Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Beastly DPS

Here is my toon.

Here was my dps from the shade of aran fight as an example in a karazhan pug last week.

I picked up 2 of those epics (the cloak and ring) AFTER that dps was recorded, meaning i was using even worse gear.

A) I'm using a less than optimal bow for beast
B) I refuse to use macros to time my shots for me. I think it takes all the fun an interactivity out of the class.

People keep telling me that I NEED a macro to do good dps in pve. Clearly, this is not the case. I LOVE hunter pve because of shot weaving. It's fun.

However, it's just not as applicable in arena (when many other classes are more of a fire-and-forget or auto attack while spamming independent attack timers type deal), while having to be stationary to do it.

Don't let anyone sell you with the point that hunters need to rely on macros to do competitive dps these days. That's a lie. THEY might need one to do maximum damage.

The only problem that hunters typically have is trying to spec marks and hoping to keep up with BM dps. I probably generate a whole 35% less dps as marks. That's a substantial drop off, mostly due to not having serpents swiftness. That talent is absolutely essential for pve dps.

I've seen some comments on this blog stating such things like: "I just get tired of people saying hunter dps is fine in pve. IT IS NOT FINE, hunters made it work when blizzard destroyed our dps pre TBC."

I'm not even sure how that makes sense. Hunter dps is only fine because hunters made it work? What?

Also, how do you explain this:


So the stats from 10000s of Brutallus parses are in.

These are the rankings

1. Rogue - 2870 dps
2. Hunter - 2568 dps
2. Warlock - 2536 dps
3. Warrior - 2449 dps
5. Mage - 2386 dps

These are the actual stats:

By the way, for those who don't know, Brutallus is a fight of PURE straight up DPS. The fight is DESIGNED to be the best possible situation for direct damage classes (such as mages and rogues) to be able to dps. Since the fight has no mobility, it is the perfect fight for such classes to do the absolute maximum dps they are capable of without fear. The fight lasts approx 6 mins, and is considered a hard gear check for the raid.

According to the stats, the highest melee dps is done by Rogues, the highest ranged dps is done by Hunters and the highest magical dps is done by Warlocks.

So, where's the problem in pve dps?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tourney Realm Games

In case anyone is wondering, we just couldn't get hunter comps to work well in 3v3 on the tourney realm, given the current balance of classes and itemization that's being used on there. (Seriously, how does a Lady Vashj bow for hunters compare with a rod of the sun king for rogues? I don't get it.)

Anyways, Socio, Kake and I will be playing the classes we feel most comfortable with, which just so happens to be warlock/warlock druid. I haven't had time to play many games at all this week since the ranked games started, but we should get a good amount of games played this weekend.

I just don't feel as if the hunter brings enough to the team currently to warrant using one, and apparently, I'm not the only one. With as easily as pets are killed off, and the necessity of constant scorpid pressure needed on a non-priest healer, viper sting is just too unreliable, especially after the mana drain nerfs. It's too easy to shut down hunter DPS (and almost more importantly, aimed shot) by simply riding them non-stop in a 3v3 setup, especially with the recent druid nerfs. It's much harder to keep things cycloned off of a hunter when an easy turn-and-burn can be made to druids now. This didn't used to be the case, and played a pretty important factor in the strength of HLD comps.

Anyways, hopefully we'll see some nice hunter changes coming soon. I know they're coming; I just don't know which ones.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tom's thoughts on hunters/arena/ from gamespy interview

"GameSpy: Have you had similar balance issues with the battlegrounds as opposed to arenas?
Tom Chilton : Definitely, they're very different PvP experiences. The PvP balance feels different between arenas and battlegrounds, but also between 2v2, 3v3, 5v5. Class synergies come into play more in the smaller environments. There are certain classes that feel like they're extremely strong in battlegrounds, but are either harder to play or are just not as good in some arena formats.

A good example is the Hunter class. If you're playing a Hunter in a battleground, you generally feel they're a very strong class. Arguably one of the stronger battleground classes in the game. But they're extremely skill-sensitive in the arena environment because of the line of sight issues, that sort of thing. We find that the very skilled players can play Hunters well in the arenas, but I think it's fair to say that it may take a higher level of player skill to achieve the same kind of result in the smaller arena environment."

Pretty much what I've been saying for quite a while, even before I started playing one. You can read the entire interview here. So what does this mean, you ask? Well, you can probably count on some hunter changes to streamline the class into being a little more forgiving, at least as far as shot timings go if I had to guess. I'm looking forward to see what's in store for the class. Although, I wonder if hunters will see any needed changes prior to WotLK? I guess only time will tell.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Rapid Fire/GCD/Haste itemization problem for hunters.

Why doesn't this (rapid fire) reduce global cooldown on shots as well?

With trinkets/rapid fire/serpent's swiftness/imp hawk procs/haste itemization... My autoshot speeds can go all the way down to 1.0 speed or lower, obviously much lower than the GCD, yet my GCD remains unaffected.

It's very odd that "buffing" myself with rapid fire can actually lower my DPS output by causing horrible shot clipping. I go from being able to do a continuous 1:1 steady/auto shot rotation as long as my weapon speed remains around 1.8s or so (factor in .3s or so off the 1.5s GCD due to latency issues), to increasing mana usage and decreasing dps by clipping shots because my weapon speed is dropped below what I call the gcd/latency boundary.

I don't think I've brought this up yet, but it has been bugging me for a while. Blood lust reduces GCD: Why doesn't rapid fire? It's just as dispelable as blood lust is.

I could almost make the same argument for imp hawk in the beast tree, as well as the current trend towards haste itemization for hunters in general.

Stacking too much haste is actually a bad thing. Classes shouldn't be penalized for getting gear "upgrades". As far as I'm aware, the hunter class is only class really suffering from this, as a tremendous amount of their dps relies on steady/auto rotations.

Obviously this is a problem. Noone wants to look at a piece loot like this and really have to worry if it's going to hurt their dps more than help it because of the high amount of haste on it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cool Video

Not WoW related, but I thought I'd share this really awesome video that my girlfriend sent me a link to. She's an architecture student at Cornell, and apparently one of her studio teachers showed this video.

It's pretty humbling to think about all the things we take for granted when we go through our daily lives, from light switches to vehicles, sewer systems, and how we're all connected in some way.

Pretty cool. Oh, and the music is awesome, too!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hunter issues in the arena (tournament realm)

So Socio, kakez and I just started last night. Think we're 1900, 31-2 2v2 now, and nearly 1800 on 3s. (Hunter/lock/druid)

There wasn't as big of a surge as I thought there'd be. I still feel like the class takes a bit more skill to properly play than either my druid or lock tbh, especially in the arena. Weaving optimal shot rotations, while keeping good positioning on your target, LOSing any incoming CCs, and being able to drop traps in the correct spot when needed is a lot more intense than most people know or believe, I'd bet. It's not a simple stand and mash buttons routine (well, unless you suck @ hunter).

I still think removing aspects' mana cost would be a great help. Switching to cheetah to chase someone down around a pillar and whatnot is already bad enough due to not having viper on for regen, and possibility of getting dazed.

I think hunter DPS in pve as beast is, well, beastly. I've always been able to compete, or surpass, rogue dps in 10/25 mans.

I dunno. I think hunters probably need slightly better escape options. Their reliance on druid is pretty big. I don't know of many comps that are all that competitive without a druid to go with the hunter.

I find it absolutely necessary to run quartz cast bar, as it lets me have a cast bar and another bar that shows my autoshot timer. This lets me manually weave in my steady's (which is a HUGE part of hunter dps in any scenario) while trying to never clip auto shots.

Possibly removing the restriction of autoshooting while doing other shots would help the most, or perhaps lessen the autoshot delay down from 0.5s. to even less time.

Would it dumb down the gameplay? Yeah it would, and would actually probably make the class less enjoyable to play in PVE (at least for me anyways).. However, having such a tight restriction on optimizing dps while also keeping the other variables balanced that I previously mentioned can be a choke point for class potential when it comes to the arena.

But when you have classes that are relatively easy to play that don't require nearly the same amount of micromanagement (Read: warrior), it's not necessarily the case that hunters are bad, but other classes are just more viable since they require less skill/micromanagement to play,

I also tend to factor in a classes ease to play via the GCD-factor. With the shapeshifting changes of going directly from form to form, or from feral form to casting a spell causing autoshift, the GCD-Factor and micromanagement factor of the druid went down substantially. This factor alone makes the druid much more fluid to play than either my warlock or hunter. There are less GCD's required to perform the same action.

This kind of goes back to what I was talking about originally with the hunter a long time ago. The aspects, traps, flares, ranged and melee abilities all sharing the same gcd. Even changing tracking type incurs a GCD. I know I've harpd on this several times. The hunter just feels more..... clunky. I feel like I'm constantly fighting the 1.5s gcd of a caster while needing to keep up with more abilities than some classes combined.

For example, to peel a rogue off of somebody, I need to concussive shot as I'm running towards them, then wingclip, flare so they can't vanish, drop a trap slightly ahead of them, possibly scatter them afterwards, and then reposition myself so I can go back to an optimal dps position/range, and then start carefully weaving optimal shots on the best target at the time. If you add all of that up, that's at least 7.5s worth of GCDS alone, in addition to time spent moving around to peel off one rogue from a friendly caster before you can even be dpsing that much. (In addition, you're not getting any aimed shots up, or keeping any up during this time either.

What would a warrior have to do in a similar situation? Get in LOS and intercept/hamstring, both of which have melee vs caster(hunter) GCDS of 1s.

Aimed shot can still sometimes be a problem, and I find myself relying on rapid fire to get it off in extremely tight situations where the target is running past me or near me. (Since I'm often near the target as I need to drop traps in a local area, and can't do it remotely)

I'm not trying to complain, or whine, or anything like that. Quite the opposite. I LOVE playing a hunter. I'm just trying to relay some of the technical difficulties that they face in an arena-type setting.

The great thing about the hunter, is that they have a ton of abilities. I have far more hotkeys on a hunter than even my warlock. Druid doesn't count because they can reuse the same bar for several forms, thus reusing the same hotkeys. The bad thing about hunter is, you are really required to spend a lot of time doing so many things to be most effective, that other classes can just close their eyes, follow a target around, and spam hemo, ShS, and deadly throw. ;)