Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thinking Postive about Focus

As the Grumpy one I am always complaining about the changes that are coming.  You know, like grandpa out on the back porch on his rocking chair that just doesn't like anything.  Hey grandpa, I just won 200M in the lottery.  You no good kid, when I was your age I had to earn my money.  He can never be happy about anything.  Well, that is me, grandpa before my age dictates.  I am the grumpy one.

I have played some on the PTR with my Hunter and tried rotations in BM and MM, not SV however, and am trying to find my rhythm with it.  More often then not I hear myself saying something like, volley would have been perfect here or damn, I am always low on focus.  I have to look at the positive side.  While doing some of my grinding recently it occurred to me that for all I've lost that I wanted I have gained some things as well.  So for a moment I will try to look at the positive side of Focus.

One of the things I always considered set me apart from my Hunter brothers and sisters is that I had become a master at mana management.  It was something I first picked up on and the reason I took Alchemy when I started playing.  For the mana pots and health pots I could make.

As it turns out I was not only being my grumpy self complaining about the change but I was being downright selfish.  My mana management is one of the reasons I could toast any hunter I've ever ran into even if they had 1000 gear score more.  I liked that I had that advantage.  I handled something well that others did not.  In my selfishness I wanted to keep that advantage to myself.

So now I sit back knowing that Focus is here and trying to think of reasons I actually like that.  At the moment it is not ideal being one thing I do love about it is Aspect of the Fox which we will not get until 83 but knowing it is there is worth working without it now.

Grinding has always been an issue for hunters, even more so if they do it the way I do.  Keep moving and use instants all the time.  Even the Hunter with the biggest mana pool would not be able to keep that up.  I used my endless mana potion on each cool down and every chance I had to change into viper keeping my mana near full all the time.  Made grinding easy for me as I did not have to stop to drink or spend long durations in viper.  Focus makes it even easier.  No more hitting the endless mana potion every time it comes off cooldown.  No more switching back and forth between viper.  Focus generates fast enough that you can grind and never need to stop anyway.  On the off chance that is isn't, just open with a steady and by the time it fires you will have focus back.

Sure, now all Hunters can do what I always did so well when grinding, but I should not be selfish about it.  Let them have it too.  It adds nothing to my game but does add something to the game for others.  Congrats on that guys.  At least I have to press less buttons now to keep the grind going.  Chalk one up for Focus, that is going to make grinding so much easier never having to worry about mana.

Speaking of Viper, now that we do not need mana that is gone as well.  So that is a huge plus for me and many other Hunters.  I know some of you will not want to admit it but I will do so freely.  I've spent so many fights in Viper that I can not even count that high.  The number of times I fired off a few shots and said, why is my damage so low and then noticed I was in Viper is countless.  Never again will that happen.  No more Viper, that is another great point for Focus.

How about Multi-Shot becoming an instant because of the change to focus and the removal of volley?  That is awesome on so many levels.  While I am still grumpy at blizzard taking away our only AoE ability giving us the ability to do a targeted multi shot ability as an instant is a nice touch.  I can already see me grinding and doing even less movement.  Remember I said I do not spot moving?  Well now I can hit more then one target at a time without stopping movement.  What is not to love?  Sure this is not because of focus itself but it is connected to the change over to focus, so chalk up another great change to focus.

You know all those bosses or even random mobs with mana drains or things of the such.  I remember so many times leveling up when I ran into them.  It slowed my questing down the a crawl.  No more needing to worry about that.  Give that one to focus being great for us.  One mechanic of the game we no longer give a crap about.  Mana drain me all you want.  Means nothing to me.

Speaking of that, being we are no longer mana users we should not get silenced any more.  Not sure about that but it sure seemed that Ghostcrawler is so against us having "magic" (even if the survival tree is all magic still) that it would make sense that we can not be silenced.  That would also mean, being he is against us using "magic" we can no longer be locked out of schools of magic so we can fire arcane shot until the cows come come and never worry about being locked out of it.  Have to test that of course, I am not sure, but if we do not use mana and we do not use magic it only makes sense we can not be silenced or spell locked right?  If so, the that is a huge plus for us having focus.

When doing my "rotation" on some of the special bosses that are on the PTR I noticed that when I tried to over extend myself I was focus starved.  Again, this became an issue of wanting to much to soon.  Having just a global on some of my bigger shots made me want to fire them over and over and tada I was out of focus instantly.  Once I got the greediness out of my system and tried to play it as if it were my normal "rotation". I noticed that I was never starved for focus at all. 

I needed to adjust just slightly, so say I would want to do Chimera, Arcane, Arcane, steady, steady steady (yes I know that is not how it is done, just an example people) I would now need to do Chimera, steady, arcane, steady, arcane, steady.  You see, over the course of 6 shots I am still firing the exact same 6 shots, just rotating them.  So my rotation actually becomes more of a rotation now.  Focus is actually going to be easier to format a rotation with because you have to.  As opposed to mana being ever present you could just roll with it and hit whatever was your biggest shot available.  If you do that now you would be out of focus in 3 seconds. However, I liked rolling with it.  Easier to respond to usage with procs, but this I can still get used to.  Chalk up another plus for Focus.  Finally Hunters can chill out some and fall into the easy rotation type thing that nearly all other classes have.

Rotation being said brings another thing to mind.  So often I have fired another steady by accident, so to speak, and just let it roll where if I had waited two tenths of a second I would have had an aimed or chimera ready to roll.  From a DPS perspective I lost DPS by doing that.  I am sure I am not the only hunter that found himself zoning out and hitting 5 (or wherever you have steady) once too often.  Being we are more rotation based with focus we will never be in a situation where were are spamming steady, so hitting one to many is not going to happen now.  Chalk up another plus for Focus.  No more counting times to Chimera, just weave it in.  Love the easy mode, welcome to the ease most other classes have had forever fellow hunters.  Enjoy.

While doing my grind and having my turtle round up mobs as I MDed and dropped my volley I kept saying, I am going to miss this.  Truth be told, I am going to miss that.  It made soloing so easy for a hunter.  It was my key soloing ability.  While doing that I was trying to figure how I would do things now.  Then I read something about traps costing 0 focus.  I had to double check, could that really be true?  Well, it seems so.  The launcher costs 30 focus but the trap itself is free now and that is when I came up with this awesome idea for how I would replace losing volley.  Send pet in, round up mobs, wait 2 or 3 seconds, MD, Multi, step up and drop snake and explosive, step back and muti again twice, then work on the target my turtle is on if anything is still alive.  While not as flashly as volley is, it seems, on paper, like it would be just as effective.  I like that, chalk one up for Focus bringing some thinking back to soloing.  With volley it was just send in pet, MD, spam volley.  Nice and effective but it takes no thought.

Another shining example of the where Focus will really begin to shine is the go go go raids.  When going through lower level raids the speed at which we move is astounding.  Even with my excellent mana management normally I can not keep from running out.  We are just moving so damn fast or they are chain pulling so my flask never gets to start its cooldown.  Volley costs a lot and it starts to be impossible to keep up at maximum DPS when moving that fast when everything is an AoE fest even if I do try.  I just start volleying with viper on because I have to.  Focus cures that.  Multi, multi and mulit again.  Then drop some traps and multi will be available again, if it is not, throw in a steady. 

The few seconds between pulls where I barely had any time to regain mana I will now regain focus completely.  So I start over with mulit, multi and multi.  So focus will really help in those go go go raids where you are just swooping everything up and moving as fast as possible.  Chalk up another one for focus as well as the only example where I can see how the new multi is actually better then volley.

So thinking positive about focus is becoming a lot easier then I thought it will be.  I needed to let go of some things that I have gotten used to, sure.  And you know us grumpy old elves do not like change but I am starting to find a certain warming to it now.  Unless they nerf down our focus regen to that of the rogue (shutters, I never have any energy as a rogue) then I think we will be okay with it.  It is something that me, the one that fears change, can actually adapt to and possibly learn to love.

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