Monday, September 30, 2013

Stat Weights and Judgement Calls

I'll have to check things out again, but currently AskMrRobot is showing me the following for stat weights. This means you should always choose the best DPS weapon, followed by agility, followed in secondary stat preference of crit, haste, and then mastery.  I'm not sure if this is cached in browsers or if they just updated their weights in the last few days.  I'll have to look at it more.

One of my personal reforging issues has been that I'm swimming in +hit.  And I got a new and better weapon that has +hit while my old one does not.  I checked FemaleDwarf and she told me even if I'm swimming in extra (and useless) hit rating it is an upgrade for overall DPS.  That's cool.

So when I look at what AskMrRobot suggests I go through the differences of what I have.  Yep, it suggests I remove the two +80agil/+160hit gems in my shoulders and replace them with +160agil gems.  Even with the set bonus loss of +120agil, I'm ahead of the game.

But it's worth stopping to consider another option.

Using the stat weights we see that 320 agil should be multiplied to 4.36.  We also see that any stamina value should be multiplied to zero.

The stat weight of stamina really isn't zero.  It is zero for the purposes of damage dealing.  Obviously all our gear comes with some and we don't reforge it off, but there is some value to surviving a two-shot combo boss mechanic.  Hypothetically, you or someone you raid with has done something wrong if you get two-shot.  Or you are very undergeared for the instance you're in.  It isn't "RNG".  But having some cushion can help, because accidents happen.

Part of me is tempted to put in agil/stam gems and wind up with 280agil/240stam instead of 320agil.  Maybe it's just the pet-tank-wanna-be in me though.  Trading 40 agility for 240 stamina isn't quite enough stamina to make me do it.  I'd probably give up even more stamina for agility.  But that price is pretty close to my break-point.  A little more stamina, or a little less agility and I'd go for a little more survivability.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nice Immediate Changes for SV and MM

Hot off the presses!  Some very nice immediate changes for MM and SV.
  • Hunter
    • Marksmanship
      • Chimera Shot's damage has been increased by 50%.
    • Survival
      • Explosive Shot's damage has been increased by 10%.
SV has been considerably lower for me.  Including "AoE fights" (e.g.- Galakras and Dark Shaman).   You'd think with the slimes that an unlimited AoE SV multishot would rule the charts.  It's not bad, but it's not like Tortos bats.  The ExS change is probably not enough to change things until we get into 4pc T16 set bonuses.  I may flip my second Specialization to a pet-tank setup just for the bars and what-not for a bit.

The Marksmanship change has been LONG overdue.  Again they probably need more but it's great to see attention there.  It's also very nice to see it in the right ability.

It's a great way to close out the second week of Siege.  Well in related news, our guild killed three new bosses tonight.  That brings us to 9/14 in normal.  We weren't planning on doing the last boss, Malkorok, but we cleared trash (there's a lot!) while one person watched a video.  I believe we got him on our second try, so I'd call him pretty damn easy.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tweeting Wow Characters

If you didn't notice the dinky little twitter widget I have on the bottom of the pages, I am tweeting a lot of stuff that I might have previously placed in my blog.  What happened on a raid.  How drops are doing.  Links to good stories elsewhere.  It's all stuff I would have put in this blog, but I'm stashing over tweets.  I still am blogging, but I'm putting larger pieces here.  (Now that I've said that, my next piece may be just 141 characters or something...)  I made a twitter account just for Kheldul/wow stuff.  I do still leaf through my blogroll, but I find twitter pretty interesting for this stuff too, as you can immediately message people back, or to engage the developers and other community.  Head on over and follow me

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hunters are a Fun Class

Good stuff over at MMO Champion.  They looked at all level 85 characters and determined how many of them were leveled up to 90 during MoP.  They found that only 27.44% of Hunters made the effort.  In previous expansions numbers were similar but a little bit lower.  It appears that many people either stop playing or switch mains or don't bring all their ups up.

Interestingly, that 27.44% number is larger than during Cataclysm.  More interestingly, that 27.44% is larger than every other class in wow.  I suppose that's not entirely true though; Monks are infinitely more leveled than during Cataclysm...

in any case, this can be interpreted in a different ways.  I choose to think that it means that Hunters are easy to level, fun to play, and a desirable class.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hunter Ammunition - An Idea for Wow 6.0

Hunter Ammunition
Hunter ammunition used to be much more involved.  We had ammo pouches and quivers for "shot" and "arrows".  There were leatherworking plans for pouches and quivers.  There were epic quests for them and extremely rare mobs with rare drops.   We carried stacks and stacks of ammo in these bags (and in normal bags).  When we ran out of the ammo our abilities would go red.  We'd experience a WTF? moment and then realize we were idiots and hadn't stocked up.  We bought ammo from vendors.  We got special stuff as drops.  We crafted it.  We paid good money to engineers with good ammo plans to craft stacks and stacks of it.  You see, if you didn't use the best ammo then you didn't do the best damage.

Then one day we didn't need ammo.  It comes free with the weapon and the damage is baked in. It is a Good Thing.  But with all forms of simplification, we lost some flavor.

Hunter Aspects
Hunter aspects in the past had some variations and utility while in combat. Aspects in early 5.x had Fox, but that was thankfully redesigned.  The current state of hunter aspects is poor.  A couple weeks ago I suggested how to make Hunter aspects great again.  I put plenty of disadvantages to counter-balance the advantages of using a particular aspect.   But I wrote it in one sitting so it isn't a work of perfection.  I do still absolutely love some of the ideas.  The post also has a lot of the background and history of hunter aspects.

This current post takes the concept of aspects and morphs it into a totally different direction.  Here's the thinking:  "Hunters don't have stances.  Hunters don't have forms.  Hunters don't have magical aspects.  Hunters have different types of ammunition that they can use in different situations."

Cooldown Concept
Manual selection is required.  A hunter should be able to flip to a different type of ammo, but there should be a three second cooldown on being able to do that.  They shouldn't want to macro it into shots because math says this type of attack should this type of ammo.  It takes time to make that swap.  "Twisting" should be discouraged.

Specialization Concept
Each hunter specialization should open up a different type of ammunition that is only usable by that specialization. 

Ammunition Use
Not all hunter abilities use ammunition.  Many abilities and talents do not.  All abilities which use ammunition require a primary target, including normal hunter AoE abilities.  Ammunition is available in all projectile forms: arrows, crossbow bolts, and rifle shot.  Each type of ammunition becomes available at different hunter experience levels.  Ammunition does not exist as a object to loot, craft, or purchase, but it is selected as if it is an aspect.

Ammunition Type Examples
Below are examples of ammunition with example damage values.  Each ability which does use ammunition has a normal damage component and a special ammunition damage/effect component based on the ammunition type in use.  For instance, Arcane Shot currently is "an instant shot that causes 125% weapon damage plus 2306 as Arcane damage".  In the new world, Arcane Shot would be "an instant shot that causes 100% weapon damage plus...".

Effect: +30% shot damage ("white damage")

Scorpid Poison
Effect: +15% shot damage as poison and applies one poison effect to the targeted creature with 2% shot damage as poison every two seconds for six seconds.  Can stack to five.  Only affects creatures subject to poison.

Effect: and 20% shot damage to additional creatures within 10 yards of the targeted creature.

Flechette Quill
Effect: +30% shot damage and a 10% bleed over six seconds, but is 50% less effective against armor.  The bleed can stack to five.
Requirement: Beastmaster Hunter

Armor Penetration
Effect: +25% shot damage that avoids half of all armor.
Requirement: Marksman Hunter

Effect: and 15% fire damage to all targets within 15 yards of the targeted creature over 10 seconds.
Requirement: Survival Hunter

Examples of Ammunition That Don't Work
It is worth mentioning what I do not think should be used as a type of ammunition.

Viper rounds
Effect: drain mana on every shot
Why: We had this as a spell in-game long ago.  It is more appropriate as a single spell ability.  It would be overpowered in PvP.

Scorpid rounds
Effect: reduce a target's ability to hit
Why: We had this as a spell in-game long ago.  It is more appropriate as a single spell ability.  It would might be overpowered in PvP.

Concussion rounds
Effect: do little damage but slow with every shot
Why: Shooting bean bags isn't great against monsters.  And we have Concussion Shot as a single spell ability already.  And it would not be appropriate in PvP.

Toxin rounds
Effect: damage and apply a mortal strike with every shot
Why: This would be overpowered in PvP.

Bolo rounds
Effect: damage in an AoE effect or apply a trap on a single target
Why: These would be a lot of fun, but difficult to explain.  They do exist in the real world for crossbows and shotguns.

Dragonfire rounds
Effect: apply a conical dragon fire effect up to your target and it expodes.
Why: We're hunters not fire mages.  And yes, some crazy people have these in the real world.

Examples of Ammunition Glyphs
Major Glyph of Speed Load
Effect: 30% Haste effect but approximately 30% less damaging shots.
Why: Some situations require a fast hunter.

Minor Glyph of Tracer Shots
Effect: Every fifth shot has a trailing tracer; a bright burning tail following the projectile toward its target.
Why: Style and commanding main assist visual surpassing the tame Hunter's Mark.  As in real life these can be applied to any form of ammunition.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kheldul and I

[Stream of consciousness inc.]

Before Wow
The first character I made in a modern MMO was Kheldul.  I had played and programmed in pre-MMO MUDs.  But this was my first MMO.  It was Nov 2004.

You see, I ran a pretty popular MUD ("Multi User Dungeon") with 300+ players back in the early 90s.  It was coded in C and was pretty amazing.  It was a glorified text adventure system with global world-movement, tactical movement, object manipulation, and classes and spells.  My good friend even strapped in a Spell Description Language that players would code in.  (It was an extension language based on Scheme.)  It's also important to know that most players could freely create objects, rooms, containers, etc. within the world for a world currency.  A lot of different people were running MUDs back then and I got an API to bridge people between MUDs where they used the same client.  Anyway... it's a long story.   It was a lot of code written on the fly.  It was a lot of fun in the pre-dawn Internet era before HTTP.  I also had a history of playing D&D.  And I hung out on Steve Jackson's BBS in the pre-ethernet age.  I had heard a lot about other MMOs.  So suffice it to say, I was eager to take in this MMO experience.

I think I was hooked before I played.

Throughout my computer gaming and pen and paper gaming life I've most often gravitated toward a ranger archetype.  The thought of being able to use rifles in the game and have a large pet really hooked me on the hunter and specifically a Dwarf Hunter.   The most recent character I had played in D&D had been Grantil Obergraff, a Dwarf Fighter/Cleric who was part of an Ursine Cavalry.  Kheldul was not only the first character I played; Kheldul was the first wow character I created.

Except for vacations and normal life, I haven't stopped playing and I haven't stopped playing Kheldul.  This means semi-daily play and raiding three nights a week.  A year or so I typed, "/played" and it was scary.  I haven't done it since.  It's also worth noting that I don't stand in town or do auction sales on Kheldul.  /played is scary and I can't easily dismiss it.  It does make me think.

In addition to time played, I've spent countless hours on guild forums, community posts, blogging, and now twitter.  This is my 560th blog post here.  It's almost all about Hunters.  I've started to do most of my trivial posts to twitter.  Kheldul and I have crazy amount of time invested in a thing that does not have a physical form.

Alts Never Mains
In the early years when I rolled Kheldul, I had other characters.  But most didn't get past level 20.  In early Cataclysm I started a few more again.  This time I happened to pick "Khel" as a prefix to their names.  I have Khelark, a pretty good i508 Resto Shaman and part-time Auctioneer.  I'm quite comfortable healing with her, but I don't like Elemental DPS and can't see building up a full Enhancement set again.  I farmed and farmed a nice Scarlet Crusader set for her before MoP retired that gear.  I have Khelarghast, a new i490 mage who I leveled from 20ish to 90 in what felt like record speed.  I could be good with Khelarghast if I bothered to apply myself, learn the ins and outs and fix up my UI a bit better for him.  I have Khelune, a level 86 (but ilevel 415) Guardian/Feral Druid.  I have a Worgen Prot Warrior who is level 85.  I have really nice transmog sets for all of them.  The one exception being my 85 Blood DK, Khelduwath.   I am tired of him completely and haven't even bothered to spec him since MoP began.  Kheldul, i539 is my main.

Beloved Pets
Kheldul is a pretty bad-ass dwarf hunter, but he's really a softie - most especially with his pets.  Over the years, he's had many favorites.  Before the modern stable changes, he had to let three of them go back to the wild at different times.  His first loved pet was Mokral, a temperamental brown bear.  His second was an ornery boar named Bacon.  Third was a the briefly loved Chipotle the red scorpid.  Fourth was his silverback great ape with green eyes, Jason.  Then came his albino T-Rex, named Chuckles. Lately he's been using many different pets based on the need, but this year when running as BM, he will default to his spirit beast porcupine pet, FITE, who comes in three different colors depending on the mood.

Be a Groover
I love the current hunter game-play.  On farm fights, I often have Kheldul hop and move unnecessarily while DPS'ng.  This isn't to say that I don't always give it my full effort.  I'm usually on the top of the damage chart, and normally have the highest "active time". I move and hop because it is so enjoyable.  I do spinning jump shots for no practical reason except that they feel awesome.

Better to Look Good Than Feel Good
Kheldul enjoys the transmog scene and often changes things up.  He's had green suits, blue suits, black suits, and red suits.  He's had gear sets for pet-tanking that look like shining white plate armor, one that looks like a two legged turtle, and lately one that looks like a red samurai.  He even has a full set of red shaman gear from the Dark Moon Fair vendor.  Each set has a matching tabard and gun.

And finally, what more do you need to know about Kheldul, other than he still has every nice looking gun he's ever owned. (With one exception, and with some re-acquired after the fact).  He keeps them safely secured in his gun locker within his bank vault.