Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Feel for Marks & Survival

I logged in yesterday surprised how smooth it went, it was even up before it was expected.  Not to say there were no issues.  I did some dungeon runs and there were bugs galore.  Nothing game breaking, just annoying.  I wanted to test out my hunter so I ran a few dungeons and the looking for raid for the first time in months.

For knowledge sake, the talents I decided on for both marksman and survival are as follows.

Level 15: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chimera
Level 30: Silencing Shot
Level 45: Aspect of the Ironhawk
Level 60: Dire Beast
Level 75: A Murder of Crows

First up, survival.

My DPS was off roughly 6K from what it normally is.  I had a few shining moments where I was close to my normal but not one where I could reach it.  I went and reforged so I could get to the expertise cap and lowered my hit cap so there were less wasted stats.  Remember, hit cap is now 7.5%, it is no longer 8% so you can take some out of it.

So with the idea I was not missing being removed the lower damage was because of me trying to work my new skills in.  Having readiness as survival was a nice little addition but losing my 10% haste buff was a bit annoying.  I also liked having silencing shot in survival.  Interrupts are important.

I'm a button spammer, I'm sure I have said that before, and when I was doing my cobras I was used to 1.5 cast times and was now 1.8 cast time which mean at lot of click click click sounds coming from the game when I tried to do something but was still channeling a cobra shot cast.  .3 seconds might not seem like a lot but when you have had your timing down so well for so long .3 seconds is an eternity.  I swear I heard the click click click from not being able to fire a shot a thousand times last night.

I didn't like having the added abilities to work into my rotation.  I've played on beta, I read everything there is to read, I know my priorities already, it was just a matter of putting them into practice.  And I surely need a lot of practice because I was ending up focus capped all the time it seemed.

I noticed the ability to fire the three explosive shots in a row was causing some problems.  So even if I could fire them back to back now I started squeezing in arcanes when I was in danger of capping.  So sure, I could fire them all at once but more often than not I wasn't.  It was not practical to fire three of them and let myself be capped.  It felt like a waste.  Unless some theory crafter comes out and says you are better off letting yourself get capped to fire the three explosive shots I am going to do it the way I used to do it and squeeze in an arcane shot to bleed off some focus to keep myself from capping.

Either way, I found myself capping quite a bit but I chalk that up to paying too much attention to the new spells and over casting cobra once in a while  It could be the reason for the lower DPS as well as the reason for me capping.  It is nothing that a little practice at it won't fix I am sure.  Survival seems like it will still be easy enough even if it is looking more like a warlock rotation with a million button than a hunter rotation with 5 or 6 main ones max.

Now for marksman.

I was so excited to be able to play marksman again.  It has always been my favorite spec.  I have not used it on any given fight normally since beth in firelands.  I did use it here and there in other spots but because survival was so much better in the sims I switched to survival exclusively and let my favorite spec be put to the side for soloing and PvP.

If I just complained about focus capping as survival I have to apologize because compared to marksman it was nothing.  It was a minor thing here and there with survival.  With marks I was capped for what seemed like entire fights.  Even when I tried to bleed as much as I could I had to do my two steadies to keep my buff up and was right back to capped again.

I just could not get into the grove with it.  One fight I did 22K on.  I have not done 22K on my hunter since late T11 / early T12.  How did I get so bad at marksman?  I used to rock it.

Is it a product of not playing it for so long or is it the same problem I had with survival and I was paying too much attention to my new spells that I was making minor mistakes here and there.  Either way, there is no excuse for an experienced hunter around a 400 item level to be doing 22K.  None at all.

I played around with it some more and was able to get it up some but still not really close to what I have become used to.  I did get it over 30K and I did start to get those new spells into more of a grove but I was still focus capped nearly all the time.

I think that is the reason I was doing so badly.  I was paying way to much attention to being focus capped and trying to bleed off some that I made mistakes, lots of mistakes and even lost my steady shot buff often while trying to get rid of focus.  I paid way to much attention to it.

Marksman is holy shit hard now to keep up with.  There is too much going on at the same time and it will be near impossible to keep a top damage rotation up while not capping and taking advantage of procs.  I love it.  I also hate it.

I love that marksman is now going to take some serious skill to pull off correctly but I hate that it seemed like it is now harder even if they improved the double steady buff to a 10 second duration.  After a few runs and many fights where I felt like I was basically useless because I could not get into the grove I went back to survival for the LFR run.  I would have embarrassed myself with marksman.

Marks was always about timing and now it is more so than ever before.  It had an insanely tight rotation before and now we have new spells we need to add into that already overly tight rotation and it messed me up.  Messed me up so much that I can see this being something that could make some hunters quit.  Not me, I am a hunter and I look forward to the challenge but they really made a hard rotation timing wise much harder now.

I can't believe I did 22K on a boss fight.  That was horrible beyond the definition of horrible.  But it is also nothing that a few hours on the dummy could not fix.  I think anyone that wants to do marks correctly will either have to practice some to get the new timing down or they will need to ignore those new abilities and just roll old school and only use them if they have some extra time.  That would be a much smaller DPS loss than trying to do it all and having the timing all messed up, like I did.

So today it will be dummy time for me.  It is the patch before the expansion, I should be doing more DPS, not less.  All other classes seemed to have boomed up big time and I went down.  Might be me not adjusting fast enough or it might be the loss of the main hand and need to move stats into expertise.

It is just funny hearing people say, wow my haste is now at 36% or wow my mastery is now at 40% and here I am on my hunter and my crit is 7% less that it used to be, my haste is 5% less than it used to be and my mastery is 4% less than it used to be.  How did every class in the game get a huge boost and my class got torn to shreds?

Either way, I still finished the LFR in third because another hunter, from guild, and a warlock that was just insane did better.

Hey, I thought I had it bad, there were two other hunters in there under the tank and both of them were actually good hunters, not great, but good, and they could not get into the grove either.  I more than doubled them however, so I guess I am not in as bad of shape as I make it out to be.  Perhaps I just have higher expectations of myself.

So as much as I complain about feeling off with it, at least I am not them.

Either way, I am not happy with adding more buttons to our rotation.  Blizzard seems to have once again forgotten their player base.  They have forgotten the skill level of those players, the majority.  I will get into the grove because I read a lot and am willing to invest time into learning.  Most won't and adding more abilities for people that could not handle the ones we had already is bad design.

They needed to lower the number of things people needed to do and they increased it.

If we thought we saw a lot of bad DPS in cataclysm, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Around the bases on other stuff:

Beast Mastery:  I will give it a try this weekend.  It seems to be the easiest of the three specs and if beta shows us anything it is possible this could also end up being the best spec.  It has been so long since I played it however I wonder if I can get into it.

Pets:  Geez they got squishy.  Mine was dying left and right, always taking damage from god knows what.  If pets are going to have the life expectancy of the cockroach at an exterminator convention it might make BM the worst spec.  Without a pet BM is useless.

LFR Loot:  I like how it pops up for you what you won, either the baggie of gold or an item.  In a way I feel slighted when I get an item because that means I get no gold.  I would rather the bag with 25 gold instead of a 12 gold item I don't need anyway.  I hope they fix that, you should still get the gold even if you get an item.

Loot Rolls:  Love the new loot roll.  It even tells you if you won something and what you won it with.  A nice little change.  Nothing that was needed really but nothing to complain about either.  I do think it is kind of cool that it tells you when you won.  Hell, how many of us have had moments were we ask, did I win that piece?  No more.

AoE Looting:  Being I only did dungeons and raids yesterday I did not get to use it but had used it on beta.  Don't need to use it again to tell you I love it.  I love it.

64 Bit:  I am playing in 64 bit now when I never had before.  Must say the colors are a lot brighter with 64 bit.  Insanely brighter.  Not sure if some things were bugs or if they are supposed to blind you, like the sand on the ground at the end of the first HoT.  I thought I was going to go blind.  It is vibrant for sure.  Even noticed a lot of little things I never noticed before.

Launch:  Well color me surprised, it was up nice and quick and while the dungeons seem to have a lot of bugs there was nothing game breaking.  Nice patch work there, seems like blizzard is getting better at this stuff.  About time, do you remember not being able to log in on tuesdays nearly every week for hours?  Glad those days are gone.

Shared Achievements:  I picked up a whole 110 achievement points.  How sad, I though it would have been more.  Oddly enough only 10 of that was from my horde characters and I know I have a lot of achievements on my horde characters I do not have on any alliance ones, or I thought I did.  I know of some for sure like the fishing and cooking dailies to start.  That should be a total of 8 achievements shared, but I guess those aren't shared between factions.  So I wonder where that 10 came from.  What horde achievement could I have gotten that I never got on an alliance character that is shared if the horde specific ones are not shared.  I would love to figure that one out.

All in all not a bad patch day.  Now to get to work, I have a lot of hunter work to do if I want to get back into the grove.  I hate new buttons.  Why does everyone else like them?  I had enough abilities to begin with, there was no need to add more to gum up the works.  Oh well, now to find somewhere to bind them.  You know, clicking them could have also been part of my problem.  Who knows.


  1. Great summary of day one! I've been camping Aeonaxx like a crazy woman since we plan to transfer to a high pop server and I'm trying to make the best of my time on a dead one.

    I did take a break and do Tol Barad dailies last night and I was basically one and a half shotting mobs in 406 pve gear as BM. I killed a few Alliance too and I have to say BM burst is ridiculous. I have good pvp gear too but I didn't even bother changing into it as people were dead before they could even do any damage to me. My bf even asked at one point if I put my pvp gear on, lol.

    I've always preferred BM for pvp but I hated the rotation for PVE. I think I might like it now although SV quickly stole my heart in DS. Overall it was a nice smooth patch and while I wasn't initially thrilled at getting Pandas, I really like all the other things coming with the expansion. Should be a fun ride!

    1. I've never PvPed as BM. I use MM exclusively for PvP, always have, but then again I am not much of a PvPer.

      I'm going to give BM a shot this weekend, sure hope I do not end up with my pet dying all the time like it did last night.

      Beware that on many fights there are pet issues and that makes BM really get screwed over. On ultraxion you can not use kill command. On the boat you will need to manually send your pet to attack melee mobs only otherwise it will jump off the side of the ship and hover in mid air doing nothing. On madness they will land in the water when you jump and they will stay there, sometimes for almost the entire next platform.

      For now, I say do not raid as BM, too many pet bugs. I am sure they will fix them soon enough, but it is not worth it right now when you get in and do 20K on a fight you did 40K on last week because your pet was useless the whole fight or was one shot by some AoE.

  2. Nice to hear Patch Day in the US went swimmingly, in the EU it's however an entirely different ballgame (people stuck at the dowloader for hrs, stuck at the un-opt-outable 'Optimiser', people stuck on loginscreens, people entering their Realms but being able to do nothing but chat, etc.).

    Personally stuck at the dowloader (2% for almost two hrs and counting), and happy I don't use add-ons (going by the Forums the resultant misery would be tenfold).

    Is it true btw they sneaked the Scholo and Scarlet Monastery changes into the Patch ?

    As far as I know they never included revamps like this in pre-patches but apparently they did (though, again, reports of people in the EU being able to enter but not to play anything etc.). This does rather stink (I had expected to be able to farm Scholo for a month) but the flipside is that it saves me the trouble of levelling toons to the Scholo level (especially as - again as I expected - early PvP has now, from what I understand from those that did manage to enter it, become pretty much unplayable).

    *sigh* I feel another all-nighter coming up with all the dowload etc. crap (though perhaps I should just quit and try again tomorrow)

    But again, glad to hear you Yanks are enjoying the game :P

    1. That is odd, we usually have to deal with all the problems and you guys get the fixed update.

      I was stuck at 3% for a while and then it zoomed. It took what seemed like forever to get to 3%. Not anywhere near 2 hours however. 30 minutes maybe to get to 3% and then maybe 10 more to finish up.

      I did not check for them but I heard they are in.