhile strength and intelligence rings and trinkets have been disenchanted for weeks.  I am in pretty nice shape in other regards. I scored the first polearm.  And I have a full second set of Tier-13 gear gem'd, enchanted, and transmorg'd just for pet-tanking.

I have three long-standing achievements that I've been working on.  For a long time.  One is to get my rep to Exalted with as many groups as possible.  I've been at a large number for a long while and have had "the Exalted" title for a while.  But there have always been a few lurking at the edges.  I haven't finished the seal people in Wrath.  I never did the Netherwing in Burning Crusade.  And I never touched the Darkmoon Faire because it was truly insane.  I have a strong desire not to grind the hell out of my brain and make my eyes bleed.   Well.  Until now.  My second and third long-standing achievements are the collection of mounts and non-combat pets.  I got a neat little addon to show me all the things I'm missing.  Well, now I'm grinding out Netherwing.  In three days I'm already Revered.  (Thankfully, I held on to the Black Temple portal neck piece! Still a long way to go, but it isn't as bad as I had feared.  Certainly not as bad as it was years ago.  And of course, I'm getting the max number of fair tokens (and associated rep) so I can purchase both mounts.  I already have the strider and am a little shy of the bear.  I also slid into doing the Elder holiday.  Following that I'm finding myself pulled into the hearts holiday.  I had avoided that stuff like the plague before.  But now I have the pets and think the achievements might not be bad either.  Help me.  This is clearly a disease.  Somehow I'm smiling about it.