Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Still 11/12.

Things about Nefarion 10 man that nobody told me and I didn't find at most of the strat hubs:

  • Having a hunter turtle tank the adds with MD glyph and glyph of mend pet makes p3 much easier for picking up the adds and much less strain on the healers, while still keeping raid dps up.
  • Nature resist is superpro. If you are hitting one or two crackles in p2, try to spread out nature resist between your platforms, it really helps with crackle.
  • The mastery trinket with resist increases from the TB rep faction is great for your tanks. It's one minute CD is a great compliment to a tank's CDs for crackles and breaths.
  • Hybrids in the transition helping heal and during p2 helping heal can make or beak a pillar group.

We aim for nef+H Halfus this weekend, if everyone is able to go. Last week with 1.5 hours of solid nef attempts we were seeing p3 pretty consistently. The fight isn't super difficult, it's just got 3 phases that require pretty solid execution.

Feel free to always drop a question in about anything and I can usually help out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Been a while

The winds of change have pulled me away from my previous place of employment, and I am now in the middle of a career change which is going to be for the better. This and my raiding schedule have kept me away from here.

In more good news, our group is 11/12 now with our first week of Nef starting this weekend (maybe, we may be missing 3 of our cores). We went 9/12 with relative ease, and then Cho and Al'Akir were slightly more difficult due to the fact that I felt our dps was overall low. I went out and found a nice DK to replace our second hunter in the core, but am keeping the hunter with us as a small bench is something that we would definitely like to continue on with. I have begun subbing people in and out depending on the fights/loot available for farm content, so that I have 12-14 geared and knowledgeable raiders ready to go. Our first week with the specific bench we had all 13 people in attempts on Al'Akir due to a DC, a family emergency, and a work emergency. He died with our 3 bench players in on the raid.

More to come in the future.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Expected changes

I play a hunter, used to play a paladin. I swapped to the hunter the moment the hunter took over the crown of "most changed class" and "class which gets adjusted every patch." This was purely coincidence and not something I enjoyed while playing the paladin, but it gave me this outlook:

I don't really care how they want to nerf us and how PTR changes might potentially effect us... Yeah- I stay up to date so I know what to expect, but I figure with each patch I'll run a few sims, check out the changes, and adjust accordingly. People who scream sky falling way too early just end up stressing about things too much. If they nerfed hunters so bad they are unplayable, well that's unfortunate but I could always hop on my DK or my priest. If they nerf a single spec to it being crappy in comparison with another- then I'll swap over to it. If they give me a new meta, I'll use it- and if they don't I wont. It amuses me at how worried people get when generally speaking Blizzard is aiming for balance in raids among classes, and so far they've done alright. They buff what sucks and nerf what is overpowered.

This all being said- I like the buffs I bring as survival with WF and such. I dislike the general playstyle of BM, but have never really given it a chance. MM was always my favorite due to it's inherent complexity, but it is the most difficult to perform as when I'm trying to track my whole raid and stay alive (Survival is hilariously easy to maintain on the fly), but I'm sure I'd fare fine with it.

So, I hope they don't break hunters, and now that we have two I suppose it would be nice to be able to have us as different specs so we can bring more interesting buff combinations, but it really isn't game breaking. The way it is panning out- it would be expected that blizzard is looking to scale back surv dps by ~5%. This seems reasonable to me.

More good fun times

So yesterday's (remember- we only raid once a week) raid finally saw our set group with 8 of our regulars, and our 2 main fill-ins. This brought great joy to me as our dps chart was competitive for top spot (I was so happy I forced our rogue into mutilate, he hates the spec like I hate BM but when he puts up over 14k next to mine on heavy movement fights and is giving me a run for #1 he understands). And our bottom spot was at worst filled with our OT doing 10k as ret-which sucks horribly as a spec right now- This meant our dps charts look like a bar graph of a steady economy, as opposed to a bar graph comparing the economies of the last 5 decades (hilarious picture btw). You can check us out at World of Logs.

This week saw two new kills- bringing the total up to 5/12. Maloriak was a pushover as soon as we controlled our green phases and stopped letting random people die to random things. And double dragons took a bit of learning, and a 4th healer. As it is a one tank fight we figured we had plenty of dps to make the enrage timer with ease and that living is a much better option than not. In our kill it was our first attempt where we had nobody get phased to the razzle dazzle, and deep breaths. This fight caused me some trouble trying to call the whole fight and be aware of all the mechanics happening as well. What really gave me the best experience to learn it was ultimately a wipe where I tanked the floor from early on and I had them burn a bres to pick up the healer over me, giving me the opportunity to swirl my camera around and focus on abilities coming up. I then got used to seeing how Valiona picks parts of the room and how to convey this to my folks. I decided on counting down, then (because our ranged are stacked up at the time on one side of the room) I call out one of the following "MID" "OUR SIDE" "OTHER SIDE" which denotes where the flames are and we scamper away quickly.

Additionally, I finally got people to realize if they stack up for blackout right as it hits- they can time it so they run in, and run out- minimizing dps loss and damage taken. Also, because a few of the blackouts occur during the 3rd and 4th transitions of dragons, I decided to forgo the world raid marker and instead just slapped a mark on the head of our healing lead- the one in charge of dispelling the debuff.

We recruited another hunter into our group, creating the biggest sharing of armor outside our tanks. This doesn't really bother me all that much though with all the valor points available for gear. This does however make me happy as now we'll be able to support full raids each week as opposed to looking for more people every time.

As we put in our time learning the new fights- and we are now having one-shots on ODS and Halfus each week with only mishaps stopping us on Magmaw (our rogue was like - "yeah, whatever I'll do spikes" and did not have any clue whatsoever greatly infuriating me as I had to explain it to him- after our 3rd wipe...), I would think that next week we'll end up being able to (as in, have the time to) down conclave and get some work in on chimaeron or atramedes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Things keep going up and up

Originally we needed more ranged. This happened when one of our melee ret dps decided to swap over to his ele sham instead. BL+ moar ranged? Yes, please. Now our biggest issue is we haven't gotten our "starting 10" on for a single raid. In the first two weeks we had 7 of our "starting 10" and 8 in our second week. This has forced me to think about possibly recruiting another dps as I'm thinking that I'd be able to get them well over 50% playing time, and having that spot filled with a consistent person has many advantages:

1. I know how they operate. My probably biggest issue with pugs is simply that I don't know how to push them and I don't get their pushback. I can't rag on them like I do the rest of my raiders (as they rag on me).

2. I don't take risks on a pug's skill. Pugs can be horrible, and they can be decent. I have yet to fill a pug spot with someone who comes in and cleans house- but if I did, I'd be happy about it.

3. I don't have to loathe giving gear to pugs. Last week- ODS drops the hunter chest (Yay me!) but I end up losing the roll to the pug hunter we brought (He did decent enough dps, even though it was horrible dps for a surv hunter- 12k to my 16). Halfus drops the Agi+ trinket... I then realize I have to step up and just take this from him and the other pug hunter (we pulled in another by this time) as that gear will significantly increase my ability to do better which directly effects our raids right now. Gear helps, and we don't have a lot of it atm. Single upgrades to our players will help us push new content.

Anyway, we got do BH to start each week (free epix- yet not a single piece of tier for the raid yet) then move to BRD and got ODS our first week, Magmaw our second along with halfus. I fully expect us to have Double dragons this week and most likely Maloriak. Decent enough progression I think.

P.S. Conclave isn't very hard- yet for some reason our boomkin keeps getting DC'd in it, which leads to major issues as 9-manning that fight is quite difficult due to having to stack at the right times with everyone in the raid performing a location specific role (we end up always silenced from Rohash when he DC's).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Let the raiding begin

Sunday we put together our first raid as a guild. Being as none of us have raided together in over a month, and truth be told- we have never raided in this setup (I'm dpsing as hunter, a warrior dps is now a healer, a few other random changes). I hope it all goes well enough but I'm expecting a few growing pains.

My goals for our first day is go beat up on the TB boss, then get a first kill on at least one of the raid bosses. I'm certain that if people show up prepared we'll have enough skill and gear to take down at least one. I know one of our tanks is already fully decked in all that he needs from heroics, I've only got a 333 trinket (but it's Tia's Grace which is damn near BiS even in it's reg version) and a 333 bow (which if I can't get the BRC or VP weapons to drop, I'll just craft the engi one) and I'm set from heroics. I know a few of our other dps and heals are approaching this as well and I'm thinking that we're going to walk into raids more than "geared."

I've found that this normally happens to my groups- I'll put off raiding the first instances for an extra week or two to allow people to gear up, and my people end up being more than prepared and we all laugh about how we could have been in there a week or two earlier. I did this with Kara (I was fully epic'd from heroics and badges before- it felt unnecessary) and again in Naxx. In the end, I suppose this is a much better plan than just wiping needlessly.

Anyway- the goal this week will be to assist as best as possible the few people gearing up still and preparing by getting everyone to become familiar with strats and bosses before we step in the door. I want to be able to pull a boss less than 5 minutes after looking at him for the first time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hunter DPS-ing Cataclysm, with STYLE

The hunter is getting pretty jacked as of late. Made my engi goggles, got my epic ring from the ER, looking to upgrade trinkets to 346, legs, and shoulder and I'm all there and above. I leveled as MM, and have DPS'd heroics in a MM spec as well as the Surv one I'm running right now. I've heard that BM is behind in pure damage (to a point where getting BL for a non-BL group isn't even worth it) and I haven't even tried it out. BM's simple priority rotation just isn't my cup of tea.

MM does decent enough damage, and the burst potential is definately there. After you ramp up and pop racial+rapid fire, a chimera, readiness another chimera and burn through a second rapid fire I was usually around 16k. Surv can also do this, but that's happening when you are critting and procing a LnL which can possibly be RNG (If you are not trapping). Surv overall in heroics is much better as the AoE is leaps and bounds ahead, while also being higher overall damage on any boss fight, as MM comes back to earth after its 2 CD's are blown. Also, Surv get's an additional CC method (which is nice in that even in a great guild run I'm usually the only one CC'ing and I'll get both off with ease, and they are staggered in length). There is not a Heroic trash pull that isn't easier with effective use of CC of some sort, and I use my hunter utility as much as possible.

This brings me to my next point- the reason why I'm better than my other two dps counterparts in our 5man. Let's say we are all doing ~12-13k depending on the fight, CC'ing as much as we need to, and not being bad. What separates me out from them? I have MD, I have a tranq, I have a taunt, I have two slows, I've got a blind (in scatter shot) and I use them as much as possible. Scatter shot is harder to find times for, but I've been known to scatter healers who are marked as our secondary kill target so they don't get a heal off while we burn down the first target. Tranq should be used any time possible. If you can tranq it off, then you probably should be. I run most heroics with my good buddy who is a rogue and there are things I can tranq off and things he can't shiv. If he can get it easily and isn't moving around a lot- he usually does. If he's dodging fire and ground slams and such, I take over fully even though it's a larger dps loss for me. It's easy to work this out and my dps loss is made up for the fact the healer uses less mana and we move as a group faster. MD is used every fight, sometimes multiple times. No longer does transferred threat stay there forever, so I don't usually use it mid fight unless adds are running around, but every trash pull, every time. Why wouldn't you!? Slowing mobs is VERY useful. If you have a pull where you healer is going to get aggro and your tank is trying to round things up, slow them down for him! Your tank will love you as it becomes so much easier to grab everything and build threat if it isn't running, but walking.

Our taunt. You may say "Tur! Why on earth would you ever use a taunt in a group! You would kill yourself!" This may USUALLY be true, and when I'm tanking if someone starts taunting my stuff I usually get real mad- BUT if you know what you are doing you can do some SERIOUS help here.

Case 1. The tank death.
-Tank died? OH NOES!? What to do what to do! Generally our Boomkin has more threat than me (which is good) and things go running for him. If it's a big ugly I usually get as much space between the boomer and me, and when he's about to smash his face in I taunt and keep running. I throw up a slow (if he can be slowed) and dude keeps running at me for the length of the taunt. Note- while running at me he probably isn't hurting anyone, allowing your healer to catch up or take a break. When my taunt wears off he runs back to the boomkin and I taunt again when he's close. I ping pong them around until they are all dead.

Case 2. The Tank is getting low on life.
-Tank getting hit REALLY hard and has a lot of mobs on him? Taunt the biggest one if the tank has sufficient threat, let him get near and FD. This allows the tank a few precious seconds of not getting hit, and any healer will tell you that now 3-6 hits from the harder hitting melee mobs will give that tank time to get his life back up. Be careful on this one, you can die if your FD is resisted and you are too close.

Case 3. Adds.
-In a lot of fights we don't have our tank even deal with adds. We have enough dps to burn them down fast enough and the only real problem is they aggroing on the healer. Taunting them to you allows your healer to heal you instead of getting pushed back while trying to heal himself. And you are in mail as opposed to his cloth/leather/spirit plate.

On top of this, I've bought time for druid tanks to battle res, reposition mobs, and countless other useful things. Once you start using your utility buttons other than just straight dpsing, you become a more complete hunter. Also, make sure you are communicating each of these uses to your group. The worst thing ever is when you try to taunt a mob from your tank to let him take less damage and he taunts back and dies. If you talk it out, people will usually understand.

Happy hunting!