tiistai 5. toukokuuta 2009

keskiviikko 25. helmikuuta 2009

Lots of things to do

Hey there... it's been a while since I've last written anything here so I thought that this would be a good time, now that the servers are down due to maintenance.

First of all, I started to level my fishing and so far I'm a 382 (with lures and Captain Rumsey's Lager which a guildie has made pints and pints for me), I can fish anything and everything from Northrend!), progressing slowly but steadily. I'm making daily runs through Dragonfin schools in Dragonblight and also gathering Mussleback Sculpin, Nettlefish and Glacial Salmon as my cooking has been 450 for long time now and I like to provide Fish Feast for the raids! I'm a designated cook, I guess. :-) As odd it may sound, fishing is actually fun and relaxing thing to do and on top of that, you get free materials for your buff food (being Blackened Dragonfin) and possible some nice treasures!

I also decided, that I'm trying my very best to complete Hail to the Chef achievement, which would give me a title "Chef". Oh well, completing this achievement will take me quite a while but I'm in no hurry.

Ok - the patch 3.1 has finally hit the PTR and the patch notes include some very cool things that we hunters going to enjoy in near future. I'm not going to list them all here, but instead I'll provide you a link to MMO Champion's page where you can check the notes for yourself! The dual-spec is going to cost 1000 gold. :S The new glyphs look amazing, it seems we finally have to THINK what three majors we are going to choose instead of the current state of "we have three majors that every hunter has to have, there is no alternatives". Ohhh, and the remote stable sounds soooo cool. 30 minute cooldown, possible to cast wherever and whenever, granted you are NOT in combat and POOF - a pet from your stable arrives at your side and the one you had goes into the stable. Pretty sweet.

I finally leveled my old and faithful raptor to lvl80 and it's so much fun to run with Rappy (yes, that's his name!). Savage Rend is super cool and raptors truly are one fierce animals! When we did Kel'Thuzad yesterday (one-shotted the bastard in 25-man, that's pretty awesome!), Rappy was doing OVER 600DPS! That's very, very cool for a Survival pet.

So there we go - lots of new things to wait for, to be anxious about... 3.1 is on PTR and hopefully we could see it on the live servers relatively soon and start rummaging through the new content - I JUST CAN'T WAIT!! :-)

Happy hunting and be seeing ya!

sunnuntai 1. helmikuuta 2009

Heroic Naxx and DPS

Our little raidforce was running heroic Naxx yesterday again and I was doing pretty decent damage... we cleared everything up to Gluth and Thaddius, so we have four bosses to go back to today. On Patchwerk my DPS was 5k, which is nice - I again reverted and my rotation includes Aimed Shot, and it seems to be working pretty nicely. On the over-all damage and DPS I was sitting on second spot, topped by our guild's arcane mage (ok well, arcanes are broken atm, but anyway). I was very happy to my performance, even though on Maexxna I ran about 75% of the fight with Aspect of the Cheetah on. >_>

But I picked it up and on Heigan I even managed to keep my pet alive ALMOST all the way thru... it's all about turning of Dash's auto-cast and applying it manually whenever tank moves Heigan and after that it's all about hoping that tank is pulling the boss just enough so our pet won't be struck by eruption waves as the pet always attacks from behind. And yea, my pet was taking eruptions in the face constantly, put Mend Pet plus heals from healers to my pet (I LOVE YOU PEEPS :D) was enough to keep Wahlu alive all the way when Heigan had 17% HP left. If I would've specced my pet into Heart of the Phoenix, he would've fought the fight to the very end, but I decided to go for Call of the Wild after all, because currently I'm using Mirror of Truth and Grim Toll as my trinkets, so I really don't have any cooldowns to use. Call of the Wild provides me a cooldown, which is nice.

Picked up Strong-Handed Ring, now I have two best-in-slot rings, yeeha! Also, stuff like Cryptfiend's Bite dropped, but it went to a druid IIRC. Not that it bothers me very much, Wraith Spear is still quite nice weapon providing 39 agi more than CB, although CB comes out in front in other things... see for yourself, 29 stamina, a bit over 30 AP and 32 haste more than WS, but yeah... it certainly was a bigger upgrade for the person that got it than it would've been for me. I'm looking for Journey's End anyway. ;-)

torstai 29. tammikuuta 2009

Again beating the crap out of the heroic dummy

I'm once again testing my rotations (as well as re-configuring my UI) and it's time to pewpew that target dummy again. One rotation consists of Serpent Sting, Explosive Shot and Steady Shot. The other one has Aimed Shot added in with priority LOWER than Explosive Shot but HIGHER than Steady Shot. Let's see what the numbers say - I'm completely unbuffed for these tests.

(Draining mana to 5% three times, viper up to 100% two times - i.e. drain, viper, drain, viper, drain)

Test #1: 309.35 sec (a bit over 5 minutes)
Me: 2102.2 DPS
Pet: 357.6 DPS
TOTAL: 2456.2 DPS


Explosive Shot: 156 shots, 81 hits (average 1.2k) / 75 crits (average 2.9k)
Auto Shot: 127 shots, 84 hits (average 0.8k) / 43 crits (1.8k)
Steady Shot: 107 shots, 56 hits (average 0.75k) / 51 crits (1.9k)

Serpent Sting was up all the time so Steady Shots get that extra 10% damage from our Glyph PLUS all 3% damage increase from Noxious Stings. Explosive Shot in this parse did 49% of our total damage, autos doing 22.5%, steadies 21.5% and Serpent Sting 7.6% of our damage.

Ok so, let's move to our rotation number two.

Test #2: 301.98 sec (a bit over 5 minutes)
Me: 2168.4 DPS
Pet: 352.4 DPS
TOTAL: 2514.2 DPS


Explosive Shot: 159 shots, 79 hits (average 1.2k) / 80 crits (average 2.9k)
Auto Shot: 126 shots, 82 hits (average 0.8k) / 44 crits (average 1.8k)
Aimed Shot: 22 shots, 11 hits (1.1k) / 11 crits (2.5k)
Steady Shot: 84 shots, 58 hits (average 0.9k) / 26 crits (average 2.2k)

So, our total DPS went up for about 65DPS, which is nice. Still, when you look at the average damage of hits and crits done by Aimed Shot versus Steady Shot, you can see Aimed doing a little bit more damage but indeed - it's ONLY a little bit more. So, using Aimed Shot will be left to your discretion - whether you want to mix in a shot that potentially does a bit more damage than Steady but consumes more mana. This is a trade-off and there is no definitive answer to this, at least I can't provide one.

Aimed Shot is good for fights like Heigan, Grobbulus and any other boss encounter which requires moving. Explosive Shot followed by an Aimed Shot is a great way to move - you spend two global cooldowns but if you move during the GCD's, you won't lose any Steady Shots! Anyway, I can't give you the answer whether using Explo->Aimed->Serpent->Steady is better (or worse) than rotation without Aimed... the results are just too similar. I'm going to do one more test parse, without Aimed Shot in the rotation and will be doing a judgement on whether to keep Aimed Shot in my spec or toss the point to 2/2 GftT or something.

Test #3: 315.84 sec (a bit over 5 minutes)
Me: 2135.8 DPS
Pet: 354.6 DPS
TOTAL: 2477.1 DPS


Explosive Shot: 171 shots, 82 hits (average 1.2k) / 89 crits (average 2.85k)
Auto Shot: 132 shots, 90 hits (average 0.8k) / 42 crits (average 1.8k)
Steady Shot: 108 shots, 71 hits (average 0.8k) / 37 crits (average 1.8k)

This parse was tiny bit better than our first test with Explo-Steady rotation (~20DPS better) but still slightly inferior when compared to the one with Aimed Shot mixed in. Anyway, the difference is very small and it may just be fluctuation of the average numbers but still, it seems that mixing Aimed Shot in may produce very, very slightly better numbers.

Still, the mana consumption is an issue; firing two shots which cost 7% and 8% of the base mana, respectively, is going to get mana-heavy during long fights. I'm starting to be pretty content with the fact that "Explosive, Serpent, Steady" is going to be my main rotation... I may use Aimed after LnL procs like this: "Explosive Shot -> wait 0.5sec -> Explosive -> wait 0.5sec -> Explosive -> Aimed" to produce more burst damage but I probably won't weave it in every ten seconds. We'll see, I gotta do the testing in 25-man Naxxramas we should be having tomorrow.

So, here we go... I'll be concluding my tests here for now. I'll be getting back to ya with the full Recount data for our Naxx-25 tomorrow! Happy hunting!

keskiviikko 28. tammikuuta 2009

Majestic dragon beating!

Our yesterday raid evening didn't begun all too well; we were attempting Naxx-10 with the The Undying achievement. We started straight from Abomination Wing (as we really didn't have the intent to continue the run should someone die in the process). Patchwerk was a piece, Grobbulus went down like a school-book example and Gluth went down smoothly, as well - even though I had 21 stacks of Mortal Wound at one point. :S I guess I'm just not a good kiter.

Anyway, it all boiled down to Thaddius at this point and things didn't start out very well: first of all Feugen died like 5-8 seconds later than Slagen (didn't matter tho, yeeha). Then we jumped off the ledge to the boss platform (and of course some ppl fell) and I was _THIS_ close killing myself as Thaddius came active and I was the first recipient of its hatred - gladly our tank was able to pick him up but I literally had like 10% HP left, that was a big hit I got. Ouch. Things are going well, we are switching sides with 4-point strategy until someone who had dropped during the initial jump come in, get completely confused by his polarities and make our mage die, thus negating the whole Undying-run. Oh well, there is no blame thrown around whatsoever or anything but just for the record: positive is to the right, negative is to the left and you always switch sides by going counter-clockwise around the boss. How hard that can be? Oh well!

We decided that our evening wasn't wasted and started heading towards Nexus in order to whack Malygos to another incarnation. It took us three tries, which all carried us to phase3 - the heart-breaking try was the second one, Malygos left up standing with 0% of health, only 1070 hitpoints left!! Awwwww! Anyway, we downed him pretty cleanly on our first try and at least now phase1 and phase2 are complete runthroughs to this group. Malygos is now officially on farm status!

Then it was time to head to Wyrmrest Temple - yes, we were going to attempt our first Sarth-1D encounter! First, we wiped twice due to the overwhelming amount of adds after Tenebron hatched all his eggs and fire elementals just kept adding. We had a druid tank with 50k HP tanking Sartharion and pallytank taking care of Teneberon and the adds. On our third try, everything started to click and the ever-spawning adds were tanked with the drake and DPS was quick to AoE everything down. After Tenebron is down, the fight is back to 100% ez-mode kill and you just finish off Sarth. We got our nice Twilight Assist achievement and everyone got to go to sleep with smile on their faces. The cheers in the Vent after Sarth went down were memorable. :)

Anyway, that's how those two encounters turned out for us. Sartharion with (only) 1 drake up is by all means no cake; the first 30-50 seconds you need to A) dodge the lava walls and B) split your DPS time between killing the Lava Blazes (and if you are a hunter, use Tranquilizing Shot on the ones that are enraged... no more!) and nuking the boss. Then, after Tenebron (or whoever drake you've decided to keep up) flies in and is getting tanked by the offtank, all DPS switches from Sartharion to the drake add. The priority is to dodge lava walls, kill fire elemental adds, kill Drake adds (in Tenebron's case a whole lot of whelps which can be easily AoE'd down if they are tanked on top of the drake, giving all AoE full potential) and then kill the drake itself. So you really gotta keep looking around what's happening; if you are shooting Tenebron and you see two Lava Blazes spawning, you should immediately drop your DPS on the drake and start bringing these down. Same with the whelps - when Tenebron hatches the eggs, off-tank should move Tenebron on top of his portal and be ready to use whatever means appropriate to grab aggro of those little buggers. Then quick AoE and even the boss gets damage in the run as the whelps are hopefully tanked on top of the boss.

Tenebron is down and here we go, it's a simple matter of dodging lava walls, killing Blazes and DPS'ng the boss down. At 10% or so he does a sort of enrage where these Lava Blazes will start spawning with such a rate that you probalby don't have any chance whatsoever trying to kill them. This point of the fight is simply a burn phase; pop all cooldowns you have and pump every bit of DPS you got and the Twilight Assist should be yours too!

That was really fun evening which COULD'VE been very bad due to the Naxxramas "glitch", if yuo can put it that way. Oh well, all well, ends well.

Minor respec (hey, what is 50g for...)

After doing lots of testing I was finally able to deduct that only one point in Imp. Aspect of the Hawk is enough (if you have the glyph, that is) for the Steady Shot cast-time to drop below 1.5 seconds when it procs. Currently I have 1.6sec cast normally and 1.4sec cast when Imp. AotH procs, so I'm pretty much at the soft haste cap already. Things are looking good! Although, I'd need some gear with hit on it because now when I use Heroes' Cryptstalker Handguards instead of Rusted-Link Spiked Gauntlets due to the 2-piece set bonus (I also have T7 chest) and haste on the tier gloves, it means that I need to use hit gems almost explicitly on certain items. For example, my boots, belt's extra socket and gloves all have +16 hit rating gem. On top of that, my gloves have +8hit/+12sta green gem and with those my hit rating is 266, 3 points above the cap. Of course, I could drop ALL hit gems if I'd choose to equip Grim Toll all the time but I like to use Incisor Fragment for that 148 AP along with my badge trinket. Don't get me wrong, I use Grim Toll in PVP and 25-mans - Military Quarter in Naxx-25 is an ideal place for that trinket!

The spec I'm running with now is 1/18/52, with only 1 point in Imp. AotH (it's enough, ladies and gentlemen!) and Imp. Stings maxed out. I can't wait to test this in action - our guild is attempting an The Undying achievement on our 10-man Naxxramas run tonight! It's gonna be great fun and I need to play VERY carefully and with full thought all the time to avoid dying by stupid mistakes like pulling aggro (which is quite common as a Survivalist, as the crit % is often over 50% when MT procs with all the raidbuffs) or things like that. I'm also going to pay extra attention to my shot rotation, although I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to use Aimed Shot regularily as part of my rotation... I'm going to spend some intense moments with the training dummy before our run.

tiistai 27. tammikuuta 2009

More testing on training dummy

Ok so, I'll be doing even more testing on training dummies to be able to determine whether weaving Aimed Shot in whenever it's up (_after_ firing Explosive Shot) is good thing to do or just fill the gaps with Steady weaving. Current spec haven't changed, still running with 2/17/52 with 2/3 in Imp. Stings. Let's see how the tests work out:

Rotation 1, Test #1:
Duration: 210sec (mana drained, vipered back to full and drained mana again)
Me: 2133.1 DPS
Wahlu: 348.0
TOTAL: 2476.4

Comments: This rotation was done with 3 shot priority; Explosive Shot, Serpent Sting and Steady Shot to fill the remaining gaps. In practice this means the following rotation:

Explosive Shot, Serpent Sting, Steady, Steady, Explosive Shot (re-apply Serpent Sting whenever needed)

I like the numbers I see; the overall DPS is nice, I got to use 114 Explosive Shots during that 210sec period from which 58 critted (smallest 1.2k, highest 3.7k and average ~2.9k) and 56 didn't. That's a bit over 50% crit ladies and gentlemen! You just gotta love Explosive Shot and Survival hunter's crit rating! :-) All in all, Explosive Shot did 53% from the total damage I did, auto shots 22.5% and Steadies 18% of total damage. Had 70 Steady Shots from which 23 (33%) critted (smallest 1k, highest 2.2k and average of 1.9k - yes indeed, Steady nerf can be feeled!) and 47 didn't. Serpent Sting did almost 7% of the total damage, so at least I remembered to keep it up constantlty! =) Was also nice to see that my pet was only dodged or parried, it didn't miss one single hit. Gotta love it when you no longer need to spec for Focused Aim!

I'll do a "control parse" just to make sure I just didn't have the best (or worst) possible procs during that short 210sec period. Here goes:

Rotation 1, Test #2:
Duration: 219.57sec
Me: 2119.9 DPS
Wahlu: 343.6 DPS
TOTAL: 2456.7 DPS

Comments: The 2 tests are almost identical, pet is doing almost the same DPS he did on first test and the over all DPS on this second test is 20DPS lower than on the first. This may be due to rarer LnL procs I had on the second try. Anyways, this is pretty encouraging to see the unbuffed DPS at 2.5k. Good basis.


Ok, now for the second test... in this one I'll be introducing Aimed Shot in priority higher than Steady Shot, so Aimed will always go off _after_ Explosive has been fired and Aimed is off cooldown. I won't fire it as soon as its CD is up because that would screw up the rotation, so it's basically going to be a rotation like this:

Explosive, Aimed, Serpent, Steady, Explosive, Steady, Steady, Steady, Explosive, Aimed, Steady, Steady, Explosive, Steady, Steady, Steady

And of course refresh Serpent Sting whenever required, as well as your Hunter's Mark!

Rotation 2, Test #1:
Duration: 197.32sec
Me: 2260.6 DPS
Wahlu: 362.0 DPS
TOTAL: 2621.6 DPS

Comments: Dunno if this is just a lucky glitch but my personal DPS just went up 100DPS! That's not bad! And as you can see, the 2x mana-drain encounter took 13 seconds less than the one with no Aimed Shot in its rotation. Pet was also doing a bit more than 10DPS more than on the first tests, which is encouraging as well. I'll do another parse and see if the numbers stay the same. If they do, I really might consider keeping Aimed Shot as part of my rotation. Yes, it's more expensive mana-wise but still, if it yields good results there's no reason not to use it. It's instant too, so you can use it on fights which require mobility, like Heigan, Gluth, Thaddius and so on.

Rotation 2, Test #2:
Duration: 198.18sec
Me: 2144.2 DPS
Wahlu: 341.0 DPS
TOTAL: 2484.0 DPS

Comments: Yeah, as you can see, the numbers fluctuate little, resulting this test to be a bit over 100DPS less than the previous. I'll do a third test just to be sure...

Rotation 2, Test #3:
Duration: 195sec
Me: 2164.2 DPS
Wahlu: 344.2 DPS
TOTAL: 2505.9 DPS

Comments: The final thought on this one: the cons with Aimed Shot is the higher mana cost and thus means either more viper uptime or at least reduced intervals BETWEEN viper periods. Anyway, the DPS of the two rotations (Explosive, Serpent and Steady against Explosive, Aimed, Serpent, Steady) seems to be pretty equal, even though it looks like that the rotation with Aimed Shot will be darting a bit higher on the DPS meters. The difference is only 20-50 DPS, but it's still a difference.

To conclude things up... first of all, all this testing was done without trap-dancing AT ALL, vice versa - I was standing at 40 feet away from the dummy as I have 3/3 in Sniper Training and Hawk Eye. I'm going to do some numbers on trap-dancing rotations anytime soon now. What comes to the results of these tests... I'll probably use the Explo/Steady-rotation on regular basis and introduce Aimed Shot if mana-consumption allows that and the particular fight has a lot of movement in it (Sartharion, Heigan, Grobbulus etc). In fights where you need mobility, another instant to your arsenal is not a bad thing to do, especially as it only costs you one talent point!

All in all, to break (unbuffed, of course) 2.5k DPS as Survival is pretty easy if you know your rotation and further more, get it timed and fire off correctly; not clipping a GCD and refreshing the Serpent Sting whenever needed (in a way that the spent GCD doesn't mess the rotation etc), but NOT TOO EARLY and NOT LATE, are the tools to employ. You should easily see ~4k DPS on 25-man Patchwerk, and probably even lot more. I did 4k DPS on Patchwerk last time we did it on 25, but I know I could be doing more... how much more, well, that remains to be seen until next run!

I'll be logging off now, going to try respeccing tomorrow a bit... maybe take one point off of Sniper Training and put it to 3/3 Imp. Stings or get 1min CD reduction on Rapid Fire or even shove that point to 2/2 GftT because my pet seems to have some dry periods every now and then even tho my crit chance is ~35% unbuffed.